Creating A Social Media Strategy You Can Stick To

This contributor post was written by Genevieve of Lightbox SF.

I talk to a lot of creative entrepreneurs that are still unsure of whether or not they need to use social media or if it will really help with their business.

My answer to both is yes.  Im not going to try to convince you that you need to use social media as some part of your marketing efforts, except to say that you do. I will however show you how to craft your own strategy that works to attain your goals and fits into your available time.

Goals

It all starts with goals. Before you do anything you need to define what you hope to get out of your efforts. Are looking to build your network, reach influencers in your industry, or increase sales? Not to say you cant have multiple outcomes from your efforts, but to focus on one goal maximizes your efforts and allows you to track results easier.

If you want to gain followers you need to tell everyone that youre on Facebook, Twitter or whatever social network youre focusing on. If you want to reach influencers and gain publicity you need to interact with these people, comment on their posts, and share relevant information. However if your goal is sales you need to share what you do and drive people to your storefront

Mix Up Your Posts

Even though youre focusing on one goal you need to mix up your posts so that your followers dont get bored. Look at posts as falling into three categories, broadcast, sharing, and engaging. You should try to hit all three each day if possible or at least have an even balance amongst them throughout the week.

Broadcast ““ These consist of you hawking your wares or services, offering discounts, or sharing your latest blog post.

Sharing ““ You can share links to other blog posts that you found interesting or inspiring, pictures of your life outside your business or of others work that you admire, or just cool stuff you found around the web.

Engaging ““ Heres where you ask questions, comment, and engage with your audience as well as your influencers and peers.

Schedule It Out

It might seem daunting to be on social media networks everyday and we all know they have a tendency to be a total time suck. So I highly recommend using a tool to help you schedule your posts ahead of time allowing you to have a presence when youre actually doing other things. Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are my top recommendations for prescheduling general posts. Buffer is also a great tool for spreading out the sharing of stuff you find while browsing the internet.

Try setting aside a half hour a week to schedule the broadcast posts and some of the sharing posts. Then you can log in a few times a week and just focus on engaging with followers and peers.

Track Results

The most important part of having a strategy is defining metrics to track results. If you want to expand your network you need to keep track of how your numbers are growing and what types of posts get shared the most. If youre looking to gain influencers than you need set goals for how many people youre going to contact or interact with each week and track whether or not youre reaching those goals. And if your goal is sales you need to know where your sales are coming from to know if your social media efforts are helping to drive them.

What are some ways youve used social media to reach your business goals?

Tell me in the comments below.

adorable image c/o Nicole Ray of Sloe Gin Fizz

Genevieve Robertson writes about creative marketing strategies over at Lightbox SF. She helps makers, artists, and crafters brand their businesses by telling their stories and embracing what makes them unique.

61 comments | Click here to reply

RT @papernstitch: Creating A Social Media Strategy You Can Stick To: This contributor post was written by… http://t.co/txELCFvb

Amanda Roberts (@geekdetails)

RT @papernstitch: Creating A Social Media Strategy You Can Stick To: This contributor post was written by… http://t.co/txELCFvb

DGITCrochet (@DGITCrochet)

Creating A Social Media Strategy You Can Stick To: This contributor post was written by Genevieve of Lightbox SF… http://t.co/IhqEUKgt

(@Twitt_Club) (@Twitt_Club)

Super great tips! I am good with a few of them but lately it seems like consistency is a big issue for me. Life seems to get in the way of my plans – ugh! Scheduling has been a life saver for me. If I know I have things going on throughout the week – I create my posts in advance according to my schedule. Lately, that has really been saving me!

Have a great Tuesday – Brandi

Keeping It Indie

GREAT ADVICE: Creating A Social Media Strategy You Can Stick To | papernstitch http://t.co/td247WL7 @papernstitch

(@keepingitindie) (@keepingitindie)

Hey Brandi! Glad this post struck a cord with you. You are absolutely right – scheduling things in advance when you have the time is the way to go! That way when you get busy and have a lot of tasks for the day, it is one less thing you have to worry about. And that is a very good thing when you are running a business on your own.
-Brittni

papernstitch

papernstitch: Creating A Social Media Strategy You Can Stick To http://t.co/bZDzk2iU

Casee Marie (@caseemarie)

Really useful advice, thanks. Can you recommend any good ways of tracking readers, in order to see which blog posts are proving most popular?

LauraSpoon

Hi Laura. Great question! I would recommend setting up Google Analytics on your blog (its easy to set up and you just need a gmail account and it’s free. Here’s the link: http://www.google.com/analytics/ Once you have that set up, you can go into the content overview section and it will show you the most popular posts/pages for the month. Good luck!
-Brittni

papernstitch

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Crafty Modern (@craftymodern)

Laura,
Brittni is spot on with her advice. Also depending on the where you host your blog you’ll also get a report of views. WordPress and Blogger do a really good job of internally tracking analytics.
-Genevieve

Genevieve

RT @papernstitch: Creating A Social Media Strategy You Can Stick To: This contributor post was written by… http://t.co/txELCFvb

(@CWBusiness) (@CWBusiness)

two guest posts in one day! i’m all over the place. http://t.co/69o5L0UB and http://t.co/xaKjD6CN

(@lightboxsf) (@lightboxsf)

These are some great tips and I was glad for the reminder. The thing that really resonated with me was the mixing up of your posts: broadcast, share & engage. All three are so important. I’m trying to be better about implementing all three into my daily routine. Usually I get hung up on just one or two. Great article Genevieve!

