As a business owner or marketer, do you ever feel overwhelmed in your efforts to manage all of your social media accounts? Of course you do... otherwise you are either lazy and ignoring the power of social media or you are lying. Nearly every entrepreneur would agree that social media marketing is a necessity in today's social-driven world.
Did you know, according to a recent survey, the average American spends over 3 hours each day on various social networks? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, oh my! Yes, these most popular social networks all rank among the top 35 most visited websites in the world, according to Alexa. Based on this new study reported by Business Insider, nearly 20% of total time spent online in the US is on social platforms! With so many eyeballs and attention given to social media, entrepreneurs are now spending more time than ever trying to promote themselves on these networks.
Gone are the days of just placing an ad in the Yellow Pages. If you're not familiar with that term, it's an archaic system that lists businesses and their advertisements in a directory, except it was produced on a substance that older people call "paper".
Sarcasm aside, consumers have been unconsciously and unwittingly blackmailing businesses these past few years. Think about it.... do most business owners REALLY want to spend their time on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and post content that may or may not get read? However, that's the reality of today's business world. Social media has put the power into the hands of the people, and where the people go, the business must follow.
At the highest levels, entreprise companies have dedicated teams of people to manage their presence on just 1 social platform. Can you imagine having multiple teams of people managing each of your social channels? That's great... if you have the budget for it. However, for the vast majority of companies, startups, and entrepreneurs, this infrastructure is simply a luxury they cannot afford. Business owners are very aware they must have a social presence online or they are likely doomed to fail.
As a result, entrepreneurs will invest an average of 20 hours per week on marketing endeavors with nearly half of those being dedicated to time spent on social media promotion and advertising. Like it or not, business owners must dedicate their valuable time on these social networks. As a result, 66% of small businesses are spending more time on social media than compared to the year before, based on this survey. Yet, the very same survey revealed that 1 out of every 3 business owners wants to spend LESS time on social platforms.
The most valuable asset anyone has is time, and in today's bloated world of information overload it's become as scarce as an authentic Presidential candidate. This challenge of time management on these various social channels has spawned an entire industry of social media management tools, as well as consultants and agencies that are solely dedicated to social media marketing.
Alas, yet another problem has arisen from the popularity of Social Media... You can't just go onto Facebook, and keep posting, "Buy My Shit!" or incessantly tweeting "Get My Product Now!" Nope. It's like trying to sell Life Insurance at a party... that's not the place, nor the time right? Instead, a business owner needs to create conversations by sharing engaging content or interesting information on their social channels, and it can be a real challenge.
In fact, the #1 reason that more companies are NOT using social media is the lack of an overall strategy! But let's say you've got a cohesive social marketing strategy... now you'll need to promote your content on your social networks, so your potential customers will LIKE you, and you can brand company as the go-to solution when they are ready to buy, right?
The real question is knowing how much time you should be investing into your social marketing efforts to make them effective and provide the desired outcome. Most social media experts will tell you that for every hour you spend creating content, you will need to dedicate an equal amount of time promoting your new content on all your social networks, if not more. Some gurus claim more time is required to promote your content than it takes to create it.
Here's what these various social media marketers and business experts had to say about their content creation and social promotion strategies, and how much time is necessary for social marketing success:
Rieva Lesonsky, CEO & President of SmallBizDaily.com:
"I do think for every piece of content you need to weigh its importance & goal. The time you spend on social should be tied to that--what's your goal? Is there a Call-to-Action that will lead to a sale? I spend at least an hour a day on social media, but not just promoting. It's not a one-way medium and if I want someone to promote (pass along) my social posts, I need to reciprocate."
Mario M. Martinez Jr., Sales, Social Selling and LinkedIn Expert:
"I spend at least four hours a day on social media sharing content to help our targeted audience, reading and educating myself and engaging with prospective buyers.
