So first things first let’s get one thing straight…I am 25. I am a millennial. I grew up in the digital age. So I am not insensitive to the assumption that I am some form of Social Media guru. Frankly, in a life of hard knocks sometimes it really is nice to be recognised…however erroneous.
In truth, my efforts at using Social Media for business have been, by a large, a resounding failure. It would seem that using Facebook to chat with my friends is radically different from using it to connect with potential customers. The same goes for Instagram. Which is why plenty of companies – big and small – hire social media managers to create targeted content that they intellegently share. As I have learnt a haphazard DIY approach, such as the one I have beautifully modelled, is not desperately helpful.
However, that being said for a sole trader, such as myself, who is in digital marketing. I should be able to do this. So I have started exploring, listening and actually thinking about my Social Media plan for 2018 and here is what I have learnt so far.
- Money talks
Sadly, I really do think that without boosting posts on Facebook you simply cannot expect to get any real traction or gain any new likes. Having made a few half-hearted efforts to boost my own posts, shockingly without making any real effort to target them, I have recently been helping a charity with their social media. Whilst their page is far far more important than my own, by sitting down and carefully curating who their posts have gone out to – we have seen a fantastic uptake in likes and engagement. It doesn’t need to be a huge amount either….start with £15 and see how it goes.
This has been my own personal downfall. Every time I have attempted to harness social media, I have done a bit here, and a bit there. Unsurprisingly, this hasn’t worked. Whilst planning may not come easily to me, it is imperative when working with social media. Knowing exactly what you’re going to post, and when, means your consumers can fully engage with your content and ensures you are fully dedicated to the task at hand. Before I even begin my next attempt at Social Media – this will be my first port of call – highlighters and all.
All my clients are somewhat concerned with SEO and keywords. It is, often, the first question they ask me. However, what even I didn’t consider is that keywords work just as well on social media as they do on Google searches. It could well be that an individual searches for your profession i.e. a copywriter on LinkedIn, Facebook or, even, Instagram. So make sure that as much as possible you include those all important keywords – apparently I did this to such success on Facebook I am now considered a “rookie.” I have no idea what this means, but I am happy to see I am moving forward in the world.
- Tone of Voice
This is true for all forms of marketing, but can be easily forgotten with social media. Your Tone of Voice is tremendously important. Without question, you can afford to be more colloquial and conversational on Facebook and Instagram, but you do absolutely need to be consistent. That is not to say you can’t trial and error slightly different variations – if anything that is what social media is all about. But, try not to swing from one extreme to another – confusing and uninspiring.
- It’s not for everyone
I really have no excuse not to do social media. To be perfectly honest the main barrier for me has been fear. It all seemed rather daunting. And, more importantly, I have never been a particularly good planner. So the idea of sitting down and creating a content plan was just too far outside my comfort zone. However, having grown both professionally and personally, since I started my business I reckon I am up to the task.
That being said for those technophobes who despise social media, for whom a Facebook news feed brings them out in rashes and convulsions then screw it….find a channel that works for you. Kill your pages, remove the links from your website and focus on networking/print media/whatever works for you. Or pay someone to do it for you. Obviously.
If you would like to vent to me about social media or contact me with any further questions please don’t hesitate to give me a call on 0208 629 6464 or drop me an email on Helena@helenabaker.com. Or find me in a hipster coffee shop near you – sipping on my chai latté.