One of the questions I frequently get asked is "Which social media platforms should I be using for my business?" I have written a post about this a couple of weeks ago. Ideally, you should be on at least three of the platforms however if you are a solopreneur juggling all the demands of your business or if have never used any of the platforms before, this can feel very overwhelming.
Each platform is different and each one requires a different strategy and tactics. Cross posting or linking the accounts just doesn't cut it. If you really want to see benefits from social media marketing, you need to invest in time and effort to create and curate content and do the engagement with your community. Setting up the accounts and posting whenever you can without a strategy will not bring you leads.
Consistency is the key. You need to show up every day! You need to be posting valuable content, educating your audience about your products or services whilst engaging with your community and the wider world.
So what do you do?
I believe that less is more, even in social media! I would highly recommend that you start small. Decide how much time you have and choose one or two platforms to start with.
If you are starting from scratch, it will take a while to grow the number of your followers. But please don't feel discouraged. An engaged community who comments, likes and shares your posts is much more valuable than a big but non-responsive community.
Once you feel comfortable with the platforms you have been managing, perhaps after two or three months, it is the time to add another platform into the mix. Now that you are more familiar with social media marketing, you won't find it that difficult.
However if you would rather focus on the other aspects of your job and outsource social media marketing, please get in touch.
As a social media manager, I spend a lot of time online and I am always looking for apps that make my workflow more productive and efficient. I try out new apps all the time and here are 7 apps that I use every day in my business.
1. Google Drive: I save all my documents and photos in Google Drive. I love that I can access all my documents even when I am out and about and don't have my laptop with me.
2. Pocket: Pocket is a very useful tool which lets you save articles in one place. So, if I come across an article whilst browsing Facebook and I think that I would like to use on one of my social media accounts or I want to read it later, I can save it in Pocket. I have integrated Pocket and IFTT (a third party website that lets you connect different websites or apps) so all those saved Pocket articles are saved in a spreadsheet in Google Drive. Brilliant to have all the content in one place!
3. For content creation Feedly, Nuzzel and Flipboard are amazing tools. You can add RSS feeds to Feedly, key words to Flipboard and Nuzzel analyzes your account and offers content accordingly. You can then share these to social media or save in Pocket for later.
4. The Canva app is great for graphic design. They have built in templates and you can design social media graphics, flyers, invitations,banners and so much more.
5. I also use the Adobe Spark Photo and Video apps a fair bit. I don't know what I was doing before Adobe Spark! It makes graphic design so much simple! If you'd like to read more about tools to create social media graphics that convert, read this.
6. I like using Rippl to create short videos or animations using photos. Easy to use and great results! They tend to have seasonal templates and designs. There is a paid version but you can do lots with the free version as well.
7. Unum is a very useful app to plan your Instagram in advance. Its visual planner feature allows to you see your photos as they'd appear on Instagram. By planning which photos/colours/themes go best together in advance, I can save time and be organised about my Instagram marketing. You can use this app to schedule posts for Instagram. Unum will send you a notification when it's time to post.
Do you have any favourite apps? I would love to hear them, please let me know in the comments.
When I asked my followers what kind of content they would like to read on my blog last week, lots of people said they would like to learn how to manage their social media accounts effectively as it takes too much time.
We are all busy running our businesses and on top of that we have to think about social media marketing. Updating Facebook, Twitter,Instagram... Creating images, videos, live streaming... Answering queries, replying the comments.... Social media marketing can be very time consuming. I wish I could say that there is a magic tool but there is not. However there are some tips that I would like to share with you.
1. Schedule your content. Use scheduling tools such as Hootsuite,Buffer, SmarterQueue to plan in advance what you are going to schedule. All of these tools have free or trial options available so you can see which one you like best. Again, some of these tools also suggest you post for your accounts which can be very handy!
Save time by batch processing. Once you have created a couple of days' or a week's content on your scheduling tool, you don't have to worry about it as the content will be automatically published on your channels.
2. Use content aggregation tools to find articles and news about your industry. Having great content ready will make your scheduling much more easier and quick! My favourite tools are Feedly, Flipboard, Google News, Twitter Lists and Pinterest.
I would like to share screen grabs of a few of them so you can see how they work:
I can add all my favourite blogs to Feedly and quickly scan the feed to see if there is any good content for me. If you're using the paid plans of Buffer, you can connect Feedly and Buffer as well.
