• One simple way to increase your Facebook followers

    One simple way to increase your Facebook followers

    Accept the invitation.

    Have you ever engaged with a Facebook page’s content only to later get a notification to say you’ve been ‘invited’ to like that page?

    Ever wonder how that works?

    It’s a pretty straightforward process that just takes a little bit of hard work. No tech knowledge required.

    So, if you’re interested in grabbing a few new solid likes for your page, read on.

    More page likes

    Now, while engagement really the main metric you should be concerned with when it comes to Facebook, having a high number of page likes is reassuring. It can make your brand seem more professional, more legit and, heck, it’s just nice to see that number growing when you check in on how your page is doing.

    So, how do you invite people to like your page?

    The good news is, it’s very simple — if requiring a little elbow grease.

    Scroll back through your previous posts and open one. Click on the ‘react’ icon with the number of reactions your post has received (i.e. the thumbs up, hearts, laugh etc icons.). This will bring up a dialogue box with a list of people who reacted to your post. To the right of their name will be a box that either says Liked, Invited or Invite.

    If that box says ‘Invite’, you’re in luck. That means that someone has engaged with one of your posts but hasn’t yet liked your page.

    Click on Invite and that person will receive an invitation from your page that says, “Your Brand has invited you to Like their page.”

    (Note: thus far it doesn’t appear you can invite people who have shared your post; privacy settings often won’t even give you data on who has shared your content. It’s the same with comments. Just reactions. But those are more than enough.)

    Hard yakka

    If you’re a business that has had some success with great content — particularly video because the Facebook algorithm currently favours it — you might benefit greatly from this. For example, a post that had a high number of likes/reactions and comments will often have contributions from people who currently don’t follow your page.

    You’re especially in luck if you’re a brand that’s been around for a while and have been on Facebook for many years. You’ll be able to scroll back through very old posts and invite people who liked your content from before Facebook had this feature.

    (Another benefit of going back to older posts is that Facebook used to give brands a lot more organic reach and thus engagement. You will often find more engagement on older posts.)

    You can do this now after every post. Give it a few days until the piece of content has run its organic course — or in the case of a boosted post, wait until the campaign is over. Then look through the reactions and see how many new Likes you can invite.

    Going through this process on one of the pages we manage recently, I was able to get 62 new likes in one day. Another page received 28, which is another great result considering that brand’s lower overall page likes. All this was accomplished by reaching out to people who we know had at least some interest in our content, since they had already engaged with it. They just needed that nudge over the line to give the page a Like.

    It’s the ‘Would you like fries with that?’ of social media.

    (Note: This feature is only available for pages with fewer than 100,000 likes. In that case, your option is to friend people who have liked your page and then, through the ‘invite a friend’ feature, invite them through your page’s ‘Community’ tab.

    But this article is for small brands and businesses that are still growing their social media presence. If you’ve already got 100K likes — and they’re all legit — you’re probably already doing something right.)

    Genuine fans

    Now, it’s not the quickest way to accomplish the task of getting page likes — currently, you can’t ‘batch invite’ people to like your page — but this is a feature, not a bug.

    Since you have to manually go through your previous posts and individually click ‘Invite’, if that converts into a Like, you can be sure it’s a real person on the other end.

    All you’re doing, after all, is encouraging people who have previously engaged with your content to take the next step and click Like. And sometimes that’s all it takes, just that extra call to action.

    Unlike some other schemes that less-scrupulous businesses use, this one is basically guaranteed to be a genuine, organic like.

    And all it takes is a little bit of time and some old fashioned hard work.

    Yes, I would like fries with that.

    If you would like help with your social media, get in touch today.

    Photo: Pexels
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  • 4 simple way to improve your social media posts

    4 simple way to improve your social media posts

    Small things to work on that can add up to make a big difference.

    Recently, I saw a post in a social media marketing group on LinkedIn where someone asked a question about how to get more followers. The responses kind of surprised me; numerous people suggested posting three to five times a day — every day.

    Now, we can argue about whether that would work (research suggests it doesn’t) but my thought was: where are you getting the content to post that much?

    Too much

    If you’re posting external links to your website all the time, Facebook isn’t going to like that and will de-emphasise those posts. It wants you to stay on the platform, after all.

