As a business owner, time is one thing you could probably do with more of! Effective time management is essential to your success, as is making use of tools that can leverage your time.
Marketing is of course critical to grow your business, however, business owners are being bombarded with different buzz words all the time, especially when it comes to internet marketing.
Social media has become a platform that is easily accessible to anyone with internet access, opening doors for organisations to increase their brand awareness and facilitate conversations with the customer. Additionally, social media serves as a relatively inexpensive platform for organisations to implement marketing campaigns. Organisations can receive direct feedback from their customers and targeted markets.
This can be very daunting as not only does it take time to understand these different tools, but the thought of actually finding the time to make use of them can seem like a full time job in itself!
Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are the most well know social/business networking tools available, all of them offer free membership with LinkedIn offering an optional paid membership should you require additional features, although most seem to opt for the free service. Facebook allow you to have a personal page and a company page.
These can be very powerful for promoting your brand and driving traffic to your website, but finding the time to update them all can seem like an impossible commitment when you are busy already running your business.
Fortunately there are some fantastic free tools available to take the time and hassle out of Social Media Marketing. One of the best tools is HootSuite, this is a web based application and allows you to update your status on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn all from one place and also lets you write your status updates beforehand and then schedule them. In addition there is a free iPhone app, so you can make even better use of your time, whether you are sitting in a reception waiting for a meeting, or even in an airport.
Tweetdeck is another well known tool, this actually has a free desktop application which is quite good, however the iPhone app seems to lack the ability to update LinkedIn which in my opinion is a major drawback.
Obviously these tools can help with Social Media Marketing (SMM); however it’s important to implement a strategy, just as you would with any other form of marketing hopefully in order to get the best results.