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HI! And welcome to episode 9 of startup marketing. Today we’re going to be talking about ways to make managing your social media channels easy. Using social media to promote your business is smart because it’s free to do and allows you to leverage your friends and family to gain exposure. But, when you’ve got so many things to do every day to keep your business up and running, social media can quickly turn from feeling fun and engaging to feeling like a chore. So how do you make it easy? It’s all about putting a content strategy in place. 

Now, don’t let the sound of a content strategy intimidate you. All I mean by a content strategy is identifying a process that streamlines creating your posts and allows you to be more efficient. And my workflow is so efficient, it only takes a few minutes to explain. Yep, this episode is going to be short and sweet, because it really is a trick to efficiency. And it’s not complicated, so you can implement it right away and feel like you’ve gained hours of your week back. With this in place, managing my social media only takes me an hour or two a week. Let’s dive in!

Creating engagement and gaining followers relies heavily on posting valuable content consistently. In the marketing world, we like to say that content is king. No matter where you’re posting information, if you’re not posting content that adds value to your audiences’ lives and doing it consistently, it’s hard to gain any traction. And the reason you want to post valuable and consistent content is to establish yourself as an expert in your field. It demonstrates your value and elevates you in the minds of your audience. Now, it’s worth mentioning that when you start posting content, you’re playing the long game. Depending on the space you’re in and the topic you’re talking about, you may see rapid growth (think fashion on Instagram) or it may be slow and steady. Just keep this in mind, especially if you’re one of the slow and steady people; like me. 

So, where do you start? If you’re new to social media as a business or don’t have a ton of time on your hands, the easiest place to start is by posting things like:

  • Behind the scenes photos of the day to day stuff: it’s fun for your audience to see what it takes to do what you do. Plus, it helps humanize you and show the face behind the posts. 
  • New products or projects that you’re working on. Are you a boutique that’s got some new merch? Show it off! Are you someone who offers a service? Give a sneak peak into something new you’re working on or a part of the process you don’t normally talk about on social media
  • Create videos or tutorials: if you’re a crafty account, do a quick little tutorial on your favorite thing to craft. My friend who’s a quilter does fun little videos about some of her quilts as an example. 
  • What are you doing today? Talk to your audience about it; remind them that there’s a person behind the brand.
  • Talk about your favorite finds: did you stumble on something that feels like gold to you and your business? Share it! Bonus, you can tag the people/person who provided it to you and start building a community. 
  • Industry info: are there big or exciting changes happening in your industry? Talk about them to your audience. You’ll teach them something and establish yourself as an expert; things that subconsciously elevate you in your audience’s mind. 

Now, if you’re already doing these things or you’re looking to take your social media to the next level, let’s talk through what that can look like. I personally use and love the process I’m going to outline because I feel like it makes posting valuable content easy. Before I had this process in place, social media felt like a chore to me. Even with a list of things I could post about, I found it easy to forget or just hard to come up with something I felt was valuable, so posting something daily ended up becoming something I dreaded doing. Once I launched this podcast though, things got a whole lot easier! Now, I take each weekly topic and break it down into five or six posts. Easy peasy! 

So, if you have something you do, like a blog, a podcast, or videos, (things marketers like to call “long form content” because they’re valuable content that’s, you guessed it, long), try taking that piece of content and breaking it up over a few days or a week. Then, to make you feel even more efficient about the whole process, link back to your long form piece of content to drive more traffic to it. Yeah, I know! Feels like winning!

Here’s my workflow for all of this, which includes the tools I use to get it done. You can download this whole thing on my website at: getauthenticbranding.com/resources. 

First, I plan out my podcast for the week. Once an episode is planned, I hop on and use a tool called Trello (t-r-e-l-l-o) to plan out my social media posts. It’s totally free and I love using it to stay organized. You’ll notice it’s one of my top tools for planning and organizing for efficiency on my small business tools list. This one’s a must-have. On Trello, I create a list for the week’s topic, and create a card for each day of the week (you can see a screenshot of this on the download, so don’t worry about memorizing the terms). Then, I comb through my podcast content and break it in to five or six smaller posts. I copy them to the Trello card, then I copy and paste a set of hashtags from another list that I keep (saving me additional time so I don’t have to think of hashtags—another win!) and boom. I’ve got six days of content already made. 

Next, I use Canva to create images for each of my posts. Sometimes I use the same image, other days if I feel like I’ve got more time, I choose a different image for each post. I’m the kind of person who can get lost in the fun of picking out images and templates, so sometimes I just have to keep myself focused with one image. I pay $13/month to use Canva pro and it’s well worth it, because I start with my Instagram image, then use the pro feature called “magic resize” to select the other platforms I want to post to and when I hit “enter”, Canva automatically resizes my first designs to fit the preferred sizes of the other platforms. 

So if you’re keeping track, so far I’ve copy/pasted information out of my podcast outline into Trello, copied the appropriate hashtags from a running list I keep, and then created images in Canva, speeding up the process by using the magic resize button. At this point, I’ve probably only spent about half an hour of my time. 

Finally, I use a scheduling tool called Buffer to schedule my posts. So, I copy what I’ve written for each day of the week from Trello into Buffer, upload my images for each platform and hit “schedule”. Then, I’m done for the week because Buffer automatically pushes the content out on the assigned day. 

Yep, that’s it. That’s the whole process. Like I said, maybe an hour of my time each week. Buffer takes me a little while because I push to three different platforms, so it’s a lot of copy/pasting and making sure I don’t get the images mixed up. I also use another app called Tailwind to push my content to Pinterest, but that’s a separate episode because it’s a deep dive in to why I use Pinterest and Tailwind; each with a  different learning curve than the other social media platforms from a business perspective. 

Easy, right? I really hope you take this process and implement it for yourself. It makes maintaining your social media so incredibly easy. All I have to do throughout the week is pop in to add any personal touch posts, reply to comments and engage with other people. If you want an easy way to streamline your content, this is a fool proof way. If it only takes me a few minutes to explain to you, imagine how much time it’s going to save you! In fact, when you know, shoot me an email or leave a comment on whatever social channel you find me on (I’m @authenticbranding)—I sincerely want to know how great it makes you feel!

Your assignment for the week is to grab this workflow from getauthenticbranding.com/resources and get organized. 

And of course, if you enjoyed today’s episode, please rate, review and subscribe to help other women like you find this podcast. 

Until next time!