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How to Manage and Develop Your Social Media

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Peter Dickinson


So why is managing your social media so important? Well, social media does a variety of things. Obviously, when it first launched, it was more about brand awareness, and engaging with followers and so forth. But you can share your expertise across it. If any of you use software as part of your job. And if you get stuck on something, I regularly use Facebook groups. 

For some reason, they don’t seem to work on LinkedIn groups – but Facebook groups were a great way of getting support. The room I’m in is part of a house that I built during lockdown. And I got a lot of support from Facebook groups during that process when I was looking for things or trying to fix things, and so forth. And obviously a brilliant way to do research. 

Google’s great, but if you actually want to get some somebody’s opinion, then go and join a facebook group. I’ve also reversed my diabetes, and a lot of that was done through the Facebook groups, fantastic support out there, you have to choose group to go in some, some are not policed very well and the posts are less than ideal. But if they’re looked after, and the admins look after them, I think over the years, I’ve seen people getting better at interacting in groups. 

So I think it can be a great way to move forward, obviously invites to events, all the folk who are streaming and looking at the streaming through LinkedIn, they’ve all been invited. And if you’re dealing with a lot of consumers then promoting to consumers and selling to consumers is now very well established. The number of times I’ve clicked on an Instagram video and nearly got a credit card out and I think woah what am I doing? So it can be very effective. 

Okay, so the figures are slightly out to date. But in 2019 45 million users on social media on a daily basis. These are some of the sort of stats, a lot of people do sort of flip through things in the evening so forth. Not sure looking at blue light before you go to bed is a great idea, but plenty people do, as well as first thing in the morning when they get up, but maybe with the breakfast and so forth and then dropping off during the day. And one in five adults spend 40 hours on social media.

It obviously also depends on whether it’s your job or not. But you notice more and more when you go to the theatre or something like that, people are looking at their social media roster or the phones whilst they’re waiting for things to happen. I guess there’s no time to get bored these days. Because there’s always something you can be looking at or doing. 

So what is social media? Well, the forgotten one is Google My Business, which I would argue is most important for most businesses, but they don’t make it easy to manage. So you’ve got Google My Business, obviously, LinkedIn for businesses, Facebook is an interesting one. So there are businesses on there as a PR support, and people do promote through Facebook and Instagram. Facebook did try to do a LinkedIn look alike, but that that kind of failed, because it wasn’t particularly easy to use. 

And then we’ve got Twitter, which is a bit of a nice thing. Now, YouTube, more and more people are thinking about how to use video. So we’re talking to more and more companies about maybe getting themselves set up on YouTube. It is the second biggest search engine. 

TikTok that’s going to go places – it’s difficult to see a business what you can do with it, because we did have a look on Fiverr I think about 12 months ago for TikTok actors, and we did find one person but it took quite a lot of searching. We’re interviewing some candidates at the moment for apprenticeship. And initally one of them’s big on TikTok. So I think that’s going to go some way. I’ve still included clubhouse, debating whether to keep it or not, this is an audio networking version. And the ones I listen into are quite interesting, but I’ve not used it. I think not seeing people makes it difficult to get their body language. Podcasts, I think will grow. 

And today we are live streaming, we’re using a technical zoom restream. And then obviously, LinkedIn, Facebook, that’s been more complex to set up- you need more screens and things to keep an eye on things. But I think it’s going to be the way ahead. Because then what it means is this is all recorded, that then goes upon to the website, it’s also then available on those channels. And we’ve got obviously paid advertising on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn. 

So the key principle in marketing: be where your customers are. So we talked about the buyer persona, a few workshops ago. And that’s where you’ve identified what your customers do, what their pains are, what the challenges are, and what solutions they’re looking for. And so obviously, you need to be in a place where your customers then hang out. And then in relation to this is social media. So LinkedIn generally for selling to businesses, you’ll have a good presence on LinkedIn. If you’re selling to consumers, then you’ll have a good presence on at least Facebook and Instagram. And depending on what age the audience is, you might also be doing stuff on TikTok as well. 