    So you can do that once a day, maybe. But you won’t get much action. What about your other two or three posts that day? You could write a blog. Cool, what’s next? Video is worth more than a single image — but it can’t be a YouTube link.

    See how difficult it can get? It’s not impossible but for many brands, it’s just not practical without repeating yourself multiple times — another thing Facebook (not to mention your followers) doesn’t like.

    So if you’re able to make 20+ individual pieces of content every week, Mazel tov!

    For the majority of us, though, we have to pick our moments — and think harder about what we’re posting.

    Not enough

    Then there’s the opposite problem: brands not posting enough to make any impact.

    One issue we sometimes run into to is getting clients to understand that one piece of content is just one piece of content. Sometimes it’s hard to convince people that you need a whole content plan and a brand’s whole existence doesn’t have to exist in one single piece of content.

    And yes, one piece of content can mean lot (shout out Gary Vee) but once that one video you worked on for hours is gone, what’s next? What’s coming down the pipeline tomorrow?

    You need to strike a balance between frequency and quality. Post often enough that your followers know you’re there — but give them enough quality that they’re not bothered by your posts and continue to be a fan.

    There are a few simple things that can help with this.

    4 (very) simple ways to improve your social posts:

    Work on your post text

    This is a big one a lot of brands get wrong straight out of the gate. Aside from the basics — spelling, grammar, inappropriate content — is your post too wordy? If you’re linking to an outside website through a bit.ly link, is your link appearing under the fold (or the ‘read more’) because the post text is too long? Is there a more succinct way to get across what you want to say? You might need less text than you think, especially if your video, graphic or link headline is enticing enough.

    Work on your messaging

    If you’re trying to inform your followers, is the message of the post clear — or are you meandering on the way to your point? Is your post clear about what it wants from your fans? Is there a call to action? You’d be surprised how often I’m not sure what a brand’s post is trying to promote, even when it should be obvious. If you have a graphic, is the graphic simple enough to understand if someone is just scrolling through — or eye-catching enough to make people stop and look at it?

    Work on your interaction.

    Engagement works both ways, so maybe sure you’re involved in the commenting as well. Are you replying to comments on your posts? This is particularly important when you’ve invited interactions with your post. And if you’re not — why not?

    Work on your variety

    Make sure you have variety in the type of post you’re doing.

    Video is more valued by the Facebook algorithm but you’ll soon burn through all your video content unless it’s all done in an on-the-fly style — and if that’s the style you’re going for, more power to you. Changing things up takes the pressure off somewhat.
    Variety also goes not just for variety of media (video, images, blogs etc.) but variety in the format of posts. For example, motivational posts, promotional posts, polls and educational content.

    All of which boils down to:

    Work on your content

    Not every single piece of content needs to be a masterpiece — but it does have to have a consistent level of quality to keep your followers, fans and customers subscribed. Think about what would be useful or entertaining for your fans and work backwards from that.

    It’s really hard to be a brand on social media these days. Things that used to work don’t anymore (remember ‘tag a mate’?) and it can be a constant struggle to keep up with all the changes. But one thing that will always put you in good stead is having good content that people want to see from you and will engage with.

    If you want help improving your social media content, get in touch today.

    Image: Unsplash
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  • Finding an avenue: Seek out your opportunities to succeed

    Finding an avenue: Seek out your opportunities to succeed

    What your business can learn from the teen Microsoft Excel champion.

    CNN recently covered the story of Kevin Dimaculangan, a 15-year-old who has just become the world’s Microsoft Excel champion.

    How does one become a Microsoft Excel champion?

    Well, firstly, there has to be a competition to enter. And there is one: the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championships, held in Kevin’s home state of Florida in the US.

    (By the way, what a great bit of marketing for Microsoft to set up a competition to crown champions at using their software.)

    Then a kid like Kevin has to be interested (or, sure, pushed) to excel in, well, Excel. In Kevin’s case, it’s because his teacher offered prizes to high achievers. In fact, he says he didn’t even know the program until that class.

    All this is to say that in order to be great at something, there needs to be an avenue for that skill to flourish.

    Avenues

    Nobody became the best at the piano until the piano had been invented. Then we had piano prodigies.

    Nobody knew how heavy someone could deadlift until someone set up a competition to test it.

    After that happened, there was a number to beat and people do it consistently.

