Good morning, internet fans. It’s Ryan Perry with Simple Biz Support. Today is January the 28th. It’s Wednesday. Therefore, it is Social Media Wednesday. As usual, I have Sarah Giometti with Provaro Marketing on the other side. Good morning, Sarah.

Sarah Giometti: Good morning, Ryan. How are you?

RP: I’m doing pretty good. Yourself today?

SG: I’m doing fabulous. Thank you.

RP: You’re very welcome. Today, we’re going to debunk another social media myth and that is… I think it’s very common, especially for small business owners who wear many hats: “I going to be the business owner. I going to be the receptionist. I have to be the sales. I going to be accounting and that is… I just don’t have time for social media. Maybe I would love to do it, or I have no desires of doing it. But, ultimately, my reason for not doing it is, there’s just not enough hours in the day. I can’t do it. There’s way too many platforms; there’s Twitter, there’s Facebook, there’s Instagram. There’s Twitter fear. People start making up names after a while. LinkedIn. All these different platforms, and it’s like, ‘Oh I’m stretched too thin'”.

RP: But the reality is, with just a little bit of planning, there’s actually plenty of time for social media. So what are some of the things that people can do to be proactive, to be efficient, I think is a keyword. Maybe either some tools that they can use that will help, so they can bulk some time together, kind of group, go “Okay. I’m going to spend a half hour on social media and knock out things for a week as an example.” What do you have for us?

SG: So there are lots of things you can do. It could be as… We’re all business owners. We’re all really busy. We wear multiple hats. And so, we need to be efficient in everything that we do, or as efficient as possible. Social media is no different. I… As you all know, I manage social media for many different clients. And my own. And there are tools that you can use to make it efficient. One of the things that I highly recommend is put it on your calendar and honor it. So schedule the time once a week, once a month, whatever works best for you. Schedule out the time first and foremost, and honor that appointment as if it is a money making client.

SG: So once you have the time scheduled out, then you can be efficient. You can knock out your entire social media during that time frame, so make sure you schedule enough time. But another thing is too, you don’t need to be on every single platform. We talked about this before. Pick one. Start with that. Get really good and efficient with that, get a handle on it, get in a good groove. Once you’re comfortable with that, and it’s kind of seamless, rolling off like there’s no problem, you’re not scrambling for content, then you can consider to add a second one. Do the same thing.

RP: Yeah, let me ask you then. So if I’m Joe Blow, owner, generic business, is there a platform that you would recommend starting out in not knowing the specifics of any business?

SG: It depends. It always depends. There is always the…

RP: Give me one good answer. If you… The gun’s held to your head, you must pick one. What is it going to be?

SG: It still will probably be Facebook. They have the biggest audience on them on a daily basis. So…

RP: And their advertising is still dirt cheap. I’ve heard that advertising cost for Facebook is going to go up this year. So, if you’ve been thinking about using social media, you’re thinking about advertising, do it now. I am not a paid representative for Facebook ads. I’m just that excited about it because it’s that cheap. If you have $5 to spend on advertising, you can do it on Facebook.

SG: Yes. And it’s not that it’s going to get more expensive. It’s going to get more competitive. And when you’re doing a cost-per-click model and you’re competing against other businesses and other people, marketing to the same target audience… Excuse me, that’s what drives up the cost. So it’s not so much that Facebook is raising their prices, it’s that more and more people are using the platform, and the competition is driving up the costs. So, it’ll be…

RP: Okay, I need to take… I retract my last statement. Do not use Facebook advertising. If you are using…

SG: No.

RP: Facebook advertising, stop doing it for the rest of us, so that the costs will come down.

SG: There you go. There you go. You’re like, “No, no, no, use it, it’s great!” So if you have no idea where to start, start on Facebook. It’s relatively simple. It has the largest audience. It has advertising that’s relatively cheap that you can build your audience and target your perfect target market. But whatever you pick, pick one, and get to the point where you’re doing it really, really well.

