Idea Girl Media can help small business owners manage time for social media.A small business owner asked me recently, “I have two hours a day to spend on social media marketing – how can I spend this time wisely and get the biggest bang for my buck?

They also wanted to know:

  • Which social networks they should use.
  • What time of day they should use them.
  • How they should be using the social networks.
  • Who they should be connecting with.

My  first words of response were, “This is a hard question to answer the way it is presented.”

I went on to say that social media is not a strategy – social media should be part of a marketing formula. A marketing formula personalized to your small business.

And then I told the small business owner: “It’s NOT about you — It’s about them (your audience).”

My next suggestion was to answer the five questions below:

1.  What are your goals with social media?

2.  What is the audience you want to engage, and why?

3.  Are you willing to encourage 2-way communication and maintain and build on what that brings?

4.  What are you willing to do, and what are you willing to invest to make that happen? (regarding time, commitment & percentage of marketing budget)

5.  What tools have you explored to this point?

As a social media consultant, it is hard to give specific answers to the initial question above until a small business owner has thought about the five questions above, committed to the answers, and written them down.

After that, a personalized marketing plan including social media can be formulated.

A few more things to think about:

  • There are hundreds of social networks – Which platforms are best suited to your audience?
  • The Internet is a 24-hour place – How will you plan to keep the virtual on?
  • Has your competition become active with social media before you?
  • It’s all about social influence, which compounds like in a bank. (Those already present on social networks are accruing interest).

Are you a small business owner looking to attract new customers using social media?

Have you answered the five questions above?

What do you want your social networks to look like 6-12 months from now?

Please post your ideas and questions below!