One question I get from resume writers quite frequently is: "How do I use social media to promote my resume writing services, without having it become a time suck?"
Social media is an activity that can require a large time investment. As a busy resume writer and career services business owner, you may not have an abundance of free time available for social networking. But being effective on social media doesn't have to take hours out of your day.One of the best strategies to maximize social media involves scheduling your interactions.
What do you want to accomplish with your social media interactions and efforts? What's your goal? The goal needs to be measurable and timely. For example, instead of saying, "I want to increase my followers or fans on my Facebook business page" you might say, "I want to increase my page 'Likes" by 300 fans in three months" or, "I want to increase my Twitter followers by 10% by the end of the first quarter 2013." Knowing the specific goal you want to accomplish will help you direct the time -- and resources -- you spend on social media so you maximize your efforts.
Step #2 Create a Plan to Achieve Your Specific Goals
The next step involves some planning. You want to outline a step-by-step procedure to reach your goal. For example, if your goal is to reach 300 new fans in three months, you can approach it several different ways. One way might be to launch a "Like My Facebook Fan Page" promotion where you hold a sweepstakes and award the winner a free resume or LinkedIn profile update. This promotion will undoubtedly require some work on your part. Outline the steps you need to take to make it happen.
On Twitter, you can spend 10 minutes each day following new people — one of the best ways to get followers yourself is to follow more people, and engage with them so they follow you back!
You can also "spend your way" to new fans. You can set up a Facebook ad campaign and invest a couple of dollars each day towards growing your fan base.
Step #3 Pull Out the Calendar
Assuming you know how much free time you have in the day, the next step is to grab a calendar and start scheduling your social networking activities. If you don't know how much free time you have in a day, consider tracking your time for a week or two. If you are unable to complete your task list each day, you may need to prioritize and restructure some of your plans.
Taking a look at your calendar, break your social networking tasks down into small, manageable steps. Ideally, nothing will take longer than 30 minutes. It can be anything from accepting friendships on Facebook and sending each person a personal message (and inviting them to "Like" your business page) to scheduling your tweets for the week (I recommend Hootsuite for this!). Identify the task, put it on your calendar, and attack your plan in bite-sized pieces.
Step #4 Follow Through and Assess
Try to stick to your plan for a few weeks. Then step back and assess. What's working? What isn't? Are you still trying to do too much? Are you procrastinating on your social media goals? Are you getting distracted from your goal once you log on? (Block off 30 minutes on your calendar. Tell yourself you will spend the first 10 minutes doing "work" and the other 20 minutes doing "fun" social media activities.) If necessary, rework your plan so that it fits your needs and goals better.
Step #5 Celebrate Success
Evaluate your progress -- did you achieve your goal? (Put the goal deadline on your calendar to remind yourself!) Once you've reached your goals, take some time to celebrate your accomplishment. Then set a new goal and repeat the process. Scheduling your social media efforts gives them a purpose. It helps you grow your business without wasting your valuable time.