If you’ve got a twitter account, maybe a facebook account…instagram, linkedin, google plus (you get the point) how do you balance it all? You need a plan and the tools to help you bring the plan to life. After several years of operating a few businesses, I have a flow. It didn’t happen overnight. A lot of it has been testing and trial and error. But over time, I have learned a few key things you need when planning your social media.
Know your purpose
Choose the platform that is best to reach your market and build relationships for your business. When you don’t know why you are on twitter, you set yourself up for resentment and frustration. For example, if you want to book an interview, you get on twitter with the intent to connect with media. You want to connect with local businesses and many of them have Facebook business pages, so you set an intention to start new relationships through connecting on Facebook.
Make time for social media management
The more accounts you have the more time you need, however I encourage people to batch their time for social media. Manage all your accounts in the same hour. Set aside 15 minutes everyday to check and post if needed and then turn it off. If you stay longer, go back to your purpose. Be really clear about why you are spending more time on social media and how it will benefit. Put it in your calendar so you know that you have time for it in your daily routine, during working hours only. Also schedule time to check your analytics weekly so you can continue to monitor your efforts and plan content for the next month based upon the results.
You can also batch your posts in advance. Most platforms do favor live posting but automation is there to help you fill in the gaps. Once a month I set aside 1 or 2 hours to fill all the social media accounts for ZynnyMe. That way when I am doing daily management there isn’t a whole lot to do other than to engage with people or follow up on comments and I know that if I am busy with other projects, I am still making efforts to reach others.
Each platform has it’s own rhythm. Twitter is much more live feed and quick conversation. Facebook has a slower pace of posting. Get to know how engagement is on the platform and the frequency by which people post. This will help you determine how often you want to post. I use analytics to determine the best times to post as well. For example in Facebook I can look at the insights to my business page and see the peek times when followers are online engaging on Facebook. Consistency will be your friend in the long run as your plan out your social media.
Share information amongst platforms
If you write a fantastic blog post, have a process to pin it, share it on twitter and post on facebook. You won’t duplicate all of your content but when you can you want to have an exponential impact on your efforts.
Create cool content
If you love to do quick videos with your iphone, then use that for your posts. If you are a writer, then write. If you love imagery, than use things like wordswag, canva or share image to get your message across. Use the vehicle that lets you shine. Your content should be connecting and relevant to your focus in your work. If you work with teens, post tips for their parents. Feature tools parents can use to manage technology in their homes. Go back to that authentic message and let it resonate through the content you put out into the world. You can create a monthly content calendar. Pick a theme for the month to inspire you as you blog and fill the social media sphere. Most great social media content reflect the person’s expertise and personality and connects to the needs of others.
Write it down.
I think it helps to write down your plan and your goals. What do you want the outcome to be of using your social media. Beyond “getting clients” think about the relationships you need to build. Research who you want to reach out to as well. Having a plan will give you the focus, lower your risk for burn out and can free up your creative energy to have fun with your social media use.
What other things have helped you plan your social media use in your private practice?
Did you miss the first part on the getting started with social media? If not, next up is our tips to using social media in your private practice.