When last did you sit down and take a look at your social media presence and see what is working for you and what isn’t?
As a social media manager, I try to make sure I am abreast of all things related to social media – because just like anything related to the web and technology, things change daily!
So, it would make sense for me to take a look at what trends are big in 2020 and what is still to come, and I thought it would be very cool of me to share it with you.
As a business owner you would be remiss to not have a social media presence these days as that is where 95% of conversion from lead to purchase generally takes place.
Let us take a closer look at what I do for clients when it comes to social media and then also touch on the trends which we can all take note of and use going forward.
How I do social media
Social media for me is in the blood now. It is my main niche when it comes to the work that I do for clients. I love it. I have a passion for it – but it can also be a headache somedays.
So, what is it exactly that I do?
I create thought provoking content for clients ranging from digital marketing agencies through to life coaches and PR companies. I have vast experience in many sectors of social media and have written content with spiritual undertones, information related to the automotive industry, real estate and much more.
Therefore, I know that with each client, with each business type, comes a new way of writing content and showcasing the business as a whole.
I also know that these things change often. What works this week could not work next week, and that is why I am forever looking at what is happening globally and applying it (where able and where relevant) to my clients.
So, what is trending?
- Brands are reevaluating – Businesses are taking a new look at what works for them on social media and what doesn’t and from what Sprout Social is telling us, 72% of marketers look at Likes and Comments to find out what to run with and what to bin. This makes sense because when you are getting a Like, or especially comments, it means people have taken notice and found what you have to say to be of relevance to them. The close second is 62% looking at shares and retweets.
- Interest driven versus “just because” – The trends show us that marketers are looking at making real connections with their actual target audience and not just anybody who engages with them (because not just anybody is who you are targeting). This means that they look at their target market as people and not just figures or sales. Marketers are saying, “What do you want? How are you feeling today and what can we give you or show you that can make that feeling change?” They want to know the real people behind the engagement and make them want to stick around. Just as an example, the new Instagram Threads allows one to share stories only with selected people, this gives a more personal touch and more connection, trust and integrity is gained.
- Advertisements – Did you know that Twitter is doing ads as well? I must say I found this to be news to my ears, another reason I like to do research and look around at what is happening in the world of social media. That said, target social ads create major return on investment. When you do paid ads on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter you can choose your ad spend and that spend will determine how many MORE people get to see your posts. These targeted ads then get in front of exactly who you want it to, they allow you to either get more reach, have more page likes or even allow you to get more traffic to your website. So, all in all, spending some money on paid social media ads every now and again can be highly beneficial.
- The Influencer Conundrum – Influencers on social media are not going anywhere anytime soon, but the way brands utilize them may be changing. Before brands would look at influencers with massive amounts of followers and ambassadors who promoted many other products and brands. Nowadays the trend seems to lean more towards what is called “Nano-Influencers”. These are exactly what it sounds like, influencers with a smaller group of followers. The smaller group again leads back to the more intimate, personalized feeling when it comes to marketing towards a target market.
- Stories are still all the rage – Facebook and Instagram have what they called “stories”. These are more fun and more engaging than just regular posts and from what I personally have heard from clients, they definitely get a lot more traction when they post stories. Make them fun, make a video, show off your product and services – you will get people interested and they will come back to check in and see what you are up to.
- Moving pictures for the win – Video content is still high up there when it comes to social media content. People like to watch things. We are more viewers than readers now days. And I think again a video or a Facebook Live has a more personal and intimate feel and people connect on another level. Trust and rapport are built and that is key when it comes to sales.
- Customer is king – Just like in sales in person, so too you should make your customer your focus when creating content for social media. What sort of customer are you targeting? What are their favorite things which you have to offer? Have they said what they would like from your business? If you listened, you would tap into that and use it to market your brand via your social media content.
- Which is better – Now we all know there are a few social media platforms, i.e. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn among the most used for business purposes. But which one should you be nurturing more? The answer is simple really, which one brings you the most business and the most engagement at the moment? It is not that one – you need to be nurturing the one that is not getting anywhere, because maybe you are doing something that does not work on that platform. Take a look at the insights on the platforms and you will see what the trends are and where you need to put in more effort. If after a while one just does not do anything for you – you can drop it!
After all that information, I hope that you are able to take some of these trends and run with it. I am certain that none of these trends will change much in the New Year – but one never knows.
Enjoy your social media marketing, it can be fun and very rewarding, when done right.
Thanks for reading!
