Last week I travelled to Somerset to visit The FMLY Store. Myself and selfish mother, aka Molly Gunn, talked to an audience of Bloggers and small business owners about social media.
Molly created selfishmother.com, an online platform where parents can have a voice and share their stories and blog posts. Since then, the platform has grown, and Molly opened up The FMLY Store which sells that notorious “MOTHER” sweater and so much more. The countless copies and replicas didn’t stop Molly and the teams’ success, and the store is alive and kicking three years on. The team have nearly raised a whopping one million pounds for GOOD causes by selling Molly’s #GoodTees: £5 from every #GoodTees purchase goes to charity. Donations have gone to mothers2mothers, Women for Women International, KIDS Charity, Help Refugees, Save The Children, CALM and Trekstock.
Who would have thought, when I wrote about Selfish Mother a couple of years ago, I’d be asked to speak within their store, I love how the universe works!
Now, Let’s Talk Social Media
Ever since the days of Myspace, I’ve had a passion for social media. It’s fast-paced, it’s instant, and it enables you to connect with people all over the world. Without it, I wouldn’t have half of the friends that I do, and I certainly wouldn’t have had the careers that I have had.
I understand how it works, I have fun with social media, and so I jumped at the chance to share my wisdom and advice with those who either didn’t have a clue or hated it for various reasons.
Social media for small businesses
Many moons ago I was a make-up artist, and I would do make-up for photo shoots, weddings, music videos and adverts. At this time, the most popular social media platforms were Facebook and Twitter. Facebook was buzzing and Facebook Pages in particular were great for small businesses. You could grow your following, create adverts and show off your work, all for free. If a person ‘liked’ your page, your post would show up in real time; chronologically within their feed. It was wonderful. Facebook along with your website seemed to be the best way to market your business.
Fast-forward to 2018 and boy, have things changed. No longer is it guaranteed that a post will appear in feeds, we don’t see posts in real time, and Facebook wants us to pay to reach our audiences. Unfortunately, when Facebook bought Instagram, a lot of us assumed that this was the inevitable fate of the much-loved platform. Small businesses, bloggers and influencers alike, have noticed their reach is getting smaller and therefore, the amount of “likes” is in rapid decline.
Why do I still think these platforms are essential?
Both Facebook and Instagram have their benefits. Social media is a great way to shout about your business, and if you have a budget, paid placement within feeds may be beneficial. After all, your target audience still uses these platforms. As long as you understand your target market, Facebook and Instagram are great for engaging with specific groups and clients.
What About Pinterest
Pinterest is one of my favourite social media platforms. Not only can it drive traffic to your website, but it also allows you to be as creative as you like without the concern of “likes” and comments. The right image or video can be re-pinned and stored, meaning the potential for reach could last years rather than a few days or hours like on other platforms.
My personal Pinterest tip: Make your website or blog ‘Pinnable’. Have great images and remind your readers to Pin and save for later. There are some great Plugins which allow readers to click a button on your image and Pin directly to their Pinterest board. I do love technology!
How to stand out of the crowd
Since I decided to dive into blogging, I’ve realised that my initial choice of content – parent blogging – was incredibly over-saturated. In a way, that made me work even harder to stand out of the crowd and be noticed. Yes, I work incredibly hard, but also creating original content has always been a must. You need to have your own voice; otherwise, readers will spot poorly regurgitated content a mile off. Not only do you need your voice, you need your own creative touch too. DARE TO BE DIFFERENT, do your thing and you’ll be loved for it. If however, you think you’re lacking creatively, or don’t know what to say, take a look at your peers and competitors. I’m not telling you to copy, but they may inspire you to take a fab picture, change up the angle and put your own spin on things. Inspiration is everywhere. What is your blog or business about? Do you like music, art, television shows? All of these things could inspire a social media post, it doesn’t always have to be about your business, product, or blog post.
Engage, engage, engage. Everyone on social media is there to get involved, talk or soak up content. Take advantage of that and jump in! There’s no point of trying to get followers if you’re not going to talk to them, plus this is also a great way to find out about your audience. Yes, you can get analytical stats from certain apps and software, but you should truly get to know your followers. Sparking conversations or even debates is the best form of market research. You never know who you’ll meet, and online networking is fantastic – you can meet people without leaving your home.
I love social media; not only can you be yourself, but you will also attract like-minded folks in the process. Being authentic is the most attractive trait you can have online, just because no-one else is you!
I could probably write an entire book about social media, but there simply isn’t enough time in a day or room in this blog post. Even the time we had at The FMLY Store seemed to disappear; it felt as though we needed an entire afternoon to discuss everything.
If you feel that you have more questions about social media after reading this, or you fancy booking me to chat, get in touch. Oh, and if you decide to follow me on any of my social media platforms, say hello, I wouldn’t want you to go unnoticed!
A big thank you to Molly and the gang for having me at the Selfish Mother store, the shop is amazing and the audience were great!