RP: Okay. Let’s take… Let me… Let’s take, for example, “I’m Ryan, I’m new to social media. I’ve been on Facebook myself. I created a business page sometime ago. It’s branded, actually, I have a branded banner. And I’m like, ‘All right, you know what? I watched this episode. I’m going to go ahead and start advertising on, or marketing on Facebook.'” Kind of give me, calendar-wise, what’s realistic? Do I need to spend a half hour everyday? Can I do… And, again, think about the beginning person not the seasoned expert, but look, I’m just… I’m getting my feet wet, or my toes wet. How can I kinda test the waters when I’m super duper busy? I understand calendaring, but do I need to calendar a half hour in the morning, a half hour in the… Half… At noon, and then a half hour at the end of the day? Can I get away with 15 minutes each morning? Give me an example of the way somebody could calendar it, and still get, let’s say, a post a day out through Facebook… A post a day Monday through Friday, if you’re a normal Monday through Friday business.

SG: You do not need to do it everyday. Schedule an hour on Monday and use the Facebook scheduler. Find your content for all five days and you want a variety of content, you’re not promoting yourself in all… Pretty much any of them. No more than 20% should be promoting your own services. You want to have a variety of content: Pictures, texts, links that educate people, have fun, whatever, brings the human element of your business into it. But schedule an hour or so Monday morning, and use Facebook scheduler and schedule out all five days. So then, the only time you need to be on it, Tuesday through Friday, is to respond to people. Or schedule five minutes to look at the posts, just in case you didn’t get the notifications. I have all my Facebook pages notify me on my cellphone. So, if any of my clients pages get interaction, I get the notification immediately so I can respond. I highly recommend you do that for your page.

SG: People on social media want an instantaneous response. It sucks, but it’s the reality of the world. So, make sure you have those notifications turned on so that the minute someone comments on a post you do, you can can respond back if necessary, even if it’s a thank you. So, if you got your content scheduled out for the entire week and auto scheduled to post, then you don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the week. Then, you just have to check in everyday once or twice a day for maybe five minutes to interact with people if they’ve interacted with you.

RP: And just to clarify and I love the idea. Pick a day, maybe it’s your least busy day. You threw Monday out as an example. And so, let’s say you calendar an hour to actually post content on Facebook. And if you’re not aware, you can actually schedule and just Google how to schedule a post on Facebook. It’s really simple. There’s a little dropdown tool, you click on it, choose the date and time.

SG: I have a blog post. We’ll put it on the thing. I’ve got a blog post that outlines how to do it.

RP: Okay, perfect. But an hour… It doesn’t actually take an hour to post five different things. I just don’t want to scare people that if you block out an hour, and I know you’re busy, it’s not going to take you an hour to post these five things. That hour is to think about your audience, take some time, and read what’s going on in your industry. If you’re, let’s say, a dentist… I always love dentists, ’cause I have a lot of dental clients. If you’re a dentist, it doesn’t always have to be dental related. It could be, with springtime coming up, what are some fairs going on? Typically, the farmers’ markets start popping up. There’s activities that happen. Those are all family-related, and when you’re trying to attract families, that’s the type of content. So, you want to do some research… It could even be recipes that are healthy, mouth-friendly recipes, as an example, stuff that doesn’t have sugar in it.

RP: Research that information, have a funnel where you collect that information and store it. And the more efficient you become at that, you can stockpile a lot of different ideas. And at that point, you can actually create a marketing calendar, and take that hour and start filling out your marketing calendar and go, “Okay, I’m going to do something that’s local that’s relevant in our area, Santa Rosa. What’s going on in Santa Rosa that’s family friendly. I’m also going to do something that maybe is food related, ’cause people always love a new food or a new drink.” It could even be about restaurants if you’re a big foodie ’cause everybody loves to eat. And it’s relevant, it’s information that people are going to want to see, react, share, and those types of things versus how do you brush your teeth properly. Not terribly exciting. If you create a marketing calendar and you start getting a lot of content in the system, then the next week you may not have to do as much research and it might only take you a half hour because you’ve already populated a lot of content and now you just grab that content, plug it into Facebook, set the date and time that you want it to post, and boom you’re done.

