by NextGen | Apr 25, 2020 | Digital Marketing
In this blog post I will share with you the first three steps that I you need to make in order to develop a winning social media strategy for your business if you are an entrepreneur, or a winning social media strategy for your clients if you are a marketer.
I run a digital marketing agency and over the last three years I have developed over 100 social media strategies for clients. Even though every social media strategy is different and you cannot use a cookie cutter approach when developing strategy there are three fundamental steps that are always start with when working on social media strategy for my clients.
STEP 1: Define Social Media Strategy Goals
The first step in the social media development process is to define your goals for social media. Brands have three goals when it comes to social media: to drive awareness, to develop a community and to drive sales. So now let’s dive into each one of them.
Drive awareness is about creating awareness for your brand on social media and helping people find out about the products and services that your business offers. If this goal is important to you, you should focus on the reach metric for your posts. Identify the posts that have achieved the biggest reach in the past. Then create more posts that are similar to the posts with the best reach.
Develop community is about creating an engaged community for your brand on social media. This goal has two dimensions. First, this goal is about creating engaging content that will provoke many comments and likes. Second, this goal is about engaging with other people and businesses on social media. If this goal is important to you, you should engage with people and business in your target audience by commenting and liking their posts. Some of them will reciprocate that and engage with your content in return.
This goal is very hard to quantify and it is the most time consuming goal for social media. However, I think that this is a very important goal. One of the primary purposes of social media is to create communities of like-minded people.
The last goal that I want to discuss today is the “drive sales” goal. There is a reason why I decided to talk about this goal last. Many brands like to use social media for driving sales. However, in my opinion social media is not the best channel for driving sales. When people want to buy something they Google it, they don’t search for it on Facebook! Therefore Google is a much better channel for driving sales. While, social media is a much better channel for driving awareness and developing community communities.
If driving sales from social media is important to you, then the best option is to run paid ads. Also, you should work with influencers and micro-influencers too. They can promote your products and services on their profiles for some compensation.
Based on my experience, these three goals are the most common goals that brands have for social media. As a first step in your social media strategy development process you should decide how important each one of those goals is to you. Then, you should decide how much time and money you want to allocate towards each one of them.
STEP 2: Define Content Categories For Social Media
The second step in the social media development process is to to define your content categories. Before you start creating content for social media you should think strategically about your presence on social media and outline your content categories.
Some common content categories include:
- Motivational/Inspirational posts with quotes
- Funny posts
- Posts with interesting questions for your audience
- “Behind the scenes” posts from your team
- Posts highlighting the features of your products of services
- Posts with interesting information about your industry
The content categories will be different for every brand. A fitness coach might have a “short workout videos” category, an architect might have a “beautiful buildings” category, and a clothing brand might have a “recommended daily look” category.
Also, you should align the content categories to your social media goals discussed in Step 1. Ask yourself how each content category will help you achieve each social media goal.
You should measure the results achieved by each content category over time and replace the low-performing content categories with new content categories. For example, if one of your categories is “questions” but you see that nobody answers your questions you should replace the “questions” category with anther category that will resonate better with your audience.
STEP 3: Select Social Media Networks
The third step in the social media strategy development process is to select the social media networks that you are going to focus on. I recommend that you start by focusing on three social media networks. Many brands want to develop a presence on all social media networks in parallel. This is a mistake. Don’t stretch yourself too thin! You need to have enough time and resources for each network. If you try to develop presence on as many social media networks as possible you will find it difficult to develop a following on any of them.
To select the best social media networks for you brand you should take into consideration the format of the content (photos or videos) that you already have or plan to create and the user demographics of each network.
If you plan to focus on photos you should consider Instagram and Facebook as your top candidates. If you plan to focus on videos you should consider TikTok and YouTube as your top candidates.
Every social media network attracts users from different demographics. As part of your social media development process you should select the social media networks that attract users with similar demographic characteristics as your target audience.
Thank you for reading my blog post! I have also created a YouTube video on this topic. If you need help with social media marketing please schedule a call with me to discuss your marketing goals.
by NextGen | Apr 18, 2020 | Social Media Marketing
In this blog post I will give you a quick introduction to TikTok. First I will explain to you what TikTok is, second I will share with you what I love about it, and third I will share with you its the biggest downside in my opinion.
I have been managing TikTok profiles for about a year. This blog post is based on my experience managing TikTok profiles. I decided to write this blog post because many of my clients have become increasingly more interested in developing a presence on the platform.
1. Introduction to TikTok
TikTok is an app that is available in the AppStore and on GooglePlay. It is also the hottest new social media network! According to a report published by Sensor Tower, the leading provider of market intelligence and insights for global apps, TikTok was the second most downloaded app worldwide in 2019. It was second only after WhatsApp. So, in 2019 it was downloaded more than Facebook or Instagram!
The profile layout in TikTok is very similar to the profile layout in Instagram. Your profile picture and you user ID are at the top. Then there is a row of numbers that includes the number of people who you follow, the number of people who follow you and the total number of likes that you have received on the platform.
