From Strategy to Success: Creating a Winning Social Media Game Plan | Megs Hollis | Skillshare

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From Strategy to Success: Creating a Winning Social Media Game Plan

teacher avatar Megs Hollis, #DoDigitalBetter

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Welcome to the Class!


    • 2.

      Class Overview


    • 3.

      Bonus Resources


    • 4.

      Your Project


    • 5.

      Concepts & Your Glossary


    • 6.

      The Attention Economy


    • 7.

      Algorithms & Paid vs Organic


    • 8.

      Marketing Funnel & Personas


    • 9.

      Paid Media Models


    • 10.

      Call to Actions


    • 11.

      KPI's & Agency Lingo


    • 12.

      Facebook & Instagram New Features & Trends


    • 13.

      Twitter & LinkedIn New Features & Trends


    • 14.

      Mobile & Web Trends + Resources to help you!


    • 15.

      My Positive Take to Life Online


    • 16.

      Why a Career in Social Media?


    • 17.

      Location, Location, Location!


    • 18.

      How to Conduct a Competitor Analysis


    • 19.

      How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis


    • 20.

      Wrapping up your Audit


    • 21.

      Developing your Social Media Strategy


    • 22.

      How to Execute your Strategy


    • 23.

      How to Measure and Optimize


    • 24.

      Bringing Everything Together


    • 25.

      Thank you for joining!


    • 26.

      BONUS: *Free*, fun marketing ideas!


    • 27.

      BONUS: Wait, what are hashtags?


    • 28.

      BONUS: How to use hashtags


    • 29.

      BONUS: Which hashtags should I be using?


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About This Class

This course offers an engaging and exhilarating introduction to the world of strategy, focusing on the dynamic realm of social media. With my guidance, numerous strategists and aspiring strategists have learned to tackle essential questions such as "How should our business navigate the online landscape?" or "How do we stack up against our competitors?" by employing simple yet thought-provoking steps that drive action.

My teaching style is informal yet impactful, delivering a diverse range of content formats. You can expect to explore Google Slides Templates, Google Sheets templates, recommended software, invaluable hacks, and receive a complimentary ebook that delves into the intricacies of each social media platform.

Think of me as your go-to advisor for all your burning questions, from "How many hashtags should I use?" to "How do I create captivating reels?" or "What emerging technologies should I stay updated on?" I thrive on teaching social media strategy in a robust, relevant, and enjoyable manner, ensuring an abundance of tips, tricks, and hacks throughout the course.

