Jeezo, it’s been a while since I posted anything in this blog. Apologies for that. I don’t have time today – I’m in the middle of three major projects at the moment – but I will come back to it, promise. In the meantime, enjoy this lovely picture of a squirrel holding a bunch of flowers by way of an apology. 🙂
The Corona Virus is having an unprecedented affect on all our lives. And many small businesses are suffering due to the lockdown, some irreparably. This is just a quick blog post on why you, as a business owner, should still be keeping your business’ social media going.
You may think it’s a waste of time continuing to post on Facebook or Instagram while your business is closed.
But you should think about continuing to do just that.
And here’s why:
It’s a great way to keep your business in the minds of your customers.
You can share information about what’s happening with your business. For instance, if you are able to offer part of your business or some sort of service, people want to know. Also, a friend of mine runs a café, but can’t open. So, she’s baking and delivering cakes for key workers. A local Italian restaurant is doing pizza delivery.
You can offer advice online to anyone who asks. The whole point of social media for businesses is to build a relationship with your customers. If they have a problem and you can help, but are closed, it is helpful to them to be able to discuss their issue with you online. Okay, it’s not in person or even private (unless it’s a private message), but maybe you could offer them a solution, even if it’s temporary.
Maybe you could offer customers online classes like some of our local fitness business people have. They’ve been doing yoga, Zumba, Pilates and other classes online either for free or charging a nominal fee and keeping their businesses afloat. Others, such as dance teachers and music teachers are doing the same. Are you a beautician? Could you offer makeup lessons? Anything that will provide value to your customers and keep you in their minds whilst your business is closed. Maybe you are a plumber. One of the most watched people on Instagram is that of an English plumber who loves to bend the perfect bend in copper pipes. But that’s not all he does, he also offers tutorials and advice on carrying out small plumbing jobs. Do you run a photography business? Show your best ‘in lockdown’ photos and ask your followers to show theirs.
Perhaps all you have to offer are some words of wisdom. People like quotations. If you run out of something to say on your social media, search the internet for inspirational quotes and put that up. Again, it’s all about keeping your profile up.
Are you a food business that is not deemed essential? Well, maybe you could do a charity cookbook with donations of recipes from your customers. That will get a conversation growing on your chosen social media platform and get people talking. Or you could just offer up a few recipes of your own to share. Or show us how to make and knead a proper loaf of bread.
Are you a well established business, why not share your history or show how you produce what you produce? You don’t need to go into specifics such as recipes, but a general overview would be interesting.
Consider doing a video: either of yourself talking to camera or of images put together in a video editing programme such as Movie Maker.
Look, what I’m saying is there are lots of ways you can keep your online profile up. What you need to think about is:
What’s my core business?
Which part of it can I share with the public? What would be of interest to them?
How can I make it interesting? What images can I use?
What do I want to say to customers?
Okay, I’m going to love you and leave you right now. All through this are some posts I’ve been using recently plus a wee advert of my own. It’s promoting a novel I’ve just released under my other business, D A Nelson, Author. I’m not an expert at doing videos, but I had brilliant fun doing this. It was done on Win Movie Maker and was really easy to do. Go on, have a go. You’ve got nothing to lose.
Hello, how are you all? Hopefully, you’re all doing okay. This is my first post on this website for a few weeks. Truthfully, the whole Corona Virus thing just pulled the rug from under my feet, like it did everyone else, and it’s taken me a wee while to adjust to the new way of being. I was fine the first week, but it was the start of the second week that it really sunk in. However, being a somewhat positive person in my outlook, I decided to give myself one day of feeling down about it all and then picked myself up and got on with it.
Fortunately, not much has changed for me apart from not being able to go out and about and meet up with people. We’re trying to do that online, with tea or wine depending on the time of day (I’ve not slipped into daytime drinking yet! My kids are off school, so I’m not promising that won’t happen! Ha haha! ;-D). My business has felt the pain of the lockdown, like everyone else’s, but as I was only just beginning, so not too much. I’m lucky that I don’t rely on it for income.
Unfortunately, I do have friends who are small business owners who are feeling it and I just hope they can come out of this as unscathed as possible.
Anyway, I’m using this time to continue to upload social media for clients in the hope that after we come through this things can get as back to normal as it possibly can.
I’m using this time, though, to brush up on existing skills and learning new ones. I’ve being doing some courses on Masterclass (for my writing) and Udemy and playing around on various mediums (such as Canva and InDesign) to see where I can learn new things.
What have you all been up to? I hope you’ve been lucky enough to still be able to work from home.
