5 Ways To Use Humour In Your Social Media Posts

I often ask people I’m training to think about what they love seeing on social media.  And most of the time it involves humour.  Humorous posts are very popular on social media.  They give us a light relief from our day.  And possibly something we can relate to.  Yet businesses often struggle with humour.  They think it lacks professionalism.  As a result, they stick with the mundane and have little success with social media.

So, how could you inject a bit of laughter in to your updates?

5 Ways To Use Humour In Your Social Media Posts

  1. Use Memes

Memes are a quick and easy way to create funny images.  And they have a great chance of being shared too. Find a funny picture, use your own or one from a stock image website, and had humorous text over it using Canva.  Think about memes you could create about the day of the week (Monday dread, Friday excitement), the weather, seasonal occurrences, and so on.  Or if you struggle, share a meme that someone else has created and give them credit for it.

Put time in to social media?

2. Share Office Funnies

You can walk in to some offices to be met with sounds of laughter and fun.  Yet, look at their social media and you’d never think that was the case.  Take pictures round the workplace of funny goings on (that you and employees are happy to share!).  Go behind the scenes with live streams.  Let people in to the personality of your business.

3. Use Boomerang

Boomerang is an app from Instagram that creates mini vides that repeat back and forth.  They can make the most mundane actions like sipping a cup of tea look more funny!  Plus they give you simple video content to add to your social media.

4. Create A Mascot

Incorporate a mascot in to your posts, such as a soft toy.  My mum does a great job of this on her Facebook page for her plant nurseries business.  Every post includes her dog, and he’s now a bit of a celebrity in the Isle of Man!  Adding a mascot in to a simple image can bring it to life and help your audience to build a relationship with you, while also adding a bit of humour.

Ballanelson Nurseries

5. Brainstorm ‘What’s Funny About This?’

If you want to talk about something work related, grab a piece of paper and take 5 minutes brainstorming what could be funny about it!  You’ll be surprised how a bit of brainstorming can lead to some really funny posts!

So, go and have a bit of fun with your social media.  I’m sure the impact will be huge!

The Dos and Don’ts of Social Media

Often when I’m designing training and speaking to clients, they ask me to include the dos and don’ts of social media.  What can you do and what can’t you do.  The answer:

WHATEVER YOU WANT!!!

Ok. That is slightly extreme.  I would definitely advise against being discriminatory, offensive and any other kind of nasty approach.  And some of the platforms do have their own regulations.  Like no pornography for example.  But I’m sure you weren’t planning that…!

The Dos and Don'ts of Social Media

But we can often become too obsessed with what we should and shouldn’t be doing.  And as a result, we end up doing exactly the same thing as everyone else and just blending in to the background.

I’ve seen approaches on social media from businesses that use bad language.  I’ve seen funny videos of staff messing about in the office.  I’ve seen humour shared in every post.  And lots of other things that break the ‘professional’ norm.

I’m not suggesting you have to do all that.  But there are two things you need to think about when it comes to deciding on your approach.

  1. The Personality of Your Brand – Brandonality

I’m always banging on about brandonality (mainly because I invented the word!!).  But personality is so important on social media.  Figure out what your personality is and then put that across on social media.  I hope you agree that you see my personality coming through in these blog posts, in my online videos, in my posts, and in everything I do on social media.  I don’t try to pretend to be something I’m not.  And I only want to work with businesses who enjoy my personality!

2. Your Audience

The other thing you need to consider is your audience.  If you are going to lose lots of business by swearing on social media, then it’s probably advisable not to do it!  Know your audience and what they’d like to see from you on social media.  Paddy Power get this perfect with their football related humour on their Facebook page (go take a look when you’ve got a spare few minutes by clicking here).  Their audience are going to relate more to football humour than constantly hearing about the latest odds.

So, this might not have been what you expected when you saw the title.  But don’t get hung up on the dos and don’ts of social media.  Instead, create your own dos and don’ts.  Because your approach should be completely unique to your business.

Good luck!

 

 

My New Social Media Videos and What I’m Using To Create Them

If you follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook then you will have seen I have started to create short (less than 1 minute to allow for Instagram) videos every week.  I publish around 3-4 videos a week.  And each video is a little action or idea that you can take away and use in your business.

My New Social Media Videos and What I'm Using To Create Them

I love video content.  It is the type of content I definitely consume the most of.  And it is something I had been doing myself ‘now and again’.  But I realised I was making it too complicated.  It only needed to be a quick simple video that gave people a piece of inspiration or an idea to use.  No big production needed.

