23 May Got 20 Mins? Enough to Create Sparkling Social Media Content For Your Business Everyday
Your dream business is starting off.
One moment it feels set. The other moment, you’re confused.
You’re not sure of the right thing to do.
Good news is you don’t have to get it right. You have to get it going.
One thing that gives your dream business a boost is social media.
For example, you may have posted your baking experiments on Instagram. Or you may have put out some fun styling tips on Facebook.
They’ve received an encouraging response.
So much so that friends have said you should start a Facebook Business Page.
Good social media presence can help you launch, grow and build your business over time.
It also demands consistency and quality.
That’s where the catch lies.
You’re unable to make time to get active on social media.
If you’re active, you’re not sure if your posts look professional enough.
You may have tried hiring a young social media enthusiast to manage your social media. Yet it takes a lot of time, effort and investment. They may not stay for the long haul either.
You’re feeling stuck.
Many early-stage start-ups, solo-preneurs and mid-sized businesses grapple with this.
I did too.
To grow my coaching practice, I needed to reach out to more people.
I had to be visible on several social media channels, with awesome content.
But I did not have tons of time and money to invest on this.
I got down to raking up strategies, tricks and hacks to get my social media going.
I created a system that requires me to spend only 20 min a day – with little or no financial investment.
Now I want to share this incredibly easy system with you.
It takes a one–time effort to get this going. But it packs in lots of action in 20 mins flat.
Here’s a snapshot of how it works:
By the end of this post, you’ll be able to create stunning social media content with amazing ease.
Eager to begin?
1. First up, nail your social media communication purpose
While you create social media communication, it’s important to know your audience, their pain points and give them content that will help them. Share your expertise without holding back.
This helps you build a relationship of trust over time. And we do know that people buy from those who they ‘know, like and trust’.
To draft your social media communication purpose, zero in on:
What business are you in?
Who does it serve?
What are their biggest pain points?
As an expert, what can you give them to help ease that pain?
I am a business and career transition coach.
I serve working professionals.
They are extremely unhappy and have no clarity about their careers. I help them understand who they really are and create work from what they are passionate about.
My social media communication purpose is to help working professionals know that there’s a genius in them and that they can create happy, fulfilling work that’s only theirs to do.
Do ensure your content teaches, inspires, entertains or gives your reader something new.
2. Next, pick your key social media channels
Start by understanding where your audience hangs out. Use this information to choose your social media channels. You can do this in 2 ways:
a) Talk to your existing and prospective clients. Understand how they spend their day and where they hang out on social media. Find what they engage with.
b) Look up research online. For example, 27% of teens in a Piper Jaffray survey ranked Instagram as the second most important social network. If they’re your target audience, you may want to consider Instagram as your primary channel.
From these 2 data points, zero in 2 primary channels and at least 1-2 secondary channels.
This is good enough to begin with.
It helps if you’re familiar with the social media channels that your audience prefers. If you’re not, make sure you acquaint yourself with them.
For instance, if your audience primarily engages with LinkedIn and you’re not familiar with it, invest time in understanding how it works. Engage with the channel.
3. Get on to building your social media calendar
We’ve crafted the social media communication purpose, and earmarked the channels.
Ensure that the content you post aligns to the social media communication purpose we crafted in step 1. Now, let’s figure what and when to post.
a) What to post
Think up original content which is tightly connected with your purpose and split it into buckets.
There could be 10 to 12 types of content buckets.
i) Quotes that reflect your business values and beliefs. One of my favourite quotes on my social media page is:
ii) Post business tips that convey your expertise. One of my posts that got a lot of engagement was a business coaching tip:
iii) You can talk about what goes on behind the scenes. For example, post your team brainstorming with a bunch of post-it notes while cracking a campaign.
iv) Pick a slice of life moment that connects to your social media communication purpose. If your business believes in freedom as a value, then you could show the joys of remote working, working from a café or a co-working space, or even getting your pet to work.
v) Choose a success story you’re proud of, or a client catch-up.
vi) Tuck in content and product promos.
vii) Seed an event or workshop with pre and post-event coverage. After my Money Breakthrough workshop at the Ministry of New, a popular co-working space in Mumbai, I posted a quick wrap about it. It gave a sneak peek to those who missed out on it.
viii) If you’ve published a blog post, build it up. I promoted one of my recent blog posts on Facebook and Instagram:
ix) Got a business anniversary or hit a milestone at work? Bagged an award or a major client? Talk about them. Add client pictures to bump up credibility.
x) If you’re opening up contests, free consulting sessions, or doling out freebies, social media can build buzz.
xi) Keep an eye out and get topical with news-jacking. It’s a technique where you align your content with what’s happening around the world.
