The Social Media Jungle & Creating a Strategy for Navigating it

The Social Media Jungle | michaelahoffman.com

Let’s be honest, since Facebook hit the word wide web social media networks are popping up every day. Each has their own spin on staying social with different communities. You have so many options about where to be and pressure to be on them all…all the time. It is a very overwhelming part of running a business and I struggle with it too. Each network has its own rules and quirks about the people you reach on that specific network. So I’ve put together 5 tips on how to navigate the Social Media Jungle.

1 . Don’t spend your valuable time on networks that you don’t like. With the pressure to be on all the networks all the time you probably have found one or two you prefer and some that you aren’t really that into. That’s ok, in fact, that’s a great first step in your planning strategy. Just because someone told you that you need to have a presence on Twitter does not mean that you have to. If you don’t like interacting with your target market that way your posts aren’t going to be as authentic and your effort on that front wasted.  Spend your time interacting with people in the communities that you like and are excited about. This will build real connections with your ideal market.

2. Get a calendar specifically for social media. This will work if you’re a paper and pencil kind of person or an electronic calendar person. Start with the first day of the next month and make a loose guide for each day about what you want to post about. For example, share an FAQ, Behind the Scenes Post, Promote a service… Fill up as many days as you can it is ok to repeat especially for consistency. Like when you have a new blog post each Tuesday and you want to promote it across your social media networks.

3. Next, going one week at a time block off an hour or if you are just starting out 2 hours one day of the week to work on social media posts for the following week. As you get more comfortable with your workflow it will take less time to accomplish your social media for the week. I have found that the best way for me to organize all the social media networks I prefer to have a presence in inside of an Excel or Google Sheets document. I list out the date in the left column and then make a column for each network (FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter) and a column that I can mark if I’ve created the graphic or photo and a column to mark when I’ve scheduled the post. This way I can tweak the same post for each network and copy and past to schedule quickly and easily.

4. Be consistent with your posts. No matter which network you are on consistency is always the key.  Consistency with the images you use as well as timing & topics are all very important. This one tip has been huge for my own social media growth.  Not only will this create trust with your followers it will also help you with the sometimes terrifying question of what do I say? If you keep your social media consistent with your branding & brand mission it will help guide you on those moments of writers block.

5. Start a strategy and evaluate. There is no one size fits all approach to social media. What works for one person might not work for everyone but the important thing to do is to experiment with different approaches and evaluate. Using analytics in this way will really help you decide what is working for you and what isn’t. If one part of your strategy isn’t working change it while keeping everything else the same. And you guessed it evaluate it again. This process is never ending. As a small business owner, you should always be evaluating your efforts because you can’t waste your valuable time on something that isn’t working for your business.

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