I take around 5 minutes filming, producing and publishing each video.  5 MINUTES!!  And I think that the desire for perfection is something that can hold us back from doing what we know we should be.  Being authentic is often much more desirable to your audience than a slick production.

The one thing I wanted to make as easy as possible for these videos was the addition of subtitles.  Most people will watch your social media videos without audio.  So, if the main message is in the spoken word, chances are they won’t watch it.  Add subtitles, and your viewing figures will start to rise.  But I didn’t want to spend ages adding subtitles to my videos.  So, I did a little research and discovered a really easy to use free app from Apple called Clips.

Clips allows you to record your video, adding subtitles as you record it.  You can then watch it back, stopping it and making edits to any of the subtitles that are incorrect.  I’ve found, so long as I speak slow enough (which is quite a challenge for me!), there are only a small number of corrections to make.  You can then share your video directly from Clips to social media or download it to your phone.

So now I have no excuse, and neither do you!!!!  Video content gets far higher reach than written content typically, and it also helps people build a relationship with you.  Much easier to get to know someone when you hear and see them speak than in written word.

Go and have a look at some of the videos I’ve done using Clips to get an idea.  Click here to go to my Facebook page videos.  I’m definitely going to continue with this new content approach, and hope I’ve inspired you to do the same too!

My next LIVE online Creating Social Media Content That Sells starts on 12th September.  To join me, click here!

How I Get Most Of My Business Through LinkedIn

Around 70% of my business is generated via LinkedIn.  That’s a pretty hefty proportion!!  But it’s why I dedicate most of my social media time to this platform.  It works so well for me!  I thought I’d share a few of the things that allow me to generate so much business through LinkedIn.

How I Get Most Of My Business Through LinkedIn

  1. Connecting with anyone

Well, not quite anyone!  I always veto them first by having a quick look at their profile.  But I will near enough accept 9/10 of the invitations I receive to connect on LinkedIn.  It opens my network much wider, and I am able to appear in more search results, as my 2nd connection network is so large.

 

2. Posting regular updates

Of course, it’s not all just about connecting.  You need to be visible to your connections too!  I post status updates regularly on LinkedIn, at least 3 times a week.  These keep me in the awareness of my connections, as well as helping them out with useful articles, blog posts and tips.

 

3. Sending messages

I use the message facility a lot on LinkedIn.  I run a search through my 1st connections for those who I think will be interested in my message, and I then send it through to them.  For my workshops, I always have at least one person there who has booked on as they’ve received a LinkedIn message from me.

 

 

4. Searching for my target market

I regularly run searches on LinkedIn for my target market and connect with them.  I expand my network regularly with the right people.

 

5. I don’t waste my time in groups

Groups are becoming less and less popular on LinkedIn.  I no longer participate in any of the groups I am a member of, as I know it’s not the best use of my time.  I would rather focus that time on building my network, posting updates and sending relevant messages.

 

This is obviously a very quick overview and there is much more to it that this.  But I can’t give all my LinkedIn secrets away in one post!  If you want to know more, why not book on my LinkedIn Success LIVE online course!  You can find all the details by clicking here.

7 Ways To Win New Business On Social Media Today

Social media can be a bit of a slow burner when it comes to generating business.  Generally, you’ll be far more successful on social media if you work at building relationships with your audience.  Which does take time.  But it pays off in the long run, when those relationships start to convert.  If you’re getting a little bored with waiting, there are some ways you can speed things up a little!

7 Ways To Win New Business On Social Media TODAY!

1. Run A Flash Sale

Having a really good offer that is only available for a very short time period, such as 24 hours, is a good way of generating sales quickly on social media.  You can talk about the flash sale on all your social media channels, lead up to it before the day, share numerous updates about it on the day, pay to promote those posts, and countdown to the flash sale being over in your updates.  It will have to be tempting enough to make people want to buy.  Think 50% off instead of 10%!

2. Ask For Meetings

One thing we often find difficult to do is ask people to meet up.  Yes, some people will say no.  But imagine if you asked 10 people every day if they wanted to have a meeting, and one came back and said yes.  That’s 9 no’s.  But it’s one yes!!  That’s a meeting every day.  You could do this via LinkedIn message to your connections or via direct message on Twitter.

3. Chase Prospects

Social media can offer a way to keep in the awareness of people and businesses you’ve supplied quotes to.  If you are struggling to get an answer via email, or they’re not available to chat to on the phone, have a go on social media!  You could simply reply to their updates to remind them of your business.  Or you could get straight to the point and ask them via social media if they’d had any further thoughts.

