Originally posted at Outlaw Soaps.
I was considering working on a class for small business social media management called “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For It” (because that’s what I usually hear). But it’s not even remotely ready (ironically, I don’t have time for it), so I’m just giving you all the information from the class here…without any accompanying presentation or tutorials.
I can handle ALL my social media (not including blogging) in about four hours per week and we have a really decent growth on all platforms.
It’s not in any way shape or form done yet, but I’ll outline the basics of my social media plan for you here.
1. Figure out whom you want to talk to.
- Teens: Tumblr and Imgur.
- Young adults: Instagram, Imgur, and Twitter.
- The scariest and yet most viral people in the world: Reddit.
- Middle adults: Facebook.
- Older-middle adults who are tech savvy: Google+.
- Writers, reporters, and celebrities: Twitter.
- Middle-aged women: Pinterest.
- Older people: blogs and I don’t know what else. Probably Pinterest.
2. Figure out what they like and what they talk about.
Find one person you think is your ideal customer (I took this great class from Lela Baker and she helped us identify our ideal customer) and see what they share and who they like.
My audience loves funny viral photos, anything about unicorns, inspirational quotes, exciting news, and photos of us, so my editorial calendar is based on that.
3. Make an editorial calendar.
Base it on what your audience wants to see. Mine looks roughly like this:
- 2x viral photos or videos (embed it on your own blog like this). And don’t just share photos from other pages. If they are not the other page’s original content—do a search on Google to see if it shows up a lot—then it’s fair game.
- 3x quotes (sometimes I go a little crazy).
- 2x product posts (I usually decide what product theme I want to go with and post that). The product posts aren’t necessarily something my audience loves, but I’m here TO SELL and so all the rest of the stuff is chum in the water around my product posts.
- any other exciting news that comes up. I try to post one or two photos of us in the workshop or out and about (you know, to establish “lifestyle”), but I gained 30 pounds in the last two years and so I have a hard time posting photos of myself.
- Post Planner talks a little about a content calendar here.
I will tell you, I tried EVERY ONE OF THESE TYPES OF POSTS and none of them worked. People hated them. My customers are too social media savvy to fall for these kind of bait posts and it just makes me look desperate. So really try to figure out what is right for your audience.
Blogging: I have been trying to blog more, but it’s hard. My current WordPress template doesn’t really do blogging as well as it does e-commerce. I could change templates, but since the site works for ecommerce and that’s my main thing, I hesitate to change themes. I try to blog about once per week and then post it across the networks when I can.
4. Hit all your channels in one sitting.
If you do all your social media across the board one day per week in a matter of hours, you can pretty much nail everything. This means scheduling.
THE BIG NETWORKS
a. Open these tabs (this will vary depending on your editorial calendar): TweetDeck, your Facebook page, your website media upload page (I use WordPress, so there’s just a media drag-and-drop page), Reddit, Imgur, Goodreads Quotes, Pinterest, your Google+ page, and your Tumblr dashboard for the account of your own brand (if you have one).
b. Kick up photoshop or some editing program and open a really standard template for the quotes (you can see mine here; note it has my URL at the bottom). You can even do this in PC paint, but it’d be a little harder.
c. Look for content.
- I look at Reddit and Imgur for the viral photos. When I find a good photo (look at this good photo!!) I right click and save it, change tabs to my Facebook page, and schedule that bad boy (to schedule, click on the little clock on the lower left of the post box). Because I looked at my insights and my peeps are on between 9am and 8pm most days, I schedule it between those times almost completely at random (not scheduling too many at the same times, though). I know I could dig deeper into analytics, but it’s not the best use of my time.
No one likes yelling into an abyss. I mean, except poetically.
- I look at Goodreads Quotes and do a search for one theme that is (hopefully) related to what I want to plug that week. If I’m plugging Pine Mountain soap, I find a few quotes about getting out in nature. If I’m plugging Hair of the Dog, I find a few quotes about drinking and friends. I throw that in the template and create the three or four quote graphics and save them in one folder. While I’m there, I try to find a few thematically related quotes that are short enough for Twitter. If I find them, I immediately switch to the Tweetdeck page and schedule them, adding hashtags that have to do with the theme and @ tagging anyone who specifically might enjoy that tweet. I’ll write about Twitter folks in a minute.
- I schedule the product posts to display twice throughout the week on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook, hashtagging the fuck out of Twitter and Tumblr.
