How often should I post on social media?

I get asked this question a lot, so today I thought I’d do a quick blog post on my recommendations.

*Disclaimer I am by no means saying that I have been great at sticking to this with my own blog for the past few years. Working full-time, building a business and life has got in the way of me applying my own advice with this blog. However, this is my professional opinion and best practice tip that I hope helps shed a little light for you.

Consistency is key

The true answer is I am unable to suggest what works best for you, and how often you should post. It depends on your business, your objectives, and your resource. What I will say though is that if you post sporadically every few months or weeks, then it doesn’t look good. It can also give the impression that your business has gone bust or non-extinct.

Managing social media channels is a full-time job, so if you are a small business or start-up, then I recommend choosing two social media channels that best capture the audience you are trying to reach.

For example if you are trying to reach a mother with a lifestyle product, then you might want to think about Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. And if you are a business looking to sell to other businesses, then you might want to focus your social media efforts on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Twitter is a noisy platform, so I would recommend trying to post between 2-4 times a day if you can.

For a channel like Facebook and Instagram, I would start with once post a day. However, please note this is to maintain the profiles and not with regards to reach as this Facebook most definitely requires a level of paid social when targeting a specific audience. In addition to that, bare in mind Facebook and Instagram post require heavily on images and video content, and making it accessible to a large and growing mobile audience. This will definitely require more crafting with images, video content, and tailoring of text and call to action.

3 benefits of scheduling content

  1. You create more room to be reactive when the unexpected happens, which it always does. One of my favourite examples of this was the Oreo’s dunk in the dark twitter ad, which goes all the way back to 2013, and still relevant today.
  2. You allow yourself time to carve out an library of content that enables you to plan time-sensitive content such as events, awareness days, special events in a social media calendar.
  3. You can track what content performs best. Analysing your performance is an important part of my job as a social media manager. It’s not good enough to litter your social media profiles with content that doesn’t perform, so we must keep track and be prepared to make adjustments along the way.

There are many tools that you could use to help keep your social media profiles alive. I recently wrote a blog reviewing a few here, but there area  million more. Personally, I use Buffer it does what I need to do and it’s cost effective compared to some of the others I know of. The first two channels are free. If you have more than 2 channels, then it can cost you from $10 a month.

 

 

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Snapchat 101

  
Have you heard of Snapchat? Do you know what it is? Need a reason to download it? Let me help you.

The increase of people asking me about the mobile platform has rocketed in the last few weeks, so I decided it was time to blog about it and hopefully shed some light on what this mobile app does, and why it’s so cool right now.

As  one of the fastest-growing social media platforms, Snapchat has taken the market by storm in just a few short years. Overtaking Instagram, and potentially threatening to knock the social media king, Facebook down a few pegs or two, with the migration of young adults and teenagers moving to sites such as Snapchat, Whatsapp and even Periscope to some degree. The social landscape is constantly changing, but there’s a very good case for businesses looking to reach a younger audience to at least consider entering the world of Snapchat and instant stories. However, as a disclaimer, I’d like to add this post is aimed at the individual that it is to business, although I will add some comments around this, and post specifically about business use at a later date.

So here’s what you need to know

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is an real-time video and image sharing platform that you can instantly share with a specific friend, or to all of your friends, or even your entire city – providing they are on Snapchat, of course.

Why should I be on it?

You don’t. It’s a choice. If you are an individual wondering what all the fuss is about, then it’s just a cool way to send a message to one of your friends, in a similar way to Whatsapp, however, Snapchat let’s you send video and text together, and allow you to draw, message, or use one of their wacky but outrageously fun filters. At first this seemed to strike me as a great way to send an image to someone with a timer on it, so you don’t need to worry about sending a picture of yourself in your PJ’s and the receiver doing something dodgy with your image. We liked this very much, and reports have shown that in January 2016 around 9000 images are posted to Snapchat every second. We clearly like this a lot.

What can you do with it?

