Top 10 Tips to Boost Social Media Productivity

Social Media ProductivitySocial media has become an important marketing tool for small business. If you use it effectively, you can build brand awareness, generate leads, boost customer loyalty, drive traffic to your website not to mention enhancing mind share.  What’s more, a social presence is becoming an expected norm if your prospective customers are below 45.  For younger audiences, if they don’t find you on social media, they simply don’t do business with you.

The challenge for small business looking to implement effective social media campaigns is that we all have limited time and resources, not to mention the fact that we don’t have bottomless pockets. So how can we take advantage of social media in a way that makes sense given these potential barriers?  Here are 10 tips that will boost your social media marketing productivity.

1. Don’t spread yourself too thin – there are thousands of social media tools.  You can’t use all of them effectively, so choose up to 3 (no more) and make those the tools that your customers are most likely to use and that you will enjoy using. For example, if your target audience is the professional business type, build your presence on LinkedIn and focus on that network rather than trying to have a presence on Facebook, Pinterest et al.

2. Schedule social media time into your day just like you would for any other business activity. Stick to your schedule and don’t get distracted.  Social media can be a big time suck, don’t let it.

3. Use productivity tools like Hootsuite to schedule posts and to manage your networks effectively (Hootsuite supports LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, WordPress and more). If you have different team members managing your social presence, Hootsuite let’s you see at a glance who is responding so that you are all on the same page.

4. Install and use apps on your phone so that you can check in on your social feeds and respond accordingly on the fly.  All of the major social networks as well as third party tools like Hootsuite have iPhone and Android apps although some are better than others when it comes to functionality.

5. Your social presence is an extension of day to day business.  You don’t need to come up with a whole new story for your social media updates and you shouldn’t.  Think about your to do list for the day and how you can reflect your daily activities online. Hosting an open house or event? Make sure attendees can interact with each other in the appropriate channels.

6. Reuse your existing content – to find great content to post on your social networks, use content that you already have (white papers, marketing materials, case studies etc) and adapt it to your needs.

7. Find new content use content tools: my favourite us Zyte which is an app I use on the iPad that allows me to subscribe to fresh new content based on topics and categories I’m  are interested and I can then easily share it on the networks as required.

8. Be an editor – blogging is often a central component to a company’s social strategy but blogging takes time. Build a blog editorial schedule so that you know what to blog about and when, and remember that quality beats  quantity when it comes to blogging.  If you hate to write then consider other options like video or photo blogs that make it easier for you.

9. Consider outsourcing part of your social media to a firm like Out-Smarts that specialises in social media, but be very careful if you do do this.  Make sure that the company you work with takes time to understand your organisation inside out so that they can represent you in an authentic way online.  And never outsource your social media then forget about it.  The best partnerships are those where your social media partner firm manages your day to day and general posts whilst you or your staff augment and humanize your presence when time permits.

10. Get lean – quality is much more important that quantity when it comes to building your following.  Save yourself some time and don’t follow everybody and anybody.  Instead take time to determine your connection startegy i.e. who you will most benefit from connecting with.  This will likely be different for each social network (if you are doing it right) you use and might include industry visionaries, your ideal clients/prospect, partners and related pages.

At Out-Smarts we provide professional, dedicated and timely social media marketing services managing Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube pages for our clients.  Why not focus on what you do best and let us focus on what we do best.  Call us today to find out  about our services

8 Reasons You Should Use Hootsuite

A social media dashboard is an essential tool for any digital marketer. We’re partial to Hootsuite, ‘the leading social media dashboard to manage and measure your social networks’, and a local Vancouver-based success story. Here’s why we’re head over heels for Hootsuite:

1. Schedule posts. This is probably right up there as one of our favourite Hootsuite features. Social media newsfeeds move quickly and what you post at 8 am might not be seen by the potential client that logs into Facebook or Twitter at 2 pm. Besides sitting at your computer posting constantly, how can you be sure your updates are appearing in front of important consumer eyes? You schedule your posts. Hootsuite makes this easy with their scheduler; you can schedule one post at a time, mass upload posts via CVS using the bulk message uploader, and see all your scheduled posts in the Publisher calendar.

hootsuite scheduler

2. Team management. If you’re more than a one man (or woman) show, you probably have multiple people managing your various social media accounts. Hootsuite is great for keeping track of who’s replied to comments, answered questions, posted to various accounts, and it also tracks what time everything was done – to better spread out your postings throughout the day or week. Another perk is that you can give multiple users access to your various social media accounts without having to reveal private information, such as passwords.

hootsuite team management

3. Analytics. Hootsuite has its own built-in metrics and analytics. We blogged about it last April when they revamped their offering. Check it out, there’s lots of analysing power built into the dashboard.

4. No logging into multiple accounts. Having everything in one place is a huge time saver. Without Hootsuite, we’d be logging in and out of social media accounts for clients all day long. We can imagine you feel the same way trying to manage your time with social media because let’s be honest, it can be a full-time job. We can testify to that too; it’s how we make our living! From your Hootsuite dashboard you can send, schedule, track, like, comment, reply, and view photos on multiple accounts on Facebook – personal and business timelines, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

5. Hard to miss comments. This ties into number 4, sometimes things get lost in the shuffle when you’re logging in and out of multiple accounts. Using Hootsuite, you can see everything all in one place. It’s easy to see whether someone has commented on your Facebook post, or sent you a direct message on Twitter. It’s also easy to see if a team member has already replied, or whether you need to get on that right away.

6. In the cloud. There’s nothing to download with Hootsuite, it’s entirely online which is great for business owners and employees that are frequently out and about throughout the workday. You can log in, check the status of your social media accounts and post updates from anywhere with an internet connection.

7. Inexpensive. Hootsuite offers users an impressive package for the affordable price of $5.99 a month for the Pro version. For a smidge under $6, you can link unlimited social profiles, add 1 free team member, you get a free analytics report, Google Analytics and Facebook Insights integration and more. If you want to add additional team members, it’s $15 a month each – which is still an excellent deal.

8. Add RSS feeds. If you blog, you can add your feed and your posts will automatically be posted to your various social media accounts. You can add unlimited RSS feeds with the Pro version ($5.99 a month).

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, here’s an article on why you should not use Hootsuite.

We’ll let you be the judge – do you think Hootsuite is a reasonable investment for your business? If so, you can sign up here or give us a shout. We’re a Hootsuite Pro Partner and have been helping clients get the most out of Hootsuite for years – would love to help you too.