On today’s show, we give away the 10 rules for Small Businesses on Social Media.
What’s In This Episode?
- Rule #1: Attention is the most valuable commodity on social media (1:10)
- Rule #2: Stop the scroll (2:40)
- Rule #3: Repeat = Defeat (4:00)
- Rule #4: The ‘1-in-5’ Rule (3:35)
- Rule #5: Start meaningful conversations (8:00)
- Rule #6: Give away trade secrets (10:35)
- Rule #7: Deep then wide (12:05)
- Rule #8: Create Pillar Content (13:45)
- Rule #9: Public to private (15:50)
- Rule #10: Keep experimenting (17:25)
Josh: Today we are going to give away the ultimate guide to social media for small businesses, so listen closely!
Welcome to Creative Juices the show where we help you feel personally confident about your online presence.
I’m Josh and today I’m going to chat with you about 10 rules that will take your social media game to the next level and here’s the thing. The fundamental reason that I’m going through this is because most small business owners I know, struggle with social media. And the reason that we struggle is because most people don’t understand how social media actually works. And I know the questions, it’s like oh what do I post? Oh, my gosh! There’s so much you know and I feel it too. Every single day there’s the pressure of what do I post? What do I post? What do I post? And rules four to six are going to answer that question of what should we post. But these are the 10 rules that will guide your entire social media strategy.
And so let’s get right into it because I don’t want this to go too long, but rule number one is that attention is the most valuable commodity on social media. I’ll say that again. Attention is the most valuable commodity on social media. And I would even say that attention is the main thing in your online presence, because first impressions about your business are made based on the first like three seconds. And so if you can grab someone’s attention within the first three seconds, then you have a greater chance of them actually converting.
Now here’s the thing. Social media has attention. Social media… uh the apps of social media are the most downloaded apps on the Apple App Store. And then here’s a crazy statistic. Seven out of ten adults, all adults, are active on Facebook, and that’s an incredible statistic! Like just imagine if you as a business owner were invited to an event where you could promote your business and you would have access to 70% of your local population there. Would you take up that opportunity? Of course you would!
So my point is that if 7 out of 10 of all adults are active on Facebook, then you potentially could reach 70% of your local population. Now I understand like the algorithm may actually prevent you from showing your content to all 70%, but the question that this would lead to is well how do you gain that attention? And then that comes to rule number two which is stop the scroll. Stop the scroll.
So just imagine like you open up your Instagram and you just start scrolling, you know, with your thumb. You’re just thumbing down the feed. If you want someone’s attention you need to stop them from scrolling. And so, when you’re thinking about designing a post or thinking about what to post, the fundamental goal is asking the question, what will contribute to someone stopping the scroll? And this generally comes down to the creative, like the image or the video.
A great example is I was scrolling through Instagram the other day and I saw someone post a quote but the quote was within this old Windows XP kind of window. And so here’s me scrolling through, scrolling through my feed and I see something that doesn’t look like it belongs! Like, damn this is old, and it made me stop my scroll. And so, I then read the quote! And that’s the goal of social media. You want to be able to stop the scroll. So every single post that you create, you need to ask the question, will this stop someone from scrolling?
And that leads to our next rule which is repeat equals defeat. See, because when people are scrolling mindlessly and you post something that people don’t expect to see, they’re going to stop. See the issue with social media at the moment is that it is just full. It is saturated by so many businesses, so many people trying to get attention. And so, if you just repeat what everyone else is doing, like yes, it’s good to get inspiration, but if you just copy someone else’s designs and make it look the same as everyone else, you’re not going to stop the scroll, because people want to see something different. Or at least I’ll say people stop when they see something different. Just like my example of that Windows XP kind of graphic.
Another thing that we know that we’ve spoken in the past podcast is that smiling faces stop the scroll. It’s this weird idea that people are attracted to people who are smiling. If you have photos of people smiling, people are more likely to stop and click through and actually read and check out your website or your other social media posts. And this repeat equals defeat rule is… it’s kind of paradoxical, because this is where consistent branding can actually be more harmful than helpful on social. And I know you’re saying but Josh, I worked so hard on my style guide. I know, I know and style guides are still very useful online. But with social, if you design the exact same style images, with the exact same branding, exact same logo and let’s just say it’s like the Newcastle Creative Co blue with a quote on top of it every single post, you’re training people to scroll past it!