Meet Your Teacher

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Megs Hollis


Level: Beginner

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1. Welcome to the Class! : [MUSIC] Always wanted to know how to create a social media strategy? Well, you're in the right place. Today's session is here to teach you how to stop scrolling and start creating. My name is Megs Hollis and I'm a digital marketer and social media strategist with over 10 years in the buzz. I'm so excited to teach you the secret to creating a winning social media strategy. I have created hundreds of social media strategies for brands, big and small, and today I get to let you in on all of those trade secrets. As an educational YouTuber, I am of course, only too happy to share my tips, tools, tricks and hacks with you, and over on my YouTube, you'll notice my main aim is to help people do digital better. This class is of course, no different. The best part is that I have created a simple four-step method to teach absolutely anyone how to create a strategy for any kind of brand. Drawing off all of my experience, I will be coaching you in how to audit, develop, execute, and measure your strategy. This easy method has allowed me to mentor other strategists, or aspiring strategists online and in-person to follow along and do the same for their businesses, or maybe for a client of theirs. Strategy is an absolutely crucial part in all businesses as it sheds light on where you are, where your going and how to get there, and social media strategy is exactly the same, but just applied to the most fun corners of the Internet. The massive added benefit of strategy is that it's one of the most crucial skills when it comes to pitching for new business. If perhaps you are an aspiring social media freelancer, the robust toolkit in the social media class is going to fill you with all of the tools and the confidence that you'll need to approach brands with fun ideas and a fresh perspective, or if it's your own brand in question, then unleashing an impactful approach that is both inspired and inspiring. Ready? Let's do the **** thing. [MUSIC] 2. Class Overview: First off, I'd like to start with a class overviews that we can manage expectations and you can really know what to expect from me as a teacher, as well as what to expect in this particular class. I took quite a broad topic of social media marketing and I made it into three quite distinct divisions in terms of social media 101,102, and 103. The reason why I did this is because some people are very confident in some areas of social media, but lack confidence in others, and some people want to grow from zero to hero. If that is you, then definitely do keep an eye out for 102 and 103, which when put together is really going to make so much sense. You're going to feel truly at home and confident within the social media realm. In terms of what 101 is about specifically, I mentioned that I'm a digital marketing strategist. The reason why I am as strategists is because strategy is probably my biggest passion when it comes to the digital marketing and social media realms. There's so much application for strategy and it's one of the key things that people are lacking when it comes to social media. We see a lot of resentment in terms of people posting and hoping and praying that something's going to stick almost like throwing plaster at a wall. Once we add strategy into that, it really starts to make it a lot more systematic and concise in terms of, especially as small business owner who is pressed for time. What are the couple of things that I'm actually going to be implementing as opposed to just trying every tactic. I don't want to throw the kitchen sink at it. I actually want to be very concise with my social media marketing. If that is you, then definitely 101 is going to be a fascinating module for you. In terms of the specifics that we're going to be running through, we really stopped with unpacking the key social media marketing concepts. I call this section walks so that we can run. Really what this is doing is we're taking a couple of steps back and just making sure that it runs really comfy with terminology so that we can then start to lay our our knowledge on top of that. We then move into social media trends, which is really going to unpack particularly the newer functionality which has come out recently. One of my main gripes with social media classes is that oftentimes they're a little bit updated or they don't reference things specifically so that the course creator doesn't have to re-create the course every time an update comes up. For me, I would rather re-form that trend section to make sure that everyone is aware of the stuff that is upcoming. You'll notice that that is very much in terms of what is currently happening as you watch it. What do we then foray into is a four-step process which has really enabled me to teach a lot of other strategists, especially when I was working as a Head of Strategy, had to actually come on board with what feels like quite a paralyzingly, overwhelming task of creates a social media strategy. It actually breaks it down into simple four-step process, which is going to make it feel really approachable, really accessible, and really like it's no big deal. The four-step process is all about an audit process where we really understand the layer of the land. We understand where your brand is at. We look at potentially you may be doing this on behalf of another brand. How can we actually use that ordered process to actually become really familiar with your client's niche, your client's industry, understanding their objectives. There are a lot of tools in that section specifically which are going to help to unpack the business problems. They are often quite a few business problems. We just also discuss how to prioritize those and really think of those constructively. Then we move into our Phase 2, which is the development phase. This is a really fun one. It's really about thinking based on what I know, what can I start to put together? What can I put down on paper? Then from there we move into an executional phase. This is really more about the day to day, what systems and processes do you need to have in order to mobilize a social media strategy and have it be up and running. Then finally, we're really going to speak to a measurement and optimization. One of the most amazing things about digital marketing and social media, by virtue of it being a component of digital marketing is the fact that it's a 100 percent trackable. What this means is that actually you don't have to put up a billboard, pay for the printing, and just hope at the end of the campaign that you've got your objectives or your KPIs. Actually with social media and digital, it's really easy to go ahead and see, okay, within the first couple of days, I've looked at my Google Analytics if you're looking at your website or I've looked at my social media insights, and you can tweak and change consistently. If you're missing the measurement and tweaking phase, then definitely you're never really going to reach that peak Nirvana state with your social media and digital, because it's an iterative process and we want to embrace it as such. Then we wrap up and we bring everything altogether and hopefully you'll be super and to then go onto 102 and 103. 102 is where we do our platform specific deep dive. That really discusses the nuances of each of the platforms. When would you use them? When wouldn't you use them? Pros, cons, considerations and so forth as well as really what the training opportunities are on each of those platforms to. That's really exciting. Then 103, we bring everything together with tips, tools, tricks, and hacks days in my life, all those good pieces of content which are really going to bring to life this notion of becoming a social media specialist. Maybe you actually wanted to work in this field. What does that look like? What are those tools? That's really where the rubber meets the road in terms of unpacking. Cool. I have all this theory and this knowledge, how do I actually implement it? The three do work beautifully together. But as I mentioned, if you're just hoping to take one of them, then it should stand you in good stead, either in the strategy component, in the platform understanding, or in the final executional phase, depending on where you're at with your journey. 3. Bonus Resources: If this is my first class that you're taking, all of my classes are focused around educating, exciting and inspiring. I want you to walk away not feeling bogged down with theory but rather inspired to take action because that is ultimately what we're looking for from our strategy. A lot of what I teach within this module is the fact that we want strategy to be a living breathing thing. We do not want it to be a document which gets created once and left in a cupboard. There are some really fun ways to do that, for example, I've seen a lot of people bring them to life as Wikis on Notion. If you know anything about you might know that I'm a big Notion fan so that's one way alternatively using collaborative tools like for example, Google Slides and so we'll get into that as well. But just something to bear in mind is really you're doing something wrong, if strategy is being forgotten about or sidelined the second that's being created pretty much. The added benefits of taking any of my classes is that I do make an eBook available to you so. This is a premium product which I sell otherwise but for my students because I have such a soft spot for you guys, this is freely accessible. It really covers in depth my journey in terms of getting online with social media, with my YouTube and really it's got some pretty amazing resources in terms of cheat sheets. Specifically when we get into one or two maybe you're not as familiar with the platforms that you want to be, maybe like TikTok or club house has just come out and you're really scratching your head, that's really going to put your mind at ease in terms of understanding the basics. I think by laying them side-by-side, it feels like you starting to compare apples with apples and therefore able to see things for what they are. The last thing we really want is this shiny object syndrome where we just want our brand to be on all platforms all the time and actually we look at everything at face value and say, "Is this within alignment to my specific objectives or not and why?" Then we carry on with our merry way. I really hope that you love that ebook too. It is one of my many resources you'll notice that there's also a lot of free templates available. I hope all of that is really going to set you on the right path with your social media marketing. 4. Your Project: Let's put you to work in terms of understanding or what exactly your projects will be once you've completed Social Media 101. Ideally, I would love for you to do all four of these but I do understand that some people will be very time constrained. If you want to pick just two, then I suggest picking the two on the right. If you do have the time to do all four, then absolutely, please be my guest and I think it would make me happier. What you're going see on the left-hand side is that the SWOT analysis is an absolutely crucial piece to this puzzle. We will really run you through why SWOT analysis is such an amazing framework in business. But specifically in the social media realm, it's really going to give you that initial insight that's really going to help to firstly bond the team because it is ideally something you want to do with your team, but then certainly give you a constructive platform for you to actually unpack what some of those business objectives are, marketing objectives are, and then social media objectives underneath that. If you do have the time, a SWOT analysis is absolutely well worth it. As it's a one-pager, it should not be too time-consuming to produce. Underneath that you will see a competitor analysis. We actually advocate for two different methods depending on how much time and what the application of the framework is so you'll definitely be able to unpack what it is that your competitors are doing better or worse than you. Then really what are those insights that you can then leverage. Then on our right-hand side, of course, these are all compulsory assignments which you guys, you're not getting away from this, I'm afraid. The first one is of course, to define your content pillars, which is the term that will come up time and time again in 101,102, and I think 103. These are really crucial. Then defining your hashtags as well. This is going to be good for your organic visibility. Then finally, the fourth and last but not least really, the most important part is actually creating the content that goes along with the strategy. Part of this process is not just creating the actual content, but actually thinking about, it has to work. It has to actually be able to be mobilized. A strategy, we're not wanting it in the cupboard, we're wanting it to actively inform our decisions. It's that initial stress test in terms of is the strategy actually on point, the content frequencies that I've deemed is that actually feasible? Do I have the resources in terms of time and energy and money? That thing. I hope that you guys liked this more modular structure so that you can pick and choose what's going to work for you. But as I say, if you are incredibly time strapped then you can by all means, stick to the right-hand side. 5. Concepts & Your Glossary: Let's talk social media marketing concepts. As I mentioned, let's walk so that we can run. I think with most things in life, sometimes when you're feeling overwhelmed, you just want to take two steps back and be like, things are starting to make sense to me. Let's just collectively hold hands and just take those two steps back. The first thing you will notice if you are new to social media marketing is there is so much terminology. There is jogging, left, right, and center. How I've really addressed that within this class is I have produced a three-page glossary which should help you with everything you need to know. Instead of just reading through that glossary of terms, which wouldn't be very engaging with you guys, is I'm actually just going to pick and choose the 10 or so concepts which are the most important that you absolutely have to know. Everything is based. It's like a fundamental thing that you need to understand in order to grasp social media as a whole and then as additional reading homework, I would love for you to check out the glossary. It does form part of the eBook if you've got your hands on the eBook, or alternatively, it'll be uploaded as a standalone as well. Either way you're going to get your hands on that and then you can of course, go through the more granular things and I would suggest doing that just because, particularly if you're wanting to pursue social media as a profession, that's not something you can Google when you're chatting to your client, it's something that you would actually be expected to know, so three pages are not too bad, but certainly for the purposes of this video coaching, I'm going to take you through my top 10. 6. The Attention Economy: I absolutely love a Britney Spears meme. Is this sometimes how you feel when people are talking about social media marketing? This is the case for a lot of people. What you can really bring to the table if you become a social media specialist is to be able to take a client's hand and say, you can trust me, let's walk through this fire together. The Internet is a strange place, but of course, there's nothing we can't manage together. The first concept, which may be a little bit more obvious, but is certainly one to contextualize where we are at, we are living in an attention economy. The reason why I love to start my trainings just centering us in the context is that people will have differing opinions around whether paid media is good or bad, or why can't Facebook just showcase a brand's products or services ad nauseam. Really it always comes back to this concept we're in an attention economy, attention is such a commodity nowadays that it's really the most important thing that we have. Everything that you will be thinking about and concerning yourself with as a social media manager is bearing in mind the 100 other things that someone has on their mind at any point in time. The thousands of products which are competing for attention, the hundreds of thousands of messages which are really being bombarded to us daily. How do we craft our purpose and carve something that's distinctive, something that's standing aside from our competitors. That's of course where that analysis is going to help to take us. By having a good understanding of the lay of the land, it then starts to define your individual and unique path, which is absolutely fantastic. Bear in mind, if ever someone asks you something which is like Facebook's too clattered, why would we continue to use it? You're saying, well, it's an attention economy. That's how it is with most things. Even trying to get a response from a friend nowadays over message can be challenging. That is as a result of our society, particularly how it has changed off to COVID-19. 7. Algorithms & Paid vs Organic: Next up, let's talk about what an algorithm is. I don't mean a scientific explanation. We won't get into the nooks and crannies quite just yet. Really what we want to understand at this point about an algorithm is that there's so much content because we're in an attention economy. So the social media networks have had to find a way to prioritize and that's moved more and more away from chronology over time. Instagram is making a change back a little bit to chronology. But certainly the social media network that you're engaging with is trying to show posts to people who are likely to be most engaged. So previously when there was less content, obviously this was a bit lesser played, but now we are definitely at the mercy of these algorithms. The reason why I like to teach this upfront is because again, when people say things like paid media is a bad thing. I do just want to sense check that with you guys and say, well, it can't be a bad thing because Facebook and Instagram and Twitter, they can't show every single brand product or service that is marketing in your area to you. So it's relying on a very complicated back-end off targeting via psychographics and demographics. If you're not sure what those are, they're both in the glossary. So it's basically looking for your ideal audience as they band. Then saying, okay, what are those markers in terms of social media and how do we then use paid media formats to target to those people. So it's not a case of good or bad. You'll see that come through throughout this concept section. It's more about saying there is an algorithm at play. These are the things we can do organically. Things like hashtags, geotags, all sorts of tactics using maybe video as a top of the funnel approach to really get people into a bucket. Then there's the things and tactics we can use from a paid promotion, which are a little bit more specific, like using the targeting options that the back-end of all these various platforms do have. Now, what that creates for brands is a pay-to-play environment. This is one of my favorite terms in digital marketing. So no longer can we just consider Facebook as an audience that we earn, it's very apparent that even if you had a 100,000 likes on Facebook, not all a 100,000 of those people are going to see your content, in fact, less than four percent are going to see your content. [LAUGHTER] So it's quite a stock realization once that starts to dawn, but we're going to leverage our new found understanding of social media to make sure that even though there is an algorithm at play, there are ways and means, both organically and paid that are really going to put our brand on the front foot. Next up, let's talk about this notion of paid and organic. So people always ask me organic sounds like a vegetable garden, Megs, like what are we dealing with here? Organic is of course the unpaid content. So that's the stuff that there is no paid promotion sitting behind. So in the case of many small brands, it can sometimes be the majority of their content. So the school brands that I work with will oftentimes have 50 percent of their content promoted it and then 50 percent be organic. As your page gets bigger and bigger specifically with these massive brands, what you're going to then find is actually 99 percent of that content has to be promoted. [LAUGHTER] So it's not about good or bad, it's really about the two kind of playing together. So the reason why I don't want to play off paid and organic against one another is you will see from this diagram that there are really benefits to both. So your organic pros are the fact that of course, that is about your brand engagement. It's about your customer service and your relationship building. So being social on social and then on your left-hand side, that paid section, it's all about reaching your ideal audience, targeting ideal customers, because now you've got a bigger names and driving leads and conversions. So between the two of those, they're really going to work together to help to gain you new followers who are like your current ones. You're also going to be able to promote quality content. So you can obviously be quite scrupulous about what you choose to promote and then it's also going to give you some insights in terms of your ideal audience and what their preferences are. So just to round off, neither one is good nor bad, they both have pros and cons to them. 8. Marketing Funnel & Personas: Then, of course, you can't teach marketing without a good old marketing funnel. Of course, a lot of people who have studied marketing will be rolling their eyes and saying, I know this. But certainly in the social media space specifically, it becomes so crucial that there's an understanding of everything working as a funnel. Really what the paid media formats do, is you isolate for a particular objective when it comes to a campaign. You'd say, for example, our primary objective is engagement or our primary objective as leads. You know that leads is at the very bottom of that marketing funnel and so the tactics will be a little bit different versus if you're wanting engagement top of funnel, sometimes it's called TOFU and BOFU, but those acronyms are a little bit strange for me. You'll see that even just by visualizing it you can understand, a video is good for awareness, it's getting people into my buckets. Then my e-commerce journey, for example, is going to get people down and then my conversion page will be that very bottom conversion point. It's really a helpful analogy in both marketing and social media to understand. It's representative of that customer journey. Your job as a marketer is to get people down that funnel as far as it's possible. The next key concept that I want you to be familiar with is that of a persona. Personas, if you come across them, happen upon them and you don't have any context, they can feel a little bit random because next thing you're talking about Sue who likes to read the U Magazine on a Sunday and you're asking yourself, but who is Sue? Why is she named Sue? Where did all these attributes come from? I love personas, but I can certainly appreciate that when I first started using them it was strange to me. But basically what it is is one of the mistakes that happens with social media is you're just speaking to everyone. It's like when people will say, who's your target audience? Or anyone. The second that your target audience is anyone, you pretty much don't have a business model because what you're saying is you haven't taken the time to research. It may be everyone in a very bizarre subset of the universe, but they will be people that are more likely than others that are going to convert. It's really about doing that market research and then constructing these fictitious people, yes. But they also need brilliant visual representation, so that you can stick it above your desk and when you're creating content, you have Sue in mind and not just everyone. It's really going to help you to consider things like what is this person's mobile browsing habits? What are the platforms that she's likely to watch after hours? Then that's going to inform a lot of what you then go into when you start thinking about paid media strategies. Where does this person reside online? Where do they reside offline sometimes? This is typically based around things like interests. Psychographics, demographics, thoughts, needs, and desires. We will definitely get to personas. We've got beautiful examples for you in terms of what those templates look like. If you're ever doing a presentation to a client, it's also a massive tick box in terms of you have taken the time to understand my target audience, which is often crucial in terms of landing the business in the first place. 