While every internet savvy small business owner has realized the immense potential that social media offers, most are unsure on how to harness it. The biggest reason they are unable to do so is that they lack the time to use the social media. Most small business owners do not have the resources to hire many people to help, and this forces them to undertake most roles for business on their own. It means the owner will juggle a variety of roles within the business and will lack the time for something as peripheral as social media. In the end, the social media presence of the business suffers great decline. There is little in the way of new postings, updates, tweets, and other activity. As a matter of fact, some social media profiles for small business just become dormant and inactive.

Since the potential and possibilities that social media offers for businesses are clear, the business owner must find a way of making time for their social media. If for no other reason to make sure that they are on the same level as the rest of the small businesses that they are competing. Small business owners who do this will see the value that social networking offers to their businesses in the form of return on investment and increased opportunities and sales leads.

So what can you as a  small business owner? Here are 4 ways you  can create the time for social media.

1.Create an auto-schedule for your profiles

Social media combines real time communication with the ability to engage later embedded into the function of the sites. This enables you to create an automatic schedule for the content that you want posted onto the website. This is far easier than trying to maintain an editorial calendar for content on the site while undertaking so many other functions. There are a number of software applications that have been designed for the sole purpose of auto-scheduling such as Hoot Suite and Social Oomph. These tools will allow you to post, and you can then engage the people who have responded to the postings later on when you have time.

2.Get your employees in on the social media activity

The biggest reason most small business owners complain that they lack the time for social media is that they think that they have to do it themselves. This mentality has them trying to run the social media on top of all their other tasks, and this is usually a failure. It is easy to train employees on how to manage the social media platforms that you have in line with your communication and marketing strategy. All you need to do is create a social media policy, content editorial guidelines, and a mode of supervision. If this sounds like an investment, remember it is cheaper to invest in empowering an employee than to abandon social media altogether.

3.You can outsource your social media campaigns

Small businesses need to be active on social media if they are to grow. If the business does not have the employees or cannot manage to squeeze the time into their schedule, it is remarkably easy for them to seek professional services. The firm that you hire needs to have expertise on online marketing and social media communications. They can create a social media strategy and a program to implement it. They can also implement the social media program for you and help get the project off the ground. They will handle all aspects necessary to growing the social media campaign and creating visible results.

In order for this to succeed, you have to find the right firm and equip them with the necessary information on your business, competitors, clients, products, services, and your brand image. This will enable them to create a program that is sustainable and achievable. If you get a professional firm, they will show you how to turn your social media into an asset for the business.

4.Use applications that allow you to curate content

To curate content is to store or archive the most useful pieces of information that you come across on the internet, and especially on social media. The best way to do this is to get Evernote (productivity app) . This will allow you take ‘notes’ of the content that may be in the form of a piece of text, an entire webpage, or an excerpt of the webpage. The software suite will create a digital repository of all the electronic data that you have created. This repository is easy to search, organize, and synchronize. It is synchronized across different devices so that you have access to all of your curated digital content.

There is freedom as to the form of the content allowing you to store audio, images, and even emails. Curation of content is important for social media success as it helps you to create content that is appealing, captivating, and relevant.

Keep in mind that social media is a voice that represents your brand image online. Your website is the representation of your brand but social media determines how the consumer market will view your business. The only way to ensure success is to create a voice that speaks to the benefit of your business. This means that you need to invest in social media and not just in terms of energy and time.

If, as a small business owner, you intend to manage your social media personally, it is a brilliant idea to get some form of training on social media. You can get this online from webinars, online trainers, or by talking to industry experts on business use of social media. Ultimately, it is upon you to turn your social media profiles into an asset for your small business. This may not be an easy task to perform, but the results that it will create are worth the effort.

An avid blogger, Sandy Pardal leads the team of creative people at WebStartToday.com, which is a free website builder where a small business can create free website. Web design and Online marketing come to him as a deep passion. He likes to experiment with websites, track their performances and share his insights with readers.

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