Let's get really real for a second. Social media is everything. For small businesses and entrepreneurs alike, social media has made it possible to grow a brand with a limited budget. In fact, I owe social media for much of what I am today. Okay, okay, I'm not going to credit Instagram for all the blood, sweat, and tears I've put into building my brand, but it sure has been a game changer as far as growing relationships and putting myself out there.
As a timid lil' freshman back in 2013, social media was the reason I landed my first internship with a world famous travel blogger. Social media helped me land countless jobs and freelance opportunities, and has taught me just as much about digital marketing as my four year degree. But being a small business owner, it can feel nearly impossible to keep up with all the newest technology and trends, making the best thing you can do is to monetize your time. Learning best practices for your company and how to measure results is key, and the reason I chose to attend Upstate Social Sessions a couple weeks back.
A 2-day event, Upstate Social is a conference curated to inspire and educate the community on the value of social media in the personal and professional realm. With sessions put on by national and local professionals who’ve proven social innovation in their field, Upstate Social Sessions is New York State's largest - and only - social media marketing conference outside of NYC. After a whirlwhin of events, I left with a much better understanding of my goals, vision and how to accomplish both, and want to share some of that knowledge with you! So without further ado, here are my top 10 takeaways from this year's conference!
1. Facebook Pixel. I'll admit, I'm not a huge Facebook girl - my life lives on Instagram - so I knew nothing about this powerhouse software. To break it down as best as possible, FB Pixel is an analytics tool - essentially a piece of code that communicates between Facebook and your website. When someone clicks on your Facebook ad and lands on your website, Facebook pixel will trigger and record any action taken, like completing a purchase, booking an appointment, etc. EVEN BETTER YET, after collecting enough data, your Facebook pixel will only show your ads in the future to users who are most likely to convert. Once you receive 100 conversions by using your pixel, the software gives you the ability to then create lookalike audiences, and advertise to them. Put simply by Hubspot, "the Facebook pixel is powerful because it shows you how successful your Facebook advertising campaigns actually are and helps you reach new, relevant audiences."
2. Be aware of different audiences on different platforms. Tailor to these audiences. Don't try to make a square peg fit in a round hole. Fooor example. I've been saying it for years, but Upstate Social just solidified my opinion with solid evidence - Facebook is for older audiences that want information-based content. Plain and simple. On the flip side, Instagram users want to see beautiful imagery. It's okay to pursue different brand goals on each platform. The messages don't have to be exactly the same, just relate back to the brand.
3. USER GENERATED CONTENT. Work smarter not harder. If people are coming to your business, in today's digital era, more likely than not they're taking photo or video content of some sort. USE THIS. Repost to your feed. Share it in your stories. Be sure to credit but oh baby, use this gift. Because that's exactly what it is, a gift.
4. Take a peak at what your competitors are doing. More importantly, look at what they are doing right. What is their follower count? How about engagement? Download Facebook Insights. Get to know their posting strategy. But go beyond just standard analytics. Take a closer look at a post that did particularly well. Whaat was their creative copy? Did they use certain hashtags or captions? How can this be translated to your own unique content?
5. Work in evergreen content wherever you can. Evergreen content by simple definition is content that is always relatable, that won't grow "stale" with time. If your content isn't evergreen - make it! Find ways to repurpose content to fit the specific time of year, upcoming holidays, the list goes on and on. There's a holiday for just about everything, and calendars all over the internet to help. Here's just one example!
6. Pinterest as a search engine is POWERFUL. Huge shouts to Cathrin Manning with The Content Bug for this whole presentation. Helpful doesn't even begin to describe it. I've been trying to find new creative ways to recirculate content & drive traffic to my blog & have been using Pinterest for a while now, but definitely did not fully realize it's true potential. Pinterest can send thousands of new viewers to your website each month if done successfully... with a step-by-step list I'd be more than happy to share with you if you'd like! Just message me. I'm all about sharing the wealth.
7. Video is king. Viewers retain 95% of a message when it's shown in video format as opposed to a mere 10%(!!!) when reading it in text. This is huge people. Just think of how many ads - not just ads, organic posts, even- you see on a daily basis. How are you going to make your message stand out from the crowd? Video, that's how.
8. Getcha self some content pillars. Think about how you can break apart your brand. And then circulate through these pillars when you're posting on social. If you're a restaurant, this might mean posting behind-the-scenes content one day, a picture of your aesthetic the next, a photo a guest snapped, a close-up shot of a cocktail, etc. etc. This is a great way to showcase all the amazing corners of your business, without leaving anything out!
9. Make use of a divisible content strategy. Create many smaller pieces of content from one large. If you've put a lot of time and energy into developing a one minute video, for example, find ways to break that video up into smaller chunks to post out on social. Or pull elements from a designed graphic & place them throughout a campaign strategy. This keeps your message consistent without killing yourself doing more work (key for small business owners specifically!)
10. And last but not least, a piece of wisdom that made me laugh but hit home all too well.
"All successful people feel like a loser at least once a week". Now ain't that the truth. I can't tell you how many times I'm on cloud nine one second & completely down in the dumps the next. Entrepreneurship is a constant cycle of ups & downs, but let's be honest, would it be nearly as fun if it weren't? That's what makes accomplishment so sweet in the end.
Were you at #UpstateSocial19? Did I leave out any key points? Drop them in the comments below & let's get a conversation going!