During Q&A sessions after training or speaking events, one of the top questions I get is: “Social media is important to us and we want to do it, but we don’t have time. What’s your advice?“.
First of all, let’s have a look at the current situation. The year already started, objectives have been set and budgets allocated to each department. Before you find time, think about funding and/or resources for this new initiative. Getting funding means that budget X will be taken away from other projects within your organisation in order for you to execute yours.
Once you have this clear, here are 3 basic points that will help you build your business case and hopefully find that precious time:
1. What’s the plan and how will it impact your goals?
People tend to think about social media as this “separate thing” on top of what they’re already doing. That’s not sustainable. A social media programme should blend gradually with what you’re already doing to help you achieve the same goals. Period. Otherwise you’d be just giving yourself and your team useless “homework”.
If you devise a medium or long term plan that makes sense by showing the necessary steps to improve X outcome (financial or non-financial, according to the department’s needs), you’ll be in a much better position to sell the project to the C suite. If you succeed, priorities will hopefully change. For example, you might get help from other resources within the company or maybe a new hire. You might also be relieved from certain tasks in order to execute this new initiative. The most important point is that you’re making sure that management won’t pull the plug of your programme at least in the short term, giving you the time to get started.
2. What current activities are not working?
Get together with your team and make a list (as big as you can) of all the tasks you perform throughout the day, even the very little ones. Then assign a time in minutes to each one of them. Once everyone shared the results, your objective will be to focus on those activities that have been going on for a while (or not) and that have demonstrated unsuccessful. The next step would be to assess if they can be replaced with activities of your social media programme. Through this exercise you might find hours of new “available” time.
3. Leverage your community to create fresh content
Many companies understand the potential value of a blog as a main hub in their digital strategy but they also see it as the biggest obstacle: “How do we commit to regular fresh content, how do we write good posts, what do we talk about?“.
You can learn how to produce good content very easily. One of the ways to find time to publish more posts is by not thinking of you as the only content producer. A core step when devising your social media strategy lies on defining the persona of your ideal customer and also your community (people, brands and companies that don’t necessarily compete with you but share the main general topic). If you are a technology company , then people within the community could be: engineers, distributors, partners, installers, official body representatives, etc. Make a selection and invite them to contribute to your blog (your stage), explaining that they’ll be exposed to a relevant audience. Example: The distributor (even if they distribute other competitor’s products) could write posts for buyers that are looking at ways to go through renewals/ assessment processes more efficiently. The engineers could share insights on how to select a given product line/ family. The installers could cover DIY processes or how to put an adequate team together for X or Y initiative around a given technology. You get the idea
This tactic could help you find that time, keeping your blog content interesting while generating win-win relationships with your partners.
It could feel overwhelming at the beginning, but if you work on a good plan (on your own or with help) and are confident that your social media programme can yield results, you’ll find the time one way or another.
In which other ways would you find time?
If your company has already faced the “time problem” and moved on, how did you manage to overcome it?