Read Time: 6 Minutes

 

The current pandemic and associated crisis are understandably causing considerable uncertainty and anxiety. People are struggling with feelings of helplessness and fear, as they try to adjust to the new normal way of life offered by lockdown. 

Of course, the media plays its role in spreading fear and negativity, with selective statistics on infection rates and death tolls, and promoting stories that further a narrative aligned with a Stephen King novel. This combined with the restrictions placed on everyday life and routine, means it can be hard to feel hopeful about the future.

I’d like to pose an alternative view. What if we stopped to look for the positives and opportunities rather than the negatives and fear? We, of course, need to be mindful that there are many who have lost loved ones, have suffered mental ill health or lost businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean we should dwell on it. 

I propose an alternative view of tasteful-positivity. Looking for the positives whilst acknowledging the pain of others. Identifying opportunities rather than focusing on the threats. The people that embrace this spirit are the optimistic-adapters that will drive the country, economy and society forward whilst the pessimistic wet-wipes try to hold us back.

In the last two months, we have seen many people reaching out to each other to provide support and reassurance. We’ve seen industries thrive whilst others suffer, and as with any period of adversity, we’ve seen ingenuity defiantly flourish in the face of hardship. 

Of course, what you will largely see in the press is not the positive feel-good stories of community and adaptability, but the defeatist gloom that gets these fear-peddlers the clicks they so desperately want. It’s toxic, and the media could not have got the tone more wrong and misaligned in this crisis. 

Impact on Business

There isn’t one business that hasn’t been affected by coronavirus. Whether it is decreased revenue (or increased!), changes to procedure and systems or the adoption of new technologies to facilitate remote working. 

If you believe in natural selection, which I do, you will understand that as a race we have survived and thrived by our amazing ability to adapt to circumstances and our environment. There is a popular notion, spread by professional naysayers and peddlers of negativity, that we are a cancer or scourge of the Earth, here to eat away at its resources. We are in fact a product of the Earth and the greatest gift we have been given is our stalwart determination and adaptability in the face of adversity and strife.

Those businesses that are viewing the situation with tasteful-positivity and are looking to create or maximise opportunity, without profiteering or exploiting, are examples of our resilience and adaptability and will be the ones that survive and thrive this difficult period. They are the ones that will evolve and overcome. 

These are the businesses that see the current situation as an exciting problem to solve or challenge to overcome, and are getting creative to turn the current situation to their advantage by figuring out new ways to serve and benefit their customers.

I came across a real example of this today. After having a conversation with the owner of a Fish and Chip Shop (diet doesn’t count in lockdown) I was impressed at how after the initial blow of lockdown, he and his team had bounced back and embraced modern channels to reopen, and in fact, have record days in takings during this period. Having been hesitant in the past to use Facebook or provide a ‘click and collect’ service, he saw an opportunity and grabbed it by the proverbials. This is a great example of someone embracing change and using digital in the least likely of traditional industries. He’s kept his business afloat (pun intended) and provided a much-needed service to his hungry customers. It was also a bloody good meal (The Village Fish Bar, highly recommended!) 

Digital Usage

As someone who has studied an MSc in marketing and is currently studying another in psychology, I’m obviously quite interested in behaviour. Particularly consumer digital behaviour.

An expected and understandable change in behaviour in lockdown is the increase in digital usage. As people stay indoors, lack face-to-face social interaction, and try to keep abreast of current developments, they are quite expectedly going to have changed the way they engage with others, find information and entertain themselves.

Recent statistics from Virgin Media show that internet usage is up 100%, a number echoed and in some cases exceeded by other providers across the globe.

In the absence of speaking to work colleagues at lunch, saying hi to that stranger in the street (only in the North of England obviously) or going out with friends for dinner, we seek to stimulate our social and intellectual needs in the digital world, and of course, social media plays a key role in doing so.

I proposed the idea earlier that there was a group of people who adapted to change, were optimistic and operated with a view of tasteful-positivity. I also posited the idea that there were those who thrive off negativity and were doing nothing to adapt to the current climate. 

I stop for a second to ask you, without prejudice or judgement, which category you feel you fit in?

