Making a choice to create consistent social media content will have huge effects on your business, if you do it correctly, but building new habits takes time.
The most important step is getting started!!
Here are a few tips and tricks to consider as you move forward:
Consistency is key
Don’t worry if you’ve already missed a few days of the month, in fact, don’t worry if you miss a few each week! Aim to post 3-4 times/week to start. Honestly, you may even find that is the ideal frequency for you forever. As long as you post consistently and stay on brand, the frequency is less important. Choose topics and post types that are easily executable for you and don’t be afraid to batch, ie. create content for several posts at once, which will save time and energy!
You don’t have to recreate the wheel
Look for curated content (content created by others that you can easily share), as long as you include a personal caption that ties it back to you or your brand, it will have impact! Try google searches for popular quotes, motivational quotes, memes or even search by platform, ie. Instagram images. You can find some pretty cool graphics this way! Make sure to give credit to any photos or graphics where source is stated.
Patience is the other key
It takes time to build an engaged following. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get a lot of traction right away. The main thing is that you’re adding content, and whether people engage with it or not, they are seeing it and seeing you and your brand. Think of it this way, if you’re telling a story face to face, just because the recipient doesn’t interrupt at every pause to tell you they are listening doesn’t mean they’re not. Your audience is there and they are listening, just make sure you’re giving them enough of the story to keep their attention.
Get over yourself
It is daunting and overwhelming to post content that features you, but you have to do it! Think of your social platforms as virtual networking events. You wouldn’t show up at an event without showing your face, would you? Potential clients want to know YOU. While that doesn’t mean your entire feed needs to be your face, you should make regular appearances. The more informal the better! Let your audience get to know you, and chances are, they will like you too. People do business with people they like.
To get started, take a lot of selfies, delete them if you must, but get comfortable taking them. Start taking a few small videos, delete those too if you feel uncomfortable watching them, but keep doing it until you’re ready to start watching them, then start posting them. Remember, it shouldn’t be perfect! Think of the people you find the most influential on social media, chances are it is because you can relate to them!
So, that’s it, stop reading, grab your camera, take a selfie or a video, search for a cool quote or photo and get posting!
If you have any questions about any of these tips or tricks, please feel free to get in touch!
Andrea was looking for a total revamp of the ECDA site. Using footage from various performances, we created a dynamic video compilation to use as the featured slider, capturing viewer attention immediately as they enter the site.
The site also features several animated photo galleries, online registration, studio information, class descriptions and teacher bios. We brought in their instagram feed to bring more attention to their social media and also allowing for new content to appear every time a viewer revisits the site.
The look is clean and the punch of movement when you visit the site really brings the entire project to life!
Sandra Pike has a background in marketing, and it’s obvious.
She entered the realty industry eight years ago, after working in a variety of fields. Her pursuits included law enforcement, group home counselling and franchise ownership before breaking into the realty industry as an advertising sales representative. It didn’t take long before she realized that what she really needed to do, was become an agent herself.
So, she did…with gusto.
If you mention Sandra or her brand persona, ‘Deals in Heels’ to anyone in the Halifax region, they’ll know who you mean. Chances are, they, or someone they know, has recently worked with her to buy or sell their home.
It wasn’t always an easy road though.
At first, Sandra’s forward-thinking approach to real estate marketing had many in the industry scratching their heads. Despite this doubt, Sandra forged into the unknown, and created a path that has helped her become one of the most well-known real estate agents in the area. Her tenacity has led to multiple speaking opportunities, recognition on a national and international level and the creation of a highly successful team of her own, The Pike Group.
So, what is her secret, you may ask?
Well, as Sandra says, “it’s social”.
Social media, that is. When she entered the industry, she started sharing any and all accomplishments on her social media platforms. Her ‘centre of influence’; family, friends and close acquaintances took it from there and shared these achievements. This was all it took to get the ball rolling. From there, she began adding custom graphics and positioning to her posts. This attracted more engagement and a growing following. Leading to a referral frenzy that continues to fuel her business today.
It took four years in the industry to build up the courage to launch her brand persona, ‘Deals in Heels’. As an avid shoe lover and collector, this persona allowed Sandra to connect with potential clients on a personal level, one that was authentic to her, and it worked.
“Branding is your connection to yourself and your clients.” Sandra says in reference to her brand persona, Deals in Heels.
A consummate trend setter, Sandra began introducing selfies, virtual walk throughs, entertaining video segments and drone incorporation in her listings.
