“Anyone up at 6 am is someone definitely worth meeting” Alaia Williams (event speaker) says to me as we causally discuss a bunch of stuff. The breakfast started at 7:30 am this past Tuesday April, 24th. Well it sort of started at 7:30 anyway. You know the networking portion of a networking event? Well that was at the beginning, the det’s came after.
It was my first time attending a Social Media Breakfast. A networking event that has chapters in major US cities, dedicated to furthering business via social media.
Social media is still a relevant topic ladies. Real relevant. So much so, that instead of us all being efficient experts by now (this all started in ‘07/’08 right?) many of us are completely bogged down. Overwhelmed. Kiput. Worn the hell out even by how much social media there is to keep up with.
I, sure as shortcake was really one of them. I was complaining to my beau the night before I stumbled across the breakfast registration info, about how unnecessary it all felt. How many profiles does one person need? And let’s not forget about the freagin goo-roos killing it on social media and doing webinars with their 3 million fan case studies. Where were the lil’ guys? Aren’t they killing it to? I was fed up!
Update this, tweet that, +K and now +1?! UGH! No mas.
And then the universe showed itself.
Seriously, the universe is effin awesome!
No, I didn’t get my wish. I rose the next morning to find my profiles still intact and the social media craze still in full effect.
What the universe did send me though, was a simple answer. Via Alaia Williams website I found the listing for the breakfast. The title resonated: Social Media Overwhelm.
Click one, click two and boom! I was registered. What I found when I arrived at the Coupa café that Tuesday was the organizers and Alaia and a few scattered guests. I introduced myself and Alaia and I got chatting.
After everyone, moved about and formed a few new connections it was time for the good stuff. Alaia started her presentation.
Now, what I love is that although she is an admitted Twitter lover, (tweet her here) the presentation was from one “small business” owner to a room full of others. It was personable, in laymen’s terms and gave some simple but actionable insights.
I’m more of an implementation than strategy kinda girl so I’ll pick the top takeaways I think will help us all and give my 10 cents on how we can make this happen for us, right now. Down to business…
Takeaway 1: Of course, strategy was the first topic covered. As it should be. And although we weren’t led hand-by-hand we were all very aware that without strategy there will be no social media organization in our businesses.
Implementation: I found this great and, better still, simple article by beloved Social Media Examiner on how to complete your social media strategy. The article mentions assessment and that’s where your strategy is born, written down and laid out.
- Strategy Focus 1: Know your audience. If you’re going to create a social media strategy you need to know who your audience is, duh right? But when you’re just starting out or are too overwhelmed to have been building a targeted following, how do you even find that audience?
Blogs, forums, Facebook, twitter search. That’s it. All you need to do is spend 15-30 minutes a day on blogs and forums your customers visit (your competitors sites are a great research tool). Facebook and twitter search your keywords and start engaging with people in the results. Answer their questions (don’t sell) and you’ll soon have all the research you need to begin.
If you have a decent sized audience, create a 2 to 3 minute poll and post it on your networks.
- Strategy Focus 2: What’s the central idea? The theme of your social media marketing? According to the examiner article, it can be one of three things: awareness, sales, or loyalty. Keep it simple. I know you want all three but the point is to avoid overwhelm so like I said, keep it simple. Pick one.
- Strategy Focus 3: Review, record, adjust. Basically monitor your efforts and results and refocus or continue our efforts. The metrics aren’t the same across the board. You need to know what you’re going to look for before you begin implementing your strategy.
My theme is awareness so I’ll be monitoring my sharability, engagement, brand awareness etc…
That’s it, now you can move on to implementing your strategy. The next part of the presentation was on creating a social media editorial calendar.
Takeaway 2: Get it on paper! Creating a social media editorial calendar is much simpler than it sounds. This, like the first topic, I already was aware of. I had actually created a few before but I didn’t stick with it. Anywho, the calendar can be super detailed or more relaxed like daily reminders. I’m an implementation gal so you know the one I chose right, specifics baby!
Implementation: Create the calendar using a separate gmail calendar, outlook, google docs spreadsheet or excel. Whichever makes you cringe the least.
Create a theme for the month. Mother’s day is in May so you may come up with post ideas like “5 ways to keep your FB wall Mom friendly” or whatever you can think of. Tie it to current events if you can get creative with it, or keep it super simple and focus on your business topics.
Either way keep an ear to your industry and always have ways you can tie your content to a specific theme that’s broad enough so you can play with it and milk it dry.
For the detailed folks, each day of the week can have a blog post idea, tweet or update already written out. Enter a specific time the update needs to go out and then copy and paste.
If you just need the reminder, put in the note to “post to Facebook at 10am”. Short and sweet.
The last week of every month can be the time you take to create a new social media editorial calendar. Unlike my initial mistake, stick with it!
Whew, that was a mouth full. We still have one major takeaway to go so read on grasshopper, read on…
Takeaway 3: Go deep but automate. Choose one network to focus on so that you keep your focus. I would say choose the profile you think works best within your industry but that takes too much time and research. So, my advice is to go with the site you like the most. Are you on Facebook more than twitter? Or has Google plus stolen your heart?
Implementation: Me? I prefer Facebook honestly. I think twitter is useful but Facebook is my thing. So I’ll be focusing my social media there. Now, DO NOT abandon your other profiles. You must be available on the other popular networks because not everyone will communicate with you the same way.
So post something to the other networks once every other day at least. Keep it fresh and relevant so your pages don’t die. Another thing, automate what you’re comfortable with and manually handle the rest.
For instance, I won’t automate my actual posting but I will use scheduling tools. I don’t feed content from one site to the other. You might tweet 3-5 times a day. If you tie that to your FB page, people will get really annoyed, really quickly. Plus, the language you use on twitter is different than on FB. So I just don’t mix ‘em.
Those are the three major takeaways from the breakfast. At least in my opinion, but other awesome topics were covered as well. One tip was that when you create a list post, break each tip up and use it as a social update. You know how much content you can get out of that? Okay, alright I’m done (for now), so I turn it over to you…
How do you stay focused in your social media for business efforts?
P.S. Get your share on: don’t forget to like, tweet, and +1!