The main thing that struck me throughout this conversation is that the fundamentals of success on social media don’t change. You need to be authentic and engaged and have a clear strategy and plan before deciding on the formats.
You can watch the replay here, or if you prefer to read about it, then some of my key takeaways are below:
Firstly, no one wants to do business with a logo!! As someone who is starting and running a business, you have taken a huge leap of faith, believe in what you do and know how it helps people. Yet visibility is a huge barrier for a lot of business owners.
But you are the face of your business, and hiding behind your logo and branding will not help people build a relationship with you – the person they will be working with.
Someone said to me (Mel) yesterday: ‘I don’t want to appear boastful’ this is something we both here a lot in various guises, but it’s all about reframing your thoughts and digging deep into the kind of story you have and why you are different.
There are probably thousands of people who do what you do. If not, you are in a great position – BUT you will also need to build awareness of why people need that product and service.
Fear can also be a barrier to visibility, so it’s essential to remember that ‘Not everybody is going to be for you, and that’s ok because we can’t serve everybody at the same time. It’s all about raising awareness, and if you are selling a high-ticket item, people aren’t going to buy from you overnight. People need to see us at least seven times before they will consider interacting with us and our business.
Investing in brand photos can really help with your visibility. Sharing pictures of yourself will help drive engagement, and if you have photos you feel proud of, you will feel more comfortable and confident about putting yourself out there.
It can also be a huge time saver as you won’t constantly be hunting around for stock photos that have been used many times before and probably aren’t related to your business.
Photos are also a great investment as you can use them in multiply ways, but finding the right photographer who helps you plan and gets you is also crucial.
This was one of the questions we both get asked a lot. At this point, we won’t be going into any platform analytics, and both of us could talk all day about campaign optimisation and best practice. But the reality is that consistency is key, and it needs to be manageable if you are doing your own marketing.
Less can be more, 2 or 3 times a week is manageable for most people and really thinking, what does this content actually say about my business and is it what people want to see?
It is vital to produce better content rather than just throwing something out every day. It’s definitely not about the spray effect; it’s about quality content. Both Beth and I advocate that you need to pick one or two things and do them well. Make sure the actions are sustainable for you.
I’m (Mel) quite an all-or-nothing person and have been guilty of posting every day and then disappearing because it’s simply not sustainable. Think! What 2-to-3 good pieces of content can I post a week?
Remember, you can repurpose things. Not everyone sees everything we post, and they certainly don’t remember it!!
When developing one, sit down and think:
It’s easy to think we have nothing to share and struggle with stage fright. But all businesses have content they need to share. It’s just about spending time digging into and crafting a content plan that speaks to your target audience.
All businesses should make time for content planning, and it all goes back to having a solid foundation, think:
I (Mel) worked with a financial advisor in 2020, and once we had worked through the strategy and looked at all her FAQs, we discovered that she had more than 200 different posts about mortgages she could share. And let’s face it, we all need to know about mortgages.
It is so easy to be so knee-deep in your business that you can’t always see the content you could share as you talk about it daily. So do try and take a step back from it or ask people what they need to know.
Sadly, we can’t give you a magic formula for this and simply say – you need to post at 12 pm on Wednesdays. It all depends on your audience’s routines, habits, what they want to see and sometimes even – whether the sun is shining.
But, do make sure you check your monthly social media analytics and what’s going on, on your website and learn your best times from there.
We can all be guilty of thinking someone knows everything we know, particularly if we always talk about it. Still, people outside of your industry may not know what you are talking about, so keeping it jargon-free will help people understand.
Be as simple and straightforward as you can about things. Look back through your emails, find the questions people have asked, and build a plan from there.
Being active on social media and sharing images of yourself can be a great stepping stone to Video. Still, if you are scared to do this, the chances are you are not going to feel comfortable or confident creating a video. Being told to do things we aren’t comfortable or confident to do can generate fear and inactivity – so make sure you build up to it. Or you may end up not being active at all.
However, the reality is that Instagram and Facebook have become more Video focused. I have to be honest (Mel) that I am not a big fan of Instagram reels. Probably because I see a lot of people doing them badly. But Video does really help to quickly build the ‘Know, Like and Trust’ factor as people can quickly and easily get to know you.
It can also be a lot quicker than writing content. The great thing about social media videos is that they don’t need to be perfect. It’s much more about your message. Video is also great for repurposing on to other social media platforms, creating blogs and pulling out quotes for posts. It can be really daunting, but there are some great ways to create videos easily.
Beth, what are your top tips?
Start small. You don’t need to go live. You could just do a talking video in your Instagram stories. A recorded video can feel a lot less frightening. If you are going live, remember it doesn’t need to be perfect.
We’ve all been interrupted by doorbells, dogs and children.
It is about being brave and having the confidence to try new things.
Instagram reels are one example. I (Beth) have a lot of conversations with business owners who are pretty terrified of reels. They think they will have to dance, and there is definitely a stigma attached to the whole pointing thing. But, you don’t have to do either of those things to succeed on Instagram reels.
You can make Instagram reels you’re not visible in; you can knit Canva slides together as a video on your phone and tie them together with music. You also don’t need to dance. I can honestly say I have never danced on a reel and probably never will. Although for some people, it really does play to their brand, particularly if you’re a young brand.
But, if that’s not part of your brand, it’s not part of your brand. You don’t have to do it. But reels will get your content in front of a new audience on Instagram, and grid posts simply don’t get that traction. So it is worth dipping your toe in and finding out how you can make them fit with your brand.
Regardless of format, we all need to talk about the transformation we offer our clients. Some people will care more than others about the detail. Ask yourself what will people actually get from working with you or utilising the services you provide.
Beth and I advocate using 1 to 2 platforms, and Instagram is often a secondary platform for Linkedin users. However, they do serve a slightly different audience.
I (Mel) have found Instagram and Facebook much better for selling ticketed events and lower-cost items. On Linkedin, I get a lot of my retained and consultancy work.
