It seems like we are bombarded with social media from every angle. It’s now 2019 and we are all well aware that to be taken seriously, we need to be online. But, what does that really mean for each of us?
We know that we need a social media presence, but the thought can be super overwhelming. What apps do I use? Do I need to be everywhere at all times? What do I post? Does every photo have to be me standing in front of The Great Wall with Beyoncé giving the peace sign? Is it all professional? or can I show my family and friends as well?
The truth is social media doesn’t have to be overwhelming or intimidating. A social media presence is nothing more than a tool to help show the digital world who you are and market your skills/product. Whatever that may be.
So, lets lay out some guidelines that can help you craft, create, and keep up with a digital persona that matches your style and needs.
1. What is your product?
Everyone and everything is a product to sell. So first, ask yourself what is your product? Are you focusing on your job or your personal life? Do you want to highlight life as a mom? Do you run a sales team and want to use your social media as a way to coach and give tips on a regular basis?
All of us are many things, but it is important to be clear in your intent. Remember, even someone as big as Oprah didn’t start out owning the world. She started her career as a news anchor. She worked her ass off. Slowly building a base of respect and support and obviously grew up to run practically everything.
By focusing on your product, your brand can be built and crafted very specifically through a well organized and thought out digital plan. To get an idea of what I mean, here are a few folks on Instagram that I think are doing it really well at different follower levels:
Notice how each of these ladies use coloration, shapes, and stories to craft the look and persona they want to present to the world. Most use their Instagram stories to highlight different portions of who they are to create a narrative for the viewer.
Starting to get the picture?
2. Know your community.
Who are you posting this for? Your product should give you some clues. Let’s use the examples we talked about before to discuss further:
If you want to highlight life as a mom – your community should be other moms that are looking for advice or ideas to use in their own lives.
If you want to highlight tips for your sales team and the growth of your organization then you should be focusing on reaching your team and possible folks out there that might want to join it in the future.
And remember, if you are just starting out: be specific. The community you post for starts to build a foundation on the type of people you want to target for the growth of your business later.
3. Where to Post?
This one can be tricky. The mindset for many years has been that we have to be all places at all times. I disagree entirely. Most social media exists somewhere between Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterst, Instagram and Website/Blogging. My Advice? Pick three and focus your efforts. More becomes overwhelming and doesn’t allow you to be specific in strategy.
So, how to choose? This is solved by looking at step one and two. What is your product and who is your community. Start to think about how your community would most likely receive information. Are they visual or text driven? Do they want to read an article for answers or are they someone who needs a quick picture or video for a summary of information?
The answer to those questions will help you focus your efforts and not be overwhelmed.
4. Plan Your Posts.
You do not need to plan every single day. You also don’t need to shy away from posting a picture of your puppy if the moment suits you, but you should have a general plan.
Start out with something simple: Tip Tuesday where you share a favorite tip that sets your day for success or Follow Friday where you show your tribe who you follow and why they should be do.
Build slowly!! Slow growth leads to true success. A million followers overnight leads to one hit wonder status.
Take a couple of weeks with each new post you try and see what works. Was it easy for you to gather a great photo for or did is seem overwhelming/something you had to go out of your way to find? IF so, toss it. Keep the ideas that work and don’t be afraid to trash the stuff that isn’t you.
Creating a social media presence isn’t about posting like a celeb or an “influencer”. It’s about posting information and photos that highlight you and the great individual you are.
Finally, please remember this should be fun! Social media is about connecting with the world in a way we never could before. So let yourself shine through and get to posting!
For more tips and tricks find more on the author @SarahMaeDickinson