We’ve shown this slide before, but basically to remind you that there’s there’s all sorts of channels into your customers now. So when we say where are your customers, you know, we’re also thinking about how they’d like to communicate. So for example, in the old days, and that wasn’t that long ago, we’d be thinking about our phone systems, you know, maybe getting more and more sophisticated phone systems. But to be honest, no customer rings us on our phone. We either get them through conversations through web chat, through email, or through WhatsApp. And we’re on for larger companies having to do more on Slack. 

Okay, just going back to the customer journey again. You can’t short shortcut this process. Your customers have to get to know you. They have to get to like you and have to get to trust you before they’ll buy. It’s only very unusual circumstances. Probably anything that will relate to is either dealing with the bank at the moment or Dealing with the utilities. You know, we we’re in a village and trying to get to Openreach regularly just put the phone on, start the call, put it on, it puts you on to the music. And then 30 minutes later, it’s about 30 minutes as well. They’ll deign to answer the phone. You know, so probably the only examples where, of trust, you just got to, that’s what you got to do. But generally, for everybody else, there has to be that they have to go down through that funnel. 

So what are we looking for in terms of visitor behaviour? Well, at the top of the funnel, we’ve got the awareness. And this is where 75% of your visitors are. They’re looking at What is the problem I’m trying to solve? You know, and looking for answers on a particular thing that they want – it could be a desire as well, their next car, or whether it’s a service that you do, they’re looking for that information on maybe how to solve that problem. You know, are you one of the one of the people that that can help them? What information can you provide that will guide them through that problem solving process? 

And then we get to the middle of the funnel, you’ll start to have a lot of drop off. First impressions count. So does your website really look great? Does it the feel that they could trust you? And then so in the middle they’re working out whether you can solve that problem or not. Generally, they’ll probably have moved on to your website by this point. 

At the top of the funnel, it is all about social media, then the bottom of funnel, you’ll have some sort of conversion process out there on the website, if you’re an E commerce shop, or some inquiry process if you’re a b2b. Where it can’t be bought straight online. So again, where does social media fit into this funnel, whereas at the top end, it’s the social, it’s your blog, your posts, you know, things, you’ve shared your expertise, maybe you’ve done a fundraising event with a charity, and you’re generally pushing that out there. 

Video is becoming more and more important in this process. And then we’ve got webinars, workshops, things like today, where we’ve put the event, we this is where I think LinkedIn events is going to be quite a growth area, I think for LinkedIn, as more and more people realise that, you know, we’ve all seen the talking heads to camera type things. Not particularly convincing work. 

Podcasts are quite popular. Where you’ve got two people having a structured conversation. Where we’re pushing it is in live workshops. Then hopefully, they’ll like things you’ve done, like things we do and so forth. 

Net Hub networking will be launched next week. And then hopefully, you can then start to if you want to, ask for expertise, share ideas, and so forth, and build a community of people of people like, who share those same views with. 

And then we talked about web chat last week, but make sure that when people do come through you social media, that they do land on your website and that they’ve got some sort of web chat or live chat on there, so that they can then converse with you easily. 

Not many people trust forms because you press a button and it disappears. Well, with the web chat and the bots, they do simulate a conversation. And if you’ve got FAQs, then they can start to get answers to the questions of whether you can solve their problem. And if you can solve the problem, can you do it cost effectively? 

So what are some of the tools? So most people who post onto social media will use a thing called canva.com. It’s great tool that has loads of templates. If you’re not very creative graphically, but you want to put out a message, they’ve got huge amounts of templates. These are just examples of some of the things we’ve done. We do it from scratch, obviously, because we’re an agency, but there are plenty of templates in there that can help you develop this stuff without being a graphic designer. That, I think, is a block for quite a few people – they know the message, but they’re not very creative. 

You can pay people on a thing called Fiverr. There’s some really talented people on there. We rarely pay for this, we do have an account. So there are premium versions of things and sometimes I notice we get an invoice from them. But most of the time, the guys just use the free elements. And Photoshop, Adobe did have an online version of Photoshop, but then they just made it a mobile version. So I then had to go back out and have a look, we use MAC’s, but only a certain number of the team use the Adobe Creative Suite, because it’s 59 pounds a month per seat. So I only do the occasional bits of graphics editing and cutting. 

