It’s a new year with much to get excited about and when we think about a social media strategy and plan for a new year, or a new campaign, or whatever it may be – there is so much enthusiasm you can bring into the mix. Whether you are working on your own business marketing, or you’re helping a client reach their goals, always bring the excitement with you to the table. If it’s not there, come back when it is!
For content marketing and social media managers, coming up with fresh and new content for clients can become difficult and stagnant, especially if the client doesn’t have anything new to give. But there are ways to work around this and producing content that brings their social channels to life is part of the job… you are the creative one and it’s your job to make the magic happen!
But where do you start?
– Have you lost your enthusiasm?
– Are you having trouble sticking to, or creating a plan that works?
– Are you skipping the planning stages, hoping for the best?
The best advice we can give as an agency, is to understand your client’s (or your own) business right down to the nitty gritty detail. What customers are they trying to attract, what makes them special, what can they offer, what do they give that’s of value, and what is unique about them that will stand out from the competition?
Then it’s about putting everything into a process.
Create a strategy
Make an action plan
= Results… success
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I heard an interview this morning with Lola Lennox, Annie Lennox’s daughter, who was sharing about her new song that she had released, written and recorded at home during the Covid-19 lockdown. She was asked if she was a daydreamer and the answer she gave was that all songwriters are daydreamers as they have to pluck content from deep within in order to produce a song.
This struck me that we, as social media marketers, are also in that same boat. We write content for many clients at a time, often in completely different industries, but providing a (daily) flow of content for all. Where does that inspiration come from?!
To start with, you need to be creative in the first place. If you’re a business owner reading this and you’re struggling with implementing a good social media presence, don’t waste your time, find someone that can do it without struggle and that has the capacity to do a good job. It’s far better to have something done well, than half an effort that’s poor. If you are creative but are stuck for ideas, keep reading…
So, what comes first in the process of creating an awesome content calendar, and how do you come up with great both copy and graphics for each and every client, that is different and unique for each?
You need inspiration. This doesn’t come all at once or at a specific time – especially when you want it to – but often comes when you’re out and about or going about your everyday normality of life. When you’re out, always have a notebook or a phone to hand to keep a journal of the things that inspire you, otherwise by the time you get home, you’ll have forgotten everything!
Take a walk, read a book, have a chat on the phone with a friend, look out the window – all these different things can provide you with snippets of inspiration. Take photos or screenshots while you’re busy, doodle or draw pictures – whatever it is that brings out your creative streak.
Also, a great way to be inspired by the industry is to look at what content that industry is producing. Search for keywords in Instagram or Twitter to find the types of content which is gaining good engagement. Take a look at the profiles who are following these high engaging posts and see the types of posts they are enjoying too. If you can see what content works, it can inspire you to create things along the same line.
Your ideas don’t have to come all at once but collate all your material in a central place that when you come to your dedicated time to write content, you’ve got a bank of details to use.
Make a plan
A good content calendar is built on a strategy and an action plan, filled with much research and knowledge of the business and with their goals and targets at hand.
With an in depth understanding of the goals in mind, the content can be built around everything you have learned and gathered along the way. But don’t think sell, sell, sell at every opportunity – think of the bigger picture and the audience you’re speaking to. What do they want to hear or gain from having communication from the business?
Marketing strategy ideas:
- Create and understand the various personas you’ll be working with
- Research the business in depth
- Ensure branding throughout, in both copy, style and graphics
- Decide how many times to post during a week
- What type of content will match the brand
- What style of graphics will work
Pull all your plans together and work out how to fit everything in best with what’s happening within the business and the campaigns / goals that you want to meet, and you’ll have a content calendar that will run for ages, that you can come back to, adapt, amend, and recycle to keep recreating content.
Tip: Create content that is ‘evergreen’, that can be used again and again. For example, with one blog post, you could create a selection of posts to go with it and have them on a rolling cycle.
This process can be rolled out through all the various channels that you run as a social media manager. Different businesses will have different goals and focusses, but the thought basis behind it all is the same process for each.
