Right I am just going to come out and say it, social media is driving me INSANE!
It’s not that I don’t like to be connected to others, cause I do.
It’s not that I don’t want my business to connect with as many customers as possible. Because obviously I do.
The reason social media is driving me insane is that it takes so much work to keep updated. It seems like every few months a new “must use” social media service pops up.
This creates a problem. Because I only have 24 hours in every day and I like to use at least a small proportion of that for sleeping.
Social Media Proliferation
Just look at THIS and thats only a small selection! HELP
As a small business it is impossible to keep abreast of the latest happenings in the social media world. And, try to keep an updated presence, on even just the major networks.
Posting to social media feels a bit like feeding the beast. Each time, I spend hours crafting a bit of content. Then I hand it over and it’s devoured in seconds! The next day the beast comes back bigger and hungrier than ever. More, more, more!
I hand over my humble efforts, fully aware that every other business is doing the same.
It’s a never ending cycle. Post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Medium, Twitter again (boy does Twitter burn content!), LinkedIn, Tumblr, Youtube, Twitter again, Facebook. The cycle goes on and on.
Then in my “spare time” I am supposed to run a business!
Users get fed so much content from the social media monster that each post gets less attention and as small businesses we end up creating our own fate.
We are in effect making it harder for our future content to get attention and therefore for our websites to get traffic.
So what’s the solution?
To be honest I don’t actually have THE solution. But I thought I would share what we are doing at WP Hero and my recommendation is that you try the same.
Ok, I don’t mean stop sharing to social media, because that would also be insanity. The fact is social media is where our customers live. That is not going to change.
What I mean is, stop trying to do everything. Don’t post to Facebook or Instagram or (insert social media of your choice) because everybody else is doing it.
You need to get SMARTER than that.
It is time to go back to basics.
Solution number 1 — Demographic Targeting
Who are your customers?
Yes we need to get back to basics all right.
Create your customer persona again.
Who are they? What do they do? How much do they earn? How many kids do they have? Where do they live? What car do they drive? Do they use Apple or Android? Are they male or female?
If you don’t have this info — get it. You can start with your current customers and you can pull some of this info from simple tools like Google Analytics.
Social Media Strategy
You need a social media strategy, a major part of that strategy is deciding which social media networks are right for you.
You see, not all social networks are created equal. This fact is going to become more important as the social network scene diversifies into niche and mass market networks.
Remember those 24 hours that you get 7 times a week?
Those hours are precious. You need to use them wisely.
Trying to keep up to date on ALL social networks is actually a waste of time, because your customers dont’ live on all the networks. Your customers are only on a select few networks.
The trick to remaining sane whilst connecting with your customers on social media, is finding out on which networks your customers reside.
Social Media Demographics
Lets start by looking at age. If you know the age of your intended audience then you already have a head start.
You can see by this chart that if you want to target young users, Snapchat is where you want to be and maybe Instagram as well, but not Linkedin
What about gender?
Maybe you are targeting women in the high earning bracket, then from the stats above, Pinterest is where you should be posting.
Here is a more detailed chart of Pinterest stats. Also check out the success stories page on the Pinterest website for details of how others are using Pinterest for business.
What about earning bracket. If you are targeting business customers it would really help if you were updating your Linkedin profile.
With over 50% of Linkedin users having a college degree and 44% earning over 75K, it is an obvious choice for B2B businesses.
You can also look at other statistics such as location, both on a macro level and micro. There is also education background and etc.
The aim of this article is not to give a detailed demographic breakdown of each Social Media network. But to let you see, that each network has a different set of users and you need to find the one that is right for you.
If you want more details, check out Pew Research Centre, who completed a recent social media study. Or you could look at Sproutsocial as they created a great summary of the Pew Research figures and produced some of the infographics used above.
Anyway all that to say, I hope you now see that trying to update 4, 5 or even 6 social media sites is a waste of time. Pick 1 or 2 that contain your customers and FOCUS. At WP Hero we focus on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Solution Number 2 — Automate
My second suggestion, is one that we both offer to our customers and use ourselves at wphero.io and that is automation.
Nobody in their right mind, at least nobody who actually tries to run a business can sit in front of Twitter all day and be constantly posting updates!
You need to automate. Now a word of warning, there are ways in which automating your social media works and ways in which it doesn’t. It works when you automate the posting of your blog to Facebook or Twitter. It doesn’t work when you try to automate customer interaction. Social media will always and should always be social. Keep the customer interaction for yourself and automate the mundane tasks.
I believe that it is a mistake for businesses to only use social media and to let their website gather dust in the corner. The reason being, by doing this you give away control of everything and give yourself into the mercy of the social media giants.
Keep your website active, it is the only real estate on the web that your own. Link your social media back to your website so that it becomes a known entity with your customers. Let your website drive your social media content. But, put in place automation strategies.
This means that you update your website and automatically your social media feeds are updated. This is a massive time saver. Especially when combined with a social media strategy that focuses on your key customer demographic.
What I have found useful when linking WordPress to Facebook, is using a combination of IFTTT or Zapier combined with buffer.
You can also use this in combination with WordPress post scheduling.
When I post this blog I dont have to do anything else to update our social media feeds. Hallelujah!
Keeping social media accounts updated and relevant to your customers can be overwhelming and drive you to insanity. But social media is where your customers live. To survive you need to get smart.
Focus on your key market, don’t pick your favorite social media network or the one you use personally. Pick the right one for your targeted market and do it well.
Don’t forget the website — you will live to regret it. Use your web site as a content generator and automate the posting to you targeted social media network. This will save hours of your time and time is priceless.
Now go and take a deep breath and get back to the grind.
Thanks for reading.
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