2018 is a momentous year in most respects, including the use of social media to capture just about everything that is vitally important and completely irrelevant. As a sales and marketing channel for small businesses, social media presents a great opportunity to make small seem BIG. And to piggyback news and events in ways that were not possible before it came along.

If you take pride in your photography then you should have some amazing content with which to own the internet

So what were the things we learnt from 2017?

  • Fake followers. As part of the ongoing shake-up in the digital marketing world, the rise and fall of the influencer phenomenon is probably the most significant. Once you start buying or trading services for followers, and thus over-egging the popularity of your business or profile, you are dancing with the devil. Sooner or later this will come to bite. As reputation is everything. Particularly on social media. A bad day or a hint that you may not be reputable will really hurt your business. If e-commerce is a big revenue stream for you, that spells trouble!.
  • Good content wins. If you take pride in your photography then you should have some amazing content with which to own the internet. There is an awful load of bad content floating around the internet. Good content stands out. And importantly, survives and endures.
  • Invest time in creating a content strategy. If you are serious about using social media to drive your visibility and e-commerce, spend the requisite time on doing just that. The companies who are thriving online are the ones who can genuinely connect with people, through being visible on search networks and with a presence that provides meaning for their customer.
  • Paid online advertising works. BUT only with a well-planned strategy and great content to put in front of it.

The value for your business online is in treating your digital platforms as if they were a physical store. That you are curating and sweeping the front step daily. If this sounds corny, then so be it. The gain for your business by being a disciplined social media obsessive is very real.

Finding the small gains on your Facebook feed. Replying to customers in inventive ways. Updating your Instagram feed to feature your latest work in tandem with a brilliant offer. These are all things that make a difference. But you cannot do this once a month or even once every couple of weeks. The strategy has to be almost daily and consistent.

Converting sales in this strategy of being ‘always on’ is proof in the pudding and worth the effort of making a concerted effort online. Paid advertising is worthwhile but if someone finds your site through a recommendation from someone else who has seen your great content on a feed somewhere is much better. On your website, the chance to give them a great offer for a specific product is much more likely to convert than flashing a display ad on Google.

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