Have you tried using a check list to help you stay on top of your social media marketing? You can download a FREE copy of our Social Media Checklist here.
See the results – discover success!
The outcome of seeing everything fall into place and working as you hoped is satisfying to say the least. Everything that you’ve done and worked hard to put together has paid off. Keep the momentum going by engaging with everyone that interacts with your social channels. Engagement is key to building the brand and growing your followers. Of course, growing the likes and followers is great, but what is the ultimate goal – to bring in leads and eventually sales? Don’t forget to build relationships with your followers, they are human! A good brand is built on trust and loyalty, create those bonds by creating a good customer experience and you’ll be set.
Also, be sure to check your analytics on each social channels to see what has worked best, what type of content is gaining the best interaction and what times of day your audience is online. Understanding what your audience is enjoying from your content is a basis to grow, put this knowledge into your strategy and keep going.
When you go through the process above, you’ll find how easy it is to access the creativity in the back of your mind. Keeping a journal of things that inspire you, and photos along the way, is the best way to keep the bank of content flowing. You’ll soon find it all becomes routine and you’ll establish a system where awesome social media content comes naturally.
What top tips do you have to ensure you’re running a smooth social media management service for your clients? We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below.
And if you’re a business looking for help in their social media, get in touch, we’d love to talk!
Written by Karen Petrauskas, owner of KJP Creative
Grab yourself a copy of KJP Creative’s 2021 Social Media Planner and get yourself organised through this year:
We’ve all heard it said by someone; “What’s the point in social media marketing?”, you’ve probably even said it yourself at some point. But as a business owner there is absolutely point in making an effort to showcase your brand online through the power of the many social media platforms there are to hand.
Not every platform is going to be relevant or applicable to your business. Not everyone has time to spend creating fantastic eye-catching content to spread across social media. But the point of the matter is, it is a necessity in today’s digital world that a business needs to be online in order to be heard.
- But where do you start when it comes to online marketing?
- How do you create great posts, especially if design or creativity is not your strong point?
- When and where do you post and how do you manage it all?
- Why should you bother?
Lots of questions and all that have some great answers which we’ll cover in this post.
Here at KJP Creative we believe that you must have a passion and drive for your business in order to believe in it. There’s absolutely no point pursing a business venture if you don’t believe in it. And this is the same for your social media content, your online presence along with everything else that you do and say when you meet others. Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people turned to online resources to stay afloat and to keep their business going. And things are not going to stop here as the world heads back to normality – this has changed the way of business, this has created such an impact on the online world that you need to be in it and with it to be noticed.
We’ve said it before, but those who are visible and adding value through everything that has happened, will be the ones who are remembered when it stops. This is applicable to any pandemic, not just Coronavirus, it’s about standing out, creating a safe place for people to find out about you and providing value to every person that you come into contact with – both online and offline.
Where do you start?
You need to start with your audience. Our coaching courses dig deeper into this but we fully believe that in order to know where to start, what to say and who to say it to, you need to understand your audience and be confident that the content you produce is what is needed in a very noisy and busy advertising world.
Get to know and understand your audience. Research everything you can about their likes and dislikes, their needs and problems. What they want to hear or see. What would make them buy from a business? Put yourself in their shoes and think as they would – what would make you buy from you?
Along with this, there’s probably other brands that are doing exactly what you’re trying to do too – so use this, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. As well as researching your audience, research your competitors. What works for them? What type of content do they produce? What are they saying, who are they reaching, what are they giving or providing? What works for them may work for you too, so take note and use what you can.
How do you create great social media content?
Not everyone is artistic or creative, we get that, so how can you produce great content if (you think) you’re not good at it?
There are a few ways to look at this question. First off, you can learn! There are plenty of free tools out there to help and that are great resources to help you get started. We absolutely love Canva and wouldn’t be without it. There’s a free version so you don’t need to pay out to get started and you can experiment and play with the variations in order to create some images and content that goes with your branding.
The most important tip we can give you in this is stay true to what your brand is about and use the inspirations inside of you to think of ideas.
What is your brand about? What’s your story? What are your beliefs or values?
