Evaluating Your Competition’s Social Media Marketing

I can’t say it enough, no one is like you and your business. You serve clients in a unique way and your company culture automatically sets it apart from others in your industry. However, everyone has competition – other businesses that do something similar to you and target an audience that looks like yours. 

Comparison can be dangerous. A business owner that spends all their time comparing their work to their competition, and adjusting their strategy or goals to match, will 100% of the time miss out on what makes their brand special and unique. Comparison can kill your creativity, your innovation, and can make your brand feel like a copycat instead of a leader in your field.

That being said, there are benefits to paying attention to your competition:

Online Presence

First, check out your top three competitors online. Do they have a website? Is it attractive? Easy to use and navigate? Does it tell their brand story in a compelling way? How do they appeal to their audience? It’s much easier to evaluate another person’s website and brand than it is to be objective about our own. This process will reveal a couple of things: 1) what you are doing well with your own website and 2) where there is potential to do better than your competition in areas where they aren’t currently ranking well. The second, in particular, can reveal opportunities that exist that your competition is not currently focusing on.

Then do this again by searching for your competition’s brand using a search engine. How do they rank in the search engine results for their brand? Where do they rank in search in regards to industry or location-specific keywords? How often do they appear in the results? Are multiple websites talking about their brand? How much of a presence do they have? How much authority or credibility do they appear to have? Then do the same for your company and make improving your own searchability a priority based on the results.

Social Media Marketing

Let’s repeat this process with your competition’s social media marketing. While we would never encourage you to copy or plagiarize their content, paying attention to what gets good engagement on their social media marketing channels can be revealing. If your audience is similar, they may also respond well to that type of content. This is true for content that’s not performing well. Does your target audience like articles or videos? Do they respond to motivational quotes? Are they willing to engage in conversation when content is shared? This effort can be a process of elimination of what you should or shouldn’t share on your own social media channels and may inspire you to create something new or different that is better suited for your audience.

If you can approach evaluating your competitors from the viewpoint of learning what you can do better, where the opportunities may be that your industry isn’t taking advantage of, and inspiring you to build a better online presence for your audience – then this practice can be a positive tool used to become more successful. If you find yourself trapped in comparison or you use this practice to mirror what someone else is doing, forget I ever mentioned it! No one needs a copy of someone or something else. They need you to show up authentically and do your thing because that’s how you resonate with people.

Are you looking for a social media company to train your staff on online marketing strategies and equip them with the tools to maintain engagement, spark interest through Linkedin and other social media platforms, and build a solid foundation company-wide? Contact us to set up a training session for your sales team to improve your online marketing efforts.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

How Often Should Your Social Media Manager Post for Your Business?

At the Social Media Advisor, we talk a lot about posting consistently. Consistency is the foundation of any social media marketing strategy. However, what consistency means for each business can look different. The point is to pick a posting schedule and have an editorial calendar and a plan for your social media marketing.

How, as a small business owner, to determine how often your social media manager should post for your business?

Schedule

Depending on the platform, the number of posts you should aim for each week can look different. Since most of our clients prefer Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn – we can tell you that, at a minimum, your business should be posting at least 3x a week to stay relevant for your audience and for the social media algorithms. (This amount goes up for platforms like Twitter and Pinterest.)

We also have clients who post 5 days a week and some that post every day. How often your business should post, within these timeframes, is usually determined by how much original content is already available to work with. Business owners that invest in a blogging or video strategy have more original content to pull from, making it easier to create more social media posts per week.

Too Many Posts

There are brands that post more often than 7x a week, which we don’t recommend. In our experience, posting more increases your opportunity to lose followers or to post content that isn’t seen. The way the algorithms work, the first post per day that starts to get engagement is the one that will be featured the most – burying any other content you’ve shared that day. This is a waste of time and energy. It could also be a strategic problem if your audience doesn’t first engage with the post you were hoping would get seen or shared the most that day. You can eliminate this problem entirely by posting no more than once per day.

Newsfeed Rotation

You may find that a post does so well that it will show up in feeds for more than one day. Social engagement is always the goal, so, a top-performing post may continue to get featured in the newsfeeds of your audience in an attempt to gain even more reach and engagement. This will, certainly, downplay any other posts you have scheduled until this one begins to lose traction. Notice when this occurs as it will be a good window into the type of content your audience prefers so that you can continue to get great engagement in the future.

Only you, and your social media manager, will be able to determine the right posting schedule for you. If you are new to social media marketing, consider the first few months a trial period where you pick different dates and times, and then check the analytics to see what performed best. This way you can build, and continue to tweak, your social media schedule to achieve optimal results.

