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A PSA for SME's

What’s holding you back from Social Media?

Don’t you feel it’s important to make sure your business is doing some networking for you… Even when you’re not?

Whether social media empowers you or scares you, it’s an extremely powerful (and economical) marketing tool that you can’t afford to be without in a fast-paced digital world.

If you’re harbouring on the fringes of getting your business onto social media, here’s a few questions to ask yourself:

Is it the rapid change of social media that has stopped you from getting on board to date? Perhaps the cost involved worries you, or the thought of what happens if someone says something bad about your business?

For these things and all the other excuses you can possibly muster, don’t worry! There are strategies to counter all of this and you can do it!

Social media is the next best thing to you, your product, service or cause being a real human being that networks for you online. It interacts and for you when you’re out conquering the world - you need to nurture this new best friend and let it thrive.

Often as business owners, we can be notoriously at shying away from putting ourselves ‘out there’ on social media. It’s time to change that! 

Swallow your fear of the unknown, feelings of judgement, comparison etc. Upskill yourself and quit holding back from unleashing your incredible brand on social media. You have so much to offer - the world needs to know about it!

Promoting your brand on social media is the fastest way for people to find out about it, and the fastest way to build an audience of customers who are loyal to your product or service.

Think about this – when you’re networking ‘in real life’ you’re meeting maybe a couple of new people in one go. When your business is networking for you on social media, you’re opening yourself up to thousands of new introductions with every post.

Social media is yours to be owned. There are plenty of women out there doing amazing things - living proof that it has changed their business for the better. So, girl it’s time to put your big-girl pants on. Get your business on social media and make it work for you.

If you’re telling yourself “I know, I know” and need a helping hand in getting started here’s a teensy bit of not-so-secret strategy for you to ponder:

1. Plan

For your anticipated result. Planning is the most important input to successful social media, so please don’t skip this part!

​2. Do

This is the art (and it is an art - get help here if you need it) of crafting, creating, sharing, curating and tactfully experimenting with content that you can measure the success (or failure) of long-term.

​3. Check

Just like anything in business, you must review your activity regularly. Be honest with yourself about what’s working well and what’s not. The general rule of thumb with checking is that you should make time to review your social activity monthly (at a minimum).

​4. Act

This is where you take what you know from your social media strategy, have seen from your content and learnt from ‘doing’ then make any changes necessary to keep innovating and growing your brand online.

Whatever you want the outcome to be, make a note of this first and work backwards. Think laterally, leave room for adaptation & unpredictables. 

Your strategy will evolve organically over time, once you get started.Know who your ideal customers need to be, what demographics they fit into, what social platforms they’re using and what kind of content you intend to create and share.Who will be managing all of this social media for you Ma’am? Someone internally? You? Or will you seek help in outsourcing this? Consider what proportion of you’re total marketing activity you’ll be committing to social and plan for the work-load accordingly.

Know your brand. Before you dive into creating content, you should (bare minimum) invest in a professionally completed set of brand guidelines - it’s well worth having in the long run and will save your butt when it comes to portraying your brand professionally on social media.

Determine your ‘Mix’. This refers to what ratio of your content that will be original, shared and/or advertised. 

Stay on top of social media trends where possible. Your audience are real humans and they get bored with stale ideas and repetitive content. If you don’t know what your audience wants, ask them! There is absolutely no shame in doing this and even more, it strengthens your brands relationship with them. It’s a good move!

If posts didn’t do so well, identify why you think this might be and try something new next month. Tweak what you already have in the plan, document your changes and keep going!

I know, I know. This is sounding like a lot of work, but you can do it! Once you’re on a roll and things start to snowball (in the right way) it’s an incredible feeling. When social media is done well it truly is networking at light-speed!

Most importantly - if you’re unsure of anything when it comes to social media – don’t be afraid to ask for help. 

!If you focus on doing the best you absolutely can your brand and business will thank you for it. Be consistent, and aim to do better with each post and I promise you this. If you do this, you won’t fail.

By Mary Cullingford, Founder and Content Director at The Social Shop.