I use social media to help promote my business and to celebrate recently breaking the 2000 twitter follower mark, I wanted to make a VLOG (in production) and a post about my lessons learned in using social media.
Social media is something I did not use in previous iterations of my businesses; in no small part because social media did not exist through all of my iterations. It used to be just having a website that was amazing and using traditional paper based advertising was the only way to drive traffic. Now, I can create content (which I never did before) and can share and promote it through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and now (newly joined) Instagram (all of which did not exist the last few times I ran this type of business). I thought I would go through my strategy/lessons learned for each piece of my social media strategy. Check it out below.
Creating Content Lessons Learned:
I began slowly by commenting on other news pieces. I was afraid to try to post my own content so I relied on other people’s content and then just added my own two cents. Then, slowly, I realized that I have spent over a decade creating my own content in class as an adjunct and began to just imagine myself standing in front of my class but typing it down into a Word document to use in my Weebly blog pages instead of just opining in front of a group.
I think I am doing well with this. Most of my content is read avidly, shared and maybe (someday) will be monetized. I wonder about how that can be; maybe I will continue promoting my content to publications and other websites to see about sharing more for free and then eventually getting to a point where it is paid for content as either a freelancer or maybe even publish a book (or two). I am considering self-publishing an ebook on a few different topics; I have content that I am compiling and writing to do so. I just need some more time to work on it…Stay tuned.
Twitter Lessons Learned:
I literally did not know how to use Twitter at all until I started using it this Summer. I am still not sure if I am using it right. I started off slowly and then realized I needed help and so I use a service (I chose Socialoomph) to manage / schedule my tweeting, follower communication and more. So as soon as I create a blog post, I share it using Twitter. I am still learning how to use twitter and monitoring if I am using it well. I have some content that I share over and over because I find this is the best way to get eyeballs/readers. I do stratagize and change the posting frequencies and then I also share news pieces and tie ins to my content that I find via my other voracious web reading.
Facebook lessons learned:
I feel I still have a lot to learn about Facebook marketing. I only have 200+ likes here and it has been static for some time. I linked Twitter to my Facebook business page and share each day’s blog post to it, too. It seems that I have hit a wall with Facebook and need to keep stratagizing and trying to build this out. Using the boost post / boost page and other functions work but can be price-y and do not always lead to huge increases in people liking the page. Any advice from other business owners on this?
YouTube lessons learned:
If you had told me last year that I would be creating YouTube videos and SHARING them about my business and my advice and more, I would have thought you were insane. However, when I relaunched this business with my new business plan in July; I knew it was imperative to create various types of content and really build on my public speaking skills and media training and the best way to do this was to create a YouTube channel with content and some day with training and other pay for content, maybe, to build out this business model.
I love making videos but I admit it is hard to do it – I need quiet in my house and with two kids and working as a sub teacher and an adjunct I have a very small window of time I can do video production especially because my taping area is in my dining room. Plus, I need to be makeup ready and more to make these videos so even though I am up at 5am every day I still need time to be video ready before the house is no longer uh "quiet". Look for more videos in the future as once I am an adjunct in the Spring, I will have some free time in the morning after school drop-off and before I need to be on campus, which will work out really well for me and my "studio" time.
LinkedIn lessons learned:
LinkedIn used to be a static thing to me; I had maybe 400 connections and that was that. Now I treat it as an extension of marketing of my business. I have over 2000 connections and I am proud of this because it is all part of my networking process for promoting my business, my content and keeping in touch with people I have helped either as a professor where I always did (for free) my students’ resumes any with my clients (both present, past and potentially future). I use my blog posts here and find a lot of traction from this method. I also take some blog posts and expand on them to creating LinkedIn content for the Pulse tool.
Instagram Lessons Learned:
I love Instagram and this is something else that I knew nothing about uhm like three weeks ago or so. I started using this recently and have found that telling the story / lessons of my business journey lends itself to photos as a way of communicating very well. Sharing my content page views and my latest style for managing being an entrepreneur, a mom, a teacher, an educator and more has fit so nicely into how I package my business and promote it that I wish I started Instagram sooner.
How do you as an entrepreneur use social media? What do you think about my strategies? Watch this spot for the upcoming vlog to accompany this post! Happy Hunting!
Lisa Vento Nielsen