How To Start Marketing Your New Business On Social Media

[If you’d prefer to watch this in video format, scroll to the bottom!]

You’ve just started your new business.  Congratulations!!  I’m sure you’ve already realised that you should be using social media in your marketing mix.  But how do you get started and what are the right steps to take to lead you towards success?


  1. Work out what you want to achieve

Rather than just jumping straight in, take a bit of time to work out what success on social media looks like for your business.  If you’re looking to generate sales directly through social media, how many will you be aiming for in the coming year?  And then break that down by how much you expect each quarter.  If it’s web traffic, how much traffic are you expecting?  Get specific on what you wish to achieve and the date by which you wish to achieve it.  This will help keep you focused on the actions you need to take on social media.  It will also allow you to measure the success of your activity.


  1. Define your audience

Who is it you want to attract as your social media audience?  Get clear on as many features of your audience as you possibly can.  The more specific you can get, the more this will help you generate the right content.  And remember, if you target other businesses, your audience will be someone within the business, not the business itself.

You need to consider all demographics, plus behavioural features such as what challenges them, what knowledge they are seeking, what entertains them, what value can you provide for them.


  1. Pick the right platform(s)

Once you’ve highlighted who your audience is, it’s time to work out where that audience is.  You don’t need to be on every social media platform.  In fact, it’s probably best to not spread yourself thinly across them all.  Focus your efforts on the one(s) that will get you the best response from the audience you are looking for.  Research the demographics of each platform.  If you are B2B, LinkedIn is likely to be a must.  But consider other platforms too.  For example, Instagram is a popular place for professionals to build relationships in a more relaxed way than may be typical on LinkedIn.  If you’re B2C, you’re probably going to look more at Facebook and Instagram.  Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat and YouTube may also want to be part of your marketing mix, depending on your audience and your message.


There is a full video with 12 steps to start marketing your business on social media available to Planet Social Media members.  To find out more about Planet Social Media and what benefits members receive CLICK HERE.



5 Ways To Learn More With Less Time

I love learning.  And I’m sure you do too!  Yet, I feel that so many people miss the, often free, opportunities we are presented with to learn.  I think for the majority this comes down to time.  “I’m already really busy trying to grow my business, how can I possibly make time to learn how?”  Sound familiar?  I thought I’d share with you five ways I learn more without spending time I don’t have on doing it.

5 Ways To Learn More With Less Time

1. Listen to Podcasts

Podcasts are now my go to when I want to learn something new.  If I’m faced with a challenge in my business, or something I want to achieve, I search the podcast library for the solution.  I often find great new podcast channels as a result.  I don’t then stop what I’m doing and listen to the podcast.  Instead, I save it and then listen to it while I walk the dog.  Or while I’m in the gym.  Or cleaning the house.  The wireless headphones go in, and I listen to the podcast.  It’s amazing what you can learn in a half hour dog walk, and I always get home and have to jot down all the things I want to implement.


2. Watch YouTube Videos

YouTube is definitely another go to for me.  Especially for anything I need to visually learn, such as how to do something online.  I also love watching/listening to TED talks on YouTube, or searching for speeches from business people who inspire me.  Every evening, when I’m cooking dinner, I play a YouTube video at the same time, to learn while I cook!


3. READ Kindle Books

I can’t deny, I absolutely love a proper paperback book.  A Kindle to me just doesn’t beat the feel of a book in my hands.  Yet I still have a Kindle.  It lives in my bag.  And I have the Kindle app on my phone.  For a start, Kindle books are often much cheaper or on special offer, compared to paperbacks.  Many business book authors run 99p promotions for their Kindle book (as you saw me do last week with my book!  The offer is over, but you can still grab the book here if you haven’t already).  But the main bonus for me is that having a Kindle library full of business books means I always have a book with me.  If I’m waiting for someone for a meeting, or I’m sat in the doctors waiting room, or anywhere that I don’t have my computer with me and I bit of time on my hands, I read some of the Kindle book I have on the go at that time.  I also always read before bed, even if it’s just 10 minutes.  And I have been known to pick up my phone and open the Kindle app in the small hours of the morning when sleep is evading me!


4. LISTEN TO Audio Books

I definitely prefer reading to listening to books.  But reading takes a good bit of time commitment.  You can’t really do anything else at the same time.  So, listening to the audio version of the book is often a better option.  As with podcasts, I sometimes listen to audiobooks while walking the dog and doing jobs round the house.  But mostly, I reserve audio books for long car journeys.  Those few hours in the car are no longer wasted, as I’m learning as I travel.