Adapting to Change

The increased usage of digital channels provides an opportunity for the optimistic-adapter, the true entrepreneur. The Jack Russell Terrier of the business world (nature’s eternal optimists).

Your customers are without a doubt online. In 2019, 91% of all adults and 99% of people aged 16 to 44 in the UK had used the internet (ONS). Those individuals are now using it more than ever, more times in a day, for longer periods. 

There has never been a better time to engage your prospective customers online. As other businesses scale down their ad spend, social presence and marketing efforts, they provide you with an opportunity to tap into a captive audience and secure the market share they were too pessimistic to keep. 

Now is the time to engage your existing customers and more crucially, sweep up those customers that your competitors and other providers have abandoned, provide them with excellent value and service, and come out of this crisis with both fists swinging and a raging hard on at how well you’ve done. Not muddle through whilst your business is chipped away at. It’s time to adapt and invest, because we just don’t know how long this will last for and when it will be back (or something similar!).

What if you can’t sell your goods right now because of the crisis? Then get online, start generating awareness, conversations and leads so you can develop relationships for when you are able to! 

There will be a goldrush (or bloodbath) when the market finally makes its return (in whatever industry you operate in) for a short time at least. People will clamber for market share and it’s going to get noisy. 

If you are waiting until then to gain or resecure market share and customers, you have already lost the race. You will be drowned out amongst all the other people who’ve sat back and waited until it was ‘safe’ to engage and invest in their customers and business. The true winners will be those who have initiated and developed relationships throughout this period, have provided value and are already giving proverbial backrubs to the customers you cared about winning 7 weeks ago. 

What if I said you could get in the living room, bedroom and even toilet of your customers on a daily basis (in lockdown too!) with a highly relevant and engaging message? Would that be an interesting or attractive idea? What if I said there had never been a better time to do it? If the audience was captive and open to your messages? Would you think that sounds like a good plan? It is and you can. 

When are you going to do it? Now or when everyone else is?

This article was a long-winded way of saying…now is the time to reach your customers online, not later. An investment in digital now, will pay in dividends…quite literally.

Jack Barron

Director

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Starting his marketing journey at age 15 promoting music events, Jack went on to plan, market and execute his own events before joining the British Army and serving two front-line tours of Helmand Province. Upon returning to ‘civvy street’ he set up Rebel Marketing to provide marketing consultancy services to the events industry. At around the same time, he undertook an Events Management Degree at the University of Central Lancashire, attaining a 1st Class (Hons) Bachelor Degree, before moving to Manchester to work as the digital marketing manager for a city centre agency specialising in financial services marketing, eventually becoming their marketing director.
Whilst there he undertook an MSc in Marketing Communications at Manchester Metropolitan Unversity before reactivating and rebranding Rebel Marketing as Invoke Media in 2015. After moving Invoke Media to his hometown of Preston in 2018 to support the development and growth of the area, he has since started further studies and is due to complete another MSc in Psychology from the University of Central Lancashire.
Jack is passionate about marketing and helping small to medium-sized businesses thrive. His experience working in the fast-moving events industry from a young age, along with a strong drive and discipline fostered by his time on the front line, all contribute to the work ethic and values of the company.

Read Time: 4 Minutes

 

When it comes to working with businesses or individuals providing a product or service, it’s normal for consumers to be a bit hesitant. In the UK, the average person is exposed to between 3,000 and 5,000 marketing messages every single day. As a result, most have become very good at “tuning out” most commercial messaging and digital marketing efforts. It’s what’s known in psychology as selective attention.

Further to that, the advent of the Internet, superfast wifi and internet-ready mobile technology means that your customers can research alternative solutions in an instant and are less than three seconds away from your competitors should you fail to grab their attention, develop relevance and build trust. That has made it more important than ever to develop meaningful relationships with customers and potential customers and to be proactive in your approach to do so. 

Thankfully, social media provides an excellent opportunity to identify, target and reach out to highly relevant members of you target audience, and if you want to maintain a professional appearance while still connecting with prospective clients, LinkedIn is a great platform for accountants and professional services in general.

The Professional Social Network

With over 690 million users across the globe, LinkedIn has grown to become the world’s largest professional network. 

