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Using Social Media For Good While Staying At Home

Using Social Media For Good While Staying At Home

Social media should always be part of your marketing strategy as a business owner however with the country on lock down, now, more than ever, is the time to get your message out there and to be giving value to everyone you meet ‘online’.

Without the ability to mix in social gatherings, it can become a lonely place and people are finding ways to break the boredom, frustration and changes ahead. Being online will be the first point of call for many who are trying to stay up to date with the world, stay in touch with friends and family and continue as normal as possible.

So where and how does your business fit in to the mix?

Many people are asking the questions, “Should I pull back from social media?” / “I haven’t got the money to put into marketing at the moment” / “There’s no need to promote my business at this time”. All valid questions or thoughts but at the end of the day, you have a business you believe in, the world will go on and come through the Coronavirus at the other end and you want to be in the forefront of people’s minds when that time happens. By disappearing and being unseen through these times, it will make it harder to have an impact when things start to get back to normal.

The best thing your business can do is to keep an active social media presence but perhaps change the tone of what you do. For example, how can you help your audience? How could you provide value to your audience? Could you provide tutorials or how-to’s? Can you inspire or motivate your audience or be a listening ear to the questions or thoughts they have?

There are many ways that you can still communicate with your audience online, it doesn’t have to be about selling your product or getting them to use your services, the above ideas will help to build a relationship with the people around you and to build trust and credibility. You just need to be you – YOU are your brand and the people (eventually) will buy from you when they like and trust what they see and hear.

Tell your story

Relationship building and story telling is so important throughout your marketing ventures, whether that be online or offline, people want to trust who they connect with and love what they see. Tell your story, be honest in what’s happening around you at this time. People are happy to listen and engage when it’s something real – in the long term they will not appreciate you being something you’re not and giving them false hopes of what they will get from you.

How can you use your social media for good in times or hardship or worry? While the country is lockdown, you can provide value in your marketing

Be passionate and positive

Be passionate in everything you do, be inspirational and lift people’s spirits. These are hard time for lots of people and many are seeing their businesses fall around them. How can you be their ray of light? Even if you don’t feel like it’s going great for you, you can still take the positive mindset and believe that if you push through and do all that you are able to do, it will be ok and your business will come through the other end. Mindset has so much to do with outcomes – do you agree? The more positive you are through a situation, the better the result. And that can be applied to your business in these times of lock down, isolation and worrying days. Make the decision to be positive, to be brave, and to try new things as we go through a different way of life for a while. You may try something completely new and it works! You’d never know unless you try.

Bring your audience with you in the journey

Step out of the boat, put your best face on and be there for your audience. Explain to them where you’re at, bring them along with you in your story, make them part of the journey. Allow your audience to help guide the direction of where your business heads, your customers are your lifeline, they are the people that are going to keep your business afloat, so give them what they want and allow their reactions and decision to influence yours.

There is room for everyone online

Social media marketing is a minefield as you may well know by now, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t play the game right and fairly. The internet is a big place and there is room for everyone, you just need to know how and where you fit in. And with many businesses pulling back in their online presence there will be more opportunity for you to be heard, if it’s done correctly and sensitively. Know your audience, know when and where to post, understand them and what their pain points are, get to love them and be in their shoes when writing your copy or creating your images, be that customer and create your content as if it were for you. What would you want to hear? What solutions would help you? What inspiration would help you or guide you?

Make a list of questions that your audience could be asking and write content around these, dig deeper into the mindset of your customers and provide as much value as you can for them and let them think that you are writing directly to them.

Each of us will be going through different struggles in these unprecedented times, the country, the nation, the world is all going through it together, so you are not alone. It’s just going to be a case of what can you do now to keep your business alive and help it to come out the other side?

It’s all in the marketing strategy

Plan your marketing well. Don’t live in the hope that it might work, be strategic in your approach and use your time wisely in creating a plan that will help you achieve all that you need to, while speaking to all those you need to and by providing all the value and solutions that you are able. Be consistent, be persistent and love your audience.

