Many of my customers and other people I chat to online every day tell me that they are frustrated by social media. That they feel that its a waste of time. They spend hours every day on Facebook, they tell me, and don’t get any more business as a result. It’s a total waste of time.
Many of them have not stopped to consider that they are going about their social media time the wrong way. Social media for business needs to be managed in a totally different way than social media for fun. If you are going on Facebook to chat with your friends, or sharing photos of your meals on Instagram then sure, I can see how you’d think this is a waste of time. This to me is down time, its for relaxing – its for connecting with friends and chatting and doesn’t have a spefic purpose. That doesn’t have to mean its a waste of time, we all need to relax – we all need to be able to switch off and whether thats done in front of the TV, while reading a book or on Pinterest it doesn’t really matter.
Downtime is downtime however you take it. As long as you have a good balance in your life between busy time and downtime I don’t think anyone should feel bad about “wasting time” on social media.
But if you are running a business and want to get more customers and more business using online marketing methods such as social media, you need to approach it in a totally different way. Here are 7 steps I recommend all my customers take with their online marketing time :
1 – Content strategy. Decide what you are going to share on social media and when you are going to share it. Are you going to blog, publish videos, make graphics? Decide on your content before you try and build an audience.
2 – Look at your competitors. Where are they active on social media, what seems to work for them
3 – Understand what your customers want. Are they very active on twitter, do they follow a lot of Pinterest boards…
4 – Be consistent. Decide on a content calendar and stick to it. Post daily, weekly, multiple times a day – whatever works for you and your customers but stick with it.
5 – Be laser focussed. Know how long you need to spend on each social media site each day and stick to it. Set a timer if you need to
6 – Be engaging. Don’t just broadcast your own content, have conversations – chat to people, join in.
At the end of the day if you are using social media for business correctly and with a focussed plan you will grow your business. You will get more people to sign up for your mailing list, you will get more fans, more customers, more business and more money. But like everything to do with business you need to have a plan, you can’t just log onto twitter and follow a few people and wait for the money to start rolling in.
So I don’t think that social media is ever a waste of time. Whether you are using it to relax and chat to your friends or to grow your business online, just being aware of what your objectives are and why you are doing it will make it a valuable use of your time.