October National & International Days.

International #CoffeeDay – 1st October
Wake up your customers with a great coffee quote post!
#TuesdayTip – Every Tuesday

Post a tip related to your followers that really helps you or your business.

#WorldSmileDay – 2nd October

Post a fab photo of you smiling and tell us what makes you happy!

#NationalTechiesDay – 3rd October

If you’ve been thinking about using a new tool to help you grow your business, this is the time to get it! Or tag a great piece of tech you always use.

#WorldAnimalDay – 4th October

The perfect opportunity for a cute pet post!

#WorldTeachersDay – 5th October

Lets celebrate our teachers? Let your followers know how they impacted you!

#MadHatterDay – 6th October

Ask your followers to share their wackiest ideas! Or your favourite afternoon tea venue?

#WednesdayWisdom – Every Wednesday

Tell our community something interesting about your business @ SJPoole Network.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/SJPooleNetwork

#WorldMentalHealthDay – 10th October
Extra important this year! Create a post that helps raise awareness.
#OwnBusinessDay – 13th October

Dedicated to all independent business owners in the world… Tell everyone about your business and why you set it up!

#WorldMathsDay – 14th October

A great opportunity to offer a 2 for 1 discount! Or buy 1 get 1 free!

#DessertDay – 15th October

You know what to do! My favorite is sticky toffee pudding! What it yours?

#SpreadsheetDay – 17th October

Are you a spreadsheet queen? How do they help your business? Or celebrate your VA or PA if they do this for you!

#WorldStatisticsDay – 20th October

Check in with with your followers and engage with new accounts that you are interested in. Analytics and insights are so important for your business and statistics can give you so much valuable information.

#MakeADifferenceDay – 24th October

How can you #makeadifference ? Ask your followers what they’ve done this year to effect change.

#HumpDay – Every Wednesday

Help your audience get through the week with an inspirational quote!

#ChecklistDay – 30th October

I love a ‘to do’ list and I love crossing it out when complete! What is on your to do list today?

#Halloween

Support small businesses selling Halloween goods! Share posts from great bloggers too.

Like this one from Guardian Angels Childcare: https://www.guardianangelschildcare.co.uk/blog/halloween-ideas-for-2020.html

Twitter Tweets…

10 Top Tips to get you started on Twitter – What types of businesses need this platform?

“LinkedIn is for the people you know. Facebook is for the people you used to know. Twitter is for people you want to know.”

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Twitter is perfect for those who have a story to tell and need to connect with journalists and celebs! It is the perfect platform to share news and charity events. I have grown an audience of 3,000 quite easily and it is a platform I dip in and out of depending on what I am sharing.

Local hours like #mkhour is a great way to network online and I love a bit of #SBS with the fabulous https://twitter.com/TheoPaphitis

Sam’s 10 Top Tips for Twitter:

  1. Get involved with charity campaigns – #RT and why you are supporting…
  2. It is the first place for news – So get on the #RT and share your views…
  3. It has taken me 4 years to get to 3097 followers on my personal account so stick with it!
  4. My work has been shared all over the world, my photos have been on the front page of national papers and I have some amazing followers who gave me a reach of 102k last month… So be you! You never know who is watching you and where it may take you.
  5. Enjoy it! #RT all the things you connect with and feel passionate about.
  6. It is FREE! So do use it. You do not have to tweet your own content 15 times a day, but you can share with #RT 15 times a day on days / hours special to you i.e #WednesdayWisdom #MondayMotivation #CharityTuesday #FollowFriday See: BBC – 10-of-the-most-popular #
  7. Think about what you want to achieve? Find all # relevant to your business and use to the max!
  8. Make real contacts and #Network follow all of us on this list and #Share #RT #Follow
  9. Create a #TwitterHour or campaign and go for it…
  10. Be patient #PracticeMakesPerfect

All social media platforms take time to build and nurture but for the right businesses Twitter is still very much in the game in 2020!

Samantha Poole #SharingIsCaring @ https://twitter.com/spoole2013

1:2:1 Twitter training available @ https://calendly.com/sjpoole/2-hour-social-training-or-strategy-session

Use LinkedIn Like a Pro!

I absolutely love LinkedIn and I cannot stress enough, that if your Business is B to B you need to show up! You also need to show up whilst the exposure is superb and the platform is working with you rather than against you.

There is a lot to learn with LinkedIn but the best thing to do is start!