I quickly check Google news to see industry related news. Some people like setting up Google alerts using key words, however unless your key word is a name, you get too many news so I suggest being careful with that.
And there is Flipboard where you can add your key words and the tool will suggest you lots of good content.
I also use an app called Pocket. For example you are reading an article on Facebook and think you want to save it to share on your accounts later. This is where Pocket comes in.
I also connected Pocket with IFTT so all my saved articles are kept in a spreadsheet in my Google Drive. (If you haven't heard of IFTT, you really must check it out as it connects different apps or websites so you can get the most out of them!)
3. Analyze and reflect: Now that the content is being published automatically, once a week, check out the analytics of your social media accounts. Check out what content performed best, which day, what time etc. Note the best performing content, a link, a video, an inspirational quote. Whatever it is, create more of that content. If you see something is not working well, note that as well as you don't want to spend time replicating that.
4. More tools to analyze: If your Twitter community consists of less than 5000 people, you can use Audiense for free to analyze your account. For Facebook, you can use Likealyzer. This is a brilliant, free tool as well. It not only analyzes your page, but also offers suggestions to improve it.
5. Batch produce social media graphics: Are you creating images to share on social media? Batch producing images will save you lots of time. In this post I shared my favourite tools for creating social media graphics.
6. Content is king and engagement is the queen and she rules!
You have automated the posts so you don't have to think about what you are going to publish on your accounts. You are pushing out content on a consistent basis. Now all you have to do is engagement on a daily basis.
However be strict with yourself and set boundaries. If you don't set boundaries, you will waste precious time on social media. Set time 15-20-25 minutes a day, and engage with your community, answer questions, reply comments etc. Depending on your daily schedule, you might one to do this two-three times a day, once in the morning,then at lunch time and in the evening or whenever you have pockets of time available throughout the day.
Without being actively engaged on your accounts, it is very difficult to gain leads so make sure you do this. Be aware of the time spent there as it is so easy to get distracted. Make sure you use this time to connect with your community and build relationships to grow your business.
I hope you find these tips useful and if you have any tips that you'd like to share with us, I would love to hear them. Alternatively, you might want to outsource your social media marketing. If so, please do get in touch.
One question I am regularly asked about Facebook is "What is the best time to post to Facebook?" It depends on your community. When are most of your followers online? When do they really respond to your posts?
Facebook analytics offers incredible insights for businesses. The insights help us understand if the posts we are sharing create engagement, where our page likes happen and the demographics of our community and so much more.
Go to the Insights on your Facebook Business page and click Posts to see when your fans are online.
Below you can see a screenshot of my Facebook Business Page and it shows us the data for a recent one week period. As you can see, more and more people are online in the morning and at around 9am, it is more stable. We see a little decrease in the afternoon and then it goes up again in the evening.
There are a lot of articles on the internet that tells you which days and what times you should post. Some suggest you should post early in the morning as everyone checks their Facebook feed when they wake up. Others think lunch time is a good time and then there are others who argue 8pm-9pm posts are the best as people hang out on their phone in front of the TV in the evening.
This is why you really need to observe your community and find what time of the day works best for you. When you are first starting out, think of your ideal client. When do you think they will be online? Also, remember that people don't always see the most recent posts on their news feed. So even if they are online, they might see posts from yesterday or the day before.Try different times of the day and test what works best for your community. Some scheduling tools like Hootsuite and Buffer suggest you what time you should publish your content. If you are using one of these tools, see if these times work for you.
Facebook also gives you in depth data as to how each individual post perform. Unless your post is time sensitive, your content is a much more important factor that determines the success of your Facebook post.
If you click on the Post Types then you can see which posts performed well and which did not. Now this data shows me the types of posts, the dates and what time of the day I shared these on Facebook.
By carefully studying and reflecting on this data, I need to work out what works best for me. As you can see, I sent out posts at different times throughout the week: Some posts are published around 8 am, some around lunch time and one of them is published at 8:30pm. What really makes the difference is the content I am putting out there. If I know what type of content my audience likes and if I can create more of that, then my Facebook page will be more successful.
Of course, this is not set in stone and it might change as my page grows or as the algorithm changes. It's really important to get into the habit of checking the insights weekly and reflect on what works.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this and if you need any help, don't hesitate to get in touch.
Instagram stories was launched in August 2016 and it is a great way to share moments of your day. You can share multiple photos and videos that will be displayed as a slide show: your story.
The photos and videos disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed.
