Time Saving Tips For Business Social Networking

One of the biggest complaints among solopreneurs, entrepreneurs and business owners seeking to use social networking for marketing purpose is the amount of time it takes to join, establish, and use the various networks. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and myriad other networks each requires some amount of time investment to get the most from the effort. Yet time is a precious commodity among business people.

Why not just hire someone to run your social networking for you? That’s increasingly popular, yet most solopreneurs and entrepreneurs cannot afford to hire a professional to manage all the tasks associated with social networking. The loss of control over one’s brand is also a drawback, as an employee or freelancer may accidentally post messages that are suboptimal. The best solution for the time-crunched business owner is to use one or all of the following tips to save time on social networking sites.

Tip 1: Plan Your Marketing Messages in Advance

Many people log in to their social networking sites and fumble around for a while trying to think of what they want to say. Develop your messages first. Consider an overarching theme for the quarter, the month and the week, always consider what the customer wants, needs to know, or has a problem with, which are really the keys to effective marketing messages no matter what the medium. If you sell dog food, for instance, how about devoting one month to the nutritional needs of dogs, another month to picky eaters, and a third month to dogs suffering from allergies? With each theme, 90% of your messages should focus on tips, useful information, links to veterinary information or other relevant information, and about 10% product marketing posts. Don’t forget a few warm messages to lighten the sale messages up too, such as an update on your personal pet!

Tip 2: Link Your Networks Together

To jump over the hurdle of updating multiple networks, consider joining them together. Most social networking sites enable users to sync messages from multiple sources. Blogs can feed into the network, as can Twitter posts. Twitter, in fact, almost becomes the center of the wheel, acting as the hub, with multiple sites such as Linked In, Facebook and others radiating out like spokes. Go into the application settings for each social networking website and poke around until you find the method to sync up your applications. Most use Twitter as a feed platform.

Tip 3: Use Networking Tools

Many websites provide free or low cost social networking timesaving tools. Social Oomph, for example, enables you to create Twitter messages with links up to a week in advance. Using that plan you created in tip 1, spend half an hour once a week organizing your messages. Don’t forget that people on your social network live in various time zones – set your posts to publish during different hours of the day. Experiment to see which posts generate the best response. Some tools provide tracking, most for an additional fee, but the response data can be worth the effort if you can use it to plan future messages.

Tip 4: Don’t Play Games

Social networking games are fun and addictive. FarmVille, Mafia Wars and many others provide a harmless outlet for countless people using Facebook, for example. Unfortunately though for those using these sites for business purposes, such game-playing can get annoying. Use whatever tools are available in the various social networks to hide the games from view. You can still follow the individual, yet hide his mafia acquisitions, farm animals or whatever game he’s playing.

Tip 5: Set Time Limits for Social Networking

Setting time limits prevents social networking from creeping into the time you’ve set aside for other aspects of business. Use a kitchen timer and set it for half an hour or 15 minutes. Let that be your block of time to respond to messages, post your messages, or visit groups online for networking purposes. The chime of the timer reminds you when it is time to stop.

Social networking provides many people with the opportunity to make new business contacts, generate leads, and develop brand reputation online. It does take time and effort, but anything worthwhile takes both!