Let’s face it. Social media marketing can be overwhelming. The more experts and gurus you listen to, the more steps there seems to be to reach the social media success train. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Here’s your five step social media strategy, aka what to focus on when you don’t have time to be social.
Because you’re busy and looking for help NOW we’re going to dive right in. Take what you need and do it NOW. Pro tip: Don’t do this all at once, pick what you can do first and work on it first. Then come back and pick another to work on. Then another. Look at it like building blocks—do what you can, master it, then move on to the next step.
Five Step Social Media Strategy
- Decide on your objectives
- Choose your social networks
- Complete your social media profiles
Your options are endless here, but the key is choosing a goal. What are your social media goals? Why are you posting? You need something to keep you focused on the big picture so you keep moving towards your writing/business targets.
A few objectives ideas: build your online profile, build brand visibility, networking, reach new clients/readers, stay connected with current clients/readers, launch products/books/services.
Remember: choose one and work on that first. Once you feel like you’ve mastered that objective move on to another, then another.
I know you know. You don’t have to be everywhere. However. You do need to be online. It’s where the marketplace is. So you must choose where to spend your social time/energy. There is a lot of advice out there for which networks have the biggest payoff but you will need to decide for yourself what works. A couple questions to consider when choosing your social networks: Where are you most comfortable online? Where are your clients/readers most comfortable online?
My two cents. If you’re a writer and trying to build your platform as a writer, I recommend Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as your networks of concentration.
Yes people are saying Twitter is on its way out and yes it’s not the same as it was a few years ago. However. This is where you meet other writers. You know who else you meet on Twitter? People looking for writers. How you manage Twitter is an art in itself (which I plan on writing about soon) but once you have it set up, you will understand why I won’t let Twitter go.
Twitter is for quick interactions. It’s great for sharing helpful links, meeting new people, and getting ideas. However, it’s not a place to sell. You build relationships on Twitter, 140 characters at a time.
Yes people are saying you have to pay to play to get any traction on Facebook and yes it’s not the same as it was a few years ago. However. This is where the largest concentration of people who are on social media are. Facebook. Join the conversation.
If you think of Facebook as a place to host/advertise events, join writers groups, and share your blog posts and article clippings, it may start to make more sense. However, this is not a place to vent your personal feelings about in-the-moment happenings. Yes you see people doing that all the time, but they’re not trying to build a professional brand and they’re using their personal profile to do that. If you think about your professional goals and aligning what you post on Facebook with them, you’ll know what you need to do.
Yes people are saying Instagram’s shadow ban and algorithm change are messing everything up and yes it’s not the same as it was a few years ago. However. This is where your future fans and readers are. Trust me on this. It’s time to figure Instagram out.
Instagram is a wonderful place to connect with people as you build your brand. How? Consistency and engagement. That means YOU are consistent and YOU are engaging with others. You can share your writing, post prompts or inspiration, and behind-the-scene peeks at your writer’s life. Images have a way of connecting people with you that words alone don’t. However, this is not a place to post your entire vacation photo album—not when you’re building your professional brand. This is also a place where you do need to engage and be active. If you don’t post and interact with other posts, you don’t grow.
Wondering how on earth to do this? Read my post on how to build an Instagram strategy. This is one of my favourite client services and I’ve seen this strategy work time and time again.
Remember: choose one social network and work on that first. Once you feel like you’ve mastered that social network move on to another, then another.
Not only complete, but optimize. How? I’m glad you asked! Read my post with five tips for optimizing your social media profiles.
Looking for the quick fix? Here are the main points.
- Choose a professional/standout profile picture and cover photo
- Make it easy for people to know who you are/what you do
- Link to your website
- Include keywords about your services
- Be clear on your location/contact info
My biggest tip for optimizing your social profiles is consistency across platforms. Each network has its own rules for how long your bio can be, what sort of profile image works, and where your website link goes, but if you can keep more or less consistent then you’re on the right track.
We talked about this a bit in the social media section but it needs repeating. The point of social media is to be social. I know, you don’t have time to be social. Do you have 15 minutes? Spend 15 minutes a day checking into your two or three chosen social networks and leave comments, reply to comments, and lend your expertise whenever convenient. Trust me, this will expedite your brand building like nothing else will.
Reminder: You’re not on social media to sell. You’re here to be social. Offer value, compliments, and help. Sales will follow.
All along we’ve been talking about how you DON’T sell on social media. But you do need promotion. There is a difference.
In most cases, clients/readers need to know, like, and trust you before they’ll hire you/buy your book. In a virtual world, how do you make this happen? You need a strategy for converting warm leads into clients and retaining existing clients.
If you can stay in touch in a consistent, helpful, positive way, people who visit your website or connect with you on social will get to know you and will develop trust in you and your brand.
I know it as a “keep in touch strategy.” I first heard about it when I read Michael Port’s Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling. He suggests building an automated strategy using customer relationship management (CRM) software. While that’s something you can build to, there’s lots you can do before investing in a CRM.
You’ll need to figure out a few things you can do to make people feel special, noticed, and important. Here are some ideas.
Passive ways to stay in touch
- Posting regular blog/website content
- Posting regular social content
- Share real-life tips and tricks from behind the scenes of your business
- Commenting on/liking/sharing others’ posts on social media
Active ways to stay in touch
- Build an engaged email list and connect consistently
- Send handwritten notes or cards
- Live streaming—doesn’t get much more personal than that!
- Initiate communication
- Send an article you think your contact would appreciate (personal touch)
- Become a connector—in helping your connections cross-promote or develop business otherwise (even if it’s without you) you will build so much good will
- Share gratitude and compliments—recognize others, say thank you, give sincere, public displays of affection
Remember: choose one and work on that first. Once you feel like you’ve mastered that strategy move on to another, then another.
There, of course, is more. But you don’t have to do it all today. If you’re feeling like you don’t have time to be on social media or you’re overwhelmed with where to start, then please implement this five step social media strategy. It WILL help you! And if you are just plain stuck then I can help. All you have to do is get in touch.