Earlier this month Elizabeth Fein from Iterate Social Media Management joined us in our MadeFreshly FB group for an awesome Ask Me Anything chat:
How to Bring in Income While Saving Time on Social Media.
1. How to Save Time and Streamline All Your Accounts
“Social media is such a time-suck, but I feel like I can’t run my business without it. I need some simple ways to streamline the process, so I’m not spending hours on it. If it’s too complicated, I won’t stick with it…”
“Ahhh yes. That is one of the most common problems small business owners have with social media. A couple of steps you can take are:
1) Really understand your clients/customers and meet them where they are at. Figure out what platforms they are on and which ones are going to work best for you. Stick to no more than three.
2) Content Calendar + Scheduling are your new bestie’s. Try and stay two weeks ahead of yourself content wise and use scheduling software like Buffer, Edgar, or Hootsuite. Hootsuite now lets you schedule your Instagrams which is awesome.”
“Hey Elizabeth, what are your FAVE tools for scheduling social media posts. And fave tools for managing multiple accounts?”
“I was using Sprout and I LOVED it. It was pricey though, so I moved over to Edgar. Edgar is really awesome too, but it’s different. Something I love about is it saves all of your content and auto-populates your feeds. I use Tailwind for Pinterest, and Latergramme for Instagram.” – Elizabeth
“How often do I post on FB/Twitter/Instagram/Wordpress and should I post at the same time for all of them?”
“If you use apps like Iconosquare, Hootsuite, Tailwind, etc they offer you analytics that show you when your audience is most engaged. Those would be the times you want to post. If the times overlap that’s totally fine.
I say blog at least once a week (depends on how much time you have), if you can push blog content out faster than that, that will really help you. FB at least once a day, IG at least once a day, and Twitter go nuts. Space them out, but Tweets have such a short lifespan it’s okay to tweet a lot.” - Elizabeth
“I LOVE Iconosquare personally. Everything you need to know in one spot and super easy to navigate, and did I mention it’s free?! YAAS! And Buffer is really great for scheduling on Twitter, they even suggest posts for ya.” – Rachel
2. What About Facebook?!
“Is there a way to expose my FB page to potential buyers, other than with ads?”
“Yes. There are a couple of things you can do. One way is obvious and that is “pay to play”. Boosting posts for $5 every once in awhile can do wonders for you. Posting things multiple times (not all at once) can help get more eyes on it.
My favorite thing is to utilize Facebook Groups like nobodies business. If it’s appropriate or relevant you can post blog posts, pics, or whatever by sharing them from you Facebook page so people will go there to see it. You can also start your own Facebook Group and then you have free reign to do this. I recently started one and it has been so fun!” - Elizabeth
“My business’s FB page is tied to my personal FB account. I want them to be independent – any guidance for me?”
“That’s the way it is. A couple of things you can do:
1) Make sure your privacy settings are set, so that if people find you, they won’t be able to view all of your personal stuff without being your friend.
2) You could open up a separate Facebook account… I don’t think that’s necessary though.” - Elizabeth
Use It Or Lose It? The Right Accounts for Your Biz
“I am one of those people that just don’t get Twitter! I just don’t! It is ok to have a “slightly” abandoned Twitter or is better to just close the account? At the same time I’m afraid of losing good opportunities there.”
“I call this the fear of missing out, which is soooo common. For most of the platforms I would say to keep them active or shut them down.
Twitter is the exception (for me) because if someone has customer service questions, wants to tag me, or tries to contact me I want to be there to answer them.
I also love Twitter chats. I am not overly active (though I do participate in Twitter chats) and just landed a big client that found me on Twitter. It’s not really set up for makers or product based businesses the way Pinterest or Instagram is, but having someone talk about you on Twitter and not being able to respond is a real customer service no no.” - Elizabeth
“Agreed – if someone finds your super old, inactive twitter account (for example) they will be less than impressed, and it might make them see you as less professional. But don’t delete an account just cuz you’re going to be on vacay for 2 weeks and forget to schedule ahead of time, you know what I mean?
It’s all a matter of using the platforms that your customers use – BE WHERE THE CUSTOMERS ARE. So stick to the ones that work for your biz. That being said, Twitter could be one of them, even if it’s confusing – you could look at your competitors or similar businesses and see if their Twitter followings are strong, that will give you a huge hint.” - Rachel
“How long would I have to be somewhere before I know?”
“If you are brand new at a platform I would say 4-6 months.” - Elizabeth
“It also depends if you are using the right strategies – you could be on Twitter for 2 years and maybe because your strategies aren’t great, your results won’t be either!
