By Annie Ellicott

Real simple, social media? NOT! I was at one of my favorite social media conferences with Chris Brogan earlier this year and I just have to say, it’s not a small challenge to wrap your head around all the apps, tools, platforms, measurement technologies and intermediaries appearing on the social media scene. Let’s just look at the social media tracking and measurement space. This is actually now comprised of numerous segments including measurement of brand sentiment, klout, influence and reputation.

While, in the face of this daunting challenge, it might be tempting to just bury your head in the sand…a recent survey by Four Pillars in the U.K. (July 2012) noted:

  • 30% of consumers say they make trip decisions based on recommendations from social media
  • 76% post vacation photos to a social network.
  • And 55% ‘liked’ Facebook pages specific to a vacation.

So how can a small business simplify their social media world and still actively engage their fans and followers?

Here are 3 ways to slay the social media beast which won’t ‘break the bank’ with your scarce resources and time:

  1. Go for quality not quantity. Remember how that in advertising, bullseye targeting is more important than the creative and even the messaging? Well the same holds true for social media. Pick your social media platforms based on where your clients are actually going (have you asked them?) then find ways to creatively stand out with your engagement motivators. And remember, be social. RESPOND to their comments. And encourage them to tell others about their trip by doing what they already like doing (reviewing and posting photos).
  2. Get organized. Experienced social marketeers know that once you have identified what types of content excite your audience, you are 50% toward the finish line. An editorial calendar paired with pre-written evergreen content gets you 75% there and a regular date with your social media accounts (be consistent!) gets you all the way there. Delegate bite size pieces to several team members if you need to. And if you need a little app love to help you organize your team, try Astrid or Wunderlist.
  3. Automate. Why do the heavy lifting when there are apps and tools to do that for you? From Hootsuite to SproutSocial to Buffer to IFTTT, schedule your posts and then get on with the business of life.

Need help getting started on a path to slay the social media beast for your company? Give us a ring!