    For myself, I know that when I’m writing a short story, knowing I can submit it to a journal or story competition gives me a word limit, a deadline and a goal to work towards. Maybe I’d write a story anyway, maybe I wouldn’t.

    Another example: When I started at Hook Media, I really wasn’t familiar with video editing. But because that’s one of the major things we do, I was provided an avenue to learn and now I edit some portion of the video work we do for our clients.

    So, what’s this got to do with business?

    For one, keeping your eye out for opportunities that you might succeed at could be a boon for your business. Entering your work in a competition, going to a corporate function you usually wouldn’t attend, taking on some pro bono work — any of these could be the chance you need to take things to the next level.

    For two? Not being put off by the constant stream of new platforms and services that are constantly cropping up.

    For some businesses, it’s been nothing but a hassle entering the digital sphere. Some might even wish things would return to a simpler time, before social media, maybe even before websites. But there’s no getting that genie back in the bottle.

    Adapting

    Like the print media before it, many small business were slow to adapt to the promise that digital and social offered.

    But the smart ones saw it was a new avenue. And therein lay opportunities.

    Even for businesses like ours, built around harnessing the power of the digital for businesses, we too can get overwhelmed at the sheer number of new platforms and services.

    But we give them a go and often they flourish.

    For you, this might mean simply putting yourself out there. Take on a client that’s in an unfamiliar industry. Offer a service that you’re good at but would like to get better at.

    Try Instagram Stories. Try boosting your social media posts. Heck, try actually managing your social media if you’re not already (of course, there are places that can help you out with that, hint hint.) Engage that content agency and see what they can do for you.

    On the flipside, if you’re a potential client, take a chance on an unsolicited email or cold call. Take that meeting. You never know when the right avenue will open itself up.

    Takeaway

    When you have a reason to do something, you might surprise yourself as to what you can achieve.

    So seek out the avenues that will help you succeed (or at least have the potential for you to succeed.)

    And if you know what you want and no avenue exists yet — create one. (My former colleague Ali Adey is doing great things at the moment with her SheMentors events, for example.)

    Give yourself the opportunities that might allow you to succeed. That allow you to, well, excel.

    If you want to find new avenues for your business, get in touch today.

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  • Media mergers are a bad sign

    Media mergers are a bad sign

    The merger between Fairfax and the Nine Network has been making headlines recently — even if mostly across their own pages and programs. A lot of questions have been asked about this move, in particular, how it will impact the quality and bias of the journalism being produced by, in particular, Fairfax into the future, considering the inevitable corporate influences and conflicts of interest.

    It seems to be a move driven more by survival than by a decision to improve the quality of content by either company, but one particular argument made by the Nine Network for the move is that it has been driven by a need to battle and win back some of the advertising dollars already lost to Facebook and Google.

    This is a fair argument on the surface — it’s pretty clear a lot of Aussie dollars have gone there — but the problem with it is the implication that news and media has been, or even can be, a platform that offers comparable opportunity for advertisers of all kinds.

    Media advertising traditionally has not been a fair and equitable space. The cost barriers to entry has meant that only the big players, the companies with advertising and marketing budgets in the millions of dollars could play there, giving small and medium-sized businesses very few marketing avenues with which to promote their businesses.

    Google and Facebook changed that. The barrier to entry into the Facebook and Google spaces, although increasing in price, have been outrageously more equitable. Early adopters have been able to gain valuable eyeballs and attention, in some instances, for zero cost outlay. That has since changed to some degree, but the value there is still astronomically more reasonable than advertising on TV for example. The other thing is people are spending their recreational time online, when they were once spending this time watching TV and reading papers.

    And this shift in attention is only increasing.

    The real scramble for traditional media companies is to hang on to their big clients and keep them believing in the value of the traditional media outlets. And the merger adds value to that offering. But by the same token, it waters down the ad space as well. If Mercedes was once paying for ad space on TV, on radio and in the metro dailies, and this merger now enables them to hit all three of those targets at a discounted rate, with revenue split across the different platforms, then in the long run, it’s hard to see how the haemorrhage will be stemmed.

    Really, the only way to really protect those dollars is to protect those audiences tuning in, logging in or switching on. And the only way to do that is through innovating the user experience and by creating exciting programming that people want to watch that can’t be found anywhere else. The problem there is that people are doing that (innovating and making programming) pretty cheaply, and offering that content for free. And all the ad money for that is going offshore.

