I have a love and hate relationship with using social media – that’s a far cry from my pure hatred of these platforms as I learned to navigate them to boost my business. Let’s just say that while I have gotten better and more proficient in getting the most value out of using my social media accounts, it has always come with some degree of wanting to pick up my laptop and watch it break into pieces to cure my frustration. Instagram and Facebook are the most important platforms that I use. I like Instagram for its visual capturing abilities and Facebook for letting me easily connect with groups of people that share common interests that align with The Roze Loft.

After sifting through hundreds of opt-ins, courses, and masterclasses from self-proclaimed gurus making 6 figures claiming to have learned the ‘secret formula’ *rolls eyes* of social media success, I concluded that they don’t really know s%$t and that understanding the basics is all you really need to do. No gimmicks, no lies, no false pretenses and realistic results. Ready?

Hold your horses! We have to walk before we run. Let’s address what I want you to take from this blog post:

  1. BE REALISTIC! Nothing happens over night. I am NOT promising you substantial growth or automatic conversion on viewers to buyers. It takes time and if your are consistent, your work will be evident.
  2. Use your best judgement. Every industry is different and your social following may be influenced by that. Think of this information as the basic groundwork towards getting your familiarity with social media started.
  3. Did I mention that you need to be consistent? Well, I’m mentioning it again. Nothing is done overnight and you can not expect results if you are not actively working towards achieving your goals.
  4. Have fun with it, y’all. Look, I know that when we do business, we put our game faces on but let’s keep it real. You did not choose to work for yourself to be consumed by your work. You chose to work for yourself to have more personal and financial freedom. Social media is suppose to be stress free so let’s address it as such.

Now, let’s get to it…

Establish a Post Scheduler

Time management is the number one complaint I hear from clients when I am approached with social media frustrations. They understand the need to be present but there just aren’t enough hours in the day to curate posts 7 days a week. I. GET. IT. A quick solution to this issue is establishing an effective post scheduling system to quickly get your content out there for your viewers to see. Here is a list of 3 programs I recommend to all of my clients.

  1. Later.com is my all time favorite post scheduling program. Dubbed the #1 marketing platform for Instagram, I’m currently using it for Instagram and absolutely love the user experience. Everything is straight to the point with this platform. There is a free plan that has enough of the bells and whistles to get the job done but I do recommend at least upgrading to their $19/month plan to utilize their hashtag suggestion function. It’s a life saver! Their drag and drop function is a must-have as well, they take most of the fuss out of creating content. All you are essentially left to do is develop a caption to accompany your images.
  2. PromoRepublic is what I recommend for clients that have more than 3 social media handles and don’t mind a slightly complicated interface. Personally, I don’t find it as user friendly as Later.com. PR offers an amazing feature that is helpful for even the most creatively in tune person – a ‘library’ of posts in relation to the day of the year. This is perfect for connecting your audience to relevant issues or fun facts.
  3. If I had to pick another alternative to my fave scheduling system, it would be Sprout Social. I’m a sucker for easy-to-navigate interfaces and this system has just that. I particularly love how you are able to post to all interfaces simultaneously – that takes the fuss out of posting one topic to multiple social media platforms. It’s also very “team” friendly, meaning you can create levels of permission to easily collaborate with various individuals who will have posting responsibility.

You can’t lose with any of these options! In order to get the most of of any of these platforms, I always suggest taking one day out of the week and dedicate it to filling up your scheduler with content. All of these systems have image portals or libraries connected to them so you won’t lose track of anything. Below is a handy post scheduler guide related to the best times to post.

Audit Your Performance

You can’t change what you don’t know is wrong, right? Audits of your social media performance can tell you a lot about your audience; who, what, when, where, and why. Well, not so much of the why. That’s where your imagination can flow freely.

Your audit should focus on these key points; goals, branding/voice, content/aesthetic, and analytics. If you know what your social media goals are, you’ve already covered the very basic groundwork. If you don’t know your goal, simply ask yourself what you are trying to achieve with social media. Is it an audience? Sales conversion?

Next is identifying your brand strategies and your voice. This is really what your presentation consists of. Is it cute and dainty, sleek and bold, etc. The idea being developing a “look” or aesthetic is to allow your potential customer or viewer immediately gather information as to your style. They need to be able to relate. Your social media bio, especially on Instagram, should clearly state what it is your are offering. Be a little creative and think of ways to hook in your ideal customer.

