Balancing Your Social Networking Obligations and Keeping Customers Engaged

As a beading company owner, you most likely know a bit about what it takes to market your goods and services. There is a large amount of advertising that can be done over the Internet, and social networking continues to make it easier for entrepreneurs to reach out to the masses.

Websites such as Facebook and Twitter now connect beading business owners and other entrepreneurs to their target markets like never before on a more personal level. As consumers find new ways to invest their trust in companies on social networking websites, entrepreneurs are discovering new opportunities to make sales.

On most social networks, it's easy enough to create a page and utilize the website's tools to show everything your company is about, whether you focus on jewelry-making supplies or finished designs. However, the key to making the most of your social networking opportunities is to strike a balance in operation.

While it might be simple enough to post updates on Twitter consisting of no more than 140 characters, when are you going to find time to update your Facebook page statuses in between? What about your Tumblr blog and your Pinterest account?

If you don't have someone at your company who can specifically focus on your social networking profiles for you, you'll need to take on the task yourself. It can become a time-consuming job, and if you don't put in an admirable amount of effort, you won't see the results you want from using these social networking platforms. Here are a few ways you can manage all of your profiles and make the most of the opportunity to connect with your customers in this unique way:

1. Turn it into a group effort at your company
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) states that if you can't afford to hire anyone at the moment to handle your social networking matters, make it a priority for your entire staff. Although it may seem like piling more work onto your employees, think of it as a way to keep them engaged as to what's happening outside of the office.

One option is to rotate the responsibility to each of your employees on a daily basis. This task can keep them engaged and plugged into how your company is using social networking to keep up with the competition.

2. Create a schedule
Whether you're handling all of the social media obligations for your company or you have several staff members on board, creating a schedule is one of the most effective ways to stay on top of all of your profiles and pages.

Treat them like meetings--pen your social networking responsibilities into a calendar or datebook where you can refer to your to-do list at any time. Write in everything from blog posts to Twitter updates to make sure you don't let any of your profiles slip through the cracks.

3. Use tools that can make your life easier
Most social networking website creators know that in this day and age, it's becoming simply unreasonable to think that everyone can sit on their profiles and stream updates throughout the day. Specifically, businesses have a tough time keeping up on every website as they try to reach out to a large audience, especially if they don't have a social networking manager on hand.

For this reason, more tools have been created to make life easier for the busybodies of the world. If you can't keep up with Twitter, for instance, you might want to consider using HootSuite. This tool allows you to stream tweets at future times to make sure you're providing fresh content.

Can't keep up with your Tumblr? The website offers a queue feature where you can store posts you want to be shared with the world at a later date. Keep your eyes peeled for these type of tools to make your life a bit simpler.

4. Prioritize your social networks
While one could argue that all social networking websites are important, there are some that might need more updating than others. Think Twitter vs. Pinterest, for example--it's easy to stream a 140-character update, which is why Twitter is updated on a frequent basis. On Pinterest, it takes more time to select and upload media (compared to sending a tweet), meaning you may not see updates as frequently.

Observe these trends and use them to your advantage when prioritizing your social media responsibilities. In the end, striking a perfect balance can be the difference between stressing over your Facebook page and learning to love it. Keep your customers in mind if you need more motivation to keep updating.