Social Media Marketing

Introduction To Our 12-Week Marketing Health Check: Overhaul Your Small Business Marketing For 2020

INTRODUCTION TO THE 12-WEEK MARKETING HEALTH CHECK: HOW TO OVERHAUL YOUR SMALL BUSINESS MARKETING IN 2020

We want to start by briefly outlining what the 12-week course will cover and how it can, over the next few weeks, benefit your business. There is no one miracle method for all businesses to market their business but in this, we aim to share the tips and techniques we have developed over a combined 20 years in the field of marketing. 

Toni – Over the last 10 years I have worked exclusively in marketing and grown my knowledge and expertise across a broad range of industries and business types and I have seen it change rapidly.

Over just the last 2 and a half years that I have been running my business I have worked with 8 different clients over as many industries, from education to sports, startups and established businesses with hundreds of thousands in marketing budget, and that’s not to count the other 10+ industries and markets I have researched and presented to. In just 2 years that is a lot of market coverage. Not meaning to brag, lol, but merely to illustrate that I have researched and compiled marketing plans for a lot of different businesses and figuring out what to do and what works, you learn a few tips and tricks, and even a strategy that you can use across all business types – but specifically the new businesses of today 😉 and that is what this program is about.

I look forward to sharing this with you and hope you can draw benefit for your business marketing and grow with us in 2020 

Without getting too technical, or giving you too much more info than you need to do this course, I want to quickly look at some basic key principles and marketing related tools and models used in the field in marketing, if you’re in marketing you may have heard of The 5P’s – Or sometimes 7P’s – of Marketing. These were traditionally Product, Price, Place, People, Promotion …and sometimes Packaging and Position or Process. You can read more about this here from the official Chartered Institute of Marketing. A brief summary of marketing and how it works or the McKinsey 7S, Porter’s Five Forces Framework for analyzing competition of a business, SWOT analysis, Push and Pull marketing, and lots of other tried and tested well-known marketing tools and models but the thing is these are usually Managerial approach models and they are still more about larger aspects of business strategy than marketing today, especially service-based businesses in the modern working world. 

So there are a lot of tools and models out there that are somewhat helpful and can get you thinking in the right directions, but otherwise hard to relate to and are more relevant to big business managers than the local butchers. In fact, after further investigation, I’ve found there’s a lot of talk out there on the relevance of these “marketing models” to today’s marketing and modern business world. Marketing models that have stood the test of time 
The big debate: Are the ‘4Ps of marketing’ still relevant?

99.9% of all private sector businesses in the UK are SMEs (less than 250 employees) – just 0.1% of enterprises in the UK have more than 250 employees. Add to that, that micro-businesses (0-9 employees) make up 96% of all private sector companies in the UK. In other words, this shows overwhelmingly that the majority of businesses out there now are people just like you and me, people who took the leap and went out on their own. There just doesn’t seem to be a good solid tried and tested model for addressing marketing for these people – us. 

As you can probably tell, I feel there is a need for a new small business marketing model, so this is mine, It’s based on a good old, tried and tested model establishing circumstance for investigation, writing, communication and circumstance, The 5 W’s, so it can’t be that bad lol and it works for us! 

When I started my very first business (a preschool at 22 years old) I found myself naturally referring to the good old 5 W’s theory/process of investigation and circumstance without even realising it to solve my business and marketing questions. The Who, What, When, Where and Why, plus the sometimes added additional (*essential*) How. But back then we were still talking distributing fliers on car windshields with baby seats at prime times and locations, lol. 

Many people will be familiar with this thinking process, so I would like to show you how you can easily apply this simple model to any business of any size – even the one-man-band sole traders out there – using this simple and proven technique of establishing circumstance. 

So let’s look at how this works…

The New Small Business Marketing Model

The 5W’s: Who, What, When, Where, Why (and how) 
Thinking about what naturally applies to marketing your business, most of these questions seem natural and helpful and you would have naturally addressed or considered many of these already. But, what I would suggest however is that in marketing the order is important, while the structure or order may work well in journalism or criminal investigation, in marketing it is key to approach these questions systematically especially if you are just starting out or a new startup. 

Who – Who should be the first natural consideration. 
“There is no point in developing a product or service that no one wants to buy, yet many businesses decide what to offer first, then hope to find a market for it afterwards. Successful companies find out what customers need or want and then develop the right product with the right level of quality to meet their expectations, both now and in the future.” – CIM https://www.cim.co.uk/media/4772/7ps.pdf

What – What is your ‘Product’? What problem does it solve? What are these people looking for, what do they need? 