If you are in sales you should spend at least 1 hour a day promoting and sharing content across your social networks. You need to think about your targeted audience and how to reach them both at the right times and on the social networks they are using. If you are a business, social media promotion, syndication and creation is so important that we literally have a full time dedicated resource. As a small business with
Natalie Zfat, Social Media Influencer:
"Timing is everything when it comes to nurturing your social media channels. In addition to the hours we invest developing original content, our clients count on us to spend just as much time tracking referrals, advertising top campaigns and analyzing best practices."
So how does an entrepreneur solve this social media challenge?
With the dilemma of having to invest time and resources for social media promotion, smart companies and marketers are seeking solutions from technology and software that provide organization and automation. However, they are now faced with the challenge of researching and finding the right set of tools to provide the desired results.
The current social media management tools landscape offers more options than a bunny ranch in Las Vegas... okay, maybe not that many. But let's just say there's plenty to chose from. However, most entrepreneurs desperately need a solution that provides them the most value. They need a system that integrates with as many social networks as possible, that is easy to use, and offers great support. Most importantly, however, small business owners need a social media management tool that preserves their most precious asset.... time!
One social media software understands the pain of both the business owner and the social media marketer. eClincher is a relatively new to the social media software industry, and they are already disrupting the space. Founder and CEO Gilad Salamander understood that companies needed to streamline their social media marketing efforts and become more efficient, but without sacrificing results.
Here's an interview with the CEO of eClincher, who revealed some interesting insights about social media, their competition, and future social media trends...
Gilad Salamander claims eClincher can reduce social media efforts by 60% while improving engagement and results.
Like other social management tools, eClincher allows its users to publish posts to different social media channels. However, unlike some of their competitors, eClincher integrates with ALL the major networks... Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and yes, even Google+. eClincher even offers integrations with other cool apps like Canva, Giphy, Pocket, and Feedly. As if that wasn't enough, it can connect with Google Analytics, custom Bit.ly accounts, and even monitor Facebook Groups!
However, it's not all these features that makes eClincher special. It's their Unified Social Inbox and their Auto Posting Queues that makes their social media management tool... SEXY!
Unified Social Inbox
Imagine being able to monitor all your social accounts in near real-time from just one dashboard? Rather than having to log into separate social accounts, eClincher conveniently serves you posts, comments, tweets, new followers, and mentions all in one feed. Want to focus on just one channel? Just select a filter, and you can examine as many or as little account profiles as you wish. It even gives you the ability to review people's Klout score from within their image profile!
For those companies that offer support via social media or enterprise companies that need to monitor their brand and reputation online, eClincher's Unified Social Inbox is a huge time saver and potential revenue generator. The Internet has cultivated a "Microwave Mentality"... most people expect companies to provide near instant responses for help or to respond to complaints via social mediums. By providing near real-time monitoring, eClincher empowers companies to provide faster communication, which could both keep more customers and attract new ones.
Auto Posting Queues
Have you ever run out of gas while driving your car? You lose all momentum, your car comes to a complete stop, then you have to search for a gas station. You've just lost precious time and energy!
Of course, if you had extra containers of gasoline in your car, you could quickly and easily refuel, and get back on the road to success. Think of social media as the fuel to drive your vehicle, while your content should be a primary vehicle to grow your business. But what happens if you run out of social media content...You don't want to let your social media accounts run dry, do you? It will leave your content stranded on the side of the road.
"Creating content without a social strategy for syndication and amplification is like having a Ferrari, but no gasoline... you're not going to get very far." ~ E-Rock
Let's imagine that you or your team created an epic piece of content on your website (your Ferrari) and now you share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. You review your analytics and discover it's wildly popular. Should you let that piece of content stranded on the side of the social media road? NO! But now you'll have to find another "gas station"... you'll have to spend time scheduling when this content can be syndicated again. It's no wonder why social media management can take up to 1 working day each and every week!
Instead, imagine being able to run your Ferrari by recycling your BEST performing content, so that your engine doesn't even need gas AND actually starts performing better! That's what eClincher does with your social media accounts... it allows you to run your social accounts like a high-performance vehicle using evergreen social solar power!
