The time has finally arrived—your Skillshare class is ready for its big reveal! And because you worked so hard to design, rehearse, and record, you want to make sure people sign up. Regardless of whether you have a large online following or not, social media marketing is one of the best ways to get your class discovered on Skillshare. We’ll show you how others have done it, but first, let’s go over some basics on how to use social media for marketing.
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is when you leverage your social media channels—Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, you name it—to promote your brand and engage with your target audience. It’s a great way to increase brand awareness, create a community, and drive both site traffic and sales.
How to Do Social Media Marketing
When figuring out how to use social media for marketing, here are the main factors you should take into consideration:
Creating a Social Media Marketing Strategy
The one thing you don’t want to do when it comes to social media marketing is post haphazardly. A disorganized approach will yield little to no results and will be a waste of time. So, before you get started, make sure you can thoroughly answer the following questions:
- What are your goals? Do you simply want to increase the size of your community, or do you want your posts to generate direct sales?
- Who is your target audience? As with any business, in order to market a service, product, or brand, it’s important to identify your ideal consumer profile. That way, you can figure out how, where, and when to share your content with them.
- Which social media platforms will you prioritize? Avoid trying to tackle all of them at once. This an unsustainable strategy—especially for one person who likely has many other responsibilities—and it’s also unnecessary. Your target audience probably isn’t obsessing over multiple platforms, choosing instead to focus on just a few. Even then, there’s a good chance they consume most of their content on a single platform.
- What type of content do you want to share? The world of content is vast, and there are endless opportunities. But what you create depends on what you want to share and what your target audience tends to consume. What would be most helpful to communicate the message you want to convey? The way you tell a story via video is quite different than writing a blog post about it, for example. What would your ideal consumer find the most interesting and useful?
Implementing a Social Media Publishing Schedule
In order for your social media marketing strategy to work, you must establish a consistent social media presence. If you only post once every other week (or less), your followers will rapidly lose interest in you. They might even forget you exist!
Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to know how many times you should post each week (or day). It all depends on the platforms you’re prioritizing. The most important thing is that you just find a regular cadence, one that works well with your audience, and stick to it.
And here’s some good news: There are plenty of tools you can use to both plan and publish content on social media, such as Buffer, Hootsuite, and Sprout Social. How much does social media marketing cost, you ask? Well, you can of course do it yourself (for free), and some platforms have free options, though those membership tiers don’t have as many features. If you sign up for a service (like Hootsuite), the cost could range from $15 to several hundred dollars a month.
Interacting With Your Audience
Effective social media marketing requires much more than regularly publishing posts. You must also engage with your audience—from liking their comments to responding to curating new content based specifically on feedback they gave you on social media.
This is crucial not only for fixing any issues that may arise (like if you’re selling art and the link doesn’t work), but it also helps your consumers feel like a highly valued part of your community. Be a part of the conversations they’re having about your brand.
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Analyzing and Adjusting Your Approach
Again, many of the social media marketing decisions you need to make depend on who your audience is and how they behave. And, sometimes, you won’t know much about either of these data points until you start posting.
As you implement your strategy, keep tabs on the trends. Many of the individual channels and social media management tools have analysis features you can leverage. If you notice your audience engages more with a specific type of content, start posting more like that. If you notice they tend to be pretty silent on the weekends, don’t spend your energy creating weekend posts. These simple insights can work wonders!
(Note: if you want extra help with how to learn social media marketing, check out Skillshare’s classes for social media marketing!)
10 Tips For Marketing Your Class Using Social Media
1. Share a Behind-the-Scenes Photo
Interior designer Sarah Earl shared this image on her Instagram account to build anticipation before the launch of her class. She also added relevant hashtags—like #interiordesign and #designblog—to her post to help people outside of her network discover it.
2. Create a 60-second Video
— Andre D. Wagner (@photoDre) January 6, 2016
Andre D. Wagner, an artist and photographer, edited a short clip of his class and shared it on his Instagram and Twitter accounts, giving his followers a sneak peak of his class. He chose a section that would intrigue his followers and encourage them to sign up to see the rest. Andre added his referral link to his Instagram profile bio so that he could earn the $10 teacher referral bonus for every student who signed up for Premium Membership through his link. Learn more about how your referral link works here.
3. Call Out the Special Offer of Signing Up with Your Referral Link
Content writer and book author Jillian Richardson encouraged her Twitter followers to sign up for her Skillshare class because it’s an awesome deal! Let students know that by signing up for Premium Membership through your referral link, they’re also signing up for the thousands of other classes on Skillshare. All new Premium Members get full access to Skillshare for free for two weeks.
4. Give Away a Limited Number of Free Access Links
Jesse LeDoux, a commercial illustrator, created a free access link for the first few people who followed the link on his Facebook page. Giving away a limited number of enrollments creates a sense of urgency around the special opportunity to sign up for free, without a Premium Membership! Learn more about how your free access links work here.
5. Show an Example of Your Class Project in Action
Jamie Bartlett, a graphic designer and hand letterer, showed her Instagram followers just what they can do with their class project after they watch her class. She took a picture of her new wall art she created using the technique taught in her class. Showing a very real use of the class project is a great way to entice someone to check out your class!
6. Share a Student’s Project
— Kelly Dern (@kellydern) September 8, 2015
If you’ve already shared an example of your own project, try sharing an example of a student’s project, like motion designer Jake Bartlett did on his Twitter account. This not only shows how students are applying the techniques from your class, but it reveals just how invested you are as a teacher.
7. Use the Seasons, Holidays, and Other Special Occasions to Promote Your Class
Award-winning cookbook writer, recipe writer, and food stylist Marie Asselin used Mother’s Day as an opportunity to promote her class on making macarons. She suggested that macarons would be a great gift for this special occasion and explained how easy it is to learn the notoriously difficult recipe with her class. Plus, she created a limited number of free access links in honor of all moms.
8. Host a Contest of Giveaway
Artist and designer Mete Erdogan offered a signed copy of his book to get more of his Instagram followers excited to watch his new class. A giveaway or contest not only gets students excited to participate, but it also helps with word-of-mouth marketing. Incentives can go a long way, and getting your work into more hands is never a bad idea!
9. Count Down Your Milestones
When Tom Froese, an illustrator and designer, was just five students away from hitting his first milestone on Skillshare, he created a photo for his social accounts, thanking his followers for their help. This is a great call to action for friends and family: by simply asking them to help you out so you can be discovered by more students on Skillshare, they’re more likely to sign up.
10. Get Resourceful and Find Other Social Platforms to Share Your Class
Writer and marketer Allison Esposito shared her class on the usual channels (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) but took it a step further to look for other platforms and communities that could benefit from her class. She shared her class on ProductHunt, explaining what her class is about, and ended with a strong call to action! This kind of resourcefulness is what helped Allison’s class shine on Skillshare, and it can help yours too. Do a little digging and you’ll discover places that would welcome knowing about your class.
We encourage you to get creative and find the tactics that work best for you and your community. For more ideas and best practices on marketing, head to the Teacher Handbook. No matter which marketing methods you decide to use, the most important thing is to spread the word and get your friends, family, and followers to watch your Skillshare class to kick-start your success!
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