For your Instagram feed, it is always good to share your best photos but with Stories you don't have to worry that much but make sure they are in line with your brand.
To use the Stories feature, go to your home screen on Instagram or tap the camera button in the top left-hand corner of the screen or click on the little circle that says "Your Story" and you will get access to the Instagram Stories camera.
The camera has several options: LIVE, NORMAL, BOOMERANG and HANDS-FREE.
You can also upload a photo or video you've taken in the last 24 hours. Swipe down on the camera screen then select from your phone's library.
Use the text and drawing tools as well as the stickers and be as creative as you like. One tip for making the most of Instagram Stories is to tag your location. Once you upload a photo or video to your Stories, you’ll see a smiley face on the top right of the screen. Tap on it, then tap “Location” and select your business location to connect with potential local customers.
Your followers can see your story in a row at the top of their Feed. They can send you messages/comments and you can see who has seen your Story.
Photos and videos you share to your story disappear from Feed and your profile after 24 hours.However you can also save these photos and videos and share them to your Feed if you want to.
You may have noticed that some Instagram accounts have clickable links in their Stories. This is a feature that Instagram is testing, and is only available for verified accounts at the moment.
So how can you use the Stories feature for your business? I would like to share some Stories that I have seen over the last few days:
1. Humbleworks is sharing a teaser about their upcoming website update.
2. A Beautiful Mess is drawing attention to their giveaway.
3. Miiro Ice Cream is reposting one of their followers' post and drawing attention to the feedback.
4. Farrow and Ball is sharing a photo of their production process.
5. Stylist magazine is inviting their followers to their Facebook page for a live chat.
6. Liberty is promoting a pop up event.
7. Oh Wonder Calligraphy is letting her followers know about her new blog post.
As you can see, you can be very creative with your Instagram Stories: you can drive website traffic, create brand awareness, promote an event, share customer feedback, share an event that you attended: You can create a story that will keep your followers engaged. It is a brilliant way to stay in people's minds. Experiment with different types of content to see what your audience likes most.
Are you using Instagram stories for your business? You might also want to check my post about effective Instagram marketing.
If you need more help, please get in touch.
Social media management can be very time consuming. You need to publish posts; you need to answer customer queries, engage with your community and find prospective clients to get leads. How can you do this without being on your phone or laptop all day? Here are four tips that you can start implementing straight away.
For an effective social media marketing, you need to show up every single day. Social media marketing is a 24/7 business. This means you need to have a constant stream of content to push out. Use scheduling tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer or SmarterQueue.
Everyone has different priorities so it is a very personal choice when it comes to selecting one of these tools. Luckily they all offer free trials; so you can decide which one to go for. Once you set it up, you can control all your accounts from one dashboard. Getting ahead on scheduling, will give you more time to actively engage with your community.
2.Find great content: There are some amazing content aggregation tools out there.Some of these can also be integrated with the scheduling tools mentioned above. My personal favourites are Flipboard, Feedly,Buzzsumo and Google Alerts. Then it is a matter of selecting which content to share.Remember; you don't want to promote your business all the time, share valuable content that people will want to read, engage and share.
3.Engage,engage,engage: Use every single opportunity to engage with your followers. Don't let comments go unnoticed, reply any queries you receive and look out for opportunities to talk with prospective clients.
4.Build relationships and leads will follow: It is also very important to build relationships with other businesses from your industry, local businesses, prospective clients, influential people, journalists, bloggers and so on. Twitter and Instagram are amazing platforms, you can virtually talk with anyone on these channels. If you are authentic and helpful, people will be interested in talking to you, engage with your content and you will see business results as well.
Do you have any other tips that work for you? Let me know in the comments.
Do you want to improve your Facebook page? Here are seven tips to get you started.
1.Find and share great content: Every piece of content you share must be attractive and targeted. Remember; people like short and snackable content. Educate your followers about your business, share inspiring quotes and funny posts that they will be inclined to share with their friends.
2.Engage,engage,engage: Use your Facebook page to speak with your community: Ask simple questions, grab the moment by posting news and popular stories. Encourage conversation.
3.Watch what other pages are doing. Once you reach to one hundred Facebook followers, you can add up to five pages in the insights section and watch them. What are they doing differently? What kind of content is popular on their pages? How can you create something similar but unique?
4. Check out Facebook Insights to see at what time your audience is online. What kind of content is creating more buzz? Share similar content again.
