The Question Everyone Asks
This week, I’ve been preparing for a local small business event. I’ve been asked to sit on panel with other local social media people who do what I do.
I get lumped into this group of social media marketing folks all the time but I know I’m not like the rest. They just don’t think about social media the way I do.
So when it came time to review the questions the moderator would ask, I reviewed the list. There it was, the question everyone asks: What are some social media tips that a small business owner can start using today?
We all had to send in our answers so the moderator could decide who to point to during the panel discussion. I read through everyone’s answers and saw the usual suspects – set up a Facebook fan page, learn how to use Twitter and we even had one person bring up the whole ‘schedule your posts’ conversation.
By the time they got to me, my answer was simple: Focus on your Social Media MITs and spend your time doing the marketing that’s going to bring you the highest return of your efforts.
What’s a Social Media MIT?
Social media MITs are just like the most important tasks (MITs) that you do for your business. These are the 3 – 4 most important things that you need to get done that day.
Some days, your business MITs are to finish a client project, email an invoice and write a blog post. And you know that once you’ve gotten those done, your business is moving closer to your goals (product production, sales goals and marketing).
Social Media MITs are the same thing. When you pull your daily (or weekly) to-do list together, what type of social media actions can you take to move you closer to your sales or marketing goals?
But not all of those social media action items will fall into your Social Media MIT category. There’s a difference between something on your to-do list versus something that helps you grow your social sites.
Think about it in terms of the difference between being productive and doing busy work. Being productive is actively seeking new connections on Twitter and sharing their content.
Busy work is clicking around Facebook, looking at pictures of your friend’s new puppy and and you decide to throw up an unplanned Facebook post on your business page.
Your most productive Social Media MITs are the top social marketing tasks you need to focus on. Once you get that part of your marketing done, you set the tone in your social sites to reach the goals you want to accomplish.
Who hasn’t done this?
It’s the worst feeling when you realize at the end of the day on Wednesday, that you still haven’t posted anything to your Twitter feed.
You’re scrambling to get something scheduled and then you notice that your last post was sometime last week, or worse, because you keep putting off the work, a month ago.
And what’s really frustrating is that when you do stay on top of your Twitter postings, your content gets shared and your followers keep growing.
So you know it works. You’re just not working it.
How do you find your Social Media MITs?
To figure this out, you need to do a little research. Hopefully, you have access into your Google Analytics so you can run a search to see which social site brings you the most traffic.
Once you get into your analytics, you want to look for your top referral social media source. To find this information, follow this sequence: Acquisitions – All Traffic – Referrals
My top referral source is Pinterest. Within this section, I can click on the Pinterest link and it takes me to a breakout of the top pins/images that brought people to my site. I can see my top 10 pins and the number of website traffic clicks from those images.
I can also track my traffic from Twitter, my newsletter and all the places where I do guest blog posts but not Facebook. At this point, Facebook is the only program that won’t give me any more information other than the number of people who came to my site.
If Facebook is a top referral source for your site, try using a trackable link program like https://bitly.com/. Using a program like this in your Facebook posts will help you see which posts your fans clicked on to take them to your website.
Now take all this crunchy goodness of information you just discovered and answer these questions:
1. Which social site consistently gives you the highest referral traffic to your website?
2. What can you do every week in that site that will make a difference? Is it posting more often? Is it sharing other businesses’ content so you can build more relationships?
3. What is the best time of day and my best day of the week where I can commit to focus my energy on these tasks? Block off that time in your calendar every week like you would for a meeting.
Make a weekly appointment with yourself and your Social Media MITs.
My Social Media MITs
If you get my newsletter Social Media Conversations, you’ve heard me talk about how I update all my social media sites. I’m usually sharing some new trick I’ve found to help me with my social media marketing so I can get on with my day.
For you non-Social Media Conversationalists, here’s my list of Social Media MITs and the steps I take to grow my social presence:
1. My number one traffic referral site is Pinterest so this site is my top Social Media MIT every week.
I do most of my pinning at night, following a Pinterest strategy I developed that only takes me 15 minutes to go through the whole process.
My top priority MIT for Pinterest is creating my own images. I make sure I fit time in my schedule every week to ensure that each blog post has a pinnable image. And when I’m launching a new program, I work on creating images to help me promote my new product to all my followers.
2. Next on my Social Media MIT list is Twitter.
Twitter is one of those social sites that really does work, when you spend the time to work at it. Seriously, one of my favorite things to do on Twitter is to click into the Notifications section and see my connections grow every week.
So I spend an hour every week scheduling my tweets in Hootsuite and Twitter’s internal scheduler.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has too many days when I’m away from my computer for the whole day. I usually plan my tweets out for a whole week so I know that I won’t go several days without anything posting.
SECRET TIP: When I’m scheduling my tweets in Hootsuite, I click on my LinkedIn profile and schedule a few posts to my status updates. I don’t always get time to log into LinkedIn so I try to maintain a little presence there with about 4 update posts a week.
To help me continue to grow my Twitter followers, this social site is my go-to place when I find myself with some open time in my day. Most of those brief free moments of time, I’m sitting somewhere with my phone – watching my son’s baseball game, waiting for an appointment – and I’ll log into Twitter and check out my recent activity:
- Did someone new follow me? I click over to their profile and decide if I want to follow them back. I also look through their tweets and retweet a post of theirs or comment on one of their tweets.
- Did someone share my blog posts or promote my programs? I hit the reply button under their post and thank them for sharing my stuff.
3. My next Social Media MIT is logging into Facebook and going to all my top Facebook Groups.
I belong to a lot of groups so make my time more efficient, I had to figure out which groups made the most sense for me to add to my weekly MIT list.
Every time I join a Facebook Group, I spend time in that group to get a feel if this Facebook Group is a good fit for me. I read posts and ask myself, “Is this information important for me to know or learn?”
I watch the interaction with the group. Are people asking questions and helping each other? Or were they just dropping a promotional sales pitch, never to be seen again?
I have found that the Facebook Groups where I’m most active are the ones that have provided some kind of value for me. And those are the ones that get added to my Social Media MIT list when I’m logged into my Facebook Groups.
I usually go to 3 – 4 Facebook Groups a week, reading posts, adding my comments, liking someone’s stuff or asking my own questions. Sometimes I share my posts or Pinterest links but mostly, I’m in there to participate in the group’s conversations.
4. At the bottom of my list is my Facebook fan page.
Even with everything I’ve learned in my year long Facebook experiment, my organic reach is still struggling. Spending time in my fan page has become more like busy work than something that’s productively bringing people to my site.
I’m still posting and just waiting for the day to come when things change AGAIN and Facebook will start being a traffic source for my site. Right now, I just get in, get out and on with my day.
At the beginning of the next week, repeat step #1. Every single week.
The more you work on your Social Media MITs, the quicker you’ll get at the tasks you need to do to complete your list. You’ll find that you’ll start to develop our own system so take your time to find the right rhythm for your schedule.
Soon you’ll realize that it’s a simple thing to pull your list of Social Media MITs together and schedule them into your week. But sometimes, it’s those small things that are the ones that make the biggest difference.
PS What if you could find a way to grow your presence in your social sites? And what if it didn’t add hours to your already crazy day? What if it took just 30 minutes a few times a week?
Click here to learn more how to manage your social sites with the 30 Minute Social Sessions workbook