How an Accountancy Practice Can Utilise Social Media: A Complete Guide

In today’s digitally driven world, properly utilizing social media is necessary for those who want to remain relevant and competitive—and that includes accounting businesses. With so many opportunities for growth and relationship-building, social media, if done right, provides a unique platform for long-term marketing success.

As we all know, social media has changed the way we receive and exchange information—it’s the new word-of-mouth marketing and it’s how your prospects and clients network. Just as emerging technology changes your daily workflow, it also impacts the way you interact with prospective and existing clients. Your social presence, or lack thereof, can be critical to your businesses continuity. Today’s conversations, research and buying decisions take place online. This means social media is no longer optional as a communication channel—it’s essential.

Many Accountants embrace social media and use it as a means to communicate and promote their services, share informative and valuable expertise and to encourage conversations and nurture relationships. Moreover, an accountant’s presence on social media platforms comes not only from its own online activity, but also from everyday visitors and clients past and present who share content and express their opinions and experiences on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn.

These ‘big three’ are by in large the most popular social media platforms being used by accountants, as each brings a unique element to the social media marketing mix that, when combined, makes for a powerful strategy.

  • Facebook is probably the first platform you think of when social media is mentioned, it’s fun and friendly but has an increasingly serious business purpose. It’s a great place to show your firm’s personality and reach out to prospects.
  • LinkedIn was created specifically with business and employment in mind, it is the professional, ‘grown-up’ face of social media. The hundreds of millions of profiles include business leaders and decision makers, which make it the most extensive networking platform ever.
  • Twitter is broad spectrum, everyone from POTUS to the Pope has a handle. The limited characters needn’t limit your message, it ensures you keep things to-the-point but by using links to interesting articles, blogs, stories it’s easy to share much more than the time of day.

For those businesses that handle their social media channels well, they benefit from being able to;

  • Share positive experiences with others
  • Keep the brand in the minds of customers and prospects, thanks to repeated exposure
  • Talk to customers about their needs – which helps grow the business
  • Expose marketing messages to new prospects.

Having said all this and shown the benefits accountants performing strongly on social media enjoy, even more so fall into the common pit-fall of irregularly posting a handful of self-serving social media updates that link back to their website “about page”, or a blog that holds the same information as other people in the industry, which does not differentiate them in the market place, nor position them as a trusted advisor. In basic terms, a lack of social and content strategy means a failure on their part to fully engage with this mass audience that’s waiting to be talked too and advised – and start reaping the benefits to be had in doing so. This is unfortunate for those businesses, but great news for yours who are looking to take a more proactive approach to social media marketing as you can learn from competitor mistakes and make your name come to mind first when a potential client searches online for ‘Accountant.’

When it comes to a strategy, an accountancy will be best served by implementing a robust and consistent content plan that allows them to promote their activities and business news and become an industry thought leader by sharing valuable, informative contributions and insights that will engage and provide advice to their audience.

What do your clients care about? Accounting probably isn’t too high on their list but personal money management, small business ownership and how changes to legislation will affect their family or business are several of many ‘pain points’ of your ideal client. So whilst sharing a blog post about de-stressing for the self-employed or a news article on “Small Business Saturday” doesn’t directly bring new clients in, your followers will recognize and appreciate that you care about their “big picture.”

Engaging with your followers in this way enables you to uncover their pains or issues they may be experiencing and directly post content that provides a solution to it, helping you  cut through bland and uninspiring social media updates of competitors and attract your ideal client.

Facebook

Where Facebook can really be leveraged for an accountancy is within the use of its extensive potential for user engagement. With over one billion active users, it is likely that many of your clients and competitors may already be there. It is compatible with any type of multimedia content meaning you can post videos, photos, and links to external content, allowing it to enhance and support your other online marketing efforts e.g. blog posts. In addition to this, the robust advertising options offered by Facebook are a brilliant tool to leverage to ensure content is directly seen by a highly targeted audience of your choosing.

PurposeKey Metrics
 

§  Generate Engagement

§  Increase Brand Awareness

§  Generate Leads and Sales

§  Strengthen Customer Service

 

 Likes

Reach

Conversion

Engagement

Twitter

Where Twitter can really be leveraged for an accountancy is within its use as a real-time public information network that gives your business greater exposure in web search results and makes it easy to build a community of potential customers who are there to discover and share interesting content. Twitter can also benefit an accountancy through the use of both creating and joining in with existing Hashtags. Twitter Hashtags categorize topics and discussions so users can quickly and easily connect with businesses and individuals with a common interest. In addition, they can also be used as keywords to help easily find and connect with your target audience.

PurposeKey Metrics
 

§  Increase Engagement

§  Establish Network

§  Increase Brand Awareness

§  Strengthen Customer Service

 

 

§  Follower Quality and Growth

§  Brand Mentions

§  Retweets, Replies and Lists

§  Reach

§  Conversion Rate

Blog

Where Blogging can be really utilized for an accountancy is its use in improving search engine rankings and boosting industry perception placing you as an authority in your sector.  By regularly updating your corporate Blog with valuable, interesting and relevant industry analysis and comment, it shows that you have a deep interest in your sector and are more informed than the average participant; giving potential clients a compelling reason to choose you over competitors.

