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

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

(@Pretty_Boutique) (@Pretty_Boutique)

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

George Konetes (@GeorgeKonetes)

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

Amy Kozak (@oblinaknit)

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

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

(@MeetJNewell) (@MeetJNewell)

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

Social Media Setup (@SocialMediaSUP)

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

Tony Snyder (@TonyLSnyder)

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

Geri Jewitt (@thelanguidlion)

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

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

Kathy

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

TheStitchEmporium (@StitchEmporium)

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

Genevieve

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

Kayla King (@InklingPaper)

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

Rebecca Katzer (@Adcuda_Rebecca)

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

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

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

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

Vianza (@vianza)

A checklist is a great idea!

Lauren Elise

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
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