4. Find Your Targets and Speak To Them

Highlight 50 targets that you’d like to become customers.  Then go and find them on social media.  Connect with them on LinkedIn.  Follow them on Twitter.  Wherever you can find them on social media, follow them!  Then start talking to them.  Build the conversation to the point where you suggest meeting up.

5. Run A Competition

Competitions typically generate larger audiences, due to participation increasing reach.  On Facebook, you can ask people to comment on your post to be entered in to a draw.  This will lead to more of their friends seeing your post too.  You can’t ask to share though, in line with the Facebook competition guidelines.  But you can ask people to retweet on Twitter!  Follow your competition up with a fab offer for all those who didn’t win the prize (which will be one of your products or services!).

6. Run A Twitter Search

Twitter is often a go-to for recommendations.  “Can anyone recommend the best hair salon in Nuffield?”, “I could do with getting some business cards printed in the next 24 hours!”, “Any good suggestions for a decent accountant in Manchester?”, and so on!  Are people using Twitter to ask for your products or services?  Think of the keywords people may be using to ask for your product or service, then search for it, filtering to be close to your location if you are location-specific.  Then respond to those needs!

7. Go Viral

Easier said than done, right?!  But if you put enough effort in, you can go viral, or at least dramatically increase the reach of your posts.  More people seeing your post is likely to lead to more business.  So, what usually goes viral?  Humour works really well.  Or thought-provoking posts.  But the main thing is something that is completely different to anything that has been seen before.  So, get your thinking cap on!!!

Yes, these all take a little time commitment.  And some may feel a little forward.  But if you pick even one to do once a month, it may have a big impact on your business.  Good luck!

Will you marry me?

Engagement should be one of the most important aspects of your social media strategy.  Just as with a proposal of marriage, engagement signifies a long term relationship.  A bringing together of two people.  And in social media terms, it’s not much different!  Engagement will help your brand build relationships with customers and potential customers, and convert those potential customers in to customers, bringing them together with your brand!

Engagement is also really important for increasing reach.  Many platforms now favour posts with high levels of engagement, giving them higher reach and displaying them higher in feeds.  Engagement also leads to more engagement, as the more people who engage, the more people who see the post, who may then also engage too, and so on!  It’s essential in going viral!

So, how can we encourage more engagement on social media?

Will You Marry Me?

  1. Ask Questions

If you don’t ask them to comment, how likely are they to comment?!  Posting statements will generally lead to far fewer comments than posting questions.  Questions open up conversation.  That question mark leads the reader to want to respond.  Think of how you can turn the majority of your posts in to questions.  Got a blog post to share on social media?  Ask a question about the blog post at the end of your update.  Telling people what’s happening in your business that day?  Ask them what they are up to.  It doesn’t have to be a complicated question.  Just a question that encourages people to respond.

2. Ask For Engagement

If you don’t have a question to ask, instead ask them to engage how you wish them to.  For example, on Facebook you could use the reactions as a polling system – e.g. happy face for agree, angry face for disagree!  Or you could add a photo and ask people to suggest a caption for it.  Or ask them to fill in the blank – “The best thing about today was_____”.  People like to complete sentences!  Ask them to comment below, or to click that like button, or to tag a friend.  Whatever the action is, give them a call to action to take that action and they are far more likely to do it!

3. Give Them The Content They Want

People are more likely to engage with your content if they are interested in it or if it is of value to them.  Make sure you understand your target audience inside out and post content that will be of interest to them.  They are more likely to click, watch, like or respond if it’s the right content for them.

4. Look At Your Stats

How do you know what they want?  They are telling you!  If you get low levels of engagement on a post, chances are you haven’t hit the right note with it.  If you get high levels of engagement, then it’s resonating with your audience.  Make note of what is working and what isn’t and stick with what is!

5. Try Something New

One thing that really helps boosting engagement is doing something different.  If you’ve never gone live, give it a go.  Never posted a video, record one today.  Never shared a selfie, go ahead!  Success happens outside of your comfort zone.  So, head there and see that engagement go up!

Let me know how you get on and what type of content gives you the best engagement!  And, don’t forget, if you struggle with creating content, I’m running a LIVE online course from Tuesday 11th July that will help you create social media content that sells.  CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE DETAILS!

Stop The BORE!

I’ve been noticing a few posts from people on social media recently about how it is boring them.  Of course, they are still there, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to post that they are being bored.  But boredom is certainly becoming a big impact of the volume of social media use.  And businesses are not immune from the bore-factor!

