Over the last few months, I’ve been sharing tips, tactics into the worlds of copywriting and publicity. I’ve gone in-depth into unit publicity and how it can benefit filmmakers to sharing insight into why welcome emails should be part of your copywriting and marketing strategy.
Today, to announce the launch of the third segment on my Instagram profile @lsue30, Social Media Tactics, I wanted to focus on how to build a social media strategy.
More specifically, I wanted to focus on the 3 elements that you need to build an effective social media strategy. This is a blueprint that will work for any social media platform, as long as you stay organized and on top of updating your content schedule.
- Brainstorm Your Content Ideas
When it comes to answering the question, ‘what should I be sharing on social media?, start off by focusing on what you want people to know about you, your products & services. Ask yourself what you want to share about how your started the business, what motivates you and who/what inspires you to keep going when the going gets tough. This content can take the form of photos of you with quotes and/or a short ‘Getting to Know’ you blurb. Inspirational quotes from key figures who motive and inspire you are also a great way to get engagement from fans who also look up to the same people.
For your products and services, really think about what customers are going to want to know. Beyond what a product or service looks like, or what its capabilities are, customers are going to want to know how it can help them, whether it’s to solve their problem or make their lives easier. In other words, customers are asking, what can it do for me? A great way to showcase this content would be in short, how-to videos that show customers how everything works.
Lastly, are you an entrepreneur who participates in online and offline events? Promote the webinars, trade shows, workshops before they happen to get fans excited. Promoting events like this are a great way to establish you as an expert and an authority in the industry. Sharing quotes from content you’ve written for other blogs is also a great way to establish your authority. In other words, you know what’s going on in the industry.
Keep these ideas organized in a Google or Word Doc and go back to them & update them, every once in awhile, maybe even once a month. The more event opportunities you get, the more you read and the more people you meet, the more content ideas you’ll get.
2. Keep Your Social Media Content Organized
Once you have a document filled with ideas, now you have to start organizing it, so you know what you’re posting and when you’re posting it. If you’re just starting out, I’d suggest sticking to a looser schedule, just to get comfortable with posting your own content.
How do you do that? Well, I have social media content calendars that I provide clients, to help them to visualize how/where they want to schedule content, on a week to week basis.
Each social media calendar I provide is color coded by platform or theme, to make it easier to organize the content, such as every Instagram post focusing on product promotion being pink, every inspirational quote being blue and so on.
You want to make the content easier to keep track of, so start off slow and don’t feel like you have to post the same post at a designated time or day of the week. Try experimenting by posting an ‘About Me’ or ‘About the Brand’ type post on how you got started building the business or what the cornerstones of your brand on, on a Wednesday morning, just to see how it does.
If you want to follow popular hashtag themes, posting an inspirational quotes from someone you look up to on Mondays (because it’s #MotivationalMonday), is a great way to generate more engagement from fans & potential customers.
Be careful on how often you post certain types of content, though. If you’ve already posted something about how you started the business or a how-to video about one product the week before, you probably shouldn’t be posting on those same subjects the week after. Try stagnating your content ideas so that you’re posting something different once to twice a week, just to start off. Varying the content between images, videos, blog posts & links are also a great way to put some variety into your content.
As you post content, it’s also good to have a column in the calendar that you can mark it down as posted or change the color of that day or given just cross it out. Doing that immediately after you post is a good habit to get into to help you keep track of what’s been posted and what’s currently upcoming.
3. Have Easy to Use Graphic Design Tools at the Ready
When you’re developing your own social media content, it’s inevitable that there will be some graphic design involved. While I do have a basic to immediate grasp on Photoshop, I know it’s out of the price range for a lot of entrepreneurs and it isn’t the most user friendly platform out there.
That’s why I recommend really digging deeper into free programs such as GIMP and Canva. Canva is great if you need templates and little graphical & design elements (like GIFs) that are already pre-designed and available for you to use. It’s easy to use and you can still get creative with pre-designed elements.
I love GIMP because although you have to download it, unlike Canva, it’s definitely the easier to use version of Photoshop. I can design more personalized, branded images that are harder to create on Canva and have fun using some of their more creative tools (such as the myriad of painbrushes I’ve collected over the years).
Online, there are other tools available on top of Canva such as BeFunky and Pixlr. Affordable and easy to use, you can do everything from apply filters to give all your images a branded aesthetic, create collages with one click, touch up and enhance your photos & even remove the backgrounds on existing photos.
Have more questions on social media tips & tactics? Contact me for a time to talk and I’ll be happy to set up a consultation session!