5.  Manage Blog Sites With Feedly

I love reading blogs.  They keep me up to date with the latest goings on in social media.  And also often give me some great business ideas.  There are about 30 blog sites that I really enjoy and get lots from.  I use Feedly to help me keep on top of any new posts from my favourite sites.  Then, each morning, I spend about 10 minutes having a look through new posts of interest.  Feedly is free to use and there is both a browser version and an app.

Learning (and taking action from what you’ve learnt) is such an important part of growing a business.  I really hope I’ve given you an insight in to how you can learn more without spending lots of extra time doing it!  Happy learning!!!

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!

Twitter List Search – Google Hack

Twitter lists are a great way of organising the users who’s content you are interested in on Twitter.

I’ll do another post soon about how you might use your own lists.  But there are an awful lot of public lists out there that you could subscribe to, without having to pull the list together.

For example, if I wanted to see what businesses in Manchester are saying on Twitter, I could pull together a list of all Manchester businesses on Twitter.  Or I could see if someone has already created one!

Twitter List Search Google Hack

You can’t search for lists on Twitter.  But you can search for lists on Twitter via Google!  To do, just put the following in Google search: inurl:lists <your search term>

You simply need to put your search term within the brackets.  For example, I might search: inurl:lists <manchester businesses>

You can then subscribe to that list, and follow members of the list!

7 Ways to Increase Your Facebook Organic Reach

Facebook offers such a great opportunity for marketers.  But there is a big BUT!!!  BUT, most businesses suffer to get a satisfactory level of organic reach.  So, how can you increase your Facebook reach?

Reach is how many people are seeing your Facebook page posts.  You can see the reach of each individual post underneath that post on your page.  Alternatively, you can find out the reach of your posts, and compare it to your other posts, in your page analytics.  Of course, you want to reach as many people as you possibly can with your Facebook posts.  Otherwise, what would be the point of creating them!

7 Ways to Increase Your Facebook Organic Reach

1. Check your analytics

Keep an eye on the analytics of your posts.  Do a brief review at the end of each week.  Which posts generated the highest reach?  Make sure you replicate this type of post going forward.  Was there an image?  A link?  A video?  Did the post generate lots of engagement (likes, comments, shares)?  What posts achieved a very low reach?  How can you avoid these types of post going forward?

2. Encourage engagement

The more engaged someone is with your page, the more likely they are to see your posts.  Facebook will only show content to a user if they think that user is going to be interested in the content.  The more they engage with your posts, the more likely they are to see future posts.  Ask a question to encourage comments.  Or ask them to complete a sentence/fill in the blank.  Or simply ask them to click ‘like’ if they agree with your post.  Do something that prompts the user to respond to your content.

3. Create timely content

Being on the ball with things going on in your industry will make a big difference.  If you can generate content that is very timely, it is more likely to be shared.  Users sharing your content can dramatically increase reach, encourage page likes, and engage new users.

4. Use video

Facebook is currently showing a lot of preference to video content.  Videos are getting far higher reach than any other form of content.  Share YouTube videos.  They don’t have to be your own, just ones that will be of interest to your audience.  Even better if the video content is your own though!

5. Go live!

And yet even more preference is given to live video!  Facebook live offers huge opportunities to businesses to show their authenticity, to engage their audience in a different way, to take their audience behind-the-scenes, and to dramatically increase reach!  Most businesses won’t be prepared to go live, so do what others won’t!!

6. Run competitions

Facebook allows you to run competitions that reward comments and likes of posts.  Ask a question and do a prize draw of all answers.  This will give your engagement a boost, which will not only help the reach of the competition post, but of future posts too!

7. Give your audience what they want

Deliver content that appeals to your target audience.  They are far more likely to engage or to click links if it is something that appeals to them.  Get clear on who your target audience is on Facebook, then brainstorm what that audience would be interested in seeing on Facebook.  The closer you can get to what they want, the better engagement (and as a result reach) will be.

What else has helped you to achieve great reach on Facebook?

10 Ways to Make Snapchat Work For Your Business

Last week, I posted a Beginner’s Guide to Snapchat.  If you’re not yet on there, you can head over to that post to get started!

Snapchat offers a really unique opportunity for businesses.  The user base is growing quite dramatically.  And the offering is different to a lot of the other platforms.  To start with, you can only take snaps from within the app, so we’re all working with the same smartphone technology.  You can get special lenses to add to your camera, or use third party apps to upload images.  But mainly, it all takes place within the app.  That means, businesses are working at the same level as consumers.  As such, it is much easier to build a relationship with a brand on Snapchat.

