Social media is a living, breathing thing that is constantly changing – like a child, a garden, or the bread dough proofing on the counter. It’s not a giant rock, a tree, or a toy train, things that change slowly over time, if it all.
Once you can accept that idea, you can stop trying to control it, which would be as futile as trying to control the weather. On the other hand, of course, it does need regular tending to, and that’s where people start to feel totally out of control – especially small business owners whose sole responsibility is not social media marketing.
Because a mind is a terrible thing to lose, here’s how to keep up with social media:
The only social networks you should be using are the ones where your current and potential customers are. You can find them by doing searches around keywords related to your company: name, products, and services. Once you identify a couple of networks, focus your time and energy there.
2. Schedule social media time
I find that unless it’s on my calendar or to-do list, it doesn’t get done. Sound familiar? Pick a day and time and set up a recurring appointment. Use the time to brainstorm social media updates, work on social ad campaigns, write blog posts, and find and follow new people.
3. Read expert advice
The only way I can keep up with the latest social media news and trends is by reading – a lot. You don’t have to read as much as I do, but it’s super helpful to at least be aware of what’s going on. One of my favorite sources for news and trends is Social Media Today.
4. Stick with what works
Once you find a steady rhythm, stick with it. If your Facebook updates are getting likes and comments, your tweets are being retweeted, your Instagram photos are being liked, and your blog is getting read, shared, and commented on, just keep on keeping on. Don’t fix what isn’t broken.
5. Automate what you can
The biggest saving grace for both social media marketers and small business owners is marketing automation software. I schedule blog posts for publishing on WordPress, and I use Hootsuite to schedule tweets and Facebook updates in advance. Hootsuite also has an auto-scheduler, so you can choose to share something when the most people in your network will see it. Can’t beat that!
What would you add to my list? Anything else you do to manage social media so it doesn’t take over?
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