Get a Healthier Social Media Presence in 2019 with this FREE PDF Audit Checklist!

Is your social media presence giving you the results you want?
How do you compare to competition and other leaders in your industry?
Do you know how to take your social media marketing to the next level?

Many businesses set up a Facebook Page, Blog or Twitter profile with the aim of utilising the great benefits in getting social on the web. Some however go on to find that over time they either don’t know how to efficiently use their social media platforms or just put them lower down on their list of marketing priorities. The unfortunate result is that these businesses do not then experience the overwhelming benefits for their brand presence, reach and sales in using social media effectively. To ensure that you do not end up in a similar situation, a Social Media Audit is a kind of ‘Health Check’ for your business, designed to help and guide you back on track and refocus your efforts to make sure you can understand how to use social media effectively for your business.

A Social Media Heath Check is a service I offer, but as it’s nearing the new year and, as such, is a perfect time for you to give your social media the once over, I’m giving you a very early Christmas present – a free downloadable (more user-friendly!) version of the actual checklist I use for Social Media Health Checks! It sadly doesn’t come with the extensive bespoke suggestions and report that is supplied when I conduct a Social Media Health Check (Although you can head over to this page and get your business booked in for a health check and receive one 😉 ) It does however, give you a clear, easy-to-follow and easy-to-fill-in Health Check Checklist which gives you a great head start to a healthier social media presence in 2019 !

Download your Social Media Audit Checklist

Special Offer for Lancashire Businesses!

LANCASHIRE BUSINESS OFFER!

Ah’reet cocker! Is your Facebook Page mithering you?

Thee needn’t bother worrying anymore… As Local Lancashire Businesses Get the Special Offer of Full Facebook Management for only £100 per month!

No Contract – take it one month at a time, with the same set fee, guaranteed fuss-free!


 

Facebook Management Benefits;

Page Set-Up or Optimization of Existing Page – Fully set up new account or check and optimize existing one.

Audience Building – This includes daily effort of finding influencers and optimising content/account for user engagement.

Content Creation – Engaging and valuable content will be created organically using external sources plus relevant assets supplied or if preferable, check and optimise content you have written and make your existing marketing materials work in the social media environment.

Reputation Management – This includes daily monitoring and responding to online customer conversations about your business, including feedback, questions and general inquiries, compliments and complaints. A truly 24/7 customer service, service!

Content Distribution – Content will be distributed and tailored effectively and daily. There are no numerical limits to the number of posts.

Monthly Tracking and Progress Report – At the end of each month a progress report is supplied, documenting insights that show how the page is performing. This will look into what content is most engaging with followers, user likes, amongst many other important metrics. Information from this report can help guide content creation for the following month to maximise social media effectiveness and engagement.


 

For more information or to enquire about this offer get in touch quoting the code HOTPOT!

📧 info@scarlettdarbyshire.co.uk

 

Not Enjoying Self-Employment? Here’s How to Fall Back in Love With Your Business!

From winning new projects, a diary full of promising meetings, to even decorating your new office and picking out all your fresh new folders and stationary… those first few development years of business ownership are exhilarating and full of adventure! No two days are ever the same and with every day comes a new experience and learning curve… and you loved every minute of it. But now? All of a sudden, those long hours you love to put in, are now a chore. Your focus is gone. Maybe your personal and home life are suffering as a result of the constant stress. Like everyone else unhappy with their job, you sit there with a sense of despair on Sunday night at the thought of another Monday back at your desk. Ultimately, everything about your business has become a burden. A burden that you undertake with zero passion.

You’re not sure how or when you started to feel this way. You just know something doesn’t feel right anymore. You’ve suddenly become one of those people who dreams of escaping your mundane unhappy work life in the quest for something more exciting. Starting your own small business is a bit like falling in love: it’s exciting, exhilarating, and new. You don’t mind putting in the hours and effort during the beginning because you feel like your building something good. But just like in the affairs of the heart, when it comes to business it’s all too easy to let the passion slide. Take off the rose-tinted glasses and after the adrenaline rush subsides the reality sets in and you may discover that not everything about running a business is so wonderful. There are tasks you absolutely hate to do, activities you find stale, technical difficulties to test your patience and clients and vendors who you may not get on with at all.

Before you make the huge decision to dump something you’ve worked so hard to make a success, consider how you can rekindle that lost spark. All people from all walks of life have those moments and periods of wanting to pack it all in, its completely natural. However, you owe it to yourself and your business to decide whether this is just a wobbly period (99% of the time is!) or your mind is made and that’s it you’re done!

