An affordable social media strategy that you can 100% pull off all by yourself.
Note: A previous version of this article was super long and had far to many steps. After getting some feedback from people like Marc Yellin and Elli Kozak of Elli Kozak Music and Carrie Caulfield Arick, I’ve decided to simplify it into a series of brief(ish) videos. But first, and in line with Carrie’s feedback, let’s talk about WHY having an effective and maintainable Social Media Strategy is important.
Budget for this strategy
Before you spend time investing your time into this strategy, the budget to implement it is $80/month. This covers the cost of MeetEdgar, Zapier, and Pocket. If you’re serious about getting this done for your podcast brand, don’t try to shortcut this cost with clunkier workarounds. Your goal is to balance cost with efficiency and impact — you will not find a combination of tools which create a solution which is, at the same time, this easy, this efficient, and this impactful.
If you want to skip the text and go straight to the videos, feel free. If you’re new to social media, I recommend reading this article first. It’s up to you.
There are 24-hours in a day, and not even one minute more
Within these 24-hours you must fit all which you wish to accomplish in that particular day. You must do this 7 times a week and 365 times a year. The more complicated the thing you need to get done, the more likely it is to spill over into the next day, week, month, or even year. When things spill over, they cut into “what’s next” and you get behind very quickly.
For this reason it’s important not to over-commit and it’s important to minimize the amount of time you spend doing legwork. Legwork isn’t hard, but it’s time consuming and time is limited and precious. If something is going to cause you to go over on a deadline, it’s rarely the task itself but some mundane detail related to the task.
With social media, this is very obvious the moment you try to implement any kind of ongoing consistency.
“I’m going to tweet every day at 10am, 1pm, and 4pm.”
No you’re not. Because at 945am you’re going to get an email from you Grandmother and it’ll prompt you to call her because you haven’t spoken to her for a while and that conversation will go on until 1030am and you’ll now be doing your 1030am task and you’ll have to make up the tweet at 1pm. But you won’t, because something else will get in the way. This won’t happen every time, but it will happen often enough that the wind gets sucked right out of your sails and you decide this is “impossible” and arrive at something like:
“I’ll just be organic and tweet when I want. I don’t need to be fake and automate my timeline, that’s what cold-hearted companies with no real emotion in their products do. I’m not that. I’m a podcaster. I’m an artist!”
Well, I’ll tell you: I’m sure as the day is long, Mr. or Ms. Artist, that you are very unlikely to find any consistent success or growth if you don’t learn to embrace automation as a way of enriching your ability to be in service to your communities. The less time you spend doing legwork, the more time you can spend providing value. That’s what automation is all about.
It is with this goal in mind — the minimization of your involvement in tedious time-wasting legwork so you can be more present and useful to your people — that I offer this framework for creating a consistent, valuable, and easy-to-maintain Social Media Strategy.
Curating Text and Video Content for your communities
No matter what community you serve, I can promise that you are not its sole expert or authority. When people engage with your content it is not exclusively that they do so. If you write about marketing, you’re only one of any number of authorities they look to as a learning resources. Perfect example: you’re reading this blog, but I doubt I’m the end-all-be-all in your search for answers. I know this, you know this.
If this is true, then something I can do to be in genuine service to you would be to help you find other resources. Right?
“Here’s my opinion, but here’s Steve’s opinion and there’s Jessica’s opinion, and I bet between the three of us you can get a really good idea of how to solve your problem.”
That’s immensely more useful to you than
“This is my opinion. It’s the best opinion. Seek no other opinions, baby, cause this is the correct one.”
Even if I believe my opinion, content, or point of view is the best, it doesn’t do me any favors to communicate that (because it’s arrogant and off-putting) and it doesn’t do you any favors because it doesn’t help you round out your knowledge. This only results in you thinking I’m a self-promoting wanker who only cares about getting eyes on my stuff and not on helping you enrich your experience or enhance your knowledge. I’m not in it for you, I’m in it for me.
Getting relative and useful content in front of your community (whether that’s making them laugh, think, cry, or get motivated to take action) is what social media is all about. It’s media/content aimed at helping people socialize around a topic.
Sending people to content that isn’t specifically yours is what convinces people to come to you for answers. You want people to come to you for answers. You want people to see you as a resource. That’s not robotic, that’s not cold and calculating, that’s how you serve.
But doing this can be time consuming as heck. Here’s how you can do it in less than 10–20 minutes a day.
Summarizing this section
By using the combination of Pocket > Zapier > MeetEdgar you can create repeatable, automatically maintained process driven by a single 2-hour per week session of by-hand content curation. You see it, you save it to pocket, and the rest happens in the background. Then, each day, you spend 10–20 minutes making sure the scheduled content is delivered with the appropriate tone and in a voice which matches your podcast brand.
The initial setup time for this part of the framework will take you somewhere between 2–5 hours depending on how computer and internet savvy you are. The end result is something near-magical. Here’s what my content calendar looks like after just 2-hours of one-time process setup:
That’s 30+ hand curated pieces of community-relevant content that will Tweet and Facebook post at the same times, on the same days, every week. This screenshot also includes a few instances of my blog articles from Myths. That’s over 60 posts per week that are serving my community and keeping me focused on creating content and responding to engagement instead of the never-done tasks of tweeting, posting, and encouraging engagement.
In the next section, which will be published within this article when I’ve finished it, we’ll talk about Instagram and images. Until then, I hope this has been useful. Take care.