Updated: Feb 11
‘Why isn’t anyone liking my Facebook page?’
‘What is the perfect time to post on Instagram?’
‘Which boards do I follow in Pinterest?’
‘Why is this all so complicated?!’
If you have ever asked yourself any of these questions as a business owner, you are not alone! In fact, you are far from alone. Every business owner, either online or brick and mortar, would report the same sentiments at least once in their journey through business. I would safely guess that these fears would be felt hundreds or thousands of times throughout that journey!
But why is it that some owners are dominating on their social media, while others lag behind in an overwhelmed mess? What is the secret key to success?
There isn’t one.
There is no one way to succeed at social media. There are multitudes of ways to succeed. It is dependent on your niche, your target audience, your chosen platforms, the latest Mark Zuckerburg scandal or the current viral flavor of the month. The nuances are endless. This, rather than being terrifying, actually allows for creativity in your social media strategy.
And that is where most of us come undone. Before we have even begun our business social media journey, we convince ourselves that we must find the holy grail of viral social media success. Like the X Files, the truth is out there. Waiting. If only we could discover it…
And the chase down the social media rabbit hole begins. A rapid downward spiral that gets more confusing as you plummet into it. Have you ever felt that? How often have you opened your Facebook news feed, only to leave feeling confused, exhausted and far more overwhelmed than when you started?
It happens to all of us.
I have felt it so many times myself, and have sat with so many business owners as they rock back and forth in the corner after attempting to crack the social media code.
This one conversation has occurred so often in my career as a business owner, that I wrote a book about it. Sign up here for your free pre-release chapters!
As with all complex tasks, we need to go back to the beginning. The real beginning. Not just the 101 Basics of setting up an Instagram profile, but the beginning of your understanding of social media and what it does.
Once you have your mind wrapped around social media and what it is designed to do, you can strategize your own way forward.
Are you ready to come on that journey? Let me walk you through the 3 steps to finally start conquering your social media.
But first, a disclaimer: Hand on my heart, I solemnly swear that I cannot give you an exact road map on how to permanently ace every social media platform.
Every single social media platform, including our trusty old Google, has algorithms that change frequently and without warning.
The road map I give you today could very well be redundant next week. Social media does not have a 1-2-3 blueprint for world domination. It changes, grows and innovates often.
Since its inception, it has been innovative technology. This is not in an effort to make it harder on businesses (as many other users will lament) but to make it a better experience for the user.
Every social platform is working towards models and algorithms that make the platform better for the masses.
The key is to follow suit and keep your user in mind. And as a support to your emotional well being, it is important that you learn to roll with the punches. When the platform changes, change with it.
Adaptability = survival.
Resistance = needless anxiety
Having said that, there are core elements to hold firm to for every platform, which will help you and your business ride the social media waves. And that is what I can teach you!
Let’s walk through networking, themes & professional graphics. It is time to break up these elements, giving you a deep understanding of why they are imperative and how to use them on your chosen platform. Today is the day you can start creating a rock-solid foundation for your social media journey.
Social media has morphed into a beast that seems daunting. But it comes from a simple idea originally: social networking.
Social media is a collection of social networking sites. I am going to pause there so you really, truly understand it.
Social media is social networking.
What does that mean? Use it for networking!
Speak to your customers, connect with other users, make a network with other business owners or professionals in your industry.
The most useful networking activity I use is to spread links around like confetti. Share links to your website everywhere. Link your Instagram to your Facebook. Run a promotion for a Facebook group and link it to it with pins on Pinterest. Run regular posts on every platform that links straight to your business. Links, links, links!
It helps me to visualize each link as a cord in the network. Until the network is so full of colored cords that it looks like a detailed road map.
That being said, there are tasks on each platform that can help you network further.
Consistently networking with these methods will not only drive you more traffic, but it will also help you to feel on a more sold social media ground. As the Big 2, here are a few pointers on Facebook and Instagram to get you kick-started!
There are so many ways to network on Facebook! But to name them all would be overwhelming. Needless to say, Facebook will likely continue to develop more methods to network. From its inception though, there have been tried and true methods. These fall into 3 categories -
Join Facebook groups in your industry/niche (blogging, online sales, etc) and interact. Share your links on suitable threads, chat with other members, seek advice. You'll be networked before you know it!
Follow other pages in your niche (beauty, fashion, retail, coaching, empowerment, etc). Interact on their pages, comment on their posts. Your name will soon be out there in your arena.
Share your Facebook page on your personal profile. I know this is scary! And I don't advocate sharing every post. Soon you will have friends you love throwing their hands up and blocking you. But an announcement and a request for support of your page can go a long way. You'll be surprised how willing your friends are to spread the word.
Follow, follow, follow! Like a sheep. Bah!
Instagram is quite possibly the easiest platform to network on. All you need to do is regularly follow other pages in your niche. Don't know where to find them? Try these methods -
Search for posts with hashtags relevant to your niche
Search for page names with keywords relevant to your niche
Look through lists of people your followers also follow. They will likely be pages in your niche.
Got some networking ideas? Get going today!
When we take a moment to step back from social media and view it from afar (which I recommend you do anytime you are feeling overwhelmed by it), we remember that if we are networking with our potential customers, we need to have a message to speak about.
