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five things I've learnt from being a social media manager

five things I've learnt from being a social media manager

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Posting loads on the 'gram isn't the be all and end all, Pinterest is underrated and more top tips.

Hayley Clinch is a digital marketer who’s spent the last decade working in an agency servicing some seriously swish corporate clients (think LEGO, Mattel, Myer and more). Having honed her skills with the big guys, she’s since stepped out to launch Grevillea, a marketing agency for small businesses (aka people who prefer jeans and sneakers over suits). We asked Hayley to reflect on the key lessons she’s picked up from managing the social media accounts of other businesses, great and small.

Instagram isn’t only about driving sales You might find this surprising, but from personal and client experience, Instagram isn't directly about sales. Rather, Instagram helps show who you are and builds connections with the humans that follow you.

Use the platform to tell your brand story and show your product or service in a genuine, non-salesy way. The content that resonates is always the content that comes back to being genuine to your business and your values. Not everyone may like it, but if it’s genuine then it will resonate with the right people (your loyal, valued customers). From my experience, it’s these connections that drive sales. But take note, unless you have a healthy ad budget, Instagram is a long-term game.

There is no right answer for how much or how often you should post on Insta. My philosophy as a small-business owner is to plan and post quality content as often as possible, with the resources and time that you have. Sometimes my social media presence falls to the wayside when life gets busy. Give yourself permission to be OK with this. Our businesses won’t collapse if we occasionally don't post. 

Responding to DMs and comments is super-important Responding to every comment and DM is critical for connection. But more importantly, it’s a considerate thing to do. In a world of automation and bots, a friendly act of kindness, such as responding to a comment, can be what drives a business’s success on and off social media.

Responding to DMs can improve engagement rates and followers. Another positive I’ve seen is a lift in organic traffic to a website. From my perspective, when people receive a genuine response, they take notice of you (and your business). It comes back to the human connection. You take the time to respond, they take the time to find out more about your business. 

Pinterest is underrated You might be thinking: what can Pinterest do for my business? Well, it’s more like what can’t it do? Pinterest is often misunderstood and labelled as another social media platform we don’t have time for. Essentially, it’s the lovechild of Google and Instagram – a visual search engine that can be highly useful for engaging your audience depending on your business objectives.  

Pinterest suits most businesses, but especially e-comm businesses. If you want traffic to your website, Pinterest can get it there. And you can see clicks coming through in a matter of hours rather than months! With strategic keywords, strong-performing pins and time, you can rank well organically within Pinterest, and also with Google (yay!). 
 
Keep in mind that it’s a visual platform so images work best here. Lifestyle images of people wearing/using/consuming your product are strong performers. If you're a service-based business, putting text over an image to tell your story can also make an impact. 

Choose new tools wisely Social media companies will push their new features (like Instagram Reels) to more people in your feed, but you don’t have to pivot your entire strategy towards it. Pick one new tool, give it a red hot go for 8-12 weeks and see if it works. If it doesn't, move on and try something else. Sometimes, three hours of filming, editing and loading a reel might not be worth it and that’s OK.

In my mind, single platforming (focusing your attention on one platform) is the best, most strategic decision for a business. Once you're nailing one platform, go forth and expand – but go where your audience is or where you actually enjoy scrolling.

The number one question business owners should ask themselves before worrying about where to go is, “Who is my target audience?” Don’t worry about the size of the platform and don’t assume the big two platforms are where you have to be because everyone else is there. Instead, find out where your audience is and build your socials around them. 

It pays to turn off your notifications My secret is that I don’t have notifications on for emails or social media. Instead, I have dedicated times throughout the day where I check both. While it’s not always easy or doable depending on the campaigns I’m running, it helps me to stay sane and find balance.

See more from Hayley over here.

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