Boring our audience isn’t going to win us any new business.  It’s not going to help grow our following and build engagement.  Instead it’s going to switch people off, our reach will go down and it’s unlikely we’ll meet our aims on social media.

So, how do we avoid boring our audience on social media?

Stop The BORE!

  1. Know your audience

Very simply, if you don’t know who your audience is, how do you know what content to give them?  Knowing your audience through and through is so important.  You need to know as much about them as possible.  Saying ‘our audience is SMEs’ isn’t good enough!  Who within those SMEs are you trying to target?  The MD?  HR?  Marketing?  You need to think about the people you are speaking to.  Then understand them.  What motivates them?  Challenges them?  Worries them?  Makes them happy?  Makes them laugh?

2. Give them what they want

This is something I’ve touched on in many blog posts before, but is such an important point.  All too often as businesses, we focus on what we want to tell people and forget what they might want to see.  Understanding your audience means you will start to understand they type of content they are interested in.  So, give them that content!

3. Let them tell you what they want

One of the easiest ways of understanding what your audience wants is seeing what they engage with.  Most social media platforms give you free analytics about your social media content, showing you the engagement you achieved for each post.  Use this to guide your future content.  Posts with high engagement are likely to be those that work best for your audience, while those with low engagement should be ditched.

4. Pay attention to what works for others

If you are seeing posts from businesses on social media that have received high levels of engagement, think about what has made that post successful.  Is the type of media they’ve used?  Did they use humour?  Did the topic of the post resonate with the audience?  Really pay attention to what works in general on social media and see how you can apply it to your business.

5. Use different forms of media

There are so many media options now when it comes to your social media content – images, GIFs, video, live, links…so many options.  And yet, most businesses still stick to the safe forms of media and some times don’t use any at all.  Increase your media collateral.  Film videos, take images, create GIFs and GO LIVE!

If you are stuck with how to engage your audience and give them the right content for them, you might be interested in my LIVE online course – Creating Social Media Content That Sells.  You can find all the details of the course by CLICKING HERE.

Should You Share Your Opinion On Social Media?

I’m writing this on Election Day here in the UK.  And, as such, there are a lot of arguments taking place via social media.  Social media is forming a huge part of election campaigning, and part of that is the view points of voters.  It made me think of something I’m often asked – should you share your opinion on social media?

Should You Share Your Opinion On Social Media?-2

  1. Align with your personality

I do think the most important thing to remember is your personality.  I don’t like conflict.  I never have.  I avoid arguments.  For all I’m not ‘scared’ to share my opinion, I will only do it in a way that is going to avoid conflict.  If you are happy to open up debates, then you don’t need to suppress that side of you.

2. There’s no money in the middle

I’ve heard this saying a few times.  That if we try and please everyone, we don’t stand out and will blend in to the background.  Would Jeremy Clarkson be as well known a TV and media personality if his views weren’t so hated by some and loved by others?  I’m always advising businesses to find ways to stand out, and sometimes opinion can help us do that.

3. But your reputation matters too

On the flip side of this, your reputation does matter.  And it can very quickly be damaged irreparably by social media.  Always align your social media activity with your business values and culture.  If you don’t want to be seen as a sweary angry business, then don’t be sweary and angry on social media!

4. Voice opinions without judgement

I think the most important way to get your opinion across on social media is without judgement or discrimination.  I’ve seen numerous posts on social media in the last week that insult anyone who chooses to vote for a different party than that person.  Of course, this leads to outrage and online arguments, and puts that user in a very negative light.  Word your opinion pieces so they lack judgement or discrimination against those who don’t share the same views.

5. Don’t be negative

Being negative on social media attracts more negativity.  The more positive we can be, the less negativity we attract.  Aim to put your opinion across in a positive light rather than negative.  Focus on the positives on your opinion rather than the negatives of the alternative view.

Don’t be scared about sharing your opinion.  Just be sure to do it in a way that will not be damaging to your business.

 

 

What SHOULD You Be Doing On Social Media?

I’ve been quite hard on myself recently about some of the things I SHOULD be doing on social media and aren’t doing.  I look at what other social media trainers and experts do and worry that I’m not doing things the same as them.  And yet, my advice to other businesses is always to be different and, more importantly, to be yourself.

We can read as many articles as we want.  We can go on courses.  We can take advice and guidance.  But it still comes back to our businesses, our aims and our approach.  And there is no SHOULD when it comes to that.

What SHOULD You Be Doing On Social Media?

