Which social media platform?

Which social media platform?

Earlier in the month, we remained closed to clients but spent the week working on our company goals and the business. When you’re so busy week to week with clients, it’s often your own business that doesn’t get the attention, so we really were keen to spend the time chatting, sharing ideas, brainstorming and making sure everything is in place for a great 2022.

During one of our brainstorming sessions, we were putting down a list of social media top tips. The ideas were mainly for Reels on Instagram, but the discussion soon led into whether we should use TikTok, should we branch into Clubhouse, or use Spaces on Twitter.

It did get me thinking – we are, as a company, quite used to the same platforms we’ve always used: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. We definitely embrace any new updates and changes, and make sure we make full use of the functionality. However, when new platforms come about, how do you decide if you should spread some more energy into them?

For example, we use the four platforms above on a regular basis, and we also blog. That’s a lot of work for a small business, but given our field of expertise we want to lead by example, and be present online.

A few people have said to me over the past 12 months how we should definitely get onto the other platforms. We’re looking at TikTok, Clubhouse, Reddit – and there are surely more. How do you choose which platform to use then? While also recognising the fact that there are only a certain amount of hours in the day, and you do need to actually work to bring money in to pay the bills.

My trail of thought then went onto analytics (naturally). However how much can you trust those? I know that a lot of our enquiries for the business come via Facebook and word of mouth. Yet our analytics would suggest we do very well on Instagram and Twitter. Of course, we know to take analytics with a pinch of salt, they don’t give you the full picture – but that makes it harder for me to decide if we do put more time into a new platform or not, and do we do that in addition to the efforts we already have in place.

The next thought then is the target audience – for us it’s a fairly wide audience. We target small businesses and organisations, and staff of those businesses and organisations who may be interested in websites, WordPress training, social media and digital marketing. It’s quite broad, which is why typically, we’ve felt the 4 platforms we currently use work well. For example on LinkedIn we focus on business to business posting, perhaps on Twitter it’s more focussed towards organisations than small businesses. Each platform has its own merits, and it’s own strategy from us.

Of course, I suspect the answer is: we won’t know until we try, which is very true. Do we put in some extra time for trialling a new platform to see how it works for us, while trying to repurpose content?

What would you do?

Goal Setting for 2022

Goal Setting for 2022

Last week, although we were closed to clients, we were having a week dedicated just to the business itself. It deserves some TLC, and it’s easy to just go with the flow over the course of a year and forget to update websites, or work on your business.

So, a whole week dedicated to the business and our goals for the future. I thought, why not post on my own website my goals for 2022, as some form of holding myself to account? I’d love to know what your goals are too!

  1. Write that book! In 2021, I really wanted to write a business related book. There’s lots around in English, but definitely room in the market for ones in Welsh.
  2. Launch our online courses – this is a business related goal, but one I really do personally want to acheive as well. Again, I think there’s so much room for Welsh courses online, and it’s something I want to help lead the way on.
  3. Gardening. In 2020, I took on some small amount of gardening. During lockdown 2 at the start of 2021, we completely renovated our garden so that we could grow more (3 beds and lots of pots). This year, I’ve got plenty of books, a journal and a LOT more pots, planters and one extra bed. So, onto the gardening this year, and then the pickling.
  4. Exercise. In 2021, I signed up to Bethan Davies fitness, and the group PT went very well for me for the first 4 months of the year. It then got busy, and I know I let the excuses dominate. However, by the end of 2021 I was feeling completely gutted that I’d thrown away 4 months of hard work, and was basically back at square 1. So, this year, I am going to focus on myself more – my body, the food I eat and the exercise I undertake. It’s a slow burner, but I have to stay committed this time.

I might add to this … we’ll see! Let me know your goals 🙂

Reflecting back on 2021…

Reflecting back on 2021…

Do you ever sit down and wonder – what have I actually done this year? It’s been another weird one hasn’t it, with Covid still dominating every day. Our office chatter often ends up with us wondering where the year has gone, how has it gone so fast? But then, remember we were basically in lockdown until April weren’t we?

