What to Post on Social Media

You’ve set up your social media accounts and invited everyone you know to like/follow/appreciate your new page or account building up a few page likes/follows/appreciates… NOW WHAT? Check out our Social Post Ideas below.

Social Media is a fun and engaging way to market your business, find your ideal buyer and build brand awareness. But it’s easy to get stuck on the idea generation side of things. If your anything like me, you’ll hit a wall and wonder, “What do I post about?”

I’ve put my brainstorming cap on and come up with a few social post ideas that you can poach for your business social media profiles. Even better, create a blog and use some of these social post ideas as your blog posts, and then link to that post on your social media profiles, creating a backlink for your website. { Good SEO }.

Use one of the following Social Post Ideas every other day and you will have the next months social media content calendar sorted out in advance.

Behind The Scenes

Show photos and videos of the inner workings of your business. This builds trust with your viewer and shows that you are a trustworthy and accessible brand.

Products

Show images of your products and/or the finished product of your services. Show the latest product updates, benefits or trends.

How It’s Done

If you manufacture products show videos or images of the process that goes into creating your quality products and services.

Be Informative

Upload a video explaining how to use your product. Be informative and give details that you think might be obvious. Remember you’re the expert, your customer doesn’t have all your knowledge. Become the go to guy/gal.

eg, If you sell tyres, show a video explaining how to maintain tyre pressure, how to tell when the tread is getting too low etc. If your product or services requires some ongoing maintenance show a video on how to maintain and look after your product.

Case Studies

Excellent examples of your work in action, these bring a variety and extra marketing potential to your posts. Interview customers who have a lot to say on their experience working with you. Include an image of the customer, their logo and brand and of course the work you did for them.

A Day In The Life

Focus on one member of your team and get them to write a short post that details their working day. this createds a more approachable atmosphere for your business, and allows you to bring more engaging content to your customers.

Ask Questions

If you have a burning question, ask your audience. Post a survey. Not only does this create interaction but shows your customers that you find their point of view important and are trying to stay up to date and relevant.

Recommendations

Find social media profiles of business that compliment your services and recommend them to your audience. This helps the business in question, and if they can do the same you can help each other out.

Hold a Contest

Get customers to upload photos of themselves using your product or service, offer a prize and you will get an even better response. Have the pics in the post comments or make sure your profile is tagged. Create a hashtag of your own that entrants need to use. ie, #ClearlyTheBest etc.

Industry News

You know whats going on in your industry, so let your customers know. Keep your followers up to date on the whats happening.

Awards

If your business received an award, show it off to your customers. Often there are logos and imagery associated with awards, or you may have attended a big event to receive your award. Use these images and make a big deal about it. You deserve it.

Limited Time Sales

Post about your sales and promotions to build awareness and create excitement about your products. Maybe create a discount exclusively for social media followers or newsletter subscribers.

Holidays

Post about national holidays like Chrismas, Easter etc. but perhaps looks for some obscure holidays that people aren’t always aware of. “Grilled Cheese Day” for example, or even “Earth Hour”

Event

Update your customers on any events your running. Even if there small. Use a uniquely style images specifically for the event.

Job Opportunities

Let people know that your hiring, show some behind the scenes images or videos of how awesome it is to work with your team. Get people excited.

Lifestyle Photos

Not all of your posts need to be related directly to your product or service. Some can simply fit with the aesthetic of your brand and appeal to your target customer.

Share Value

Share tips and tricks that will make the lives of your customers better.

Your Desk

For a touch of fun show a photo of your desk (tidy of course) and show the bits and pieces you just couldn’t be without on a typical day.

You can download our { Social Media Post Idea Checklist } from our { Branding Resources } page, where you will find a bunch of helpful resources to use in your business.

Customer Referrals

A referral is a trusted recommendation from another individual. Understanding what drives your customers is important for satisfying their needs.

By creating an army of happy customers, you’ll be able to spread the word about your business through the mouths of others. Customer’s referrals drive your profits at a low price.

The best way to get referrals is to offer exceptional products and services.

When you impress your customers, they’ll be happy to refer you to others. However those happy customers don’t always spread the word unless prompted, so if no one asks they may never tell. This is when the referral plan comes into play. A referral program not only rewards your loyal customers but also the person they are referring. This encourages people to spread the word as they get something in return for doing so.

So now the question is how to build a referral program that successfully works for your business.

