4 QUICK TIPS FOR MAKING THE MOST OF SMALL BUSINESS SOCIAL MEDIA November 28, 2017 | Marketing , Social Media | business growth , small business , time management , networking , Facebook , LinkedIn , entrepreneur , digital marketing By Stepha Vesper, NPI, Inc.'s Marketing Communications Specialist As a busy small business owner, it’s easy to let social media slip off your radar. But with consumers spending up to 53% of their online time browsing social media sites, carving out a slot in your schedule for posting can mean broadening your reach in ways you never thought possible. Here are a few tips for making time for social media and getting the most from your efforts. 1. Automate your posts. Using a platform that allows you to schedule your posts in advance can be a lifesaver when it comes to making time for social media. Setting aside an hour every weekend to schedule your weekly posts across all social media sites is a great way to make sure that the job gets done, even during your busiest weeks. NPI recommends SocialPilot for its affordability and ease of use. Like all great things, scheduling posts in advance can have its drawbacks. Here are a few things to consider: When you get in scheduling mode, you may enter swiftly out of documentation mode without even noticing. This means that you aren’t necessarily looking for golden opportunities to capture interesting finds in the field, document events you participate in or commemorate milestones for your franchise—all excellent material for social media posts. While scheduling, leave room to develop your brand’s story. Clients want to see the human side of your business and social media is the perfect place to showcase it. Check your scheduled posts thoroughly for typos. Once they’ve been published, they’ll need to be edited on each platform individually. (We’ve been there and it’s no fun!) Don’t forget to look for feedback from your followers. If you aren’t posting in the moment, you may not be looking for notifications. It can even feel a little jarring to respond to a post you scheduled a week or more in the past. If a follower comments, you’ll still want to acknowledge it. 2. Spend time online where it counts the most. Chances are that not every social media platform is going to be the perfect fit for your business. For example, you may find that Twitter is a valuable platform for communicating with potential clients in real time, while users on LinkedIn are slower to respond to your posts and invitations. Consider scheduling posts across all sites while “nurturing” your most lucrative platform with additional content. You can even tailor your posts toward keeping and growing your particular audience for that platform. This way, any additional time spent on social media is time spent wisely. 3. Organize your thoughts and set social media goals. We’re all at a different point on our digital marketing journey, but no matter where you are, defining your goals will help you get where you want to be. Maybe your goal is to post once a day, or maybe you’re at a point where adding video to your online repertoire feels like a great next step. While it might be natural to set goals based on likes and shares, we recommend reserving those types of goals for several weeks down the line. Instead, focus on the present and how you can really knock it out of the park when it comes to the actual content you’re posting. You might start out by jotting down a list of post ideas with your business partner or marketing assistant. The more people on board who understand your business, the better. Next, you might think of a company whose social media presence inspires you. What is it about their voice, imagery and branding that you like? Could any of those elements be applicable to your own business? 4. Be patient—your social media efforts will eventually pay off. LEGO is listed among the top brands in the entire world. On Facebook, the LEGO page boasts more than 12.5 million followers. Yet it’s not uncommon for a post to receive just 300 likes and 40 comments—an incredibly small fraction of the brand’s fan base. If LEGO based their perception of success off of shares, likes and comments on social media alone, they wouldn’t be considered in the top tier at all. But we all know better. There are countless reasons a person may not take a second to click the like button or drop a line on your post, but that doesn’t mean that your efforts are going unnoticed. Posting consistently and offering consistently valuable content to your audience will still give them a great impression of your brand, your integrity and your excellence. Your business WILL benefit in the long-run, so keep making social media a priority. About the Author Stepha Vesper, Marketing Communications Specialist Stepha has more than five years’ experience in marketing, content creation, SEO and copywriting. Her favorite part of her job is assisting franchisees with their digital marketing strategies so they reach their goals that much faster. When she isn’t at work, Stepha is going on adventures with her husband, Zach, perusing used bookstores, reading or writing.