When it comes to social media, nonprofits and small businesses share the same concern. They know it is a powerful marketing tool, and they know a lot of potential donors/customers are using it; however they are not sure how much time they can afford. After all, it takes time and effort to contribute to a successful social media campaign and time is a scarce resource among nonprofits and small businesses. Knowing this, some nonprofits and small business owners either stay away from social media all together or they dabble with it but never see any tangible results from using it.
For those wondering how to find the time to use social media correctly in order to generate the desired leads and convert them into sales/donations, I have one thing to say: YOU MUST MAKE THE TIME. You must determine that social media is the right marketing tool for you and then do it. The secret is that you are never going to find the time by looking for it or expecting it to show up. You have to make the time. By making time for social media, you will quickly see that you not only have the time, but you will also see it is worth your time.
Here is how you do it:
1 – Commit (Make the Time)
Without a true commitment to social media as an integral part of your marketing, you will never have the time to do social media correctly. Once committed, you will create the time needed to make it successful and see you don’t have the time not to do it. Your level of commitment should be as different as dipping your toe in the pool (testing the waters) and doing a cannonball (making a big splash, creating waves, putting smiles on faces). The toe dip lets you know the water is wet. The cannonball lets everyone know you’re there.
2 – Strategize (Save Time)
Now that you have committed, and you’re in the pool with more time dedicated to social media, it is time to determine your direction and begin swimming. With this new found time, you must determine where you’re going to go and how you’re going to use it. This will save you time and effort in the long run. A social media strategy, just like any other marketing strategy, helps avoid wasted time and effort as well as burnout and missed opportunities. Without a clear strategy, you can easily be pulled in many directions, none of which will help you. A good strategy will answer all the how-what-where-which-why-who-when questions you will have regarding the use of social media. A brilliant strategy will provide much needed focus and direction that will prove useful in using your time efficiently and effectively.
3 – Find the Right Person (Don’t Waste Time)
So now you know what to do, but who is going to do it? Here are 5 qualities to look for in determining who is going to run your social media campaign: 1) a person who knows the company well enough to speak for the company; 2)someone who knows the social media world or who is a quick learner; 3) someone who can interact with people well; 4) someone who is good with a digital camera, video camera, and/or their mobile phone. ; 5) someone who can create good content and write engaging posts regarding what your company is doing, what your business offers, and what benefits you provide everyone especially customers/donors. If you are having trouble deciding who will be the social media voice for your business, figure which person in your company has the most engaging personality (quality #3) and make it their job. You can even go so far as to include it in their job description. The remaining desired qualities will come over time. If you do not have someone in your company that fits this profile, then hire a professional.
4 – Do It (Time Well Spent)
In your strategy (step #2), you should have identified which social media platforms you will use for your marketing campaign. Now that you have identified which person will manage your social media accounts/pages, you must fulfill your commitment and do it. Then you must keep doing it.
5 – Measure and Improve (Quantify and Qualify Your Time)
Once you’ve begun doing it, you must measure your work. In your strategy, you should have determined what success will mean to you. Now that your company is fully involved in social media, you should be measuring results and comparing them to your goals in the strategy. There are several tools out there that can help you monitor your social media work. For a list of such tools, click here. The data you receive will help you determine how to tweak your social media strategy, and your tactics, so you can constantly improve upon what you’re doing.
As you can see, all of the things outlined in this article take time. However, it is time well spent. If you’re still scratching your head trying to figure out how you’re going to find the time to do all of this, remember that you’re never going to find the time unless you make the time and keep it. Now, go make the time.