If you’ve decided it’s time to get serious about social media, I’m here to tell you – YES, it is time! Social media has been a real game changer for businesses and for one reason, it’s SOCIAL. It really is the connection between you and your future clients. Now, in order to take full advantage of this medium that’s so beneficial for your business, the one rule is that you have to be there. I know…ugggghhh, another thing you have to do for your business.
I’ve heard it before:
I don’t have time!
I don’t know how to use social media.
Where do I even start?
What platforms should I be on?
What should I be sharing?
And – The most common one: “I’ve tried it before and it didn’t work. It was a waste of time.”
I hear ya my friend! I hear ya. But, I’m here to tell you that once you put the right system in place, all of those worries will disappear. Pinky Swear.
I’ve built my business entirely through social media. I was making sales through social media before I even had a website!
When Marketing Solved launched, I implemented a rock solid strategy system that I’ve mastered over the last few years (and you’re going to get it below, yay!) and here’s a snapshot of what’s happened within 3 months using social media :
- I’ve gained 3,100 Twitter followers with at least 50 new followers daily.
- We have 747 Facebook followers with a few new ones daily (No Advertising!)
- Pinterest just broke over 800 followers!
- Our Facebook group is over 800 members
- We have grown an email list over with over 1500 people!
- AND, we make sales EVERY day from social media.
Ok, so why is that important? Because I want you to see that when you put the work in and use strategy, you will see the rewards. And, I want you to see the rewards!
Now, I’ve had several years of experience mastering this social strategy. I have worked with different brands and audiences, hundreds of entrepreneurs, and I teach others how to manage and master their own social media in the: Go Social! program (PS – You can get in on that, right here)
What I’m sharing with you is a plan that was created and can be plugged in to your business and customized specifically to your brand. These are the results of several tried and tested strategies…that work! I’m giving you my shortcuts to save you some time and get you results.
Alright, here we go. No more stress, let’s go social!
Before we tackle the actual strategy, there a few things you’ll have to decide first. You will have to do a bit of research to clearly define the following but then you can plug and play and dominate the world (Kinda).
Decide on the following:
1) Decide WHO your target audience is – Who are you trying to reach?
2) What social media networks are you going to be using? (Hint, you want to be where your audience hangs out)
For example: I’m a health coach. My target audience is 28-45 and interested in living a healthier lifestyle but doesn’t know what types of food or exercise to make it happen. My audience hangs out on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. They like Jillian Michaels and Food Network.
See how this information can really help us in deciding the type of content we should be creating and sharing and where we need to be? Awesome – Let’s keep going.
(Not sure who you’re trying to reach and need more help figuring this out? No problem! Grab this 5 Day Social Media Jumpstart for a detailed process to defining your audience – And more)
Alright! Time to Strategize:
To get started, grab a blank calendar (You can download this free calendar here) The first step to making social media easier is by breaking it down into a monthly, weekly, and daily tasks.
Step 1 – Write it down!
Write down your monthly goals and create a list of things you need to share this month. What is super important for you to accomplish this month? Here’s a few examples…
- Are you launching a new program or product?
- Are you hosting an event?
- Do you want to sell [x amount] of your products?
- Are you trying to add 1,000 new subscribers?
- Do you want to reach 3,000 Facebook fans?
This is helpful because it determines the type of content you should focus on sharing. Plus, you can pre-schedule out your promotional content as you need it.
For example: If I’m trying to grow my subscriber list, I’m going to schedule more content that relates to opportunities for people to opt in to my list.
-OR- If I’m promoting a new program, I’ll have to schedule content that leads buyers into my blog posts that promote my products, discounts or offers for the program, and offer to purchase the program.
Here’s what your calendar might look like when scheduling a product launch:
Step 2 – Your Content!
Your content is going to support your overall monthly marketing goals. It may seem like every day on multiple platforms is a lot of content to be creating – but the good news is you don’t have to create it! Of course, you’ll be sharing the content you create but sharing content that’s relevant to your fans is a brilliant way to cultivate a community with you as the resource provider.
Don’t forget to mix it up – Gather articles, images, even videos to appeal to a larger audience.
Here’s 2 tips to make finding content easy:
1) Create a resource list. This can be a list of 5-10 resources, websites, Facebook pages from relevant industries that you can share content from which provides value to your fans.
1. Fully Raw Kristina: fullyraw.com (Healthy Lifestyle, Mindset & Recipes)
2. Tone It Up: toneitup.com (Inspiration & Exercise)
3. Cooking Light Magazine: cookinglight.com (Cooking & Recipes)
4. Real Simple: realsimple.com (Cooking)
5. Precision Nutrition: PrecisionNutrition.com (Healthy Living, Nutrition Education, Recipes)
2) Pinterest, Baby! Pull from your Pinterest boards.
Or! I keep a secret Pinterest board for content that I think is high quality and my fans would love.
