These days, social media is one of the most important elements of any business. It makes up a very high percentage of any marketing plan, and over the last 5 years has been in innovative tool to contribute to the success of many an enterprise.

For some, all the different platforms and options can cause confusion. Which one works best for attracting your ideal client market? How often should you post or tweet? What do you post or tweet about? How do you manage your social media and make sure your content is current and consistent?  How do you find the time to execute all of this?

It may seem as though you need to physically have a presence on social media 24/7.  You may have noticed others that always have something to say, and from doing so gain a steady and increasing following. This is exactly what you are trying to achieve. You want people to find your posts interesting, informative and most of all engaging. You want results, and results are comments and questions from your audience and hopefully…clients/customers. The trick is, that these clever minded business men and women are not on social media 24/7, what they do is productively schedule their posts and tweets over their preferred platforms. By utilising a tool such as Hootsuite for example, this all becomes possible.

So what are the actual benefits of scheduling social media?

The obvious one is time saving. Instead of having to write content and share it at intermittent times of the day, you can take an hour out of one day of your week, and get a whole bulk of content scheduled and ready to post. Of course, that hour you take depends on how much you want to post. Maybe it takes you two hours to produce your social media content for a whole week, but think of the time you are saving not having to post it manually. This time frees you up to actually work on the engagement side – the results you will be achieving. The contact with your potential clients.

Another benefit is that if you find yourself too busy, and unable to dedicate some time to posting, you don’t need to worry! You’ve already scheduled, you’ve prepared in advance, and so therefore your audience won’t see any dips in your consistency.

The actual time that you post can also have an impact on your results. Some of your potential clients may live and work in a different time zone, or maybe they just have different working hours to what you do. By scheduling your posts you can cover a wider timescale, without having to physically press the ‘post’ button.

What sort of posts and tweets should you schedule?

This is a commonly asked question and one that is answered by the type of business that you have.  A good tip is to post something that is of use, of value to your audience. Schedule tips and tricks, find interesting articles to share, anything that could prove useful and informative.

Many people tend to schedule a quote with an image. Something that motivates, inspires and connects with your audience is best. We can all relate to positive thinking and mindset and so this is a good way of sending good vibes across your social media network.

Of course, you want to market your products or services, so this is where you might schedule links to your website or a particular event you have on the horizon.  People like things that are free, so if you can mix in your promotions with a freebie offer, it takes the emphasis off of you trying to ‘sell’ to your audience. Nobody likes a pushy salesperson.

Remember that whilst scheduling has many benefits and advantages to your marketing strategy, you also have to maintain that ‘real-time’ feel. You don’t want your audience to feel as if they are being talked to by a robot. Something that churns out regular status updates, but nothing with personality or emotion. If you feel like there’s something ‘in the moment’ that you want to share, then do so. Keep your personality in your social media and your audience will share theirs with you too.

There are businesses who can take over your Social Media Management – as well as VA’s – here at Virtual Hand we can help. Social Media packages are available.

One of the hardest parts of working for yourself is building up a strong presence and keeping your business profile in the hearts and minds of your audience. Why not download your FREE GUIDE on how to raise your profile as a freelancer here.

Learn how you can work with Virtual Hand; how your business can grow and how you can communicate better with your audience.