People use the network for a variety of reasons, including job hunting, training, connecting with co-workers, and networking with other individuals/businesses. As an accountant, LinkedIn can be an important tool that’s used to connect with clients while still maintaining a professional presence. 

Platforms such as Facebook are extremely powerful, but they are often used for personal connection rather than a professional interaction. This means that whilst you can still reach out to those members of the target audience, they may well be less interested and open to having to professional or commercially focused conversations on what they consider to be a personal network. That isn’t to say other platforms can’t form part of a larger strategy, but LinkedIn reigns supreme for professional conversations with high-value decision-makers.

The Benefits of LinkedIn As an Accountant

So, why is LinkedIn so beneficial? LinkedIn allows you to position yourself as an authority in your field and a good solution to the problem they are facing. As an accountant your clients need trust that you know what you are doing, after all, their business’s success could depend on it.

LinkedIn provides an opportunity for prospective customers to research and form an opinion on your suitability as their accountancy service provider without even having to pick up the phone. Many people are averse to making phone calls or enquiries with other businesses before they have established that they are a good fit…why? Because years of hard-sales mentality, outbound PPI nuisances and being sold to has made them sceptical. They have likely had experiences in the past where they have been coerced into a service or have agreed to something without being fully behind it, and experienced buyers remorse. They don’t want to put themselves in that situation again without knowing that you are a good fit, trustworthy and are great at what you do. Aside from that, who has time to call round 20 accountants for a 20-minute call? It’s much easier to qualify them, much in the same way a salesperson would, before engaging in conversation with a smaller number of those that look like the most suitable providers.

Ensure you optimise your account for lead generation. Many use LinkedIn as a type of CV, but these people are here to see your ability to meet their needs, not offer you employment. Ensure all of the sections you are provided with are complete and geared towards your prospective customer. Our marketing health check for financial services industries identifies over 30 criteria for the optimum LinkedIn profile. Why don’t you get in touch and ask us to optimise your profile free of charge?

Post high-quality, relevant content 2 – 5 times per week and if possible, make sure that video forms a part of that content. It will keep you at the front-of-mind of your connections, show prospective customers that you are knowledgeable and provide opportunities for engagement and interactions with your peers, customers and prospective customers. Don’t forget…each one of those engagements, whether it be a post reaction or comment, will increase the visibility and reach of your post so more prospective customers will see it and how great you are at what you do.

Another great benefit of LinkedIn the ability to target, connect and message decision-makers in businesses that match your customer profile. Even the free version of LinkedIn has powerful search and targeting options, but the paid versions take this to the next level. We use Sales Navigator (Approx £60 per month) and it pays for itself ten times over. Having a paid version of LinkedIn also gives you a little badge or icon next to your profile picture which not only makes you stand out, it shows you are serious about your LinkedIn presence and engaging with customers.

Forming Customer Relationships

LinkedIn is a professional network, but it’s also a social network in that it allows you to connect with people and form professional relationships. Remember that advertising statistic from above? Using LinkedIn to talk to potential customers lets you cut through the noise of daily advertising and actually form relationships with your customers. 

We live in a world that offers a lot of surface connections. But, underneath that, many people feel very disconnected and are craving real conversation, even from the businesses they trust. Chatting with someone on LinkedIn about how you can help their business or even them, personally, will go a long way. It’s the best way to build trust and allow your customer to feel more comfortable with you. As a result, they’ll be more likely to keep using your services, and more likely to recommend you to others. 

The relationships that develop between you and customers on LinkedIn also give you the opportunity to “sell” to them. Because it’s a professional network, more people are open to the idea of buying and selling or even talking about such things. You wouldn’t just say hello to someone and then suggest they hire you. By forming a professional relationship, you can get a feel for what your potential customer wants and needs, and cater your conversations toward that before showing them how you can help. Our magic number is 5…why? Because we generally have the most success turning the conversation commercial after an average of 5 messages. People generally don’t like the sales message straight away, they want to be made to feel special, feel that you understand them and their needs and expect value to be given BEFORE you turn the conversation into one of providing them with services. I always like to use the relationship analogy…

Generally (depending on where in the UK they are from) people want to be taken out for a few meals and get to know someone before you get them into bed. They’ll probably want to get to know you before you move in together. They’ll likely want to have been seeing you for a while before they get married. You don’t just for the proposal the first time you meet them (or maybe you do?!).

