When was the last time you went out on a girl’s night?
Can you remember the last time you actually took an entire weekend off away from your computer?
Does the thought of going on a, wait for it… holiday with your partner/children/friends send you into a fit of hysterical yet disillusioned giggles?
If you can’t either remember, or count on more than one hand the number of times you’ve gone out and enjoyed yourself within the last year…
You. Need. Help.
While you’re all here, let’s get a couple of things straight right off the bat.
- You are allowed to have fun. You know, the feeling that gives you rosy cheeks, glistening eyes and a good ol’ belly laugh (or if you’re like me, more of a hyena sounding laugh).
- You actually need fun in your life. Not only do you deserve to enjoy yourself and indulge in a little hanky panky – you NEED it to stay sane.
- I’m willing to bet that you’re not having as much fun as you’d like, or need.
Now that’s crystal clear, here’s the reality of being a female entrepreneur:
When you’ve got a million things on that to-do list, invoices that need paying and a crying child/hubby/friend/dog that needs your attention, ‘fun’ gets put on the back burner…
Not ideal, right?
And I know what you’re thinking…
If I can’t even manage to step away from my business for a night out, how am I supposed to leave it unattended for days (or heaven forbid, weeks) while I’m on holiday?
Because we’re friends and I want to see you succeed, I’m going to be honest.
Getting your business ready before going away… takes time.
Getting your business ready before going away… takes hard work.
Getting your business ready before going away… is 100 percent worth it when you’re laying on the beach, cocktail in hand!
So, what do you need to do?
Ironic, isn’t it?
SOCIAL media, which is designed to keep us connected with the outside world, is one of the biggest time-wasters within your business preventing you from… BEING SOCIAL!
In order to enjoy a laptop-free holiday without ignoring your customers and community, scheduling posts across all of your social media channels is essential.
No one needs to know you’re tanning in Hawaii…
Or sightseeing in New Zealand…
Or relaxing at your beach shack…
By curating and scheduling however many days/weeks/months of engaging, on-brand social media posts in advance, you can ensure your business continues to generate leads and entertain existing followers while you’re off enjoying a well-deserved break.
And it couldn’t be easier… here are my top tips for social scheduling:
Get the right software.
There are a bunch of awesome options out there to schedule your social media posts—the one that’s right for you and your business will depend on the size of your social media strategy.
If Facebook is as far as you’ve gotten, all good.
You can schedule your posts straight from your business page by writing your post as you usually would, then selecting ‘schedule’ from the drop down menu. Done.
Instagram your thing?
You’ll LOVE Schedugram… it’s pretty great.
For $20 a month, you can go crazy with photos, memes, inspirational quotes and videos.
And because it’s not a good post unless it’s all hashtagged and emojied out, Schedugram allows you to pimp your posts with appropriate (or inappropriate) emojis, and drive traffic using up to 30 relevant hashtags in the first comments section.
And for those juggling more social accounts than Mark Zuckerberg (think Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google +,YouTube, Pinterest), consider using Hootsuite.
Through Hootsuite, you can go to town scheduling posts across all of your platforms.
And the best bit?
You can save time by creating a single post and sharing it on all your platforms at the same time.
It’s like I always say…
Do it once, and then it’s done.
Did I mention it’s FREE for up to three social platforms?
But if you’re like me and want to maximise the number of people who’ll see your message, go ahead and upgrade for $10.99 a month—that’ll give you up to 50 social platforms!
Who even knew there were that many?!?!
Have a strategy
From my own personal experience with social media, I know this next bit to be completely true…
There’s no point posting without purpose.
Your social media channels are a direct reflection of your business and brand.
And because deep down we’re all that teenage girl five hours deep in a good social media stalk, you will be judged on the content you put out there.
It’s often the first interaction a prospective customer will have with you—it NEEDS to be an exceptional one!
Whether it be cool quotes, professional photography, behind-the-scenes snaps or links to your lead magnets, make sure everything you post has a purpose.
Think about the actions you want to occur from visiting your social profiles…
Lead capture and generation?
Drive traffic to your website?
Build trust and credibility?
Entertain and inspire your followers?
Once you’ve clearly defined your purpose, you’ll then be able to effectively curate content to suit your needs.
My social media manager has a pretty elaborate, ancient Egyptian-looking chart on a whiteboard, but your strategy doesn’t have to be big or complicated.
It just needs to exist.
Hashtag, hashtag, hashtag!
Posting to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter without hashtags is almost criminal—you might as well have your profile set to private!
Relevant hashtags are key when it comes to driving traffic to your profile and getting your content seen.
As crazy as it sounds, the tech and science behind the not-so-humble hashtag is kind of intense.
To do your carefully thought out posts justice, it’s not good enough to just chuck on a few random hashtags here and there and call it a day.
Put on your analytical hat and investigate which hashtags are trending in your industry.
Google Adwords Keyword Planner is a killer research tool for figuring out which keywords attract traffic in your industry.
Another way to find out which hashtags to use for your industry is to track down similar businesses and accounts, and casually stalk the heck out of ‘em.
Just be sure not to accidentally like any of their images from ages ago, or you’ll have to throw your phone in the ocean and move to China.
So, how many hashtags should you be using?
Don’t bother hashtagging on LinkedIn, but on Facebook and Twitter, a couple will do (Twitter’s annoying character count will usually keep you pretty limited).
But when it comes to Instagram, more is more.
Add up to 30 industry relevant hashtags to your posts as a separate comment to your caption, and watch the likes from people you’ve never heard of roll in.
For more info on turning your business into a streamlined machine, join me at one of my upcoming 4-hour live Doing Day workshops in your city!
All images via GraceLever.com.