How to… social media with Outside Digital

As more and more businesses adapt to a digital market, we’re seeing a huge number wanting to know more about social media – how to use it, how to make the most of it and even where to start!

Like any part of your business, it all starts with a plan and ensuring you can allocate your resources effectively to reach your customers.

We caught up with one of our newest members, Jason Curay from Outside Digital, to find out more.

What are the top three things businesses need to think of when creating a digital strategy for their social media?

  1. Set your goals. Make sure that they’re S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound) goals, meaning verify that your goals are achievable, try to identify the metrics that define success, and create a road map to get to those metrics so you should have these five characteristics when setting goals to increase your odds for success.
  2. Find your ‘Why’ and share your brand story. When creating a digital strategy for social media, you’ll need to fill out your ‘About Us’ page where you’ll share why your product or service is what we need in our lives. After identifying your purpose, craft an effective brand story with an authentic message and create engaging content about it.
  3. Create a content calendar. Have you ever been in a position where you don’t know what to post on your social media page? It doesn’t mean we don’t have something to say, but we’re thinking about so many things on that day that we can’t come up with a creative idea. When you plan ahead what to post by using a social media content calendar, you are helping yourself to reach your goals – you’ll save time, you’ll have more focus on your deliverables and you’re continuously giving engaging content for your customers. So make sure to plan your content, collaborate with your team, customers, and partners to create content that are authentic and fun to engage with.

If a business is just getting started, or even if they are rethinking their digital strategy, how can they decide what channels best suit their business? What are some considerations?

Almost all social media platforms are free and you can use your business name to interact with your potential customers. That’s why I always advice my clients to try all social media platforms. It could get overwhelming when hearing it for the first time but you only need to spend 30 minutes of your time in all social media platform to post a picture, questions, polls, message customers, Like, share and comment (we call all of these small marketing efforts).

Most businesses will limit themselves when it comes to choosing which platform to use while planning their digital strategy. I highly recommend that make your business available on all social media platforms and execute your digital strategies. After doing that, check your metrics and analyse which platforms are giving more results and working better so that you can finally choose and decide which platform to focus on.

What are some post-COVID-19 lockdown considerations when it comes to social media – have people’s habits changed? Have people’s interests changed?

Many people are starting to change how they do things. Most of them are now trying to save their money by not buying things that they don’t need at the moment. I could say that, yes, people’s habits and interests have changed, but it doesn’t mean you should stop connecting with your audience.

When the pandemic started, most businesses canceled their promotional campaigns and focused on doing communication efforts where they could have been more visible to their customers through social media. Ones that did it well reached out to their customers if they’ll needed immediate support, they shared information about staying healthy and safe, and provided public service within their communities. These kinds of initiatives have gained them trust, new customers and respect.

What are the top three mistakes businesses make with their social media?

  1. We forget to be human.
    Sometimes, we’ll only look at potential customers’ messages if they’ll mention ‘buy’ and we’ll just post something like a robot without any emotions towards what we are putting up in social media. What your customers fundamentally want from your business is a human connection – a personal connection that provides social interaction online is what we need in order to create and maintain an effective digital strategy for social media. The next time you check your page, try not to look for more sales but instead engage with your audience with personal messaging, interactions and have a genuine conversation with them.
  2. Don’t post only when you need sales.
    Most businesses have failed to recognise the word ‘social’ in social media because they’re so focused on generating more sales and they look at their customers as money not human. Customers need to feel that they are cared for even online, just like how the retail assistant has helped me earlier today when I’m looking for a pair of pants that will suit my outfit for the weekend. She has asked me some questions, shared stories and took care of me until I found myself tapping my card on the EFTPOS machine and I’m smiling the whole day because of that. Now, imagine doing it online when a customer wanted to know more about your products/services.
  3. Don’t limit yourself and your business.
    When I offer my services to new businesses, they’ll often say, “Oh, I don’t want to be in social media, I heard they’ll follow you”. Most business owners have this limiting belief that social media is just going to get the privacy out of you. In social media, you can separate your personal and business accounts and you’ll have 100% control of what you want to put up online.

Anything else you would like to add that might be useful?

Don’t let fear or insecurity stop you from trying new things. Use social media to promote business. If you know that your potential customers are using all these platforms available online, make sure to be there too! Post valuable content that will give them an idea of how you started, why you’re doing what you’re doing, and how you can make their lives easier and interact with them consistently. That’s how you’ll get more loyal customers and eventually generate ROI for your business.

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