We’ve talked recently about Why Visibility Matters to your brand. For brick and mortar businesses, success may depend on “location, location, location.” But for those of us running online businesses, the chant is more like “visibility, visibility, visibility.” Digital entrepreneurs don’t necessarily need a fancy office or a high-traffic area; we could work from a dimly lit cave so long as there’s a strong wifi connection. (Let’s be honest; you’ve heard stranger things, right?)

So when it comes to gaining visibility online, it’s important to be strategic. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in a never-ending hamster wheel chasing after more followers, with little to show for it. You’re busy enough as it is without adding countless hours on social media to your already jam-packed schedule. Instead, focus on reminding our ideal clients who you are, how you can help, and that you’re here for them.  

So, how do you stay visible to your ideal leads?

I’m glad you asked.

Choose your social platforms wisely.

You don’t need to be everywhere… let me say that one more time.  You do *not* need to be everywhere. Honestly, unless you’re planning to devote tons of sleepless nights to scheduling social media posts on every network available, you *can’t* be everywhere. You’re not going to make a big impact by spreading yourself too thin. What’s more beneficial is to be consistently visible in a few networks rather than all over the grid. My advice is to choose 2 – MAYBE 3 – social platforms that you find the most fun and easy to use. Next, make sure your ideal clients spend time on those specific platforms. Then pair that up with the types of content that are most natural to your message, and off you go!

Another way you can choose (especially if you’re doing #ALLthethings right now and feeling overwhelmed) is to check out your analytics to see which social media platforms are sending you the most traffic. You have to get people on your site to win them over, so if a specific social network isn’t doing that… it’s time to thin the herd.

If you’re *TOTALLY* hell bent on joining another social media platform, give yourself a time limit (both in terms of time spent/day and also how many months you’re going to test it). If it isn’t driving positive business results at the end of a few months, your time can be better spent somewhere else.

I did exactly this with Twitter last year. I joined Twitter in 2010 and claimed my wonderfully creative handle: @marketingkaye. (Ha.) I’ve only ever been mildly interested in “tweeting” and would go in streaks of being super-active and then completely ignoring my account for months. Last year, I took my own advice and gave myself 30 days dedicated to Twitter. I followed all the experts’ best practices for this platform. I tweeted multiple times a day, liked others’ posts, retweeted funny and insightful tweets, and commented with advice for anyone with branding or marketing questions. At the end of 30 days, I hardly saw a difference. I didn’t have leads coming in from Twitter, my list hadn’t grown, and I didn’t feel like my followers had increased enough for the work I’d put in. On to current day – I do still have my Twitter account, because I want to be there if people tag me or search my name. The real estate is still claimed for my brand, so to speak. I still share insightful articles by my peers (this process is automated) and still love seeing shoutouts from entrepreneurs that take my Brand Personality Quiz. But, I have made the conscious decision not to spend hours every month building up this platform. Instead, I spend my allotted social media time on other platforms. I’m glad I did the experiment, because now I can spend more time on Facebook and Pinterest guilt-free.

Seriously – be strategic about this. Different platforms work for different audiences.  There’ve been countless articles written strategizing over just this. If your ideal clients are working professionals in the 50+ age group, it probably doesn’t make sense for your main social media platform to be Snapchat or Instagram.  And if you are targeting teenagers about fashion, you’ll want to ignore LinkedIn.

One great article I’d recommend reading is a blog written by Kissmetrics called, “Which Social Media Accounts Really Matter and Why”. It ranks the most important/popular social media platforms and provides valuable statistics for each of the platforms. This article recommends 4 social media platforms for everyone and then ranks and explains additional platforms. While I still recommend only picking 2-3, there’s great information here. Particularly at the beginning where they recommend analyzing your target audience and where they spend their time before making decisions on which social media platforms to utilize. It’s worth the read.

Now that you know your top social media platforms, check out my 55 tips for rocking your social media to increase your visibility. Here, I provide tips to better utilize social media (agnostic to all platforms). Next, I break down some of the most popular social media platforms and give specific tips and advice each of them: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Snapchat. You don’t want to miss this!

 

Create a routine and stick to it.

Mom brain is the real deal, yo. The only way I stay functional throughout the day is by relying on routines.

          Kids up at 8.

          Cereal for the older one, a bottle for the little one.

          4 items go in the older one’s lunch.

          Get them dressed.

          Rosa arrives and walks A to school at 9.

I can perform that routine half asleep, and I don’t forget anything because it’s burned into my brain from repetition. (It helps that the kids get hungry and remind me, but still.)

 

Figure out what your routine looks like for creating and publishing content.

When will you write? By scheduling non-negotiable hours to sit down and write, you’re taking your business seriously. Content is important, but *SO* easy to throw on the back burner. The first step is to decide not to put it off any longer. Schedule 2 hours every week on your calendar dedicated to your social media. Hold yourself accountable to *productive* social media content creation during those 2 hours. Schedule the content to post throughout the week (keep reading for my hints on technology to use) and enjoy a cup of {insert favorite beverage here} as a reward.

