Four Ways to Simplify Social Media

Social Media Make Simple

Social Media Make SimpleHaving a social media presence for your business is a great way to get your brand out there. It’s low cost, gives people a change to get to know you and gives you a chance to entice them into your sales funnel.

However, it can take up a whole heap of time if you let it.

But never fear! With a bit of forward planning, it’s easy to simplify social media. There are also services you can use which are designed to save you time and make content gathering and scheduling much easier.

So follow these 4 tips, get organised then sit back and relax! OK maybe not relax, but free up time to get on with other jobs whilst your social media marketing keeps working.

1. Create a Content Bank

Everyone needs a social media content bank – if you don’t already have one you must start one! It will save you masses of time and the hassle of constantly thinking about what you should be posting next.

A content bank is basically an excel file filled with posts that are ready to be copied and scheduled to social media.

Ideally, a content bank will have various sheets for:

a) Blog posts: Enter the blog post title and the URL (shortened URLs using bit.ly or goo.gl work best) of each blog post you publish. You should then think of  3 or 4 alternative titles and/or descriptions for the same blog post and write those down too.

b) Tips & examples of your expertise: create a list of tips and useful info that helps your audience to solve their problems and make their lives easier. You can pull these tips from your website content, blogs, ebooks – any content you already have out there.

(Read 4 Ways to Create a Stream of Content from One Blog Post)

c) Quotes:  – get together a list of quotes relating to your business or audience. They can be inspiring, motivational, thought-provoking, educational or maybe just entertaining! Quotes provide a quick, easy way to catch your audiences attention and are also highly shareable.

For more information on social media content banks read: Making Great Social Media Content Easy & How to Compile a Social Media Content Bank

2. Schedule posts in advance

Use software like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule up your contents days, weeks or months in advance. That way, you’ll still feature on social media even if you’re away from your desk.

If you use this approach, you should bear in mind that a pure stream of automated posts can look soulless. Even worse is not replying to people who engage with you. Schedule in advance by all means, but you have to check-in to your accounts regularly to reply and comment to keep things personal.

The beauty of Hootsuite is that it makes it easy to split your accounts and followers into lists so you can keep up with everything at a glance. As you can also pre-schedule replies and RT to go out later in the day, you could check in once, respond to your followers then spread your responses out so that it looks as if you are present and engaged.

3. Use content sites like Post Planner

I love using Post Planner as it saves so much time. It provides links to great content including memes, viral photos, status ideas and articles. You can also use hashtags, Twitter handles and Facebook pages to help you search for content by area of interest.

You can schedule up to 500 posts on Twitter and Facebook with the LOVE package. Unfortunately, there isn’t a free option but the package is only $7 per month (approx £4.50 per month) which is a positive bargain due to the sheer volume of content that’s available to you.

Mix and match content from Post Planner along with your own content that you’ve saved in your content bank, and you’ll be providing a great mix of news, views and interesting content for your readers.

4. Outsource the day to day stuff

I save time by letting my VA deal with some of the day-to-day jobs that whilst essential, suck up lots of time:

Here’s some of the social media management tasks my VA assists with:

  • Engaging with new followers: Welcoming new Twitter followers, then adding them to relevant lists so that I can keep an eye on them via Hootsuite.
  • Building follower numbers:  I identify the type of people I want to follow/follow me back then my VA helps me research people, find them and follow them
  • List management: helping me keep control of Twitter lists by adding new people, un-following accounts and creating/researching new lists
  • Group posting: Occasionally, I’ll have an offer or blog that I want to share more widely. My VA posts the link in my various Facebook, Linked In and Google + groups for me. All I need to do is go back to check responses.
  • Bulk scheduling:  She helps to collate my content bank, sort into various files and get them bulk scheduled
  • Content bank research: looking for new quotes by subject (i.e blogging, websites, motivation etc) and organising them into the content bank.

Depending on your level of expertise and time/budget you have available, you may decide to outsource the small jobs, outsource content creation or outsource as much as you can!

There are major benefits to outsourcing and it’s essential if you want your business to grow.

So, there you have it – four ways to simplify social media. Try them out you’ll be on the way to getting organised, saving time and feeling like a social media ninja!

I’d love to know how you get on with implementing these methods. Leave a comment below or come on over to Twitter or Facebook.


