Running your own small business keeps you busy dealing with customers, your staff, your labor requirements, and let's not forget to mention the daily marketing requirements that come with marketing your business on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube.
If you have ever marketed your business on any site such as Twitter or Facebook you know that there is time required not only for making a simple status update, there is also time required for
networking, research, content development, follow up and follow through with prospects and leads as well. Not to mention that most courses for teaching social media marketing only teach you to find a social networking site, build out the profile completely, add a link to your website or blog and then rinse and repeat on another social site.
The simple process of building profile after profile alone is painstaking especially when it's you the business's owner having to wear multiple hats can be a daunting task. Just imagine finishing a grueling days work and you are about to set off for the evening. You start packing up and cleaning your work station. Suddenly out of nowhere a though rattles your brain, the thought of “Oh no.” I still have to go do some link building and social network marketing before I am finished for the evening.
It's no wonder so many starting newbie marketers fail. How many usernames, passwords, social media sites are you going to set up before you finally just throw in the towel? You went into business to free yourself from the ties were binding you, and now you have became a slave to not only your business, but a slave to your computer and website as well.
Let's face it, when a company grows new resources have to be added, new employees, new equipment, new training materials and the list goes on. When your small business grows are you able to keep up with the demand easily or is the new growth seem to place a toll on your small business? If you are like many small business owners then getting a handle on your day to day operations and overseeing their proper execution and completion should be in the top of mind position, but these should not be your responsibility unless you are running a one man show.
The typical chain of command usually goes from CEO/Top Level Executives> Front Line Managers> Worker bees... If you wear all of these hats in your small business you are doomed to be busy and never get out of your own way. The same rules apply to your online marketing processes especially when it comes to marketing your small business with social media.
Online marketing has come from basic text pages to fully interactive pieces of art. Your messaging to your target audience has the potential to spread virally across the globe and this is the lure of social media marketing for many uneducated or inexperienced small business owners searching for new ways to reach more of their target market. Social media is a high tech/high touch media. You can't be a spammer, you cannot be just a follower or copycat either.
Social media is made for your voice and your message to be heard across various formats and channels. Trying to build yourself as an authority takes time and many small businesses are just to busy running at their current levels and they usually don't have the resources at their disposal to bring in a marketing staff or hire an expensive advertising agency, so the usage of social media gets overlooked and undervalued due to it's naturally “social nature.”
If you are a small business owner and you are having difficulty managing your daily social media operations, or if you have that glazed look in your eye after starting down the social media path, take a step back, look at your entire business and see where you may have room for improvement, room to move warm bodies to new positions and most importantly do you have the resource of fresh ongoing content to fuel your social followers and passers by?
If your internal operational divisions are optimized to the core than it's time to look at new and innovative ways to improve your social media operations. Start with the simple question of do you have your own internal marketing staff, person, division or marketing department? Depending on whether you do or do not have this resource will help you to answer the next question.
Do you have the resources to add an additional person or persons to your payroll budget so you can start training them in ways to engage the market via your social media profiles and even with their own accounts to give your web presence a wider and more authoritative presence for searchers to become viewers of your brand.
If you do have the resources to add new staff to your organization welcome them with open arms and don't expect miracles with your new person immediately upon hiring. It is a process to learn how to use social media effectively and efficiently.
First and foremost be patient and clear in all of your communications with your new employee and be upfront about what is expected of them. Set guidelines and goals to show them the way, this allows you both to work together in an organized and non threatening environment.
If a new employee is not in your budget then you have to be a little more creative with your search for conquest and finding a solution to improve your current social media marketing operations. Do you have any children or know of any young college students around your neighborhood? Talk with them, explain how this will help you both and how they can work from a virtual location like their home. Offer to pay them a salary and set the both of your expectations, negotiate fair contract terms with all details and job duties for the role of social media marketing for your small business.
A third option is available for small businesses to streamline their social media operations, hiring an experienced virtual marketing staff to handle a portion of the operational work-flow to handling
the entire process from design to management of content distribution. With a virtual assistant you treat the relationship much like a contract employee without the additional expenses of work space, benefits, sick leave, etc. Also your virtual marketing staff works within your schedules and deadlines. Virtual marketing agencies are simply a third party integration to your business.
Now then three simple solutions to streamline your social media marketing operations and if none of these are viable for you currently or if you are a diehard web addict who lives on coffee and sugar and breathes nothing but radiation emissions from an old CRT monitor well then we can also help to streamline your social media marketing operations too.
For starters when you performed an assessment of your current procedures, did you find any unusable operations being performed that are taking up valuable time that could be spent on more important things? It's a fact that Internet marketers have the “shiny object addiction” and are drawn to a new product that promises them the sun, moon, sky and the stars. Does your social media marketing routines take longer than normal due to distractions per say, or playing games instead of doing the busy boring work?
Tie up the holes and get all of the purse strings together. You have to control a horse with reigns and your business believe it or not has reigns too. You are riding along but if you forgot to grab a hold of its reigns and tell it where you want it to go you will be taken in all different directions and feel like you absolutely have zero control over your outcome.
Remember to be mindful of the most critical components of your social media marketing operations. The first and foremost item that needs attention is time management. If you are wasting time your success rate is much less and it will take much longer to produce results if any at all.
Plan your day, don't just go into your browser and start hitting random sites with unfocused messaging. All that does is create more wasted time and poor performance results. With your content strategy planned ahead of time, you will be organized from start to finish of your research, content development and then onto your content distribution.
Most people get stuck on the writing and knowing exactly what to say on social media sites. Start sharing information from your blog, from around your niche, from news sites and even add some opinion or personality to the mix. Social media is really all about your business and your business is all about you so personalize your brand in everything that you do.
While your social media interactions may be short and sweet the time you spend executing your marketing routines may not be so. Especially if your blog or website is new there will be a substantial amount of time spent on building up your blogs traffic as well as building your social media presence across all of the various types of social and web 2.0 sites. Once this long process has begun and you are populating regular content on them, you have completed the entire profile with your pertinent information and messaging, you will soon want to see out tools that can spread your message across multiple sites with a few mouse clicks.
RSS feed syndication can help to get your message placed on 5, 10, 20 or more sites. You can perform a search in your favorite search engine for “content syndication” to learn all about what content syndication is about. Then you can test out some tools to start getting more visibility to your website or blog.
Now perform a search engine query for “content syndication tools” and just glance at the 1st page to see some of the top content syndication tools on the market. You will see sites such as Onlywire.com, SocialOomph.com, Ping.fm, are just the cream of the crop. There are many tools out there that I am certain even we do not know about. Also new tools are developed all of the time as technology changes, improvements are made and the market dictates better quality assurance.
All of these factors will contribute to your overall improvement of your social media marketing operations and profitability within your company.