Think of your initial messages as foreplay or courting before you give them the good news and turn the conversation into something YOU want (them as a client).

Is LinkedIn Necessary?

No.

That might seem like a shocking answer and completely contrary to everything else I’ve said, but it is true. LinkedIn is not necessary to market your accountancy practice. You managed before there was social media or maybe even the Internet, you would likely manage without LinkedIn now. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t catapult your business to the next level if you ‘did LinkedIn well’.

Of course, quality of conversation and engagement is a massive factor, but marketing still relies on numbers. I’m hesitant to say it is a numbers game because it isn’t a scattergun approach, it’s a sniper rifle. However, your chances of finding a good fit for your business, that needs you and is at the right stage of the buyer journey dramatically increase if you speak to more people, put your message in front of more people and develop relationships with more people. LinkedIn is a great way to do that in a scalable, systematic and measurable way, on a channel that people are open to discussing business and are likely in the commercial mindset.

If it’s general advice on LinkedIn you’re after, then we’re happy to add that value before we even think about selling the benefits of our LinkedIn Lead Generation services. I’ll stop short of saying I’ll take you on a few dates as I don’t think it would go down well at home, but I’ll certainly provide you with value, position myself as an authority and develop trust until the cows come home. Get in touch and we’ll start your LinkedIn lead generation journey today with a review of your profile. Just email us at hello@invokemedia.co.uk

Jack Barron

Director

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Starting his marketing journey at age 15 promoting music events, Jack went on to plan, market and execute his own events before joining the British Army and serving two front-line tours of Helmand Province. Upon returning to ‘civvy street’ he set up Rebel Marketing to provide marketing consultancy services to the events industry. At around the same time, he undertook an Events Management Degree at the University of Central Lancashire, attaining a 1st Class (Hons) Bachelor Degree, before moving to Manchester to work as the digital marketing manager for a city centre agency specialising in financial services marketing, eventually becoming their marketing director.
Whilst there he undertook an MSc in Marketing Communications at Manchester Metropolitan Unversity before reactivating and rebranding Rebel Marketing as Invoke Media in 2015. After moving Invoke Media to his hometown of Preston in 2018 to support the development and growth of the area, he has since started further studies and is due to complete another MSc in Psychology from the University of Central Lancashire.
Jack is passionate about marketing and helping small to medium-sized businesses thrive. His experience working in the fast-moving events industry from a young age, along with a strong drive and discipline fostered by his time on the front line, all contribute to the work ethic and values of the company.

We’re looking for a dedicated individual to join our small team to support a period of rapid growth and major client wins.

Marketing experience is definitely preferred, but not essential as training will be given. However an excellent grasp of the English language is essential.

Invoke Media Director Jack Barron said:

“We’re looking for the right person to compliment our team. We’ve had some great customer wins since coming back to Preston and we’re approaching workload capacity. The successful candidate or candidates will be crucial in our growth over the coming months and we’re looking for someone who’s excited by the prospect of being the driving force behind it.

Is this you or someone you know?”

Responsibilities & Tasks:

  • Social Media Management
  • Reporting
  • Writing Blog Posts
  • Critiquing Other Blog Posts
  • Email Marketing
  • Messenger Marketing
  • Account Management
  • Supporting Business Admin

Please don’t be put off if you don’t have experience in these areas at the moment. We have put together a structured training package to bring you up to speed over the next 6 months and you will learn progressively on the job, with an experienced director helping you along the way.

The job role will initially be heavily focused on social media scheduling and management at a very manageable level, with additional responsibilities being added (and skills developed) over a period of time.

Working Hours

  • 8 hours per day (inc. 1 hour unpaid lunch)
  • 2 days per week

We believe in flexible and off-site working. As long as the work gets done and to a good standard, we’re happy!

After your probation, you will be allowed to work from home one of your two days but will be required for face-to-face team meetings as least once a week.

