Many people think that when they launch a social media marketing campaign, they will have multitudes of friends and followers, grow their e-mail list by thousands and suddenly earn a six figure income within a very short amount of time. I’ve had many clients and potential clients who believe that within 3 months, they ought to be in that category and think that if I cannot make that happen for them, I’m not worth my weight in salt.
This type of thinking is the fault of so called on-line gurus who make such ridiculous promises and forget to mention the amounts of money and time they invest in order to come up with these numbers (which may or may not be manufactured).
True, there are some personalities who have grown their followings and lists very quickly but they have worked tirelessly in order to do so. They do not just put out 3 tweets a day, post once on their Facebook page, add something to their LinkedIn stream and rest on link bio their laurels. They do NOT spend 20 minutes a day on social media.
Building a social media presence is like growing a garden. It takes a plan, tools, addition of nutrients, removal of weeds, fertilizer, and dealing with bugs and other garden predators in order to reap a good harvest of fruits, veggies or flowers. I love gardening and I love social media so it just makes sense that they require similar approaches.
1. The Plan
Even now (in the northern hemisphere where it is still winter), gardeners are thumbing through their seed catalogs, determining their needs and ordering their seeds. They may already have harvested, dried and stored seeds from last year’s harvest (think heirloom tomatoes) that will be used in this year’s garden. Those in the southern hemisphere might be ordering tubers, bulbs and trees.
If these folks don’t yet have a garden, they will need to plan where to put it so that it gets the required amount of sun, has good drainage and is convenient. They’ll need to determine which plants, trees or bushes grow well in their climate and what types of foods they like to eat so that their work is not without reward.
The most important thing is not to plan anything more than you can handle.
In social media terms, this means examining each social media platform, its nuances and what type of businesses tend to hang out there. In other words, who is your ideal client and which social media platforms do they utilize the most?
Which social media platforms resonate with you and are more likely to be used? Some folks are confused by Twitter; others are bored by LinkedIn and others are infuriated by Facebook’s many changes. So choose the one(s) that you’ll use.
Again, the most important thing is not to plan anything more than you can handle. Choose 2 at the most and concentrate on learning and growing those social media platforms first. Then you can add another as you see fit.
2. The Tools
As we all know there are many gardening tools out there but there are a few tried and true tools that just work better than other. A pitchfork, a shovel, a rake, a hoe, a post hole digger, etc are all good gardening tools.
There are also tools that can be used in Social Media.
Besides the basic sites and their corresponding smartphone apps there are Hootsuite, Market Me Suite, Tweetdeck, Buffer, Sprout Social, and a myriad of other tools that you can use to leverage your time on social media. Do some research to see which one(s) resonate with you.
3. Addition of Nutrients
Just like most soil needs added nutrients such as peet, sand (if it has a lot of clay) and composted materials in order to produce a great crop, so does your social media.
Setting up your social media profiles correctly utilizing your keywords, your website and other social media links (as space permits), adding your photo and some interesting tidbits about you is a great nutrition for your social media platforms.