There are now 2.8 billion people are using social media worldwide. This is 21 percent higher than 2015, and this number will continue to grow throughout the year of 2017.
We have evolved into the “experience” economy, and we now have to give our customers an experience they fall in love with. To give you an example, both Uber and Airbnb have grown to be multi-billion dollar companies because the one thing they do really well is giving a great customer experience while also fulfilling a need.
With the majority of consumers expecting a brand to be using social media, how are you managing time when you have to listen and reaching your target customers on a daily basis?
Finding a way to market to your target customers in a cost effective way using social media is crucial. I have worked with hundreds of businesses and trained thousands of people in almost every industry, and one thing with consultancy is the ROE (Return on Engagement) for social media when executed correctly.
If I were to tell you that you could successfully do your social media in just 30 minutes a day, what would you say?
I have spent more than nine years building my profile in the world of social media and digital marketing and have achieved more than three million impressions every year on Twitter. This would not have been possible without telling a story and offering a great customer experience. If you can’t share with your audience who you are and how you can help, you won’t be able to convert that audience into happy customers and then brand advocates.
Image you had 30 seconds in a lift with Richard Branson, and he asked you one question, “How do you help your customers?”, what would you say? The art of storytelling is explaining in 30 seconds or less what your business does, what pain it solves in your target market, and why you are so passionate about what you do.
To give you an idea of why social media is so important, and how it can drive sales for your business, take a look at the visual below which gives you some key statistics around the top six social networks.
Did you know that sharing content on Google+ will give you a better SEO ranking on Google than using backlinks and keywords in URLs? This is one of the reasons why social media is extremely important when it comes to having your business ranked highly on Google for your niche keywords.
Are you prepared? Tools for the trade
Part of building a social media plan that you can execute in just 30 minutes a day is preparing all of your content. Without doing your due diligence to find the latest news within your industry, and making sure all of your content is easily accessible in one, central place, your social media plan won’t be much of a “plan.”
A great tool that I use to do my industry research is Feedly. Feedly allows you to find content and keep it in one place. If you have websites you want to save in a visual and organized way, Feedly is the tool for you.
As well as organizing your content using Feedly, you also need a tool that is easy to use for creating nice visuals. Canva is one of the most professional and easy to use photo creation tools I have come across in my nine years in the world of social media and digital marketing. All of my website images, along with blog and images used in email marketing campaigns, are created using Canva, completely free of charge.
How are you going to engage with your audience? As easy as it is to just push information, you need to think of social media as a lead generation tool and one of the best ways to generate more leads and increase sales is by running competitions.
Think about your industry, and what could be a good gift to giveaway. There is a great tool called Gleam that allows you to run competitions on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for a small fee. One of my clients generated 2,700 leads and increased her turnover in just seven days for $100 by running a competition on Facebook and promoting it across all of her social media profiles.
Know your social networks
Twitter is, by far, my most engaging social network. I have over 30,000 followers, and I make sure I engage daily with as many as possible. Twitter is the social network I turn to when I have exciting news to share or the latest events/tradeshows I am speaking at. Do you know which social network works best for you?
While you may think that you understand how Facebook works because you have a personal Facebook account, having a Facebook Business Page is a completely different. Using any social network from a business perspective is always going to be different as the information you share isn’t going to be based on your last food shop or where you took your dog for a walk.
If sharing your business in a visual way is important, Instagram will be the social network for you. Instagram has over 600 million active users and is used by a lot of brands (a number which will continue to grow throughout 2017) to share their stories. In fact, Instagram released a new feature called “Instagram Stories.” Instagram Stories is benefitting from the large active user base Instagram itself enjoys, and now has 100 million daily active viewers. Rivaling the likes of Snapchat. Instagram Stories is here to stay and has given Instagram an upper hand in the world of Social Media.
If Pinterest is a network that works for you, here is a four-step growth hack to get the attention of your community:
1. Post an image to Pinterest that is action orientated and make sure the link behind the image goes to your desired web page.
2. Mention (using the @ sign) as many people you are connected with on Pinterest as possible in the comment box.
3. Hit Save. The people mentioned will receive an email from Pinterest saying they have been mentioned in someone’s post.
