One of the most common complaints I hear from small business owners about doing Social Media is "I don't have any time".
I reply "Who does?"
It's really not a case of if you have time to do Social Media; it's more a case of making Social Media a priority. Let's face it, if you gave Social Media the same priority as eating food, you'd do it pretty often wouldn't you? So the real question is: What would it take for you to realize how important Social Media is for your business?
This might help...
-There are currently 500 million Facebook users, and it's increasing by the hundreds of thousands daily.
-There are over 90 million Twitter users
-There are over 220 million active YouTube users
But what does all this mean for MY small business?
It means that YOUR customers and potential customers are out there. And if you're not out there, they're likely creating online relationships with your competitors. Get it?
Have you ever owned an old car? What happened when you upgraded to a new one? You realized what you were missing out on all that time, right? You realized how good it feels to drive a nice, clean, comfortable, reliable car that you actually look forward to driving.
It's the same with your pre-Social Media life. Currently, if you're not using Social Media in your business, but you're still 'getting by' with the leads that are coming in you don't realize how good it will feel to have a relationship-based marketing machine working for you and growing your business.
You see, remaining stuck in an old paradigm won't grow your business. Saying "I don't understand computers, the Internet or Social Media" won't grow your business. In fact, in this new age of business, the likes of which we've never seen before, if you're not using Social Media in the next couple of years, you likely won't have a business. It's really that simple.
You don't need to spend 5 hours a day on Facebook. You don't need to spend 3 hours a day on Twitter. And you don't need to spend another hour on YouTube.
From my own experience, if you have a plan before you log in, it typically takes about 8 minutes at a time. That's enough time to read what others have posted, reply if you'd like to, respond to friend requests and post your own comment(s).
I'd recommend you log in three times a day. First thing in the morning (before you check your normal email), second time at midday and again at about 4pm before the end of the workday. So, 8 minutes times 3 logins equals 24 minutes. And where is that time going to come from? Simple, just wake up 24 minutes earlier every day! You are committed to growing your business aren't you?
"What do I post on my Facebook page?"
To position yourself as an expert in your field it's essential that you post information that will either educate, inform and help prospects or customers in one way or another. Tips, hints, secrets, ideas, info, news etc about your product, service or industry is what will help people, and purely by providing this information you'll be perceived as an expert, the person to deal with.
Your Facebook friends (ideally your business network contacts) will receive your daily tips and gain value from them so they can apply them to their business. All the while this is building credibility and trust for you and your business.
The key to using Facebook and Twitter is to do these 4 things:
1. Create a network of people who either could buy from you or who know people who would buy from you.
2. Educate and Inform these friends/followers/fans with tips and advice about your industry/products/services/solutions etc.
3. Build up trust and credibility so they visit your website, then capture their details using Email Marketing tools such as AWeber or ConstantContact.
4. Follow up with them via newsletters, events, pre-launches etc...CONSISTENTLY.
Now, you may be a little overwhelmed with this to-do-list, however, just start doing one thing at a time. I'd recommend that you first develop a daily habit of posting valuable tips and advice on your Facebook wall and/or Facebook business page. Link your Facebook to your Twitter so that your posts to your Facebook business page will automatically be sent as 'tweets' on your Twitter page. Once you're doing this consistently it's time to begin thinking about the entire cycle you can take a prospect through to ultimately gaining sales.