These are the types of things you can be thinking of when you want to put a (for example) Facebook post together. Find an image that says what you’re thinking of, something that says exactly what you’d like to say if you didn’t have words. Then think about the wording that would go with your post, for the text on your chosen social platform. Your image and text should go hand in hand, not contradict each other and be inspirational or educational to your audience.
Even if you think you don’t have a creative bone in your body, you know what you like, you know your business better than anyone and you can use this to create content that is unique to you and your brand.
The second answer to this question is that you can outsource. We all have our strong and weak points and you may find after a few attempts of creating content that it really isn’t for you – that’s ok! You don’t have to be good at everything. And this is something that as a small business owner you can get het up about and struggle with. Stick to what you’re good at and let an expert take over this section of your business for you. You’ll see a much better return of investment by doing so, and you’ll be less stressed and relieved at the whole process.
Example: Talking to a hairdresser who was in a similar situation, who really wanted to be online and creating a fantastic social media presence – but she simply didn’t have the time or the energy to do it well and make it successful. She worked out that if she did one extra set of highlights (or whatever service it was!) a week – and for her it was doing what she loved and using her own skills – she could outsource her online marketing for the month. Result.
How much better is your business going to be if you’re filling the holes with the right sized pegs?
How do you manage it all?
This is a good question and social media or online marketing needs to have a strategy and a plan of action. This is fundamental to making it successful and doing your best to make it work well. Many people post content for the sake of it, or rush it at the end of the day when they realise that nothing has been posted that day. But what good is that to your audience if you’re not a) consistent or b) putting thought or value into what you’re providing?
Planning is key. Organisation is key. And that’s why we love our Social Media Planner and Business Goalsetter – it’s a wonderful resource to ensure you’re heading in the right direction, you’re making notes and building up a plan of action and you can see ahead to what’s coming and what needs to be done. Yes it takes time and dedication but as with anything, if you’re going to do something, you should do it well.
There are scheduling tools that you can use to manage your posts and to make it easier to create content ahead of time, the last think you want to do is be on your social media channels all day every day, you’d never get anything else done! That’s where a planner comes in which works with your business plan and marketing strategy. Everything comes together to form a smooth social media presence that will help your business be noticed, become loved and trusted and in turn, successful.
So why should you bother with social media marketing?
We hope that you want your business to grow, to flourish and to be loved. If you’re a small independent business, do you want people in your local community to hear about you and to use your products or services?
Did you start your business with the mindset that you’d like to see it bigger than just the little startup that you began with, or do you see it stagnate and fizzle out and die? Probably not!
You have a passion to see results. You have drive to be successful in your ventures. You want a successful business, something that you can be proud of, something that will pay the bills (and more) and something that you will get you known within your industry / sector and allow you to become an expert in your field – right?
Your social media presence will help you get there and achieve these things. Raising brand awareness is not always an easy task but with the help of social media, it’s lot easier than it used to be!
We hope that you have that passion and desire to want to succeed and realise that online marketing should be part of your business growth strategy in order to make that a possibility. If you’d like to find out more or talk to us about strategy and planning, we’d love to help. Get in touch and let’s have a conversation. Speak soon!
In the meantime why not download our “Social Media Checklist – don’t forget the basics” which hopefully will help you think about the basics of what social media entails and provide you with a checklist of what you can do. If you want to talk through anything, feel free to contact us, we’re here to help at the click of a button.
There’s no denying that the current climate has encouraged business owners to use online marketing more and jump on the social media channels in order to stay up to date with customers. And if you’ve been one for holding back and not wanting to be online, are you able to keep up with the other businesses who are online?
The way forward is digital. The way for brands to reach out is through digital and online marketing. Social media has been and is going to continue to play a big part in business growth, providing stability to consumers and giving value at every opportunity. How can you embrace online marketing as a business owner?
Why is it important to have an online presence now?
What’s the first thing you do when you need to buy something, seek advice, research a product? You go online. You jump onto Google (or your favourite search engine) and type in the relevant words you’re looking for and results appear. Bingo!