The value in linking the two is that you will get more reach. But you will need to repurpose the content to suit the different platforms and audiences.
Not all content will work well on each platform, so make sure you choose the right content, and you will need to ensure those platforms are where your audience is.
In the last few years, we have seen a lot of people having their accounts shut down by Instagram and Facebook. It’s important to remember that you don’t own that audience, so an essential part of your strategy is to think about how you can make that audience yours and ensure you have the correct security permissions in place to make sure you can’t get hacked.
No, it’s not dead, but they are moving towards more of a focus on products and e-commerce-type businesses because the platform lends itself better to this.
With over 80 million business pages, getting in front of your audience can feel challenging. However, there are some ways around this: Long-form Video can work well, groups can also still work well, as can getting out and engaging with people and businesses you need and want to talk to. But, if you want to make Facebook a priority, you probably need to be spending money on paid ads.
Linkedin and Instagram can be much better for organic reach, providing your audience are there. Although it is becoming harder on Instagram, do consider including short-form Video.
This is often the missing piece of the puzzle and people often don’t realise the benefits of getting out there and engaging with other people and accounts and how to do it.
Commenting on other people’s content can feel quite scary. So, think about how you would respond if someone shared a really interesting piece of information at a networking event – you would definitely respond. And it’s really important to model that behaviour online.
You will get in front of the person you’re commenting on, which is a brilliant way to build relationships. Quite often, people don’t realise how vital engagement is, and they plan time to create their content. And maybe they schedule it if they’re using a scheduler, but then they don’t plan at that time for engagement, and that is part of the plan.
When you’re thinking about your social media, activity or your social media marketing, you’re thinking about doing it well. You need to think about the time you’re going to spend talking to people and responding to messages actively.
Engagement is what will build those relationships online.
One of the things we wanted to touch on was how to avoid getting sucked into social media, as so many people tell us it’s a massive drain on their time. Our advice is to be intentional.
Before you open that app, think about what you want to get from it and what you want to achieve? You may wish to engage, or respond to messages but make sure you allocate time in your diary for the different aspects of social media.
Turning off your notifications can also be a good way of saving time on social media and not getting distracted.
Finding a system that works for you will also help. Some people prefer to batch create content and create a month’s worth in one go, and others prefer to work as they go. Personally, if I batch create content, I find I am constantly checking and tweaking.
But it is a good idea to have store cupboard content – something you can pull out when you are busy.
This live was initially recorded on Linkedin on Friday, March 25th 2022. If you would like to learn more about developing a social media strategy that can future-proof your business and is right for 2022, then I would love to speak to you. You can email me firstname.lastname@example.org or book a call here.
Over the past few weeks, I have been running a series of Linkedin Lives to help businesses and business owners grow their businesses and market themselves more effectively.
Back in April, I was joined by Claire Shelley to discuss the importance of having a mailing list and how you can use social media to grow your list and, in turn, how that list can help you create more of an impact on social media. I share our top tips and takeaways from the live in this blog.
Firstly, email marketing is a critical part of your funnel and acts as the bridge between social media and people working with you. If you work in the professional services industry or are a coach or course creator, people are unlikely to buy from you straight away, so you need to build a relationship with them.
Even those who visit your website probably won’t buy straight away, so having something they can sign up for is low risk for them and allows you to personalise your message and get your news straight into their inbox. According to Mailchimp for email, global open rates average 18%, and that doesn’t account for the number of people who will be reminded of your existence by seeing your name in front of them.
Sometimes people will say email is old hat, but most of us have our inbox open all the time. You can also see exactly who is engaging and clicking through – something you can’t do on social media.
It’s also an excellent opportunity to create longer-form content that you can repurpose for social media, which is a brilliant time-saver and a perfect way to reinforce your message.
It can also be a great way of reminding people that there is something they want to do, buy, see or action, and if it’s right there in front of them, it’s easy for them to search for.
It can also feel so much more personal. Those people have chosen to be on your list. This is a privilege in itself, and it’s a great way to build relationships.
Choose your email marketing software. There are a lot of good options out there. Mailchimp is the market leader, but Flo Desk, Active Campaign and Mailerlite are good options. Some people do send out emails from their primary email address, but this isn’t GDPR compliant; you can’t personalise or track the emails, and people can’t easily opt out!! Not a great user experience for you or them.
Email marketing software can also act as a CRM, and the opportunities to automate messages, create segments and set up nurture sequences for your products and services are worth its weight in gold.
Create a lead magnet: Personally, I’m not a fan of the terminology, but it is essentially something your audience value which you give away for free (or for a small fee) that your audience can download or use in return for an email address.
This could be a short mini training, a cheat sheet, a free template, a how-to guide or even a quiz. It needs to be valuable to your audience and answers their pain points.
There are also what I call shorter-term lead magnets – things like surveys, competitions, challenges or one-off webinars which entices people to sign up to secure something within a specific time frame.
Setup a nurture or onboarding sequence: Once people sign up, you will need to welcome them to your community and let them know a little bit more about you. You have a slightly longer series of emails, which builds that trust over time, so you’re not actually selling to people, but you’re helping them get to know you and explain a bit more about what they do.
Rather than just them just getting a lead magnet or signing up to a newsletter and then not hearing from you for six weeks and them thinking, I never signed up for that. Who is this person?
There isn’t a right or wrong answer here, but it is good to try and stay top of mind here. It’s all down to personal preference. Both Claire & I prefer shorter weekly emails. It helps you to stay top of mind without bombarding people, particularly if you are time poor or just starting out.
The other day, I had a client say that she didn’t want to feel like she was bombarding people. I asked her if she had a negative view of people who appeared in her inbox regularly she said – no. This just shows that this is often our stuff, and people notice far less than we do!!
If you are launching a new product or service, you may feel like you are talking about it and sharing it all the time!! There are a few ways to overcome this: segmenting or tagging your list so people who have already bought don’t get the same message again (a huge bugbear for me). Alternatively, you can let people know that this is a short term campaign or strategy, and it will be business as usual soon.
