One of the biggest time wasters for small business is social media marketing. Not that social media marketing is a time waster. But constantly feeding the beast can consume an awful lot of your time without ever showing much benefit.
Many small businesses attend seminars or read articles on the power of social media. You have to be on Linkedin. You have to be on Twitter. You have to be on Facebook. You have to make videos. You have to have a blog.
Yes, you do have to have most of these things to market yourself effectively online.
But what happens is that folks walk out of individual seminars or click away from a marketing article and create accounts for each social media site. They then start a blog and post a few articles.
Two weeks later, they discover that they are spending all their time writing content and posting it separately to all these accounts.
And nothing is happening.
The missing element is that you need to get all these different worlds working together. And the best way to do that is to automate a lot of the process, so the only real effort is creating your compelling content.
So how do you automate the process? Well creative use of RSS feeds is one way.
A few weeks back I wrote about the “Not-so-secret Google tool you should use” in regards to Feedburner.
Well each of the social media big three (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) can use your feeds to automatically update your status.
How much time would that save you?
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
For the purpose of this article, I’ll assume you already have an Facebook Business page – similar to this one from one Linkedin sales trainer, Kurt Shaver.
What we used to connect Kurt’s blog, Twitter and YouTube accounts to auto-update his Facebook page was an app called RSS Graffiti.
So now Kurt only has to concern himself with creating videos, writing new blog posts and keeping up with his tweeting – things he would be doing anyway.
And what happens is anyone who has “Liked” his page, will then see these updates on their Facebook newsfeed the next time they log in.
We also set Feedburner to auto update Twitter, which also auto updates his Linkedin status.
RSS Updates and LinkedIn
To update your personal LinkedIn profile with your latest blog posting you can install one of these two apps Wordress or Blog Link. Both do the same job. They take the RSS feed from your posts and connect them to your LinkedIn profile.
From your Linkedin company page you can also add your Feedburner feed to display and distribute your blog posts to folks who are following you.
So, if there is a lesson to be learned for everyone when it comes to setting up your social media, it’s that using the free tools all around you will save you time and move your business into the social media arena, without causing you to burn through hours of your day updating everything manually.