Lauren Elise

Great advice about using social media via @papernstitch / Creating A Social Media Strategy You Can Stick To http://t.co/DWfuknLI

(@laurenelise85) (@laurenelise85)

Lauren,
It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut with posting, especially if you’ve got a launch or sale coming up. I sometimes use a checklist to make sure I’m mixing it up.
-Genevieve

Genevieve

RT @lightboxsf: two guest posts in one day! i’m all over the place. http://t.co/69o5L0UB and http://t.co/xaKjD6CN

Cody (@Lu_and_Ed)

Rex the dog is reviewing his social media strategies over @papernstitch this afternoon with @lightboxsf http://t.co/CQhHCwE3

Nicole Ray (@sloe_gin_fizz)

I LOVE THIS ARTICLE! Creating A Social Media Strategy You Can Stick To http://t.co/hafS1ycx

Vicki Shead (@CrlyWillowVicki)

Which one of the Twitter apps has a reporting feature to track what’s working. That’s what I always can’t figure out. I never really seem to find enough information on where follows are coming from.

Vicki

A checklist is a great idea!

Lauren Elise

Great tips: Creating A Social Media Strategy You Can Stick To on @papernstitch http://t.co/nniz8nVn

Vianza (@vianza)

Good question Vicki. Stats are SO important! I always tell clients that. You have to know where people are coming from or you won’t know whether or not a campaign is working. So you are on the right track.

Hootsuite Pro has an analytics option and the cost for a pro account is $5.99 per month.

Genevieve, Do you know if tweetdeck has that option as well?

-Brittni

papernstitch

Which one do either of you recommend. I definitely need help with that management, but not sure which one is best for reporting back. There’s also a new one where they are targeting Etsy shops, called Shop Marketing Helper. I need the best one you would recommend for reporting. Cause I’m just throwing it out there and hoping it bounces back :/

Vicki

I would recommend Hootsuite Vicki. That is what I use and I have no complaints. Everyone is different of course – so you might want to test it out and see how you like it.
-Brittni

papernstitch

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Rebecca Katzer (@Adcuda_Rebecca)

This is really useful! RT @papernstitch: Creating A Social Media Strategy You Can Stick To http://t.co/RfpBiCvj

Kayla King (@InklingPaper)

Vicki – I agree with Brittni yet again, Hootsuite is my go to. Easy to use and good reporting.
– Genevieve

Genevieve

RT @InklingPaper: This is really useful! RT @papernstitch: Creating A Social Media Strategy You Can Stick To http://t.co/RfpBiCvj

TheStitchEmporium (@StitchEmporium)

I want to start a blog and this gave me some incite on what to do. Thank you

Kathy

Kathy,
So glad I could give you a little direction. You also might want to read this post I wrote on the Lightbox SF blog about a year ago, Why You Need a Blog.
-Genevieve

Genevieve

It is! RT @keepingitindie: GREAT ADVICE: Creating A Social Media Strategy You Can Stick To | papernstitch http://t.co/BIbwCqT1 @papernstitch

Geri Jewitt (@thelanguidlion)

Good fundamentals, applicable to ALL marketing: Creating A Social Media Strategy You Can Stick To http://t.co/GjmrjAYu via @zite

Tony Snyder (@TonyLSnyder)

Creating A Social Media Strategy You Can Stick To http://t.co/FSjMKAya

Social Media Setup (@SocialMediaSUP)

Creating A Social Media Strategy You Can Stick To | papernstitch http://t.co/GPnnrsMr

(@MeetJNewell) (@MeetJNewell)

this is a great article. one question: is it good form to broadcast the same stuff to all platforms (i.e. fb, twitter etc.) or do you do different posts depending on the platform. I need a way to streamline it all, or I won’t do any of it. which is my current strategy. 😉 thanks!

Susie

great article from papernstitch – Creating A Social Media Strategy You Can Stick To http://t.co/AvJTr7hZ @papernstitch

Amy Kozak (@oblinaknit)

Creating A Social Media Strategy You Can Stick To http://t.co/Na2WxUSb #SocialMedia #HR #TimeManagement #SocialStrategy #SocialMediaStrategy

George Konetes (@GeorgeKonetes)

Creating A Social Media Strategy You Can Stick To http://t.co/PBsQnqNC

(@Pretty_Boutique) (@Pretty_Boutique)

Great advice Genevieve! I am so inconsistent with my social networking because I cannot organise my time! This has really helped and given me some good leads too 🙂

Leanda

Great post! I love the info about the scheduling out your social media, thanks so much!

Cyd

Scheduling can really be a life saver Cyd, especially when you’re short on time.
-Genevieve

Genevieve

Leanda, I’m so glad you feel a little less overwhelmed. Using a checklist and giving yourself a set amount of time really works for me.
-Genevieve

Genevieve

Susie, That’s a great question. Broadcasting the same info is fine as long as you also mix in original posts. Remember, the people you’re interacting with are probably different on each platform and therefore want different information from you. It really is about engaging with the audience.
-Genevieve

Genevieve

a few days late on this but just read & appreciated this well informed write up via @papernstitch http://t.co/BMlOrIkO

(@twigcreative) (@twigcreative)

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Infinity Concepts (@infinityConcpts)

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Francine Clouden (@FrancineClouden)

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Stitch Sense Designs (@StitchSense)

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Beth (@dotinthecity)

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(@designcoyote) (@designcoyote)

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Sola keyrouz (@Solakeyrouz)

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Social buzz (@insightsocial)

I highly recommend using a tool to help you schedule your posts ahead of time allowing you to have a presence when you’re actually doing other things.

Tracy96

GREAT advice from @Lightboxsf Creating A Social Media Strategy You Can Stick To http://t.co/qKpaSyLg

ettaandbillie (@alanarivera)

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(@lightboxsf) (@lightboxsf)

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Lauren Venell (@lvenell)

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Pao Mateo (@pao_draws)
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