Health & Mental Wellbeing

We acknowledge the connection between physical and mental wellbeing. As such we have a health & mental wellbeing policy in place, which includes perks such as membership to a nearby gym.

We work with a wide variety of clients including & not limited to:

  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Financial Services
  • Recruitment Agencies

Working with a number of high profile local and national clients.

 

Desired/ Preferred:

  • Degree educated
  • Marketing experience
  • Commercial awareness
  • Love of reading/writing/English
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Tech Savvy
  • Creative

Essential:

  • Excellent
  • Sense of humour
  • Reliable
  • Able to work autonomously
  • Personable
  • Committed – We’re after a long term team member.

Benefits:

  • Flexible/remote working (after probation)
  • Learn on the job from an experienced marketer
  • Good rate of pay – increases incrementally with time and skills learned
  • Learn cutting edge marketing skills & tactics

Deadline

All CV’s and applications must be received by end of play 16th September 2019.

Who is it for?:

This job would be ideally suited for an experienced marketer on a career break, a post-grad student or someone who has recently started/looking to start their own business but needs secure income*

We will consider students, however we are looking for a long-term team member. Students would have to demonstrate their commitment to staying in the area (year round) and with the business long term.

About us:

We’re a small business that believes in staying lean. We have a unique structure and agreements with other businesses that keep our overheads low, but there is an urgent need to bring more people onboard to manage major client wins and keep us providing the best service to our customers.

We are a marketing agency based at Cotton Court Business Centre in Preston city centre, dealing with high profile clients in the local hospitality and recruitment industries, as well as national level clients in various fields.

Based in the centre of Preston at Cotton Court Business Centre.

 

Finally

This is a great opportunity for someone to join a successful company on its growth journey. We have a great laugh in the office but we knuckle down and get things done.

The director is an experience marketer with a masters degree in marketing, who is willing to teach techniques and tactics to a willing and eager applicant.

We can’t reiterate enough the need for someone who is looking to commit to us. We’ve had our fingers burnt by people using us for a one-time pay day in the past and want to avoid this again. As a small business it is not only time consuming but comes with considerable financial cost.

*We believe in supporting small business and are in a position to provide marketing support to anyone who fits this description.

Interested?

Email: Hello@InvokeMedia.co.uk with an up to date CV and cover letter. All applicants will receive a reply whether successful or not.

Social media is a great tool for quickly disseminating information amongst friends and seeking advice. The question is, how accurate is the advice being given?

If there’s one thing recent high profile scandals at the international level have highlighted, it’s just how easily false information can be spread through social media and the impact that can have. 

This weekend we became aware of an image being shared on Facebook, advising business owners on how their friends can invite all of their Facebook friends to like their business page in one go. 

Whilst seemingly a good piece of advice, we are urging all small business owners to STOP and consider the implications of doing so of which they may not be aware of.

Whilst we aren’t quite accusing the Russian government of distributing this image to disrupt our economy, it could very easily have long lasting negative impacts on the individual small business owners who follow this advice and share it on in good faith.

In our opinion, it’s about as trustworthy for your business as the Momo Challenge is for your children.

 

You may have seen this shared on Facebook over the last few days.

We’re aware that the business owners following this advice are likely not be marketers or have any marketing experience. Many small business owners can not yet afford to pay agencies or specialists to manage their social media channels.

Whether it’s protein powder to get muscles or Juice Plus to make money, everyone loves the prospect of a ‘silver bullet’. The shortcut to success that requires minimum effort and gets maximum results. Unfortunately there are very few of these in marketing.

It is our position as a business, and my personal and professional opinion (I’ve got a good few letters after my name, experience under my belt and successes & failures to boot) that this technique should be avoided, here is why…

Facebook Optimisation

Facebook is continuously looking at your page and collecting data on who likes, follows and views it, and who engages with your posts. 

This gives Facebook an idea of who you page is targeted at and is most relevant to, and allows them to then place it in front of more people like that.

It will show in the crowded timelines of your followers friends when they engage and also show as a recommended page to the people similar to your followers.