So my advice is to try a LOT of different strategies. Test different kind of posts – do a lot of engaging (commenting and liking others’ stuff) and see what works and what doesn’t. Then, either do more of what works, or if nothing really works, focus on your other platforms.” - Rachel
“Google+… Is there a point to it and do people find it useful? We have one but I can’t figure out how to link it to anything or get any traffic. We use Twitter, IG, FB, Pinterest, and Tumblr, so I am not sure if we actually ‘need’ it.”
“That’s a lot of platforms, so I would say unless you want to do lots of hangouts and have a branded business page to promote it’s not really necessary. I love Google hangouts and hold the occasional dance party, but that’s not exactly practical If you are brick and mortar and want people to find your store it’s great. For search and SEO Google always favors Google…” - Eizabeth
Knowing & Reaching Your Target Audience (That Buys)
“Instagram is my favorite social media. I’ve been trying to find potential customers, and brainstorming the right hashtags for what I do. A lot of the ones I come up with are also used by handmade shops. I want the people who make crafts for themselves, but they’re hard to find, and it seems like a lot of them are private. (My shop sells craft supplies).”
“Hashtag hunting is my absolute fave!! You want to be a part of a community and build community on Instagram, but keep in mind that other makers are not your customers. There are a lot of hashtags out there for maker communities. It’s great to use them, but don’t focus all of your efforts on them.
Get a little notebook, and pen/pencil, and spend 10 minutes every couple of days playing “Follow the Hashtag”. Start peeking around an account that sells something similar to you and see what hashtags they are using. Click on one hashtag that’s relevant and then click on the pictures in that hashtag stream and see what other hashtags are being used. Keep doing this and write down those hashtags for future reference.
Another great thing to think about is how your client/customer would search for things on Instagram (or Pinterest). They most likely won’t be searching for a hand dyed tea towel using the hashtag #makersgonnamake. Sometimes you can get literal and boring with them. Craft fairs hashtag like Renegade are a great way to find a diverse group of people looking for stuff to buy, so that’s always a great starting point for this game.
Another thing is is that there are hashtag powerhouses out there. I have a couple for my industry. They are people who post a gazillion obscure hashtags that I would have never found on my own. So if you can find one of those people keep an eye out for what they are posting. ” - Elizabeth
“I SO don’t know how to target my customers! I’m afraid that when I think too much of my “ideal customer” I lose me! I feel like I can create my brand’s philosophy, appearance, and my ‘tribe’ only if I post what I’M passionate about! Is this approach too artsy and not economic?”
“You HAVE to know who your target customers are. You really can’t use any other strategies to actually get results without knowing them. My best advice is to talk to some of your current or past customers. See if you can get them on the phone.
Ask them why they bought your product. What they liked about it the most. Why they chose yours over someone else’s. Try to dig deep and get the underlying value or moral for the answers they give. Also, ask them about their lives. (Yes, it’s kind of cheesy, but you gotta!) What they spend most of their time doing, what they really care about, what problems they have, etc. that way you know how to target what they care about. iIstead of GUESSING, ask them! Get to know them as people, cause at the end of the day, that’s what we all are. People, not just buyers and sellers.” - Rachel
“A little of both is the sweet spot. Figuring out your customer takes a bit of research and it’s important to pay attention. Have you filled out an ideal client worksheet? Look at who is buying your stuff and create a profile from there. Imagine the person who is buying your things, what she/he likes, where he/she shops, what her favorite Starbucks drink is (or maybe she hates Starbucks). Get into her head and look at the aesthetic of some of her favorite brands etc. This sounds a little woo woo, but it works.
You do need to stay true to your brand, so if your product is inspired by nature it would be silly to not show that. Keep that in mind in your client worksheet as you will obviously want to be attracting people who love nature too. Just to reiterate sit down and really look at who is buying your product, who is following you, etc. You will see a pattern. This is essential in building up your brand and following. If you don’t know who you are talking to you will have a real hard time attracting people who will buy.” - Elizabeth
Mixing Up Your Content Across Platforms to Stay Engaging
“Is it important to post different things to your Facebook, Insta, Twitter etc? Do customers want see differentiation in content among the different platforms? Ex: I am getting ready to post an Instagram pic, is it better to post that same pic to my Facebook and Twitter or should I leave it exclusively Insta?”
“Each platform does have a unique community interested in different things. There is totally nothing wrong with cross pollinating your content, but make sure you understand who your communities are and offer them fresh content as well. Another tidbit of advice is to use https://ifttt.com/ to make your Instagram images show up on Twitter. It’s totally one of my pet peeves to just see the links because it’s a bit of a waste (IMO).” - Elizabeth
“I think it’s good to mix things up enough so it doesn’t all look literally the same. I wouldn’t waste time posting different product images though – maybe just mix up the text that goes with those. So I’d say make it different enough that the accounts look fresh, but not so much that it’s taking you so much extra time posting.” - Rachel
Apps and Must-Read Resources to Remember: