If you aren’t using social media as a marking tool, you’re missing the boat. Maybe you’re worried that running a social media page properly is going to eat up a lot of your time.

Most resources out there even focus on how to run your social media in 30 minutes a day. That kind of time commitment isn’t necessary if you plan upfront and take advantage of the social media scheduling and analytical tools that exist.

Preparation

This will be the most time consuming step in ramping up your social media presence, but it will be worth it when you don’t have to spend much time from week to week. Get the ball rolling with these five simple steps:

  1. Pick your platform. Make an informed decision about which social media avenue you want to pursue. Overwhelmingly, you’re going to find more of your customers are on Facebook. In 2013, 71 percent of Internet users were on Facebook compared to 22 percent on LinkedIn, 21 percent on Pinterest, 18 percent on Twitter and 17 Percent on Instagram. Plus, it’s a simple platform to use so it might be your best bet. You can always poll your tenants to see what social media platforms they prefer and base your decision off of those findings.

  2. Decide who’s in charge. Pick one person who’s in charge of keeping your page current and updating it often. If there are too many cooks in the kitchen, your message can easily get lost.

  3. Take photos. If you do decide to pick Facebook as your first social media marketing venture, gather several photos of your facility so that you can easily attach one to each post. Including a photo with a post makes it 53 percent more likely to get engagement.

  4. Set it up. Fill your page with good content, information and photos. Make sure to include your address, phone number and pertinent information about your facility. Twitter is more limiting with how much content you can include so keep that in mind.

  5. Research. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Look at what your colleagues and competition are doing on social media that gets the best engagement (most likes and comments). Are they asking leading questions? Are they sharing a fun fact? Learn from the successful people in your market. Combine your findings to make a list of potential posts or tweets.

Social media scheduling tools

One of these tools can make your life much easier. When you use a scheduling tool, you can plan your social media map for the week in just 30 minutes. It will eliminate having to log onto your Facebook or Twitter to post something multiple times a day.

Remember, this won’t eliminate your need to keep up on alerts. If people ask you questions, they’ll expect a quick response. Since you won’t have to generate new posts throughout the week, you can focus on interacting with your current and potential customers.

Here are three scheduling tools to consider using:

Hootsuite logo
1. HootSuite

Pros:
• You can manage multiple social networks in the same dashboard.
• You can see mentions and retweets for your Twitter.
• There is a mobile app so you can take it on the go.
• Their support pages are extremely comprehensive.

Cons:
• You’re forced to use ow.ly to shorten URLs, so your audience may be able to tell that you’ve scheduled your tweets and Facebook updates.
• You can get analytics reports, but they start at $50 for one report.
• Sometimes it will unlink from your accounts. Your posts won’t go live and they’ll disappear from your dashboard.

Cost: The basic account is free and there shouldn’t be any reason a small business would need the pro account. If you do want the pro account, the cost starts at $9.99 a month and jumps to $1,499 a month.

Social Media Platforms: Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Buffer logo
2. Buffer

Pros:
• It features a clean, simple layout.
• You can create a timetable so tweets go out at the same time every day.
• You can drag and drop posts into different streams.

Cons:
• You can’t schedule individual tweets. They have to fit into a timetable.
• If you want to delete a post or tweet that’s already gone live, you can’t do it in Buffer. You have to login to your Twitter or Facebook page.
• The analytics data that they provide isn’t comprehensive.

Cost: Free, or you can use a pro account that costs $10 a month.

Social Media Platforms: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

TweetDeck logo
3. TweetDeck

Pros:
• It accepts your bit.ly API so you can track your link clicks and see how often your posts are driving people back to your site.
• It’s easy to set up searches by hashtag, list or handle.
• You can easily manage and schedule tweets for multiple accounts at once.

Cons:
• It only works with Twitter.
• Tweet scheduling is in military time.
• There’s no built-in analytics feature.

Cost: Free.

Social Media Platforms: Twitter.

Social media analytics tools

After a couple weeks of jumping into the social media game, an analytical tool can show your progress. Plus, it can help you determine what days and times you get the most engagement on your posts.

Google Analytics logo
1. Google Analytics

Pros:
• You can determine the conversion value of visitors from social media pages to your actual website.
• It has an “activity stream” that shows what people are saying about your site on social media.
• It’s free to use.

Cons:
• Google Analytics is hard to understand and digest.
• It won’t track data from HootSuite or TweetDeck.
• It’s not made for the average user so it’s much more complicated than the other tools.

Cost: Free.

Social Media Platforms: All.

Social Report logo
2. Social Report

Pros:
• You can monitor up to five projects.
• It emails a daily report to you.
• It connects all major social networks including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube and Foursquare.

Cons:
• It’s probably more advanced than you need. Unless you run many storage facilities, you don’t need a site that connects you to every social media outlet and sends daily reports. Its target market is social media agencies.
• It isn’t free, so you’d spend money on something that gives you more than you need to properly run your social media.

Cost: It starts at $9/month and goes up to $79/month.

Social Media Platforms: All.

Crowdbooster logo
3. Crowdbooster

Pros:
• It gives you statistically based recommendations of when you should post to Facebook and Twitter.
• You can schedule posts directly from Crowdbooster so it’s like a scheduling and analytical tool in one.
• It provides analytics that are easy to read and understand.

Cons:
• It costs money.
• It says it gathers data in real-time but many people have complained that it isn’t the case with Facebook.

Cost: The basic plan is $9/month with a 30-day free trial.

Social Media Platforms: Facebook and Twitter.

Now that you know how to keep up with your social media presence in 30 minutes a week, jump right in! Give it a solid effort for a couple months. Then, visit your analytics and take a hard look at whether or not your social media page is worth your time. Are you getting more leads? Are your customers and potential customers engaging with you? Gauge your social media success vs. how much time you’re spending on it and decide if this is the right marketing venture for you.

If you still aren’t convinced you’re the right one for this job, see if your web provider offers social media services or ask someone else at the facility if they’re interested in taking on this project. Sacrificing 30 minutes isn’t much of a risk when the potential reward is new tenants.