We all know that running a business takes up a lot of our time, and that you need to run around wearing lots of different hats throughout each day. When it comes the time to put down your accountants hat to don your social media hat, you may still be carrying a bit of your accountant hat and want to be careful with your budget.

[bctt tweet=”Keeping active on social media is not a task to be put at the back of the queue”]

It can be overwhelming trying to plan an effective social media campaign while keeping a tight rein on your finances, and this can often lead to a small business with hardly any social presence at all.

Keeping active on social media is not a task to be put at the back of the queue, however many overworked small business owners find themselves doing just this. If this is the case with you, then it may be time to hack your social media strategy!

Here are some hacks that should help you make the most of your time online:

Use Facebook Groups to Crowdsource Social Posts

Private Facebook Groups are great for getting your own staff involved with promoting your business. While you are busy focused on other tasks, you can get your group to take shots of your latest shop display or new product and post onto social media for you. You can ask your other employees to share those candid shots far and wide.

Use Facebook Ads to Widen Your Reach

Facebook Ads have been refined to specifically target audiences suitable for just about any business niche. Small business owners can take advantage of this by simply narrowing down the search perameters to create a super targeted advert. You can test out different searches and post content over time to see which adverts work the best for you, then simply rinse and repeat your best formula to make the most of your advertising budget.

Use Buffer to share your posts

Make Buffer your friend and it will be a very smart way to share your posts across social media. Who has time to sit and post individual updates across Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Pinterest? It really depends on where your customers are to be found, and which social media sites they use the most, but keeping up with any more than about two sites is hard work. It is a lot to take on for a small business owner with very little time.

Buffer is a very useful platform that you can use to schedule your posts. It integrates with your web browser and makes it easy to share your blog posts, interesting content and links as you come across them. Once you have the Buffer button on your web bar, you can simply share anything with a click or you can choose to schedule the content at a later time. There is a free version and a paid version, so you can try before you buy. Some very small businesses or sole traders may only need the free version.

Credit: blog.bufferapp.com

Credit: blog.bufferapp.com

If This, Then That Recipes

If This, Then That is quickly gaining popularity because it can help save a busy manager a lot of time. This system ties together the apps you use to make them work better together, and you can manipulate it to automate a part of your social media plan. For example, if you want to share your Instagram posts on Twitter, use IFTTT to automate the process.
By creating your own IFTTT recipes to suit your needs, you can free up a lot of your time, and also saves giving the task to one of your employees to do on your behalf. You may want to create recipes that automatically add your Instagram photographs to your Pinterest account, or share your newly published WordPress blog to Facebook. You can also build Twitter lists based on a hashtag, and automatically update your profile picture across all accounts at once from one site.

While IFTTT is a great tool, you have to be careful not to over-use it. For example, what may make a great post for your Facebook fans may not be quite as appealing to your Twitter followers. It pays to tailor your posts to suit your audience, so try not to blanket post across all accounts just to save some time otherwise you may find yourself dis-engaging some of your hard-won followers.

Hopefully these tips will save you some time when trying to keep on top of your social media campaigns. The skill here is to make use of the tools to free up your time, but they should never be a replacement for actual live contact on a regular basis. Even if you dedicate one afternoon or evening per week for a live chat session, at least your followers will know there is someone real behind the regular posts.

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