- I upload the quote images to my website and go to the attachment page. From there, I copy the link and post to Pinterest and Google+, since those both link back to my site. On Pinterest, I write the name of the quoter and the theme I originally searched for (e.g. “Hunter S. Thompson whiskey, sex”) and I try to remember to hashtag on Google+. I don’t know how to schedule Pinterest and Google+ posts and, IMO, it doesn’t really matter because Pinterest is kind of its own refreshing fountain and almost no one comes to me from Google+. I only do Google+ for SEO.
- I schedule the quote posts on Facebook and Tumblr, again, hashtagging the fuck out of Tumblr. I honestly don’t think I get much play from my Tumblr, but since I’m already doing all these platforms, I might as well hit Tumblr.
DONE. That took well under 2 hours and I’m finished with almost all my social media across a ton of platforms.
5. Do some stuff throughout the week.
I have a folder on my iPhone called “social.” Believe it or not, I don’t even have the Facebook app in there because I don’t want to be distracted. In that folder I have:
- Echofon: a Twitter app that you can use to respond to direct messages and things like new follows. I personally hardly ever use it (because I really hate Twitter), but it does help me keep in touch with the random day-to-day Twitter touches.
- Facebook Pages App: super helpful way to post throughout the week to my Facebook page. When I post to Instagram, I usually don’t crosspost to my personal Facebook page because 1. I want it on my business page, and 2. I think a bunch of hashtags on Facebook posts looks sloppy and lazy.
- Foursquare: I’m a foursquare junkie. I have no idea why or how and it doesn’t benefit my business, but I like it.
- Tumblr: though I hardly ever use Tumblr for Outlaw Soaps, I do have a cheapo wino Tumblr that I have to post to when I try a new wine.
- Instagram: I find Instagram a joy to use but honestly have still not found ways to monetize it. Even if you could share posts easily on there, all you can do is copy a link back to Instagram. Even if you posted a link back to your site, no one could click it. The only way that Instagram works for me is for cheerleading and for name recognition. I basically just use it to post interesting shots of my dog and my workshop whenever I see anything interesting.
During the week, I use these to post photos from the workshop, from the dog park, or whatever.
Sometimes, I share my own content with my friends and say something intended to make them comment. According to Facebook’s algorithms, that means the post is interesting and the original post will surface to more of my fans. Occasionally, I’ll share information on my personal Facebook page about how Edgerank works and ask my friends to just at least *like* any post they see from me so we are boosted in Edgerank.
6. Hit your Twitter lists.
As I mentioned, I hate hate hate Twitter. But it is seriously one of the most important things you can do online because of the direct access that it gives you to the most influential people on the internet. Even Oprah manages her own Twitter account for the most part.
This Post Planner post was an absolute revelation.
Here are most of my Twitter lists. I have a couple private ones that are the most valuable to me: Influential people (people with more than 2,000 followers), Press, and Writers. A couple times per week (if I can remember), I go in there and scan these three lists for any post I can reply to, favorite or retweet. If I’m feeling really spicy, I do it on my Echofon app so I can quote tweet instead of just retweet, but since I wouldn’t be on there anyways, I figure some activity is better than no activity.
7. Respond, respond, respond.
No one likes yelling into an abyss. I mean, except poetically.
So if someone tweets at you, at the very least, favorite the damn tweet. It’s (almost) the least you can do. If you can RT it or @reply to it, do that.
If someone replies to your post on Facebook, like their post and reply to them, and tag them by name.
All in all, that’s about two hours of mandatory work and four hours of optional work. I don’t always get to my two hours of mandatory work, but as long as I TRY, my engagement is up.
Our posts get seen by about 20% of our followers and we have 280 “people talking about us,” which is pretty damn good.
8. Consider other odds and ends.
I have occasionally sponsored posts, especially during Christmas when I needed to boost my signal and when people were shopping. I think my spending on Facebook is like $20/month. I know that lots of people think Facebook is turning pay-to-play, but I haven’t really seen that to be true as long as your content is engaging.
I realize that Facebook needs to make money, but I think their reasons for surfacing fewer commercial posts is mostly because most of the content from businesses is hella boring. So please don’t be boring.
I’ve started posting my pages to StumbleUpon when I do my product and blog posts on the various networks. Since I’m already on the page and the share button is there, I just do it. Same with Pinterest.
For the most part, I don’t like cross-posting or post automation (a really awesome blog, Post Planner, has a really awesome article on post automation here).
So there you have it. If you have feedback or questions, leave them in the comments.