Take the example of the world-famous video when kids crashed an important BBC Live interview. It became a rage on social media, and a point of conversation as an endearing moment went viral. Business magazines wrote articles on dos and don’ts of working from home and those of live telecast. Lifestyle publications wrote about challenges that working parents face. Comedians and RJs had a field day. Others made animation videos of the episode and the family turned into YouTube stars. http://bit.ly/2mtl7LS
b) When to post
This needs a bit of experimenting and judgement. There are 3 data points that can help:
i) Chat up your customer and get a hang of when they engage on social media. For example, if your target audience is mothers, do they wake up at 7 am and check their phone first thing? Or do they keep it aside until 9 am when they’ve packed the kids off to school?
ii) Check online studies that state active time bands for your audience. Be mindful that you could be looking up global data. Factor the difference in for your key market.
For example, global data may indicate that my target audience i.e. working professionals travel to work between 8 am to 9 am (and also engages with social media at that time). I need to check if this is true for my primary market i.e. India, as well.
iii) If the above doesn’t work, don’t sweat it. Most social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram are embedded with free insight tools. Base your scheduling time on these insights.
4. Create your awesome posts in a jiffy
As per www.ey.com, content creation features among the top-three challenges faced for marketing a brand on social media.
You don’t have to fret.
There are a ton of apps that make it a breeze to compose your posts. Here’s how:
Before you start composing your posts, make sure you’ve got a hang of the look and feel of your brand.
For example is it a youthful brand that’s outspoken, lively and bright? Or is it a classic, grounded and mature brand? What is the look and feel that goes with your brand – bright colours or pastels, solid or cursive fonts?
You may take a tip or 2 from a graphic designer friend or look up some resources online to zero-in on this.
If budget permits, you can hire a graphic designer to even create a brand guidelines book.
Two digital tools that I use very often to create posts are WordSwag and Canva. They are digital platforms that make design so easy, that you don’t need to hire a graphic designer or know how to use graphic design software.
WordSwag is a phone App available on IOS and Android for a small one-time charge.
Canva is available as a free basic version on the desktop, and also as an app on IOS.
Canva even has a blog called Design School that trains you on design basics.
Once you get your way around, you can create great-looking posts in a snap.
The results? Stunning and professional-looking.
5. Re-purpose your own posts and curate third-party content
You’ve created content for your primary channels. But you’re also active on your secondary channels. You don’t need to be busy creating content for all channels all day.
You can re-purpose the content you created for primary channel and use it for secondary channels. Or you can curate third-party content.
Let’s consider this in detail:
a) Re-purpose your posts
The audience on your primary channel may not always overlap with your secondary channels.
For example, your audience on LinkedIn may be different from that on Instagram.
So you can use the same content across platforms. This is called re-purposing.
A post you’ve shared on Instagram can be automatically shared on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – at the time of posting. All you need to do is set the auto-sharing function on your Instagram account or programme this via a simple tool like IFTTT.
IFTTT is an external platform that helps you pre-programme several tasks and also post from one social media channel to another.
b) Curate posts from other publications and pages
Whenever you come across online articles that are in line with what you offer, you can save it as swipe file on a Word document. This is called curating.
Feedly is a great way to do this. The app lets you choose feeds from publications you love following and helps you line them up for your social media pages.
If you read interesting articles on Facebook, you can save them and access them later.
Why curate at all?
You don’t have to write all the articles. You can share articles from another publication that resonates with your message or belief.
Bonus – saves you time, yet adds up to the big picture. Win-win.
For example, I recently re-posted an article from Entrepreneur.com. Even if my audience does not read the entire article, the headline indicates that my work is about career transition, without me having to write a word.
6. Line-up your posts to go live whenever you want
Got a bank of posts done? Going live with them need not be daunting.
A bunch of cool apps make life so easy that your page stays active even when you’re in a meeting or on a holiday.
Hootsuite helps you line up both your original posts and also what you choose or curate on Feedly.
Hootsuite is an advance posting app that allows you to line up posts for days or weeks in advance across many social media platforms. It’s free basic business version allows you to post on up to 3 channels.
