How to engage for stronger social media traction

social media traction

Join writer Sheelagh Caygill as she explores the obvious - and less obvious - trends and influences in communications, PR, and marketing. Also explored is writing and upping your game as a creator of prose. In this essential listen, she interviews senior comms pros, thought leaders, authors, and marketers to reveal insights you can incorporate into daily life. Sheelagh is an award-winning writer, journalist, podcaster, and poet based in Toronto, Canada.

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How to engage on social media

Host Sheelagh Caygill and guest Kim Scaravelli, a digital media strategist, connected on Twitter by chatting and sharing knowledge. Three or four months later they created this episode and have a good, professional relationship! That’s the positive power of social media!

Social engagement for traction

Kim, owner of Trust Communications, works with businesses to develop a presence on social media. She does this by finding the best mix of technology, platforms, and content to build awareness and grow business. In this episode, she explains how you can harness social media for your own organization and direct new contacts to your website. That’s where you’ll have a strong, well-designed call to action.

Podcast transcript: Digital and social media strategist Kim Scaravelli

Sheelagh: Hello, listeners. Welcome to the Communicate Influence Podcast. This is Sheelagh Caygill, host for this episode. Almost every startup and even existing businesses struggle to gain traction on social media. It’s a busy digital world out there and if any part of your approach isn’t just right, you won’t be able to connect with your target audience.

Helping businesses engage with social media

On today’s episode, we have Kim Scaravelli; a digital marketing and communications pro in Halifax, Canada. Kim owns Trust Communications and works with businesses to develop digital strategies and content. We’re going to look at the issues businesses and agencies struggle with on social media and the kind of strategy and tactics you need to succeed. You can find more information and show notes at communicateinfluence.com. Kim, welcome.

Kim: Thanks. Hi, Sheelagh and thanks for having me.

Sheelagh: You’re welcome. It’s great. My pleasure and tell us– tell our listeners a little bit about your work at Trust Communications.

Background in online learning

Kim: Well, I founded Trust Communications back in 2001 and originally, I only had one trick, but it was a really good trick. So, I would help companies take giant amounts of content they were presenting in a classroom and figure out how to transition it into online learning. So, we actually still do instructions design.

At this point, I’ve made over 300 different online training courses and blended learning training courses which is a lot, but my focus now is primarily in the area of digital strategy and if I was sort of summarizing it, my job is to find the best possible mix of technologies, platforms, and content to grow your business.

How to engage with social media

Sheelagh: And so that nicely segues into the topic that we’re going to focus on today: businesses that struggle with social media and let’s see how we can help them through this interview. So, organizations, they jump into social media and they seem to get a presence on the main platforms LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and suddenly, they’re overwhelmed. So, what’s happening and what should they be doing?

With social media some businesses bite off more than they can chew

Kim: Well, I think that for many people when they think about marketing their business online, their minds naturally go to social media because it’s the thing. I mean, I get it. It feels like everybody is on Facebook. Your grandmother is on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and all those other cool social media sites and you don’t want to be left behind.

But the problem for many brands and I think particularly for small and medium-sized companies and non-profit groups is that social– it isn’t free and it isn’t easy. It eats up your time. It eats up your energy. It eats up your money and it can do it without producing tangible results particularly for brands that rush into social. They suddenly are chewing up resources that might have been more impactful if they had done things in a more strategic manner.

It’s not that doing social media is wrong; it’s that rushing headlong into anything without a plan is not generally a good idea in business.

Too much time on social media

Sheelagh: And I would imagine that pretty soon they’re going to notice that they’re spending so much time on social media they’re not focusing on their business goals or the tasks at hand for that day and they’re not seeing a return on investment. So, you talked about strategy first. How do businesses sit down and do that; people who are running businesses and what are the key things they should be looking at in that strategy?

Rule number one: Website first, social media second

Kim: Well, I like to say that the best place ever to be online, your very first place is always a website. No contest. You are just a renter on social media, but you own your website. You have so much more control over the content and the user experience that when it comes to digital, the website really should be your first space.