Why – this is usually naturally considered before a person ever decides to even start a business. It’s usually financial or, in my case, physical freedom. It could be a dream or your sole way to provide for your family but what are your goals? What are you trying to achieve? Setting clear goals helps you focus your marketing and business strategy although these should be regularly re-addressed.

How – When and where are important, but to me, they sit under the all-important ‘How’ when it comes to marketing. The marketing P’s like Place or Price are more strategically used I feel to address larger business strategy and process rather than practical small business marketing although they can be useful.

‘How’ is the fun stuff, the planning that makes it all work once you’ve figured out the last three. 
How are you going to find and reach these customers? How are you going to promote and grow your business and product? And so on… 

Anyway, please forgive the slightly long introduction but *drumroll* these will be the topics for the next 12 weeks, each one in more depth so you can work on them through the week. 
Let us know how you get on!

​Please do report back on whatever channel you like using #NewYearNewMarketing!

The 12-week course will cover:

  1. Who are your clients?
  2. What is your product?
  3. Why are you doing this – What are your goals?
  4. How do you find and reach these clients
  5. Planning your marketing strategy/mix
  6. Branding basics
  7. Website essentials
  8. Social media marketing
  9. GMB (a little secret-ssshhh🤫)
  10. PPC/Google advertising
  11. Local Marketing
  12. Content marketing and SEO

The First of these posts will be published on Wednesday 15th January 2020, then every Wednesday following for 12 weeks.

​If you would like to get these posts and other useful tools directly to your inbox please sign up to my email list below.

**Please note this course is completely free and up to you if you would like to follow along over the next 12 weeks, all we ask is a like👍🏻 and perhaps even a share and you your feedback and interaction is always welcome!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Authors

Welcome to our blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people to market their own businesses more effectively by sharing our knowledge, experience and useful tools. If you need any further advice don’t hesitate to get in touch or feel free to comment with any questions on the blog posts and we will get back to you with the best answers we can give.

Thanks

Toni and Sian

Growing Your LinkedIn Following For Business

Growing Your LinkedIn Following For Business

LinkedIn a as a social platform operates slightly differently to others like Facebook and Twitter for business. As a purely professional platform, LinkedIn Business pages rely on interaction with the business employees, suppliers and similar industry groups to get going. 

The simplest way to grow your LinkedIn followers as a business would be through paid advertising promoting your page and getting it seen to a wider audience.  This is something you could set up yourself or engage the help of a social media expert. As a freelance Marketing consultant this is something I could help you refine and set up to achieve your marketing goals. Get in touch for a chat if this is something you think your business could benefit from.

There are however things you can do to grow your following organically but will usually require interaction and involvement of other people in your team, business or industry.  

Action plan for growing your following organically 

  1. Ask employees to follow the page and interact with posts by liking and sharing. This will make the posts visible on their own feeds and to all of their followers thus increasing the reach of the posts.
  2. Look for relevant industry groups and ask to join them. In the LinkedIn search bar, type in the name of your industry i.e. Energy, Marketing, Finance etc. then on all results filter for Groups by clicking the tab along the top that says ‘Groups’ to see a list of all the networking groups in your industry. Note, it is possible to see which are the most popular and busiest groups as the number of members are displayed.
  3. Once you have identified relevant groups you can request to join them and then feature them on your business page profile.
  4. Following and interacting with groups is only possible as a person using your personal profile and not as a business. However joining and interacting with groups can still drive traffic to your business page and position your company as an influencer and authority in the industry.
  5. Published articles/blogs on your business page can also then be shared onto these groups further increasing reach and influence.
  6. Add links to your social media pages and on your business email signature. ​
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Authors

Welcome to our blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people to market their own businesses more effectively by sharing our knowledge, experience and useful tools. If you need any further advice don’t hesitate to get in touch or feel free to comment with any questions on the blog posts and we will get back to you with the best answers we can give.

Thanks

Toni and Sian

Outsourcing Your Social Media

Outsourcing Your Social Media

How using a third-party can save you time and money.

Perhaps you’re a new business starting from scratch with your digital marketing. Or, perhaps you have an established business and need help managing your existing social media accounts. Or, it could be you have no clue how to market your product/business online and you need help, fast. 

