Social Media Strategy

This workshop was all about social media for business and how it can generate more leads for you.

To start, we touched on why social media is good for business, the reasons being:

  • Allows you to have regular, two way engagement with your audience
  • 79% of internet users are using Facebook alone (over 1.8 billion), meaning there’s a huge market already made for you
  • Boosts traffic and search engine ranking – more channels to direct people to your website + search engines like social media – the more options you have, the easier it is for people to find you
  • It’s cheap but can give you a big reward

After this, we were asked to guess which of the three posts sounded the best, before being taught what you need for a good social media post – this was to test the knowledge of the group, who came up with some interesting reasons as to why they liked particular ones.

We then looked into these posts in more depth, understand what makes a good social media post and why it’s good to include certain things. These are:

  • Identify your customers’ pains and offer a solution
  • Make it eye catching but also relevant
  • Questions encourage engagement and allow the customer to relate to what you’re saying
  • Include a call to action so your customers know what you expect from them

It’s not to say that everyone must follow this structure every time, but they’re good rules to think about if you’re not sure where to start. We then looked into what a call to action is, and had to guess which statements were calls to action and which weren’t. A call to action gives detail of what you’d like your customer to do, after seeing your post. For example, ‘visit our website’ or ‘click here to subscribe’, as it’s a clear route for the customer to take.

After this we talked about visuals within social media. Visuals are such an important thing nowadays as they stand out much more than simple text posts, and with such a saturated market, it’s essential to get yourself noticed.

Videos get the best response, and are also favoured most by social platforms, however there’s no point using videos just for the sake of it, and photos are usually the better option. On great thing about videos however is that you can snip larger files to make yourself a whole host of smaller clips that you can use for different advertising purposes.

Photos are a great way to show off your business; ‘sneak peek’ or ‘work in progress’ photos can give customers a greater insight into you and your business, and allow for a more personal, trusting relationships. Polished product photos are great for a website, but show the process of making that product on your social media, to generate interest.

A few things to remember when taking photos:

  • Take more than you need – it’s always better to have a choice!
  • If you’re wanting to use filters on your pictures, try and keep them the same; this can tie into your branding if you want it to, e.g. if you’re branding uses very soft colours, you could use filters to make all your photos look softer.
  • Always ask for permission when taking photos of people, and make sure they’re happy for it to go online.
  • If you’re using an external photographer, be kind and give them credit for their work.

After this, we moved onto writing a social media marketing plan, and the basics that you should think about:

  • Decide what you want to use your social media for, so you’ve got a clear vision
  • Set a clear time frame – schedule posts and dedicate a time to work on them – don’t feel bad about spending time at work on Facebook, engage with your audience’s posts, groups and pages.
  • Decide what results you want to get so you can monitor your progress
  • Identify your customers pains and how you are able to solve each one
  • Know who your target market it, but also who it isn’t, you won’t appeal to everyone so don’t try. It’s a good idea to create personas so you can identify how they would like to be spoken to.
  • Decide how often you want to post, what tone of language you’d like to use, and what person you want to write in, and stick to it!
  • Read your post back as if you’re the customer and ask yourself, ‘would I buy from me?’

After this, the group was asked to write a post for a new bakery opening to see how much they’d learned so far. We took it in turn to read them out and them reviewed them as a group, to help everyone better understand what makes a good post and how to write one. The task worked well and everyone came up with some really good posts, as well as some really good feedback.

Finally, we talked about Buffer, an online tool that can help manage your social media. Buffer allows you to connect all your social media accounts together so you can just write one post, and send it too all platforms. It’s flexible in what you do and you can simply click on the platforms you want to share on, and turn off the ones you done.

Buffer also allows you to set up a posting schedule, so you can send out regular posts that can be written and queued ahead of time.

When sharing a link, Buffer will reduce it to just 24 characters, which is especially useful when posting to platforms like Twitter. To make sharing links even easier, you can install a browser extension that allows you to send the webpage, article, tweet or Facebook event, straight to your Buffer queue.

Buffer’s analytics allow you to easily compare your posts and see how many likes, comments, or clicks each post has, as well as allowing you to add high performing posts back into your queue with the re-buffer button.