Being successful using social media is not rocket science but it does require attention to detail, which is something very few of us solo-preneurs and small business owners are very good at. We have so much to worry about, that details have a way of falling through the cracks, especially since we don’t really see it as a revenue generating activity. But we are wrong. Social media is the future. Actually, social media is the most relevant and effective way for a small business to reach their audience today, it’s just hard to navigate all of the components. Before we get too far into it, let’s cover the basics of how to be successful with social media:
Be Intentional – Don’t just post to post. Posting junk isn’t going to be effective. People will unfollow you, cannibalizing the whole intent.
Just Start – Yes, all the experts say that the optimal number of posts a week is 3, but just start with 1 a week if that is what is achievable for you. I’d rather see you do 1 a week than none a week.
Create Posts in Advance - It’s much easier to dedicate a half a day each month to build your social media than it is to find 10 minutes a day to build and schedule a social post. Time-blocking this activity makes you more efficient rather than trying to find 10-20 minutes a day to get your head in the game and plan a single post.
Work Your Plan - Know the different types of posts, what you are trying to achieve from them and post them to the right platforms with the right hashtags that will drive the engagement you are looking for.
Use Tools to Keep You Organized – There are tools available that can help with this, and it doesn’t have to cost anything at all. Even Canva has a free account that you can use to create graphics. Don’t get me wrong, there are platforms that you can subscribe to that will allow you to create unique content, build more sophisticated graphics, schedule your social media in advance but documenting your plan can be as easy putting it in calendared spreadsheet form or what I like is to plan it in my actual business calendar. Once I have my plan for the month, then I schedule it so that the month is on autopilot, then I don’t have to think about it again. For a couple examples of content calendars, please go to www.jenverma.com/calendar.
Now that we have covered the basics, let’s dive into the different types of posts and how to use them.
Know, Like and Trust – This is the foundation of being ‘social’. People want to interact with and buy from people they know, like and trust. This is a foundational principle in business and is also true in social media. These posts can be from what you like in your morning coffee to your philanthropic interests or what your crazy cat did yesterday. Let the people that follow you get to know who you are.
Engagement – These posts have a very specific intent to drive dialogue and discussion, aka engage your community. A lot of people choose politics and religion because those topics are always highly debatable, but I would steer clear of those topics and ask things more like “Team Edward or Team Jacob”?
Cash Creator/Offers – these are your salesy posts, the posts you want to use to drive people back to your website, funnel, etc. with the intent of somehow monetizing. This is important…limit these types of posts to 20%! People don’t want to be sold to.
Authority – This is where you get to flex a little. Show your following why you do what you do and what makes you the best at it. Educate them. Give them knowledge they wouldn’t have otherwise. Remember, just because you know things doesn’t mean your followers do too. A perfect example of this is what a friend of mine who sells health insurance said to me once. “I can’t write blogs about healthcare solutions. Every person needs something different.” I challenged that and informed him that we as consumers don’t necessarily understand all the different healthcare models out there and so wouldn’t even know what questions to ask, we don’t know what we don’t know. Am I right? I went on to tell him that his job being the expert is to educate us. Tell us what the different types of insurance are. Help us understand the different value propositions with each type. Give us the tools to say, “Oooo, I need that!” If you do that and ‘flex’, you will find that you won’t be chasing new customers down, but rather they will find you because you’re giving them something none of your competitors are.
Now for the secret weapon…HOLIDAYS!
Did you know there are 68+ marketing holidays in any given year? And the world adds new ones every day. If you posted 3 times a week for a year, you would have to create 156 posts. 68 is 44% of that. 44% of your work is already done for you. You’re welcome! And Canva has some template posts already created that you just put your logo on and go. If you want to get nothing but SEO credit from your social game, just do holidays!
If you don’t want to pay for someone to manage you social media for you and you know that it isn’t your super power, there are templated content creation tools that are quick, easy and cost effective. I highly recommend using one to step up your social game so we can use this content to arm your ambassador marketing program.
Part 3 in the series will cover which platform you should post to and when.