You can take a picture, or a video, add text to it, and select a filter before sending it to one or more of your contacts. You just need touch the lined square at the bottom right of your screen, to then select from your list of contacts who you want to share with. Now it’s not the easiest of apps to explain, but I just want to highlight the cool things you can do, so any specific questions that you have please do get in touch with me.

What else you need to know?

You can send it to a specific person, or group of friends by selecting their names in the list I mentioned, or you can check the My Stories box, and it will automatically save your snap to your ‘timeline’ if you will. This is a cool feature because it lets you go back and download your snap, if it’s something you want to keep. Remember when I talked about the images/video having a timer? When you send your Snap to a friend, you can’t undo or see that image again, but when you send it to My Stories, you can – at least for another 24hours. If you take several photos in one day, then it will string them together making one story for you to share with all your followers. You can also download that story if it’s something you would like to keep on your phone.  Just make sure you do it before the 24hours is up.

Oh, and don’t forget to play around with it, and try out some filters. They’re a mixture of funny, scary and weird. Feel free to add me by searching for my name @leemac85 too, and send me your snaps on Twitter to let me know you got it.

One last thing that I forgot to mention – you can also send it to [insert the name of your city] story. So for me it would be London story. It’s pretty cool to watch a day in the life of your city from many different perspectives.

I hope that helped. I need to run, but here’s one I made earlier. 😉 Don’t forget to add me!

Here’s one I made earlier…

  
Also don’t forget to follow me on @leemac85 on Periscope too! I am about to start #BreakfastwithLee Saturday’s where I share, make and take you to some of my favourite spots in London for the best food. 

Why I love Pocket.

I’ve recently discovered a new app that has made saving webpages of interest 100 times easier to keep tabs on. What app, do I hear you say?

No, it’s not WhatsApp.

It’s a little magic gem called Pocket.

Pocket is a fairly new app that allows you to save an article, or page of interest by the click of one button. Rather than fiddling about with drop down menus, and moving your mouse across the computer screen, only to yet again click another button. Pocket, asks no questions. It just saves.

Integrated with over 300 apps, including Flipboard – One of my favourite ways to sift through a bunch of content. Pocket certainly makes life easier, and simplifies a process that computer makes complicated.

Who has time to wait four seconds before a page can be saved, or cares enough to title every page they want to save and decide where on my overcrowded desktop, it should go.

In some respects this is similar to Evernote, however; I find pocket a tad more user-friendly, with a better finish. With pocket you can also access your bits of information and pages later, from any smart phone or tablet device.

Well, I’ve found a new love. What about you? Have you heard of Pocket before? If not, you can check it out right here. Let me know your thoughts on this newbie.

Three useful apps that every business should have

I’ve recently been spending a lot of time on my iPhone, and today I thought I’d share with you a rundown of my top three useful apps at the moment.

1. Instagram – This is the app that most of us may have heard of, and is also a personal favourite of ours. The photo sharing network allows you to take your favourite snaps, and apply them against a range of digital filters, to give them a different look; and make them look extra pretty. The app, originally released on Apple’s App store, has recently expanded into the Android market, where it hit over a 1 million Android users within 24 hours! The app does more than make your pictures look pretty too. With Instagram you can connect, and share with your friends from Facebook, Twitter, Email and Phone contacts, and basically anyone with an Instagram account. There is room to like, comment on each photo, and share with the rest of your friends on other networks.

2. Evernote – This takes notepad to a whole new level. I find Evernote is great for capturing those random pieces of information. When all I need is to record a phone number, the URL of a website, a photo, or a quote from a very long article; Evernote is a great way to capture, store and organise those random pieces of paper you have dotted around your desk, home, or car. And the best part of all is, you can access them from any smart phone, or computer.