PurposeKey Metrics
§  Increase Engagement

§  Increase SEO

§  Establish Authority

§  Generate Brand Awareness

 

 

§  Reach

§  Engagement

§  Authority Share – Cites and References

§  Audience Growth

§  Conversion Rate

§  Subscribers

§  SEO Improvements

Example Blog Post Titles

  • End of Tax Year Changes 5th April 2018 – What You Should Be Aware Of
  • Ultimate Business Guide to Tax Rates, Thresholds, and Allowances for 2018/19
  • Self Assessment: What happens if I miss the deadline? And other Common Questions – Answered!
  • Want to become self-employed? 5 Top things to consider before you make the move to work for yourself.

LinkedIn

Where LinkedIn can really be leveraged for an accountancy is within the ability to demonstrate expertise and show yourself as an authority within your sector. Furthermore, it can be utilised as an avenue to promote career opportunities, general company news and updates, raise brand awareness and as a resourceful knowledge base where you can learn, discuss and stay on top of industry news as well as connect with other professionals in your industry.

PurposeKey Metrics
 

§  Increase Brand Awareness

§  Generate Leads and Sales

§  Connections and Networking

§  Increase Authority

 

 

§  Number of Business Leads

§  Performance of Updates

§  Engagement Rate

§  Follower Demographics

YouTube

Where YouTube can really be leveraged for an accountancy is by recognising that with the power of video, YouTube’s massive audience, and AdWords’ targeting tools, you have the ability to reach new customers easily with a great resource that not only improves search engine rankings, but by providing informational and entertaining videos you can help spread your message and allow others to get to know your brand better and in a positive light.

PurposeKey Metrics
§  Increase Brand Awareness

§  Generate Leads and Sales

§  Improve SEO

 

 

§  Video Views

§  Engagement

§  Significant Discovery Events

§  Audience Demographics

§  Video Engagement

§  Audience Retention

§  Video Shares

§  Subscriber Rates

 

Example Content and Activity

Activity (Minimum Suggested Amount)Content
1x Weekly Blog Posts 

 

Post blog post on a specified day in the week

Promote the latest post regularly across other social media platforms

Daily monitoring of blog, responding to any comments and interactions

 

5x Daily Tweets

 

Go through and find relevant influencers/ local businesses etc. to follow.

Search for and utilise any relevant trending hashtags.

Respond to questions and general interaction from followers.

Relevant retweets of positive brand mentions, customer reviews/photos and local news and events.

Go through and unfollow inactive/unnecessary accounts (if applicable).

 

 

1x Daily Facebook Post/ LinkedIn Post

 

Daily look for relevant influencers/ business pages etc. to like and interact with.

 

Respond to questions and general interaction from fans.

 

Sharing of any relevant and interesting items – positive brand mentions, customer reviews/photos, local news and events etc.

§  Update Audience on General Business News/Developments

 

§  General Content from the Website repurposed for Social Media

 

e.g. Claiming back money spent is a big perk of being self-employed – but you can’t just claim anything and everything. Check out our handy guide to Claiming Business Expenses in our latest blog post [Insert Blog Post]

 

e.g Confused by the ‘Making Tax Digital’ Plan HMRC have implemented? Our approachable team of specialists can help you understand how this government plan will transform how businesses and people pay tax. Call us today to arrange a no-obligation meeting.

 

§  Content (Both original and shared from news sources] about the Areas/Locations You Work in

 

§  Customer Testimonials

 

e.g. We’re hugely grateful to have recently received this wonderful five-star review for our accountancy services [Insert Testimonial]

 

Find out how we can help you by arranging a free no-obligation meeting with us! [Insert Website Contant Link]

 

§  General Facts, Tips and Information surrounding the Industry

 

§  General Industry news and events that are interesting/relevant

 

e.g. Self-employed stress relief: how to keep calm and freelance on via @AXAUK [https://www.axa.co.uk/insurance/business/business-guardian-angel/self-employed-stress-busters/]

 

e.g. Why 2018 is the perfect time to start a business in the UK [https://startups.co.uk/start-uk-business-now]

 

§  Engaging Industry Related Questions

 

e.g. Fill in the Blank: The best thing about being self-employed is _____

 

 

§  Any Special Promotions, Offers, Events you are Doing/Hosting/Helping

 

§  Competitions

 

 

§  Give Peaks of Behind-the-Scenes Business Activities –Sneak Peeks of Future Work, Something Interesting in the General Work Day

 

§  General Useful Information – any special ways of doing things? Any events coverage? Have you featured in the press recently?

 

e.g. Has your business ever played a role in a client’s success story? If you have a client with a particularly inspiring rags-to-riches story or a wildly successful business venture, see if he or she would be interested in being featured on your social media page(s).

 

§  Job Postings/Opportunities

 


Given the huge popularity of social media marketing, there’s no better time to start planning your social media strategy! Take some time to learn about the major platforms you should be on, take advantage of social media management apps and tools, get a good look at your audience and learn all about them, then just jump in and go for it! Remember to be you, build trust and show off your expertise.

