I was on the Etsy forums the other day, and came across a thread on social media use. I was super-surprised by the number of people who still aren’t using things like Facebook and Twitter to market their shops. I’ve been so involved in social media for years now – I think sometimes I forget how many people aren’t!
So it got me thinking about what holds a lot of indie biz owners back from launching themselves into the social media world.
Whenever I ask people about what is holding them back from embracing social media, the overwhelming response is ‘time’.
I understand that – I run a number of different businesses, and the fact that I love hanging out on twitter doesn’t do me any favours when I’ve got something that I *have* to get finished.
But the truth is – everyone is busy! Carving out the time to invest in social media will pay off in the long run.
It is easy to get sucked into the twitter/facebook/google + vortex – but if you follow these tips, you’ll escape the whirlpool and still use social media successfully and authentically – and it will only take you 20 minutes a day.
When I don’t have the time to just hang out, but I still want to stay visible on social media, these are the steps I follow.
Split your Time
If you want to stick to 20 minutes, you’ll need to split your time – 10 minutes in the morning, and 10 in the evening.
Do all of the following twice a day:
- Reply to any comments or mentions. This is imperative. Social media is about being social, and that means interacting with and conversing with your fans and followers. Ignore them and they’ll ignore you. This comes first.
- Share at least one link on Facebook/Google +. Because I blog daily, this is easy for me – I’ll share my latest blog post. You might like to ask a question, share someone else’s post, share a new product, a thought… there are so many options!
- Leave Comments, tweet @ people. Have a quick look through your twitter stream/facebook/google + feeds and make some useful comments and observations. Social media is a two-way street – you shouldn’t be spending all your time broadcasting.
- Schedule tweets to go out during the day when you’re not there. How? Read on…
When I know I’m going to have a busy day, I like to schedule tweets to go out throughout the day (and night – we’re in a 24 hour world, people!).
However, I don’t do too much of this, because I don’t want people to see me as a robot. And I ALWAYS reply to anyone who comments on a tweet.
I’ve got a few clever ways to schedule your tweets to your best advantage.
When you tweet out your own blog posts or work, you should use su.pr. This is a part of StumbleUpon, and it means that when you tweet your post using su.pr, and people click on it, it will appear with a Stumble Bar, which will often result in a huge surge of traffic to your site.
You can also use su.pr to submit your link to multiple twitter/facebook accounts at the same time – and it allows you to schedule posts, too.
I used to use su.pr exclusively… that is, until I discovered Bufferapp.
Bufferapp allows you to simply write up a bunch of tweets, and it will automatically ‘buffer’ them for you – that is, it will send them out over a 24 hour period. You can choose how many tweets to send (up to 10 on the free account) and exact times, too – or you can let it work things out for you.
I’ve been told in the past that I tend to ‘flood’ my followers at certain times. You might find yourself doing this, too – when you’re bored, for example, and looking at pinterest or blogs etc. Using bufferapp is a way to avoid doing that, because you can get the interesting links to post throughout the day!
I’ll tend to get online in the morning, check my google reader and pinterest, and then schedule up tweets to share cool stuff I’ve found.
That way, I don’t flood my followers all at once, and I get to share everything I want to throughout the day! Win/win 🙂
So there you have it – the speedy guide to getting on top of social media – even when you’re ‘too busy’!
Still unsure about using social media for your crafty biz? Sign up to my newsletter to be the first to know when I release my two new e-books – The Crafty Guide to Twitter & The Crafty Guide to Facebook.
Image by Bilberry Wood.