Gather enough content (yours included) that you can share throughout the month. Then, you can start scheduling it out.
Step 3 – Scheduling Content –
I’m a H-U-G-E fan of Hootsuite for scheduling content. Their free option is perfect for an individual account and they have low monthly paid options if you have multiple accounts to schedule to. It seamlessly integrates with Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn & just recently, Instagram.
Buffer is another alternative that I love – They even have a feature where they can recommend content that’s similar to what you’re sharing.
- I use HootSuite for Twitter, Google +, & LinkedIn
- Pinterest – I use BoardBooster to schedule content. This is a cool way to pin all at once but have Pinterest space it all out for you. (Life saver, yes it is!)
- Facebook – I schedule directly on the platform.
- Instagram – I post direct on the platform, in real time.
(I find it easier to manage both of these direct than using a 3rd party scheduler)
When you’re gathering and scheduling your content, remember this rule: 80% of the time you post valuable content – 20% of the time, you promote your business.
Step 4 – Now, It’s Time to Go Social! –
This is SOCIAL media remember.
Get in there and get social.
Be sure you are interacting with your social accounts. I spend 15 minutes every morning engaging, replying to comments and tweets. I also like other people’s content – their images, their tweets, and share what I think my fans will like. BONUS: This gives you another source for content. Then, I spend 15 minutes at night on Pinterest, adding pins to my social content board as well as my other boards.
Ready…Set….So Close…. – There’s still a few more things to cover before you let loose.
What should you post? Where? How Often? What Time?
Step 5 – What should you post?
Each platform works a bit differently. Facebook is social, Twitter is microblogging, LinkedIn is professional, Pinterest is Visual, Instagram is Visual/Social (You get the idea)
The one thing that’s a constant is there are ‘types’ of content that you can choose from to post.
Here’s 20 different types of content to choose from (PS – Download this bad boy right here)
The same type of content can be posted on multiple networks. Just keep in mind the type of content users want on that platform. (Hang with me here, it will make sense in a minute)
If you’re someone who thrives off examples and seeing exactly what works – the GoSocial! program is exactly what you need to create Content that Sells.
The main thing you want to get right is to optimize your post for the platform. (say what?)
Example: A motivational quote is great content to share on all your networks. An article is also good to share on all networks.
However, you want to share them the way your fans will engage with them.
- Instagram & Pinterest users will want to see quality eye catching visuals so you would share your graphics on these platforms. You can’t just share an article link on these platforms.
- Twitter & Facebook would be ideal for graphics OR a text status with links to your article.
The objective is to give people the type of content they want – on the platform they want to hang out on. In other words, create content specifically geared for that platform.
But HOW can we simplify this?
If you’re thinking to yourself “OK, I published my blog post. Now I have to create 4 different graphics, pin it, tweet it, schedule it on Facebook, and Instagram…and I have 4 other blog posts to share this month – this does not seem simple!”
Well, you’re in luck! Because there’s a much easier way. The answer is a simple and FREE program called IFTTT (If this, then that)
This program is a business time saver. You can create “recipes” which tell the program “If This” happens…”Then” Do This.
For example: “If I post a blog post, then share it to my Facebook page (Or Twitter, or Pinterest, or Instagram, etc…)” Automatically!
So, save yourself a little or a lot of time and create a few recipes to automate the sharing of your content.
Step 6 – What TIME should you post?
This requires a bit of research and ongoing monitoring to make sure you’re optimizing the times you’re posting. Each platform will have different times that are best to post (This is why scheduling it all makes it easier)
What goes into deciding when you should post? Think about your target audience.
For Example: A stay at home mom is not online at the same time as someone who works on Wall Street.
Knowing your audience will be helpful in determining the best time.
But of course, even your target audience will have variants in the time because not all stay at home moms are online at the same time.
The goal is to post at the best time – when the largest amount of your fans ARE online.
For Facebook, use Facebook Insights. These are built in analytics that give you the best day and time to post specifically based on YOUR audience.
The image below is a snap shot of the data you can see about your audience. You can literally pick the best time of each day to optimize your posts. Use this! It’s GOLD.
Twitter – I use a 3rd party tool called Tweriod which will give you data similar to Facebook insights. See what time of the day is best and view specific days to get even more clear.
Instagram – Iconosquare is data central for Instagram. Another 3rd party tool that gives you all the data you need to make the best decision about when to post. Iconosquare tells you the best time that your audience is ENGAGING and that is a metric that can make a huge impact for you.
Pinterest – Tailwind is going to be the best source for time to post. This is also going to give you the best engagement which is what you want to aim for. You can use the data here to schedule pins or take the data to the previously mentioned tool, board booster, and schedule content there. The most popular day to post on Pinterest is Saturday so go heavy on the posting on Saturday and space out your content during the week.
Make sure you check these analytics at least once a month. That way you can review and adjust your strategy according to the best times for YOUR account. By adjusting your strategy, you’re ensuring you get the most engagement for each piece of content you share which is going to provide better growth than if you don’t optimize your posting.
