"I just don't have the time."
How often do you think or hear that throughout the day? Usually it's the rhetorical response to something we know we need to do - Inbound Marketing or Social Media Strategy - but fear will distract us from the things we have to do. We hear it, and survey after survey shows that time commitment is usually the top barrier to adding a social media plan to a company's marketing strategy, even though they know its the right thing to do.
It really should not be a one or the other question, especially when it comes to incorporating social media into your content marketing mix. Yes, there will be a time investment up front, but after that, it can be one of the least time-intensive activities of your day. It has the potential to produce the biggest bang when it comes to attracting more visitors, leads and customers to your business.
We have a 5-step program that you can accomplish in 30 minutes a day or less.
Before you start, there is a little prep work that has to be done. That starts with making sure all of your social media profiles are complete: you have created accounts on the channels you want to use, pictures are included in all of your profiles and all contact/bio information is complete and accurate. To start, profiles on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook or Google+ will be enough.
Once your profiles are complete, you need to make sure you have your monitoring tools setup. That can range from setting up some simple Google Alerts to monitor you company name and industry - "Weidert Group", "Inbound Marketing Agency" "Appleton Marketing Agency" - would be examples of alerts we would use. You can also use one of the many low-cost web-based services that allow you to monitor all of your profiles and alerts from one place.
With the preparation completed, you are now ready to engage the social media universe. Follow these 5 simple steps, and you will be a pro in no time. In fact, you will wonder what you were so worried about.
- Read your daily e-mails and blogs. Look for items of interest you may want to share. 5 minutes.
- Check your alerts for your keywords and company mentions. 5 minutes.
- Login to your profiles on each channel to see if you have any messages. 5 minutes.
- Engage by responding to a blog post, tweet or posting on LinkedIn that caught your interest. Send out useful content from your own site and links to other interesting content to your networks. 5 to 10 minutes.
- Participate in online communities such as LinkedIn Groups or a Twitter Chat at least once a week. Make new connections. Join new communities. Respond directly to interesting blogs, tweets and posts. 5 to 10 minutes.
Granted, this is a very basic outline, but it gives you a good starting point for starting your own daily routine that will allow you to leverage the reach of social media for your business. With the routine in place and a little diligence, you will start to see positive results not only in terms of new visitors, but in the time it takes to execute the plan as well.
Learn more about social media and its importance to Inbound Marketing success by checking out our download "How to Use Social Media to Attract More Visitors to Your Website."