Linkedin Live Series: How to Succeed on Social Media in 2022
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:
Why is it important to be visible on Social Media?
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.
How to overcome your fear of being visible?
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.
How often should I post?
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!!
It’s all in the content plan:
When developing one, sit down and think:
- What does my audience want to hear from me?
- How can I provide value?
- How can I educate and inspire them?
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:
- What are my consistent messages?
- What am I promoting?
- How does this support my business or personal objectives?
- What are the things I can say about my business?
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.
When should I post:
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.
Keep it simple
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.
Should I be doing Video?
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.
Beth’s tips for Instagram Reels
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.
Focus on the transformation, not the format.
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.
Question: Is it beneficial to share the same content on Instagram as Linkedin?
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.
Remember that audience isn’t yours
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.
Question: Is Facebook Dead?
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.
Engagement and Connection are super important
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.
Don’t get sucked in
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.