Your content is the next most important aspect of any social media account you run. This section ties in with the social media post scheduler systems – YOU MUST BE CONSISTENT TO RECEIVE ANY FORM OF A RESULT! Seriously. I am so tired of people crying to me about how they aren’t seeing engagement, only for me to view their profile closely to see that they aren’t regularly updating their viewers. You can develop a theme or a style with your content. Maybe you like all pink posts, or a retro feel. I personally like feminine touches – you’ll see quotes against girly backgrounds, posts of my actual design work and the same overall font on pretty much everything. My style has become quite distinct to some lately.

Finally, analytics – the good old overview of your performance using percentages and numbers to visually see how your efforts are paying off. On Instagram, I mostly look at the content that got the most views. Here I can analyze the impressions, who saved my posts, and how many profile visits I received. Pinterest’s analytic overview is a but more precise and very detailed – they break down your organic views vs. paid views, audience interests, gender and location. With analytics, it takes so much guess work out of trying to determine who your “REAL” audience is. Your ads can be targeted to the predominant type of viewers that are regularly accessing your account. 

TARGETED ADS

Running ads doesn’t always have to be hit or miss.  You have less than 3 seconds to impress your potential audience so lock them in with a good hook. Pay attention to your call of action – what is it that you are trying to achieve? You can’t place an ad that promotes more engagement if you actually want profit. Your audience isn’t going to spend anytime trying to understand what it is your are trying to sell them so don’t place that responsibility on them.  Here are some easy tips to get you on your way with making killer ads:

  1. Determine your campaign objective – are you looking for conversion, traffic, etc.?
  2. Establish your pixels (for Facebook ads). Facebook’s pixel code is a a code that you place on your site to enable a collection of data to track conversions from your Facebook ads, and catch the attention of viewers who have shown interest in your content before. Triggering cookies are used to track the actions your viewers make both on Facebook and on your website. 
  3. Targeting – start this action by setting up at least 5-7 audience types. Consider demographics here, interests, your industry and the type of audience that would be drawn to what you do.
  4. Get those images ready! The standard FB ad image is 1080×1080 or 1200×628. Make sure that they standout without being too overbearing. 
  5.  Put it all to the test – start by targeting a small audience and analyzing the feedback and response that you get. For the more successful campaign runs, up the audience reach over a course of 7-10 days.  

Ads may be the most vital way that you reach individuals that aren’t already in your network. And because ads cost money, it is equally crucial for you to spend wisely and carefully analyze how you intend to get the most out of it. 

ENGAGEMENT

You can post killer content all day but if you are not willing to engage with your potential audience, you are sorely missing the mark. Engaging  with your followers and potential followers builds a level of trust between them and your brand. Some of the top ways to build a following based on engagement includes: 

  1. Creating captions that call for your audience to comment and offer their thoughts and feedback. 
  2. Promptly respond to comments and private messages from your followers. When you receive a “like” like a post of theirs back. If you get a follow, follow back unless their account doesn’t align with yours. 
  3. Although I am personally not a fan, running contests or giveaways is a great way to channel a larger audience. The main reason that I am not a fan is mostly due to the fact that my prices are pretty set, I don’t want to get people in a habit of thinking that I run sales often. 
  4. Follow hashtags that you use often. Your potential followers are without a doubt sifting through content with the hashtags that  you regularly use. 
  5. Please, have fun with it! Stop fixating on gaining followers just for the numbers. The true name of the game is getting quality followers that will ultimately get to know, love and need your brand. 

CONTENT

Bri, what kind of content should I post? Well, what speaks to your brand? If you have a clothing boutique, for instance, you are best served posting quality images of your clothes, getting influencers with a large following to promote and hosting giveaways with fun ways for your followers to interact with you. Telling people to tag ‘x’ amount of people in order to be considered for a grand prize is an awesome way to bring more traffic to your page. 

Using the right hashtags in your posts is another way to make your content very relevant to your audience. There are plenty of websites with hashtags as they pertain to a specific keyword. One of my favorite sites is www.best-hashtags.com. You can simply search, copy the hashtags and paste them into your Instagram account. Remember, IG has a limit of 30 hashtags – and you should make sure that you are using relevant tags in order to reach the most people. 

Using Geo-tags is another fantastic way to boost engagement from a local standpoint. This is a great option for small businesses whose customers are withing a drive-able radius from them. 

Social media is not really a complex system to understand. It takes thorough planning and consistency to really see the benefits and it’s all a game of timing and popularity of the moment. I hope that you find this article SUPER informative as these practices have been tested by yours truly.

Written by Bri Jacobs “I worked in HR for 7 years, quickly climbing up the ranks until I quit my job in April 2019 to pursue my passion as a branding and design professional.” You can find out more about Bri at https://therozeloft.com