Most business people tell me they’re overwhelmed by social media. Where should you be? How do you work it into your already crammed schedule? What’s the ROI?
This article aims to help you establish or improve your online presence in bite-size chunks -- 10-30 minutes a day over a period of 21 days. Popular research says it takes 21 days to establish a new habit so by baby stepping your way into social media marketing, you’ll establish a framework to connect with your customers and create raving fans!
In keeping with the baby steps approach, I’ll focus on Linked In and Facebook in this post since they are two of the giants most familiar.
Day 1: Linked In – Upload your photograph. People do business with people. That means using a professional looking picture of yourself where you appear approachable.
Use a keyword in your headline instead of owner at your business. Unless your business is a Fortune 1000 company, chances are prospects are looking for you by your name or by type of work you do. For example, my headline reads SEO copywriter and social media consultant rather than the name of my business. (10 min tops)
Day 2: Set up Google Alerts for articles/video/blog posts on your industry. If you’re a florist you can put “florist”, “bridal bouquet” and any other terms that seem relevant. These alerts will send you links around your terms daily, weekly or “as they happen”—your choice. It’ll take you 5 minutes a day to scan and see what’s relevant to your audience and share with them via social media. (5 -10 minutes)
Day 3: Finish building out your Linked In Profile (Linked In tells you what you need to be 100% complete, that’s your goal). (0-30 minutes depending on how robust your profile is)
Day 4: Join a Linked In group in your industry and see what people are saying. (10-15 min)
Day 5: Join a Linked In group where you think your prospects may be and review their questions. (10 min)
Day 6: Write down the 10 questions you most often get asked by prospective clients or customers. Write down your answers. Pretend you’re talking directly to them, what do you say? (15-20 min)
Day 7: Review your Linked In Groups, is it relevant to share any of the Q and A you wrote down yesterday? If so, share it. (5 min)
Day 8: Today, we’ll add everyone’s favorite…Facebook. If you haven’t set up your business page yet, do that.
If you have, review your image at the top. Are you happy with it? Are you ready to change it for another?
You’ll need a horizontal image for the top. This is called the “cover” and it should be 815 x 315 pixels.
The profile image is the small square and that should be 160 X 160 pixels. Choose something that represents you and your business. You can use a photograph of your staff, a beautiful location if that’s relevant, or you can have something custom designed. (20-30 min)
Day 9: Brainstorm content and put it all in one place so it’s easy to find. Plan 1-2 posts a day.
You can create a calendar using a simple table in Word. What photos do you have of your product/service/activities that you can share? Any videos? Are there relevant pages on your website you can point readers towards? You already have your Frequently Asked Questions you brainstormed earlier in the week so, those can be 10 posts.
You’ll want to also include photos and videos. Mix it up.
Plan out a week’s worth of posts. (30 min)
Day 10: Post one of the Q and A’s you wrote down earlier in the week. (5 min) Review your Linked In Groups, do you have anything to share there? (5-10 min)
Day 11: Post a photograph on your Facebook Page. Ask people to “like” it. For example, if you run a Ski resort, you could post a picture of a skier deep in the snow, with the instructions to “Click “like” if you’d like to be here.” Asking people to do something increases the likelihood they’ll do it. (5 min if you already have the picture.)
Day 12: Invite People to Like Your Page Invite people to like your Facebook Page, you can use the friends list on your admin page and/or send out an email to your list inviting them to your Facebook Page. (5-20 min)
Day 13: What’s your competition doing on Facebook and Linked In? Review their Pages. What’s getting a lot of comments or “likes”? How can you use these types of popular posts for your own Page?
Make a post to your Linked In Status Update sharing an interesting article you read. (20 min)
Day 14: What types of Groups exist on Facebook where your prospects spend time? Using the search bar at the top of the Facebook page, type in different terms and see what comes up. Some will be Business Pages and some will be Groups. Groups can be terrific sources for information and even referrals. If you see one or two of interest, request to become a member.
Groups can be location specific, industry specific or organization specific, like the Chamber of Commerce. Choose 1-2 to participate in.(20 min)
Day 15: Work on your calendar for next week. Which of your Facebook posts got people “liking” and talking? Create more of those. If none of them did, you may need more people on your page and/or more interesting posts. Vary your posts between links/text only and photos/videos. (20 min)
Day 16: Review your Linked In Groups – Are the ones you joined earlier valuable? Do you want to try others? Linked In will allow you to join up to 50 groups. Of course, for you to get value from them, you need to participate a few times a week so be realistic about how many you want to join. (10 min)
Day 17: Take some to think about what you really want to accomplish with your Facebook Page. Do you want people to come back to your website? Do you want them to sign up for your email list? What do you want to accomplish?
If you want them to come back to your website, share an update with a text link back to a specific web page 2-3 times a week. For example, if you have a regular a blog, post the title and a teaser to the blog post with a link to the full post on your Facebook and Linked In Pages. (10 min)
Day 18: Join or start a Linked In conversation in one of your groups. If you have something useful to share maybe about the success you’ve had with something another group member is struggling with, you can share how you made it work for you.(10-15 min)
Day 19: Try out a new kind of post on Facebook. Maybe a “Caption this” photo or a “Where is this?” These work really well because they’re designed for interaction. For example, a skiing/snowboarding ecommerce site regularly features “Caption this” photos of crazy ski tricks or people skiing through a blur of snow. How can you use this idea? (10 min)
Day 20: By now, you should be getting a feel for how Facebook and Linked In work. Going forward, where do you want to spend the most time? Where do you think your clients/customers are most likely to be? If you sell B2B types of products/services, you may want to focus more time on Linked In. If you’re B2C , then spend more time on your Facebook Page.
Review your competition again, where are they spending most of their time and getting the most interaction? Look at your industry associations. Weigh that against your own experience. Talk to your clients/customers if possible and ask them where they spend more time. (20-30 min)
Day 21: Update your calendar. Join Facebook Groups, “like” other Pages – don’t just post stuff about your business. That’s like standing in the corner and shouting “look at me,” over and over. It doesn’t work. Be valuable, be human and be likeable. (20-30 min)
One of my clients is a limousine company, we share posts about theatre, sports and other activities going on around the city. We also share silly pet photos sometimes. If our posts were always “rent our limo”, we’d have a tough time building an audience. Instead, we’re looking to build a community.
Put these ideas into play for your business starting today.
Social media doesn’t have to take over your life. Go ahead, take a 10-30 minutes a day and lay the foundation for social media success!
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