How to Effectively Incorporate Social Media into Your Website

There is no one-size-fits all approach to integrating social media into your website: however, a combination of the following strategies are sure fire ways for any eCommerce brand to really start leveraging the power of the social sphere.


Homepage Feeds

Homepage social feeds represent an incredibly powerful means of bringing your product to life on-site. Such feeds can help your site feel more human and less like a sales pitch. If you decide to integrate a social feed into your website, keep in mind that you need to ensure that your feed only contains high-quality images and content worthy of your homepage versus unrelated selfies or advertisements. Feeds are a form of social proof, arguably the most important psychological trigger when it comes to drawing in new customers.


Social Buttons

Social buttons are an absolute must do for any brand, this is especially true in today’s world where customers are spending a bulk of their time on Facebook versus on-site, it’s incredibly important that you make following your business via social a one-click process versus forcing followers to try and find you. You can also use social media buttons on your website to increase sales: such buttons can promote your brand’s social media channels as a way for visitors to hear about contests or promotions you may be running. Regardless of where you place your buttons, you should keep the following in mind before rolling them out:

  • Make sure that your buttons mesh with your site’s layout and colour scheme.
  • Only highlight the social platforms that you’re active on: if you’re only active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, for example, don’t bother linking to your dead Pinterest page.

Hashtags

There’s perhaps no easier way to encourage social sharing than by creating a hashtag. Not unlike social buttons, hashtags can be implemented throughout your brand’s visual content to provide customers with a hub of discussion and sharing for your brand and its products. Beyond coming up with something unique, keep the following in mind as well:

  • Keep your hashtag short and sweet (the ideal hashtag length is said to be under 11 characters)
  • Be prepared to curate your hashtag in order to avoid spam or potentially irrelevant images
  • Pick something that you can use for the long-haul: the more you use your hashtag throughout your marketing, the more likely it is to catch on.

Product Pages

Social media represents the modern word of mouth: buyers want to show off and share to others about their purchases. To feed into your customers’ needs to share, ensure that you have social sharing enabled on your product pages. Be careful however as it’s crucial that the social buttons on your product pages should not interrupt the buying process, but rather provide a way for customers to receive one-click feedback on their next purchase. Keep the following principles in mind as a means of optimizing your products for shares:

  • Do not use the same social buttons on your homepage and product pages: your product buttons should be smaller and stylized differently.
  • Only offer sharing to the social networks where it makes sense: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are much better than somewhere such as LinkedIn.
  • Make sure that your plugin captures your product’s image and description appropriately as it’s shared
  • Don’t forget about the importance of your customers’ experience once they’ve landed. Give them a chance to share their experience in the buying process: you may be surprised at how many of them are more than happy to sing your praises.

Social Sign Ins

Did you know that 73% of users prefer to log in to a site with social login, as opposed to providing an email address and creating a new account?  Improve your website visitors’ experience with social login and increase your website registration conversions and retention. The benefit of social sign-ins are two-fold: visitors can browse your site without the annoyance of creating a new account and they can comment on your blog with ease.


Include Share Buttons

If you sell a product or run a full-fledged eCommerce site and you haven’t added share buttons to your product pages, you are missing out on a whole host of potential social impressions. Share buttons should enable website-goers to seamlessly share or recommend a product. Two broad tools that can help with this are AddThis and ShareThis. Both provide efficient and easy-to-use solutions for social media sharing across eCommerce sites with the added benefit of analytics to see how the content is getting shared.


Social Proof

With 79% of consumers trusting social proof as much as personal recommendations, it’s important you integrate the proper social widgets on your website to increase sales and website conversions. One way to do this is to use one of Facebook’s social widgets, such as the “Like Box”. This feature shows your visitors that you’re a credible source, their friends also like your Facebook page, and that you’re a legitimate product or brand. As an added bonus you’ll also be able to increase your Facebook likes with this social media integration.


Making Social Part of the Retail Experience

There are many other ways to integrate social media to improve conversions, streamline customer services and drive repeat business and referrals.

  • Improve your post-purchase page with a range of social cues (i.e. Share your purchase) to enhance the customer experience, and to spread the word about your business.
  • Add a simple sharing section which allows a user to send a tweet or a Facebook status with a link to the product they just bought.
  • The post-purchase page can also include quick links to your social media channels, email newsletter and links to access customer services too. This is also the place, as well as in order communications, to share any referral discounts you offer for customers who share with their friends.

Reviews and Ratings

Social customer service is just as important as other functions like contact forms, call centers and live chat, so make sure you offer a good service that customers can access. Reviews help reassure customers, improve SEO and encourage repeat business. Linking social sign-in to your reviews set up will more than likely lead to more reviews from customers, as it just makes everything easier and more streamline. Make your social customer service easy and obvious to access by displaying it prominently on your help pages.


This is an excerpt from my book ‘The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses: A Comprehensive, Jargon-Free Guide to Social Media Marketing For Those Who Just Don’t ‘Get it’!’ – Available now on Amazon in Kindle or Paperback!