So, number one is that you need a strategy, but number two is that your strategy should– online include building a robust functional brilliant website that’s going to do the heavy lifting for you and then you start to structure all of the other things around that website; one of the pieces being social media and one of the key ingredients is to really look at who your audience is, where your audience is and then try to be there on social.

Does your website have the essentials?

Sheelagh: So, Kim, I know you mentioned websites and they are so important. I’m a strong advocate of businesses having websites even when they say online business comes from word of mouth, but this is going to sound like a basic question, but I come across so many websites that don’t have essential information like what we do, how you can contact us. So, let’s talk about that first before going into social media.

Social media is about building awareness, not selling

Kim: Okay. That’s a brilliant– you’re raising a very good point and I think that sometimes, brands will blame social media failure. We did social media and we didn’t get any more customers and they’ll actually forget that no one buys anything on social media. You can’t sell anything on social media. It is not structurally possible.

Social media is where you build awareness and then the goal is to transition those people who are now aware of your brand and have an appreciation of your brand and the goal is to get them to then go to your boots-on-the-ground store or your website or to draw them closer to the purchase.

The website needs to be able to do the heavy lifting even when you have robust social.

Let’s say, for example, you begin to get a very large engaged audience on Instagram. They really like the look of your things. They have to at some point shift from Instagram to your website or to the place where they are going to buy those things. When they make that shift, it’s amazing to me how many brands will have created a beautiful social media presence, but the website won’t have calls to action, for example.

Create a landing page and make the customer’s next steps obvious

You will land on a website page that just continues to describe that hat that you saw on social media you thought it was a great hat. Now, you click and now you’re just on the page describing the hat. You’re looking for a way to buy it. You’re looking for a way to figure out where the store is. You’re looking for where to get the hat and there will be obstacles like not having calls to action or not having a website that’s mobile-friendly. So, it doesn’t look right on a phone or it doesn’t look right on a tablet. These are really simple things that really should proceed elements like social.

Always maintain your website

Sheelagh: So, the important points there: focus on your website, keep it updated, make sure it’s responsive i.e. it looks great on mobile. Let’s say a business is taking care of those things and now they are set to perhaps jump onto Instagram because their product or service is really good from a visual point of view. Let’s talk about how that business creates a strategy for Instagram. What kind of things should they be strategizing and what would the tactics be?

Make connections with people who may want your product or service

Kim: The very first thing to remember is that you are really trying to make connections with real people. So, if we step back just a moment to a more holistic view of social media, social media is where people are. You’re trying to make connections with those people, but more specifically, you’re trying to make connections with people who want or may want to buy what you are selling.

So, step one of your digital strategy is to spend significant amount of time researching your ideal customer, really understanding who they are, their demographic, their habits, the social media platforms that they are most apt to be present on, and the types of content that they are most apt to engage with on those platforms. That’s a really important thing.

Best social media platforms to get started

So, for example, I’m often asked questions like what are the best platforms to start it on and the answer is that every business is unique. There is no one place that is universally best. So, for example, LinkedIn is huge. I’m a B2B business. I know who my ideal client is and I know that for me, LinkedIn is a very important platform because it is where my people are. So, I don’t care how many millions of people are on Instagram. It’s not purposeful for me to be there professionally.

So, I think if I’m trying to sort of get people to wrap their head around social and stop thinking of it so much as I have to be everywhere or I have to be on the biggest most popular social media site. You really don’t. You have to be on one or two platforms where your people are and then you have to make engaging content that matches with their interests.

Which platforms should you be on?

Sheelagh: Okay. Just out of curiosity, are you on another platform in addition to LinkedIn for your business?

Kim: Oh, absolutely. I don’t recommend anybody just being in one place, but there’s a big deal. It’s that sort of feast and famine thing. For me personally, I love Instagram. I have children of various ages, like pictures of food, like to see where people went on vacation. So, I’m all over Instagram as me, myself, but professionally, I stick to LinkedIn, Twitter, because it’s an amazing platform for building awareness and for establishing yourself and your expertise and then I have forms of content that feed into that.