She was disrupting the Halifax real estate market and people were noticing. Lots of people, including executives at Facebook, who contacted her to become the first realtor in the world to initiate their artificial intelligence chatbox program on her website.
To stay top of mind, Sandra and her team use a mix of platforms to engage with their clients.
She treats Facebook as her storefront, where she posts new listings, events she is hosting and an ever-mounting number of success stories. Instagram is her relationship building portal, where she shows her personality through authentic content, infused with nods to mainstream fashion and fun video segments.
As her team grows, Sandra accredits consistency and industry leading service standards to their continued success. Her authentic approach to her business, her brand and her life, is apparent in her success.
Success, not only as a real estate agent, but also as a social media disruptor, industry trend setter, educator and overall Powerhouse, in heels.
Planning, creating and scheduling social content takes time and energy. Time and energy that, for most business owners, would rather use elsewhere.
That’s where I come in.
I help business owners reach their ideal markets through thoughtful and conversion-driven content.
Throughout my career, I have worked with over 60 brands and have created content for countless websites and social media accounts. As a result, I have developed a unique and proprietary approach to social media strategy and planning.
In it, I use a customized matrix comprised of elements from each of my proven content quadrants. Client content plans maximize the reach, engagement and conversion ability of each social media posting.
Each content plan begins with a monthly content calendar. The calendar has a detailed outline of weekly themes and a suggested daily post topics combining both curated and created items. Customized content designed to speak to their target base, allows for more engagement and interaction.
Clients have raved about the freedom that these plans have created. They have revelled at the hours that have opened up to focus on the revenue generating activities they enjoy most.
Welcome to the Brand Fan Girling series! Every few months I will be profiling brands doing great things, I hope you enjoy the first edition!
Stacy Chestnutt, Race Director for the Sole Sisters race series, has completed 60 marathons, 5 ultra-marathonsand 8 Ironman competitions.
She is a machine.
Stacy has always been a runner, but she didn’t always want to be a Race Director. In fact, her debut in race direction was simply meant to be a fundraising vehicle for her passion project. Girls Gone Gazelle is an organization that focuses on building self-confidence for girls through exercise and community during a very crucial point in their development.
How it started
That first Sole Sisters race, the one that was intended to be a one-time initiative to raise much needed funds, took on a life of its own. It had a perfectly positioned focus, catchy name and inclusive approach. The event was not only a massively success, it was the birth of a community of women working toward a common goal; building confidence through communal movement and physical activity.
Since then, the Sole Sisters brand has developed into a household name in Halifax and surrounding maritime towns. Each year, the series of race events consistently draws more than 3000 women from across the country and beyond.
This brand is a natural evolution from its Gazelle-based roots. Both programs aim to create an inclusive environment that promotes the importance of a healthy lifestyle and the mental health benefits of physical activity and community for girls and women.
The main event is untimed, eliminating the pressure and intimidation that can sometimes deter less experienced runners or walkers. When you add in chocolate stops, fire fighters, hugs and the best damn swag in the industry, it is the perfect recipe for an event that has evolved into a strong and powerful brand.
For Stacy, however, the business aspect is not where she is most focused. “There are better businesses, but they’re not about the people. Sole Sisters is about the people.” She says as we have coffee in a crowded café. Her passion is palpable, you can feel it in the air as she sits across the table regaling stories from the past seven years of race events.
As the race grew in popularity, so did Stacy’s dedication to the experience she was providing. She pays meticulous detail to race attributes to ensure the event is accessible to all women, regardless of physical fitness level or lifestyle. To bring women together in the months leading up to the event, she began organizing socials across Nova Scotia. Creating an experience that women couldn’t wait to be a part of, joining in droves, as teams, as families.
At the heart of it all, however, is the one-of-a-kind Sole Sisters race kit. Each year, the kits feature a signature purple tutu, (of which a new design debuts each year), the most blinged-up metals in the country (maybe the world?) and running shirts and gear that actually fit AND you’ll want to wear again. Each vendor partner is researched extensively to ensure that they fit the race series brand and mandate; improving the lives of women and girls.
This brand story is woven with tales of success and personal growth. One that sticks out in Stacy’s mind, and still brings her to tears when retelling, is the tale of two sisters that she coached as Gazelles who had graduated to become Sole Sisters Ambassadors. She remembers a day when they were attending one of the social events leading up to the event. The two were brimming with excitement as they had finally convinced their mother to join them. Their mother, whom had previously felt that attending a race event was out of her realm of ability, was inspired by seeing others participating and seeing this and the excitement and confidence that her daughters had gained gave her the courage to participate herself. These type of full circle experiences happen every year at the Sole Sisters events and it is powerful.