How a Health & Beauty Salon Can Utilise Social Media: A Complete Guide

In today’s digitally driven world, properly utilizing social media is necessary for those who want to remain relevant and competitive—and that includes Hair and Beauty Salons. With so many opportunities for growth and relationship-building, social media, if done right, provides a unique platform for long-term marketing success.

As we all know, social media has changed the way we receive and exchange information—it’s the new word-of-mouth marketing and it’s how your prospects and clients network. Just as emerging technology changes your daily workflow, it also impacts the way you interact with prospective and existing clients. Your social presence, or lack thereof, can be critical to your businesses continuity. Today’s conversations, research and buying decisions take place online. This means social media is no longer optional as a communication channel—it’s essential.

Social media is a great way to engage with your current and potential customers, spread more awareness about your services, and create brand loyalty among customers by reinforcing what makes your salon unique. We live in an image-crazy digital world where people like to see an image rather than words. Someone looking for a new hairstyle or set of nails, would like to see a) a choice of what to choose from and b) what YOU can do. This is your chance to shine. This is your chance to promote your business in a creative and inspirational way as to attract new clients and to prove what you are capable of.


Why is social media for hair and beauty salons so important?

  • Showcase your achievements
  • Promote your team
  • Engage with individuals
  • Provide excellent customer service
  • Increase online sales and enquiries
  • Reach more potential clients
  • Stand out from the crowd

With the increasing use of social media in every industry, it’s crucial that businesses know how to connect with customers and use platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in a way that customers will enjoy and that will benefit your business.

A powerful and successful social media presence could easily be made by implementing a robust and consistent content strategy that allows you to promote your activities and business news, generate engagement and a sense of community and become an industry leader by sharing valuable, informative contributions and insights that will engage, evoke interest and provide advice to your audience.


There are many examples of rich content that could be utilized!

  • Introduction to what’s involved with each specific manicure and pedicure service.
  • Tips for choosing nails for your personality, body type, age, etc.
  • Detailed descriptions about beauty service options
  • Hand, foot, and nail maintenance tips.
  • Matching nail types to events.
  • How to discuss your nail preferences with your salon artist.
  • Strategies for interesting nails, including stencils.
  • Nail color choices or polish information.
  • Post about beauty in general including tips and tricks
  • Share customer stories of transformations with a human angle and life improvements
  • Post personal stories of the staff and show the human face of your brand
  • Before and after photos of transformations
  • New products that you use and your recommendations if any
  • Thank you images to thank customers for giving you their trust and their business
  • Contests where your followers and customers can participate to get exclusive deals or coupons
  • Upcoming events in your salon
  • Upcoming events in your local community
  • Lifestyle related photos

Facebook

Where Facebook can really be leveraged for your Hair and Beauty Salon is within the use of its extensive potential for user engagement. With over one billion active users, it is likely that many of your clients and competitors may already be there. Facebook provides the perfect way for you to share your services, post photos of your unique nail art or create contests or giveaways to promote brand loyalty and spread awareness of your brand. It is compatible with any type of multimedia content meaning you can post videos, photos, and links to external content, allowing it to enhance and support your other online marketing efforts e.g. blog posts. In addition to this, the robust advertising options offered by Facebook are a brilliant tool to leverage to ensure content is directly seen by a highly targeted audience of your choosing.

Facebook Strategy

  • Write relevant posts that engage consumers: Write posts that customers want to respond to and will enjoy giving their opinion on. An example of this would be to ask questions like “Summer has officially begun! What will be your summer haircut of choice?” This type of conversation starter is relevant, personalized, and something that majority of salon-goers would enjoy discussing.
  • Post pictures, and lots of them: One of the best ways businesses can use Facebook is as a visual medium. Your salon should be showcasing the work that it is most proud of. Whether that be fun holiday-themed manicures or gorgeous bridal party hairstyles, pictures provide an outlet to show what you can do.
  • Treat your Facebook Page as a miniature website: When customers arrive on your Facebook page they should be able to find all of the information they may be looking for. Use the various Facebook tabs to show your salon locations, services, photos and reviews.
  • Provide Facebook Fans with exclusive deals: When Liking a business on Facebook, customers like to feel as though they’re getting something special in return. You can entice them to like you on Facebook by offering 10% off their next visit or by sharing the Page on Facebook to receive a gift with their next purchase. In addition, you can provide discounts to Facebook Fans which are only redeemable by mentioning the specific Facebook Ad.
  • Target your Ads: Use Facebook Ads to their full ability through targeting. You may want to only target people located close to your salon, or those who like related Facebook Pages.
PurposeKey Metrics
Generate Engagement

Increase Brand Awareness

Generate Leads and Sales

Strengthen Customer Service

Likes

Reach

Conversion

Engagement


Twitter

Where Twitter can really be leveraged for your Hair and Beauty Salon is within its use as a real-time public information network that gives your business greater exposure in web search results and makes it easy to build a community of potential customers who are there to discover and share interesting content. Twitter can also benefit your Hair and Beauty Salon through the use of both creating and joining in with existing Hashtags. Twitter Hashtags categorize topics and discussions so users can quickly and easily connect with businesses and individuals with a common interest. In addition they can also be used as keywords to help easily find and connect with your target audience.

