As we start the new year, I was thinking about how this industry has changed over the last two years. Social networking sites are becoming saturated with business messages, and we really need to shift our mindset about online marketing if we want to be successful. When I am critiquing websites and social media channels or coaching clients with regards to their social strategy, the three Ps below seem to be the biggest challenges that my clients are facing.
What is your mindset towards social media? Are you embracing the three Ps?
#1 – Personality
Adding personality to your business is certainly not a new concept, but I urge you to think more about the personality of the people within your business. Customers and clients do not buy from a logo or a brand (unless you are Virgin, Sky or Amazon!). For smaller businesses, the people are the essence of your company. The people create the culture, which is heavily influenced by the owners and senior management team. We all know that “eyeballs” within your social media content evokes a natural “trust” instinct for potential customers and clients, so think about this concept when you are creating your images and content for 2019.
- Look down your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn posts. In the last ten posts, how many of them include members of your team? How many of your posts have “eyeballs”?
- Consider asking members of your team to write blog articles for your website, adding an author bio to the bottom of the article.
- Produce a featured post once a month in a newsletter or e-shot. For example, Green Umbrella have “Emily's Brainbox”, which features Emily's tip of the month.
#2 – Promote
It is still surprising to me that smaller companies do not set a budget for advertising. The message is pure and simple (not a Hearsay song!). If you want to have visibility on sites such as Facebook and Instagram, then you NEED an advertising budget, and it is also essential that you know how to use Ads Manager properly (DO NOT press that very tempting big blue button that says BOOST!).
Since the Facebook algorithm change in January 2018, your Facebook page visibility will be capped at around 0.5% unless you have extremely popular content OR you are paying towards the promotion of your content.
The good news is that LinkedIn changed their algorithm in favour of the small business owner in November last year, so our content on LinkedIn is now being seen by more people. However, I revert to the 1st P – Personality for this account. Personality content (or “beans on toast”) is now more crucial than ever on this platform.
- Check your Google Analytics to find out which social media platform is driving the most traffic to your website, and invest a small budget into that platform.
- If you have had a bad experience with Facebook advertising, then please learn how to use the ads manager platform properly by booking a coaching session with Christina. Book here.
- Alternatively, you can download the Facebook Ads Manager leaflet that we created here.
- Look at your last ten posts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you have more than two posts that are “promotional” then it is time to revise your strategy.
#3 – Plan
You know the old saying “Fail to plan and you plan to fail”. Now is the time to think about your social media strategy for 2019.
In previous years, a social media plan would include themes for content, deciding on the number of blog posts you will be writing, defining your target market and putting together a plan on how to connect with these people etc. Nowadays, it is a bit more complicated.
Time to get rid of some bad habits.
If you are still using external software such as Hootsuite or eClincher to post to Facebook, then I urge you to stop doing this in 2019 and use the internal Facebook scheduling system for more exposure. I know it is much easier and less time consuming to have your content in one place, but if you are going to the effort of writing awesome content then surely you want as many people to see it as possible?
Stop writing the same content and sending it to all platforms. Yes, you can push your blog to all platforms, but please write different status updates for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest – you will get a much better click-through rate if you do so. Please do not leave the status update as the title of the blog, that is just lazy! Perhaps there is an excerpt of the blog that you can use as part of the status update, or comment as to why you feel people may be interested in reading it. Just be a little bit different.
In 2019 make an effort to comment on posts rather than just clicking the “like” button.
- Decide which platforms are working best for you and plan a strategy for your top two or three. Do not try and be active on every platform. Remember, you have a business to run as well!
- Think about the type of content that you will produce for each platform.
- For example, you may be using Instagram for internal recruitment purposes, so your strategy for Instagram should include content about the culture of your business.
- Twitter is very much news and events orientated, so this is the platform where you show your expertise and post the latest industry news and your opinions.
- You may decide that LinkedIn is the place where your focus is on gaining new clients, so again, posting advice, videos and tips, and opinions would be your strategy for this platform.
- If Facebook is your platform of choice then I urge you to export the data from the insights to analyse what type of content your audience likes and does not like. From here you can figure out a content and engagement strategy.
- Setting your goals and objectives. Once you have decided on which platforms you will be working within 2019, it is time to set yourself some targets and objectives. As we are talking “digital media” there is so much information and measurable results that it can become overwhelming. I suggest setting some basic targets and goals that will keep you on track. Try not to get bogged down in the detail, and check your stats at least once a quarter. Here are a few examples of simple quarterly stats to look at:
- Google Analytics – Note your sessions (ideally, try to aim for at least 1000 sessions every 30 days. If you are exceeding this, then that's great. FYI – A good blog that is eligible for monetisation is said to be 10,000 sessions a month. Also, note your bounce rate (the lower, the better)
- Google Analytics – what are you most hit pages and what blogs have been popular over the last twelve months?
- Google analytics – what social media sites are working for you?
- Facebook – set goals for the number of likes, and check your engagement level once a month. The easiest way of doing this is to add your Facebook page to a free tool called “Likealyzer” – whilst you are there, quickly add your biggest competitor to Likealyzer. If they have a better score than you then you instantly have the motivation to tweak your strategy!
- Twitter – the best metric to measure is not just your number of followers, but also your SparkScore. Again, you can add your competitors to this free software, and if their Sparkscore is higher then this is a great motivational tool!
- Instagram – if you have switched your Instagram account to a business account then you can easily check the analytics. Keep an eye on the type of content that is working for you. What post has the most number of likes? What day of the week has the most engagement? There is a free tool called Mighty Scout that gives basic analytics of your Instagram account, as well as your competitors (can you see a theme here?).
This industry is changing at super fast speed. If you do not want to get left behind and playing catch up in a few years, then thinking about using personality in your content marketing, promoting your content with an advertising budget, and planning for the future is essential. Good luck!