If you’re looking for guidance on how to get your business through these times and showcase what you have to give, we’d love to chat with you. Feel free to get in touch and let’s talk.

 

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Employee Advocacy: How To Increase Social Media Organic Reach In-house

Employee Advocacy: How To Increase Social Media Organic Reach In-house

Online marketing is an extremely important aspect of raising brand awareness and seeing business growth and in this digital age a business should understand the value of using social media to create the best results. If you’re a business looking to increase its social media reach and engagement rates, you can look no further than your own in-house employees. The perfect people to share your enthusiasm and create a buzz around your content, with the inside information and a wider network reach.

People often get frustrated with the difficulty on creating enthusiasm on their social channels and engagement can be hard to achieve but with the help of the very people that also love your business, you can start to build the interaction you need and create a better reach of audience.

 

Ask your employees

The first step in the process is to get your employees or team members on board with your vision. Share with them your objectives in using social media and ask them to follow your social channels. If they follow your profiles, they are more likely to see your content and in turn, engage with it. If they like what they see, they are more likely to interact and share which means that their audience is then in the running for seeing your content also. In just that small step, you are increasing your audience’s reach.

Make it easy for them to follow, share with them your business @handles so they can easily find you. If you’re using Facebook, they can even choose to ‘see first’ so that your content is the first posts they see when viewing their news feed.

Employee Advocacy - increase your social media reach from within your business

Understand the stats

When it comes to reach, personal profiles have 5x more reach than business accounts. And on average a person has approx. 1,090 connections, it makes sense to use employees to help spread the word of your brand.

Your business profiles are not going to get the same amount of traffic as a personal profile so you have genuine reason to ask your team members to help out – after all they want to see you business grow too, right?

Facebook’s algorithm is looking for meaningful engagement, this means proper comments (not one-word answers!), tags and shares. Therefore try to encourage people to give proper answers or comments and to want to share your content, Facebook will recognise these efforts and award you for it.

With 3.5 billion social media users across the globe, you can’t argue that it’s a great resource to use. And this usage is forever increasing. At the moment that figure represents 45% of the world’s population! Recent stats also suggest that on average people are spending around 3 hours a day on their chosen social channels and messaging. You could say that the people are becoming addicted and obsessed with social media, but that goes in the favour of the business looking to promote and get in touch with their audience.

 

Incorporate your employees

What better way to get your team to engage with the content than to create videos or images that tell their story or feature them. Social media is all about telling a story, sharing what a brand is about and what value it can offer its customers. Therefore a video that talks about behind the scenes, team member intros, what’s going on in the office etc, is always a great step in the right direction and gives your employees an opportunity to want to share your content. If they see themselves online, they’ll want their friends and family to hear about it and this has a ripple on effect; the more their friends will also start to engage and share the content. The more people interacting with your content, the more people it’s going to reach.

 

Which social platforms should you use?

We love this example from Buffer which shows the popularity of the social channels for businesses

State of social report 2019 via Buffer

You can see the top channels and compare that to what you already use in your business. But you also need to ask the question: where will you find your audience and which channels do they use, as this should be the starting block of where you focus your marketing efforts. Be where the people are, find the sweet spot of your audience and then ask your employees to help you raise the profile, create the buzz and help build that relationship of trust and longevity.

Find your internal influencers

For larger organisations it may be easier to accomplish this, however whatever size your business there will be people around you who are good social media and have an influential following on their profiles. When you identify these people, use them! Ask them to promote your products, ask them to do a video review of your brand/products/services, use their influence to help boost your engagement.

Social media is full of influencers, you only have to log in to your favourite platform and you’ll see them, but businesses can use the power of micro-influencers just well as the big guns. These people are more personal, approachable and realistic in their genuine love to help a brand. And by looking internally to your own team members or employees you may just have some connections within reach. Don’t be afraid to ask your employees if they have ideas or suggestions too that will bring your social media to life – the more heads to the table, the more ideas and impact you’re going to achieve.