Twitter Strategy

  • Use Twitter as an information source about your services: Post information about a specific service with a link to your website where customers can get more information. This is a great place to promote any training courses you offer to salons and clients.
  • Offers for Retweets: Twitter is a great platform for sharing as a simple Retweet from one of your Followers can generate you plenty of referrals. Offer incentives for Retweets such as “SNS dipping powders are formulated to build the health and strength of the natural nail. Odorless, fast-drying, and Long lasting! What colour would you choose for Summer? Receive £10 off you next visit by retweeting this post!”
  • Provide Group Deals: Salons are also a social place where people go to relax, enjoy, and feel good about themselves, so Twitter is a great way to engage with multiple people at once. An example would be to offer “Come in this weekend with 2 or more girlfriends and receive 20% off each on manicures, pedicures or a colour change just by showing this tweet!”
  • Use Twitter hashtags: Twitter is where hashtags were originally created, so use them on Twitter as well as Instagram. Insert hashtags at the end of updates, as a way to make contest posts unique or to tag a specific geographic location.
  • Share Articles on Twitter Related to your Salon: Use Twitter to share articles or interesting facts or stories in relation to your hair, nail or beauty salon. Customers who are following you on Twitter are interested in what you have to say and likely want your advice when it comes to their beauty or hair care.
PurposeKey Metrics
Increase Engagement

Establish Network

Increase Brand Awareness

Strengthen Customer Service

 

Follower Quality and Growth

Brand Mentions

Retweets, Replies and Lists

Reach

Conversion Rate


Instagram

Where Instagram can really be leveraged for your Hair and Beauty Salon is within the use as an online portfolio to help drive brand awareness and sales. By showcasing products through interesting, exclusive and high-quality imagery, you will be able to give potential customers a shopping experience that can influence purchase behaviour.

Instagram Strategy

  • Stay on trend: Use trending hashtags to draw more users to your Instagram profile and to find out about your salon. An example would be to use #happyeaster as one hashtag to gain more views while showing a picture of a holiday themed manicure and showcasing the salon’s services.
  • Use geography to your advantage: Use hashtags to point out your location. That way future customers looking for a salon nearby may stumble upon your photo and your salon.
  • Use before and after pictures to showcase your stylists’ talent: Reviews and testimonials don’t need to just be a text post when it comes to social media. Use Instagram to show results in your salon. Before and after pictures show transformation and can grab users’ attention.
  • Be fun and quirky: Instagram users tend to be young and on trend, and enjoy fun, quirky posts in addition to just product or service-related posts. Once in a while a feel good post can engage your customers and you can use specific quotes or pictures that you feel defines your brand.
  • Do exclusive Instagram contests: Hold photo contests among your Followers, such as “Post a picture of your new summer manicure with the hashtag (such as #ILoveMy[Insert Business Name]Nails!) and be entered to win your next manicure for free!” These engage customers and are easy for customers to participate in by simply uploading a picture and including the proper hashtag.
  • Provide incentives for Instagram word-of-mouth: Provide incentives for customers to upload a picture of what they had done at your salon such as “Have a new hairstyle or cut from [insert business name] that you just love? Upload it to Instagram with the hashtag #ILoveMy[business name]Hair and receive 10% off your next visit.”
PurposeKey Metrics
Increase Brand Awareness

Engagement with visual assets

Showcase products

Showcase company culture

Showcase marketing events

Link back to website, blog, and other content assets

 

Referral traffic

Shares and comments

View of photos

Page rankings on key terms from photo sharing sites

Product purchasing and lead generation

 

How a Corporate Fitness Provider Can Utilise Social Media: A Complete Guide

The good news is that as more and more companies place employee health and well-being among their top priorities, established corporate fitness providers will always have a keen target audience. Employee health affects more than just home life, it affects work and productivity and that’s why nowadays companies are highly conscious of their employee well-being and are actively encouraging healthy initiatives such as healthy lunch deliveries and hiring businesses to manage and improve their employees’ health. With a corporate fitness centre considered an ideal way for businesses to demonstrate the high value they put on the well-being of their employees.

From this, with all the options out there for a business to invest in its staff well-being, it is up to your business to attract nationwide reach and awareness, demonstrating that you are the best option for employers to help their employees live healthier lifestyles and lead them toward optimal health and performance.

Social Media is a fantastic way to help build yourself a reputation as an industry- leading, top level service provider and knowledgeable source of useful and practical information that can help businesses achieve their goals. With the explosion of social media networks, you have easy access to a variety of free tools that you can use to advertise your services, showcase your skillset and knowledge and the people and businesses that you have helped, allowing you to connect with current and potential customers on a personal level.

Being a successful business online is essentially about generating conversations, creating and nurturing relationships and being trusted as an industry authority, with social media allowing you to achieve all these things in a timely and very cost effective manner. Ultimately, you need to demonstrate to a potential client that their business must invest in their employee well-being and must use the services of your business to do it because you have the expertise, the bespoke services and you have the social proof (recommendations from others) that convinces them you are the right choice over your competitors.

