This Concise Webinar focuses on managing social media for business. We discuss the latest Tips, Traps and Tools to increase customer engagement, generate more sales and provide better customer service & support.
The webinar is presented by Gareth Lane & Richard Keeves. We cover:
Richard: Welcome everybody to this Concise Webinar. My name is Richard Keeves this webinar is on social media, social media for business and I’d also like to introduce my friend and colleague Gareth Lane. Good day Gareth.
Gareth: Thanks Richard. Gareth Lane here and I definitely do not do sing requests. I think I was born after Bohemian Rhapsody came out. I will defer to Richard on this topic but I will add my two cents where required.
Richard: Okay. Excellent. That will mean absolutely nothing to anybody who wasn’t here in the waiting room prior to the webinar starting.
Gareth: Better get on with our Concise Webinar then.
Richard: Yes, let’s get on with our Concise Webinar. This is a Concise Webinar. Welcome to it everybody. Thank you very much for joining us. For those people who haven’t been to one of our webinars before we do try to keep these 100% educational. It’s about business information you can use and hopefully use straight after the webinar or even during it if you wish. We are recording this session and hopefully. You’re very welcome to ask questions as we go through and hopefully there’ll be question time at the end.
This session is on social media. There’s a fair bit to cover and forgive me if the visuals aren’t our normal graphical selves because this is kind of sort of info rich hopefully. How to do a fast social media audit is where we’re going to start with this one because we believe that the starting point for any effective use of social media is to understand what the heck is going on now and then what you need to be or could be doing and then put plans in place in order to do what is best to do.
Rather than an ad hoc approach we advocate a strategic approach to pretty much everything and certainly social media is no exception. Start with a social media audit. You can do this yourself or you can get an organization such as us to do this sort of thing for you but you can do it yourself. There’s a bit of time and work involved and you’ve got to sort of think through what you need to have. Let’s start with how we would approach the social media audit.
The first thing to do is to look for the social media accounts that your organization or people within your organization have that are active and representing your business. If the managing director of the company has got a personal Facebook account and post or the wife of the managing director of the company has a personal Facebook account and posts things on the Facebook account on his or her Facebook page about the business then that’s a relevant social media account. It may not be in the name of the company but it may well be something that is being used to influence people out there about what they think about your business.
The first thing to do is to do a hunt. Track down all of the relevant social media accounts for your business and for the key people in the business and understand who’s doing what and who’s saying what about your business. Don’t just, firstly don’t just search the social media platforms. Search the web as well. Google the names. Google for example the name of the person in Facebook, the name of the person in LinkedIn and then just see what comes up. Google the name of your business. Google brand names that you sell. Understand what it is that is being talked about and how your business is being presented at the moment.
The second point there is to search for not just real accounts but also imposter accounts. Someone’s having sound issues. Hopefully you’re not having sound issues but can people just let me know. Can you hear me all right Gareth? Yes, okay. All right.
Gareth: Which is the software we’ve been using had a few issues this morning so maybe that’s why but I think they can hear us so I think we’re okay.
Richard: Okay, all right. Good. I can do songs later seeing you can hear me. Okay so anyway coming back to this, sorry about that. Don’t just look for the real ones. Look for imposter accounts. What happens in a lot of businesses is that your competitors or people who for whatever reason don’t like you. Could be an ex-employee for example and these are real or these imposters but they happen. People create social media accounts in order to cause you either mischief or harm. Hunt these things down and look for things that may not be currently in use but that may be outdated so the point here is find the starting point. Then check each of these accounts and make sure that each account is on brand. Make sure that it’s complete and or not complete necessary but consistent with how you want to be presenting your business in the community and to the business community.
The next step after that is to look to see what’s worked. Look to see what are the best posts on each of the social media accounts, those things that have got the best engagement, the best results. Look for not only the best things but look for patterns. Try to understand what has worked and what maybe hasn’t worked. Don’t focus too much on what hasn’t worked because chances are lots of things haven’t worked. Focus more on what has and try to get some lesson or learnings out of that.
The next point, point four here is to think about and identify what keywords you need to be promoting or could be promoting with. What hashtags might be relevant to your business? These may be your business name, maybe the brand names, maybe particular aspects of the products that you sell, maybe things that people do with the products. All of these things are useful because if you’re trying to promote on social media understand how people are looking for what you’re doing and how people may come across is really, really important. Do this as part of your initial audit.
