With social media being the most popular way for people to communicate with a business, it is a given that businesses need to be responsive and interact on social media to keep their customers and audience engaged. A place where consumers can discover more about a brand, learn more about a product or service and get to know and trust a business before making a purchase.
The growing popularity of social media makes it an essential place for businesses to be and to reach their audience right where they are. It provides a faster and more personal touch to any conversation and allows the follower to feel cared for and part of a community. However, there are some rules and things that you can adhere to, to ensure that you’re covering the right basis and interacting in a positive way.
Post valuable content
Whatever social media content you produce needs to (and should always) produce value. Personal profiles are the place where other non-business things can be shared and talked about, but when it comes to your business profile, your customers want to see that they can rely on you giving value and being supportive when they need it. Whether you’re giving an inspirational quote or sharing a tip or advice, make sure that your followers can benefit from it.
It doesn’t always have to be something that you have written, this is called curated content. If another business or industry expert has written a relevant and valuable blog post, why not share this to your audience? Tip: You can use other people’s content to grow your own brand awareness!
Show some personality with your voice
You are your brand, yes, but the voice that you portray across social media content should reflect the right tone for your business. People will see through split personalities and conflicts of interests – be true to your brand, the core values that you believe in and the way you want your business to be seen and heard.
Create a voice across social media where you can be yourself and give a good impression of every aspect of your business. Your unique voice is your authenticity and is essential in speaking to the right people, engaging with the right people and reaching the people that are going to want to grow with you and the brand.
Creating your unique voice will make you stand out in a crowded digital space, make you stand apart from the other businesses and competition, and increase your chances of being heard and appreciated, trusted and loved. Become known in a digital world that is fighting for attention by being authentic.
Keep your social media simple
There’s nothing worse than trying to jump on every social channel, keep up with the large organisations and compete with everyone out there – it’s not going to work! Keep your social media marketing simple, make it as easy as possible with the best possible results. Learning to be effective and efficient in your online marketing will make life a lot easier and will help control stress levels which can increase when someone tries to everything all at once.
If you establish that you need to be doing more and keeping up with bigger competition, or even that you’re not the right person to be doing the marketing (everyone has their strengths and weaknesses) then why not think about outsourcing your social media to a VA (virtual assistant) or a digital agency that has the resources and expertise to be productive and reach your business objectives.
When it comes to simply, start with sticking to the point in everything that you post – captions, images, text & copy – keep it simple and easy to manage. Once you start making it complicated and adding in extras, your audience will expect that every time and it is obviously harder to keep up with. Start small and increase as you have the time and skills to do so.
Monitor your social channels
There’s one thing to create a great social media plan and schedule every post for a month in advance, but it’s something else to monitor the reactions and engagements that come from those posts. Be reactive and responsive on the content; when someone comments, respond. When someone shares, thank them. When someone recommends, engage. At all times monitor your social media profiles along with other people’s content that mentions you – this is called social listening and is a very valuable tool.
Make the most of User Generated Content
Your followers and consumers are the people who drive your business forward, who are an influence to others seeking out your business and are the people that will help you build trust and confidence with new customers.
UGC not something that is essential in your social media strategy but always an action that will help.
When someone shouts out about your business – engage with them and share their posts on your social channels. Their reviews, experiences, journey with your business can be shown to other people looking in – utilise User Generated Content wherever possible. Not only will it help with finding a variation in your content, but it will provide insight and reassurance to others.
Above all when it comes to your online marketing efforts, be consistent and on the ball with everything. Diffuse controversy, especially when it’s something that effects your business or nature. When you say you’re going to post, post. When you get into a routine, be sure to keep it up – people expect what they are used to and can get despondent or bored if they feel let down. Be true to your brand and let your personality shine through in your content. Organise, plan and prepare everything – there’s always room to add in extras, but ensure you have your basis covered first.
How do you manage your interaction and engagement on social media? Are you finding that you’re not effective or productive? Do you love social media and have some success stories to share with your audience? Are you looking to outsource your online marketing so you can focus on other parts of your business? Do you need a marketing strategy to work towards? Whatever your situation, we’d love to listen or help you engage and interact with your online audience, feel free to get in touch and let’s talk!
