20 Strategies for Solo Social Media Success

by Mike Brown

20 Strategies for Solo Social Media SuccessA recent post highlighted strategies for creating an informal social media team within your organization to help carry out social media strategy.

Debra Feldman was nice enough to tweet a link but gave it the frown emoticon for not being applicable to solopreneurs. I promised to create a comparable list for individuals in business for themselves. Hopefully, these twenty strategies, based on experience with Brainzooming, will help those building their small businesses (or personal brands) more effectively manage social media.

Managing Your Presence

  • Select several social media platforms supporting your business strategy and objectives; concentrate your presence on these alone. You might have one location for content (i.e., a blog or micro-blog), a second for networking (maybe Twitter or LinkedIn), and a third for community interaction (Facebook or LinkedIn).
  • Divide social media time into 3 roughly equal parts – reading and monitoring social media in your topic area, commenting and participating on other peoples’ sites, and creating content for your own site. From this framework, decide how much time weekly you can invest on social media. Really work to stick to your time expectations.
  • Before blogging, determine how many times monthly you expect to blog. Pre-write that many posts to see if the frequency is viable and to build a month-long content cushion for when time is limited.
  • Choose creating and consistently delivering less content over wild swings in activity. Faithfully writing one blog post weekly and three tweets daily is better than three posts your first week with lots of Twitter activity then going silent for weeks.

Generating Content

  • Exploit your best communications talents aggressively in your social media effort. These might include article writing, headline writing, shooting video, illustrations, photos, etc. Design a content strategy allowing you to use these talents to be as efficient in creating content as possible.
  • Write down at least two potential blog topic ideas daily where they’ll be available later as idea starters.
  • Cut your writing time and keep it short. You don’t need to (and probably shouldn’t) write thousand word blog posts. Stick to one idea in a couple of hundred words.
  • Save tweets and comments you make on other blogs to use as the basis for blog posts.
  • Solicit material from your audience, providing a brief description of what type of content, topics, and format you’re seeking.
  • At a minimum, set up Google Alerts on relevant topics to create readily available content for sharing online.
  • Find an intern from a local university to assist your business in its social media strategy.

Promoting Your Presence

  • Use common hashtags and keywords to increase visibility and pass along mentions.
  • Place social media buttons on your blog to make it easy for readers to share your content within their own social networks.
  • Sync your various social media sites so one item feeds multiple platforms (i.e., send your tweet about a blog post to LinkedIn and Facebook automatically).
  • Offer simple, fun give-aways to your audience to incent participation in commenting, retweeting, social bookmarking, etc.
  • Take time to write a brief bio and company overview for use on every social media site. Use a service such as KnowEm.com to secure your identity on many platforms, with links back to your main sites.
  • Create an informal network of friends (onine and IRL) with relevant networks and agree to tweet about each others’ work.

Continuous Improvement

  • Attend in-person or webinar training on effectively and efficiently using social media applications to build business.
  • Identify someone within your network who is more knowledgeable or efficient at social media than you. After figuring out how to use your best talents to help them, offer to trade for regular help (i.e., tips) on your social media effort.
  • Do at least an informal ROI assessment – is your social media effort generating the type and volume of business results that make your time investment worthwhile?

There are certainly many other ideas and technical approaches you can use to be more efficient in your social media implementation. What things have you tried that are working for you?

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Mike BrownMike Brown is an award-winning innovator in strategy, communications, and experience marketing. He authors the BrainzoomingTM blog, and serves as the company’s chief Catalyst. He wrote the ebook “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” and is a frequent keynote presenter.

No comments

  1. Mike, good thoughts here. I especially appreciate “commenting on others’ sites.” Even moreso than Twitter, I’ve seen an increase in conversions originate from a comment I left on someone else’s blog post. 😉

  2. Thanks for the article.

    I use OneRiot to track real-time use of keywords. It makes it easy for me to monitor what is being talked about and written about, and it allows me to find and participate in relevant discussions.

  3. Good set of suggestions. Under “Managing Your Presence” and “Generating Content” I would add “Managing your Time” to both sections. I use a tool called Xeesm http://xeesm.com which fits under the first heading in relation to your goals. You add the people and their social sites which you want to visit regularly, with a purpose, and then use this tool each day to do so. This manages your time in tracking your presence and purpose, and in relation to the Generating Content heading it will hit upon ideas among the people you are most interested in, to which you could contribute or note for later.

    I’ve found a good trick to use in generating new content or ideas is to Sphere It, use the button on someone’s blog post, or even on your own blog post, and Sphere It will find related topics and discussions and from these you can easily create another relevant idea.

    And as well as Google Alerts, using the Reader and then sending the feed to your blog can add posts which you find interesting, and can quickly “share” from the Reader. I reserve the topmost post on my blog for 3 shared items from my Reader.

    In terms of allowing people to find you easily, in all your social media spaces and places, there are few good tools and here again I use the Xeesm profile creator (see my signature below).

    Walter Adamson @g2m
    http://xeesm.com/walter

  4. Mike- It’s like you wrote a post JUST FOR ME!! This is absolutely fantastic. I don’t think you have missed anything whatsoever. This as a superb list to guide any solopreneur whose goal is to participate in the social web. Not only have you outlined the basis touch points but you clearly articulated the rationale for each step.

    One thing that I have found helpful is keeping a Desktop Folder labeled “Social Media Ideas.” I jot down notes about possible topics that I want to write about and paste quotes and references. In addition, I set up a Bookmark to organize links for future posts and comments.

    Thanks a million for what feels like a personal message that’s bound to help so many others!

    Oh, and for anyone reading this, here’s proven power of social media. Here’s how this post was sprouted. I sent Mike a comment on his previous post. What developed was not only a conversation ( tweets) between the two of us, but a great opportunity to involve others who share similar needs and interests. So , Mike, not only have you provided lots of valuable free information, you’ve demonstrated your personal expertise, started a new relationship (with me) , are promoting a resource for everyone that’s interested to contribute ideas about solopreneur social media implementation and created a platform that might very well become more than a single blog post. THIS is social media in action!!!

  5. Thanks for a good piece of writing. Very true and an informative post.

  6. Great post – especially liked the idea of dividing your socials media time into reading, commenting, and creating.

  7. I enjoyed reading all of your ideas, as they are quite useful. The most useful has to be how to manage your time when using social media. It’s so easy to get carried away when you’re reading through other comments, status updates, and group pages. Writing content ahead of time can be a life-saver when you’re falling behind with family or work, or both. Though, it’s also good to write some blogs immediately after a big event occurs, such as the BP oil spill, or Facebook privacy changes. You want to show that your blog is updated with content based upon the latest news sometimes. If you write about something right after it occurs and then post it a month later, it’s not going to be considered quality content. You can always edit parts and add updates to previously written posts to make them more current.

  8. I also focus my energy on Article Writing. Article writing also promotes your website and branding. “’

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