When will you publish? Will you have set days that you release new content each week? Are there time-sensitive topics you’d like to write about and be part of the conversation? Create an editorial calendar to keep yourself accountable and prioritize your posts. Spread out your social media posts to ensure you’re staying active throughout the week (and the weekend). Since you’re concentrating on 2-3 social media platforms, make a habit of posting multiple times a week to each platform. Well…MOST social media accounts…if you’re using Twitter – it’s recommended that you post 2-5 times per day.  And if you use an editorial calendar – you can spread out the posts so that you’re active every day of the week on a different social media platform.

Don’t forget, SET REMINDERS. Use your smartphone to remind yourself what needs to be done every. single. day. By doing this, you’re essentially training your brain to remember these tasks, and eventually it will all be a part of your day-to-day routine without even thinking about it.

 

Leverage technology. It’s the 21st century.

Why go it alone and do everything manually when there are a zillion programs out there (many of which are FREE) to help streamline your business? I’m going to recommend some of my favorite programs below. Check them out – they are total life and time savers!

Buffer – Social media scheduling.

With Buffer, you can batch create content for the whole month and schedule posts for specified times. Buffer can even auto-post your content for ideal visibility. I *HIGHLY* recommend creating your social media schedule well in advance. Otherwise, you’re going to have tasks every single day that you could knock out in a marathon sesh.

Recurpost – Evergreen content cycling.

With Recurpost, you can create a library of evergreen content that will continuously cycle online. It’s a lot like MeetEdgar, and it has a free version for up to 100 posts. #SCORE

Zapier– Automate tasks.

I have zaps set up to automatically share my posts across all of my platforms whenever I publish a new blog. I also have a zap that adds insightful articles to my buffer when I save them in feedly (my blog reader app). They have thousands of various integrations to choose from, and it’s super easy to use!

BoardBooster – Pinterest automation.

I batch pin items to secret boards, and then use Board Booster to spread them out and schedule over time rather than pinning everything at once. This ups your visibility and allows you to step away from the computer for a while!

HemingwayApp – Editing for written work.

I’m a brand strategist; not a writer. I enjoy writing, of course, but it isn’t where my expertise is. HemingwayApp helps me to pinpoint any errors before I post new blogs or emails out into the world.

Canva or AdobeSpark – Graphic design.

When it comes to creating graphics for social media posts, blog headers, my site, or any other marketing materials – I use Photoshop. For those of you without it, Canva and AdobeSpark are awesome alternatives. They both offer free versions and have easy-to-use templates. Canva even has specific templates to optimize the size of your image for various social media networks!

(Pin for later!)

Stand out online… with incentives.

Reposting the same popular inspirational quote as everyone else in your niche won’t cut it. It fades into the hum of the social webs, never to be thought of again. Instead, you need to create shareable content that gets noticed. THAT, my friends, will have a positive impact on your business.

“Shareable” means different things to different people. Content that does well for me, personally, includes personal stories, custom designs, and my take on trending ideas, themes, or memes. Whatever you share, ask yourself first: Is this worth sharing?

Tell stories that *mean something* to you. Get real with your audience. Be personal. Vulnerability and relatability will help to push your brand forward by establishing meaningful connections with your audience. Use emotion to your advantage – whether it’s hate, anger, love, imagination, etc. You’re HUMAN and will see better results for showing a human nature within your work.

Is there something you can do to make your content more useful or entertaining? How can you set yourself apart from what’s already out there? For example, if you work in accounting, rather than simply blogging about expense reports, include a free downloadable expense report. Offer added value whenever possible. This is what will help you stand out from the other articles out there on the internet and retain loyal fans. Offer whatever resources you can to become a trusted resource for your potential clients or customers.

 

Get by with a little help from your friends (or employees).

Here’s the thing: Social media isn’t free. It’s one of the most expensive marketing tactics out there, and that’s because it’s designed to suck up all of your time. (It’s working, isn’t it?) I can’t count the number of times I’ve logged into Facebook to check one ad or copy a link, then end up in a never-ending scroll on my newsfeed.

One of the best ways to increase your visibility is to hire help in creating and publishing social content. This way, you can devote your time to your passions and still get the word out. Yes, it costs money, but the visibility it will afford you can lead to more sales or clients – easily justifying the cost.

Alternately, you can buy courses or join a mastermind focused on content creation & visibility to help make parts of this process easier. There, you’ll be able to learn valuable techniques and potentially connect with other entrepreneurs who are taking on the same strategies. Networking makes everything easier; especially when it comes to getting awesome advice from people who have been there, done that.

 

There’s a lot to be done on social media. But if you choose your platforms carefully, set aside time to bulk schedule, offer value to your audience, and aren’t afraid to ask for help, I’ve got good news for you – YOU’RE GOING TO BE JUST FINE. It may seem daunting, but social media can be a *super* effective strategy if you simply take the time to strategize.

Don’t forget to download my 55 tips for better visibility through your social media accounts

Gaining visibility on the internet – above the other hundreds of thousands of brands out there – is no easy feat. But if you stay true to yourself and only allot time to what’s in your best interest, you *WILL* see results.

 

Pinky swear.

 

Rock Social Media on Biteable.