In the meantime, our Social Media Checklist can help, you’re welcome to download our FREE resource to give you the first step up. Click the link below.
How often do you come to write your content and find yourself hitting a brick wall? You’ve set aside time to put pen to paper but you simply have writer’s block! How do you get around that or how do you make the writing process easier when you’re on a tight schedule?
Find inspiration around you
Start to notice the things going on around you and take note of what other people are doing or share about. Use other people’s experiences to give you ideas and inspiration. All you need is an idea or a seed and you’ve got something to start from.
Take a few moments every week to make a list of relevant topics or titles which you can use another time. Research what is trending, what other people are writing about and most importantly, what your audience will want to read or hear about. Your content should be relevant to the people who are likely to read it so they can gain the value and insight from what you have to say.
Keep a notebook
One of the best ways to never find yourself with writer’s block is to keep a notebook with you all the time and to jot down ideas as you think of them. Someone may ask you a question which you could later turn into a blog post. You may see something on an advertising board that gives you an idea about a series of ‘how to’s’ or tutorials. You may be in a coffee shop and find inspiration from the conversations that you hear. In all these situations, you don’t need to write a load of content there and then but make a note in your pad so that you have something to write about the next time you sit down to put your content together.
When you hit writer’s block, hit the research button! Spend some time looking at other reputable businesses and industry leaders to see what topics are hot at the moment. Use Twitter to see what questions people are asking or what people are searching for – what’s popular and what subjects need to be addressed.
Research is a good process to go through regularly anyway, whether you have writer’s block or not – it keeps you up to date and in touch with those around you.
Ask your audience
What better way to give your audience the content they want to hear by asking them the question.
Ask them: what do they want to know about \ what would they like to learn \ what would inspire them \ what would help them in their business or life situations?
Gain insight directly from the people who the content is for. If you’re asking them what they need and you’re writing content to accommodate, they will come back for more.
When you hit writer’s block if can be an extremely frustrating time however with planning and keeping your eyes open to what is around you, it becomes easier to overcome. Have processes in place that when you get to a time when you are drawing a blank on content, you’ve already got a backup plan to help you through.
Keeping on top of social media content and regularly posting to a blog takes time and effort. If you’re using a multiple of social channels and are committed to providing valuable content to your audience, it can be a lot of content to write! Try to keep your message from going stale, keep relevant to your audience and be sure to be giving them content that helps them. If you’re providing value, you’ll have loyal followers, you’ll grow your audience and (hopefully) grow your business.
Remember that in everything you do, refer back to your initial marketing strategy and keep to your goals – long and short term – in order to measure what works, what you are achieving and the direction you are heading.
If you still find yourself hitting writer’s block and you know that writing is simply not your thing – talk to us about our content marketing packages.
Why not download our FREE 2020 Awareness Days to see if the day you’re stuck, there is something you could write about – at least you’ll be on trend!
Where do you start when marketing your business online? Do you struggle with getting a relevant, interesting and authentic message across? Do you find it difficult to come up with content that doesn’t repeat everything else you say?
Sometimes when a marketing message goes stale, we need to take a step away to refresh, recharge and revisit our mission statement. What we think we are saying, what we really say and the way that message comes across can be completely different things. Do you find yourself in the trap of repetition and regurgitating the same content over and over again? It’s time to freshen up!
Go back to basics
Go back to the drawing board, it’s time to brainstorm.
Start at the very beginning of your mission statement and the values that you hold, the things that are most valuable to you and your business. What is it that drives you forward, that gives you the motivation to do what you do? These are the fundamental elements that glue your business together and make you want to succeed. And these are essential parts that your audience need to know about when getting to know who you are and what your brand about.
Start the storyboard
Moving from your mission and values, start to set the scene and tell the story of where you’ve come from to where you are now. Everyone loves a story and for you to be authentic and unique will set you apart from the competition. Get the story rolling by sharing the heart behind your mission, the thought process of why you do what you do, the emotional angle of what’s precious to you. And then you can move on to the services you offer, why you offer them, what products you have, what value you give, what people can get from you and everything that physically makes up your business. By now your brainstorm should have lots of parts to it, all different aspects relating to the make up of your business.
