Guest post by licensed Right-Brain Business Plan® Facilitator Michelle Rumney
So you’re launching your online presence – new website and all the rest too. You’ve diligently set up, or are about to, a Facebook page for your business, your professional LinkedIN profile, and perhaps even a Google+ account. You know what a Tweet is. Media-wise you may have heard of Flickr, Instagram, and Pinterest, (the fastest growing social media network right now), and you may be aware that YouTube is one of the largest search engines out there after Google.
And really you know you should be blogging, engaging and creating interesting stuff out there, with pictures and video too, to increase your ‘expert’ status and improve your SEO like you’ve been told… and there’s also that free download to create so people will sign up for your newsletter, which means there’s also your newsletter to write and your programs to create and then more blogging and tweeting and creating… then a few videos, testimonials and it’s seemingly endless and totally overwhelming…
STOP, enough already!
Take a chill pill and give yourself an hour to sit down, and relax and get one thing at least sorted. You really don’t have to do it all! Create your own social media strategy – and one that suits you!
1. Start where you’re planted.
• Where do you already hang out online? If you never read blogs, rarely log into Facebook, but love Tweeting all over the place, there’s a clue there for you of where to start!
• Don’t force yourself onto networks you don’t enjoy using, just because you ‘should’ be on them – instead allow yourself to gravitate to who and what interests you and where you feel inspired to join in the conversations genuinely. Seek out your ideal clients or cohorts there and let things unfold.
• Write down all the networks or online spaces you’re aware of, then pick just one or two main ones to get started with – not all of them – get these working for you first (or ditch them if not) then broaden your outreach into other networks later.
2. Do more than just broadcasting.
A lot of people seem to think that a tight schedule of writing 5 tweets a day, 2 blog posts a week and a newsletter every 2 weeks is a sure formula for success. Well, possibly, but you’ll probably get more out of all this effort if you listen as well as shout it out.
Take managing a Facebook business page as an example – allocate yourself a set amount of manageable time and schedule it in, eg 30 minutes per day. Divide by 3 to allow time for Listening, Seeking and Broadcasting – all 3 are important. Set yourself some targets to keep in check with this – eg.
▪ I will check things people have posted to my wall and respond (10 mins Listening),
▪ I’ll look for 3 other jewellery designers on there and say hello to broaden my network of contacts (10 mins Seeking),
▪ I’ll post my update about my new piece that I’m making with a photo (10 mins Broadcasting).
Then stop and get on with your other work!!
With blog posts, schedule in time for writing them of course, and time for then telling people it’s there – the Broadcasting bit – but then again put time aside for Listening – ideally to responses that people have to your post and for Seeking – for instance, other people posting about similar topics or people who have some connection with what you’re talking about – ask them to comment on your post. Or you could seek other bigger blogs who might be interested in what you’ve written. Obviously the time you schedule will probably be over the course of a few days or a week, rather than all in one go – but remember the interesting bit is usually in the follow-up, so make sure you do. If you hate timetabling, use Asana or sticky notes or whatever works to remind yourself and keep you on course.
3. Keep checking in with yourself – review ROI regularly.
Rather than just start and keep going till you’re maybe exhausted and sick of all the effort (something which many people unfortunately do), keep your efforts focused and schedule in an hour a month to review how it’s going. You can adjust your course of action if you need to.
• Find and set up some reporting tools to help you do this – eg. Google Analytics for your website, Hootsuite, Bit.ly or Buffer for your social media posts, or specific ones within the apps you’re using such as MailChimp.
• Learn how to use them! – watch some how to videos, do the tutorials or get someone to show you (please!!). These tools can tell you who’s active, where they came from, what they are most interested in within your content, how long they spent there, whether they came back or not and what they actually did next as a result. You do want to know (don’t you?) how many people landed on your website as a result of reading your Facebook updates last month, or how many clicks on the sales page you got after sending out last month’s newsletter? That sort of thing…
• Don’t forget to make it fun or you’ll probably resist! Create maps, turn the data into doodles, put some music on, grab some chocolate – see it as a treat to look forward to – time to reflect – and make it so.
Once you’re doing this regularly you can start building up a picture of the ROI – return on investment – of all your precious time and energy. This takes time – be patient – it may take a few months for efforts to pay off in some areas, but know you’re in control and now have a workable social media strategy in place. (ooh!)
Sound doable and like it will help?
So DO these 3 things
1. Choose your preferred network/s to focus on for the next 3 months
2. Schedule in regular set times in your calendar and stick to the Listening-Seeking-Broadcasting plan each time
3. Schedule in one hour next month for analysing & reviewing AND at least 20 minutes to plan the next month going forward
And let us know how you get on – (on your preferred social networks of course!).
Michelle Rumney, helps people get inspired and then get on with it. A fine artist and creative coach, her fun and playful approach helps take the ‘serious’ stuff and make it doable, step by step. Listen to her ‘Journeys’ podcasts, including an interview with Jenn, on RoomOnTheEdge.com. Michelle is one of our licensed Right-Brain Business Plan® Facilitators.