Another example that I have of this is instead of creating a quote using like branding colours, I’ve seen a company just screenshot one of their Twitter posts and then post it on Instagram. And it’s weird because you’ve got this one… you’ve got the Twitter UI and the Twitter design and it appears in Instagram. And so you stop, because it’s like oh! What is this?
So if repeat equals defeat and you want to stop the scroll, what do you post? And this is where we begin to answer, what do you post? Rule number four is I like to call the one in five rule.
See, a lot of businesses, they treat social media like a billboard. You know, we’re just driving past and there’s this big super salesy kind of thing, and every single post is super salesy. It’s like a megaphone, and you’re yelling at people to buy your stuff, but it’s not a two-way conversation. See people need to buy into you before they buy your service or your product. You want to be real! So the one in five rule is that there’s four posts that aren’t salesy and then one post that is salesy.
Gary Vee says this, this um what is it? Jab, jab, hook I think it was. And he says that every three posts is a salesy kind of post. Well, I say one in five, but I guess this is where you experiment. But the point is, is that the majority is not a salesy kind of post.
See, like think about this. Let’s say you own a physio or you’re in the health industry. Your appointment with your client is only one hour in a week, there are 167 other hours left in the week. So you want to ask the question how can you help these people further than just that one hour appointment? So what are those other posts? So this is where we get to rule number five.
Rule number five is you want to start meaningful conversations. Like I said, social media is not this one-way megaphone where you’re yelling at people. You need to understand that the algorithm is designed to pump those pages that engage with their community. If Facebook or Instagram see that people are commenting on your post and you’re responding to their posts, and your content is actually provoking some sort of conversation, then you are going to begin to be ranked higher and higher within everyone else’s feed which is the goal, right? You want to… you want to be able to increase your reach so that you can increase maybe your conversions.
Here’s a ground-breaking idea. You don’t even have to post something that’s relevant to your business. Now, I know what I’m saying, I’m saying that maybe these posts can lead to conversions and so you’re thinking well, it has to be salesy, right? But it doesn’t have to be salesy. It doesn’t even have to be about your business. Facebook and Instagram just want to see that you are engaging people, that people are engaging in some sort of conversation on your content. So maybe… maybe one of those four posts, you know, one out of five so one’s a salesy post, maybe one of those four posts is you post something up that says maybe it’s just a statement you know, ‘You’re an 80s kid because…’ and then the caption is comment below. And then you’ve got people who were born in the 80s commenting yeah, this is how I know that I’m an 80s kid. You know, I grew up with this, I grew up with that, I grew up in this.
Like I saw an example of this the other day and it was like you know you’re a 90s… you know you went to school in the in the naughts or whatever because of you know… these things. And people are commenting, oh the brown paper bags when we went to get things from the canteen and blah, blah, blah.
A great example of this is Jesmond Fruitbarn is a local business. This post is in relation to what they sell, which is fresh fruit and veggies. But they did this showdown and the showdown was… it was like this fantasy football thing, where it’s like you’ve got 20 different like produce, and then each round different ones will be eliminated until you find what the best produce is, whether it’s an apple or a tomato or something like that. And that’s such a great idea that produced so much engagement and conversation! So that’s where we get to rule number six.
Number six. Another post that you could post is to give away trade secrets. I know this sounds counterproductive, but this kind of approach, it produces reciprocity. So the idea is that you post something that’s helpful to someone and then they respond by going man, I trust that business or I trust that person because they actually help and they actually care.
An example of this is a local physio who’s in CM actually posted a video and they just post this video and going hey take 30 seconds to stretch and we’ll show you how to stretch. And it within a 30 second video they showed you how to do the best stretch to stretch out your hamstrings. Or maybe a video on this is how you use a foam roller. So you might not be giving away things that will literally fix the problem that your service would fix, but you’re giving these little helpful tips on the side that will maybe… maybe help these people recover, or help these people to get the best out of their product or whatever that is.
So that’s rule four to six on what do we post. So one in five rule, number one salesy, four not so salesy. Rule number five is that maybe those four posts could be things that start meaningful conversations that don’t even necessarily have to be related to your business and also give away trade secrets. Help people! Give away free tips.