It also offers a real authenticity to a business.  And it allows for creativity.  So, how can you use Snapchat in your business?

10 Ways to Make Snapchat Work For Your Business

  1. Build the story of your day

Sometimes, as customers, it’s hard to understand what goes on behind the products and services we buy.  Snapchat stories give you the chance to showcase this.  The fashion website, ASOS do this really well.  They take their Snapchat audience through the design process, right through to shooting new collections.  You can also do this in creative ways, using the stickers and text, plus video filters, speeding up, slowing down, or reversing your video.  And there’s one thing that all marketers know, and that’s that stories sell!!


2. Sneak peeks

Got something exciting coming up?  Build the suspense with Snapchat!!  Your customers will already be excited to buy before you’ve even launched.  Give them clues to what it might be, show sneak peeks of products, build up to a launch date, and sell much quicker to an engaged audience!


3. Share your knowledge

Snapchat allows you to post 10 second videos.  You can build up tips through these videos.  You could do a list (e.g. ‘I’m going to be sharing 5 ways businesses can use Snapchat over the next few snaps’).  Then share those tips, one per video.  Or just do a quick ten second tip.  As with all platforms, think about how you can help the audience, rather than it just being about you!


4. Open up conversation

One of the things I really like about Snapchat is the private engagement.  People aren’t engaging just to be seen.  You could open up your chat to the public (I would only do this briefly if you don’t want to be bombarded with ‘suggestive pictures’!).  These chats will only be seen by you, but gives your audience a chance to ask questions.  You could run a 10 minute Q&A for example, and maybe add some of the responses to your story.


5. Be real

Snapchat is a very authentic platform.  It gives users a real behind the scenes look.  So, being real as a business makes it much easier to have success on there.  I talk a lot about ‘brandonality’ (the personality of your brand), and Snapchat is a platform where this is essential.  Get clear on your brandonality and then use it in your snaps!


6. Snapchat only offers

You can reward your loyal Snapchat audience by offering them something that isn’t available elsewhere.  Make a big deal of the fact they can’t get the offer anywhere else.  Be clear on the process of claiming the offer.  And make it deadlined!  This is also a great way to gain a little more insight in to how likely your audience on Snapchat are to buy from you.  And to convert them in to customers.


7. Customer take over

You could hand over your Snapchat account to one of your customers for the day.  Be clear on what you want them to snap about, and of course it should be related to them using your product or service.  Be sure you’re confident with the person taking over your account, and offer them something in return for their efforts.


8. Bring your audience to live events

If you hold events, you should DEFINITELY be using Snapchat!  This is your opportunity to expand your live event to an online audience.  Snap your way through the event, and build anticipation for future events.


9. Share your snapcode

Don’t be shy in telling people you’re on Snapchat.  You need to make sure they can find you.  Add your snapcode to the side bar of your website.  Put an image of it up if you have premises that customers come to.  Add it to email signatures.  If you deliver products, add a snapcode image in with the delivery.  And keep your username consistent with your business to make you easy to find.


10. Have fun

I think the big opportunity that Snapchat offers to businesses, is the ability to have a bit of fun.  And when you relax and enjoy Snapchat, your audience will enjoy your snaps.  You are going to build a whole new level of engagement with them, by being on the same level as them.  Get creative with your snaps, think about the day ahead and how you can build your snap story around it.  Download your snap story and share on other platforms, to showcase your Snapchat account.  And enjoy!!!

If you have any Snapchat related questions, just give me a shout!  Make sure you add me too!  My snapcode is below, and I’m samflynn25 on there!

My snapcode
My snapcode

Beginner’s Guide to Snapchat (May 2016)

I’m loving Snapchat at the moment and, three months ago, I didn’t expect to say that!!  I used to be completely in the dark when it came to Snapchat, and associated it with something the younger generation use rather than businesses.  But actually, Snapchat offers huge potential for businesses of all sizes.  Creating ‘your story’ really gives a behind the scenes look in to the business or the person running that business.  And, the great thing about Snapchat is that it is all run through your phone, so we’re all working with the same kit.  There is no need for any expensive equipment to make it look more ‘professional’.

Another thing I love about Snapchat, is that no one can see how many people you have following you.  No one can see how many people have viewed your snaps.  It’s much more about quality than it is quantity.  And, because ‘snaps’ only last 24 hours, you can start pretty much at the same level as everyone else.  There is no awkward first post!  Because those posts will be gone after 24 hours.

