Do you ever feel like you are spending endless hours creating content for all your social media channels only to get a small handful of likes and a couple of comments each time you post? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, social media marketing overwhelm is a really common struggle amongst entrepreneurs, especially those who run small businesses without the luxury of an entire team dedicated to marketing.
But the great news is that there IS a way to overcome social media marketing overwhelm so that you can be more efficient AND leverage social media to achieve real business results.
Step 1: Get super clear on your target audience
The first step is to get crystal clear on who you are targeting. This is important for many reasons:
- It will help you create content that your audience actually needs and wants;
- Knowing who you are targeting will allow you to craft marketing messages that speak directly to your ideal customers;
- It will make it easier for you to connect with your audience and build a community around your brand.
One way to establish who your ideal customer is is by building a “customer avatar” – a fictional character that reflects the key attributes of your audience. Imagine your ideal customer. Give that person a name. How old is she? Where does she live? Does she have children? What is her job? How does she spend her free time? What are her favourite social media platforms? Which podcasts does she listen to? What is she trying to achieve? Which obstacles is she encountering that are stopping her from achieving these goals?
Get as detailed as possible. The better you understand your target customers the better you will be able to help them and create value for them with the content you put out on social media.
Step 2: Decide which social media channels to focus on
Many of us suffer from social media FOMO (fear of missing out). We fall into the trap of thinking that if our business is not present on every single platform out there, we’ll miss out on opportunities. But the truth is that unless you have a marketing team at your disposal, trying to put out good quality content consistently on every single social media channel out there is just not realistic. You will probably end up with poor results on all your platforms.
A more productive strategy is to focus on 1-2 social media channels and achieve real results on these platforms. Consider the following points when selecting the ideal platforms for your business:
- Which type of content do you like creating most? If photography is your thing, then a highly visual platform like Instagram may be a good choice to showcase your products. If you prefer blogging then Twitter or Facebook may be better suited.
- Where does your target audience hang out? Refer back to the research you did in Step 1 to determine which platform will help you connect with your customers.
- What are your competitors doing? Have a look at the platforms on which your direct competitors are active. Where are they getting the most traction and engagement from customers?
Step 3: Write out a strategy for each social media platform
Once you have selected the social media channels on which you will focus, it’s time to write out a strategy for each of them. The reason you’ll want to do this separately for each channel is because every social media platform works differently and has different audiences. A marketing tactic that may work well on Instagram could be a total flop on Twitter for example.
Here is a list of elements to include in your network specific strategies:
A network mission statement
What is the number one business goal you are trying to achieve through this specific social media channel? (i.e. “Twitter will be used to establish strategic contacts with journalists, influencers and potential sponsors”, “Instagram will be used to increase brand awareness among my target audience”)
The weekly posting frequency
How many times per week will you post content on this platform? Remember that consistency is key when building a strong brand.
The content mix
The ideal content mix varies from business to business. As a starting point, you can use the “social media rule of thirds”: 1/3 of posts aimed at promoting your business, 1/3 aimed at sharing insights from experts and influencers in your industry and 1/3 of posts to share personal stories that help build your brand identity.
Once you have tested that out for a while you will be able to adjust it based on the engagement results you are getting from your audience.
A weekly content calendar
In your content calendar, outline which type of post you will be publishing on which day and at which time. Take a look at your channel’s analytics to identify when your followers are the most active. Most social media algorithms favour posts that receive a high amount of engagement within the first hour of being published. Therefore, posting during your audience’s peak online time will help you to increase your post reach.
Based on the mission statement that you have established, select the metrics that you will use to track and evaluate your performance on that specific channel.
Step 4: Create your social media marketing content in batch
One really effective way to be more productive and reduce social media overwhelm is to create your social media content in batch. Set aside a time slot at the start of each week during which you will plan out all the content for the week ahead. You can either do this with a simple spreadsheet (see example in the screenshot below) or use a more advanced social media scheduling tool like for example Sprout Social or Hootsuite.
Step 5: Set specific time slots aside for social media
Try to be very intentional when it comes to your social media usage throughout the week. Set aside specific time slots in your calendar to:
- Post the content that you have planned out at the beginning of the week;
- Engage with your followers by replying to comments on your posts;
- Be active and contributed to a few select online communities (e.g. Facebook groups that are relevant to your business) to establish yourself as a credible expert in your field.
And stay logged out of social media outside those time slots, so you be fully present and focus on building connections and growing your business in real life 🙂
Now over to you!
Where will you start with these steps? And are there any other tools or methods you use to help you reduce social media marketing overwhelm? Let me know in the comments below!