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.

Ten Things to know before creating your company website

Coralie Fernando - Tuesday, March 01, 2016

There are a plethora of things to consider when starting a new business, but having an effective website up and running is one of the most important investments you can make. Setting up a website isn’t an ego-massaging exercise. If you do it right from the outset, your website can become your single most important source of business leads and sales.

Here are my Top Ten Tips on what to consider before setting up your website:

    Domain name

If you’re a start up and have your business name registered, buy a domain name and load a landing page with your contact info asap. For SEO reasons, ideally your domain name should also include a relevant word to your chosen profession: For example, if you bake croissants and your business name is Dave the Baker, you should consider a domain name like www.davethebakercroissants.com.

    SEO strategy

When Google assesses a site, one of the ways in which it calculates its relevance (and therefore page rankings) is via key words. These key words inform the search engine what you do if you’re any good at. With that in mind, creating pertinent copy is an absolute must if you want to rank and be found by potential customers.

    Content marketing strategy

I’ve written more in-depth posts on this previously but the concept is fairly straightforward: Content marketing is the practice of planning your published content to the world as part of your marketing strategy. It means thinking about how all of your content ties in to one central vision that engages with your audience.

    Be authentic!

Research shows that increasingly, consumers are looking for a more meaningful and personal connection with brands. That means having consistent and authentic tone of voice throughout all of your website copy. Don’t be formal in one place, and colloquial in another - it will come off as insincere. Your tone of voice is as distinctive as your visual design and identity. Get it right.

    Blog

A blog is crucial to the SEO success of your site and an easy way of updating your content. It also provides a great opportunity to interact and engage with your existing / potential customers.

    Keep it simple

Lose the jargon when you write and don’t assume everyone knows the various acronyms and terminology that exist within your sector. It shouldn’t be hard for people to work out what you do. The best rule of thumb I can give here is to write in a similar style to how you’d chat to a friend over a coffee. Likewise, keep your sitemap simple too. It should be really easy for people to navigate their way around and find what they’re looking for, quickly and easily.

    Get in touch

It’s incredible how many sites don’t do this well: make sure your contact details are prominent and easy to find. When the purpose of your website is to drive people to get in touch with you, make it as easy as possible for them to do just that.

    Design and style

Engage a good designer and you’ll reap the rewards for years to come. It goes without saying that an unprofessional design will speak volumes about the credibility and professionalism of your business – and in our experience, will cost you more in the long run too.

    Analytics

Google analytics are free (yay!) and offer fabulous insight about your site performance. Analytics reports will tell you all the things you need to know about what works so you can stop doing what doesn’t.

    Hosting

A secure hosting platform goes a long way to help with the protection of your site. The higher the quality of the hosting provider, the better equipped they’ll be to minimise potential risks to your site.

The above points offer a simple taster of the things to consider with a new site set up but if you have further questions, please do get in touch!

 

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