How to Market Yourself on Social Media without Overwhelm & Headaches

With over 2.1 billion accounts on Facebook today and over 0.8 million users on Instagram, it seems like the world has never been more connected. We use social media to exchange messages, have our voice be heard, find and join events, and even donate to charities. But when it comes to using social media as promotional tools for our business, it seems to get difficult. How do we motivate people to do the same thing that we do without favourite brands, but for our business? And how do we know we’re taking the right action and not just wasting our time?

I often say that social media marketing is like going to the gym. You must commit 100%, you need to do it at least 4 times a week to see results, and take measurements along the way to see if you’re improving (i.e. if what you’re doing is working or not working). It requires consistency, practice, and patience. And many people won’t like to hear this, but it requires long-term effort rather than a flood of action taken in one day, and then none for two months.

I have some good news, though. If you ever accomplished anything in your life, then you probably know that once you get better at it, you will start to like it. And social media marketing isn’t any different.

Why You Need a Social Media Strategy

You need a strategy. Drawing back to our fitness example, imagine that one day you get an idea to “gain muscle”, but you have no idea how. However, you start going to the gym, and you do some work. There are some results — you look a little bit more toned, after all, but because you don’t measure anything, you have no clue what worked and what didn’t, and how much you gained in what time.

Social media marketing is no different and that’s why you need a strategy. I hear so many people saying that they want more followers. They start taking certain actions but they have no idea how much action they took over what period of time. Quoting Peter Drucker: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” So you’d better start measuring.

Before You Start

There are a few things you need to think about prior to creating a social media strategy. First, consider your audience a.k.a. your potential clients or customers. Who are the people you’re speaking to? What is their current situation, what’s their feared situation and is their desired situation? You will need to know these to communicate your message to them accurately through different types of media (copy, image/photo, video). What are the platforms they like to hang around?

When it comes to platforms, it’s better to be realistic and stick to fewer than more. With Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Snapchat, it seems like a never-ending battle to feed these “content machines”. Quite often, this is what becomes very overwhelming – if you want to publish just one image per day on one platform, that will be 365 per year. Can you, realistically, create that many, and for multiple platforms? Usually, if you’re new to social media marketing and/or just starting out, the good rule of thumb is sticking to no more than 2. For most companies and brands those will be; Facebook and Instagram but obviously, the choice depends on your audience and goals.

Setting the Right Goals

It’s important to set a goal because, without a goal, you don’t know where you’re going. But even more important to goals is to set the right goals. Your goals should always be attainable, relevant and time-bound. So when people tell me that they want to create conversions through social media within the first month and earn £2,000 yet they have 5 Instagram followers, I frown a little bit, at least in most cases (see why below in Resources). I’m not saying it isn’t possible, but speaking from my experience as I’ve worked with over a hundred clients, there is a certain order to acquiring goals.

The order of how you should focus your goals are:

1. Building a follower base – only with at least 1,000-1,500 followers you will begin to see some interest in your business that will translate to some engagement and a few sales

2. Improving engagement – your engagement could be translated as retention and brand advocacy a.k.a. how “warmed up” your followers are

3. Create conversions – once you have enough followers who are “warmed up” already (the two prerequisites for conversions), you will begin to see people converting with a bigger predictability

Now, the question is how fast can I acquire these goals?

Resources a.k.a. How Fast You Get Your Goals

Your resources are people (how skilled they are, how much experience they have), time, and budget/money (for ads, training, collaborations, giveaways). Usually, the more you have of each, the faster you can get to your goal. Let’s say your goal is to acquire your first 1,000 followers. If you have a team of three people who work full time and have a budget of £1,000 for ads, it’s easy to see that they will likely get those followers faster than if you do it alone for two days a week with no budget at all, isn’t it?

That’s why your resources are one of the stepping stones to how fast you acquire your goals. Unfortunately, today it’s much more difficult to reach goals with any budget at all due to Facebook’s and Instagram’s algorithms, but it shouldn’t be something that should stop you. The nutrition brand Free Soul Sistas went from 700 followers to 10,000 in the course of 6 months, only promoting their products. And of course, in the meantime, their startup, which is targeting millennial women, started to make a return on investment.

