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Social Media Strategy in 30 minutes a day!

So you appreciate the importance of a social media strategy, but do you have one? If you do, is it working effectively?

We understand that, for SME’s, time is valuable, so it might feel like you don’t have enough time to dedicate to social media. Do you think of delivering a social media strategy as a lengthy process? Well it doesn’t have to be! Allocating 30 minutes (or less) at the start of every day to deliver your social media strategy can save time and help you achieve your goals. Here’s our top tips to help you do just that:

1. Business Objectives

This forms the first part of your social media strategy. If you don’t already know your business goals, then it’s a good idea to make time determining what these are and how they fit into your social media strategy. Your business objectives will help to define what and where you post.

2. Social Media Goals

A goal must be measurable. Make sure you set goals that tie in to your business objectives. For example, if increasing brand awareness is an objective, then increasing reach and engagement should be a goal.

3. Audience, Channel Choice and Tactics

These three elements will be sub-headings in your social media strategy and inform your overall content plan.

Audience

Be aware that different people spend time on different platforms. If you’re unsure about the typical users for each platform, then have a look at some infographics or articles about platform demographics.

Channel Choice

Knowing your current and desired audience will help determine the channels that your brand is present on. We always recommend to do one thing well, then when you feel comfortable with that, start to branch out on to different channels. When considering channel choice, think about where your desired audience will be (this is where your demographic research will be useful).

Tactics

Once you have defined your audience and channel choice, the next thing to think about are tactics. Things to think about when identifying tactics are:

Social media tactics

4. Tools, Resources and Assets

This part is all about making your life easier! Scheduling tools can make a big difference to your social media strategy, especially if your time is limited. At Naturally Social, we love Hootsuite for scheduling and monitoring content. For more information on free social media resources see our previous blog post.

5. Content Plan

If you’re creative, then you’re going to love this part. This is where you plan what you’re going to post on what channel. Consider channel demographics and what sort of content your audience will find appealing.

Your content plan is where you consider what, where and how content will be shared. Stuck for ideas? Here’s a couple of things you can think about:

Awareness days are designed to create conversation around topics of interest. Try searching for upcoming awareness days that relate to your business and create content around this. It’s likely that these topics will be trending online.

If you have any business milestones, such as 5 years in business, or special events coming up, such as an awards evening, then don’t be afraid to shout about it! You can plan content for these in advance and upload posts in the lead-up to the big day.

6. Measuring and Reporting

This part is great if you’re a logical person and one of your strengths is analysing data. Compare the performance of content across different platforms and look at the output. Consider the time of day you’re posting and the format of your content. Metrics/KPI’s you should consider in order to determine what is going well and what adjustments may be needed include:

Social media metrics

If you would like more information on measuring and reporting, we share helpful articles and tips in our Facebook group and on Twitter.

7. Budget

This is a task that you’re probably familiar with outside of creating a social media strategy. Remember that your budget doesn’t necessarily dictate the quality of your content, or the success of your strategy. Yes, being able to spend money on ads that target your audience can help, but don’t be dissuaded if you don’t have a big marketing budget. Some of the most effective campaigns we’ve executed for clients didn’t rely on big budgets.

8. Crisis Plan

Don’t worry, this isn’t as scary as it sounds. Effectively, it’s a just-in-case measure. Think about things that could happen online which might affect your brand’s reputation. Even the best businesses get the occasional negative review and this is something that you might want to consider in your crisis plan. When we deliver training days, we tell our delegates that a negative response should always be acknowledged. Your crisis plan should dictate how you acknowledge it. A crisis plan will also help if multiple people are responsible for your organisation’s social media. It’s a guide for what to do in the (unlikely) event of a mishap, so that it can be dealt with quickly and effectively by any member of staff.

9. Brand Persona Guide and Voice

This is an aside to your strategy. Things to consider are your brand colours – while your content will be slightly varied across different platforms, brand colours help to keep things unified and create a strong brand image. You might also want to consider tone of voice as this could change slightly depending on what channel you’re posting on. If you’re looking to insource expertise for your branding, we recommend Rin Hamburgh & Co.

 

30 minutes a day to deliver your social media strategy can make all the difference. If you’d like further help with the topics we discussed in this post, then our next social media strategy workshop is on 16th July.