 

Two things are certain for all these instances though:

1) You need someone to take ownership of your digital channels

2) It’s going to cost you money

 

Now, we get enquiries of this nature every single day, so you’re not alone! Everyone will tell you that for a business to be successful these days you need to have a presence online. Customers are savvy, they will research purchases online before committing and they will expect you to be on Social Media. What they don’t tell you is that managing Social Media takes A LOT of work, and it can be expensive. 

 

How do I manage my Social Media?

To do this effectively you have one of two choices – either you employ someone in-house and take the hit on salary and overheads of a new member of staff, OR you outsource to an external company, like us.

 

Can’t I just get Tim in Accounts to do it?

We get this a lot too. The answer is yes, you can, but bear in mind – Tim already has a full-time job and is probably maxed out. If he’s not, Tim will need to learn a whole new set of skills and this will take time. Even if he is a really fast learner, experience shows us Tim will get pretty fed up, pretty quickly, and before you know it, you’re a man down in Accounts and your Social Media is a mess. 

 

Okay, I get it. We need Tim to stay. How much is outsourcing my Social Media going to cost?

Well, it depends… There are a lot of factors to take into account such as how many Social Media accounts do you have? How often do you want to post, how much engagement do you want, how fast do you want your customer base to grow and what type of content do you want to produce – text, graphics, blogs, video??

In terms of real numbers, you could pay anything from £100 a month to thousands of pounds. Again it depends on all the above factors. 

 

Initial Consultation: Free

As an example, Tim’s boss would come to us and our first contact would be an initial consultation. This is a really important fact-finding call to determine what the client is looking for, what their existing presence online is (if any) and how much work is going to be needed. This initial consultation is free. 

 

Strategy meetings: £50 – £150 each

This next step is when we really get into who you are, what your business is all about and how we are going to help you going forward. The information gathered from these meetings is vital for us to put a solid strategy in place. Whether we meet in person, via Skype or a phone call, these appointments are charged between £50 – £150 depending on the length of time. 

 

If you already have established social accounts and just need these managing, we might only need a relatively short chat. If we are starting from scratch, we will spend a lot of time with you to ensure we get it right and everyone is happy.

 

Set-up: £75 per Social platform

So, we’ve agreed on a strategy with you and everyone is happy to get the ball rolling. How long it will take to implement this will depend on the technology and software you have in place for your company website and social pages. For example, a complex Content Management System, managed by a web development company, will take time to set up versus a simple site hosted on WordPress.

 

Depending on the strategy we have agreed on, we will either be setting up new accounts for you or re-branding your existing ones. The cost for this will depend on how much work is needed, for example designing logos, sourcing images and resizing each one for each social platform (annoyingly a facebook image is hugely different proportions to a Linkedin one for example.) As a guide, we tend to charge around £75 per platform for this.

 

Management: Between £150 – £300* per platform, per month, is a good average cost to expect

At this stage, we have set-up your branded social channels, everything is running beautifully between your website, social channels and other platforms and we are ready to go. For most of our clients, we then go on to manage the ongoing running of their social media accounts. 

 

This usually includes creating and posting relevant and targeted content to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest or Snapchat. But can also involve engaging with the community (responding to comments, queries etc), and setting up and running paid ad campaigns. 

*dependent on the number of posts per week, level of engagement needed, advertising etc.

 

Sometimes once a strategy is in place, and the background work done, a client is confident to manage their accounts in-house. In this instance, we would schedule a series of calls to review the strategy, content and help them overcome any pain-points. We do have clients try this before coming on board for a full management package which is absolutely fine. This would also be dependent on the time needed to get your team up to speed but typically takes around 2 sessions of 2-3 hours to handover and train and cost around £300. 

 

And that’s how much outsourcing your Social Media is going to cost

It’s not cheap but, as with anything, it pays to do it well the first time. Once your robust, well-researched strategy is in place, the return on investment will be worth it.  

 

To find out more about how we can help your business, get in touch….http://www.freelancemarketer.co.uk/contact.html 

 

LinkedIn a as a social platform operates slightly differently to others like Facebook and Twitter for business. As a purely professional platform, LinkedIn Business pages rely on interaction with the business employees, suppliers and similar industry groups to get going. 