The other area getting my attention is the garden. I am not a natural born gardener, but I have been out “doing stuff” in it. Got that on the agenda for today too.
Right, I am going to finish up here and wish you all well. Stay safe!
Jeezo, the weeks are flying in. I can’t believe it’s halfway through March already. And it’s been such a worrying week with the Corona virus taking hold everywhere. I’ve gotten over the lurgy, but have had such a busy week that I’m writing this blog almost into the next week.
So, last week a women’s business group – Women Rocking Business Helensburgh and Lomond – I am involved in got a visit from Richard Leonard, leader of the Scottish Labour Party, and Jackie Baillie MSP. They were there as part of International Women’s Day and finding out about women in business. Anyway, I was there in my capacity as a member of the group, their Facebook social media guru and as a local businesswoman. It was a nice meeting, we had quite a few from our group there chatting to Richard and Jackie about the perils and pros of being a small business owner. It was a good meeting.
Business-wise, things have been pretty hectic. I have a lot of other things going on in my life, not just the social media business, so I’ve been run off my feet recently. I’ve been working hard to raise the profile of my business whilst continuing to raise the profile of my clients and, I’m pleased to say, it’s working.
Right, I need to go. I have another two blogs to write tonight!! Oh yeah, that’s another thing I could do for your business!! 🙂
So this week I have mostly been feeling yucky and sorry for myself. Yes, the Lurgy struck and left me feeling all shivery, sneezy and just not well. It was a bad head cold and I’ve yet to shake it off. Hopefully by the start of next week, it’ll be gone.
Anway, I did manage to do all the social media stuff I had to do, so that was fine. There’s nothing worse than having clients relying on you and you’re feeling rubbish. But, I just dosed myself with hot Ribena and got on with it.
So, due to aforementioned bad cold, I’m way behind with everything. I don’t have a good article to post today, but I will work on it for next week. Promise.
So, I’m a member of a local business women’s group in my area and I’ve set up their Facebook pages (Women Rocking Business Helensburgh and Lomond). As we have only just started, we don’t have a lot of interaction on the page yet, so I was thinking up ways to make the page interesting.
This week I’ve opted for inspirational quotes raise a smile and support anyone going through any sort of down at the moment. Let’s face it, running your own business is hard work, so if there’s anything I can do to make it better, I will.
And as it is a page for ladies in business, I was looking for quotes from women. I had originally done a search on quotes for businesses and all that came up was quotes from men. So, then I had to search for quotes from businesswomen and I got some. I don’t understand why the quotes from businesswomen didn’t come up in my first search. Aw well.
Oprah is one of my heroines when it comes to women in business. And she talks a good bit of sense too!
What she means by this is that those who do not see ‘failure’ as ‘failure’ and do not give up, are the ones who succeed. It is those who are downed by failure, that fail. So, the moral of the story is: don’t let the bad times get you down, keep on going and eventually you will achieve your goals.
And now for the boys…
Wise words from old Winston. And these words still stand today.
I like this quote because it’s all about putting the past in the past and going for it.
Well, I put my money where my mouth is (see a previous post about why Pinterest is so good for business) and did some training on Pinterest and Instagram last week.
Provided (for free) by Business Gateway, the morning training session took place near where I live and consisted of a whirlwind guide to both Pinterest and Instagram.
Now, I am already aware of both platforms and have been using them for some time. The reason why I did the training was because I was woefully aware both offer so much more than I thought they did. And I wasn’t disappointed.
They are two different types of platform, but both very good for business. Both are about good visuals. You can’t put a lot of info on them, but you can put a clickable web address on your Pinterest post. It had never occurred to me to use Pinterest to promote my business. I was already on there for my author business, but I couldn’t see how it would help promote my pr and social media one. Which is a dreadful admission for someone offering to do social media for others. What could I possibly put on it that would be of any interest to someone else? Hey, I know differently now and have set up a separate business account for D A Nelson PR & Social Media.On my pages, I showcase some of the posts I have put up for clients and inspirational quotes. I use key words and I’m hoping that it may lead to business locally for me.
Pinterest is very like an online scrap book. You set up boards, you pin posts to those scrap books and build up boards that are inspirational or educational for you. You can make your boards private, but why would you? If other people can see your posts, they can like and share them, spreading awareness of your business as they go. For every post I put up, I make sure my website address is linked to that so that every time someone shares it, they can get right back to whatever website I want them to. In my case, my PR and social media site (ie this one this blog is on) or my author website. It’s not about selling anything, in my case, but about showcasing what I can do and what I have been doing. Other things you can do is promoted Pins and videos. Google and Pinterest, according to our tutor, “play well together” so Pinterest is much more searchable than Instagram.
