Social media is a wonderful way to reach new people. With an estimated 3 billion people online by 2020, we have great potential!
We use social media because we have a unique opportunity to share with millions of people across the Internet. In fact, it’s been estimated that 4.75 billion pieces of content, including photos, videos, web links and news stories are shared each day.
This is one of the many methods we have available to us to inspire others without limitations of resources. We also use it because we have to in order to keep up and be found online!
Social Media Can Be Used for Good
We can create a place on social media websites to share helpful and useful information with each other, to connect with people all over the world, and uplift consciousness. In turn, you increase the chance that your audience will spread the word to friends and family when they come across content they feel is genuine and wants to help.
Social media is unique because it’s based around people-to-people sharing. The more you think of it as relating to someone who is right in front of you, asking for your help and your services, the more successful you will be. If you take it a step further, and see your followers or connections on the network as friends, and try to help them in this way, you will become even more successful and have fun in the process! If you have the right attitude by feeling you have the potential to share something with the power to uplift many, many people, more than just a simple email or blog going up on your website, it will raise your energy and help your posts become magnetic.
More on how to use social media for good in times of need.
How to Start Your Social Media Strategy:
Social media works best when there is one person working on it who has an affinity for this kind of work. For example, they may be friendly, like to get to know new people, are creative and positive, and are happy to engage in conversation with people online. If you will be doing your own social media, which is great for keeping the true vibration and your voice, so to speak, you will then want to learn how to make the process enjoyable so you can keep your posts energetic and uplifted. Either way, it will help you to put into the practice the following tips for initiating a social media strategy:
Begin by developing a plan that helps you focus on two to three goals for social media success that support the main goals of your organization or business. You may want to review your core values and, if possible, the vision that inspired you to begin your work. You will then be able to more carefully prioritize the activities you will need to perform to fulfill your goals.
It will help to decide based on these goals and the needs of your target audience which of the many social media sites you would like to use often, and which you can set up and then leave for some time before making infrequent, generic updates (like a new photo or business address).
The main social media sites we recommend clients use (in order of importance) include Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. If you have limited resources, take time to choose the sites that you know will have the greatest impact with the least energy output (like sites where content can be shared again and again without your efforts day-to-day). After you have refined your goals according to your resources, you may decide to choose only one social media site to give energy, or maybe your audience is much more reachable on Instagram (youth-oriented), Spiritual Networks (spiritual business networking), or LinkedIn (professional networking), and you focus on these instead of the broad-reaching sites we recommend. Ultimately, you will want to decide for yourself what will be best based on available resources.
Once you decide on which social media sites you will use and how often you can post to still reach enough people for it to be successful and worthwhile, you will want to decide how often you will check them in order to respond to comments. Many people overlook this important aspect of social media. (But, for example, if a friend came to your house the same way they arrive at your Facebook business page and asked you a question directly, would you ignore them for several days or respond as soon as possible? )
It can be helpful to set up alarms on your smartphone for when someone makes comments or say yes to email notifications in your social media account settings, but personally, I find that very time-consuming and distracting! Instead, I give ten minutes in the evening to just checking in on my social media notifications, with most attention going to Facebook or YouTube where you are more likely to get spam comments and negativity. This can help keep a nice positive atmosphere around what I share, and people still get energy from me that is probably more heartfelt and meaningful than if I were to respond distractedly during the day while involved in other things.
Over time you will be able to practice better time management by reviewing the data and analytics for each site. You will see which sites actually work to draw people to your website and which ones seem to just be empty interactions.
How to Strengthen Your Social Media Connections & Network:
Follow or like other user accounts that have followed you, but especially look for those who are likely to have a genuine interest in your area of expertise. Send them a personal thank-you message.
Don’t post only on your own Facebook site, but reach beyond your usual audience to those connected to other big names in your field. Post on the walls of your most active, influential connections with the largest networks. You can often tag them (e.g. Twitter uses the @ symbol and Facebook generates other business page names as you type) so they see your content posts. (I’ve always wanted to make a video and tag Oprah…)
Work with the people who are already loyal to you. Have you ever heard the phrase, your best market is the one you have already? Probably because you have developed a trusting and caring relationship with them already, you are likely to have more success trying something new with the people who already enjoy your content. Ask your followers to like or follow your other social media pages, or invite them to share helpful content with their friends to spread the love.
Integrate more with other departments connected to you, or organizations, or other individual bloggers or entrepreneurs (like an extended content family). Create a synergy (the more people united in helping for a greater cause, the stronger they can be). Are there projects or services that are new or very fitting to your content’s themes that you can share? Also, be sure that your social media posts link up to the various websites, newsletters, and other online marketing efforts that help your extended content family.
Make sure that all of your social media is connected with your other marketing efforts, like newsletter and blog or website. If it isn’t apparent how to do so, you likely just need ask for help from Google, a Webmaster, or other trusted marketing team (like us!).
How to Choose the Right Content for Social Media Marketing:
Did you know that 80% of your posts and content should be for or about your followers and only 20% should be content that promotes your business. This means the focus has to be on contributing engaging, useful content to gain credibility and respect. You have to be so much more aware of this on social media because you are supposed to be social. If you had a friend that every time she came to visit, you asked her if she would come to your art show next weekend and that it was $15, do you think she’d come to visit much longer? It’s the same with social media sites. If you bombard people with your next events and stop posting inspiring and helpful things, like a friend, you lose their trust. The only site where this is not relevant, and why we recommend it the most, is Pinterest. Unlike Facebook, people are not going there to talk to their friends, they are going to get tips for crafts, recipes, and get ideas for shopping! It’s like a magical online magazine that connects you with people all over the world, interested in exactly what you have to offer. (Just a fun side note.)
Be creative and think of new and interesting ways to post content on social media networks: Choose content that will encourage participation and interaction. Make it specific, local, relevant content; ongoing activities that encourage participation; or original photos that have to do with the latest in your field. Figure out ways to share meaningful stories or excerpts from your books or products using audio, video, text, or images. Choose a medium that plays to your strengths and in which you enjoy working.