By inviting all your friends, and then asking them to do the same (and potentially their friends to do the same) you are essentially approaching your marketing with a scattergun approach. Your page will be populated with people who are not relevant to your business  and will therefore be presented to more people who are not relevant to your business and not likely to ever use your service or buy your product.

You are essentially sending the wrong ‘signals’ to Facebook about who your customers are and therefore instead of presenting your page to your future customers, it’s showing it to a random hotch-potch of users. 

Think of it this way. Your friends list is made up of a variety of people, from your grandma or auntie, to unknown Thai women that for some reason you accepted back in 2008.

If you own a Male clothing store and you invite all of your friends, and bless your grandma she wants to help and likes the page, then inviting all of her friends…you are essentially telling Facebook that your page is relevant to Females over the age of 80.

Now throw into the mix all the other people that make up your friends lists on top of that, such as people you’ve met on holiday, neighbours etc. and you’re giving Facebook too many ‘signals’ for it to realise a pattern. Instead of presenting your page to a highly targeted audience of Men aged 18 – 30, it’s pushed out to every man and his dog, and his dogs cousin.

There’s not much going back from that, other than going through your page likes one by one and removing them. A time consuming and laborious task that most of you won’t likely know how to do. Even then there is no guarantee that this will fix the way Facebook ‘views’ your page and optimises it moving forward.

Reach & Engagement

Having lots of non-relevant people on your page will damage the engagement of your posts and reach of your marketing messages.

Let’s for arguments sake say that you’ve taken the advice from your well-intentioned friend and invited 3000 non-relevant people to your page, and a few of your friends have done the same and you’ve gained 1000 new likes on your small business page.

These people may have liked your page as a way to support you, but aren’t relevant and won’t ever use your business. They’ve essentially done this is a ‘one-time favour’ but they’re unlikely to engage with your business again. You’ve turned into just another page on their long list of hundreds of pages they’ve liked over the years.

Reach is the number of unique people who see a post or ad. 

Facebook changed the way its algorithm worked for business pages back in 2018, meaning that the average organic reach (ie. not paid for reach) of posts dropped from around 20-30% to around 6.5%. 

So for every 1000 people that like your page, on average only 65 people will see your post.

It’s a clever business model. Get the platform known and used by businesses big and small, show some great results and then change the way it works so to get anywhere near the same reach you’ll have to pay them money through the ads platform (Don’t even get me started on the boost button, that’s a whole article in itself).

It wasn’t all for monetary gain. As Facebook newsfeeds became more saturated with content, more pictures, more posts, more videos of cats playing the piano…it became difficult for organic posts to cut through the noise. 

The way to rectify this is to look more at what is relevant to the individual (think back to my first point about the signals being sent), to encourage people to pay to target their content at people who have shown an interest in certain criteria and most crucially to this article, to look at engagement on pages and posts.

You’ve just invited 3000 people and gained 1000 people. Only 100 of which are relevant or interested in what you have to say.

The other 900 will not like or engage with your posts or page again. Essentially telling Facebook your content is rubbish and not worth populating the timelines of your other page followers or their friends.

You’ve got a higher number of followers, but a less engaged audience. Your likes and engagement are weighed against each other and you’re considered to be lower quality. Your posts reach even less people and your page isn’t put in front of as many people as it was before.

 

Get advice from qualified experienced professionals where possible. Not all of them are this good looking as this bald chap unfortunately.

So what should you do?

If you’re going to invite your Facebook friends, you should only invite those who fit your target customer profile. Your what now?

We teach people how to identify and speak to their target audience by writing customer profiles. Identifying the demographics, psychographics and behavioural traits of the people most likely to benefit your business. That again is another article in itself and we’re happy to provide you with guidance on how to do it, but for brevity think of it as this…

  • Working out what your customer looks like…their age, where they live, how old they are, are they a man or a woman (or both, who knows in this day and age)
  • Working out what the customer wants…. what problems your service provides and what objections they may have to using your service.
  • Working out where your customer can be found…what social media channels do they use, what tv shows they watch, who influences them, what books or magazines they read.

This massive simplification of the process is all you need as a small business owner to identify who you should invite and what you should be posting to get them to engage. You aren’t spending thousands on ads or writing a strategy, but if you want to know how to do it properly then get in touch!