Measuring Success (and Fails)

When you think of traditional marketing – newspapers, radio, TV – it’s quite obvious for many people how and what they can measure. When it comes to social media marketing, everyone thinks it’s difficult.

If you had an ad in a magazine, what you could measure was how many times that ad was seen (depending on the number of copies of the magazine that went to print), how much was the graphics, copy, and placement of the ad, and how many people bought the product after seeing it. This isn’t any different in social media marketing. First, you need to correlate business key performance indicators (KPIs) to social KPIs. For example:

Business KPIs – Social KPIs

* Brand awareness – Impressions, reach

* Retention, brand advocacy – Engagement (likes, comments, shares, clicks)

* Conversions – Website clicks, Profile views, conversions

Usually, the most difficult part is to quantify how many people bought from you when they clicked the ad because in most cases you can’t correlate them to an existing customer in your CRM. But if social media marketing is the only thing you’re doing or at least the biggest chunk of your marketing efforts, then you can easily say what your return on investment is (ROI).

The key to social media marketing is implementing all these steps. Only once practised together, you will begin to see results. But don’t fret if you don’t have it all figured out already. Take things, step by step, and measure once a month and you’ll see quickly if you’re going in the right direction.

Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

Social Enterprise Series: Social Media

Does your business have a coherent social media strategy, or are you throwing random updates to the wind when you can?

In our digital age, social media is crucial for your business. It is a platform for: creating your brand/identity, setting yourself as an industry expert, sharing your impact, building partnerships, engaging with your audience/customers and driving sales.

 

In our Social Enterprise Incubator Series, we follow 15 incredible social entrepreneurs who are leading the road to change with our Incubator Programme.

Get a glimpse into their challenges, developments and lightbulb moments as the cohort shares their experience over the 6 month programme! In this post we learn about the struggles Joe encountered with social media and the tips he learned to build a proper strategy.  

 

Brake the Cycle is a social enterprise that organises cycle trips around the UK and mainland Europe, staying at organic farms, sustainability centres and ecological initiatives. For us, social media is one of our main tools for interacting with, and marketing to, our potential customers, keeping our extended network up to date and building lasting relationships with those who have been on our tours already. Finding the right tone, knowing the right amount of content to generate to make sure we keep in people’s minds but don’t become spammy, and knowing which of the many social platforms to use, are just a few of the issues we’ve faced. So having a session on it with Hatch was well anticipated and proved incredibly valuable.

In the workshop, Neila took us through the whole process, showing how to build and develop a strategy, which is what had been missing somewhat for us. We’d been like magpies attracted to different tools and tactics we’d read about on blogs rather than developing a coherent strategy and plugging the tools into that. One thing that really resonated with us was her empathise on it being ‘social’ media rather than thinking of it as sales and marketing per se. So keeping the tone affable and really speaking directly to your ideal customer, tailoring the tone to fit them. Her rule was a 70/20/10 split, 70% being high value interesting content for your customers, 20% sharing other pages posts that are relevant to yours and only a small 10% being on marketing your products through CTA (call to action). Of that 70%, she also stressed the importance of sharing your social enterprise’s impact, a key factor that will draw customers to your business. Something else that really resonated with us was finding more UGT (user generated content), so on our most recent tour we encouraged participants to @ us or use a specific #hashtag when sharing their pictures on Instagram which has resulted in lots of quality photos, capturing a variety of stories and aspects of our tours.

In future we’ll be looking at ways to incentivise our participants to engage with this more whilst on tour as part of a larger, well defined social media strategy.

 

Watch this space as we share more posts by the incredible changemakers on our Incubator programme! 

Interested in joining one of Brake the Cycle’s sustainable cycle trips? Check out their next Coast to Coast trip: an Immersive, Sustainable Cycle Journey from England’s Northwest to Northeast Coast.

Social Enterprise Incubator Series: Sales

In our Social Enterprise Incubator Series, we follow 15 incredible social entrepreneurs who are leading the road to change with our Incubator Programme.

