Yesterday’s training on how to make social media marketing both easier AND more effective was truly amazing. Not only did we have 20+ people—standing room only!—in attendance, but there was incredible feedback and some pretty amazing questions.
I’m sharing a recap of what went down for those of you who couldn’t make it. Be sure to join the San Diego Organic Content Marketing MeetUp, where I list all new events! I announce them all on Instagram too, so be sure to follow me there: @JessicaThiefels.
If you weren’t able to attend, here’s a taste of what the awesome participants learned yesterday.
Making Social Media Marketing Easier
As a small business owner, I know how hard it is to manage social media, and do it well, while focusing on everything else. I even wrote about it in a recent Owner to Owner post. As I work to make time for it in my business, I’ve found that there are six ways to make your social media marketing easier to manage.
#1: Cut back
Stop spreading yourself so thin by being on every platform. Choose the one that works best for you and keep your focus there. To determine what’s working for you, turn to your goals—which is what we talked about next. Which platform is helping you reach your goals already and what is providing little to no value?
#2: Set specific goals
Setting a goal of “having 5,000 Instagram followers” is a fine goal, but it’s likely not tied to your business goals and is a bit too broad. Define your goals by determining your top 3 business objectives. Now ask yourself, how can social media support and facilitate those results?
For example, My objective is to increase downloads to my lead-driving ebook. I then set a goal of driving 5 downloads this month from Facebook, where I tend to get the most click-throughs.
As you create your goals, keep these four in mind:
#3: Categorize your content
Use content categories as a way to determine what to post on social media. I often hear, “I just don’t know what to post!” and this solves that problem for you. A few overarching categories to consider include:
#4: Keep social on your phone
This may seem odd, but when social media is on your phone, you can put more effort into engaging throughout the day when you’re not doing something else. Let me explain. Think of all the times you’re doing nothing, and you could quickly engage:
- Standing in line at the grocery store.
- Waiting at the doctor’s office.
- Pumping gas.
- Waiting for pasta to boil.
- Waiting for a customer service agent on the phone.
Instead of just waiting for your gas, respond to a Tweet or comment on an Instagram post. This engagement is critical. As Jenna Kutcher said, “How do you expect your followers to engage with you if you don’t engage with them?”
#5: Take advantage of scheduling tools
Scheduling tools allow you to do two things: post consistently and at the right time. Posting in real-time, while being consistent, is next to impossible as a business owner. Even a dedicated marketer would struggle. With a scheduling tool, and its auto-schedule feature, you can:
- Post consistently: Helps you stay top of mind. Some brands tweet 10 times a day, for example.
- Post at the right time: You want to post when your followers are most active.
Most tools have this feature, including Buffer, Hootsuite, SproutSocial and Oktopost.
If you don’t know what’s working and what’s not, how can you improve what you’re doing? You can’t. Each month, make time for reporting. At a base level, aim to answer the following questions with your reporting:
- How much traffic is each platform driving to my site?
- How many leads am I getting?
- What site is sending the most leads/leading to the most conversions?
- Did I hit my monthly goals? If not, why?
- Are my channels growing in follower count and engagement?
Do this every single month and you’ll start to see patterns emerge that tell the story of what’s working and what’s not. Then you can focus on improving, slowly driving more and more value from your social media efforts.
We had a ton of great questions during the session, and I wanted to share a few here.
Q: I’m not my brand, I operate as my business—how do I engage?
Many of us, myself included, are the face our business or brand. However, many aren’t, and this was a great question to address how to engage as a business, rather than a person. The answer is simple enough: just do exactly what you normally would. Find ways to add value to the conversation and promote your business naturally.
Q: When should i engage and when shouldn’t i?
Engage when you can add value. Whether you’re sharing a link, an answer to a question, or a comment on something you like. You’re always building your brand, so use every chance you can to be authentically you while driving authority in your space.
Q: If I’m noticing a decline in engagement, what do I do?
Remember: you have to look at the whole picture. On Instagram, the issue could be: the timing, the text, the hashtags used, frequency of posting, whether you told a story or not, whether you tagged someone or not. Assess on a holistic level, looking at every factor to figure out what’s going on. For example, I saw a decline in both my LinkedIn and Twitter engagement. I am now posting one extra time each day on Twitter and two less days a week on LinkedIn and have seen an improvement.
Master Your Social Media Marketing
If you’re still feeling lost, get in touch with me about 1-on-1 social media coaching. See what a recent client had to say about her experience:
“I LOVED the hands-on experience. I walked away with a tangible social media scheduling tool, a report template and a goal setting template that we started filling out right then and there. We discussed what’s working for my brand image and what’s not. We discussed what kind of content I should be posting. We even came up with some posts during our session. Talk about productive! She unlocked social media clarity for me. If social media feels like throwing Jell-O at a wall right now, do yourself a favor and talk to Jessica Thiefels Consulting!” – Justine Nelson, Founder & Debtinator, Debt Free Millennials
I guarantee you’ll leave feeling more informed and confident in your social media marketing.