“I just do NOT have the time.” This is the same statement so many wedding professionals make when asked of their social media marketing efforts. As I well know, owning, managing and marketing a wedding business takes a lot of time and effort. What I also know is if your business is not engaging in social media, you will certainly be missing out on a lot of opportunities for enhancing your visibility and credibility.

Social media marketing does take time, but when using the right tools and strategies, it does not have to be an all-consuming endeavor. If you are struggling to find the time to integrate social media into the marketing plan for  your wedding business, here are a few tips to consider:

Always start with a strategy

One of the main reasons for wasted time with social media is a lack of planning. Social media usage should always start out with a plan and a purpose. Using specific tactics to reach those goals will help direct your efforts in a more time-effective way.

Aim for quality, not quantity

Yes, it’s important that your social media profiles stay current and don’t appear unattended. However, it’s important to realize that quality content should be the overriding goal of your social media usage – not the frequency of your posts. After all, even if multiple posts and status updates are created each day, they probably won’t get noticed if they have lackluster content. Remember that all of the content shared via social media should be useful in some way to your followers.

Use alerts and notifications to your benefit

By using alerts and notifications, information comes to you instead of you having to find it on your own. Tools like Google Alerts can help you keep track of business mentions or industry news and happenings, which can help provide you with ideas for content to share through social media. Enabling notifications from your social media profiles can help remind you of when you need to respond or take action on account-specific activity with email or text notification.

Utilize social media tools

There are a variety of free and paid tools available on the market designed specifically to help with social media time management. Scheduling tools can help provide a more hands-off approach to posting, allowing you to schedule several posts all at once to go live in upcoming days or weeks. Other tools can help with analytics and monitoring so you can have a better idea of how effective your social media marketing efforts are. Some of the most popular free social media tools include HootSuiteSocial Mention,TwitterCounterWildfire Social Media Monitor, and Klout.

If you want to stand out from your competition or just show potential clients that you and your services are “in with the times”, then saying “I just don’t have the time” is not an excuse anymore.  You don’t need to jump in full force, especially if social media is not something you are accustomed to.  Start with a Facebook page, get used to the social media communication style and then slowly add on other sites like Twitter and Pinterest.  Getting started is the hardest part, but once you do, the doors of opportunity will be open for you.