 

The simplest way to grow your LinkedIn followers as a business would be through paid advertising promoting your page and getting it seen to a wider audience.  This is something you could set up yourself or engage the help of a social media expert. As a freelance Marketing consultant this is something I could help you refine and set up to achieve your marketing goals. Get in touch for a chat if this is something you think your business could benefit from.

 

There are however things you can do to grow your following organically but will usually require interaction and involvement of other people in your team, business or industry.  

 

Action plan for growing your following organically 

 

Ask employees to follow the page and interact with posts by liking and sharing. This will make the posts visible on their own feeds and to all of their followers thus increasing the reach of the posts.

Look for relevant industry groups and ask to join them. In the LinkedIn search bar, type in the name of your industry i.e. Energy, Marketing, Finance etc. then on all results filter for Groups by clicking the tab along the top that says ‘Groups’ to see a list of all the networking groups in your industry. Note, it is possible to see which are the most popular and busiest groups as the number of members are displayed.

Once you have identified relevant groups you can request to join them and then feature them on your business page profile.

Following and interacting with groups is only possible as a person using your personal profile and not as a business. However joining and interacting with groups can still drive traffic to your business page and position your company as an influencer and authority in the industry.

Published articles/blogs on your business page can also then be shared onto these groups further increasing reach and influence.

Add links to your social media pages and on your business email signature.

Authors

Welcome to our blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people to market their own businesses more effectively by sharing our knowledge, experience and useful tools. If you need any further advice don’t hesitate to get in touch or feel free to comment with any questions on the blog posts and we will get back to you with the best answers we can give.

Thanks

Toni and Sian

Brainstorming Content for Social Media

Brainstorming Social Media Content Idea's

Having a readily available list of content ideas to post will help you when you go to create your actual content and help ensure you are not being too repetitive.

Promotional posts

Firstly you will be promoting your business, service and products so it will help to

  1. Create a list of all products and services
  2. Create a list of the benefits of these products and services
  3. List ways in which these products and services are used

This is particularly useful for B2B and service-oriented businesses where it’s often hard to think of interesting ways to promote and some with boring subjects or products, this will help you to generate ideas that will give your posts more meaning and make them more effective and relatable to your target audience.

For example, in the B2B Cleaning consumables industry, you will have a list of cleaning products you are selling but it’s important to bear in mind what you are actually selling is the benefits of the cleaning product, which are hygiene, cleanliness and essentially clean spaces, while ways in which the products are used could be i.e. cleaning toilets, limescale from bathrooms, taps, drains etc. This is useful for brainstorming ways to create different product posts but also importantly, in B2B, would be where these products are used i.e. care homes, offices, workshops etc. See how considering these will help with tailoring your product posts to your target customer? They will be more likely to get their attention as the posts will be more specific to them and more interesting.

Another example in the service industry would be; You’re an electrician, the services you sell are electrical work on fuse boards, lighting, wiring, sockets etc. but what is really selling is peace of mind, light, security, electricity, warmth, comfort and so on. See how these could be marketed using the benefits of your services that clients could relate to, rather than an abstract image of a fuse box or a man working with some wires. Then if you think further into how these services are used, think about all the appliances in a kitchen that make people’s daily life function, an electric heater on a cold day, someone reading a book by a desk lamp… you start to get more of an idea of all the different ways you can promote your services that will appeal to your typical client.

Value Posts

Value posts as discussed are posts that are of interest or use to your typical or ideal client. It’s important to understand who your typical or ideal customer is, the type of voice they respond to and the sort of content or news that they are interested in or affects them.

Value content could be very different depending on your industry but would typically include:

  • Interesting or informative news or blog articles curated from influential or recognised sources in your industry and/or your own written content.
  • Educational content like ‘How to’ instructional articles or videos. Ideas or tips on using your products or relating to your services.
  • Entertaining, fun or inspirational content.

Competitions, games or giveaways; while they can be promotional they could also be considered value content if it is the sort of thing that would be of interest to your client. These can be brilliant for getting your customers involved with your brand and to interact with you. Depending on your business they can be a great source of user-generated content, like getting your customers to share pictures of your products in use or getting them to comment on and share your content.  

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Authors

Welcome to our blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people to market their own businesses more effectively by sharing our knowledge, experience and useful tools. If you need any further advice don’t hesitate to get in touch or feel free to comment with any questions on the blog posts and we will get back to you with the best answers we can give.

