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A Social Media Survival Guide for Small Business

A social media guide for small business

“I can only conclude that people who don’t use social media are, at best, considered to be mavericks or, at worst, some kind of psychopath.” Steve Blakeman

“I’m not a very social media person” my new client admitted to me. “I mean, I know I should be…I’m just not.”

I get it.

If you were born before 1980 you are less likely to be a ‘social media person’.

So, there you are: a business person who needs social media to reach your tribe – even attract a bigger tribe. The problem is the thought of checking Instagram every morning or uploading a video to Facebook gives you a cold sweat.

You could go cold turkey, buy a yurt and live in the desert (been done), or…
you could find a happy compromise and use social media on your terms.

There is a solution and it starts by understanding that you don’t need to reach the world.

 

If you were born before 1980 you are less likely to be a ‘social media person’.

 

Social Media Guide for Small Business: You don’t need to reach the world.

“There is also the joy of learning new ways of marketing, with that there is often the accompanying pain of mistakes that comes along for the ride.” Jeff Bullas

Has this happened to you?

You see a tweet that had 425 retweets or your competitor has 10,000 followers on Facebook. “Damn,” you think “I really need to spend more time tweeting. Or posting. Or pasting. Or someting!”

Well, whoop-di-doo (tech speak for ‘who cares?’) they got a bunch of monkeys to jump!

Maybe that’s not your goal?

Unless you’re promoting your new punk band or selling a new gaming app, volume is not your goal. Click To Tweet

Your goal should be to build loyal followers

The kind of loyal followers who follow you all the way back to your website. The kind of followers who share your content and buy your stuff.

You don’t need to reach the world … you need to reach your tribe.

Start by getting a clear notion of who you are speaking to – who is your ideal audience, or avatar:

— what age are they?
— gender?
— type of work or career?
— what problems do they seek solutions for?
— what style of writing do they enjoy: high-brow philosophy or Gary Larson cartoons?
— how do they like to engage: sharing, quizzes, comments?

Evernote (read my post about how I use this fantastic, free tool) does a great job of writing to people who love lists and getting organized.

Good is better than more.

“I am 100% convinced that you can live without using or be on social media.” Israel Garcia

There’s lots of “expert” advice online on how to schedule loads and loads of updates (I wrote about the problem with scheduling software). As if volume is the ultimate goal.

There’s lots of “expert” advice online on how to schedule loads and loads of updates. As if volume is the ultimate goal. Click To Tweet

Let me ask you a question…

If you went to a restaurant, would you rather have a huge bowl of mediocre food or a small portion of delicious food prepared by a talented chef? I’d choose good over more every time.

Good can simply mean a few extra minutes editing, choosing an original image, or making a reference to a trending topic.

A good rule with social media is people share what makes them look smart. Putting a clever twist on what they think they already know will have more legs than one more post about 5 ways to be a better leader.

Comparing two posts on similar topics, my post “5 steps to writing an awesome blog post in less than 60 minutes”  got a much better reaction than the earlier post “5 blog posts that will keep your reader coming back.” Taking a stand – even a bold claim – is an invitation for readers to share to their followers. They feel smart sharing the post they just enjoyed and you get the benefit of new readers.

A good rule with social media is people share what makes them look smart. Click To Tweet

Oreo does a great job of creating smart, often sarcastic, comedy in their Tweets.

Work in batches

“The best way to engage honestly with the marketplace via Twitter is to never use the words ‘engage,’ ‘honestly,’ or ‘marketplace.’”Jeffrey Zeldman, Founder, A List Apart magazine

One of the best ways to be more effective is to work in batches. That could be 15 minutes of solid email work, followed by no email for an hour, instead of constantly checking your email all morning.

You can also batch your social media.

Instead of interrupting your day with updates and responding to followers, you can do it once a day. You might not go viral, but you will have time for other work without distraction.

Fortunately, there are scheduling tools like Buffer and CoSchedule that let you load up a calendar full of updates. The problem with any schedule tools (this will intentionally sound self-serving) is that most people – especially super busy business owners – don’t have time to learn how to use the scheduling tool, let alone constantly fill it.

I know, because before I created BlogWorks, that’s what I tried to do.

I’ll give you two weeks before you quit.

Good news! At BlogWorks we can do it all for you. No scheduling tools, searching for articles, fussing with pictures, or shortening links. One account, one solution, social media is done. Learn how to get started with BlogWorks.

Good news! At BlogWorks we can do it all for you.

Outsource $10/hour jobs

“If you love life, don’t waste time for time is what life is made up of.” Bruce Lee

One of the most powerful lessons I received as an entrepreneur was about the value of my time.

Here’s a simple exercise that was a big eye opener for me and might be for you as well.

Start by making three columns on a piece of paper (a flip chart is even better) and title them: $10, $50, $[what you charge clients per hour]. These are the values of the time for each task, starting with up to $10/hour, and then up to $50/hour and finally, up to your current value when working for clients.

