New business owners and entrepreneurs have a myriad of things to think about: in addition to providing the actual service or creating the product, they have to do all of the administrative tasks necessary, pay bills, provide adequate service to their customers, and market themselves to new ones! As an entrepreneur, the plate is full before you get out of bed in the morning! Throw in the confusing and endlessly daunting world of social media, and it’s enough to make anyone throw in the towel on this portion of marketing. Businesses survived before the internet, so yours can, too, right?! Despite our different formulas for running a business, there’s no denying that a business of any kind is losing out on a plethora of potential clientele if they choose to opt out of the social media market!
There are so many things we think we “should” be doing when it comes to social media marketing… a thousand different options on how, when, and where. And if this isn’t something that comes easy to you, or something you are particularly jazzed about…. we can think of a million different things that we could be doing (and making more “direct” money) instead! I challenge everyone to think of social media marketing as a way to create residual income: marketing that doesn’t “go away” & always looks good to potential customers! As much as social media marketing may stress us out, it is beneficial in a myriad of ways for businesses! The simplest way to combat the stress is to hire a designer or marketing strategist to handle them for you. Not in your budget? No problem! The following 5 tips will help you on your way to mastering the DIY aspects of social media!
1. Be Consistent!
A common question I get from people is, “How can I be seen by EVERYONE who likes my business page?” (We have tricky algorithms to thank for that, in an attempt to keep your newsfeed “fair”.) The better question is, how can we make it so that MORE people can see your content? One of the best ways to do this is to be consistent! It’s so important to post content on your feed every single day, or at least in a regular pattern, regardless of the platform you’re using. I advocate to only create accounts for your business on platforms that you have time to master, because being consistent on each is so important. The more valuable content you put on your page, the more likely folks will “like”, “comment”, and “share” it. Facebook & Instagram’s goal is to create interactions within their users: the more interaction your posts get, the more valuable your page is seen as, and therefore, more likely for the algorithm to deem it valuable to its users. I recommend posting once a day, Monday through Friday, usually in the late afternoon: however, when posting, think about when your targeted audience may be online! In the early mornings looking for news articles? After school? During lunch break? After the kids go to bed? Consistently post when so you have the most chance of your audience being captive.
Consistency leads back to “residual income” especially for businesses who may only be searched for when the service is needed immediately, i.e., car mechanics, towing companies, dentists, wedding planners, etc. When a customer searches for your social media pages and sees consistent posts on your page (regardless of interactions), you come across as more legitimate. Taking your business seriously convinces others to do the same!
2. Create Stunning Graphics for Valuable Content
Notice I said, “Valuable!” The key to consistent posting doesn’t come from posting funny memes you didn’t create or a random selfie or a blasé text post: it is amplified by content that will add value to your audience’s experience! This can be a myriad of things, from a blog post of information, a news article, a tip or trick, a punny photo, or inspirational quote. The variety of information, from educational to light-hearted, is valuable to your viewers! The best way for this information to catch the eye of your views is to create beautiful graphics to coincide with your information! They all should be branded with your business brands’ imagery, colors, fonts, and logo, so that when seen in a group all together, they are cohesive. We are visual creatures who are looking for the next aesthetically pleasing thing, and in a digital world where we are fed more imagery than our brains can handle, business owners should not waste this opportunity putting out information and graphics that are mediocre. Plus, when the cohesive, stunning graphics are posted consistently, folks subconsciously begin to associate that imagery with your brand. The best form of advertising!
There are many programs that can help you create graphics: I use Adobe Illustrator, but canva.com is one of the best, most user friendly options.
3. Batch Create Your Content!
So now you know you have to post frequently and you have to put effort into making sure the information is presented well. Talk about overwhelming! Do you find yourself struggling each day to think of something to post? The solution: create your content in batches! Look at your business & get creative with the types of content you could post. Photos of the food at your restaurant? Inspirational quotes? Posts driving traffic to your newest blog post? Posts about holiday’s and special events? Tips & tricks of the trade? Those are all categories that you can post about each week! Just trade the specific content and you’ve got it made! I set up all the types of content I want to post about at the beginning of the month, and then make at least 10 graphics that relate to that type of post. For example, every Sunday you choose to post an inspirational quote. Create a beautiful template for this graphic in your program of choice. Find 10 inspirational quotes that relate to your audience. Put one quote in the template, save. Change the quote and the colors. Save. Again and again until you have 10 curated posts! Do this with all your categories. Before you know it, you have tons of posts to choose from! It is time consuming, but if you break down the content in this way, it makes the job easier throughout the month.
4. Schedule Your Content: Content Calendar!
You have the content, the graphics look beautiful. Now…. how do you post the content consistently without having to remember to post at the correct time each day? You schedule that content, of course! Step 1: Print out a calendar of the current & following months. Assign categories of content to each day… of the entire month! Plan out an entire month and know what type of content you have to choose. They can be the same types each week, with a few additional surprises along the way (you can google the day’s Holiday’s for added fun!). Remember… choose from the content types you’ve already created! There are a few awesome scheduling tools you can use to cross-post to different platforms, but I am a huge fan of the scheduling tool in Facebook itself. Spend some time & schedule ALL 10 inspirational quotes on Sunday at 3pm for the next 10 weeks! How satisfying is that?! Then do the same for your Tip of the Week on Monday… and your old blog posts on Thursday. Before you know it, you have an entire month (or more!) of content ready to post on your behalf. The only thing you have to do is reply to comments & messages! A little bit of organization is extra work at the start, but smooth sailing for the time period you scheduled it all for. Facebook automatically posts your content when you told it to. Repeat every month… forever! Change when necessary, but the diligence will pay off!
5. Hashtags & More: Intrigue Folks in Your Posts!
Once you’ve mastered the above steps, the next step is to add a little jazz to your posts. Make sure to tag businesses and/or people who are in or related to the content your posting! Remember to tag your clients business page, or your friend who helped you on that project you completed. As long as it’s relevant, your post will get seen to folks that follow these other businesses / friends. You could be doubling your audience to folks who aren’t “fans” of you yet! Hashtags are so wildly important, especially on Instagram. They are the addresses of the digital world and a major way to be seen. Get creative when thinking of hashtags you can use for your business and make sure that they are relevant to what you’re posting! A great way is to search through the hashtag yourself see if your content fits. You can also visit the pages of businesses you admire, influencers you follow, or your target audience, and see what they’re tagging their photos with! On Instagram, you must include hashtags if you want to be included in the conversation!
There are so many ways to navigate social media that it can be easily overwhelming. But your business wants and needs a space at this table and these tips should help clear a bit of the fog!