Create an Effective Solopreneur Social Media Strategy

Create an Effective Solopreneur Social Media Strategy

I saw a question on Facebook yesterday that asked people to chime in with how they would market their businesses if Facebook went away (the irony of asking this on Facebook is not lost on me).

The gist of the responses was that Facebook may go away, but social media won’t. I agree with that wholeheartedly. Did you know that sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram are now responsible for more than 30% of all website traffic? Social media is here to stay and it is a must-have part of your solopreneur marketing plan.

Which is why an effective social media strategy is essential for every solopreneur business. Read on for tips on how to create your own social network business plan (and be sure to grab the free Solopreneur Social Media Strategy Getting Started Guide!).

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Why you need a solopreneur social media strategy and plan

So why do you need a “strategy?”  Sure you could wing it. Write some tweets, pin some pins, make some videos & share them around. But is that going to help you get where you want to go?

There are only so many hours in the day and if you aren’t careful, social media can suck them all up. With a basic social media strategy, you’ll make sure that the time you spend on social media has a positive return and is helping you achieve your business goals.

Working from a strategic plan will also help you ensure that your social media posts aren’t overly promotional. People don’t go to social media platforms to make purchases. They go to social media to socialize and to learn from others. A strategy will help you educate and inform your audience about your business and your offers without coming off as too “salesy.”


So why do you need a “strategy?”  Sure you could wing it. Write some tweets, pin some pins, make some videos & share them around. But is that going to help you get where you want to go?

Creating an effective social media strategy

There’s a lot of information in this post. I created this getting started guide to help you answer the question “what is your social media strategy?” You’ll get step-by-step tips on how to set up a social media strategy and then put it into action.  Enter your name and email below to download your copy:

Social Media Strategy Guide

Grab your free Social Media Strategy Getting Started Guide!

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Begin with social media marketing goals

Every effective strategy begins with goals.

First of all, think about the goals you want to achieve in your business. Then drill down into some specific social media marketing goals that will support your business goals.

For example, one of my business goals this year is to have four successful course launches. What are some social media marketing goals that would support that?  Maybe I want to host a free challenge on Facebook Live related to a course, with a goal of X number of opt-ins to the challenge. I could then build a social media marketing campaign around joining the free challenge.

Your goals may be to drive traffic toward specific products or to connect with potential clients for your service-based business. What social media goals will support the end result you are working on?

social media marketing goals

Who is your target market?

Knowing and understanding your target customer is essential for solopreneurs. Unless you are talking to a specific persona, your voice will get lost in the crowd and drowned out by larger brands.

Spend some time creating a customer avatar. Name her. Figure out what she likes, where she shops, what websites she visits, and what she does in her free time.

Most important when planning your social media strategy is figuring out where she hangs out online. Does she love Instagram, but doesn’t have even have a Twitter account?  That is a huge clue for you.

Choose the best platforms for your business

You don’t need or want to be on every social media platform. In fact, it would be a HUGE drain on your time and resources to try to do so. Instead, choose 2-3 networks (4 max!) that you can be active on.


You don’t need or want to be on every social media platform. In fact, it would be a HUGE drain on your time and resources to try to do so.

Look for networks that are popular with your audience, particularly your target customer. If you’re not sure where your target customer hangs out online, then ask your current audience. It’s super-easy to set up a free survey using Google Forms. Plus, as a bonus, you can find out more about your audience than just their favorite social networks.

Also, consider whether you like a given network. If you choose to focus on a network that you don’t enjoy, then every minute will feel like drudgery.

Facebook – With nearly 2 billion monthly users, Facebook is the largest social network with the broadest base. You can share text, images, and video. You can have an active Facebook business page, only take part in Facebook groups, or do both. Facebook also has a robust advertising platform.

Twitter – Twitter moves very fast and your message size is limited to 280 characters. You can share text, videos, images, links, polls, and more. Hashtags will help boost your posts.

Pinterest – Pinterest is really a visual search engine, but it also has a social component. It caters to women and can be a huge traffic driver for online businesses. Pinterest users are looking for solutions.  Pinterest is also a good option for paid advertising.

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Learn more about how to use promoted pins.

LinkedIn – Specifically designed for business users, LinkedIn can be great for connecting with other professionals and establishing yourself as a thought leader, especially if you are in the B2B space.

Instagram – Instagram is highly visual and is popular with millennials. Instagram is meant to be used on mobile, so keep that in mind for your strategy.  You’ll need to use a third-party tool if you want to post from your desktop.

PRO-TIP

Focus on one platform at a time and start with the one where your ideal customer hangs out the most. Dive in, get good at it, and grow your following. Once you get your processes nailed down and you are seeing success, then add another platform to the mix.

Build and optimize your social profiles

Images – Each platform uses different dimensions for profile photos and cover images. And just to keep things interesting, they change all the time. Here’s a guide to the best social media image dimensions for each platform, as well as helpful tips on how to optimize the space you have available.

Bios – Let people know who you are and what your business does. Each platform also has different character counts for your bio, but be as consistent as possible in your messaging.