I thought I would do a step-by-step beginner’s guide to help those of you who are new to the platform, as there is a lot of swiping involved!  I urge you to give it a go, as you can start creating snaps without anyone following you to see how it all works, or start by following others and seeing what they post.  In the next part in this series, I’ll talk about how you can use Snapchat for business.  But, before you can do that, you need to get set up on Snapchat!!


  1. Download the app

Go to your app store, and download Snapchat.  I also run Snapchat on my iPad, but had to search iPhone only apps to do this, as there isn’t actually a Snapchat for iPad app.  Snapchat is available on iOS and Android.


  1. Create your account

Go through the sign up process on the app.  When creating a username, this has to be unique and not used by any other Snapchat users.  Try to be consistent with your other social channels if you can (unlike me who stupidly went for one that wasn’t the same back when I joined!!  I’m samflynn25 on there).


  1. Add a picture to your snapcode

As well as your username, you will have a snapcode.  This is a ghost symbol surrounded by a yellow background with black spots.  This is like your own personal Snapchat barcode!  People can use this to add you via your snapcode (more on this later!).  To get to your snapcode, swipe down from the screen used to take snaps.  To add a selfie to your snapcode, click your snapcode, line your face up in the ghost and press the capture button!  This will take 5 shots consecutively, so you can pull five different faces!  The share button in the top right hand corner allows you to share your snapcode and save it to your phone.




  1. Add friends

When you add friends, you will be able to see the snaps they share to their story.  You can also send them snaps directly if they add you back.  Again, swipe down from the screen used for taking snaps.  Then choose ‘add friends’.  You have a few options.  First is to add my username, which means knowing the username of the person you want to add.  Secondly, you can add from address book.  This will go through your contact list and let you know who is on Snapchat.  Thirdly, you can add by snapcode.  If you find someone you want to add on Snapchat and they have shared their snapcode, you can take a picture of their code, or take a screen shot.  When you choose ‘Add by Snapcode’ it will access your pictures, you select the image of the code, and Snapchat will then scan it.  Clever stuff!!  Fourthly, you can add nearby.  A friend must open ‘add nearby’ at the same time in order to do this.  Good for if you’re physically with someone you want to add on Snapchat!





If you’re wondering where to start with finding people to add, a simple option is to run a search on Twitter for ‘snapchat’ and filter it by those you follow.  You’re already following them on Twitter, so you’d probably be interested in their snaps too!


  1. Change your settings

If you want to adjust any of your settings on Snapchat, you can access these by scrolling down from the snap screen, as you have to add friends, then clicking the settings icon in the top right hand corner.



  1. Get snapping!

And now the fun can begin!!  When you open the app, you will be taken to the snap screen for you to start creating snaps.  You have a few options on that screen.  You can turn the camera to either be outward facing or front (selfie) facing, by pressing the little face with arrows icon in the top right corner.  You can also do this by double tapping the screen.  You can choose to turn on or off the flash in the top left corner.  By tapping the circle in the bottom centre, you take a picture.  By holding this circle down, you have ten seconds to record a video.



  1. Add filters

Once you have taken your snap, you can add filters to it by swiping left or right on that snap.  Filters include time, temperature, speed, geofilters of your location, black and white and other colour altering filters.


  1. Add text

You can also choose to add text if you wish.  Tapping the ‘T’ symbol once will give you a line on which to add text.  Tapping it twice will allow you to write text in different colours, and use your two fingers to zoom the text in and out to make it smaller or bigger.  Tapping the ‘T’ a third time will put this coloured text in the centre of your snap.


  1. Add emojis

The world is emoji mad at the moment isn’t it!!  And Snapchat is no different.  By tapping the notepad symbol in the top right corner, you are given all the standard emojis.  Once you’ve chosen your emoji, you can increase and decrease its size using your two fingers to zoom it in or out.  You can add as many emojis as you wish.


  1. Add doodles

Tapping the pencil symbol will allow you to doodle on your snap in different colours.  You could add circles round something you want to point out, or arrows.  You could write (though my handwriting looks terrible when I attempt this!!).  You could shade in the background of your text.  This is your chance to be creative!!!



  1. Use the crazy face filters

If you really want to make your snaps fun and a little crazy, you can add filters to your face before you take a snap when in selfie mode, or on others’ faces in outward facing camera mode.  To do this, focus the camera on your face, and press and hold the screen on your face.  Hold until a white frame goes over your face.  You should then be presented with different face filters for you to choose from.  These change daily.  You could be a dog, have flowers in your hair, have a full face of make up, have a distorted face, or any other weird and wonderful filter that is available that day!  You then take your snap as normal, either as a picture or video.