Using a beauty salon business or nail bar as an over simplified example:

  • Female Aged 18 – 35
  • Lives within 2 miles of Preston city centre.
  • Wants new acrylic nails for a night out at the weekend
  • Has reservations about the price and usually uses someone else so isn’t 100% sold on using you
  • Their usual salon is booked up and they need these for a night out in 2 days, you have availability
  • They use Facebook & Instagram multiple times a day
  • Read Women’s magazines such as Cosmo or Vogue
  • Influenced by their friends and people they know on social media – has seen your work on Instagram.

This provides you with a rough guide on who you should be inviting to like your page. You can now go through your friends list and invite people one by one, ensuring the closest fit to your customer profile.

It might take longer than ‘inviting all’, but it will yield better results, set your business up in the long run and is a hell of a lot quicker than removing 1000 random Thai women from your page in 6 months time. 

Some Other Ideas

There’s loads of other ways you can increase the number of people who like your page or gain additional reach.

Paid social advertisements are the best way to reach your customers in our professional opinion and experience.

Paid Social Ads

The best and most effective way is to use paid advertisements. Many small business owners will not have the skill set to do this effectively and may decide to stop after their first failed attempt. My advice, speak to a professional and get some advice. 

This is how Facebook generate 80-90% of their revenue, it’s the way they want you to use and therefore is the most effective way to reach your customers on their platform. 

Invest in your business and stop looking for the silver bullet of marketing. If it worked like that, everyone would be doing it. 

 

Competitions

Run incentivised competitions from your page that use your core offering/product/service as the prize. There’s no point giving away a holiday if you’re a pie shop. You will get lots of people entering but not many of them relevant. Use your prize to qualify the entrants as your target audience. Whilst the terms and conditions of Facebook forbid you from forcing an action in order to enter (although Facebook is awash with like & share competitions) there’s no harm in asking entrants to like your page as well.

Be careful you don’t fall foul of Facebook’s rules regarding competitions, read them here: https://www.facebook.com/policies/pages_groups_events/

Face-to-Face

As much as we make 96% of our revenue from digital marketing, we still can’t stress the benefits of face-to-face communication in building your brand and business. It isn’t a scalable solution ie. you can’t replicate it at large volume in a cost effective manner, but it could go a long way to building a core audience on your social channels.

Ask your paying customers to like your page whilst you are with them face-to-face and explain how it helps you. 

Counter

The Smiirl counter can be used to register your page likes and encourage people to like your social media channels.

If you want to take this one further and you have a brick and mortar business, you could even get a Facebook / Social Media Likes & Followers counter for your premises. We recommend the Smiirl counter, even if it is a little pricey at around £350.

See them here: https://www.smiirl.com/

 

 

 

We have one in the office that we use for campaigns to show how many people have given their data. It ticks over every 15 minutes to update the number and can be linked to your Facebook or Instagram account. People love the engagement of tools like this and will like your page just to see if it works!

 

Email

If you have customer email addresses in a database, why not ask them to go over and like your page? Provide a link directly to your Facebook page and give them a clear bullet pointed step-by-step on what to do (people need to be told exactly what to do on the internet) and why it would help you. Incentivise it if you can.

Website

Add a Facebook Like button to your homepage or blog content if it lends itself to it. 

Caveats 

There are of course caveats to every rule. Certain businesses and circumstances may lend themselves to mass inviting. 

It might work in some mass markets or in a localised area…but its risky.

If you are a local restaurant owner and your friends list consists of local people, it’s fair to say that they are relevant to your page and business. It’s a mass market, everyone needs to eat after all. Where that gets a little tricky is when you have people from out of the area or local people start inviting those from out of the area to like the page, there’s no control once it’s left your hands. 

 

Have we ever used the invite all feature? Yeah!

There is some limited benefit to having page likes. They are a vanity metric in the most part and provide a level of social proof. When people see a page with 200 likes they trust it more than one with just 5 likes. It’s a psychological principle used extensively in marketing.