Here are my Top 10 Tips to getting started on this fantastic platform.

Tip #1 – Use a professional photo.

  • LinkedIn profiles with photos get 21 x more views and 36 x more messages. Plus we like to see who we are talking to! A professional headshot is the best option, so get booked in with a local photographer if you need one and get this done asap.

Tip #2 – Update your information & Strapline

Your summary should clearly state what you do, and how you can help your target market. Concentrate on what makes you different from the crowd and create your brand message and strapline around that. This helps convince your audience that you are worth their time, connection, and engagement.

  • Use clear and simple language – avoid jargon and acronyms
  • Communicate concrete results you provide to your customers
  • State how your offering is different than what else is in the marketplace
  • Avoid hype and superlatives. For example, don’t claim you’re “the greatest” at something. Stick to facts and measurable achievements
  • Make it easy to read and skim
  • Include a call-to-action
  • Provide your contact information
  • Add external links such as your website and other social profiles

 Tip #3 – Make use of your personal profile

  • Strangers who come across your profile on LinkedIn are more likely to follow you than to connect with you if they like your content. This is why it’s useful to change your default button on your profile to ‘Follow’ instead of ‘Connect.’
  • Changing the button can grow your network faster, and lead to more engagement. Plus, once people follow you, you can personally reach out and invite them to connect with them as well.

Tip #4 – Seek out connections – aim for 10 per day

  • Join LinkedIn groups – it allows you to connect with anyone in the group
  • LinkedIn hosts thousands of groups, often run by leading industry professionals. Contributing valuable content to these groups can help establish your credibility as an industry leader – plus, it’s a unique opportunity to connect with people in your audience.
  • Belonging to a group instantly grants you access to sending connection invites to every other member within that group.
  • You can also set up and run your own LinkedIn group. Not only could you stand to benefit from upcoming changes, but establishing a group can also help your target market find and engage with you.

Tip #5 – Optimize your posts

There are three types of content you can create directly on LinkedIn:

  • Posts – this is short content, such as status updates and quick shares – Making sure you add 5 x #
  • Videos – you can directly upload video files to LinkedIn
  • Articles – LinkedIn Publisher enables you to publish long-form articles

You have up to 1300 characters for each post, but the first 2–3 lines are critical because everything after this is hidden unless the viewer clicks ‘…see more.’

Tip #6 – Engage with others

  • Liking and commenting on other people’s posts can boost your own engagement and lead to new connections.
  • The clap / curious / ideas are all ways of standing out too.

Tip #7 – Be consistent

LinkedIn’s feed algorithm promotes those who post frequently. Most advice suggests at least 1–2 times per day.

  • 500 million LinkedIn users – 260 million are logging in each month.
  • It’s B2B online networking 24/7
  • It’s where most Fortune 500 decision-makers and executives like to spend their spare time.
  • LinkedIn users typically use the platform to find relevant content, meaning they’ll be much more willing to check out what you’re sharing.
  • Many LinkedIn users are senior level influencer’s and 40 million are in decision-making positions.
  • Only 3 million users share content weekly
  • Only 1 million users have published an article on LinkedIn.

Tip #8 – Use Hashtags to Get Discovered

  • You should also aim to use no more than 5–6 hashtags per post (including long-form content).
  • LinkedIn gives you suggestions under your post so have a look at the recommendations.
  • LinkedIn users can follow a hashtag to get content on that topic in their feed even if they don’t follow specific influencers for that topic.

Tip #9 – Write More

  • Posts: You have 1,300 characters available to you on a personal LinkedIn post. It turns out, at least in this case, longer is better.
  • Articles: 1900 word articles usually get the most shares, so aiming for between 1700 & 2100 words should give your content a great boost. Aim for 2 per week if you can and you can then break this down for other social media ‘bite size’ gems!

Tip #10 – Tag People in LinkedIn Posts

Once you’ve formatted the perfect post that provides value to your readers it’s time to tag your network and core fans! The post may start #Trending if lots of people engage with it and comment on it! If you want it to be seen, tag your team or associates.

I could write another 20 Top Tips but I will leave you to put these ones in action first. If you need some help then feel free to book a call @ https://scollectivecouk.wordpress.com/book-a-call/

“LinkedIn is for life, not just for a season”

My Top Ten tips to setting up your own Facebook Group.

Facebook Group Guide 2020

Do you want to set up a Facebook group but do not know where to start?