When it comes to raising the profile of your brand, don’t be afraid to speak to as many people as you need to, to engage and interact in conversations that could lead to influential power or to simply state what you need and hope that your team are on board to help you make that happen. Teamwork is always the best direction, together you can make this happen!

If you’re struggling with raising the profile of your brand or need advice on how to take your social media further, our team of content creators would love to help. Contact us today and let’s talk.

In the meantime, why not download our FREE social media checklist to ensure you’re heading in the right direction – don’t forget the basics!

 

social media checklist free download

What Social Media Platforms Should You Use?

What Social Media Platforms Should You Use?

When it comes to marketing a brand, business owners are faced with a wide variety of social media platforms to choose from. But how do you know which ones to use or which ones go with your brand?

There are way too many platforms for a small business to be able to use them all and to be effective in their marketing, unless of course, they have a dedicated marketing team working full-time. But this is not usually the case when it comes to smaller businesses or start-up companies.

 

Always start small

Just like word of mouth marketing, everything has to start somewhere, from that first conversation or first form of communication, the word gets out slowly and reputations are grown. The same goes for your social media marketing. Start small and experiment with different platforms little by little. Don’t go all in the first time you dive in; it will be hard to keep up and to be consistent in your approach

Instead work with your audience and which platforms produce results, which platforms house your ideal audience and demographics. Where is your audience most likely to be found?

If you’re a B2B or a B2C business, you will have different audiences, and these people will want to see and hear different types of content. Which platform would give you the best traction and where (after you’ve tried a little) do you find the best results?

 

Measure everything

In order to know what is working and what’s not, measuring the results is a must. Constantly watch and monitor what is going on around you. This can be done with a simple spreadsheet or notepad when first starting out. What’s happening in your industry and what can you do to jump on the trends? When you jump onto something that works, you’ll have more measurable results. But take note of everything you do, especially when first starting out. It can be easy to jump from one platform to another without really gauging an idea of whether it is working for your business. It may be a platform that you enjoy personally, but it is a platform that your audience will be found on?

 

measure your results on your social media marketing - use what works

 

Practice makes perfect

Not everything will work for you the first time around, it doesn’t mean that you’re in the wrong place, but it does mean that you may need to tweak or adjust your approach or even the type of content. If you see results straight away, that’s great! But it doesn’t always happen that way and it’s not a reason to be discouraged. Practice does make perfect and the more you get to know your audience, the content they want to see and the information and type of posts they enjoy the most, the better your results will be.

Stick to what works

When you’ve tried the different platforms and you’ve measured your results, stick with the platform(s) that produce the best results. The worst thing you can do it to spread yourself too thin. By thinking that you need to be on every social platform out there and creating a hundred posts a week will not work! It will cause you disappointment and probably lead to burnout. Focus on what works and leave the other social channels behind. They’ll still be there when your business grows and has the capacity to produce more content but until then it’s better to do one thing well than to do ten things badly. You will lose customers and a good reputation if you do not stick to what your audience is looking for. Give them what they want, produce valuable content and resources and gain their respect and attention for the right reasons. You will grow your audience by building trust. People buy from people they know, like and trust but that must be earned. You will see the most effective results when you do one or two things well and put your efforts into those things.

 

How often should you post on social media?

This is a big question and one that we are asked a lot! But again, this comes down to the individual business and their owners. It can come down to time, resources, expertise and content.

The average recommended posting schedules can be determined as the below, but remember, you are only going to choose the platforms that perform well for your business, you will not have time for all of them, so don’t panic just yet!

  • Facebook pages: 1-2 per day
  • Twitter: 3-10 times per day
  • Instagram: 1-3 times per day
  • Instagram / Facebook Stories: 2-5 times per day
  • Pinterest: 3-20 times per day
  • LinkedIn Pages: 1-2 times per week

how to choose which social media platforms work for your business

Unless you have a big marketing team behind you, you’ll never keep up with a schedule like this and do it well at the same time. Always focus on where your audience is, what they react to and interact with and the type of content that drives the most engagement.

