I don't have enough time for social media
I create spaces online for clients so that
- their clients and customers can find them;
- they can give their clients and customers a good sense of who they are, what they stand for, and what they might expect in their relationship with them;
- they can have a central place to share important information about their company;
- they have a space they can manage and choose how it looks and where their emphasis lies.
I help them create this space as a functioning online marketing and communications tool but also as a testing ground. As Open Source software is used when possible costs are kept to a minimum but I will always encourage clients to examine how online fits into their overall business strategy. My ultimate hope is that one day they will be able to use the information we have gathered about the efficacy of online in their business so that they can expand, either by hiring a team member to manage online or contracting a developer to create a bespoke site with all the bells and whistles.
Getting to the point where they feel happy with this space, how it looks and feels is only part of the journey. Making your website work for you and fit into your existing processes is an essential part of this journey. I have hiked in uncomfortable shoes only once – it was a hard learned lesson about preparation and planning that I try to apply to my work and my clients’ work.
When you are already an extremely busy person how then can you make time for social media?
Build it into your processes, make it work for you. You are an expert in your field. You know what time of year, month, day are busy for your business, your clients and your competitors. Use this knowledge when creating your publishing schedule and be realistic. Don’t be afraid to use all the scheduling tools that online allows: WordPress allows you to schedule posts, Facebook allows you to schedule posts to your page, Buffer and Hootsuite will allow you to schedule posts to a range of networks and Dlvr.it can help you manage your posting schedule too.
Repurpose: use (anonymised!) responses to customers and clients as content. For example, this blog post on making the most of award nominations was wholly inspired by a client as was this blog post on optimising online video for search.
What channel suits you best: maybe you prefer the brevity of twitter, the visual nature of Pinterest or Facebook or the long form of blogging. Maybe you love audio or video. All can be repurposed for other formats. Make a video, post it on your blog, send a regular ezine with links to your video or podcast. For example this blog post that I wrote for Congregation 2015 is part of an ebook and has been recorded as a soon to be broadcast podcast. (If you would like to hear more about Congregation.ie listen to Conn Ó Muineacháin’s recent interview with Eoin Kennedy.)
HOWEVER bear in mind which channel suits your stakeholders best: Try out a couple of different channels and use the analytics that come with nearly all platforms these days in conjunction with your own Google analytics to assess what is working for you. If you listen to the podcast above you will hear Eoin make a very good point about the lack of correlation between shares and retweets and actual clickthroughs and time spent on pages on Congregation.ie. This made it clear that people in the bloggers’ networks were sharing their links on faith without actually reading the content. (I’m just glad I wasn’t the only one who didn’t read EVERYTHING!) So really there is no point wasting time on Pinterest, for example, if you can see that it doesn’t drive traffic and, more importantly, traffic that converts to your site. By all means maintain a presence on the major networks but have a plan for each that will allow you to measure their effectiveness. This may take up 12 months to figure out and assess. Be patient and kind to yourself.
Use that smartphone: I’ve written before about productivity tools (and must revisit!) and I encourage all my clients to search for other apps that will allow them to be more productive and therefore more relaxed and flexible.
Above all be realistic: create a publishing calendar that is realistic. Vow to post a good quality blog post once a month and schedule time to write it, gather media and links for it and share it across your networks. Don’t post on your site or social networks for the sake of posting. Your stakeholders will appreciate timely and useful content rather than another post about it being Friday.
If you would like some personalised help developing a content strategy that is completely aligned with your business plan get in touch and let’s have a chat!