Neglect social media at your peril

If you’re not convinced social media is important for your business – then this blog post is for you.

I’ve worked with clients who see social media as a last resort. They see it as something that, if they use it almost sparingly, will stand them in good stead against the hordes of online competition.

This just isn’t the case.

Social media is your child

Time consuming as it is, social media is not just something that happens once, like updating your virus protection. Instead, it’s like a child, which needs constant attention and nourishment in order to grow.

Starting with the basics, key social media sites Facebook and Twitter are crucial for getting news, offers and new products out there. They’re important as a way to send traffic (people) to your blog and website.

To put it bluntly – you need them to sell your stuff.

Don’t lose out to the competition

You might think it takes a lot of effort to write a blog post once or twice a month and post it to your blog and social media accounts. And it does.

But I hate to tell you that that alone won’t do anything for your business. If you’re putting money and time aside for that, you might as well not bother.

With social media, it’s all or nothing. You’re up against big businesses who have a whole marketing department devoted to blogging, tweeting, liking and sharing all day, all week, all month long.

If you’re not posting on your blog at least once a week and checking your social media at least twice a day (to make friends, respond to queries and post relevant content), you’ll never be part of the online conversation that your customers are.

What can you do?

There are several online tools that make this easier for independent businesses. These include the scheduling function on several blog hosting sites, including WordPress.

Hootsuite is another great tool which allows you to manage up to three accounts for free. This way you can schedule tweets or posts and respond to messages, likes, retweets and mentions all from one platform.

Finding the time

The best way to do this is to manage your time accordingly. Put aside one day a week where you write as many blog posts and schedule as many social media tweets as you can.

However. This doesn’t replace being constantly engaged with your online customer base.

You should think as social media in the same way you would a shop front. It is a virtual high street. You need to keep rotating products, highlights and offers in your social media window in order to attract people inside.

I can help

It’s not easy doing this yourself, but a freelance copywriter or marketing consultant can help. I have worked with several clients and businesses to write their blog posts and promote them online.

Using a professional takes care of the hassle of writing engaging and keyword-rich copy. After all, we are trained and experienced in how to do this.

We can even monitor your accounts for you, ensuring your online customers are being looked after in the same way a shopkeeper would.

Think about it for a second

In real life, you wouldn’t shut your cupcake business on National Cupcake Day. Or leave your customers to wander around your shop and put money on the counter without any interaction with an employee, would you?

Who would answer their questions? Who would make sure they knew about the latest offers? Who would ensure they could find everything they needed?

81% of people research their purchase online before they buy. That includes high street shoppers. If you neglect that 81%, you neglect them at your peril.

I can work with you on your blog and online needs to ensure your business works as hard as you do. So take the next step for your business today and contact me now to get started.

 

My Tip for Writing Sales Copy

The modern world is fluid: there are no longer strict times to work, to go shopping, to connect with people. This fluidity is even more dangerous to those who work freelance, especially if that’s from home. It can be difficult to switch off from the endless list of things that can be done at any one moment, causing constant distractions – some welcome, but most not.

One of the bonuses of being a professional copywriter is that clients give you work. However, if you write sales copy full time, there’s a significant chance that at some point you will experience that awful feeling of writing yourself into a corner full of clichés, and it can be a tiresome task trying not to recycle your own work.

But it was while I was tuning up my new TV that I made a career-defining discovery. When you can’t think of any more ways to sell that ugly pair of leather cowboy boots simply take my advice and…turn on the TV.

Yes, you heard me. Turn on the TV.

Switch straight to the home shopping channels – you’ll find you have plenty. And, for once in your life, that’s a good thing.

Watching the endless hours of furious waffling will give you a crash course in how to sell. Home shopping channels are divided into hour-long slots where a presenter is challenged to shift as many units as possible, as though trying to bargain their way out of a hostage scenario. Often they have a whole range to peddle, but the real feats of salesmanship are the solus endorsements.

As the minutes tick away, the programme swiftly descends into farce as the host becomes desperate to snag that potential customer. It’s true. I have actually seen, with my own eyes, a frantic presenter furiously force the backstage crew to fashion a pet fish out of a carrot and a bowl of water, just to show off a panoramic camera.

But the highs (and the many lows) of this kind of television are invaluable to the ‘blocked’ copywriter.

As you sit there in your be-throned armchair, all smug in your new position as the ‘potential customer’, you can see what works – Wow, that mobile really does look like it has everything I want and at such a reasonable price – and what doesn’t – Hmm, I’d rather take memorable photographs of my grandchildren than my goldfish.

As we all know, one of the most important things in copywriting is selling the experience. And that is what these guys (usually) do so well.

To gain your trust, the presenter will start out with the product specifications – the brand, the quality materials, the craftsmanship – but before you know it they’ve segwayed these indisputable facts into the ways that this product will make your life easier, more efficient, and, in turn, make you a better person/worker/mother/friend.

The sole point of the programme is just like a piece of sales copy – it is to build a gradual argument for why this specific product will change your life, and by the end, even the most dismissive viewer can’t help but agree with everything they’ve just said. Except for maybe that bit about the fish.

Of course, I’m not saying this little technique is without its risks. Turning on the TV while you’re trying to work does, after all, take a lot of stamina, mostly to not let yourself get sucked in by Pointless or Bargain Hunt (I’m not judging). But, if you’re stuck on the roundabout of sales clichés, there are worse things you can do than switch to the home shopping channels. And besides, all that red-faced shouting and carrot-bobbing means they can be pretty fun too…