Blog: May Monthly Intern Update

This month has been particularly busy, with award ceremonies, behind-the-scenes filming, networking groups and professional development workshops. I’m also pleased to say that, following the end of my internship in June, I will be taking up a permanent position at Naturally Social! My new role will have a stronger focus on content writing. I will be writing blog posts, completing channel research and writing press releases. If you’re in need of some local PR or regular blog content for your website then please contact me via email: info@naturallysocial.co.uk.

Awards

This month we were lucky enough to attend not one, but two award ceremonies! The first was the Techies, which was held at Hartham Park in Corsham. This award evening celebrated the hard work and achievements of Wiltshire-based businesses in the technology sector. This was my first time attending an award evening, which was very exciting, but also a bit nerve-wracking! Fortunately, we had our clients, Priority IT, with us so there were a few familiar faces.

The next evening was the Wiltshire Business Awards. Like The Techies, The Wiltshire Business Awards celebrate the work of organisations and individuals within the local community. However, these awards were slightly different because the finalists consisted of businesses from many different sectors. It was great to get to experience these awards and it was a particularly special evening because it was their 25th anniversary! Throughout the evening we (of course) took lots of selfies and cheered very loudly when Priority IT won an award!

Blogs

May has been a month where I’ve been continuing to develop my blog writing and SEO skills. At the start of the month I enrolled on a blogging diploma to learn more about effective blog writing skills. My top 3 takeaways from the webinars so far are:

SEO blog tips

Last week I also got the chance to meet with Amy Morse for a blogging workshop. Amy is an author and blogging mentor who delivered an informative and entertaining workshop on blog writing. The course focused on creating content, SEO best practices, Yoast and writing tips. Amy explained how to create a content plan, construct an ‘idea tree’ and the functionalities of Yoast.

Tractor Ted

At the start of the month we visited Bowood Farm to get some behind the scenes social media content to promote the release of Tractor Ted’s new music video! Tractor Ted is a character who has been created to improve children’s education, or ‘Teducation’ around farming.

We got a sneak peek behind the scenes of the latest Tractor Ted music video that will accompany their song ‘It’s Tractor Ted Time’. The farm was buzzing with activity as the children were taught the dance routine that accompanies the song. Once the dance routine had been learned, it was time for filming. We took behind the scenes photos and videos for the Tractor Ted Facebook and Instagram accounts while the children were being filmed.

Despite warnings about working with children and animals, the day was a success and we managed to get lots of pictures and videos that show the fun everyone had filming the music video!

Networking

Last month, I also got to attend another Women Mean Biz networking group. As always, the ladies were very welcoming, and it was great to hear about how their businesses are progressing.

There was a brilliant talk from Mark Terrell about leadership skills, both in a professional and personal capacity. Despite feeling a little bit outnumbered in a room full of women, everyone agreed that Mark’s speech was incredibly interesting and could be applied to many different situations, both at work and at home. Maria Foxwell also gave a fantastic presentation, where she spoke about her Travel Counsellor business and the many exciting places it has taken her. Maria’s speech was admirable and her passion for her job and creating memorable experiences for clients was obvious.

If you are a local businesswoman and would be interested in hearing more about the group, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Women Mean Biz welcome women in all professions to their group, but currently they are particularly interested in meeting women who work as marketing consultants, solicitors and acccountants, so if you are in one of those professions, they would love to hear from you.

Thank you!

Thank you for taking the time to read this month’s blog. Keep an eye on the blog over the coming weeks for a series of advice blogs about social media for business. We will also be keeping you up to date with the latest social media news and updates on our Facebook group and Twitter.

person sitting at desk with laptop

Social Media Marketing – How Your Business Can Benefit

Social media is no longer a marketing tool that is used solely by big global businesses. Smaller, local businesses and charities are now capitalising on the benefits that an effective social media strategy can offer. We understand that developing your social media strategy can be daunting, which is why we wanted to write this blog post! Here are some of our top tips to get you going…

Always have your brand identity in mind

Branding is one of the most important things when it comes to targeting your current and ideal audience. Different platforms attract different age groups, so bear this in mind when creating content. Have a look at audience demographics for different platforms. Think about what channels your current and target audience might be on. Align your tone of voice and brand design with your social media presence. Having a strong brand persona will create a solid connection with your brand in your audience’s mind. This will form part of your social media audit and overall strategy.

