Posts

The Ying and Yang of Social Media

Social media is a world unlike any other.

It’s still new to us, especially if you consider how it seems to be everchanging with each new phone update.

Life would be made much easier if only there was an extremely specific recipe to success for all small businesses on all social media platforms. A recipe that needed just a splash of engagement, a cup of killer content and a beautifully cohesive brand identity as the cherry on top. Then, BAM. You’ve got yourself a tsunami of eager customers for life.

In all seriousness though, I wish there was a simple recipe you could follow step by step that would unlock the secret to a successful social media presence… sadly there isn’t.

But, there are many methods that are proven to work that you can try out and modify for your specific business, product and audience. You can navigate your own way to social media success and create your own unique recipe to get there.

Something that will have to be figured out on this journey to a successful social media presence is where your fine line is for various topics. What is to too much and what is too little? What is smothering your followers and what is neglecting them? Where is the line between sticking with what works and boring, repetitive content?

Here are a few examples for you to consider:

  1. Over Posting and Under Posting

Finding that sweet spot in terms of how much you post is a vastly underestimated aspect of social media. It is commonplace for upstarting small businesses to believe they must post everyday (sometimes multiple times a day) in order to keep the interest of social media users.

This is false.

In fact, posting too much will likely annoy your followers who will have a newsfeed oversaturated by your content. It may negatively impact the view of your business and the number of followers you can maintain.

On the flip side, you don’t want to make your content scare so that you lose the opportunities social media provides for conversion and leads. Your acquired followers may also unfollow you if they don’t feel they are receiving the amount of valuable content they signed up for.

2. Over Selling and Under Selling

To sell or not to sell? That is the question!

This is probably the hardest area to pinpoint in terms of what is too much and what is too little on social media. Of course, it is important to promote your products and draw awareness to your website and other business materials. That is why businesses use social media in the first place, to market their brand and products.

However, too much selling can sometimes repel audiences as they begin to feel bombarded by efforts to get them to the checkout. Your business will lose its personable side.

In amongst content which promotes and sells, there should be content that is educational, motivational or prompts casual engagement with your followers in order to create a feeling that there is a person behind the brand.

I suppose you can say there is a fine line drawn between selling and building relationships. Strike the perfect balance between these two things and you’ll end up with trusting customers who are not only engaged with your product, but they are eager to support your business.

3. Finding Followers and Finding Customers

It’s true. It looks good when your social media pages have a large number of followers. Visitors to your page may be impressed by the numbers and opt to join the extensive list of followers. A large following has potential to increase engagement and the sharing of your content to an even greater audience of people.

BUT…

Obsessing over numbers should not be your objective. Finding people that will have a genuine interest and customer potential should be the objective.

There’s no harm in having a couple of empty followers (those which add to your follower count but will not contribute more to your business) but the core base of your following should be made up of people that are beneficial to your business. These people can be obtained through targeted advertisements, use of relevant hashtags and searching the follower lists of competitors.

It is up to you to walk that fine line between having a larger following that looks impressive to visitors whilst still having quality individuals that make up this list.

4. Doing What Works and Making Content Varied

On social media, you track and measure the success of your content. When a post skyrockets and does ten times better than all your other posts, it’s exciting and you feel like you’ve finally cracked the code. All you have to do is keep posting that kind of content, right?

Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.

It’s important to know what your audience responds positively to and engages with but, you should endeavor to keep your content varied. Social media audiences will not tolerate copy-paste content, they appreciate variation and innovation.

Sure, if posting a “Tip Tuesday” is your thing and your audience is positively responsive, keep it up. If you have an adorable dog that your audience goes wild for, include them in a post every now and then. Take advantage of what works, but don’t let your content become too repetitive and stale —your audience won’t thank you for it.

It’s Time to Get Savvy: An Introduction to Email Marketing

Email marketing is a massively underrated segment of digital marketing that, when used in combination with other marketing channels, is a goldmine of opportunity. Think of email marketing as the Robin or Dr. Watson of digital marketing; it needs to work in tandem with something else to have relevance but when it does, it is highly effective, useful and fills a vital role.

Email marketing can be used to deliver specific content directly to the interested user’s email inbox. This content can include offers, advertisements and education. To break these down further and understand the different kinds of emails there are, businesses can specifically deliver things like:

  • Brand announcements: announcing your next webinar, event, or sale
  • Product updates: the latest features of your product or offered services
  • Newsletters: a summary of your latest blog posts, business updates or your latest content offers
  • Event invitations: informing users of an event you’re attending, or an event of interest to them (e.g. an event of a business partner)
  • Social media updates: letting subscribers know of your new posts and asking them to share or like your posts (there’s no harm in asking for a little help from your followers/fans)

Keep in mind that you should switch up the kinds of emails you are sending to your subscribers. If you are tracking the response of your emails, discovering which are generating website visits or higher engagement, this can give you greater insight in to which types of emails work best for your specific subscribers. Knowing your subscribers, to know what they need and why they need it, is the key.

Before you can send an email, you of course need to know who you are emailing and how you will reach them. You can form a subscriber list by placing offers to ‘join our email subscription” on your website landing pages, social media’s or other platforms. Enticing people to join your email subscription can be achieved in many different ways, but ultimately you have to sell the benefits of joining this subscription. For example, subscribe “to receive exclusive offers”, “be the first to know when our sales begin” or “subscribe to receive 10% off your first purchase”. Once they have subscribed with their contact information, you can begin sending out your marketing emails.

Manuel vs Automated Emails:

Both manual and automated emails are important for email marketing. Manually sent emails are those that you create for specific and unique circumstances (e.g. an upcoming sale, announcements, newsletters etc.). Automated emails are those which are sent when a user performs a certain action on your website which automatically triggers an email response. Some automated email examples include:

  • Welcome: sent when a user first registers for your email subscription
  • Onboarding: can be singular or several emails providing information about your services or products and gives a rundown of what they can expect from your business.
  • Confirmation: sent in response to a user signing up for an event/webinar or completing a transaction.
  • Form response: sent when someone has completed a form to obtain access to an offer you have promoted, it will usually thank them for their engagement and will include the details of the offer.
  • Abandoned cart: if the customer has added products to their basket but has not followed through with the transaction, you can send triggered emails to remind them that they still have items in their basket and can encourage them to complete their purchase.

There is so much more to learn about email marketing, but this is a good introduction to understanding how, why and when to use email marketing to boost your business.

Final Three Tips:

  1. Your emails should be mobile friendly as 53% of all emails are being opened on mobile devices. If your formatting and content is not appropriate and appealing on a mobile device, then you are potentially wasting some of your efforts and failing to fully target half of your email subscribers.
  2. Make sure your email arrives at the time that best suits the user (consider time zones and how an email notification for someone at midnight may hurt the way they view your brand).
  3. Personalise your emails, tailor them to each user by including their name and providing information or recommendations that are constructed for them based on past behaviors.