Tag: Social Media Strategy

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.

3 Things Your Team Should Do to Support Your Social Media Marketing

Once you have a handle on consistently sharing your brand story on social media, it’s time to brainstorm how to encourage and incorporate every member of your team in supporting your social media marketing efforts. Marketing doesn’t have to be done in a silo. Everyone in your company can like, comment, share, and engage in online conversations around your brand.  

Here are some ways you can encourage your team to support your social media efforts:

Social Media Training

The best support you can give your team is to set up policies and guidelines for social media marketing for your brand and then provide education to your team on not only the proper way to interact with your audience online, but also providing training to help them understand concepts like algorithms and engagement so they understand how social media works and how best to utilize it. This encourages brand ownership and motivates your team to spend more time online, growing and interacting with your audience and customers.

Engage with Your Brand Online

You may have an individual on your team that is responsible for monitoring social media and engaging with followers. If you don’t, you certainly should. However, by giving the rest of your team a bit of ownership when it comes to interacting with your audience online – you can increase your reach and impact, earning even more trust from your followers. The key is to train your team first, to ensure everyone is on the same page about what is or isn’t okay, and then regularly encourage your team to spend time online engaging with your audience. 

Become a Brand Advocate

The first two tips will amplify this one. Once your team is confident in their ability to interact with your audience online and is excited about taking some ownership in social media engagement, they very well may become some of your strongest brand advocates. You’ll know it’s successful if your team shares your information on their own feeds and doesn’t just spend their online time on your brand channels. 

While you can’t force someone to become a brand advocate for you, encouragement and regular practice using social media on your behalf may, naturally, unfold into creating more advocates for your company online. These advocates for your company will be excited about sharing positive messaging and stories about your brand and will have more empowered ownership in their role at your business.

Many companies either don’t consider or don’t take the time to expand their social media efforts outside their marketing department. It’s a safe bet to have a trusted, experienced marketing professional or someone in leadership exclusively handle social media. However, even more potential exists to make your social media marketing mean more than just an online marketing effort when you train and encourage your team to participate as well.

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.

Developing a Social Media Strategy for Marketing Your Business

Posting consistency on your business social media channels is vital. Consistency is one of the keys to success on social media. However, making sure you have a post up every day isn’t necessarily a social media strategy. If you’ve found that posting to social media isn’t producing the results you had hoped, it’s time to evaluate what you are posting and whether or not it’s the type of content your audience actually wans in their social media feeds.

When developing a social media strategy for marketing your business, these three tips are what we’d like you to focus on right now:

Organic Growth

In today’s social media world, there are really only two paths for growth on Facebook for small businesses. Organic growth is where you grow your audience on social media without investing in any platform-based advertising. By creating and sharing branded content, you attract like-minded individuals and nurture those relationships through social media engagement and posting valuable information. The best organic growth strategies incorporate community building – encouraging your audience to come back daily for connection and community.

Social Media Advertising

Once you know your content is working (because your audience is growing and engaging with your posts), it’s time to consider investing in social media advertising. For many industries, social media advertising is quite affordable and helps to draw new traffic to your channels. Once you know a post is doing well, boosting it can draw fresh eyes – people that may decide to follow your channel (growing your audience).

You can also craft ads using a targeted strategy to draw traffic to your website, landing page, newsletter sign-up, or other call to action area. These ads don’t necessarily have to start as original content in your feed. However, since you are sending traffic elsewhere this effort probably won’t result in an increase in social media followers on that channel.

Which method works best? It depends on your strategy and what marketing goal you are trying to reach. Are you trying to drive traffic to your new launch? Increase your Facebook followers? Build your email marketing list? Each effort requires a specialized advertising approach.

Analytics & Reporting

What you think makes a great post won’t always align with what your audience believes is valuable content. That’s why it’s important to track your data frequently, evaluating what is and isn’t working, so you can optimize your social media posts to gain even more reach and engagement.

Social media strategy is about building your audience on your social platforms. This is done with a consistent content marketing strategy and by boosting your efforts through paid advertising. A content marketing strategy is key to organic growth so creating original content (blogs, videos, podcasts) using monthly themes and then repurposing that content for sharing on social media comes first and is then followed up by boosting content that is doing well and creating ads to direct targeted traffic to what you are sharing.

