Tag Archives: social media

Major changes coming to Facebook and Instagram

 

 

In the biggest shake-up since 2014, major changes are coming to Facebook and Instagram over the Summer that are going to affect your business pages.

Once again it means that it will be harder for small businesses to be ‘seen’ in the newsfeed and you therefore need to think about the content you are posting.

To help you with this I have created a free PDF that sets out the changes and what you can do to keep being seen by your ideal clients.

If you need any help with your social media management, don’t forget I offer affordable monthly packages to look after it all for you so it’s one less thing for you to worry about! Book a free consultation.

If you have any questions about the information in the PDF then don’t hesitate to ask.

GET YOUR PDF

The Lighthouse Virtual Assistant Can I Pick Your Marketing Brain Workshop

Can I pick your marketing brain workshop

Please join me for the Lighthouse Virtual Assistant Can I Pick Your Marketing Brain Workshop.  As busy business owners, we can’t be a master of all skills but marketing is an area that, if you get it right, will really help your business grow.  All businesses, no matter how small, should have a working marketing plan that sits alongside their business plan.

The aim of this workshop is for you to be able to have your own marketing plan that you can take away and implement immediately.  I am also going to give you some fabulous social media tips and advice looking specifically at Facebook and Twitter as these are the two platforms that I get asked the most about.

So if you are just starting your business or have been up and running for a while then this workshop will give you the tools to learn how to promote your business pro-actively and bring in new clients.

The workshop will cover the following:

  • What is marketing and why is it important to your business?
  • What is the difference between marketing and advertising?
  • What is PR and branding?
  • Identifying your ideal client
  • Your unique selling point
  • Competitors
  • Your marketing tools
  • Social media (general advice)
  • How to evaluate your marketing
  • Facebook and Twitter – how to set up an account, the difference between a business and personal page, tips for when and how to post (including scheduling), hashtags, statistics and how to use them, content ideas, how often to post.

When: Wednesday 23rd May 2018

Where: Berelia Limited, 2nd Floor, Market Square, Dover, Kent, CT16 1LZ

Time: 9.30am-1.30pm

Cost: £35 per person

Please read: Places are only secure when full payment has been made and places cannot be reserved without payment. Places are non-refundable.  To book your place please click the ‘buy now’ button below:

The workshop on the 23 May has sold out.  I will be running further workshops and if you’d like to be put on the waiting list please sign up and I will send you details.

Got a question? Email rachel@lighthouseva.co.uk

Read more about Rachel’s experience.

Changes to the Facebook newsfeed

What the changes to the Facebook news-feed mean for your small business

Over the last month, you will have seen online that changes are being made to the Facebook news-feed.  In a nutshell, the plan is to fill your personal newsfeed with more content from family and friends and less with public content.

This is great as a personal user but not so great for us as small businesses. However, there are things that you can do to make sure your page is still seen as much as possible in people’s newsfeeds.  Watch my video or read below for advice on how to overcome the changes:

  1. Make your content engaging
    Make sure that your content is engaging (you should be doing this anyway).  So rather than posting ‘salesy‘ posts think about what you can give your followers that will help them.  This way they will be more likely to like, comment and share your post.
  2. Set aside a budget for adverts
    You will need to put aside some funds for Facebook advertising in your marketing budget. This is not all bad news as the adverts are reasonable price wise and you can really drill down to target your ideal client with criteria such as age, gender, location, behaviours etc.
  3. Plan your content
    Schedule your content in advance, this way your content will naturally be more engaging and structured
  4. Use Facebook Live
    Live videos are great as people really seem to like interacting in ‘real time.’ Just make sure you have great wi-fi and remember it doesn’t need to be a Steven Speilberg production!
  5. Join other social media platforms
    Get out there on other platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn so that your business can be found easily – if you need help with these platforms pop me an email as I offer one-to-one tutorials
  6. Set up a Facebook group
    Depending on the type of business you have a Facebook group may work well and is a great way to interact with tips and advice
  7. Check your statistics
    Keep an eye on your Facebook statistics so you can see which times and days your followers are online and gage any drop in interaction from the new changes
  8. Set up the ‘see ‘first’ notification
    On your personal newsfeed set up the pages you enjoy the most so that you see them first in your newsfeed.  For example I have Sky News so I can see their content first when I log in (watch my video to show you how to do this)
  9. Help out other small businesses
    And finally don’t forget to help other small bsuinesses by liking, sharing and commenting on their posts so that it helps them to get seen in the newsfeed.If you would like help with any aspect of your social media then pop me an email for a free, no obligation, consultation to see how I can help.

    You can also follow my Facebook page for free marketing and business tips.

Tips to get more Instagram followers

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a great way to tell your story through photographs and is becoming hugely popular with over 500 million people (14 million in the UK) now taking to the social media platform to share their life in pictures.

Instagram users tend to be mainly women (68%) under the age of 35, although more and more men are signing up, and come from a diverse community with equally diverse interests.

Instagram users are growing rapidly

Instagram users are growing rapidly

Why use Instagram for my business?