Remember. People choose to receive your emails, open them, and read them, and they also have a choice to unsubscribe.
Many people spend time creating a lead magnet, stick it on their website and expect people to sign up, but this takes work!! Luckily there are lots of ways to grow your list. But organically, it can take time, so you need to be realistic about it and consistent.
But, here are just some of the ways you can grow it.
On your website: You need to have a clear link to the lead magnet on your website, and it should be clearly located. Claire and I would advise erring on the side of caution when using pop-ups as they aren’t great for the user experience and don’t tend to perform as well on social media.
Your social media profile: Create a link or a pinned post to signpost people on your social media profiles and make it a feature in your bios to act as a call to action and flag it to people straight away.
Pinned posts on Twitter and Facebook work well for this. Twitter and Linkedin also have a newsletter feature that you can include use to invite people on the platform to sign up for your emails or newsletter. This highlights how vital list building can be.
It’s also important to remember that social media accounts do get shut down, and algorithms can change, so having a database of potential customers who have opted in, means the information is yours.
Utilising your network: If you are a regular networker or a member of your local business association or chamber, they may have resources and newsletters available that you can use to promote your list or a free lead magnet.
Lead Magnet Giveaways: I’ve participated in a group promotion before. You can pay to have your lead magnet in a central portal where people can download this and other valuable resources. But make sure the person running the promotion is super-aligned with your audience and objectives to ensure you end up with the right people on your list.
Sharing snippets from your lead magnet or email: Promoting the content of your lead magnet is great for repurposing but can also entice people to sign up to find out more. Behind the scenes, stories are great for this, especially as you can ask people if they want to opt-in. Creating both a conversation with them and making sure they can opt-in. This works particularly well on Instagram, with very few clickable links.
Social Media Ads: Ads can work extremely well for list building as you are not asking people to part with their hard-earned cash straight away but are offering them something they want and need. (yet). This is a great addition to your organic social media, and if you choose to promote your most successful lead magnet, you will already have an idea of how this could work for you.
In the simplest terms, ads allow you to build an audience based on your ideal clients and existing learnings, enabling you to reach a broader audience who share similar traits with your existing and ideal clients.
As your mailing list grows, you can also use that list to improve your ads by creating an audience similar to those who have visited your landing page and building a lookalike audience so Facebook can target people who look similar to those already on your mailing list. Essentially, people who are more likely to be interested in your products and services. This makes it easy to start scaling and can make list building a lot quicker and easier.
There are also ways you can build Facebook audiences from the other platforms you use, but we will save that for another day. Also, if you work in the professional services space, it’s a misconception that your clients will just be using Linkedin. They will be on other platforms, but their habits and behaviour may differ.
Short term list builders: What I call short term list builders are when you essentially offer a higher value product for a shorter period to entice people to turn up. This could be in the form of a competition, survey or free masterclass and is usually geared towards a new service or product launch and some specific information you might need.
Personally, I am a big fan of surveys as it enables you to identify what your clients might want and need and also how they feel about particular products and services.
To summarise our discussion:
If you are looking to Kickstart your email marketing or actually start it, just pop me an email and we can chat about how I can help to find out how I can help. Alternatively, if you have a social media or marketing strategy and want to integrate email marketing, you can check out my short mini-course here.
‘Focus on the core problem your business solves and put out lots of content, enthusiasm and ideas about how to solve that problem’ Laura Fitton.
Strategy and planning are essential to successful social media marketing, and taking the time to develop these will ensure you have a recipe for success.
It is tempting to ignore the foundations and simply dive in, and this probably will work for a while. But the chances are you will probably come unstuck at some point, run out of ideas and start worrying about whether everything (or anything is actually working).
I have put together ten steps to help you get strategic about your social media and use it to successfully market your business and attract more of those clients you love and want to work with – it’s the formula I use with my clients.
We all have goals within our business and things we want and need to achieve, which need to be reflected and supported by our marketing efforts. Your social media activity should reflect those goals and help you to achieve them.
It is important to note that your social media in isolation is unlikely to generate overnight sales (particularly if you have a high ticket offer). But it will ensure you have the foundations in place to achieve those goals.
Some popular social media goals for professional services businesses include:
If you are selling a service, those clients you love and want to work with (your ideal client) are buying into you and the problems you solve for them rather than a specific product.
They want to know what the outcome will be; they also need to ‘know, like and trust you.’ before they make a purchase decision. In order to know what to say about your business, you need to get specific and consider the following:
Answering these questions will make the next steps a lot easier.
The best way to find this information is to ask your clients or potential clients what they need and want to see from you. Some of the ways you can do this are by conducting customer surveys, interviewing potential customers, gathering customer feedback and researching other businesses online.
You can read more about researching your ideal client in my previous blog post here.
Deciding which platforms to use on Social Media can in itself feel a little overwhelming. Often we default to the platforms we like or assume that everyone is using Facebook?! But it is essential to consider how and why your customers are using a particular social media platform so you know what to focus on.
I have provided a quick overview of each platform below, which will hopefully help you to decide.
I would recommend focusing on two platforms and making the most of the features available and the time you spend on social media. This will serve you far better than trying to spread yourself too thinly by trying to utilise all the tools at your disposal.
Facebook: Is the world’s largest social media platform with 2.6 billion monthly users. Facebook is brilliant for reaching consumer focussed and local businesses. It is easy to run events, book appointments, sell products and share longer-form videos.
Facebook prioritise posts from friends, family and groups in our newsfeed. And with more than 80 million business pages, it can be hard to cut through the noise. It is also difficult to grow without spending money on paid advertising.
Instagram: It seems these days that everybody is a little obsessed with Instagram, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it is the right place for you to market your business.
The positives of using Instagram is that it is a brilliant space to connect and discover new people and businesses and has some fantastic features for those of you who want to develop a more collaborative approach.
However, you will need to consider whether you will be able to produce enough visual content to create an impact on the platform.