Prefer to outsource social media content creation & management? Check out my Social Media Services and see how I can help you save time, stress and reach your online marketing goals.

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4 Ways to Create a Stream of Content from One Blog Post

4 Ways to Create More Content from Your Blog Posts

4 Ways to Create More Content from Your Blog PostsIf you’re writing blogs, blasting them out once on each on your social media channels then moving on to the next one you are wasting precious time and content!

Writing blogs is time consuming, but you can make sure you make the most of the time you invest. How?

There are several ways to pull tips & quotes out of each and every blog post you write to help you get fresh content for your social media feeds. You can also ‘recycle’ your blog posts with fresh titles and descriptions to help encourage more click-through and readers.

I’m going to use my recent blog Female Business Owners – 4 Reasons Why You Aren’t Blogging as an example to talk you through it.

How to squeeze more content out of every blog post

1. Reuse and recycle blogs using various descriptions

Remember that the life of a post can vary from channel to channel so it’s OK to post the same blog more than once. According to Buffer the life cycle of a post is:

  • Twitter – 18mins
  • Facebook – 90 mins

So unless someone is following your accounts with a magnifying glass, (which is unlikely) you can afford to reuse and recycle a blog post. It will help to bring more readers to each post and will maximize the time you’ve spent writing it.

Alternative Blog Titles/Descriptions

The title of my example post is Female Business Owners – 4 Reasons Why You Aren’t Blogging. But rather than always posting a link with this title,  I’ll create some alternatives too. By coming at it from different angles and using different hashtags  you’ll make it easier for more people to find your blog and open up your readership.

Here’s five alternative descriptions to tempt readers in: 

1. Why aren’t you blogging for business? Lack of time, money, knowledge or direction?

2. #Solopreneurs – planning on getting round to blogging one day? Here’s 4 reasons you’re stalling…

3. Female #Microbusiness Owners – are you finding blogging for business a challenge? You are not alone!

4. Blogging for Business – Why a lack of time and knowledge leads to lack of clarity and focus #SmallBusiness

5. Still haven’t devised your blogging strategy? Then you’re probably experiencing one of these 4 blocks #MumsinBiz

Notice how I’ve mixed up hashtags. My ideal clients are busy women running a small micro-business who want to free up time and get more from their online marketing. So, I use a range of hashtags to increase my chances of an ideal client finding the post.

If you are posting on Facebook or Linked In, just remove the hashtags but you can keep the term in your post to help with search.

2. Create useful tips for your audience

Tips are a great way to show your expertise, increase followers and encourage sharing. Try to pull as many tips as you can from each blog post. Here’s some examples of tips I’ve pulled from my post:

1. #BloggingforBusiness helps you to showcase your expertise and provide content for social media

2. Regular Blogging will help to create a community around your small business

3. Blogging for Business connects you to potential customers, cheerleaders and influencers #startup #womeninbusiness

4. Get focused! Get a clear blogging strategy so you know who you want to reach #bloggingtips

Do this with each blog post you write and add them to your content bank, giving you a lovely bank of great tips to share anytime.

3. Questions for your audience

Try to open up discussion and encourage feedback & engagement by posting questions for your fans and followers. Add some hashtags if you can as this will help engagement.

Here’s some examples of questions pulled from the same blog: 

1. Mums in Business – know that you SHOULD be blogging but can’t get into a routine? What’s stopping you?

2. Making time to work on your business blogs is hard when plates are spinning and time is short. Anyone else experience this?

3. Is lack of time, money, direction or knowledge your main block to blogging regularly?

This also has the added bonus of acting like informal market research – the answers can be pretty useful as they’ll give an insight into what your customers need and what their problems are

4. Turn quotes in images and memes

Images play an important part in social media marketing so make sure you use them! Now that you have created lots of lovely content using the methods described above you can use some of it to create some images.

Canva is great for creating graphic in a jiffy. There are lots of templates ready to go, or you can create your own template then just use it as a base to add new text too.

Here’s 2 images I created in less than 10 minutes using Canva.

1. Lack of time 2. Lack of knowledge 3. Lack of Money 4. Lack of Direction

Blogging for Business connects you to potential customers, cheerleaders and influencers. Have a clear strategy to make sure that you reach them!

I can use these images to use as stand-alone posts or I can add a link to my blog post. Notice that I’ve included my website address on each image so if it’s shared without tagging in my account, at least people will still know where to find me!