Social media for research

I do social media sites like Quora and Reddit to research and find out more about my audience. That’s another thing to remember about social. It’s not actually just there to connect. There are social media platforms that are wonderful for just researching and learning more about things. So, there’s more than one reason to be on social.

Sheelagh: That’s great and you touched on such an important point because you recently wrote a piece for communicateinfluence.com on Reddit and that whole point about how long can you use it, but pertinent to this conversation, the use of Reddit for research. So, businesses, I guess they always have to be doing that; researching what their potential customers are thinking, yes?

Kim: Oh, absolutely and I mean Reddit is a great place to go and find out what questions people are asking and if you’re wondering why it matters, one of the biggest things to keep in mind is that a lot of selling is psychological. It’s not technological.

Voice search and research

Right now, people use their mobile phones in a different way than they used to. We use voice search for a lot of things and we tend to ask questions. Where is the nearest restaurant? What can I do here on a Saturday night? What’s the closest bar? What are five things I can do close to Dublin? These are the kinds of questions I’ve asked the last week or so when I have been traveling for business.

So, you want to go to sites like Reddit where people ask questions, Quora, where people ask questions, answer questions. It’s where you go to find out what people are actually looking for and then it will help you to craft your messaging to connect with them even if you don’t necessarily connect with them on that social media site. So, for example, Reddit is a very hard– that is a very hard social media site to survive on, but it’s great to use for research.

Moving from research to connecting on social media

Sheelagh Let’s say, for example, a business has done some research. They understand their own product or service inside out, which they should hopefully, and now they are ready to start crafting messages. Can you tell us a little bit about how an organization would connect those two points: the research that they’ve done and this new knowledge about what their potential customers are looking for and the crafting of their messages? How do those things connect or join up?

Kim: Oh, that’s a really good question, Sheelagh. The interesting thing to remember about social; the difference between brands that succeed on social and brands that fail regardless of whether they are big brands or local brands. Brands that succeed on social do it because they are good at socializing. Brands that fail fail because they keep trying to sell things. So, nobody would buy a newspaper and read every page if there were no articles there were just ads. It wouldn’t make any sense.

Don’t make this fatal mistake!

So, this is where the fatal flaw lies, particularly– some brands tend to be very obsessed with their product or their service. So, let’s say you’re a small– I’ve seen this– small companies become very obsessed with creating very amazing images of the things they are trying to sell and then they’ll post on Instagram nothing but– it looks like they are making a catalog. Every page is another picture of something they sell.

That’s not interesting to people. If someone directly wanted to buy your dog food bowl, they would go looking for a dog food bowl. On social, we need to do it differently. When you go to a site like Reddit or Quora, you find out what people are interested in and then you write and communicate and socialize and share messaging about that.

So, an example would be if you are selling a winter coat, what you’re really selling is being warm when you are cold. So, socialize about places you’re going to go where it’s cold. Put your winter coat in different places. Put your winter coat on cute dogs. You have to be more social and less selling.

Use images to suite your market

Sheelagh: So, I suppose if you’re selling winter coats in Canada you might pay attention to which city or province got the first snowfall of the winter that kind of thing and make it more conversational, yes.

Kim: Absolutely. Well, I have a really good example here in Nova Scotia and my God, I’m not going to be able to remember the name of the brand, but they sell– I believe it’s cheese? Yes, it’s cheese and they just tweet this cheese in the strangest and weirdest places that you would not expect to see cheese. And it works really well.

They have a great Instagram following and other than this moment when I can’t remember their name, I often actually do remember their name when I’m in the grocery store because it’s funny like it’s just unusual that the cheese comes up in different places. I’ve seen craft brewers do that as well where the beer just in different places.

On social media, you need to be socializing, not selling

It’s socializing. Try to be a little bit fun. If you’re selling something somber, you have to stay somber, but I think I recommend starting with just a couple of platforms and spending enough time there to really understand what people are going to that platform for. What are they socializing about? What is the tone?