Linkedin: If you are targeting a business audience or want to interact with business leaders and decision-makers, then Linkedin should be high on your list. Traditionally a place for job hunting and recruiters, it has evolved to be the number one platform for B2B content marketing.
It also has some brilliant features to support your marketing and business growth, including an excellent search function, article sharing, live events and the option to see demographic information about your business page followers.
Business pages currently have limited functionality, so unless you have a team of people to share the content of your page, you will need to focus on building your personal profile and reputation.
Twitter: If you are looking to tap into a business audience (particularly a male one) or one in the tech, education or entertainment space, it is seriously worth considering integrating Twitter into your marketing mix.
It is very different from the other platforms as the focus is almost exclusively on trending topics and real conversation, which can be time-consuming.
Twitter has recently made a move into the audio space with the rollout of Twitter spaces. They have also recently launched Revu, their very own newsletter tool to enable users to subscribe to and share longer-form content on the platform (great for list building).
Now you have a good idea of where your clients are hanging out and what they want to hear from you, you will need to define your message and identify your point of difference and the key messages you want your content to deliver.
When defining your message, you will need to think about:
You need to provide a good mix of content that adds value but also tell people what they can buy from you and how your services solve their problems.
I recommend coming up with 5-7 content pillars (overarching themes) that you can break down to show what you do and how you do it. Some of my clients find it easier to have a daily theme in mind.
An example of this might be a coach who uses Monday to provide a motivational tip, Tuesday to focus on an area of self-improvement or how to, Wednesday to promote her services and Thursday to go behind the scenes etc.
But, don’t forget to tell people how to take the action you want them to take. I know a lot of us feel a little scared of selling on social media, so try and reframe this by focussing on how you help your clients and the solutions you provide – this will help you feel more confident and lose the ICK factor.
Your social media page or bio (depending on the platform you are using) is a little like your shop front and will be the place people go to discover more about you. So make sure you:
All of the work in stages 1-4 will have given you plenty of food for thought, and by now, I hope you are brimming with ideas to improve your social media. It’s at this stage you need to start creating content that you can share with your audience.
Personally, I am a big fan of repurposing content, so if you have existing social media content that has performed well, content on your website, in your workshops and/ or in your newsletter that has worked well. Then, by all means, break this down and reuse it.
You will need to make sure that your content is in line with your overall branding, is well written and is the appropriate size and length for platforms you choose to use.
There are literally 1000’s of tools for creating content out there, but for now, I would keep it simple and try the following:
I would advise in investing in some professional photos and some design templates. These will make you feel better but also give you a professional edge and save you valuable time.
Incorporating these into your social media posts, headers and bios will help you to get discovered. But what are they, and why are they important.
The words and phrases your customer would search for online when looking to find information about the services you provide. By incorporating these into your content, you are more likely to be seen by your target audience. So be mindful that you need to weave these into your copy but make sure you don’t sound like a robot.
Hashtags are simply a keyword with a # symbol in front of them. However, they are one of the key ways people (and the algorithms). They are super important as they help the algorithms to understand and categorise your content.
It can be tempting to use hashtags that have been used a large number of times, but hashtags that suit your content and your niche are much more likely to deliver your content to the right audience.
Social media is all about relationships and collaborations. People are primarily using it to interact with people and tell their stories. Being part of those conversations is vital for meaningful growth on social media. And interacting with others will get you seen by a wider audience and help you develop relationships that you can leverage on and offline.
A lot of us lurk on social media – if the thought of you putting yourself out there feels a little scary. Then reframe it and think about how you would act if you were in a room with real people. What would you say to them if they shared something you found helpful or if they asked you a question?
To stay on track, it is super important to regularly measure, reflect and refine your approach – particularly if you are just starting out.
This will enable you to understand what is working for you and where your focus should lie. All social media platforms have free to view analytics which you can use to track your progress and understand what works best for you.
There are 100’s of insights you and monitor, and the ones you need to focus on will depend on the goals you have in mind. But for now, here is a list of the key ones you should pay attention to.
Reach: The number of individuals who have seen your posts.
Impressions: The number of times your post was seen.
Interactions: Likes, shares, comments and saves.
Profile/ Page views: The number of people who viewed your profile and page.
Click-throughs: The number of people who clicked through to view more about your content.
The pre-work is essential, and it will set you up for success. But will save you time in the long run and enable you to focus on serving more clients without worrying about your social media.
It can be easy to get sucked in, though (social media is built like that) so make sure you set aside time in your week to do what you need to do. You can also turn off notifications and set up automated messages, so you don’t need to worry about instantly replying.
I hope you found this useful? If you would like to build a winning social media strategy yourself and have the tools support and guidance available to do this then do check out Unlock your Social Media Confidence: A 4 module course designed to teach you how to succeed on social media.
It’s no secret that social media is now an essential part of your marketing mix. Whether you are a solopreneur, a large corporation, a professional service provider or a retailer, you need to make sure that the time you spend on social media is effective and helps you get what you want and need out of it.
But it is so easy to let your strategy and plan fall through the wayside; you get busy, you need to focus on your clients or life just happens.
By conducting a regular social media audit, you will be able to:
After all in the words of George Bernard Shaw: ‘Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change…cannot change anything.’
The great news is that reviewing monthly or even quarterly won’t take up a lot of time and, you will reap the rewards as you will know exactly where to focus your efforts. Remember to benchmark against yourself and your own progress as long as things are improving; then it’s all good.
Now I will take you through step by step process of how to conduct your audit:
Let’s be honest how often do we review our pages and profiles? If you haven’t conducted a review for a while (or ever!), you will need to start with this:
If you haven’t looked at this in a while, there may be some work to do here, but the most important thing is that you have a consistent presence on the platforms you are active on and that the branding, fonts and writing styles is consistent with your website.
Also, make sure that if you have any dormant accounts that the branding is still consistent and up to date!! If you don’t want to close them in case you want to reuse them you can make the accounts private in case you want to resurrect them further down the line.
It is essential to note the key metrics for each of your social media profiles and page. I would recommend doing this for all platforms, not just the ones you are currently active on, as it is helpful to understand the demographics of your overall audience.
