The rise of social media marketing has leveled the playing field in the business world, allowing independent contractors to use the same tools and access the same online audience as any large company – and do it all for free.
But there is an opportunity cost that must be taken into consideration by solopreneurs. Working alone, your time is precious, and every minute spent crafting your brand’s online image on Facebook is a minute that’s not being spent in revenue-producing activity.
Facebook marketing is important in reaching out to both current and potential customers, but it shouldn’t consume all your time. Here is a list of some Facebook marketing dos and don’ts to help independent contractors make the most of the time they do spend online.
1. Do research and follow the rules. When time is limited, it can be tempting to skim over guidelines, or skip reading them altogether. But as the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It’s much better to invest the time now in researching and complying with all the rules, than it is to have to backtrack and fix mistakes later, or worse, risk having your page taken down by Facebook due to a violation. Make sure you find out and follow the guidelines for things like holding contests and tagging people in pictures, and it’ll pay off in the long run.
2. Don’t set unrealistic goals. Creating a Facebook page is exciting, and inspires many an independent contractor to set high initial goals for themselves when it comes to posting frequency. But nothing looks worse than a page with ten or fifteen posts in its first week of existence…and only a few, or even none, since then. Don’t aspire to post every single day, if that is unrealistic in the time you have available. Instead, aim for once a week, or even once every other week. Regular posts, evenly spaced, are much more effective than a one-time flurry, with only sporadic follow-ups.
3. Do engage with your fans. As tricky as it can be for solopreneurs to find the time to post on Facebook in the first place, it can be even harder to squeeze in interactions with Facebook fans. But this is something that must be accommodated in your schedule. Why? The purpose of Facebook marketing is to create and nurture relationships with your past, current, and potential clients. If your posts have inspired people to comment, then you’re doing things exactly right. But if you don’t make the time to respond, you will have lost out on an opportunity to connect with those people on a deeper level – so why have a Facebook page at all?
4. Don’t forget to check your stats. How can an independent contractor tell if the time he or she spends on Facebook marketing is worth it? By checking their data on Facebook Insights. Rather than simply guessing at what will be effective and what won’t, test various different types of posts, and then compare the data to see which truly was the most effective. That way, you won’t be wasting your valuable time posting content that doesn’t attract engagement – you’ll be able to target your posts with a laser focus, and get the job done as efficiently as possible.
Social media marketing is a valuable tool for solopreneurs, but if utilized inefficiently, it can take up far too much of your time. By following the above guidelines, you can ensure that your Facebook activity is driving maximum results with minimal time input.