So there’s pixilla.com if you’ve got a Mac, for example, and don’t particularly want to buy the Adobe Suite. With Windows, there used to be paint I’m not sure what it’s called now since it’s a few years since I’ve done anything on a Windows machine. I think you can still download paint. But this is similar to that. It allows you to cut and paste chop things or crop, resize – most people that’s all they use it for. 

One of the problems you sometimes have when you take a photograph with a camera is that it’s a huge file. Whereas actually, for social media, you only need something like 600 pixels by 600 pixels. This allows you to resize them. Also, with the latest version of Facebook, with what’s called the business page, they can post to both Instagram and Facebook. But you need to have the images right sized. So this is a game where something like pixilla could come in. 

And more and more people are maybe doing a video on their camera. You know, cameras are are excellent these days, this was recommended to me by a videographer actually. And you can go along to kaplan.com and it for most of it is free. So again, the biggest thing I found with videos is you might have two or three really great shots you want to stitch together, you want to maybe put up a banner at the start saying what the video is about and so forth. Well, Kaplan is great for that. And again, it’s free. Obviously, there’s more sophisticated elements, but the main ones free. 

So how do we make this work? So first of all, failing to plan is planning to fail. So what are you going to be posting out? You know, you’ll see things like motivation one day throwback Thursdays. 

So Williams asked speeding mobile responses, our problems. So if we go back to this slide. Yeah, if you reduce the size of the image, you’ll speed up the mobile response. If you’re taking photographs of things, and then just uploading, this is probably a website question rather than social media. If you don’t resize them, your website will be incredibly slow. So yes, so you reduce the number of pixels. If you google them, it’ll tell you what they need to be for the various Facebook, LinkedIn and so forth. But on the websites, obviously, the social media optimises it for you. But the on a website you have to do it.

So on the content marketing plan. This is when you decide what you’re going to put out. So we talked about motivational Monday’s throwback Thursdays fun Fridays and so forth. So think about how often you’re going to post. One of the issues for most people is time. Now, we’re going to be talking about sort of scheduling software, things like buffer. So you can do it all in one go. So you’ve got your creative head on, you put a few hours aside, you’ve got your Canva open, and you think about, if you remember, in the previous things, we talked about the pain, what problems you’re trying to solve? So can you do a post on different types of problems? And if you break it down, if you’re going to have one message per post, so on here, you can see things like, thought provoking questions, maybe maybe an educational article, you know, your sales pitch, your latest offer, or whatever.

You’ve got to remember, it’s time to think about what your customer would want to see, what problems you’re hoping to solve for them. It’s surprising how much traffic – we ran a group for law sector suppliers, and they were putting out great articles all the time, and majority of the traffic that came to the website was from LinkedIn, people reading so forth, prior to COVID hitting us all, they’d get 2000 views per article. Now, we do have to work a lot harder to get those because there’s so many more people on there. But if you’re consistent, and you’re thoughtful in how you do this, then it can it raise your profile. 

If you’re a small supplier or some small company, and you don’t have a lot of time, just try doing one post a week, and think about the platforms you need to go on. If you’re business to business, then you might push it out on LinkedIn, you might put it out on Twitter, but the buffer tool will take care of all that. But if you’re selling to consumers, and you’re looking for a considerable amount of turnover from them, then you need be a lot more a lot more thoughtful in the presentation of it, essentially media. 

Okay, so some of the types of content you can use. So you can share your expertise. You can write blogs and articles that are on your website, and then promote those. That can be a fantastic way to get traffic to your site. We’ve got a case studies, stories about how you solve people’s problems is a good one. And you can interact with other people’s posts and articles. 

So I’ve got 30,000 connections, my feed could be absolute rubbish, but because you’ve got the hashtags on there, then, you know, my feed is actually quite good. And if I interact, because LinkedIn has been working on the algorithms behind the feed, then I actually get to see all my customers posts. If you’ve got a new customer, I have to go and look for them. And then like them, follow them. But once I do that, then they appear. And then I can interact with customers and contacts. And we find it very effective for promoting these webinars, these events. 

If you’re launching new things, winning awards is a favourite one. And then you can use it for your own PR. And then for any sort of news stories, you can go onto a particular feed that’s relevant to your sector, and then you can share it and any charitable projects that you’ve got going. It’s great for your corporate social responsibility, shows you care and what you’re interested in.

