#225: SETTING YOURSELF APART WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
TAYLOR BRADFORD: You’re listening to episode number 225 of the Boss Girl Creative podcast. Today I’m talking about setting yourself apart with social media. On to the episode.
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Hey, welcome to Episode 225 of the Boss Girl Creative podcast. I’m your host Taylor Bradford. I’m excited that you’re here. We are moving into phase three or number three in the series of setting yourself apart. And today we’re going to be talking about social media. But before we dive into today’s episode, I want to announce the community member spotlight of the week is Suzanne with Sprinkled Nest Interiors. You can find Suzanne over at sprinklednest.com You can find her on Instagram @sprinklednest. If you work, have a spouse, have kids, have activities and there’s just no time to transform your house to a home. Suzanne can help you! Custom online interior design that is delivered to your inbox. Simply click and done. Again, visit Suzanne at sprinklednest.com or go follow her on Instagram at @sprinklednest. Thank you, Suzanne, for being a member of the Boss Girl Creative community and a listener of the show.
If you would like to be featured on an upcoming episode of the Boss Girl Creative podcast and newsletter and featured in biz feature Friday on my Instagram stories, pop over to bossgirlcreative.com/feature, it’s like four questions, it takes you probably less than five minutes to fill out and it will put you in the queue to have a shout out on an upcoming episode plus a newsletter feature and a link back to your website and Instagram and also via Instagram stories on Biz Feature Friday. So fun.
All right, let’s dive into today’s episode, which is number three in the series setting yourself apart. Today we’re talking about social media. I’ve already talked about blogging, and I’ve also talked about email lists. So, episode 223 was about blogging, episode 224 was about email lists. Today we’re diving into social media. And we’re going to first talk about doing a SWOT analysis with your social media. And if you have heard of that phrase in the past, this might be a refresher, if you’ve never heard of this phrase. It’s an acronym. And it stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
The first two things strengths and weaknesses you have control over, you can fix those things. The second two or more external factors and you control how to respond, react, pro-act, whatever. So those are external. And it’s how you handle them, not necessarily things that you technically have control over. So, we’re going to talk about why this is important to kind of do an analysis because this really is going to help set you apart from your competition. And then we’re going to talk about some tips for social media strategy, I’m going to give you some ideal posting frequencies for the social media platforms that I think is a good starting place. And we’re going to take it from there.
So, let’s talk about strengths. When you are thinking about your business, and thinking about your skillset, I want you to also think about what strengths you have, what are you bringing to the table? What are you a rock star at? And here’s some questions that you can ponder because this is going to help you figure out what your strengths are if you’re not 100% sure what they are. And why does this actually matter? Before we dive into that? Why does this actually matter? Because it truly is going to help you set yourself apart. Knowing your strengths, knowing your weaknesses, knowing your opportunities, in your marketplace and knowing your threats. This is basic business 101. This is stuff you’ve got to know anyway, we’re just going to make sure that you understand this now because it’s going to help your social media presence. It’s going to help a lot of other things. But today’s focus is on social media.
So, let’s talk about strengths. Here are some questions I want you to ask yourself to help you figure this out. You have an active following. So, these are strengths you have an active following that engages with your posts. If you do this is a strength for you. You already have a step on your competition. If you have an active following that engages with your post. When I switched over to Boss Girl Creative Instagram and stopped using @taybradfordblog, which I now changed to @taylorlbradford, which is a personal account now. It’s still in a business mode. But I’m not actively using it like I am @bossgirlcreative or @sugarcreekeventrentals or even @sugarcreekcreative. When I switched over from using my Taylor Bradford account, I immediately saw an increase in engagement and comments and likes on the posts. So, I was not even getting 1% against my other account. And you guys have heard me talk about this in the podcast where it’s been super frustrating to get any kind of momentum going on that Instagram, because that account is so old, and I deleted probably 2500 followers that were just dead accounts, and you can’t speak to dead accounts, they’ll never engage with you. And so, my numbers were way skewed because I wasn’t actually being heard.
And that amount of follower count was, even though it was a nice number, it was close to 6000. It wasn’t doing me any good because a majority of the followers were dead accounts. So, it looked good, number-wise, but the engagement rate was terrible. So, I started growing @bossgirlcreative Instagram account, and I’m sitting at about a 10% engagement rate right now, which is phenomenal. I will take it that means that people that are actually following that account, want to be following that account, and are engaging with me. And so, if you have an active following that engages with your posts, that is a strength. If you are tagged in a lot of user-generated content, think about do you have an IG friendly wall at your business? Do you have people that are constantly collaborating with you and tagging you in their posts? This is user-generated content. If you sell something, make sure you ask that person to tag you on social media, either with a hashtag or you know, an actual mention of your account. This is user-generated content. This is other people sharing about you. This is powerful, it is a strength. If you have other people talking about you on social media. If you have a team, and you have people that are passionate about sharing behind the scenes of your brand of your business, this is a strength.