Does this all sound familiar to you? Let’s highlight some of the danger signs and if you find yourself nodding along and saying ‘yep, that’s me’ then read on for top tips to get you feeling the love!

  • You’ve taken on too much, you’re wearing so many ‘job hats’ that it’s overwhelming
  • You no longer have the time to ensure you are keeping your clients/customers happy.
  • Business plan? Haha what is that… I haven’t looked at in ages/ever!
  • Your cash flow is a serious problem
  • You’re working long hours and hate every second of it
  • You’re putting things off and finding everything else to do but solve your problems.

 

Thankfully, you can rekindle the flames of passion for your business by making a few subtle (tried and tested!) changes in how you work and think. Here are seven tips to help you love your business again!

 

  1. Take a holiday! Most business owners rarely take a break, and if they do, they are still not fully switched off… they still answer emails, have the laptop available etc. Repeat after me … ‘YOUR CLIENTS CAN LIVE WITHOUT YOU FOR TWO WEEKS, THE WORLD IS NOT GOING TO END!’ Get a holiday booked that’s purely for you, designed for lots of rest and relaxation. No worrying about answering emails, listening to answerphone messages and dare I say it… no social media! You might find a holiday to escape from it all, and one that gives you (and your brain!) a chance to relax and slow down, is just what you needed to fall back in love with your business. Don’t feel guilty either – everyone needs a break and your clients will understand. Just give them plenty of notice and away you go.

 

  1. With your newly refreshed state of mind… start again! After a holiday you always feel relaxed, rested and re-motivated. Before you go back straight into work and catching up – take a day to spring clean your business. Use this new-found positivity to clear out the garbage (ineffective procedures, bad clients and maybe even literally clear out the garbage if you have a messy office!). Simply ask yourself questions such as; what can I get rid of that’s not working/making me unhappy? What’s something that’s costing me lots of money? Can I get rid completely or find a cheaper alternative? What can I do to make my business more efficient? What ideas can I implement to make my clients happier? What skills can I learn that will benefit my business? By examining your life and reviewing your typical work day/week/month you can work out all the areas that are good/bad and act on that to help you solve many of your business issues and set yourself up for success!

 

  1. Streamline processes to relive overwhelm! If the main problem within your business is that you feel overwhelmed, running around doing 1001 jobs, then you will really benefit from looking objectively at your business to identify the areas in which your time is being taken up unnecessarily. You can majorly improve your productivity and free up a lot of your time by implementing software, delegating tasks, hiring a freelancer and other tactics designed to be utilized by business owners like yourself to improve workflow and yield better results! Constantly chasing up invoices? Implement a software to do it for you. Absolutely hate answering the business calls? Hire a company who’s job it is to do that. You can easily free up your time by streamlining your current processes and delegating the ones you hate to someone else, leaving you happier, less overwhelmed and of course your business becomes more productive and professional as a result.

 

  1. Remind yourself why you started your business! If you’re unhappy with your life and business, it’s easy to forget why you launched your own venture in the first place and the huge benefits you receive from it. When it comes down to it, you‘re the boss. You can take time off when you want, work the hours that suit you, pick and choose your clients and have control over your future. Ok so you are thinking of quitting self-employment, for what? To go back to the ratrace working for someone else, 9-5, a condescending boss, traffic and working all the hours under the sun to make someone else rich! That’s crazy to want to go back into! If you need to fall back in love with your business, take a few minutes to be humble and grateful. You are living the life that most people only dream they had to guts to do! Yes it may be stressful at times, but surely all the massive positives outweigh the negatives you experience sometimes.

 

  1. Have good support around you! Running your own business can be a very lonely affair, especially if no one in your inner circle runs their own business so can’t relate to how you are feeling. It needn’t be, however as there are so many business support networks around in the form of monthly groups, networking opportunities, online communities etc. where you can meet up, get out the office and talk to like-minded people who can offer advice, support and a new way of thinking about things. Don’t underestimate a simple coffee with a friend or family member too! A nice chat to whinge and whine to get things off your chest can do the world of good – as they say a problem shared is a problem halved! – so make sure you have a lot of people around you who you can talk you when things are getting too much as this support can make the difference to help you succeed.