Now, fill in all the tasks, jobs, routines, roles you fill in a typical week, putting each one in the column that matches the value of the job in dollars.

A common mistake entrepreneurs make is doing $10/hour jobs instead of delegating them to others.

Do you see a problem?

Most business owners discover there’s lots of $10 jobs they are still doing, even though they charge 10X that, or more, to their customers. This is what Michael Gerber meant when he said we are “…spending too much time working in our business instead of working on our business.”

The solution begins by first documenting the process routine for all your $10/hour jobs. Simply make a list of each step using a Google Doc (we use Google Doc’s because they’re easy to share within our team).

These are called SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures) and they can change your life.

Next, go on UpWork and hire a freelancer to do that job. Don’t worry about creating full-time employment or giving them five jobs to make it worth their time — just start with one reoccurring job that needs to get done.

A good job to start with is publishing your blog.

You might be surprised to learn how many steps go into publishing a blog. There are at least a dozen steps, starting with logging into WordPress, entering the headline, choosing tags, that have to be done the same way every time to get your blog looking good.

The solution is to start documenting the routines for all your $10/hour jobs.
Pro tip: once you post your job in Upwork, use the filters to choose the criteria for the freelancer you are looking for.

Even if you’re not into social media, you don’t have to abandon it altogether.

The strategies in this social media guide for small business can keep you in the game with minimal effort and time.

Speaking of which, now you have more time for what you are into, like watching reruns of All in the family with a nice mug of Ovaltine.

Twitter’s new rules are good news (if you’re using BlogWorks)

twitter's new rules

There’s something brewing in the world of Twitter you should know about.

News spoiler: if you’re using BlogWorks, you have nothing to worry about.

Twitter’s New Rules

Twitter has updated their Terms Of Service (TOS). Their motivation is to stop people spamming their services. And we applaud that.

“You may not post duplicative or substantially similar Tweets on one account or over multiple accounts you operate.”

It’s possible that we’re are going to start to see more and more pushback from the big dogs at Facebook and Instagram about posting duplicate content too.

The new Twitter rules have implications for anyone that promotes their blog or services.

The challenge is that posts on Twitter can disappear faster than you can say “where did my tweet go?” In fact, 9100 tweets are sent every second. So if your content is going to be seen on Twitter you need to actively repost your Tweets.

Enter scheduling software.

In the last 5 years we’ve seen a mini explosion of free and for-fee social media scheduling tools. It started with the granddaddy of posting tools, Hootsuite to now include Buffer, Sprout Social, meetEdgar, Coschedule, PostPlanner, SEMRush and SmarterQueue.

Many of these tools promote users reposting the same content. Their promises include:

“Create a predefined social sharing plan to reuse again and again…” (CoSchedule)

“Automatically recycle popular posts.” (PostPlanner)

“Automatically recycle your Evergreen content so it’s seen by more people…” (SmarterQueue)

“Edgar recycles your updates over time, so they NEVER go to waste.” (meetEdgar)

And while we totally agree with the strategy of recycling high performing posts, we don’t agree with set-and-forget strategies on social media.

Here’s the good news.

BlogWorks was designed to always use real people doing real thinking to get you real results. Every update we send to your social media accounts was written or edited by the writer assigned to your account.

We also constantly review your highest performing updates on Twitter and Facebook and put them to work again. But we don’t just do a copy/paste and repost. We first review performance results, select top performers and then update the content before scheduling the post.

We’ve been told that we should be charging 4X what we charge. And maybe we will one day.

But, for now, BlogWorks is still at the ridiculously low price of $197/month.

Twitter’s new rules are bad news for many of the software scheduling tools. You can still repeat posts on Facebook and LinkedIn, but it’s going to be a whole lot more work to use them for Twitter.

One more reason to let us take care of promoting your blog, while you do the work you love.

How to Use Your Social Media Analytics

How to Use Your Social Media Analytics

With the release of Facebook’s powerful new analytics update, we’re inspired to share some social media analytics advice.

Social media analytics and insights are the keys to understanding your audience, receiving more engagement, and driving more traffic to your site.

If you don’t yet have a grasp on analytics, don’t worry – that’s what this guide is for. We’ll go over Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as some key things to look for that you can check on any social media channel.

Let’s get started.

Social Media Analytics Terms & Meanings

Before I dive into the individual analytics platforms, I want to cover the common terms you’ll see and what they mean:

  • Reach: the number of people who see your content.
  • Impressions: the number of times your content is displayed.
  • Engagement: the number of interactions people have with your content (i.e.: likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc.)

You’ll see these three terms across every analytics dashboard for every social platform. Now, let’s start with Facebook.

Facebook Analytics: What You Need to Know

First things first – to get the most out of your Facebook analytics, you need to install the Facebook pixel on your site. While you can see some data without it, it’s very limited.

Assuming you’ve already installed the pixel and have data to use, head over to your Facebook Analytics dashboard.

