Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine … every day, it seems like there’s another social network small business owners are expected to take advantage of.
But Pubsoft Director of Marketing Heather Wied says small businesses shouldn’t spread themselves thin trying to master every social network under the sun. Pubsoft, which helps businesses publish online content, integrates social networking to help customers spread the word about their businesses.
“The best social network for you is dependent on your target market,” says Wied.
To maximize your time on social media – without losing your mind – check out Wied’s three best tips:
No. 1: Figure out where your audience is.
Wied’s top piece of advice is taking the time to understand which social networks will be most valuable to you in terms of your target demographics.
“This is something that gets lost in small business strategy. You want to be on all the different networks because you want the most exposure, but you should focus your efforts and use networks where your customers are,” says Wied.
For instance, if you’re a B2B company, LinkedIn might prove to be the most valuable network. But if you’re trying to connect with millennials, you might want to spend more time on Instagram.
No. 2: Choose the networks you like best.
If you don’t enjoy being on Facebook, it’s likely that updating your page will be the item on your to-do list that you just don’t get to every day.
“Do the things that interest you,” says Wied. This is especially important for small business owners considering Twitter. Because the shelf life of a tweet is so short, Wied says it’s necessary for business owners to post on Twitter very frequently in order to make it a valuable use of time.
Lesson? If you’d rather visit the dentist than scroll through your Twitter feed, forget Twitter and spend more time on another network.
No. 3: Carve out the time.
Many big companies have dedicated social media experts who spend their whole day managing Twitter accounts and posting items to Facebook.
While this is outside the realm of possibility for most small businesses, it is necessary to make social networking a part of your workday routine. Wied suggests spending one to two hours a day connecting with potential and current customers on a social network. And if you’re only spending time on the networks you like, she says, hopefully it won’t feel like work at all.