9. Paid Media Models: Then we're going to talk about some paid media models. Although this course doesn't horn into paid media specifically. There is a very pointed reason why that is the case. That is because there's a whole beautiful freely accessible library of content called the Meta Blueprint. This is going to go in excruciating detail across every kind of ad format, every Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp execution that you can imagine. With that in mind, I have not tried to emulate Meta's Blueprint. I really do touch on the paid media concepts that you as a strategist or small business owner will need to know. But definitely, when you go about creating your ads, I want you to be systematic in terms of way you're finding the most recent information, and it's very specific of course to your objective as well. But what I do want you to be familiar with and why I like to quote this portion upfront is that there are a lot of acronyms which are typically referencing bidding models. In the same way that for example, when you type something into your Google search, there are a whole bunch of brands bidding against one another on your terms. Let's say, for example, car insurance, they're all bidding, bidding, bidding, bidding, bidding the highest paying ad that is combined with the quality score of the ad, which we won't get into for the purposes of this class is really what's going to rank super well. In the same way with social media, there is that bidding, bidding, bidding process when you refresh Facebook, log into Facebook to determine what is actually going to appear, and it's all these brands competing against one another for the attention and the attention economy for that specific subset represented by your persona. You'll see it's all starting to come together. If you ever see things like CP, it's almost always referencing cost per. It'll either be a brand saying I'm willing to pay a cost per click or a cost per lead or a cost per mille of X amount. Therefore that's what they pay media strategist or whoever is implementing that strategy will now stop bidding at that point. It would be like sending someone off to the races and saying, "Here's $1,000, do not bid more than that." It's exactly the same. Anytime you CP, that's really what it's referencing. Then the other time that it would be used is when you're looking at your ad performance. Not only have I been given $1,000 to go to the races, but actually then I'm going to have to go and report back and say, "Oh, because your objective was a cost per lead, I managed to get your cost per lead of a $100. Therefore, this is how many leads I've managed to get to you." Definitely, cost per click, you cannot get away from it. Good one to remember cost per engagement is also brilliant because that's actually saying referencing really a like or a comment or a share. Then your cost per mille. This is a fun one. Mille actually stands for a thousand in French, so it's saying cost per thousand impressions. So it's just eyeballs. Oftentimes with Google display and with social media, people will often reference a CPM when your key objective is awareness because what you're saying is I don't necessarily need someone to take action I just want them to see repetitively my product come up. Oftentimes, awareness is the default that people will say, "What's your objective for this campaign and awareness?" In some cases that's perfectly fine. In other cases, when you dig deeper with a client, it will sometimes not be awareness. But for what you guys need to understand, just bear in mind that depending on exactly which part of that marketing finally you're really trying to get people down, there's going to be an ad format which matches every single one of those objectives and there will be a metric like CPC, CPM, CPL, cost per lead and that's really going to match up to that. 10. Call to Actions: The other fun one is calls to action. This can either reference a button, so for example, on a website or on an ad, or it can just reference the copy line at the very bottom of a post caption which says shop now link. Either way. Really the encouragements around call to actions is sometimes you'll see there's just social media posts for the sake of social media posts. You want to ask the person that's created them like, what is the action that you want people to take as a result of that? Or there's multiple call to actions within one piece of content, which is also of course not ideal. You really want to be singularly minded around the content pillars. For example, maybe it's thought leadership for your company and the action that you want someone to take is to download your e-book. You want to be as specific as you can within your attention economy in order to make sure that you're driving the action that you're wanting. 11. KPI's & Agency Lingo: Let's chat about remarketing. This is a very fun one. The easiest way to explain it is if you head on over to an online website, and so in South Africa, we have Takealot and you browse a Canon camera. You might then find that when you hit on over to social media, particularly Facebook, you'll actually see that camera marketed back to you. So that's what's known as re-marketing. This is really the process of what's happening and the technology that it's using is called a pixel. You've implemented a Facebook pixel on, for example, that camera page, and then that is actually what's going to follow the person around the Internet until they clear the cache. It's a great one specifically as you move into your confidence zone with paid media, once you start referencing things like it's a blueprint in terms of getting you up and running and voila, it's something that's actually going to encourage people over and over to buy your products. Let's talk about some common KPIs. KPIs are key performance indicators, and really this is such a nice solid basis when it comes to social media. Brand awareness, like I mentioned, very, very common, it is the most common one that I had people referencing. That could refer to impressions, reach, engagement, clicks, shares, tags, and mentions. Engagement, which typically refers to likes, comments, DMs, clicks, shares, or saves. Traffic, which is important, particularly from an e-commerce standpoint, you're trying to drive someone to a product page in order to check out, that would be click-through rates, page views, swipe ups. Leads, which is typically contacts, booked appointments, business inquiries, and so forth. Then finally, conversions bottom of the funnel, [LAUGHTER] let's not make that a thing, that's really going to speak to sales and new subscribers, coupon usage, contest entries, and completed surveys. Next up, let's chat about these various concepts of owned, earned, paid, and shared. The reason I like this slide is because it's showing you that not everything is owned in the ecosystem. For example, your website is owned because you physically own it, you have control over the hosting, the domain and the color scheme, the icons, you name it. Then we have earned, which is typically PR that we've earned, then we have paid, which is often things like social media, so because Mark Zuckerberg is the creator and sadly not us, we have to pay him in order to have our stuff front and center. Then shared is the customer reviews, user-generated content and so much more. You can really see that there's a bunch of different mediums that are working together within the digital ecosystem, and you have varying degrees of control over them. There's pros and cons, of course, of each of them, but just bear in mind that you could build a website and have both [inaudible] and they will come as your ethos, but the reality is that you would still need to then reference [LAUGHTER] paid media sources and you'd need people to actually be writing about your product in order for you to get any traffic. I've got three sides which just help you to drive home. Paid media, the benefits is that it has immediate impact, it's helpful for search engine optimization, branding, and trust. Then your owned media gives you that control of your content, its immediate impact, and it's also great for SEO. Then earned media is free, trusted by readers, it's helpful for SEO and it's good for your branding as well. Then, in addition, of course, to the weird and wonderful terms we use as social media marketers, there's also the agency lingo. This tweet gets me in the giggles every time, ''Accidentally called a PowerPoint presentation a PowerPoint presentation instead of a slide deck, and now everyone on this Zoom meeting knows that I'm 40.'' [LAUGHTER] I think we can all relate to that. In the glossary you'll see I also do capture some other agency lingos, another fun one is a tissue session. This is not a time for you to cry, if ever someone invites you to a tissue session, it's typically once a freelancer or an agency has taken a brief, maybe a week later they want to say check something with the client, and instead of waiting for the presentation in two weeks time when it would probably be too late if they had gone in the wrong direction, you'd just going to say to your client, "Is this right? Are we on the right page yet?" So that's also just a fun one. Definitely do check out that glossary, as I said, it's only three pages, so there's absolutely no excuse not to. But hopefully, this overview of concepts is really going to help you with the major ones. 12. Facebook & Instagram New Features & Trends: Let's talk about social media marketing trends. This is, of course, one of my favorite topics not just because it's a fun one to teach, but actually because social media by its very nature is, obviously, in a state of flux all the time. People will complain and say the Instagram algorithm has now changed, but really, that is the beauty of this medium. It's not a print or a billboard where it is quite stayed and static, it's always changing. If you're wanting to carve out a career in social media or you've just simply using social media to put your brands or service or product in front of people, then that is something that you definitely going to have to come to terms with and make peace with. But the good news is there's a lot of places for you to look for this information. This is obviously going to give you a quick breakdown in terms of most current updates. But in terms of staying informed long-term, there's a slide that's really going to point you in the right direction at the very end in terms of, where should I be looking for this information on a monthly basis? Definitely there is an onus on you, as I said, if you are working in the social media space , to keep informed. Certainly it just makes it a lot easier rather than having to do a deep dive every time you have no clue about something, is to rather bookmark stuff that you find interesting, follow the relevant accounts. Then it becomes a lot less onerous in terms of your time to actually know exactly what is going on out there in the world of social media marketing. In terms of the trend overview, we really touch on each of the major platforms and discuss what is some of those changes that we definitely need to be aware of in order to market upon them. Of course in social media marketing 102, we do go into the platforms and a lot more detail, but certainly in terms of strategy, we do need to be informed in terms of, how do we leverage the newer functionality? Because things like Instagram, for example, will heavily favor something like Reels just by virtue of the fact of that being a new functionality on the platform. You could have a beautiful strategy that you've done two years ago that was telling you to post in your feed four times a week for argument's sake. But unless you're iterating and evolving that strategy all the time to take into consideration that organic reach is much better on something like Reels, then that's rarely going to be of diminishing value to you. The point of this transaction is really just to make sure that you're staying up to date in terms of what is out there for us to leverage. Let's start off with Facebook. Facebook, of course, has received a little bit of heat in terms of its name change from Facebook to Meta. But actually, this is quite common practice as businesses get bigger and as their visions evolve. Meta is really to incorporate that holding company that has a whole suite of products including Facebook, but not limited to. It also includes of course, Instagram, WhatsApp, and many other solutions. Meta is really that holding name for the company. Mark Zuckerberg has very publicly announced that it's going to be a hybrid of online social experiences and Meta really encapsulates that a little bit better. It's speaking to the fact that this Metaverse is an all-new feature that we can all start to get excited about, which is all about immersive experience, when you can do stuff with people even though you're on together. I personally I'm loving the change. I think it's wonderful. What it does mean from a student perspective though, is instead of typing in Facebook blueprint and anything that reference the entity that was Facebook as in the holding company, is now of course going to change to Meta the blueprint. If you are looking for guidance when it comes to anything, WhatsApp, Facebook, or Instagram related, of course just hit up Meta. This is of course what it's going to look when you hit the page. It is beautifully laid out. It really does show you succinctly what are the steps that you're going to have to take. As I mentioned from a paid media perspective, because this functionality is changing all the time, this is of course your best point of reference. Because if you're looking at blog posts or third-party platforms, it's not necessarily going to have the most up-to-date information and you might be looking at something that references an older functionality. Definitely you want to take this from the horse's mouth and go to the source when it comes to paid media specifically. But of course, most of the functionality, this is a great source of truth. Next up, let's chat about Facebook's new audio initiatives. We know that audio has really been blowing up thanks to the success of apps like Clubhouse. Facebook is expanding its investment in audio initiatives of late, which includes a new audio destination in the mobile version of the app in the United States. It has not yet necessarily been launched globally because we certainly don't have it in South Africa at the moment, but it's fun and it's definitely something to start thinking about. Is there a podcast that's relevant to your business that maybe you can keep up to date with and then start to see it in whether maybe longer form? Audio content is more your jam as opposed to maybe starting a YouTube channel for argument's sake. Definitely look at how Clubhouse and TikTok have really challenged the oldest social media networks and consider, Facebook they know that they are losing relevance in certain markets, particularly Gen Z. What are some of the ways that they actively fighting back? I always find these articles really fascinating in terms of how they are punching back and saying, we are Facebook after all. They're also looking to roll out a new product called Soundbites, which is a TikTok offering with short audio clips, which could also be a fun one to look out for. Moving on to Instagram. Instagram had some major changes during the two years of pandemic. Certainly, we were seeing a lot more speaking to e-commerce because people were forced to bring their businesses online if they had not yet done so already. A lot of the trends and newer functionality updates that we're seeing on Instagram specifically is to make it a lot more e-commerce friendly. As of December 2020, it was possible for you to actually shop directly from Reels, which of course is fantastic. This is going to be great for retail creators who obviously are then probably using affiliate links within this and it's really nodding to the success of Instagram Shops and Facebook Shops, as well as Facebook marketplace, which has a huge hold in terms of the informal commerce scene. The next format launched with what I would say maybe dubious success, because I think it is an incredibly useful tool but to be honest, I have not seen brands utilizing this. I definitely want to put it forward as one to consider. It's called Instagram Guides and Granted. It was launched in 2020 when we had bigger fish to fry. But certainly I think it's a great one because it speaks to the repurposing of content. Basically what happens is if you look on, for example, the Social, there at the screenshot, you'll see that there's actually a little brochure icon. When you click on that, it's going to show you Instagram guides that have been set up. The purpose of Instagram Guides is really to repurpose content that's already gone out. If for example, over a 30-day period you were releasing maybe your top product of the day, then over time you could actually put that together in a catalog format by repurposing it to act within the guide, so that's phenomenal. The other way that you can use it is if, for example, you are a blogger, not only can you curate stuff that's already gone onto your feed, you can actually curate stuff that's gone out on other people's feeds. I could, for example, say my top 10 favorite restaurants in Cape Town, that could be the name of my guide. Then what I'm actually doing is pulling in posts that have gone out on other people's pages and that's done using the bookmark functionality. It's a fabulous one to look at. Certainly there's a lot of information online in terms of what you can use them for and how to compile them, but the top-line view that I want to give to you guys to consider is if you have gift guides or key themes you want to highlight, if your businesses are fond of doing listicles, list of tips, this is a good one. Sharing a brand story or message, it gives you a lot more real estate to play with and certainly just a caption within a post, providing step-by-step instruction, a ranked list, shouting out others in your community, or collaborating with creators as well as promoting causes and providing resources. The next one is brand by new. You now have the opportunity to actually convert your Instagram stories as they're sitting in your highlights into Reels. If your team has actually been hesitant to date in terms of creating Reels, converting your Instagram story highlights is an incredibly easy way to get started. Even if your business already has a solid strategy for Reels, it's a nice way to up your frequency because it's actually just so low effort. Using this Reel shortcut is going to be a really simple way of creating more of the type of content which we know that Instagram is prioritizing. The more types of Reels you can taste, of course, the more data you're going to have at your fingertips. Once you've actually created a highlight Reel, you'll see that at the bottom there's actually now a Create button. Then when you click that, it's going to sync your clips to suggested audio. You get to pick your audio and hey, Presto, you have created your very first Reel. 13. Twitter & LinkedIn New Features & Trends: I of course am a YouTuber, so I love YouTube Shorts. It is a short form response from YouTube to the competitors like TikTok. Again, you see a lot of that threatening presence of the newcomers and the older platforms really fighting back quite hard in order to counter that. A YouTube short has a 9 by 16 aspect ratio. It takes up your entire mobile screen and it can be up to one minute in length. Crucially, it cannot have copyrighted audio. We know that YouTube is very strict about this. If, for example, you did post a clip with, let's say Harry Styles playing in the background, [LAUGHTER] really what that's going to do is actually just cut out after the 15-second mark. It's not something that you want to actually do. Rather you want to choose copyright-free music or alternatively, it could be original audio. This is great for educational creators like myself. It's similar to TikTok and IG Reels. It does have its own your answers as well. You're going to find it quite prominently displayed, especially on the mobile version of YouTube, and this is what it looks like. It definitely do test out YouTube Shorts. All you going to do when you want to create one is upload a video which is less than one minute line in their vertical format, include the hashtag, hashtag shorts and there you go. You are live on the interwebs. Then Twitter Spaces. Twitter is actually also looking at the club houses and thinking a little bit of a threat this. They've launched Spaces, which is a feature which allows users to join virtual rooms. Guys, if this doesn't look like club house than I do not know. Spaces is one of this super early entrance into this fast-growing market for live audio only conversations. Because of Twitter's resolved data, which is conversation and really been part of that. Then you can see why Twitter Space, this is really an exciting one. If you already have 600 and more followers this functionality should be available to you. It's great for education, influencers and creators, and it's very similar to Clubhouse. Next step is Twitter Fleets. If you did not catch this release that happened in November of 2020 and it's because tweeting can just sometimes feel to permanent. [LAUGHTER] Really they've created the equivalent of an Insta stories within Twitter, grateful consumers and behind the scenes content which you don't want to live forever similar to Insta stories and Facebook take statuses. Let's chat Twitter e-commerce and super follow. This was in development in 2021. Twitter e-commerce was realizing, of course that Twitter was not good, particularly well for commerce. Now you're seeing shop call to actions across Twitter. If previously you maybe weren't using Twitter as much for e-commerce, it could be a good one to relook now, as well as super follow, which is allowing creators to earn money starting at $4.99 a month, set to compete with OnlyFans and Patreon. LinkedIn product pages. If you are a Software as a Service business or a B2B business, LinkedIn is where it's at. What is really cool about this new update in terms of product pages, is that it's allowing you to create communities around your software. We know the B2B can be a little bit of a dry industry in terms of the creation of content doesn't necessarily come as easily as with a B2C product, but fear not LinkedIn of course has us covered. Basically what you can do is if you have a motherbrand page, you can then create showcase pages beneath that, what they call affiliate pages or affiliated pages. For example, if you had a bigger holding companies, smaller companies underneath that, then underneath that still you're not able to implement product pages. You can see you're really able to pull in community elements and actually get reviews, help people with the queries. Maybe someone like Canva, that of course is this global mammoth in terms of people using it. Maybe they would want to create product pages for bits of functionality which may be people were struggling with. That would allow product experts to actually communicate with the consumers using it. I think