Ah Social Media, so much opportunity.
So much opportunity to make it work for you and your business; to increase brand awareness; build a tribe; increase sales. But so much opportunity for distraction. For inconsistency. For time wasted. Opportunities missed.
I want to ask you something....
How strategic are you being with social media for your business?
Do you have an overall strategy? Do you know what you are trying to achieve with social media? Or are your intentions a bit vague? Do you just post and hope for the best?
Mama, I feel you. When I was on maternity leave with my daughter, I had a blog and an Instagram account and a vague intention to monetize them somehow. But I lacked the social media expertise that I have now (I recently spent 6 months studying a social media qualification) and as a result, I lacked strategy. I just posted when I felt like it, without any particular plan or forethought. The result? I had some fun, but ultimately the Instagram account and blog went nowhere.
It is so easy to lack focus and clarity on what, when and how you should be using social media to your advantage. There is so much information out there about how you could be using social media for your business that it can be hard to cut through the noise and figure out what you need to be doing. And as someone balancing business and family, I know that it can be hard enough to find the time to post at all, let alone with any real purpose or as part of an overarching strategy. Clients come to me for help all the time for exactly that.
But there’s the thing. If you aren’t posting intentionally online, i.e., in line with a well thought out strategy, then you will be unlikely to really gain the results you are after.
Furthermore, if you don’t have a clear strategy, then you are unlikely to be monitoring how effective your social media efforts are. You end up posting without purpose and without knowing if it is even worth your while.
I am here to save you from that!
As a busy mother and business owner myself, I don’t want to waste time on activities that aren’t moving my business towards my goals. I want to make sure that I am making an impact with the hours that I spend in my business.
That’s why I have a social media strategy.
So let’s talk about strategy
First up, what even is a strategy?
It is a plan of action to get you to your objective.
So to use social media strategically, you need to first define your objectives.
What are you trying to achieve with social media specifically? What are your current business objectives? Your overall social media objective should be directly linked to your business objectives.
From there you can break your objective down into smaller goals.
For example, if you have a new business, then your key objective might be brand awareness. In which case your social media objective would be to harness social media to build brand awareness. Which in turn can translate into some social media goals. Such as increasing post reach (getting in front of as many people as possible) and growing your following.
But to make your goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-Focused, Timely) you need a bit more detail than “increase post reach”. So have a think about your goals in a general sense and make them SMART.
Measuring Your Social Media Performance
One of the most important factors here and one I find often gets missed is measuring your social media performance against your goals.
We have some incredible metrics and insights freely available to us on our social media platforms but they are frequently underused at best and totally ignored at worst. I could (and perhaps will?) write an entire - and lengthy! - post about social media metrics but for now here are some tips:
For each of your social media goals, decide which metric will be the best indicator of performance. These could be measurables such as post reach; link clicks; profile views etc.
Limit your measurables to one or two per goal to avoid data overwhelm
Pick a day of the week that you will look at your data and set a reminder on your phone
Now I know we’re all busy so I’m not going to recommend that you put together some complex spreadsheet to monitor your stats (although be my guest if that floats your boat!). But I would say, at a minimum just go in and have a quick glance at your measurables once a week and see if what you are doing is having the impact you are hoping for.
Choose Your Tactics
Once you have defined your social media objectives and goals, you can have a think about some specific tactics that you might use on each platform. There are all manner of social media tactics out there which you could try, but you want to pick those which you think will help to achieve your goals.
For example, if your goal was driving traffic from social media to a landing page; some tactics you might try are drop-ladder posts in Facebook Groups; setting up automated looping pins on Pinterest group boards; or regularly drawing attention to the landing page link in your bio in your Instagram Stories.
Posting With Purpose
OK, so you have a plan, now it is time to post with purpose. Gone are the days of just posting whatever pops into your mind whenever you feel like it.
We are talking strategic posting here.
It starts with setting an intention.
What do you intend to achieve with this post? Is it engagement through connection? Do you want to establish your expertise? Do you want to entertain or provoke? Do you want to inspire? Do you want to let your audience know about a paid or free offer?
But be careful to strike a balance. If one of your goals is to increase engagement, don’t only post with that intention. Asking engaging questions in every post for five days in a row will get a little dull, so look for ways to rotate between purposes, but each time keeping your mind firmly on your overall strategy.
Leave space for spontaneity
Although it is excellent practice to get into the habit of forward planning your content and then scheduling your posts (and such habits can be a lifesaver for us working mamas), do still leave a little room for spontaneity in your schedule.
This gives you the opportunity to talk about something topical or trending or to just to inject a little added personality to your feed with something off-the-cuff or unplanned from time to time.
And there we have it.
I hope this post has given you some pointers to help you start using social media more strategically so you can start seeing a return on your time invested.
Would you like to have the guesswork taken out of your own social media strategy?
If you love the idea of a bespoke roadmap created to play to your strengths, tie into your business objectives and fit in easily with your schedule; then click on the button below to find out more about how I could do this for you with one of my Social Media Simplified Intensives.