The ability to recycle your best performing content is what really "drives" the performance of eClincher. With other social media management tools, you have to continually post content and once that content gets published, then you have to find new content to promote and the process starts all over again.
What if you could set up your best evergreen content and social posts to get published repeatedly and AUTOMATICALLY over the next 6 months... 1 year, or even for 5 years?
Do you remember your best performing posts on your social media? It feels good to get those shares, retweets, likes, and pins, yes? Well, doesn't it make sense to create a library of assets that you can re-use and scale? In business, it's called a SYSTEM, or as Marcus Lemonis likes to call it, a PROCESS. Why should your social media marketing be any different?
Here's why this strategy is so powerful...Your social following today won't be your social following tomorrow. It should be BIGGER. As your network grows, it's very likely that the majority of your fans will miss your social posts. So when you republish your post again in 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years, it will be NEW for them. Now, the skeptics will say, 'What if someone notices that I'm republishing the same content?' My response is Hallelujah! If you have a social media following so hardcore that they call you out on it... then you're a rockstar! Don't you wish for those kinds of problems for your business... that you've captivated the attention of your fans to the point they notice you are recycling your most valuable content?
Another factor to consider is the SEO side of marketing and promotion. There is clear evidence that Google is giving preference to websites that have lots of referral traffic, especially from social channels. It's not just a game of backlinks anymore to rank well on Google. Think about it... Can you imagine a site getting hundreds of backlinks, but not social referral traffic or social shares? Of course not, and neither can Google's algorithm engineers.
With eClincher's central command center, you can access your analytics for your social networks, evaluate your best performing posts and then instantly add the post or tweet to an Auto-Post Queue. Once you have added several posts to a Queue, simply schedule your queue to post on specific days of the week and you're preferred times, and eClincher will publish that post or tweet for you automatically.
A great example of this would be creating an Auto Post Queue (you can think of these as categories as well) for specific hashtags like #MondayMotivation or #ThrowbackThursday. You could easily compose several posts, bulk upload them via a CSV file, add them to your new queues, and set eClincher to publish them every Monday or Thursday at your ideal times. Yes, you can schedule posts to be published on other social media management software, but eventually you'll have to do it all over again. The beauty of eClincher is that you'll never have to worry about adding content again...even though you should always be adding new content.
As Mario M Martinez explains, "For our company we utilize eClincher for social media management. eClincher has made our lives much simpler particularly with their ability to leverage Auto Post and the ability to reuse content that performed well."
After researching various social media management solutions, we discovered a wide variety of features and price points for the different companies. eClincher offers 4 plans, starting at $12/month if you pay annually. Most company's needs will be fulfilled by either the Basic or Premier plans. For agencies, eClincher offers a plan to manage multiple Brands for as little as $2 per profile. It's no wonder why so many social media agencies are using eClincher to manage their clients' accounts.
Currently eClincher is offering a free 14-day trial with no credit card required, as eClincher feels confident in their ability to have their users to fall in love with their suite of social media management tools. At the time of this article's publication, eClincher is even offering private 30-minutes demonstrations for their solution for free.
How much time do you invest in social media management and marketing for your business?
Just after our interview, eClincher announced two new features, one of which will really appeal to marketers and agencies.
If an agencies offers social media services in a specific vertical, such as chiropractors, it can be challenging to maintain multiple accounts. With their new Multiple Brand Groups, an agency can quickly share content across multiple client accounts all at the same time, without having to transfer between accounts. This is another great time-saving feature for agencies and social media marketers.
The other feature is Content Curation Feeds. This allows users to create and curate their own content feeds using any keywords. For example, let's say you wanted to monitor the keyword "Ferrari". Simply create your Content Curation Feed, add the keywords, and eClincher will gather related articles and news stories from various sites across the web. Users can easily scan through the best headlines and snippets, and share the most valuable content with their fans.