 

  1. Work out your plan! If you are on a weight loss plan, for example, how great does it feel when you hit your weekly/monthly target and keep knocking those targets out the park! How motivating it is to see yourself working hard to achieve this positive life changing goal. The same logic can be applied to building and making a success of your own business. Take the time to work “on” your business by setting time aside to plan your goals and create a bigger picture of what you want to achieve. Identify realistic goals and objectives and create a roadmap that guides you towards that success! Make sure you regularly review your master plan and check your progress toward achieving your goals. When you see yourself hitting those goals you will feel a sense of motivation and fulfilment knowing you are one step towards where you want to be. Importantly, don’t feel sad if you don’t hit your goal, simply assess what you missed and learn what you need to do to make sure you hit it next month… you’re only human remember!

 

  1. Book your next holiday! The logic here is that you will always have something to look forward to. Taking a break, even if its just a few days away is so important for a business owner. A holiday refreshes you, gets you a change of scenery, reminds you how good you really have it (after all, you didn’t have to ask anyone else’s permission to go on holiday – you just did it because you could as you’re the boss!) and that time away even gives you a chance to miss your business! All of which gear you up for an ultra-positive stint for when you get back to your desk!

 

What are your top tips for staying motivated as a business owner?

How to Build More Members of Your Facebook Group

Groups for Pages, enables the 70 million+ Pages on Facebook to create their own unique communities and feeds. More than 1 billion people around the world use Groups and more than 100 million people see Groups as the most important part of their experience on Facebook. Facebook Groups are the place to connect with other like-minded people and are becoming increasingly important for brands and businesses aiming to cultivate a community.

Whether you choose to have just a Facebook Page, Group or Both in your Facebook marketing mix, Here’s a quick overview of the positive features for each:

 

Facebook Page

  • Built-in analytics (Page Insights).
  • Call-to-action button (e.g. Sign Up, Book Now, Learn More) on your Facebook Page.
  • Boost your Facebook Page and Page posts with Facebook ads.
  • Like and comment as your Facebook Page.
  • Add apps and services to your Facebook Page, so that your fans can easily order a product, make a booking, get a quote and more.

 

Facebook Group

  • Built-in analytics (Group Insights) now.
  • Set your Facebook group as private (Closed or Secret).
  • Post documents, create polls, and even buy and sell in your Facebook group.
  • Group chat with your group members.
  • Members receive notifications about new posts to the Group.

 


Click Here to Learn How to Set Up Facebook Groups for Pages


 

10 Things you Can Use Your Facebook Group For:

  • Building Relationships
  • Growing a Community
  • Establishing Yourself as an Expert
  • Share your Blog Posts
  • Drive Traffic to your Website
  • Grow Your Subscriber / Email List
  • Launch New Products and Sell Existing Ones
  • Host Trainings
  • Find Partners

 

Tips For Growing your Group

  • Engage With Your Members Regularly

When your community is in its initial small stage, there might not be many posts from your community members. Help cultivate conversation by regularly (perhaps 2/3 times a week) adding relevant, helpful conversations to encourage engagement. For example, you could welcome your new members every Monday, initiate a discussion on every Wednesday, and invite members to share their weeks’ achievements on Friday.

 

  • Use Analytics to Inform Your Strategy

Group Insights can be accessed by clicking on “Group Insights” on the left sidebar. Here, you can find out insights such as how your Facebook Group is growing, when your members are most engaged, and who your most engaged members are. Use these metrics and insights to inform your community-building strategy.

 

  • Host Regular Events

Hosting events is a great way to get community members involved and attract inactive members back to the community. In-personal meetups help to reinforce the connections made online, making the relationships more meaningful. Here are some online and offline events you could host:

  • AMAs (Ask-Me-Anything) with a community member or industry expert
  • Q&As with someone from your company
  • Talks and panel discussions
  • Mastermind sessions or community discussions
  • Casual get-to-know-each-other gatherings such as brunch, picnic, dinner, etc.

 

Once you have planned your event, create an event in your Facebook Group and invite members to attend.

 

  • Email Your List and Invite them to Join

If people subscribe to your email list, send them a welcome email with a link to join your group!

 

  • Write a Blog Post Promoting Your Facebook Group

This is a great way to get in front of a new audience and attract more people to your group. You can use this piece of content and promote it on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook to expand your reach.

 

  • Leverage Your Friends and Group Members

Encourage your members to invite their friends in your post, group description and per private message directly when inviting them to your group. You may also encourage your group members to help you and reward those who put in the most effort.

 

  • Advertise Your Group

Remember to promote the link to your group on other social media sites like Twitter or in YouTube videos etc, wherever you can. You should also look to post the link to your group in similar groups and invite members directly to join your group via private message. Don’t be spammy with this technique though, simply ‘like’ other members posts and write them a private message, asking them to join your group so you can create new relationships at the same time and they will more likely have a look at your post in your own group.

