Friday, June 18

Social Media for Entrepreneurs 101

There is no denying that social media outlets are valuable tools to use in your marketing activities. However, the key to success for business owners is to sensibly plan the time they spend on social media.

You will need to consider the kinds of social media you will be using, what could be announced and how often to post. Pacing out social media activities avoids over-saturation of the market.

101 on Social Media for Entrepreneurs

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Keeping the content fresh can also be a challenge. Ask yourself: Is there a way to run a fundraising campaign for a worthy cause? Is your office willing to collect items for the food bank? Perhaps you have decided to set up recycling bins for items like batteries and light bulbs and returnable beverage containers that your clients can also use. Or perhaps your office can set up a contest. Maybe your work place has had some improvements or a new mural was painted on the building. Perhaps you can get a project happening with your contacts. Maybe you can put out an announcement for sales or discounts coming up.

Social media offers a great opportunity for your business to celebrate causes, fundraisers and community events that you are a part of. It is a great way to support those you network with, as you can celebrate their successes and contributions to the world as well. And of course you can use it to invite networking opportunities to keep conversations going with your contacts. Besides this, being supportive of community and charitable events tells your staff, suppliers and clients that you care about making a difference.

Quite often an idea for a social media campaign or a topic you’d like to cover will come to mind, but you don’t have time to follow-up on it just yet. Jot that idea down so that you can come back to it later. This way no opportunity is missed.

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Before rushing out with random posts it is important to decide just how you plan to create excitement about each event and what you are expecting as a result.

Here’s another tip: Have a couple of documents on your desktop with social media blurbs you and your staff have created during brainstorm sessions. It will make your social media effort well-organized and it will be easy to post items during peak times of day.

So what are the best times of day to post? That really depends on who you are targeting – their age, their interests, etc. For business the best days to post on Facebook are Thursdays and Fridays between 11 AM and 1 PM (Pacific). 11 AM will bring in more shares, while closer to 1 PM will get more likes and link clicks. For Twitter, posting between 11 AM and 1 PM – during the lunch hours – is the best time. However, weekends shows 30% more activity on Twitter. Due to typical business activities during the week, the best days to post on LinkedIn are Tuesdays and Thursdays. The best time frames for scheduling LinkedIn posts are between 5-6:30 AM and 3-5 PM (Pacific). If you are using Google+, posts scheduled on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, between 7-9 AM are the most effective.

Regardless of what time frame you have decided to work with, and no matter how many social media outlets you wish to give a try, being on social media is rewarding. If you are on many different outlets and find the idea of managing them within a time frame overwhelming there are a couple of options for you. Assign a staff member (or pay your child) to perform this duty for you. Alternatively, schedule alarms on your cell phone to remind you to post on specific days. When you get very busy, there are numerous online services that allow you to schedule posts for automatic publication well in advance.

The way you use social media will vary depending on the medium (Instagram, etc.) and the kind of product, service or campaign you are currently working on, and the type of person you are trying to reach. Consider what time your target audience is online, how old they are, what they are doing when they are online, how long they are online and when they have the most interest or curiosity happening. Perhaps a customer survey can help you determine this.

By doing these suggested activities you’ll notice less time is spent on social media, and your activities are much more effective. For more business advice check out the Brummets’ book: Purple Snowflake Marketing, which provides valuable business advice for any service, product or book you write.

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