4 Secrets to Growing Your Business’ Sales Exponentially This Year With The Use of Social Media
What new small business owner or entrepreneur doesn’t need MORE SALES in their business? Especially when it’s free! Social Media offers endless potential and opportunities for the young entrepreneur or established company to drive traffic to their website and increase their sales for free. In this beginner’s guide to using social media for growing your sales, we are going to take an in-depth look at what it takes to drive that potential sales through the roof using social media to target your audience. In this modern day there’s not a person that doesn’t have a mobile device which is excellent news for the business owner. Just imagine crushing those sales goals when you have the right audience at your disposal – a global audience available 24/7, 365 days of the year!
#1 Do your research
What you want is knowledge about your audience before starting any campaigns on social media. Consider and research the demographics of your target audience and use the information to determine which social media platforms to use to reach them and what type of media would be most likely to succeed.
#2 Quality content vs Quantity content
So, this is where you expect me to say, “Start a blog”, right? Wrong! If you don’t already have a blog for your website, you’re missing out on one of the most powerful FREE marketing tools to boost those sales and you might want to take a step back and first take a look at where to start when writing a blog post or how to improve your blogging. Our focus is on social media so that means you’ll need quality content to share. Take note my emphasis on quality content. Your biggest faux pax on social media is to share a whole lot of content without providing value to your audience. Don’t just post and share random stuff. Make sure what you have to say or share will either engage or entertain your audience.
A good guide is to use the 80-20 rule, which means you share 80% content that engage and entertain the audience and 20% sales content. Hard-selling is a definite NO! It adds a desperate flavour to your business that will chase away your target audience faster than you can schedule your next post.
#3 Consistency is key
Nothing is of greater value to improve your business’ online visibility than consistency. If you stuck to rule number two your content will be of value to your audience. It doesn’t matter if it’s a blog, motivational quote or short video, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. Your audience will be anticipating your next post. A social media calendar will enable you to plan your posts to coincide with special dates and events to maximize the effect of your content. So, what’s better than using a social media scheduling tool to make sure you free up your time while sharing quality content on a consistent basis to all the platforms and targeted audiences of your choice.
#4 Engaging with your audience
Social media is about engaging your followers. If you don’t grasp that concept first and foremost your hard work will all be for nothing. Nothing is as important as responding to your audience’s conversations, likes and shares. This is how you build trust in your brand and develop a relationship that turns a follower into a client.
Do the research, create or curate the content. Be intentional, be consistent, find your own voice and style. In a world where we are often overloaded with digital content, we need to be unique. AND we are – so use it to your advantage to outshine your competition. You’ll be amazed at the results!!
What you can do to get great work ethic
Setting boundaries and rules whilst maintaining good work ethic as a Virtual Assistant
As a Virtual Assistant we are sometimes so hungry to get that next client and maintain the best working relationships with the ones we have that we sometimes forget that the key to success is actually to set some boundaries. Setting boundaries and laying down some ground rules with your clients need not be a daunting, scary thing, in fact if anything it should be a relief to you and could even show your client a whole other side of your personality which they may love. Assertive and confident professional remote worker – THAT’S YOU!
Now although it may be a necessity to set these boundaries to avoid things like burnout and less than average work being handed over to clients, you need to be able to do it in a proper manner and without coming across as bitchy and condescending. You also want to make the rules clear from the get-go, so things like what hours you are available to one specific client, what your actual working hours are and so forth need to be discussed right in the beginning to avoid any awkwardness further down the line.
Below I will discuss a few tips for setting up rules and structure within your business which will ensure your success and success for your client.
Boundaries for you and me
Your phone – Now although you have a phone and the general idea of a phone is to take calls you do not want clients calling you all hours of the day and night and weekends expecting answers. So you need to be clear that, if you do not have a phone purely for business, that you tell your client you are available for calls between hours x and y and thereafter there will be no response to calls or messages.
Set working hours – Most VA’s have more than one client and therefore would want to have specific times scheduled in order to provide the best most focused work to each individual client. This can be tweaked according to the workload of course as sometimes one client has nothing for you to do on a specific day, but another may have a mountain of tasks which are all urgent, you can then use your discretion, but setting some sort of guideline around this with your client is very important.
Treat your business like a business – All business’s have hours where they open and then the same for when they close, you as a virtual assistant are essentially running a business and should do the same. Business’s have rules and regulations, therefore so should you. A virtual assistant is not an employee and therefore does not have to adhere to the management from a client.
Having a task list – A task list is also great as you and the client can set up the tasks together that are needed for any particular day, if the client then tries to deviate from this you can respond by saying that because the list has being drawn up in a specific way you have planned accordingly and unfortunately any extra’s would have to wait for the following day. If you are unsure of what the priority task is it is always best to communicate and find out, this is also a good way of setting the rules that priority tasks are completed first but whatever falls outside of the normal working hours will be added to the following day.
At the end of the day we all want to be able to deliver top-notch service as a VA and we want to have as many clients as possible and keep everyone happy – but happiness comes from being honest and upfront about things. You never want to find yourself a few months down the line, when you realise you cannot handle the workload, telling a client you need to set boundaries, it will probably not end very well.
