#077 - In this episode, Renae Gonzalez takes over the mic to share some social media productivity hacks for your subscription box business.
Renae Gonzalez is the Director of Customer Experience at Sparkle Hustle Grow. She serves on both Subscription Box Bootcamp and Sparkle Hustle Grow teams handling all things marketing and customer experience.
Julie (00:01): So you want to launch a subscription box and don't know where to start? Girl, you are in the right place. I'm Julie Ball, a subscription box coach and your host here at Subscription Box Basics, a podcast for new and aspiring subscription box entrepreneurs that want to avoid overwhelm. So grab a coffee, some pen and paper, and let's have some fun!
Renae (00:20): Hey everyone, welcome to Subscription Box Basics the podcast. And if you're listening to this right now, you're probably thinking that this doesn't sound like Julie, and you would be correct. My name is Renae Gonzalez and I serve on both our Subscription Box Bootcamp and Sparkle Hustle Grow teams. I handle all things marketing and customer experience. And today I am taking over the mic and talking to you all about social media productivity hacks for your subscription box.
Renae (00:59): When you have a subscription box business, the thing that lights you up inside is usually around the thought of delivering happy mail to your ideal subscriber, choosing themes, picking products, helping your community grow or connect with each other. All things that light that fire for most people, posting on social media is not one of those things that lights you up, but it is a necessary tool to help spread the word about the amazingness that you are creating in your subscription box business.
Renae (01:39): So I'm here today to help you and to get your message out there into the world, through social media and have it be an authentic message because social media and email marketing does fire me up and I have some hacks for you that will make it a little bit easier so let's dive right in.
Renae (02:02): Productivity hack number one is to focus on one platform when you are entering the social media world. And I know what you're thinking. You're already thinking Renae, but I have to be in all the places and that's not true. If your ideal subscriber isn't hanging out on LinkedIn, for example, then sure you can have a presence on LinkedIn. You can totally have a LinkedIn profile, but if you're spending a lot of time there and it's not where your ideal subscriber is, then you're essentially wasting your time. Because on social media, you want to attract your ideal subscribers that will eventually turn into actual subscribers that buy your box.
Renae (02:56): So if your ideal subscribers are on Instagram, then that is where you want to put most of the time into planning and scheduling and posting your social media posts. And again, that doesn't mean that I am saying you should only post on Instagram, but if you have limited time to devote to social media and as a business owner, we all wear multiple hats and are juggling multiple things. So if you have limited time and limited resources, then focusing on Instagram, for example, to start is the perfect strategy. Create a social media strategy for that platform. First, once you get the hang of it and you're starting to get a rhythm, then you can add more posts or more platforms. You can recycle content that you shared on one platform to another. And we'll touch more on that later in the episode as well.
Renae (04:02): So, so many times I see people get overwhelmed with trying to post all of the places all of the time. And it leads centrally to social media burnout. And you end up posting nowhere or waiting, waiting a long time in between your posts and you're super inconsistent. So if it feels like you right now, and you feel like you're stuck, start small. Focus on one platform, start with three or four posts a week, then maybe you move up to five posts a week. You're able to plan things out. It's starting to feel more as a relief cause you have a rhythm going, then you get really crazy and you start doing reels on top of what you're already posting. And then you can post that on Facebook or a different platform too, and start to vary your posts and share different things. You're going to start to develop different strategies.
Renae (04:56): Small steps, moving forward will still end up getting you somewhere. So having forward motion is better than no motion at all. So we're going to get you posting, and that is hacking number one. Just start and get a rhythm, focus on something that feels manageable and not overwhelming, and then build on it from there.
Renae (05:21): The next hack is one of the reasons that I absolutely love the subscription box industry. Your month happens in a cycle and I'm talking about your subscription box here. If you're a monthly subscription box, then ideally the same time every month you announce a theme and the same time every month you ship your boxes. And in between when you announce your theme and you ship your boxes, there are similar reoccurring posts that happened the same dates or the same time of the month, every single month: sneak peaks, closed cart dates.
