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Social media for businesses that don’t have time to social media.

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Otherwise known as less busy-ness, more business.

If I had a dollar for every time I heard a rendition of ‘Woe Is Me, I’m Too Busy Running My Business To Do Social Media As Well‘ (usually the extended disco remix with three verses of ‘It’s soooo easy for you, you’re so clever and you do digital anyway’) I would be writing this to you from my solid gold tropical island while drinking diamond infused martinis. (Actually I wouldn’t even be technically writing this. I would be dictating to my assistant so as not to mess up my platinum encrusted manicure.)

You get the point.

The amount of folk who don’t invest in their (own or their brand’s) social media presence is baffling. IMHO, it’s probably the holy grail of digital marketing – it’s got an incredibly low barrier to entry, it’s the perfect mix of community, conversation and advertising, and it’s where all your consumers are anyway. Why the heck wouldn’t you get around it?

For most, it’s the idea. It’s like going to the gym. In most cases, the idea of going is actually the hard bit, once you’re out the door and there, it’s not so bad and then it’s done and you’re feeling all fit and smug about life. Exactly the same thing (and sometimes literally the same thing #gymselfie)

Fun fact: social media is not hard or complicated or even time consuming.

A little bit of pre-planning, and little bit of hustle and a glass of wine (totes necessary) is all that’s required to build out a solid program of work that will drive results.

Follow me, folks. (Diddya see what I did there, not even sorry.)

Schedule the shit outta erry thang.

Greetings from the past, Earthlings. It may be Thursday in your world, but right now it’s Sunday, late morning. I’m four whole days behind you. (Can someone post last nights’ winning lotto numbers in the comments? Ta.)

Incase you missed the memo, ‘live’ social media is more scripted than the latest season of MAFS. Not many people just ‘come up’ with engaging, cohesive and well-structured content on the fly, because life, and wine, and the aforementioned MAFS binge session gets in the way. I know ‘someone’ (who is most likely reading this right now, appalled that I’m about to ‘out’ her, but…your anonymity is safe. For now…) who scheduled her own holiday content, in order to build an easier to follow narrative. HER HOLIDAY CONTENT. (Which, to be fair, was far more engaging than my recent trip to Europe that I could have titled ‘497 photos of Em with an Aperol Spritz’…)

Put aside a dedicated slot of time, and plan out your week ahead. Write the content, decide on the hashtags, crop the images and schedule the whole damn lot in the one hit. Later, Plann and Buffer are all brilliant, drag-and-drop style programs that let you batch process the week, month, or even year ahead – and you can preview how it’s gonna look for that all critical top nine.

And speaking of top nine…

You do you. Don’t overthink it.

I get it. Social media – in particular, Instagram – is incredibly visual. It’s easy to be overwhelmed when you see all those carefully curated, deliberately colour coordinated feeds with witty, informative and inspirational copy and declare the whole project a great big TOO HARD NOPE while you head off to binge watch Stranger Things.

Let’s get one thing straight. You. Don’t. Have. To. Do. That.

It’s not a competition, it’s a community. Just like there’s a place for gorgeous, aspirational travel shots, there’s also a place for infographics and quotes and cats falling off things. The easiest place to start is with the things that you like, that you’re naturally drawn to, and that you already have access to. (seriously, the most important part. If TLC were writing a song for 2019, it would absolutely be titled ‘Don’t Go Chasin’ Content for Content’s Sake’.)

The easiest way to do this? Start saving content as you see it. Instagram makes this super easy – the little ‘saved’ icon, and it’s easy to grab a screen shot of anything else. Before you know it, HEY PRESTO, instant inspiration file.

I subscribe to the ‘write like you talk’ theory. Which sometimes leads me to a rather long side convo about Dugongs (a real thing that actually happened in a blog post I wrote once), but, it’s my personality and it’s what flows naturally.

Don’t try too hard.

The real value in social media is bringing your whole authentic self along for the ride (is that #blessed enough for y’all?) – whether that’s you or your brand, and that’s exhausting enough. Don’t add more pressure by pretending to be something you’re not. (Bonus tip: it’ll be really obvious to your followers anyway.)

UGC is the real MVP.

‘Alas Emma! We doth not have any images to share!’

Cool story bro, it’s 2019, that excuse died with Myspace.

User Generated Content is God’s gift to time poor social media managers. Once upon a time, we were required to brief shoots and source imagery – heck even get said imagery approved – and now all we need to do is wait for some wonderful customer to snap and share.

We’ve finally embraced the conversation part of social media – it’s a not a one way advertising fest, it’s a two way chat. You know, like we used to do on the phone before we literally stopped answering anyone.

People love sharing things they love, and the best bit is (assuming they like your brand and all), they’ll naturally do some of the content hard yards for you. And the best part? Most people get a real kick of out a brand sharing their stuff. It’s a great way to engage with loyal fans or customers – just remember to do the polite thing and ask first and always, always tag a credit.

Oh, and sharing encourages sharing.

So the more you share your fans’ content, the more they’ll share it with you, and so forth and so on, and before you know it, you’ll be drowning in an avalanche of amazing content and sadly there were no survivors.

So, I think you’re all officially out of excuses now, yeah? Pause Netflix, tend your social media garden for even just one measly hour per week, and if you’re not convinced it’s shifting the needle for your brand, I’ll give you back* that dollar I mentioned at the start.

*Probably wont, need all my dollars for coffee.

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