Aside from Covid cancelling a couple of breaks away, and reducing the amount of time we can see family – it hasn’t really had an affect on our ‘office life’. With the huge move to virtual in 2020, most of our clients and events seem quite settled to have everything on Zoom or Teams. I for one definitely find Zoom calls more efficient than the travelling time I was spending in 2019, as well as saving on petrol costs too of course.

By autumn 2021, I was beginning to feel a bit stuck in the same Covid rut, I have to admit. I think many of us are the same to be honest. At the start of the year I’d written down some goals, and in August realised I hadn’t even started to look at them. Cue some panic during late summer and autumn, wondering where the year has gone and what have I achieved. But, it’s been a busy year and I’ve found it more important than ever this year to reflect on what we’ve done. It’s so easy to forget, and not pat yourself on the back. For myself as well, I’ve definitely felt a lot more anxious this year about the general day-to-day, so looking back, and having some time to reflect, is definitely worthwhile.

Things I wanted to do… but didn’t: write a book, launch online courses, launch a website academy. Still, there’s 2022 right!

Digital Women Awards: I was genuinly shocked to have been shortlisted for two awards at the Digital Women Awards 2021 – Role Model of the Year, and Entrepreneur of the Year. Not only that, but I was listed as one of the 40 Digital Women to Watch in 2021 too. Now that was definitely something on my bucket list!

Becoming an Aberystwyth Town Council Councillor: this wasn’t on my list of things to do for a while, but I was approached by a few different people when some seats came up for co-option. It was something I had planned to do later on in my 30s to be honest, but why pass on the opportunity? Also, being a Town Councillor linked in quite well to other community things I do. It’s been a big learning curve, the councillors have been very supportive and I’ve enjoyed the difference I’ve managed to make to my local community. Next year, it’s elections – so there will be plenty of campaigning before May! I’ve yet to decide if I’ll go for County Councillor or not…

Aberystwyth University Tutor: My first interview in years, and potentially, my first ever ‘real’ interview too, to apply to become a Tutor with the Lifelong Learning department at Aberystwyth University. They offer a range of short, online courses for anyone to purchase, and when I applied I thought it would be a great opportunity to showcase the expertise we have.

Facebook Blueprint Community Manager: a tough exam, but I was absolutely delighted to pass my Facebook Blueprint Community Manager exam this year. I’ve got 2 Blueprint badges now, and just need to plan and work on the next one.

Ardal Aberystwyth Rotary: I was asked to join a new Rotary club that was being set up in Aberystwyth, and before long, was putting my name in to be the first Llywydd (President). As a new club, we did feel it was important to emphasize that it was open to women, all ages – and well, basically just to everyone. Gone are the days of old-fashioned Rotary clubs! It’s been such fun since we began meeting in the summer, and we’ve already supported some great events. Our official charter arrived 1st December 2021. I can feel 2022 will be an exciting year.

Forward Ladies Awards: you may have read some blogs of mine talking about the Forward Ladies Awards in 2018. Honestly, they have been such an important part of my journey, so it was a delight to be shortlisted again this year! No Award on the night, but being listed against some fantastic women once again was an honour.

Gwe Cambrian Web: I can’t do a reflection on the year without quickly mentioning the business! In January 2021 we took on our first ever full time member of staff! We are since a team of 3 with Catrin onboard since June, and we are advertising for 2 full time positions. Hopefully this time next year, we’ll be a strong team of 5! We also took a huge office move in November as well, moving from our place on Bridge Street in Aberystwyth to above Nationwide on the main street. A much larger space for us to grow into, and we’ll also be able to open up our hot desks again in the new year as well. Finally, we smashed our record of website launches, from 26 in 2020, to 44 this year. Lots of hard work from the team, I’m so proud!

Holidays: Despite Covid, we’ve had 3 fantastic holidays to Scotland, and also explored county Durham as well. It’s important to me to take time away from work and also from Aberystwyth. Exploring parts of the UK was something we did pre-Covid, and although I miss going abroad and discovering new cultures, I’ve enjoyed discovering a lot more of Scotland.