  1. Add your snap to your story

Once you’ve created your snap, you can then add it to your story.  This can be viewed by those who have added you on Snapchat.  To add to your story, click the square with the plus sign in, in the bottom left hand corner of your snap.


  1. Save your snap

You can also choose to save your snap by clicking the save icon in the centre of the three icons in the bottom left of the snap.


  1. Change the length of time your snap is viewable

Picture snaps are viewable in the flow of your story for however long you set out in the timer button in the bottom left.  If you have lots of text, make it longer, if no text, keep it short!


  1. Send to others

You also have the option to send your snap directly to someone, rather than adding it to your story.  They must have added you back for you to be able to do this.  Click the arrow in the bottom right of your snap, and choose who you wish to send it to.  They will still only have 24 hours to view that snap.



  1. View others’ stories

If you swipe from right to left on your snap screen, you will be taken to stories, where you can view the stories of those you have added on Snapchat.  When viewing a story, you can tap the screen to move on to the next snap in the story.  You can also swipe from right to left to move on to the next person’s story.  You’ll also be able to open up your story and see how many people have viewed each individual snap in your story, and who those people are.


  1. Respond to snaps

If they have added you on Snapchat (or alternatively have made themselves public so that anyone can chat with them), you will able to chat with people from their snaps.  You can click the chat button at the bottom centre of the snap to send someone a message about that snap.


  1. Chat with others

You can also swipe from left to right to access the chat area.  This will allow you to send a chat to someone.  Choosing the message symbol in the top left hand corner allows you to create a snap as usual for that person, or you can send them a saved image, ring them, have a video conversation or send them different snap memes.




And that’s it!  I know, I know, it does seem like there’s a lot to it, and a lot of swiping here and there.  But, once you get the hang of it, the swiping around becomes pretty easy.  And keep coming back to this guide to refer to and get your head around using Snapchat!

You’ll find times in your day that you want to snap.  Every day will likely be different.  And, if you’re still unsure, you can join and just observe at first.  Add people and see what kind of things they post.  Then, when you feel a little more confident, start adding your own snaps.

I do urge you to give it a go.  I do think platforms like Snapchat are going to become very important for businesses, particularly if your competitors adopt it and you don’t.  Snapchat provides a real level of authenticity for your customers, and a deeper insight in to your business.

In the next part in this series, I’ll go through how you can use Snapchat for business.

Make sure you follow me too!!!  I’m samflynn25!



Knowing Your Target Audience

Knowing your Target Audience

Your target audience is who you want to be ‘listening’ to you on social media. So, do you know who yours is? And are you generating content that appeals to them. In this week’s vlog, I talk about the importance of understanding who your target audience is.

As I mentioned in my Vlog I have a CREATING ENGAGING CONTENT FOR SOCIAL MEDIA online course which includes 9 key modules!

Content Includes :

  • how to stand out on social media with your content
  • how to engage with your followers
  • how to build effective relationships with your customers and prospects
  • how to increase awareness of your brand
  • how to increase web traffic to your web page with fantastic content
  • plus I share 30 different content ideas for you to use!




The Only Marketing Steps You Need This Year!

We all know that Marketing is something every business strives for.

To achieve the best Marketing for your business this year, follow these easy steps to Marketing heaven!

The use of Marketing has established itself as one of the most dominant ways to increase customer population in today’s market.

Here are the steps you need to incorporate into your marketing campaigns this year; how many are you already using?

Document your strategy
If you want to be more effective at content marketing, document your marketing strategy!

Having a verbal strategy is a great first step. However, as the research shows, it pays to take the time to write it down: 60% of those who have a documented strategy rate themselves highly in terms of marketing effectiveness, compared with 32% of those who have a verbal strategy.”

Time to invest in visual content

For Marketing content to be truly “creative” and successful it’s important that it’s visually arresting, not just pleasing.  Every day consumers are handed with well-designed marketing offerings, with good colour schemes, professional imagery, and nice fonts. All the pieces truley break through to the consumer as well as introducing something unexpected.

Stick with The Big Three
The Big Three of social media are LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Quality content posted on these three is paying bigger dividends than ever before. Everything else on the social network is basically chump change. But, keep an eye on the up-and-coming venues like Vine and Snapchat. These upstarts are becoming more and more valuable as their audience becomes more dependent on mobile devices like smartphones.

Focus on using Information that is Informative and useful
Customers don’t want to be force fed advertising copy anymore. They are looking for information that is both informative and useful. You, as a marketer, need to find ways to locate and curate information that your clients both want and need.

Always remember, your marketing is only as good as your content — so invest in your content!