Does social media actually generate leads? Or is it the ultimate procrastination tool?!

I’ll be the first to admit that I spend far too much time on Twitter. It’s so easy to emerge myself in that world, lost in a thread, engaged in a weekly Twitter chat or off on a tangent reading someone’s latest post after clicking on a link.

But isn’t that the point of social media?

Social media isn’t a sales platform where we pitch up our stall and shout to the masses. It’s where we go to find our community – people who we want to have a conversation with, learn from and find inspiration. It isn’t about the ‘low hanging fruit’, where you stick a link to something on your website and instantly get 101 enquiries. It’s a slow burn, where you consistently show up and give as much (if not more) to the community than you take from it.

Social media is effective because it enables you to build a tribe and establish trust with that audience over time. It’s where you carve your reputation for being X – then any time someone says, “I’m looking for recommendations for X”, your name is front of mind and your tribe is more than happy to make introductions.

Did you know…

  • Over 1.6 billion people around the world are connected to a small business on Facebook[1].
  • Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users and 90% follow a business[2].
  • 66% of marketers say social media brings them new leads[3].
  • Salespeople who are active on social media report 45% more sales opportunities[1].
  • 84% of C-level executives use social media to make purchasing decisions[4].
  • 76% of B2B tech companies use social media to drive results – more than blogging, organic and paid search[5].
  • Social media lead conversion rates are 13% higher than the average lead conversion rate[6].

But when nearly half (49%) of B2B marketers admit to finding social media to be the most difficult marketing activity to implement[6], are you questioning whether you’re using social media right? Or wondering if there’s something more/different/better that you could be doing to engage your audience?

Then say hello to Kat…

She’s a social media consultant with an impressive background in the world of corporate comms, PR and social media management. Specialising in growing an organic following through Facebook and Instagram, Kat will give you all the knowledge, guidance, love and support you need to help you make social media deliver the results your business deserves.

Here I spend 5 minutes talking to her about her business…

What do you do?

My background is communications and PR. When I first started out, we were creating posters and flyers to get clients noticed, which seems very old-fashioned now, plus it was really hard to communicate on mass. So when social media came along, my job changed overnight.

As an early adopter, I’ve loved watching how social media has constantly changed, and the fact there’s always something new to get your head around. It’s also nice to see how it gives a voice to smaller businesses that perhaps didn’t have that opportunity before.

Turning freelance, I was working as a social media manager. But returning to work after maternity leave, I’ve decided to transition to focus on social media consultancy and training.

I’ve always loved strategy and the research side of things because I have the opportunity to really get to know a business and its owner, and understand how social media can help them achieve both their business and personal goals.

Even as a social media manager, I was never the person doing the engagement because it never felt right to me. With social media, you need to be authentic – people can always tell when it isn’t the company posting themselves. Instead, I’ve always focused on sharing my knowledge to help my clients see how to make social media work best for them, and then giving them the confidence to do it themselves. Therefore switching my focus from management to consultancy feels like a natural progression.

Who do you help?

I want to help people like me, so people who are busy running a business while doing a million other things and don’t take life too seriously! We’d need to be aligned on our personal values – so for example, I’d never take on a client that had anything to do with gambling. And I love working with creative people. I get a real buzz off people who are, because I get to understand the process they go through to bring their ideas to life as a physical product.

For me I love smaller businesses because the business and the owner are essentially one and the same. Plus, it’s as much about helping them to achieve their personal ambitions as making money.

What do your clients value most about your service?

I don’t have an Internet persona so what you see is what you get. Where my clients get the most value is through my passion because I can help them see the potential that social media has for their business.

As part of my working process, I spend a lot of time upfront getting to know what my client does, why they do it, and what they want for the future. Not only is this good for me because I get to know their business better, and therefore how social media can support their ambition, but it gives them an opportunity to reflect. So often we get caught up in the day-to-day that we forget to take a step back and think about what we’re working towards. It’s really nice to see them go through that process.

When is the right time for someone to contact you?

Really, any time is a good time.

It could be at the start of a project or when you’re thinking about setting up a business and looking to get a strategy in place that sets the foundations on which to grow.

Equally, it could be refreshing your current social media strategy. A lot of companies will hit a point where they’re not getting the results they were expecting, or something that worked in the past is no longer engaging people. Rather than struggle on getting frustrated, I can give a fresh perspective with ideas of what to change.

It could also be that you or your business has changed and your social media needs to catch up. Take the pandemic as an example. Buying habits have changed with more people shopping locally with smaller businesses – a trend that looks set to continue.

And then I get some clients come to me with broad statements like, “We don’t know how to do social media.” But when I look into it, it’s not that they don’t know how, it’s that they’re not organised or haven’t kept up-to-date with changes to the platforms. With a little bit of guidance and reassurance it’s easy to get them back on-track.

What is it like to work with you?

After the initial deep dive session where I get to understand the business, I’ll go away and put a social media strategy together. For me, this is where the fun really starts because I get to do lots of lovely research:

  • Looking at the content pillars.
  • Identify the ‘ideal’ audience (not everyone on the Internet!).
  • Competitor/collaborator analysis.
  • How to align social media activity to the business goals.
  • Branding and styling to optimise social media platforms.
  • Identifying any functionality/options that aren’t being used within each platform.
  • If appropriate, identifying influencers to work with.

It’s important to be in contact with the client throughout this process because ultimately, they’re the ones that need to implement the strategy – it can’t be another document that sits in a marketing folder.

Then we have a big meeting to go through the strategy with a fine-tooth comb, which is when the client has the opportunity to learn the practicalities of what to do next and why.

I’m always going to be there for guidance and reassurance, but it’s not just about giving them the knowledge, it’s about giving them the confidence to do it themselves.

What advice would you share to someone struggling with social media?

Don’t spread yourself too thin.

Too many people try to be everywhere, which is madness. Be where you need to be and where you’re happiest – because if you’re not happy, you won’t do it.

Start with 1 place, and do it really bloody well! Find your community so you’re amongst like-minded people and focus on organic, long-term growth.

What’s the best way for someone to contact you?

I love to chat on social media. The best places to find me are on:

Twitter: @StripeSocial_

Instagram: StripeSocial

My DMs are always open!

Or you can contact me through my website…

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