also just in terms of getting a lot of feedback from the users, it's a great one for that. You can also build social proof by spotlighting your customers with this and reliable product insights and reviews from a trusted professional community. Definitely a cool one. It's a B2B products, so I wouldn't suggest looking at it if you'd B2C, it's great for community building regeneration, case studies as well as customers. Another favorite of mine is LinkedIn Newsletters. I have actually created my own and I was really fascinated by this process because initially how LinkedIn launched it was two individuals instead of two companies. It was really not to the fact that LinkedIn is creating a new generation of influencers who are thought leaders. We are not necessarily Instagram models, we are more about building authority around a particular topic. Take myself, for example, of course, I create a lot of content on WhatsApp for Business. LinkedIn Newsletters really good way for me to actually set up a community around WhatsApp. I have one called WhatsApp Marketing. Despite only having about 2,500 followers on LinkedIn, I was able to get about 800 subscribers with just posting a couple of times about this new subscription service that I'm running. Basically what was happening is people were publishing longer form content to LinkedIn in the form of articles. But if you were not online at that time, when someone published an article, it was probably quite unlikely that you're going to see it. It had not great reach in other words. What LinkedIn newsletters is doing is in addition to that article being released and long-form format, it's actually going to notify people on the app by way of a push notification as well as anyone who has subscribed to a newsletter in the email inbox. I'm really loving this because I feel like it's a lovely way to augment your email marketing strategy and it's also bringing more relevance to the LinkedIn platform. If it is priding itself on the fact that it's creating thought leaders then what are some of those tools that it's actually offering to people like you or I who don't necessarily have massive followings, but certainly are wanting to write articles about the topics that we're passionate about. Wonderful for email marketers, because as I say, it's a simple case of if you were doing a mail send, you could simply translate that over on LinkedIn newsletters. Great for engagement, building authority generating needs, and it's completely free. Definitely want to try out. 14. Mobile & Web Trends + Resources to help you! : Next up, let's chat about our mobile apps. There was a lot of bulgy throughout 2020 because WhatsApp had that privacy update, which I'm sure you guys will remember ruffled a few feathers. WhatsApp, of course, it's still super popular but there was a lot of growth that then got seen amongst Telegram and Signal. Let's just compare them for a brief second. WhatsApp recently released an update which allows you to speed up your voice notes. They're going ahead with a plan data changes. There's nothing we can really do to stop that. Telegram is actually on a trajectory towards one billion users active each month by the end of 2022, up from roughly 550 million today. However, they are $1 billion in debt, so they're in a race to monetize the app. The reason why I mentioned this is because it's just something to be aware of the fact that Telegram in order to scale in the way that they now need to, with the diminishing popularity of WhatsApp, it's really still a race for them to monetize because where's that money coming from? I think these messaging apps are notoriously difficult to monetize, so it's definitely something to be aware of. If, for example, you move over to Telegram for your privacy concerns, just bear in mind that they are busy monetizing at the moment. Therefore, you might actually find yourself in a very similar space as you were with your WhatsApp privacy concerns. The one if you are genuinely concerned about your privacy would of course be Signal because it is a non-profit. It's funded privately. It's never going to monetize. They're very blatant about that. There were over 61.4 million downloads in 2021 alone. 309 percent increase in overall signal downloads in 2020 and then of course 2021 it picked up further. In terms of monthly messaging app downloads, how does that look? WhatsApp definitely was taking a hit, and this was in 2020. Then you see Messenger as well taking a bit of a dip also of course owned by Facebook. Whereas Telegram and Signal, they were really getting a lot of attention and particularly post this privacy update. Just to be aware that of course, as much as we accept that WhatsApp is the biggest platform, it's not necessarily the only platform. Let's talk about Google Analytics. This is quite a complicated one. There's quite a lot on this slide, but just to break it down for you, basically, Google Analytics 4 is the new standard for Google Analytics. Anyone who is running a previous version of Google Analytics, which is called Universal Analytics, absolutely has to switch over. It's not a case of upgrading your existing code, you literally have to add a whole new snippet of code for your GA4 to work. If you do not do that, you're not going to actually get data because they send setting the older version of analytics next year. Definitely, if this is not something that you have done, then it's something that you want to look at analytics if you're not familiar is absolutely imperative because it's going to show you how many people are visiting your website. What are they doing on there? What are their times on site? Really give you a lot of insight in terms of your business online and where you need to be. Maybe you can see that a particular article format is performing well, then that would of course inform your content marketing strategy, moving forward to do more of that content. Definitely, that is one to look at. Then finally, I of course promised you the learning resources. As I said, although you will be semi up to speed now, you want to be looking at Meta blueprint. You want to be looking at Social Media Examiner. This is absolutely brilliant. I've got another slide after this one that'll show you exactly why I love it so much. But other ones definitely to be aware of as the Later Blog, highly topical information and particularly about Instagram, including the new features in handy strategies, Spot Social also brilliant insight section, and Hootsuite as well with their resources. I love The Digital Picnic in Australia because I think that they have very cool paid products. Definitely do check those out its templates and e-books and that kind of thing. If you're looking for some inspiration, you can definitely buy one of their paid products on that side. But in terms of Social Media Examiner, just to loop back there, basically what they do is they aggregate all of their content around the various platforms. You can just click on one of these and you'll find the most relevant information about that platform. They also have a social media marketing industry report, which I found super interesting. If you do want to check that out, it is there for you. But certainly, these six sources of truth are going to be so invaluable for you throughout your social media career in terms of staying on top of these trends. The saying I think is, stay ready so that you never have to get ready. That is really what we're aiming for in terms of this transaction. 15. My Positive Take to Life Online: Let's talk about why you should be embracing a life on social media. This is a fun, more personal angle, it's from my own perspective, so it's really my positive take to life online. I know particularly with younger folk, wanting to come into the social media marketing career path, and the industry, parents are sometimes a little bit concerned in terms of, they know that social media online can have ramifications, particularly for one's mental health, and that's not limited to children either. I think as adults, we have not necessarily learned the tools to self-regulate in terms of our social media usage. This is really a positive take on why some of those pros on social media can outweigh its cons and some things to be aware of to make sure that your time online is as positive as it can possibly be. What are some of those important things we should all be thinking about that would really allow us to take advantage of the best that social media has to offer. I've broken this down in terms of my 10 favorite things around a career in social media marketing, and why it really has proven to be a very fulfilling career path for me specifically. Maybe some considerations for naysayers and people who think social media is not good for you, it's not good for your brain, it's not something we should be spending a lot of time on. I really hope to counter that view in terms of quite a balanced outlook, in terms of, actually, it is something that we do need to be aware of, because every brand, product, or service that's looking to get traction is likely to be interested in social media marketing, and therefore, the skills are very sought after, which is, of course, the position that I have found myself in in terms of people wanting to work together, and being able to put together social media strategies, which of course, is what this course is all about as a result of the demand for social media marketing strategy. The first thing that I really feel like it's a job pinch me, is that I could never have believed that social media marketing was even a career. I didn't think that that was an option. Ten years ago, it didn't seem to be a well-trodden path, so it wasn't necessarily something that I felt confident and comfortable that I would actually have success in. But by virtue of working in digital marketing for the last 10 years and for various agencies, I have had a lot of opportunities as a result of them. This is because really, you are put in a position of power that is not dictated by your age. Of course, I was very young when I started out in social media marketing, in order to make recommendations to businesses on their business objectives. As much as we distill business objectives down to social media marketing objectives, they ladder back up to the big picture of a business, to the board and to the people that are really responsible for driving growth and improving their bottom line. To be a part of that in a way that's quite fun and light touch in the sense that you can come in as a consultant, put forward strategies, and then carry on your merry way, or alternatively, you can get really into the trenches with executional roles, working for brands in terms of implementing those strategies. Then similarly from an agency perspective, it depends so much which agency you end up joining. But there's a lot of responsibility which I think is positive, particularly for young people, and for our confidence to actually be the trusted confidant in the room, where it may be with older executives, they don't necessarily understand the power of social media marketing. That's where we are going to come in to say, well, we don't need to be negative about the set of platforms, that can really be something that's fun and exciting for us all. Let's hold hands and walk that journey together. The second thing that I've loved about a career in social media marketing is the notion between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset. When you do any career counseling, career coaching, a lot of what you speak about is mindset. We might more casually reference the fact that your thoughts become what you say, and what you say becomes your action, but that really is the crux of both your professional and your personal life. Really when you change your mindset, it's really a case of changing your reality too. Oftentimes I find when people battle with social media marketing, it is as a result of a fixed mindset. They will tend to believe in terms of your skills, that this is something that you're born with. You are either inherently good at something or you're not. If they come up against challenges, they might feel it's something to avoid. It's really going to reveal a lack of skill or lack of understanding, so you don't want to put your hand up and ask a stupid question, [NOISE] and you tend to give up quite easily. In terms of your effort, it feels unnecessary to put in effort on something that you're not naturally good at. When you give someone like this any feedback, they will take a defense of the end, potentially personally. In terms of when they encounter setbacks, it's likely that they will blame others and get discouraged. Whereas a growth mindset is the belief that your success will come from hard work. The understanding that you can always improve upon a skill. You believe that challenges should be embraced and that they're an opportunity to grow, and you become quite a lot more persistent as a person in terms of when you hit your head against a potential challenge, how is it that you actually aiming to resolve that? In fact, we believe as growth mindsetters, that this is absolutely essential. It's our path to mastery. This is how we are going to excel at the things we want to excel at. When we get feedback, we want to take it on board as stuff that is useful, things to learn upon, identifying areas to improve. When we encounter a setback, to use it as a wake-up call to work harder the next time. I hope this hits home in terms of, how do I actually embody this growth mindset in life, more broadly, but certainly as it applies to social media marketing, to know that there's always Google, there's always those beautiful resources that we've been sharing throughout this course to reference. You're never going to have all of the answers, and not only is that okay, it's actually quite beautiful, because we're all on this journey together. I've loved that. 16. Why a Career in Social Media?: I've also loved the fact that with social media, I'm able to give passion to my purpose. I believe that a lack of passion is fatal. I really try to encourage my students to find their purpose, whatever that is, and use social media to scale it. Basically, social media it's not the thing that you have to be 100 percent passionate about. Normally what you'll find is you have to be 100 percent passionate about the business that you're trying to launch and the concept or the idea. You're using social media as a tool to actually give that the umff and the voomer that it needs in order to see the light of day. Crucial to this is curating a content diet and being intentional online. When it comes to who you follow, let's just consider for a moment that maybe the Kardashians or some of the more pop-culture things that we inadvertently really let into our lives on a daily basis is not necessarily the best use of our time. But it's how you using that social media marketing. Instead, if you focus your content diet, so anything you consume online to be centered around how to launch a business, how to learn a skill, or how to create a course. All of a sudden, your mindset will start to change. You'll be more in that growth mindset phase where you're constantly encouraged by the content that you're consuming. Really because we're dealing with algorithms, you want to be feeding the algorithm in terms of liking the content that you want to see more of and hiding and unfollowing the stuff that you don't want to see. Rather than leaving your Instagram with following 1,000 people who no longer resonate and bring you joy, it's more a case about how do we actually unfollow those people that no longer bring us joy and follow the people and the brands that are really inspiring to us. That is a really crucial one. I do like and I'd love to eat in McDonald's. If you ate McDonald's every day, how would you feel versus if you were quite curated in your diet in this instance, your content diet and you actually said okay, McDonald's can be a treat on a Friday night but the rest of the week I'm going to consume healthy hearty content which is all to do with really giving purpose to my passion. The next topic that I think has been fun in terms of unleashing with social media is the ability to monetize your hobbies. I love making videos. I would probably do it for free. It's just downright exciting that I now get to passively earn income online through YouTube and Skillshare. Not only is it giving rise to a whole host of new content, it's also really encouraging you to learn new skills like video editing, paid media. There's a lot of maths and stats go into paid media and understanding that. It's not just a case of creating content and being done with it. It's the fact that you actually unlocking a whole suite of tools that as all individually can pick and choose and cherry-pick what do we want to be good at and what does that then mean? For example, I wanted to be good at making videos. Therefore, that meant that I was then able to create and carve out this new passion of mine, which is YouTube and make money doing it. Here is a example of what my channel actually looks like. At this point I had 3,000 subscribers. I now have four and really how much fun I've had along the way. It's not necessarily about the quantitative success that you achieve online. Of course, influencers are very focused on these vanity metrics. But for me it's the case of, I've been able to impact over 300,000 people in terms of how many people have actually watched my videos. Hopefully positively being impacted by my presence online. You also of course, earn money from ad sense. If you are interested in YouTube, I have earned quite a bit from my YouTube channel. It's definitely not enough to quit my day job, but as a passive income source, it is pretty wonderful. If you're interested in monetizing your hobbies specifically through social media marketing, I would suggest checking out Ali Abdaal. He is present on the Skillshare platform, but on YouTube he's got a specific video which I'd love for you to watch, which is how to make money online, the three levels. He speaks about how you can sell services online, sell products online, and then you can sell attention online. It's a very well-structured and beautifully thought out way of thinking about the Internet. You don't actually just have to be a consumer, you can actually be an active producer of content. That's going to benefit you from a financial standpoint in the long haul. Number 5 is embracing and unleashing the gig economy. We all take for granted the post COVID. There's been a massive change in the way that the world works. Social media is a big part of this. There's a lot of platforms including actually LinkedIn they making a foray into the space in terms of encouraging people to buy directly from freelancers. It's not a case about who I worked for anymore, but the fact that you want to work with me specifically as a result of my personal brand online. This means I'm able to remotely do jobs like copywriting, photography, proof checking, video editing, voiceovers, e-mail marketing, social media strategy and execution, digital strategy and peak tweak and course creation. This is all just being picked up from ten years of working in the industry. By virtue of social media covering so many different verticals and covering so many different genres of skill, you really end up with a hearty suite of skills where at the end of those 10 years like me, you can quit a full-time job and actually pursue the stuff that fulfills your heart and soul and purpose. This is purely by virtue of the fact that these skills are now highly in demand in a gig format. I also love this point, enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Digital marketing is one of very few fields where being young is an advantage. Culturally you are more on the pulse. Your colleagues are often more receptive to your ideas as they're probably fresh and different and your skills are probably very in-demand. Some days I actually edit Instagram reels for brands and I get paid to do it. I mean, what even is the world coming to? Number 7 is not taking it personally. Life online means embracing one universal truth. That is that not everyone will love your vibe and that's okay. There's a lovely quotes about you can be the juiciest peach in the whole world and they'll still be someone who doesn't like peaches and this is really what that speaks to. I observed her negative comments previously on YouTube, used to run my day and now they affect me less and less. I choose really to focus on the positive and I do my best to apply this to my life offline. My favorite saying is, what you think about me is actually none of my business. Really focusing on turning your face towards the sun and not letting haters get you down. That of course, is easier to say than implement. But certainly with people who are worried about pursuing a career in social media or on YouTube, for example. I would say that probably one percent of the comments are negative and of them you can see that they either written by bots or trolls. It's therefore most oftentimes they're not very easy to turn the other cheek. 17. Location, Location, Location! : Tip number 8 or why you can really create a positive life online is because of the power of personal branding. I'm really not talking about the number of likes that your latest Instagram got, I'm talking about showing up professionally online in a way that people are likely to better recognize your talents, see your work, consider you for gigs or full-time work. The base tools for this is LinkedIn or a personal website, of course, I love YouTube as well, and definitely, if you want to read any book, I would suggest reading the 'Show Your Work Trilogy' by Austin Kleon, how to be creative, show your work and keep going. These are such brilliant books because really it's a case of how can you show up online if you're off to a journey without it being an end-product, people think that you have to show your best self online. To a certain degree, of course, you want to be very professional as far as possible, but all of life is a work in progress, so all of life is going to be about showing up imperfect, flaws and all. Even with something like YouTube, one of the things that Ali Abdullah coaches, which he was the example I've given slightly earlier, is that the first 100 videos that you create on YouTube are going to be rubbish. Once you've accepted that and move forward it's so much easier to have a successful career as a YouTuber because you hone your skill over those first 100 videos and only then do you start worrying about, I want to monetize this. I see people who little curve created five videos and then they will wonder what the channel hasn't been monetized for example. That's a beautiful encouraging set of reads if you want to just get the chutzpah to keep ongoing. The ninth reason why I've lived my life online is the negative wisdom that have come from it. Really there's some beautiful quotes out there and of course, Brene Brown, she just hits difference. She has a quote that says, ''I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life, and when we get the choice to dare greatly we sign up to get our butts kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we cannot have both, not at the same time''. It's really a lesson and bravery and courage and showing up online even when you don't feel like it because you're trying to choose really to be successful and a lot of that success comes from being in the public and possibly scrutinized as well. Finally, on a very practical level, of course, any career in social media marketing is location independent most of the time, so it allows you to enjoy location independence with your social media marketing. I, for example, I'm going to go work remotely from Perth, Australia for a month. How incredible is that, I'm sure any 9-5 would have raised their eyebrows, but because I'm self-employed, it's something that I'm able to do. In summary, there are so many reasons to get excited about careers in social media marketing. Firstly, it's a job pinch as. Secondly, we get to embrace our growth mindset. Thirdly, we get to live our purpose, monetize our hobbies as well as unleash the gig economy. It allows us to enjoy our youth, not take things personally, recognize that personal branding is power, really embrace some nuggets of wisdom online like the likes of Brene Brown to show us that actually we just need to embrace that courage and then of course, from a very practical standpoint, the fact that we can be location independent. Let's of course, finalize the section with caveats and considerations, which is that being online 24/7 is a lifestyle that nobody wants. Being active and offline is very much part of my recipe for success. If you message me on a Sunday, it is more than likely you will not get a response from me online or on WhatsApp. Being really scrupulous in terms of how you spend your time is a big part of allowing you to then launch into your Monday and be active and badly and active online because you are respecting your own boundaries. Being super cautious about your privacy and sharing details of your life you're not comfortable with I would absolutely never want to understand this point. You want it to be a wholesome experience that fills your cup being online and you don't want to showcase things that you don't want people to know about, or potentially, who you're dating or anything like that where it just feels invasive. It's not something that you should be sharing online if that is the way that you feel about it. Just be very aware of how sharing certain content makes you feel and be sure to avoid that in the future. Turn off your notifications and don't feel like you have to be on all platforms. This is a huge one. I have all of my notifications turned off for Instagram, I hate the fact that they contact you constantly to look at stuff. It's really like giving someone open access to your brand and I do not believe that that is healthy, and particularly from a brand perspective, but I guess from a personal branding standpoint as well, not being on every platform. For example, I didn't necessarily find that I was getting the value that I wanted from Twitter for a period and Hey Presto, I left the platform for two years. I really think that's helpful to me because it shows that I don't have to be on all platforms at all time. I'm not on TikTok either, and it's really more a case of acknowledging what works for you and what doesn't. Definitely also keeping office hours for work-related tasks that as I say, is very helpful to me. With something like WhatsApp, it can be quite invasive. Not responding to work-related WhatsApp after 06:00 pm, I think is a perfectly happy and healthy boundary that you should be setting, and that is it for this section. 