    There’s no better example of that than the documentary I made called Fat and Back. We sold it into more than 20 countries around the world. It played once on Channel One in Australia, one of the last countries to buy it and run it (thanks for the support guys).

    Currently it’s on YouTube where in the next couple of weeks it will pass 2 million views. Someone’s benefiting from those eyeballs. It’s not me and it’s not an Australian broadcaster.

    If you need help in the digital space, get in touch with us today.

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  • Communication is key: get the basics right

    Communication is key: get the basics right

    If you want communication from leads, be contactable. If you don’t want to be contacted, don’t offer a way to do it.

    Have you ever wanted to contact a business and not been able to do it?

    I remember years ago wanting to contact Channel Nine to complain about their coverage of the Academy Awards. (Long story short, they cut out many categories, seemingly arbitrarily. This was cause enough to inspire my anger in 2009.)

    But when I looked for an email to reach someone at the network, their website was no help.

    These days everyone has a social media presence but back then, a message to an official Facebook account was not guaranteed to get a reply. So, did I give up? No. Pedant that I was, I wrote a formal letter, printed it out and mailed it.

    Unfortunately, unlike the supposed policy of the ABC, Channel Nine has no obligation to reply to complaints. And, to be fair, my complaint was very tongue in cheek. (Judging by their current website, it seems they still have no email contact.)

    But you know what? Fair play to Channel Nine. They didn’t want me to contact them and didn’t provide me an avenue. (What that implies about their respect for their viewers is another matter.)

    I much prefer this kind of stonewalling to the alternative: contacting a business through one of their provided channels and receiving no response whatsoever.

    Potential business

    Recently, I came across this when trying to get in contact with a company about potential business.

    It went something like this:

    The company has a ‘Contact’ tab on their website, where I have the choice to fill in a form or email directly an address, usually info@ or contact@. I filled out the contact form and waited a week or so. (We have the same thing on our own website.)

    No response.

    I then went for the other option, and emailed. No response.

    I then took to Facebook and direct-messaged one of their many social accounts. Finally, I got a response from someone managing their social. They gave me a new email to contact a particular person. A week later, still no response.

    What happened?

    Why would this happen? Why would a business allow this to happen? I could be a potential lead.

    Now, maybe I’m a very annoying — though persistent — person and I’m being deliberately ignored through all these channels.

    I can understand that. I’ve worked as a magazine editor where I would receive unsolicited emails and phone calls left, right and centre. And sometimes I would have to ignore these just for sanity’s sake.

    But I daresay this company isn’t getting that much correspondence.

    So maybe I’m not getting a response because their business model doesn’t require them to get back to potential leads and opportunities. This makes complete sense. What doesn’t make sense is giving new potential business a way to contact you — and then not replying.

    Besides, it’s not hard to set up an auto-reply, just to let people know your message has actually come through and not become lost in the internet ether.

    I would, in fact, hazard a guess that nobody is monitoring these incoming messages. And thus, this company is potentially losing business because they don’t know what they’re missing out on.

    They might hate what I’ve offered but because of their unmonitored email, they haven’t had the chance to even make the decision to reject me.

    This is comms

    Having a communications strategy actually does involve basic communication like email. If you offer one, monitor it. If nobody’s going to be able to reply for a few days, set up an out of office or an auto-reply.

    It’s unbecoming of your business to not reply to potential clients or leads. In fact, it’s rude.

    If you’re serious about communication, be serious about it. Reply to enquiries, comment on your social media pages and invite conversation. And if your business doesn’t need that — though I would argue that it almost certainly does — remove contact details from your website.

    It’s simple: Don’t want to be contacted? Don’t provide contact details. It worked for Channel Nine.

    If your business needs help with communication, get in touch today.

    Image: Pexels

     

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  • Five years of Hook

    Five years of Hook

    As a handful of congratulatory LinkedIn messages came my way in the last week — thanks to those who sent them — it was time to acknowledge that Hook Media had just turned five.

    They say that if you make it to two years running your own business, you’re set. We’ve made it to five and I still don’t feel comfortable. But I guess as long as we get to six, seven and so on — and I am very confident of that — it doesn’t really matter how I feel. You’ve made it as long as you keep going.