 

Top Tip: Get rid of Spammers. Admonish or delete spammers to keep your group clean and on topic. Decide who you are going to accept in your group and check out their profiles if necessary.

 

  • Make Sure you Respond to Every Post in Your Group

You want to reward people for posting high quality content into your group, so reward them by commenting and letting them know how much you like what they’re posting. Think positive reinforcement.

 

  • Give Your Group What They Want

You’ll be surprised at how being of service will build your client base, no matter what your business is. Ask people what their needs, wants and desires are, and structure your posts around that. The more you can fill a need, the better.

7 Things You Must Do Every Month to Keep Your Social Media Profiles Fresh!

In order to keep your social media platforms fresh, relevant and effective there are several monthly maintenance jobs you need to complete. By regularly monitoring your pages and making it a habit to assess your settings, competitors and other important aspects, you ensure that your social media marketing is highly effective helping you to maximise your ROI.

 

  • Update Your Bios and Descriptions: Are your descriptions on your platforms relevant and up to date? Ensure you regularly update your bios with and new key information, links, messages or any other important information such as a new email address or website link.

 

  • Update Your Logos, Cover Images, Banners and Backgrounds: Are you logos and other visual identity covers up to date and relevant? By updating your social media logo and cover images to represent the current trends, seasons and any other important info like offers, sales and promotions, you keep your pages feeling fresh for your fans and followers.

 

  • Organise your Followings: If you follow a lot of blogs or have a large Twitter following it is worthwhile getting organised with up to date lists that contain the content and people you want to be able to find easily. On Twitter itself you can create lists based on interests or organise the updates from important users and influencers, if you already utilise this feature then ensure it is kept up to date and organised. If you don’t use Twitter lists then it’s worthwhile that you start.

 

  • Assess your Competitors Pages: Regularly examining what your competitors are doing on their social media platforms can reveal a lot of useful information to help you inform your own strategy. Explore keys are such as which social media platforms they are using, How engaged their fans are, what types of content they share , which types of content draw the most engagement, are they doing anything new? And are they using any social media platforms that you aren’t?

 

  • Review Page Permissions and Privacy Settings: It is important for security purposes that you review who has access to your social media pages, both people and third party applications and update these permissions accordingly. Ideally if a person who knows your passwords has since left your business you should change all of your passwords immediately. As a general rule of thumb however you should look to update your passwords on a quarterly or every few months basis.

 

  • Explore New Options and Keep up With Trends and Developments: Every month you should look at any emerging trends and developments in your industry and social media platforms that you need to be aware of and that you can utilise. Regularly check to see if you’re missing out on any new network features that could benefit you by checking the official websites and blogs of your social media platforms. You should also be up to date on industry trends, developments and any new emerging social media platforms by regularly reading articles and following industry influencers.

 

  • Revisit and Assess Goals: Key to your success is meeting your social media goals and objectives so ensure you regularly take a look at your analytics across your social media platforms to ensure you are meeting all aspects of them. As time progresses you may find your strategy and goals need to change or adapt therefore it is important to regularly assess your goals and ensure they are still the ones you want to aim for.

 

Useful Tools and Apps to Help You Market Smart

Updating Facebook, creating images for Pinterest; posting a stream of Tweets and or crafting your weekly blog post – all of these tasks can easily eat away at your day until there is little or no time for anything else. Those with the budget can hire a dedicated social media manager to do all this for them, but for a cash-strapped start-up with no budget for a freelancer, it can feel like a struggle to get your marketing successfully off the ground. Be thankful therefore, that there are a huge variety of great tools available that are all specifically designed to address these issues.  Utilising the ready available tools to help you manage your social media presence will make the whole process significantly more streamlined and free up your day for other important tasks to growing your business.

 

  • Canva

Visual content is vital in your social media marketing. Turn to Canva to help you easily produce high-quality, eye-catching mages for free or if you have a budget, gain access to thousands of graphics and photos. They offer numerous templates that help your images look like a great designer has done them (but in the fraction of the time and cost!).

 

  • Buffer

Buffer makes allows you to create a posting schedule for your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+ pages all in one place, which makes posting your social-media content across multiple social media accounts is a whole lot easier.

 

  • Brand24

Brand24 delivers real-time information on what’s been said as well as what is going on with your competition. This continual insight not only saves you having to search around for what people are saying about your brand, but it will help you effectively respond to positive and negative comments across your social-media platforms, so you can stay engaged with your audience and utilise any potential sales opportunities.

