Creating Connections: with Stevie Dillon from "Stevie Says Social"
Our business is all about supporting 'Small Business' - and of course, these days Social Media plays a major part for all small biz operators - it's often the first thing we check in the morning, and last thing we check at night (not to mention those 100 extra times during the day - yep, guilty).
So, when we were compiling a resource list for our clients - people we could recommend for 'all things Social' - we had to meet Stevie, from Stevie Says Social, who not only is our 'go to' Social Media guru, but she specifically supports 'service based business', who we think traditionally, have struggled a little in this space. Plus, there's that thing where Jacqui's daughter is also named 'Stevie' - so it just HAD to happen!
Over iced lattes and lemonades on the hottest Brisbane spring day ever, we chatted (and melted) and realised that we were already connected (socially) - through other like-minded businesses and individuals - it wasn't surprising that we would one day meet and collaborate!
You would have already heard us harp on about 'Customer Profiling', but we'll say it again - you need to know who you are talking to, in order to actually be heard. And in order for you to 'serve your audience' - you need to 'connect' with them, and likewise, they need to feel 'connected' to you.
We all had so much to chat about this topic, so we thought we'd pick Stevie's brain a little more...
Why did you decide to specialise in supporting ‘service based’ businesses with their Social Media?
Service-based social is a COMPLETELY different skill set than social media for businesses that sell products. Having worked as a lawyer and also in several professional services environments, I really saw a need for a social media specialist that understood these sectors and the results they want.
It’s not about a well placed ‘buy now’ button, it’s about developing relationships over time.
By consistently delivering valuable content, service providers are not only able to establish themselves as an expert and an authority, but they are also able to develop the know, like and trust factor so that when people need their service they are the obvious choice.
There’s strategies and tactics that can help service based businesses develop pipelines of clients dying to work with them and there weren’t too many others executing them well – or at all – so I wanted to fill that gap!
We find that often when digging into our clients business, they have developed a Social Media strategy without having a Marketing Strategy. Can you tell us how you see the difference, and how it impacts on a business?
The hierarchy, very simply, works like this:
1. Business Plan.
2. Marketing Strategy
3. Social Media Strategy
4. Social Media Tactics (inside Social Media Strategy)
Here’s an example of a Business Plan objective and how it filters down:
1. Business Plan: Increase Market Share by X..
2. Marketing Strategy: Increase brand awareness by X…
3. Social Media Strategy Increase reach and impressions on Facebook by X…
4. Social Media Tactics: Implement paid Facebook ad campaign with X…
It needs to start with the business objectives in the overall business plan, and everything else is based on that.
For that reason, social media comes LAST, not first.
It is so important to have first established what your business objectives and marketing goals are before diving into a social media strategy, otherwise you don’t know what you’re shooting for.
Also, social media is just one of many marketing channels that can help a business to achieve their overall business objectives. It make sense to explore all marketing options. Don’t get me wrong, social media is amazing - but it’s not everything.
We hear from our clients (and we say this ourselves every day) that the Social Media space moves so quickly, and it can be really daunting to keep up with it all eg; just when you think you have Instagram stories nailed, they bring out a ‘voting button’! How do you suggest we all keep up?
Honestly? Just roll with it!
The best thing about Facebook, Instagram and the other major social media platforms is that they ultimately have the end user in mind. It is their interests for their users to enjoy their experience and to stay longer on their platforms, and so they are constantly testing and rolling ways to achieve this.
For us business owners and social media marketers, it means constantly being on our toes but it keep things fun!
When new features come out, test and see what works for you and YOUR business. Often when a new feature comes out on Facebook, it is given preference in news feeds so it can be a great way to get additional reach and engagement on your content (live video is a good example of this).
What’s the worst thing you could possibly do when it comes to a Social Media strategy?
Concentrating on vanity metrics as a measure of success.
LIKES DON’T (NECESSARILY) EQUAL BUSINESS.
Social media for service-based businesses is about connecting with people who are likely to one day do business with you (aka your ideal clients), and then consistently developing a relationship with them over time. If you’re chasing followers at any cost, there’s a good chance you’ll employ shady tactics and end up with bots, follow/unfollows on Insta and/or followers that aren’t engaged because they followed on a like ladder or similar.
Instead of chasing followers at any cost, concentrate on serving your ideal client REALLY well with great quality content – you’ll attract more of them.
Our catch-cry is ‘you must profile your ideal customer’ and our businesses work in the same niche - what is it about this tribe of small business women that you enjoy the most?
I love the collaboration and the camaraderie – it’s something that I didn’t even known existed until I went out on my own and starting building my business.
The best thing about working in social media is that it’s so.. social. I have met a lot of great people from Instagram in the past few months - my partner calls them my Instagram friends! It’s a reminder to treat your socials as a two way channel for communication, you never know what may come from it.
So who does a Social Media Marketer stalk? Anyone that you think we should all be watching?
On the product side, Go-To Skincare is ahhhmazing. They’re marketing is so on point. They are sassy, fun and above all CONSISTENT in everything they do. As far as their socials go, they have done an amazing job of giving their brand a personality. The styling in their product shots is SO good, their Insta feed is gorgeous and they captions.. snap. They just nail it.
On the services side, there’s a few businesses that are nailing it.
Ellevest (@ellevest) in the States is great example of a business in a traditionally ‘dry’ industry doing great things. They know their market, and they serve them well. They provide finance tips, inspiration and stories in a fun way. Turbotax (@turbotax) also do well in this space.
And of course, the Queensland Police Service kill it. They’re actually SO clever – by posting witty, funny posts that are likely to get engagement and shares, they are increasing the reach of their ‘official police business’ posts.
And something we ask all of our guest bloggers, what is the one ‘golden nugget’ or piece of advice that you’d pass on to a busy women/small biz owner to help them ‘juggle the struggle’?
Create, then consume! This is my golden rule. I am always at my MOST productive in the early morning, and so I produce – whether it be a blog post, or client work, or basically anything that requires my best and most intelligent self – before I let myself read articles or browse emails or social.
And as far as social media goes, I highly recommend ‘batching’ social media content creation and scheduling. Set aside a couple of hours every week and do it all in one go. It will save you from constantly wondering what to post, and will avoid the time suck that inevitably comes when you are constantly jumping on and off social to post.
Love what you've read so far? We can't get enough - and if like us you want to hear more - catch up on a blog post that Stevie wrote on this very topic - "Why creating connection is the secret to social media success (and four ways to do it)" - find it here.
Until next time.
Jacqui & Helen x
About Stevie Dillon, "Stevie Says Social"
Helping service-based businesses launch and grow using social media.
To sum it all up neatly?
+ I have over ten years of experience in marketing, working in and with a range of service-based businesses (law, real estate, creative industries).
+ These days, I coach, educate, strategise and manage all things social media marketing for service-based businesses. I specialise in professional services and other businesses that sell their expertise.
+ And finally - but most importantly - I live and breathe this stuff. I'm so passionate about social and the results that I achieve for the businesses I work with.