Most business marketing requires a large chunk of your time. And the world of social media has become a huge time drain on those finite resources. As a small business owner, time is never on your side. You must be on social media. You need a website. A presence in the physical world. The list goes on and on.
But a lot of tasks that most people think are ‘hands-on’ can have automated alternatives. Through some advance planning and automation tools, you can add hours to your day. And all without having to burn the candle at both ends.
Let’s get started:
Develop a marketing strategy
As the saying goes: ‘if you fail to plan then you plan to fail’. The first thing you need to do is to take real time and come up with a complete marketing plan. Make sure that your plan follows the S.M.A.R.T. principles for goal setting. Those principals are Specific, Measurable, Accepted, Realistic or Reasonable, and Time-bound.
Make sure you do your research and keep your plan customer focused. The fastest sure-fire way to fail is to treat everything as me, me, me. Do not forget time. A goal without a time constraint is only a dream without an alarm clock.
Define your ideal customer
You must know your customers. And they should be ideal. While anyone can be a customer, do you want to serve the rude non-paying ones? I know that I could not do my job if all I had were bad customers. And the best part, once you define what you want you will drive away the bad ones.
I am not going to dig in too deep here but do some excellent research. Any work you put in here could only help you have a better idea of who you want to work with. Be specific. Check out this article to learn more about this process: Building a customer persona
Create content before you need it
We have all been here before. The deadline is creeping up and you only have 2 words on the page. Content that is written at the last minute rarely has the same effect as thought out content. You will want to create a backlog of content that is ready to publish at a moment’s notice.
It does not matter how much you keep in the back queue, be it one week or one month. The important thing is to have some available. This will free up critical time. You can now meet with clients or perform other business tasks and your content will go out on its own. Think vacations…
Schedule your content
Well, now you have all this great content. But how do you get it out to your visitors? There are some great tools to schedule content on the major social platforms. And WordPress has its own built-in scheduling tool to automate your blog posts.
The primary tools that we recommend currently are Buffer and Tailwind. Buffer does a great job of working with the core accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter. While a free account does not allow much of a queue, a paid account offers many more options. Tailwind works well at scheduling Pinterest content.
Limit your platforms
Do one thing and do it well. Or in this case 2-3. There are tons of different social media platforms you could choose to interact on. But each platform you take on, you will spread yourself thinner and thinner. We recommend to all our clients that they pick 2 to 3 platforms and focus only on them.
The best starting point for most small businesses is to have a Facebook page. It is easy to manage, and most people already have Facebook making it easy to navigate. We also recommend either Twitter or Pinterest depending on the type of business.
Batching your way to freedom
Multi-tasking will kill your work efforts and your output levels. The quickest way to create a bunch of posts to add to your queue is by ‘batching’. Batching is a process where you pick a specific platform and work on it for an intense but specific time frame. Pick an hour or 2 and go for it.
Sometimes content can be cross-posted. This is the perfect opportunity to use tools like Buffer. With a few clicks, you can throw that content into each queue. I like to set aside time on Friday and bust out my marketing for the next week. I build all my graphics for Facebook and add more pins to my Tailwind queue. Including re-pins of my own content of course.
Review and refocus
Ok, so now you have saved some time by automating the process of posting. But don’t forget to review how your efforts are going. Remember this can be a huge time sink as well. Pick a single time once a week and check your analytics on all accounts.
Once you have reviewed the data, figure out the types of content that seem to be doing the best. These are the ones that your audience are resonating with. Keep this content in mind when you plan new content. Try to find topics that are similar. If you go for the similar content, don’t forget to mix it up from time to time. You don’t want to sound like a broken record.
Well, there you have it. 7 excellent and simple tips that you can put in place in your own marketing today. Now you are ready to start saving time with your marketing efforts.
Can you think of something we missed? Let us know in the comments.