When I started thinking about reflecting back on the year, I found myself feeling a tad deflated I’ll be honest. It’s been a hard year. I have found myself being quite anxious, I’ve dropped a few balls along the way and felt overwhelmed at times. But then I look back on what I have achieved and I know I can feel proud about the year. I’m looking forward to some time off over Christmas, to allow my brain to have a bit of a clear out. I’ve already got my Forward Ladies Goal Setting book, and I’m already feeling those first tinges of excitement for a new year.

What on earth can 2022 have in store? Aside from a few Scottish holidays…

Why are we using social media?

Why are we using social media?

I’ve been working with a range of new clients over the summer, and also preparing my upcoming social media course for Aberystwyth University. When lesson planning, or chatting with clients, I’ve made a note of some thoughts that popped up along the way.

One of them was – why are we using social media? So often I see clients get really hung up on how much energy and effort is needed to put into their marketing, and I think we often forget why we’re here on social media in the first place.

Going back to basics, yes, of course we’re on social media to market our products. However, what I always point out to clients and I’ve mentioned on my course is – social media is all about being social. I think we can get so stuck in our strategy or content plan (or even, lack of) that we forget this.

Social media is a tool that we use to find our audience, connect with them and hope that they then connect and relate to us. It isn’t as complicated as we tend to make out. There aren’t magic formulas that mean our one post will go viral. There aren’t set rules about what we should or shouldn’t post.

At the end of the day, it’s all about making sure our content is relatable. Do our audience click with us because they have the same problems or challenges, or the same successes? Are we able to relate on the same level about our cooking mishaps, or our shopping disasters?

We’re all human of course, so being that human behind your social media – letting that human shine through, will work wonders on your marketing. It also makes it much easier to plan and think about too, when we remember that we have to be social, be human.

So, next time you’re banging your head against a wall or wailing in despair about social media being too hard or not knowing what to do – just go back to basics. Be you!

Is your target audience everyone?

Is your target audience everyone?

As someone who works with websites and digital marketing, I’m often asking the question – who is your audience and what are your goals? It’s a question that’s important for both of the aspects of the business.

A few months ago, a new client replied with ‘everyone’, as their target audience. I was half wondering, do they think this is the easy answer or not? To be fair, given the line of work too, everyone pretty much is their target audience – or rather, anyone with access to the internet.

So, what do you do when your target audience REALLY is everyone?

You have to plan per social media platform or per marketing avenue. Sorry! Rather than having one strategy to target your target audience, you need to plan your strategy per platform.

How does it work? Well, we know that we have certain demographics on the different platforms, so if we are targetting everyone then we need to tweak our marketing to that demographic based on the platform. That could be as simple as the graphic used, or slightly different text – or, going further and the types of content we use, for example you might utilise Reels on Instagram for that audience but stick to content and images on Facebook.

The plan of action would be to write down the list of social media platforms you want to use for your marketing, and do some research into the typical demographic for each one. Then, I would pencil a little plan of what you intend to achieve with each platform, based on that demographic.

For example, we know that Instagram is pushing video at the moment – so plan video into your strategy on Instagram (be that Reels, Lives, IGTV…). Twitter on the other hand is more social, short and sweet so the strategy here will be quite different.

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day

March 8th 2021 is International Women’s Day, and this year the hashtag is #ChooseToChallenge – help forge a gender equal world.

Reflecting on the world challenge, it often feels like a word I use a lot actually. I tend to face a lot of ‘things’ as challenges. A good example of this would be the angle I take when I want to inform my target audience a piece of informatin, for example, why Facebook groups are so great for building communities. I’d word it as a challenge to inform my audience. Outside of work, I’m often heard spouting the words “and that’s the challenge!” when people may complain about lack of things being done or lack of postivity. So, it feels very fitting for 2021 that challenge is the focus for International Women’s Day.

Over on the IWD website there is a great section of resources which can help you celebrate, and challenge. Are you going to get involved? I’m super excited for the day, and can’t wait to get stuck into social media and celebrate!