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How do I leave my day job? Set up a social media strategy

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There is no such thing as a ‘free lunch’! What this means is you will get out of life and your job what you put in. Further education is one way you’re putting in to start off in a role that requires the extra knowledge. Another way is to learn on the job and work your way up.

There are many strategies for getting more from the hours you spend earning a living. Plus, it’s never too late to create a side hustle that can turn into your dream job. Today we have social media, and it’s global. So you can start working on what you really want to do to create an income after your usual work hours.

Social media provides a relatively low-cost platform for marketing and promotion, and it can be extremely effective. But it takes time and planning before you can expect the marketing magic to work.

A large number of businesses make the mistake to rush online, set up their profiles on a whim, and send out updates and posts in an ad hoc fashion. They focus on self-promoting posts and fail to engage with people, which means they’ll fail to grow their following – and fail to reap the benefits of social media.

Think strategically

To use social media effectively, you need to think strategically. This starts with some research to find out which social media platforms your target audience prefers – this tells you where you should focus your efforts.

You then need to decide whether you will have one or more social media personas for your business. Next, identify the purpose of each persona and the sort of information each will share.

Don’t rush setting up your social media accounts.

You’ll want your business brand and different personas (if applicable) to be easy to recognise, and the best way to do this is to use the same name over all your social media platforms. Of course, this means you might need to do a fair bit of searching to find one available on all the platforms you plan to use, but it is worth it.

Take the time to complete your profile. Add an avatar, logo or photo. Fill in your bio, add a link to your website or blog, put relevant text in the about section. It all helps build trust, and people are more likely to engage with or share information from brands they trust.

Engage and network

If you don’t know the rules of engagement – take a crash course in social media etiquette now.

Although your primary purpose for using social media is advertising and promotion, it’s a fatal mistake to treat it as a self-promotion channel. You need to share useful information, post interesting updates, communicate and engage with people to turn them into potential followers.

Follow thought leaders and interesting people in your industry.

Become familiar with any hashtags that might be able to attract the right audience.

Post items of news, or tips and how-to information relevant to your audience. Respond to queries, blog about interesting ideas or provide innovations – and aim to build up a solid follower-base of customers and potential customers.

Help your network grow by paying it forward. For example, repost or retweet useful information to give others a hand. They will likely do the same for you in return.

Don’t forget to cross-promote your social media efforts where possible. For example, include your website on your profiles and include your social media contacts in your email signature, LinkedIn profile, and anywhere else appropriate.

Plan

Social media can consume a lot of time for the minimal reward if you don’t plan how you use it. Instead, allocate a set amount of time, say 45 to 90 minutes, to social media each day – and stick to it. Then use this time to best effect.

Schedule tweets to go out when you get the best response and limit yourself to going online a few times a day to look for news or engage over your respective networks. Have a rough outline of the type of posts and frequency you’d like to post and work accordingly.

And don’t forget to monitor your social media efforts. You want to find out what works to replicate it – and find out what doesn’t work so that you can try another approach. Make refining your game plan based on the performance part of your ongoing strategy for social media success.

Now you know how you can harness a community on social media you need to work on growing your side hustle – see this article for tips.

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