A social media strategy is essential to building a personal brand. Knowing what current trends are in my industry, generating content and engaging others is necessary to stand out from the crowd. I know this. I have known this for a long time. The problem? I don’t, nor have I ever had a plan for how I will use social media. I have an account on dozens of platforms — all the major players, some obscure platforms and those specific to my interests and profession.
On Twitter, I occasionally read peoples tweets, looking for articles of interest. I have never engaged others, though. On LinkedIn, I ignore it until I need to look for work. On content sites such as Vimeo, YouTube, Medium, Dribble, and Pixabay I’ve posted work, but I don’t follow-up to see if anybody has engaged with my content. I turn off email notifications and app notifications because I find them distracting. I’ve been a social media disaster.
I know ignoring social media does nothing to advance my goals. I signed up for this course to learn how to deal with social media. I have learned a lot, and I am working on a strategy.
My strategy over the next year
Content has to be sincere; engagement needs to be honest.
One of the most significant barriers I’ve faced in Social Media engagement has been my own insecurity. Every time I think about writing content a little voice in my head says “You know, this has been written about many places online by people who know a lot more about the subject than I do. I don’t think I have anything to offer”.
I have to really focus on online networking. I live in a rural area and have family obligations that make in-person networking almost impossible.
The first part of my plan is a content strategy. This is intended to help with scheduling content and identifying what content represents how I want to project myself to the world.
I have several articles I’ve written, illustrated and designed that I have never published.
I have folders full of paintings, animations, illustrations and articles. I will organize these. I will study keywords and trends and apply these to each piece of content using a taxonomy. This will give me a list of what I already have, organized in a way that will be useful.
I create a lot of content — some for work, some for volunteer projects and some out of general interest. As new content is created, I will apply the taxonomy terms identified in keyword research to each piece of content.
To engage in social media, it will be necessary to develop a realistic schedule of content publishing. One issue I’ve had in the past is setting goals that were too ambitious to fit into my work/life balance. It is better to be consistent, even if it means new content gest released less frequently.
I will keep the number of channels I use to something I can manage. My original content is art, design, animation and some writing.
Instagram will be used for posting art and design images. I might post stills from animations if the context of pulling a still from video works. That needs to be tested.
Vimeo will be used for animation projects. I have evaluated both Vimeo and YouTube for video and have found Vimeo to be more suitable for original creative works.
I often write about the work I do. For this I will use medium and spring the $5 for a subscription so I can take full advantage of it. From the Medium articles I will reference content on Instagram and Vimeo where appropriate.
Any content I create I will post to LinkedIn. I write a short intro to each piece to provide context to the viewer.
I will set aside time for social media engagement. This is critical for me as I don’t use notifications. I probably never will because they are distracting. Because of this, it is necessary to be proactive in engaging others.
Inteaction – My Content
When I post content, I will carefully monitor each post to see if there are questions or comments I should be addressing. I will answer questions and reply to comments.
Interaction – Other Peoples Content
I am already a member of several LinkedIn groups, and I follow a lot of other creators on Instagram. I will organize these so I can focus on what I do professionally. I will pay close attention to content relevant to what I do. I will ask questions and comment on things that impress me.
Measuring and Evaluation
In previous assignments for this course, I have written assignments on how I would measure and evaluate social media impact. I will take what I have learned and apply it to my own social media strategy.
One of my biggest takeaways from this course has been about developing a social media persona. In other words, a brand. On reflection, I think my anti-social media angst is because I have been going too big in the number of platforms I use and how I used them. There has been no separation between my personal and professional interests. While it’s a good idea to be intimate in professional engagement, throwing it all together in one big social media stew is overwhelming and chaotic. One of the most important things I can do is separate my personal and professional presence on social media. I’ve been doing it in the analog world for years; it’s time to do it twenty-first-century style.