Under the row of numbers there is a row of buttons. The row of buttons consists of an“Edit Profile” button, a button to link your TikTok profile to YouTube and Instagram, and a button to view your saved posts. The middle button is the most important in my opinion. You can use this button to help people find you on Instagram or YouTube.
TikTok is unique because it is a platform for short videos. Other well established social media networks are mostly focused on pictures. More specifically, on TikTok you can post videos up to 1 minute long. It is very important to pair those short videos with appropriate music from TikTok’s extensive audio library. In addition to music, the app offers a variety of other features such as special effects, filters, stickers, transitions etc. You can turn your ordinary videos into very interesting videos on TikTok. Those features are a lot of fun to use, but be careful to not over-use them.
2. What I Love About TikTok
Organic reach vs. paid reach on social media
Marketers like to use social media networks to drive brand awareness and reach potential new customers. There are two ways to reach people on social media, through organic or paid reach.
Organic reach is the number of people who see your content without paying for distribution. When you post something good on Facebook you would expect the Facebook algorithm to work well and show that content to a bunch of people who would be interested in seeing it. But, that is not how the well-established social media networks work nowadays. When you post something on your business page on Facebook, that post will be shown only to people who have already liked your page and a few of their friends. When you post something on your business profile on Instagram that post will be shown primarily to people who already follow you and only a few additional new people.
Paid reach includes the people who see your content as a result of paid promotions. As Facebook and Instagram have grown over the years the organic reach on those networks has been decreasing and it is almost non-existent bow. Therefore, in order to reach new people on those well-established social media networks nowadays you have to pay for it.
Organic reach on TikTok
The thing that I love the most about TikTok is the fact that it is not as greedy as Facebook and Instagram. If you post something on TikTok that post will be shown organically to a good number of people. If you post something really good on TikTok it will be shown to many people on the platform.
Marketers work very hard to create good-quality engaging posts for clients. It is very satisfying when our good work is rewarded with good organic reach. I love the fact that TikTok still does that, you can still achieve good organic reach for your posts on TikTok!
3. The Biggest Downside of TikTok
TikTok is different than other social media networks because it is a platform for sharing short-videos, not pictures, text or links. In my opinion, the fact that TikTok requires a different content type is the biggest downside of the platform.
Most of my clients struggle with creating content for TikTok. Brands are just not used to thinking about creating videos for social media. They are not there yet! My team has also struggled with creating short, authentic, videos for clients for TikTok.
I hope you found this blog post helpful! I have also recorded a video about this topic for my YouTube channel. Click here to watch the video. If you need help with social media for your brand, click here to learn more about the social media services that we provide.
by NextGen | Apr 11, 2020 | Other
The Coronavirus pandemic has created a major economic crisis and has put many businesses in survival mode. In this blog post I will give you some advice on how you can help your business survive the Coronavirus crisis.
I have an MBA from the University of Michigan, one of the best business schools in the world. After business school I worked as a business consultant for a Fortune 500 company in NYC. As a business consultant I helped executives deal with a variety of different business crisis. Therefore, I decided to write this blog post today with some basic steps that you can take to save your business the unprecedented global economic crisis caused by the Coronavirus.
ADVICE #1: RESEARCH FINANCING OPPORTUNITIES
If your business has any physical locations your revenues must be way down this month. It is difficult to generate sales when most people have been asked to stay at home. Even if your business is an online business you probably have not been spared from the global economic crisis. I run a digital marketing agency and my revenues are way down this month too. When people are not allowed to go outside money doesn’t circulate and there is less money for everyone.
On the positive side, governments worldwide have been very proactive about helping businesses overcome this challenging situation. Governments from countries impacted by the Coronavirus have put together huge business support packages for local businesses of all sizes. In the USA president Trump signed a $2 trillion virus bill, the largest stimulus bill in USA history. While the UK government announced a £330 billion business loan package, the largest peacetime business support effort in UK history!
If you are a business owner, my first advice for you is to perform an extensive research about business financing! Try to find all the government financial support programs that your business is eligible for. Then, you should also research financial support programs at business-related governmental agencies (e.g. the Small Business Administration in the USA), charity organizations and even commercial banks.
However, before you apply for any program, please make sure that you thoroughly review their terms and conditions. Governments and banks have announced very “creative” financial support programs to help local business survive, but those programs have very non-standard, terms and conditions too. Therefore, it is very important that you review the fine print for those programs before signing up.
ADVICE #2 NEGOTIATE
You know that good negotiation skills are very important for success in business. The Coronavirus crisis has has totally flipped our world upside down! As a result, everything is up for negotiation and re-negotiation right now.
I have experienced this in my business too. Some of my clients have asked for discounts during the Coronavirus crisis. Also, I have offered discounts to some of my long-term clients too. I value my relationships with my long-term clients, and since some of them are struggling right now I have proactively offered them discounts.
