Having a solid social media process can really help you get the word out about your services. There are so many services — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google My Business, etc. How do you get the right word out at the right time to the right people?
Now, I’m not talking about marketing in this post. If you want to know How To Post Good Content on Social Media, check out that article. In the middle, you can find the three main things to focus on for social media marketing success. Here, I’m talking about the process of actually getting that content posted.
I struggled mightily until my colleague, Crystal D Smith, helped me create a posting plan. I’m not someone who sits on all the various social media all day. I need to be working on and in my business, not worrying at what time I need to make my next post. So, I had to create my own social media process.
Social Media Process Tools
First, I decided which tools I was going to use. You can find me or Beyond the Chaos on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google My Business. (I have no idea how to link to Google My Business… but you type Beyond the Chaos into your search bar, and Google will show it on the side.) Crystal helped me decide that Instagram wasn’t necessary for my business type and that Google My Business is a necessary evil in the world of SEO and social media. So, it made its ugly way into my social media process!
Second, I knew I wasn’t going to post daily. I tried at first, but it would just keep getting pushed to the end of the list and then dropped every day. I decided that I needed to schedule my posts once per week. And that I needed to use a tool to reflect the schedule that Crystal told me would work best for my company. (Listen to the consultants you hire! They know more than you!)
So, along came Buffer. I use the $10/month version and I think it is really slick. You can link up your social media platforms to it and enter a schedule. Then, you just fill in the boxes. It gives you some reporting on how well your various posts did, helping you to choose what content you should share more of.
Our Social Media Process
But here’s what really made our social media process stick. After I got the hang of it (and still didn’t really enjoy doing it), I was able to delegate it to my project manager! Laura and I went through my thought process and a basic schedule.
For example, all new blog posts are written every other Tuesday, proofread and created in MailChimp on Wednesday, emailed to the list on Thursday, and posted live on Monday. The link to the post starts getting shared on Mondays after 10am Central. We have a document stored in our internal 0perations project that states that. So, when we forget or a holiday comes along and we have to modify it, we can refer back.
We have a recurring task list in Teamwork that references specific posts that we want to post quarterly or specific holidays that we want to mention. (Shoot! Forgot St. Patrick’s Day — I better go add that now.) Additionally, that task list might contain specific things that I need to make sure Laura knows about, like a speaking engagement that might be coming up or the new mastermind that I am starting. And, she has to be aware of when I want to post them.
Laura is great at combing through our past posts and videos and sharing content. She does a much better job than I ever would. She even comes up with themes for the week. (If you’ve never noticed this, go to my Twitter page, and you’ll start to see it.) If you don’t have someone like Laura on your team who you can trust, there are companies out there that will do it for you.
On Thursdays, Laura schedules our content in Buffer. I go through it on Fridays to proofread and make sure I don’t notice something that I had intended to change or forgot. I also choose my favorite post and manually share it to Google My Business. (There is no way to automate that and I only update it once a week.) And then, Buffer runs it for us all week.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Suggestions from Crystal D Smith
Crystal does presentations on social media. She breaks her suggestions down by solopreneurs, small teams, and large teams:
- Schedule SMM time daily
- Consider themed days for planning content
- Leverage post dating on Facebook
- Be more selective about which platforms to use
- Delegate some posting responsibilities
- Have your employees ‘check in’, adding pics from on sites, etc.
- Have an employee post daily success stories or testimonials
- Involve customers
- Designate a content champion
- Have a blogger/content writer
- Leverage more help for posting, sharing, engagement
- Have a sales member run online offers
The bottom line is that consistency is what is important. I’ve heard people say “social media doesn’t work.” Well, it takes time. You have to build up your lists with followers, learn to use hashtags to get in front of the right people and know what times of day to do it. But, even after you learn all that, having a social media process will help it feel less like a chore.
Originally published at Beyond the Chaos: Small Business Project Management and Operations Consulting.