Even Facebook comes with its inbuilt pre-posting feature.
Curate articles and line-up posts for an entire week or even a month, at one go.
It’s a simple, swift and efficient way to keep channels alive, even when you’re away.
You can do it every day or batch-process by setting aside a few hours once a week.
7. Bring your content alive with a dose of zing
Social media does not end with creating and scheduling posts.
It’s the beginning.
New trends, tips and techniques flood social media every day.
They help break the monotony and infuse liveliness.
From GIFs to mosaic patterns for photos, live shots to spectacular time-lapse videos – some of these features are available on your phone for free.
Check them out on your phone or download free apps to add freshness to your communication.
Boomerang, for example, is an app that helps create captivating mini videos that loop back and forth. Fresh, light, and fun.
8. Outsource that which you’re not inspired to do
Do what you do best, and outsource the rest. – Peter Drucker
While there are many free resources, you may still find certain things challenging to do.
Step back and take a look at the complete scope.
Spot the task which you find most uninspiring to do. Outsource that.
Instead of spending a ton of money on hiring an agency to create the entire content, now you have to spend a tiny amount only on the part you find uninspiring.
I’ve spent many years in advertising in business roles. While I may not have worked in the creative department, I have a good enough idea of what stunning content is like.
For my blog posts, I create an outline or a first draft. I find the editing and finishing tedious. So I outsource that bit. To save time, I have a professional finish it for me.
So for example, if writing comes to you easily but not design, outsource the design.
9. Be ready for contingencies with a few handy tips
You may not always have the mind space for ideas. Or there may be an urgent meeting to attend to. There are many tips that can help you in times like these.
Data indicates that my audience shows the highest engagement on my primary channel LinkedIn on Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday.
So in a very busy week, I ensure that I’ve posts lined up at least for those days.
Mark your commute time for creating posts. When you’re in an Uber or the metro, access your swipe file and create posts with WordSwag.
Re-post from your favourite leader in your industry or a role model who may have caught your eye.
Several free to use regramming tools such as Repost It! are available online to help you. Repost It! makes it easy to repost your favourite photos and videos on Instagram while giving credit to the original Instagrammer.
You may have a sudden dentist appointment or an urgent commitment. Your posts keep going up, irrespective of your schedule.
Let’s show you how you need to invest 20 min of your time every day to keep your social media alive and sparkling.
How to pack this enormous action in a quick 20-min capsule every day?
Start by marking a convenient day to set-up your social media communication system. This is a one-time exercise and may need half a day of brainstorming and outlining.
The one-time gig done, there are 2 ways in which you can create and post your content.
You can pick weekdays to wrap different things. Or pick a daily plan. Embed a fixed time in your routine and get going.
The diagram below explains how:
Most social media channels allow you to post in advance, except Instagram.
Hence the weekly plan has one exception. You could prepare a post and line it up on Later – an app that allows you to upload and schedule your Instagram posts. You will get a notification and you will need to post it every day.
It’s also important to check basic analytics.
Most social media platforms have inbuilt insights that give you basic analytics on post reach, traffic, and so on. Go to these inbuilt insights on your social media platform, take those learnings and adjust accordingly.
Many free videos outline basics of measurement. Sample this: http://bit.ly/2nYMpwQ.
Allow organic growth on your page. Use promo campaigns such as ‘Boost Post’ sparingly, especially at the early stage of your social media presence.
Skyrocket your social media by creating splendid content in minutes.
Start by understanding your audience.
See what you can give your audience that addresses their pain points and will be valuable.
Create posts using a host of apps available.
Keep populating social media channels with meaningful content at a consistent pace.
You can’t afford to post for two weeks and then not post for the 3rd.
Go all out and use automation apps such as Hootsuite, Feedly and IFTTT.
These apps, hacks and tips allow you to be consistent – because you are not dependent on a designer, budget or time.
If it means outsourcing after you’ve picked your channels and put together the calendar, do it.
Keep reading up for fabulous ideas to add variety to your content.
Here’s my resource listing at a glance to help you on the way:
Creating social media content for your dream business need not be overwhelming.
I’ve made it fun by investing 20 minutes a day. I now put up 2 posts on 4 channels daily.
Take a step at a time. Start the process, keep at it, and fine-tune it as you go forward. Watch the journey unfold.
Eager to get going with this cool 20-min trick? Happy to help you get on track. Let me know on firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s get make your social media communication dazzle.
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