Now really is the time to engage with Facebook groups as there are some great communities out there, and now you might even have time to create your own? It takes time and trust to grow a great group but once you have it, it really is a great asset to your business. I have been asked by many of my clients this week these same questions so I thought I would do a blog about this and share some tips with you…

How do I know about this? 

Well I set up my first Facebook group over 10 years ago to put all my new mum friends in as it was pre ‘WhatsApp’ days where we could have a group chat rather than individual text messages. I put all of my new mum friends into the group and started sharing information. Before we knew it we were on 100 members and 10 years later we have 17,500 in this group and it grows by 300 new members per month. It’s a place where members can ask questions, charities can promote their events, members can ask for advice, local businesses can promote their services (if they are in our business directory) and it has become an online community in a vast and growing town/city.

Over the years I have built trust by providing value. I have been consistent for over 10 years now and the group just grows from strength to strength. Without trust, you won’t have a highly engaged group, you won’t drive interest to your call to action, your polls won’t receive feedback and any offers you announce won’t be well received. You may have a few people who do not like the way you run your group, along the way! But that is the great thing about building your own group… You can grow the community that you would like to engage with!

To build trust, you must be part of the group daily and talk to the group. Things like sharing first-hand experience, answering questions and simply providing the community can all help strengthen the relationship between you, your members and your business. Holding question-and-answer sessions and creating exclusive content for your group are just a couple examples of how you can provide added value. 

So: Create your own?

What type of group?

Or become ‘best friends’ with the admin of the biggest groups online.

The 3 group types:

  • Closed Groups: Everyone can search, find and request to join the group but needs to wait for the approval from the group admin, and only members can see the posts in the group.
  • Public Groups: Anyone can search and find this group but in order to get a notification the user has to request to join. Everyone can see the posts of this group even if they’re not a member. 
  • Secret Groups: Only the group members can search and see this group. So no one can send a join request to the admin of this type of group. This is really useful if you don’t want to show your group existence to others. Only the admins can accept the join requests to this group.

From a business perspective, the closed groups are more suitable for their optimized moderation and visibility control.

Your own group:
Pros:

  • It gives you the opportunity to be more personal as you are the face behind the group, not a company name and logo. Members want to engage with a person, not a company. So it makes it a bit easier to engage when you have products that they might like to buy. Groups are a place where you can gather your ideal clients and members of a group are usually more loyal and active, than likers of a page. Therefore, the rate of engagement is higher in groups.
  • You can control it – Control who posts (switch post approval on in the settings) and control who is in the group! Sometimes people join the group to be ‘inspired’ by your content or to sell on YOUR members. So if it is your group you can delete the comments and block members if necessary! Also, groups can be self-sustaining. It’s possible that the group members will continue to be active and create new conversations which will keep the group going without any activity on your side.
  • Your members can make friends with each other in a safe space, support each other and also tell their friends about your amazing group! Mum to Mum’s success has a huge word of mouth following.
  • You can promote your content, pin a post to the top of the group and mark posts as ‘announcements’ so your members can view them. This is great if you are looking to send traffic to your website and it is a great way to highlight other members or experts too.
  • Facebook users are increasing like never before. It means that investing time and money on Facebook for the marketing and sales strategy will be an amazingly wise idea.
  • When you post in the group, unlike Facebook pages, your posts will be seen and you can also search for relevant past posts too. You can comment on a previous post and it will jump back up to the top of the group to be seen again, and again. Facebook groups enhance the exposure of your posts and really help your brand awareness.
  • You can Promote ‘Offers’ with more visibility to an instant audience. If you have a group full of your potential customers, you will be able to provide them with various offers. A great place to drop a ‘lead magnet’ to obtain email addresses to also do traditional email marketing approach. Offering the ‘special rates’ within the group though, cuts cost and ensures an added amount of reach to your fanbase. It also makes them feel special!
  • When all of your members interact with each other in a meaningful way, and you consistently become a part of conversations, these people will be appreciative of you making this entire experience enjoyable. This will translate to a better reputation for your brand and potentially more product sales.