Renae (06:03): If you do something, if you reveal your box from last month, all of those things are things that can happen from month to month. And yes, it's a different theme or it's a different sneak peak, but the type of post is the same. So that right there gives you a handful or two of posts that are already content for you to create and to post. So if you're thinking right now, what do I post on social media, take out a pen and paper and write down those things that happen every single month. And you want your subscribers or your future subscribers to know about and list them out. And voala! You already have posts that are, that, you know, when they post and you know what to post, and now you just start to fill in the blanks between those posts.
Renae (07:00): Okay. So what next? This productivity hack might seem obvious, but it's important- batch creating content. It is so much easier to post content. If you have a bank of ideas to pull from when you're planning your content, you want to post a different variety of posts or different content pillars. People call them, you want a variety of posts. From day to day, you don't want it to be all salesy posts. And I'm not going to dive too deep into this because this can be a whole separate podcast episode about creating content pillars. But the main takeaway is you want your audience to see a variety of different posts and not just always trying to get the sale from them. So you want posts that add value to your subscribers, posts that position you as an expert in your field, posts that show behind the scenes and take them on a journey and build excitement, whether you are about to launch or just in the idea phase or whether you've had a subscription box for years and years. If your audience feels like they're a part of what you're building, they'll want to be a part of your box and receive your box and your retention strategy will end up being longer too.
Renae (08:35): So it's a retention strategy because when people feel invested in your mission and your journey and what you are building, they tend to stick along longer. Julie has a couple of episodes on retention, but one just a few episodes ago too. So if you need more retention ideas to how to keep subscribers, go listen to it a past episode too, but taking your subscribers along on your journey and varying up your posts is a great retention strategy. And how you do this is not just posting on the fly, but building up a content bank to pull from because it's hard to be creative. And it's hard to come up with these posts or copy and copy is just the writing within your post. It's hard to do it on the fly. So that is why batch creating content is such a time-saving hack.
Renae (09:38): You can keep a running list of post ideas, bonus points if you have the post already written out. So you can just copy and paste it and you can keep this just on your notes on your phone. You can keep this as a Google doc. If you have someone posting for you, you can, share a Google doc they can help you out. You can use a system like Trello, where you have it organized in actual pillars based on the type of post it is. So you can get as simple or as complicated as you want. Again, baby steps until you find something that feels easier for you and puts you at ease and doesn't feel overwhelming. But if you have a running list and you're organized, and then when it comes time to post something or schedule out a post, which we'll talk about in a minute, then it's so much easier to just pull from this list, copy it and paste it to post.
Renae (10:44): So like we already mentioned month to month reoccurring posts are things that can be recycled, but also when you have this running list of batch content that you've created, say six months down the road, when you're scheduling out your social media again, you can look and see what performed well, take that post, updated a little bit, put a little tweak to it, add a new graphic and then recycle that content and repost it because chances are, people might not have seen it, or you have new followers, or even if they did see it and were a long time follower, they might need to see it again or have missed it the first time. So recycling content and not constantly recreating the wheel because you have a bank of content ideas and content posts already ready to go. We'll make your job easier from the day to day, but also in the long run too.
Renae (11:41): Now that you have a ton of content, all ready to go, my next productivity hack and I already kind of hinted to it is using a social media scheduler. There are so many schedulers out there and depending on the platform you're using and your budget, you may find one you prefer over another, but if you don't know where to start, a great free place is the Facebook Creator Studio right within Facebook. This is great, especially if you're using Facebook and Instagram as your primary platforms that you're scheduling on using the Creator Studio, you can connect to both your Facebook and Instagram accounts. So right there within it's called Creator Studio. And you can preschedule those posts. So then your job's not completely done, but then you can spend your time focusing on interacting with your future subscribers or engaging with them or posting stories.
Renae (12:53): And if you have a chunk of your content already scheduled and created, then you also are able to put a better strategy in place for your social media and make sure that those content pillars that we mentioned, make sure you have a variety of posts that are going out into the world. So when you're on the fly, if you think like, "oh no, it's been a week since I've posted and I hadn't posted anything." Your gut reaction is going to want to be. I need to tell them about my box. I need to, I need to get more subscribers. But if you take the time and you have things scheduled out and you have a plan in place, you're going to really be able to nurture those relationships on the day to day. So when you do post that post about your box, people can feel like you've already added so much value to their life.