So, as an example, my tone on LinkedIn is very different than my tone on Twitter. On Twitter, I’m apt to be funny. On Twitter, I’m apt to make a joke about how tired I am on a Monday morning or I might put some little cutie thing there. I might share information about things like work-life balance or decorating my office. I get a little more personal.

On LinkedIn, I’m a B2B business. I’m a digital strategist. There’s a certain gravitas that goes with the level of work that I’m doing, so I’m much more somber and more inclined to share more deeper articles and post no motivational quotes on LinkedIn. For me, it’s all a little bit deeper. So, once you figure out your audience, then you match your content to the audience.

Sheelagh: Now, just out of curiosity, have you got both your clients and your marketing and communications colleagues around the world following you on Twitter? Have you kind of pinpointed that your audience– who is following you?

Kim: On Twitter interestingly enough, I’m followed by more men than women, higher income ranges. I’ve got a pretty solid following in Europe, which is interesting. Europe, the US, Canada, obviously, Twitter is kind of a large expansive group; a lot of people in marketing, a lot of people in business. What I enjoy about Twitter, to be honest, is I find it really informative and that is also part of social media.

Be social and share great content

If I got up every day and all I thought about is how I could say ten or twelve things about my company, I’m a pretty articulate woman and I don’t believe I could say ten or twelve things about my company every day for three and a half years. I don’t think I could do it. I don’t go about it that way. I open my Twitter account and I go in there thinking what am I going to say about growing your business today? What am I going to tell people today and then I read something someone else did and then I share it and then I comment on it.

It truly is socializing. I often recommend to people that they try Twitter even if it’s not necessarily the space their clients are in just because it’s a fun fast-pace place to start to get your social media legs, to let go of the idea of selling and just talk to people.

Sheelagh: I’m sure our listeners want to know what tools have you used or might you recommend to get that level of detail about an audience?

Gathering audience insights

Kim: Also, here’s one of the cool things about social. You do not have to be a rocket scientist. You do not have to hire someone to come and give you insights. So, what they may not have in guaranteed return on investment, they certainly have in analytics. So, for example, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, they give you incredible amounts of audience insights.

Use free analytics tools

If I want to know how I’m doing on Twitter right now, I log in, I click those three little dots on my Twitter profile, up comes my analytics. I can see what tweets performed best. I can see who got the most engagement. I can tell you how it’s performing what day of the week, what time of the day, who’s following me, what they median income is. It’s right there in your analytics and it’s like that for almost every social media platform.

So, one of the things that is positive is it’s not hard to get information. It can be a little overwhelming and again, if we go back to our first really kind of our first focus of conversation was how you do social media without social media taking over your universe? And I think it’s a really important question because I have talked to business owners who are really quite frazzled and they’ll say I’m putting so much time into it.

Spending too much time on social media? You’re not doing it right

You shouldn’t be. You should never be chased by your business activities. You decide what you have in a day to put into social media and you decide what your expectation to get out of it is. What you want, what you’re trying to do, and how much time you have to do it and then you do not let it go outside that box.

So, for me, I recommend starting with just a couple of platforms. There are lots of helpful articles on how to set up your profiles and how to get started and if you really feel out of your depth, there’s literally no shame in bringing in a professional. I have always used a bookkeeper because I suck at math. So, if words are not your thing, get someone who’s better with words to help you with the profiles.

There are lots of social media professionals who will do that and you can sign up for the training that you need to feel confident. That said, I think the longer-term goal for smaller businesses should be to handle your own social media in-house because it’s social.

Social media tools to help speed up activity and gather data

For tools, I love Buffer. I don’t get paid to say it, but I love Buffer. It’s this very easy tool. Do you use it?

Sheelagh I don’t at the moment, no.

Kim: Oh my God! I love Buffer, like it changes your world.

Sheelagh: I’m just using Hootsuite.

Kim: I find Hootsuite complicated. I mean I do this for a living. I find it complicated.

