Social media is a valuable tool for any well-rounded marketing strategy.

However, maintaining a presence on these social platforms is incredibly time-consuming. Customers respond best to brands that they see regularly. If you don't have the time to dedicate yourself full-time to social media management, these strategies can make your company appear to have a dedicated social media marketing team without investing in a host of new staffers.

PAre down to the best networks

You don't need a big presence on every social network out there. Choose two or three that are best suited to your industry so you're not spread too thin. When you have a manageable number of accounts to attend to, it's much easier to develop a focused social media marketing campaign. Here's what you need to know about the most popular options:

  • Facebook: Facebook is ideal for creating a sociable presence, but it takes a significant commitment to hone your brand voice, choose the right content, and keep ahead of Facebook filters that might pull you from your followers' feeds.
  • Twitter: With a 140-character limit, Twitter is suitable only for bite-size chunks of information. You need to post often to keep up, but it's an ideal platform for breaking news and ongoing interaction.
  • LinkedIn: If you're in the B2B market, LinkedIn is the optimum platform for your message. This social network is all about professional interaction.
  • YouTube: YouTube is extremely visual and appropriate only for those with engaging videos to share. However, if you have this type of media, you can go viral with the right piece.
  • Pinterest: Pinterest is a vibrant community of crafters, interior decorators, and foodies. The audience is overwhelmingly female, but ideal for a business looking to connect with this demographic.

add interns to your staff

Social media marketing is still a relatively new field. College students or recent grads who are part of one of the first generations to grow up with social media can prove a valuable resource for companies who need an extra hand managing their accounts. Look for an intern with strong writing skills, a well-rounded understanding of social media, and knowledge of your industry. Your intern can offer affordable assistance managing your accounts and may even have some innovative ideas for tweaking your marketing strategies.

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Get the right tools

Social media management tools allow you to streamline your posts so you can maintain an active presence on multiple sites with minimal effort. Schedule several days' worth of Twitter or Facebook posts at a time so you don't have to stay logged in all day to keep your brand in front of your customers. Many tools allow you to log in to multiple accounts at once so you can manage all your social media pages from a single dashboard. This also helps you improve your efficiency and streamline your brand image by presenting a consistent image.

Many of the same dashboards that let you post to your social media accounts will give you powerful analytics tools as well. Analytics are essential for social media success. With these numbers on hand, you can easily identify the sites that need more attention or bask in the satisfaction that comes from watching engagement steadily grow.

develop a clear strategy

If you don't have a solid social media strategy, you probably spend a good chunk of your time just browsing the web and looking for something to post. When you sit down to work on your social media presence, you should have a clear idea of what to say. Plan your social media strategy weeks or months ahead of time so your posts coincide with your marketing goals and reinforce your brand strategy.

Adjust your approach accordingly as you analyze your results and get feedback from customers, but never post blindly without some guiding principles behind your content. Know what you're pushing for, whether it's retention, brand awareness, or sales, and keep your posts focused to that end.

outsource your social media marketing

If managing your social media accounts is too time-consuming even with management tools or savvy interns, you can always outsource this part of your marketing strategy. Many companies specialize in marketing on social media platforms. If you're working with a small staff this can give you the manpower you need to make a big difference in your social media approach. Outsourcing may also yield some new insights and approaches.

Outsourcing allows you to grow your marketing team instantly and bring in specialized expertise you may not otherwise be able to afford. If you don't have room in your staff for an experienced social media manager, this is the best way to enjoy the benefits of one.

With a smart approach to social media, you can use sites like Twitter and Facebook to drive traffic to your website, increase sales, and improve your company's image. With these time-saving strategies, your company can build its brand with a strong social media presence.