Posted on

Business and community

A field of cows with text overlaid reading "business and community"

The world is changing right now. Our society is shifting; we’re reassessing what’s important, we’re redefining work, we’re reconsidering what is valuable, and we’re rediscovering the value of community.

That last point is what I want to talk about this month because community; community, business and social media.

A field of cows with text overlaid reading "business and community"

What does a community look like for business?

Community around a business looks like any other community because it is like any other community. The commonality is your business, be that by what you offer, who you help, or your methods. For example, my community is made up of business owners with morals and manners.

A key thing to remember is that communities should support everyone in them; your community is not there simply to support your business, your business must also support your community.

Building a community

Growing a community requires you to be clear about who you’re for and what you share; the easiest way to do that on social media is by having a clear bio and posting relevant content. Your presence online should make it clear who would feel at home in your community without needing to explicitly say it (although explicitly saying it sometimes is a good idea!).

It also requires you to show up consistently for your people. That doesn’t mean you need to be posting lots, but your community needs to know when to expect you and that they can rely on you.
Showing up doesn’t only mean on your own profiles; comment on things posted by members of your community, get involved in discussions elsewhere, be an active participant in the community as a whole. No member of the community is more important than another and that includes you.

Community vs sales

Building a community doesn’t mean you can’t sell on your socials but you can’t build a community if all you do is sell.

Consider what your community needs, what they enjoy and what is valuable to them. Build your content plan around that and you should find that you can naturally drop in sales posts and promotions. For example if you’re sharing some top tips to reduce stress, that’s valuable content, you could include a mention of your amazing guided meditation which can be purchased.

Focus on adding value but don’t feel that a call to action to buy your product or services negates that value.

The community tl;dr*

Be clear about who would enjoy your community by being clear about who you are and what you do. Offer advice, tips and support to your community. Engage with them on their posts as well as your own.

Stay safe, be kind and, as always, be a human!

*tl;dr = too long; didn’t read. The key information from the post.

For personalised advice on building your own community or to hit me with all your social media questions, book a power hour for €75.

Book a 1-to-1

Posted on

Secrets of the algorithm

Snow covered sistletoe with text reading "Uncover the secrets of the algorithm"

Do you want to beat the algorithm? Ensure your posts get seen by all your followers? Boost engagement, double your DMs and hit a million followers?

We all love these quick fix promises. Tips that ‘guarantee’ an overnight change in your social media fortunes and, possibly more importantly, lay the blame for a stagnating growth rate at the door of The Algorithm™. The problem is that there is no quick fix. There is no secret sauce. There is no “beating” the algorithm.

The secret of the algorithm is that there is no secret to the algorithm.

The real secret is that even the likes of Facebook don’t know the secrets of their own algorithm. They set it up and the algorithm then teaches itself based on the billions of actions on the network every day. You can’t beat the algorithm; nobody knows how and it is constantly changing anyway.

Snow covered sistletoe with text reading "Uncover the secrets of the algorithm"

Everyone’s feed is different

Social media algorithms are designed to make the network as addictive as possible for every single person, so they show every single person different things based on their personal interactions with content on (and off) the platform.

Platforms are aiming to show content to people which keeps them on their platform longer, that makes them engage more on the platform. If someone has bought from you, likes your page and regularly engages with your content, they will be shown more of your content. If someone likes your page but always scrolls past your posts, they will be shown less of your content. This is partly what creates the “I’m only shown my top 25 people” style posts, you’re not but if you only regularly engage with certain people you will be shown more of their content and less of everything else.

We control our own feeds; what we consume and react to is what we get more of.

The “trial” feed

There is a theory that posts are shown to a percentage of your followers initially and, based on their response, then distributed more widely.  I don’t work for any social network so I cannot confirm nor deny that. What I will say is that if it is the case, you shouldn’t be changing your content or tactics because of it.

Shadowbanning

There is evidence for this. Certainly if Instagram considers your activity to be sketchy; liking/commenting/following too fast (i.e. like a bot), using banned hashtags or if you’ve been reported several times, they will limit your reach for a period of time.  Honey Bee Social have an excellent article about Instagram shadowbanning and banned hashtags which includes a full list of banned hashtags.

How to beat the algorithm

Create great content.

It really is that simple. Create content that is designed specifically for your target market. Be interested in their ideas, experiences and opinions. Add value, ask them questions, be more than a sales account. Offer people something and be clear about what you want. Be a human!

It’s hard work and time consuming, that’s partly why you need a social schedule which you can maintain, not a more more more attitude. Putting out content which is truly tailored to your ideal client will always give you the best chance at success on social media.

The algorithm tl;dr*

If you’re struggling on social, the first place to look is your content. Nobody wants to consider that their content isn’t great or that it’s not what their clients want but it’s far more likely than The Algorithm™ taking against you.

For advice on where your content needs tweaking and how you can improve your social content, my social media audits are just €50/platform. I also offer monthly social media management for all sizes of business, book a free, no hard-sell discovery call now to chat about your needs.

*tl;dr = too long; didn’t read. The key information from the post.

Posted on

How to meme as a business

The internet loves a meme. We love that #relatable content, a lighthearted look at life, a way to connect often across cultural and language divides. They can be a great way to show a little of your personality on your business’ social media but overuse them and you lose your own voice.

an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations.

It can be tempting to flood your social feeds with memes, sit back and watch the likes roll in. As a business, though, your aim is to build your reputation, brand recognition and ultimately sell through your social media and, as I explained previously, likes don’t pay the bills.

Prioritise your content

Make sure the bulk of your social posts are your own content. Scrolling your feed should tell people what your business offers, who your are and why they need your products or services. You feed should not resemble a meme account unless you are, in fact, a meme account.