The event continues to grow, year over year. This growth is largely attributed to word of mouth exposure, a true indicator of the level of establishment and strength the brand holds. Additionally, successful social campaigns like #betheinspiration, #runHER and #TutuPower have shown success by disarming the common fears associated with participating in a race of this nature and making it an experience that is available for every woman.
As the success of the Sole Sisters brand grows, so does the amount of time and effort to continuously offer an empowering and rewarding experience for its participants. Stacy doesn’t mind though. As we wrap up our chat, she casually throws out “If there is something that you can love, it’s ok to work all the time. You have to have authentic passion to be successful.”
we Last month, I touched on several of the traditional marketing heavy hitters including insight on how to best implement each in an impactful marketing mix (if you missed that riveting post, not to worry, you can find it here).
For the second part and conclusion of this series, we will delve into several modern and emerging marketing mediums. In many cases, the development of these types of initiatives has provided small businesses with the opportunity to engage in marketing campaigns that were previously unattainable due to budget or target audience segmentation limitations.
For many, however, navigating these newer platforms is an intimidating and overwhelming undertaking. This month’s post will offer a little insight in an effort to help ease the transition.
LET’S GET DIGITAL, DIGITAL.
Digital advertising is extremely popular due to its versatility and micro-focused targeting. Typically categorized as static or dynamic, a digital ad is considered to be static if it includes a single image, without animation or video properties. Most Leaderboard banners, (typically found at the top of a web page) or Big Box banners (typically found along the right-hand side of a web page) are static ads. However, they may also include dynamic content. Dynamic ads will typically include a series of images in sequence, animation or produced video. Dynamic content may also pop up on a web page as a viewer interruption or be shown before popular videos as what is known as pre-roll positioning.
In both cases, digital ads are designed to drive conversion by directing viewers back to a dedicated landing page. The major benefit to digital advertising is the ability to micro-target an audience. Digital advertising campaigns are unique in their ability to target based on specific user behaviour and patterns. They also inspire direct conversion with an easy gateway (link) to a specific landing page or offer. They are 100% measurable, providing precise consumer demographic information such as age, gender, location, interests, income and more. Digital advertising statistics allow companies to build a detailed and highly accurate buyer persona, meaning that their campaigns have the opportunity to grow in effectiveness as they progress. And with the ability to make changes to message or imagery in real time, most digital campaigns result in above average conversion and/or brand awareness.
Keeping in mind that viewers have grown accustomed to digital advertising as a regular part of their internet experience, companies that are creative with their imagery and intuitive in their message will typically see better results. It is important to ensure that the user’s landing position is as promoted, the message is succinct and there is a clear call to action. Failure to institute these characteristics will decrease the chance of conversion dramatically.
Certainly, having amazing and impactful content encourages engagement and increases reach, however, organic content-generated conversion often takes time to materialize and can be difficult to pinpoint. As a result, many companies opt to supplement their content plan with a social media advertising campaign.
According to Big Commerce, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Snapchat are the six social networks that generate consistent Return on Investment (ROI). Determining which network will work best depends on a number of factors. Advertisers will want to consider how their targeted customers are using social networks, which groups they are part of, which networks their customers are deemed to be most available on, and finally, where target customers are most likely to engage with ads. Each which will require a certain amount of research to determine.
The beauty of social media is its ability to specifically target an audience and easily scale campaigns. These platforms collect an enormous amount of information about their users, which can be used to create targeted and impactful ad experiences, which, if implemented correctly, are guaranteed to generate conversions.
Social media advertising is a broad topic, one that could easily support its own blog post, however, for the purpose of this article, I will offer a brief overview of the most popular networks with a few useful links for anyone looking for more information on any of these platforms.
Facebook Facebook is described by BigCommerce as THE universal social media network. Facebook’s ad platform is most effective for lead generation, email collection and ecommerce conversions via landing pages or specific offers. You can find useful links on building, budgeting and targeting your Facebook campaign here.
Recently acquired by Facebook, Instagram is quickly becoming a contender in the social advertising stratosphere and is considered to have one of the highest audience engagement rates. It appeals to sellers with visually appealing products or services, given its heavy focus on imagery and typically appeals to a younger demographic. You can find useful links on building, budgeting and targeting your Instagram campaign here.