Step 7 – How often should you post?
Ahh, another one of those questions that is not a one size fits all answer. I’ve worked with brands who post once a day and other brands who post 10 times a day (yes, 10! On multiple social media channels) – both had very successful presences online. It all comes down to…you guessed it, YOUR AUDIENCE.
I usually recommend you post at least 1 time a day, ideally 2 times a day – on each platform.
Going back to our target audience, – imagine one stay at home mom checks her social accounts in the morning and another checks them in the evening.
If you only post once a day, and it’s not when she’s online, she will never see your post.
Let’s look at it another way: You post once a day, you reach 100 people with that post. You post again and reach 70 people. By posting twice, you’ve reached 170 people.
Any time you can reach more people, that is a strategy you should use.
The best way to find out how often you should be posting is to start small and scale up. By testing your audience and reviewing the data, you can get a good idea of how often you need to post. Review your reach, review how many people are liking your post, review if people are hiding your posts or if you’re losing followers – these are good indicators of needing a strategy adjustment.
You did it! You’ve successfully worked through the major elements of a winning social media strategy.
Let’s take a look at what a day could look like on social media:
Monthly Goal: Use Social media to engage our audience, send traffic to our opt in, & grow subscribers.
- 8 a.m. – Scheduled Blog Post About New Service we Provide – Post on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
- 8:15 a.m. – Engage, Check, Reply & Moderate Social Channels: Comments, Reply, Tweets, & Delete Spam
- 12:30 p.m. – Scheduled Social Post Engaging Content – “Open Ended Question” – Facebook & Twitter
- Evening – Post Curated Content from your resource list – Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter.
- Prescheduled Pins post – 5 new pins & 5 repins to Pinterest
If you’re thinking…This seems like a lot. – It’s ok.
You’re learning a brand new way to market your business and there’s always a learning curve in the beginning. After you implement this strategy consistently, your efforts will become a habit. Before you know it, you’ll be excited about scheduling out your months!
Most importantly, remember, your efforts WILL be worth it. The time you spend marketing and investing in your business will help you reach your goals.
Step 8 – Pick a day to implement your strategy.
(I like the 1st of the month for the pre-plan and every Sunday for scheduling content so the week is ready to go)
Pre-plan your month by gathering your content and then plugging your content and promotional goals in as you need. The pre-plan can take anywhere from 1-3 hours.
Then on Sunday, you can set up time to schedule your content out over the next few weeks.
I also use Sunday’s to create any custom images I’m going to share – for my blog or social media. It helps to have it all done before you post. This usually takes me about 2 hours and can be done while catching up on your Netflix shows.
Then you’re done with your social media!
Engage as you need, 15 minutes a day, and the rest of your time can be spent growing and running your business!
1st of the month:
- Create a Promotional Calendar – Include any business promotions you need to include for the month (new products, launches, sales, etc…)
- Gather your content for the month. Pull from your resource list and add to your secret Pinterest board for social sharing content.
Sunday (You can do it once a week, or once a month)
- Schedule out your content on your social media channels.
- Pin 20-100 pins to be scheduled out over the month.
- Create any custom images for your social or blog.
- Moderate your social media – check comments, retweets, replies, and remove any spam.
- Engage with others and be “social” on social.
- Always be on the lookout for new content to add to your queue.
- Let your amazing scheduled content bring you visibility, awareness, community, and sales : )
Download this strategy below:
Ok, that was easy peasy right? Maybe not easy but DEFINITELY worth it and now you know exactly how to get started with a simple but effective social media strategy.
Here’s the truth: using social media to truly grow your business DOES take skill. If you don’t know what strategies to employ or how to set up systems that do the work for you, you can get overwhelmed and fail to see results.
You need a solid system. You need to know exactly what the professionals do.
That’s why I created Go Social!
You don’t have to spend 5 years learning how to use every social media platform, testing strategies, trying new techniques, or attempting to stay up to date with the fast paced – quickly changing rules around social media.
As an experienced digital marketer, I wanted to put together a program to show you exactly how a social media manager would run your business. How they would implement systems, analyze results, and most importantly how they would get you results: sales and clients.
The Go Social! program is for you if you plan on using social media for your business any time in 2016, the time to sign up is now.
This course is packed with content covering not just one social network, not just two social networks, but FOUR social networks: ALL proven to provide results for your business.
- Learn how I’ve managed social media for small businesses to million dollar brands – using the same strategies
- Learn how to use the platforms. The ins and outs, setting up foundations, and simplifying the processes, content that sells, how to run ads, gain followers, and so much more- focusing on saving you time while maximizing results.
- How I’ve double social media accounts in a matter of months growing 15,000 new followers in mere weeks with these strategies.
- How I’ve taken businesses from $0 sales to 6 figures in sales in months with these social sales systems.