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What Businesses can Do to Avoid Wasting Time on Social Media

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Friday, August 8, 2014 |

Years ago, there were numerous discussions as to whether or not social was a big waste of time for businesses. Back then, social media was still a question rather than a statement.

Today, social media marketing has proven to be worthwhile for businesses. And that it is relatively inexpensive and easily accessible makes social media the perfect tool for small businesses and start-ups. There are so many things a business can do through social media: market, build awareness, grow its reach, and create a community, to name a few.

Social media has become a part of our everyday lives that itís easy for you, or your employees, to lose time and productivity to social media time suck which can affect profits.

Here are ways that can help you avoid wasting time on social media:

1. Select a focus.
Failing to pick a focus for their social media efforts is a trap businesses cannot fall into. Do not try to be everywhere at once and establish a presence on every existing social network. Itís okay to set up profiles to secure your brand name, but you donít need to be active on every site. Doing so only takes your time off more productive tasks.

Choose a social network that suits your industry - thatís where your audience is. An effective way for marketers to save time and put what they create to good use is by repurposing content spread across social networks.

2. Develop a strategy.
Having a strategy is critical when starting anything new for your business. Before jumping into social media, make sure you have a course of action. Set goals associated with your social media strategy, but understand that you canít do it all overnight.

The trick is to list down your biggest goals and complete small tasks each day that lead you closer toward accomplishing them.

3. Have a schedule.
Not having a schedule is another major time waster for those involved in social media. You run the risk of forgetting to publish relevant content, or devoting a whole day to social when you should have been doing more important work. Make it a regular part of your schedule so it wouldn't become a useless distraction.

4. Use the tools available to you.
The interfaces included in social networks are perfect for posting and interaction, but there are more efficient tools you can use to take on multiple networks at once, like Hootsuite and Buffer.

5. Donít use too many tools.
Keep it simple and choose the tool that serves most of your needs. Using too many tools will only distract you.

6. Donít try to do everything yourself.
Your daily tasks increase as your social media efforts grow, just as your business increases with the expansion of your social presence. And when that happens, you might not be able to handle it all on your own. Should that time come, you can get help by outsourcing tasks like post-scheduling and analytics monitoring. Youíll still be in-charge of the message; youíll just have some assistance spreading it to your audience.

7. Schedule posts in advance.
Failing to schedule posts can put a major strain on your workload. Youíll either be scrambling to publish posts or end up with nothing to publish at all. Also, the idea of going online and being present on social media sites at all times is the kind of time suck that discourages business owners from considering social media marketing.

8. Donít get caught up in real-time chatter.
Conversation and engagement are important to your social media efforts, but avoid getting wrapped up in trifling conversations that distract you from your larger social goals and your regular tasks. Keep your social conversations focused and direct to the point to avoid wasting time.

9. Donít let every notification distract you from work.
Responding to mentions, comments, and messages is important, and it is imperative to respond in a timely manner. However, responding to every single one of them only pulls you away from some other task repeatedly. Answer queries that require immediate attention, and save the rest for later.

10. Engage with your audience.
Real engagement and conversion are two of the major factors that let you build relationships with your audience and humanize your brand. The perfect complement to your social media efforts is responding to people who have taken the time to reach out to your brand.


Source:
http://www.forbes.com/

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