Back 2 Basics: Creating a Social Media Strategy
I love talking about social media because I think it's one of the easiest aspects of your business to automate and simplify. For many people just getting started in business, it can be overwhelming to learn all the different social platforms and figure out how to optimize each one. Today I'll be sharing some of the simplest ways to get in the game so that you can grow and learn as you build your audience but still start off with a solid base.
Create a Social Library
I'm going to talk about this more in the workshop, but one of the first things you should do for your social media accounts is to create a social library. You can use google drive, dropbox, your laptop, or really any online tool you prefer to do this. We use 5 different ones (see images below) to keep our content together.
The idea is to collect images, stock photos, graphics, tweets, quotes, product photos and other information into a system that makes it easy to build social media content each week.
Pick Your Platform
Pick on of the "big 5" to be your main focus. I highly recommend picking Facebook or Instagram because these platforms have more features when it comes to the kind of content you can post. Keep in mind that whatever you decide to make your main focus will be the one that you'll use to create your other social media content from. Below are some of the key features that stand out about each platform or make it unique.
- Live facebook videos
- Facebook stories
- Facebook pages, groups or events
- Add shop items, open jobs and more
Hosting live twitter chats is a great way to get to know your followers and participate in a weekly event that your audience can count on. Twitter is very fast paced, which makes it great for sharing other's content to develop better relationships. It's also easy to share links and photos in your feed but the content won't last as long as it would on other platforms.
Pinterest is more of a search engine than a social platform, but there are ways to boost your community. The whole idea of Pinterest is to LEAVE Pinterest to look at articles or blog posts, unlike other social media platforms, this means your audience will go to your site much more often than on any other platform. With group boards, commenting and repinning, you can build relationships with others as long as you're consistent.
Instagram is huge. Its popularity in the last few years has exploded and with new features like stories and private chat, people are checking their feeds multiple times per day, making it the perfect place to get in front of new audiences. Instagram requires a lot of work, though, because unless you have written permission from photographers - all your content needs to be your own! Captions can work as mini-blog posts (learn more about that here) and help your audience get to know you on a more personal level.
YouTube / Other Video
YouTube is another tricky one because it can be a lot like a social platform, but it's also a form of content marketing like a blog would be and a search engine. YouTube is a great place to grow into a new audience and you can easily reuse content from your videos in blog posts, Facebook posts and even cut clips into 30-second chunks for twitter and Instagram. Because YouTube it is its own beast if you want to learn more about using it as your main platform, read this blog post first.
Pick your tools
There are a million tools out there to help you plan, schedule and create content for your social media channels. I'm only going to talk about the 4 that I've used and recommend. However, I know these can be a bit of an investment if you're just starting out, so here's some honorable mentions that might be a better fit for you to get started with:
If you want more info about this tool, there is a TON of features. I have a full guide in the Conrad Hub and a mini version of the blog post on the regular blog. Below is a quick overview of CoSchedule to give you an idea of what you can use CoSchedule for. This video is pulled from the Hub, so if you'd like to watch the rest of the videos, you'll need to sign up for the Conrad Hub.
Here's a sneak peek of Buffer (This is an older video since I no longer use this tool). Buffer is a really affordable option if you're new to social media.
This is my holy grail Instagram tool. It's incredibly simple and doesn't have too many features but it has one that is SO important. They post your content for you. Automatically. Before you freak out with the "that's against the rules" comments - Grum costs money because someone literally posts the image for you through the native Instagram app. Here's their explanation:
"Grum doesn't implement the Instagram API (official or unofficial) at all while posting your image(s) or videos - we use the same process all Instagram users do when uploading images instead. Grum works on its own as the native Instagram app, so there is nothing connected with the prohibited auto posting."
This makes it a dream tool if you have multiple accounts and hate the push notifications coming through to your phone. You can sign up for Grum here - if you use the promo code "NoraConradFREEMONTH" you'll get a month for free to play with the tool.
I have been using Boardbooster for a few months now and I don't know how I was running my business without it. I wrote an entire case study of the tool and walked you through how to use it on THIS blog post.
Create multi-use content
This is another one we're going to talk about more in the workshop, but it's so important to find ways to reuse your content in multiple ways. If you have a blog post, you can pull quotes from the post to use on Twitter, share the image on Pinterest, give a little intro to the post topic on Instagram or Facebook and create YouTube videos for the post content. Using different formats and content types in your post will make it much easier to share on your social media channels later.
- Create a social library for yourself. Save at least 100 photos and 50 tweetable quotes or tips.
- Setup your chosen social media tool(s).
- Create 1 month of social media content and schedule it to auto-publish each day of the month.