The next point there point five, clarify the audience. For each profile, each network, each social channel has its own generally has its own type of audience. It has generally different demographic, potentially different demographics and different people may have different approaches to how they use it. In marketing language we call that the persona, the persona of individuals, of typical individuals who represent groups of customers.
You can actually prepare personas that describe the person and their behaviour and what they do and what they like to do and what they don’t want to do in each of the different channels, what they’re looking for and how they may respond. Once you start thinking about that and having a persona that actually describes the representation of a customer segment you can then start targeting things more effectively to them or at least that’s our experience.
Point six create goals. What is it that you want each of the channels to do and then evaluate the performance both past and current of how things are stacking up or not stacking up against that channel? There you can determine particular performance indicators, KPIs for each of these channels and then look over time to see whether they are being achieved or not because social media can be very effective or it can be an incredible waste of time and money. Sometimes for some organizations it’s both. Some parts of it are effective. Other parts are a big time sink. Work out what’s working and work out how to make things work better.
Then decide the priorities. Decide the most important channels for your business and decide the responsibilities. Who’s going to take responsibility for each account, the brand management, the posts and the performance? How are you going to assess results and not only that decide the processes about how you’re going to plan and prepare and review and approve content. Someone’s got to put posts up. Someone’s got to start stimulating conversations.
You can get a lot of user engagement but you often have to initiate that and so think about how that’s going to work. We recommend to do that as part of the audit so that you can then start with a good outline of where you’re up to and what plan is going to make the most sense. That’s quickly how to do a DIY audit and as I say you can DIY or you can get someone else to help you with it. This is going to look like a lot.
The next thing I’d like to just quickly run through are some tips for creating and sharing content. 22 is a large number. It just worked out that way. There’s no magic in the number but basically to start off with do your research. Don’t just guess. Guessing’s not bad but research is better. Make sure that the content is helpful to your audience. Focus on the wants and the pain points, the problems people have and address those things.
Point four there think about this is stimulating a conversation. This is about one to one conversations but on a mass scale. One to one, not one to many. Broadcast is one to many where you have one voice and it’s heard by many people. Social media looks like that but the most effective way to manage social media is thinking of it one-to-one conversations on a mass scale. That’s part of what the whole digital age is all about as well.
Understand the language of the people with to whom you’re trying to convert but also do it in your voice. Your voice is that which is representing your business. You understand their language, speak their language but do so in your voice.
Look at FAQs. They’re a great way to think about content to use. Make sure that the content that you put out is unique, original content. Oh hello doubled up on that one. Engage and listen to feedback. I mentioned before about popular hashtags. When you put URLs out to link back to pages you can use a shortened URL so it’s not some huge big long thing in the social post. You can use bitly as a way or other URL shorteners to present a short URL that’s far more easily digestible.
Not only that, point 12 about UTM tags. UTM stands for Urchin Traffic Monitor. Don’t worry too much about what it stands for but that’s what does stand for. Some people think it stands for like universal tag for marketing or something like that. It’s not. Urchin Traffic Monitor was actually was what how google analytics started out using a lot of code from Urchin which was a traffic analysis system. UTM has become this kind of generic name for some tags that are added into a web address that contain information about or can contain information to be able to identify the source and the medium that it came through and the campaign. All of that can be tracked back so your analytics can give you exact information about where somebody came, which post even somebody came from to come back into your website to buy a particular product. With the use of UTM tags you can get really, really detailed analysis.
Point thirteen, when you’re thinking about content think about seasonal topics and you can reuse topic, some sort of conceptual content year after year or season after season. Use humour. A friend of mine runs a very successful business and he uses Facebook pretty much solely to promote and he has got thousands and thousands of customers both in America and around the world. He uses humour. He puts out probably three jokes for every one commercial sort of product type of post. The jokes get shared by people who then see his name, see his business name and then come back into his website.
Probably the humour works just as much and the humour works better for people to share things as long as it’s branded so that you can then get the benefit of that. Contests, questions, polls, ask people to ask you questions, test their knowledge. Focus on customers. There’s lots of ideas for content. I mean it’s really like some people say I can’t think of what to post. Come back to the list or various other lists around the place and stimulate encouraging conversations with the people out there. When in doubt frequently asked questions are a really good thing to start with.
