A common misconception about social media marketing is that it’s too time consuming. It certainly can be time consuming, depending on how you’re doing it. But, it doesn’t have to be.
How Easy It Can Be, From a Real-Life Example
I was having coffee recently with a friend who happens to be a freelance photographer.
He was bemoaning the fact that he knew he needed to be more active on social media. He wanted to generate new business opportunities. Social media can certainly help with that.
The thought of trying to be more successful on social media had him shaking his head. He just didn’t have the time, or so he thought.
He had bought into the misconception that social media is a huge time drain. As a good friend does, I tried to help him see the social media light.
Anyone can be successful with social media marketing without devoting huge amounts of time, whether you’re a solo business owner like my friend or a marketing director with a small staff and budget.
These days, there are many great tools to help increase social media productivity. That’s not the point of this post.
What is most important, before even talking about productivity tools, is social media marketing strategy. Put another way, it’s determining your focus.
You can clearly define your focus by:
- Picking the best social media site to use
- Learning all you can about how to use the site
- Consistently coming up with unique content
Taking my photographer friend’s dilemma, let’s walk through how he might get more from social media marketing, without devoting much time to it each week.
Pick the Best Social Media Site
Notice the sub-head above doesn’t say social media “sites.” Picking one site is not only o.k., in some cases it’s best.
For my friend, a photographer, Instagram would be a great choice for him. It’s a perfect site to display his great photography, and it offers ample opportunity (engaged audience) to create some new business opportunities.
Consider some other Instagram benefits:
- It has swelled to have more than 700 million users.
- It obviously has a strong visual appeal, especially for photography.
- It’s quick and easy to set up a profile.
- It’s easy to upload images and optimize them.
- It’s easy to engage with followers and other users.
- It’s easy to market your posts and reach more users.
Learn the Site, Backwards and Forwards
Once you pick a social media site to focus on, learn everything you can about how to use it.
You need to make the most of all the site has to offer and understand how it works. This will help you to use it as quickly and efficiently as possible. It will also help you look like a pro, reach new users and engage more with them.
Spend the time up front to become proficient, and then ensure you stay up to date with new site developments and enhancements that can help fuel your social media marketing success.
My friend would want to make sure he knows how to create posts with his images, use filters, optimize his profile, use hashtags and maybe even how to sponsor a post, among other features.
Unique Content: “Document, Don’t Create”
I wish I could take credit for this thought, but it’s an idea I came across from Gary Vaynerchuk.
For many people, the thought of having to “create” original content leaves them feeling overwhelmed. I can understand why.
Creating quality content consistently is hard work.
Instead of creating, it’s much easier to “document.”
This post is a example of documenting a story from my life that has marketing value.
For my friend, this will be an easy process. He simply needs to consistently upload some of the great images he captures, and optimize them so they can be seen and shared with other users.
In this case, he doesn’t need to create anything new for Instagram at all. He just needs to share a small portion of all the work he’s already doing.
Social media marketing can be very effective for raising awareness and helping to create new business opportunities. The best part is, it doesn’t have to be time consuming. By focusing and being more selective, we can maximize productivity and increase results.
For my friend, with this example, he could have a strong Instagram profile with a weekly one-hour time commitment, or less.
Author: Steve Sonn
Steve Sonn is the Principal of S2 Marketing Communications. He has more than 25 years of marketing and PR experience with health care and business-to-business companies.