“Hi All, I know there are a few people in here good at the old social media. I’m getting going with FB, Twitter and Linkedin and I really want to have a clear plan/strategy re how often I post, how often I tweet, what each will be about, knowing what I’m doing when I’m sharing with others on social media and so on. I wondered for those of you who are using all of this in your businesses, do you have a plan with it, any resources you could recommend for me to read to hit the ground running asap with it. I know that I need to be doing this consistently and am doing what I can but want to have a clear game plan, all ideas and info welcome.”
And here’s my reply:
Oh Caroline, such a small and innocent-sounding question, such a big, long, complex answer. I will try to cut it as short as I can and here’s a little bit of preamble first. Social media (for me) is point 5 on a five-point online marketing plan that works. Forgive the recap but to give you the answer without this context might be to mislead.
- Have a website you are really pleased with. I know you have this but don’t rest on your laurels. Don’t let it stagnate. Visit it often and refresh it, notice a typo you want to correct or some words you could make better/more effective/fewer. Enable the visitor to work out within seconds what you are all about and make sure that all the writing speaks to them in an engaging way which represents you well and achieves rapport.
- Offer a delicious and tempting opt-in. Make sure that this reflects you well and is congruent with your current offerings. Refresh it occasionally so when people come back to your site it is not the same old freebie which has become tired in say a year’s time. Make sure the writing is engaging, that your voice is authentic and the content represents you well and achieves rapport.
- Newsletter. Make sure it goes out regularly and that the content is well written in your authentic voice, offering useful free content which engages your readers and you know this by feedback and comments and how many people open it etc. I cannot stress too highly that going through the motions here is a complete waste of time. Don’t do it to tick the “I’ve done my ezine this week/month” box, do it because you have something of value to say to your tribe and you love them and they love you. Authentic. Voice. Rapport. If you cannot engage them, it’s all wasted. This can be learned with practice.
- Blogging. This is the single most powerful thing you can do to bring people to your site to read your articles and opt in to get your 2 and so you can market to them for life (3).
- Only now do we get to social media having a point since again this is about bringing traffic to your site and engaging with your readers, fans and followers and potential clients.
So, social media. You cannot effectively, as one woman, be across all social media platforms successfully and simultaneously so choose your weapons carefully. This might help you to find out where your tribe are: Social Media Demographics.
All of this is measurable. There’s both a science and an art to social media and online relationship-building. Social media might, at first glance, appear to be about broadcasting but in fact it is about building a relationship with your tribe, a relationship is two-way, broadcasting is one-way, all about you and that’s of limited use to your reader and potential client. Make everything you do about them. Convey that in your words. All of the above is a word-based strategy, at least initially until you can tempt them into booking an intro session with you then you can speak to each other, perhaps even see one another.
At the moment I am loving a combination of blogging (to bring people to my site, opt in, book an intro call, join my network) and Facebook, because it’s the best thing I have found right now for me to engage with my people. But what you have to do is have an open mind and be prepared to experiment and measure your results and then pick your best combo. Keep that combo simple and effective so that you are always doing it and enjoying it.
I have committed to another 30 day blogging challenge, in fact I have decided I want to blog every day for the rest of my life. My blog posts are automatically sent out to Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin and I can already tell after that I have more interactions across all three of those platforms, more opt-ins to my newsletter, more visitors to my website and readers of my blog posts, more new followers on Twitter, more likes on FB and LI, more comments on my blogs etc.
Sue Thomason gave us a wonderful short list of the ways to make Twitter work for us in this group earlier in the year. Twitter used to be my favourite and, with Sue’s help, I want to return to it but I haven’t made the time for it yet as my blogging + Facebook strategy is working so well and if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Why make time for something new and dilute how well my other marketing is doing?
The thing is to decide what you are going to do based on what you know you will do and enjoy as generally those are the only things which get done. I cannot stress too highly how important measurement is, so you know what’s working and can do more of that, how you give yourself enough time (years) for this to work effectively, how you must be prepared to experiment quite scientifically with new things and try not to test multiple new things at the same time. You get a sense of what’s working relatively quickly but don’t give up too soon on something you are not sure about; the rest of the world is not as quick to adopt as we are in this group.
But all of this is a complete waste of time if you cannot engage your tribe and achieve rapport in the written word. These days I count the tribe as readers, subscribers, followers, fans and friends, so you can add them all together across 1-5 above. And you want engagement i.e. them commenting on your blogs, liking things you do and say on FB, RTing your tweets, signing up to be your follower on Twitter, asking to be your friend on FB.
The number of visits, reads, etc. is all measurable and encourages you on, as you see your results improving, as you put the work in, but the key is to keep the website updated and refreshed, ditto the freebie, write to them regularly in a way which is engaging across ezine, blog and social media and think about them, them, them.
So social media in particular is about engagement – go to them, play with what they are talking about, what they are interested in, be active and interested and helpful and practice until you are 100% confident about your ability to speak to your tribe and your potential clients in a voice which is authentic and demonstrates the know/like/trust factor.
I could bang on about this all day and if you want to discuss it some more, book yourself into my online diary for social media in depth session.
I don’t know how many working hours you have in a week but you only have two jobs – delivery and marketing. All of the above sounds like a lot but it is all marketing and when you are not with clients then all the other hours go into marketing. It’s that easy. So you are either with clients one to one or in a group, or you are with them in the sense of hanging out on social media or tweaking website, writing an ezine, blogging. Be with them. Social media really facilitates that.