If you are a business owner, the second advice that I have for you today is to re-negotiate your expenses! Make a list of all your reoccurring expenses and then call the suppliers/vendors to negotiate. You should be able to get many deals and discounts in the current economic climate.
ADVICE #3 WORK ON YOUR BUSINESS
As business owners normally we are very busy working “in our business”, and we don’t spend a lot of time working “on our business”. What does that mean? Working “in your business” means doing specific and repetitive daily tasks for your business like an employee would. For example, if you are a fitness coach,when you have sessions with your clients you are working “in your business”. As business owners we are also employees of our businesses, therefore it is understandable that we have to spend some time working “in our businesses”.
On the other hand there is the concept of working “on your business”. When you work “on your business” you look at your business as the boss and you think about how to improve the business entity as a whole. When you work “on your business” you think about new processes that you can introduce to run the business more efficiently, you think about new products to introduce to the marketplace, and you think about the skills that you need to develop or acquire in order to grow your business.
If you are a business owner, the third advice that I have for you today is to spend the additional free time that you have during the lockdown to work “on your business”. Think about how to reorganize and improve your business now sot that it will not only survive the Coronavirus crisis but will thrive after the pandemic ends.
I hope that the advice that I shared with you in this blog post was helpful. I have also recorded a video on this topic that you can watch on my YouTube channel. Also, please subscribe to my newsletter to get monthly updates on hot topics in marketing and business.
by NextGen | Apr 3, 2020 | Other
The Coronavirus pandemic has changed our world in the last couple of months. Of course our health is the most important thing during this pandemic. However, many people have let the Coronavirus crisis impact on other areas of their lives, beyond their health. In this blog post I will share with you three pieces of advice about how to limit the impact of the Coronavirus crisis on your life. Let’s first stay healthy and then say no to the Coronavirus when it comes to other areas of our lives.
I am not a doctor, therefore I cannot give you medical advice on how to protect yourself from the virus. But, I have experience in dealing with crisis in the business world. l worked as a business consultant at a Fortune 500 company in NYC for a few years in the early 2010’s. As a business consultant I helped executives deal with many business crisis. So, I decided to write a blog post about how to deal with the current Coronavirus crisis, and how to limit its impact on your life.
ADVICE #1: DON’T FOCUS ON IT
When we are in a crisis situation it is very natural to completely focus on the crisis, to try to find all the information that is available about it online, and to constantly follow the news. I must admit that I am guilty of this too when it comes to the current Coronavirus crisis. I spend about 3-4 hours per day watching news from all around the world about the Coronavirus pandemic! And, I realized that obsessively gathering information about the Coronavirus is not helpful at all. Such behavior is expanding, not limiting the impact of this Coronavirus crisis on my life.
The first piece of advice that I have for you today is to not focus on the Coronavirus crisis so much! It is ok to watch news about the pandemic for 30 minutes to an hour each day. Of course it is very important to be aware of all the preventive measures that your government is taking to limit the spread of the virus. But, you definitely don’t need to watch several hours of Coronavirus coverage on TV every day. Say no to the Coronavirus by not focusing on it so much!
ADVICE #2: KEEP YOUR DAILY ROUTINE
Crisis situations cause disruption to our daily routine. Due to the recommended social distancing measures we are forced to stay at home for extended periods of time. Normally we spend a lot of time in the office and outside. So, the Coronavirus has definitely turned out daily lives upside down!
In order to minimize the disruption caused by this crisis on your life you should try to maintain normalcy as much as possible. Even though you are not allowed to go outside, or go to work, you should try to maintain your daily routine as much as possible inside your home. Even though you don’t have to commute to work now, you should try to wake up at the same time that you normally wake up. Then, you should try to work from home during normal business hours. And, you should try to have dinner at normal time too. Let’s say no to the Coronavirus trying to maintain our daily routine!
ADVICE #3: THINK LONG TERM
When you are in a crisis situation it is very normal to spend the majority of your day thinking about how to get out of the crisis. During the Coronavirus crisis many people are concerned about potentially contracting the virus. But, many people are also panicking about the economy, about losing their job or about bankrupting their business.
Earlier this year I decided to start a YouTube channel for marketers and entrepreneurs. I must admit I was very concerned about the future of my YouTube channel when the Coronavirus outbreak started. Just as I was starting to upload videos to my channel the Coronavirus outbreak started to develop and everyone became obsessed with the Coronavirus. My videos were not getting many views which was very disappointing. So, I debated whether to continue making videos during the Coronavirus pandemic.
After some serious thought I decided to not give up! I decided to keep making videos because the videos that I will create over the following couple of months will live on YouTube forever, well after the Coronavirus pandemic is over. Hopefully people will start discovering my videos after their current obsession with the Coronavirus. I know many of you are facing similar decisions about whether or not to continue certain activities during the Coronavirus pandemic. My advice to you is to think long-term when making those decision. Say no to the Coronavirus by thinking long-term and continuing to do things that could be helpful for your brand or your business in the long term!
Thank you for reading this blog post! Click here to watch a video about this topic that I created for my new YouTube channel.