If you have strong, crisp, clear branding and photos out on social media, this is a strength. Are your photos crisp? Are they clear? Do they represent your brand? Do they represent the service or the product that you sell? If you have the time, and the creativity and the manpower to make your social media marketing a priority? This is a strength. Just because you create the content doesn’t mean people will find it. You have to go out and be social. Now I’m not saying you need to go out and be social on all of the platforms. My focus with Boss Girl Creative is Facebook and Instagram. I’m not really utilizing Pinterest for Boss Girl Creative like I should be. It is a place where I am pinning my posts to. But it’s not where I feel my readers or the people that I might be able to engage with interact with on a daily basis are truly hanging out. So that’s the focus. The focus is Facebook and Instagram. I have a presence on it on Pinterest. I don’t really have a presence out on Twitter anymore, because I didn’t find that I was gaining traction over on that platform. Am I there? Yes. Am I using it? Maybe once a week, but my focus is doing marketing through Instagram, and Facebook and Pinterest with Instagram and Facebook being my top two. So, these are strengths. These are things I want you to think about. How can you set yourself apart? Your strengths will set you apart.
Alright, let’s dive into weaknesses. You don’t have an online presence. Now you’re listening to this podcast, so I am assuming that you do have an online presence. So, this will probably be a small, small, small minority of you with this weakness. You lack a following. We all start at zero. My @taybradfordblog account on Instagram had close to 6000 followers. When I restarted on my @bossgirlcreative Instagram, I think there was maybe around 100 followers. And that was just random people finding that account and following it even before I started putting content out on that platform. I have since grown it in the last few months to over 300 followers. And again, we all start at zero. We have to start somewhere. So, while it starts out as a weakness, it is something we can change. Your weaknesses you have control over. You might have a weakness if you’re posting schedule is inconsistent. Now I have, well I should say, I’ve been working on a new way for me to track my daily to do’s. My daily must do’s. And so, because sometimes I can get lost in my day to day and forget to do something out on social media. And so, I am testing out the platform AirTable to see if this will help me out. And so, @bossgirlcreative has an Instagram manager for that account. And there’s postings happening Monday through Friday. And I come on stories Mondays and Wednesdays Thursdays and Fridays, although I forgot this past Monday because life got away from me and I was actually out of town. And so today I will jump in and talk about yet what I was supposed to talk about yesterday on Monday. And so, trying to be more consistent. So, Boss Girl is consistent with posting. @sugarcreekeventrentals can sometimes be inconsistent. And again, it’s just something that I have to make more of a priority. And then @sugarcreekcreative for sure has been way inconsistent. So, these are my weaknesses. I have to figure out how to make them be more consistent so that it is no longer a weakness.
Another weakness you might have is you aren’t reaching your goals and you have no way to track your analytics. What is nice about all of the social media platforms is that you have access to your analytics. So, there are things that you can set a goal for and work towards and see how you progress towards that goal. So, if you are not paying attention to your analytics, you absolutely need to be paying attention. Because this is going to drive what content your readers and followers actually are engaging with. And this will give you a clue as to what you should be creating more of.
Another weakness you might have is that your content is unrefined. And it’s unprofessional. I think one of the biggest no-no’s that I see out in social media is not only the inconsistency, but also being willy-nilly about the look and feel of the content that you’re posting, or creating. You really have to up your game, and get really good with photography, or hire photographers or trade out services with photographers or use amazing stock photography. You absolutely have to share refined and professional content. And that comes down to images. If you aren’t, it is going to hold you back and it will stay a weakness. So definitely make that investment, whether it’s teaching yourself or taking some classes or hiring out. Figure that out, because that’s a game-changer. Another weakness that you might have, is not responding to the engagement you’re actually receiving. If somebody takes a moment to respond to you respond back. That is important. They are taking time out to engage with you. So, it’s important that you take time out to acknowledge that. That is so important. Again, your strengths and weaknesses are both things that you have complete control over and can change. So, if it is a weakness, right now, you can make it a strength. You can grow your strengths. You can set yourself apart. That’s the important thing. That’s how you set yourself apart from your competition. Is knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are and doing something about them. Using them to your advantage changing a weakness to a strength. These are just things that you need to be thinking about. What are you good at? What are you not good out? How do you fix it? How do you make it better?