Cons:

  • You will need to dedicate at least 30 minutes to 1 hour per day maintaining it. Including at the weekends unless you set rules in place that state otherwise. You must create content that engages with your members or that helps them engage with others.
  • They can take years to grow but it really is worth the time and effort in the long run! You have to be in it for the long haul…
  • You don’t own the platform – When you don’t have control over the tools you use for your business then you have some degree of risk.
  • You have to spend time setting expectations for that community in what is appropriate for posting and rules for the group in general. It’s possible that a group member misunderstands your policy, or does not like your rules and they then form a negative opinion on you or your service.
  • Likewise you can have members who complain, spam posts every day and people trying to pitch their own businesses (even when you have asked them not to). However, you can block these people once you become aware of them.
  • Groups won’t show up on Google searches, whereas pages will, so it is good to have both and make sure you link the page to the group.

Established Groups:
Pros:

  • The admin has already done all the hard work and you have immediate access to a ‘readymade’ community.
  • If you become recognised as a ‘contributor’ the admin might ask you to help manage the group. You might be able to work with the admin to feature as the main banner over the group or share your blogs if they are relevant to the group and help admin with content.
  • You can use the search facility to see what kind of questions are asked and find out lots of valuable information from past posts.

Cons:

  • Your posts may get deleted by admin.
  • You might not be able to share your business links or PR/sell in the group.
  • You have no control over the banner, the posts and the rules!
  • You might even get blocked from the group.

So here are my 10 Top Tips…

  1. If you do set up a group: Name the group something that can be found easily when future members are searching Facebook groups.
  2. Invite some friends to get it started. Creating a niched Facebook Group is a good thing to do because people in it will actually be happy to be a part of it and meet new people that like the same thing as they do.
  3. Be ready to be in it for the long haul and add value every week! Have a clear strategy and ideas plan that will help you with the management of the group.
  4. Take 10-20 minutes a day (depending on the size of your group) to thank new members for choosing to join your group, and write, or share some interesting content based on the purpose of your group.
  5. Ask other ‘experts’ if relevant to your brand to join the group and engage with the members. Especially if this is a community group.
  6. Set rules for the group, that way if a member breaks them… You can remove them from the group. Be vigilant and don’t often make exceptions from your rules, otherwise, everyone will start disobeying. This sounds a bit harsh, but only by creating and respecting some rules, your group will become the community you want to grow.
  7. Vet your members, see if they fit your group by having a quick look at their profile before you approve them. Any you are not sure about, do not add. 
  8. Remember that people choose to be in a group because they want to learn and support each other with ideas and advice. This will not happen if the group is full of adverts or constantly trying to sell!
  9. Also have a clear idea of what you want the group to be, who you would like in the group and why, and have time to engage with your members in every way you can.
  10. Go Live in your group at least once a week so they can get to know you. Maybe invite some guest experts too and really be there for your members. 

I hope this article sheds a bit of light into the pros and cons of running a Facebook group. If you don’t have a Facebook group, then it might be time to create a group and boost your brand awareness to your new community. If you think to have the time and the patience to ‘go with the flow’ and build your trusted tribe! #GoForIt

Feel free to connect with me @ www.linkedin.com/in/samantha-poole

www.facebook.com/groups/SJPooleNetwork

www.facebook.com/groups/MumtoMumGroup

Facebook for business: Starting Out

Instagram For Beginners…

5 Ways to get started on Instagram

As all platforms it really is best to start with a strategy. It is good to have a plan of what you want to achieve with your posts and know that this is another long game, as organic and natural growth is always the best way to grow!

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms, and it can be used in a variety of ways to draw in customers to your business. You can promote your latest news, products, acquire new customers, and communicate directly with your existing followers. Couple those possibilities with the 1 billion plus monthly active users, and you can see why it’s so powerful for entrepreneurs.

1. It’s not rocket science! Grid and Stories is all you need to ‘get down with the kids’ in 2020.

There is a standard post where pictures appear on the user’s feeds and your grid. These pictures are posted permanently to your account and can be seen on your profile – It is good to think about what you would like this to look like. An easy ‘set’ grid layout is always the best way to start and choosing a colour pallet always increases its visual look. Great examples can be found @ https://www.business2community.com/instagram/ultimate-guide-instagram-grid-layouts-02031483

A grid layout helps you think about the overall look of your feed, based on each square on the grid. You can create a consistent layout by carefully planning each square like breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Instagram also has stories. These can be viewed for 24 hours and then they disappear. However, you can add stories to your Instagram highlights, and users can view stories indefinitely. My advice is to get your main post strategy with the right # and then start with your stories.

https://www.facebook.com/SarahDigitalMK/

2. Create a great first impression & Post a link to your website in your Bio

The downside to Instagram is there’s only one link you can include in your bio so if you are like me and have several businesses, then yes, you need an account for each business on your social platforms. If you post a link anywhere else, like in a comment or story, you won’t be able to click on it. However if you are sharing that post to Facebook it will work there so you can still include them if it will be seen on the same Facebook post (will discuss this more in our next blog).