4. As soon as you have done this, go back and remove everyone’s name from the comment box.
If you are unsure of the demographics of the top social networks in the UK, take a look at my article talking about both 2016, and 2017 statistics around each social network, and their users here.
Scheduling your social media
One way to really cut down the time you spend on social media is to use a tool that allows you to schedule your posts in one sitting for a span of time. Then while you’re working on other things, the scheduling tool sends your content automatically.
I am a huge advocate of social media publishing tool Hootsuite. I’ve used Hootsuite for many years and cannot recommend it enough. It is one of the best amplification tools out there, allowing you to integrate with your social networks and schedule in advance.
If you know that Pinterest is a network that works well for your business, and you have done your preparation, you can use a tool called ViralWoot to schedule, search, promote, and analyze your Pinterest content.
For Instagram, take a look at Schedugram.
A hashtag is the # symbol followed by a searchable word or phrase that individuals and businesses use to find a certain topic or trending conversation. Tweets with a hashtag in are two times more likely to get engagement. Hashtags are extremely important on Instagram as well.
There is a great tool called Tagboard where you can search hashtags and find the latest social media posts containing the hashtag in question. If you want to find your audience, Tagboard is a great way to do this through the use of hashtags.
Define your communication
You have prepared your content, you know what social networks you are going to use, and the tools needed to schedule and amplify your content. Now you need to define your communication. By this, I mean take all of the above information, along with a seven day social media plan—which will help you stay organized and decrease the time you are spending unnecessarily on your social media marketing—and work out what information is going out on what day.
Do you know how many new visitors you sent to your website from Twitter? If not, I have a great dashboard that YOU can integrate into your Google Analytics that will tell you if your traffic is coming from any of your profiles on social media and if they are converting into leads. Click here to download the social media dashboard.
Analyzing your data is a key part of generating success through social media. To truly understand what is working for you online, you need to be measuring the success of your content so that you can change your strategy based on what your audience wants to read from you.
An indication of success would be shown through the engagement you are getting on a specific post and how many new followers you are gaining. Each social media platform has their own great and in-depth analysis tools that can help you gain the insight you need. You should also be looking at when the best time to post is because this will also impact the engagement you receive.
Understanding the in’s and out’s of analysis early on will make it easier for you in the future when looking at ways to improve your website traffic. I use a Google Sheet and keep track of all my important social media metrics on a month-to-month basis to give me an overview of what is increasing, and what is static. Once I have this in place, I can then go deeper into specific metrics and hone in on why my following has increased or why I am not getting the traffic I should be.
30 minutes a day
It may seem impossible to do your social media in just 30 minutes a day, but this is achievable as soon as you have taken all of the above actions in this article.
Here is how I spend my 30 minutes a day on average:
1. 60 minutes of preparation for seven days of content (Average 9 minutes a day)
On a Monday morning spend 60 minutes preparing all of your content and schedule it to go out using Hootsuite across multiple social networks. This way you only need to spend your time engaging with people who like, comment, and ask questions over the next six days.
2. Spend three minutes at 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 5 p.m. to scan and reply to messages = 9 minutes
This should be done on a daily basis. While you might schedule a week in advance, you should come back and spend some time every day looking to see who has mentioned you so that you can engage in a two-way conversation with your followers.
3. Spend two minutes to retweet and share content = 2 minutes a day
Social Media is more than just talking about you. The biggest reason why a person will unfollow a business on social media is because they talk too much about themselves. So take two minutes a day to find content written by thought leaders in your industry that you can share with your audience.
4. Spend five minutes following five new people = 5 minutes a day
Growing a following will happen over time, but it is not an immediate overnight success. So make sure you are taking the time to follow new people on social media.
5. Analyze your success = 5 minutes a day
The analysis of your weekly social media activity should be done at the end of the week so that you can prepare, and adjust the content you are sharing for the week ahead so that it what your audience need.
I hope that all of the above will help you do your social media in just 30 minutes a day.
Warren Knight, founder of Think Digital First is an author, social sales expert, and one of the UK’s leading professional speakers in social media and digital marketing. As a multi-award winning entrepreneur, Warren has helped thousands of Startups and SME’s grow their business through the strategic use of socially selling to their target audience. By nurturing connections, generating leads and getting sales, Warren’s clients have seen an increase in sales up to 500 percent, just through the implementation of Warren’s simple and easy to follow strategies.