Start thinking about these things. All right, let’s move over into opportunities of the SWOT analysis. Opportunities are things just lying there waiting for you to grab them. To snatch them up, to make them an opportunity. To turn something from nothing that maybe your competitor is not utilizing. Okay, so think about these things. There aren’t any local businesses in your industry on social media: are there or aren’t there? If there aren’t, then this is an opportunity for you. If they aren’t using it to the best advantage that they have, then that’s an opportunity for you.
There are a lot of relevant influencers in your area of focus that you can connect with. This is opportunity. Now I want to be clear that just because an influencer in your area is an influencer in your area or in your area of focus does not necessarily mean that it will be a great return on your investment. I hear this a lot. And being an influencer myself, I have been pitched through Sugar Creek Event Rentals from fellow influencers who happen to be local in my market, wanting to trade service, because they are an influencer. And the problem with that is that you might be a local influencer, but your audience might not be local. And so, it is a very, very small return on your investment if that is how you go about promoting your business. Now, I’m not saying not all local influencers aren’t actually influencers in your local market. A lot of them aren’t, but some of them are. So just take note of that. It can still be an opportunity for you to create some buzz, but it may not be a strong return on your investment to go that route.
If there are trending topics and challenges in your niche, this is an opportunity for you to take a stand and be vocal about trending topics or challenges. If you have the ability to host giveaways or contests or promotions to your followers, this is an opportunity. And I want you to understand that each state has their own sweepstakes laws that affect giveaways and you have to be knowledgeable about that. In the state of Texas, you cannot legally run an Instagram giveaway, there’s no way to just give a blanket free entry. And the state of Texas considers running an Instagram giveaway as an illegal lottery. So, you have to be really careful. The best way to run, especially in Texas. And again, there’s federal sweepstakes laws that you need to be aware of. But the ability to host a giveaway, how about you host it on your website to get people to go to your website, now you can do that. For sure you can host the giveaway on your website. Or even better if you have a local business, get your customers to come in for the giveaway, say that you are going to host the giveaway in your store. Or that you are hosting a giveaway in your store. You’re hosting a contest in your store that gets people in your doors. And so, I want you to think about that. But definitely check into your state’s sweepstakes laws and the federal sweepstakes laws because that is a real thing. Those are laws that people are breaking every single day on Instagram. And it makes me really sad, because people don’t think about ramifications. And you definitely don’t want a nasty letter from your attorney general.
But these are still opportunities, hosting a contest, offering up a giveaway, some kind of a promotion a buy one, get one or 10% off, offer a referral gift to your customers or readers or followers. Lots of opportunity that you can take advantage of to set yourself apart. You even should be considering calls to action to drive people back to your website. Get people from social media to your website, because ultimately, that’s what you have control over. And then also being able to direct message your potential prospects and target them with demographic data using Facebook pixel. If you don’t know anything about Facebook pixel, let’s get in the know about Facebook pixel. I will be doing an upcoming episode about Facebook pixel and how strong this thing is. And I can almost guarantee you your competitors aren’t using it, or very few are using it. This can be gold for you.
Okay, so let’s talk about threats. These are the things we’ve got to know about we got to be prepared for. We have to have plans of action in place for threat. We all have them. We don’t like them. I don’t think anybody in business wants threats, but it is what it is. So, here’s a threat: your competitors have a strong social media presence. Okay, so if they do, let’s fix that. Let’s let you figure out a strategy so that you have a strong social media presence. Here’s another threat: there’s scandal revolving your industry or services. If something is going on in the world or in your state or even in your local market that is affecting your industry or the thing that you sell, this is a threat to you. How do you control the conversation? If you have a campaign that’s happening right now, that’s not performing like it? Should that’s a threat to your business, it’s a threat to your bottom line. Or if you have negative reviews or comments on your content, this is a threat to future sales. How do you control the conversation? How do you spin it? How do you bring the threat out of that zone and take action to something more positive?
So that is this SWOT analysis: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Knowing where you are on all of those is going to help you set yourself apart. Help you come up with a strong social media strategy.