Be assertive, have a clear idea of what you can and cannot do in any one day and then have that chat with those clients and you will flourish.
Happy Virtual Assistant = Happy Client
Social Media for Growing Traffic and Sales
“Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognise them.” Ann Landers
What is Social Media?
Social media is the collective of online communications channels dedicated to community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration.
Forms of Social Media
There are many forms of social media, amongst these are: –
- Websites and applications dedicated to forums
- Social networking
- Social bookmarking
- Social curation
Typical examples of social networking platforms that may be easier for the “man on the street” to identify: –
To name but a few, find below a typical conversation prism. It is quite enticing to know how far ones reach actually goes when posting on social media.
Business Applications of Social Media
Social media, today, is a fundamental part of life online. Social Media is used to market products and services, to promote brands and most important of all to connect to individuals and business with whom you can set the stage for new business.
How do you increase social media traffic?
This is a phrase that MANY people ask! Let’s focus on the “HOW”!
The bottom line is, social media traffic happens or shall we say increases when you engage and build relationships on each and every network.
Every social media network is different, however to increase your social media engagement on these platforms, there are some hard and fast rules that one should follow.
Inspire your audience with visuals
A fundamental concept in social media engagement “first impressions last”.
The first impression that you portray in your post or engagement is what lasts in most people’s minds. The age old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, is not always true. Visuals assist people or potential clients with making decisions.
The best visuals on social media include: –
- Vibrant colours and well-designed layouts
- High-level photography
- Visuals telling stories
- Visuals showing products or services in a new light
- Consistently on point and well-planned
ALWAYS be where your audience is!
Identify Social Media Influencers and Engage with Them
The term used is “influencer marketing”. When one engages with various social media influencers, one is creating the ideal opportunity to attract more followers, in other words, MORE traffic to your business website, platform etc.
Understand that Social Media is for SHARING, not selling!
Although, the majority of potential clients begin their journey on social media by making a purchase. Most clients do not visit social media networks with the intention of shopping.
The primary intention for social media marketing is to build relationships. People are more inclined to check out your post or share your story, news, blog etc if they feel that your post is directed at building a relationship with them.
Clients want to feel as if they are important and that their own needs are being met.
The above ideas are to name but a few. Get out there and ENGAGE with your followers make them feel as though they are your number 1 visitor!
How to Avoid Becoming a Victim to Burnout
In this fast paced world we live in and so much to cope with on a daily basis the risk of becoming a victim to burnout is increasing. This is especially the case for the dedicated, diligent person that strives for excellence in everything they do, particularly for someone that has multiple tasks that require a lot of focus in order to achieve this which in turn causes a lot of stress.
When a person has pushed themselves beyond their limits for too long and they end up suffering from long-term exhaustion. They begin to lose interest in their job and become much less productive. Eventually they are unable to continue working because their body and mind basically shutdown and needs a “timeout”.
An example of someone that could become a victim of burnout would have a job that would require them to multitask throughout the day, every day and very often in a job they don’t like. Bear in mind that a person that strives for personal excellence, will most likely put all their energy and focus into whatever job they do, even if they don’t enjoy it.
Research has proved that multitasking causes chaos in the brain which actually leads to brain damage. Dr Caroline Leaf goes more into details about this suggests a simple practice to do over a seven day period. For details about this, watch the video here.
The Warning Signs That You May be Heading for Burnout
Feeling physically and emotionally exhausted (insomnia, no energy, struggling to concentrate, confusion, anger, frustration)
- Being cynical and detached (withdrawal from people and activities, pessimism)
- Feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment (increased irritability, apathy, indifferent hopelessness)
Work Smarter, not Harder
Marie Forleo, who according to Oprah is the next generations thought leader, has a method she calls R.S.E.T. she uses to avoid burnout.
R – Review your day, preferably the night before and plan your breaks in advance, every 90 minutes.
E – Make it easy to remember to take the breaks by setting alarms on your phone. It’s easy to get so engrossed in what you are doing that before you know it, several hours have passed by without you noticing.
S – Step away from whatever you are doing.
E – Exersate. Hydrate yourself and get some exercise. Go for a quick walk, if you have a bicycle handy, hop on and go for a ride around the block. Do whatever you can to get your body moving and your mind onto something completely different.
T – Tune back in to whatever you were working on and continue until your next break. Rinse and repeat.
The Importance of Rest and a Balanced Diet
In 1893, Frederick Taylor did a scientific study of the work habits of workers in a steel mill and the results were that production increased considerably when the workers took regular breaks.
A diet high in good quality protein (amino acids) is really important for the brain to function at an optimal level. Just like a car needs fuel, oil and water, so does the body. Neither can run on empty.