We see a lot of small businesses trying to market on social media. Creating great content and posting it, only for it to be pretty well ignored.
If you have done any of our courses, you'll know we go on (and on...) about posting being no more than 20% of the job. The other 80% contains engagement and marketing building (getting more of the right kind of followers to read and react to your posts).
Social media marketing is not for the faint hearted. Each social media portal is one channel and needs a marketing campaign with all its elements to make it a success. Plus a lot of time and effort.
Hiring someone 'young' to manage your social media is not sensible.
Neither is hiring a social media manager without checking that they are properly qualified - that means education (preferably marketing and not just social media) and experience that shows they can build leads or sales for a client.
Using a posting system, like Buffer, Hootsuite or Later, helps you post a little faster and a little easier. It does not help you market your business.
Social media marketing is marketing just the same. It needs to fit properly into the buying journey your potential clients/customers take and it needs to directly move them one or more steps closer to the buying decision. If it doesn't, it is a waste of time.
Does social media really fit in your potential clients/customers' business journey?
If you aren't getting sales from your social media efforts - saying that it is 'brand awareness' doesn't count - brand awareness is a step at the beginning of the process and should still add sales at the end of the process, if it is working - or you aren't sure social media is where your target market is looking for your service/product, get in touch with us and we'll work it out with you.
If you are marketing on social media, here is our take on doing it yourself versus using us. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss any aspect of it.
As the real world changes, the online world does too. More than half the entire world population uses social media and its use increased as people started to get stuck at home.
This poses a dilemma for small business owners.
On the one hand, not 'wasting' money on marketing while businesses are closed, sales can't happen and income is so uncertain seems sensible. On the other hand, others see the value in remaining visible and protecting future sales.
There are also those who have, in a positive way, taken advantage of the crisis to reach out to their target market and ask for their support through this period.
Market forces usually keep the playing field somewhat level and that's been true in the healthy economic climate we have benefited from for years, up to January this year. Now it has now been shaken to pieces.
While saving money is sensible in a down period, being invisible isn't. Companies that best survive in recessions are those that market through it and therefore get sales as soon as recovery starts. It can be fatal for a company to ignore the competition's activities and lose their market share.
If you have been busy surviving and marketing has had to take a back seat (or been left behind), here are some things to think about:
There are various cost-effective areas you can use to reach out to your target market:
If this feels overwhelming or you don't have time to do this yourself, reach out to us. We have two ways that we can help you:
A garden services client of ours also sells Christmas trees. We run a social media marketing campaign for them each November and December, building up awareness and sales of the trees and helping fuel bookings coming in at the end of the winter.
Whatever size and type of business you have, if you need help marketing it and want to grow your sales, get in touch with us.
Are you in a position where you can't sell anything right now?
There isn't much we can say to make that feel any better but we can recommend a distraction that will set your business up to grow as life returns to normal. Now is the time to protect your brand recognition.
There have been many downturns in the world's economies and, while many businesses have plans ready for downturns, forgetting to plan for the upturn can spell disaster. We know this from studying what happens to business before, through and after recessions.
There are many cases of companies going out of business during the upturn. Surely that's something that can be avoided?
Let's put it another way:
If no-one is buying your service or product now and they aren't buying from your competitors either, then you are competitively equal. You aren't losing any more or less than they are.
If they spend the next 4-6 months building up more recognition of their services/products and you do nothing, what will happen if, in six months time, someone needs just what you offer? Will they come to you?
They will have forgotten all about you and you will have lost out to your competition.
We don't recommend asking people to buy from you right not - and certainly not asking people to risk infection by doing so (grrrr....). Regularly reminding customers and potential customers about the services and product you offer is a great idea. (Even we do say so ourselves :)).
Use the same message over and over if you want to.
You want my advice? (I hope so... :))
Say the same thing 20 times. I'm challenging you to do that. Pick a service that you offer or, even better, a pain point that you clients/customers have that you help solve and put the message out to your email and social media lists 20 times over the next three months.
Do you accept the challenge?? :)
Here is one of our message versions. Get in touch with us for advice - a call is free!
