Building your business with social media takes time and consistency. And with entire blogs, courses and books devoted to doing social media “right,” it can be intimidating to get started.
Some people wish – and maybe you’re one of them – they could just hand this whole social media thing over to someone else. So when they find out I’m a ghostwriter who specializes in web content, they sometimes ask, “Linda, will you ‘do’ my social media for me?”
The short answer is “no,” but the longer answer is “yes and no.” Let me explain:
In social media, there are two equally important components – content and connection.
Content is made up of all the great ideas, opinions, perspectives and resources that you want to share with your network, often via your blog. Having masterful content is the best way to promote your business on social media and help people get to know you.
Connection is all of the back-and-forth interaction you have with current and prospective clients, as well as your fellow business owners, neighbours and other online friends. This is how you get to know people.
More importantly, by connecting directly to your readers and colleagues, you’ll get to see which content they’re looking at and liking. What do they link to or forward along to their networks? When you post something new, do you get comments and interaction, or do you just hear crickets?
Pay attention! These details will teach you more about how to create the content that would be most helpful to your readers.
Many hands make masterful content
Yes! You can outsource your content creation by working with a writer and/or editor who can take your ideas and help you put them into writing.
Ghost blogging is a big part of what I do. My clients and I work together to create feature articles, along with related pieces of connective content they can post to their blog and/or send via email to their mailing list.
Along with that, I’ll usually provide several social media updates for each post. These are designed to announce the new content and invite my clients’ social networks to view it.
And the outsourcing doesn’t have to stop there. Many of my clients have a VA or other team member who will publish the piece to their blog and/or email service provider (or maybe they’ve automated their weekly newsletter), as well as pre-scheduling their social media updates.
Relationships are built through direct connection
No! I won’t and can’t effectively handle this part for you – and neither can anyone else, in my opinion. Connection must come directly from you, or you’re not building the kinds of honest, trusting relationships that will grow your business – not to mention the ethical considerations of someone else pretending to be you.
So even when you’ve outsourced and gotten help with content creation and publication, it’s YOUR job to monitor any responses.
If you’re concerned about missing these messages – or you don’t want to lose productivity by constantly checking your accounts, sign up for a free service like Postling. They’ll notify you by email once a day, or even the instant someone mentions you in a social network or anywhere else on the web.
Aside from posting your own content and responding to comments, it’s also your role to start new conversations and comment on other people’s content. Social networking is just like networking offline, and you’ll succeed by applying these networking basics:
- Be visible
- Be positive
- Help out
To maintain your productivity (and sanity), try blocking out specific times through the day when you’ll go into your Postling account (or other social media dashboard) to participate in conversations and/or start some new ones. Batching the tasks this way will help you make conscious choices about how much time you’re spending on social media.
So by all means, outsource the task of creating great content to share on social media. After all, it’s a lot easier to plant your flag of expertise on top of a mountain of content. Then, practice applying your offline networking skills to this new medium. Let’s keep this social – and fun!