To figure out what type of referral program will work with your customers, think about what they would benefit from most. Would they like receiving a free product or sample for making a referral? Or perhaps they would prefer account credit, or the ability to access a paid feature for free? Keeping in mind that the most beneficial programs offer something not only for the current customer but also the person they refer. Another effective way is to increase the rewards as to how many people that one person refers. It may be that they earn more credit or receive a promotional item for reaching a certain number of referrals. But remember when your designing your referral program it needs to be something that works for your brand. So getting to know your customers is important, to offer the rewards they would want.

Building your customer referral program can be time consuming but if done well, the benefits are likely to outweigh the costs by far. So making sure your referral program is easy to use and extremely clear for customers to understand is important, as no one likes to put their details into something that isn’t clear and they don’t trust.

There are a number of ways to build your referral program.

Hold a Contest

Holding a contest is a great way to bring out that competitive spirit in your customers, offering prizes for first, second and third for the highest number of referrals will get the ball rolling quickly.

Events

Having a yearly anniversary event or discount coupon referrals on holiday promotions such as Christmas, Mother’s/Father’s day, Valentines and Easter.  It’s helpful to see successful examples from other brands to see what ways are most effective.

Referral programs have the power to take your business to the next level.

Bringing new customers directly to your door. So if you don’t have a customer referral program in place its worth giving it a try to increase your business and profits at a low cost. If you’re unsure try something small and simple at first but don’t ever be afraid to try something new and make a statement.

Brand consistency! Why it matters

Brand consistency – Why it really does matter!

Studies have shown consistently that when we make purchases it tends to be an emotional decision rather than a practical one. Don’t get me wrong, I know you’re savvy! Many of us are very thorough and diligent in researching and checking around when we decide to make a purchase, especially if it’s a big one, and we make sure that we are informed. However, the weight we assign a company in that choice can be affected by factors that you may not realise are happening subconsciously, swaying you in one direction or another.

Let me put it another way… you’ve signed up at the local gym and you’re looking for a new pair of workout shoes. There are fifteen types of runners to pick from and you’re not overly familiar with the specifics of gym shoes so it’s a bit overwhelming. Then in the sea of choices you spot a brand that you know, let’s say it’s Nike. Now even though you aren’t really sure about which shoes to pick or why, your brain has just latched onto those Nike’s. Why is that? Well even though the Nike’s may be $30 dearer than the others, you are much more likely to pick the brand that feels familiar because familiar feels safe. It’s feels like you are buying something you know rather than risking the unknown and not being sure what to expect. Humans thrive on recognition, it’s the way we’re coded and what makes us feel like we’re in control. Nike has achieved this recognition through years of strict consistency to become one of the most recognisable brands in the world. If you see the words ‘Just do it’ or the Nike tick, it doesn’t matter where or how you see it, you will recognise it as being Nike and you will instantly think of them the way they have trained you to.

Put simply, consistency creates familiarity, which implies and imbues professionalism, predictability and trust into your brand.

To achieve brand consistency there are several factors that you need to nail down, and the best way to do this is by creating a style guide. This is a set of rules and specifications about your branding and how it is to be applied and used. It needs to contain information regarding your logo, colours, fonts, style and possibly a texture, shape or pattern.

Let’s break it down…

Logo

Your business logo should be relevant, current and professionally designed to have the best impact. It should stand out from the crowd and let your clients and potential clients know what you do and who you are.

Your logo is sacrosanct to your business – it’s your business identity – and should NEVER EVER be stretched, skewed or otherwise altered.

Your designer will be able to make you logo fit and sit correctly on a poster, brochure or product, you should never try to reshape your logo to fit where you want it.

After you have created your style guide and the necessary people have been trained in its use, make sure the relevant logo files are available for them to use. Part of this process needs to specify the minimum size your logo is able to be used at to maintain the integrity of the logo and retain readability. The last thing you want is for your logo to look like an indecipherable blob.

Colours

You should choose no more than 1 to 2 primary, and 2 to 3 secondary colours to use in your branding – including black and white. Your logo colours are the no brainer choices obviously, but in order for your logo to stand out it will need contrasting and/or complimentary colours to be seen against. These colours should also be consistent across your branding, the same as the logo itself. Colours are very much affected by the other colours used around them, which can change the appearance of your logo if you’re not consistent.

That doesn’t just mean that if you choose blue as one of your colours that any blue will do either! Blue isn’t just blue, which you very quickly realise if you’ve ever looked at paint. Pick a specific blue and note the CMYK and RGB mix so that it can be replicated to be recognisable as ‘your blue’. That way you will know reliably how it will look with your logo and you can ensure consistent results.

Colours are vastly powerful tools to direct how people react to you.