A corporate fitness provider therefore will be best served by channeling into using social media as a platform to promote their business services, news and activities and become an industry thought leader by sharing valuable, informative industry contributions and insights that will engage, evoke interest and provide advice to their audience.
Many corporate fitness providers already embrace social media and use it as a means to communicate and promote their business offerings and activities, post news and events, share interesting industry content and also to interact and engage with their customers. Moreover, a corporate fitness providers’ presence on social media platforms comes not only from its own online activity, but also from everyday visitors who share content, express their opinions and experiences, and post photos on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Facebook

Suggested 1+ Daily Post
Where Facebook can really be leveraged for corporate fitness providers is within the use of its extensive potential for user engagement. With over one billion active users, it is likely that many of your clients and competitors may already be there. It is compatible with any type of multimedia content meaning you can post videos, photos, and links to external content, allowing it to enhance and support your other online marketing efforts e.g. blog posts.

Purpose

  • Generate Engagement
  • Increase Brand Awareness
  • Generate Leads and Sales
  • Strengthen Customer Service

Key Metrics

  • Likes
  • Reach
  • Conversion
  • Engagement

Example Facebook Posts

  • The NHS has released new guidelines on the recommended daily Physical Activity level for adults. Are your employees reaching their recommended level to stay healthy? [Insert NHS Link]
  • FIT TIP: Did you know, listening to music with between 120-140 BPM can help increase your workouts efficiency without feeling the extra effort.
    Some suggestions;
    “Eye Of The Tiger” (109 BPM), Survivor
    “Don’t Stop Me Now” (154 BPM), Queen
    “Beat It” (139 BPM), Michael Jackson
    “Push It” (130 BPM), Salt-N-Pepa
    What’s your ultimate workout song?

Twitter

Suggested Minimum 5+ Daily Tweets
Where Twitter can really be leveraged for corporate fitness providers is within its use as a real-time public information network that gives your business greater exposure in web search results and makes it easy to build a community of potential customers who are there to discover and share interesting content. Twitter can also benefit your business through the use of both creating and joining in with existing Hashtags and Twitter Hours. Twitter Hashtags categorize topics and discussions so users can quickly and easily connect with businesses and individuals with a common interest. In addition they can also be used as keywords to help easily find and connect with your target audience. Example Twitter hashtags/ Hours to utilize are #BizHour, #FitnessHour, #MondayMotivation #FitnessTip #MotivationalQuote.

Purpose

  • Increase Engagement
  • Establish Network
  • Increase Brand Awareness
  • Strengthen Customer Service

Key Metrics

  • Follower Quality and Growth
  • Brand Mentions
  • Retweets, Replies and Lists
  • Reach
  • Conversion Rate

Example Tweets

From Gym Inductions to Personal Training and Physiotherapy, [INSERT YOUR BUSINESS NAME] can provide the full range of Health and Fitness Services to benefit your staff. Find out more: [Insert link to fitness services on website]
Great Article via @Freeletics! Sit Safe: How to Correct Your Posture Whilst at Your Desk [Insert Link https://www.freeletics.com/en/blog/correcting-your-sitting-posture/%5D

Good Afternoon #BizHour! Need to boost the health, wellbeing or motivation of your employees? We specialise in setting up and managing corporate fitness and wellbeing centres. Head over to our website to find out more: [link to website]

Did you know Sick days are costing UK employers about £29 billion a year as British workers take up to four times as many days off than rival economies, according to research from PwC.

Kick-start your #MondayMotivation with our workout of the week! [insert picture of branded Exercise picture]


Blog

Suggested 1x Weekly Post
Where Blogging can be really utilized for corporate fitness providers is its use in improving search engine rankings and boosting industry perception placing you as an authority in your sector. By regularly updating your corporate Blog with valuable, interesting and relevant industry analysis and comment, it shows that you have a deep interest in your sector and are more informed than the average participant; giving potential clients a compelling reason to choose you over competitors.

Purpose

  • Increase Engagement
  • Increase SEO
  • Establish Authority
  • Generate Brand Awareness

Key Metrics

  • Reach
  • Engagement
  • Authority Share – Cites and References
  • Audience Growth
  • Conversion Rate
  • Subscribers
  • SEO Improvements

Example Blog Posts

  • 10 of the Best Business and Motivational Quotes
  • Report: The latest UK Stats and Figures on Employee Well-Being Revealed
  • Gluten-­‐free or gluten-­‐fad? Should Your Business Cafeteria be Joining in with the Latest Trend to go Gluten-­‐Free?
  • Ten Tips for Keeping Your Employees Motivated
  • Staff Well-being Transformation Case Study: How One Business increased its profit by 275% with [INSERT YOUR BUSINESS NAME]
  • A-Z of Fitness Jargon: 26 terms you need to know

LinkedIn

Suggested 1+ Daily Post
Where LinkedIn can really be leveraged for corporate fitness providers is within the ability to demonstrate expertise and show yourself as an authority within your sector. Furthermore, it can be utilised as an avenue to promote career opportunities, general business news and updates, raise brand awareness and as a resourceful knowledge base where you can learn, discuss and stay on top of industry news as well as connect with other professionals in your industry.

