For many start-ups and small businesses, social media posts are created in-house to minimise marketing costs and maintain tight control of initial brand messaging. That said, social media can be time-consuming and difficult to navigate if you don’t have much prior experience. Here are some of our very best tips for generating user engagement on your social media posts and channels:
Take your audience on your business journey
Audiences love hearing about how people started their business, and the challenges and successes they face on a daily basis. Why? Because these things are real, interesting and come from the heart. From the moment you start updating your social media channels, take your audience on your business journey with you (trust me - they’ll appreciate it!).
If you’re confident enough to do some live posts on your Facebook or Instagram stories, share these with your audience who will more than likely want to commiserate with you when things go wrong, and celebrate your successes.
Following on nicely from taking your audience on your business journey – the more personal your posts are, the more engagement they’ll create. We recently included a picture of the LIT Founder on the @litcommunication Instagram channel and doubled the audience engagement instantly compared with previous posts. The proof is in the pudding.
You should share some personal posts as well as business-related posts. Personal achievements such as raising money for charity, running a marathon, special moments with your children, reaching your goal weight or renovating your house are all things that your business followers will take an interest in. It also shows that there’s a real person behind the keyboard and naturally makes your audience more inclined to support you.
Remember that people don’t want to just hear the positives – it’s not realistic for everything to be plain sailing when you’re running a business. Share the challenges as well as the positives and you’ll find that your audience remains engaged.
Boost posts that call your audience to auction
A bit of paid advertising never hurt anybody. In fact, it can be just the ticket for highlighting specific offers/posts/competitions to your audience. Choose which posts you want to boost carefully and decide how much daily budget you can comfortably afford to put behind it. Paid spend between £1.00 - £5.00 per day should be effective enough for a small business post.
At LIT Communication, we recently boosted our client’s competition post and attracted over 50 new followers and countless competition entries within a week’s timeframe (spending £3.00 per day).
Use hashtags and tag to your heart’s content
Use a mix of small and large volume hashtags on your social media channels to get your posts seen by a wider audience. This is because the audience searching for those smaller volume hashtags might be much more relevant to you, and using a mix means your posts won’t get lost in the crowd, as they would if you only used high volume hashtags. You can add up to 30 hashtags on Instagram, so make the most of this and include relevant hashtags that relate to your posts. This could include location-based hashtags or industry hashtags, for example.
Do your research and find out which hashtags your audience engage with. It can be time-consuming to add hashtags so make sure you have a set to hand that you can quickly add to your posts and rotate if you’re on the go. You can also look at which hashtags competitors are using and see if there are any you could utilise to reach more people.
It’s also a good idea to tag other people or businesses in your posts. If you attend a business networking event, for example, try and tag some of the people or businesses that you met on the day in your posts, and don’t forget to add your location to expand your reach even further.
Run a competition
It can definitely be more difficult for a services-based business to grow their social media following. In our experience, product-based businesses have something more tangible to base their posts on, which attracts more followers.
If your aim is to attract more followers on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn – it’s always a good idea to run a competition. Think about what you would like to win from your business if you were a customer and base your prize on that. If yours is a business in the beauty industry, the prize could be a pamper day for example. If you’re in the automotive industry, you could offer a personalised number plate to the winner. The bigger the prize, the more likely you are to attract more competition entrants and subsequently, more followers. Make sure that social media users have to follow your account as part of the competition entry, and you should soon see your social media community grow.
When you do have the budget to outsource social media, it’s a good idea to pass this element of marketing to the capable hands of an expert. You’ll quickly find that this frees up time for you to focus on other elements of your business as it blooms, and your customers increase.
For a quote on social media management for your business, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We provide expert social media services for businesses in Huddersfield, Halifax, West Yorkshire and the wider UK.
Connecting the content on your marketing channels is an excellent way to symphonise your brand messaging and ensure your audience stays in tune with what’s happening.
If you haven’t already, start by identifying your key communication channels. It makes sense to keep these channels flowing with fresh content and brand news, rather than trying to cover all bases and post on all channels (even the ones your audience aren’t reading).
Once you’ve nailed your main marketing channels, create a content plan a month or so in advance which details how you’ll keep these updated and what you want to share, when. To make things easier to track, split your plan into owned content, earned content and paid content. This will give you an overview of what you can do yourself and where money needs to be spent to amplify your message. Depending on the message, your content can be shared through channels you own, earned through media coverage and boosted using paid marketing activity.
Understanding owned media
Owned media is content that you own and control on your business marketing channels. Think blogs, websites, social media channels and email marketing. The harder you work at producing unique content for your owned channels, the more media you’ll earn and the more customers you’ll naturally attract. You’ll also notice that this will gradually uplift your companies SEO rankings too.
Understanding earned media
Earned media is content that’s shared on third-party channels – ranging from recommendations to news articles. This all links back to creating content that’s worth sharing. Company updates, unique start-up stories, informative blog posts, a strong SEO strategy and engaging social media posts can all support your brand’s quest in achieving earned media, so it shouldn’t be underestimated.
Understanding paid media
Paid media is what it says on the tin – content that you pay to promote. It’s an effective way to expand the reach of your owned and earned media, reaching new audiences that might not see you without the help of an extra boost from advertising. Paid media might come in the form of boosting social media adverts, paying influencers to wear your product/use your service/promote your brand or advertising on Google to appear at the top of search engine rankings for specific keywords/terms.
Shaping the perception of your brand
Connecting your content across these channels will help shape the story of your brand and allow your audience to follow the progression of your business. It also means you’re in control of shaping the external perception of your brand. Decide what you want your audience to know, learn or see and explain this in different ways, tailoring your content to each channel. This also makes your content sweat more, reaching a wider audience and saving you time (we know all too well how difficult it can be to market your own business when you’re busy providing a service or selling products to your customers).
For content and PR support in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire and beyond – get in touch by emailing email@example.com or calling us on 07792734259 to discuss marketing your business in the right way.
Automotive, motoring and fleet are highly competitive industries, and publicity is key to making your mark and standing out against other businesses that other similar products or services, PR will help shape the perception of your brand (the LIT motto) and with the right kind of content, position you and your brand as thought leaders in the industry.
News that’s worth sharing
Deciding what news is media-worthy can be tough to nail, but we recommend tailoring your media lists to each news item. We also recommend adapting your news or press release further to meet the needs of a specific publication. For example, if your news relates to a new vehicle model, but you want to send it to a fleet management magazine, highlight this in your release. Pull out all the information about the vehicle that relates to fleet management and make sure it’s prominent in the pitch and accompanying release/information you’re sending to that specific journalist.
In terms of the information you might have media success in sharing, publications are interested in news that’s topical (relating to current mainstream news/events – timing is everything), company successes (new appointments, information about business growth/profits, new clients, new products/services etc), news that’s unique, stories that have a human interest angle, or those issues that might directly affect the audience reading about them. Before you decide whether something’s newsworthy, take advice from your PR agency who are best placed to point you in the right direction of what will fly with journalists and what won’t. One simple trick is to look for similar stories published in the media, which publications have published them and what makes them interesting.
So which publications should you be targeting to spread the message about all your companies achievements and campaigns? We’ve put together a handy selection of UK automotive, fleet and business media to help you define your media list.
Example target publications for automotive/fleet/business coverage in the UK
Are you a West Yorkshire automotive/fleet/motoring business that wants to amp up your local, regional or national publicity? Get in touch with LIT’s founder and PR professional Sophie for a free PR consultation.
Developing a narrative is a strategic and compelling way to tell your business story, explain your business’s background and communicate your future vision. In this blog post, we talk you through developing your business narrative and communicating it to your audience, breaking the process down step-by-step so you can get to work creating yours. Remember that stories are what sticks with an audience, so telling your story well is worth spending some time working on.
How to develop your business narrative: step-by-step
1. Brainstorm and ask yourself some key questions
To start forging a clear narrative, brainstorm and write some questions about your business such as how you started it, why, what you specifically aim to deliver for customers and who your target market is. Then (without cringing), treat this step like you’re interviewing yourself. We recommend recording your answers on your phone or using a dictaphone. Being able to replay this back will help you decide what sounds effective for inclusion, and which parts are irrelevant to your narrative. It’s also a good idea to write down any specific words that you want to be associated with your business and to have these on hand when it comes to piecing together your narrative.
2. Focus on what makes your business unique
It’s important to consider what your business offers that sets you apart from competitors. This will form a key part of your narrative and should be what will resonate most with your customers - so don’t rush this stage. Think about what your competitors do, or rather don’t do and how you differentiate your business from theirs. For example, do you offer a personal service while they appear corporate and lacking in personality, or is the product your business sells a higher quality than its rival products? If so, these are the types of things you need to shout about in your business narrative.
3. Put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard)
The next stage is to pull your notes together and start writing (or hire a copywriter to help you nail your narrative). If you decide to go it alone, highlight all the best results of your brainstorming session, interview with yourself and notable words that you would like to use to represent your business and see what you come up with. Remember that the first draft is there to build upon and these things take time to perfect. Once you’re happy with it, run it past a few people who are familiar with your business to sound it out for a second opinion.
4. Share your story internally
Making sure that everyone who works for your business, understands your business is the next logical step. Getting your people on board with your company narrative is half the battle. Remember that word of mouth is still an inherently powerful marketing tool and if you have an interesting narrative, your employees will naturally want to share it with their network. It’s also a good idea to use visuals to help bring your narrative to life – people absorb visuals much easier than the written word.
5. Communicate your business narrative externally on your key marketing channels
Now it’s time to communicate your business narrative to your external audience and create interest in your company. Making sure your story is connected across your key marketing channels is important here, so it sticks in people’s minds. Hopefully, you’ll have already identified your main marketing channels by this point and will know exactly what type of posts encourage external engagement and resonate with your audience. Create a plan for sharing your narrative externally and make sure you follow it closely.
Remember that your business narrative is ongoing and should grow and develop as your business does. Importantly though, it’s what makes you stand out from competitors and engages your audience.
LIT Communication offers copywriting, SEO, graphic design, social media services, PR consultancy, PR and marketing services in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire and beyond. So, get in touch with us to help nail your business narrative and communications.
firstname.lastname@example.org / 07792734259
Public Relations (PR) campaigns are an excellent way to build new audiences, strengthen trust with your existing customers or clients and increase your brand presence – both on and offline. PR with a focus on sustainability and giving back to the environment is an even better way to get in the good books with the public and raise your profile.
In our latest blog post, we explore some creative PR campaigns that tick all the eco-friendly boxes and open up important discussions about the environment.
Lacoste: Save Our Species
The Lacoste x Save Our Species range was cleverly designed to help the IUCN Save Our Species programme’s work towards protecting endangered wildlife. The simple but effective idea saw the clothing brand replace the classic crocodile logo on its polo tops with a selection of endangered species. The number of polos made to represent each species corresponds to how many of the animals are left in the wild – from the Hawaiian monk seal to the Iberian lynx.
The three-year partnership sees all profits going towards IUCN’s work to conserve wildlife. What’s more? The brand has a whole page with details of the campaign and facts about each endangered species on its website.
Corona’s Plastic Wave
An advertising and PR campaign all rolled into one, Corona got people talking about their brand (and the environment) with their hard-hitting 3D ‘plastic wave sculpture’, set against the backdrop of a traditional billboard. The wave was crafted from 10,000 pieces of individual plastic waste, collected by The Marine Conservation Society.
To give the installation an interactive edge, members of the public were encouraged to drop off their plastic waste at the site of the advert in the run-up to World Ocean Day. The advert itself showed actor Chris Hemsworth surfing on the wave of plastic.
Lush and Humane Society International’s animal testing on humans
Back in 2012, Lush and Humane Society International elevated awareness of animal cruelty and testing with a shocking live campaign in the window of their London Regent Street store. A young artist was subjected to the same treatment as animals when they go through cosmetic product testing – restrained for ten hours, force-fed, given injections, parts of her head shaven and covered in different lotions.
The aim was for members of the public to sign a petition against animal testing. Not surprisingly, it worked and helped to raise awareness of both companies and their values simultaneously.
Surfrider Foundation – what goes in the ocean goes in you
To help promote their ‘rise above plastics’ campaign, the Surfrider Foundation created a powerful visual advert to let us all know that “what goes in the ocean, goes in you”. According to studies, fish off the West Coast ingest over 12,000 tons of plastic each year. The photograph of sushi littered with plastic serves as a stark reminder to help reduce our plastic use and protect the world’s oceans.
The ad encourages eco-conscious audiences to head to their Rise Above Plastics program web page and read up on how individuals can help eliminate the impact of plastics in the marine environment.
Adidas and their ocean plastic trainers
Adidas tuned into their sustainable side with this campaign, with the sports clothing and footwear manufacturer upcycling plastic rubbish from coastal communities and remote beaches into fashionable trainers. The kicks are made from 75% upcycled plastic and produced using a low-energy, low-water printing process. It’s reported that between 4.8 and 12.7 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, according to figures published in the Journal of Science in 2015, so what better way to utilise some of the waste than reuse it?
This campaign is certainly a hit with Adidas fans around the world, who purchased more than one million of the trainers in 2017 alone.
Get in touch with West Yorkshire PR agency LIT Communication using our contact page to discuss how we can help your brand think more consciously as part of your next PR, social media, content or SEO campaign.
Sophie Marsden, owner and PR specialist at LIT Communication