This frustration is likely familiar, particularly if you’re the boss.
The virtues and benefits of social media usage, from a business standpoint, are known to you. The books are convincing, the speakers compelling, and the data makes sense.
Yet despite your best intentions, your Facebook page withers on the digital vine and a thick layer of dust settles on your Twitter account. Best we don’t even speak of your anemic YouTube channel.
The problem isn’t social, it’s time.
Time is the great anchor that holds back small business social media strategies. It’s this that trips up well motivated individuals on both sides of the expertise gap. Those of us that get social media, that drink it up wholeheartedly and consider it very important to our personal and professional lives often still fail at setting aside adequate time to execute.
We like to think of emerging web technologies as equalizers, and from a certain perspective they are. The Facebook page and Twitter accounts owned by a local bakery have the same capabilities as those created by Ford or Rogers. The difference, of course, is that the enterprise has personnel devoted to using these tools. You, quite likely, have that task lumped on the top of an already very large stack of responsibilities.
This is partly why the message Gary Vaynerchuk put out in his 2009 book “Crush It” still resonates. The person who burns the midnight oil creating meaningful relationships online is inevitably going to get more out of it than the one who declares themselves too busy. Gary calls this marathon effort to carve out the time “hustle,” and there’s no better word for it.
So what can a small business do? If you’re in the position where hiring help (staff or consultants) is out of the cards there are still a few tactics to consider.
"Better you focus on a select few places and avoid the “next big thing” until you have a strategy" [Tweet This]
First, understand that unattended accounts look bad. If you promote accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr, and Tumblr while having no time for any of them, you’re creating a lot of empty rooms. That can create the perception that you’re inattentive. Better you focus on a select few places and avoid the “next big thing” until you have a strategy for it.
Secondly, explore the mobile tools for your network. That moment when you’re waiting for an elevator is when you should be tweeting. If you can’t realistically block time at your desk for these efforts, then find a way to fit them in the spaces between.
Thirdly, and this is something we discussed a few months ago, find something you actually enjoy using. If YouTube isn’t your thing and shooting videos is like pulling teeth, it’s only going to make that process more arduous. When you barely have time for the social media you like using, you most certainly don’t have time the stuff you dislike. Cut it, save that time, and focus on what you can do well in the precious few moments you have.
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