Purpose

  • Increase Brand Awareness
  • Generate Leads and Sales
  • Connections and Networking
  • Increase Authority

Key Metrics

  • Number of Business Leads
  • Performance of Updates
  • Engagement Rate
  • Follower Demographics

Example Posts

Case Study: Since a University employed [INSERT YOUR BUSINESS NAME] to deliver a number of solutions, income improved by 96% and profit increased by 275%. Could your University be next to see the benefits? Get in Touch [Insert Link to Case Study on Website]
May is National Walking Month. Why not encourage and incentivise your employees to take part in walking challenges throughout the month? For inspiration check out our latest blog post giving you ten top tips and ideas for your National Walking Month promotion to get your employees moving and motivated!
Our latest fitness development in a large Cheshire business is well under way! [Insert Picture of gym equipment being put together in room or a sneak peek of the plans]


Hopefully, this quick guide has given you a good idea of a plan of action on how to make a success of social media. The platforms covered are a great place to start when it comes to driving traffic to your website, increasing authority and brand awareness. Instagram can also be a prime platform for your social media marketing. It’s a highly visual platform, giving you the perfect opportunity to show off high-quality images of your facilities, clients, transformation photos, fitness tips etc. Don’t forget to use hashtags to reach other users in your target market!

Ultimately, by ensuring you consistently put your time into developing your presence on each of them, you’ll be rewarded with a strong, powerful presence that will help generate leads and grow your business!

How to Make Sure You’re Successful on Social Media

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.


This is an excerpt from my new book “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses” out now in Paperback on Amazon! Head over there now for more of a Free preview! http://amzn.eu/2uuslrD


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?

What You Can Learn from These 3 Small Businesses Successfully Using Social Media

For most businesses, having a social media presence is now an essential element of a marketing strategy. Today’s online audiences are online to be informed, engaged and entertained by their favourite brands whilst ultimately expecting their voice to be heard and their needs listened to and met. It is up to you therefore to utilise this social media phenomenon and start reaping the rewards for your business from having a personable, valuable and engaging social media presence.

Whether you are a new business just starting out on social media or have already implemented your social media marketing plan, there is so much value to be gained in seeing examples of what other people and businesses are doing on social media and modelling their best practices. This article showcases three small businesses, that whilst all being in different industries and having different strategies, all display outstanding social media marketing efforts. So without further ado here are my top three small businesses successfully using social media and what you can learn from them.


Kim Garst

Kim Garst is a social media expert, successfully informing, influencing and engaging her audience through her small business social media firm, Boom Social. Kim is very active amongst several social media platforms and is a perfect example of someone who has developed a powerful social presence through providing excellent customer service, strong branding and regular, engaging, varied and tailored content that businesses and those looking to start on the entrepreneurial path are drawn to. This approach has established Kim as an renowned thought leader, with her impressive influence within the industry testimony to that.

Kim’s approach to communicating with her audience is definitely one to admire. She really puts the social in social media and takes the time to respond to every social media interaction on her Facebook and Twitter. Whether it is thanking someone for sharing her article, sharing good advice or sharing the many business and social media tips, quotes and motivational pieces she has, she is always active and always listening to her audience, resulting in a presence that not only demonstrates her successful approach to becoming a well trusted, well informed and personable industry influencer but also by providing real-time, socially connected customer service, she is able to create more trust and credibility with her audience.

Another area in which Kim excels is her impressive visual branding, successfully creating a consistent look and feel across her website and all of her social media profiles. Kim makes sure that her advice, quotes, tips and other motivational sayings are delivered on good, high quality branded photos and by combing this approach with another one of her triumphs, that is her impressive use of relevant hashtags on Twitter, such as #socialmedia, #BizTip and #SocialMediaMarketing she is able to ensure that her branded messages target and reach others beyond her immediate circle, making it easy for people searching certain kinds of content to find her.

Ultimately it’s no surprise Kim is a social media expert, she demonstrates her expertise, personality and outstanding customer service skills to businesses worldwide by simply sharing engaging resources and advice through her website and social media platforms and ultimately listening to and engaging with her fans. It’s such a simple strategy but is the very foundation of a successful social media presence.

Key Takeaways

  •     Ensure you humanise your brand by being genuine, honest and authentic in order to create truly personal and meaningful connections.
  •     Aim to become a thought leader in your industry through actively sharing useful resources and tips with your fans.
  •     Maintain a consistent strong branding throughout all of your online presence.
  •     Utilise Hashtags to reach new audiences.
  •     Dedicate time and resources to listening to and engaging with your fans and make demonstrating your excellent customer service skills a priority.

Brew Dog

BrewDog is a brewery in Scotland using social media to ‘Push limits and challenge conventions with award winning craft beer’. Along the way they are gaining a reputation for courting controversy but at the same time offering a bold, provocative, irreverent and most of all highly impactful and successful approach to social media marketing.

Whilst causing controversy or offence is not for the average content marketer, BrewDog not only gets away with it, but revels in it, due to their complete self-confidence in their philosophy and a no qualms attitude towards telling everyone about it. At the very basic level this shows a great case study of a business with a strong brand ethic, something which should be admired.