Instagram is all about the image. What I don’t like about Instagram is that you can’t share the posts to all your followers, just one at a time. Plus you can’t put a clickable link on your posts (the only one you can put in is in your biog) and it’s not very searchable (to make your business more visible use descriptive key words, tag people (if you have a reason to) and put in your location to make it more ‘findable’). Talking of biogs, don’t forget to make yours work for you by putting in who you are, what you do and why it matters. Hashtags also make it more visible to others. Also, think about using Instagram stories for promoting your business. These are always at the top of the feed, so are more likely to get noticed. Plus, Instagram has started up their own ‘tv’ platform emulating YouTube. This might be something worth checking out.
What I do like about Instagram is how creative people are on it to get their business noticed. There are plumbers on there, for instance, who put up videos and photos of bent copper pipes and get thousands of likes. So, if they can raise awareness of their business, it just shows you anyone can!
My next move regarding social media is to start filming some short films for a client of mine. I’m no super model, but I don’t care. I think video is the way ahead for online platforms and I’m keen to try it. Watch this space for more!
Author Stephen King is quitting Facebook according to a tweet he put out on Twitter today.
Concerned with what he called the “flood of false information that’s allowed in its political advertising” and the social media platform’s ability to “protect its users’ privacy”, King announced the move and then encouraged fans to follow him on Twitter instead.
So, what will the impact of this announcement be on Facebook? That remains to be seen, but according to the BBC, King is not the first celebrity to leave the site. Mark Hammill, Cher, Steve Wozniak and Will Ferrell have already ditched Facebook as has Jim Carey.
Will this latest departure have any effect on users or, indeed, have any impact on how Facebook carries out its business? We shall see.
What’s great about it is that is has such a diverse amount of information in it: everything from food and recipes to lifestyle and wellbeing, weddings, fashion, history, crafts, hobby interests and much more!
So, how do you use it? I like to thing of Pinterest as a bit of an online scrap book. You see and image, pin it to your own pages and build from there. Your followers see your pages, like your posts and they then pin to their own boards, which are a type of online ‘scrapbook’. It’s so much better than it sounds and you can be on Pinterest for hours without realising it. I love it. My own pages have a diverse collection of ‘pins’ from ideas for household interiors, to book covers, crafting and inspirational pics related to my fiction writing. I have a business account with Pinterest and you’ll get me under D A Nelson.
As a business, it’s great because if you use the right key words, your reach on Pinterest can grow organically saving you money on expensive adverts.
A happy New Year to you all and I hope you’ve had a great time over the festive period.
I took a couple of weeks off mainly to recharge the old batteries and it’s worked. I’m back all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I don’t hold with working til you drop and the week before Christmas I was feeling more than a little jaded. I don’t work well creatively when I feel like that which is why I shut up shop the week before Christmas instead of the week of Christmas.
And I feel great. I am so ready to take on the world!
So how was your festive period? Did you manage to rest and recharge. I think it’s really important to take time away from your job. Even though social media never stops, it’s imperative you do. Firstly, taking a holiday – even one at home as I did – has been proven to improve productivity. I can vouch for this from past working experience: when I first started working in journalism and PR, I worked full time. When I had my first child, I cut my hours down to 24 hours over three days to allow me time to not only spend time with my kids, but to get things down around the house. I swear to God that I got more done in those 24 hours (8 hours per day for three days) than I ever got done in a week. That’s because I was more focused.
In order to allow myself time off over Christmas, I worked hard the week before to compose and schedule social media posts for my clients. That meant that not only did I not have to worry about getting posts signed off and out over the festive period, annoying my clients, but my clients got a break too.
Having a break is also good for your physical and mental health. I am far more creative and fun if I have lots of breaks rather than constantly having my nose in my laptop beavering away. Taking any break also helps reduce stress, which can lead to anxiety and depression, and other ailments.
It was also good to be around for the kids over the festive period. If I am working when they are at home I can’t fully give them or my work the attention they deserve. In saying that I have a teen and a pre-teen and they don’t want to spend time with me anyway! Thank God for the dogs – at least they want to spend time with me! 🙂
Finally, having taken time off, I was able to get interested in and have the time for other things which not only sparks my imagination (which is something you need to do social media) but allowed me to daydream. It’s when I daydream that my best ideas come to me.
Anyway, I have wittered on enough. Take some time for yourself, chill out and just enjoy life.