    To be perfectly honest, my vision for what Hook was going to look like in the future was always flexible, partly because the industry is changing so much, partly because people’s needs for the types of services we offer is changing a lot, and also partly because I didn’t know if where we were heading was what I really set out to achieve, for the business and myself in the early going.

    I wanted to remain open to all possibilities, for the sake of the business and for me. That has been a good and bad thing. It’s good because being open-minded has meant that we have moved into areas I didn’t expect and those have been really beneficial experiences. It’s been bad because I’ve really struggled with a sense of identity and a sense of who we really are.

    The focus has certainly narrowed in the past 12 months. We’ve done a rebrand in that time, courtesy of my great friend Peter Trigar at CC&Co. That has helped me with that process quite a lot, and has served as a springboard into new territories and new strategies.

    With this change, I’ve realised that the essence of what we do has always remained solid — we do content that is meant to be seen and consumed. How we package that is what has been the important component for business growth.

    In 2018, the types and variety of content that people want is different, and the ways that stories are being told is different and that’s been a massive adjustment, to both the day-to-day and also my career objectives. I remember chewing the ear off the then Managing Director of Fremantle Media years ago at a lunch and he said that there’ll always be a need for content. If you’re making it, you’ll have a future. If you’re selling it, or distributing it, your future is not as certain. We kinda do both, thus is the challenge.

    Working out the kinds of content that people want to consume and also how to turn that into an earning when people expect to be entertained and informed for free, has always been something that has weighed on my mind.

    These are challenges we’ll continue to figure out as we grow as a business and a big part of that is listening to what our clients are telling us, listening to what the audiences are telling us, but also using our story-telling experience and ever-developing skills to take risks.

    Currently, Hook Media is a four-person strong team of myself, Jeremy Manson, Andrew Darrington and Daniel Hedger. We each bring something unique to the table and we’re doing great work. I’d like to see that team grow in the very near future, but I want to thank those guys on being an integral part of our recent growth.

    There have been other names who have done great work for us in the past — such as Brooke Giacomin, Sean O’Kane and Nick Barber — people whose work still makes appearances in examples and proposals to this day.

    We’ve made many great working relationships over a long time, who are major reasons why we’re still in business. People like Christian Gamble, Richard Turner and Andrew Funke have seen value in what we do and have been and continue to be strong supporters of Hook over the years.

    There are those who we’ve worked with that have enabled us to merge business and common interests and passions, and they have either been or continue to be great supporters of our work, and there have been some who have served also as the lighters of under-arse fires, such as Shane Howard from CCR.

    Some of the great highlights include following Dante Exum around with a camera for Bleacher Report, heading over to my first Mr Olympia with Josh Lenartowicz and producing what I think is a great little web series, shooting some incredible action at the many Warrior’s Way muay thai events for Mark Castagnini, managing livestream basketball events with Luke Sunderland and giving young basketballers a shot at their US College dreams (I’ll never forget the moment a kid was pulled from the court and offered a scholarship on the spot over the phone), the countless bodybuilding shoots with Nick Jones and the Gen-Tec Nutrition team, publishing Muscular Development and getting back into print, albeit briefly, and stepping on the golf course with Damian Shutie and working collaboratively with a genuine media talent.

    I also want to make a special mention of the involvement and work of my former business partner and friend Ryan Mobilia. His career has gone from strength-to-strength in the last two years. He’s a leader in this space and the three years he spent at Hook helped to form the foundations upon which we stand.

    I feel like we’re just getting started in many ways and although I do want to feel like we have ‘made it’ at some point, I never want to feel complacent. Innovation is certainly a buzz word, but if we’re always thinking in that way — of chasing the change — then our work will always feel new. There is so much opportunity out there for what we do, and we’re going to keep finding it.

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  • Why an engaged audience beats a big following

    Why an engaged audience beats a big following

    How social media engagement can beat a big following.

    Sunday night’s Logie Awards were apparently the least watched ceremony since the current ratings system was implemented. Fitting, then, that media outlets have similarly expressed confusion that two underdog winners in particular took home gongs.

    Grant Denyer’s Gold Logie win was considered a ‘shock’, not only because his Family Feud has been cancelled but because the field of people he was up against were perceived as being more popular.

    Even more of a ‘shock’ was Most Popular New Talent winner Dilruk Jayasinha. Jayasinha, up against Bachelor alum Sam Frost and Matthew ‘Mattie J’ Johnson, was similarly considered the underdog.

    And yet he — and Denyer — won. Why?

    Engagement over numbers

    Some news outlets have been confused that someone with fewer followers could have beaten others with many more. There’s a few reasons for this. However, the main one? ENGAGEMENT.

    Dil’s fans were engaged to support him and vote in the Logies campaign. Having a smaller but committed fanbase always will win against pretty people with a million casual followers.

    News.com.au said: “This year’s new talent Logie winner was decided by a public vote, making Jayasinha’s win even more miraculous given the fanbase of other nominees.”

    But is it really?

    The Murdoch-owned website took pains to point out that Dil won DESPITE only having 7000 Instagram followers, whereas Mattie J has 224,000 and released his own slickly produced campaign video.

    But follower numbers only get you so far.

    Dil has been on TV, yes, but he’s made his name largely on the standup circuit and other, smaller outlets such as Australian comedy podcasts (especially the Little Dum Dum Club, who have a massively mobilized audience).

    The other performers in the ‘Best New Talent’ category were all primarily TV personalities. Their audiences are only as loyal as they are to the TV show they’re on.

    Dil’s audience is used to having to do a bit of work to see him: going to a live comedy show, downloading a podcast. He interacts directly with his ‘small’ fanbase. He replies to comments, thanks people for their support and shows up to support his fellow comedians and performers.

    With all due respect, Mattie J’s audience is used to just turning on the TV and seeing him. They’ve never had to work — maybe never even wanted to work — to find him. He’s just there.

    Mobilise your audience

    Your audience size only matters as much as you can motivate them to act.

    Denyer had a story: axed show, underdog, a long losing streak (22 nominations without a win).

    Dilruk also had the underdog story. He came to Australia from Sri Lanka as a teenager to become an accountant, later abandoning that for the much less-lucrative career path of comedy.

    So story definitely helps  — and coupled with a rabidly motivated audience, they both had more on their side than it might have appeared.

    Comedian Tom Gleeson had campaigned hard on behalf of Denyer, precisely because his show had been axed. As Junkee reported, “Gleeson’s campaign — #Denyer4Gold — clearly mobilised a large voting public.” But it’s more than that.

    It might have started as a joke, but Gleeson gave people a reason to vote for Denyer. He engaged fans who might otherwise not bothered.

    And Dil’s community of fans, boosted by weekly podcasts like the Little Dum Dum Club, made it a point to vote for him. The Little Dum Dum Club’s Facebook page and associated group fiercely campaigned for Dil, mobilising a group of people who wouldn’t usually bother to vote in the Logies.

    (There’s also some speculation that the Logie voting form making you vote for all categories helped boost Denyer, who has also appeared on the podcast.)

    Lesson for social media

    All this is to say that, when it comes to social media, it’s not so much about the number of fans or followers you have. Sure, it’s nice to have half a million of them. But how many could you call on to vote for you?

    Follower numbers don’t matter when you have an engaged audience. We are often reminding clients to focus on the reach and engagement levels rather than the raw numbers.

    Sure, Logie voting numbers might have been down overall this year, but in a popularity contest, you need to activate your fans. They have to be motivated to get out the vote.

    And if you can mobilise your audience to get them to vote, maybe you can even get them to click through to your online store and buy something. Now you’re using use social media to help drive sales.

    And you didn’t need half a million followers to do it.

    If you want help getting your followers engaged, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

    Pic credit: @dilrukj
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  • The bigger picture: Why one piece of content is just one piece of the puzzle

    The bigger picture: Why one piece of content is just one piece of the puzzle

    Don’t be so hard on yourself, marketers and content creators. One piece of content is just one piece of content.

    Have you ever agonised over the final edit of a short video? Or drafted and redrafted to craft the best words for the text of a post? Or pulled your hair out over which hashtags you use for your motivational image?

    If you work in marketing or content creation at all, you have. We’ve all thought we could have executed something better and we imagine that if only a few small things got tweaked, the outcome would have been greater.

    But it’s (mostly) nonsense.

    Why?

    In many ways, social media is a numbers game. No, not data, though that can be useful too. The number I’m thinking of is about posts, of individual videos, photos, website links and articles. The number of discrete pieces of content that make up your brand’s strategy.

