Do you ever get overwhelmed with social media? So many different platforms to choose from. And, regardless of the platform, they each seems to change all the time. And, when you are on social media, it seems like other people are posting all the time. And, you get frustrated trying to keep up with all this. It’s enough to feel like social media is a fire-breathing dragon.
If you want your business to grow and reach more people, you need to be on social media. That’s a given. However, it’s easy to slay that dragon if you follow some simple steps.
Step One – Consider your audience
The number of social media platforms seems to grow, only you do not need to be active on all of them. Your first step is to figure out where your peeps are hanging out. In all likelihood, they are on the platform you enjoy. So pick a platform, take time to learn how it works, and follow the remaining steps. Once you’ve got the first platform down, you may want to add a second. Remember you don’t need to be on all forms of social media to be successful. You do need to be on at least one.
Step Two – Create categories
If you look at what you post already, you’ll probably find that you could break that content into categories. Consider what you’ve been posting as well as what you want to post in the future. Think about the types of posts that interest you. Most people post a variety and that should be your goal, too. Remember the “social” in social media, so it’s not all about what you have to offer or sell. It’s about creating relationships. Here are some examples you might be using:
tips or techniques
photos of your work
photos of your students’ work
promotion of your product
Step Three – Create content
Once you know what type of categories you post in, it’s time to create the content. I think the easiest way to do this is to block the creation time so you get ahead of the game. Because you want variety, an easy way to do this is to create folders on your computer or Dropbox for each of your categories. Then once you create content you can put it in your folder. In essence, you are building a “library of content.” This way, when you want to share a quote, for example, you have one already prepared. This is much easier than creating something at the last minute.
Because the lifespan of any post that you put on social media is very short, you can also reuse it. Consider that the lifespan of a Facebook post is 90 minutes. I’ve found that people will continue to engage with content on social media long past the time I initially posted it. This is particularly true with Pinterest. The half-life of a pin is 151,200 minutes, according to tracz.com. If you think about how often your pins are repinned, you can see the value of reusing on other platforms.
Step Four – Create a schedule
Part of slaying the dragon is letting technology help you. Your first step would be to create a chart or spreadsheet for your posting. For example, you might want to post a quote on Facebook at 11 am on Mondays and Wednesdays; a photo of a student’s work at 2 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays; your blog post on Wednesdays at 3 pm. You could create the same spreadsheet for other platforms.
If you have a team in place, they can take your spreadsheet and pick from your library to post.
With or without a team, here are some scheduling tools that you can check out. Some are free or offer free trials; other charge a fee. I use Edgar right now. I’ve used Hootsuite in the past.
Sprout Social (sproutsocial.com)
Planoly (planoly.com) This is just for Instagram. Because Instagram is a mobile app, you
Regardless of whether you are just starting out with social media or feel like a pro, remember to be intentional about what you post. Social media can take lots of time from your day, so set a plan and use the available tools to lessen the overwhelm.
It’s Your Turn!
What are your favorite tips or tools for managing social media?