3. Flipboard – Is an aggregation service that serves up current, and relevant information from across several social networking platforms, and websites. This is a sleek, and effective way to view social content from various places, and condense them into one. The magazine format adds to this streamline interface, which allows you to flick through your social content at your own pace. I particularly love the ability it has to re-tweet, respond and share directly to my linked profile. Although the choice of platforms are currently limited, all the main ones are there (including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr, Google reader). It is limited to download on Apple devices only, at the moment, however; I imagine this is something they will be expanding on in the near future.

The great thing about all three apps, is that they can help your business run smoother, and more effective regardless of the industry, or background you find yourself in. They are free, user-friendly, and most of all a great way to stay organised, relevant, and up-to-date with what’s going on in the sphere of social, and beyond.

 

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Online spend continues to out grow traditional print advertising

If you weren’t already convinced before, then be convinced now as one of the latest reports released by eMarketer has confirmed a significant growth in online advertising in the US, by as much as 23% up from last year.

The marketing research group forecast online advertising spend this year will bring a noteworthy £25.5 million, in comparison to the traditional print industry, expected to haul in £21.8 million. This shows a remarkable growth in the online spend. The new trend is expected to continue to grow steadily over the next 10 years.

In the UK, spend on the Internet and Search Internet went up by 14.9%, according to reports from IPA Bellwether Report.

In comparison, there was also a measured decline of around 1.2% in marketing budgets spent on traditional media. The drop may seem small, but author of the report commented;

“There are signs that companies have become increasingly reluctant to invest in traditional media campaigns, instead diverting money towards the internet.”

The report, which concluded its survey from 300 UK media and marketing executives suggested after further study, the increase in spend was a move to protect their market share, and nothing to do with consumer confidence.

When the IBA, (Internet Advertising Bureau) highlights that British consumers are spending 25% of their time on social media; it’s hard not to believe that this is real reason media companies are increasing their online advertising spend. We don’t just ‘hang out’ online, we buy online.

Lets not forget the digital driven world we now live in, where almost every face you pass in the street is glued their smart phone. Econsultancy announced in their blog today that mobile accounted for 12% paid search clicks in the UK during the month of December. Spend share of mobile and table devices for that month  rose by 29% claiming a 7.5% share of total search spend.

I don’t believe this is decreasing any time soon, so if you’re in business and you’ve not invested in some kind of online advertising yet. I hope this is convincing enough to encourage you that you must, and soon.

Feel the fear, and do it anyway.

Whether you’re attempting to start a business, or own a multi-million business everyone has experienced moments of fear on some level.

Fear of the unknown, fear of risk, afraid of doing it wrong or failing. Like I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, we shouldn’t be scared of failing. We should learn to love it.

Whatever stage your business is at, don’t be scared of social media, or blogging. You need to embrace it because it’s not going away. Take the plunge, and give it ago. You won’t know until you try. Of course these are just the lessons I am learning, and gaining through my own experiences.

The best way to know if something works or not, it’s to try it. Think of it like dipping your toe in the water, before you dive into the pool.

Although I am talking to start-ups, or businesses that have yet to make the switch to Social Media; this post is applicable for everyone, from every background.

Oh, and one last thing. When it comes to blogging for business;

  1. Get one – Last year was the year to get one, so get one fast, and start sharing. This year it’s all about context.
  2. Be as consistent as you can – Choose a timeframe, daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly and stick too it.
  3. Be as relevant as you can to your industry. No sales talk. Think about what your consumers would be interested in.
  4. Have fun, and be creative. Video is huge, and QR codes are going to be huge. Sorry to all designers out there. They may not be pretty, but they’re already on the increase in the US. If you haven’t already seen them on a billboard or magazine, they look like this:20120118-000211.jpg

You can check out YouTube, and WordPress for tutorials on how to do that. (Note to self you must switch domains asap).

If you like this blog. Please don’t forget to leave a comment, or share your thoughts, (even if you don’t like it. I’d love to hear what, and why). You can also subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the top right hand side, (so you wont miss out).

I’ve got some really exciting news about to break blog readers. All will be revealed within the next two weeks!! Look forward to sharing with you soon.