23rd July 2018

Not So Social Media

Why the title? Well, it’s because I think that being successful with social media requires far more time and effort that people realise, so it will eat in to your social time. The first thing I do when I get home after a day at work isn’t relaxing, it’s sorting my photos from the day ready for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

These are just some scribbled down thoughts, it isn’t meant to be a how to as such, but to give people some ideas and direction, it’s a bit random, hopefully it’ll help. Social media works well for me. 

sport climbing

Nothing to do with this post, but got to have a climbing pic somewhere! Falling off Empire of the Sun, the best 7b, 7b+ in the UK, maybe. I did later tick it, amazing route.

Facebook

The most popular platform and in my experience the most useful to a business. 51.5% of the UK population use Facebook, that’s around 34.5 million people, think about that for a second! Facebook allows you to show off your photos and tell a story.

  • Get good photos, I can’t stress this enough. Crap photos look, well, crap. You don’t need an expensive camera, although a decent camera helps, but give composition and subject some thought. Editors like Snapseed are very useful, but don’t over do it.
  • Short videos work really well, longer ones if they’re really good.
  • Tag the people in your photos, then more people will see them.
  • Tag appropriate groups where appropriate, such as the cafe you started in, the company who’s kit you’re using etc.
  • Say something useful, ideally engaging, ask questions, elicit responses, find something share worthy – thats when your reach will really go up.
  • Share your posts to appropriate Facebook groups.
  • Don’t like your own posts, you just look silly.
  • Be helpful on Facebook groups, get your name know.
  • If in doubt, take a selfie – if you don’t know that story….
  • Research good times for posting on Facebook, not all days and times are equal, schedule might be your friend.
  • Paid posts. If you’ve got something worth advertising this can be a really cost effective way of advertising it. Research this further but get involved.

Instagram

Ah Instagram with your nice shiny photos and brief but worthwhile amounts of text! A world of tagging, hash tagging and influencers. 25% of the UK population use it and it’s especially popular with the youth of today, innit. I love it and get a fair bit of work from it, but more than that it really does help with brand awareness. I’ve bumped into people (literally!) in a white out on top of the Cairngorm Plateau who have said “Oh hi! You’re Jez aren’t you?!” “Yep, who are you?!”

  • Get great photos, you don’t have long to catch someones eye as they scroll down a massive amount of lovely photos.
  • Tag people and groups like you do in Facebook.
  • Go to town on the hash tags, this is how you’re going to grow your audience. #climbing #snowdonia, keep them relevant, 11+ hash tags is shown to get the most engagement.
  • Follow other people, comment on other peoples posts, this will get you more followers.
  • Post every day, yep, every day.
  • Post at the right time, checked your business account info to find out that time?
  • Don’t buy followers, they’re not going to create quality engagement, it’ll just massage your ego looking at your follower numbers.

Twitter

Pain in my butt Twitter. I don’t really like it. I don’t get it. But millions (about 20 million in the UK) do so what do I know! You can share your photos (not as well as Insta) and you can write some text (not as well as Facebook, or Insta for that fact). The advantage here is that people are keen to retweet good tweets and big companies seem inclined to engage.

  • As always, tweet something engaging.
  • Use the appropriate hash tags.
  • Although you don’t need a photo, use one.
  • Keep posting, once a day, at least, but don’ overload people, they’ll get wound up and unfollow.
  • Use an URL shortener to save characters.
Mountain Leader maps

A picture of a computer! How exciting! At least there’s some maps there too. 154 likes on Insta, mad.

Websites

Maybe not strictly social media, but massively important. Even if your potential customers have found you on FB / Insta / that silly bird one, they’ll probably want to look at your website to find out more – bear in mind also they’ll probably be using a mobile device for this… Google. Who hasn’t heard of Google, even my mum has, it’s market share is around 90%. Before people can look at your website it has to be found. So help people find it! (Consider Adwords if you have the budget but research it carefully)

  • Get a good domain name, I didn’t and that’s ok now I’m established. Someone I know has The Climbing Company, how was that never snapped up years and years ago?! (We were all too slow and dim witted!)
  • Content
  • Content
  • Content (it’s quite important…) Google will judge you on your content. Make sure it’s relevant and make sure if it’s a blogs it’s going to get shared and viewed by loads of people, Google loves this
  • Make sure the site performs properly and doesn’t have coding errors, missing image texts etc
  • If you can get other (well ranked) websites to link to yours that is a big bonus for your search rankings
  • Keep that bounce rate low. Don’t know what a bounce rate is? You should.
  • Consider the keywords you use and how you use them

Now they’ve found your site…

  • Make sure it looks good! Please! A bad site is worse than no site! You’re an outdoor instructor of some flavour, not a web designer (well not most of us!), so don’t be tight, make an investment and pay someone to do it for you. Honestly, just do it.
  • It’s hard not to have an overly complicated site, so decide what you want it to do
  • Make sure you’ve got secure online booking, it’s a nice feeling to get home to bookings worth over £1k that have required zero effort.
  • Keep it updated with fresh photos, decent blogs that are interesting to your audience
  • Websites probably want to be updated every 3-4 years
  • Sell yourself
  • Consider your target audience
  • Consider your competition.
  • Get Google Analytics so you know what’s going on.
  • Use something like www.serprobot.com to look at key word performance.

Alternatively, sack all this off, go away, work hard, provide a great service and forget about social media! People will come flooding to you because you’re ace! But social media might get you to that point more quickly…

There’s loads of experts out there, with far more knowledge of all this than me, with more followers than me, so I’d love to hear back from anyone with more tips and ideas!

Social media has been the biggest key for me to creating a business that (sadly) has to turn people away at time due to being so busy so whilst its not the only way, it was my way. It’s not rocket science, but remember it takes time and effort, it can be a right chore at the end of a hard days work.

Happy not so social media’ing!

Oh, and check out my FB, Insta and bird thing 😉

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