My name is Cate, and I am a social media addict. I have four instagram accounts, five Facebook pages, two Facebook groups, two Twitter profiles, two Pinterest accounts, a relic of a google+ account and an often-neglected LinkedIn profile. I dallied with SnapChat, but gave that up pretty quickly on the basis that I also need to feed my children something more elaborate than beans on toast at least once a week.
It’s no wonder then that I jumped at the chance for a social media review with Kat Shayler of SharpFox Marketing. I’m not inexperienced but I am completely self taught, with the odd bit of training thrown in, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to take stock of these proliferous profiles, and work out how to streamline them, market them and possibly, hopefully, make them into viable revenue streams.
We met last Thursday at the superbly simple Kindness and Co. in Cheltenham, opposite The Wilson. I was a bit early, and Kat was already there with a turmeric latte, so we immediately got on with our session. She’d already had a look at my many platforms and had a fair idea about what my business is up to and what our marketing goals might be. Ten out of ten for preparation.
Firstly we had a look at our business Instagram. It’s the platform I am most excited about and yet, due to time constraints, I’m less present on it than I think I ought to be. Kat had some great ideas about improving our blurb at the top, and we discussed the importance of selling the benefits of your business, not explaining what you do. (Sell the sizzle, not the sausage, someone once told me.) She also showed me how to get on with Instagram Stories, which has flummoxed me so far as I kept accidentally sending people I’d tagged random videos of my feet walking towards their events. Oh la la. Instagram Stories is a Big Deal folks, especially for businesses wanting to step out from behind their brand and show who they are. Kat had us up and running in no time.
I’d had a brain wave the night before about how to do our Instagram layout, because it’s basically like an online magazine of your business, and those little squares need to look composed, rather than a jumble of ideas and interesting fonts you spotted on your creativity app. Kat was ready with some great ideas about layout, and also how to use Instagram promotions to get our message in front of our target audience. And if you don’t know which apps to use, she does. I thought her tips were incredibly useful here, and have a couple of pages of notes about scheduling, creativity and hashtag management apps to try out.
This led us to a discussion about Facebook, which is our largest social audience but also sometimes the most baffling. And again, Facebook live is where it’s at: we need to get live coverage of what we are up to at Babel Babies sessions, and create trust in our brand. This terrifies me, the shy linguist behind the scenes, but Kat has buoyed me up: I will give it a go now that I know how to do it effectively.
Facebook advert manager is a pretty horrible interface to work with, in my opinion, and Kat helped me to untangle some of my knots about it. In particular, we examined the importance of targeting your adverts towards the audience that is most likely to respond to your advert. There are so many ways of doing targeting (actually, it’s a bit scary – your Facebook pixel tracks when someone has been on your website and Facebook just shows your adverts to these ‘hot leads’) that it’s great to have an expert take you through it. Sounds simple eh? Certainly Kat makes it feel simple, and I now know why some of my adverts went down a storm, and some have cost lots of money for little avail.
By the time I’ve updated my 1001 accounts I have very little energy left of an evening for the likes of Google+ or LinkedIn, but Kat has set me straight with both of these. You don’t actually have to reinvent the wheel for each platform: just keep Google+ up to date with similar posts to Facebook, which I imagine helps a lot with SEO since Google is in charge of that, isn’t it? And LinkedIn? Well! I’m now convinced it is worth more than my usual annual visit. Updated profile, latest blogs published on the newsfeed, business page updated, and we are ready to have a streamlined presence across all our social media platforms. With video. Oh yes.
Even for hardened addicts like myself, I’d recommend Kat wholeheartedly: she’s down-to-earth and practical in her approach, super knowledgeable, organised, and as sharp as a fox when it comes to knowing how to get people to click through to your site.
Kat is offering all CheltenhamMamans 15% off her one-to-one digital marketing training sessions (usually £189 for 2.5 hours) when you book before the end of May. She would be particularly valuable, I think, to start-ups who want to get off to a flying start with their marketing, or build confidence in using the many tools (which are often overwhelming) available to businesses. Before a session she looks at your existing platforms, creates a plan, discusses the plan with you during the session and then offers follow-up advice to help you get the most from your plan.
Book here and enter the code MAMAN15 for your discount, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Right, time to get on with my social media plan for the next few months. I feel so organised! Thanks, Kat!
An Endorsed Guest Blog from Cate Hamilton
Cate Hamilton is the co-founder of Babel Babies; multilingual, multisensory music sessions and loves helping parents and children learn languages together. She used to teach reluctant teenagers French, but realised after having her first child that babies are total geniuses at learning languages, and adults often wish they could speak other languages, so we should pair them up. She is a maman of three and enjoys (school) runs, photography and baking elaborate birthday cakes.
Find Babel Babies on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and join the little language revolution that started in Cheltenham nearly six years ago when two sleep-deprived mamans said to each other, “Know Twinkle Twinkle in any other languages? I’m so bored of singing it in English!”