Social media is four things: marketing, public relations, customer service, and entertainment. But most importantly, it’s a communication tool.
It’s always annoying when a client asks what the ROI of using Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or any other social media tool is. My response is always “what’s the ROI of your phone or email?” You can’t measure either of those since they are invaluable and essential tools for running your business.
Social media should be seen in the same way. It’s an absolute necessity. Not something to consider doing if there’s a return on investment, or if you get around to it. But just as important as answering the phone or responding to email.
So how are other small business owners using social media, and how much time & money are they spending on it?
Vertical Response, an email marketing company, recently took a survey to find out, and they published a fantastic infographic detailing it, and have graciously allowed us to share it below.
But you’re probably asking: “Isn’t social media is free?”
Well, it may be free to sign up for an account and to use, but it takes time to set up, learn, implement, and become proficient at; either your time or someone you hire to manage it for you.
If time is money, then you need to be able to maximize and leverage your time, even when using social media. Here’s a couple tools that can help you do just that.
The first one is called Hoot Suite. It’s a social media dashboard that allows you to manage all your social media accounts in one place: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, and more. You can monitor all your accounts, track your mentions, respond to questions and conversations, schedule tweets, status updates, and much more.
The second social media productivity tool is Buffer. It allows you to schedule updates at pre-determined intervals for your primary social media accounts, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+. The great thing about using Buffer is you can set specific times and days for tweets and updates to go out, that way you can schedule them all at once, but won’t overwhelm your follows with tons of updates in a short period of time.
Remember, social media is a three-spoked wheel: 1/3 marketing, 1/3 customer service, 1/3 public relations. Make sure you’re using it for all 3 parts so that your wheel will roll smoothly.
Are you using any social media tools to help leverage your time?