If you’re short of content ideas I have a Q&A on what to post and social media kits which will help you.

Choose your memes wisely

Not all memes are suitable for everyone; choose ones that fit with your brand or that are relevant to your business. Of course you can put a spin on most memes but don’t just leap on every viral sensation as it whooshes by.

Inject your personality

When you decide to share a meme; put your own twist on it. Let a little of your brand personality come through or, better yet, use the meme to share your own own advice on a topic.

For example, my take on the Dolly Parton meme makes the point that you should be consistent and authentic. Platform best practices and audiences may be different but that means how you show up on those platforms should change, not who you show up as.

As an aside; Tinder is a very different kind of marketing…if you know what I mean.

The memes tl;dr*

Don’t abandon your brand identity for viral trends. Make sure you browse your own feed regularly to check that who you are and what you offer is clear.

Get a “should I meme” flowchart and even more tips on using social media as a small business by joining The Forest now.

For even more support and advice while you’re tweaking your own social strategy from me and other anti-capitalist, community focused business owners, Acorn, my Facebook group, is waiting for you.

*tl;dr = too long; didn’t read. The key information from the post.

Posted on

Day of Acceptance

Today is Day Of Acceptance and, as one of my own business values is acceptance, I wanted to use this as an opportunity to promote some incredibly talented individuals who also happen to be disabled.

You can find out much more about them and support them by clicking the links to their own content, products and services.

 

Laura Rose

Laura is one of my besties. She’s in the process of writing a book and shares her life and experiences on Tumblr.

She’s an 11/10 friend and more tenacious than a dog with a meat and gravy covered bone!

 

Cos Ryan

Cos is a disgustingly talented artist, goat-lover and all round good egg.

His honesty when sharing his experiences, his righteous anger at the system and his vulnerability shine a light on the reality of life as a disabled person.

You can find links to his art, stores and all his social media right here.

 

 

 

 

Michele

Michele is a YouTuber, artist and activist who is shaking shit up to make life better for everyone.

Covering the most complex and controversial topics with honesty, logic and experience based facts, she regularly makes me think, pushes me to act and inspires me to change.

Read her essays and articles and follow her YouTube show’s Tumblr.

 

Hawke Wood

Hawke is a badass streamer, badasser actor and the badassest friend.

Their determination knows no bounds, sometimes to a fault, and their diverse skills and adaptability allows them to fill many roles perfectly.

You can also follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

 

 

 

 

Faete

Faete is one of the kindest, most giving humans I have ever known.

She’s also a prolific content creator, talented sewer and adult entertainer.

He shares an insight into kinky life with a disability, while also casually educating her viewers.

You can also support him on Patreon.

Posted on

Vanity metrics: likes don’t pay your bills

With Instagram hiding likes, the number of questions I’ve seen about whether it’s worth it to stay on the platform and how to know if your social presence is paying off has skyrocketed. Business owners, influencers and brands alike are panicking about how other people not being able to see how many likes their post has is going to ruin their business.

I can tell you right now, it’s not. Likes are not paying your bills, neither is your follower count and, honestly, neither are your comments.

Likes are not paying your bills, neither is your follower count and, honestly, neither are your comments

Let me unpack a couple of the comments I’ve seen since the announcement was made.

Vanity metrics allow me to track competitors

Yes, you can quickly see how many likes or followers others in your industry have but that doesn’t tell you anything about how their business is doing. You can work out their growth rate and engagement rate but what use is that to you?

My own Instagram posts average fewer than 20 likes, but they see people clicking through to read my latest blog post (hi there!), or check out my services, or join my email list, or buy through my affiliate links, or book a discovery call with me.
On Facebook, the platform which drives the most traffic to my website, I get diddly squat engagement and haven’t even made it to 70 followers; go see for yourself, hit like while you’re there 😉
My posts drive actions that do pay my bills but you can’t see that by stalking my profile.

If you’re using those metrics to motivate you, use your own stats to drive you. Compare your monthly metrics to your own last month, or 12 months ago, and work to see those grow. Challenge yourself to do better than past you using your own insights based on your own followers, your niche and your business.

Comments aren’t vanity metrics

If I had to choose between likes and comments, I would choose comments, but ultimately they’re still vanity metrics, especially if they’re a single emoji or a generic “great post.

If your post is bringing in lots of real, wonderful comments from people giving feedback or sharing their own thoughts, people who are truly engaging in your content, that’s amazing and valuable, but not because they’re comments. They are valuable because they show that your followers are invested in what you’re sharing and therefore more likely to buy from you or recommend you to their friends.

What to track instead

Here’s the thing, you should still track vanity metrics; they allow you to see your own growth and give you an insight into what your audience enjoys, but don’t plan your entire strategy around them.

Focus on link clicks, profile views, saves and shares. If you have shopping enabled, track actual sales. Know what makes you money or creates leads and use those actions to judge your social success.

The vanity metrics tl;dr*

This is a great opportunity to reassess your priorities in social media and implement a new strategy which drives sales and inspires you to keep posting.

Still not convinced? Social Pip has a great post about which social media engagement is the most valuable which explains more about this with a focus on Facebook.

Personally and professionally I am thrilled that Instagram have made this decision, it is forcing business owners to take a hard look at how they’re using social media and improve their methods, while also removing a huge part of the toxic comparison culture which is damaging the mental health of so many people.

Get a free what to track worksheet and a stat tracker and advice on how to use them by joining The Forest.

For even more support and advice while you’re tweaking your own social strategy from me and other anti-capitalist, community focused business owners, Acorn, my Facebook group, is waiting for you.

*tl;dr = too long; didn’t read. The key information from the post.

The key points about vanity metrics from the blog post