Your audience knows best and you should try to be where they are to impact their thinking and decisions. Where are they on the buying cycle and which platform would they be benefiting from the most? Where will they be hanging out? What type of messages do you want to give? How can you help them in their pain points and create a solution for what they need? Use the platforms as a springboard to be able to speak to individuals direct.

 

What does each platform represent?

To name a few of the most popular ones:

Facebook – the largest of all social media platforms, Facebook is a place for people to connect and network with family and friends, and to engage with business groups and apps.
Twitter – this platform is mainly for news, entertainment, sports, politics and a more. It has a strong emphasis on real-time information and the things that are happening right now.
Instagram – this social platform is a photo and video sharing social media app. It allows you to share a wide range of content such as photos, videos, Stories, and live videos.
LinkedIn – this is a professional networking platform, more than just an online CV as many people think. It’s a place where industry professionals can connect and expertise can be sought and found, along with a place for people to establish themselves as a thought leader in the online world.
Pinterest – is a place where you can find inspiration and help on almost any topic and where brands can put ideas in front of buyers, helping them to make decisions about their purchases.

So, with all the platforms out there, where can you see your business fitting in? What audience do you want to reach or attract? What type of content do they want to see or hear from you and where would be the best place to put that content?

The main point to consider is to only focus on what works and to build your online presence around that. Be confident in what you create, be thoughtful in your approach and put a strategy behind every piece of content you create and schedule into your marketing plan. Your business will grow and produce good results when it finds its place in the online market. No ‘one-size fits all’ when it comes to social media marketing, although it is good to keep an eye on what’s going on around you! But your values and goals make your business unique. And you have a duty of care to your audience and your business to be true to who you are and to who you are trying to reach.

If you’re still struggling to work out which social platforms work for your business, maybe it’s time to consider a social media audit or a strategy plan in order to start on the right track. We’d love to talk to you if you’d like to learn more – together we can do this! Contact us today and let’s talk.

social media checklist free download

In the meantime, if you’re starting out in your social media marketing and often forget where you are or what you’re doing, why not download our FREE social media checklist – Don’t forget the basics! We’re here to help and that’s exactly what we love to do.

Time to get social… have fun and we will hopefully speak soon.

 

 

New Year Strategy, A New Start For Social Media Marketing

New Year Strategy, A New Start For Social Media Marketing

Another year gives new opportunities to reach new goals, set new targets and create even more success in your business than you ever have imagined before.

It’s the perfect time to revisit your business plan and the marketing strategy that you have been following over the past 12 months and to see what new strategies you can put into place for the next 12 months ahead.

If you take a step back and think about where you were this time last year, how much have you progressed or achieved in those 12 months? You may even surprise yourself, not realising that you completed so much, evaluating can be a great process to go through in order to set new goals and achieve even more in a given timeframe.

 

Start with business goals and objectives

If you have one long term objective for your business, what would that be? Now break that down into achievable goals that you can work towards in smaller bite-sized periods.

  • What steps do you need to make in order to reach each goal?
  • How can marketing help you get there?

goal setting for a new year and a new strategy plan

SMART goals

The most essential ingredient in making sure your marketing will have a positive effect in your business goals and objectives is to ensure that you are making your goals SMART.

  • SPECIFIC – Focus on one clearly defined metric. Set concise goals that sum up what you want to achieve, how you will get there and by when.
  • MEASURABLE – Have a way to measure the outcome of your actions.
  • ACHIEVABLE – Make the goal achievable, attainable and realistic.
  • RELEVANT – Ensure the goal is going to benefit your business, relevant to your overall plan.
  • TIME-BOUND – Set a time that the goal should be achieved by, in line with business objectives.