Thanks

Toni and Sian

Creating A Social Media Strategy

Creating A Social Media Strategy

Before jumping in and creating platforms or posts for your social channels there are a few things you should do to help ensure its success. There’s no doubt social media can be a very beneficial tool in business marketing however if not optimised to meet your business goals it can also be a great time thief and give you very little return for your efforts.

My grandad used to say, “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well”.

Taking the time to zoom out, look at the bigger picture and putting a bit of thought and planning in place before jumping in to your social media will greatly improve the effectiveness of your campaigns and efforts.

So here’s my version of creating a basic social media strategy to help guide you in your first steps in social media marketing.

  1. Establish your goals

What are your goals for social media?

We all know the importance of setting goals, it’s hard to get to where you’re going if you’re not sure where that is. Similarly with social media, there are and number of reasons to be using social media and getting clear on yours is key to achieving the results you want to see for your business.

The most common uses for social media include:

  • Brand awareness
  • Community engagement
  • Lead generation
  • Content distribution
  • Increase sales revenue
  • Customer support

Authors

Welcome to our blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people to market their own businesses more effectively by sharing our knowledge, experience and useful tools. If you need any further advice don’t hesitate to get in touch or feel free to comment with any questions on the blog posts and we will get back to you with the best answers we can give.

Thanks

Toni and Sian

Resources For Creating Great Social Media Content

Resources for Creating Great Social Media Content

There are plenty of resources available to help find content and inspiration for your social posts. Take a look at these ideas to help you achieve social media success for your business.

  • Center to all marketing is graphics and design, you don’t need to employ professional designers but good quality graphics for use on your website and social media are important but luckily because of this, the tools available to help you with this are improving and getting easier to use. If you are a small business trying to do the best for your own marketing we recommend using a program called Canva. It is super easy to use and has all the preset sizes and templates for social media, email and print ready to go. It will save you a huge amount of time and money when you need to create quick high quality graphics. There is a free version which is very good but Canva Pro costs £10.99 per month and allows you to easily resize your designs, upload custom fonts, set color palettes for your brand and save templates for you and your team.

  • Industry forums allow you to see and participate in conversations of relevant subjects and find out what is trending and being talked about in your industry.
  • Trade Publications
  • Social media conversations – use # searches on Twitter, Facebook searches and Linkedin searches to find out what people are responding to. Another useful tip is to check for keywords on Google trends to make sure you are searching the right words and phrases.
  • Google Alerts is a great tool for monitoring the web for new content and keeping informed of news related to your industry or products.
  • Buzzsumo is another fantastic tool for finding out what works and what’s popular with your audience as it searches the web for content and sorts them by the amount of social shares they have had.

Keeping a file or folder for ideas and inspiration for posts and content is also invaluable, giving you a constant pool to source from when you need a bit of help. There are plenty of really useful tools out there for collecting and sorting ideas. PinterestTrello or Microsoft’s Onenote are all great applications for this and worth taking a look at to see what works for you and your business.  

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Authors

Welcome to our blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people to market their own businesses more effectively by sharing our knowledge, experience and useful tools. If you need any further advice don’t hesitate to get in touch or feel free to comment with any questions on the blog posts and we will get back to you with the best answers we can give.

Thanks

Toni and Sian

Planning A Social Media Strategy for Small Business

Planning A Social Media Strategy

When thinking about your social media goals it’s important to align with your overall company goals, if these are not clear for your business you may need to take a few steps back, failing that you could look to align to your business marketing goals.

For example, if your business goal for this year is to generate more leads for your sales team you will want to focus your social media on supporting this by creating gated content for sharing and promotion.

Once you know what these bigger picture goals are it will be easier to focus the efforts of your social media plans.

The next part of creating an effective social media strategy is;

  1. Understand your audience

Knowing who you are trying to reach and talk to is vital to a successful social media strategy.

When you know who you are targeting you can:

  • Establish where they are more likely to be found, which social channels, groups etc.
  • How to address them in the tone that connects to them
  • Develop more effective, relatable content
  1. Keywords

If you have not already done so this is a good time to do some keyword research, this will help with getting your content found for the things that matter to you and your business. Keywords will usually focus around your core product range or services, however sometimes longer tail keywords can be easier to be found for than the more basic descriptives so it’s worth looking into. Some great keyword research tools include, MOZ, Google’s Keyword planner and SEMrush.