Get a glimpse into their challenges, developments and lightbulb moments as the cohort shares their experience over the 6 month programme!

 

“I want you to sell this chair to me.” My heart sunk when I heard these words as the thought of trying to persuade someone to part with their money (even when it’s just pretend) freaks me out. Not ideal when you’re a business owner! The chair selling scenario was one of the role-play exercises sales expert Gerald Vanderpuye used to demonstrate the ways we tend to approach sales. We go in for the big hard sell talking about the features of a product and why the customer should like it.

Thankfully, this session taught us that there is another way. Gerald highlighted the importance of really getting to know our potential customers. We can do this by reaching out to them and remembering to talk less and listen more, ask questions to learn about their lives and find out about past behaviours that are relevant to our product. When we do this we can figure out if a person really cares about the problem we’re trying to solve and know whether to pursue further conversations from a sales perspective.

The next challenge is to find out where our potential customers are so that we can have these conversations in the first place. My life coaching business is aimed at people who are seeking more joy and creative flow in their lives and want to feel more fulfilled in their work and relationships. This sales session has tested me to think about where these people are hanging out, what media they are accessing and where they are online – the next step is to start to be seen in these spaces too.

 

Watch this space as we share more posts by the incredible changemakers on our Incubator programme! 

Social Enterprise Incubator Series: Business Model Canvas

The Social Business Model Canvas can be a social entrepreneur’s guiding light. It helps to break down the different elements of your business and keep you heading in the direction of your vision and impact.

In our Social Enterprise Incubator Series, we follow 15 incredible social entrepreneurs who are leading the road to change with our Incubator Programme.

Get a glimpse into their challenges, developments and lightbulb moments as the cohort shares their experience over the 6 month programme! Below, Angela shares her process of navigating the social business model canvas.

 

Since the first time I was shown a Social Business Model Canvas (SBMC) it looked like a daunting task.

To be honest, I was so challenged the first time, I was thinking of all the different ways I could ignore it. But I knew eventually I had to face it. The first time I tried to complete the BMC for Mental Health: TheArts (MHTA) it was a fail, though the second time was a bit easier- after watching a couple of videos and other examples of a SBMC. I think it’s sometimes hard to put your vision or dream on just one sheet of paper, but it’s needed when you need to show others how your social enterprise works.

When I did the SBMC workshop with Hatch Incubator, I knew it would be easier and I would be able to complete it, because I was already familiar with the terminology and what each section meant. This workshop allowed me to simplify MHTA and focus on my business model. It visually allowed me to see the different parts of my business that would ensure that I have a sustainable model. The most challenging section of the SBMC for me was the Revenue Streams. I know with time I will able to cost my service according to its value with more confidence.

As a result of this workshop, MHTA is no longer just a dream in my head but it has a sustainable business model and through the BMC workshop I have been able to plan and implement different elements which will ensure MHTA has a long-lasting impact.

 

Watch this space as we share more posts by the incredible change-makers on our Incubator programme! 

Social Enterprise Incubator Series: Impact Measurement

It is so crucial for social enterprises to effectively measure and communicate their impact, and to do so, a lot of thought needs to be put into what is being evaluated and how. For this very reason, it can seem like a big beast. We worked with the entrepreneurs to try to tame it in our impact measurement workshop.

 

In our Social Enterprise Incubator Series, we follow 15 incredible social entrepreneurs who are leading the road to change with our Incubator Programme.

Get a glimpse into their challenges, developments and lightbulb moments as the cohort shares their experience over the 6 month programme!

Below, Joanna Rhodes, founder of Challenge 59, a project that aims to empower young people in psychosocial health through dance and film, shares her thoughts on the impact measurement session.

 

For many years I have held a deep sense of curiosity, as well as frustration about how we use impact measurement in the arts to evidence change, especially when working with impact for health:

  • Randomised Control Trials are looked on as the gold standard but is there room for case studies, anecdotal evidence and qualitative data? How robust can this be and with what rigour can it be carried out?
  • Short term outcomes are easier to capture than long term – Over time how do we know if a change has come about as a direct outcome of our intervention?
  • Quantititive data is considered more robust? However, I have issues with surveys for young people – what time of day did they fill it in, who did they sit next to when doing so? I have seen ‘trending’ answers go around forms – a bit like how the ‘Floss’ dance move is now trending in school playgrounds! What else happened to them that day that may have influenced their thoughts, and can questions be misinterpreted?

