It’s officially the month of Tool Time. Some people call it November. Whatever. No need to get technical.

During Tool Time I will be sharing several items that you lovely people asked about over on Facebook as well as 10+ of my favorite tools to run my business (such as tools for online courses, invoicing, contracts, business management, scheduling, editorial planning, and more). Best part about Tool Time? (I mean, other than the fact that it was Tim Taylor’s popular show on Tim Allen’s popular show—someone got that, I can feel it.) Each of these posts comes with some type of freebie or giveaway and what I hope will be actionable information for you.

One of the main things that you expressed interest in was social media management, promotion, and best practices. I want to start off the month of Tool Time with some questions (you can ask yourself) and a few tools to help you decide which social media platforms are best for you and your brand, along with ways to use each platform. That way, as we go through some of this month’s topics, we can all have some next level social media clarity.

Not every social media platform is a great investment of your time. Especially when you consider where your audience is, how they use each platform, your own brand culture, and the available time you have to maintain each account. I’m going to share some notes on what the main platforms are generally used for, then I’m going to share 15 questions you can ask yourself for each platform, and a few pages you can download and take notes on if you decide to answer some of these questions, audit your use of the platforms below, and figure out what you’ll share on each platform going forward.

What to Share on Each Platform

In addition to the quick overview below, I also made you a free printable on the 25 Types of Content to Share on Social Media, in this post about my Grow Your Blog Traffic with Social Media eKit. These are all just guidelines meant for you to adapt based on your audience and unique brand.

BLOG + WEBSITE
Your headquarters for content. The place you use to establish your reputation, share your expertise or portfolio, answer questions, talk in your natural voice, and wow your readers.

TWITTER
Your place to post text messages the whole world can see. Use it to share useful information, jokes, timely updates, anecdotes, quotes, inspiration, previews of blog posts, and your stunning personality. Engage in real conversations frequently on Twitter. Use Twitter for research (http://search.twitter.com), Twitter chats, and the power of lists (organizing connections into useful categories).

PINTEREST
Your place to post everything visual that you want your followers to check out. Even if it’s information and not an image, you can make a beautiful image that goes with the information.

FACEBOOK
Your platform for connecting with people 25 or older. A great place to share visuals, links to useful information, promotions, and inspiration. Facebook has an affordable ad program that can help you target readers with specific interests.

INSTAGRAM
Your place to share compelling, interesting, fun, meaningful, helpful, and inspirational photos and videos. Instagram is a great place to display some of your portfolio items and your behind-the-scenes processes and life. It is best used in a very interactive manner (leaving comments and responses often).

GOOGLE+
Your place to share longer insights and thoughts (that aren’t quite blog length), visuals, videos, tutorials, tips, and inspiration. Google+ is excellent for communities, deeper discussions, following key influencers, and educating your audience.

LINKEDIN
Your place to show your professional side, diverse capabilities and skills, and ability to provide useful information. LinkedIn is a great place to make connections for collaborations and to find talented individuals you might hire in the future.

YOUTUBE
Your place to share tutorials, product reviews, trainings, and your winning personality. If used, YouTube is best used consistently and strategically.

Questions to Ask Yourself About Each Platform

I’ll use Twitter below as an example, but keep in mind that the #AdultHomework at the bottom of this post has a page for each platform. You can download the PDF and then print out sheets for the specific platforms you’re interested in thinking through. Here are the 15 questions I recommend asking:

1. How much of my audience is on Twitter? Estimate the % of your total audience.

2. What does my audience use it for? Give the top 3 – 5 uses.

3. Do I have content I can share that will match what my audience uses it for? If so, what?

4. What types of content will I share on Twitter in general?

5. How can I make my Twitter presence slightly/majorly different from other creators in my space?

6. How will my images look when I share products? blog posts? quotes? Perhaps make samples or templates for these w/ your computer, or sketch them out.

7. How often do I need to post original + useful content on Twitter to make it effective for me?

8. How often do I need to interact on Twitter to make meaningful connections with my audience?

9. What benefits outside of website traffic and product purchases does Twitter bring for my brand?

10. Is the time commitment required to make Twitter effective a good investment based on the benefits?

11. How can I use Twitter for research and to find out what my audience wants/needs/likes? Hint: Use the search feature often, search for popular hashtags regularly along with key phrases your audience might use, and join Twitter chats or meetings about certain topics.

12. Does my bio match the feel + culture of Twitter, my audience, and my brand?

13. Does my bio closely resemble my bios on the other platforms I’m a part of?

14. Does my tone on Twitter match my brand culture and appeal to the majority of my audience?

15. What apps and tools can I use to make managing Twitter easier?

Social Media Clarity Worksheets

Social Media Action Items Worksheet

Are you on all of the seven main social media platforms? Have you found any of them to be surprisingly beneficial, or perhaps more of a timesuck than you expected?

Photo: (c) Moi (I’m so fancy I have to say “me” in French.)