So, there you go – 4 ways to squeeze more content out of each blog post. Try to set aside 20-30 minutes when you finish each post to pull out quotes, tips and alternative blog descriptions. This will save you masses of time in the future and will help you to build a content bank to be proud of!

I’d love to hear your questions and comments, so do leave a reply or hop on over and say ‘hello’ on Twitter or Facebook.

PHOTO CREDIT: Image courtesy of chanpipat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Already written lots of blogs and other content (such as ebooks, downloads and podcasts) but short on time to pluck out the best bits for social media?

You could get your very own Bespoke Content Bank of 50 engaging, informative posts that are targeted to your audience. All you need to do is copy and paste them or schedule them up in advance. Now how much time and effort would that save you? Find out more…


 

How often should my small business post on social media?

How often should a small business post on social media

How often should a small business post on social mediaKeeping a presence on social media can sometimes mean treading a fine line between being visible or just being plain annoying. Post too infrequently and your business gets lost. Post too much and clog up people’s streams and you might find yourself removed from their lists.

Ultimately, we want our posts to reach as many potential customers and influencers as possible and in turn, we want them to engage with our business. So, how many times a day should your small business post on social media to achieve this?

I found this great article The Social Media Frequency Guide: How often to post to Twitter, Facebook, Linked In and more by Kevan Lee (Twitter @kevanlee).  Click through to read the full details of the research as it makes interesting reading, but if you don’t have time, I’ve condensed the main findings below:

How many times a day should my small business post on social media?

Facebook: 5-10 posts per week

Twitter: 5 tweets per day

Linked In: 1 per weekday

Google +: 5 – 10 posts per week

Key findings for the major social media channels

Facebook

There is some discussion in the articles comments as to whether the Facebook data is correct, as it is based on research done before recent algorithm changes. Some people recommend that 3-4 posts a day are optimal, (as opposed to the 5-10 posts a week stated in the research).

The best way to check this is to experiment yourself. Try 1-2 posts a day for a week, then try 3-4 the following week. The next step is to check check and compare the data. Go into your Facebook Insights to see how many people liked, shared, commented on the posts and how many people clicked through to your website each week, then compare the two sets of data.

To be sure on the best times of day to post you can check Facebook data to see when your audience is online.  (You can find this day by logging into your business page, clicking on the ‘Insights’ tab, then on ‘Posts’.) It will show you when your target audience is most likely to be using Facebook

Twitter

Whilst 5 tweets per day would be the optimum number of tweets for a small business, if you really want to ‘up’ your Twitter game, you should aim for posting 11-15 tweets per day. The reported data showed that posting 6-10 or 15-20 times a day meant a drop-off in the number of retweets received, so for a small business 11-15 tweets is advised if you are looking to increase your visibility quickly.

The frequency of the posts will depend on whether you’re trying to reach a global or local audience, but even if you want to reach a local audience it’s always worth experimenting with posts at times you would expect things to be quiet (such as early morning and late evening). As there are less posts at these times, your post may  stand out in the quieter space. And some evidence suggests that readers spend more time reading & digesting a tweet, if there’s not as many new posts appearing and clamoring for their attention.

Linked In

The article recommends posting just once a weekday, early in the morning. Personally, I’d beg to differ on that. I often post for one of my clients on a Saturday morning and often get a better response to the Saturday morning post than week day posts. But, she is targeting people who want to leave their jobs and start their own business, so this audience is less likely to be using Linked In during conventional working hours.

This also applies to anyone talking to a global audience. If you want to reach people in London, Australia and the US  you may have to revolve your daily posting times to make sure you reach everyone.

Google +

The findings  don’t appear to be based on any real research as the channel is still relatively new. As Facebook is considered the closest model to compare to Google + they simply suggest following the posting pattern for Facebook to see how that works for you.

 

What do you think of this suggested posted schedule?  There will always be variations depending on what type of business you run, but by and large do you think it sounds sensible and reasonable?  It helps to give small businesses a base to work with when planning & scheduling their social media activity.

 

Image courtesy of Jeroen van Oostrom at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

How to Compile a Social Media Content Bank

Ideas for social media content bankRead the first part of this blog series to find out what a Social Media Content Bank is and why creating one will ensure that you always have something to say on social media

The best way to put together a social media content bank is to block out a couple of hours and get your head in the zone!