Your customers and potential customers are doing the exact same thing when it comes to looking for your product or service. They are looking for “xxx near me” or “xyz in my area”. If you’re not online, you do not even stand a chance of being in line for that customer.
You need to be in it to win it!
Your competition is online, even if you are not.
This is the same for anything, for something to happen, you need to put yourself in the right place to start with. Give your business a head start and place it somewhere where it can be seen.
Build reputation and trust online
A key reason for being online, is to build trust, loyalty and showcase expertise where it’s needed. You can be there to help solve problems, give insight or advice, sharing your knowledge with people around you and in return building a great reputation for being a business that cares about others.
Being able to offer an outstanding customer service is also part of the package. How much quicker can you respond to a query or concern online. Giving people a place to find you, contact you and speak to you at the touch of a button.
Word of mouth marketing
We’ve spoken to a few business owners recently who still do not have an online presence (hence the reason for this post!), or they have ‘something’ out there but are not sure on how to use it effectively. Word of mouth is great and we’re not denying the power that it can have as a marketing tool but there is so much more potential out there when you make your business available. How big if your word of mouth circle? There are limits to word of mouth. How much more impact could be gained from your word of mouth customers to give you a review online and to recommend you via social media channels that can be seen by hundreds, if not thousands of other potential customers!
Where to start with online marketing
This can be a good question and very valid for anyone not used to being exposed to the open doors of all things digital.
For small business owners, you may have an email contact for your current clients. Why not ask them if they mind being put onto a mailing list? Your first point of call could be to send out a regular newsletter of either things that have been happening / recent projects etc, or to provide offers and latest information. You email list is extremely valuable. The bigger list you can build, the more people you can potentially speak to. It’s far quicker to send out a weekly or monthly newsletter, than to ring round a whole client base asking if they need anything. (be sure to follow GDPR protocols and get the permission of the email holder first)
Google My Business
For the people who are searching for local businesses or services, Google My Business is a great free resource that any business owner can utilise very easily. Simply search Google My Business in your search engine and follow the steps to get set up.
When you search for a business online, you will often be presented with a right hand column of information about that business. It will include website and contact details, opening hours, business information and much more. This can include client reviews or photos too. A perfect opportunity to give an insight into a business, and it’s free!
Facebook Business Page
Depending on what type of business you have, the next step could be setting up a Facebook Business page. This is also very simple to do, just make sure you have a personal profile set up first in order to get started.
Again, depending on your business, how many people are surfing Facebook and could potentially come across your business or service? How many of your current customers are on Facebook and would give you a recommendation or review? Facebook is still the most used social media platform worldwide and gives massive potential to reaching out to a wider audience. If you do not have a website, a Facebook Page could be the first impression a person gets of your business. Creating content around recent projects, live or up to date information, posting behind the scenes images and telling the story behind the brand… all these things make up positive influences towards building a business and growing your audience.
Facebook might not be the place for you, other social media channels might be relevant to your audience – how do you know which channel to choose? Research your audience, find out where they are spending their time, where they are most likely to be interested in seeing your presence and engage with you, and build a presence on that platform. Check out our post on What’s the difference between the social media platforms for more information.
Brand awareness is important however you decide create it, in order to keep a business alive, relevant and up to date.
Having an online presence in this digital age offers cheap and affordable marketing, an easy way to stay in tune and in touch with customers and raise a brand profile in the process.
With careful planning, goal setting and strategy, online marketing is a necessity to keep up with the competition and to create a growing and thriving business.
If you’re just starting out online or with social media marketing, always create a plan of action and know what you’re looking to achieve through being online. If you’d like to talk through strategy and marketing plans, we’d love to chat with you. Get in touch today and let’s start a conversation.
In the meantime, if you’d like to go it alone and would like a check list to ensure that you don’t miss the basics, why not download our FREE social media checklist to get started. Embrace social media, embrace the digital space and allow your business to have an impact!
Everyone is trying to get a piece of the action and when it comes to social media marketing, you need to get yourself heard.
For us here at KJP Creative, we believe that one way to ensure that will happen is to hire someone that knows the industry and can get your business where it should be – but – if you’ve not got the budget or would rather have a go yourself, here’s a few tips to help boost your social media performance.
