We’re a week into the new year, so by now you should have taken down any remaining tinsel and chucked out any uneaten mince pies. With horrible 2020 firmly behind us, and new year’s resolutions probably already abandoned, it’s the perfect time to set proper goals for moving forward.
Rather than overwhelm yourself with unachievable business targets, why not begin with a simple social media strategy? It can be created to fit in with your time and budget, and is something you can do from home until the world rights itself again.
If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen the twelve tips I posted for the twelve days of Christmas. They’re simple hints and tweaks to get you started. In case you’re not on Insta (and why not??) here they are below…
1 LinkedIn Birthdays
If you don’t remember who three quarters of your contacts are, chances are they don’t remember you either. A quick, simple happy birthday message will remind them that you exist and encourage them to check out your profile as a reminder. This can lead to fresh conversations and potential business. And even if it doesn’t, it’s nice to be nice.
2 Twitter Cover Image
As with all social media platforms, a cover image that has the wow-factor can only be a good thing! (It’s also known as a header image.) Use a design package such as Canva to create fabulous cover images that are just the right size for each platform. Your cover image could be a branded picture, a photo of your products or it could reflect a current campaign you’re running.
3 Facebook Business Page
Make sure you’re using a business page and not a personal profile to showcase your business and engage with customers. Don’t worry if you’ve mistakenly set it up as a personal page, it’s easy to change. Invite people to like your page, but don’t get too hung up on the numbers. Quality beats quantity here, and the important thing is for people to be liking, commenting and sharing your posts.
4 Instagram Brand Identity
Develop an identity that mirrors your brand. It’s a brilliant opportunity to showcase your products, so make sure it’s done in a complementary way that utilizes your brand colour palette. If you offer services rather than products, use your colours (logo etc) to present a cohesive image. I didn’t always do this, and my page looks fresher and more professional since I changed the feel. I love it now!! (I hope you agree?!)
5 LinkedIn Recommendations
Don’t be shy! Ask people you’ve done business with to write you a recommendation. LinkedIn testimonials are fantastic, as everyone can see that they’re genuine. And as a bonus, the more recommendations you have that use your keywords, the better you’ll rank when anyone does a LinkedIn search for someone with your expertise. Now there’s something to celebrate!
6 Twitter Lists
Use Twitter lists to focus on conversations that matter to you and your business. You can create a list of industry influencers, colleagues, relevant hashtags – even your competitors. That way you can keep a handle on what’s going on without having to sift through reams of tweets to find what you need.
7 Facebook About Info
Fill in all details in your “About” section. Tell your story – people love stories! This is a superb opportunity to explain what your brand is about. In the new version of Facebook, your introductory sentence is visible on the left-hand side of your page, right beneath your profile picture, so make this clear and interesting. Don’t forget to use your keywords so that you’ll be found if people search for your products or services.
8 Instagram Hashtags
You can use up to 30 hashtags in an Instagram post, so make the most of these, Use hashtags that people are likely to be following to enhance your chances of your posts being shown to a wider audience. Also use your keywords as hashtags, locations, if relevant, and enduring terms – such as #quoteoftheday, #photographersofinstagram or #TBT (throwback Thursday). You can also use trending phrases – #newyear2021 is a good one for today. Many people follow hashtags and might see your posts even if they’re not yet following you.
9 LinkedIn Profile Pics
Never underestimate the power of a good photo. Your profile pic should be professional looking and engaging, but it doesn’t necessarily need to have been taken by a professional photographer. A nice, clear, smiling snap is fine. Headshots are better than full body images, and avoid pitfalls such as cropping out other people so that random hands are left in shot, blurry images, drunken party nights or – the worst – a logo instead of a face.
10 Twitter Language
You can’t edit a tweet once it’s been tweeted, so check your spelling before it goes. As a strong advocate of writing in plain English, I can’t stress highly enough the importance of using accessible language without jargon or abbreviations. You have 280 characters to get your message across – if that’s not enough the chances are you’re being too wordy. Review the message and make sure your point is clear and concise, ideally with enough room left for the odd relevant hashtag or two.
11 Facebook Mailing List Sign-ups and Pinterest
You can catch potential customers to nurture elsewhere through Facebook – here are two ways to do that… If you send a regular newsletter, you can include a sign-up form on your Facebook page. Mine is integrated with Mailchimp, and it’s a really simple, no-fuss way for anyone to subscribe. You can also have buttons leading to other social media platforms. I have one that goes to my old Pinterest account. I don’t use that much since jumping onto Instagram, but I’ll be reviving it this year, as it’s another great place for promoting your business.
12 Instagram Stories
Use stories to reach a wider audience. Other people’s stories are shown at the top of your profile so you can access them quickly if you’re interested – so, likewise, you want people to see your stories on their front page. Using animated gifs will make your story more fun and eye-catching. You can save stories as highlights that stay nicely available for anyone to see.
So there you have it! Twelve suggestions to set you off in a marketing frame of mind. If you need help to get set up, email me, send a message on LinkedIn or wave hello on Insta!
Wishing you a wonderful, happy, healthy, safe and successful 2021!