Now you can start to link them together and begin to pull a common thread through it all. All these things together are what you’re going to share with your audience. You don’t just have one message to share but lots of multifaceted aspects that make up your brand.
Your message will not have a chance to go stale when you constantly go back to the basics, revisit the drawing board and brainstorm regularly to bring new ideas and visions to the table.
New content with new ideas
Once you have the ideas flowing and you’ve got everything that says what your business is about, you’ve got an opportunity to create some new content to go with it.
- Blog posts
- Social media content
How can you put your message into the above types of content? It’s about getting creative and sharing your message in different ways. Jump behind the scenes and share a video about what’s happening/ what’s going on/ your team/ your network/ your office. Interview people or create a podcast, this could give an opportunity to work with industry professionals – it’s not necessarily you doing all the speaking but it’s giving value and a variety to your audience. How much more engaging can a video or podcast be rather than a simple blog post? Both varieties have their merit but by doing both blog and video you automatically have two types of content that you can use across your social media, which you can then re-purpose and use again and again.
Once you’ve written a blog post, how many images or types of posts (i.e. infographics / how tos etc) can you create that share a similar message which you can use across your channels? Re-posting the same blog image could get repetitive but 5 or 6 different images that relate to the same thing will give a variety to your readers and your audience.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut of what’s always work should always work – but that’s simply not the case, especially in a fast paced online world where there is so much competition and fight for attention. There is no place for complacency. You may be comfortable, you may love what you do, but are you seeing measurable results from it? If the answer is no, you’re just wasting valuable time that could be better invested in your business. Try not to sit on the fence hoping that something will change ‘soon’, if it’s not working, something needs to give. Go back to the drawing board and figure out what your message is truly about and give your marketing some fresh substance for people to get a hold of.
At the end of the day, your message needs to be fresh, consistent, inline with your values and mission and giving value to your audience. If it doesn’t meet these needs, you’re going to struggle to make it work. Use this opportunity to get creative in your marketing, to relight the fire and passion about what your business is about and to think of new ways of getting the attention of your audience. What is it they want to see, what do they want to hear that will solve their pain points? Be there in the forefront of their minds, show up when no one else does and give purpose to your brand. If you love it and share that zeal, then other’s will catch on and be there with you.
If you’d like to chat over your marketing plans or strategy or simply know that it’s time to outsource your social media marketing to a team that want you get results – and know how to get them!, we’d love to talk. Contact us today for an initial consultation.
In the meantime if you’d like some inspiration on what to talk to your audience about, why not download our FREE 2020 Awareness Days Calendar – and start the conversations today!
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?
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.
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?
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 😊
What do you find is the hardest part of using social media for your business?
Most business owners will find that the hardest part of social media marketing is coming up with new content on a regular basis.
This could come down to not having the time to post, not knowing what to post or how to attract your audience with posts.
Lingering on these points alone will procrastinate your social media marketing and will slow you down. It could have an impact on other parts of your business too, if you spend too much time concentrating on this one aspect, or even if you get too stressed trying to figure it out, you run out of steam to carry on with anything else!
Creating content is not easy and it does come with practice. It’s a never ending cycle machine that needs to be monitored and fed, and also it needs some love. Finding the passion in your social media goes a long way to making it successful. It’s the same as anything, when you enjoy something, it works.
Should I just post ‘something’ to get content out there?
Many business owners fall into the trap of just posting ‘something’ so it looks like they’re on top of their social media. Anything is better than nothing, right?
Not necessarily. If you’re churning out content with no engagement or reactions, no new followers, no comments or shares – it’s not working. You are simply spending time creating content that has absolutely no impact on your business at all, wasting your precious time and causing you stress when you can’t get ‘something’ posted.
How do you know what to post on social media?
This is the part that you need to figure out – and this should only be a handful of things, preferably not the same content posted on every social platform out there. Once you’ve worked out what it is that works well, the rest will fall into place. It’s much better to do one or two things well and to see results from those actions, than to try and do lots of things not very well. One of the reasons we lose followers or people unsubscribe from our mailing list is that they are either bored with the content, or they feel that it’s not relevant or adding value to them. The key is in providing the value so the people are going to want to continue to listen and ask for more.
