One Month of 30 Time-Saving Social Media Hacks for Small Businesses
Social media is an essential tool for any business looking to increase brand awareness and engage with target audiences. It has been especially effective for small businesses, in that it’s transformed how they interact with customers and otherwise market to them. Yet maintaining social media accounts is often problematic for small businesses, as they frequently do not have time to post or enough employees for assigning tasks driving a demand for time-saving social media hacks.
Despite these challenges it’s imperative that small businesses regularly update their social media platforms, as more than 75 percent of internet surfers use social media. Facebook is expected to have the most significant percentage share increase within the 65+ demographic in 2016, while Instagram remains the favorite for younger users. Tumblr is another go-to for younger folk, with Twitter and Pinterest falling somewhere in the middle.
If you’re looking to increase your social media presence but are concerned about time and budget issues, review the following 30 social media hacks ideal for small businesses:
1. Limit Platform Engagement
Limit the number of social media platforms to two or three options used by your target demographic that suit your industry. Working on two or three platforms saves serious time and makes it possible to have the impact you desire. Go by the 80/20 rule, in that 80 percent of your content should concern the surrounding community and any topics related to your business, while 20 percent of your content should revolve around selling products and services.
2. Create a Schedule
Create a social media schedule and adhere to it. Determine which team members are most adept at posting and assign a platform to each of them. You may even decide to assign a platform to yourself if you have the time and inclination. Do a little research and determine which days of the week result in the highest social media engagement from your consumers and base the schedule around that. For example, if you know that the majority of your fans and followers are online around midday, create a schedule so new posts appear during this time. There’s no need to post several times a day every day, as such practices are unappealing to consumers who feel their feeds are being “flooded.”
3. Link Your Networks
Link social media networks so, when you post on one, it automatically appears on the others. This time-saving hack is possible through tools such as Tweetdeck, Buffer, and Facebook Scheduled Posts.
4. Experiment and Adjust
Experiment with post styles to see what types of content your audience responds to the most. Add images to posts, as well as videos, links to eBooks and white papers—whatever works for your business. Try different hashtags as well and see how they affect Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts. Allow each “experiment” time to see if it works. Keep what works and immediately drop what doesn’t to fine-tune social media as well as overall content marketing.
5. Use Topic Alerts
Set up topic alerts and save yourself considerable time searching for news related to your industry or anything else that’s relevant. Google Alerts make it easy to curate news results that relate to your business and subsequently share interesting information with fans and followers.
6. Go the “Batch” Route
Going back and forth among different social media sites takes more time than you probably realize. Reduce interruptions by organizing your work in batches. For example, schedule Facebook updates and Tumblr posts for the morning and spend 15 minutes checking post engagement in the early afternoon. Designating blocks of time for social media activities allows for a much more streamlined workday.
7. Schedule Weeks in Advance
Schedule posts, particularly those that fall into the “evergreen” category, weeks in advance to save yourself serious time. This is another way to hack social media and minimize day-to-day interruptions. Write several days’ worth of posts and tweets, add them to a scheduling app, and you’re finished.
8. Don’t Forget About Maintenance
Remember to perform social media maintenance, as platforms change their features on a regular basis. Add a note to your social media calendar that reminds you to test social media buttons, plugins, and any other features once a month, if not twice a month.
9. Take Advantage of Google Analytics
“Mine” your social media sites for analytics data and audience insights through Google Analytics. The tool allows you to discover the locations and demographics of Facebook fans, so you may learn more about your target audience, including factors like age, gender, languages spoken, and locations.
10. Appoint Your Most Social Media-Savvy Employees
Assign platforms to employees who demonstrate the most enthusiasm for and knowledge of social media. For example, if one of your employees is all about Twitter and Instagram, give that person those accounts. If another knows everything about the latest Facebook updates and features, assign that account to the employee. You’ll save time teaching employees how to use the accounts. You may also want to share this list of social media hacks with them.
11. Auto-Update Blog Posts
Auto-update blog posts to social media to make certain all blogs are added to your accounts. Use the URL to your blog’s RSS feed in conjunction with a tool such as TwitterFeed to implement auto-sharing. Automation saves time and allows you to focus more on client engagement.
12. Keep Up With Hashtags
Stay up-to-date on hashtags relevant to your industry and use them as needed to increase brand awareness and visibility.
13. Outsource If Necessary
Outsource social media platforms to a reputable content marketing agency or freelancers. This saves time long-term, as long as you put the effort into finding the right people for the job.
14. Use Brand Alerts
Set up alerts that let you know when your brand is mentioned. Such alerts are usually done via email and are available through sites such as Mention.com and Hootsuite.
15. Sidestep Minor Email Notifications
Don’t allow endless email notifications on subjects of little relevance to get in the way of a productive workday. Adjust settings on each of your social media platforms so you only get the major alerts necessary to your marketing efforts.
16. Utilize Lists
Determine which followers and fans you always want to receive updates from and make lists. Twitter lists are one way to go about this, though you can also create lists via monitoring tools such as Hootsuite.
Consolidate social media activity, so results appear on a single dashboard. You won’t have to visit each site individually, which gets tedious.
18. Work With Advanced Tools
Take advantage of innovative tools and techniques to save time on social media and further your reach. These tools are referred to as “force multipliers” and allow you to hack social media tasks more efficiently.
19. Use a Curation Service for Third-Party Content
Curate and share tips and news from related businesses and organizations and avoid having to come up with fresh content every single time you post. You’ll need to give third-party credit. However, you’re providing a link-building service that said third parties will likely reciprocate.
20. Try Knowem.com
Solidify your brand name as a vanity URL on social media platforms via Knowem.com. The site lets you perform searches in one place and register on up to 300 social media platforms.
21. Use Social Media for Customer Service
Be present and transparent for your customers by using your social media as a customer service platform. Social media makes it easy to respond to issues and comments, and it’s public so everyone can benefit.
22. Craft a Content Stockpile
Set up a weekly meeting where you and your social media team brainstorm about future content. You’ll be able to select easily from your “stockpile,” rather than having to come up with content every time you go to post.
23. Use Social Media to Advance Overall Strategy
Take a good look at your marketing plan to determine where social media fits and how. This prevents you from wasting time on strategies that don’t work or are simply irrelevant.
24. Measure Only What’s Necessary
Pick the metrics that directly impact your business and measure them instead of wasting time on social analytics that won’t help you. For example, track which posts result in the most shares or clicks.
25. Be Consistent
Stay consistent with how often you post, as long periods of nothing between updates ensure consumers forget about you. Find a balance that keeps you in the minds of fans without eating up too much time.
26. Try a Tweet Bank
Create a tweet bank, or a collection of tweet verbiage you can use whenever composing Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook posts, and save time.
27. Keep Track of Shared Content
Keep track of which content, such as website pages and blogs, receives the most attention. You can therefore develop a seamless content strategy that saves time on social media posts.
28. Work With Plugins
Help your website with a plugin, such as the Yoast SEO plugin if you use WordPress, and optimize it for social media accounts. This is an important sharing effort, as it allows a person sharing a blog post on Facebook to extract the right information.
29. Obtain a URL Shortener
Create a vanity-shortened URL by registering your (shortened) domain name and free yourself from concerns about URL service issues.
30. Use Cross-Promotion Tactics
Use one social media account to provide links to other social media accounts. For example, encourage fans on Facebook to follow you on Twitter with a link to the account, and vice versa.
Some 92 percent of small business owners regard social media as important to marketing strategies. Are you part of this percentage leveraging social media hacks?
For more social media hacks for your small business, contact us today!