I had the great opportunity of presenting at the North Sydney Council Connect Your Business Event this past 14 February, 2017.
Therefore I thought it would be beneficial to summarise in this blog post what I have learnt so far, which is a lot! You have to know that I knew nothing the day I resigned from my full-time job doing food quality assurance to pursue my dream of having a café and baking full-time.
The two main Social Media platforms I use are Instagram and Facebook however I also have a Pinterest, Twitter and Google+ Pages account, which I never really update like I should. Google+ Pages is a must because it helps with the SEO of your website.
The main thing on any platform is to have a “point of difference” compared to your competitor or to other people in your industry. In my case because I love baking and old vintage things, I have decided to focus on always creating classic cake favourites. When I take photos I try and add some antiques and vintage props next to the cake. This gives me a uniqueness, as no other cake shops in Sydney are doing this at the moment, which will in turn attract more followers.
I recommend interacting with fellow colleagues and other people in your industry to gain insights as to what they are doing and current trends. Don’t think that because they might be selling the same service you have to be their enemy. You can actually benefit a lot from interacting with them. Another tip to use for all social media networks is to not try and sell your product all the time. Give something useful to your followers and customers. Maybe some tips, advice, news related to your industry or an inspirational quote for example.
It’s good to run competitions or give-aways on your social media networks if you want to increase the amount of followers you have or to just spread your name.
Facebook compared to Instagram has a more personal approach because you are able to find out who follows you, if you have mutual friends, where they live, work etc. Because of this you have the advantage of knowing who your audience is and therefore you can post more appropriate content at more adequate times so your followers have a higher chance of seeing it. If you go to your Insights and then posts, it will tell you at what times most the of your followers are online. You can also find your peak times on Instagram by going to Insights (if you have a business account) and then followers. It will tell you the day and the peaks where most of your followers are online at specific time.
- Make sure you have lots of reviews on your Page. The first thing we all do before we purchase something is read reviews.
- Make it clear to them how they can purchase of you. What might seem obvious to you, might not be to your customers. I suggest every few post to just remind them of how they can purchase.
- Try and tag services or other closely related entities that you work with.
- Always have an image. This allows your post to take up more space on people's walls, therefore they are more likely to see it.
- You can use up to 30 hashtags per post. Do your research first though. This will allow you to see which ones are being used the most. To do this I just search a word on instagram and see the number of post underneath it. The ones with higher posts are used more often so I suggest you stick to those. I change a few of my hashtags depending on the cake I am showcasing, however my main aim is to get Sydney based followers who will be more likely to buy a cake off me one day.
- It’s good to use Insta Stories as often as you can. You can upload a short video and this will stay on Instagram for 24 hours only, it will then get deleted. This helps to have a presence so your followers are constantly being reminded of you.
My hints and tricks:
- Have a schedule, preferably one month in advance of the posts you will be doing day by day. This makes it a lot quicker and easier to manage. Social media is not hard, it is just a bit time consuming. I use an excel spreadsheet.
- Post at least once a day on all of your platforms. Ideally 2 to 3 times a day would be great but I aim for just once at this stage.
- Always watermarks your images. This keeps your brand appearing in people’s faces. And it also means that people can’t simply re-use your image and then claim it’s theirs.
- Try and create some videos every now and then. Videos and Facebook Live are becoming increasingly popular now are days.
Useful Apps I use to help with my social media (most of these apps cost around US $1.50):
- Afterlight: Lets you edit images.
- Watermark: Allows you to create watermarks on your photos.
- Diptic or Layout: Lets you combine two, three, four or more photos together in different layouts and styles.
- Later: Allows you to schedule posts on Instagram. It will activate an alarm on your phone and you will then have to manually copy the caption on to Instagram, however it’s one of the best ones available for the time being. This app is currently free.
- Splice: Lets you edit videos and you can also place text on them.
I hope all of this can give you some valuable insights about how to use Social Media for your business. Please free to comment below or email me if you’d like to ask me anything specific.
Con Amor Gabriela X