Working 12 hour days, 6 days a week is not unusual for many small business owners. If it isn’t finding new business, there is accounting to do and staff to manage. So you would be forgiven for sticking with well known practises and familiar ground when it comes to marketing.
The old methods are easy to use and you’re comfortable with the returns they deliver. That is until they stop delivering.
So where do you find the time?
It’s true that Social Media requires a hands on approach. It is not the fire and forget of traditional marketing. But with careful planning it is possible to find an effective schedule in even the busiest of lifestyles.
Getting in the habit
The key to integrating Social Media is to make the actions habitual. Making them part of your daily schedule, like brushing your teeth, means the effort is hardly noticed. The effects can be great.
A real world example
Below I outline a typical day and how I integrate Social Media into my daily schedule. Notes are taken throughout the day if ideas for blogging come to mind.
06:30-07:00 : Early morning run.
07:00-08:00 : Breakfast with the family, newspaper replaced with iPad reading selected news feeds and tweeting stories of interest. If there are many I will schedule some for later in the day.
08:00-09:00 : Commute to work. Radio replaced with Podcasts on areas of interest or topics for study.
09:00-13:00 : Work, some tweets if scheduled earlier in the morning and replies if appropriate.
13:00-14:00 : Lunch, reading selected industry blogs, commenting and tweeting, some scheduled for the afternoon. Possibly outline some blog post ideas if time allows.
14:00-17:30 : Work, some tweets if scheduled earlier in the morning and replies if appropriate.
17:30-18:30 : Commute home. Radio replaced with Podcasts on areas of interest or topics for study.
18:30-20:30 : Tea and family time. Some tweeting or reading (via iPad), especially if soap operas are the entertainment of choice on TV;)
20:30-22:00 : Writing a blog post based on previous ideas. Edit and schedule prior nights writing for publishing in the morning.
22:00-00:00 : Reading, research, work or a little TV.
Every day doesn’t always go to plan. We all have bad days, schedules disrupted by family or work are not unusual. I will always take the opportunity to read or tweet, which is why I love my iPad, if waiting for meetings or other delays occur during the day. But when all else is running smoothly this schedule is comfortable enough to allow for the production of steady content and engagement online.
Note taking a key
The biggest difference to my schedule was when I introduced regular note taking based on the content I was consuming. This in itself made my evening writing easier and I am rarely short of ideas to write about.
My schedule may not be suitable for others but I hope it highlights the time that can be found in even the busiest of days to engage, curate and create.
Do you have a schedule of your own to share?