Adapt your content delivery accordingly

Once you have identified what platform your audience is on, the next step is to adapt your content accordingly. Do your research and think about what content format your audience will be most likely to engage with. When appealing to Millennials and Generation Z, it might be best to deliver your content in short snackable chunks (such as stories). This type of content is what they tend to engage with most. When targeting an older audience on Facebook, it might be more beneficial to post content using the traditional newsfeed format.

Use social media to engage with your audience

Consumers have always valued good customer service. With social media changing the way in which customer service is delivered, it is becoming increasingly important to share positive feedback and address any concerns your customers raise.

Positive feedback is great for creating original content on your channels. We often use Canva to overlay words on to an image that represents the message as a way to make it look more visually appealing. Sharing feedback is a great way to showcase the value of your business to potential customers. It also has the advantage of giving you original content for your channels.

It’s worth remembering that even the best businesses receive the occasional piece of negative feedback. The most important thing to remember is that negative feedback should be dealt with in a positive and constructive way. This will ensure that your customers remain happy and is a fantastic opportunity to build a good reputation for your brand.

Use social listening

When consumers talk about your brand, they won’t always tag your social channels. Don’t worry, you can still keep track of what your audience are saying about your business – this is what social listening is for.

Social listening isn’t just important for finding out what people are saying about your brand. You can also use it to see what your ideal client is talking about. By knowing the interests of your current and potential clients, you can create content that they are more likely to discover and engage with.

Social listening can also be used to stay one step ahead of your competitors. Take note of what they are doing and have a think about why it is – or isn’t – working. This will help when considering the next steps for your social media channels.

You can conduct social listening using various tools. Google Alerts are an easy and cost-effective way of keeping track of what people are saying about you and your competitors. TweetDeck allows you to monitor mentions of certain words that people are tweeting about. If you’re looking to track whether mentions of your brand are positive or negative Keyhole is a good website for this.

Schedule your social media content

Time and resources are often a barrier to making social media work well, and scheduling tools can help you with this. There are various platforms you can use to create content ahead of time and decide when it will be posted.

We like to use Hootsuite and Later here at Naturally Social. They’re easy to use and it also allows you to track your profile analytics too.

Our advice when scheduling content is to keep track of what’s going out and when. If you plan an event which gets moved to a different date, make sure that you check your scheduled posts and amend the dates in those too. Try not to schedule too far in advance either!

Alternatively, you may benefit from in-sourcing a specialist social media team. This is where we add the biggest value for our clients. We take the pressure off, working as an extension to the team. We understand the business inside out so we can create social media content that really represents our clients and works towards achieving their business or organisational goals.

If you would like any of your social media questions answered, then get in touch via our website, Facebook or Twitter.

Internship Blog: March

This month marks the half way point of my internship – it’s gone so quickly!

Networking

On the first of the month, I attended a local networking event while Natalie was at Facebook HQ, brushing up on the latest tactics and strategies to help our clients. This was the first networking event I had attended on my own, so it was nerve-wracking. However, it was good to get an opportunity to meet some of the clients that I had previously only spoken to via email and social media.

International Women’s Day

We also celebrated International Women’s Day by holding an evening networking event. This was designed to encourage conversation between women in business. Natalie also gave some advice about how to use Instagram stories to optimise views and engagement, which everyone found useful.

Awards

We also got some exciting news in March – we have been nominated for two Wiltshire Business Awards! Natalie has been nominated for Best Business Person and Naturally Social is short-listed in the Best Micro-Business category. If you are interested in hearing more about the awards and our nominations, scroll down to see our last blog post.

Social Media Strategy and Facebook Ads

This month I have started to apply what I’ve learnt over the past months to some different projects. I have been creating a social media strategy for one of our clients. This has been a good opportunity to use what I learnt on Natalie’s training courses. I have also started making mock-ups of Facebook ads for us and our clients. The kind of things that need to be considered when creating Facebook ads are who you want to target and how you can appeal to that audience, where the people you want to target might live and what their interests are.

Meetings

As well as the work I have been doing in the office, I have also been sitting in on client meetings with Natalie. At the start of the month we visited the Wiltshire Air Ambulance air base. It was great to see first hand what it is they do and hear about their aims for the future. I also had the chance to visit Gloucestershire Golf Union and hear about their plans for upcoming events.