We are forever setting up small business pages to test campaigns or run paid campaigns either to establish new businesses ourselves or test the effectiveness of campaigns for our clients. We usually set up these pages, run a campaign for a month and close them down.

In order to get a volume of likes and quickly, we sometimes invite our personal contacts or ‘acquire’ likes from elsewhere. It doesn’t matter, because we aren’t using the pages for organic reach and we know we’re deactivating the page in the near future.

There’s likely other caveats and circumstances where using the invite all feature works and is a good idea, we just aren’t sure what they are. What we do know is they are in the minority and for most of you, you shouldn’t be doing it.

Remember people, this is the internet. People will share false information for a laugh or maliciously. Others will blindly share pictures and posts in an attempt to be helpful without checking the validity of the information they are providing.

Next time you see an image like this sharing advice for your small business, especially marketing, please please please come and speak to me or one of the team. We won’t charge you for a quick bit of advice or to provide an opinion if you’re a small business owner.

We actively support small business owners and especially those across the North of England. If we can help and even have a tiny impact and it doesn’t take too much away from our own business, why wouldn’t we help someone out who needs it?

 

Give us a shout on Hello@InvokeMedia.co.uk 

 

Jack Barron

Director

Invoke Media

01772 921 109

 

*My experience…9 years digital marketing, 15 years overall marketing & promotions. 1st Class Bachelors Management Degree (Hons) and MSc in Marketing Communications from UCLan and MMU respectively.
15 years experience running my own business. Several failed entrepreneurial attempts. Personally managed approx £9 million on paid digital ads. I’m a dog lover and therefore trustworthy.

Invoke Media announces a major client win, securing the digital marketing contract for The San Marco Group of restaurants.

The family owned and operated group of Italian restaurants have a footprint across the Central Lancashire area, operating five highly successful established restaurants and bars.

Since late January, Invoke have been providing marketing consultancy services to the group and each establishment individually, as well as implementing a social media and email marketing strategy.

Understanding the importance of maintaining a clear & engaging online presence, the group approached Invoke to pitch a proposal for the future marketing of each restaurant and the group as a whole; with Invoke revelling at the opportunity to work with such a respected brand.

 

Invoke Media Director Jack Barron says…

“This is a great opportunity for both businesses. We’ve had some interesting discussions on how to progress the brand online and we’re excited at the results of those conversations.

The strategy is sound, aligned with the prestige of the San Marco brand and is aimed at engaging an already loyal customer base, as well as attracting new customers who haven’t had the pleasure of dining with them yet.

I have personally been eating at restaurants from across the group since I was knee-high, so I fully buy into what they stand for and am already a strong brand advocate. I’m also looking forward to passing off regular meals out as market research that’s for sure. I really didn’t need any more excuse to go to Angelo’s or Stratos after work.”

 

Invoke Media’s Jack Barron (left) and San Marco Director Carlo Bragagnini (right)

 

San Marco Director Carlo Bragagnini says…

“We’ve tried numerous approaches to our digital marketing over the years and understand the importance of not only maintaining our online presence, but driving forward with new tactics and techniques.

We’ve had some great success at doing this over the years but it’s hard work keeping on top of the latest developments and implementing them effectively. We felt that it was time to bring in the experts, and had contact with a number of marketing agencies.

Invoke came highly recommended by a number of close contacts and we felt that their proposal was by far the most aligned with where we want to be and the brand overall.”

The partnership comes amid a series of high profile local client wins for Invoke, having only moved their operation back to Preston from Manchester earlier on in 2018.

 

All online marketing for the group will now be managed by Invoke, with brands coming under their remit including:

The San Marco Group

Trattoria San Marco

Angelo’s

Pinocchio’s

The Italian Orchard

Stratos

Services Provided:

Marketing Consultancy

Paid Social Advertisements

Social Media Management

Email Marketing

 

Further Information

Invoke Media are a marketing consultancy based at Preston’s Cotton Court Business Centre, having moved from their Manchester base in 2018.

Specialising in consultative strategy and paid social advertisements, they service a range of local and national clients across both B2B and B2C markets.

 

Press Contact:

Jack Barron, Director

Email:

Jack@Invokemedia.co.uk

Telephone:

01772  921 109