Social Media 101

Let’s play a game. C’mon! Indulge me, okay?

Social media.

When you hear these two words, what is your reaction? Do your muscles tense? Are you smiling? Do you scoff?

However, you (or your body) responded, social media is a reality you must contend with if you choose a writing or speaking career. Publishers want to see that you have a strong following. Event planners want to know that people engage with your speaking.

5 Social Media Strategies

Whether you’re wondering how to get started with social media, or frustrated with how little your platform is growing, here are five social media strategies you can use to build your platform.

1. Don’t spread yourself too thin.

Gone are the days of just one social media forum. (Remember the MySpace days?) Today there are many social media options available. Maybe you’ve signed up for every single one.

You don’t need them all. I suggest my clients limit their social media outlets to a maximum of three—the three that make the most sense for their demographic.
Choose the ones you enjoy and that you can maintain. Eliminate the others because too many channels will spread you too thin.

2. Hire talent when/if you can.

Social media is both science and art. It can also be a powerful marketing tool. It isn’t a place where you can just throw stuff up. Would you ever just throw together something for a TV ad? No, you would hire experts.

If you can’t afford to hire someone to run your social media, consider bringing on an intern or taking webinars and learning as much as you can about social media strategy.

3. Use a social media calendar.

Find a social media calendar that works for you. Sites like Social Pilot and CoSchedule are great tools to help keep you organized and focused.

Personally, I love a good old fashioned spreadsheet. (Color coding, anyone?) However, a Google sheet works well if more than one person will be posting to your social media accounts. With Google Sheets, you and your team can access the file and make changes in real time. This works much better than sharing a file system or sending updated files back and forth.

4. Understand your niche.

As you build a social media following, it is of utmost importance that you understand your unique niche. I don’t need to tell you that there are many authors/speakers out in the world. Market to your niche, and you’ll see bigger rewards.Kathi Lipp is a good example of someone who connects well with her niche audiences in the areas of Christian faith, organization, and marriage.

Here is a homework assignment: Observe authors and speakers who know their niche well. Follow them on social media and see how they connect with their tribe. Notice how they use their voice within their niche audience. This is key.

5. Be authentic.

Most importantly, while social media is business and requires thought and strategy, people want to hear your authentic voice. Share real posts about your life, thoughts, and feelings, sprinkled with your expertise, graphics, and sales pitches.

Be you! Don’t allow social media to overwhelm you. Use it as a tool to market and connect with your audience. Leverage it to work for you and your business.

Master Social Media

Mikkee Hall

Mikkee Hall has been writing stories since she was a kid (when she made her dolls listen to them). She oversees all things communications at SafeHouse Denver, freelances as an editor and social media strategist, and in her spare time, serves in children’s ministry at her church.