in other words

Six ways small businesses can maximise their social media marketing

Coralie Fernando - Friday, September 29, 2017

While most of us probably log in to our social media accounts on a daily basis, how many really understand the breadth of influence social media can have on sales and the bottom line? Small business owners, as part of a holistic marketing campaign, strategic use of social media can have a huge impact! At a basic level, promoting your content and services on social media can:

  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Improve your organic google rankings
  • Promote your brand
  • Help to position yourself as a market-leader

As a starting point, these are my tips on getting started:

1. Choose the right channel… and stick to it

A number of businesses assume that they should take on all of the channels because it will mean access to a wider audience. While that is technically true, it is highly unlikely that you’ll have relevant audiences across all major social media channels. Nor is it likely you’ll be able to maintain all of them, since each will require different posts, and different tones of voice. Do your research to find out where your target audience spends time before committing to a channel. You can always register the handles on other channels, just in case you decide to use them later.

2. Always update your posts regularly

Social media requires ongoing commitment, just like a dog or a relationship! For each channel, there are varying expectations on how frequently you should post. As a guideline to getting started, I’d recommend the following frequencies for each channel:

  • Twitter: Daily – twice daily
  • Facebook: Every other day – daily
  • Linkedin: Twice a week
  • Snapchat: Twice a week
  • Instagram: Twice a week

3. Use a scheduling tool

I like Hootsuite. It’s what I’ve always used and it’s easy to navigate. The benefit of using a scheduling tool is that you can connect all your social media channels to one dashboard view, and schedule them all in one go. It gives you a sense of the volume of your activity and emails you weekly reports so you can keep track of your performance. Tidy.

4. Promote your own content as far as possible

Simply promoting your website, one page at a time, is not going to cut it on social. To boost your brand, encourage traffic and contribute to your overall content marketing strategy, you’ll need to promote a healthy mix of both your own and external content. Promoting your own content will mean people your audience will become more aware of your brand, but importantly, they’ll also click through to your website. The more traffic that Google sees coming to your site from various sources, the more they’ll recognise you as an authority in what you do.

5. Engage with your communities

Social media is genuinely supposed to be social. You only get out what you put in, as they say. If you’re on Twitter, for example, make sure you like, retweet, comment and reply to comments that are relevant to you. This will help you to grow your social media following and enhance your position online. Equally, when people approach you on social, whether it be positive or negative, you have a duty to respond. Ignoring negative reviews or comments will not make them go away. I recommend responding with a request to take the conversation offline so you can deal with the situation away from prying eyes. No one likes to air their dirty laundry in public, after all.

6. Measurement

Before you start, have a think about some of your objectives. Do you want to focus on brand awareness? Increasing the volume of followers? Click-throughs to your website? Whatever it is, note it down and consider how you’ll achieve those objectives. Measurement along the way will help you to refine what works and what doesn’t. From there, you can refine and hone your techniques to ensure you achieve maximum impact and engagement.

If you’d like to speak to a friendly copywriter about crafting the right social media posts for your audiences, get in touch.

These simple email marketing techniques will win you customers

Coralie Fernando - Sunday, April 10, 2016

We’ve all received EDMs from companies that we either do or don’t buy from. Sometimes we open the emails and sometimes we don’t. But what is it exactly that gets us to click through and open them? And more importantly, what is it that drives us to buy?

First things first, no amount of screamy capital letters, exclamation marks and neon signposting is going to do it for me. If anything, it has the opposite effect. Sure there are a few tips, tricks and key words you can use in your subject header to entice your reader to open the email, but when all is said and done, what will get them to want to open it consistently, time and again? What will see them look forward to receiving them?!

Simply good content. Good old fashioned quality content.

So what is it exactly that makes good content good? The truth about successful content that works is: it varies from one audience to the next. And once you’ve figured out what exactly your audience want to know about:

    Be yourself

This is a pretty simple concept, but it covers a whole host of more significant details. For example, being yourself means you’re communicating authentically. It means speaking with your unique tone of voice and a personal touch. As you start to build rapport with your audience, you’ll start earning trust. In a world where we’re so frequently bombarded with superfluous advertising, a genuine voice rings true and stands out from the crowd.