I will keep you updated on what we get up to in my April internship blog – I’m sure it will be just as busy!

Social Media: Making a positive change

I talk a lot about the positivity of social media and in a time when most platforms are facing scrutiny for the content that is being shared there I wanted to put pen to paper (so to speak)…

 

Last year I had the opportunity to deliver a Ted-X inspired talk at Wiltshire Council in Trowbridge about Social Media for Social Good – because it’s a topic close to heart. I’ll go in to more details about what this truly means in another post but for now I want to talk about how we can all use social media in a more positive way and why we should each make small changes to the way we use our social media platforms.

 

Social Media is, for many, a massive part of our day to day lives and has the power to greatly affect our mental wellbeing for good or bad. This effect is very much two way and we must take responsibility for the content we choose to share – after all this has potential to affect how our followers and friends feel. With this in mind, always be mindful when re-sharing content from other sources of information. Is it from a factually reputable source? The phrase “Fake News” has been thrown around so much recently that it is almost a cliche, however, it’s still very much a problem. Contributing to the spreading of “Fake News” includes clicking or commenting on images, quotes and memes that are designed to shock. Also known as click bait. Use a website like www.snopes.com to confirm whether what you’ve seen is factually correct or check the web address of the source. Does it look or sound legit?!

 

Raise awareness of a charity close to your heart. It is a great thing that more and more people are aware of the world around them and want to change things for the better but the circulation of shocking content is not always the healthiest way to aid that change. Informing people of a charity that they may not know about is likely to have a more positive reaction and it gives your followers a clear idea of how they can help. If you want to raise awareness of what’s happening in the world – take part in constructive conversations. Don’t facilitate unhelpful or upsetting debate.

 

Another way of raising awareness across social media is to get involved with cause related hashtags. For example,  in recent history #MeToo has helped to demonstrate how prevalent sexual assault and harassment is, especially in the workplace, with high profile personalities sharing their own stories in order to change the behaviour of society for the better. Be mindful of these and if a cause connects with you then ask yourself how you can follow up once it has stopped trending…

 

For every piece of bad news there is, there is also wonderful news that often gets overlooked. People are doing fantastically selfless things every day and changing the world around them by taking positive steps to make a difference. Sites like www.goodnewsnetwork.org are a great source for good news and will brighten up your social media accounts and remind your followers that it’s not all doom and gloom. Go and download it today!

 

There are so many ways that social media can be used to spread positivity and help others. Here are three more simple ways that you can make a difference close to home with the power of social media.

 

  1. Post a positive review about a small local business that you have recently used.
  2. Spread the news about a local event that will bring the community together.
  3. Avoid airing your grievances with someone as this may lead to online bullying.

 

By making these small changes we can all contribute to a better experience online.

Social Media and Wellbeing- how to maintain a healthy relationship

With Social Media literally at our fingertips now, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it can impact our mood. Many of us are guilty of mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at any given opportunity, immersing ourselves in our newsfeeds, rather than focusing on our what’s actually going on around us. Where we would once people watch while waiting for a train or carry a book around with us as a boredom buster, it seems that we now instinctively reach for our phones and press one of those colourful little apps.

 

Is this necessarily a bad thing? I don’t think so. It’s another form of evolution and as long as we are still communicating with each other and appreciating the world around us, does it really matter how this is done? Many of us are now inspired to take a snap of something that interests us and share it on Instagram for the world to appreciate and keeping in touch with loved ones all over the world is easier than it’s ever been, thanks to social media.

 

Maintaining a healthy relationship with social media is the key to ensuring that it doesn’t negatively affect our wellbeing so here are 5 ways that you can enjoy scrolling without allowing it impact your mental health.

 

Try not to collect friends – It’s very easy to accept every friend request that comes your way but having thousands of “friends” that you don’t actually know may cause your newsfeed to be clogged up with posts that aren’t of any real interest to you. By keeping your friends list to just your real life friends and family your newsfeed is going to have much more meaningful content, and surely you’d rather see pictures of your cousin’s new puppy than some stranger in America’s amazing weight loss using “miracle” pills that you are pretty sure aren’t even legal!! This goes for celebrities too! Think about who you follow on Instagram and Twitter and ask yourself ‘ does their content leave you feeling positive?’ if it doesn’t it may be time to unfollow!