5. There is an amazing free tool to analyse your Facebook page: Likealyzer. It audits your account and tells you what can be improved. This is especially great if you are new to Facebook marketing and not quite sure how to improve it. Check it weekly and tweak your page accordingly.
6.Be consistent with what you're posting and how your posts make your brand look and feel.
7. We have all heard the saying, "those that fail to plan, plan to fail." Schedule your posts and engage with other pages' posts. One or two Facebook posts per day is enough and manageable to build an audience.
If you need any help please get in touch.
Instagram used to be a trendy Iphone app but it has quickly become one of the largest social media platforms. As of December 2016, Instagram had 600 million users. The platform will continue to grow in 2017. So how can you tap into the platform and effectively market your business on Instagram?
To start off optimise your profile. When someone visits your profile, they need to be able to understand what you do or what your business has to offer. Adding emojis to your Instagram bio makes your brand memorable, as a pop of colour stands out more than simple text.
Now we can start considering the day-to-day activities.
1. Instagram is not "instant" any more. To gain leads, you have to be strategic so only post your best images. Remember, when someone lands on your Instagram page, they take a quick look at the 9 photo grid and decide whether or not to follow you.
2. Time : When is your audience online? For example if you're marketing to mums, it's not a good idea to post between 6-8pm in the evenings when most mums are busy with dinner and bedtime. So you need to be strategic about the times you post.
You also have to post consistently to be able to grow your account. Aim to post once a day, but if you don't have too many images, post at least 3 times a week and make sure you spend time on the platform and engage with people on the days you're not posting.
3. If you want a cohesive feed, you need to plan in advance which photos you will publish. There are some apps (Mosaic, Planoly, Later etc.) that let you arrange photos in your grid so you can see how to colours fit in before posting the photos.
4.Drive traffic to your website content by sharing relevant visual content. Make it easy for your followers to visit your page by adding your link in your profile.
5.Don't post and go! As soon as you publish a post, engage with your followers, answer any queries, reply to their comments. Which hashtags have you used? Search those hashtags and engage with the photos that come up in your search. Use geotagging as research shows that photos with geotagging increase engagement.
6.If your followers are sharing photos of your product, reposting user generated content is a wonderful way of connecting with your community.
7. Ask questions and invite your community to interact with you. Always add a call-to-action to your posts.
8.Share behind the scenes photos. People buy from people they know and trust. Share the story of your brand and business by showing your audience the people behind the business, or if you have a product, you can share the production process. Have you been to an event? Share it on Instagram stories or do a quick live session.
9.Don't forget to use emojis! Research shows that posts with emojis create more engagement. Even if you're a bit apprehensive using them on other platforms, make the most of emojis in Instagram marketing.
If you need more help regarding social media marketing, please get in touch.
Today I'm sharing my favourite tools that I use everyday in my business to create social media graphics that convert.
Images can make or break a social media post. It is really important that social media visuals are compelling and reflect your business or brand. Everyone has different preferences. If you haven't used any of these before, you might want to spend some time playing around with them to see which ones are best for you.
1. Adobe Spark :You can create videos and graphics for your website and social media accounts with Adobe Spark. It comes with lots of templates, colour palette options and my favourite bit is that it offers you fonts and design options that go with your design. It's free and has a mobile app which means you can create on the go and have access to anything you created on desktop.
2.PicMonkey: Use PicMonkey to edit your photos,design collages, logos and add some seasonal touches to your photos. It has a free and paid version where you can save anything that you have created.
3.Canva: Canva is another amazing platform that you can use to create any visual you might need: from business cards to Etsy headers, from menus to Facebook covers, you can create anything here. I like that you can save your templates on the platform. It is free to use and the stock images that you can get from Canva are good quality and relatively cheaper. If you get Canva For Work, you also have the ability to share designs with your team s so team members can share ideas and comment on designs.
4.Ripl Ripl is an amazing app to create eye catching animated photos and videos. The free version has 8 templates and two music choices as well. All you need to do is adding your photos to the templates, adding captions and customising the fonts and colours.
5.Pablo Pablo has built in templates for various social media graphics. It has a built in search option where can you find images or you can upload your own images. You can add filters, your logo and text. If you like, you can add a quote to your images.
Which one is your favourite? Are there any others that you like to use? Please let me know in the comments.
Building up your social media accounts from scratch can be overwhelming! If you need some tips to up your social media game, here are seven tips that you can start implementing straight away: