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Go live or die trying!

If you follow me across the internets you may have noticed I’m making something of a name for myself as that social media expert who doesn’t go live! I’m not sure if that’s really where I want my branding to go but for now, let’s run with it!

Do I think that going live isn’t a great way to boost reach and engagement on your social media? Nope, not at all. Live video consistently does well across all platforms for a variety of reasons, it’s also a great way to connect with your community, add even more value and get discovered. The thing is, it’s not for everyone and that’s ok!

You don’t need to go live for social success

As I have said a thousand times over, great content is what matters. Whether that great content is live video, plain text or something else, great content does well.

If you love going live and you come across best on video then absolutely focus on video content. Your personality and will shine through, making the content engaging.  On the flip side, if feel uncomfortable on video or going live, that will also come across in the content and, while there’s something to be said for seeing our shy-selves represented, people are generally less excited and drawn in by a quietly spoken video.

There are so many ways to connect with your audience now. Live video might be the current big trend but that doesn’t mean other methods aren’t awesome.

Great, not live, content

I’m a writer. I love writing and I also love the necessary delay that comes from communicating through writing. Hence these blog posts and my longer form social media posts, I express myself best through text and, no matter how many people tell me I come across well on video, it is never going to be my favourite method of communication. And let me say this again; that’s ok!

You can build a community and a successful business on social media using only text posts, or only image posts, or only video. You can use a mix, you can use a selection. You can build a fabulous social presence in a way that suits you. The important thing is knowing your audience and adding value through your content.

Live workarounds

There are a few options that you may not have considered to get some of the benefits of live without the abject terror of going live though so, if you’re baby stepping towards this particular precipice, here’s some ideas.

Stories

The temporary nature of Stories means you can test the waters without the fear that your nervous waffling will live forever on the internet. They also benefit from being shorter so are a great way to practice video when you get a 5 minute burst of bravery!

Premiere

Pre-record your video but release it as a premiere. This option essentially schedules the video but then releases it initially as if it’s live, along with a live chat which you can join in with.

Watch party

Upload and publish your pre-recorded video as usual and then hold a watch party in your Facebook group or Page. Similar to a premiere this gives you the live chat but you can organise a watch party at any time, not just on the release of the video like with a premiere.

The going live tl;dr*

If you love live, go live. If you don’t, all other types of content are awesome too. Find the way you express yourself best and get creating great content in any format.

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

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

To quiz me about going live or any of your other social media queries, I’m currently offering power hours for just €25.

This is a temporary price to make it as accessible as possible to small businesses during this time. Due to the already reduced price, my other discounts cannot be used with this offer.

Book a 1-to-1

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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.

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The Basics: LinkedIn

This month in my series designed to help you get your small business on social media, even if you can’t afford a social media manager just yet, I’m talking about LinkedIn.

Once the boring, corporate sibling of the social networks, LinkedIn has undergone something of a rebrand in the past year or so. Now featuring video, pre-recorded & live, Facebook-style reactions on posts and, most interestingly, more personal posts and increased engagement.

While LinkedIn is still not for everyone, if you’re a B2B business, it is quite possibly the place to be.

LinkedIn Profile or Page?

LinkedIn has both personal profiles and business pages, much like Facebook. Unlike Facebook, you are expected to use your personal profile for business. For freelancers and solopreneurs personal profiles are often the best option, small businesses may benefit from a business page which offers analytics, ads and the ability to advertise jobs, among other things. My advice would be to start with a personal profile and see how it goes, if you have other employees and are a slightly larger business a page will likely become necessary.

The site does a great job of walking you through setting up your profile itself, so I won’t be breaking that down in this blog post.

What & when to post

As with every other network, this will depend on you, your business and your audience. Consistency is important, if you can’t commit to 5 posts a week then don’t aim for it, you can always increase your posting as you gain more content, more confidence and/or more time.

Remember it’s not only about sales or bigging yourself up, share the difficult moments and what you learned from them, be authentic. If you’ve been really busy and struggled to find time to post, post about that. Every post doesn’t need to be how well your business is doing, where people can buy from you or what you offer.

Engagement is crucial, because of this, I would advise that you work out how much time you have for LinkedIn and then divide that up into how many posts you could manage each week but also leave time for engagement. If you have an hour each week which you’d be happy to dedicate to LinkedIn, one or two posts is plenty and then use the rest of that time to engage with other people’s content, peruse some hashtags, read some articles and leave plenty of comments.

Not more hashtags?!

I love a hashtag; I’ve talked about using them on Instagram and Twitter and now I’m going to tell you to use them on LinkedIn too. Hashtag research is something most small business owners just don’t have time for, fortunately there is a great blog post about the hot 100 hashtags being used on the social network as of July 2019 so you can start there. Keep them relevant and don’t overdo them. Until recently I was seeing better results with more hashtags but this has definitely changed, so keep it to a couple of relevant hashtags and mix them up each time.

The LinkedIn basics tl;dr*

Don’t feel that you have to be a robot; be yourself but keep it professional. Be consistent and focus on engaging with others

When you’re ready to offload your social presence to an expert so you can dedicate your time to what you love, I’d love to hear from you.

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