 

Be mindful of what you are posting – Some social media sites are great tools for documenting your day; such as Twitter and stories but be mindful about what you do share…. Do people really need to know about your anger or hatred for someone? Or that your neighbours are screaming at each other in the street? Probably not. It may feel quite cathartic at the time but think carefully about how that would make others feel or how people will perceive you. By making it a habit to only post meaningful content you are contributing to a more positive online environment, so consider sharing heartwarming, funny or thought provoking posts instead. If in doubt, everyone loves a cat video!

 

Take what you read with a pinch of salt – Comparing your life with what you are seeing on social media is a sure fire way to bring yourself down so it’s important to remember that there will always be people that exaggerate how great (or bad) their life really is. We’ve all got friends that seem to post incredible holiday pictures on a monthly basis, leaving everyone else wondering how they can afford it or if they actually have a day job. On the flip side, there are those that over-share their dirty laundry, keeping it just vague enough that someone will leave a comment pressing for more information. Endless holiday pics are definitely better than the latter, in my opinion, but keep in mind that this person is being selective about what parts of their life they want their social media friends to see. It doesn’t mean they are doing better in life, are more successful or necessarily better off in any way, it just means you are seeing the parts of their life that they are happy to share – and that’s ok.

 

Try to log off at least once a day – Make a habit of putting the phone away and closing your laptop at least once or twice a day to enjoy a bit of time away from the temptation of social media. Take an hour to read a book, get some fresh air or spend time with a loved one and, most importantly, be completely focused on that activity. When you are with a person give them the courtesy of not constantly checking your notifications and, better still, switch those notifications off if you know they are going to be distracting.

 

Having a healthy relationship with social media doesn’t necessarily mean having to close down your accounts or delete the apps from your phone but when you are scrolling through your newsfeeds ask yourself if you are enjoying what you are seeing. If the answer is “not really” then put the phone away and do something else and remember to keep things in perspective.

Safer Internet Day Success at Local Primary School

The Social Media Landscape

Social media is a subject which seems to divide a lot of opinion. Some people think it’s brilliant because they have used it to expand their business. Some believe it’s a waste of time or only for the ‘shallow Instagram generation’. Others are intimidated by it and the potential dangers it could pose to their children. After all, there are an overwhelming amount of social media websites popping up now. This makes it difficult to keep up with all the privacy settings, child-friendly versions and parental controls available. That is why Safer Internet Day was created.

Education

Education, at school and at home, is one of the most important things when it comes to online safety. This is why we teamed up with Kathryn Price, owner and founder of KSPTechCare, to deliver an assembly on Safer Internet Day about things that children should be aware of when going online.

Assembly

At the start of the assembly, we asked the children how many of them own a mobile phone and the majority of the room raised their hands. We then informed them about how to use “the little computers in their pockets” safely. Kathryn and I explained why passcodes on phones should only be known by them and their parents/guardians and made it clear that “if you send a nasty message to somebody that’s the same as bullying face to face”.

After we had finished giving the presentation, we were pleased to hear lots of questions from the children. Some of these included:

  • “What happens when a stranger picks up your phone and takes it?”
  • “What does the emergency button on your phone do?”
  • “Could you tell people where your address is? I don’t think you should but I’m not sure”
  • “Can people hack into your phone?”
  • “Can you fight hackers on your phone?”

The main thing that we took away from these questions, is that different children have different levels of understanding about technology. This is why education is so important. Teaching children about online safety is most effective when teachers and parents work together. Therefore, we sponsored the ‘Caught in the Web’ booklet, which was given to children at the end of the assembly. The book contains a story about internet safety and online safety quizzes and activities for children to complete with their parents, reinforcing the messages we communicated in the assembly.

We had a great afternoon teaching children about online safety. If you would like to continue the conversation with your child, then have a look at our blog post on internet safety for parents and businesses. We have also been sharing useful articles and teaching resources on our Twitter and Facebook channels, with videos on privacy settings, which are helpful for anyone wanting to keep their private information from becoming public knowledge.

Internet Safety Tips for Parents and Businesses

It’s Safer Internet Day on 5th February 2019 and this year we’ve pulled together some top internet safety tips for both parents and businesses.