Are you finding it is getting more difficult for you to post about your business in social media due to time and energy restraints? The Social Media Advisor team can create a custom editorial calendar for your business, create on-target messaging and branded images aligned with your culture, and get it scheduled each month – taking this huge task off your plate entirely! Ask us more about our Monthly Social Media Management service!

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

What Expectations Should You Have of a Social Media Manager for Your Business?

There are many different types of social media marketers in the world and they have a wide range of skillsets. Everything from social media managers that operate more like virtual assistants (create and share content for you but do nothing else) to social media managers that handle every aspect of social (including engagement, monitoring, and advertising). Before interviewing your manager prospect, what expectations should you be seeking as a small business owner looking to hire a new social media manager?

Connection

A quality social media manager isn’t going to just create posts for you in a silo. There needs to be a regular communication plan to check in with you about what is and isn’t working. You should have an expectation, and it should be in whatever agreement you sign, that there be active communication each month including a window of time to chat and discuss things. These calls should cover current efforts and plans for any future efforts, upcoming events, or promotions.

Strategy

If you’ve ever spent an hour creating social media content and found a few days later that it produced zero engagement or interest in your business, then you understand the futility of not having a social media marketing strategy. Many business owners approach social media marketing as a post it and forget it endeavor and then complain to other people about how social doesn’t work for their business. When it’s time to hire a social media manager, you should expect that they’ll work with you on a social media marketing strategy for your business that will help you produce results.

Reality

Too many small business owners do not really understand the role social media plays in their marketing efforts. While social media can produce sales, that’s not the purpose of social media marketing. If the expectation is that your social media manager will close business or generate sales for you, you don’t understand the difference between marketing and sales. Marketing is anything you do to create awareness and attention for your brand – essentially warming up your prospects for the sale. These efforts may generate new business for you but that’s not the purpose of social media marketing. Social media is about connecting with your audience, building brand awareness, and getting the necessary attention you need to earn the trust that will eventually result in a sale. It’s not fair to put all the pressure of making money for your business on the shoulders of your social media manager because that’s not what social media marketing is about.

Quality social media management and social media strategy go hand in hand. Your expectations going into any outsourcing situation should be built upon trust that you are hiring an expert that can move the needle forward for your business.

Are you finding it is getting more difficult for you to post about your business in social media due to time and energy restraints? The Social Media Advisor team can create a custom editorial calendar for your business, create on-target messaging and branded images aligned with your culture, and get it scheduled each month – taking this huge task off your plate entirely! Ask us more about our Monthly Social Media Management service!

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

When Is the Right Time to Hire a Social Media Manager?

When we first start our businesses, we are responsible for every single aspect of running them – including any and all marketing efforts. There’s no shame in being in this space. We all begin somewhere. If your company isn’t making money yet, it’s impossible to justify spending money you don’t have to bring in experts to help you with all aspects of owning a small business.

However, at some point, you will have clients and you will be making money and then the question becomes, “When should I hire help to do all the tasks that aren’t in my genius zone?”

Here are some things to think about if you find yourself wondering if now is a good time to hire a social media manager:

Consistency is Hard

You have the best intentions and you know the vision you want for your social media presence but the struggle is real when it comes to consistently creating posts and showing up on social media. If you can’t find the time in the day to make consistency a priority in regards to your social media efforts, it’s time to call in support.

You Don’t Have Time to Learn

While there are plenty of small business owners that take my social media marketing training classes to learn how to be awesome in their social media efforts, I run into just as many people who don’t have the time, or the inclination, to learn how to master social media on their own. If learning social media marketing has been on your to-do list for months (or years), let’s face it – you need to call in reinforcements.

Your Efforts Produced Zero Results

Many small business owners find that they can create and share content but that doesn’t mean they can get results on their own. Anyone with a computer and a Facebook account can participate in social media marketing, but if you find that the time you spend there doesn’t produce the desired results – it’s probably time to hire a social media manager instead.

You’re Ready to Invest in Ads

As any marketing team will tell you, the best way to make money with your marketing efforts is to spend money. Once you have a marketing budget for social advertising ready to go, it may be more beneficial to find an experienced social media manager to manage these efforts for you. There is a learning curve to social advertising and you have better ways to use your time as a business owner than becoming a Facebook ads expert.

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired of doing it all yourself?  Then now is the time to stop throwing spaghetti at the wall, finally come up with a solid social media marketing strategy, and have someone else build out your online marketing efforts for you.

Are you finding it is getting more difficult for you to post about your business in social media due to time and energy restraints? The Social Media Advisor team can create a custom editorial calendar for your business, create on-target messaging and branded images aligned with your culture, and get it scheduled each month – taking this huge task off your plate entirely! Ask us more about our Monthly Social Media Management service!

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.


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