Keep your branding consistent – As you build your profiles across different platforms, make sure your profile photo, logo, color schemes, fonts, and graphics are consistent. You want people to recognize you and your brand no matter where they encounter you.

Here’s a quick checklist of what you need in order to optimize your profile on each of the major social networks:

Facebook page: professional profile photo, cover image, completed “about” section

Twitter: professional profile photo, header image, brief description of who your business helps and how, link to website or email opt-in

Instagram: professional profile photo, brief description of who your business helps and how, link to website or email opt-in, NEW: hashtags

Pinterest: professional profile photo, brief (keyword-rich) description of who your business helps and how, keyword-rich board descriptions, optional: link to email opt-in

LinkedIn: professional profile photo, brief description of who your business helps and how, completed summary & bio

Social Media Strategy Guide

Grab your free Social Media Strategy Getting Started Guide!

You'll also be subscribed to my regular newsletter with actionable content to help you grow your biz. You can unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

How to create a social content strategy for your business

What types of content should you share?

The type of content you share is going to be influenced by three things:

  1. the social platform
  2. your social media goals
  3. your target audience

For example, if you sell handmade jewelry, you might post pictures of your latest creations on Instagram. A food blogger might post a collage on Pinterest that links to a blog post about kitchen tools. A freelance web designer might share an infographic about the elements of a successful website.

Here are some types of posts to consider for your social content strategy:

  • engaging content that shows off your personality
  • content that provides value and inspiration
  • your blog posts
  • list-building posts – share your opt-in freebies
  • holidays & seasonal content
  • personal / behind-the-scenes posts
  • testimonials
  • affiliate offers
  • and don’t forget about your own products & services!

Visual marketing is where it’s at

We’re past the point where you can be successful with text-only posts on social media. Visual marketing is where it’s at. You need a graphic to stand out and grab attention, even if it’s simply a solid-color background with words on it. Fortunately, this is easy to do with programs like Canva and PicMonkey.


We’re past the point where you can be successful with text-only posts on social media. Visual marketing is where it’s at.

And video is quickly becoming a requirement on many platforms. GIFs, funny videos, quick tips & training all work well on video.

Tailor your content for each social platform

Do some market research among brands or bloggers that are popular in your niche and on your chosen platform(s). What kinds of content are they posting?  What format – video, text, photos?  How often do they post?  Use this data as you develop your own content strategy.

Add curated content to the mix

In addition to creating and sharing your own content, you should share content from other sources. That’s called content curation, because, when you do it well, you aren’t sharing any old content, you are sharing a carefully curated selection of content that would be of interest to your target market.

My go-to sources for finding content to curate are Feedly and Pinterest. Feedly makes it super-easy to keep up with the latest posts from influencers, bloggers, and news sources. Pinterest helps me find evergreen content that would be of interest to my audience.

PRO-TIP

Set up a secret Pinterest board for content that you want to share with your audience.

Be careful not to over-promote

Each social network has a different personality and promotion norms. For example, on Twitter, you can post the same offer more than you can on Facebook or Instagram.

People love information and tips that add value. They hate being bombarded with sales pitches. A good rule of thumb is to post 3-5 informational pieces of content before promoting a product or service. You’ll get a better response.

When and how often to post

How often should you post and at what times?  People get hung up on these questions, but honestly, timing is not going to make or break you.

Here are some guidelines, but I strongly suggest that you use these as starting points. These are based on a variety of studies and may not be applicable to your audience. A better practice is to try different times and frequencies and then use your analytics to see what works for you.

Think about it. If the “best time to post on Facebook is 3 pm” and everybody in the world posts at 3 pm, what’s going to happen?  Your message is going to get lost in all the noise.

Timing guidelines:

  • Facebook: 1 PM, 3 PM, 9AM; post once per day
  • Instagram: 8-9 AM, 2AM, 5PM; post one or two times per day
  • Twitter: 5-6 PM, 12 PM, 3 PM; post 15 times a day (this includes retweets)
  • Pinterest: 8-11 PM, 2-4 AM, 1-4 PM; post 15-30 times a day
  • LinkedIn: 5-6 PM, 7-8 AM, 12 PM; post once per day

Create your social content calendar

A key part of creating a social media marketing plan is creating your social content calendar. There are many options for creating a content calendar. I’m a spreadsheet girl, so Google Sheets is my go-to tool for almost everything, including my content calendars. But you can use a paper calendar, Asana, Trello, a bullet journal, etc. The key is to pick a format that works for you.

By planning your social media content ahead of time, you’ll be able to schedule your posts. This will free up time to spend on engagement, as well as working on the rest of your business.

By planning your #socialmedia content ahead of time, you’ll be able to schedule your posts. This will free up time to spend on engagement, as well as working on the rest of your business.

Build a content library and re-purpose your content

One of the best things you can do to leverage your time is to re-purpose your content. One of the most basic and essential kinds of repurposing is to use your social media content in multiple ways. Each piece of social content that you write can be the basis for something else.