So some of the tasks you need to do for social media. So you need to send out regular relevant posts, do what you can but do it regularly. So you should aim to do a post at least once a week. If you do a content plan, and plan it out, then there’s no reason why that can’t be achieved. And so for startups, we recommend buffer. It’s what we started with. We now do HootSuite, but it’s not the easiest package. But it does give us a lot more information. We also use social pilot and sendible, but we decided to go more for for HootSuite, as it allows you to share your posts across multiple platforms. So if you’re not sure whether you should be on Facebook or not, but you’re producing the a post for LinkedIn, for example, then posting onto Facebook at the same time isn’t an issue or any extra work. Now, some people might argue that the post should be different. And that’s that’s possibly the case, depending on the company. But what we have found is if you’re a business to business, and you’ve got a Facebook page, your employees or future employees can see your things as well. 

If you’re a plumber, or plumbing company, any type of sort of construction company, having a Facebook page may not be for your customers because they won’t care. But your future employees will, and it can be part of your recruitment efforts, because any future employee looking to work for you will check out your social media. And if you’re not on Facebook, then that that might that might go against you. 

They all come with analytics. So look at what’s available. And then you can identify what works and what doesn’t. But the secret to doing social media successfully is just creating a habit, because it’s not something you do and then just forget about. People go oh yeah, I’ve got social media and they look at it, the last time they posted was two years ago. 

So we were playing with a tool called Mentimeter. And it was all about the biggest concern at the moment and one of the guys on it, who produces paper cups discovered in the Mentimeter session that he could vote Several times so he boosted his own paper cups, but I then put that up on LinkedIn as an interesting thing. We got lots of likes comments and shares from that because it made it part of the conversation. 

So let’s do a quick run of the different platforms. Buffer is the free scheduling tool that I talked about. There is a pricing structure, but if you’re a small company, I think it’s less than three channels, then it’s the the best tool that we’ve found for small businesses on a budget. 

Google My Business. To claim it for your business, Google send you a postcard to the address and that’s how you confirm that you are the owner of that business. So please do make sure you can edit your your Google My Business listing. The way to do it is to type in your company name. We have to put marketing after it because unfortunately, KUB stands for lots of things these days, it didn’t when I first set up the company 20 odd years ago, but it does now. But you type that in. It’s super important you do have access to this because if somebody puts a bad review, you need to be able to respond to it because Google will not take it down. If somebody puts a one star, you need to respond to it and investigate it and so forth, and then respond professionally, in a positive manner. Don’t even think about being critical or negative. Otherwise, that’ll start a conversation that you can’t stop or control. 

Google My Business, it actually tells you how many people are clicking through. So we get all the reports monthly, as to how many clicks people have had, and new searches and so forth. It’s kind of linked to your search console, Google Search Console, which we talked about last week. But it is super important because you because if we just go back a slide these pictures appear. And they regularly get lots of views from the photos, people love imagery, they love to see, solutions to problems. And then you can get then a chart of your reports, all this is free by the way. 

For b2b, we’ve got LinkedIn, some 40 million people on there now, which continues to grow. The largest demographic is 46-55-year-olds. So it tends to be more senior people who are on here, which is great when you’re trying to get past the gatekeepers or trying to find out who does what. For those who don’t know, you have a personal page and business page. 

So one of the things we discovered a few weeks ago was that we created a page for Vision2Success. KUB is the underlying company, but we needed 150 people to have liked the page. So we’re having to stream it over the KUB page. Now you can invite people, you get about 100 invites per month. And so one of the tasks to do and if you are b2b is to find somebody a company, who will click on or who will invite people each month to like the page. Obviously, you’re there to connect with people, engage with people, and also provide that social proof as to what you do. And then we’ve been developing our own social media for ourselves. And it’s interesting, the journey that our own social media has gone on in order to get the necessary engagement. 

When I started KUB, the colours of black and white, then I added green. And then my daughter joined me six years ago, she then added complementary colours of red and blue sorry. And now our posts, we’ve got a new social media person and she’s really rounded up the colour aspects of it. It’s interesting though, we’re getting a lot more engagement. So things have to be a lot more eye-catching than they used to be. The so LinkedIn ads, this is a really interesting one. I don’t know how many of you had a chance to play with the LinkedIn ads, they can be seriously expensive if you don’t get it right. 

