There I was, sitting right where you are.
Trying to figure out how to promote businesses online.
I had set-up profiles on all the major social sites, and a handful of sites that I had never heard of. (More on that later.) I had logos and bylines, and events, and space. We had our domains, and the site built. Now what?
It was time to get found. We made products, we made events, we had rentals, we had classes. This was an Arts Studio/Gallery and the internet was taking over. Traditional print media was no longer our tool to promote. Of course, we kept our list of newspaper and monthlies for press releases. Only, now emails were the only way to submit show and event information.
Oh… did I mention that this was, like, twelve-ish years ago...
And I was busy.
After setting up digital presences, (Web Page, Social Media, Logos, etc) for my art, my wife’s art, our collaborative art, two art studio/galleries, and my handyman business, it soon became apparent that I needed tools and automation.
So like you, I searched for help… Unlike you, I could not find much out there. Social media sites weren’t integrated, and Wordpress only sent new blogs to twitter and Facebook. This made 'social only' posting a bit tedious, if you wanted to cross promote or even schedule anything.
And… if there were services that did more of the work for us, they cost money…. And that was NOT something which we readily had a large supply. Time, space, and people were our assets.
What did we do?
You know how hard it is to train people when you are busy. Keep in mind, I was also a self-employed handy man, being a co-director and artist was not necessarily the most lucrative pursuits. But with over 70 studios spaces, two galleries, and group work spaces, it was a life filled with fun and adventure; a grand pursuit, in the least.
Back to the point,
What do we do?
Yes. Freemium Stiching….
By utilizing multiple platforms at their freemium level and leveraging them to work together, you can create a rather robust network. This networked system will allow you to post platform specific content and have it parsed to multiple outlets automatically.
Here is how I did it.
I found a service that would repost anything, up to three platforms, from RSS feeds, with max two feeds. That was my regular repost content. I found something like NASA’s blog and shared anything they posted on my major social media marketing platforms. That was got my artist presence, because I make art about inventions. I chose to repost This Old House for my handyman presence.
Then, with the help of a freemium service, I would post to 10 social networks (some foreign ones), with a limited number of posts allowed each month. This gave me platforms to post linkbacks that were based out of the US... and, who knows… finding an audience outside of the States sounds interesting. Also, because I could email posts to this service, it had an additional feature….
Scheduled Posts… Yep. I found a free service that would allow you to schedule a limited number of future emails. (Paid version allowed more per month.) This allowed me to create future content and schedule the emails. The service would send the email to my redirection/posting service on the future date and my marketing effort would run automatically.
This was perfect. I was able to pack up media/posts during late nights, and they would run on their own while I was enjoying life as a self-employed artist and handyman.
Nowadays, many full service systems and platforms exist. Facebook is Instagram, basically, and so many other platforms have integration built in. Many have scheduling, and some services even offer image/post editors.
It wasn’t all that long ago that I had to make a map showing the connections and flows. It was easy to create a feedback loop and break your service. I had an operation outline for each type of media/post, (ie. some items should only run on twitter.)
Today, it is still a good idea to draw out a diagram showing your current network. Determine specific posting types, and create a “share flow" for each one of them. Start with 2-5 types at first, and get to making your self known. Providing information about your brand and sharing relevant content will both, help you get found and interest those who find you.
Many WYSIWYG site hosting platforms/services offer social marketing portals (WIX, GoDaddy Squarespace). Integration between services is easier than ever these days, and ITTT and Zapier have a great free level of automations you can access before paid membership.
Even with all the tools and services out there today, this can still be pretty tedious. Especially for a busy business owner like yourself… self promotion is not only hard to do humbly, it is time consuming.
If you would like to chat about your methods and how I can help you DIY or take some of the work load on myself, schedule a free appointment here.