Social media can get overwhelming for the best of us. From building a strategy to creating content, daily engagement, keeping up with trends, and everything in between, there is a lot to manage.
While some brands have a full team of social media experts and content creators to keep the wheels turning, a lot of small businesses and solo entrepreneurs struggle to find the time to build and execute a successful social media strategy. And sometimes even figuring out what a successful strategy might look like can be challenging if you don’t quite understand all the ins and outs of social media.
It can be easy to just give up when social media gets overwhelming. However, here are three things you can do to help ease that overwhelming feeling and get your social media strategy on the right track for your business.
#1: Only do what you can handle
I have said it before, and I will say it again a thousand times over… You don’t need to be on every social media platform. You don’t have to start up on a new platform just because it’s new… You can have a successful social media strategy with just ONE social media platform. You can only do what you have time to do, and it is better to pick ONE social media platform and be great at it than be on five social media platforms and be mediocre at all of them.
The best thing to do in this case is figure out where your audience hangs out and create a prioritized list of those platforms with the most important at the top and the least at the bottom. Figure out what your time and financial budgets are and then start cutting from the bottom up. You should make sure you are keeping the highest priority things on your list and cut out the things that are lower priority. That way you can get the best return on your social media efforts. (You could even do this for your whole marketing strategy!)
#2: Schedule your social media time
When it comes to social media and community engagement, it can be easy to get sucked in. Before you know it, you’ve been scrolling through social media for hours without a purpose and you haven’t gotten to the million other things you have to get done for the day. The response to this is usually any mix of panic, guilt, feeling like you have accomplished nothing, and a vow to never have this happen again. Most people either keep doing the same thing or just avoid engagement altogether. On the one hand it keeps eating into your day and you feel like you never have enough time to get things done and on the other hand you are not using social media to be social (as it was intended!). Both outcomes can be incredibly frustrating.
I suggest building your social media time into your schedule. If you are batch creating content, do it the same time each week. For engagement, build it into your morning routine. I find that mornings are a great time to get this kind of thing done because sometimes the day can get away from you and you might forget. The other thing is that you don’t need to do hours of engagement every day. Schedule 15 or 20 minutes and scroll through social media with a purpose. When that time is done, then close it down. If you can spare more time than that, then do it. But the point is that you don’t need to be on there hours a day – unless you have that kind of time!
Note: you should make sure you are at least checking once or twice every day to respond to new comments and messages!
#3: Hire an expert when you need it
There is no shame in asking for help. Most of us have our strengths and it’s very hard to not have weaknesses. You either need to educate yourself (and I am talking about more than watching a 10-minute video) or you need to find someone who can fill that skills gap for you. While some people are great at figuring things out on their own, you also need to consider how long it will take to learn things yourself and how much it might cost you.
If you are having some trouble and are at the point where you are making this decision, it’s best to do a cost-benefit analysis to help you make the decision. Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to try to do it all on your own!
Candace Huntly is Founding Partner at SongBird Marketing Communications, an award-winning agency working to take organizational and individual brands to the next level. With a passion for all things related to creativity and strategy, she specializes in business intelligence, marketing & branding, content strategy & development, media & influencer relations, and social media. Basically, if you need to put your brand, product, or cause in the public eye, she will find a way to do it, while making the approach unique to you.
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A version of this article was originally posted to the SongBird Marketing Communications blog.