RP: And then, maybe the second week, you need to spend an hour because you’re going to have to do more research and build that marketing calendar out. And a marketing calendar is as simple as an Excel sheet, with one row just showing dates. This is the Monday through Friday, this is the different day, and then a title, plug in your title or a description, excuse me, in this case with Facebook. Plug in a description, and then where are you going to link them to? Are you going to link them to your website? Are you going to link them to a restaurant? Are you going to link them to an event page? But it’s really that simple, and as you get efficient with it, you probably don’t need an hour, I’m guessing.

SG: Yeah, it all depends… And you can do an hour and find enough content for two weeks. It all depends on how fast you’re getting through… You might find… If you’re trying to do something specific, it might take you a little bit longer to find the content. A tool that I use that’s really handy in content creation or content curation is Bundle Post. It’s a relatively new tool that I absolutely love for finding articles that other people have written that are relevant to my industry. And it saves me a plethora of time of doing research, because I just preset it up to follow blogs that I’ve already found, that I know give good relevant content. And then, I can just go in and pick and choose what I want to use. I would say, don’t do a link for every single one of your posts, that’s not good, you want variety. But it’s a great tool to… For when you need links that are not your own content, it’s a really great tool to filter in links into your content calendar.

SG: You want to find some images, and you want to have just text and the text can be just tips. The tips… What do you tell your clients? What do you tell your customers? What are the tips that you tell them on a regular basis? Throw those in, “Tip Tuesday”, “Tip Wednesday” come up with something creative. And, follow that pattern. And so, as you get efficient, you might find in that one hour, you can knock two weeks out, and then on daily basis you just check-in to make sure you’re interacting with your community.

RP: All right. And I think, the reality is, typically the hardest part about social media is coming up with relevant information of what to talk about. And I think especially for business owners, you get… You know your business so well that you’re kind of blinded by what people want to hear. So, a lot of times, just talking to your clients and going, “Hey, you know what? I’m trying to engage in social media a little bit more and I’m just wondering, what type of questions, what are your concerns? What would you like to hear or see on my Facebook page?” As an example. And that’s something you can send out through email, a newsletter, you can do a survey response. As you’re talking to clients, you could simply ask them. There’s a lot of different ways.

RP: But ultimately, it needs to be relevant to your audience. So, find out what your audience is interested in. And if everybody is going, “Oh geez, I love recipes” as an example, then you go, “Okay, I need to find some relevant recipes and maybe I post a recipe once or twice a week because that’s what people are interested in.” So, the key thing that we’re trying to stress here is that it really doesn’t take a lot of time, you simply need to create a system upfront. And the first step to that system is finding content, collecting that content, have a place on your computer where you can drop ideas in a Word doc, a Notepad, an Excel file, whatever it is, and then schedule that information so that you have a system that you can follow. And when you get to the point that you can turn that over maybe to somebody who’s a front desk person or your assistant or whoever that is, you now have a system in place that it can roll over so it doesn’t take a lot of time out of your calendar. Speaking of time, you’re spinning your hand because it’s 10 o’clock?

SG: Yep. Time to wrap it up.

RP: Is that your cue of saying “Ryan, you’re talking too much?”

SG: No. Nope, I was just making sure you’re aware of the time. So we’ve stayed on schedule, we’ll be effectively on time.

RP: I’ve got my eye… All right, perfect. Is there anything you’d like to add at the end of this?

SG: I don’t think so. I think just, find a system that works best for you, so that you are effective and successful on social media.

RP: All right, perfect.

SG: That’s the best tip.

RP: Correct. And if people go, “You know what, Sarah? I don’t want to create my own system, you tell me what to do.” What’s a good number to get a hold of you at?

SG: They can reach me at 707-595-7002, extension 700. But mostly, if you just push buttons, you’ll get me.

RP: Okay. So, just push buttons on your phone randomly, don’t start off with 1-900, and you’ll get a hold of Sarah. Sarah, as always, I appreciate your time and energy that you put into this. Much appreciate it.

SG: Thank you very much, Ryan. It’s always a pleasure.

RP: All right. Have a great day. Bye.

SG: You too. Bye.