How To Leverage Social Media When You’re Just Starting Out
Social media can be completely overwhelming – especially when you’re just starting out in your business.
It’s constantly moving and evolving. There are always new networks popping up, and there’s so much conflicting advice on how to leverage it that you may just want to close your laptop and take a hot bath.
How do you know what will work for you and your business?
Clients often ask how to use social media. They don’t know where to start, where to focus, or what to post.
What worked for me was getting really focused on one channel (Facebook at the time) and trying to be consistent about posting there.
Focusing and simplifying are the keys to success with marketing, and social media is no different.
Let’s dive in, so you can stop feeling intimidated by social media and instead use this powerful tool to enhance your business – in less time.
The Beginner’s Guide To Leveraging Social Media
Decide Which Channels You’ll Focus On
The most important thing to remember here is that you don’t have to be everywhere. A lot of business owners feel the need to try to keep a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope – and now with the additions of Facebook live, Instagram live, and soon Facebook live audio – it’s all just too much! I’m overwhelmed just listing them.
Start by identifying which social media channels your audience prefers. The most effective way to do this is to ask! Next time you’re on a call with a client, ask them what their favorite social media networks are. You can also send out a survey to your email list.
Once you have the answers, pick the top one or two and focus there. Whether it is Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram… just pick one or two and get REALLY good at using that channel.
The channel itself totally depends on your audience and will be different for everyone.
Create a schedule for yourself
Consistency is crucial for social media growth. The best way to stay consistent is to create a schedule of how often you will post, what you will post, and where.
Depending on what channels you are using, there is an optimized number of posts you should be sharing each day and each week. As a rough guide, you can post to:
- Facebook: 1-2 times per day
- Twitter: 10+ times per day
- Instagram: 1-2 times per day
- Pinterest: 20+ times per day
So you can see that they all vary.
When you’re starting out, I recommend you just focus on posting once a day, every day. Start getting in the habit of creating regular content and sharing it. See how your audience is reacting and add from there.
Your posts can also include curated content from other sources, so you don’t have to worry about creating 20 pieces of original content for Pinterest every day.
Your ideal social media schedule should include a mix of types of content.
- Your valuable content – this can include links to blog posts or resources, recipes or workouts, or helpful tips
- Inspirational content – this can be inspirational quotes that you like (which you can make into images or just post as text), links to inspirational stories, videos, or podcasts, or even before/after stories
- Engaging content – this is content you post to start a conversation with your audience. Ask questions, create polls, and share stories.
- Curated content – this is other people’s content including blog posts, articles, videos, podcasts, images, etc.
- Promotional content – this is sharing your offers and promotions, linking to your opt-in or landing pages, and making direct offers to make sales.
The first 4 types of content should make up about 80% of your social media schedule, with only 20% being promotional content. The idea is to provide a great deal of value before making an ask.
Batch Your Content Creation
Creating your social media posts every day is not a good use of your time. Batching this task will make things go much faster.
Block off time in your calendar to create social media content for an entire week, or month if you can. Start with blocking 90 minutes and see how much you can get done. Look at the schedule you created for yourself and determine how many posts you need to create and curate. Spend the 90 minutes filling up the schedule with a mix of posts.
Use a tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your content while you are creating it. That way it will automatically be posted throughout the week or month and you won’t have to spend so much time each day on social media. Log in once or twice a day to respond to any comments and interact with your audience.
Content with images gets 94% more views than posts without images (source). The small effort required to find or create images for your content is totally worth it!
You can use photographs, royalty free stock photos, gifs you find online, or your own branded images. Sites like WellnessStockShop.com are a great place to look for images that are relevant to your content and will enhance your social media. Click here to receive a FREE set of images pre-sized and ready to beautify your social media feed.
You don’t need to be a photographer or a photoshop pro to create your own images. Get yourself familiar with a tool like Canva and you’ll be making shareable images in no time.
Try to include images in about half of your posts if you can. You will see your views and interactions increase quickly!
Interact With Influencers
The best way to grow your audience is to get in front of someone else’s!
Have you ever heard the story of how Mastin Kipp of The Daily Love got his break? He had a small following of about 1000 people when Kim Kardashian tweeted about him to her audience, and his audience exploded to 10,000 people overnight. His business and life changed from there!
I’m not saying you need Kim Kardashian to tweet about you to be successful. But this example demonstrates how when someone with a large following shares what you are doing it can have a huge impact for you and help to explode your following.
Make a list of people you consider influential in your niche. This can also be people you want to collaborate or partner with, or people you want to work with. Make a point of re-sharing their content and responding to their posts a couple times a week to build a relationship.
I have been making more of an effort to do this lately and it has helped not only to grow my audience, but also to strengthen relationships with my affiliate partners and collaborators. It’s also helped me to get a story in Beautiful You Coaching magazine, land several guest posting opportunities, and be interviewed on multiple podcasts.
You don’t have to nail every one of these steps all at once. Start small, track your results so you can see what’s working and what’s not, and continue to build over time.
Now I’d love to hear from you!
What’s working well for you on social media? What’s the one platform you want to focus on over the next few months?