    Think about it: There is so much content going out every day across all the platforms, filling our screens. And there will be more coming tomorrow. Getting too wound up about any one individual piece is misguided. You’re missing the bigger picture if you’re only focused on one brushstroke.

    Social media content is about getting the attention of your followers, fans and potential customers. (As Gary Vee says, attention is the asset.)

    What will hold their attention and keep them coming back for more is consistent content. Not one great video every second month — unless that’s your model (see below) — but daily pieces of content that will engage and entertain your audience.

    Remember, the algorithms these days mean that many of your followers won’t even see some of the stuff you post. Which is why it’s important to keep posting. You never know which post will hit big, after all.

    And as long as you’re not annoying them, your audience will be thankful for the diversity of content — and of the consistency of your output.

    But, but, but…

    I should add this caveat: sometimes it is the right strategy to focus on only a few high-quality pieces of content.

    Large companies used to a more traditional marketing roll-out strategy will usually cycle their social media posts around a current campaign. And that’s fine — if that’s their strategy.

    But for a smaller business that’s more agile and able to take advantage of social media, it’s less about any one piece of content and more about the overall branding impression.

    Quality control

    None of this is to say you should abandon quality. Not at all. You should strive for a high level of quality not matter what you do.

    Nor am I suggesting you don’t need to put money behind your content so it can reach more people.

    On the contrary, you should be boosting posts and creating ad campaigns both to gain followers and to sell your products and services.

    What I am suggesting is that when you try to craft one piece of content to be the solution to your marketing problem, you’re not thinking about it the right way.

    Individual pieces of social media content are like buses. There’s always another one coming down the line.

    So don’t be so hard on yourself. Be consistent, do great work — but don’t lose sight of the bigger picture.

    If you want help with social media content creation, get in touch with us today.

    Photo: Pexels
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  • The low cost of social advertising will be short lived

    The low cost of social advertising will be short lived

    There’s this pervasive belief that social media has been and should remain a free platform for people to promote their businesses, as well as a space to share with friends, family and followers. For many, paying for this service is simply out of the question.

    I get where people are coming from. As a content creator, I took pride in achieving great organic reach for my clients, by producing good quality content in the form of blogs, video and strategy. It was a cornerstone of my business.

    With Facebook’s recent changes, which made organic reach even harder — near impossible — to achieve on the same level, marketers and business people, myself included, felt betrayed by the Zuck, many deciding to move away from the platform, exclaiming that Instagram and LinkedIn would be their focus. I have no issue with either of those platforms. In fact, businesses should definitely be playing there. We are.

    But Facebook’s move was not about shutting out marketers specifically. It was about ensuring that they keep people on the platform, and keep winning new users. It was critical for their business that they did not see people leaving their platform in droves, as a result of newsfeeds being filled with people posting advertorial type material constantly. Instead, they want companies to pay for it. They want people to see what their friends are doing first, and what Nike is doing second (unless Nike pay a lot of money to be there constantly).

    Something that really struck me recently, having worked in the print industry earlier in my career was how much investment companies would make on print advertising for access to a potential audience, and they’d do it without a second thought. Not only would they drop tens of thousands of dollars, sometimes hundreds of thousands on this medium annually, they’d also spend huge amounts on creative, strategy, execution, without really knowing what impact it was having other than the bottom line down the road, than the numbers they were being fed by the publishing companies themselves.

    Fast-forward ten years, and these same companies refuse to spend a fraction of that money on social media advertising, even though they are getting more of a guarantee on who is seeing it, where they live, what their interests are, how old they are, what gender they are and for how long they are engaging with it. And further to that, they are getting information about what actions these people are taking after seeing your ad. They are refusing to do so, I believe, because of this idea that social media should be free for all, but also, this belief that social media probably doesn’t work for them.

    Something I’ve had to adjust to is the idea that the same content, or even better content that we are creating now, needs dollars behind it to reach people on Facebook. Yes, there’s still organic value on Instagram, but in addition to the other main inhibitors of the Instagram platform, namely that you can only post a video that runs for 60 seconds, it’s less copy based so you have to nail your messaging in different ways and that it’s a mobile platform rather than a desktop one, Instagram is also owned by Facebook. As marketers and businesses flood Instagram with content, changes to that platform akin to the recent Facebook changes, are merely a matter of time. Both LinkedIn and Instagram are going to have to go through a similar process as Facebook if they intend to keep eyeballs on their feeds into the future.

