This week we welcome back Maxine Kerley, owner of Digital Bon Bons, a digital marketing agency focused on businesses in the family sector. Maxine can help you with anything from website design and build, social media, email marketing or even forming that overall digital marketing strategy for your business. Helping you navigate the crazy world of digital marketing and reaching your target audience.
DIGITAL – Lets Get Social
How to maximise your time working for yourself
It’s me, I’m back and this time I am talking all things social. It’s quite an interesting time at the minute on social media as a lot people I follow, engage with and work with are now on their holidays or trying to “survive” the Summer Holidays now the children are off school and I’ve seen a wonderful shift in business focused posts or stories to slightly more personal and insightful ones. Seeing this has given me a great starting point for this feature and hopefully you can enjoy a little break, with a cup of tea or perhaps a cocktail if on holiday abroad in the sun (jealous) and have a read. Here we go:
Personal vs Business
I’ve seen this question raised so many times in groups I’m in on Facebook and the like, how much is too much when you’re posting? The “much” people refer to is themselves, how much of our personal selves should we put out there on our business profiles. Some people worry that if they show too much of their personal side this might reflect badly on them in business and if they don’t show enough, they don’t seem approachable or even human behind the brand. So where do we draw the line?
Well I like to think of the line as more of a squiggle to be honest. There is no clear cut answer on this and like the age old rule – one size does not certainly fit all. It really does depend what type of business you are and who you customers are. For example, using myself here, my clients are business owners and 98% of the time they are also parents trying to juggle, much like me – a business, children and a life on time. So every now and again I interject my personal life with on my business profile on Instagram, whether that’s introducing myself or being honest about having a bad day or week. I tend to find, for me personally, that Instagram Stories are my tool for more personal posts and my actual posts are more business related with the odd one thrown in and that works for me. I like my clients to be able to see that I am also a mum, in business and I know how hard it is so I can relate completely and hopefully they can to me as well.
My advice would be trust your gut and your customers. You’ll know how much of “you” they’ll want to see. Plus if you think you’re falling into the trap of the personal ratio outweighing the business side, just scale it back. It’s all about trying stuff out and seeing what works.
Insta Love/Insta Hate
Like many businesses at the moment I am starting to develop a love/hate relationship with the beloved Instagram. I love this platform, it is the best one for my business and so most of my social efforts go on this platform, however lately for whatever reason it hasn’t loved me back as much as it used to. Much like a relationship, we’re don’t seem to be talking the same language and one of us has changed. You might be experiencing this in your own business. You haven’t changed your “brand voice”, you’re posting the same amount as you usually do, you’re using non spammy hashtags to increase your visibility outside of your followers, but suddenly you are not in Instagram’s good books and your likes and engagement has dropped off the chart – yep – welcome to the lonely hearts Instagram club – take a seat.
The thing to remember with any social platform is that it does adapt and evolve and that means we will need to do the same along with it. Don’t get me wrong it is hard keeping up with the various algorithms changes and knowing what Instagram’s favourite of the month is for getting your content noticed, but by researching, reaching out and trying to stay up to date, you will help yourself further down the line. I’m sure like me you belong to various groups on Facebook for business owners, reach out and see who else is experiencing what you are and you will be surprised (and relieved) when others say they are in the same boat. You’re not alone, they’re just changes and we’ve got to adapt and try our best to get our content out there.
Never sit on your hands
This brings me nicely onto my next point about Social Media, don’t let things run how they have always run. Don’t be scared to try new things, whether that’s new hashtags, an Instagram Story or a live. It’s great to trial and test new things with Social Media, perhaps you’re interested in starting a group for your business? Have a research and look at the groups you’re part of, what works, what doesn’t, what is there a need for, could you fill the void with your group?
Perhaps things have really picked up for your business in regards to being in the press and you now think it might be a good time to join Twitter and actually networking in this way – again explore the channel before committing, get comfortable and fly!
One of the key stats for any social media is engagement. Yes, followers are important but you will know that engagement is worth its weight in gold and if you have 5,000 followers but none are actually your target market or even ever comment – what good are they? Engagement is key and helps you build relationships with not only potential clients but possible collaborations and other business opportunities.
The worse thing is to create a post on any social channel asking for people to engage with it, i.e. asking a question and you get loads of responses and don’t say anything back. It sounds crazy and you might be thinking “How can that even happen?” – believe me I’ve seen it, it does.
Even if you get five people taking the time to write something on your post, whether a response to a question or not, take the time to reply back and engage with your audience. You’ll know what it a genuine comment or not. I’m sure we’ve all seen plenty of “Nice Pic!” with a thumbs up emoji.
Don’t you, forget about me
You’ve got to love an 80’s classic song, had to put it in there because what I am talking about here is forgetting – don’t forget your other channels outside of Social Media. If something happens tomorrow and Social Media ended, what would you do? What would you do for your business? Suddenly the importance of a decent responsive website, or building up your SEO or your email list will come straight to the front and you might find, if they’ve been neglected they are going to take some work, some serious work. So think about these channels now, see them as just as important as the time and energy you are putting into your Social Media because if it were all to disappear you will be relying on these other channels more than ever to keep your business flowing. Keep them in your mind now and as part of your business plans and strategies.
Until next time Mamas, join me at the end of August where I am taking all things digital back to school.