Make a note of the number of followers you have and the number of people that follow you. It’s probably not possible for you to assess whether all of them are relevant to your business. But overall, they should be a good mix of people who influence your audience and provide complementary services to yours. As well as Customers, current and potential clients, inspiring content and things that you like (we all need a bit of fun after all!)
All platforms contain key audience insight’s on our audiences demographics. And this is split by location, age, demographics and gender. Make a note of this data – if it matches your target audience, then great you are on the right track. If you are using a Linkedin business page, you will also be able to see the job function, employer size, location and level of seniority for each of your followers.
Use google analytics or your website analytics to see where your visitors are coming from and what they are doing when they get there. You may be getting a lot of likes on Instagram, for instance, but if Linkedin is driving more traffic and sales to your website, you may need to shift your goals and focus to account for this.
By now you should have begun to get a picture of which platforms your audience favours interacting with you on. Now it’s time to review your overall data and see what’s really happening behind the scenes.
The insights do vary from platform to platform but broadly speaking, you will be able to see and monitor the following.
Remember to note the figures and percentages so you can continue to track your improvement over time.
All businesses have different reasons for using social media, and that may also vary from platform to platform. For example, a well-established tech company may use Linkedin for recruitment and to find new clients. But may use Twitter as a customer service tool to instantly answer any tech queries.
In contrast, if your business is new, you will probably be using the platforms to increase brand awareness and grow your overall audience.
Some common goals are:
What you have learnt so far and your overall business objectives should help to inform your goals.
With your goals and your performance on each platform in mind, you need to start thinking about your best and worst-performing posts and whether they meet your goals. Looking at the good and the bad will help you get a realistic picture and focus on what is actually working.
I would recommend using a month of usual active as a benchmark, but if your social media presence is sporadic, you may need to look at the last quarter to get a true picture of your activity.
I would recommend looking at the top and bottom three posts. The top 3 will be those with a high level of reach and engagement, and the bottom 3-5 will show the opposite. It is possible but unusual these days to get a good reach with minimal engagement as the engagement stats teach the algorithm which posts will do well.
Think about why the posts performed well or poorly. Can you see a pattern?
Now you have conducted your social media audit, you should have a good understanding of what works well for your business and what doesn’t. Make sure you use these learnings to focus on the platform, content and goals that will drive your business forward.
If you think you need a social media audit and want to get a full overview of the metrics that matter and get 3-5 key takeaways to turbocharge your accounts. Then just click here to start the conversation
As a social media consultant, I have always embraced and preached the benefits of well done, strategic social media and what it can do for your business. It simply can’t be beaten as an effective way to reach a new audience and learn more about your current one. It is also for so many businesses the start of their marketing journey.
But as I also tell people, there is a risk to putting all your eggs in one basket. We are also increasingly seeing people’s social media accounts shut down overnight, leading to the loss of those carefully nurtured followers and often your content. This can’t happen with your email list – the list is yours, and people have opted in to receive content from you!
In the online age, we all have a lot of choice about what we buy and who we work with, and people need to get to know us and see us and our content many, many times before they purchase from us. As a business owner, you need to give people the opportunity to see that message and get them to a place where they understand why they want and need exactly what you are selling.
Quite simply to support your customer’s journey and establish a relationship with them. No one marketing channel is perfect, and we do need a combination of things to make our marketing work smarter and harder.
We all need to build a sales funnel of people who need our products and services and take them to the point where they become a client and one that will recommend us to their customers and friends.
But first of all, people need to know you exist. That’s where social media comes in. When done well, social media can get you in front of the audience you want and need, build your reputation and provide a window into how you operate and, crucially, how you can help them.
In contrast, those on your mailing list are (or the one you are planning to build) are a little bit closer to you. They have either:
To sum it up, a combination of social media and email marketing is extremely powerful.
To put it into the words of Erik Harbison: ‘…Social Media is the cocktail party. Email marketing is the meet up for coffee. The original one-to-one channel’.
Read on to find out the key differences and some tips on combining the two.
People tend to use social media for pleasure. They are there to browse and are unlikely to be looking for a particular product or service that they have decided to purchase (that’s what googles for).
According to Smart Insights the top reasons for people using social media are:
Regardless of this, social media is still super important for businesses. It’s a highly cost-effective way of raising awareness of what you do, building connections and creating a community!!
It’s also great for social listening and learning about your audience. Over time you will start to understand what resonates with your audience, what is helpful to them and what type of content they need from you.
You can continually access a new audience and build relationships without people having to constantly opt-in.
But there are also some downsides to social media. Firstly, only a small percentage of your audience will see your posts as you are competing for a limited amount of space in the newsfeed.
Secondly, you are subject to changes in the pesky algorithm and reliant on a third party (Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter etc.) to keep you connected to that following you have carefully built.
Thirdly, it can be hard to stay on top of the workings of each platform and come up with fresh ideas to keep your audience engaged.
Quite simply, social media is there to provide a taster, raise awareness and get your audience thinking YES!! I want to know more. How do I find out?
You then need to consider the next step’s – how will you turn those followers into raving fans and customers? Those who engage with you remember what you do and come back for more.
This is where email marketing comes in. In contrast to social media, your email will be delivered directly to that person’s inbox. They may not choose to open it straight away, but they will see it, and your name will be front of mind.
According to Mailchimp, email marketing has an average global open rate of 18% doesn’t account for all those who spotted that email in their inbox and were reminded that you exist.
In contrast, Facebook posts will only reach around 3% of your followers.
Moreover, you can serve specific content to individual people on your mailing list based on
You can also see which individuals are regularly engaging with your emails. The higher the email open rate is – the more interested they are in your products and services.
Email also feels a bit more personal and is often addressed to us as individuals from another individual, which psychologically makes us feel a little bit special!
This is a golden opportunity for you, so you will need to make the most of it and ensure they are getting the content they want and need, and that helps them to make a purchase decision.