18. How to Conduct a Competitor Analysis: Let's start out with creating our social media strategy. Please rest assured that it's easier than you think and I, of course, I'm going to guide you through the process step-by-step. This is my four-step process: audit, develop, execute, and measure. What the audit phase is about, I call it understanding the lay of the land. What you do within this section is starting with a competitor analysis. You really going to understand your industry and how your industry and competitor show up online with a sprinkle of best in breed. I always reference like the Airbnb as on the Apples of the world where we know that the social media is going to be fabulous. If we're feeling uninspired and if our industry is maybe not as strong as we think it would've been or should be on social media marketing we can look at those best-in-breed guys and say, okay, my business is not necessarily the most exciting business, how do I actually look at these best in breed formats and platforms to see what are some of the ways that they communicate their brand imperatives, for example? You're also going to want to assess your social media presence in relation to your competitors, and we give you a framework in order to do that. How are we going to be identifying our gaps and our top-line health score, and how do we then act on that information? We then go into development phase, which is about selecting the social media platforms we're wanting to focus on and developing a strategy for each of these channels. Mapping out your content pillars is imperative because it's going to allow you to keep yourself honest in terms of what is constructive for you to post. We don't want to throw the kitchen sink on our social media platforms, we want to be very succinct in terms of what are we putting out and why and then creating a digital persona that is going to represent our audience online so that we're not speaking to everyone. We then move into an execution phase, which is about developing a content plan and a roll-out strategy and having an idea of our frequency and which software we are planning to use, and then knowing what tools we need to implement our strategy and save time doing it. Then, finally, the measurements' section will be how to look at results to improve and enhance your social media performance and of course, remember that social media marketing is an iterative process and we're not going to get things right the very first time. Let's start out with this audit phase. The first task that we mentioned in the project section is how to conduct a competitor analysis in the fact that ideally, we would want you to do one as a part of this class. Conducting a social media specific competitor analysis is really important and you want to take on board at least three, but potentially five, of your biggest competitors to understand their strengths and weaknesses in terms of how they shop online. The two ways in which we advocate for doing this is using a text table and a color chart. Let's just start out with text table version because I typically find that this is what most people end up going for. Basically, you're going to list your five competitors in the top row and you're going to say, based off of the five competitors that you've chosen, ideally, you want to hyperlink each of those in the first row. You want to say, what are your first impressions. When you land on that Instagram or Facebook or LinkedIn page, what are those impressions that pop up for you? It's not platform-specific this approach, it's really going to look at overall, how do you find that these competitors are representing? Things to look at would be how well is their product charts, do they have pixelated logos or images, are they really upping their game with video cover pages as opposed to just static cover pages on Facebook, are they consistent, is there aesthetic well established and maintained, and are they using a consistent tone of voice? Then you want to look at what their content themes are, which of course is what's going to let it into our content themes or pillars. For example, competitor 1 in this example is using competitions quite aggressively to drive growth, so 60 percent of the content is competition related, 50 percent is products and 10 percent is company history. The next competitor is using products with very little brand work. What I mean by this is it's not necessarily beautiful lifestyle shots, it's just deep edge product shots. They're not maybe making as much effort as they could be here and it's hard selling type content, which is very price point and sales specific. They just aggressively driving the sales angle competitor 2. Competitor 3 is really all about brand focus. Brand-building 90 percent of their posts are really with the key objective of gaining brand equity and then they use competitions sparingly only 10 percent of the time and so on. You see exactly with each competitor, where's their focus in terms of the content back at that quite neatly fits into. If, for example, you find it's higgledy-piggledy, they seem to have no content themes or no content pillars, then just note haphazard posting or not as defined with a content strategy. You also, of course, want to be looking at the content types, are they using gifts, are they using video content, is it mainly copy-focused? Hope not, that would be a bad approach, combination of static and video content, majority video content, or combination of static and video. You can see that just in doing this simple one-page, you're really going to get a good feeling for what your competitors are doing. If you want to, you can throw in two wildcards instead of the competitive 4 and competitive 5. Let's say Apple and Airbnb to actually understand what does that based in breed really looked like? Alternatively, you can look at people who are operating within your industry but not in your country. Oftentimes I will reference American or British examples because I find that those markets are quite sophisticated when it comes to social media marketing, and so then that's also a really lovely approach to take. Then what you can do which hasn't been reflected on this template is at the bottom you can have a final row which actually reflects something like score. Then of course is in the perfect science, but you could say that competitor 1 has a score of, let's say 7 out of 10, competitive 2, 1 out of 10, and so forth. Then, when you reference back this competitor analysis, you probably can remove competitor 2 because you can see that they're up to no great shakes online. That one you could then disregard and maybe you could make this more and more succinct over time so that you know who your key competitors are in terms of the online space and even though they're still a competitor, maybe you don't want to look at them because you hate the kinds of content that they produce and therefore, it's not really that constructive for you to reference what they are doing. Method 2 is to use a color chart. You'll see that the key is basically saying that they're non-existent on a platform, weak on a platform, average on a platform, good on a platform, or excellent on a platform and you're just simply assigning colors to each of these competitors. This, of course, is platform-specific and if you're not in the mood for writing lots of copy, it can be a really good simple one-page reference that you can actually see. The person in our industry that is doing the best job in Facebook is so-and-so, and therefore, I'm going to keep my eye on him. Either way, it's going to be a really helpful exercise for you. The way in which I typically judge these things because of course it is subjective, I would say quality of visual content is really important. The quality of the content in terms of the copy or text, has it been professionally written, are they clear singular call to actions? Is the community management clearly done and succinctly and timelessly? Because this is of course the key element in terms of being social and social. People will put out content and almost be having a monologue when customers respond and say, oh this product sounds amazing, what are the price points like? Then the brand doesn't respond. That is an absolutely terrible use of social media marketing. The whole point is that it is really, this two-way conversation that's being opened up. I would be really strict when marking community management on other competitive brand pages as well as on my own actually, to say, this is a key sign of not being social and social if you are having a monologue and not responding to customers in the way that you should be, or you're responding, but two days later, I mean, that's also not great business practice. You want to have clear guidelines in terms of we expect that our page would respond to all queries within one business day or less. Preferably, you actually want to be down to four hours or less but of course, it depends on your resourcing from a social media perspective. The engagement, it's one thing to have a big platform and we often reference this as a vanity metric in terms of likes or followers because oftentimes what you'll find is there's really big pages with 100,000 likes or 100,000 followers then have very poor engagement. That's also a good way of looking at that. It's also a good indication of whether someone's bought followers so engagement if it's very poor it can be as a result of having bought followers, which of course we do not have advocates as part of this class. Then hygiene factors. When I say hygiene, I just am referencing brilliant basics. For example, if they didn't have an about section, or they haven't filled in their trading hours or anything like that, I would just give them negative marks in terms of hygiene factors. Those are the things that you want to be considering and what are some of those detractors versus what people are actually doing well online. 19. How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis: Once you are comfortable and you've completed either of those two methods, and as an output of that, you have a one-pager which has given you really a good foot in the door in terms of understanding which are the competitors that are really trying hard in the social media space and which are not, then you can move into the SWOT analysis component of your audit. If you're wondering what a SWOT analysis is, what it stands for, it stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Strengths, what do we do well? Weaknesses, where do we need to improve? Opportunities are really about the goals which are external to us. For example, really how I like to coach this is considering that your strengths and weaknesses are the things that are 100 percent in your control. What are opportunities? Things that you can leverage. Threats and opportunities are going to speak more to the macro side of your landscape as opposed to the things that are directly within your control. Threats could be things like digital transformation or an aging target audience, or it's those things that are not necessarily as a result of your actions. You can influence opportunities and threats, but you cannot directly impact them, whereas strengths and weaknesses are the things that are absolutely 100 percent in your control. This is really as simple as it gets in terms of the template. It's just full quadrants in which you jot down what are your strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats. Ideally, you want to be doing this as a group. It would not be a good idea to have maybe five of your team members to go off and do their own SWOT analysis, it would be more constructive to actually sit together because then you can deliberate which are important strengths, which are less important strengths and really compile a one-pager which is going to inform the business moving forward. The one criticism that I do want you to be aware of when it comes to a SWOT analysis is that it doesn't take into consideration the fact that each of these priorities might have slightly different weightings. You might have one strength that is a massive strength versus a strength that's just not nearly as strong. What I would suggest with this, particularly, if you do it as a group and you find that you've listed 50 in strengths, 50 in opportunities, 50 in weaknesses, and 50 in threats, is you use stars or posted notes in order for you to actually vote on the five that you feel are most pertinent and the five that you need to address. One of the things that I do say quite often around strategy and specifically business strategies and SWOT analysis, we want these to be living and breathing documents. It's absolutely up to you in terms of where you want this to live. I like doing in Google Slides, but the other ways I've seen it done are, of course, as wikis on Notion or on intranets or on a whiteboard within your office or created as a poster. But certainly you want something to reflect on and maybe give you a reminder that this should actually be updated on maybe a quarterly or twice-a-year basis in terms of unpacking what are some of these key insights that we can implement within our business? If you want to think about what questions to ask yourself when it comes to strengths, if you are having any difficulty here, the kinds of questions you can be asking are, what are the business processes, products, or services which we currently offer which are really successful? What are some of the assets you have in your teams? What are the physical assets, for example, customers, equipment, technology, cash, or patents, and what are your competitive advantages over your competition? When I speak about a SWOT analysis, I'm talking about one that's more broad than just social media marketing. I want you to think about your business as a whole. You don't have to limit this to your strengths online, for example, I want it to be a little bit more holistic than that. Weaknesses would be, what are your business processes needing improvement? the tangible assets that your company needs, so it does not yet have, like money or equipment. If there are gaps on your team, particularly from an HR perspective. Looking at the team, are there holes from an HR perspective that need to actually be fold, which could put strain, of course, on your payroll. Is your location ideal for your success? Then when we get to opportunities, we want to think about whether our market is growing and if there are trends that are going to encourage people to buy more of what we're selling. The next thing is whether there are upcoming events that your company may be able to take advantage of, upcoming changes to regulations that might impact your business positively, and if your business is up and running, what do your customers think of you? The threats portion is how easily can potential competitors enter your markets. Could future developments in technology actually change how you do business? Is consumer behavior changing in a way that could negatively impact your business? Are there market trends which could become threats? As I mentioned, you do, of course, want to just consider that strengths and weaknesses are in your control, opportunities and threats are not. The reason why I flagged this is because sometimes a weakness could feel like an opportunity. It could be like, yeah, that's something that we could do in order to improve. That's not an opportunity because that is something that's directly within your control. For example, could be, there was a white paper which indicated that actually our service is really going to be in demand in the next 2-3 years, therefore, let's think about steps that can really put us in the best place to be there. It's not necessarily about your own sales data which is pointing to an opportunity. On the left-hand side with the internal considerations, you want to be thinking about customers and employees as an absolute baseline. Then optionally you can also consult your execs, your board, and think about objectives and KPIs. You can definitely layer a bit more data in here afterwards. If you are battling or if you want a really succinct SWOT analysis, that's probably the best avenue to take. Then on the right-hand side, the external factors essential, you want to be informed by your competitor analysis that you've just undertaken, your industry considerations, and then optionally you also want to look at your market, and then topical trends that you can also layer over and above that. 20. Wrapping up your Audit: Now all of that brings us to the third section of our audits. At this point, really what we've done, we've conducted a social media-specific look at our competitors. What are they doing online? We've then looked at our business in terms of where some of those key opportunities to really ascertain what are the things that we need in social media to help us with. Even though the SWOT analysis is not social media-specific, you can then start to look at it from a social media perspective and say based off of what we found, if we've unpacked that the key opportunity is to find these kinds of customers, it's almost a case of then translating that in terms of what is it going to be those online tactics. That will definitely then form part of your social media strategy. Then the final thing that you want to do in your audit phase is actually create a beautiful spider diagram, which is very fun and straightforward to do, in which the center will always just be called digital. You're going to encapsulate all of the various online platforms that you're currently using to really give you a one-page view in terms of okay. Maybe there's something that's not working for you, in which case it could actually be a case of shutting down platforms before moving on versus something that is really working for you. But the point of digital and social media isn't ecosystem there are a lot of platforms I play working together. We don't want to necessarily just create a social media strategy for our Instagram for argument's sake and then think hang on, but we also have a website and paid media and CRM and so forth. You want to try be as prescriptive and descriptive in terms of this beautiful spider diagram. You also want to consider that a competitor may be using the exact same set of social media platforms as you. For example, they could be using Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and so could you. But you want to have thought about the fact that for each platform, what is the use case of that particular set of content? For example, Facebook a lot of the time will be used as a customer service channel same with Twitter. Instagram is less likely to be centered around customer service. These are the kinds of things that you need to be cognizant of and think just because this company uses Facebook in this way, does not mean that is going to be our end-use for Facebook. Once you've done these various exercises, it could even just be a case of noting down on a piece of paper. Facebook and your industry is used for, let's say, customer service. Twitter is typically used for thought leadership, Linkedin is typically used for B2B sales, and so forth. That you start to think about social media and quite a nuanced way in your mind, where it's not the case of all platforms are equal, we have to post on every platform every day with the same frequency, but you start to see which other platforms that are really going to help your brand driving those specific business objectives that you've unlocked in your SWOT analysis versus which platforms are less likely to help you with your ultimate business objectives. For example, Facebook is often used as a primary awareness platform in addition to the customer service example that I've shown or it's used for driving web traffic. It's really important that if those are your priorities from a strategic perspective, that then Facebook is quite closely scrutinized as a platform to help you to get there versus an Instagram, which maybe you decide is less effective at driving customer traffic and therefore is maybe less effective. This is really going to start to give you as I say, a more nuanced view and not like at all platforms as being equal, but rather consider which of the ones that are most appropriate for you. Not just appropriate, but actually which platforms are you willing to allocate resourcing and many to because it's not just a case of having one person creating content once a week and being done with it. It's actually a case of, there's a time investment here that is quite sizable. There's a mandatory investment here that's quite sizable. How do we actually justify that? Well, we justified by picking the platforms that are best suited to our business objectives and measuring those very closely. An audit is really one of the most invaluable tools when it comes to social media marketing. Whenever I find strategies that are not very inspired, oftentimes it'll be because they skipped the step of the audit and they really just breezed through these exercises. Whereas if you do a comprehensive audit, you'll see really that this super creative ways in which people are using the various platforms and it'll start to see a lot of those ideas. I want you to screenshot. I want you to have a folder. I want you to really capture all of the information that you've gleaned over this period to inform your strategy moving forward where you