Finding the time to keep on top of all your daily tasks can be difficult for any small business owner. In fact, many SME owners have admitted that they find it more stressful to manage their business than they do to maintain their personal relationships and even more stressful than raising their children!
Having limited funds and manpower are two of the main issues faced by business owners who have to do most of their own marketing and social media management. To help cope with all the important day to day chores it helps to be able tweak your routine and apply some useful life hacks to free up more of your time, yet still be able to keep the maintainability of your social media accounts going.
Small Business Social Media Ideas
Use affordable tools to get the heavy lifting done. You are faced each day with millions of Facebook posts and Tweets, so you need to be able to sift through the mire to find those precious few that are worth sharing with your followers. Who has time for that right? But there are tools available that can do this for you.
DrumUp for example will crawl the web to find high-quality posts within your niche to curate and share through your social media accounts so you can keep up your activity and engagement with your followers much easier than if you had to do this by hand.
Tools are a great time saver, but you must make sure that you use them correctly. Think of them as a blunt instrument that you need to hone and sharpen to point in the right direction. Try to share with your followers only what you know will resonate with them. Posting vague content with very poor links to your niche will only serve to confuse your readers and may turn a lot of them away from reading your future posts.
Social media tools are only as good as those who use them. Profiling your target audience is crucial if you are going to make these tools work for you, and you really need to place a lot of importance on getting this right. Invest some time in building a picture of your target audience before you even start setting up the search requirements of your chosen social media tools. Everything that works well on social media isn’t random, so don’t just guess your answers when loading up your tools.
An example of this would be a Facebook page for your local coffee shop. A good page will be full of posts that look great and makes you feel good to read. Posts will be coffee related, so they could use a tool to search for flavoured coffee recipes to share. A nice hazelnut coffee recipe is relevant to the coffee shop’s audience – as they will be coffee fans, and these sorts of coffee recipe posts usually always look really good with a deliciously enticing picture of a cup of coffee and maybe a couple of sweet biscuits on the side.
Take a few minutes to have a brainstorm about specific topics that are relevant to your niche business and would be of interest to your target audience. Narrow down your list to a few favourite subjects that truly reflect your business and use content curation tools to find good quality content for you that you can share on your social media accounts.
Mix it up
When you share content from around the web, try to avoid sourcing it from one or two locations only. While you may like to share regular updates from Sugar Craft Monthly to your cake-mad followers, quite a few of them may either already subscribe to the service themselves, so in effect they will be getting their updates twice, or they may not like that publication for whatever reason – such as the layout or the writing style etc. So try to include content from diverse sources across different formats, for example share YouTube video’s of cake decorations or sugar craft designs, cake recipes from different cookery and recipe sites, step by step instructions from Instructables.com or WikiHow and celebrity interviews from Mary Berry, the Great Bake-Off etc. from news sites.
Recycle your themes and content
After a while of testing and watching your analytics, you will notice certain themes that are more popular with your readers and followers. There will also be themes that are less popular, so you can work on scaling these back to a minimum, but keeping the odd one or two in there to add to the mix and keep your posts diverse. Narrow down your favourite themes and keep them on a cycle rather than constantly looking for new themes all the time. Keep the familiar stuff – but do it differently!
Set up a social media calendar and add a different favourite theme to each week, then once the month has ended, go back to the beginning and cycle through your weekly themes over again but this time using different formats from different sources.
You can use an assortment of blogs, infographics, videos, news features and visuals – the more visually appealing the better. Attractive visuals increase engagement by around 80% compared to plain text posts.
Don’t be afraid to re-use your existing content! When you have posted interesting information that may have sparked off a lot of interest, attracted a lot of comments or was shared a lot, then re-use this content to reignite the conversation once again.
Do a follow up piece to update your readers on outcomes or progress since the original piece was posted – add to and expand the content to include further researched data figures, change the image for something new, change the title and add a hashtag to see if you can get the piece trending on Twitter. This is a great backup strategy for days when you are really busy and cannot spare much time to update your social media platforms.
Add your voice – make it personal
Curation is a great way of keeping your readers and followers entertained and engaged without having to actually go and trawl for the stuff yourself, but…. it can sometimes lack authenticity. When you are hard-pressed for time it will take you no longer than a few seconds to add your opinion to the post or to ask a question of your audience about the piece before it is scheduled to share. By adding a touch of your own personality to everything that you curate you will be reassuring your readers that there is a real live human behind the scenes!
Don’t forget – your readers follow you because they like you and your personality, so add some to your curated posts.