When you’re setting out your marketing goals, filter them through the SMART process and direct them through each of the key points in order to create a goal that is in line with your business’s overall plan, it has benefit and purpose, it can be measured and it will maximise the impact when it is achieved. The more specific you are with your goals and how you’re going to action them, the bigger the impact will be when you get there.

When we break down each goal and step, we can give it proper recognition and attention. Our marketing efforts can then be broken down even further to match our goals and ensure we give each point its own marketing funnel.

 

new year, new start for your business social media marketing - create a strategy that will produce results

Make social media marketing fun!

The clue is in the name “social”. Your online marketing should be enjoyable, not a chore, and play a part in showcasing and allowing potential customers to discover who you are, along with getting to know more about you.

  • What do you love about your business? Shout about it!
  • What do you want customers to know about you? Share it!

When you put real life emotion and authenticity into your voice, people get to know the person behind the brand, giving them opportunity to love what you’re about – eventually getting into your sales/lead funnel that will help you grow your business.

 

Make social media engaging

When you’re having fun and sharing what’s important to you and the business, entice people to engage with your content. And this often needs to be spelled out – they don’t necessarily know to take action, unless you ask them to.

Ask them to click through to your website, to drop a comment, to give feedback, to give opinion. People are more likely to engage when they’re invited to do so. And think about what you want them to do when they do engage, where do you want them to end up and what expectation do you have from them seeing your post?

Social media is all about the engagement. You could have 100 likes on a Facebook post just because an image looks pretty but are they actually engaging with the message you’re giving and are they ready to take action from that piece of content? How can you change the way you say something or the look / feel of your content to catch their attention for the better, and reach your ‘ideal’ audience?

strategy and goal setting to create new year business success

Create a social media strategy

In everything you do or produce within your marketing remit, there has to be a plan or strategy behind it. A marketing strategy will help you pull everything together, give you direction and clarity on who you’re targeting, who you want to reach, why you’re doing it and how you’re going to perform the actions. A strategy guides and keeps you on track and gives you the opportunity to measure results, whether successful or not and steers the path to a better result by a given time frame.

The idea behind a strategy means that you get to know, understand, love and add value to your audience. It means that you’re not wasting time doing something that has no goodness for your business but gives you the steppingstones to really dig deep into your audience, your target market and can give them exactly what they are looking for. You can provide solutions to their pain points and provide value into their situations, even when they don’t know they need it!

So, if you’re looking to start this year with a plan, purpose and a mission, how are you going to get there? Can you put strategy into your social media marketing and give this year the opportunity to take you to new heights? Yes! We love to help you get there. Contact us and let’s talk about making this year, YOUR year for business success.

And as a free gift to you, we’d like to offer our free downloadable social media checklist, just in case you’re happy to go it alone. We’d rather give you a little step up than send you away with not knowing where to get started. Enjoy 😊

 

6 Top Tips Small Business Owners Can End This Year On A High

6 Top Tips Small Business Owners Can End This Year On A High

We’ve come to the end of the year and there is so much to celebrate – sometimes we do not even think things have been that great – but just take a step back and look at where you were this time last year and realise how much you have accomplished. You’ll be surprised at the growth and success you have managed to achieve – give yourself a ‘well done’ pat on the back!

And as we move into a new year, a blank canvas of opportunities and experiences, how can we ensure that we finish 2019 on a high?

Positive Thinking

This is the very first step to take in order to see self-worth and achievement. When you’re thinking clearly and positively, you are much more likely to see things in a clear and positive light. Self-confidence comes from positive thinking and when you believe in yourself and your abilities, you will achieve a great deal more! Let’s face it, if you don’t believe in yourself, who else will?

How do you feel at the end of each day? Are you stressed, anxious, happy, thankful? Working to end each day on a positive note will leave you refreshed, able to leave your business at the office while you enjoy some personal time aside from it. When you are positive, this can be an easy thing to do, if you’re stressed about something within the business, this could be a harder step to follow.

