Social Media Time Management – Part 2
Evaluating your resources: Time vs. Benefit to Business
When are You Typically in a Position to get Online?
Perhaps you are in a waiting room, on a train, doing the accounts at the end of the week, checking your email, surfing the net in the evening… These are all excellent opportunities for social media network engagement. Taking a photograph, uploading it to Facebook and making a comment takes approximately 3 minutes. Updating your LinkedIn status bar or Twitter can take as little as 30 seconds.
When is Your Target Audience Online?
If you are always online late at night but your target audience are usually online in the morning, you are missing out on opportunities to connect. Matching times is very important. Knowing when the highest percentage of your target audience is online means being seen by more people when you post an update, which in turn leads to more engagement and a wider audience.
If your availability and your target audience match, you are in luck and won’t have to adjust your schedule. If they don’t match, you will have to make adjustments, because not matching means wasting time. The first consideration is whether the adjustment is worth it. This will differ for each individual.
Many of our clients tell us they are time poor. We understand that, we’re often time poor ourselves. Consider this though, Social Media is not free – it costs time and there is no magic solution. A business must find time to do the billing, sales, accounts, etc. If a business wants to benefit financially from social media they must invest the time necessary to make it work. So find those five minute slots, develop new habits and in time reap the rewards.
What are the Rewards?
- Relationship building
- Brand building / Reputation building
- Growing Contacts
- Learning from others / keeping up-to-date
- Developing leads that result in business
Remember that social media is about building relationships first and making money second. One will eventually follow the other but it takes an investment of time and patience and dedication to do it right.
How to Track Progress for a Cost/Sales Analysis (cost=time)
- N.B. Ask new customers or clients how they heard of you – if this seems a little awkward for you, try something like: “Would you mind answering three questions to aid us in our market research? We’ll add a free “x” to your purchase as a thank you for your time”. Make use of those three questions, keep them short and make sure one of them is “how did you hear of us?”
- Do special offers that are exclusively online. If someone comes asking for the offer, or presenting you with a printout, you’ll know where it came from. Keep an ongoing record of this data.
- Use Facebook Statistics to keep an eye on any activity spikes; are they due to a particular post you put up? And does it correlate with a boost in business activity? For example, a clothes shop might put up photos of the new range of coats on Facebook, fans might share and comment on those photos, people coming into the shop the next day might be there because of a Facebook update that their friend shared with them the night before – this is where you ask that all important question again – where did you hear of us?
- Keep an eye on statistics such as twitter retweets/follows and LinkedIn invitations to connect – when do they typically happen? Is there something you are doing that triggers this reaction? Do you end up getting more phone calls or emails immediately after this activity?
Keep in mind that if you’ve only just begun your social media plan of action it will typically take a minimum of two to three months to show proper results…
Part 4 – Developing a Social Media Plan
What is your experience? Feel free to comment with your opinion.