Be honest—what did we do before social media for effective, inexpensive marketing? It’s true, social media has become an integrated part of every business’ marketing plan, enabling us to get our work in front of hundreds, thousands, even millions of people in one click of the mouse. But with all the different platforms and ways to advertise within each of them, social media has become as full-time job itself.
What’s a professional to do? Cloning isn’t an option yet, so you will have to create a process that will simplify the task for you.
- Identify your goals
Your business may offer one main product, but it can be different things to different people. A baker not only creates wedding cakes but birthday cakes, open house cakes, anniversary cakes, etc. A photographer shoots intimate wedding images, but what about head shots, new baby, engagement and family photos? You most likely have multiple goals to feed multiple areas of your business. Write down a list of these goals—the areas you want to target—within your business.
- Recognize your key channels
For now, Facebook is a no-brainer, and for most, so is Pinterest. Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter are all also front-runners. Explore the options and chose the ones you want to use based on who your target market is and which channels they are on. You may want to focus all your efforts on one or two channels so you are not spread too thin.
- Create a content calendar
Print a blank calendar for each month displaying the dates only. In the empty white box, fill that space with what you are going to post that day. Perhaps every Monday is “Motivation Monday” where you post a motivational quote to start the week off right and every Wednesday you give tips on how brides can hire your category effectively. On Friday you target one of your other goals, or maybe that day is when you post a link to your blog. Create a calendar of when to post what and stick to it.
- Schedule you posts
The easiest way to cut your time spent on social media down is to schedule your posts. If you are using Facebook, steer clear of using multi-channel platform software, such as Hootsuite, as Facebook will recognize the source (Hootsuite) and penalize you by showing your post to less people. You can schedule your posts directly on your fanpage.
- Monitor, listen and engage
In order to know what is working and what is not, you must be aware of the results. Track the day of the week you posted, the time, if you promoted the post (you must pay to promote your post and you can chose a targeted market, so if you do promote, track the market who is seeing your posts as well), how many likes, shares and comments you received. Be sure to respond to comments, too so you are engaging the people. Pay attention to what other businesses similar to yours or that are in the same industry as you are posting and their results as well.
Ideally, one to three hours is all the time you should have to commit to your social media marketing. By streamlining and simplifying the process, you can be more effective in less time; earn more business and make more money!
What social media strategies do you use in your business to streamline and simplify the process? Please share below!