Social Media Overload– How to get focused Nicci Troiani With all of the social media networks in existence it can be hard for a small business to keep up or even get started in social media marketing. Most bigger businesses seem to have a presence on every social media platform and update them all multiple times daily. While they make this look easy, remember that they have employees whose jobs are to content create and manage their social media presence. How can a small business still have a social media presence? Here are a few tips: 1.Start a blog While blogging seems intimidating to many small business owners, content creating is becoming a must if you want to keep up with your competitors. A blog will also give you content to post across your social media networks. The blog is the source that will keep your social presence consistent. Blogging multiple times a week is best, but when first starting, shoot for whatever time frame you deem manageable. That could be posting 2X a month. If you have other employee, ask them to contribute 1X a month as well. 2. Use an editorial calendar for your content Planning out your topics ahead of time makes writing them that much easier and gives you deadlines to stay focused. 3. Determine where to post your content: Some small business blogs are mostly written content, for others your blog may consist of more visual content. If you have the visual content, then you should be utilizing Pinterest and Instagram. If you don’t, don’t worry about having to come up with additional content and just focus on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. Many businesses only focus on Facebook and Twitter which are great resources, but Google Plus accounts actually rank higher in a Google search which can be a huge benefit for a small business. Pick your 2-3 MUST-haves when starting and make a commitment to post consistently on those platforms– that’s the key to building a following. 3. Use a scheduling tool Use a tool like Hootsuite or Gremln to save you time. These programs will allow you to sit down and schedule all of your posts at once across your Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and LinkedIn pages. My advice: Don’t schedule too far ahead. If you write a blog on Monday, schedule it to post on Facebook once, Google Plus once (maybe one on Monday and one on Tuesday to spread them out) and on Twitter multiple times a day (4-6X daily is ideal because people usually just read their Twitter stream or lists and don’t go to your personal profile) but not further than Wednesday. Ideally, you would have new content by then, but either way you don’t want to post stale material. 4. Analyze your history If using one of the scheduling tools mentioned above, you should also be able to view reporting and analytics of your posts. See which content is getting the most clicks or which tweets received the most “retweets.” By analyzing what works and what doesn’t, you can keep your focus on what your audience likes. That’s not so bad is it? To start, try to spend 15 minutes a week on writing a blog– that should be doable. Then sit down and schedule it to post across the social media platforms that you have decided to focus on– that should take you another 15. 30 min a week is a small amount of time and a social media presence can yield a big return. Side note: Add your work social accounts to your smart phone. Responding to tweets or Facebook posts or thanking followers for a re-tweet should be done in real time for the best results.