How to Keep Social Media from Taking Over Your Life, Dear Business Owner
If you want to be great at something, you’ve got to show up. Plain and simple. You’ve got to show up day in and day out.
There are no overnight successes.
There are no long-lasting “quick wins.”
There’s showing up, time and time again, in front of the right people, with a consistent, compelling message. This is how a business becomes successful. Truly successful. Not just a fly-by-night, one-hit-wonder. But a long-term, feed-your-family, support-others, legacy type of business.
I can guarantee you that Apple didn’t just call a few people, try to sell their product, and everything worked out.
Zappos didn’t just throw up a website and a Google ad or two and watch the shoe orders flood in.
And no flourishing business today just posts a few times on Facebook and Instagram and rakes in a bunch of cash.
Nope. Not how it works.
Yet, the power of consistency is here again as our topic of discussion because of its effect on your business’s social media presence.
To allow your social media efforts to turn a healthy ROI, you have to consistently show up for your social media followers.
It’s nonnegotiable. You have to.
You can’t afford not to because if you don’t show up, someone else will, stealing away the attention you could’ve gotten from your ideal client.
You’ve seen it. You know how crazy distracting every social media platform is.
Notification here, funny video there, someone just tagged you, ooh a Group invite, yay a new follower, there’s a new comment, better respond to that, hey a new friend!
And yet, business owners think it’s enough to post inconsistently, once in a while, and gain something from it.
Here’s the deal:
If you’re not demanding your ideal client’s attention often on social media, they will never care about you.
Why would they? They have 459 OTHER things to care about when checking their social feeds.
But see, the problem isn’t that the social media environment is “too busy” and “it’s hard to stand out.” It’s honestly not.
The problem is that consistently showing up on social media doesn’t easily fit into OUR busy days as business owners. Seriously, we’ve got ENOUGH to deal with, am I right?
We can’t always log in and post something. We can’t always think of something relevant to post. We feel strapped to our phones 24/7. And when all is said and done, the posts that we DO hit publish on aren’t cohesive at allllll.
But because we’ve done the work to know that social media is an integral part of our business’s marketing strategy (if you haven’t done this yet, go here!), we know we’ve got to figure this out. We’ve got show up and we’ve got to do it strategically so it funnels our ideal client to our end goal.
So how do we keep social media from taking over our lives… but still show up consistently? Million dollar question, right? Here’s the answer:
There are TWO critical steps to show up on social media consistently AND strategically without it taking over your life.
*NOTE: This gets a bit nitty-gritty, so if you’re the big-picture type, this isn’t going to really appeal to you. I HIGHLY suggest outsourcing your social media implementation to an assistant or social media manager that loves organization and detailed tasks.
#1 Create a Content Calendar
Similar to creating a content calendar for a blog, which we discussed here, a content calendar is crucial for your social media content too. Once the calendar is structured, you no longer have to think, “Hmm what should I post today?” Instead, the calendar TELLS YOU what topic to post about.
Here’s how I create a content calendar for my clients:
Step 1 – Identify the main topics your ideal client is interested in hearing about from you.
Step 2 – Decide how many times you’ll post on each of your social media platforms.
Step 3 – Map out the themes of each day on your calendar so you’re consistently incorporating all topics you identified in Step 1.
Here’s an example of one of my clients’ Facebook Content Calendar:
Futures Community Support is a non-profit organization that provides support services to mentally disabled individuals in its community. Their end goal is to attract community members to support their organization by donating time and money to their causes, along with becoming more aware of the services they provide and the people they help.
When creating Futures’ Facebook Content Calendar, we identified 5 main topics the Futures audience would be interested in:
1) Advocacy for issues relating to mental health
2) Opportunities to work, volunteer, and donate
3) Upcoming community events
4) Education about the services Futures offers
5) Appreciation of staff, volunteers, donors, and community as a whole
Then, we decided Futures should post at least once a day, every day of the week, Monday through Friday. (Remember, a lot happens on social media platforms. There’s no “perfect” frequency to posting, but most platforms require at least a daily post to stay current and relevant to your audience.)
Finally, we mapped out these topics in a spreadsheet so every month we could fill in exactly what we were going to post throughout the month.
Here’s a look at the basic spreadsheet we currently use:
And a look at it as we’re working to plan posts for the month of May:
#2 Schedule Your Posts for the Entire Month
Once you’ve created your Content Calendar, whether it’s in spreadsheet form or within a digital calendar like Asana or GCal, and you’ve planned each of your posts for the month, it’s finally time to schedule the posts.
Scheduling your posts ahead of time ensures that posts won’t be forgotten about and missed. But even better – once they’re scheduled, you CAN forget about them!
When scheduling posts for any platform other than Instagram, your scheduling tool will automatically post for you without you ever lifting a finger. Instagram, however, still requires you to open the post within the IG app and hit Share. But again, as long as you have the post scheduled ahead of time, you’ll get a notification of when it’s time to post, make a few clicks, hit Share, and it’s done!
When scheduling posts for Facebook, I suggest scheduling them within the Facebook platform. You’ll create your post and instead of hitting “Publish,” you’ll click the down arrow and select “Schedule.” Select the time and date you’d like the post to publish, and BOOM. Done.
When scheduling posts for any other social platform (Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc), I suggest using the Buffer App. It’s simple – create your post, set a time and date for it to publish, and BOOM. Done.
I “batch” all of my social media post creation and scheduling to once per month. That means I’m sitting down only once each month to create and schedule social media posts that will publish throughout the next calendar month. This saves me time and creative energy because I’m not forced to have to come up with things to post daily or even weekly.
Once you’ve created your content calendar outline, sit down once a month to fill it out and then schedule all of those planned posts. It does take some focus during that one or two hours of creation and scheduling, but once it’s done, it’s done. You won’t have to think about it until the following month!
And tadaa! All month long, you’ll be gaining more and more traction with your audience because you’re actually, finally showing up for them without being strapped to your phone 24/7!
(Okay, you might still be strapped to your phone, but that’s on you. Not social media’s fault anymore.)
Next week, our final week of our Social Media series, I’m pulling back the curtain on my own social media strategy to show you exactly how it’s structured AND how it has changed over the past few months. Talk to you then!