By: Cassie Olson, Marketing Chair, The NRWA
For a moment, imagine that developing a social media strategy is just like planning for a much-needed vacation. We all imagine ourselves feeling the sand between our toes on a beautiful beach. But in reality, most of the time, we only daydream about what the sand between our toes would actually feel like. That’s why I recommend installing an office sand box like the one below…
Even if you decide to install this nifty sand box in your office, it's still important to schedule some time away from your work -- especially emails! So, for a vacation, first you decide where you want to go. Next, you figure out the best way to get there. Is it cheaper to drive or fly? What is your time worth in getting to your destination?
So, I told you to imagine developing a social media strategy like planning for a vacation. That's because just like a much-needed vacation, social media strategies need to be planned! If you are to experience the joys of social media success (your end destination), then your social media strategy should provide you with the best, most cost-effective, and most time-efficient way to get there. The following steps can help:
Step 1: Define your end goal. For example, your goal might be to get more clients!
Step 2: Determine which social media network(s) are the most valuable to you based on where your target audience spends their time online, and then BE THERE with them! For example:
- If you prefer to work with recent college graduates then you may want to spend most of your online time marketing your services on Facebook alumni Pages.
- Perhaps you are a very experienced writer who is looking for CEO/Executive job seekers. In this case, consider searching Twitter for the upper management audience. Because Twitter has a 140 character limit it's a quick and easy social network for business executives always on the run.
Step 3: Build a social media profile so that your target audience can match your offerings to exactly what they're looking for. So...what are they looking for!? Value in the form of knowledge, information, and sometimes, encouragement. Content marketing demonstrates this value and is currently considered the best method of marketing strategies for small businesses.
Content marketing doesn’t require YOU to develop all of the material for your social media pages. Most of the time it means sharing content created by others. People love when you share their marketing content, and sharing results in a win-win situation. Content sharing leads to more traffic for the originator and more followers for you. Think of it as good social-media karma.
Sharing content is great! However, you should create your own marketing content as well, with article titles that lead traffic directly to your personal website. Here are some examples of blogging titles based on the suggested target audiences from above:
- Recent College Grads: "How to Stand Out in the Job Market Straight Out of College."
- Career Changers: "Top 10 Tips for Stay-at-Home Parents Looking to Enter the Workforce."
- CEOs/Executives: "The #1 Way to Manage Your Career Like You Manager Your Company."
Topics such as these build online awareness of your expertise and increase your potential to sell to your target audience.
Step 4: Create a social media development schedule. The social media strategy timesheet below is from Buffer and gives a great breakdown of how one social media content crafter/guru organized his time for creating content:
Essentially, the time breaks down like this:
Every Monday, revisit your strategy to make sure you’re on the right track and focusing on the right areas
Time: 1 hour
Monday through Friday, implement the strategy. Schedule, create, and post updates. Engage with the community.
Time: 2 hours
Every Friday, check your metrics. See how you’re doing on your goals, and identify areas for growth.
Time: 1 hour
Following this plan, your total time for social media planning would be four hours per week.
Cassie Olson is a professional résumé writer currently serving as The NRWA Marketing Chair. She has managed the career services department as the Director of Career Services at a for-profit college. In June of 2013, she started her own career services business called Career Confidence. Career Confidence, specializing in an all-inclusive career services package designed to guide and support her clients throughout their career search. She also shows clients how to stand out above the crowd with infographic and online résumés. Her professional background mainly includes working college graduates, one of whom recently started a communications internship at Facebook.