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The title of this article could also be “How WILL Your Small Business MAKE Time for Social Media?”, but I thought I would keep it how it is to prove a point.

With social media growing exponentially and becoming more popular for businesses (and for staying in touch with your BFFs) you can’t afford not to take advantage of it as a small business owner.

Here are several reasons why you need to jump on board with social media and ways to find time for it. Trust me, if you want your business to increase and your brand awareness to jump through the roof, you will make time for it.

Social Media Stats

First of all, I want to quickly give some facts to convince you about the growth of social media and the impact it can have on your business.

  • Facebook – The average person spends 1 out of every 7 minutes on Facebook (ZDNet)
  • Twitter – Each and every day there are at least 340 million tweets (Twitter blog)
  • LinkedIn – Financial customers on LinkedIn are more affluent than Facebook users (comScore)
  • Pinterest – Predominantly used by women (All Twitter)
  • Google+ – Predominantly used by men (CircleCount)

If you are a small business owner, you already understand the concept of “time=money” and may feel that there isn’t any room in the schedule or budget for social media. What if I told you there was a way to have a successful social media campaign that will make your brand more visible online without spending more time and money? Would you be onboard? Well, here are some great tips that will help you squeeze in the time needed for you to benefit from the social media world.
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Time to Make Time

You don’t necessarily have to cut out certain programs or work tasks to make time for social media. One of the easiest things you can do is include it while you are checking your daily emails first thing in the morning. Every business will have emails coming in and emails going out that need to be taken care of on a daily basis. Why not send out a Google+ post or like a Facebook status that someone else posted that relates to your business?

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

Effectively utilizing social media in your small business doesn’t have to take up a whole lot of time, especially if you take the time make a plan and stick to it. Figure out a time and schedule that works with your time and budget, while keeping in mind that it doesn’t need to be an exponential number. You would be surprised at the results you can get from even doing an hour a week at the beginning. Effective planning, prioritizing and organization will help save time.

Consistency is Key

Well, not just consistency, but consistency while looking natural is key. It’s important to post on a consistent basis, but if you are only posting about things related to your company and posting them at the same time each day, it can look extremely unnatural to people. Even being active every other day and at varied times throughout the day will give you some great results.

Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin

I quickly learned this lesson growing up while playing the board game “Risk”. The goal is to outsmart your opponent and conquer every country with your little armies.

I was so concerned with taking over every country in the world, that I would spread my armies out too thin and end up losing the game, getting mad, and storming out of the room (after flipping the board game over so the pieces flew everywhere of course. I hate losing to my sister).

Anyway, the point of that awesome story was to teach you that you don’t need to be active on EVERY single social media platform. Nobody has that kind of time. The smarter thing to do is to find the platforms that fit your industry niche and where you will find specific customers for your business.

The platforms you post on obviously depend on what you are selling and the audience you are trying to reach out to. So, do some investigating and you will quickly discover which social media platforms you could benefit from. Then, listen to the users in your industry and create some unique content around the things that the users want to hear/talk about.

Planning an effective content campaign is a completely separate beast on its own, but definitely start by listening to your potential customers and making lists of things you could write about.

Be Professional – Your Brand and Expertise Will Shine Through

Respond to posts, answer questions, retweet, repost, be involved in the social community, and write articles in a manner that makes you sound like you are a professional in your industry.

This will gain your users trust and will help with spreading the word about your brand. I know that I would be much more likely to share a post, status, or article from someone that I thought was a professional in that industry. Even if you are quickly responding to someone’s article, rather than saying something like, “Bro, this article was totes awesome! YOLO!” you should sound more professional like, “Gentleman and friend, this particular article has deeply touched my soul and every fiber of my being.” (It helps to have a British accent as well) Also, be sure to add any particular knowledge that you can share with people that would help you come across as a professional in your industry.

I think you get my point.

Get Started Today

The basic social media campaign can take very little time and very little effort to get started, but the benefits it can have in the long run will be well worth your time. With the recent changes and additions that Google has made, including the implementation of the rel=author/publisher tag, the heavy push towards Google+, and the consistent increase in social media, it’s safe to say that you should begin, or should have already begun, your own social media efforts for your small business.