What I find really strange is that whenever talk about people using LinkedIn to have a conversation with somebody, we never sell or pitch. But these first two ads, the conversation as the message ad are directly emails directly into your inbox. And every time people just pitch in them. We don’t we don’t typically understand that. These single image ads and the job apps, whether they appear in the feed, those can be useful but have to be really well done in order to make sure they work. And then you’ve got these ads at the top which I think are for big companies. That’s our personal view. 

As I said, Facebook quarter of the planet, largest demographic is 25 to 34-year-olds, so it’s a slightly younger audience. You know, it’s about, again, building a good profile, keeping it up to date, continue to find ways to invite people – it’s gotta be, again, consistent. And make sure your pinned post is actually relevant and useful. And please, please make sure you manage your reviews. 

So here’s an example of a business to business page, sort of semi business to consumer, somebody who’s selling via LinkedIn to build a LinkedIn community. And she runs a thing on Thursday morning. But you can create as a support community. So as I mentioned earlier, I’ve used it quite a few times in the past myself. This is business suite. So essentially, this is what you have need to get head round. 

There is also ad managers. But there’s no way we can cover that in this sort of space of time this morning, unfortunately. Instagram’s biggest demographic is 25 to 34 year olds. Here, it needs to look pretty, it needs to look organised, it needs to look consistent. If you want to create a good following, it does does require some planning. So don’t just put any old things onto Instagram, it needs a lot more curation than the other channels. So I would suggest with Instagram either do it or don’t, there’s no halfway house. The Instagram audience aren’t very forgiving. 

And Twitter. I think it does have a role. And I certainly wouldn’t spend any customers money on it, unless we were involved in any of these. So I know one couldn’t be sold education, things like schools. Law do seem to like it, obviously political celebrities and PR. If you’re big Twitter fanatic, then yes, maybe, but certainly we never sell, we always post out to Twitter. But we don’t make it a key part of the strategy. 

YouTube, second largest search engine with 3 billion searches a month. You know, the younger generations are definitely the YouTube generation. Although I was at the British Irish trade association the other day, and one guy signed up to the premium version of YouTube so he doesn’t get the adverts and he reckons he spends 100 hours on it. And he was probably mid-late 30s or 40s. So it is used a lot, I do find myself using it to get answers. 

And I think TikTok will do something, it’s tricky. As a business, are you getting TikTok videos done? Find people who are willing to do them, and so forth. So it’s probably not for mainstream agencies yet. But we do need to get our heads around it.

Podcasts. We’ve got a couple of clients who are global experts in what they do. So they’re recorded using Riverside and then distributed to the anchor zone via Spotify. So it makes a lot of sense to do that if you want to distribute it. And we’ve now worked out how to display the podcasts on the website, so we’re having to do more and more. It’s a little bit tricky to do it, but then once it’s set up, it works really well. This is what technology we’re using this morning as we’re streaming this workshop. It’s pretty easy to use in terms of technology just gets a bit complex when you’ve got so much going on. But I think you’ll see more workshops, in live streams, because people just sometimes want to watch but they don’t want to enter. 

So just bringing it all together, so you got to think about a customer. First, we always start with customers, what will they engage in? There’s no point putting stuff out thinking, Oh, I wonder if this is right, if you’re not sure, go ask them. Or go look at what your competitors are putting out, and then see what engagement they’ve got. If they’re engaging in particular posts, then you can do something similar. And then think about what you realistically can do, it is for life. It’s like a dog, you’ve got to look after it. 

So what can you do? How many posts can you do? Can you do any video? This will become more and more pressing. And also, we had a conversation with a manufacturer of metal products. And we talked about how to get personality into it. So we were thinking about getting a character off the shop floor, and somebody who doesn’t mind being the extrovert and getting them maybe to do some demos or talk about the product. So you add that kind of human element into it. 

And then there’s always, stick a baby cat, rabbit or dog into a picture. And that always kind of adds things but hopefully does not detract. And you know, what, you can engage in other people’s posts? How can you help other people? And charity events always are always good, you know, doesn’t matter what platform you’re on? If you’re law firm accountant so forth. Why it’s quite hard to do their social media, what charity events can they get? How can they help the community and so forth? 

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