    The point is, the situation isn’t going to get better for you to promote your business on social media, and it certainly isn’t going to get cheaper. Quite simply, now is the time to be on these platforms and paying money for the reach, while it’s still dirt cheap — and it is dirt cheap.

    Ultimately, advertisers go where the people are, and more importantly, where people’s attention is. The big companies of the world will work out eventually that people’s eyeballs are on their phones and on social, and your newsfeeds will be chock full of ads by the usual culprits that own the TV and billboard space currently. Because the competition for this space will heat up, so will the cost of entry, pushing the little guys out and back to square one.

    That hasn’t happened yet. Don’t let this opportunity pass your business by.

    If you’re looking for a business that knows how to manage your next paid campaign, contact Hook Media at info@hookmedia.com.au.

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  • How do you deal with your client’s bad ideas?

    How do you deal with your client’s bad ideas?

    Dealing with the curse of client suggestion.

    Have you ever found yourself in this situation?

    A client suggests to you, their social media or marketing manager, an idea for a post or strategy that is, frankly, terrible.

    Sometimes the idea will be something that goes completely against the strategy you’ve both agreed upon.

    For example, let’s say you manage the social accounts for a brand that has a very structured social media strategy. Videos must have a high-production quality, photos professionally shot and the order in which you post content is on a specific cycle.

    But then your client asks you to quickly post something one of their customers or sales people has done on their phone. You know what comes next: a blurry photo, a vertically shot video with terrible sound, etc. Not an ideal representation of the client’s brand.

    So, what do you do?

    Use it because, after all, they’re the client — even if their brand is being damaged by such shoddy content? Do you try to have a polite conversation about how this piece of content goes against the client’s own strategy? There usually isn’t time for that. Or do you flat-out refuse, potential causing tension between you and your client?

    Navigating

    So, how do you navigate the tricky waters of bad client suggestions? A few pointers might help when this situation comes up:

    • Try to communicate why their idea is not good for their brand. A lot of the time, this will work. We’ve had clients that just want to hear an explanation and understand we have a reason for what we’re doing. Once we’ve explained it, they’ll go, ‘Cool, just wanted to understand.’ Putting it in terms of how it might affect their brand or business will help them to understand that you’re both on the same side and you want to act in your client’s best interest.
    • Advocate for your point of view. How forceful should you be when presenting your argument for why something is good or bad? Be polite but steady in your opinion, and reiterate that it’s something that has guided your strategy in the past. And if it’s something you and the client have discussed in the past, remind them of that fact. Sometimes it’s just a case of reminding them; other times they might not grasp the strategy.
    • If you get pushback, cool. It’s on them. If they don’t relent but come back to you in a few months saying such and such doesn’t work, you can point to this moment when they rejected your advice and remind them about it. From then, maybe they’ll come around and maybe they won’t. As long as you’ve done your due diligence and tried to express why you believe this or that is bad for your client, it’s up to them whether they take your advice.
    • You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. Social media management is about devising a strategy with a client and executing it. At the end of the day, it’s up to the client to decide whether they want to abide by it or not. It’s their business, after all, not yours. If the client doesn’t let you execute the strategy, more fool them.
    • Be open to the idea that you might be wrong. Maybe your strategy does need some flexibility. Be open to your client’s needs for their own customers and clients. They are, after all, paying your bills. For example, we had a client that we had developed a very particular Instagram strategy with (order of posts etc). However, we realised it was better to be a little more reactive on Instagram so that we can repost fans and do live updates at events, which our previous strategy would not let us do. A more elastic approach to strategy might benefit your clients— and it might be how they prefer to work. It can be the best of both worlds: you get a strategy you can follow and plan ahead for — but also the ability to be ‘in the moment’ and responsive on a platform that suits that kind of content.
    Takeaway

    Client management might seem like a hurdle on the way to doing the job. But it actually is the job, to a large extent. Having clear and open lines of communication between you and your clients is the best way to keep them on the books. And the best way to continue to do great work that enriches both your businesses.

    If you need social media, content or communications solutions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

     

    Image by Pexels

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