It’s that time of year
It’s that time of year when we start seeing posts, pins and tweets about buying a 2016 planner.
People are promoting datebooks, life planners and personal organizers. And don’t even get me started on the tons of free printables out there to help you plan everything from your weekly schedule to goal tracking to worksheets to tracking your blog’s page views.
Before you start to sort through all your options on what to buy or download, you need to ask yourself this, “What you want to accomplish with your social media strategy?”
It’s good to have monthly goals and even better to have a plan for how your business uses social media. All of that stuff is important for a strong social media strategy.
But where so you start?
Of course, there’s the obvious – your social media options, goals and online opportunities. But is that really the best place to get this strategy thing pulled together?
No, not really. The best place for you to start is to focus on what I call your final outcome.
Your final outcome is something like this:
- a goal to get more clicks to your website
- a plan to set the foundation to launch your new coaching program or online product
- increasing your reach of the number of people who know who you are and what you do
The Social Media Strategy Process
Think about your goals for your social strategy plan and let’s walk through how this strategy process works.
First, find a quiet spot and place to write out all your notes. Now work through the following steps:
1.What’s the final outcome for your goals?
What do you want to achieve when you’re reached this goal? Describe in detail your goal – how many people will sign up for the course, how many sales you’ll make, page views you’ll get every month. Whatever it is. Just write it out.
2. Review where you are right now.
Look at your social sites and see which ones makes sense to make your goals happen – which ones has the most engaged fans? Which site can you realistically have time to grow and build on to connect with more people?
3. Next do a braindump of ideas that could help you reach your goals on that specific social site.
When you’re writing out your ideas, don’t judge them based on money, time or whether you’ve seen others do this before. These intial ideas are just to get your mind thinking about the steps you’ll take to reach your goal.
4. Now walk away for a bit. I want you to give yourself some distance from the braindump and the time you’ll sort through your ideas.
I usually give myself at least 24 hours between the time I do a braindump and when I pick it back up. I often find that during that downtime, my mind starts to fixate on one or two of the ideas and I find myself working through all the angles.
And when I come back to my ideas, I have a better understanding of what will work, what’s feasible for me to handle and what other things I can do to compliment my ideas.
5. Develop actionable steps for your top ideas from the braindump.
Each action should have a specific outcome as an indicator of success. You’ll also want to define how each step will be measured.
Will you monitor your Facebook Insights? Run reports in your Google Analytics? Make sure each step can measured so you can assess whether it’s working or not.
6. Starting with the end point of your goals, get out your calendar and work backwards to schedule timelines about when you’ll do each action steps.
You may need to break these down even further into smaller steps but whatever you do, write them down!
Block off the time as you would for a client project or call. Find the time to make your action steps in your social media strategy a priority.
7. Regularly assess your challenges and review what’s working. Be willing to adjust your strategy when things aren’t working.
I usually breakdown my plan into quarterly chunks of time. Three months gives me enough time to see a pattern of what’s going on – are the content of my posts connecting? Can I streamline these steps to make it more efficient?
What really works to reach your goals
Be careful when you’re reviewing your options and opportunities! Sometimes when we get wrapped up in our goals, we tend to over analyze what we’re doing in our social sites.
How do you know when you’re fallen down the research rabbit hole? When you’re reading way too many blog posts or, worse, you’re signing up to a bunch of DIY online courses because you’ve convinced yourself that this one will be the quick fix to make this stuff work.
When you catch yourself in this place, take my simple advice – just make a decision. Stop thinking about what’s the perfect solution and just make a decision about what you want to work on and move forward with that plan.
Remember, your decision isn’t set in stone. It’s just a direction for you to stop cycling all those ideas in your head and keep you moving towards your goals.
There is no such thing as the perfect strategy plan to reach your final outcome.
With social media’s ever changing landscape, you’ll always be changing and shifting your strategy to keep up with what’s new and what’s changed. Accept the fact that you’ll keep working and adjusting your plans.
There really isn’t some secret formula that makes a perfect social media post or the perfect social image that always works. Social media just isn’t a place for perfection.
Perfect is stressful. Perfect is time consuming. Perfect isn’t achievable.
Do you want to know what does work? Consistency.
Consistently posting in your social sites is a better strategy plan to reach your social media goals than perfection.
Consistency is the key to a strong social media strategy. Consistency is what works.
PS If you’re looking for more tips to help you manage the marketing for your small business, download your FREE copy of my 10 Social Media Time Management Strategies ebook. You’ll learn some easy to follow strategies to help you create a social media routine that works with your crazy busy world.