  1. Content planning

Choosing your channels. Once this has been done you will be in a much better position to choose the right channels to achieve your social media goals and reach your target audience and will have a good idea of the focus of the content you will be creating and sharing.

Once your social channels have been set up and you are ready to begin posting there are a few tips and tricks to help streamline the process and plan and optimise your posting for maximum benefit. See my article here on Business content creation for social media success with free downloadable content planner.

  1. Measuring and analysing results

Key to the success of any marketing activity is the ability to measure the success of your efforts, to find out what is working and what can be improved and amend your campaigns accordingly to achieve better results. With social media this is fortunately very easy to do as most platforms have their own analytical tools to easily see what’s working and what’s not.

Once you have been using social media for a period of time you will get a good idea of what your audience favour and what is working for your business, allowing you to adjust your content to maximise on this. It will also be possible to set some hard goals for achieving the results you want once you get a feel for the growth rate of the metrics you are measuring.

When measuring the effectiveness of your campaigns it’s important to know what metrics you are looking for as it’s easy to get confused by all the numbers and what they mean. See this article on understanding social media metrics for more information.

As a basic guide however these are the main metrics you will be looking at depending on the goals of your campaigns:

  • Brand awareness – Followers, reach, impressions
  • Community engagement – Shares, likes, retweets and comments
  • Lead generation – Click throughs, form submissions from social, new contacts from social (usually from website analytics)
  • Content distribution – Views (YouTube), likes, shares, reach.
  • Customer Support – Messages, comments, Response times
  • Increasing sales/revenue – Conversions (website analytics)
  • Driving traffic to website – Click throughs, analytics traffic from social media.
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Authors

Welcome to our blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people to market their own businesses more effectively by sharing our knowledge, experience and useful tools. If you need any further advice don’t hesitate to get in touch or feel free to comment with any questions on the blog posts and we will get back to you with the best answers we can give.

Thanks

Toni and Sian

Social Media Marketing – 6 Basic Steps

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING: 6 SIMPLE STEPS TO PLAN, CREATE AND SCHEDULE YOUR CONTENT

You’ve made the leap and decided to put your business on social media – good for you! 
But now what? As tempting as it is to just ‘wing it’ and post whatever you like, whenever you feel like it, you must remember one thing: social media is your shop window to an enormous amount of potential new customers, and you only get one chance to make a first impression. It’s really important to put some planning and thought into it.

So, where to start…

#1You need a social media STRATEGY
Or, in less complicated terms, you need a game plan. Who are you, what do you want to say and who are you trying to reach? Take the time to define your target audience to ensure you maximise your efforts. Also have a think about how active you want to be and how often you want to post. 

#2: RESEARCH your competitors
Social media is a key channel to growing your business, but you won’t be the only one in your industry with the same idea. That’s okay though, check out your competitors social accounts,  research what type of content they post and when, who they follow, who their followers are and if they engage with their community etc. You will soon get a feel for what works and what doesn’t, without doing the leg work first.

#3: Choose your PLATFORMS
There are a lot of social media platforms so choosing which ones are right for you will depend on your industry/niche. While Instagram and Pinterest may work for some businesses, others may be more suited to the likes of LinkedIn and Twitter. At the very least, everyone should have a Facebook page. Again, your research should have uncovered the best platforms for you to start with.

#4: PLAN your social media content
As we said before, you can’t just wing it when it comes to posting content for a business account. If you’ve done your homework above you should be clear on where you are posting, how often and who your target audience is. 

Now you need to ensure the actual content you post is relevant, engaging and ‘on brand’ i.e. it needs to speak to who you are as a business and what you offer. But you also don’t want too many promotional posts either, so you need to strike a balance. We have some really useful tips and advice on our content creation blogs here: https://www.freelancemarketer.co.uk/blog/category/content-creation/2

To get started you will need a content planner. You can make your own, but it’s much quicker (and easier) to use a template and then amend it to suit you. We have a free one you can download here to get you started, and has helpful prompts as to what kind of content to post each day. It can also be fully customised, and you can add the images you intend to post for each one too.

Try and build out a month of content at a time, making note of upcoming dates of significance (public holidays, religious festivals, National and International weeks/days) and any promotions you intend to run. Now all you need to do is write what you want to say for each post, keeping it relevant and engaging.

