Social media is an excellent tool for marketing certain businesses, but for others it is an inefficient time drain they wish to avoid. The smaller the business, the more difficult a time they have dealing with both monitoring social media and posting to it because they have fewer personnel resources.
Here are some suggested ways to approach dealing with social media as an SME to make it more manageable.
Choosing the Right Social Network
When you’re running a business that doesn’t have a great deal of time available for social media, you must make it accessible. It’s no good trying to manage 5-10 social media channels because a “being everywhere, all the time” strategy isn’t something that a busy SME can realistically handle. In a sense, companies must pick their battles, so to speak.
It is much better to post semi-regularly and be responsive to commenters and direct messages on one or two social platforms than attempt to cover all the major ones. Therefore, narrowing down which social media channels are the most useful for your company is the first step. One way to do this is to look at what your business’s peers are doing. If there’s a consistent approach of focusing on one or 2 social channels while limiting activity on the others, it’s best to follow the same strategy unless your company has a strategic reason not to do so.
Use software like HootSuite or SproutSocial to make managing multiple social accounts easier.
Protecting the Brand
A social media marketing agency is useful to advise about a content marketing strategy as it relates to social media. They have experts in this field who may even be experienced enough to specialize in a single social channel. Certainly, your business should have registered on all the other major social networks to protect the brand. If that’s not been done, then an agency can help accomplish that to lock up the accounts before a competitor or someone else decides to register them.
What to Post on Your Channels?
Each social media channel has a different focus and tone.
Since Facebook started off life as a social sharing site, it has more of a personal feel. Business pages were almost an afterthought for the company and it still feels that way. Therefore, posts on Facebook tend to have a factual yet friendly tone from companies. People don’t respond well to a hard sell on the marketing front.
With Pinterest, this suits companies with lots of visual things to share. Either they have someone taking interesting photographs or they have product images to use. Images and video are regularly shared on Pinterest. The most successful companies can be found pinning images 10-30 times a day which is obviously time-consuming, so getting help to manage this level of image sourcing and posting makes it more manageable.
Posting Frequency vs Efficient Business Operations
The level of posting frequency depends largely on what is normal or expected from active accounts on the social platform. Obviously, if a business doesn’t have useful or interesting things to share five times a day, they should limit themselves to what’s both possible and viable for them. But be aware what is normal for different platforms as posting too infrequently is close to not posting at all in terms of effectiveness.
Getting your social media marketing plan to work is hard for most companies. It’s a good idea to hire experts for the role, especially if you’re Generation X and find the whole social thing a bit of a minefield.