 

  • Cyfe

Cyfe is a cloud-based service that allows you easily monitor and share all of your vital business data from one single location in real-time. It delivers detailed reports related to SEO, Google Analytics, AdWords and brand mentions. Cyfe can also help with industry and competitor research as a business intelligence tool, helping to turn data and trends into actionable insights.

 

  • Social Clout

Social Clout is a social media monitoring and analytics tool, that looks at where you can make significant improvements in engagement, campaigns and keywords. It delivers reports on demographics and social-media results, providing data on multiple social-media accounts to help you track the progress and be able to note the differences in responses across platforms.

 

  • AgoraPulse

If you use Facebook and Twitter for business, this tool enhances what you can do with both social-media platforms, allowing you to manage all Social Media messages in one place, schedule and publish content. It also offers solutions for customer relationship management, applications, analytics reports, contests and more.

 

  • Follower Wonk

Follower Wonk helps you find, analyze and optimize your social-media efforts solely for Twitter. You can get richer data about your followers, where they are located, and when they tweet plus the ability to locate new influencers and optimise your own tweets.

 

  • Inkybee

This social-media tool provides a way for you to locate and connect with influencers (bloggers, social-media celebrities etc.) in your industry who can elevate your brand and help open you up to and attract more potential customers.

 

  • Sendible

A popular and powerful social-media tool, Sendible brings together all aspects of your social-media management responsibilities. From gathering all posts and comments into one dashboard for analysis, measurement and engagement. To publishing, collaboration, mobile tools and customer relationship management.

 

  • Openr

This tool lets you add a relevant, targeted promotional message to any page you share on your social-media profiles. The result is more leads and traffic while helping you learn more about your audience.

 

  • Socedo

Socedo automates the lead generation process by bringing in relevant social prospects through social media into your sales pipeline. The platform matches users’ interest with your defined criteria and engages prospective customers, automatically using a customisable workflow. This tool also provides insights and analytics and insights allowing you to fine-tune the workflow in order to get better quality leads.

 

  • Hooks App

The Hooks app is an alert system to use on your iPhone allowing you to stay up to date on anything through push notifications. There are hundreds of channels, including music, weather, sports scores, weather, stock prices, shipping tracking and even a channel to let you know when a concert from a certain artist is upcoming. Think of any channel, then think of anything you want to be notified of on that channel, whether it’s every time a certain person tweets or when a website is down. For example, to do a Twitter alert, just set up the app, go to Twitter search and plug in the hashtag. You will then get an alert on your phone every time someone tweets that hashtag.

 

  • TwitShot

TwitShot is a free tool that’s a combination of a website, Chrome extension and iOS app that simplifies the way you find images for your tweets. With TwitShot, you can easily drop photos into tweets. Simply drop in a URL for whatever piece of content you want to tweet, and TwitShot will scrape the site and find all image options. This is much more efficient than downloading and re-uploading an image when you want to tweet.

 

  • Google Trends

Google Trends is a free service that provides you with on-demand insight into what people are searching for and whether it’s increasing or decreasing as a trend.  Simply type in a couple of keywords and compare their interest activity. Google Trends tracks activity on these keywords all the way back to 2004, and shows if activity is increasing or decreasing, relative to the other search term. You can do this worldwide, but or search by country and get insights into what people are searching for, see whether the trend is moving up or down and more.

 

  • Firefox Web Shortcuts

If use the Firefox web browser, there are some cool tricks you can utilise. For example, hold down Cmd+Opt+M (for Mac) or Ctrl+Shift+M (for Windows) to see how your site looks on mobile. By holding down Cmd+Opt+Q (Mac) or Ctrl+Shift+Q (Windows) you can also see how your web page loads and what’s slowing it down. This is great way to test and troubleshoot your website.

24 Best Practices for Social Media Marketing Success

Want to ensure your social media presence is ultimately going to be a successful addition to your marketing strategy? Take note of these 24 best practices!

 

Have Goals and Objectives

Like every other marketing and business initiative, you need to have a goal or objective that you what your social media presence to achieve. Whether you want to use it to improve brand awareness or as a new outlet to interact with customers, having clear objectives for your platforms helps to optimise their reach and impact. In addition, having well-defined objectives also makes it clearer for you in what to measure for your return on investment. It is also worth noting that return on investment with social media marketing cannot always be measured in money. Whilst it can drive sales, the real power of social media marketing is in building relationships with customers. Whatever your objectives, make them achievable and relevant for your business and remember as you progress these objectives may change.