Having a strong philosophy (that is, their love of beer and challenging the conventional big breweries) instantly makes every post and status update crafted in a purposeful way and directed towards a goal and BrewDog is testament to this end. With cleverly produced and humorous videos, stunts such as driving a tank through the streets of London, projections onto the British House of Parliament and serving beer out of dead animals, they court controversy, divide opinion and importantly attract publicity and attention for themselves whilst perfectly demonstrating with their edgy, out there image that earns them a very targeted and loyal following.

In the midst of the controversy, BrewDog however is testament of a brand with an excellent social and collaborate strategy, in that they strive to involve their customers is every aspect of their journey. From asking for suggestions for wording on their new labelling, engaging their audience through regular questions on Facebook and Twitter, right through to their brilliantly successful crowd funding venture, they genuinely show they care about their audience and are interested in involving them in the business and listening to their thought and opinions.

Another area in which BrewDog excel is through their ability to successfully capitalise on up-coming events and trends, cleverly ensuring they secure coverage and attention for themselves while continuing to show their personality and appease their loyal following who are expecting these bold, clever and out there antics. Their ‘Hello, my name is Vladimir’, a ‘not for gays’ beer in protest at Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay laws, launched to coincide with the Winter Olympics in Sochi, is a great example of their excellent use of capitalising on a worldwide event. Whilst this controversial approach divides opinion, it ultimately garners them a lot attention which is crucial for small businesses in terms of brand awareness and keeping their brand in front and centre of their target audience’s minds. After all, without this provocative marketing approach BrewDog may not have had such a large impact in a crowded marketplace.

Ultimately, BrewDog have remained true to their philosophy, personality and attitude and this has simply been transferred to their marketing efforts. Through varied, regular and interesting blog posts, to clever and humorous videos to boost viral reach, right through to the two founders being active throughout their social media profiles which helps humanise the brand and show personality, it’s hard to find fault with a brand that is confident, consistent and clever in their approach no matter who it might offend.

Key Takeaways

  •     Be provocative, but only where it suits your brand.
  •     Make strategic use of relevant national or world trends and events to attract attention and grow your fan base.
  •     Be true to your strong brand ethic and recognise the importance of continuing conversation whether or not your brand or your approach is particularly liked.
  •     Put your customers at the forefront of your marketing, always listen to, learn from and encourage and engage your audience.

Daylesford Farm

Daylesford Farm is an organic farm in Gloucestershire with farmshops and cafes in London. Daylesford Farm is excelling in their social media efforts as they clearly understand the importance of sharing quality content and engaging with their audience and as such have brought the social and collaborative experience to the forefront of their marketing efforts.

Where Daylesford Farm truly excels is within their use of content and engagement strategies. Throughout all their social media channels Daylesford Farm place emphasis on providing valuable, targeted and engaging content fine-tuned to appeal to and capture their audience’s interest and attention. Every tweet, retweet, post and status update is shared with a purpose in mind, so whether it’s offering seasonal recipes to try, great tips, facts, competitions, testimonials, articles promoting sustainability in food and farming, humanising the business through showing the faces behind the brand or news and updates relating to their cookery school, farm shop, cafe and other activities, they ensure that each post is purposeful, informative and useful to their audience. In doing so, Daylesford Farm has given their social media followers lots of reasons to engage with and revisit their profiles and this is reflected in the high engagement and sharing levels of their updates.Importantly amongst their efforts they also cross promote each piece of content across their social media platforms and demonstrate well their impressive understanding of the need to tailor the content for each different platform. The result of which means that they attract and form a relevant, captive audience that regularly comes to their social media platforms to interact and be informed and entertained.

Daylesford Farm have also cleverly integrated social media into almost every aspect of their website. From the often overlooked but crucial clear placement of social media icons across all pages of their website, to utilising social media widgets on their website and the online shop where social media icons are clearly displayed for you to share the product, it is clear that Daylesford Farm is projecting themselves as a social brand. The key benefit here is that in doing so they have created this very social experience for the visitor, making it easy to connect socially and for the most part, you don’t have to leave the website to do so, which encourages viewers to stay on the website for longer, allowing Daylesford Farm to effectively increase their fan/follower base from their website.

Ultimately Daylesford farm clearly understand and demonstrate well how to get the best out of each social media platform. They tailor content well, provide excellent customer service and importantly provide varied, consistent and engaging content that regularly keeps their audience coming back for more.

Key Takeaways

  •  Ensure every post you create is designed with a purpose and your target audience in mind. Whether it’s to inform, entertain, educate or engage, make everything that goes into your post (tone, pictures, links etc.) work towards and compliment your overall purpose for the post.
  •  Make sure that on your website you provide the visitor with lots of opportunities to connect with you socially. You can do this by clearly displaying your social media icons on your website pages and utilising any website social widgets that can enhance your marketing efforts.
  • Provide fans with reasons to keep returning to your social media profiles by offering valuable content, competitions, industry insights, informative resources and anything else your target audience will find interesting.
  • Differentiate and tailor your social media strategy to match the platform you are using.

What are your thoughts? Who are your favourite brands successfully using social media?