Because every business is unique, and every marketer unique too.  And the most successful social media is the authentic kind.  Where we focus on what is right for us rather than on what we SHOULD be doing.

At the start of the year, I wrote a post about my social media resolutions for the year ahead.  When I look back now, I realise that post was focused on what I thought I SHOULD be doing, rather than what I knew was right for me to do.

It’s very unlikely that I will generate large volumes of business through Instagram.  And yet, I thought I SHOULD be using it more.  That I SHOULD be posting a picture every day.  It’s been wearing me down, as I haven’t kept up that resolution.  Yet, when I really think about it, what I really SHOULD be doing is what I’m already doing.  Focusing more of my attention on Twitter and LinkedIn.  Platforms that do generate business for me.

I worry that I’m not going to appear to be an ‘expert’ unless I’m spending all my time on social media.  That I SHOULD have a good presence on all platforms and spend the majority of my office time and spare time being present on there.  But there are many other things in my business that I SHOULD be doing too, and that I have to do.  Plus, work/life balance is incredibly important to me.  I have two young girls, and I want to spend time with them.  I also want to keep up my other hobbies as well.  And being an expert is showing other businesses how to take the right approach for them.  I need to do the same for my own business.

I see other social media experts progressing their career.  Getting great media coverage.  Interacting all the time with other key industry professionals on social media.  And, I think I really SHOULD be doing that too.  But I look at my business goals and aims and know that that is not the right approach for me.  That I have other things and areas I wish to conquer.

So, what SHOULD we (both you and I) be doing on social media?  You should be being you.  Focusing on your business aims.  Taking the right approach for your business.  Being authentic. Being different.  And not worrying about the things you think you SHOULD be doing.  That is when social media will really work for you and for your business.

 

The 7 Questions You Need To Ask About Your Content

Content is so important on social media.  In fact, it has never been more important.  With the volume of use of social media ever increasing, users have more and more content to absorb.  As such, we are become master scrollers.  We can quickly scroll through content, stopping on posts that we think will be most relevant to us.

Plus, if your content isn’t hitting the spot with your audience, you are likely to see a decline in reach, with your content reaching fewer and fewer people.  Making it even more important to get it right.

So, what do you need to be thinking about when it comes to content?

The 7 Questions You Need To Ask About Your Content

  1. What Do Our Audience Want?

All too often as businesses, we focus our content on what we want to tell people.  If we instead focus on what they want from us, we will have far more success with our content.  If you don’t know what your audience wants, ask them!  Run a survey and email it to your current customers.  And use your social media insights to see what gets the highest reach and engagement.

2. How Can We Create Unique Imagery?

Imagery is such an important part of your social media content.  It helps your posts stand out, and draws the eye (stopping the scroll past!).  Your own images will always work better than stock imagery.  It’s worth getting a photography to spend a few hours in your business, getting as many relevant shots as possible for you to use on social media.

3. What Video Content Can We Create?

It takes a lot longer to create video content than simply creating a written post.  But it is very much worth it.  You’ll get higher reach, and a lot of users will prefer to watch video content instead of reading an article.  If you haven’t got any specialist recording equipment, simply invest in a tripod to mount your phone.  If you use your phone landscape, no one will know it is a phone production!

4. What Could We Go Live With?

Live video content will get an even greater reach!  Viewers love live content and, on both Facebook and Twitter, it remains on your feed as a video.  Live can be scary.  Which is why most businesses won’t do it.  Which is why you should!

5. Are We Posting Often Enough?

Ducking in and out of social media won’t get you much success.  Instead, you should post regularly and preferably daily (and multiple times a day when it comes to Twitter.)

6. Are We Encouraging Engagement?

Engagement is so important for building relationships with your audience, and also increasing the reach of your content.  Some forms of content don’t encourage any engagement, such as statements.  Ask more questions, post more videos (a watch counts as engagement), and ask them to comment.  Then respond to those who comment!

7. Are We Selling Too Much?

It’s tempting to focus on selling our products on social media.  But users aren’t there to be sold to.  You are more likely to increase sales via social media if you sell less!  Try to aim for an 80/20 split.  80% of your posts should be relevant, valuable and entertaining content for your audience, while the other 20% can focus on the products and services that you sell.

Content isn’t the easiest to get right.  But when you do, that’s when your social media success really does soar.

I am running a LIVE online course in July, completely focused on your content.  The course will take place over three separate sessions, and give you all the tools and techniques you need to get your content right, and make sure that it converts to sales too!  FOR MORE DETAILS AND TO BOOK YOUR PLACE, CLICK HERE!