Get a piece of paper and get ready to jot down the following information:

Step 1: Think about your marketing aims

  1. Who is your ideal customer – who are trying to talk to?
  2. How can you benefit them? What are they interested in and what do they want to hear from you?
  3. What are your marketing goals? Think about your primary aims for your social media campaign. Do you want to increase traffic to your website, build your mailing list, connect with influencers and decision makers? Having clear goals and being mindful of them will help you to create posts that will help you to achieve those goals.
  4. What our your competitors doing? Check out your competitiors social media feeds.  Don’t copy them, but it can be useful to see what angle they are taking,  what seems to be working for them, or what isn’t working for them!
  5. Keep your audience and goals in mind as you move onto Step 2…

Step 2: Gather up all of your current content

What content have you already got? If you’ve got a blog, eBook, video, training or even web pages then you’ve got lots of valuable content already. The best bits just need to be plucked out and turned into pithy quotes, tips or facts that you can share with your audience.

Identify which bits of the content your audience will be really interested in. What speaks to them, what do they need?  Which blogs have been popular? Make a note of their titles and subject matter and use as inspiration for step 3.

Step 3: Creating catchy posts from your content

Use a popular subject as a theme to create a series of tips or advice related to it.  Read your most popular blog and try to pull 5 key points from it and jot them down. Now, try and edit the points down into a series of catchy posts.

So, for example a business coach might create 5 tips on start ups,  creating business plans or marketing. Do that with 5 blogs then you have 25 posts that can be used again and again! Repeat this principle with other content such as eBooks, videos, web pages, case studies – anything you have that is useful or informative for your customers.

Step 4: What are you selling?

Social media shouldn’t be used for hard sell but your posts can be used to sell without being too pushy. Think about the service or products you are offering.  What benefits are there for the customer in purchasing them? Craft some posts extolling the benefits.

Don’t go mad with these ones – you don’t want to be posting sales pitches constantly but they won’t hurt from time to time. You can also talk about products you are working on & developing to give people a ‘sneak peek’. You might post ” Just interviewed [insert name] for my first book about successful mumpreneurs. She’s such an inspiration and can’t wait to share her story with you.” It’s a great way to let people know what products you will be launching soon without directly selling.

Step 5: What are you offering for free?

Everyone loves a freebie so make sure that you mention your free content regularly. If you offer podcasts, eBooks, webinars and training, craft a series of posts that tell your customers about them and link back to them.

Step 6: Look outside your business for related content

Inspirational, motivational, funny & interesting quotes are always a big hit on social media. They attract attention and new followers, create conversations and are often liked and shared. Think about what type of quotes you want to post. What relates to your business?  Google your research topic – there’s a wealth of quotes available online. Whether you need parenting quotes, motivational quotes, business quotes or something funny – you’ll find it.

Add your favourites to your content bank and add relevant hashtags to help them get found by your intended audience. Facts also go down a treat. So if your business sells eco-friendly products you might want to run a series of environmental facts. A business coach might choose some research results about women in business or another current topic.

Step 7: Completion!

Once you’ve done all that, you should have a social media content bank full of engaging posts that will help to attract an audience. You’ll have created the foundations of a document that you can build on over time and that will grow and adapt with your business.

Do you use a social media content bank in your business? Does it save you time and work well? Drop us a note in the comment box below…


-What shall I post on social media - running out of ideas

Sound familiar? If you’re short of time to create your own contact bank, then let me to do it for you!

Get your own bespoke social media content bank.

Making Great Social Media Content Easy

Social Media - Bespoke Social Media Content Bank

Women Like Social Media - Bespoke Social Media Content Bank

Do you struggle to with constantly finding something to post on your social media accounts?

Are you looking for ways to make scheduling social media updates easier and save precious time?

There’s a simple solution which will provide you with a wealth of content, ready to be used and scheduled up ready to go when you don’t have time to post yourself. That solution is to create a social media content bank for your business.

What is a social media content bank?

Basically, it’s an Excel workbook  filled with a bank of posts ready to be copied, pasted and scheduled into your social media accounts.

Schedule the content so that you have  a regular stream of posts, even if you don’t have time to go online.  No matter how busy you are, you will always have something to say.

Mix the scheduled posts up with your conversations, shares and RTs and voila! You’ll have an interesting, engaging social media stream to share with your potential customers.