However, this isn’t the main reason we recommend blogging for small businesses. The main reason is that search engines LOVE blogs and treat them in a different way. Without a blog or news or whatever-you-want-to-call-it section - it is the technical part that matters - search engines see your website as a static brochure. Add in a blog and they pull up each and every one of your posts in the search results so you get a lot more space on the results page but also push down the competition, out of sight:
Blog posts are also the best thing to use to promote your business on social media. They work far better than writing plain old social media posts and send potential customers to your website, where they can find out more about you, your products and services and how to buy them.
Blogging for business is a training session we run to help you get your blog up, running and promoting your business fast.
In our two-hour sessions, we'll work through blogging techniques you can use to get the search engines sending you lots of lovely visitors and the right type of visitors at that. We'll look at the content on your website, talk about what to blog and take a good look at the technical stuff to make sure you get it right.
The next sessions are on Wednesday 13th September - 12:30-2:30pm and Wednesday 15th November - 12:30-2:30pm. They are held in Stocksund (Danderyd) and are 350kr per person. If you would like to grow the traffic to your website and increase your sales, click here for the details of this course.
Wednesday 11th October - 12:30-2:30pm (5 spaces)
Wednesday 22nd November - 12:30-2:30pm (5 spaces)
Wednesday 15th November - 12:30-2:30pm (5 spaces)
All the sessions are two hours long and cost 350kr in advance (preferably by SWISH).
For more information, click here or get in touch with us. If you want to join us but can't make the dates/times listed, let us know and we'll see what we can do.
Having spent the last month running training sessions with you lovely lot, we've planned a whole lot more! You told us that you'd like a few hours working with us on your website, on email marketing, on building great collaborations and on blogging. Someone also asked us for a session on running your own life but that is definitely 'outside our area of expertise' :)
For the topics that we do know about, we've just put together a schedule for the rest of the spring (yes, we decided that spring has actually started). Come and join us at our office in Danderyd if you would like to know lots about the following topics:
All the sessions are two hours long and cost 250kr in advance (preferably by SWISH).
For more information, click here or get in touch with us. If you want to join us but can't make the dates listed, let us know and we'll see what we can do.
I had an amazing opportunity a few weeks ago to work with six small and hobby business owners on getting more clients using social media. Ahead of the next sessions that are tomorrow, I want to share with you some key ideas:
1. How many times does a potential client need to come into contact with your product/business/message before they decide to buy something from you?
What do you think of this answer?
As a huge generalisation because, of course, all businesses are different, general marketing theory goes with the rule of seven – your message should be seen seven times before a potential customer will buy. Google apparently says this is now more like ten times because consumers use the internet to search for corroborating evidence that you and your product are as great as you say they are.
This means that your message needs to reach the SAME PERSON ten times. That every potential customer needs to see your message ten times. At least.
Whichever number you think truly fits your business and your target customers, it takes time and marketing energy to achieve that many contacts with each person.
What can you do about this?
2. Cheat! Wait, what? No. Talk.
The best way to skip a few of those contact steps is to talk to your potential clients – not AT them mind you but TO them. Pick a few and have a chat.
By starting a connection, you build a bridge between your business and your potential customer that hugely increases the likelihood that they make it through the seven, ten or even twenty contacts they need to go through to buy.
Yes, I am away that this takes time and energy. I know that, I do it for our businesses. That is how I know for sure that it works! You are in business for the long-haul, right?
How does this fit in with all the photos you are putting on Instagram, the blog posts that you are sure you are supposed to be writing, the Facebook page you have but isn’t doing a lot by itself? All of that comes under ‘content marketing’ – a very effective way of using social media BUT for it to work, you have to get people to look at your page/profile/posts…
3. Is there anybody out there?
Honestly, no, probably not. At least, not hanging out on your Facebook page waiting for you to post something. You have to go and find them.
We cover everything you need to know about ‘content marketing’ in our sessions starting next week (click here for details) – including what, how and when to post.
In the meantime, get talking. Or if you are stuck, join us at this session tomorrow!
Here is our eBook on the topic too, from our sister company, My Own Marketing Coach:
You told us that you'd like a few hours with us, working on getting clients by using social media. Repeatedly in some cases (you know who you are!). So, very happily, we are running two 2-hour sessions this coming Thursday in Danderyd.
You can expect the sessions to provide:
For more information, click here or get in touch with us. If you want to join us but can't make it this Thursday, let us know and we'll see what we can do.