Ever noticed that most fast food places use a lot of red and yellow? Red attracts attention and triggers stimulation, appetite and hunger, and yellow triggers feelings of friendliness and happiness. Combined, they are a powerful subconscious suggestion that you are hungry now and that you enjoy that place. Study up on a little colour theory to learn which colours evoke the feelings that you want to trigger in your clients.

Font

The font or typeface you use in your logo goes a long way towards recognisability and needs to be carried throughout your branding. If you have a nice clean and modern sans-serif font in your logo but then suddenly switch to an old school style serif font it looks thrown-together, messy and unprofessional. Simply put, it just doesn’t look like it matches or is supposed to go together.

Keep it simple! Keep it clean!

Generally, your logo will have 1 to 2 fonts present in it, and those are what should be carried across to the rest of your marketing. It’s also worth noting that those two fonts might be available in several different styles, meaning you might be able to use those fonts in fine, regular bold and italic as well.

Style

Your style is the feel of your branding, and should be developed with your logo in mind. If your logo is clean, modern and light, your style should reflect that. You can imagine how unprofessional and mismatched your branding would look if you used layouts, textures and images that were heavy and grungy with a clean, modern light logo. It would just look out of place and awkward, and when things look awkward and out of place people feel put off and uncomfortable. Nobody wants to look at something awkward longer than they have to.

Start out picking a style that is relevant to your demographic, something that suits your brand.

If your business is modern décor, aim for your images and layouts to be lighter and fresh. If your business specialises in vintage car restoration, aim more for colours, images and layouts that have a bit more of an aged patina feel to them.

Your aim is for people to be able to see a brochure, poster, ad or business card and recognise it as you. They are more likely to pay attention and really look at what you’re trying to sell them if you look the part right across your branding. We humans are a pretty visual lot, styles and colours tend to evoke an emotive response, and that’s where we have the opportunity to elicit the response we are looking for.

Texture or shape

This refers to a design aspect that you might consistently use across your marketing. Something along the lines of a trademark angled slash across the top of your letterhead, a background or header/footer texture or a simple repeated shape you use for dot points. When reused consistently along with your other style guide aspects, these are all things that can make your brand recognisable, familiar and reliable, helping you to stand out amongst all of your competitors. If you’re clever with the shapes and textures that you use, you can start to have your clients think of you whenever they say that shape, even in another unrelated environment.

Just remember that brand consistency takes time and is something that should be played for the long game. It’s not something that will happen overnight, or even over a year, but stick to your guns and consistently apply your style guide and you will see results in the long run!

Download our { Brand Consistency Checklist } and see how your branding stacks up. We’ve even included a { Style Guide Template } to help you to get started creating your business style guide.

How to create a brand pin-board

So you’ve decided to rebrand, go you! But what do you do now?

When you make the decision to rebrand your business, it can often be pretty difficult to convey to your designer, or even solidify in your own mind, specifically what you want out of your new image. To successfully rebrand your business, you’ll need to understand where it is you want to go, what you represent and what represents your clients, along with the right look and feel of professional branding you will be proud to call your own. Today we’re going to delve into how you can use Pinterest to make a brand board, making this process more effective, and setting up the groundwork for a rebrand that is perfect for you.

Pinterest is a great free tool to help you nut out the solutions to these questions, providing a platform for brainstorming your branding in an easy to use visual medium by creating your own brand pin-board.

First things first, create yourself a free Pinterest account. You can sign up using your email address or by signing in with your Facebook or Google account. When you sign up, Pinterest will offer to add a ‘Save’ button in your browser to give you the ability to quickly pin images, ideas and pages to your board from anywhere on the internet. It’s a really good idea to say yes to the browser button, but we’ll come back to that shortly.

Now you have your account set up, yay! The next step is to start searching out things that you want your business to represent.

The first way you can do that is by searching on Pinterest itself using keywords that you feel will represent your desired feel – words like modern, quirky, contemporary, professional, fun etc. There’s some great content on Pinterest that people have put together portraying how they view those keywords, maybe even some things that really hit the nail on the head that you wouldn’t have otherwise thought of.

Once you find something that fits your criteria, hover over the pin and click on the ‘Save’ button. The first time you click ‘Save’ Pinterest will pop up a ‘Create Board’ dialogue box and you will be able to name your board. It will offer you suggestions for a board name (based on its assigned keywords), or you can simply type in a relevant name like ‘Brand board’ yourself. Click the ‘Create’ button and your brand board is up and running! Adding further pins to your board is simply a case of clicking save on your desired pin and when the dialogue box pops up simply select your board by clicking on its name and clicking ‘Save’

To access your boards, click on the profile icon on the top right of the page and select ‘My Profile’, then select ‘Boards’ to see your pin boards. This is also where you can update your board, from updating the name and adding a description, to inviting a collaborator or making the board secret so it can only be seen by you. Boards are public by default so you will always need to manually update to secret if you want to it be private. It’s worth mentioning though, that if you change a board to secret then to public you are unable to revert it to secret again.