The Theory of Change was a really useful process. I finally realised that it was ok to just have assumptions and not already know the answers, and that the process is then about testing these!

It was good to get specific and concentrate on just one outcome (a priority) and not to get overwhelmed with the possibilities. I learnt that the rigour will be influenced by what is needed, desired and also what is practically possibly!

I have commissioned academics in evaluating Challenge 59. I am nervous about their findings and if my assumptions were right, but grateful that whatever we do find in this pilot (including the broader and unexpected outcomes) will help us to ‘pivot’ and ‘position’ ourselves for the future.

 

Watch this space as we share more posts by the incredible changemakers on our Incubator programme! 

[Guest Blog] Focus on your strengths & worry less about your weaknesses

 

At our Hatch Social Club last week performance coach Sandra Berko ran a workshop about improving output by utilising your unique strengths. In this piece she provides the main takeaways from her presentation:

 

How often do find yourself trying to improve your weaknesses?

We’re taught from an early age that we should work on getting better at the things that we’re not so good at. I personally hated maths when I was at secondary school and my grades reflected this. I received extra tuition only to move my grade up by a notch so I could scrape a pass. Throughout my schooling and my career, still to this date, maths is definitely not my forte! Sound familiar?

Being challenged by either a subject at school or a task at work, no matter how hard you work at it or how much effort you put into it, very little improves.  So why is this?

According to Gallups’ strengths finder (a strengths’ based assessment tool based on positive-psychology), we’re only able to be great at some things. Once you discover your natural talents and play to your strengths, you can start being who you are without trying to be who you are not.

 

Talking about strengths is not a topic often discussed as we’ve been conditioned to focus primarily on what’s not going well and how to make it better. To be able to identify your strengths is not a solo job. It’s necessary to be provided with a 360-view of how others see you.   

To help you do this, choose 10 or more people who know you well from different chapters of your life. Ask them to write a story about a time they saw you at your best, sharing specific details of what you did and why you made an impact on them.

Look for common themes that appear in these stories and list them.

Create a profile of who you are when you’re at your best.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How can I apply my strengths to the goals I want to achieve?
  • How can I use my strengths to live my values?
  • How can I adjust my job to incorporate more of my strengths?
  • How are my strengths visible in ways they are not in others?

The next time you catch yourself worrying about your weaknesses, just remember this:

Anyone can do what you do, but no one can be who you are.

 

If you are interested in exploring your unique strengths, you can take a quick but comprehensive personality profiling test here.

Our next Hatch Social Club takes place on November 23rd and will cover goal setting.

Join our Meetup Group for more details.

[Guest Blog] Is Your Business Investment Ready?

 

 

Last month co-founders of Five Years Time Jessica Dick and Nathalie Tulip ran a workshop on investment readiness at our Hatch Social Club. In this piece they provide the main takeaways from their presentation:

 

Are you thinking of raising angel investment for your business?

Below are a some do’s and don’ts to get you started, before you decide whether this type of funding is right for you.

 

1) Don’t think that funding will save your business

Bill Gross CEO of Idealab, the longest running technology incubator with over 150 companies and 45 IPOs and acquisitions under their belt, presents in his well known TED talk  the five key elements to the success of a startup. Here they are, in order of importance:

  1. Timing 
  2. Team (execution)
  3. Idea
  4. Business model 
  5. Funding

So there you have it. Funding is only one of the enablers. Funding is not what will make your business a success. Despite what you might think, a business rarely fails because it hasn’t received funding. Often, the reason it fails to get funding is because investors saw that the business was lacking in one or more of the other 4 areas.

Your goal should be to build a successful business, that solves the problems you and your potential customers feel passionate about, in the best possible way you can imagine. Not to be successful at raising round after round after round.

