How to Nail Social Media as a Service-Based Business | An Interview with The Digital Picnic

April 18, 2017

How to Nail Social Media as a Service Based Business

 

The Digital Picnic teach good social media. It’s their bread and butter – or their jam as owners Cherie and Catherine like to say (a considerably tastier analogy).

Their social media workshops are chock full of students who know why social media is so damn important, but are a little miffed with how to really nail it.

Since launching The Digital Picnic in 2014, these girls have really brought home the bacon.

A fun, colourful brand, over 20,000 Instagram followers, almost 3,000 Facebook fans, a super engaged private Facebook community and workshop events around the country… I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty impressed.

When I found out that a good portion of their workshop attendees are service-based providers looking to make the most out of their social media efforts, I knew I had to get in touch.

Whilst social media can be challenging for any business, it can be considerably more so when a business doesn’t have a tangible product to showcase and promote.

I wanted to get some expert advice on some of the biggest questions service-based providers have on their mind when it comes to social media.. well, ‘stuff’.

An Interview with The Digital Picnic - Stevie Says Social

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY FOR PRODUCT BASED BUSINESSES AND FOR SERVICE PROVIDERS?

With service-based anything on social? It’s an entirely different strategy.  We’re not going to say one or the other is easier, but let’s be honest, we’ve worked the socials for both online retailers and service-based providers, and the service-based providers are a slower slog.

You need to think about who you’re talking to, you need to create content accordingly, you can’t rely on the occasional lazy “buy this” post, because what you’re “selling” in service-based-land isn’t usually as sexy, … so that lazy default “buy this” post? Well, it just won’t work, ha!

You need to know your people, you need to talk to them in a way that endears them to your brand, & you’ll need to really flex your digital storytelling muscles so that you’re able to grow an engaged audience that converts on the call-to-action you’re putting out there.

Social Media Strategy for Product Based Businesses and Service Providers

CONTENT MARKETING CAN BE A STRUGGLE FOR SERVICE-BASED PROVIDERS TO GET THEIR HEAD AROUND (AKA ‘WHAT ON EARTH TO POST’?) WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE FOR BUSINESSES LIKE TRADES, PROFESSIONAL SERVICES, COACHES ETC LOOKING TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO HELP PROMOTE THEIR BUSINESS?

First and foremost? Recognise that you’re in an entirely different space, & don’t compare your growth to that of those within the online retail sector.

It is a *completely* different space, i.e not even comparable.

What you want in service-based land is engagement / conversion on CTA’s (calls to action) over thousands of followers.  The thousands of followers, particularly in service-based provider land? Just an unimportant vanity metric, and not necessarily one that’s going to have all of those thousands of people booking in to get their tax done with your local accounting practice / their teeth whitened at your dental clinic / their air-conditioning  unit serviced with you pre-Summer.

Nosiree.

It’s the smaller pool of *engaged* people who are following you who will do all of that [if you have your content marketing down pat, of course].


FOLLOW STEVIE SAYS SOCIAL ON FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM FOR DAILY TIPS AND TRICKS ON HOW TO NAIL SOCIAL MEDIA AS A SERVICE-BASED BUSINESS. 


How to Nail Social Media as a Service-Based Business

ANY ADVICE FOR BUSINESSES THAT DON’T FEEL LIKE THE SERVICES THEY PROVIDE ARE ‘VISUAL’ ENOUGH OR ‘TOO BORING’ TO BE SHOWCASED ON SOCIAL MEDIA? SHOULD THEY BOTHER?

Take inspiration from service-based providers in *different* spaces doing a stellar job of presenting themselves online, when what they have to present isn’t all that visually compelling, e.g one of our social  media strategists’ runs the social activity for @banyuledental, which makes you think of fillings, and cavities, and all o’ the non-sexy stuff, ha!

She uses photos of Mr. Potato Head teeth to talk about booking in for a spot clean, or vintage imagery of  people laughing and talking about the history of dental care [i.e how bad it was, versus where we’re at  now with dental services in Australia, for example].

Banyule Dental Instagram feed - Stevie Says Social

The Banyule Dental Instagram feed. 

 Be creative with your visuals.  Resort to digital storytelling.  Use your words.  Pitch yourself as being the expert in *your* field, … because you are.  Use educational posts to endear people to your brand / your services, so that they will *trust* you.

Believe us, … service-based providers can *still* be fun.  After all, we’re just a “boring” ol’ marketing agency, but we’re having a BALL with our content marketing, & the response to our content has been fantastic!

The Digital Picnic Instagram Posts

The Digital Picnic’s social content is a WHOLE lot of fun. 

INFLUENCERS CAN BE A SUPER POWERFUL WAY FOR BUSINESSES THAT SELL PRODUCTS TO PROMOTE THEIR BRAND AND MAKE SALES. DO YOU THINK THERE’S A PLACE FOR INFLUENCER MARKETING FOR SERVICE-BASED BUSINESSES? 

We’re going to say yes, … but you’ll need to be *really* strategic about who you align yourself with, i.e    it comes down to what we mentioned above; you want people converting on your CTA, as opposed to thousands of “vanity metric” followers.

For example, a baby sleep consultant could obviously get some really great traction from collaborating with a parent blogger with an influential following, but be smart.  Ask for their media kit.  Ask for their  demographic breakdown.  Who are their followers, & where are they from, & can you realistically service their followers [i.e if the majority of their followers are from WA, despite the fact that they’re Victorian, & your business is Victorian-based, is that going to mean that their followers can’t *actually*  do business with you?]

Influencer Marketing for Service based Businesses

WITH FACEBOOK ORGANIC REACH NOW DOWN TO AS LITTLE AS 2%, FACEBOOK BUSINESS PAGES CAN SEEM LIKE A BIT OF A GRAVEYARD. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON PAYING FOR EXPOSURE/BOOSTING, OR DO YOU THINK THERE ARE OTHER WAYS BUSINESSES CAN LOOK TO BE SEEN AND HEARD ON FACEBOOK?

We’re going to say, do *not* give up on FB!

We have 2.5k followers on FB & 22k followers on IG, but the large majority of our sales conversions  come from FB.

Be creative.  Think outside the box.  Join like-minded networking groups.  Promote yourself where you  can.  Invest budget into highly targeted FB advertising campaigns, & if you don’t know how to do that?  Learn!

Ahem, … we just so happen to run 1:1 custom workshops on that [both in-person, & via Skype], because  #shamelessplug

Be creative and think outside the box for Social Media Campaigns

WHAT WOULD BE FIVE QUICK TIPS YOU WOULD GIVE TO A SERVICE BASED PROVIDER LOOKING TO GROW THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS, AND THEIR BUSINESS USING SOCIAL MEDIA?

1// Research your demographics / know who you’re talking to / tailor your content to speak to your demographic.

2// Invest in visual imagery with a professional photographer [it’s not as expensive as you think!]

3// Flex your wordsmith muscles, & try to be comfortable with digital storytelling [i.e in finance? Tell us some stories about who you’re *passionate* about working with / why you do what you do / great customer stories etc.]

4// Work according to a content outline, & schedule content accordingly [SO important!]

5// Allocate budget to Instagram and Facebook advertising

And there you have it!

Thanks Cherie and Cat! x

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