As a small business owner, it’s vital that you have a presence on social networking sites.
Not only will it help you find new customers, but it will allow you to maintain a relationship with existing patrons and ensure your business isn’t forgotten about.
Especially when you consider 90 million small businesses around the world have a Facebook page, and the average consumer follows five small businesses on Twitter.
One of the biggest challenges small businesses face is finding the time for social media.
One way to overcome that is to schedule content in advance using a tool like Buffer.
Below, we’ve put together some of the benefits of doing exactly that.
Saves you time
According to a survey from VerticalResponse, 43 percent of small business owners spend six hours per week on social media marketing.
That works out at more than an hour every weekday – time that could be better spent serving customers or reaching out to new leads.
When you schedule content in advance, you can rest assured that your accounts will tick over with fresh content, even when you’re busy working on a new project or want a day off.
We recommend scheduling content a week in advance.
That’s a manageable chunk of content, and means that you can change your strategy should circumstances change, like your key product selling out or the COVID-19 global pandemic, which put the world on hold.
Data from Workplace Insight suggests that the average Briton wastes an incredible two hours a day on social media.
Lost productivity means fewer sales; stopping your staff from accessing Facebook and Instagram when they should be contacting customers is critical.
By asking your social media manager to schedule content in advance, perhaps on every Monday morning, you can reduce their exposure to social networking sites and ensure that they are *actually* dealing with customers rather than flicking through their newsfeeds.
Tap into seasonal trends
Another benefit of scheduling content in advance is that you can tap into seasonal trends to maximise your post reach and engagements.
If your brand is ahead of the curve and posts about events before competitors, you’ll come across as super-organised and authoritative.
Whether it’s Christmas, an industry event or a fun seasonal event like #PieDay in January, you can identify opportunities to have some fun and get your customers.
Even better if you can tie in a seasonal event with your own business – a kid’s entertainer could tweet about Eat Ice Cream For Breakfast Day on February 1st, for example, to engage their audience.
Post outside of business hours
No entrepreneur has time to spend all day on social media.
And when you finally wrap up after ticking the last task off your to-do list, you don’t want to spend more time sitting on social media to post about a new product launch or a temporary change to your service.
Scheduling posts in advance allows you to post outside of your usual business hours, which may be the time your audience is most active and engaged.
Global businesses can also set content to be published in the middle of the night to reach different timezones and markets.
Create better content
When you set aside an hour or two to prepare your content for the week ahead, you can use your imagination and create better content.
Whether you’re a Photoshop-whizz or love using GIFs in your posts, scheduling your content for social media advance gives you chance to think about what you want to post, what you want to promote, and how you want to say it.
No rushing, no last-minute panics.
That ultimately leads to better quality content that is more likely to resonate with your customers.
But remember to keep it timely – if you share an article that’s months old, you’ll look out of touch.
Only scheduling a week in advance is wise.
Space out your posts
When you log into your social accounts, it’s natural to want to send out a few posts in quick succession to get everything off your mind.
But spacing out your posts not only makes them more effective but increases the chances of “beating the algorithm” and having them appear on your most valued customers’ timelines.
We recommend posting between 1-5 times a day on Twitter, 1-2 times a day on Facebook, and once a day on Instagram for maximum impact.
Spacing out your posts is also good for your customers. If you spam their timelines with post after post in a short space of time, they might be frustrated and unfollow/block your account.
Post across all networks
Finally, scheduling content allows you to reuse and repurpose material across all of your social media channels.
Rather than having to log into Facebook and Twitter to share the same post, you can use a scheduling tool to do it for you, and republish images and videos on Instagram with 30 hashtags so they get onto people’s timelines and attract new followers.
Though scheduling posts is a great way to save time and maintain a presence on social media when you’re busy, the art of scheduling content can be overwhelming for small business owners.
If you need help creating content that will engage your audience, reach out to the affordable social media management experts at 99social for a free consultation.