Sheelagh: Okay.

Kim: I mean lots of people don’t and I’m not dissing it, but if you are a larger company, yes, but if we’re talking about small businesses, consultants, medium-sized businesses, Buffer is really simple. It’s really just letting you make your calendar. It lets you schedule your posts on a couple of platforms. I use it for LinkedIn and Twitter. It works for Instagram and then you schedule things in advance.

I also use another one called Commun.it, which helps me interact with my Twitter followers more readily because you’re in this one site instead of being on three different platforms. And I love Canva because Canva lets you go and make images and make shareable motivational quotes and it’s fun.

Thirty minutes a day for social media management

And I give myself a certain amount of time. I get up I the morning, I pour my coffee, I have 30 minutes of Buffer and Community time and that’s it. When the 30 minutes is done, I’m finished and then I don’t look at social media again till 4:30.  I just don’t go near it.

Sheelagh: That’s pretty cool. So, you’ve really got it well managed. It sounds like you’re very organized and obviously, that’s what you’re recommending to clients and listeners who want to get started.

A word of caution – don’t over automate

Kim: Oh my God! Absolutely. Yes, absolutely. Don’t over-automate. The mistake I think is don’t over-automate. It’s a big problem. I’m sure you’ve seen this because you do social media professionally. You follow someone, they follow you, you follow them, and they unfollow you. You unfollow them, they follow you. It becomes the most bizarre dance. Well, that’s just what happens with over-automation.

Over-automation is that when you’re in an automated system, it tries to unfollow so many people a day. It’s all based on algorithms. It’s very frightening. I don’t see how it accomplishes a lot, but if you automate simple things such as your posts so that you can get up in the morning and know that you’re going to make.

Social management tools can be used to take over during your breaks

An example would be, let’s say that you know the best time of day for your audience to receive posts on say LinkedIn. You want to make a LinkedIn post and you’d like to be around noon hour because you know that’s a very popular time, but you also want to eat your lunch at noon hour. So, that’s not really when you want to be sitting there doing social media.

So, you can have something like Buffer where you decide in the morning what’s worthy of sharing and it shares at 12 o’clock, but you decided on it at 7 while you were having that coffee. Well, that’s not over automating. That’s just being efficient.

Sheelagh: Well, a human did it, so it still counts.

Kim: There you go. If a human did it, it’s okay.

Sheelagh: Yes, exactly. Yes. So, we’ve focused on a couple of things: select the platforms that work for you and before you even do that, do some research and find out where your customers are hanging out and research them. That’s great, Kim. We’ve focused on some key things here: developing the strategy, research.

What to say when you run out of things to say

One thing I bump into a fair bit when I freelanced in the past and even now, people I talk to. We hear this question: well, what should I say which is, in my view, another way of asking well, how do I post engaging content? So, let’s look at that a little bit.

Kim: Well, socialize, don’t advertise. I mean that really is the biggest. That’s the biggest thing. It’s the same sort of advice I give people when it comes to networking. Remember that big thing about always having an elevator pitch? Do you have an elevator pitch? Can you describe your entire business in 60 seconds? I don’t think anyone needs to be able to describe their business in 60 seconds. I don’t think anyone has ever sold anything to anybody in 60 seconds. Not in a room, not on social, not in a plane, not on a train, nowhere Dr. Seuss could put you.

Really, when you’re talking about how do you post engaging content, it’s coming back to the same thing. You’re thinking from the wrong perspective. You’re pre-thinking what you’re going to say. In socializing, you have to go the other way. You basically have to follow the conversation that you’re having. So, what you say, what you put on social, is dependent on the conversation that’s happening. Does that make sense? So, you socialize. You don’t advertise.

The ideal social media mix is a blend of conversation, sharing, and connections

When you think about engaging content, an example– I will use Twitter as an example because it’s a site where you make a lot of posts. So, it’s a good example. If you were making 12 Twitter posts in a day, you are tweeting 12 times, no more than two of those posts should be a direct attempt to connect people to your business.

