Here we are at the end of February … is anyone but me wondering how the first two months of 2015 are almost over?
Last week I shared some of the ways I’m working to improve my use of offline connections to build my online audience. This week, let’s focus on social media and how we can use it to grow our audience.
Let’s face is — social media is equal parts awesome and overwhelming. And it can feel like just as soon as we get a handle on what we need to do, everything changes.
Building an effective social media strategy is a key aspect of both growing your audience and solidifying your brand.
Today, though, I want to go back to the basics. We’ll look at 3 steps to focus your social media effort. And hopefully when we finish, you’ll be less overwhelmed and more confident about your social media plans and strategy.
Identify where your target audience is.
Where are your current readers already hanging out? If you aren’t sure, ask! In fact, as I have been working on a survey for my blog readers, this is one of the most important questions I have. Just because I prefer Facebook to Twitter doesn’t mean my readers do … and if I want to use social media to grow my blog, I need to be where my readers are!
But I also need to know where my potential readers are. You may need to do some research. Make it a priority to discover what demographics are most active on which social platforms. Use this information to determine where you need to be engaging.
Study what works where.
Once you know where your audience is — learn how to connect best with them. Find out what works on those platforms. Learn the ins and outs. For example, if your audience is active on Instagram, you need to make sure your images are optimized for smaller screens … and you also need to know the best ways to share links and connect beyond your followers.
Become a student of the platforms you are using. This will take time. But it will be worth it!
Start small and build.
This is hard for me … I’m an ENFP and we jump in 1000% but we also often burn out quickly. As you learn how to use the platforms where you find your audience, give yourself time and space to build. If you are focusing on Pinterest, choose one thing to improve and focus there until you feel confident. Perhaps you want to experiment with when to post. Give yourself freedom to determine when the optimal times are. Then move to the next step. Don’t push for overnight success. You don’t want to be a flash in the pan — you want to become a reliable source for your audience and that will take time.
Navigating the oceans of social media information and opportunity can be completely overwhelming. But when you give yourself permission to step back and do the small things well, it is much less frightening and far more rewarding.
Where does your audience engage on social media?