Firstly, social media is all about building relationships and creating engagement. Creating engagement means that people are interested in your services and product and they have started their customer experience with your brand. Maintaining that trust and building up to be somewhere that a customer actually wants to buy from is your goal whilst being a place of information and advice for that customer also.
Most people will research a product or service prior to buying, therefore, it is vital that you provide an excellent customer experience right from the beginning to enable that customer to come back for more.
Always focus on providing value. If someone is doing their research properly, anyone will see through a business that doesn’t really know what they are talking about. A few good quotes here and there may seem pleasant but is there really knowledge and understanding of what the customer really wants beneath it all?
Ensure that your social streams are backed with plenty of industry related content and posts that you personally relate to as well. People don’t want to be inundated with irrelevant news – they will follow and engage with you if you provide value for what they need.
Using a content curation programme can make life easier when you’re searching for content. A person can spend hours (we’ve all been there and done that!) looking for posts that relate to your industry. Using a content curation feed will make finding relevant articles so much easier and will be much more time efficient.
Here’s a few for you to take a look at to get started:
Create a posting strategy
It’s all well and good posting every now and again when you’ve got time to sit down and find content but how much more effective would your social media platforms be if they were planned out and there was content being added daily? More people would see your presence, you’ll have more of an impact and you’re more likely to be seen by a wider audience which in turn will mean that your engagement will increase. The more you post, the more likely you’re going to get in front of your ideal clients.
Think about the type of content you want to use. Think about the different sources you might have and work out a strategy that can incorporate these. For example, if you have your own blog feed, schedule one of these posts once a day. If you want to use quotes, add one quote a day to the mix. The using your curated content, add one post a day… or however often you think appropriate to post, schedule content to these timeframes.
Work out what times of day are best for your ideal audience. Are they are work during the day, perhaps an evening might be better? Are you aiming at businesses – then first thing in the morning might be better? Test different times of day to find which times are good to gain the most engagement.
Use a social media management programme
You’ve now got your content organised and you know where you are pulling your content from, so now is the time to find a social media management programme that will allow you to schedule these posts in advance. No one has time to jump on to their social media platforms 5 times a day to post!
Again, this will make your life so much easier and will allow you to rest assured that your content is being shared on your social media channels and you can get on with other parts of your business.
Here are a few social media management platforms that we can recommend:
Make Your Content Visual
Visuals gain more engagement over text posts (that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use text). But looking through a social media feed and seeing visuals will strike more appealing for the majority of your audience. Therefore, you need to get creative!
There are 3 main types of visuals:
Using any three of these will boost your social media performance and will encourage people to share and engage with your content.
If you’ve got products to show, use an image rather than just talking about it. If you’re promoting an event, create a image to advertise the event. Even if you want to share a quote – add it to a nice background and make it look attractive. More people will share your content if it looks good enough to share!
Creating images are one thing and you may be thinking that videos are too tricky for you to tackle. They don’t have to be. Why not try a live Facebook video introducing your staff or showing off your products? Or perhaps you’ve got story to tell, add a quick snippet to your Instagram feed. People love to watch videos – you’ll be surprised at the engagement they have when you put them in your social media feeds.
And GIFs? This may be something that you haven’t even touched upon yet. Don’t be scared of them, they are extremely popular at the moment and are overtaking static images. GIFs can be created in a number of ways but first off if you’re not that tech savvy, you can head over to somewhere like Gify.com and get started there. If you have a number of static images, you can make them into a rotating slideshow. If you’ve got some drawings you’ve put together, you can make them move! If you’ve got a video that you’ve made but only want to show a few seconds of it, you can upload it and snip it down. They are very simple to create and will be very effective in your marketing. If you’re not comfortable in creating your own GIF, then there are an array of ones to choose from depending on what subject you are looking for.
If you’ve not yet tried them – have a go!
The above are just a few ways to boost your social media performance but remember that the more you engage with your customers, the more they will engage with you. The more opportunity you give your customers to see and hear your branded voice, the more opportunity you have at reaching them.