Of the remaining 10 posts, the rest of them should be sharing content that other people have written, having strings of conversations with people, just saying interesting things that pertain to your expertise, but are not trying to sell somebody something. And that’s really what I recommend. I recommend not having more than– no more than 25% and even then, I think you’re pushing it on any social media platform.

Sheelagh: That’s really good and I’m just going to push you a little bit further on that and kind of dig a little bit more deeply that in the sense that when you’re new and let’s say a listener has a business, they are listening to this podcast and they think some of these tools I’m going to check them out, so they get Buffer up and running.

What to do when social media feels daunting

I can see how that’s going to be daunting in the first few weeks when they’re sitting there with their morning coffee and they’re thinking what do I say? I don’t really know that many followers. I can’t kind of make a joke. What do you advise people and then when you tweet, they realize they’ve got to be conversational; no hard selling and they’re just thinking well, my mind is blank?

Kim: Well, first of all, that is another reason I don’t think anyone should start social without something – either Buffer or Hootsuite. Tick it. It doesn’t matter. Whatever you think is going to work the best for you, but the reason you need one of those calendars is for that exact reason because in the moment, on the spot, it’s hard.

So, let’s say that you don’t take that approach. Let’s say that you decide for example, you’re a B2B consultant, you’re trying to raise your brand. You want people to respect that you are very gifted in the field of HR. So, if you are sitting in front of your Buffer console and you decide that you’re going to do three hours a week of social media, it’s what you’re going to give it, maybe it’s not three hours divided equally among seven days.

Maybe what you do is have one day of the week where you sit for two hours. You find a couple of interesting articles you’d like to share. You find a couple of interesting things you might like to talk about. Maybe you even write a short article on LinkedIn and you put those in the spots on Buffer and then that’s what happens that first week.

Now, that’s your two hours and then every day, you take 10 minutes and you go and look and see what other people have done and you just spend those 10 minutes purely socializing. If someone has commented on your post, you comment back to them. Basically, you’re spending a little bit of time every day easing yourself into being social with no onus to try to share anything brilliant.

Invest time in heavy lifting to get started on social media

You did that all in one day. You can kind of wipe your brow and go I’ve done the heavy lifting, now I’m socializing and you will find over time that the socializing will up your follower count. Then there will be more content flowing around and then the rest of it will slowly take care of itself.

Sheelagh: That’s good. Okay. So, ease yourself into it, look for cues, develop your own prompts with your content, reposition it, and move forward from there.

Kim: And use tools. Use tools. Engagement really is everything. Follower count is just about vanity. You don’t need to have 10,000 followers. It’s okay. In the beginning, you might not have very many people following you, but that’s okay. Just keep at it. The follower count will come and as long as people are commenting on what you’re posting and you’re commenting on the things they are posting, you are doing it right.

Quality interactions are the ones that matter

Sheelagh: So, it’s the interactions and the quality of the interactions that really count.

Kim: Oh my God! Yes. Absolutely. You can buy followers. You can do gimmicky things to get followers, but in the end, 100,000 followers is worth absolutely nothing if they don’t buy what you sell.

On the other hand, if you’re a small local company and you could get yourself to the point of having 1,000 followers; 1,000 people that actually live in your community, that actually share your content, tell their friends about it, move from social media into the real world to purchase it, that is immeasurable. That’s a huge value. Those 1,000 people are worth a lot. On the other hand, if you’ve got 100,000 people but 90,000 of them live overseas, well, your restaurant is in a local area. What’s the point of that?

Is social media saturated?

Sheelagh: Kim, we’ve touched on a lot of key things for a newish business or organization starting out on social media, but when you think about these platforms, for example, Twitter and Facebook, they were launched in 2005, 2006 and I feel badly for the challenges that businesses today face in terms of getting traction. Do you think that there’s such a thing as a saturation point with social media?