Find the balance on how to stay positive, change your mindset to allow yourself to be confident in your abilities and achievements. And know that you can do it.

motivation and positive thinking - end the year on a high

Motivation

We all need a little motivation once in a while, so how can we stay motivated in order to know that we’re on the right track and have the power inside of yourself to want to push forward in the new year? It can be as easy as finding an accountability partner or business coach or finding inspiration in someone or something else to enable you to know you can keep striving. Getting and staying motivated is vital, no matter if you’re at the end of the year and wondering whether to carry on, or mid-way through striving to meet a business goal or target, without motivation we lose focus, faith and confidence in the ability of success.

If you’re not feeling the motivation at the end of this year, but know that you love what you’re doing and you’re definitely in the right place – try a new approach, network with other like-minded business people and give yourself new (achievable) goals to etch you back in. By the time the new year comes, you’ll be wondering what all the doubt was about!

 

Harness the power of social media

This goes without saying, for a small business owner you must be harnessing the power of social media to showcase your brand, raise your brand identity and awareness and allow people to get to know, love and trust you. YOU are what the business is about and social media is a place where people can get to know who you are, what you’re about and the behind the scenes of your business. Show off what’s happening in the office, who you’re meeting, your networking events, your team and your clients. People buy from people, word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool and even if that talking is done online, people will shout about your business if they love what they see… and more importantly people will listen to those voices of opinion – make sure they’re giving a good impression!

What social platform will you find your ideal audience? That’s where you need to be visible. Get to know people, engage and start conversations and allow people to know that you’re passionate about what you do.

Finish 2019 on a high. New year and a new start, here's to 2020

Have a plan for the new year

It’s all well and good just scraping through this year, but you need to know where next year will take you before it’s too late. Setting business goals, gaining momentum, having focus and creating a strategy will save a lot of wasted time and energy in the new year and will also allow you to know that you’ve got to the end of December with a clear vision of what’s next to come.

How can you create that plan for your small business? Break down the steps and plan each section:

  • What goals do you want to achieve by this time next year?
  • What do I need to do get there?
  • How can my marketing play a part in those goals?
  • How do I ensure my marketing efforts meet my business goals?

These are just a few steps that you can work through, and if you’re interested in learning more about business focus and social media strategy, ask us about our next workshop or 1-2-1 coaching. Planning is important, yes you may be able to get by without strategy, but how much more effective will you be if you plan out where you want to be and how you’re going to get there – before the time comes – so you’re ready to finish this year with a positive and motivating mindset.

 

Reward yourself

When you win a race, you’re given a medal. When you win a game, you receive a prize. It’s the same in business; when you do something good or if you achieve a goal, reward yourself! It doesn’t have to be something big; it doesn’t have to be something noticeable with the people around you but it’s great to feel good when something is going right. The end of the year is the perfect time to celebrate all the good things that have happened in your business. The end of the year is an ideal opportunity to recognise all the achievements you have made. Finish this year on a high, go out with bang as we head through to another twelve months and more challenges and opportunities to face. Smile, be happy, give yourself a prize for all the hard work you’ve accomplished.

 

Balance and Perspective

At the end of the day, there is never enough hours or manpower to get through everything you need to do, so don’t beat yourself up about it! If you stay on track and keep focused, plan out your work and reward yourself when you achieve, you’ll keep a balanced perspective. Balance and perspective are precious words as a small business owner as it can be hard to juggle life, manage work and home, knowing that you’re doing good or are on the right path. Keep these words in mind through all that you do, keep the balance through work, personal life, mindset, actions and achievements. And in all you do keep perspective on what’s right for you and your business and what makes you happy and inspired. When you’ve got balance, you’ll find peace, when you’ve got peace, you can focus on what you love to do.

Here’s to the end of 2019 – well done for all that you have achieved and have accomplished this year.

And happy new year! – Here’s to what is to come in 2020 – may you be blessed, full of joy and find happiness in all that you do.

If you’d like to discuss your marketing goals and strategy for 2020, we’d love to talk, contact us today!

 

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