Forbes: Interview With Factory 360’s Michael Fernandez

One way to get back in control of your time in 2014 is to spend less time on social media. That’s not so simple if you use Facebook and other sites for marketing your business.

I spoke recently with Michael Fernandez, co-founder and owner of Factory 360, an experiential marketing firm in New York City that has served clients such as SVDEKA Vodka, ESPN, Chase and PayPal, about how to pull this off. Here are some tips.

Use Facebook as your “mothership.”

This is the social media site where many customers will first look you up, so if you’re going to maintain a presence on just one site, this is generally a good choice. “If you are a more visual business, then Facebook coupled with Pinterest might be the right social formula,” says Fernandez.

Stay focused.

Creating pages on social sites that you have no time to maintain can backfire. “The last thing you want to have someone do is look at your page and it’s December 2013 and the last post was in May 2013, ” Fernandez says. “ They think, `Did they go out of business?”

Post to all of your sites from one place.

Fernandez recommends signing up for HootSuite Pro, which is free. “If you want to post to Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, you can do one post and it will push it out to all three,” he says. Using Hootsuite also allows you to monitor the comments on all of the social sites you use from one dashboard.

Listen frequently. Building a regular routine where you quickly check your social media pages when you start work, in the afternoon and maybe once in the evening will help you stay on top of any complaints from customers and respond to them before they escalate. “In social media, things happen in an instant,” Fernandez says. “You don’t want to wake up and have a whole controversy. The voice of one person on social media is as loud as 10,000. It’s not a dialogue between you and one person. It’s between you and everyone who’s watching in this arena.”

Don’t hash out disputes online.

If someone does post a negative comment, contact him to tell him how you will resolve the complaint or send him your private email address to discuss his concerns. Don’t get sucked into a public argument on a social media page. “It’s like a bar altercation,” he jokes. “Take it outside.”

Article appeared in Forbes