Kim: I think there may be a point when things jump the shark. Like I remember when Facebook was cool and now I know from experiences talking with my own daughter, they think of Facebook as a place their grandmother posts vacation photos. So, if I was a Facebook shareholder, I might be worried that maybe they were aging, but in general, social media I think it’s going to be the norm. Platforms may come and go.

Social media for the foreseeable future

Right now, I’m spending a lot of time learning more about TikTok partly because I think it’s really fun and partly because I think it’s probably going to become more relevant, but I think at the end of the day, quality floats. If you have something that solves a problem or fulfills a need people have, then you’re going to be able to use social as part of your marketing and I think it’s going to be a standard part of marketing for the foreseeable future, but I have never thought social has the power to do the heavy lifting and I don’t see any trends indicating that social is dying, but I also don’t see anything changing about how it works.

So, at the end of the day, if you’re going to be in digital marketing, you’re going to have to still focus on your website and not all the other things and then just kind of ride the wave of social as it goes up and goes down.

Sheelagh: So, focus on the website content, research, stay relevant, be engaged, all those things.

Kim: And don’t get too wrapped up in a particular social media platform. I’ll use as an example– I’ve seen people get very wrapped up in– Right now, a lot of brands are very wrapped up in Instagram and what you have to remember is that social is rented space. So, they could change an algorithm and change how things are done on Instagram and all of a sudden, your follower count might drop or might not be as relevant or might change.

Track social media trends, stay up to speed

So, the thing about social to remember is that you need to be aware of the trends. Be aware of what’s happening in the social media sites that you are active on and be prepared to change your behaviors and change your strategies accordingly because you don’t control what’s happening. You have to just be prepared to react.

Don’t rely on Facebook for your web presence

Sheelagh: That brings to mind for me Facebook and the way in which people used Facebook instead of a website. I’ve always kind of thought that was a little bit of a mistake because Facebook might one day not exist and think about the things that you would lose if it suddenly ended; all the customer comments, the conversations, the feedback, that should be, as you say, own your real estate online.

Kim: Oh, absolutely. I think what Facebook did was disgraceful. They had. They actively encouraged small businesses to make business pages. It was practically an alternative to having a website and when they changed the algorithms, they weren’t particularly transparent about it. I remember doing a social media talk a couple of years ago and we were talking about how Facebook had changed the algorithms and I was astounded.

Facebook is a rented space

There were probably 40 business owners in the room. A good half of them were very dependent on Facebook. They had all seen drops in revenue and none of them recognized that when they were making posts on their business pages, people weren’t seeing them anymore. And they were following all the day-to-day things on Facebook, but they weren’t really paying attention to the platform and you have to remember it’s a rented space.

So, whatever social media site you are using, you have to stay on top of what that social media site is doing. They are a landlord. They can change the rules. You’ve got to know what’s going on.

Social media’s place in marketing

Sheelagh: Kim, how important is social media in marketing?

Kim: I think that social media is very important because it is where people are socializing and if you are trying to market something, it’s logical that you want to find the place your people are and social media your people are out there somewhere.

It’s just that you need to be strategic about how you implement your social media tactics and you need to have a realistic expectation about what you are going to get in the short term from the efforts that you put into social.

Sheelagh: Well, Kim, it’s been really fantastic talking to you. So, I’m going to include the links to the tools etc. that you mentioned in the show notes, but tell people where they can find you online.

Kim: Well, www.trustcommunications.ca is my website and I hope that I have set it up to do the heavy lifting. So, if you are looking for a digital strategist, you should be able to go there and find me, but if you want to socialize, I love new Twitter followers and my handle is just @kimscaravelli.

SC: That’s fantastic. Okay. Well, thanks so much for joining Communicate Influence Podcast today.

KS: Well, thank you for having me, Sheelagh. Can’t wait to hear it.

SC: Yes, and I’m sure we’ll connect again in the future.

KS: Okay. Goodnight, Sheelagh.

SC: Goodnight. Take care.

Show notes:

Find Kim at trustcommunications.ca; social media tools: Buffer, Hootsuite, commun.it

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