One thing I notice time and time again with artists and crafters is the frustration with managing their online presence. Most creative entrepreneurs would much rather be spending their time being creative, making things, doodling… anything but getting caught up in the world that is facebook, twitter, pinterest, and instagram.
Sure, there are tons of ways to have other people do the work for you, but they all cost money. Until you’re really making enough, it’s easy to sit back and tell yourself that you’ll keep plugging along until… until… [insert random idea of a perfect scenario here].
So I’ve decided to come up with a list of 9 ways to simplify your social media efforts. Let’s go!
- Use tools. Potters use wheels and slab rollers and carving nibs. Painters use brushes and writers use computers/typewriters/pens. Stop wasting your time by going to each site all day long. Tools like HootSuite, Edgar, and others are there to help. Sure, some cost money but some don’t and you can always ease your way into it. Just do yourself a time-saving favor and look into them. Now.
- For the love of pound cake, use a daily planner. Do not sit down at your computer and think, “Oh, I’ll start with facebook, and then do some Pinterest work, and then maybe write a blog post.” Because you won’t get past facebook, I guarantee it. You need to have this stuff solidified in a plan. I actually do a 90-Day Action Plan with all of my coaching clients so they have absolutely no doubt as to what they’re supposed to do on any given day. And don’t go thinking you can block out an hour for everything you want to do. I’m talking 20 minutes, tops. Usually less, but depends on what you’re doing.
- Schedule your posts. I know you might start off thinking how impersonal that is, but it’s really not. It’s actually the equivalent of setting up an editorial calendar. You schedule out your tweets and pins and facebook posts a week or more in advance. Now, the tricky part here? You have to respond to comments and such real-time. So don’t go scheduling something interactive for 3am when you’re off dreaming about chocolate covered espresso beans. Got it?
- Limits. Have them. Stick to them. You do NOT need to be a member of 4,387 facebook groups or have 137 Pinterest boards. You do not need to follow thousands of people on Twitter. Doing all of this adds noise to your life, and what you really need is focus. Rome, not built in a day and all. You don’t need to come out of the gate with a cluttered, disorganized, un-sensible mess.
- Ask questions of your followers and group members. Get them to do the talking. Yes, everyone loves a story behind what you’re saying, but you don’t have to write dissertations for every single post. Even something as simple as, “Chocolate or vanilla?” can inspire hundreds of responses. And no, you should not do that daily.
- Use photos to tell stories. You may not have to do anything but toss in a few hashtags and post it on Instagram (of course, also flowing to Twitter and Facebook), maybe a one-liner explanation of the story, and blammo. Instant content. (Plus, posts with images on facebook get the most interaction.)
- If you manage a group, bring on another admin or two to help create content and engage with users. Make it well known to your group why you selected that person to help, and that you’re not going anywhere (by actually NOT pulling a disappearing act).
- Stay away from ‘like ladders’ and ‘follow trains’ and any other stuff like that. A) Regardless of what anyone will try to tell you, extra likes/follows does nothing for your credibility or exposure. The numbers don’t matter if they’re not genuine. B) It could actually HURT you in the long run. Facebook actually has algorithms in place that calculate your total number of fans versus fans active on your page… the greater the percentage of INACTIVE fans, the less likely ANY of your fans will see a damn thing you post unless you pay for it. Thereby making ALL of your fans inactive. #truth
- Share. Share the content that’s publicly posted by people you admire. You don’t have to be on the hunt for it, or create your own ALL the time. Share (with 101% credit to the original poster) and let your friends and fans and followers see what lights you up.
Have you discovered any others? Share them in the comments, or here in my new FREE facebook group: The Un-Starving Artists’ League!