 

Portray Yourself Consistently          

It is important that before you engage in social media that you are clear on what kind of image you want to portray of yourself and make sure to keep it consistent across all platforms. This consistency equally applies not just to the ‘voice’ you portray but also to the creative aspects, that is the overall presentation including the colour scheme and typography. If your brand or company uses certain colours then be sure to apply these consistently across the presentation of all your social media platforms. This also extends to a company logo or picture, make sure they are up to date and reflective of the image you want to portray. Having a social media platform is a great way to show a ‘human’ side to your business that customers appreciate and prefer. From this, it is important to have an idea of what voice you want for your page that can be consistently applied across all your posts, especially if your company page is going to be managed by several different contributors. In general, avoid generic corporate speak and replace it with your own unique voice and customers will be more drawn to and engage with you. By setting consistent guidelines over the presentation and integration of your branding into your page it ensures that all these factors support and are in line with your overall branding and help reinforce your message and brand across all social media platforms.

 

Be Where Your Customers Are

It’s important to have a presence where your customers are looking to interact with you. To find out where you should be there are two easy ways; research the demographics of your intended social media platforms and also ask your customers yourself. When you start researching what platforms you think are best for your business, be sure that their main audience are the ones you want to target. The other option is for you to ask your existing customers where they are active online; this will then help guide your platform choices.

 

Get In The Habit Of Checking The News

If you’re not already doing this at least once a day, you need to start. Get in the habit of checking both industry news and the news in the world. You don’t need to read an entire newspaper and several journals, just look to bookmark a few key sites and blogs and at the very least, skim the headlines. Social media covers all aspects of people’s lives and the more you understand about them in a wider context, the more you can understand where your brand will fit into your followers’ newsfeed. The added benefit of scanning the news daily means it will also help you to find real time opportunities that you can utilise for your social media content.

 

Learn To Manage Your Time Effectively

On average, 64% of marketers spend at least 6 hours a week on social media. As more social media platforms, tools and features are added into your marketing mix regularly, it can become overwhelming to keep on top of your timing and not to have your social media management impact your other duties. Timekeeping is one of the most vital skills for an efficient social media marketer, so make sure you’re getting everything done by creating checklists for regular tasks and using social media tools that help you work smarter.

 

Focus on Building a Community Rather Than a Number of Followers

The number of people following you can only take you so far. Having 10,000+ followers is noteworthy, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter how many followers you have if they’re not interacting and paying attention to your content. So what can be done to build a community and increase engagement with your current and potential followers? Simple, always insert some personality, humor, and life into your brand and always converse directly with your followers: which is as simple as having a conversation with them, retweet them, like and comment on their posts, and directly ask them to interact with your content.

 

Create a Powerful Presence Across all Social Channels

If you want your audience to stay engaged, you need to be engaging. One of the great ways to do this by creating powerful social campaigns that run consistent across all your social platforms. How do you do this? Start by…

  • Telling a powerful story: Think of ways you can use your social channels to tell powerful, motivational and therefore compelling stories to your viewers. For example, you can share a story rooted in charity work that you do or support. Alternatively, you could share stories from your happiest clients on your blog and then create a social campaign with a unique slogan and hashtag to promote and create a movement around their stories. Team this strategy with…
  • Brand your movement with a unique name and hashtags: Branding your movement will make it memorable and stick out in the mind of your followers. Take time to brainstorm actionable ideas that will get followers involved, whether that is done by posting photos and using your hashtag to group them, running a contest, or throwing events run by your business. For example, you could use the inspirational aspect of getting fit, or New Year’s resolutions, or whichever angle you believe your customers would gravitate towards. Test out a few hashtags, find the one that resonates best, and brand your movement by announcing it on your blog and social platforms.

 

Suck Up to Influencers

The goal is to get these influential people to like you and like your brand. Once you get in with the people that matter, your business will exponentially grow because you are exposed to their audience and authority. Make a thorough list of key industry influencers and actively take the following steps to socially connect with them:

  • Favorite, like, comment, and re-share their content: Don’t favorite/like everything they post however, that is too obvious. Try to like and favourite a few times per week and comment when you genuinely have something educational and valuable to say.
  • Tweet at them: Whether it’s asking their feedback on your content or asking industry related questions, this strategy works very well as they will be flattered that you thought of them and consider them to be a valuable resource/influencer.
  • Use the same hashtags: This way when they’re reviewing their hashtag feeds they’ll see your content, and perhaps spark their interest.

