Amanda Kendle, Jo Castro, Jenny Freedman and Agnes
Amanda, Jo, Agnes and Jenny engaged in some serious social media strategising and, some not so serious but very delicious, homemade chocolate cake eating!

Social Media, Strategising, Self Promotion, Sharing and Branding

Today, I’ve just come back from a bloggie ‘kitchen table workshop’ run by Amanda Kendle in Perth. It was all about social media and how best to strategise a co-ordinated plan to gain the best results.

Read on and scroll further down if you want to get to 5 helpful tips that I gleaned from this workshop for you to implement in your own social media strategies, because first I’d like to digress just a little and show you how the internet brings online friends together, illustrating another way in which social media can work for you in a strategic way.

One of the nice things about blogging is the people you meet via the internet and social media.

I’ve met most of my bloggie friends via the internet. Some I’ve gone on to make friends with in real life. Not only are bloggers nearly always really friendly when you get to meet them, but they are also interested in the same things as you – notably all things blogging!

You don’t have to pre-empt a conversation with “So what do you do?” because you know the answer. There’s no need for “And what are you interested in,” because apart from various sub niches, most bloggers are interested in how to make their blogs better or more productive in some way.

I met good friend Jenny Freedman from A Taste of Travel this way. I can’t remember what our opening gambit was, but it was probably; “So what’s your blog about then?” The funny thing was that although we are both from Western Australia, we actually met at the Problogger Conference in Melbourne – neither of us aware of the other’s existence until that point in time, or the fact that we were both writing travel blogs!

More new friends

Following on from that Jenny introduced me (in a roundabout internet sort of way), to fellow Perthite and traveler Amanda Kendle, a social media expert. She facilitates workshops and classes for the University of Western Australia’s Extension programme (UWA Extension).  Like I said … truly an “Expert”.

Result – another WA connection – Yay!

Which led on to the workshop today, and meeting  yet another travel writer from Perth, the lovely ‘trekking banana’ Agnes from Taste.Travel.Talk.

Yes, we ate cake (home made chocolate cake – yum!) and drank coffee but the bigger reason was to learn about social media strategizing and scheduling.

So without further ado …

1. Do we all agree? What a time sink it can be!

“You need to spend time promoting yourself, your work, your website or your blog on social media but it can be a massive time sink,” Amanda told us, “And there’s just no way you have the time to be heavily engaged on a number of sites.”

She said that we should pay attention to the main purpose for our social media efforts, consider why we really use social media, and really think about what we want to achieve.

Perhaps you just want to get more traffic to your blog, but you might be wanting to promote a product or selling your services.

2. Prioritise your time

We were encouraged to think about how we could best prioritise the amount of time we spend on various social media sites, and apportion the amount of time spent on each.

For example: What social media sites are the best fit and the most relevant for your blog or your purposes? If you are a travel blogger, maybe Pinterest is of less use to you than if you are a wedding planner. Don’t waste time on sites that don’t deliver results for you.

We should think carefully about the kind of content we  use to engage our readers for reasons of self promotion, and for the purposes of sharing  content from other sites and also what content we should be using to brand ourselves and our sites. Although Amanda said that surprisingly these days the kind of content you share across sites doesn’t vary as much as it used to.

A point in case is LinkedIn which used to be the most ‘businessy’ of them all, but which now in many ways is replicating Facebook,  and the sort of things you can do and share there are applicable to LinkedIn too.

3. Self Promotion and Sharing

“When you’re self promoting or sharing consider using your blog posts and also promote products, services or events. Use an image, rather than a whole blog post,  consider sharing content and news from other relevant blogs in your niche as well,” says Amanda.

4. Brand Building

When brand building, Amanda had the following advice for us. “Mention relevant activities from your day and link to anything that’s been written about you. Also showcase what you’re giving back to the community.”

Later in the workshop we looked at how to schedule posts using Hootsuite and Facebook, and now I understand how to do this effectively I can see that this will be an invaluable tool for the future to stop me losing so much time on social media channels when I could be writing content instead.

Amanda encouraged us to have some aims too. “Have some goals to aim for so that when you monitor the responses you’re getting from a more regular posting schedule you can see how you’re going and what you could do to make things even better.”

5. Two of the best takeaways for me from this workshop

  • Learning how to draw up a posting table, and how to properly schedule social media posts using Hootsuite and Facebook.
  • Drawing up a Goals table to chart the progress of my social media likers and followers in an attempt to hit some targets.

If you’d like to learn more about social media or attend a workshop run by Amanda, you can get in touch with her Here at Amanda Kendle Consulting or read her travel blog Not a Ballerina. I’d thoroughly recommend it 🙂

What are your best tips for using social media to your best advantage?

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  1. You’re so right Jo. One of the great things about blogging is meeting other bloggers and getting to know them both in real life and through social media. It’s an aspect that I had not thought of before I started this escapade! Without Amanda’s guidance I would have been lost and it’s great that she is there to support us all….and make a great chocolate cake! Thanks for the great friendship and support Jo. Your blogging posts are inspirational. I’m off to play with hootsuite now!

  2. Oh, Thanks Jenny! I appreciate that … sometimes it feels as if we can be working at home in a void connected only by a thin thread, that sometimes breaks when nobody notices or comments on what we’re writing about. It’s great to know that bloggie friends do care and are ‘real’. Yes, and Amanda is a wonderful and expert resource to have close-by (well close-ish for me!). Keep up the good work at A Taste of Travel too and enjoy Hootsuite 😉

  3. Great to hear you got to the blogging group in Perth Jo, and that you came away with useful advice and information, and ways to further your blogging inspiration!

  4. Love this post Jo and so glad you got so much out of our session. I had a ball too, so lucky to have three travel people there. Well, four including me!

  5. Hi Johanna, Sounds like it was a great event. Scheduling’s definitely one of the best time-savers out there.

  6. Thanks Ben. Yes it sure does help to have a plan … If you can 🙂

  7. It was a great morning Jill. I hope you can maybe get to a future one too 🙂

  8. Aha, I think I need to fous on this area more. I feel a bit overwhelmed by all the options, and I don’t think I use any of them well. MUST learn how to schedule properly using Hootsuite. Oh dear. Inspired to go on a wee course and really focus on this area.

  9. Hootsuite is a great tool, Seanna, and I really benefited from a ‘wee course’ too – just to get me familiarised with what it could and couldn’t do. Can recommend it to get organised with social media 🙂 But having said that, this is the week, that I start implementing so now the discipline must kick in! Thanks for commenting 🙂

  10. Great post Jo. I can’t wait for my chocolate cake and bloggy catch-up with Amanda in December. I will be learning how to write better blog posts.

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