Guest Post: Social Media For Your Small Business

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I’ve recently started my own franchise in cahoots with Travel Counsellors, and have been dealing with a range of clients from around the world and domestically. I’m able to send them away on holidays with their families, partners and friends, work trips and the classic “bleisure” experience, or Business and Leisure if you’ve not heard of that catchy phrase before.

I worked on the high street for 10 years, where any social media presence was limited to what I’d eaten that day, or what embarrassing scenario someone had got into that weekend. But now, as an independent Travel Counsellor, my Social media experience is very different where every post, every like and every share reflects on me and my business.

Changing from having a social experience on social media to a more professional one has been difficult. Here are a few elements that I’ve found useful in the different forums available to us all as business owners.

Linkedin

This is my favourite social media platform for business.This because there is less messing about in my opinion and if you engage in the correct and professional manner, success and cutting to the chase seems to be an easier route to take. With Travel Counsellors our tag line is “with us it’s personal” and I have always in my business life tried to offer this as a principle of my personality with my clients. But how can you be personable and professional online? Its not that difficult, but sometimes I find colleagues tend to just shout out facts on Linkedin without trying to let any of their more amenable traits flourish. So I’ve started to share personal testimonials of my work with great success, as I believe it underlines my skills and what I offer. It also promotes the client who has written the testimonial and shows that even though we sometimes get bogged down by social media as too big to get our heads round, there is still elements of that one-on-one personal approach which I’ve found very engaging.

My last testimonial posted on linked in was at 8230 reach with 61 likes and counting, significantly larger than any of the “sales pitches” for offers, or for my helpful advice on destinations I’ve added recently. People still love dealing with people and especially on Linkedin where there is less flowery content (thank goodness) than Facebook you can still cut through the mass of information with a personal and likeable message of support for a colleague or client. Give it a go, you may be surprised with the positive response.

“Especially on Linkedin where there is less flowery content you can still cut through the mass of information with a personal and likeable message of support for a colleague or client”

Facebook

I’ve really found this forum to be the most challenging as a new business owner, as it was the one I used most previously. I’ve now had to basically shut down or limit my own Facebook page to cute shots of my family and limit any nonsensical images, as although people engage with that, it now directly reflects me and my business, and thus can negatively put people off even if that’s the kind of thing that is on most peoples history.

Since starting my own business page, I’ve really engaged with sponsored posts and the range of targeting on Facebook is incredible, scary but incredible but has really allowed me to take a very focused approach to my marketing and allowed me to grow my reach.

I’ve taken the view that advertising on Facebook is the way to go and so when offers/deals arrive this is my first port of call. Then focusing potential clients on liking my page so they get the content in the future when it arrives. What I’m offering is a personalised tailor made service and so targeting clients that this will appeal to using various financial and location-based information allows me to target those who will best appreciate and get what I’m trying to do. I can do mass market but the discount philosophy is not where I think successful business lies in Travel and so I want to develop a more client focused specific approach. Facebook has really helped me to reach like minded individuals in my local area and nationally. Sponsored posts are relatively cheap and can be so focused that you really can target streets, or high net worth individuals if that is your target of-course.

Instagram

As I’ve travelled to 55 countries and 6 continents I’ve lots of experiences throughout the world to draw from when talking with clients, but on a purely visual medium I love Instagram. Who doesn’t want to see an image of  beautiful beach on a dreary Monday morning. I find as an aspirational source it is second to none and allows me to create images that can inspire my clients and those they know. This has meant that a different client source is being reached and thus a different range of enquiries, some realistic some not, but that is the essence of travel and the essence of my job to try and make dreams a reality. So I’ve found Instagram a perfect platform for visually selling my business destination by destination and drawing in potential likes and comments from around the world as the topics are and images are significantly broader.

“I find as an aspirational source it is second to none and allows me to create images that can inspire my clients and those they know”

So in summary I find the personal touch applies to all forums, but as a new business owner my main focus is increasing my client base for the future and “selling” my personality and values is very important in creating a strong future for me. Different clients work in all forums and so it is the ability to amend your approach to each platform that will ultimately lead to success for you and your business, I’m no expert by any stretch of the imagination but in a world where so much information is flicking past our eyes every second, maybe take a moment to try and engage with clients/colleagues and friends on a personal level will reap rewards in the future.

If you are curious about David’s work and want to check out his social media profiles, you can find him here:

LinkedIn

Facebook

Instagram

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