 

Share Trending Content

Your platforms don’t exist to be solely self-promotional, this strategy will only make you be seen as boring and obnoxious. Rather, you need to strike a balance between sharing promotional content that markets your brand, interacting with your followers and influencers, and sharing other useful and entertaining content and news from other valuable resources. To help you become an industry influencer and produce content that is share-worthy, follow these four tips:

  • Look for viral videos on YouTube of hilarious children, adorable animals, and inspirational moments and re-share with your own unique spin.
  • Scan the news for the highest covered media stories and add a unique perspective keeping relevant to your brand.
  • Follow and use relevant trending hashtags to add your voice to the larger conversations happening on social media. For example on Twitter you can see “Trends.”
  • Use a popular tool like Buzzsumo to find content that resonates. It’s the easiest way to search related industry news sites and blogs, keywords, influencers, etc. to find the content with the highest number of social shares. Study the headlines that were shared and re-share those articles/headlines with your followers. This will continue the train of sharing, but also show your followers that your social posts are intriguing and follow-worthy.

 

Focus On Creating Content That People Care About and Inspires Conversation

On social media, you can’t depend on passive followers to convert themselves. You need to create as many opportunities to engage people as possible, and it all begins with your content. As people spend longer on social networks, their community expands and with every person followed, page liked, or friend added, they have a whole new set of posts and stories vying for their attention. Brands who have little respect for what people want in their newsfeed will find themselves further fenced off than before, therefore it is vital that the content you share is what your prospects and former customers generally respond well too. This may be a video about how your products work, interesting insights about the culture of your company or shocking stats about inefficiency in your industry for example. Whatever the case may be, build social content that gets your prospects talking to you.

 

Utilise Every Opportunity to Make Social Media Content

Every piece of content that you post is part of your story that you share with your audience. Everything from your ups and downs, your proudest achievements, to your charity work and the people behind your business are all prime areas in which you can create content that you can share with your viewers. So whenever you launch a new product, attend a conference or find a new way to use one of your products for example, look at the ways in which you can squeeze content out of it for use on your social media platforms.

 

Promote your Platforms

Anywhere your customers interact with your brand is an opportunity to encourage them to engage with you online. Once you begin, remember to promote all your social media platforms and that includes mentioning them on your e-newsletter, your email signature, business card, product packaging and anywhere else your customers will see it. Your customers and fans need to be told where they can connect with you through social media, so make it clear where you are.

 

Make Providing Value a Top Priority

Social media is centred on having conversations and engaging with people. That being said, unless the aim of your platforms is to be akin to a personal journal, the content you post should not be simply an update of what you are thinking or doing no with no real substance or value in what you are writing. To avoid to making this mistake every post and tweet should have a clearly defined topic as well as delivering something valuable to the reader, whether that be entertainment or information. You must also write your content with your target audience in mind so rather than trying to appeal to a generic wider audience, write content that contains specialised information and analysis that those interested in your services or in your sector would read. By openly giving out valued advice and information you will become an online repository of specialist knowledge and this will attract the attention of your target audience. Central to being effective is also realising that conversation is a two-way process so you also need to listen to what people are saying to you and about you and respond to them accordingly.

 

Be Active and Consistent

In order to get the most out of using social media as a marketing tool, you need to post content often. It is therefore vital that in the very beginning you figure out a comfortable writing routine that works with your editorial calendar, be it posting daily or several times a week, and stick to it in order to maintain consistency and maximise your impact. Although it takes some experimentation to find the best publishing schedule for you, there are two things that should always be considered and will dictate your posting schedule; your business goals and what your audience wants.

 

Respond Quickly

The fact that customer service through social media is quickly becoming an expectation of consumers means you’re publicly open to both criticism and praise online. From this, it is vital that you watch for any negative things that are being said about you and respond quickly and accordingly. Rather than simply deleting any negative comments you receive, as even the most universally loved businesses receive negative comments, view them as an opportunity to win over a customer offering help, guidance or even acknowledging where something went wrong. By dealing with negativity in an open and authentic way you can help build rapport and trust with your customers. Also remember that often you will get praise online in the form of a great review or comment, do not forget to say thank you.

 

Coordinate Your Social Channels

Your success will be limited If you treat each social media platform as a stand-alone effort. Your networks should work together to help you achieve your goals, with your website acting as your brand’s home base. Coordinate and cross-promote your social media efforts to reach new audiences, boost your following and to push people to your website where they can buy your product or service.

