Streamlining your Routine – Creating a posting schedule
As a small business owner, your most valuable resource is time. You want to be sure that you are utilising your time in the most effective way possible. This is especially important with social media. When done ineffectively, it can take up a huge amount of your time. When streamlined properly, you can invest that extra time in doing what you do best and working on your business as opposed to in it.
Get clear on your Goals
The major mistake that many small business owners make on social media is not having clarity on their goals and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for their social presence. Without this, you are hopelessly lacking in direction. So the first thing you need to do is sit down and get absolutely clear about what you want to achieve with your social media.
Choose the right networks for you
The first decision that you need to make is which networks you will be using. If you are doing your own social media, I do not recommend using more than three networks. Pick two or three to really focus your attention and forge meaningful relationships with your audience.
Each social network has its own very distinct personality, and some will be more suited than others to your brand and your message. You want to be sure that your target audience actually spends time on the platforms you are focusing on.
Decide how often you want to post
Make an initial decision as to how often you want to be posting on each social platform. Never lose sight of the fact that quality is more important than quantity. It is important that you are realistic with yourself about how much content you can feasibly post on a regular basis, because the last thing you want is to overcommit and find yourself overwhelmed or end up beating yourself up for not delivering as you had hoped. Perhaps the suggested amount of times to post to Twitter is 12 times a day, but if that leaves you feeling overwhelmed before you've even started, then pick a lower number and you can always build the number back up as you go along.
Best times to post
Depending on the specifics of your target audience, it will serve you to post at different times. Each social platform has its own optimal posting times, which will help you to gain the best engagement from your posts. As you can see from our infographic, a great time to post to Facebook to ensure maximum engagement would be 1pm on a Friday.
What type of content?
Be sure to know your social media goals. Do you want to educate? Inspire change? Amuse? Listen to your audience? Grow your reach? Create brand awareness? Inspire a cult following? Perhaps you think you want to do all of these things – and that's great – but you need to narrow it down to a maximum of three main goals. From here, you can decide which analytics you will track to assess your content for its success. It might be the number of shares, it might be likes and comments on your posts, website click throughs, sales volume... whatever it is, you need to decide on your metrics for success and track what works for that and what doesn't.
I've said it before and I'll say it again – it's called SOCIAL media for a reason. It's all about creating meaningful connections with your audience. Don't approach social media in the same way as you would your website or sales copy. Taking a salesy approach is guaranteed to turn off your audience. We recommend a maximum of 20% promotional content and 80% aimed at engaging and informing.
The thought of having to come up with new and unique content constantly can often be a daunting one. Themes can be really helpful in creating content. You may wish to set your own themes or piggy back on trends that are already out there (think: Monday Motivation, Wednesday Wisdom and Throwback Thursday).
It is also good practice to go about creating some evergreen content which you can recycle over time. This type of content will always be relevant to your audience. Content such as popular blog posts and videos, FAQs from your website, free downloads and tips and advice make great evergreen content.
Don't be fooled into thinking you have create all of the content yourself. Not only is this needlessly time-consuming, it is also missing a great opportunity for relationship building and establishing trust. It is great practice to share user-generated content and posts from other brands.
Evolve, evolve, evolve
Don't forget, keeping on top of your social media game means that you should constantly be monitoring and assessing what works and what doesn't. Use analytics to decide what should stay and what should go, and don't be afraid to play around with things to get your strategy on point. Your best social media strategy should be evolving over time as your knowledge, your audience and your platforms do.
Once you have crafted your social media schedule, you can start to think about creating content and pre-scheduling it.
I hope this helps you to combat the overwhelm that can so often accompany the thought of having to tackle social media as a small business owner. I would love to hear how you get on with this and any useful tips or feedback you might have on the subject.
Infinite love and gratitude as always,
Mindful Modern Nomad