Therefore, to be able to post something well and make it relevant and with value, you must enjoy what you are posting about. When you don’t enjoy it, neither does your audience. The positive energy and the vibes that you give out from your content is an important factor in your social media marketing. You need to make your brand stand out from the crowd, make your content unique and by adding in your personality and spice you’ll give it an edge – the whole reason people choose to follow you rather than another business.
What should I be posting about on social media?
When you’ve discovered what you’re enjoying and what makes you smile when you’re creating it (along with more and more people engaging with the content), that’s when you’ll know that you’ve found your sweet spot. Now it’s time to focus in on this and to make it the best it could be.
You’ve tried Facebook and managed to get a little engagement. Perhaps your friends and family still support your business page and like your posts, but the community isn’t growing. You post two or three times a day, spend ages creating beautiful images with captions. Share all the latest articles that you come across and even add in some of your blog posts… but still no engagement.
You jump over to Twitter and again share all the best news stories and retweet a few posts that you like the look of. Perhaps even follow a few more people in the hope that you get some love back. Tumbleweed… nothing.
So you head over to LinkedIn in a last attempt to get a little attention, perhaps you might get one like on a post and feel like you are still appreciated.
After all of this you are absolutely exhausted, completely overworked and have not achieved very much – sound right? So what have you done wrong?
Niche down and specialise
You’ve not done anything wrong per-se but you’re not giving your business the chance it needs to dig deep and find its perfect clients. After all your posting and content creation, you need to work out which is the right platform and what type of content fills you with joy; you’ll know when both are right when the content you create gives you a buzz every time you create it and you just love to talk about it and share.
This may mean that you’ve got to niche right down, you may even think that this will cut out half your audience and you’ll lose people, but that’s ok. As when you do specialise in a particular area and have a focus on your ideal clients, not a general overhaul of everyone you can imagine in a ‘just in case’ mindset, then you’ll start speaking directly to the people you want to reach.
Being too general can have a negative result even though it can seem the best thing to do to reach as many people as possible. As a young business, a startup trying to build a business, you need all the positivity you can get – and nailing down to a smaller specific audience will be beneficial and help with the success. When those ideal people start to see that you are sharing a solution to their specific problem or scratching their itch, they’ll start to follow you and engage in what you have to say. When this shift happens, you’ll discover the people that want and need your services and they’ll begin to share your content and recommend you to their communities too.
When you dig deep down, you may only find one social platform that suits your audience. For example if you are a B2B, LinkedIn might be a great place to connect with other business owners and to build relationships and to show your expertise. This will build trust and a familiarity of your brand. And when they realise that your services will give them value, they’ll come to you. No more hard-selling, no more pushing and knocking on doors. When you build a reputation for being an expert and offering value to those who need it, your business will grow organically.
What about the other social platforms?
We’re not saying that you have to dump every other social network that you’ve ever used and totally disappear from these sites. Customers are still searching for you on their favourite platform and having a presence is still a good idea. But why not spend 90% of your time focused on the platform that works for your business and 10% keeping up appearances on the rest?
Using a scheduling or management tool for your social platforms will help with time management and give you a freedom to spend more time on the platform that you enjoy being on and communicating with the people that are more likely to become clients. If you realise that Pinterest or Instagram are your platforms of choice, we recommend Tailwind – you can try for free too!
Where do you go from here?
It’s all about using a working marketing strategy that you can work alongside and adapt as time goes on. Setting goals and targets, understanding your business objectives and knowing what you want to achieve. When you can answer these questions, finding the platform and creating the content will be a lot easier.
Don’t forget that we’re not all good at everything – we all have our own creativity inside but not everyone knows how to express that into social media marketing. If you’re looking for guidance and a creative spirit to come alongside your business and help you tighten the reins, we’d love to chat with you. Get in touch to start the conversation.
Why not start off with our social media checklist, giving you an idea of what you can achieve on a daily, weekly and monthly basis before you get started? Organisation is a good habit to get into! Best thing is, it’s free! Download now…