building an effective social media strategy {part 4}

building an effective social media strategy {part 4} -

Welcome to the fourth post in our Building an Effective Social Media Strategy series.  If you haven’t read the first two posts, I encourage you to do so as they help lay a solid foundation for developing our plan.

Part 1: 3 biggest issues with social media {overwhelm, uncertainty, and usage}

Part 2: 3 keys to a strategy that works {schedule, specify, and specialize}

Part 3: 3 questions to help you identify the goals for your blog {and how social media is a part}

Today, we will begin outlining a specific plan for social media strategy. Each step of this process is important and will help you allocate your time and energy to the platforms which will give you the best return on investment.

Determine Your Time Investment

How much time are you willing to devote to social media? Be honest with yourself. It’s better to overestimate how much time it will take and underestimate how much time you have.  Personally, I spend about an hour a day on social media strategy.  But I haven’t always. In fact, until about two weeks ago, I was spending less than 30 minutes a day investing in social media. There is no right answer to how much time to spend. There is only the best answer for you at this time.

Choose Your Platforms

You cannot do it all on social media. Trust me! Currently I am focusing on Pinterest. After attending Ruth Soukup‘s session on Pinterest strategy at She Speaks, I have revamped the way I utilize this platform. And because of the additional time necessary to develop my long-term plans for Pinterest, I have cut back what I am doing on Facebook. I scheduled all my Facebook posts for the whole month of August in one day, which freed me up to spend additional time on Pinterest every day. And since I have connected my Pinterest account to my Facebook account, all my efforts on Pinterest are also leading to additional referrals from my personal Facebook profile with no extra effort.

The bottom line is this — choose the platform or platforms that work best for you and your message. And don’t feel the pressure to do it all, or to do it all perfectly!

Okay, it’s time to do! Below is a list of questions for you to answer as you evaluate how much time you have available and which platforms you should use.

  1. How much time do I currently spend on social media?  {include the time you spend browsing Pinterest for fun, doing the quizzes on Facebook , and participating in Twitter parties, etc. — you want to get an idea of the total time you spend on various social media in a week}
  2. How much of that time is focused on strategic social media use?
  3. Where could I be more strategic? {for example, when you are browsing Pinterest, could you be intentional about pinning to specific boards, etc.}
  4. Which social media platforms am I most drawn to?
  5. What tools do I have available to schedule social media on those platforms?
  6. What relationships do I have through social media where it would be natural to share my blog posts?

With your answers in hand, schedule time for intentional social media use. Write it on your calendar. Make a list of posts to promote and where/when you will promote them. Remember, the point isn’t how much time you spend, it’s how you spend the time you have.

Next week we will wrap up this series on effective social media strategy.  I hope you have found these ideas helpful. Please leave a comment sharing your favorite social media platform and one way you are using it intentionally.  I’d love to compile your ideas in a list for all our readers!