    Be consistent

Consistency isn’t a new concept, and it’s just as important in email marketing as any other channel. Not just in terms of tone of voice and copy style. Your emails should be going out as regularly as clockwork too, so think about how frequently your resources allow you to send emails vs. how regularly your audience are likely to want to hear from you. Daily, weekly, monthly? It will depend from once audience to another: consider testing between email lists to gauge how engagement and opt-outs compare.

Design-wise, maintain consistency as well. Keep it recognisable, on-brand and simple. In essence, don’t make it hard for people to work out what you want them to do.

    Offer quality

Write high quality content in your emails that actually delivers on what your audience will want to know or hear about. Simple concept yes – but it can be harder to execute! Go back to the good old ‘what’s in it for me’ theory and review your content with this in mind. The email should contain links to your own content, not others’ external links if you can avoid it. And don’t forget to tell them what you want them to do, otherwise known as the call-to-action!

Email marketing doesn’t need to be intrusive, spammy or difficult. It can actually create some incredibly effective leads, win you sales and increase your brand awareness significantly. Similarly, email marketing mistakes might cost you customer loyalty too, so it’s well worth investing in how your email marketing campaign might contribute positively to your overarching marketing strategy.

Need some help? Get in touch today.

Four tips to help you kickstart your content marketing strategy

Coralie Fernando - Monday, April 06, 2015

First things first, and I don’t want to tell anyone to suck eggs here but, let’s define content marketing quickly. It’s essentially the practice of planning your published content to support the business’ wider marketing strategy.

Why is it important?

Content has always been significant to your marketing, of course. But today, technology uses content in ways the Mad Men wouldn’t even be able to conceive; the (free!) tools available to us now have significantly narrowed the gap between the big players and the small start-ups. Whether it’s twitter, YouTube, a blog or an article, content is key to getting you noticed. How you curate that content depends on your audience and where they’re likely to be hanging out.

So, here are a few little pointers to hopefully nudge (and by ‘nudge’, I mean ‘propel’) you in the right direction:

1. It’s ok to start small

An effective content marketing plan doesn’t need to be a complex plethora of spreadsheets and reports. The most important thing is to make a plan that you feel will meet your goals, and then persevere to stick to the steps in order to meet them. This could be as simple as maintaining your website and blogging regularly. As long as you do these few things well, with a little bit of strategic thinking behind you, you’ll achieve what you set out to.

2. Create a strategy

As with any objective in business, the best way to achieve your content marketing goals is to create a strategic plan that paves a step-by-step plan of how you’ll get there. This needs to dovetail into your existing marketing strategy and be clearly measurable against the wider objectives so you can easily see what’s working and what isn’t, and subsequently adjust accordingly. Your strategy will naturally evolve over time, so ensure you re-visit it regularly to review its progress and fine-tune where needed. Your strategy is where you’ll define how to drive leads, sales, acquisition or retention among your clients.

3. Share your knowledge

The beauty behind content marketing is the… content! Increasingly, consumers are looking to brands to publish related information that adds value and is relevant to them. Herein lies the art behind the science. By curating content that stays ahead of trends and is of personal interest to your customers, you’ll naturally evoke brand confidence, deepen relationships and position yourself as a market leader. This bit requires research, and a lot of trial and error. Once you’ve completed the research, think about your narrative and how you’ll tell the story: it’s the storytelling that produces the spark in the flick of the wand.

4. Make your content easy to find

The first step to making your content discoverable is to share it loud and proud across your own channels – this might include e-newsletters, social media posts, your website, direct mail, articles etc. Rather than pushing and shoving your product message in your prospective consumers’ general direction with vague hopes you’ll be noticed, carefully planned content will do all the hard work for you: your loyal followers will share all the right links online, pointing everyone back to your website.

Want to know more or find out how I can assist with your content marketing? Get in touch today.

image courtesy of twylo