#5: CREATE strong images
As we mentioned above, your social media is like a shop window and your content is the product in it – you want to capture people’s attention before they walk (i.e. scroll) straight past. Therefore you need to create strong, clear images – whether they be graphics or photos – to attract your customers gaze and keep their attention. 

And yes, we said YOU can create your images. Sites such as Canva allow you to sign up for free and make use of thousands of templates and photos; enabling you to create really professional looking imagery, even if you have zero design experience. Annoyingly, each social network has different dimensions for post images, so using pre-sized templates is definitely the way to go. You can even design a logo in Canva, or upload copies of your own to use.

#6: SCHEDULE your content
You can, if you wish, post your content ‘live’ as and when you want, but most businesses use a scheduling tool to manage their social channels. You can create your posts at a time convenient to you, and schedule them for days, weeks, even months in advance. 

As an example, one popular tool, www.eClincher.com allows you to log into all your social accounts in one place. You can copy and paste text from your plan, upload your images, add in hashtags and then use the calendar to select an exact time and date for your posts to go out. It couldn’t be easier really. You also have the functionality to read and respond to comments on all of your platforms in one place. (NB, this is not an ad, we just find eClincher easy to use. There are other social media manager tools available – Hootsuite is another popular one). 

A good scheduling tool will also include analytics as standard too, but we can go into that another time! 

And there you have it. Planning, creating and scheduling your content for Social Media might sound scary but it’s a lot easier than you think. Give it a go, or, if you’re still unsure, you can always get in touch with us.

AUTHOR

Welcome to our blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people to market their own businesses more effectively by sharing our knowledge, experience and useful tools. If you need any further advice don't hesitate to get in touch or feel free to comment any questions on my blog and I will get back to you with the best answers I can give.

Business Content Creation For Social Media Success

Business Content Creation For Social Media Success

Social media has long become accepted as an essential part of a business’ digital marketing strategy. Five or so years ago we may have had a conversation about if it was necessary however although today most people and businesses seem to have accepted it is, understanding exactly how and why it benefits your business can still be a little elusive to some.

Social media has become a significant part of the way businesses market themselves in the 21st century. Marketing your business effectively today means getting found and becoming recognised not only in your local physical area, but also having an impact on a wider digital audience.

Being successful and achieving this requires many new skills that people in business did not necessarily need a generation ago.

Cue content marketing: One of the biggest buzzwords you will hear floating about the marketing world today is content marketing. The reason content marketing and hence content creation is so important to your business is that it plays a very important part in getting your website and brand found (SEO benefits) and building and connecting with your clients. Consumers and customers today are no longer simply that, they have become audiences paying attention to whatever or whoever is able to put on the best show.

The ability to create good content to get and hold your audience’s attention matters. However we are not all born performers, conversationalists and entertainers. At the end of the day you are simply a business trying to promote your product and your brand to those who would be interested in purchasing it. The thing is, in order to do that successfully today you will be competing for that attention in a different world that prizes information, value and engagement.

Creating useful, engaging and interesting content is today the best way to get your business found and grow your customer base and loyalty.

I have compiled a series of blogs to help you navigate successful content creation for your social media and online marketing strategy.

Blogs in this series include:

Creating a social media strategy

Planning your social media content with a free social media content planner

Brainstorming content for social media

Resources for creating great social media content

I hope you find these useful in helping your with your social media and content creation. If you have any feedback or questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch and if you would like to know more about how I could help you simply give me a call on 07809622083.

 
 

Authors

Welcome to our blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people to market their own businesses more effectively by sharing our knowledge, experience and useful tools. If you need any further advice don’t hesitate to get in touch or feel free to comment with any questions on the blog posts and we will get back to you with the best answers we can give.

Thanks

Toni and Sian

Why Social Media?

Why Social Media

Google rates very highly in choosing where your site will rank in the searches, hence generating even more traffic.

 

Having a regularly updated blog on your website is an organic way of naturally increasing the amount of keywords in your content, specifically long-tail keywords that you are more likely to be found for further improving your page ranking in search engines.

 

  1. Brand awareness

Having a blog on your website has another very important function as a key communication tool, invaluable in building a respected brand.

Blogging offers the opportunity to inform and educate your audience positioning yourself as a professional in your field, industry expert or even a thought leader. It offers you the opportunity to speak to the world, convey your brand voice and personality and show what makes you different. A powerful branding tool if ever there was one.

 

Having this scope to communicate with your audience also carries the opportunity to answer commonly asked questions about your business, service or products. These can then be catalogued acting as a useful customer service tool and can be referred to and used by your sales team minimising business time spent answering questions and explaining benefits or features. 

 

So there you have it, the two most important reasons your business should be writing and maintaining a business blog. Having worked in marketing for years and as a business owner myself, while I know the benefits of writing a professional and informative blog, it can be very time consuming and finding the time has always been difficult. If you need help building and maintaining a professional, targeted blog, get in touch and see what having your own personal blog writer for your business could do.

 

If your business is not yet on social media and you’re still not entirely sure what all the fuss is about you are not the only one, but you could be missing a significant trick in marketing your business. Allow me to outline just a few of the reasons having a social media presence may be just the thing needed for your business.

 

Social media for service based businesses and B2B

Social Media Marketing is, simply put, just another form of traditional social networking. Networking is vital to many businesses. It’s all about making new contacts, connections and getting your name out there. Social media is just a digital version of making these connections. The benefits to businesses can be significant and being as it’s a free tool and effective management of the basic channels can be done in as little as a couple of hours a week the reasons not to be doing it are massively outweighed.

 

Social media for B2C businesses

You need to reach your customers to sell your products. In this case, social media provides another avenue to do that. With recent stats on the use of social media, chances are that is where your customers are and it’s free! Need we say more? When used effectively it can be an incredibly powerful promotional tool driving more traffic to your website, increasing sales and increasing engagement with your brand.

 

If you are still unsure of what social media can actually do for your business, here is a quick breakdown of the main benefits to be gained from using it as an effective marketing tool for all types of businesses.

 

Real Time Customer Service Tool

Social media channels provide a new and important avenue for customer service and reputation management. In today’s fast paced digital world, customers are increasingly becoming accustomed to reaching out to social media channels to ask their questions and give their feedback. It is a real time way of getting answers and responses to questions and queries and it’s also there on public display (although what gets shared publicly is customisable on most platforms). This is a great way of showcasing your incredible customer service skills, which matters to your customers!

 

Drives Brand Awareness

When it comes to improving your brand recognition every opportunity to get your name out there is valuable. Social media essentially in this case a broadcasting tool and provides valuable new channels on which to get found and communicate with the world.

 

Builds Trust and Improves Brand Loyalty

Opening new channels of communication and connecting with your audience goes a long way to building trust. Also, there is an element of humanisation of brands on social media and when people decide to follow or like your content, they are letting you into what essentially is a private part of their lives.

 

Promotional Tool

Previously, if you ran a promotion or special offer or even a new product release, your only avenue for getting that message out there would have been printing fliers, taking out an advert in the local/national papers or even outdoor advertising. Today though, although large scale media advertising still has its place, it is very expensive and increasingly less likely to be where your customers attention is. Social media is in the large part free and paid advertising is extremely targeted and considerably cheaper, plus it can be easily shared and it’s trackable.

 

Social Media Boosts Website Traffic and SEO Rankings

While contrary to popular belief, social media marketing is not actually a parameter that search engines use in the ranking of your business’s website. Nevertheless, it still has a particularly potent effect and should still be taken seriously as part of your SEO strategy.

 

As your following grows, so will the number of shares. This increases the amount of backlinks to your website and this is something search engines rank really highly on their algorithms. Social media is also ranked by search engines in searches and while not to your website directly, your social posts will also come up in searches on google and other searches, increasing the exposure of your brand.

Social media platforms are search engines themselves. People are increasingly using the search facilities on social media platforms to find out about products, businesses and information they are interested in. So if you are not on there, then you won’t come up. It’s a bit like not even having a website.

 

Finally, one of the best analogies I have ever come across for using social media to drive traffic to your website is from Jayson DeMers, in an article published on Forbes, in which he likened your social posts to ‘bait’ and your social platforms to the ‘fishing rods’. Putting your bait in front of the right ‘fish’, so to speak, enables you to proactively reach out to your customers, as opposed to simply waiting for them to find you

 

Authors

Welcome to our blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people to market their own businesses more effectively by sharing our knowledge, experience and useful tools. If you need any further advice don’t hesitate to get in touch or feel free to comment with any questions on the blog posts and we will get back to you with the best answers we can give.

Thanks

Toni and Sian