 

2) Do validate your core business assumptions 

Before asking someone else to invest their money in your business, you need to know: what are the assumptions you have made that need to be true for your business to succeed? And how many of these can you prove are true?

In other words, validate your idea and your business model as much as you can before going out to raise. That way you will be confident that you are on the right path, and you will be able to inspire that confidence in others. If you haven’t done this before going out to raise investment, investors will see straight through you. The opportunity will feel too hypothetical and risky and they are likely to pass.

Even if the assumptions you rely on for your product to work – for example, that a majority of people use an app to order take-away in London – seem obvious or intuitively true, believe me they might not be! So get the data to back this up. Prove to yourself and to others that your assumptions are objectively correct.

This is often done by building what’s called a MVP – a Minimum Viable Product. Build a super basic version of your product, trial it on a small scale, and ask questions to the people using it. Ask A LOT of questions, ALL the time. But most importantly, ask the RIGHT questions. You need to establish whether people like your product, and whether they like it enough to pay for it.

To make sure you are asking the right questions, check out The Mom Test .

This is always going to be a process, but the more validation you have done, the more confident you will be, and the more you will come across that way to an investor. It will also help you measure the task ahead – and whether you are up to it.

 

3) Don’t raise if you don’t have to

Before you go down the long and scary road of getting “investment-ready”, think about alternatives. Could you fund your business in any other way? For example, could you fund your business to profitability yourself, by reinvesting your profits and slowly building up your product and your sales? Granted, this is a slower route, but a very viable one. You can build a sustainable business from the start and you stay in full control. Or could friends and family help with a cash injection, for example? Could you get a grant or a loan? Have you considered the new and wonderful world of crowdfunding?

Of course, other routes have their pitfalls too. But explore all options. Not all businesses are right for investment. And not all successful businesses are funded through private equity. This only suits risky but with high growth potential and often technology businesses (because they are scalable, quickly). You also need to be able to demonstrate how an investor would get his money back (and then some!) within an acceptable timeframe (currently anything between 3 to 7 years). You need to be very ambitious with your business, it cannot be a lifestyle business or a side project.

So have a long and hard think about whether there is another way, and whether it might be better suited to you and your venture.

 

4) Do look for an investor that’s right for you

Every investor is different. Look for and bring on board investors who really get you and your business. Make sure they understand your obsession with solving the problem, and want to help you solve it. Do they know or understand your market? Are they aware and on board with the assumptions you are making and the risks you are taking? If nothing else, this avoids them being shocked and confused when things don’t quite go to plan six months down the line and you need to pivot or raise some emergency cash.

At a very early stage, you can take this a step further, and try and find investors that have something valuable to bring to the table. Early stage investors like to get involved and get their hands dirty, so let them. But make sure they have skills and expertise you can tap into. This also helps you make peace with the fact that you are giving away little bits of your business to strangers. It’s not all about the money, they can add huge value to your business and take some work off your plate.Finally, make sure they have a great network and that they are willing to open it up to you. And find out at an early stage if, provided you deliver, they are willing and able to follow on their investment in future rounds.

Raising investment from angels or small institutions, even if it’s not much, is going to be hard. So make sure it’s right for you and that you understand what you’re getting into before you get started.

 

Our next Hatch Social Club takes place on October 26th.

Join our Meetup Group for more details.

Hatch Pitch Day

Last week marked the celebration of the culmination of our 10th 12-week Incubator programme with Pitch Day. Hatch partnered with Business Launchpad for the first time to honour the creative initiatives happening in South London.

The event was formatted in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style where participants pitched their business to a panel of judges to gain valuable insight an in the hopes of winning the coveted ‘best pitch’ award.

Our expert panel of Dragons included the Head of Ventures for UnLtd, the Fund Manager for Barrow Cadbury Trust, one of Hatch’s most successful female founders, the Director of Enterprise & Development at NCVO and the Head of Venture Development at the Young Foundation, so the quality of judging had never been higher! The Dragons gave valuable guidance and asked questions steered towards our entrepreneurs and their businesses. The day was incredibly valuable for both presenters and onlookers alike.