The next point I’d like to quickly run through and I apologize if I’m going through this 100 miles an hour but this is about creating a social media calendar. Okay now I’m not sure what this graphic is. I’m going to show you something more a bit about this a bit later but what is a social media graphic. I’m not sure if you can see this very well because it’s not very clear. this is an empty calendar grabbed from a tool that I’m going to mention to you in a little while that allows you to see at a glance the posts that you’ve scheduled for a month or and or for the next month after that. You can then see exactly what things are going on.
Social media calendar is a plan of posts that are scheduled to be published. That’s what it is and how to create the social media calendar is firstly to understand what sort of categories of posts you’re going to be trying to put into the calendar or and put out into different social media. Understand the categories and sort of plan those. Think about the things that could be relevant in the different social media channels and then understand step two, the timing and the placement for posts in each of these categories.
Some times in days they’re better to post than others. It’s better to post something when a lot of people who are your target customers are likely to be using the channel rather than hours where no one is because firstly your post may not get noticed but secondly it just shows you a bit out of touch whereas if you are able to post at the time and days that people are there then you’re more likely to get that engagement assuming that Facebook or the other social platform actually does share your post.
One of the things we haven’t focused on in this presentation at all and just haven’t even mentioned it but I’m going to now and that is about social media advertising. This is about posts and putting messages out if you want to really sort of stimulate things in a positive way to target messages effectively and often more effectively because they’re more chance of getting seen then advertising in social media can be an effective way to go. Can also be a ridiculously expensive way to waste a lot of money quickly so you’ve got to think that one through and get some good help. With the social media calendar think about the time and the placement, create or find the content and then schedule it in the calendar and publish. It’s not hard. It’s just a process and like all processes it takes time and planning.
People often ask or sometimes ask how often should I post. It’s an interesting question and Sprout Social which is one of a management platform. It’s not the one we use but a management platform have put this information together how often to post. Facebook, pages post maybe one to two times a day. Twitter, three to ten times a day. Maybe. This is not gospel. This may or may not work for you. In fact the use of Twitter in some organizations is a big time sink. Others make it work. Others it’s a total waste of time. This needs to be thought through and applied in your individual business situation but you can see there. This is not about posting once a month. It’s not about posting once a week. It’s about posting regularly with info that makes sense. Although LinkedIn there one to two times a week. I would question that and I think well if you’ve got interesting stuff to share to people then do that on a regular basis.
The other thing here that’s really important is about workflow. Unless you’re doing this all yourself then you ideally you’ve got a team of people. If someone else is involved with you then somebody is creating the post or thinking about planning them and then it’s really good to have a process where somebody else can review the post before it’s put out and approve it or suggest to improve it. Get that feedback prior to posting it can make a huge difference. Workflow, if you’re not sure of what workflow means. Workflow is the process of passing something from one person to another in a structured fashion so that you can then get a structured approval process or a review process. Social media it’s actually really important.
Tips for engaging conversations. This is a bit simpler in a way. The first thing we would say is understand the goals. What is it that you’re trying to do? Are you trying to change the public perception of your brand? Are you trying to develop new leads? Do you want to get people to come into your website? Are you collecting feedback? Do you want to educate? Do you want to provide customer service and support? What’s the purpose of the post?
Then that’ll help you understand how to engage and what the engagement actually is going to look like and what a successful engagement is going to look like. The other points there yes know your audience. This is like rule number one in marketing. Know your customer, know what they want, understand them a bit or a lot. The other point there at the end be human.
A lot of people use automated bots in their social media management. I saw one the other day that actually worked really well but nine times out of ten they’re just rubbish. They give stupid responses to humans who are asking intelligent questions and the bloody bot gives a stupid response that doesn’t happen. It doesn’t make anyone happy and all it does it just shows the business doesn’t really care. They’d rather automate than provide good service so be really careful how you use automated bots, the chat bots that are available to use.
A lot of people think they’re great. I’m not so much sceptical. It’s just that they take a lot of thought to set up properly. They are very few that are set up well. As I saw one the other day and that’s I said nine out of ten. It’s probably more like 99 out of 100 are not set up very well. Think that through if you’re going to use automated bots.