can say, we knew that this competitor was doing the best job for argument's sake. We also knew that from a SWOT analysis that was a particular weakness of ours. Therefore it's making those connections in terms of, if that's a weakness of ours and there is a tangible example of someone doing it well, how do we create content that looks like that on a platform that's most appropriate to us? The aim here is, of course, understanding the lay of the land, beginning to see what is working and what isn't, and providing a super constructive way to move forward. My suggested approach, of course, is the competitor analysis, the SWOT analysis, and mapped our ecosystem. Only then do I want you to proceed to the next step, which of course is developing a social media strategy. I will catch you in the next section for that. 21. Developing your Social Media Strategy: With your audit out the way we can now move on to developing your social media strategy. This is really the fun part. I'm sure if you enjoy analytical stuff you would have really enjoyed the audit. Whereas if you enjoy the more creative sides of things you will start to really find your pace when it comes to developing your social media plan. At this point we really need to take on board the learnings of that audit. We don't want to just compartmentalize that. We want to form a lot of what we're going to do moving forward, which is why, of course, it's the first step in our process. At this stage we're going to start to think about what is the application of those insights? Based on what we've uncovered, how are we going to start thinking about how that shows up in terms of content? How that shows up in terms of how our platform is actually look and feel? How we're really going to speak to the things that are important to our brands, like our values, things like our unique selling propositions, how we really upweighting the stuff that we're already good at and mitigating the stuff that is potentially some of our weaknesses, and really taking on board a lot of what the competitors were showing us in terms of not only how they are posting, what formats, but potentially to what impact? Because I think with social media marketing is a beautiful opportunity to learn from others mistakes, as well as amplifier what is working for other people. It's not to say that you actually always have to rely on your own data, but there is a beautifully big opportunity to look at competitors and based on breed to inform what you actually going to go about doing. In this development phase we're going to start looking at the actual platforms themselves. Let's, for example, look at our Instagram bio as a starting point. It's a really easy place of departure because it's already putting us into that customer shoes in terms of what does that first brand into action look like with our brands? Are we capturing the essence of who we are and really getting into the nitty gritty in terms of what our business actually does? In addition to that we need to get as many keywords into our captions as is possible. We really want to be amplifying and reminding people what it is that we're selling and we want it to be a very specific call to action like we've mentioned. These are the profile picture. Typically this would be, of course, logos or headshots depending on whether you're a personal brand or a business brand. You really want to have a look in terms of how that's presenting across our various platforms as well as having a chase list, is what they call it an agencies, in terms of what is some of that design collateral that we need to put together in order to upper level our social media? That would typically be things like Facebook cover images, LinkedIn cover images, YouTube, tunnel arts, and so forth. What we are seeing is working really beautifully with our clients is simply by having everyone in your team update their cover page with your company branded collateral, we're really seeing across the board that this is increasingly important as professional ways in which to associate the people who work for your business. It then becomes more about things like employer branding in terms of where the people will actually want to work for your company in the feature and plays into a lot more than simply selling brands or products or services. We also want to ensure that we're using Linktree on Instagram, which is a fantastic tool which is completely free to use and it really acts as a switchboard for your brand. If for example, someone clicks on one of your posts and it references a particular thing, how do they then access that specific link? Of course, we know on Instagram we can only have one link on our bios. We want to make sure that we're leveraging that to the best of our ability. That's the thing that we want to start thinking about when developing our social media strategy, where is this actually going to land in terms of platforms and what does that mean from a resourcing perspective in terms of whether we need design support, copywriting support, and so forth? The other thing to bear in mind is if you do not have an internal designer, of course, there are free tools like Canva in which you can design any of these bits of collateral that you need on your side. Alternatively, I am also a big fan of the website Fiverr, which allows you to outsource these things quite cost effectively. Alternatively, if you're based in South Africa there's also wonderful Facebook pages which I can link for you down below, which allow you to connect with creative people in the biz. Really at this point we're going to start thinking Venn diagram. Of the content that we are trying to create, what it comes down to you on a social media platform is the fact that we need to bring to life the below three things. We need to bring our brand's best self. That is the brand, product, company, marketing, positioning, and heritage. We want to think about that audience mindset. What is audience in thinking, feeling? What are their attitudes, behaviors, and interests specifically as they pertain to our product and service, as well as the cultural context in which we are operating? We don't want to come across as tone deaf. We want to definitely be nodding to the fact that we are operating within a set of sociopolitical environments, macro-environments, and topical things that are happening as well. That's really going to start to get those juices flowing. We really want to take a step-by-step process here in terms of defining our target audience. Because if our business is already up and running we will have a distinct set of ideas and beliefs around who that target audience is. From that we want to create our digital persona, which is going to help us to inform what content people are likely to find engaging versus not and then establishing our content pillars. When it comes to defining our target audience it's really important that we define our target audience in the following ways. It's a key and crucial element in terms of ensuring that we are creating the right content for the right people. We do not want to create social media content for content sake. We want to better understand how to create content that caters to our readers needs and wants and we want to increase condensations and conversions. One of the key ways in which to do that is a digital persona. A digital persona is going to start with a research. It can take very many forms. It could be informal questions that are posed to consumers like how did you hear about us? What do you think of us? Don't forget, of course, on Instagram stories there are poll functionalities as are there on Twitter and LinkedIn as well. Definitely do be sure to leverage those polling formats as well as thinking about other online third party platforms like, for example, SurveyMonkey that you can actually deploy via email and get people to respond and tell you what they think about your business or ask them specific questions that you may be lacking some clarity on. You can also use Facebook's insights tool to understand who are the people that are currently following us, how does that differ? For example, your Facebook might have a more female skewed audience versus your LinkedIn for argument's sake. You really want to start thinking about those considerations and then revisiting any research you have previously done and asking yourself if that still holds true. Here you're going to start to develop your persona. We have Sue 26. She is a retail assistant. This was specifically for an insurance brand. We wanted to encapsulate some of the key beliefs that she had. Some of the key beliefs were that she wants to set up insurance, but she's not sure where to start. She's just started earning enough to start saving. Her laptop and her phone are everything to her and she doesn't yet have dependence, but she does help the family with groceries. We've really laid out what her digital touch points are, so efficient ways in order to actually communicate with her, what these are, what those look like, as well as her device preference, and then some of her interests which include travel, music festivals, shopping, events, selfies, and gym. Already once we start to create our content, you can see that if you had this printout of Sue above your desk, it's not a case of being all thanks to all people and speaking to your audience of everyone, it's more a case of based off of what research we know about Sue as our primary persona, what are some of the content pieces that she would love and appreciate? This starts to make the content pillars piece feel just so much more exciting because then you can really get to grips with of the five things that we have the opportunity of speaking to Sue about, maybe we wanted to ring fence that product is important, lifestyle is important, newsworthy or topical content is important as our competitions. That is definitely a good starting framework. Then underneath that you're really going to allocate what percentage of content you would like to go out in each of those. Bearing in mind the competitions are admin intensive, so I would suggest maybe not doing more than 20 percent from a competition perspective. You could also have influencer marketing if that's something you wishing to pursue, as well as maybe user generated content, so reviews, and testimonials, and social proof that people have actually said about you. Once you've put together your heads in terms of what could these content pillars be for us, then it's really a simple, straightforward process when it comes time to creating the content that just simply sliding things underneath that. That's really what I love about the content pillar approach is it's systematic and it keeps us honest in terms of is this content going to sell our product or service in these four or five ways or not? Is it just conversational in which case maybe it's not something that we should be doing? It's really going to help keep us honest. That is the point of it, is really a guideline, a framework guard rails that are going to keep you on top of what are we creating this content for and why? Before we execute on our social media strategy we're ideally needing to develop a persona, which is a hypothetical person that we've compiled based off of qualitative, quantitative assumptions that maybe our team has had about our target audience. Hopefully these are educated assumptions and not just assumptions that you have pulled out of thin air. If you already have social media platforms you can look at any of your insights to determine what the skews are in terms of male, female, gender, in terms of agenda, in terms of age, in terms of occasion, in terms of demographics, psychographics, you name it. There's a lot of rich data out there. It's just a case of really harnessing that and putting it into a persona. Sometimes people will ask me if it's possible to have multiple personas, it absolutely is. What I would suggest is sometimes brands will create a primary persona and a secondary persona and then they know that while Sue might be their primary persona there's a slightly different secondary persona that we also want to pip it in. In which case you might have content pillars that speak directly to sue and then maybe an additional one or two content pillars which speak to your secondary persona. Then putting together these content pillars it's so much fun. It really is giving you those buckets. It will really be so informed by your competitor analysis where you've done this hard work, you've seen what your competitors are speaking about, and it started to really bring to the surface what's most appropriate for your brand to speak about. Once you've done this the next steps of actually creating that content creation process is going to be so straightforward because then you're just going to focus on unleashing your creativity because you've really done the hard work from a strategy perspective. 22. How to Execute your Strategy: The next section is all about how to execute your social media strategy. Now that the heavy thinking work has been done, maybe an isolation hopefully with your team as well, it's not really going into that executional phase where you definitely, if you have not yet incorporated your team or the stakeholders, you would need to do that at this point. Because this is really going to bring everything together and put the wheels in motion to actually execute on the social media strategy. The first thing that we need to get really specific about is way your upcoming content is going to live. You've of course decided on your content pillars. You have a good idea in terms of what your competitors are doing. How do you start mapping out those individual posts and have that in a place that's live, have that in a place where if you're working with clients, they are able to approve. If maybe you need your managing director or a business partner, or someone to look at it, where is that actually all going to sit? My absolute favorite way of managing this quagmire is to pump everything over on Google Sheets. This is what my beautiful template document looks like. In order to get your hands on it, you're simply going to access it via the link. If it's just you and you don't need the collaborative features, you can of course download it as an Excel sheet, but if there's any collaboration required, then what I would recommend you do is simply go to File, make a copy, and then you have your own editable version. The reason why I can make this version editable is obviously someone might make a change to the master document. That's how it's really going to look. You'll see that it's allowing you to input the day of the week, the dates, and this is of course very important when you have topical posts like Mother's Day or Easter or anything like that. The status, which works as a drop-down, which is lovely. That drop-down correlates with these fields down here. What that means is if you do have multiple people working on the sheet, the client or your business partner, for example, can simply use the drop-down to approve something. You can maybe note that it's being scheduled. The designer can maybe note that they awaiting assets and so on and so forth. Obviously, you can change these up if they've not necessarily meeting your needs, but I've been using this template literally for the last two years across all of my clients and I have not yet found a shortcoming. There's also an extra row which is where your client, if you're working with one, is going to be able to provide comments. For example, if they're disapproving a post, we don't just want them to say not approved. We want them to actually say, don't like the color orange on this manicure, for example, if it's a beauty business. Then you also wanting to note the type of post. Is it a carousel? Is it an MP4? Is it an Instagram story? An Instagram reel? Just so that when you post it, you can quickly see, okay, that's where this needs to go. Then the time of post. If you have queries in terms of when you should be posting, the absolute first thing you're going to do is hop on over to your insights and I'm going to share with you that in the next section exactly where you'll find that. But when people say when is the best time to post, rarely it's going to depend on your audience, because everyone's audience is slightly different depending on the people that like and follow their pages. Then you're simply going to input your image over here. I'm typically working with this Browser tab open, as well as a Canva browser tab where I'm actually creating the content, and I'm downloading each of the designs as I finish with them and I input them into the square. Then that allows me to actually see in a long line, what is going out when, and especially if you're trying to implement any grid aesthetic, then you would need to know, to go light to dark to light again for arguments sake. This is a great way of actually showcasing that. Then your Instagram copy. The reason why we differentiate between Instagram and Facebook's copy, is because Instagram is going to have your hashtags and it's not going to have any links contained within it, whereas with Facebook, of course, you can have links. You're going to use a link shortener, if you're using anything to drive traffic to the website. Bitly is my favorite. You can use any other ones. If there's links you want to remove them, any reference to them in the Instagram section and just say Link in Bio for argument's sake. Then of course you want those hashtags, whereas Facebook, you do not want hashtags because with Facebook's API, it's not actually using hashtags because it's a closed privacy setting. It's not going to actively help your visibility like it is on, for example, Instagram and Twitter, because that's just not how the platform works. When it comes to hashtags, definitely, these are only applicable to Instagram and to Twitter, as well as LinkedIn. That's only two or three hashtags, whereas with Twitter and with Instagram, you could maybe use slightly more than that. I would say probably not more than six, because it does start to look a bit thirsty with all the hashtags. Then also if you want to note to tag maybe a collaborate so that you're working with or a particular product or shop that's also featured, you just make note of that over there. Then similarly with Facebook, just a copy, and then if you do have a link, you can pop either the full link or the Bitly in there. Then just obviously be sure to post as a Bitly once you're done with it. Then what's also quite nice is if, for example, something's going out on one platform, but not with another, you can just get out the section that it's not going on for. You can duplicate this across as many platforms as you like if you've got Twitter, LinkedIn, and so forth, then that can actually just sit beneath that. I really hope that those Google Sheets template is going to stand you in good stead, but as I say, it's a really visual way. Because it's a living document, everyone can access it easily, and your activities are really broken down by day or hour. I've actually worked on clients where post were going out up to three times a day for a fashion brand. It's really going to keep you on the pulse in terms of what is going out when and making sure that everyone is aligned to that. If for now, that is overkill for you and you are just getting started, [LAUGHTER] you can have a simplified approach. For example, when I first got into social media marketing, I was simply referencing it here on a Google document or a Google Slides as you can see. But if you use any other template, which of course you're welcome to do, just make sure that you're noting your content pillars somewhere, the copy that actually needs to go out the link, the date, the time, and any notes. Then you should be good to go. At this point, of course, you'll start to think about the posting logistics in terms of is it getting posted live or is it getting posted by a scheduling tool? My favorite schedular is Sprout Social. It is a little bit more on the pricey side, whereas other people will prefer Later as a scheduling tool as well as Hootsuite. Hootsuite is lovely if you're just working on one brand because I believe you can add about four platforms to a free version of the platform. If you're just doing it for yourself, then Hootsuite is probably the best option because it's going to allow you to do everything in the free plan, but if you have an agency or multiple clients, then I would suggest from a reporting standpoint moving on over to Sprout Social, because it is just a little bit more advanced. You of course, have already been thinking about frequency. So what is feasible for your team? For example, it could be seven times a week on Facebook, 14 times a week on Twitter, and four times a week on Instagram. This again, in the same way that there's no correct time to post, there is no correct cadence. What I would say is obviously Twitter because it's fast-paced, it's typically a much higher frequency. Facebook and Instagram typically, I'd say, anywhere between 5-8 posts a week is probably a good starting point. Also, just bear in mind that you can show up 5-8 times a week, but that may not necessarily be you posting in your feed. It could be sharing stuff to stories, making sure that there is a little bit more curation and not just content creation. Actually, using stuff that other people have created. User-generated content is also a great way to get your frequency apps. If people are tagging you in using your product or service, then that's a really nice way to use that. But it's really going to come down to what is feasible for you and your client from posting frequency standpoint. I have papped together some fan prompts. Of course, not all of these will neatly fit into our content pillar, but certainly they are a good way to get started. Introducing yourself thinking of quick tips. An educational approach on social media is growing in popularity because it's allowing you to give value to your customer by way of information. It's about, maybe if you're a beauty brand, educating customers about skincare as a whole as opposed to just the products and services that you offer. Inspiring stories behind the scenes always does really well. Sharing off blog posts or showing off your offers behind the scenes is also lovely any events you might be hosting. Weekend celebrations, supporting others and tagging them. Sharing your favorite tool. Sharing where in the world you are. Sharing a behind the scenes. A follow me. A lot of people do follow me Friday or follow me around Fridays. Also have a fun one that you can actually capture over on Insta stories. Promote your offer, ask a question, share a great book or resource. Promote your email list. Show off your brand values, show your logo, maybe what it was when you started, what it is now and your backstory. Before and afters, comment about topical news, share an inspiring quote, share a resource. Motivational Monday, gratitude, showing your products, revealing your biggest hobby, complementing and tagging your business buddy, and your most helpful resource, as well as a fun personal factor. You can see that these are really really fun ones that irrespective of which content pillars you've chosen, you could probably tailor these to work. But because we've done all that work in terms of putting together those content pillars, we do just want to make sure that those are reflected in the frequency that we said that they would be. You can of course, color coordinate that if you would like to do that. For example, thought leadership could be purple. Then when you look at your calendar, it's really going to give you those purple vibes. In summary, this executional phase is the most fun and experimental part of your social media. It's going to allow you to play and make mistakes, and all the work up until this point is going to be helpful in terms of creating the content itself. If your content creation feels difficult, then it's not going to be sustainable for you in the long-term, and all the time you want to be referencing back those strategic things that we've undertaken to this point. Your persona, your content pillars or SWOT analysis, your competitor analysis, and your roles of channel if you get stuck at any point. Because this specific class is not necessarily about content creation, I'm not going to go into too much further depth in terms of how to actually create the content. It's just about with a strategy, you have to have a plan in place. When you start to implement that and execute that, which will be different for every business, that you can actually stress test your strategy and see, is it feasible from a resourcing perspective? Are we scheduling this easily and simply? Do we need to change softwares? What are those operational considerations and so forth? But certainly, the execution of the strategy is as important because again, you need to see if it's going to work for you and for your business. 