As social media evolves into a media beast, how does someone even begin to manage the various platforms for networking, finding job opportunities, and making meaning personal and professional connections? Where do you start?
You need Facebook to share your personal updates, Twitter to share the latest news, Google+ for Hangouts, YouTube for videos, Pinterest for compelling imagery on a wide range of topics, Instagram for photos, Foursquare to share location-based tips, LinkedIn for professional updates, and Tumblr for blogging.
And, believe me, there will be more. How in the world do you find time to use them all?
That said, the importance of social media marketing to connect with colleagues, customers and prospects is undeniable. Yet trying to keep up with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and more can be overwhelming to say the least. Fear not, readers. I have incorporated the following social media routine into my early morning schedule that only takes me 30 minutes a day and has proven to be very manageable for my natural products business objectives:
Facebook: Review your Facebook pages and answer any new posts, comments, or questions from fans and customers. Then, post something compelling, add a new image or a link to information that is relevant to the natural products industry. Ideally, you should post on Facebook once a day. Current events are a great resource if you are struggling for content ideas. Plus, it keeps your page from becoming dated.
Twitter: Do a quick search on trending natural products industry news. I find volumes of information in my Linkedin groups. Find a few stories that might be of interest to your customers or industry partners. Tweet one immediately. Schedule a few others to be automatically sent from your Twitter account periodically throughout the day. Reference other social media platforms in your tweets to cross pollinate these platforms. This will give you a surprisingly prominent presence and generate lots of interest.
Pinterest: I dont know why I like this platform so much, but I do! I have definitely had success with my personal and professional brands using Pinterest. Images are powerful. Do your best to upload three compelling images daily that relate to your brand. Again, reference other social media platforms in your captions under your pins to cross pollinate these platforms. For example, I always reference my website and Facebook page to drive people to both. Did you recently see some great new research, product, or raw material? Pin these photos under "Innovation" or "Killer New Health Ideas."
Blogs: Do you follow the blogs of industry influencers? I sure do. Review their latest posts. Set up an RSS feed on your website. An RSS feed sends volumes of relevant industry information right to your website. Its all there for easy access. Read a few and post your thoughts on a couple of your social media platforms. Again, reference other social media platforms in your posts. I apologize for repeating this point, but this is very important for widespread exposure. This helps to make readers aware of your brand and builds a solid and loyal online network.
Finally, its vitally important to humanize your social media efforts. Post or tweet a thank you if a customer expresses satisfaction on one of your social media platforms. (I often see many very positive posts on Yelp!) This type of two-way communication makes people want to be a part of your social circle. Take the time to thank customers personally and your business will grow.
Finding time to be active on multiple social media platforms is daunting to say the least. And there are countless articles and blogs (such as this one) offering tips on dealing with social media burnout that may ultimately come from trying to keep up. However, breaking up the job into small tasks truly makes it easier. As you know, social media is all about building relationships. The more you put into it, the more you'll get out of it. Connections and brand awareness tend to have a viral effect too.
Plus, it can be a blast!