5 Top Tips for businesses to stay safe online

Change your passwords

Make sure you change your passwords regularly and be aware of who has access. If employees leave – and it’s likely they managed the social media from their phones be sure to revoke their access. This can be managed in the security settings of each app.

Log out

This one might seem obvious, but it’s a mistake that a lot of people make, both on their personal and business accounts. It’s easier to leave all your sites open on web browsers but this leaves you open to hackers. Always log out of accounts once you’ve finished using them.

Try not to use public wifi

When using public wifi networks you are left vulnerable to a cyber attack. Surprisingly, using 4G on your mobile is actually more secure than connecting to public wifi. If you are self-employed and often work in public spaces, then click here to find out how to protect yourself from hackers while connecting to public wifi networks.

Familiarise yourself with security settings

Security settings are there for a reason and they’re really helpful! Regularly review them and familiarise yourself with the variety of options available on each platform.

Employee training

Take responsibility for training your staff on how to use social media safely (both personally and professionally). Have a policy in place about the use of social media for both work and non work related purposes. If you would like guidance and support for both training and policy writing please get in touch.

Top 5 Internet Safety Tips for Parents:

Discuss internet safety

The most important thing about protecting children online is to understand how much they already know about systems in place to prevent cyber attacks and online bullying. You can then identify what areas of internet safety you need to talk to them about. The Safer Internet Day website has some helpful resources on how to initiate a conversation with your child about online safety and fun quizzes for 8-13 year olds to test their internet knowledge.

Set up parental controls

Parental controls are an important part of keeping your child safe online. They block websites that you believe to be inappropriate for your child. You can also use them to limit the amount of time that your children spend on the internet.

Use child-safe versions of search engines and popular websites

There are several search engines that are designed specifically for children. These search engines allow them the freedom to use the internet for educational purposes, without the risk of seeing web pages that aren’t age appropriate. Popular social media website YouTube has a child-friendly version, which is a useful function, but isn’t perfect, so it is best to monitor what your child is looking at online, even when the child-friendly versions of websites are being used.

Be share aware

Encourage your children to ask for permission when they are sharing photos of friends and family online. Make sure that they know what kind of information they should and shouldn’t be sharing on social media platforms. This avoids any personal details ending up on the internet. Encourage them to only accept Facebook friend requests from people they know and set public accounts like Twitter and Instagram to private. For information on how to do this, keep an eye out for an upcoming video on the Naturally Social Twitter page.

Cyberbullying

Make children aware of what cyberbullying looks like and how to block and report anyone online who is posting hurtful or upsetting content. Encourage them to report any cyberbullying they see, even if it is not aimed at them. Reassure them that reporting someone to social networking websites is anonymous.

 

We hope that our online safety tips have been useful and are a start to helping you, your children and your business stay safe online. If we can be of help further then don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Social

Social Media Resources: Our Top 10

Do you want to improve your business’ social media presence without having to use expensive tools? We get it. That’s why we’ve created this post on our ‘Top Ten Free Social Media Resources’. Happy posting!

Scheduling

  • Firstly, TweetDeck (and other in-website tools) are a brilliant platform for any business whose sole platform is Twitter. You won’t need to spend money on websites like Hootsuite for scheduling content across multiple channels. You have everything you need for your main social channel. With TweetDeck, you can schedule tweets and check your reach and engagements alongside Twitter Analytics, which are linked within TweetDeck.
  • Secondly, ColorStory is an app which you can use to edit your Instagram photos and schedule content. It’s very easy to use and, as it’s an app, can be done on the go, allowing you to make the most of those little pockets of time in your day.

News and social listening

  • Social Media Examiner is a good website if you’re not sure where to start with social media. They have free reports on how social channels are being used, articles on how to get the best out of social media for your business and a podcast for learning on the go.
  • Google alerts are an easy way of keeping up to date with news in your industry. You can set an alert for a key word or phrase and get notified when content appears on Google with this phrase in it.

Photos

  • With Canva you can add text over photos, which is great for posting a testimonial or inspirational quote. You can adjust the size of your image to fit a Twitter header or a Facebook post with an image attached. You can also create a flyer, blog banner, or a presentation.
  • Pixabay have copyright free pictures that you can use in your marketing and social media.

