Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Social Strategy: Why You Need One

Let's get something clear, once and for all. Let's just address the elephant in the room; let's talk about that thing that no one really wants to discuss, because it's just far enough out of our comfort zone to be in the "we don't talk about that!!" pile. That's right, folks: It's time to talk about strategy.

Listen, I understand where you're coming from. You "got online" because that's what you're supposed to do these days; everyone's there! "We need a Facebook Page!!" Sound familiar? You're not alone.

What if I told you that posting a few pictures now and again, discussing the weather or the happenings in your shop simply isn't enough? What if I told you that in some cases, I see the great intentions of business owners actually harming their own brand by "just getting online"? What if I told you that whether you have 2 employees or 200, the most important thing you can do for your social media marketing efforts is to have a clear, concise strategy in place long before you ever write a single post?

Well folks....listen up. Here's where I tell you all of that - and then some.

The very first thing you have to keep in mind is this: Your strategy online is about a lot more than knowing what posts you're going to schedule when. While I'm a big advocate of editorial calendars (don't know what an editorial calendar is for? Email me!), the truth is that your strategy needs to be in place before you can properly plan anything. Your strategy covers these things, just at a very basic level:

  1. Brand voice
  2. Brand management
  3. Calls to action for customers
  4. Content creation
  5. Editorial calendar
  6. Community management/manager
  7. Analytics management
  8. Reporting
  9. Return on Investment (ROI)
  10. Big picture thinking

You'll notice the first item on my list is "brand voice". Many people believe that this simply refers to the tone you use across social platforms; it's actually a lot more than this. Think of it this way: It's your personality.

What is your business conveying to your customers and potential customers online? What do you want it to convey? I firmly believe that before you can even begin to work on a strategy for your business - no matter how big or small - the very first step is in discovering your brand voice. Everything after that carries back to this very important, all-encompassing issue, and will help to shape the all-important strategy.

Not sure where to start? Have questions? I'm here to help! Let's get you started and seeing results!

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

The "Why" of B Side: Why I Love What I Do

I've always been someone who wants to fix things, or simply make them better. I remember being a little girl and wanting to take things apart; not because I was destructive, but because I had an alarmingly strong need to understand why they worked. Figuring out how things worked meant that when something needed to be fixed, I could think back to what I'd learned when I took something similar apart, and extrapolate. As it turns out, this need to understand how things work and the urge to make things better would stay with me.

If you asked my mother about my formative years, she'd tell you a story of a child who would, for lack of a better word, "experiment" with ingredients. My mother, patient parent that she was, referred to these concoctions as "Witch's Brews" - and believe you me, this was an extremely kind way to describe them. Essentially, there wasn't a spice in the house that was safe. I worked my way through more (likely expensive) spice jars than I can tell you, and my poor mother just shook her head and reminded me to "clean up after yourself, Tabatha." Interestingly, this ability to to experiment and try things out in a space that allowed me the creative outlet taught me that sometimes things don't go as expected - and that's okay. (Except for the time I made a ground clove loaf instead of a cinnamon loaf; there was nothing okay about that...)

When I started my social media career, I was a Community Moderator with iVillage.com, an NBC Universal owned property that was, in its' prime, the "largest online portal for women". I was part of the Pregnancy & Parenting Team, and I became very good at the "Hot Topic" boards; ones that no one wanted to moderate, because they were volatile in nature. Topics ranged from Circumcision Debate to Stillborn Births; no topic was untouched. If you were a mother at that time, and you did an online search for something parenting/baby related that was "unsavoury", chances are you ended up on my watch. I learned a lot in that time - mostly that no matter how difficult the subject matter, there was a "right way" and a "wrong way" to deal with it. Was it gut-wrenching, talking to mothers who had recently lost their children? Absolutely. Did it teach me more than I could have possibly imagined? You bet. I learned how building communities mattered, and how they helped - in times of trial as well as in times of celebration.

As the years passed and I became interested in marketing and advertising, it wasn't so much about the commercials (remember - I grew up in the "TV Years") - it was about how I felt about the products in the commercials. To this day, if you tell me "You need this!!" you'd better have a damned good backup for that statement. I'm not talking about "It gets great reception!" or "But look how shiny it is!!" here; I'm talking about "Tell me why I should spend my money on your product. Tell me why I should CARE." Just like in my iVillage days, I wanted to hear the whole story; I wanted to know the "behind the scenes" stuff that no one else knew. Often I found myself thinking, "There's a better way to do that!!" because I knew that something was missing.

And therein lies the "Why" behind B Side Media; Emotional connections are much stronger than almost anything else we as human beings experience. Simply put: I want to help you make your idea better.

I want to help you turn your idea into something that people connect with, to help you tell your story in a way that others can relate to. After all, do people do business with businesses? No; people do business with people.

Are you ready to take the next step? Let's talk!