You can change this link address at anytime in the ‘edit bio’ area and this is great if you want to send your followers to a new blog article or a special offer. Use #linkinbio and this will remind them to check it out! The more you post the better you will get! My advice is to post at least once a day but follow a plan, study the trends and admire others work (do not copy), be personal and just grow 1 day at a time.

3. Provide content specific to your Ideal Target Audience – Who are you trying to attract?

What will catch their attention? This is where you really need to be clear on what you are setting out to achieve.

If you have a website or other social media accounts, you should create a common theme throughout your media. The theme should appeal to your target audience. Canva is great for this and Canva Pro is a must if you would like professional looking graphics for social media. If this skill is too much for you to learn on top of social? Speak to us and we can make you a 28 day graphics pack and email them over to you #outsourcing

Check out your competition, to see if they are successfully doing their social media. What posts have the most likes, are they running competitions, look at their followers and be inspired but please do not copy! Another great insight is to look at businesses that have a similar target audience to you. What are they posting? How are they standing out from their competitors?

Also, look for some influencers as this could elevate your brand very quickly. Instagram Influencers are those people that perform exceptionally well on social media. They typically have thousands of followers, and they rely heavily on creating messaging that resonates with their audience – including the Instagram hashtags that they choose. One of the best ways to learn which Instagram hashtags to use is to look at the top influencers which are relevant to your brand. You’ll be able to tell a fair bit from analyzing which hashtags they are using and the engagement that they are getting on their posts.

4. Follow Users & Gain Followers

It’s incredibly easy to find and follow users. Using Instagram’s search feature, you can find celebrities, brands, and friends. Additionally, you can search “Tags” or “Places”. “Tags” is particularly useful if you know what type of content you want to find, but you’re not sure who posts about it. Once you’re on someone else’s account, you’ll see a blue “Follow” button at the top. For public profiles, you can click and immediately begin following that account. However, if the profile is private, you may need to wait for them to accept you first.

A quick win is to check out your friends followers for mutual connections and other businesses that you could support. When you click on ‘following’ you will see who they are following and likewise – their followers.

When you can share more with your community through your Instagram posts, you can build a stronger relationship with your audience (both new and existing). It lets your audience be involved, and behind the scenes of our business so you might find you gain new followers, and better retain the audience you already have.

Instagram offers up a “Suggested for you” list when you visit an Instagram profile — you just have to click the downward arrow underneath the account’s bio: Instagram curates this list of Instagram profiles based on your interests, who you follow, but also based on that account’s activity.

5. Use Hashtags & How many?

An Instagram hashtag is a singular word, or a series of words, that is marked with a hash symbol (#) and is used in an Instagram post’s description, or comments section. The main purpose of these hashtags is to help Instagram organize and categorize content – they help the platform to let present the right content to the right users. If you’re a social media user already then it’s likely that you’ve already seen hashtags in action. Twitter is a great platform to understand the power of a # and you can find some amazing content on LinkedIn with the right # search too. #entrepreneurlife #mondaymotivation #wednesdaywisdom are a few of my favourites!

Hashtags are a way to make yourself searchable to new audiences that may be interested in your account. Google is your best friend for finding great # and a simple search on #Beauty for example will show you all the experts in action!

You don’t necessarily need to use the most popular Instagram hashtags to increase engagement with your posts. I believe it can be very effective if you use the Instagram hashtags that have a lower reach, but are more relevant to your audience. Between 10k and 50k hashtags are great to use and max of 10 per post. The main reason we want to use hashtags for Instagram is to get increase the chances of people landing on our content – but we always want to think about who are the “right” people that we want to draw in.

A great ‘Best #’ blog can be found @ https://www.oberlo.co.uk/blog/best-instagram-hashtags-for-likes

Keep in mind that what works for one business may not work for yours, but Instagram is a great platform that offers lots of room for trial and error. Now that have a better idea about how to get started on Instagram and the types of content you can share, it’s time to put it all into action. Practice, Practice and more Practice is needed plus a huge glass of consistency!

If you need some more support then feel free to book a call @ https://sjpcollective.com/book-a-call/