In return, you get the opportunity to own that list (no risk of having your account shut down or that pesky algorithm changing). But you can also monitor which individuals are most engaged with you and also how they got there! This will help you understand who is likely to buy and which products or services resonate with them.
If you are still reading this, you probably think this sounds great, but how do I even make a start on my mailing list, and what would I talk about?
If you are a product-based business that retails online, you have the option to ask people to opt in when they purchase a product. You can even run a £ or percentage discount on your website to encourage people to join your mailing list and claim that discount off of their first purchases!
I have honestly lost count of the number of times I have chosen one website or product over another because of this very thing. So you get a sale and also a commitment to continue marketing to that person on a one-to-one basis—a total win-win.
Suppose you are a service-based business owner, though? In this case, it isn’t as simple as offering a discount on your products or services in exchange for an email address. As people’s consideration to purchase from you is mored considered and probably won’t be on a whim – the likelihood is you will still be building that ‘know, like, trust factor.
You will therefore need a compelling reason for people to opt-in. This could be as simple as a downloadable freebie to help them or their business, a free video or masterclass, a fun quiz, or even a competition!
You will need to know what your audience wants and what is helpful to them – So make sure you do your research!
You will need to create something and make sure it is easily accessible via your website and social media links – so your audience can easily find it and download it. You will also need to ensure you have an email marketing system up and running: Mailchimp, mailerlite and active campaign are all good options.
Lastly, you will need to have a strategy in place to onboard and regularly email those on your list. This will need to tie in with your overall marketing strategy and support your sales.
You will also need to shout loud and often about your list and your freebie on your social media and in your other marketing channels to ensure that list continues to grow!!
Stuck for content ideas? Make sure you download my free Ultimate social media content guide and find some inspiration.
Last week I ran a poll in my Facebook Group; I asked my lovely members what their most prominent social media challenge was. The top result was ‘I don’t know where my ideal clients hang out.
It’s a question I have been asked time and time again, and I know it’s a massive frustration for so many service-based business owners. They often explain it to me in this way:
The good news is that all of these things are fixable, but you need to rewind and ask yourself the following questions:
We spend so much focussing on our clients that we often don’t think about who we want or need to be working with. But once you take the time to do this, a lot of things will fall into place (although this won’t happen overnight).
Think back to when you started your business: Did you retrain, did you leave a corporate career and what were the reasons for doing so, what was your motivation and who did you want to help?
I work with a lot of therapists, coaches and business advisors (my ideal clients), and most of them tell me they started their business because they had seen the positive impact the services they now offer had on people’s lives and businesses. They wanted to be part of that journey and spread that message.
Firstly, ask yourself: Why do I do what I do?
You can brainstorm, you can write it down or even better, get someone to ask you and video/ record what you say (you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to quantify once you say it!)
Then you need to think about:
Often we fail to focus on the values part, but if you were interviewing for a job and the company culture didn’t match your ethos or what you were looking for, you probably wouldn’t want that job! It’s the same in your business. Whether we know it or not, our values underpin everything we do, and if our client’s values don’t match ours, the chances are it’s not going to be a happy union!
There is a lot of talk around niching your business/ your audience at the moment. As a business owner, particularly if you have just started out, the notion might sound scary! That little voice in your head tells you that you might be missing out on a huge pool of people who might buy from you.
Not everyone will buy from you, and that’s ok; actually, it’s more than ok. Because it means you can focus on those who really need you, and there will be plenty of those people. The great thing is that this makes it much easier to refine your messaging and understand what works and what your customers need.
The good news is that niching doesn’t need to be about a particular industry or group of people. It can be about who you help and the problem you solve – but you need to be clear on this.
If you are developing a new service or proposition, it makes sense to do your research and ask potential customers what they want and need from you and what they like about your products or services.
But before that, you need to research your ideal client. If you are lucky enough to already have some clients you love or even contacts you love to work with, You can always ask if you can interview them to find out more about their:
Most people will be flattered you to asked. This is also a great way to build relationships as it shows your customers you are interested in them and encourages conversation without selling!
Survey’s and polls also work well. Although these need to be more focussed and specific, they are brilliant for finding out how your audience consumes content, what they know about your services and, the challenges and struggles they have that relate to your business and your content.
If you are already marketing your business, make sure you analyse it to see what is working and what isn’t. What we see on the surface isn’t always the whole picture. You can learn just as much from something that isn’t working as from something that is.
You have now uncovered a whole load of information about your ideal client, so it’s time to create a client profile. A client profile is a fictional representation of a real person that reflects your dream client (you can base it on an actual client). But it is essentially a profile of your target customer based on the research you have done.
It is recommended to have between 3-5, but one well thought out one will be much easier to create. You will need to include:
Having clearly defined user personas will help you empathise with your customers and position your messaging to resonate with them.
By now, you will have a better idea of where your audience is and how you can target them. However, it is essential to remember that most people have multiple social media accounts and use each platform for different purposes. They may not have given too much thought to why they are using that Social Media Platform, so you’ll need to conduct your own research.
You could do the following:
Facebook: Still, the Worlds most popular social media platform with 2.5 billion active uses per month. Facebook is excellent at identifying and reacting to what its users want, and it’s not going anywhere.
Instagram:Also owned by Facebook, Instagram originally started off as a photo-sharing site. It has 1.2 billion active users a month, and those who have an Instagram account are amongst the most active on the internet.
Twitter: Quick to use on the go and completely open to the public. Twitter is brilliant for interacting with brands, customer service, research and driving conversation.
Linkedin: Seen initially as an online CV store. Linkedin has grown to be the no. 1 site for B2B marketing with a high-value client base who are actively looking to make business connections.
YouTube: 2020 was a massive year for Youtube as we consumed more video than ever before. The original video sharing site which boasts more than 2 billion logged-in users per month.
Pinterest: Not technically a social media site, Pinterest is more of a search engine as people intend to purchase products and goods.
There is also an entire module in my Unlock your Social Media Confidence course on telling your story, developing a user persona, and attracting your ideal client! As well as full demographics and a walkthrough of each platform. You can find out more here.
