Many business experience overwhelm with social media. Did you know there’s a secret to getting rid of this problem? Check out our new video or read the transcript below.
Geoff: Hi everyone. We're here interviewing Mel Brennan from BlueBee Social. She's come down to tell us all about how social media can help your business to grow. So thanks very much for coming down today.
Mel: Thank you. No worries. Thanks very much.
Geoff: So maybe for 30 seconds or so just tell us a bit about your background and what your business actually is doing now.
Mel: Okay. I'm actually an environmental scientist but I had been doing a lot of work with non-profit groups and doing marketing, and event management, project management, and that sort of thing. And eventually started working for small businesses because they needed a lot of help and it turned out that social media was one of the areas they needed a lot of help in. So my business has now directed fully to social media marketing for small businesses and non-profits, anyone that really needs some help.
Geoff: Okay. So how are you finding the market here on the Gold Coast? Do you find that small businesses need your services?
Mel: Yeah. Heaps.
Mel: Yeah, it's crazy. Really there's only a small percentage of people who are doing social media marketing and doing it well. And then there's the rest of the market, so there's a lot of need, yeah.
Geoff: Okay. Yeah, cause I mean, social medias can be quite a confusing area and a lot of people I guess try it, and then kind of think, they can do it themselves. Like what do you kind of say to that?
Mel: Yeah, well, I think a lot of people are struggling with it as well. You know, some people are getting some really good success, you know, when they've got a fair bit of time to spend on social media and doing it all themselves. But then a lot of people really struggle and they don't know what they really should be doing, and also, they worry about the time that it takes, and often they'll just give it up because it's just not getting the results they want.
Geoff: Yeah, it's taking a lot of time to do.
Geoff: And it's not actually getting the results as well.
Mel: Yeah, exactly.
Geoff: So when you work with a client, what sort of ... So they come in to you, they say, "Look, we want to do some kind of social media." Where do you kind of start when you sit down with a client?
Mel: Yeah, usually I'll do a review for them first. So I like to find out the background because social media is just one form of marketing. So it's really about finding out about what they're business goals are, and what they really want to achieve, and how they're currently doing their marketing, and who they want to reach, and just finding out some of that bigger picture stuff.
Mel: And then I can give them some ideas on what opportunities are out there for them. I mean, if they decide to go further I can set them up on a really detailed strategy and a plan to do their social media.
Mel: If they want to keep going, I can provide them with the training to do the work or I can take it over for them and do all of their social media for them, all their marketing. And basically, that's like getting their social media marketing handled by us.
Geoff: Okay. And do they need to sort of spend time coming out of their office, coming down and meeting you for all these monthly meetings and stuff like that, or you know?
Mel: Yeah. They can if they want to. A lot of people do prefer that but they've got options also to just do meetings via Skype or we can communicate electronically. It's really, I guess, the needs of the client and how they would prefer to communicate.
Geoff: No worries. And are all social media platforms suited to all businesses?
Mel: No. It's all about what target market they're trying to get in front of and engage. Yeah, and the sort of content that they want to engage them with. So, yeah, it's very specific for each different business.
Geoff: Have you got like an example of a sort of business that you could say what social media is suited for that business in your experience?
Mel: Yeah, sure. Well, I guess, if you've got a business that's aimed at young people and also that you've got a lot of content that's quite visual, then Instagram would be one that you would go for. Whereas, a lot of businesses that I've been dealing with, they're really ... they're either a business-to-business type of B-to-B, and they're aiming at people that are a lot older than that age group, and a lot of their target markets might be businesses themselves, which might be Linkedin to approach professionals. But I think for any business out there Facebook is the first port of call, everyone's on Facebook. Some of the other platforms can be a little bit easier to get engagement because there's not as much competition and it's not as crowded.
Geoff: Yeah, okay, interesting. And what are the sorts of problems that business owners who are coming to you to help and assistance, what are they coming to you with? What sorts of issues are they wanting you to solve for them?
