With all the demands on our schedule made by our professional and personal lives, it is usually tempting to grant a lesser priority to Social networking as a business activity.
For Start-up entrepreneurs, there is just too much work to do at home and office with a limited number of resources that it is difficult to set aside extra time for socializing. A dilemma that many start-ups face today is, “How do we find time for Social Media?”
This idea could be amiss because by doing this, you are curtailing your odds for success by not consistently widening your social circles.
When was the last time you updated your followers about your new venture? Umm.. You do not remember? Well, as an entrepreneur ready to take on the world, being too busy for such things could prove fatal for your business. Agreed that Social media can be as time-consuming as a full-time job but you can always find smarter ways to handle it faster. Here are some tips on how to stay afloat:
Planning and Scheduling using a host of Tools
Incorporate automation! Using tools to help you save time so you can get back to the other things that you need to do. There are a lot of free tools that can help to be more productive.
Buffer helps you to automatically schedule Twitter updates with just a click. It has lots of features to help you improve your social media presence across a whole bunch of networks. All you need to do is add Tweets and retweets to your Buffer account and they will automatically get spaced out for you.
So it is a great tool for people who don’t have time to spend all day updating their social profiles.
Hootsuite is another scheduling tool that helps you save time. Even though you don’t have time to plan each tweet individually, its auto-schedule feature chooses a time to schedule tweets based on when your tweets perform the best.
As an extension in the Google Chrome or Firefox browsers, it automatically schedules content that you want to share. You can also create a Twitter list if you are looking to stay connected with a specific audience for the time being.
Learn to Prioritize
Customize and filter your feeds using Slim. Slim is another app for busy people that sorts through your social networks and discovers important updates from your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn so you can save time and never miss out on important updates. You can also customize your feeds by filtering it with specific keywords.
Not all social networks are worthwhile for everyone. You must first figure out what gives you more value, what is most effective for you. Be selective and save your time wisely. Then focus on building a healthy relation with a handful of people.
You can also read blogs that are important to you using the RSS reader. RSS reader keeps you updated with the latest blog content and news that are relevant to you.
Invest in a Smartphone
The convenience of smartphone applications can save a lot of time, especially if you often spend a majority of your time on the road. You can always be accessible to connect with your customers on the go. It’s a perfect tool to keep your business going no matter where you are.
Twitter the best platform to accessible all the time!
@sampad Happy to yap about my startup :) Give me your phone# in a pvt. Or would you prefer an email conversation?
— Gurpreet Singh (@gnurpreet) August 9, 2013
If you are attending a business conference, you can or curate content from there while engaging other attendees. Most conferences have their own hashtag, so people can follow the conversation, even if they are not present at the conference. The Twitter app is available on all mobile devices.
It takes a minute to post pictures, create vine videos, connect instantly and update your followers with the latest updates using a smart phone. You can use time that would be wasted otherwise.
Will be Attending Google India Conference tomorrow In Chennai ..Any Tweeps planing to appear?
— PrithviRaj (@Prithvirules) July 18, 2012
Facebook also has a Page Manager smart phone application that will help you manage your Facebook Pages on the go. The app allows admins to update their pages with text, photos, links, etc. from your mobile device. You can also create new Pages and events in your smart phone app.
Furthermore, you can see minute details about your reach, engaged users, post clicks, link clicks, stories created, people talking about, likes, comments and shares for the given post.
Foursquare helps you quickly determine where the best networking is taking place. It is a perfect way to publicize events to a wider audience. Always check in while you are attending industry events like, Tweet-ups, conferences and conventions. It gives you a great opportunity for networking.
Use Instagram for your business to tell a story to your followers using cool pictures. Take a moment to display your products in a visually appealing way and people will love to look at it! You can instantly capture behind the scenes and share it with your audience. Trust me, it wont take much time!
Linkedin, Instagram, Google Plus, etc. also have mobile apps so you can access them anywhere.
Have a schedule in place and STICK TO IT
When life gets busy, all you need is a social media schedule and a structure to keep you on track so that you don’t get distracted. You can set regular schedule such as twice every day. Then do a weekly check of your social media activities for reflecting upon strategy. See whether you are going in the right direction make improvements. This will help you to be more focused and productive in the online space.
You can also hire a free-lance social media executive to help with your online presence. And if you are handling it yourself, make sure you read up online on how to do it. Don’t waste time in trial or error.
As an entrepreneur, Social Networking can be a little time consuming but you cannot afford to miss out on the potential that social media offers. Once you try the above solutions, lack of time, will no longer be an excuse. All it requires is a slight shift in attitude, JUST BE SOCIAL and take out sometime and I’m sure you will be glad you did.