The well-deserved winner was Shani Page-Muir who pitched Bankra, an online platform dedicated to inspiring black millennials to connect with their homelands through travel information and storytelling. She says ‘at Bankra we believe that our narratives and experiences matter, and it is important that we tell them.’

Find out more about Bankra and how Shani intends to use her Pitch Day prize money here.

Have a business you’re ready to test and present to experts in the entrepreneur world? Book a call with our Programme Manager today!

Watch our Pitch Day Video:

Hatch Pitch Day 15/09

We would like to give a huge thank you to everyone that made our 10th incubator's pitch day such a massive success!Special thanks go to our entrepreneurs, our expert panel of dragons, everyone that came to show their support and our partners Business Launchpad.Here is the video of your event, check it out below!

Posted by Hatch Enterprise on Monday, 18 September 2017

[Guest Blog] Your business and your wellbeing – success starts with You

How do you achieve longevity in your business?

There are many compelling answers to this question.

From my personal perspective, I believe it starts with you – the entrepreneur, the visionary, the leader of your business. Being in it for the long haul requires you to check in with yourself and truly look at your mindset on a daily basis. To understand yourself, your strengths and your purpose on a deep level, so that you embody this each day when making decisions about the progress of your business.

No one can replicate the passion and energy you bring to your business, and taking time to nurture your mindset and embrace the entrepreneur lifestyle with a balanced approach can be the best investment you make.

In the early days of running my company, I assessed the logistics of an international project I was developing down to the very fine detail. Yet, I was not assessing or looking after my wellbeing consistently. This ended up having an impact on my health and I needed to take time out of work to recover – that wasn’t good for my business and it certainly wasn’t good for me!

Over time, I leant how to manage my wellbeing effectively as an entrepreneur and I created Calmer to support entrepreneurs with their mental health and wellbeing, so they can thrive in their business and in life.

Here are some of my key tips for managing your wellbeing as an entrepreneur, on a daily basis.

 

# CALMER TIP 1: Your weekly wellbeing checklist

Ensure that each day you take time to check in with how you’re feeling and acknowledge each of your achievements. It’s easy to get carried away with the daily demands of running a business and it’s important for your wellbeing to reflect on how far you’ve come.

Try writing a list at the end of each week outlining your top accomplishments, however big or small, what you’ve learnt and how you feel as a result. See what steps you’ve taken on your entrepreneurial journey and then what you plan to do the following week. For example:

This week…

  1. I emailed… I learnt… I feel…
  2. I attended… I learnt… I feel…
  3. I sold… I learnt… I feel…
  4. I marketed… I learnt… I feel…

You can adapt these ideas to best suit the nature of your business, and add as many points as you can.

 

# CALMER TIP 2: Your environment

The environment you create for yourself every day is a key contribution to your success. As the saying goes “organised space, organised mind.”

Work towards creating an environment that encourages your personal and professional growth. How can you create an inspiring working space – what colours, objects and quotes do you feel boost your wellbeing while you work?

Who in your trusted network can you reach out to for support when you need it, whether it’s to bounce ideas around, get things off your chest or ask for help with an area of your business? We all need people to champion us, remind us of our achievements and how far we’ve come.

 

# CALMER TIP 3: Your self-belief

Even if it doesn’t feel like it, you are capable of handling whatever comes your way –possibly more than you give yourself credit for. Fear can often stem from convincing yourself that your business idea isn’t going to work out, without evidence to back it up or giving the idea a proper risk assessment.

Once you evaluate the potential outcomes of implementing your idea, consider these questions:

  • What is the worst that could happen and how would I handle that?
  • How might I feel if it’s successful and what impact would that have on my life?
  • If it doesn’t take off, how can I pick myself up and try again with a different approach?

I believe we often aren’t aware of how strong we can really be. It’s when we allow ourselves to be open to change that we learn more about who we are – and how resilient we can really be.

When you need a wellbeing boost repeat this mantra to yourself over and over again – in the words of the wonderful author Susan Jeffers, say “I can handle it” and then give it all you’ve got.