Instagram alone has one billion active users each month so needless to say, there’s so much potential for business growth through social media. It’s an incredible way to get in touch with your ideal clients, build relationships with them, show off your brand identity, create a good customer experience and ultimately, get sales.
However, I would be lying if I told you that social media isn’t overwhelming. I’m not even talking about hacking all the algorithms and finding the ‘right hashtags’, just the toll it takes on your mental health and energy. And to run a successful business, those are the two things you need to be good at managing. Your health (physical or mental) and your energy.
When I first started, I was going crazy to a point where at the end of the day I’d feel like I want to puke. Creating content, engaging, sharing stories (like, know, trust factor) and if I’m being honest, just gathering up the courage to show up online. It was all so intense that most of my energy was going into maintaining my social media platforms.
I started looking for better ways to make it manageable. I really enjoy using social media but it’s toxic to your productivity and focus. Also, my ultimate goal has always been to provide the best service I can to my clients and being so involved with social media left very little space for it. Yes, you can hire a social media manager but I personally wanted to manage and engage online myself.
‘Social Media is NOT your business, it’s only a small PART of your business’
And when I realized that most of my creative and valuable energy was being spent worrying about social media. I came up with these 4 guiding questions:
1. Why Am I Using Social Media?
With anything you want in life asking ‘WHY’ can help you stay on course even when things feel challenging. You can quickly lose motivation for any goal if you don’t clearly know why you’re actually doing it. With social media, it’s easy to get lost in vanity metrics and obsess over the number of likes and followers you get. But you already know, that’s a losing game to play. No matter what milestone you hit with likes and followers, you’ll constantly be worried about it.
Pick a goal or an objective that is more concrete. For example, your goal could be to sign your next 3 clients. Or create a warm audience who’ll eventually buy from you. Or show your brand essence and stay on top of your clients mind. Now, this has nothing to do with your follower count because you could easily have a successful business with less than a 1000 followers who really actually like you. You just need to be active and create authentic relationships online.
2. How Can You Project Your Brand Essence?
Here’s another thing to consider before creating all your social media accounts. What is your strength? What will help your personality or brand shine the best? It may be video for you or it may be writing. Think about what will help you connect with your audience best.
Action tip: Think of 3 characteristics you want your ideal client to think about you when they land on one of your social media platforms. For me, it’s ‘confident, authentic and optimistic’. I try my best to reflect these 3 core traits of my brand identity in everything I do.
3. How much to post?
You hear people say post daily or even twice a day to drive up your follower count. That could definitely happen. But as an entrepreneur you’re doing a hundred other things, so this isn’t feasible. So keeping in mind your why, we’re not focused on getting more followers. Our goal is to make sales.
Think quality over quantity. If you create any content, make it impressionable and helpful to make it stand out. Think about how you can provide the most value so your ideal client remembers you. Your audience will appreciate it rather than pushing out content for the sake of it and just being overlooked. Create mindfully.
You can get away by posting 2-3 times/week and then repurposing it to your other social media channels.
4. Where to post?
You created a business account on every social media platform. That’s not the problem. The struggle would be to keep up with all of them. To be more efficient, pick 2 platforms you can dedicate yourself to. Not the ones you like, but think about where your potential audience will be hanging out. Say your ICA is 35+, she most likely will be using Facebook or LinkedIn. Pick the platforms you know will be used by your ideal audience.
After deciding what platforms you want to be present on, really dig deep on the specifications of posting to those sites. What’s the optimal size of image, best times, types of content. Customize your content so it performs well.
“Do less, better”
Again, you can repurpose it so do post them on your other social media sites. Just don’t fret about it too much. Use a scheduler, I swear by Later.
But wait there’s another thing…
This is where most fail. Your content can be super helpful, but if you don’t engage then you’re likely not going to see results. And logging onto Instagram and scrolling through memes doesn’t count.
I’ve carved out an hour in the afternoon to specifically engage and I have an engagement checklist that I use so I can use my time optimally. You don’t need to be there all day or constantly go on there. Set two times a day to be online with a good mindset (this is important), I find that sometimes being on there for a while can stir up all sorts of negative feelings. Just a reminder, things are definitely not the way they seem. It’s a curated space so the best you can do is remember why you’re there. Do your thing and get out.
To avoid Social Media Overwhelm, get clear on why you’re using it. Then decide what’s the best way for you to showcase your brand, pick out 2 platforms you want to maintain your presence and create a posting schedule. Another thing, do engage but be mindful. There you have it, a quick guide to using social media for your small business and protect your mental health. Hope this was helpful.