Today’s Biz Ladies post comes to us from Stephanie Hall, a creative writer + marketing consultant. She works with entrepreneurs to help them overcome their aversion to selling by teaching sincere, yet effective strategies that feel good and pay off. Today she’s offering some of her secrets for making the most of your social media promotion without feeling overwhelmed. Thank you, Stephanie, for giving us this bit of insight into your approach! —Stephanie
Read the full post after the jump…
Social media is fun, right? Well, it can be, but it’s also a tool, an essential tool, and one that can easily trap you if you lose focus. Social media is a great way to communicate with your customers, establish credibility and drive traffic to your site, but it shouldn’t be your only tool to do so. Many entrepreneurs struggle to keep the balance of consistent, engaging posts while maintaining smooth operations of their business. And, it all comes down to prioritizing, strategy and planning. Here are 6 simple secrets to free yourself from social media overload.
1. Schedule it.
As a savvy Biz Lady, you may be no stranger to the world of social media automation, but without a reliable routine, scheduling is not the social media savior you might expect. You need to do what works for you, which may mean bulk scheduling a week or two at a time, setting aside a few 10-minute intervals throughout your day to interact live, or a mix of the two. Test out a few systems to see what works for you, then stick to your routine. If you want to learn more on scheduling, here’s a behind-the-scenes look at what I do.
2. Book it.
Make time every day to monitor your main social media channels. Set aside and book 20 to 40 minutes in your day to reply to messages, start conversations, and participate in discussions. This is an important step that most entrepreneurs miss. Scheduling is not enough. You need to be active by participating. This engagement is what makes your scheduling work and the interaction will have your followers coming back for more. But be forewarned, it’s easy to fall into the funnel of cat gifs and quirky quizzes, so that’s why you book a time in your calendar and you set a timer. Once you hear the ding, click the exit button.
3. Scout it.
Go where your customers are. There’s no point in putting all your time into Instagram if your customers are on Twitter and vice versa. Send out a survey to your list to find out where they’re hanging out and then go there ASAP. Drop the channels that don’t serve your company to free up time for the ones that do. There’s no shame in slimming your network in order to excel where you’re needed most.
4. Track it.
Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. It may seem like you’re adding work to your social media plate, but ultimately tracking will help you to optimize your reach because you’ll know where to focus your energy. Make a note of your most engaging posts and find out which of your networks is sending you the most traffic. If you’re new to the world of analytics, read this great Design Sponge article that shows you how to find out which websites are sending you the most traffic. Alternatively, if you’re on WordPress, the Jetpack plugin has a great tracking feature that also shows you where your traffic is coming from.
5. Plan it.
Once you have a rocking routine, a solid grasp on where your customers are, and a look at which networks are sending you the most traffic, it’s time to plan. Having a social media strategy can work wonders to alleviate your stress because you’ll know what you’re promoting at what time, when you’ll be busiest (and may need some help), and who you’re speaking to. Work a social media plan into your yearly business goals so that you can coordinate your launches, schedule for your busy times and vacations, and take a breather when you can.
6. Ditch it.
Lastly, the greatest thing you can do to free yourself from social media overload is to simply ditch the excess baggage. If you struggle with a certain network, don’t use it. If you’re having a busy week, don’t sweat it. (You’re allowed to be silent for a day or two because it’s not your only venue for promotion.) Focus on quality, not quantity. Don’t try to be everywhere all at once. Become an expert at the few networks your customers use most often and when you get your groove, add in another. You could even hire someone to take over, even if just for a week or on a long-term basis.
So there you have it, 6 simple secrets. And remember, social media shouldn’t be your only route for marketing. So, optimize the channels that work for you and get yourself on detox of the ones that don’t.