Are you looking for social media training you can participate in, right from the comfort of your home?  Join others utilizing our 40+ video training series that you can participate in, at your own pace, from your home.  We have a Private Facebook Support Group, Monthly Ask the Expert Mastermind Sessions, FREE Ebook and regular new videos to support your marketing. Learn everything from creating the editorial calendar, to creating custom branded images, to the best use of hashtags, to paid ads and reporting by joining the Social Power Program.

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 to Tell a Story for Your Business in Social Media

Storytelling matters. It matters in our lives and it matters in our businesses. Human beings, since the dawn of time, have been drawn to stories. It’s how we learn and it’s how we relate to one another.

One of the reasons many businesses struggle with social media marketing is that they are using it strictly as a sales tool. However, people aren’t on social media for that reason. They open up their social apps to connect with other people, to learn something new, to become motivated or inspired. If your content isn’t doing these things, then it’s falling flat.

If you want to garner attention and interest on social media, you need to create content that your audience actually wants – and often that involves telling a good story.

Here are some ways to tell a story for your business in social media:

Create an Editorial Calendar

It’s difficult to weave together a consistent, relevant, and clear story if you aren’t certain what you are going to post on social media on any given day. An editorial calendar is a compass for your social media content, outlining what type of content you will share on what days. Once you have a plan for sharing and promoting your content, you can use your editorial calendar as the structure for your storytelling.

Without a calendar, you could find yourself in a situation where you are talking about your service one day, your ideal client another day, sharing a motivational quote another, and then forwarding an article that caught your interest later in the week. What’s ineffective about this approach is that there is no strategy involved. On any given day, you are posting content that isn’t related to the other posts. While you get points for consistency, this method of posting is not telling a cohesive story that motivates people to act.

Here’s a better example of utilizing an editorial calendar:

For the current month, you’ve chosen the theme of ‘Sharing Our Business Origin Story.’

You know that on Tuesdays, you share your main piece of original content (this could be a video, a podcast, or a blog post). On Monday, you post a quote from that content and share it as a kind of teaser of what’s to come. The day after you share your original content, Wednesday, you create a post that’s promotional, tying in what you do with what you created. On Thursday, you share some behind the scenes photos of a past project, your workspace, or an inside peek of how you began your business. Friday is a great day to engage your audience by posting a poll or asking a question.

In this scenario, your editorial calendar looks like this:

Monthly Theme: Our Company’s Why & Why It Matters

Weekly Theme: Our Origin Story

  • Monday – Quotes
  • Tuesday – Original Content
  • Wednesday – Promo Day
  • Thursday – Behind the Scenes
  • Friday – Engagement

For ease of use, keep the calendar the same every week/month, switching out only the content themes.

An editorial calendar is really the foundation of any successful social media strategy. It allows business owners to know exactly what type of content to create and also provides a structure around their storytelling and calls to action so that the output is easy to understand and has a natural flow (like a story).

Plan for Engagement

Any social media marketing plan comes with a word of warning: DON’T be one of those businesses that posts content and then disappears. Scheduling social media content is a great way to save yourself time and to stay on track with your messaging, but social media is meant to be… social.

Too many businesses use a post it and forget it strategy and then go around telling any other business that will listen that social media marketing doesn’t work. The truth is… it doesn’t work for absentee business owners. Have a plan for social media engagement. Even if it’s only 15 mins a day, 3 days a week – some presence is better than none.

Your audience will quickly grasp onto the knowledge that you aren’t there for them and they will take their time and attention elsewhere, leaving your story to be unseen by the people you want to attract.

Showcase Your Brand

We encourage our clients to share their personal and professional stories on social media as often as they can. It’s important that, in your content, you are showcasing your personality, your business culture, and all of the things that make your brand unique. This helps your audience get to know you better which builds both interest and trust. No one is going to do business with you until they trust you.

When showcasing your brand and business on social, have your audience in mind. You want them to be inspired by the good you are doing in the world, but you also want them to feel motivated to strive for more so that they’ll sign up for your product or service. How can you make your audience the hero of your story?

Not everyone is a writer and storytelling doesn’t come naturally to all. However, mastering the art of sharing your story online is the most impactful way to build your brand and grow your business.

Are you looking for social media training you can participate in, right from the comfort of your home?  Join others utilizing our 40+ video training series that you can participate in, at your own pace, from your home.  We have a Private Facebook Support Group, Monthly Ask the Expert Mastermind Sessions, FREE Ebook and regular new videos to support your marketing. Learn everything from creating the editorial calendar, to creating custom branded images, to the best use of hashtags, to paid ads and reporting by joining the Social Power Program.

 

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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