Even if you are a productivity ninja, it can be hard to stay on top of everything. Sadly, as a small business owner, it can be challenging to make time for your marketing and focus on growing your business.
In 2021’s online and digital landscape, it is more than ever crucial to stay visible, be consistent and add value for our audience. There are people out there who want and need your services and for us service-based providers people will often be considering our services for a year or more before they ‘know, like and trust you enough to take that leap.’
Being visible doesn’t mean showing up every day and creating loads of video although if you have time and the inclination then go for it, that’s great! If not read on, find out how you can stay visible, save yourself time and be more productive.
1.Be consistent: The algorithm and your audience love consistency for many of us; this means posting on our social media every day. But if this is a struggle for you to work out what is feasible according to your schedule, what content is meaningful to your audience? And stick to that goal even if it is only 2-3 times per week!
2.Make the most of your Bio: When was the last time you updated your profile? Does it say what you do, how you can help and who you work with?
3.Use a clear call to action: You are focussing on producing content for your audience that helps them, adds value and positions you as a thought leader. BUT if you don’t tell people how to take the next step. Someone may really want to work with you, but if they don’t know how to contact you or take the next step, then the chances are they won’t do it.
4.Use the content you have: What has worked in the past, and how can it be repurposed? Do you have blogs, videos or website content you can use and breakdown? I actually repurposed this blog by transcribing a video with the help of www.zubtitle.com and have started dictating some posts using www.evernote.com. This will save you time and can also be your authentic voice!
5. Identify which platform & format works for you: We have A LOT of choices when it comes to using social media for our businesses, and like anything, if we try to do too much we usually end up doing nothing at all. Use the platform insights to identify where your audience is hanging out. Once you have identified the platforms, look at the formats you are using and see what works best. This way, you can focus on the content that is working for you.
6. Show up at the right time: Check when your followers are online and when they are engaging and make sure you schedule, post, and engage with people at the right time. It’s so disheartening when you curate the perfect post which you know helps your audience, and no one sees it you may be able to change this by simply tweaking the times! You will need to trial what works for you, though.
7. Leverage your personal brand: We all have a personal brand it is every interaction we have with someone, every email we send and every social media post we write. Don’t be afraid to share yours, it what makes you tick and helps you build and find your tribe.
8. Share behind the scenes content: Sharing behind the scenes content helps your audience understand who you are, how you do what you do, and crucially helps them to relate to you.
9. Engagement: Get out there and talk to your potential customers, the people you learn from and the people who are influential to your followers by liking, commenting and sharing their posts you build credibility, bring your audience the information and content they need and get in front of a broader and potentially different audience who could be on the lookout for your products and services.
10. Take a break: Yes, consistency is vital when marketing your business, but we all need a break from time to time. So if you need one take one, you will come back with fresh ideas and fresh eyes.
If you are serious about getting your social media to work smarter and harder! Then make sure you sign up for my 5-day challenge: Get Intentional, Get Visible and turn those followers into paying clients or Download: The Ultimate Social Media Content Guide.
It’s New Year’s Eve, and I had planned to be all ready for 2021. My social thoroughly planned out, launch dates confirmed, and forecasting completed. But, it’s not, and one of the things this year has taught me is that it’s ok and that I really needed the last two weeks to rest, reflect and spend some time with my loved ones.
We can’t always plan and be ready for everything life throws our way and sometimes trying to plan when you’re not in the right headspace can be counterproductive.
Rewind to January 2020
This year kicked off with the launch of my website! It was an exciting time; I’d mapped out the year and planned to expand my group workshops into other areas in Sussex as well as working in house with businesses to help them use Social Media to grow. Working online was something I had done in the past, but as someone who loves working face to face, it certainly wasn’t a massive part of my plan. When I look back to January, I recalled l that someone actually contacted me to ask if this is something I would do!
January and February were super exciting. The business was growing, and I was lucky enough to meet some fantastic l people via my group training, networking events, and co-working.
At the time COVID was starting to be reported on the news. But to be honest, it wasn’t something I worried about, nor did I think about how it might impact my business.
On Friday 13th March, I ran a fully booked workshop ‘How to Build a Social Media Strategy.’ The group consisted of 2 x retailers, a hair salon owner, a counsellor, a coach, a photographer, a charity founder and a reflexologist (all of whom were to weeks later find their businesses closed).
They were a great group, but the atmosphere was sombre, and there was a definite tension in the room. It was all becoming quite worrying, and there were whispers of school closures. I started to make plans to move my upcoming workshops online.
The following week my husband, Ben, became quite ill and we decided to remove our children from school and nursery and to stay at home! I don’t think either of us knew that they wouldn’t be returning.
The day after we went into Lockdown I couldn’t sleep, I woke up early and set up a Facebook Group and I wrote: I wrote an email about what to say on social media during the CoronaVirus pandemic, my tips were:
Crucially it didn’t differ that much from my usual advice, (but I knew so many people were worried about promoting their products and services). This is still the advice I still give and have followed ever since, albeit with the addition of including a break when it all gets too much and as I sit here at my kitchen table (a place I have spent more hours than I can even think about this year!) I reflect on what 2020 has taught me.
The ten lessons I learnt: from 2020
I also learnt that I am not cut out for homeschooling, full-time parenting, and really hate crafts! But I’m okay with that and so are my kids- they are already asking when they can get back to school and nursery!
Finally, I just really miss people and although it will never be the same as face to face interaction I am so grateful to live in an age where we can communicate with written words, photos and video! I also feel fortunate that I can and do now work with people all over the world to help them develop and implement a social media strategy they feel confident about and that aids growth.
2020 you certainly weren’t a year I would want to repeat, but when I look back at my photos and messages and the connections I forged. I do feel a little bit thankful. I hope I learn some more life lessons in 2021 but surrounded by people!
