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SOCIAL MEDIA. You know, the place we like to hang out when at Starbucks waiting for the barista to call our name. If YOU hang out there, your potential readers do it too – and you can use it to YOUR advantage. That is if you know How to Efficiently Use Social Media for Your Online Course Business!
“I don’t have the time”. I hear you! Managing social media can feel overwhelming.
As online course creators, we already have so many things to take care of. Our to-do-list is jam-packed with creating our business and our courses: learning, researching, managing our website and all the techy stuff, creating content, marketing, bookkeeping… And there is only 24 hours in a day *sigh*.
So let me share with you How to Efficiently Use Social Media for Your Online Course Business.
Table of Content
- If you’re already using social media
- Be coherent with your brand
- Choose your channels
- Plan ahead to be consistent (+FREE social media content calendar template)
IF YOU’RE ALREADY USING SOCIAL MEDIA
First, you need to conduct a social media audit. Don’t let that word scares you! It just means you need to evaluate where you’re at with the social media platforms you use. The “audit” will help you determine what’s working and what’s not.
This way, you will GATHER the information you need to develop your new social media plan.
To start, open a new spreadsheet. Then, record the following:
- social media network (@Instagram)
- social media user name (vanessafrappasdenis)
- url link to your profile (https://www.instagram.com/vanessafrappasdenis/)
- your objective for this specific network (promote your yoga school sharing inspiring postures photo from students)
- 3 social media metrics like engagement (here is a list of 19 social media metrics from Hootsuite you can choose from)
- audience demographics
- top posts/photos/videos
- a column for notes.
=> When I did my 1st social media audit, I was very surprised with my top 3 Facebook posts and my top 3 Instagram photos… Even if I cross-share my posts, changing the text description, the results from one network to the other are completely different!
BE COHERENT WITH YOUR BRAND
Now you have the spreadsheet, make sure your accounts are ON BRAND.
- Use the same profile photos, cover and logo
- Try to keep the same profile description: there is a difference between “I’m a mum of 3, love walking my dog and I’m a yoga teacher” and “Online yoga instructor for mum & baby, happy mum of John, James and Jill, forever dog lover”…
- If it is not too late, choose the same handles like @yogawithlily
- Include a LINK to your last blog post/wait list/lead magnet landing page depending on your business strategy
- Evaluate the links already added to your accounts (eg: Facebook button on business page) and pinned posts (if last pinned post says “Happy New Year 2018!” well, unpin it!)
- If you use a Messenger bot like Manychat, make sure all the automated messages and links are still relevant.
Evaluating social media for your online course business should be done on a regular basis because, for example, the links in our bios may not be relevant in 3 months’time.
CHOOSE YOUR CHANNELS
Now you’ve conducted your social media audit OR if you’re just starting, choose your channels accordingly to where your clients hang out!
This is key. You do NOT want to waste time, money and energy on channels that will not help you build a community and grow your business.
The only exception would be if you really like a social media platform for your own personal use. But it is most likely you won’t have lots of time to spend on it. But social media for your online course business comes firts!
If you have no idea where to start, here is a list of 21 Top Social Media Sites to Consider for Your Brand by Buffer.
To decide which channel to keep or to give up on, ask yourself these questions:
- where does my tribe hang out? -your presence need to be here
- which channels do my (successful) competitors use? -don’t let the impostor syndrome fool you and do your thing on the same channels
- are my courses B2B (business to business)? -then you should highly consider LinkedIn
- are my courses B2C (business to consumer)? -think Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat
- what are my audience demographics? -read this Social Media Demographics post by Sprout Social
- how much time do I really have? -if you’re like me, busy as a bee, start with 2 channels and manage them effectively!
=> As a mum of a toddler-wife-woman entrepreneur, my time is limited. I do not have a team (yet?). So I stopped using Snapchat, Vero and Twitter because MY people hang out on Youtube, Instagram and Facebook.
PLAN AHEAD TO BE CONSISTENT
No way you are going to succeed without a plan.
#1 – Think Business, Think Smart
As much as you don’t want to appear salesy with only promotional content, you want to have your objective in mind!
For example, if you plan to launch in 90 days, there are specific posts you are going to publish. AND you are going to publish them closer to each other when getting closer to the launch date.
=> I am guilty of this: posting on Instagram, business pics, family pics, quotes regularly but with NO INTENT. And guess what? I had no results from Instagram. A few likes and comments but no visit to my bio and no clicks on my link.
#2 – Use a Social Media Content Calendar and Online Tools
To plan the content you are going to post, you need a spreadsheet, a tool, a platform. Unless you have an extraordinary memory like an entire elephant herd, you have to write down and plan ahead of time.
You can use a social media calendar (Excel, Google Sheet…) and/or online tools.
A Social Media Calendar
… helps you visualize and plan ahead your posts. You also take in consideration the holidays, special days (Black Friday, Yoga Day, your blog anniversary…) and, of course, your beta testing phase, your pre-sale phase, your launching phase…
=> Here is the one I use, it is simple but I like to keep it that way: FREE SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT CALENDAR TEMPLATE
The Social Media Marketing Tools
… help you: schedule content, assign a category, recycle content, monitor analytics for one or for all of your channels. See 23 Social Media Marketing Tools by OptinMonster.
=> I use Planoly for Instagram because it allows you to plan and to visualize both the future content grid and the calendar grid.
PS: lots of the original channels have online planification features too (eg: Facebook)
How to Efficiently Use Social Media for Your Online Course Business
Having a clear idea of the why (your business plan), the where (your networks), the what (your content), the when (your social media content calendar) and the how (your marketing tools) is a no-brainer if you want to use Social Media for your online course business successfully!
And last but not least, understand that social media means to be SOCIAL. It means to be present, to share your best content, to reply to the questions more than with just a “like” or a “heart” 😉 .
Give your audience attention and love, they are going to love it!