As the platform is growing quickly and offers a unique way of sharing a photographic story then Instagram is great for small businesses and even better if your target audience is women under the 35. It’s also wonderful if your products or services are easy to photograph such as cakes, jewellery or dog walking for example.  I love the way you can use hashtags to highlight the topics you’re discussing and you’re not limited to a certain number of words.

I’ve set out some tips below of how to attract more Instagram followers and build the ideal audience for your small business:

  1. Use great photos and ideally ones that are square in size as this is the layout Instagram prefers and will therefore save you time on cropping 
  2. Include a great intro bio with a link to your website or landing page where you can collect leads

    Include a great Instagram bio with a link to your website

    Include a great Instagram bio with a link to your website

  3. Support your business network by sharing and tagging your client and supplier posts
  4. Don’t forget to include hashtags – take a look at what’s trending at the time and if appropriate use these
  5. Currently you can’t use links within your posts so instead use a Call To Action telling your followers to go to the link in your bio
  6. Combine the use of video and photos as videos are very easy to upload but try and keep them short
  7. If you offer a service that doesn’t have tangible products don’t let this put you off.  You will always find a photo to link in with what you’re talking about.  Uploading photos of your team or what’s happening in the office is great content 

    Share Instagram posts from your clients and suppliers

    Share Instagram posts from your clients and suppliers

  8. You can get carried away snapping great pictures so be careful not to bombard people with your updates, once a day is enough
  9. Instagram needs updating from your moblie so to save yourself time scedhule your content in advance
  10. Finally don’t forget to include a link to your Instagram account across all your other forms of marketing such as Facebook, Twitter, your website and in your email signature and newsletter

Need help setting up your Instagram account or managing it?

If you’re not sure how to set up an account or simply don’t have the time to research and post your content then I offer this service to my clients, so for a free half an hour consultation to find out more drop me an email rachel@lighthouseva.co.uk or call 01303 647101

You can also sign up for my free newsletter for great marketing, time and money saving tips straight to your inbox.

 

 

 

 

Are you making these social media mistakes?

Social media is a great way to promote your small business, it allows you to build relationships with current and potential clients and you can easily interact and show the ‘person’ behind the brand.

It’s important to remain professional but also to be friendly. However, if you get it wrong on social media this can be disastrous for your business especially as once the content is out there it can be shared so quickly and easily.

Here are my tips for how to avoid social media mistakes:

  1. Have a separate business account
    Don’t use your personal account as your business page, it looks so unprofessional. People who are friends with you might not appreciate seeing you constantly promote your business and actually quite a few of them won’t be in your target audience anyway, so you’re wasting your time. If you have a personal page as your business this means you have to become friends with someone to connect and not everyone will do this with someone they don’t know. Some platforms such as Facebook will actually shut your account down if you continue to do this.  Make sure your business page is full of fabulous content so people want to like your page and hear what you have to say.
  2. Don’t share your business posts constantly to your personal page
    Sharing your social media business pages to your personal account is okay to do when you first set up your business or as a little reminder now and again of what you do, but not constantly.  Again, make your business page good enough that people want to like it and follow you there.  A little tip is to make sure that your personal page states where you work with a link as this will then be obvious to your friends and if they are interested they will follow you.
     
  3. Don’t push sales
    Don’t post sales, after sales posts.  This is a sure way to annoy people and lose followers.  Instead, think about what you can ‘give’ your audience.  Give them advice and some free products or downloads so that you can build those all important relationships that will help people get to know you and trust you.  As a guide, only one in four posts should be sales related.
     
  4. Be consistent 
    We’re all busy but if you want to build your brand and get your business known you need to post consistently to your social media accounts.  This is why I advise that you only use two or three platforms, to begin with, so you can keep up with them

    Constant sales posts is a sure way to make people leave your social media page

    and provide great and regular content. There’s nothing worse than viewing a page that was posted to a year ago.

  5. Don’t like your own posts!
    I don’t think I need to say how desperate this looks!
  6. Engage with people
    A sure way to lose followers is if you ignore people that are interacting with you.  It’s called social media for a reason so if someone comments on your posts, retweets your tweet etc. make sure you reply/say thank you.
  7. Don’t hide behind your brand
    Inject some personality into your posts.  I don’t mean post pictures of your children or you out with friends having a few too many (another reason to keep your business and personal pages separate!) but show your followers that there is a real person behind your business.
     
  8. Personal pages don’t give you insights
    Business pages give you statistics to show when your fans/followers will be online and how they are engaging.  Personal pages don’t give you this information which is so important for your marketing.Remember with your social media posts that if you wouldn’t want it published on the front page of a newspaper then don’t post it!For more tips on social media and ideas for content have a look at my other blogs. You can also follow Lighthouse Virtual Assistant on Facebook for more marketing tips.If you need help managing your social media accounts then this is a service I offer my clients.  Find out more or contact me, Rachel, on 01303 647101 or email rachel@lighthouseva.co.uk

Tips to make your website wonderful!