Twitter With a following that is almost 50% more likely to shop online than non-twitter users, it is often used to boost ecommerce platforms and direct conversions. Many companies use Website Cards which feature call to action buttons, imagery and direct links to encourage traffic to their site. Website Cards associated with tweets significantly increase the likelihood of engagement. You can find useful links on building, budgeting and targeting your Twitter campaign here.
Pinterest Pinterest is one of the most powerful social media tools for ecommerce sales. Highly visual and skewed toward women, it boasts high engagement, opportunities for custom product promotion and holds a captive and actively seeking audience. You can find useful links on building, budgeting and targeting your Pinterest campaign here.
LinkedIn LinkedIn’s focus is geared largely toward B2B marketing. Its audience is considered to have higher than average disposable income and tends to produce the most productive B2B leads. As a result, its ad platform includes sponsored content, sponsored InMail and targeted text ads. You can find useful links on building, budgeting and targeting your LinkedIn campaign here.
Snapchat Considered one of the newest platforms, Snapchat is the most used network by young adults, which is often its most redeeming feature for potential advertisers looking to reach the millennial market. There are a number of ways to advertise including static or video infeed ads, sponsored lenses, Snapchat Discover and Sponsored Geofilters. While Snapchat offers interesting and innovative ways to reach your audience, it is considered to be one of the more expensive platforms. You can find useful links on building, budgeting and targeting your Snapchat campaign here.
CHECK YOUR INBOX
Mass emailing gained popularity in the 1990s. In fact, it hit with such an impact it initiated the development of the Data Protection Act. Instituted in 1998, The DPA was created to marshal the massive amounts of spam emails being sent without user approval by requiring an opt-out option in every mass email sent. Further legislation was later put in place to help curb the massive spam and virus epidemic associated with email marketing, the most recent example of this being Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation( CASL).
While these legislations do make email database collection a more difficult and tedious undertaking, email marketing remains to be a very effective advertising means, mainly as it remains the most used application, beating out social media and search engine platforms across the board.
A few things to consider when crafting an email marketing campaign include:
Get permission! Not only is this good business etiquette, it is also the law (see above CASL link). Gaining consented email lists can be achieved in a number of ways. The most common approach is to offer a free download or other incentive with an email signup or via a newsletter subscription form.
Use a third-party software. Using an email program allows advertisers to easily include an opt-out link as legally required, automatically remove users that choose to opt out and ensures that promotional emails come from a professional looking address without jeopardizing the integrity of your email list.
Deliver value. Once a company has gained permission, it is important to follow through with consistent and relevant content, at the frequency expectations they have set. This can be accomplished by crafting a thought-out annual campaign before sending any content to an email list.
Track and adapt. Most email marketing programs will offer statistics including the percentage of people opening emails, clicking on links or forwarding to someone else. Actively tracking these metrics provides the ability to increase the effectiveness of email campaigns.
You can find useful links on building, budgeting and targeting your email marketing campaign here.
UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Influencer marketing is taking social media by storm. Influencer marketing places the focus on influential people rather than the target market as a whole. Companies identify the individuals who have influence over potential customers, and then orients their marketing activities around these influencers.This endorsement-driven content relies on adequately selecting brand advocates to reach the target market by using the advertiser’s product or service and sharing their experience with their followers, which are typically pre-deemed to be the correct target market by the advertising company. For potential clients who may distrust large companies, the personalized endorsement from someone they trust, or respect can have a lot more impact than traditional routes.A few things to keep in mind when considering brand advocate partnerships include:
Social Media Reach. Bigger is not always better. Certainly, reach is important, however, having lots of followers or fans doesn’t always equate increased engagement, particularly given the algorithms in place by most social media networks to drive paid ad sales. Advertisers should consider past engagement, keeping in mind the aim of their campaign and finding the balance between reach and engagement necessary to meet their needs.
Audience Segment. Advertisers should research potential partnerships to ensure the influencer’s audience matches their target demographic. Substantial reach has little impact if the product or message doesn’t resonate with the audience.
Approach. Influencers that take a natural approach, that is, show value rather than actively sell something, typically have more a more engaged and loyal following. Successful influencers know that there is a balance necessary between sales posts and lifestyle posts.
To track ROI for these types of campaigns, advertisers may consider offering a specific offer for each influencer so that they can easily track the effectiveness of each campaign. You can find more information on these points and more here.
While this isn’t a comprehensive list of modern marketing mediums, I have touched on some of the most popular for this article, that said, if you have questions about anything not mentioned here, don’t hesitate to reach out!
Thanks for reading, if you’d like to read previous entries, you can find the archive hereand please feel free to share this content if you feel it could be beneficial to a business owner you know! ~ Alix