23. How to Measure and Optimize: Next up we want to shout about how we can actually go about measuring a social media strategy. What is success going to look like to us? Well, firstly, we need to consider why we're actually measuring. Monitoring social media KPIs, is of course an essential part of your strategy. Because it's helping you to understand how your social media content is performing, is it creating a conversation about your product or services, is it converting is it creating engagement? What are those leaders that you're managing to pull with your social media marketing? Then what are the key metrics against that, which is actually allowing you to see if it's performing or not? Ultimately, social media KPIs are going to help you to amplify and strengthen your brand, because it keeps us honest in terms of what's working and what's not. Whilst vanity metrics like page likes and follow accounts often receive the most attention, those numbers of course, don't accurately measuring engagements. Of course they're a nice tip bit especially to share with upper management, for example. But follow accounts are not going to actually make us money directly. It's more about the KPIs that are action-based, like, for example, sales or leads or conversions. We want to make sure that at all points of this journey we focusing on the KPIs that actually reveal whether or not our content is relevant and valuable to our audience. The way that I suggest going about this, is considering what your initial objectives were? What is the hypothesis, or what ideally would you like, the outcome of an upload like on social media marketing to be? You would put forward an objective based off of what you are trying to achieve, which is specific, measurable, action oriented, realistic, and timed. The challenge with objectives is sometimes we can be very loose with them and we can say, for example, I went again likes. Then firstly, we've already addressed that's a vanity metrics. It's probably not the best assessment of whether or not something's being successful. But secondly, how are you doing that? Whereas with a smart objective, you're really saying we're hoping to achieve and engagement rate of X percent. Therefore driving leads and sales. Then making sure of course, that you've marked at each point a measurable KPI, something that's action orientated, something that's realistic, and something that's in a particular timeframe. That's really how you want to frame your initial objective. Then once you've got your objective, you need to think about what are some of those KPIs, or metrics that actually aligned to that. If your key objective was around brand awareness, you probably want to be looking at reach KPIs. If it was thought leadership, you want to be probably looking at how is that consumed and engage with. If it's word of mouth, you need to be looking at shares, likes, and retweets. If it's leads, how are those leads captured. If it's sales, where are those conversions going. In terms of the frequency in which you want to be revisiting your social media KPIs, I would suggest at least every two weeks having a squares. Because you are probably implementing your social media strategy or self, it's not necessarily a case of generating very long reports, although that can be a requirement, particularly if you're taking on social media marketing on behalf of someone else. I've definitely got you covered in terms of the template of what that could look like if you're needing to report to someone else. But certainly if you're doing it for yourself, you can just check in with yourself and see, okay, what work, what didn't? Let's iterate, and move forward. Some examples of insights could be the static product shots are getting lots of engagement, time retweet about the industry, I have retweeted a lot. The 30-second video clip that we posted performing brilliantly click-through rates were based on our lifestyle shots. Posts with links are performing better. Just also bear in mind that you don't only have to keep it limited to your social media if you have a website with Google Analytics, Of course you want to be referencing that as well. Where are you getting this information from your asking me. Well, if you are the admin of a Facebook page, you'll notice on the left-hand side is actually a tab called insights. That's very easy to find. Once you click on it, you'll see that it'll give you an overview. I create a view, a follow view an ads view a shops view, a likes view, a rich view, a page views of view, and actions on page view, and even more beneath the scroll. What I like to do is obviously in that two week I just look at my overview. You can, of course, toggle your date. If you are familiar with Google Analytics, Of course this is exactly how Google Analytics presents. Just understand how many page views, so you're getting, how many page likes you're getting and so forth. Then what I also like, if you scroll a bit further down, you'll see of your five most recent posts, which of those posts are getting the best reach engagement? You can also obviously see on the backend whether they were promoted, or whether they were organic. That of course, is going to reflect in your reach figures, annual engagement figures as well, because it'll be a whole lot higher. In terms of Instagram, so there's not unfortunately a disfunction version of Instagram. However, there is of course still beautiful dashboards just only accessible on mobile from an Instagram standpoint. Just a small caveat on Instagram, you do just need to note which account you have, account type. If you have just a normal personal account, you won't be able to access insights. Whereas if you upgrade to a creator or a brand account, which is a very straightforward process, you're going to then be able to see your insights. This will show you follow a breakdown locations, age range, gender, most active times and so forth. If you're wondering when to post, this is where you're going to be finding all of that lovely juicy information. I also really liked this spot social blog article or resource, which was the A to Z of Instagram insights, and at rarely had beautifully laid out definitions from A to Z around everything that you need to know from an Instagram insights perspective. Again, you've got that beautiful resource made a blueprint which is going to help you with any specific questions you have around KPIs, or metrics. Linkedin does not call it incites, they call it analytics. But you can see this is the exact same concept. It's giving you a graph in terms of your following matrix, you'll reach annual engagement. Then from a Twitter analytics perspective, you'll see on the left-hand side, again. Once you're logged in, you will be able to access beautiful graphs that are going to reflect the performance of your tweets. This is what the Twitter analytics dashboard looks like. It's telling you what your top tweet earned in terms of impressions, or eyeballs. It's telling you how many engagements you're chop mentioned guards. It's giving you profile visits, tweet impressions, new followers and so forth. If any of these matrix are drawing blanks for you, you can of course reference the glossary at any stage otherwise, of course, just Google that and you'll be able to see the difference between them. Sometime what you'll notice is that one of the stats is unique to the actual users whereas others aren't. You just if there's nuances that you may be battling to clarify in your mind, they just of course be sure to check that out. Then if you are an agency, or you are having the hope to create a social media marketing agency. Just bear in mind that because reporting can put a lot of and strain on your team from the first week of every month, you know, you frantically trying to generate reports. If you're using a scheduling tool like Sprout Social, which I mentioned. It's a lot easier to actually generate reports because they are overlaying the insights from all the platforms or do you have linked. Then you're not having to go into each various platform and pull an individual report. That is how the agencies will do it in order to save time, which is lovely. But of course that does have a hefty price tag when it comes to Sprout Social. I hope that cleared up any queries you might have around measurement. It does not need to be scary, it does not need to be long and lengthy reports. More often than not, it's just a case of getting familiar with those common metrics of KPIs like impressions, reach engagement, and making sure that you're posting more of the content that is performing. And less of the content that is not. 24. Bringing Everything Together: Let's bring it all together in our final section. First off, I want to say a big thank you of course, for getting this far. You guys are doing so great, and I hope that this content is going down really well and is being well-received by you. We really want to solidify everything that we've learned in this class and be sure that we're clear on our path to success at this point. Alphabet social, who are a South African social media marketing training company, actually put together quite a beautiful framework in terms of taking new from clarity to Foundation to content mastered, time to grow too. Let's go pro. What I like about this visual aid is that it's reminding you that social media marketing is a journey. It's something that we all taking step-by-step all the time. We're never going to get everything right the first time we're always going to have to iterate and that's really the fun about it. If we look at the clarity phase according to them, it's all about knowing who your ideal customer is. The fact that we've defined the value that we're going to provide on social media marketing. We know which social media platforms we've chosen and we can easily navigate around these platforms. We've set up business accounts and we've optimized our profiles. Remember that bias section when we spoke about whether we were putting our best foot forward. We then move into our foundational phase where we've mapped out some sales funnel inches of how other people clicking, what are they clicking on. We've put our customer hats on and we've really started to think about how many clicks do people actually need to make a purchase from us. We know what our content pillars are, the different content types per platform have we experimented with Reels on Instagram versus pulls on LinkedIn. For argument's sake, we've defined our social media brand guidelines as well as our look and feel. Hopefully, by this point we've had a great play in Canva. We've maybe set up some templates ideally, we've got a system for saving our ideas with bookmarking everything in Instagram as much as possible. We've started to schedule our content and we've of course got those beautiful templates on hand. From a content monster perspective, we are starting to get much more experimental, creating Instagram Reels going live if that is something that you open to, I would highly suggested it, just by virtue of how much Reels you do get when you go live. We've created five pieces of social proof. That's a really nice, beautiful exercise to undertake. That would actually be creating testimonials and these live really beautifully as an Instagram story highlight for argument's sake, or within a Facebook carousel or LinkedIn PDF carousel. That's a really, really nice thing, irrespective again, on the content pillars side, but just actually when someone lands on the page that's giving you credibility as a business. You have experimented with, maybe in chateaux Canva in terms of video production, you're posting at least three times a week consistently. Then we get into the exciting phase. This is the more advanced things that we need to be thinking about once we've made sure that we've ticked all of those boxes, and that is doing a collaboration with an influenza brand, running competitions, creating a lead magnet, created an ad using the Facebook business manager, which of course we're going to use Meta blueprint in order to set that up. We had successfully run a sale or a promotion on Instagram or Facebook, and then we've going pro. We're able to interpret those insights easily every month, we're planning and scheduling content where in advance, you identifying social media marketing trends with all the resources we now have at our fingertips, and we are targeting people at different stages of our final. Remember we spoke about the marketing funnel in the very beginning, top of funnel, bottom of funnel. How we using the various ad formats and the various content types to make sure people are going down that path. We knowing which social media believers are we pulling in order to get more sales or whatever our key or primary objective was, which of course was one of those smart objectives that we outlaid. If at this point you're feeling, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed, how do I actually makes sense with this? Of course, I am a strategist. I do love a matrix, but you can use something like this to really ascertain is at high impact, low impact, high effort, or low effort to actually work out what are the no-brainers and what other things that you're not going to go close to you because they're actually not going to make that much of a difference. But for example, small wins is definitely optimizing buyers updating cover pages and getting your template sorted in Canva, and then the longer-term staff is, of course, may be getting a lot more familiar with insights. Don't lump it on your selfie immediately to become a perfectionist in all of these various, different disciplines or fall within social media, but rather, take it step-by-step. Let's recap our beautiful journey together. We started with our audit. There were three pieces beneath that. That was the competitor analysis, the SWOT analysis, as well as the spider diagram that really covered everything that we have currently in terms of our digital marketing prisons. We then went into the development phase where we selected the social media platforms we wanted to focus on, and we developed a strategy. We mapped out our content pillars, created a digital persona, and then started to execute, which started with a content plan, a roll-out strategy with very detailed notes around frequency, which days of the week are we posting? What time are we posting? We know which tools are we using to implement. So we'll have a good idea at this point whether we want to use a scheduling tool or not, and then from a measurement standpoint, again, we now know how to find either the insights or the analytics depending on what the platforms are. We know that social media marketing is iterative, so we're not going to get things right and this is really going to be a process of learning and unlearning as we go down our journey. 25. Thank you for joining! : Thank you so much for joining me for Social Media Marketing Strategy 101. From the bottom of my heart thank you for picking me to be your coach through the social media process. I hope that the frameworks and the templates and the tools and the tips have really helped to give you the confidence that you need, the tools that you need, the templates that you need and if you have any questions, I am always here to help. I mentioned that I have a YouTube channel so the quickest way to get a hold of me is simply to comment on one of my latest videos, subscribe to me. You can catch a whole bunch of additional free content on that side. Otherwise, all of the resources that we have mentioned have been linked down below so please do feel free to use and abuse these, they are yours to make your own and really to help up-level you in years to come when it comes to social media. Do not forget, of course, about all the resources that we've mentioned that are super credible, including things like [inaudible] blueprint and all of the other various platforms that are really going to give you that edge when it comes to taking advantage of things that are trending on social media, but then also being true to the social media strategy that we've of course been [inaudible] to put together throughout this class. Thank you so much if you're not yet following me as a teacher, please do so. If you want to leave any comments, reviews, queries, I'm all ears and I can't wait to see you next time, so we can keep on doing digital data. Bye. 26. BONUS: *Free*, fun marketing ideas! : The first top tip that I'm going to be offering to you guys is something that people often overlook and that is your Google My Business listing. This is the absolute first thing that people see when they are looking for directions to your business, looking for your phone number or potentially your trading hours thus it's really going to help support your SEO efforts too. Not only do you want to ensure that your profile is fully up-to-date with great photos, positive reviews, and so forth, did you actually know that you can create offers through Google My Business? I don't see a lot of people using this incredible functionality and I think it's a great way to actually incentivize people to come and stop by your business. Secondly, I want to shout out Instagram Reels. Instagram is continuing to get brands' incredible organic reach. It doesn't matter what your following is, but almost always you will see that your reels views will be higher than your total number of followers which is pretty much unheard of on every social media platform, bomb maybe TikTok. The main factors which will impact your reels' success apart from the content itself, of course, is the audio that you use and the cover page. So getting into the habit of bookmarking reels which are trending so audio that's really popular already on the platform means that it's really going to help you with your content creation process as well as increasing your probability of going semi-viral. The cover page works like a YouTube thumbnail so the more click-through rates you can get, ultimately the more views you will get and you can create reels for free using Canva or using the premium version of Inshot. If you don't have reels-worthy video footage, remember that many reels actually only use photos and some reels are actually made up of stock videography which is freely accessible on Canva too. Plus if you don't think reels are here to stay, they have just been rolled out to Facebook. [LAUGHTER] So there is truly no running from them. The next format is ideal for repurposing content which you have already created and already posted in the form of Instagram guides. Simply go to the plus icon on your IG profile and hit guides and then posts. You will be able to choose between save posts, that means posts from any account that you have bookmarked or your posts which is everything that has gone out on your feed. This is perfect for curating things like your best sellers or even communicating a menu or a price list. As you can edit the captions, you can actually change them to have a lot more longevity than their original caption and the best part is that this guide is readily accessible on your feed when you click on the brush icon. It's really going to work in tandem with your Instagram highlights and be a great asset to host things like testimonials and any other social proof. Next step is Instagram stories. Now, we know that we should be showing up on stories all the time but why is that? The first benefit of the format is that you don't need high production quality and therefore it's perfect for small business owners. I know that you guys don't have a lot of time so bear in mind that you actually need between seven and 13 touches with a customer before it's likely that they actually going to buy. The frequency that you can actually achieve with your Instagram stories it's going to be really helpful in helping you to convert customers. Plus, now that you can add a link sticker and no longer need the 10,000 followers to add that irritating swipe up in order to just have a click-through to URL, you can now just use the sticker. Let's talk videos. Stats are showing that actually, videos posted on Facebook are performing with an engagement rate of about 8%, whereas static posts will receive typically less than 4% in terms of organic engagement. That is absolutely insane. If you're worried about the sort of showing your face, however, you don't even need to worry about this. Did you know that if you head on over to Canva, you can actually use the video boulder or you can simply animate a number of different slides. So something that would have previously just been a static post or maybe a carousel, you can now animate into an MP4. A common mistake that I see is posting carousels on Facebook only for them to show up like this on desktop. So by making your carousels and too short MP4s on Canva, you can avoid this issue altogether. Email marketing is next on the list. Email marketing is an absolute brilliant platform for ROI and it's perfect for small business owners. What I love so much about it is that big players like Mailchimp, which of course are the best-known email partners globally, are actually allowing you to mail up to 2,000 subscribers without ever upgrading to a paid plan. You're welcome. LinkedIn is also one of the most underrated ways in which, I believe small businesses and small business owners should be marketing their professional brand as well as their personal brand. So I personally love promoting my YouTube content there because I find that video content does perform really well. You could, for example, take that video that you've maybe created in Canva, pop it onto your LinkedIn and get some of those results in. I've actually more recently been AB testing posting YouTube links versus the full MP4s natively and it seems like posting links don't seem to negatively impact the reach like I thought they would. So go forth and promote those YouTube videos. Just remember to use at least three hashtags on your LinkedIn posts as well as this is greatly going to help your organic reach. One of the reasons LinkedIn favors videos is due to dwell time but if the video is not for you, then I have a lovely alternative. If you've thought carousels we're not possible on LinkedIn, then guess again, you can actually mimic them with the Upload PDF functionality. I create carousels on Canva and export them as PDFs and upload them to LinkedIn and just like how stinking, cute they come on. I'm absolutely loving LinkedIn's all-new newsletter functionality because this is allowing brands and people to notify your followers when you actually post a longer piece of content. Previously with articles, you'd have to hope that people were online, but be sure to jump on this functionality quickly so that you can get the first-mover advantage. From a more personal note, if you are a service-based business, you can now enable the open to and provide services on LinkedIn. It seems like LinkedIn is really keen to jump on top of the gig economy following the insane success of the likes of Fiverr during the pandemic. This to me certainly seems like their foray into that space. Once enabled, you're able to create a mini profile there and invite past clients to actually write reviews about you. Did you know that if you have more than 500 connections and if