Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Don't Shoot for Perfection

You’ve probably heard the saying that “perfection is the enemy of ‘good enough’”, and in terms of starting up your social media presence for your business, this has never been more applicable. 

A friend of mine recently started her own therapy business, and when I asked her why she doesn’t have any social media set up for her business yet, she said, “I’m working on it, but I don’t want to push it out there until it’s ready. What I have isn’t perfect yet, and I still have a lot of preparation to do before it gets there.” 

My response? Don’t let your high level goals hold you back! Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to set lofty goals for your business and for what you envision for your company’s social media presence. But waiting to get started because of those standards will only set you back. 

Instead of waiting until you have all your social media platforms decided on and you’re ready with great content for each, start with just one. Facebook is a strong option, since you’re probably already familiar with it, or maybe go even simpler and begin with Instagram, if Facebook seems intimidating as a first step. The first part, a short bio for your business, might be something you can pull from your website if you’ve already gotten that set up. Or if you’re really starting from scratch, set a deadline for yourself for when you’ll launch the platform with the bio. and your first post. Don’t prolong it! Set a reasonable goal, like one week ahead, and stick with it. Ask a trusted friend or professional for a second opinion if you like, then go for it! Even if it’s not exactly what you had envisioned, it’s a start. You can go back and adjust it whenever you need, but at least you’ll have that step checked off the list.  

Now that you have at least one live platform, set yourself up for success by creating a schedule for releasing your content. This can seem daunting when you’re new to it, but it’s really quite simple. Start with deciding what you can realistically do in terms of your own time and bandwidth, which might only be two posts a week to begin with, and that’s totally fine! Then set a time where you’ll write those posts in one sitting, and at the same time schedule when you’d like to post them in the upcoming week. If you struggle to know what to write when you’re starting out, check out other professionals’ pages for inspiration. For example, if you’re a jewelry designer, take a look at some other designers’ pages and see what images and messages you’re most drawn to and what resonates with you. 

Next, once you’ve created content for the first week, there’s a number of ways to schedule the posts to be published in the upcoming week. If you’re using Facebook, you can save a draft of a post and then schedule what day and time it will be posted. For Instagram and Twitter you can eventually use a program like Hootsuite if you like, which is a place for you to write posts and also schedule for them to be posted automatically at times you choose. Alternately, there’s the old fashioned way of setting a calendar reminder on your phone to take a minute and publish them manually! Again, rather than waiting until you have all the bells and whistles set up in terms of programs to automatically publish your content, it’s better just to start with the simple old fashioned approach. 

In the end, if you’re still feeling like your head is spinning at the prospect of setting up your  social media, then it might be time to ask for help. You might have someone on your team who already has a strong grasp on social media marketing and would be willing to help, or you could always give us a call at The Social Stage, to see if we would be a good fit for your needs. Whichever route you choose, there’s no time like now! 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Social Media Marketing Doesn’t Have to be a Chore

We all have had “that” coworker, who is a literal chore to deal with, in almost every way. You cringe when they get in the elevator with you. And you certainly don’t want to be stuck sitting next to them at an all-hands meeting or company dinner.

Do not let social media marketing be that coworker! Unfortunately, so many professionals do. Many of the small business owners that we chat with about their social media work seem instantly fatigued when discussing it. It’s clearly a very unenjoyable part of their job. Perhaps it’s because they’re spread thin and they feel that they’re juggling too many responsibilities in too little time. Or maybe it’s because they are overwhelmed by it, since they don’t understand how to navigate the work. Either way, running your social media presence does not have to be such a chore.

Our perspective on social media outreach is one centered on connection. We believe that following this principle can make the job a fun one.

Let’s say that you’re the person running your company’s social media marketing. Chances are you also have your own personal social media presence. You probably like your friends’ photos, and comment on their posts and updates. This is all done in your free time, and is something you genuinely enjoy, right? So why does doing this exact thing for your company have to be such a heavy task? All that’s required is a perspective shift.

Social media marketing isn’t only about creating content. It’s about engaging with your current customer base and with potential customers.

Engaging with them is the same as what you do when you engage with your own friends and connections on your free time, but within the style and context of your brand. On Instagram, for example, you can start by liking and commenting on the posts of people who have already interacted with your posts. You should also interact with any posts or comments where you are mentioned. Another way to interact with your customers that can make a big difference is to repost their content. Two options for that approach would be to include their pictures in your posts (and credit them for the photo) or quote them in a post.

These are just a few examples of fun, simple ways you can engage with your customers, which will help to expand your social media following.

All that being said, if you feel like you’re already doing these engagement practices and you’re still feeling like the work is burdensome, then maybe it’s time to delegate. If you really enjoy the content writing, then divvy up the tasks so that you can continue to write while another staff member takes on the engagement piece. Or vice versa, depending on what part of it you like doing. Of course, if a perspective shift is a struggle for you or if you still feel like you don’t have the bandwidth to manage it, we at The Social Stage are also happy to help tackle any and all of your social media tasks. We love what we do, and we promise we won’t ever be that annoying coworker you don’t want to sit next to at the holiday party.