Blog and email marketing

  • MailChimp can be used to gather your email subscribers and market to them with flyers and newsletters. MailChimp makes mail merge a lot easier because you can create lists of contacts and personalise them to the receiver. However, be careful about GDPR and always get permission before you use someone’s email address.
  • WordPress is a blogging platform and a great website builder that is easy to use. Blogging is a good way of keeping your current and potential clients up to date with any news and updates without bombarding them with emails and content. Additionally, your blog can be shared across your other platforms, either in your ‘bio’ or in a post. Also, updating content on your website is key for SEO.

Videos

  • iMovie- If you have an iPhone, then this one is for you. You can combine photos and videos to create unique content for your channels, which is great if you have a video shy team! Photos can be put together in a slide show and are categorised as a video, which the Facebook algorithms value more than pictures.
  • Splice is an app that adds music to videos, which is a fun way to make your Instagram posts more engaging. You could even combine your iMovie photo slideshow with music from Splice.

Social Media for Business: timeless tips

As another global social media week comes to a close and as many of us start getting ready for the last quarter of the year, this is the time of year when typically we refocus our energy and work to drive forward plans and ideas. With that in mind, I’ve pulled together some timeless tips that will help you succeed when using social media for your business.

A key point to remember is that it doesn’t matter what platform you use or how many for that matter, the rules of engagement apply across the spectrum and they apply to you no matter how big your company is or how long you’ve been online for.

1. Manage your time effectively.

Being active on social media can take up a lot of your time, especially when you factor in the ‘social’ of social media that reminds us we need to engage with our audience, not simply broadcast to them. SO, in order to ensure you don’t get overwhelmed, and to help manage your time effectively, focus on doing one thing well. Short or long term it’s much better to have a content rich, value led, profile on one channel than having a presence on 3, 4 or 5 different ones and hardly updating them or choosing to auto post from one to another in order to manage them.

2. Know your audience

Following on from point one: find out where (the majority of) your audience hang out online and then set yourself up there. There’s a number of ways you can do this: survey your customers to find out where they want to communicate with you, look at the latest industry reports such as this one from Ofcom, and even research your competitors to find out where they’re getting the most success.

3. Fall in love with the problem

Another way to determine where to focus your social media efforts is to fall in love with the problem you’re trying to solve. Each channel has it’s own unique functionalities that will better serve one objective to another and I’m a strong believer in the ability to onboard your audience to any channel, as long as you have a compelling reason for them to join you there. As an example, when I was working in local government one ‘problem’ we had to solve was how to support families moving from Germany to Wiltshire  ahead of them arriving. We needed to give them information on housing, schools and jobs as well as help to put them at ease by answering any questions they may have. Doing this online was a cost effective way to deliver this and would allow us to do so in a personable and direct manner. So, I proposed using Google Hangouts (a function of Google+). At the time, Google+ was the only place I was aware of where you could hold private group video chats for free so it was best placed as our channel of choice for that audience! The other way was to (solely) create web pages of information and email the link to people…from a user perspective I know what I’d have valued more.

4. Use video

No matter your channel of choice, video is becoming the focal point of content creation. Most social media sites give you the ability to create video ‘in app’ now too, which makes it accessible to everyone, no matter what your budget and experience. LinkedIn recently joined the party, Snapchat now allows you to continuously record up to a minute of video clips and Facebook has prioritised native video over links to third party sites for quite a while. Live streaming is also a format to consider, and I speak about this a lot as it’s a trend that will continue into 2018. Instagram added live streaming to their stories function at the end of last year and around the same time Twitter updated it’s app to allow users to Go Live within the app too (as opposed to using it’s streaming site ‘Periscope’ separately.) Facebook rolled out live streaming to pages from the desktop version of their site this year too.

5. Quality over Quantity

Always. Some platforms lend themselves to multiple posts a day and others not so much, but please don’t be convinced that you need to be churning out content just so you can be in people’s newsfeed. Me? I always focus on posting when I have something interesting to say or can share something that is engaging and of value to my audience. What happens when you don’t follow the Q/Q model? Your audience becomes made up of passive followers, stopping briefly at your post, scrolling past and in the end, as a result, they stop seeing your content. This is because many channels use a code that determines who sees what you post and that’s largely based on who engages with you regularly.

That’s all for now! Let me know your thoughts of if you have any questions….thank you to everyone who watched my LinkedIn videos this week too! If you missed them then head over to my profile for a peek. Hopefully we’re connected!

Have a great weekend..