Regardless of the type of business you run you need to have a website to showcase your products or services.  I don’t think it is possible to do this effectively on just social media so would recommend that you look at WordPress.

What is WordPress?

WordPress launched in 2003 with a single bit of code to enhance the typography of everyday writing and with very few users. Since then it has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on millions of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day.

 

WordPress is simple to use and free

WordPress is simple to use and free

You are free to use it for anything from your hypnotherapy business to a shop selling the latest fashion and all without paying anyone a license fee.  It is extremely easy to use and I love the fact that the blog tool means you can always have fresh content on your site which is great for those Google rankings!

Get my tips to make your website look wonderful and your customers wanting more:

  1. Keep it simple
    Don’t over complicate it.  Make it easy for the user to find what they need.  I’m not a huge fan of all the pop-up banners that ask you to sign up for this and that as it annoys me when I’m trying to read an article and then I end up just closing the site but this is of course up to you.
  2. Stay true to your branding
    Make sure that your branding is obvious, it should link up with how your business looks everywhere else: social media, business cards, vehicle graphics etc.
  3. Talk to your ideal client
    You should have a straight forward home page that is aimed at your ideal customer. Make it clear what you do, how you do it and how your ideal customer will benefit from it.
  4. Show some of your personality
    Have an ‘About Page’ that allows the potential customer to get to know you and let your personality shine through.

    Keep your content fresh to help with your Goggle ranking

         Keep your content fresh to help with your                                      Google ranking

  5. Give clear contact details
    Make a contact page so that it’s easy for people to get in touch, include your phone number and email address.
  6. Build your list
    I’ve talked before about building your list so that you can send emails to current and potential clients.  It’s a great idea to build this list through your website and you can do this by including a newsletter sign-up, free download or to get a copy of your new e-book.
  7. Have a FAQ page
    If appropriate have a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ page so that people get an idea if you can help them before they contact you directly.
  8. Use a call-to-action
    Include a call-to-action on each of your pages – this is what you want the user to do next, do you want them to call you, go to your shop, email you?
  9. Include videos
    Include videos where you can as this will really help with your Google ranking.  For example, I have a video testimonial from a client on my homepage.
  10. Display testimonials
    Don’t forget to have a testimonial page from all your lovely clients, people like to know what others say about you.

    Check your site regularly to make sure your links work

      Check your site regularly to make sure your links work

  11. Track your statistics for your marketing
    Install Google Analytics so you can track how people are finding your site and what they do when they get there.  Use this information when planning your marketing.
  12. Keep your site updated
    Lastly and most importantly keep your website up-to-date.  WordPress is fantastic for blogging so do it regularly to keep your content fresh and remember to share your blog on all your other marketing platforms (Facebook, Twitter).  Check monthly that all your links still work.

Have a look around my site and feel free to leave me your feedback, it’s always great to know what you think.

If you need help with your WordPress site then drop me an email for a free consultation rachel@lighthouseva.co.uk

Seven killer tips for Facebook marketing

Facebook marketing is a great way to promote your business.  The platform has approximately 1.3billion users and if you use their adverts correctly you can be very specific when targeting your audience.  For example, if you work in the wedding industry you can ask the adverts to be to shown to women only, in a certain age range, in your local area and who are engaged.  Approximately 70% of consumers will look at a business Facebook page before they visit your website or shop so it is key to have a page to stand alongside all your other marketing tools.

Below I share some of my tips on how to get the best out of Facebook marketing for your business page:

1. Have a full profile
Make sure your profile is fully completed so that it looks professional and your followers know how to contact you easily.

2. Change of your cover picture
Change your cover photo now and then.  It could be used to reflect a special promotion or particular time of the year and will help to make your offer and brand more prominent.

3.  Freebies
Everyone loves a free giveaway so try and think what you could give your followers for free to help them with their business.  The freebie doesn’t need to break the bank – it could be a template business document (you can gain email addresses when you ask people to download),  or show how to use a certain piece of software.  This all helps in building relationships and your followers will then be more likely to buy from you.

4.  Use your call to action button
Are you making use of your call to action button? The button can be set to ‘contact us’ ‘book now’ or ‘sign up’ and can direct people to your website. Here is a video tutorial on how to change your button:

5.  Be mindful of your target audience
You may be penalised if you post the same message across all your social media platforms using scheduling software.  Your audience will be different on each so remember to tweak it appropriately.

6.  Post at the right time for your audience
Make sure you post your content at the right time for your audience. The ‘insights’ button shows you a whole range of useful information about your fans from when they are most likely to be online to how much they are engaging with you.

FB screen shot of times to post

7. Be patient
Any form of marketing can take 6-12 months before you see it start to take effect. So you can’t expect to post for a week on Facebook and then get lots of sales.  Social media is about building your reputation, brand and profile as well as trust and relationships with your followers.

Follow Lighthouse Virtual Assistant on Facebook

I offer one-to-one Facebook marketing tutorials as well as social media management, if I can help your business please contact Rachel:  rachel@lighthouseva.co.uk or 07794 358497