In today’s digital age the average consumer is spending in excess of 2 hours a day on social media. According to smartinsights.com research shows that 43% of people have increased the time they spend on social media during the lockdown. They are using it to communicate with friends and loved ones, find news and entertaining content but also to find out about products and services they never knew existed or didn’t need before.
But, those consumers are a savvy bunch they are not looking to be sold to and want to find valuable content that enriches their lives and informs their purchase decisions. If you are reading this you have probably identified that there is a bit more to social media for business than posting the occasional selfie or product offer and crossing your fingers.
In this article, I outline how and why a Social Media Strategy vital for your success.
Yes, you will need to invest time and money at the beginning of the process and look inwardly at your business and at what your customers want but the longer-term outcome is that you will have a consistent strategy and plan that meets your objectives, can be planned in advance and measured so you understand what is working and what isn’t.
A robust social media strategy will involve an element of customer research and the development of User Personas. This will enable you to get to know your customers better and develop content that answers their questions. Rather than a vague idea of who you are speaking to you will have defined person in your head and be able to formulate and answer the questions they ask. I recently ran through this process with a client and we came up with 200 pieces of content around one of her products and that product was pensions!
If you are a service-based business provider you will need to promote yourself as part of your service. Unless you are lucky enough to have a unique business the likelihood is your customers will have 100’s of photographers, accountants and coaches to choose from. Why they choose you and choose to stay with you will be down to the relationship you build with them as well as the service you provide so if you are showing up and adding value you will become a trusted source of information for that person before they have even met you.
As you begin to see the results and better understand what resonates with people you will be inspired and motivated to keep ongoing.
By understanding where your audience hang out you will be able to target them in the right place and at the right time. This will focus you on those 1 to 2 platforms your audience is actually using and enable you to plan and produce content accordingly.
One of the great things about social is you can track the journey of your audience and find out information about them that can be used to understand their buying habits and help you to formulate new products and services. In theory, this is great but if you don’t understand what to look out for you won’t be able to measure your progress effectively. A social media strategy will help you to define those objectives and focus on the relevant insights.
If you lack direction and are inconsistent the likelihood is that people will be drawn to your competitors because they won’t understand what you do nor will you have established that ‘know, like, trust’ factor and a need for your products and services.
“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media. The question is, how well we do it.”
Continually coming up with new content is time-consuming and that’s time that could be spent doing the work you love to do and focussing on other parts of your business. A strategic approach to your social media will enable you to identify and share the content you already have. Repurpose and reuse what has worked previously and identify successful content that can be used elsewhere.
Social media is all about storytelling and creating a two-way conversation. A social media strategy will help you to understand who you need to talk to, what you should talk to them about and who and what your audience is influenced by. This will set you on the path for high-quality organic growth as well as given you more content to share.
It takes between 8-12 points of contact before someone will buy from you! (yes – you read that correctly!) In today’s Digital World we are constantly surrounded by brand advertising and messaging. No one is entirely sure but it is estimated that the average person sees around 6,000 ads a day and that’s not to mention all the organic content and emails we see from friends, clients and colleagues.
Obviously, there is only so much content that our brains can process so the rest will just be filtered out and forgotten. So if your content isn’t consistent, on-brand and of high quality you won’t be memorable.
If you want to get clear on your social media strategy and use it to build your business and your confidence. You can find out more about my new course: Unlock your Social Media Confidence: 4 steps to sales with your social media strategy.
The course starts on 18th October and is designed to take you from zero to social media hero in 4 modules.
It’s 2020, and social media is more important for businesses than ever before. According to Statista, 67% of the UK’s population are active on social media. With the average user spending 2 hours and 22 minutes per day consuming content.
If used properly, it can be a highly cost-effective way to market your business. Offering endless opportunities to increase brand awareness, generate leads and drive traffic to your website.
According to Shareable companies who focus on social selling and building customer relationships on social media see an average of 119% better ROI than those that choose to ignore it.
If you are a small business or just starting, it can be hard to find the time to build an active social media presence and can also feel a bit like shouting into a tunnel. Using social media to market your business is also very different from using it personally.
Firstly, you will need to develop a robust strategy which takes into account your business objectives, the needs of your audience and who you need to engage with.
You will also need to understand insights to help you work with the algorithms and regularly assess what is working and what isn’t.
Social media training can and will help you to do this. Read on for my top reasons why you should invest in social media training today.
When it comes to social media, there is no such thing as a one size fits all approach. Training will be bespoke to your needs and help you to identify and focus on the areas that will help you to grow your business and build an emotional connection with your customers.
Time is precious and without a robust understanding of your social media objectives and how to use it you and your employees will spend a significant amount of time researching how to plan content, monitor changes and whether to use Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or all four.
Investing in training will remove this headache by helping you to understand what you need to prioritise and how to strategically and effectively meet your objectives.
Not knowing how to do something is frustrating and demotivating. Social media training will equip you with the knowledge and the tools you need to implement your ideas and measure your success.
It will help you to understand what platforms your audience are using. Which type of content is working and how to get in front of your desired target audience. Giving you the confidence to embrace social media and use it in a whole new way.
Understanding what you are doing and learning to use social media in a strategic way effective way will ensure you know where to focus your efforts and stop you from wasting money on producing content that doesn’t reflect you or your business or resonate with your audience.
You have built a business you are proud of, so why not show it off? Research shows that 60% of people will check out a small business on social media before purchasing from them. A strong, engaging social media presence will ensure you achieve stand out, build a loyal following and create a customer experience that adds value.
Social media is continually evolving. Algorithm’s change, rules on best practice change and new tools come out all the time. Regular training and investment in your social media will help you to stay ahead of your competitors and benefit yourself and your team.
Consumers today expect the buying process to be a two-way conversation. We object to being sold to and are far more likely to buy from brands we have an emotional connection with and who share content that is both informative and that we can connect with emotionally. Telling your story and sharing insight and information into what you do and how you do it. Will increase the ‘know, like, trust’ factor and help you to build high-value relationships with your audience.
Social media training will help you take your business to the next level. To, find out more about our social media training.
Find out what The Sussex Social could do for your business.