Gareth: Can I add a comment there?
Richard: You absolutely can Gareth.
Gareth: Just on this knowing your audience. Two things here and the first is knowing what platform your audience is and depending on what type of product you have and what type of business you have you may find that um certain social media platforms your audience are not using. If you’re targeting say millennials for example or people under the age of about 28, 30 you’ll probably find that they’re not really on Facebook anymore.
If you’re doing a social media strategy and you start with Facebook you may work out the social media is not for you. You may find that you have to try Instagram so I guess the point is do your research to work out if your intended audience is on, sorry which platform your intended audience is on and make sure you do a bit of research before you start investing a lot of time and energy in that platform.
The second thing is to ask yourself whether or not your intended audience is even using social media in the first place. I always use my dad as an example. He’s a retired engineer who couldn’t think of anything worse than social media. His phone is for making phone calls and his computer is for sending emails. If you are intending to target that sort of demographic and he’s your primary customer then social media is not where he lives. Just always ask yourself that question are my intended audience even using social media in the first place.
Richard: Which is a really good point but it’s also important not to generalize and to use a sample of one as the basis for your generalization because I can equally point to thousands of people who are the same age as Gareth’s dad who do use social media and who live on social media because it’s a great form of communication for how they keep in touch with their family or their friends. It’s really important I think to understand as Gareth said, understand the audience and know the type of demographics that use it and don’t use it.
There are lots of people who are who are 65 to 80 who love Facebook. They don’t love Instagram. There are lots of people who are 30 and younger who actually don’t use Facebook very much at all but they use Instagram. Okay, do you want to add to that Gareth?
Gareth: No, that’s it. You’ve got to get moving.
Richard: I’ll get moving, concise. Okay so just a quick one that Concise we have just started over the last few weeks and months. We’ve been doing social media work for lots of people for a long time but we’ve just sort of started to formalize that. I just want to quickly mention how we suggest to do it and our approach for social media management and that is that when a client comes to us and says can you help us manage our social media. We don’t say oh sure we’ll do everything for you. We say oh wait, hang on. You need to be doing a lot of the management of the social media or the engagement of it.
We can help you plan it and we can help guide you through the best way to get the best results but someone in your business needs to take responsibility for the engagement with your customers because only you know your business really well and you don’t want someone who’s, you don’t want to outsource. We are not the company to whom you outsource the engagement work for your business. Our view is you need to insource that. Take that as a responsibility for how your business talks to its customers and if you outsource that you do so at your own peril.
There are some social media agencies who will happily take all that on and they will manage and look after every little chat that goes on Facebook or in-store or whatever and they will pass on leads to you and they will charge you a lot of time and money for their service. We try to be a bit more efficient in that way but equally strategically it’s about who takes the responsibility for communicating as the voice of your business. We say you should or not should but we say you are best to.
Our approach is you and your team schedule and publish your content, you manage the engagement and how we can help is we can help with the audit if required. We can help you plan the best strategies. We can provide a good online platform to help make it efficient. We can help with content preparation. We have a whole team of people doing content preparation work if required and also we can help work with you each month to help guide and monitor the results. That’s how we find it most efficient.
We’ve actually just started to use a new tool that we have done extensive research at what’s out there. The tool that we like and we use and recommend is a platform that’s called Agorapulse. I’m just going to quickly show you that in a sec but the things that you can do and I’m not trying to sell you Agorapulse or any other system you use whatever system you want, whatever tools you want but we think Agorapulse is actually a very good one.
That’s what we use as an agency. We have an enterprise license for it and so if you want to use a tool like Agorapulse we can connect you into it at a lower cost than what you would do if you went directly anyway but I just want to quickly mention what it can do, what you can do with it that you can connect the social profiles, you can use it to manage the engagement. You can schedule and publish the content. You do all the things we talked about. You can listen and one of the things I haven’t mentioned actually you can use Agora to listen to mentions of your brand and your keywords in social media which is actually potentially really important.