Facebook Analytics Dashboard

This is where you’ll navigate to the various reports to view your data. While I recommend playing around with all the reports to develop a deeper understanding of them, there is one that’s important to know about:

Funnels.

Funnels are the best way to understand the steps your audience takes in going from a Facebook fan to interacting with your content, and finally to visiting your site and even converting into a lead or a sale.

You can create those funnels by going to the “Funnels” tab under “Activities”, then clicking “Create Funnels” in the upper right corner.

Facebook Funnels

Some types of funnels you can create:

  • Users who messaged your Facebook page then made a purchase on your website or became a subscriber
  • Users who installed an app then made a purchase on your website or became a subscriber
  • Users who reacted a certain way (such as “Love”, “Wow!” or “Haha”) then made a purchase or became a subscriber
  • Users who commented on a certain Facebook post then made a purchase or became a subscriber

Pretty cool, right?

Once you run these funnels and see which actions cause users to convert – such as commenting, messaging your page, or putting a “Haha” on a post – you can prioritize getting more of those actions from your users!

For more details on how to use your Facebook analytics, check out this guide.

Now let’s take a quick look at Twitter.

Twitter Analytics: What You Need to Know

Unlike Facebook, Twitter doesn’t have a fancy pixel. Their analytics are also far less advanced. But, it’s still important to understand how to derive actionable insights from Twitter’s data.

First, log into Twitter and then navigate to your Twitter analytics dashboard.

Twitter Analytics

Here you’ll see the growth (or decline) of your page. Nothing too crazy yet.

However, if you scroll down, you’ll see your tweet highlights. This is where most of your insights will be derived.

Tweet highlights

Month after month, you’ll see your most engaging tweets. You can also click “View Tweet activity” to see more insights.

Tweet activity

There are those terms again – impressions and engagements. My tweet was seen 3,551 times and got 17 engagements.

This tells me that mentioning Larry Kim is a great way to get more engagements, so I should tag him more. You’re sure to see similar insights of your own.

When looking at your Twitter analytics, pay specific attention to:

  • Anyone you tagged
  • Anyone who tagged you
  • Certain images that get higher engagement
  • Certain topics that perform well

Just try to figure out why something performed well, then replicate that in future tweets to test your hypothesis. That’s how you use social media analytics! Testing.

For more details on how to use your Twitter analytics, check out this guide.

Now, let’s quickly discuss Instagram before we wrap things up.

Instagram Analytics: What You Need to Know

Unlike the other channels, Instagram analytics is only available in the app. You can’t access it from a desktop.

To get to it, just hit the graph icon in the upper right:

instagram insights

From here you can see your top posts performance by impressions, engagement, and time posted. You can also see insights on your Instagram stories, if you posted any, as well as for your promotions.

Like other insights, use these to determine the kind of content that best resonates with your audience. Additionally, post that content during your peak engagement times to get the most from it.

For more details on how to use Instagram insights, check out Buffer’s full guide.

Conclusion

Social media analytics help unveil the key metrics that are driving the 20% of posts responsible for 80% of your growth. It’s the classic Pareto’s principle.

Check these insights often, and use them to determine:

  • Who to tag and target with your posts
  • What to post (images, text, questions, etc.)
  • Where to spend your time (which channels)
  • When to post to get the most engagement

But there’s one thing analytics can’t do – tell you why. Why did something perform well?

Only you can answer that question through the lens of a human eye. But you can use stats and data to determine it.

Will you start using analytics in your daily routine? Do you have any questions we didn’t answer? Let us know in the comments below!

Read Next: 3 Social Media Activities Actually Worth Your Time

Welcome to the blog!

Sometimes a good thing just takes a bit longer – like this blog.

We’ve know for some time that we need a blog on the BlogWorks site. Every day we are getting asked questions about blogging, SEO, content creation and more. With the blog we’ll be able to share best practices and, of course, let you know about updates with the BlogWorks service.

Here’s a quick run down of what’s available to you.

What is BlogWorks?

BlogWorks uses your blog to create daily social media posts to get your blog noticed and save you time. We started to develop it in 2014 and now have clients in 3 countries. Imagine having a trained assistant who promotes you daily – that’s BlogWorks. Your BlogWorks Editor (all live in North America) learns about you, your market and solutions you provide. Every week they read your blog and create and schedule attention-grabbing social media posts. We also blend in curated articles from high traffic sites (you supply the list).

Imagine having a trained assistant who promotes you daily - that's BlogWorks! Click To Tweet

How to get started?

If you blog regularly (at least 2X/month) you might qualify for BlogWorks.  It’s simpler than you might think to get posting on social media working better and off your hands .

The BlogWorks blog

The BlogWorks blog is going to be full of advice on blogging, social media, SEO and making your blog work better for your business. And it’s a work in progress – so if you have ideas for future posts, please let us know! You can email your ideas to us.

Please share these posts and let other people know what you’ve learnt here. The more traffic we can get to this blog the more excited we’ll be to create great content for you, so you can build traffic to your blog.