And then we get to rule number seven, which goes more into the philosophy of social media, and that is go deep and then wide. I mean… you know that you need to stop the scroll, you know that repeat equals defeat. You have a general idea on what to post, but now you’re asking the question well what platform do I post this on? And this is the question that you have to know. You have to know your target market and where your target market is.
So let’s say… let’s say your general target market is around 50s to 60s, so middle-aged kind of people. You would do some research and you would find that most middle-aged people aren’t on Tick-Tock or aren’t on even Instagram, but most of them are on Facebook. And so, pick up Facebook and go deep on Facebook. Focus on Facebook. Post on Facebook. Find what works on Facebook and what doesn’t work on Facebook. Go deep on one platform and then go wide on the others. So focus your whole efforts on one platform until you find what works. Go deep into it, and then once you find your sweet spot on that platform, then go wide into all of the other platforms.
One of the mistakes that we see all the time is that people focus… people get overwhelmed… sorry, people get overwhelmed by going I can’t post across all of these other things. It’s so much content and I’m saying don’t. Just post on one, find what works and then go wide onto all other platforms, to which you go well Josh, how do you go wide on all other platforms? And this is where you get to your pillar content.
Rule number eight, create pillar content. And I don’t know what other people call it, but I just call it pillar content, and this is a single piece of content which forms a pillar for every other content. And it’s simple. You’re going deep on one platform, and then you take snippets from that one platform and then you post them across multiple platforms.
Now remember, repeat equals defeat, so you don’t want to just post the exact same thing, but you can repackage it across the different platforms. So let’s say you write a 1,000 word blog on your website. Grab ten words from that blog and then post it as a quote on Facebook. You can also post on Instagram reels, maybe a video of you recapping what that blog is, and then create multiple posts of that. So 10 word quote on Facebook, you could create maybe 10 of those out of a thousand word blog. You could create maybe three video recaps on that blog. Maybe your blog is a three point kind of blog, so create a video recap of each point and then post one of those points each week. And then you once you create these kind of pillar contents, then it creates so much more.
I read this… I read this slide deck online somewhere which was like how to turn one piece of content into 52 different pieces of content. And this is the same concept. If you do a Facebook live… if you do a Facebook live on let’s say a webinar on how to how to fix your back pain or something like that, you can just cut maybe like two minutes from that and then post it on Facebook in a month’s time, or cut like 10 seconds of a specific point you want to highlight and post that on Instagram. There’s so many variations! But the point is create those pillar contents and then… and then leverage them across all of your other platforms.
So that was rule number eight. We’re getting towards the end. Rule number nine is public to private.
So the concept of this is take your public conversations and make them private. Like I was saying before, and as we’ve said in so many, so many podcasts earlier is that people buy into you personally. And so, if there’s a way that you can create a personal connection, there is a greater… there is a greater percentage of people would actually convert to purchase a product with you, or purchase a service with you.
So a great example of this is if someone comments on your post. So let’s take that post on how to use a foam roller correctly. If someone comments on your post and says man this is really helpful, now I just need to get a foam roller, comment below it and go man yeah, yeah I’m glad that this helped, I’m going to DM you and then you DM them and say hey, we can provide you with a foam roller maybe. We’ll send it out to you, and then you send out that foam roller to that person. A great example is to DM every single comment that requires a personalized response. Like there are some… there are some comments that you don’t have to respond to because maybe they’re just an emoji or something, but create that personal connection.
A great practice is to DM every single follower that you get and make it personal. Copy and paste maybe the main thing, but then replace a, hey fill in name and fill in their name. Make it personal. Now make that personal connection.
And then rule number 10, we get to the end, keep experimenting. Social media is all about experimenting, finding what works and then doubling down on that. So record what works, look at your analytics, keep experimenting and through experience you will begin to grow your following through meaningful conversations, pillar content, going deep then wide and all of that stuff.
So let’s recap.
Rule number one, attention is the most valuable commodity on social media.
Rule number two, stop the scroll. Rule number three, repeat equals defeat.
Rule number four, the one in five rule.
Rule number five, start meaningful conversations.
Rule number six, give away trade secrets.
Rule number seven, deep then wide.
Rule number eight, pillar content.
Rule number nine, public to private.
And rule number ten, keep experimenting.
So go through these, implement them yourselves and we will see you next time.