You can have the workflow and you can also track conversations, you can measure metrics and you can do all sorts of other clever things including having a shared calendar that you can publish and share to your team. There’s a mobile app. You can have the UTM tags, bitly. Like for us we had a checklist of things that we said before a platform that we use before we take that on we want to make sure it does all the important things and also is priced effectively so that it works for our client who are generally small to medium businesses and who don’t have a lot of money to waste on massively expensive things. That’s why we’ve chosen this.
I’m just going too quickly if I can if I’m clever enough to do this, can you see my screen now Gareth? Hopefully. Can you see my screen? Excellent. Okay so this is just a quick one and again I’m just showing you this so you can kind of get it and if you then you can understand it. If you want to take it further I’m happy to talk to you about it but this is what, this is the tool we use Agorapulse.
It’s got some interesting features and it’s got scheduling options. Another time we can do a demo of this if you want but scheduling options. A social inbox that where all of the conversations that are happening in all of the social media can come into a single space so you can manage those effectively. There are reports that you can get that are all pretty cool. You can collaborate with your team and make sure that everything is worked out. There’s actually something that they have called a shared calendar that you can then share with people inside your organization and so that people can review and approve things really easily.
It’s also got something that was a feature for us that we really liked and some social management platforms have them, some don’t. That is a built-in CRM. It’s not a CRM in the sort of the huge CRM sense of the word but it allows you to track each conversation so that when you have a conversation with someone over a period of time you can easily go to that conversation and see past chats that you’ve had with that person. There’s a lot there.
It’s got uh an inbox. I mean I just it’s kind of got a whole heap of stuff so anyway that’s what the system is about. Just one thing here that I was hoping to show you just quickly is the shared calendar where you can easily pass on the information to other people in your business and people can accept it, reject it and add their comments to it. It’s an interesting system. You can go to Agorapulse direct. You don’t need to do it through us and you don’t have to use Agora pulse at all but if you did want to and you wanted to get our guidance with it then that is the tool that we would suggest to use.
That’s pretty much it. I apologize for the kind of Speedy Gonzales race through the webinar today but I hope that’s been of some help to you. If you’ve got any questions now’s a great time to ask. Gareth, is there anything else that you would like to say on this?
Gareth: It’s a big topic and I think that you could easily spend a webinar on every little part of this but I think the number one overall thing is just to really ask yourself what’s your objective, what are you trying to achieve. I find a lot of people do social media without really having a strategy, without really keeping on top of it and then six months into it they kind of give up and go well, social media is a waste of time but they never really gave it a proper go. If you are going to going to do it and you are going to run with it then then start with one.
Find a platform that is where your customers are, give it a trial run, make sure you put it a good effort in and then review. Don’t try and do five platforms in one go unless you’ve got some serious resources and time or a third party to help you I think is my two cents.
Richard: Yes, thank you and also I’d like to thank Carmel for saying she likes the Speedy Gonzales approach. Thanks Carmel. Great for busy working business owners. Yes, that’s what we think as well that’s why we try to keep these concise.
Gareth: If you feel like leaving us a review on our Facebook page that would be great.
Richard: Facebook page or our google. Thanks very much for your comments.
Gareth: Appreciate it.
Richard: Okay, that’s it guys. I’m happy to talk any of this further if you want to follow up on anything. Again, as we as we’ve said before we’re happy to spend time with you either on the phone or whatever. If you’ve bothered to come to one of our webinars we’re happy to devote time to talk with you about this no charge just to help you answer any questions that you’ve got after this.
Upcoming webinars. These are some of the upcoming ones about turning ideas and vision into successful website, e-commerce logistics, customer support systems, pros and cons of Shopify and also how to use YouTube smarter. One that we’re thinking we’re going to add into this and this is a session which we may well run in a couple of weeks’ time is on email marketing. How to use email marketing more effectively.
We’ve done a bit on that and we’ve just got some new information that we’ve put together and I am thinking that that is something we may well schedule in a couple of weeks’ time. That’s it. Thank you very much for being part of our Concise Webinar today. If you want any more help or any info on this don’t hesitate to call. If you’ve got any songs that you’d like to request that we can sing before the next webinar just…
Gareth: I might have to find a new presenter if…
Richard: Oh my God. Anyway thanks very much.
Gareth: Thanks guys.
Richard: Thanks Gareth. Thanks everybody and have a great day. Thank you. See you.
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