Adding pins from EVERYWHERE! You’re not just limited to searching Pinterest, the internet is your playground.

Now we head back to the helpful Pinterest ‘Save’ button on your browser. You’ll find the button on the top right of the address bar (depending on your browser, I used Chrome) and it looks like the red ‘P’ Pinterest logo. When you’re on a page you want to save something from, just click the button and the same Pinterest dialogue box will open up and list thumbnails of all the things on the website you can save. Choose the thumbnail of the image or post you want to pin and select save, then the name of the board, the same as you would on Pinterest itself.

How do I know if I have enough..?

You should aim to add around 20 things to start with, giving yourself the chance to find what represents you the best. Once you’ve hit somewhere around that quota, have a good look at your board and start to cull out the excess pins – the ones that are a duplicate style or don’t quite convey what you are looking for. Keep up the culling process until you have condensed down to 5 pins, then invite your designer to your board as a collaborator. Combined with a consultation, the foundation is now set for your perfect new rebrand!

4 Important website SEO steps

So, you have a brand spanking new website. Yay!
The only problem is nobody knows that it’s there, and it’s not showing up on google! Damn… So, nobody is learning about your awesome services or buying your incredible products.

I read once that a website is like fine wine, it just keeps getting better with age. Why is that? The older the website is, the more opportunity Google has had to crawl through it, so the more likely the website is to show up for certain keywords and search terms. This is otherwise known as search engine optimisation or SEO for short. Add to that the industry “best practices” penchant for constantly changing as Google changes their algorithm, and the need for good SEO becomes abundantly clear.

Here’s a couple of not so hard steps that might just help your website show up in search results:

Backlinks / External Links

A “back-link” or “external link” is created when a an external website links to your website {links back to you}.

Why do you need back-links? Google is a search engine that follows links. For Google to know about your site, it must find it by following a link from another site. When Google crawls the other website, it will discover your website and index it.

The more links pointing to a web page determines how important that page is in the eyes of Google. Some links are more powerful than others though, for example a back-link from a website that has loads of incoming links themselves are generally more important than links from small websites with only a few incoming links.

Keyword Research

Have you thought about what keywords and search terms you would like your website to show up for in Google?

Do a quick google search from the perspective of your target audience. For example, if I offer dog grooming, my audience could be searching for “dog grooming”, “pet care”, “pet grooming” etc. write down as many search terms as you can think of. Another important thing to take note of, is Google’s drop down list of suggested search terms, these are terms that are used often. So, if you type in “Dog Grooming” and the list suggests “dog grooming near me” “dog grooming Perth” (if you’re in Perth) etc, then write these down as well.

The next step is to take advantage of Google’s own tools, such as “Keyword Planner” {Found Here}.

You may need to register an account, otherwise just log straight in, and select “Get Search Volume Data and Trends”, and in the text box enter all your newly found search terms and keywords. Select your target area and hit “Get Search Results”.

This tool will give you the average monthly searches and the level of competition for your search terms. So, you can decide which keywords to aim for on your website. Add those keywords to your body copy, page titles and meta description to help improve your ranking and SEO.

Write Relevant Content

Fill your website with complete, informative and relevant information. You’ve already done your keyword research, so you know a few words that need to be included in the text. But you don’t just want to create text that is keyword heavy, Google will notice what you’ve done.

You want to create an informative, helpful website full of information that either solves your customer’s problems, or lets them know how you can solve their problems.

Write about your services and your products but ALSO write about the issues your target customer might have that your services / product might just be the answer to. Find out what topics are important to your customer and then write about it.

This gives your website content that is relevant to the topics you want your website to start ranking for.

Link Building

Now we know that Google likes to follow links, and discovers websites through the links that come in to your website {back-links}, so it’s important to get as many valid back links as possible. The more links the more popular your website is, remind anyone of high school?

Reach out to another site owner, preferably of topically related websites, and ask them to write about your new website. If Google follows multiple links to your website it will crawl it more often. This can be crucial for your website SEO and will eventually help your rankings. BUT REMEMBER, buying links is a no-go! You could end up blacklisted, and nobody wants that.

Remember, at the end of the day, you need to let your website age, like fine wine. Give Google the opportunity to crawl through a few times and start improving your “popularity”.

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