Most social media platforms are free to join and manage. Basically, cost comes in when you take the time to manage it, so do it right.
1. Don’t waste time
Consider why you are using social media, what your goals and objectives are. Focus on achieving those objectives. Are you trying to drive traffic to your website, engage in conversation, gather information, provide better customer service? Know who will manage your accounts, how many times make sense to post each day and what those posts will be. Plan out a week or a month in advance so you’re not stuck each day or forget to keep up with your posts.
2. Listen Carefully
Social media is social; it’s about conversation. Before you can join in a conversation, you need to know what it’s about. It takes time to listen and see what your competition or intended audience is talking about. Be sure you pay attention to the right accounts. It’s easy to get distracted and bogged down with posts about topics that might be completely irrelevant to what your organization is doing.
A great way to maximize your time and find the best accounts to follow is to see who your competitors follow. For example, look into targeted lists people have created on Twitter and follow those lists.
You don’t necessarily need a dedicated employee doing social media.
If one person doesn’t have enough time to manage the account, you can share responsibility with a few people on the team. Having multiple admins on an account can help you spread the work around to each person for a few minutes per day. As long as you know who is responsible for what and when, this can make it even easier to find time to squeeze in social media. Content calendars are a great way to keep things organized when working on multiple accounts between multiple team members.
4. Keep track
Consider measurable goals and keep track of your success so you know if your strategy is working or if you need to revise it. There’s no sense investing time in something that isn’t working for you.
Facebook has great insights for administrators on business pages, check in and see how you’re doing. To track Twitter, consider creating a spreadsheet to record some basic info like how many followers you have and how many times you are retweeted or mentioned. However, don’t get stuck in a numbers game; consider aspects such as tone (is what’s being said about you online positive or negative) and influential followers (who are your brand ambassadors that are having conversations with you and about you online?)
Your customers are already on social media, they look for you there and they take it with them on their smartphones wherever they go. So, considering the benefits, how can you afford to not use social media?
What are your tricks for keeping it cheap?