Mel: I think most of them are wanting to raise their profile and get leads. Yeah. The majority are looking for leads but quite a few are to the point in their business where they're getting leads now. It's really just that they want to get local recognition, so social media can really help with that.
Geoff: Yeah, okay. And I'm guessing the time factor is there as well.
Mel: Yeah, absolutely. A lot of people just don't have the time to do it themselves or the skills because the training that's involved to get a staff member up to speed can be quite a lot and people just don't have the time to release them from their current job.
Geoff: Yeah, okay.
Mel: So it's just helping them out with somebody else doing the work for them really.
Geoff: Yeah, okay. I know one of the things that I struggle with social media myself is actually keeping on top of what's kind of current. I'll sort of get a plan in place but then things will change in the environment …
Geoff: So how does your business help with that?
Mel: Yeah, well each month we look at a strategy for our clients that might change each month depending on what new things have come out. We've got general strategies we stick to, but when there's new things that pop out we try and take advantage of it as well.
Geoff: I mean, I much prefer to know that you're on the pulse of it. Basically, you're in there doing the research and understanding what's actually working.
Mel: Yeah, that's kind of how I see it as well because really I see ... like at the moment it's just the Gold Coast that I've been working with. But it's much better for me to be doing all the research then hundreds of other businesses to be spending a percentage of their time doing the research just to use within their business.
Mel: So it makes a lot of sense for me.
Geoff: Yeah, okay. And if someone sort of wants to get started with social media on their own but have you got any sort of resources or tips you can actually give to people to direct them towards something to have a look?
Mel: There's a blog on our
website. So there's a bit of information there. I've got quite a bit of workshop material that I'll disseminate as well through the blog. The strategies, how to develop a strategy, how to do Facebook from basic to advanced Facebook, and Twitter, all those sorts of platforms that they might want to be trained up on.
Mel: As well as how to actually do the social media marketing, planning and enacting it each month. How to make it a little bit more streamlined and a bit easier to do than having to sit there every day spending a couple of hours.
Geoff: Yeah, exactly. And I can see sort of the strategy side of social media is so important because their social media grows organically over time. So, if you have the wrong strategy to start with, I'm guessing it's not going to grow as quick.
Mel: Absolutely. It's not going to grow in the right direction.
Mel: Yeah, one of the problems that a lot of people come into is that they focus on trying to get likers on Facebook and that's just like ... it's really not a good strategy, and they really need to know what is the outcomes they really want to be achieving, and make sure the strategy is focused around that. Otherwise, yeah, they can spend a whole lot of money on advertising and really end up with no outcomes, no tangible outcomes of sales or leads, or something that's actually going to make them money.
Geoff: Yeah, okay. When you've taken me through my strategy, one of the things that sort of opened my eyes was of you talking about using social media more as an engager and really engaging in conversations, and giving to the community as opposed to just using it for ads.
Geoff: That's one thing that I got out of it.
Mel: Yeah, that's right, cause I guess a lot of businesses think that, if they've got a social media account, they need to just tell people about their products, and tell them about what they've got on special, and people are looking at businesses for discounts, and specials, and things like that. But, if they want to actually stay in their newsfeed, they have to provide engaging content that people are going to click on, like comment, that sort of thing. So engage with on an ongoing basis. Otherwise, if they don't actually, if they see heaps of these sort of salesy-type posts, they won't engage with it and then Facebook won't let them see anything else.
Geoff: And you switch off, like we all do cause there's so much …
Mel: Yeah, that's right. They switch off and then [inaudible 00:07:53] switches it off their newsfeed. So they don't even get any impressions.
Geoff: Yeah. That's been massive for me and I can certainly see the benefits of just approaching it in a whole different way than I thought was possible.
Geoff: And, from what I understand, your clients are as well.
Geoff: Well thanks Mel. How can people get in touch with you if they want to talk to you further about this?
Mel: Yup, they can contact us through the website, which is bluebeesocial.com.au.
Geoff: All right. No worries. So thanks Mel. Thanks for coming down today.