Since you've got limited time, you should spend the majority of it doing high-value activities, such as meeting with top clients, nurturing key relationships and networking. Delegate or outsource the rest.
But social media has created a new generation of virtual places where you need to be present to build and nurture your relationships with influencers, clients and prospects.
So what's a smart professional do? Get help.
HOW TO GET ASSISTANCE WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
In order to leverage your time, build a team to support your social media efforts. Start with your administrative staff. Identify existing team members with an aptitude for social media and assign them roles in implementing your social strategy. If you don't have anyone that fits the bill, consider training or hiring the right person.
Remember, you're building your social media profile and your personal brand, so you need to be involved. Don't delegate your entire social strategy to a staff member just because they appear familiar (mostly in relation to your lack of familiarity) with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Here are some ways to leverage your team resources and get help with your social media efforts:
1. Convene regular meetings every couple of weeks to coordinate your team's social media activities. Use these meetings to ensure each team member is aware of what others are doing; what's working and what isn't. This encourages teamwork among the people involved in executing your social strategy.
2. Ask a team member to find good content for you to share over social networks. Curating good content is a time-consuming activity, but it comes with significant benefits to those who do it. Some of the best content could have nothing to do with your subject-matter expertise (think "Top 10 beach vacations" right after a big snowfall), so your team members can do it as well or better than you. Beware of sharing content you haven't reviewed, because if the content is not true to your brand the opportunities for engagement will be reduced.
3. Delegate a team member to manage your social media presence and empower that person to talk to clients and prospects online. Content curated by your team should also be posted on your blog or your Facebook page. If conversations ensue, someone needs to respond professionally and in a timely manner.
To decide how to respond appropriately to a post, use the very helpful U.S. Air Force Blog Assessment chart.
4. Have a team member monitor your clients' and prospects' social media activities and identify opportunities to communicate with them. LinkedIn is the most obvious place to start because people will update their profiles with any significant professional changes. For instance, when your client gets a promotion, receives professional recognition or shares a great article, your team member should bring it to your attention and you should reach out with a comment. It shows you're paying attention.
5. Writing articles and creating content can be time consuming, but team members can help. Once you've found three or four great articles on a theme of interest to your market (e.g., ideal traits for an investor), create a post that consists of a paragraph on each article with links to the sources. These types of posts can be easily conceived and written by your team and posted on your blog or website.
6. Scheduling updates to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter in advance is a great way to be efficient with your team resources. Bufferapp.com offers a great tool for scheduling posts, as does Hootsuite and a growing number of other social media management suites. But be very careful with scheduling posts in advance as this tactic can work against you if you post the wrong content at the wrong time.
7. Outside experts can be very helpful guiding to your team's social media efforts, injecting innovative ideas and identifying new strategies for engagement.
In order to successfully leverage your team in social media, you need to have a clearly defined vision and strategy. You need to know where you are going so that your team can help you navigate there. Being on social media without a strategy is like having a map, but no destination in mind.
Jay Palter is a social media strategist and coach with two decades of professional experience in financial services, software development and marketing.
Originally published on Advisor.ca