I really hate wasting time, and I am a sucker for comparing myself to others. Put those together and you have a person who dislikes most social media and who should not be engaging in it regularly.
The parts I like, I love.
Being able to keep in the loop with a larger group of people while using a minimum of energy? Yes please!
Being able to help, share, donate, support and connect with clients, friends, fellow business owners? Fantastic!
Doom scrolling, losing 30 minutes in the middle of my most productive time of the day and having the effect being awful feelings and thoughts for the rest of the day? Ughhhhhhhhhhh.
I knew when I launched a social media business that I would have to find methods to manage my time, my mental health, and my team while still doing the best job possible for our clients. I knew I would have to become really good at not getting sucked in while using the tools needed to succeed.
Thankfully Facebook (and it’s other business, Instagram) have made that set of hoops a bit easier to manage by putting out tools like the Facebook Business Suite where you can only do your business page without ever having to log in to your personal account. That’s cut down on the time wasted, but what about the joy sucking that can happen when you feel like you are yelling into the abyss…and wish you didn’t have to do this stuff ever.
I mean, there’s an easy way to avoid it: hire a company to manage it for you. Like…us. Just an example. If that’s not in your budget yet, there are still lots of tips and tricks (that we learned the hard way) to ensure that your social media time is shorter, less painful, and more profitable than you think!
1. Know who you want to talk to
This one is a no brainer. Talking to “audience” is scary to the point that public speaking is one of the top worldwide, cross-cultural fears. Talking to individual humans, however, isn’t scary at all. When you jump on social media without a human in mind, you’re talking to a faceless audience you won’t get any of the good brain chemicals unless they respond positively. It’s just like public speaking (pants optional).
Once you’re talking to a human, even an imaginary one or an idealized one, you will get the feeling of giving value and creating connection – all by doing the same action, just more strategically.
2. Be consistent in a few places before reaching out
I teach the basics of social media to business owners a few times every month. Pretty much every time I do, I tell people to master one platform before trying to jump on others. Pretty much every time I follow up with someone who took my course, they are struggling with consistency and hating the marketing side of the business they love.
Start by truly mastering the platform where at least one of your ideal clients hangs out. Even better, start by mastering the one you like the best and are the best at. Once you have that strategy down to the point that it’s effortless, then it’s time to branch out. Not before.
3. Be the first one to reach out. Put the social before the media
Social media isn’t meant to replace newspaper ads, it’s meant to be an enhancement to them. Too often business owners are looking for ways to be media/soapbox driven and forget that until your audience cares about you they won’t care what you have to say.
Looking to market to lawyers or startups or salons? Follow a bunch of them, comment regularly on their posts, and give them the social experience and the dopamine hit you’re looking to get back – without ever trying to sell a darn thing to them. You’ll be surprised how many of them will reciprocate, and how much more enjoyable you will find the whole experience.
4. Plan first, plan second, plan third, post fourth
The best of intentions will take too long and cause too much stress and mental load without a plan. Determine your top 5 messages. Determine your 3 ideal client avatars. Determine what messages will resonate with each avatar, and start prewriting when you have the time and the creativity to bang out a few weeks or a month of content. Organize it by themed days and remove all the second guessing.
Planning ahead will save you so much time and mental load that your creativity and joy will be able to come through in the social side because you’re not thinking that you need to be generating content every.single.day.
5. Spend more time on giving value then on getting sales
This does not mean that you don’t sell on social. You do. It’s HOW you sell that matters. If you sell a product in a way that gives value immediately to your audience (Example: Here’s a quick 5 minute workout you can do at your desk. For more like, join us for a stress busting workout at XXX gym! And follow up with those who like or comment with a motivational post to get that workout in today, and offer general congrats to those who did complete it later that day.)
Every post should give immediate value to the viewer, not the sender. That value can be a laugh, something beautiful, something that connects to their personal brand, something that will make their day or life a bit better, or a way to do XXXX thing with less XXXX or more XXXX. Your mileage will vary widely here, but it’s not you that matters: it’s the audience you’re looking to engage with and delight.
6. Make it a part of your schedule
None of this will happen if you don’t put it in your schedule. We recommend you set aside 3 hours per month in one block – we like the last Friday of the month to prepare for the coming month, but again, you do what works for you. A Sunday afternoon perhaps? A Monday morning?
When you’ve created an actual content library (we highly recommend using Excel or another program instead of just scheduling within your chosen platform – it’s much easier to see the post content when you don’t have to scroll, etc.) with 10 really awesome posts for each day you are planning to post on, you can then start tweaking and getting a bit more creative – again because th pressure is off. Then use that content library to spend 5 minutes a day posting, commenting, liking, and sharing OPP (other peoples posts.)
Final thought: You may never love social media personally, but following this plan will at least make it an effective tool, and who really hates effective tools??