A varied social media content bank might contain the following types of content: 

Tips, facts & inspiration

Engaging, informative or inspiring posts relevant to your product/service offering to help your audience learn more about your business

If you’re selling eco-friendly products you might post some interesting facts about recycling, the environment or the eco-friendly properties of your products. If you’re selling  bicycles, you might run a series of tips on keeping safe when out on the road.

For coaches and personal brands it provides a good chance to share your expertise and build authority. A business coach could post a series of business tips or tips on keeping motivated.  Tips on completing your tax return or on business finance would be welcome advice from an accountant. Think about what you could share with your audience.

Conversational & Questions

Ask questions & get involved with your audience – doesn’t have to be anything too complicated or even directly related to your business.

Tell your audience what book you are reading and then ask what books they would recommend. This works for business services as you can talk about specific topics such as marketing, running your own business etc. If your target market is parents and children, you could mention which books your children are loving at the moment, then ask your followers what they love to read with their children.

If you’re business is based in one location ask local questions to get you noticed in that area. There’s no end to the type of question this could generate – where’s a great day out, good place for a business lunch, where can I buy a particular product?

You can also use this method when you post a blog. For example, if you post a blog about ‘How to Survive Working from Home during the School Holidays’,  ask followers to share their survival tips too. It will help it get more attention, comments and shares.

Quotes

Love them or loathe them, quotes are  a firm fixture on social media as they do actually work. Everyone loves a bit of fun or inspiration so quotes entertain your fans and followers.  Quotes are also shared more than any other type of content so they’re great for helping attract new fans.

The type of quote you use will depend on your business. Funny, factual, motivating, inspiring or thought-provoking quotes always go down well. Or perhaps you could use quotes about marketing, finance or branding -w hat suits your business?

Another bonus of quotes is they are an easy way to fill your feed – particularly if you’re in the early days of your business and don’t have loads of your own content to link to yet.

 

Campaign –related

Tailor your posts to a particular campaign or business goal. Mix up a series of tips, quotes, questions and content to help you reach your goal.

If you are business coach selling a Start-up course you would run a series of your own start-up tips taken from the course and  sprinkle them with start up quotes from influencers and well-known business gurus too. You can also start a conversation and ask questions such as ‘what’s your biggest fear about starting your own business’, ‘what would be your dream business’ etc. Mix these posts up with links to your own blogs and content and selling posts (see below) and hey presto – you’ve got the content for your social media marketing campaign.

Selling

Promote your latest course, new service or products, without being too pushy.  Create posts letting people know when you’re working on a new product or service.  They don’t have to be directly selling the product, but people will become aware of what you’re working on and it will help build advance interest for it’s launch. Something like ‘busy morning working on the content of my start-up course. It’s taking shape and can’t wait to launch it!’

You could also  take some pictures of what you’re working on (or you whilst you’re doing it) and post them to your feed. This all helps to create some buzz and let’s people see behind the scenes at your business.

Another way to sell is to push people towards your free content. Everyone loves a freebie and it’s a great way to get potential customers into your sales funnel so you can sell to them later on.

 

Links to your own content and other social media channels

Compile a list of titles and links to your current online content such as blogs, videos, eBooks, give-aways and podcasts.  Keep an eye on your stats to see what’s popular, then re-run the content from time-to-time to help attract a new wave of followers and fans.

This is very useful when you’re short on time to create new content. It also helps if you’re creating a campaign as you can pull out any content you already have and supplement it with new items.

It’s also a good way to get a regular stream of traffic to your free resources, such as eBooks, to help you grow your list and get potential clients into your sales funnel.

You can also add short links to your other platforms. So, if you manage a Linked In group you can mention it on Twitter or Facebook to help cross-promote it.

 What’s next?

Don’t forget to add relevant hashtags to help your posts get found by your intended audience. Use a tool like Hashtagify.me to compare which hashtags work best on Twitter.

The beauty of a social media content bank is that you just keep adding to it. Keep it updated with every blog you write, podcast you publish or free resource you provide.  Create posts to help attract and push potential customers to the parts of your website you want them to see.

Now you’ve thought about what content you might include in your content bank, the next stage is to block out a few hours to get it done.  Read How To Compile a Social Media Content Bank

Do you use a social media content bank for your business?  What works best for you? And what would you add to this list? If you have any questions or comments, do add them in the comments box underneath.  


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