But in order to re-use your social content, you need to have easy access at your fingertips. And that’s where a social media content library comes into play.

A content library is simply a storage facility that holds all the social media content you’ve created. Having all your social media content stored in one place makes it easy to re-use and re-purpose.

There are a lot of ways that you might choose to store your social media content. Some people use Trello or Asana boards. Some people use Evernote. I prefer to keep mine in Google Sheets just like I do my content calendar.

Make time for daily engagement

As you start building a following, you’ll want to include engagement in your strategy. Schedule time in your calendar for engagement. It doesn’t have to be a huge block of time. I set aside 15 minutes a day. Respond to comments, answer questions, talk to people, be friendly. Above all else, be helpful. Show your audience how you can help them solve their problems.

Most social platforms also offer opportunities to network with other people in your niche or with potential followers. Check out things like Twitter chats, Facebook groups, and LinkedIn groups to find like-minded people to connect with.

Find the right tools to schedule your posts

As a solopreneur, you don’t want to be tied to your computer all day sharing posts on social media. That would be a huge waste of your limited time. Fortunately, you don’t have to.

There are many social media marketing automation tools to help you. A few of my favorites are MissingLettr for Twitter and Facebook, Tailwind for Pinterest, and Later for Instagram.

Scheduling allows you to create social media content in batches, which is more efficient than posting on the fly. Many social media marketing tools also allow you to schedule posts for a variety of networks from a single platform.

Be careful about automating too much, however. Automation is great because it enables you to get more done in less time, but there is a downside. One of the negative aspects of automation is that there’s less relationship building and personal interaction, both of which are vital to a business’ success. Only automate the things that don’t require interaction and engagement.

Show up consistently

Showing up consistently builds name recognition.

Consistency helps you to build an audience that trusts you.  A tribe, in other words.

Being consistent also showcases your expertise to your new followers.

Consistency doesn’t necessarily mean posting something every day at the same time or posting one type of content on Mondays, another type on Tuesdays, etc.

It does mean that you have to be present. You can’t just schedule or auto-post without ever visiting the platform and expect to be successful. You have to show up on a regular basis and interact.

You have to be present on #socialmedia. You can't just schedule or auto-post and expect to be successful. You have to show up on a regular basis and interact.

Dig into your analytics to refine your strategy

Become familiar with Google Analytics, as well as the native analytics offered by your chosen social platforms. They will help you refine your strategy.

The 80/20 rule says that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your input. I have seen this hold true time and again across industries. Translating it to social media marketing means that 20% of your posts will lead to 80% of your results.

You can use analytics to determine which networks to participate in. I paused Instagram and revised my Facebook strategy early this year, because of insights I gleaned from Google Analytics.

You can also use analytics to learn which types of content resonate with your audience. Then you can create more of that type of content.

Native and third-party scheduler analytics

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram all have native analytics that you can access. You’ll be able to see which content is getting the most reach or impressions and the most engagement. Depending on the platform, you may learn the best times to post.

PRO-TIP

In order to see native analytics, you’ll need a business page on Facebook and a business account on Pinterest and Instagram.

Third-party schedulers usually offer analytics as well, and you’ll often get a different spin on the metrics. Tailwind, for example, has what they call a “Virality Score.” This is the repin rate for each Pinterest board that you contribute to and is information that isn’t available in Pinterest analytics.

Assess, revise, and repeat

Set up a schedule to assess what’s working and what isn’t in your social media strategy. Analytics will be an invaluable part of your assessment. I like to review things quarterly as I’m preparing my next 90-day business plan. Tweak what isn’t working. Go bigger on what is working (aka play your winners). And don’t be afraid to try something new!

Pull it all together & get started

We’ve gone over a lot in this post.  Don’t try to do everything at once, because that’s a recipe for burnout.

Start with your goals and decide on the most important platform for your target audience. Then set up a simple posting plan, targeting the low end of the recommended frequency range. As you get more comfortable with the platform, you can increase your posting frequency.

Plan out your content for the first month.   Start building your content library with your first month’s content. By saving it in your library, you’ll be able to easily re-purpose all this content later on.

Choose a tool to schedule your posts. Scheduling can be done in a batch, so try to schedule the whole month’s content in one sitting. If that feels overwhelming, then schedule a week at a time, until you get your process down pat.

Set aside a few minutes every day to show up and engage with others.

At the end of the month, check your analytics and make adjustments to your strategy based on what you’ve learned.

Once you have your system down pat for your first social network (I recommend giving it at least 90 days), then choose a second network to add to your basic social media strategy.

I know it may seem like a lot of work to create a social media strategy for your solopreneur business.  But with an effective social media strategy in place, you’ll be able to target your activities so that you aren’t so overwhelmed.  And your results will be better. You’ll see more followers, more traffic, and more subscribers.  Which is what we all want, right?

Social Media Strategy Guide

Grab your free Social Media Strategy Getting Started Guide!

You'll also be subscribed to my regular newsletter with actionable content to help you grow your biz. You can unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

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