The consensus is that social media can have a huge impact on how your business operates. It allows you to personally connect with customers and prospects, build a brand that people can trust and develop a long term voice that puts you in front of as many people as possible. But, doing all of that can also eat up time and if you spend more time on Facebook and Twitter than you do selling products or services, what is the point?
Fewer Outlets with a Stronger Message
The first thing you need to do is to pare down the number of outlets you use. Facebook is a must and Twitter is good if you have short, sweet messages to share with your customers. Google+ is a growing option and is incredibly powerful in getting your brand featured in search listings. However, beyond the core three, there is very little reason to use any other social networks. YouTube can be a good supplement if you record videos or provide webinars often, but don’t get carried away.
Integrate Cross Posting
Not only should you use an auto-poster like HootSuite to speed up the posting process, you should set up your profiles to post to each other. So, if you post on Facebook, it should appear on Twitter and Google+ and vice versa. This allows you to reach out to a wider audience with each post and minimizes the time you spend on each of those sites.
Value in Every Post
Some marketers will tell you that 100 posts a week is a must, but there is no daily quota for posting to social media. Instead, make sure every post you publish is filled with value. If someone reads something you post, it should make them think, click, share or act. Always ask yourself “what does this post suggest the reader to do?” If all you are doing is describing your recent flight to Topeka, Kansas, it probably doesn’t do anything. That’s not a value-adding post.
Social media is incredibly valuable, but only if you use it to its full potential and avoid getting distracted. Don’t spend time looking at profiles and reading up on old college buddies when you could be dropping a value-adding comment and moving on to other things.
Ideally, social media should take between 10 and 20 minutes a day to maintain and that is it. In that 20 minute period you can build your brand, personalize your message and convince a handful of prospects that you are someone worth following.