Our world is full of noise. Noise, chaos, and overstimulation. Consumers are bombarded by the noise every day, especially the consumers using social media. From thousands of posts, videos and sponsored ads, it is little wonder the whole platform becomes cluttered. This means you not only need a clear message, but it needs to be a relevant one.
I recently scrolled past an Instagram post of a tree. A pretty tree, but just a tree. And I immediately thought, "So what?" as I flicked past. So what? It has no relevance, tells me nothing about you or your page. It may have meant something to the page owner, but that was not communicated to me in a clear message. So I was left with "So what?"
You need to choose a message to clearly deliver to your traffic. Is it about skincare? Is it about confidence? Is it about sourcing quality coffee beans? Choose a message and stick with it. And make darn sure it is a relevant one, to both your business and your customer.
From this jumping point, creating themes in your posts becomes a no-brainer. For example, my business is a blog. I have categories on my blog that all fall under my main message. As such, on my social media, I use the same themes.
Fashion choices that make you feel confident; bravely choosing beauty styles that help empower you, inspirational quotes that help you confront your insecurities. All these themes that tie back to my message.
Do you understand? If you are still struggling, think about it as a flow chart. Your brand/business is at the top. It flows down to your message. Which in turn branches out to your themes. All of it is tied together, working symbiotically.
(For a cheat sheet on the Top 25 Themes to use on your social media, make sure you sign up for the waitlist for my Conquering Social Media Bundle. Not only will you have a place in line for the exclusive launch price, but you will receive 2 free pre-release chapters to start digging your teeth into! Sign up here)
Professional graphics scare business owners. For decades, the only way to source high-quality graphics was through graphic designers. The rest of us were relegated to Microsoft Word graphics tools which presented more like a 7th-grade project than a business.
For years I struggled with graphics. In previous businesses I often outsourced it to designers, forking over thousands for graphics I needed. Don't get me wrong, I tried it myself on and off. I would potter away for hours over one graphic, frustrating myself and anyone near me. Only to produce an amateur, pathetic looking graphic that I would immediately toss out. It was disheartening.
But in blogging, there are a lot of graphics. A whole lot. And when I was just starting out, I couldn't afford a designer for all of it. So I decided it would need to be 100% me. Do or die. And I signed up for a free graphic design boot camp. I was panicked before I even began, but I pushed through each assignment with conviction.
Since that first day, I have never looked back. I was free! With the basics of graphic design under my belt, I could dominate my designs in the blink of an eye. Suddenly I was a designer!
I purchased an incredible, life-changing graphics toolkit with templates (one of the top investments I have made!) and overhauled my graphics. All with a free program called Canva. Yep, free. I don't spend a cent on graphics.
You may be reading this and thinking to yourself, 'Good for you! But I don't really need graphics. I'll just pass over this.'
STOP. RIGHT. THERE.
Let me shake you out of your reverie. Yes, you do need graphics. Undeniably. Regardless of your business, you need graphics. Social media is a big ocean of professionals all vying for the attention of internet traffic. Without presenting high-quality graphics which are on theme, you look ridiculous and unprofessional in comparison. And borrowing graphics from others opens you to copyright breaches.
Harsh truth bomb, I know. It may even hurt your feelings. But I would prefer your ego to be a little shaken than to leave you here believing that you can put effort into every other area of your social media strategy and successfully get away with substandard graphics. Or no graphics at all.
It simply is not true.
You need to learn graphic design. But the beauty in investing in design lies not only in gaining a skill you may not have had before but in giving you another piece of the social media puzzle that you control. Your graphics are your property. And they will look exactly as you want them to look, sharing the message of your business, using the themes of your choice.
Control brings cohesion. Cohesion creates identity your traffic can recognize. And identity attracts loyal followers.
Get. Your. Graphics. Skills. Going. Today.
So, what are you going to start with? Networking, themes or graphics? I love them all! Not only because they are easy codes to crack, but also because rooting my focus on these 3 core strategies helps me to feel confident with my social media. They keep my eye on the prize. So next time Facebook has an unexpected algorithm change or Pinterest has a surprise crash, I can shake it off and go back to my core elements.
Networking. Themes. Graphics.
Are you ready to start your journey to conquering social media? Join me on the waitlist for my Conquering Social Media Bundle release! This bundle contains a detailed eBook covering knowledge, strategy, and FAQs, as well as a bundle of in-depth worksheets designed to take you from Social Media Zero to Social Media Hero! Plus, while you wait, you will receive an exclusive pre-launch release of 2 chapters. What have you got to lose?
In the meantime, swallow your fears and get your business on social media. You can achieve success!
See you on social media!
Holly Herbig is a 30-something mother of 3 marvelous kidlets. She lives in Canberra, Australia, loves a great cup of coffee and rarely has normal colored hair. Far from her previous 15-year career as a marketing & business manager to small business, she is now the proud owner and writer of Vintage Courage, a blog about empowering women to find their own confidence. As well as writing about empowerment, she provides practical tips on moving into your best life through goals, breaking confidence barriers, loving your style and taking care of your body, all with a light-hearted humour and can-do attitude. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google Plus, Mix and Pinterest.