you are part of A group or multiple groups on LinkedIn, you're actually way more likely to show up in the search results? You really do want to be adding the people that you used to work with or possibly even your current colleagues that you maybe haven't connected with yet. This is really going to have a lovely impact on your visibility on LinkedIn. Plus just bear in mind that writing testimonials for others is typically the best way to get testimonials for yourself. Next up is WhatsApp for business, which I love. It's the most epic tool for small businesses and it's freely available for both iOS and Android users. It really is going to allow you to up-level your game on WhatsApp. The tool has nine additional pieces of functionality over and above what regular WhatsApp has, including a business profile catalog and some advanced messaging settings that are going to help you to get back to more customers faster. Also bear in mind that WhatsApp status is also very underutilized by businesses. So be sure to use your WhatsApp status to broadcast your message as well. When customers swipe up, guess what? It's actually initiating a direct chat with your business. Magic. Do you love YouTube as much as I do? Well, I'm going to pop a code snippet on the screen and when you add this to the end of your channel URL, every single time that someone clicks on this link, they're actually going to see a subscribe pop-up box. You guys, you can thank me later. It's a really great way of hacking more subscribers, especially if you're trying to get your total monetized. If you've been living under a rock and you don't yet know what Twitter fleets are they're effectively the Instagram story versions of Twitter. So they only last 24 hours and they give you the ability to have a bit more visual options and have your Tweets be a little bit less permanent so definitely look into using them if you're already on Twitter and maybe you want to showcase some behind the scenes. The other fantastic one to look at is YouTube shorts. This, of course, is YouTube's short format and less permanent way in which you can actually produce vertical content. All you're going to have to do is post a vertical video that's shorter than 60 seconds and crucially, without any copyrighted audio and use the hashtag shots and voila, you're officially live on YouTube shorts. The next step I'm going to suggest to you is conducting a mini social media audit. If you can see maybe your profile picture is out of date or even a cover page needing refreshing, these are the kinds of things that you can easily pop on over to Canva. They have all of the dimensions that you might need and it's just really the trustee favorites of mine when it comes to creating social media graphics. So definitely do check out their templates. You'll see they have everything from YouTube channel intros to LinkedIn covers and even Facebook hero banners. Handy tip is that I actually don't see enough people using link tree or link in bio on Instagram particularly to drive traffic so they are effectively creating many switchboards which are getting people where they need to be, which is absolutely a game-changer for Instagram. Undoubtedly another very underutilized platform are email signatures so think about how many times a day you actually send an email and how many people are actually receiving them. I would really suggest updating these if you currently have a static image and changing over to that of a GIF and incorporating, of course, your social media icons as well as any promotions you may have running at that point in time. It's a great way for driving website traffic and a really nice way to get prospective customers acquainted with your business when you start chatting to them over mail. I would also suggest looking at your website with a critical eye and seeing where possibly you can make updates when you put your consumer hat on. The key things that you're going to want to be watching out for are site speed whether or not the site is perfectly optimized for mobile and how many clicks it will take someone to check out if your site is e-commerce enabled. On the topic of websites, please be aware that on the 1st of July 2023, Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits so if you're still relying on Universal Analytics, I sincerely recommend that you make that switch over to Google Analytics for which of course, is Google's next-generation measurement solution which will be replacing Universal Analytics entirely. Now is really the time to create a new GA for property and show that it is set up correctly and is complete and then you can start collecting Google Analytics data once you've done that. This is really going to help to ensure that you have some historical insights that you'll need to measure your results over time and then when Universal Analytics actually stops processing hits, you'll still have your information. 27. BONUS: Wait, what are hashtags?: One of the questions that I get asked most frequently as a digital marketing manager and social media strategist is around the notion of hashtags. What are they? How do I use them, and where do I use them? Worse than frequently asked questions around hashtags are the people that are not asking the questions around hashtags and then using them incorrectly. I do work with a lot of brands and oftentimes when I chat to people using hashtags, it's quite clear that maybe they don't have as in-depth an understanding of hashtags as they could have. This is really going to aid your organic discoverability which of course is imperative for small business owners. We do not necessarily have the means to get our content out there by virtue of paid mechanics, so we're really needing to ensure that everything is optimized within an inch of its life and hashtags are a key way of doing that. First of all, let's discuss on which platforms hashtags are actually relevant because spoiler alert, they're not actually relevant on every platform. If you think of hashtags they're actually a vehicle of discoverability because what you're trying to do is tag your content with a specific hashtag and make sure that anyone's searching for similar or relevant topics pertaining to your hashtag are going to be able to find you. This makes a huge amount of sense on platforms like Twitter and Instagram. Twitter is obviously a very public way in which people express their opinion and Instagram is maybe travel vloggers and bloggers for argument's sake posting about a particular town or a particular activity that they've undertaken. Now if anyone's searching for that content, guess what? That person's content is going to get displayed to them, and therefore they are more likely to get a following. Where it is not relevant is on Facebook. If you think about it as you sign up as a user on Facebook, your profile is actually set as a default to private. They're trying to protect your privacy as a user probably knowing that you're going to share your baby photos, your wedding photos, and so forth. It's not about discoverability, it's about the people that already know you and are connected with you on Facebook actually just seeing the photos that they see. It's not about you trying to get onto a four-you-paid like you would on TikTok for example. It's more about just sharing the content with your existing audience. One of the key challenges that I do see is with the Instagram app obviously if you have that Share toggle on and it's sharing onto Facebook, it means that your hashtags are going to be populated across both Instagram and Facebook. Facebook doesn't like hashtags, they're not used for any purpose. There is no reason why they should be appearing on your Facebook. What I do suggest for brands who are not posting for example using a scheduling software like a Hootsuite or a Sprout Social, but they're actually using the Instagram app is what I like to do is actually post my Instagram with hashtags so that it deploys it to Facebook without those hashtags and then I go back in and I edit and I add my hashtags in. Now more recently, Instagram has actually released a PDF which details that not all 30 hashtags which by the way is the maximum amount and hashtags one can have on Instagram, not all of them are actually necessary. People have commented that hashtags look thirsty, they don't want to put them in the caption, so they ended up putting them in the comments. People are trying to work around this notion that you have to have 30 hashtags, but that's simply not the case. On Instagram is actually recently confirmed. They say the 2-3 hashtags is actually perfectly fine. They have stated though that comments does get slightly less reach from the hashtags. People who all are then putting the stuff in the first comment are maybe not going to get as good and organic visibility, but nevertheless regardless of what you believe or how much emphasis do you put on that statement by Instagram the best practice would be to use three or so hashtags within your caption. Then if you want to put stuff in your comments, you can but bear in mind there might be a less benefit from doing it that way. First of all, that's really going to clear up where you're going to be using hashtags. It's on the platforms where discoverability is key. The platforms which also work quite nicely with hashtags are actually LinkedIn and YouTube. YouTube allows you to actually add it to three hashtags. When you use this in your description copy, you will see that three of the hashtags will actually pull through as big items. I think you could probably put more hashtags, but the three are the ones that are going to display permanently and then of course LinkedIn as well you can add as many hashtags as you like. Hashtags have really been shown to increase organic visibility as a whole, but certainly I've seen a lot of articles come out post COVID pandemic saying that engagement on LinkedIn has been really positive. They're showing really great growth starts at the moment. Although hashtags may not be necessarily springing to mind for LinkedIn specifically, it is probably going to be the platform that you do start to think, "Okay, if this platform has gained a lot of traction recently, maybe I can add my organic visibility by using this." Definitely do try that out. I do discover with LinkedIn specifically whenever I do use hashtags as opposed to not. There is a marked difference in terms of who is actually seeing that content whereas with Instagram if I don't use hashtags, it's not necessarily as in my face. Bear in mind that while I said that Twitter is really going to be a no-brainer for hashtags as is probably Instagram, the ones where you might see some unexpected results are also YouTube and LinkedIn. The one hashtag on YouTube that you will be seeing quite frequently is of course #Shorts which is YouTube's new competitor format TikTok. It's that 9 by 16 aspect ratio vertical video format that's really designed for mobile-first experience, and it's super cool. Definitely if you see the #Shorts that's one. They encourage you to use that hashtag when you are posting that content in order to ensure that it does appear within those Shorts Feeds. It's just a really cool new piece of YouTube collateral to try out. You will also notice that I do have another course live just specifically dedicated to YouTube, so if you are an aspiring YouTuber you could also refer to that course. We will go a little bit more in-depth about the YouTube functionality specifically but yes, because we're chatting about hashtags I thought it would be worth mentioning it here to you. Next up at hashtags, we're going to be talking about how you should be using them. Like I said you don't have to use all 30, but they do definitely need to be ones that are relevant. Not only that, but you also need to think of the competitive nature of hashtags. If you think about the Google Search results, so if I'm a digital marketing manager in Cape Town; let's say I wanted people to search for digital marketing consultant and have me appear at the top, a although of course I can do whatever I can in order to build up my blog and build up my credibility for the keywords; digital marketing consultant, digital marketing strategist there is no guarantee that I'm ever going to appear on the first page of the Google Search engine results. Why is that? Because that is probably quite a competitive term. The more long tail a keyword is, the more likely it is that you're actually going to rank because people are quite lazy when they type in, so maybe they'll just type in digital marketing. If you're lucky type in digital marketing consultant, but they're really expecting Google to do a lot of that work. The longer the search term that someone's actually using the more specific, and therefore the less search results and less competition there it is. With that in mind hashtags actually working in the same way because if I'm going to hashtag #digital marketing my content is never going to appear because how many people would have hashtags of that particular phrase? Too many to count basically, but what is an interesting exercise is not only looking at how many hashtags or pieces of content that are associated with that hashtag appear when I type in #digital marketing but actually going in and seeing what is the followership of the content pieces that are appearing. You will see, it'll be people with millions of followers. Me with not a million followers is never going to rank for that keyword, it's just much too competitive. What's the announcement that we only need to be using two or three hashtags? We really want to stagger the tears in which we're using, so instead of just using hashtags like #digital marketing you will probably want to get quite specific, so maybe around Cape Town, maybe around a specific niche. Maybe I don't offer digital marketing as a whole, but it's actually around email, marketing, consulting. You can see that you actually want to get a little bit more specific so that your content then has an opportunity to rank for that hashtag otherwise really it as a pointless exercise because at the end of the day the hashtags are functioning for the purposes of search. It's not functioning so much for the people that are actually just reading the caption. Bear in mind there that you really do want to use a nice mix of different hashtags and different sized hashtags to make sure that you're not being outbid by people with way bigger followers than you. Then the third consideration is really going to be around which hashtags should I be using? I like to do competitor research and research within my niche because me thinking that #digital marketing consulting is a good hashtag it's probably just my own perception of that, so you want to rather have data on it. What I would suggest doing is looking at your 3-5 biggest competitors and jotting down what are the hashtags that they use. Bear in mind that you don't actually want to be using the same 3-4, 2-3 hashtags each time, you want to mix it up a little bit. What this then means is that you actually want to create almost like a table or a one-pager above your desk. I find this super helpful where you say set 1, set 2, set 3, set 4, or you can name them. For example, I could say consultancy or agency and have all the hashtags that pertain to that specific area of my business then I can have maybe WhatsApp for Business because that's a big content pillar that I talk about on my YouTube. That could be a hashtag, so what I'm I using? What are the other hashtags that people within my YouTube specific niche are using then I could have stuck around support small business support, local Cape Town. You're really getting the feel. It doesn't necessarily have to be the same three hashtags every time, and in fact it shouldn't. You want to split up your hashtag sets to probably about four, and then a pick and choose which are the ones that you're going to use. At the end of the day, you're really going to start to pick up these trends using your Instagram Insights or maybe your Twitter Insights to see, okay cool, the posts or pieces of content that I used with that specific #safe were the best performing. You're going to start to deduce things around how well those hashtags are performing for you. It is not a perfect science and no one is claiming for it to be. Some other third-party tools will let you know which are the most popular hashtags that you used best. The reason why I don't bank on this is firstly those tools are expensive; so Sprout Social for example, although it has the most beautiful reporting as a third-party social media tool. Not every small business is going to have the means really or be in the position to use the functionality but they will for example say what are your best performing hashtags, but then in my mind I'm thinking, well, it's probably the hashtags that you used most frequently in the preceding months. You can see why it's not necessarily going to always work off for you in terms of, okay, yes, this particular hashtag was the base. It's more around, okay, cool, these are the sets that are working well for me. Let me do this but there are some more of that. It's like baking. You want to be like, "Oh, that banana bread was a little bit salty. Let's do less of that next time." I hope that, that is going to demystify which hashtags to use as I say look at your competitors and look at your niche, and then start to make inferences from that. There are apps which allow you to actually search for hashtags. There's one called Focalmark which you can install. If you search for a term like architecture it'll give you all the various hashtags that are associated with that, but whether these are then going to be more successful than hashtags that you've just researched on your own accord remains to be seen. 28. BONUS: How to use hashtags : Next type of hashtags we're going to be talking about how you should be using them. Like I said, you don't have to use all 30, but they do definitely need to be ones that are relevant. Not only that, but you also need to think of the competitive to nature of hashtag. If you think about the Google search results, so if I'm a digital marketing manager in Cape Town. Let's say I wanted people to search for digital marketing consultant and have me appear at the top. Although of course I can do whatever I can in order to build up my blog and bother my credibility for the keywords, digital marketing consultant, digital marketing strategist. There is no guarantee that I'm ever going to appear on the first page of the Google search engine results. Why is that? Because that is probably quite a competitive term. The long tail a keyword is, the more likely it is that you're actually going to rank because people have quite lazy when they typed in. Maybe they'll just type in digital marketing. If you're lucky, type in digital marketing consultant. But they're really expecting Google to do a lot of that work. So the longer the search term that someone's actually using, the more specific and therefore the list search results the less competition that is. With that in mind, hashtag is actually working in the same way. Because if I'm going to hashtag, #digital marketing by content is never going to appear because how many people would have hashtags that particular phrase? Too many to count, basically. But what isn't interesting exercise is not only looking at how many hashtags or pieces of content that are associated with that hashtag appear when I type in hashtag digital marketing. But actually going in and saying, what is the fun ownership of the content pieces that are appearing and you will see it'll be people with millions of followers. Me with not a million followers, isn't ever going to rank for that keyword. It's just much too competitive. What's the announcement that we all need to be using two or three hashtags. We really want to stagger the tears in which we're using, so instead of just using hashtags like #digital marketing, you will probably want to get quite specific. Maybe around Cape Town, maybe around a specific niche. Maybe I don't offer digital marketing as a whole, but it's actually around email marketing consulting. You can see that you actually want to get a little bit more specific so that your content then has an opportunity to rank for that hashtag. Otherwise, really it as a pointless exercise. Because at the end of the day the hashtags are functioning for the purposes of search. It's not functioning so much for the people that are actually just reading the caption. Bear in mind there that you really do want to use a nice mix of different hashtags and different sized hashtags to make sure that you're not being outbid by people with way bigger followers than you. 29. BONUS: Which hashtags should I be using?: Then the third consideration is really going to be around which hashtags should I be using? I like to do competitor research and research within my niche because me thinking that hashtag, digital marketing consulting is a good hashtag, it's probably just my own perception of that. You want to rather have data on it. What I would suggest doing is looking at your 3-5 biggest competitors and jotting down what are the hashtags that they use. Bear in mind that you don't actually want to be using the same 2-3 hashtags each time you want to mix it up a little bit. What this then means is that you actually want to create almost like a table or a one-pager about your desk. I find this super-helpful where you say Set 1, Set 2, Set 3, Set 4 or you can name them, for example, I could say consultancy or agency and have all the hashtags that pertain to that specific area of my business, then I can have maybe WhatsApp for business because that's a big content pillar that I talk about on my YouTube. That could be a hashtag sake, what am I using, what are the other hashtags that people within my YouTube specific niche are using, then I can have stuff around support small business, support local Cape Town? You're really getting the field. It doesn't necessarily have to be at the same three hashtags every time and in fact, it shouldn't. You want to split up your hashtag sets to probably about four, and then pick and choose which are the ones that you're going to use. At the end of the day, you're really going to start to pick up these trends using your Instagram insights or maybe your Twitter insights to see, okay, cool. The posts or pieces of content that I used with that specific hashtags set with the best-performing. You're going to start to deduce things around how well those hashtags are performing for you. It is not a perfect science and no one is claiming for it to be. Some of the third-party tools will let you know which are the most popular hashtags that you used but the reason why I don't bank on this is firstly, those tools are expensive, so Sprout Social, for example, although it has the most beautiful reporting as a third party social media tool, not every small business is going to have the means really or be in the position to use the functionality, but they will, for example, say what are your best performing hashtags. But then in my mind I'm thinking, well, it's probably the hashtags that you used most frequently in the preceding months. You can see why it's not necessarily going to always work out for you in terms of okay, yes. This particular hashtag was the best. It's more around, okay, cool, these are the sets that are working well for me let me do this, that there are some more of that. It's like baking. You want to be like, oh, that banana bread was a little bit salty. Let's do less of that next time. I hope that that is going to demystify which hashtags to use. As I say, look at your competitors and look at your niche, and then start to make inferences from that. There are apps which allow you to actually search for hashtags. There's one called Focalmark, which you can install, and if you search for a term like architecture, it'll give you all the various hashtags that are associated with that but whether these are then going to be more successful than hashtags that you've just researched on your own accord remains to be seen.