Social media is about being ‘social’ so get stuck in and promote your business in the best way you can.
If you’re just starting out in business, or you’re a small business owner with not enough time in the day to do social media effectively, then get in touch. We have standard, affordable packages available to get you started or more bespoke packages if you’re looking for something a little different.
We’d love help so contact us today!
Any time of year is a busy time for a small business or a budding entrepreneur. With the run up to Christmas it could prove to be an extremely busier time.
A virtual assistant is a perfect pair of helping hands to provide your business an extra aid in times like these.
There are many things a virtual assistant could do for you but it’s best to work out tasks or projects take up your most valuable time and at the same time are tasks that could be passed to someone else to ease the pressure from you.
What could a virtual assistant do for you?
- Social media management
- Diary management
- Follow ups and bookings
- Newsletters and email marketing
Check your emails and inbox
How much time do you spend checking back to your inbox and then getting drawn into reading junk mail or responding a bulk of emails that actually all asked the same question?
How much time is taken up by you checking and responding to emails that could be used much more wisely and adding value to your business?
Having a virtual assistant check your emails throughout the day will ease this pressure from you. They can alert and forward you emails that they are unable to respond to without your guidance (perhaps in time they will be able to know how you like your emails done) and send them to you at set intervals during the day, as to not disturb you.
If you spend a little time at the beginning with your virtual assistant, they can set up some template responses so they know how to respond to certain types of emails and not have to bother you.
Social media management
This is often a very time-consuming task for one small business owner, and a task that gets forgotten or left behind when there’s not much time to allocate. This can be detrimental to your business growth as online marketing is a definite necessity if you’re wanting to see your business grown and fit with competition.
If you’re worried about someone taking on this task as you believe that you have the business ‘voice’ and are unsure on the tone that a VA would use, spend time with them initially making notes on how you’d like it to run. A virtual assistant who specialises in social media management is a very valuable tool as they would have gained the knowledge and kept up to date with trends and the latest news…. Social media moves very quickly as is an ever growing market.
You could agree on a schedule that happens daily, agree on the platforms that are to be used and ensure that you’re happy with the content that is being used… But learn to let go and let an expert take this task from you.
You will be amazed at how much time is given back to you by not having this task to think about!
Imagine the scenario – you’ve come to work Monday morning and you know you’ve got a busy week ahead. A quick call or email with your virtual assistant and they could give you a running of order how you are seeing, what calls you’ve got to make and how your day is looking. Simple. No need for you to route through your emails trying to find the address of where you’re meeting for lunch. No need to spend time sifting through text messages to find the number of the new contact you’ve got to ring at 2pm… it’s all there in an email for you.
This process could be done on a daily or weekly basis if you had a VA to hand.
Follow ups and Bookings
Following on from the many emails and calls you get on a weekly basis, your virtual assistant could be scheduling new meetings or following up on enquiries that you’ve received. If you’re a small business owner, you won’t have time for everything. Small tasks like this are easy to pass over. You have the control when all details are passed back to you and you can see what meetings have been booked or who needs an extra phonecall to keep them sweet. But having that first step of the process taken away from you will free up a lot of time.
Email / marketing newsletters
You have a list of customers and potential customers, you have a list of people that have contacted you through social media or general enquirers … So use this list to reach out to deliver more sales.
You know it’s a task that should be done regularly and one that often shows good results – but not having the time pushes this important task to one side. Time for a VA to step in and manage this for you!
Newsletters can be designed, templates made for ongoing communications and then various content added on a monthly or quarterly basis to engage with those potential new sales.
You could ask a VA to set up a sales funnel for you so when someone makes an enquiry, an automatic email is sent to them which is then followed by further emails down the line to keep their interest.
Don’t’ try and do everything yourself. Small businesses or entrepreneurs often struggle with time management and become stressed or worn out from trying to do too much themselves.
All these tasks are jobs that a virtual assistant could do for you.
Here at KJP Creative we offer structured packages to make the process swift, easy and affordable. Pay for the time you need an assistant – that’s all!
If you’d like to find our more, get in touch for a free consultation.