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Managing Your Time Is the Key to Successful Social Media Marketing

Guest blog post by Jamie Self, Constant Contact’s Social Campaign Sales Team Leader

Social media marketing is a great tool that all small businesses and organizations can use to stay competitive and grow.

One of the biggest barriers to small businesses using such a powerful tool is time.

But while small businesses are incredibly time starved, social media does not have to be the big time-suck most think it is.

The most common questions about social media marketing

Last week, I attended multiple events in San Francisco as part of the worldwide celebration of Social Media Week. The two questions I heard over and over were “How should I manage the time I can allocate to social media marketing?” and “What should I use to help make sure my time spent is worth it for me?”

People generally want to control their time dedicated to social media, but they are scared and unsure of how to do so. I sat in an array of panels and keynotes, and there were some great ideas and some worthy advice presented that can help businesses and organizations take control of their time and get the most out of their investment in social media.

Two tips to help you manage your time

1. Develop a plan. As a marketer on any level, you have to start with a goal in mind. It’s important to know what you want the action of your fans, followers, and connections to take. Do you want them to use a coupon you are offering? Read exclusive content they can only get through your Facebook Page or share a great tip or video?

2. Tell a story. We’ve all read or know a story we can tell, and it’s really no different with marketing. Think of the marketer as the author. As the author, you have to know what you want the end to be in order to write the details to get there. Knowing what that “story” is will save you time and help create a plan that puts you on the path to success.

So what type of story should you tell?

It’s important to tell a story that truly represents you and your business or organization.

We all know what makes us great and unique, so bring this into your story and relate it to your audience.

In today’s highly connected world, marketers are constantly fighting for the time and attention of their audience, and it’s not just with other brands. It’s with pictures of our friends’ kids, articles posted by college roommates, and the latest “must see” viral video. In order to win you need to post things that your fans can connect with and relate to, as well as feel passionate about.

Everyone has heard the phrase “content is king,” but the truth really is “good content is king.” You know your business and customers better than anyone else, so create content that they can relate to and will want to share with their friends.

Know and use the right resources

Every successful marketer has their go-to tools. These can be anything from an application, to a contact person, or even a forum of experts.

A few great applications that were mentioned over and over last week were Nutshell Mail, HootSuite, TweetDeck, and of course, the actual social platforms themselves.

However, out of everything presented over the course of the week, one thing stood out specifically for small businesses and organizations: Starting with basics is key. You can’t hit a homerun before learning how to swing a bat.

Get comfortable with how the systems operate first, before you start to use a third party tool. Once you understand how each platform works, it will be much easier to integrate different tools and use them successfully.

The rewards of social media marketing are many

There is no doubt that incorporating social media into a marketing plan can take time. That said, it doesn’t have to be a dark cloud looming over your time.

Not only can you make it easier to incorporate social media into your marketing plans, but you can enjoy the time you are spending with it. Once you find that niche for your audience, the return is exhilarating!

Now what’s your story?

How do you manage the time you spend on social media marketing? Share your thoughts with us in the comments field below.

 Jamie Self is the Social Campaign Sales Team Leader at Constant Contact. Follow Jamie on Twitter at @jself03.

Comments:

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  1. Jamie, thank you for a very informative post.

    I find that posting on Facebook first thing in the morning works best for me. I know how important it is to keep my readers interested and coming back for more. Besides, once I have posted, I do not have to worry about getting busy and NOT getting it done in a timely manner.

    As far as content, I self-publish three eNewsletters with great content so I post something from one of them every day. Usually an article but sometimes a poem, a picture that tells a story, etc. I’ve learned from the recent Constant Contact posts how to engage my audience by asking them to post a comment or some other form of interaction.

    Oh, and one last thing, I ALWAYS read these blog posts by Constant Contact! It’s like attending an on-going conference without leaving the comforts of my home office.

    Peggy

    Reply
    • Martin Lieberman •

      That’s so great to hear, Peggy! I’m glad you’re reading these blog posts and are learning something from them that you can use for your organization.
      Please let us know if you have any questions we can answer in a future blog post. :-)

      - Martin

      Reply
      • Thanks, Martin! Right now my only concern is learning my way around Timeline on Facebook. :) Not happy with it at all. IMHO

        Peggy

        Reply
    • Jamie Self •

      Peggy-
      I’m so glad to hear you get a lot out of our blogs. They are a great resource! It sounds like you have really discovered the best method for you to manage your engagement and marketing. Your dedicated time to manage your Facebook marketing is great. It is hard to find time throughout the day, as we all know, things come up. You use a great tactic to help your authentic content work for itself and offer great information across multiple channels. Thanks for sharing your personal best practices!
      Asking questions and keeping those questions relatable to your audience will help your engagement. Think of your posts as conversational starters. It can be a really fun way to bring your story full circle :)
      -Jamie

      Reply
      • Thanks for your reply, Jamie.

        Since I am struggling with FB Timeline, has Constant Contact have a blog posts addressing the best way to “get around” in Timeline? I am a top-down leaner and know what I like and do not like when it comes to the “appeal” of a opening page.

        Thanks,
        Peggy

        Reply
  2. Hey Martin, I have signed on for your blogs and find them very informative, however I still struggle with Facebook in general (I hate it!) and in particular, is it where I should be business wise. I manage and sell for an equine community in NC, our demographic is people over 50,2nd home buyers, and outdoor lovers. Do you have any words of wisdom for me? Carol

    Reply
    • Martin Lieberman •

      Hi Carol. I’m glad to hear you like our blog. Thanks so much for saying so!

      That said, I’m sorry to hear you don’t like Facebook. Are your customers/clients on it? Do you know? Perhaps it’s worth asking them, with a quick survey or just in general conversations with them.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if many of your clients were on Facebook. Older users are the fastest growing demographic on the site, and if your clients are there, then my words of wisdom are that you should be there too, engaging with them.

      I hope that helps!

      - Martin

      Reply
  3. Hi.. I love this article. My business is on FB- It is where I found my niche to promote items, free shopping cart and have created a great customer base.

    I find it best to ask open ended questions to my fans- I love following my insights and seeing what questions brought in the most comments.

    I also find it best to post photos with upended questions to get them revved up and asking for more product and purchasing.

    If I am stocking I offer sneak peaks and than when stocking day comes I have been selling out and taking on additional 5-10 custom orders due to asking open ended questions, and posting photos.

    Thank you for the great article..

    For others.. I too dislike the TimeLine.

    Reply
  4. Believe it or not, your prospects are watching you. When they see you are consistent with your marketing efforts and building a relationship, they will know you are a true professional. This is when social media tools come into play and allow you to build your business with ease.

    Thanks for sharing your expertise in social media.

    To Your Success,

    Stacie Walker

    Reply
  5. Believe it or not, your prospects are watching you. When they see you are consistent with your marketing efforts and building a relationship, they will know you are a true professional. That is when social media tools come into play and make business building a breeze.

    To Your Success,

    Stacie Walker

    Reply
  6. When it comes to implementing social media, decide which tasks need to be done first and which ones can wait. Concentrate on getting what needs to be done completed.

    Reply

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