 

Boost Results With Social Advertising

If you want to accelerate your social media performance, it’s worth your time to explore paid advertising options. Facebook offers a number of advertising options to help boost sales, brand exposure, audience engagement and website traffic. Twitter has two advertising solutions: promoted content that helps you cut through the noise and serve your content to tailored audiences and promoted accounts which help increase the size of your Twitter following. Likewise LinkedIn also offers opportunities to reach specific audiences by advertising or by the use of the sponsored updates feature to increase your brand’s visibility. Even if your budget is limited, don’t dismiss social advertising. Used strategically it can produce great results to boost your visibility and success on social media.

 

Find Leads Using Social Media Monitoring Tools

Tracking and monitoring conversations happening around your brand and products is a time consuming but vital task that can be made manageable using social media monitoring tools. Ensure you actively make the effort to monitor mentions of your name, your business name, your products and any other keywords related to your business to find conversations already happening in your industry. Jump into those conversations and provide answers, guidance or helpful information where needed. Being useful is one way to start to build relationships with your target market.

 

Participate in Other People’s Communities (OPC’s)

Actively join and engage the discussions in the communities populated by people likely to use your services and share some of your expertise when it’s relevant. Make it your aim to become and trusted member of these communities. You never want to be promotional in social groups, but if you’re consistently helpful and engaged, prospects will likely be interested and click through to your profile where they’ll find your posts and marketing collateral.

 

Send Regular Emails with Valuable Content, Deals and Promotions

As your social media connections move into your email list, you can and should continue to provide valuable information, notify them of upcoming deals and promotions and provide general interesting business news and updates. At this point in the funnel you have likely already become a trusted source of information, meaning your subscribers are warmed up to buying from you. Social media is all about building connections with your target market, and making yourself the first name that comes to mind when they’re ready to buy. Take this opportunity to craft perfect email campaigns, using segmentation whenever possible to be sure your content and offers are targeted to specific groups of subscribers and by the strategic use of strong calls to action in your emails to make sure your subscribers know what you want them to do, and what to expect when they click on your offer/content. By continuing to cultivate them with engaging, valuable and entertaining information in your emails, you will help to build connections that will result in long-term, profitable relationships.

 

Create Customer Advocacy Opportunities

Customer advocacy is where your marketing ROI can take off. You’ll be putting in less effort to reach your marketing goals because your customers will effectively sell for you.

  • Continue to engage qualified leads and customers

There’s no reason why people should stop learning from you after they become customers. If they’re on an email list or subscribed to your blog, actively send out informational reminders for them to connect with your company on social networks.

  • Offer occasional incentives for customers to review your services or share certain posts

Depending on your business and market, offering vouchers or bargains such as free consultations can work well. The benefits for you are twofold: You’ll increase brand exposure and subtly help customers become your advocates.

  • Engage customers specifically about your products and services

If your company offers a complex product, it might be a good idea to create a forum on your website or an entirely hub that’s purely for continued customer support, just for you and your customers to interact around your products.  Externally, LinkedIn showcase pages and Facebook groups might be possible hubs for product-based conversations that build increased trust for your brand and position your company as worth advocating for.

  • Provide substantial advocacy opportunities for repeat customers

Over time, you might form mutually beneficial partnerships with repeat customers. Consider rewarding these relationships with more substantial opportunities such as inviting them to networking events.

 

Monitor Social for Un-Tagged Brand Mentions

Not every person who mentions your brand or products on social media will tag you in the post. In fact, many social posters may assume that you’ll never even see the posts they create mentioning you. Actively scan your social media networks for these types of mentions and join the conversation by provide pleasantly surprising customer engagement. You should look to actively monitor;

Your Own Brand Terms—make sure to monitor for all variations of your company’s name, including nicknames and common misspellings.

Your Own Product Terms—A less frequently used strategy involves monitoring social for some of your popular products, as well as the common nicknames and misspellings.

 

Create an Internal FAQ Document

Consult with everyone who manages your social pages and build a document that houses all of these questions and some solid answers. Whilst you should never simply copy-paste those responses over to your customers, you can use this document to quickly guide your response.

 

Do What Is Right for You

As you become a regular participant on social media platforms, you will find unique ways in which they can be used to the best advantage for your business. Nobody knows your customers and what they expect from you better than you yourself so delivering the content they want and engaging with them is the most important thing and will dictate your decisions surrounding your social media marketing efforts. As with any other marketing efforts, you will learn in time what works and what don’t, the important thing is to learn by doing.