At the recent SpaExec conference in Sonoma, California, we discussed “The Realities of Marketing Your Spa Through Social Networks.” A universal question from the audience was “How do I find time for social media?” There are so many urgent “A” priorities in the day that it is hard to find time for “B” priorities such as Social Media Marketing (SMM). But there are ways to find time and make these tools work.
- It’s a Learning Curve. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Wordpress, Yelp…it can be overwhelming. Remember that it takes more time in the beginning to learn how to use each of these social media tools to best serve your business. Spend the time now to learn things like “Twitter 101 for Business.” Be patient with yourself and trust that you will understand how each social media dimension fits into the big picture. You’ll find out about tricks such as following SMM experts on Twitter and adding them to a list you create called “marketing” you can check when you need some advice (read: future time saver as the social media landscape continually changes). Two of my favorites are @MarketingProfs (link to: http://twitter.com/#!/MarketingProfs) and @Minervity (link to: http://twitter.com/#!/Minervity).
- Create a 6-Month Social Media Marketing (SMM) plan. In order to obtain visible results to your bottom line, you must think of SMM as a marathon not a sprint. It is guaranteed that you will not receive results overnight, or even within a week. Because social media is about personally engaging the customer, it takes time to build credibility and trust. However, with a solid strategy in place, it will be a no-brainer what actions you need to take on a daily basis.
- Outsource ALL of It. Face it: if you don’t like social media, you won’t spend the time to do it. So, after you’ve created a solid marketing strategy, hire a savvy marketing assistant to implement the plan day-to-day. Be certain that whomever you hire has a solid and clear understanding of your brand’s message and SMM strategy across all dimensions. This is a great time to hire an independent contractor so you can limit his or her hours. But, make sure you have a solid understanding of how the tools work first so you can keep your assistant in check.
- Outsource SOME of It.If you do enjoy participating in certain social media outlets and inherently understand how to use them, stick to those and outsource the others. However, I do recommend that you always manage your own LinkedIn account. According to @sonicallstar (link to: http://twitter.com/#!/sonicallstar), it should only take you TWO minutes per day to manage your LinkedIn account.
- Track, Measure and Reap the Rewards. Unlike traditional media advertising, the reach is smaller in SMM but your audience is extremely targeted and engaged. With consistent brand messaging across all channels and implementing the 80/20 rule (80% sharing valuable content/engaging and 20% promoting your products and services), over time your business, credibility and social media Klout (link to: www.klout.com)will rise.
In the end, SMM is about working smart, not hard.