Renae (13:49): They have to see what's getting this boxes like because they know that you're already such an asset to their life. A box to their door is the icing on the cake. And my last tip for this episode is part hack, part shameless plug, but I'm taking this opportunity to let you know about my free Facebook group where I help you with tools and tips to market your subscription box. So we'll put the link in the show notes, but if you're looking for accountability or somewhere to ask questions and get content ideas, I'd love for you to join my community. And whether you're in my marketing Facebook group or not having someone or something to help keep you accountable and remind you to about your goals and to stay on track is so important. We talked about this earlier in the episode, but as a business owner, you wear so many different hats and it's so easy to get on other to-dos.
Renae (14:53): And especially with a product like a subscription box, you have to worry about what's going to go inside the box. You have to worry about timing and customers, and so many other things that it's so easy to push social media to the side. But it's something that is so important to help you grow your business, grow your subscription box and help with retention to keep the subscribers you already have. So it's something that can go on the back burner easily, but shouldn't, so you need to find a group or a buddy or talk to me to help find someone to help keep you accountable, because accountability is so important. So let's recap. The six social media productivity hacks we talked about today that will help make your job as a subscription box owner, a little easier.
Renae (15:54): The first one is to focus on the platform that your ideal subscriber uses most. You want to take advantage of the monthly pattern of your subscription box and post reoccurring events like theme announcements the same time every month. Next, sit down and batch create your social posts, using a bank of ideas for both graphics and actual copy of posts. So when the time comes, you can just pull from both of those to schedule your posts. Use some sort of scheduler so you can automate some of your social media tasks. If you're just getting started. The Facebook Creator Studio is a great place to start and last, but certainly not least find someone to help keep you accountable. And if you're looking for someone, I'm your girl, you can join my free Facebook group to help market your subscription box. Or of course we can connect on social media because this is an episode about social media. I have to tell you that I am @SubBoxCreative in all the places, but you can also find me behind the scenes.
Renae (17:14): And sometimes in front of the scenes like today at both Subscription Box Bootcamp and Sparkle Hustle Grow social media accounts to some, you can find me in all the places. If you message, it is typically me that will be seeing it along with Julie. So if you have specific questions, I am there for you as well. I hope this episode helped spark some ideas on how you can utilize your limited and precious time when you are creating social media content. And I've got a challenge for you. I challenge you right now to take a look at your planner, get it out. I'll wait, take a look at your calendar, block off a couple hours this week.
Renae (18:03): So hack number seven is get started. You can listen to this episode and continue what you're doing, or you can make an effort to really put in a social media strategy, whatever that looks like for you and to start to implement it.
Renae (18:23): So block off a couple of hours this week, where you'll sit down and start to batch content. If that's all the time you have for right now, batch content if you have a little more time batch content and get it pre-scheduled, and then every week or every month, sit down and block off a little more time and implement a little bigger strategy or see if it's still something that doesn't fill your bucket, how you can take that off your plate. And if you need help brainstorming or possibly taking it off your plate, I am here for you too. But just a couple of hours with free time and sitting down and doing this will help you knock off those to-dos. And like that book says, eat the frog, do the task that is least appealing to you first. And for many people I know, that is social media.
Renae (19:20): So take that off your plate and then you'll be able to spend that time spending it product sourcing for your business or spend it creating other aspects of your box that really fire you up or in your private Facebook group, really supporting your subscribers if you have one. And if you don't maybe think of ways to incorporate that, cause that's such a good retention strategy too.
Renae (19:47): So besides filling up free time, it'll take that weight off your shoulders. That worrying about what to post on day two day too. So definitely get out your planner and take some time to implement some of the things we talked about today.
Renae (20:03): Thank you so much for listening and thank you, Julie, for letting me take over the mic for this episode. I cannot wait to talk to you guys again, but until then I will chat with you on social media. Make sure to share this episode and our Subscription Box Basics podcast with anyone you think would benefit from listening. And Julie will be back next week with a new episode that you don't want to miss out on. And thank you guys all again, and I will talk to you soon.