Social media is a great way to showcase your skills, promote your work, and make sales. And it doesn't have to cost you a thing. For that reason alone, social media is a fantastic tool for smaller creative businesses.
However, many people don't understand the time it takes to market your business. If you hear anyone saying, "sharing a post on social media should only take you five minutes", then walk away - because they are very, very wrong. At a minimum, you'd probably look at about x4 hours to create a week's worth of social media content. That's a lot of time - so it's no wonder that most small business owners are not committing to their social media pages.
Remember, bigger brands have full-time teams employed to create content and manage social media pages. As a small business owner or freelancer, you probably have very little spare time to spend on your social media pages - so be kind to yourself if you feel like you've not been giving your Insta page the love and attention it deserves.
How much time should you be spending on your social media pages?
Remember, your time on social media is a 'how long is a piece of string' issue because the more time you can give to your pages, the more results you'll see. The way to get results as a small business owner is to think about how much time you realistically have per week to spare and how you can make the best use of your time. It's tricky, but there ARE ways to fit social media into your schedule. Here's an example of your ideal social media schedule:
Every day: Social media engagement - 15 mins (absolute minimum).
Every week: Social media content planning - 30 mins per week, which can be longer if you don't have a strategy in place and don't know what to post about.
Every week: Social media creation and scheduling - depending on your posting and your productivity, this can take 3 hours or more per week.
Social Media Engagement: 15 minutes every day
Proactively engaging with your audience is key to growing your online presence, and this is something that needs to be done ideally every day. But don't roll your eyes at the thought of that - we're not suggesting that you spend your life scrolling and commenting on content. 15 mins per day is a good starting point. And yes, if you want to forget about socials at the weekends because you're spending time with family, stick to engaging during the week. This is about finding a routine that's right for you.
Think about your daily routine. Are there tasks you do every day that result in you having a spare 15 minutes for some proactive engagement? Here are some examples:
When you're waiting for the kids to come out of school, you always have a spare 15 mins because you like to get there early for a parking space.
When you return from your daily dog walk, you like to take a little break and warm up your coffee machine before starting work for the afternoon.
When commuting to your studio on the bus, you often have a spare 15 minutes.
When running an art class, you have quiet time before attendees arrive.
When you're cooking dinner for the family, and you're waiting for the pasta to boil.
When you're in bed in the evening, you like to have a quiet cup of tea and scroll through TikToks.
No matter what that daily habit is, use those spare 15 minutes to whip out your phone and get onto social media for that all-important engagement. Connecting engagement to a task already in your routine makes it much easier to adopt as a habit you can easily stick to.
Social media content planning, content creation and sharing/scheduling:
This is the task that takes up the most amount of time. As always, we recommend carving out a set morning or afternoon in your diary, your 'social media day' - where you sit down without distractions and get all your social media posts planned and created for the week ahead.
Doing everything in one carefully planned batch helps you be thoughtful and strategic with the content you share. It ensures that you're going to stay consistent throughout the week. Again, think about your routine - when's the best day for you to do this? When are you least likely to get distracted?
Use a social media scheduling tool to schedule your content in advance, and then you're done for the rest of the week.
And above all - do NOT get sucked into your news feeds - the last thing you want to do is lose time because you've spent half an hour watching kitten TikToks - yes, it happens. Yes, we've all been there, but is it something that will help grow your business? No. Stay off those newsfeeds as much as possible, set a timer to help keep you on track and promote your business like the superstar you are.