From Bebo to MySpace, to Facebook, to Instagram, to LinkedIn, to Tik Tok and BeReal.
If you’d asked me way back at the beginning of my journey into social media if I saw myself building an agency helping businesses grow their social media presence and employing people in the role of Social Media Manager – I would have said “no way”. Plus, the job of Social Media Manager didn’t exist back then… but now, it’s a specialist service and sought-after career path.
Looking ahead based on what we’ve seen and learnt, here are some industry reflections.
Consistency is more important than performance (because the performance will come). Some posts will not “perform”, but engagement and impressions matter. For example, some posts will not receive as many ‘likes’ or ‘comments’ as hoped and it may feel as though the content is not performing or is being ‘skipped over’. Truth is, social media is a bit like a billboard – it is there and can be ignored but the subtle brand messages build brand equity over time. The key is to keep going, keep posting, keep sharing – focus on building momentum and consistency – because over time there will be results. Top tip: take a moment to look at platform reports; is engagement going up? Are impressions going up? But ‘likes’ remaining the same/slow? – then it’s all good and the strategy is working! Trust the process.
Service based businesses must build brand online. Selling a service is basically selling expertise and trust. If there is no trust, the service is simply worthless. Often service businesses refer on word of mouth and referrals – this is great to a point. But consider this, someone refers your business – that person jumps on to social media to look up your business only to see you haven’t posted recently (or the content doesn’t feature any real people) and they begin to question “does this business even exist anymore?”, “what kind of people work there?”, or “should I trust them and engage their services?”.
Social proof is key. If building a brand online is key to showing you are trust-worthy, social proof is the icing on the cake. Showcase testimonials, results, case studies, reviews, real-life examples and prospects will relate the experiences and stories to themselves. Positive experiences entice customers to engage in your services and validate your business as worthy of engagement.
Showcase company culture (but in the right way). Key point here – ‘in the right way’. It’s been a tough few years - situations have changed for some through the pandemic which may cause content-sensitivity. Had a bumper quarter or year and treating the team to an extravagant reward trip/activity? Keep it low-key on social media and perhaps keep the finer details to yourself and read the room. Showcasing company culture serves four audiences: prospects, clients, existing team members and employee attraction. Prospects want to see you look after your people as it suggests you care about your clients. Clients want to see you are looking after your people (who deliver the work). Employees want to be able to show friends and family they work for an amazing company who cares for their people. And, future employees want to see what it’s like to work for your company and the awesome things you do. In 2022 and as we head into 2023, you cannot ignore the power of people and showcasing culture. Leverage it or risk being left behind!
Which brings me to the next point; social media for recruitment. Or, as the recruiters say; ‘employment branding’. Next time there is a job vacancy ask yourself this: am I putting the benefits for the employee first in this job advert/social media post? Or, am I listing everything I need/want in a person? Clients are seeing great results when combining showing company culture and benefit-based recruitment social media. List out the benefits - a truly hybrid working environment, leave benefits, charity gifting days, technology, health benefits, morning tea, social clubs, free hot lunch days – often businesses forget or don’t notice all the amazing things they do as a company… it’s just a matter of thinking about it.
Finally; a multi-topic multi-content type strategy is essential. When we work with clients who have dabbled in social media, often they’ll sit in one topic type. This is the comfort space. For example, always sharing ‘how to’, always sharing ‘behind the scenes’, but not delivering a multi-topic, multi-content strategy. This is how engagement is driven – as not every content type will resonate with every person in the target audience – it needs to be dynamic. This is why a Social Media Manager / Strategist career now exists and agencies such as Blackjet work with businesses to develop strategy and deliver results.
If you are unsure about what a social media strategy might look like for your business and how to implement it – let’s chat about your business and how we can build your social media brand presence for you.
Christine Westbury, CEO + Founder, Blackjet, 021911958, firstname.lastname@example.org