Okay, so let’s dive into some tips with setting yourself apart in social media. You’ve got to be consistent, and I’m talking about how often you’re posting and when you’re going to post whether it’s weekly or daily. Your bio pick across your social media platforms needs to be the same. So, if it’s a picture of you, your picture needs to be of you on a light background or a white background. If it is your logo, your logo needs to be clear. In such a small profile space, of your bio picture. Your profile description needs to be similar across your profiles. So, if it says one thing on Instagram, and he’s to also say something similar on Pinterest, and Twitter. So, I want you to make sure all of that stays consistent. So, if somebody is looking for you on one platform and then goes searching for you on another platform, they can easily find you.
Number two, I want you to always tag the people involved in the photo that helped make it that photo. So that could be the collaborators. That could be fellow vendors. That could be your clients. That can be someone also in your niche. Like let’s say you do a profile swap for the day, whomever helped you with that photo, I want you to always tag. Always tag.
Number three, I want you to focus on the thing that is what you sell. So, with Sugar Creek Event Rentals, you will not ever see a photo posted that does not have one of my rentals in it unless it’s a picture of my face. Which I don’t post my face very often. So, every photo that you see, has my rentals in it because that is what I sell. With Boss Girl Creative. The content, what I sell is coaching services. Ultimately, that’s what I sell. This podcast is a freebie, and then how you can work with me I have courses and I have coaching services. Both of those things are what I sell. So everything I post is related to me setting myself apart from my competition, showing that I am an expert in the field, and then also what I offer, what I sell.
Number four, I want you to work on giving a behind the scenes look into your business or brand. So, I have to do better at this with Sugar Creek. I just get lost in the moment and I would love to have an intern for Sugar Creek because that will help that out tremendously. With Boss Girl Creative, I have created a series on my Instagram so that I am showing up more consistently with behind the scenes stuff. So, Mondays is Plan with me Monday, Wednesdays is Work with me Wednesday. So, I do take you behind the scenes of what’s going on in my world. Thursday’s is podcast recap day. And Fridays is biz feature Friday. So, the person that’s featured on the podcast during the week gets the feature on Friday. So, if it helps you to show up and show the behind the scenes create a series. So that gives you some content and some strategy to help you do that and be consistent with it.
Number five, tag your clients when you share about them.
Number six, be you. Like that goes without saying but don’t try to be somebody you’re not. Be you. That is why your customers hire you. That is why your readers keep coming back. This is the thing that no one can replicate. So, I want you to make sure that you’re being you.
And number seven, don’t be scared to collaborate. Don’t be scared to swap profiles for a day. If you’re a book blogger, and you’re in the romance genre, go offer to swap with an author for the day. Offer to take over that authors account for the day so that you can share how amazing their latest book is. Collaborate. This is how you grow. This is how you connect with people. So those are seven tips.
Okay, so finally, I want to talk about ideal posting schedules for the various social media platforms. So, this is just something to use to start with, or to give you a guide. It’s not hard and fast. It’s not something you have to do. But this is a great starting point for you. Facebook, you should be posting twice a day minimum, Twitter, you should be posting five times a day minimum. LinkedIn, you should be posting one time a day. Pinterest, you should be pinning five times a day. The sweet spot is five to 10. But Pinterest, you know 10 to 30 is good. And then Instagram is one and a half times a day. I don’t really know where the half is coming from. But posting consistently one time a day is encouraged and then showing up on Instagram Stories is maybe the half time. I’m not sure, but showing up in both Instagram and Instagram Stories is going to be beneficial to you.
So, recap: Facebook twice a day, Twitter five times a day, LinkedIn one time a day, Pinterest five pins per day, sweet spot is five to 10. And then Instagram is one and a half times per day. These things take into consideration everything I’ve talked about to help set yourself apart with social media. And you’re going to set yourself apart. You are. You’re going to be able to tell your brand story. You’re going to be able to showcase the behind the scenes. You are going to be able to actually talk to your followers and engage with them and build a community around your business. This is how you set yourself apart. Have strategy, have a plan in place, get a content calendar if you need one of those so that you stay consistent so they know what you’re going to talk about. That’s what you have to do to set yourself apart with social media.
Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode. Shout out to today’s show sponsor Gusto again, visit gusto.com/bossgirl. Listeners of my show get three months free once they run their first payroll. Again gusto.com/bossgirl. Shout out again to this week’s community member spotlight. It’s Suzanne with SprinkledNest.com. Go follow her on Instagram @sprinklednest tell her I sent you. And yes, if you need help with interior design, she is your gal. Go follow her.
I will be back next week with another epic episode of the Boss Girl Creative podcast. We’re going to continue this Setting Yourself Apart series so stay tuned for next week’s episode. And I will see you then. But until then I hope you have a great rest of your week.