Category: Social media

Work smarter (not harder) on your socials

It’s no secret: if you’re in business, you need to be social. And we don’t just mean networking and events (although they’re super important) – we mean being social on social media.

It doesn’t need to be overwhelming though and Peninsula Life caught up with marketing specialist Kirsty Fields from Social Ocean who shares with business owners her best tips to reaping the rewards of social media.

Social Media is a foundation of business marketing. We use it to communicate, promote, engage and build relationships with our customers.

Its trick is that it’s all in the name – social media – it’s meant to be social: fun, entertaining, engaging and interactive. So how can you be these things with a business? It will look different in
your business to another regardless of your niche or industry.

The good news is that finding the balance to be social, whilst using it with a holistic approach to marketing doesn’t have to be confronting, confusing or pushed to the ‘too hard’ basket.

Use my top tips below to find the sweet spot of your branding with a social tone that your audience will be attracted to, whilst driving traffic to your website.

Smart phone with Instagram

1. Spotlight people in your business

Clients always tell me they don’t want to show their face. Practice your smile in the mirror and just do it! Those who love your brand want to engage with you, so let them. If you have staff, share that spotlight around and include them in your stories and photos.

 

2. Guide content with your calendar

Look at what’s ahead each quarter as you’re likely to be inputting dates in this timeframe. Make note of events, promotions or activities that are on. Identify which ones you can leverage and set deadlines to write blog content to stand out from the crowd. Repurpose your blog on all platforms.

 

3. Fill gaps with industry dates

If you don’t host events or promotional campaigns, you can use industry calendars or social media dates the same way as using your own business calendar.

 

4. Batch produce content

Set aside a couple of hours each month to write and schedule content or add to a spreadsheet for reference. Being persistent with social media is a game-changer! Layer batched content with photos and videos to add the fun in. I often see businesses focusing too much energy and budget on it instead of working it into their communication processes and overall strategy.


Social Media thought leader

MEET KIRSTY (AND SOCIAL OCEAN)

Kirsty Fields is Creative Director and Owner at Social Ocean, a marketing agency specialising in social media training for business owners and corporate events.

Harnessing social media for business from the very beginning, her passion is training clients in social media, event marketing and branding and seeking out unique event opportunities to promote her clients’ businesses to their communities.

Multi-award winning event manager, Kirsty writes blog articles to motivate and encourage business owners to use social media and improve and leverage promotional opportunities at events. In July, she was named as one of eight Female Thought Leaders by YMag.

Social Ocean was recently named one of 100 Federal Government Small Business Digital Champions project participants.

 

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT GETTING SOCIAL FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

Social Ocean is everywhere online! Find them where you like to hang out the most: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter.

You can also read the blog.

 


Original article published in Issue 12 of Peninsula Life, September-October 2019. Peninsula Life magazine is a dedicated publication for the Redcliffe Peninsula, Queensland.

SOCIAL OCEAN HARNESSES THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA

KIRSTY FIELDS, CREATIVE DIRECTOR & OWNER OF SOCIAL OCEAN, EVENT & SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER, WORKSHOP SPECIALIST

Kirsty Fields has over 20 years experience in the event management business. She has coordinated everything from kids’ events to national sports games. As an eager student of modern digital and promotional techniques, she has expanded her business into new areas of marketing expertise to offer her clients. She offers many types of workshops to help train companies in social media, digital marketing and branding, and can provide training to accommodate anyone.

YMag caught up with her to interview her for their issue featuring their Female Thought Leaders of 2019.

Below is the full unpublished interview with Kirsty Fields.

 

YMag – When did you start your business?

KF – My business evolved after a friend contacted me to ask if I could assist the professional teaching association she volunteered for, with their state-wide conference management. That was in February 2017. I was in shock after losing my job as a marketing manager at a private college which came from government changes in tertiary education fees. It was a pretty messy situation and I was still processing it all. At the same time, my husband was in the middle of negotiations for a job in Texas, USA – so I wasn’t actively job hunting. The thought of taking up a job when we were thinking of leaving the country didn’t sit well with me.

Assisting with conference management required me to have my own ABN and as a result of that process, my business was launched. I knew that there would be the inclusion of social media in my business after years of using it for business purposes, though it was quite unclear what it would look like. That was how Social Ocean started.

 

ANZ Stadium
Kirsty Fields at ANZ Stadium (Sydney), attending the Stormwater Australia National Awards, where she was representing Queensland as a Finalist in the Policy and Education category.

 

YMag – Why did you add events and social media services?

KF – Prior to my marketing management role I was a relations manager at the largest rugby league club in Queensland for eight years. I’d helped initiate, build and manage their digital and social media accounts to communicate with our National followers as well as players and families. Our platforms became integral in communicating with them about events on and off the field, weather, and so much more.

We tried out a variety of digital communication points to serve our fans and stakeholders. As a volunteer-based community however, it was easy for us to identify their potential as a marketing tool.

I was using Facebook from when it first launched, it became second nature to me. I had MySpace and various other accounts in my uni days, but nothing for business. Using Facebook specifically as a business tool was certainly not the intention or initial design.

I feel in love with the ability to ‘meet’ and reach others online with social media. But more than that, it because a way for me to sell tickets to events, invite people to support philanthropic activities and move them emotionally.

One year, I’d sold hundreds of tickets to a national rugby league game that had an extreme weather forecast. We had to scrap the event entirely as we weren’t able to bus the teams in due to flooding. Thanks to social media, we contacted thousands of fans preparing to travel through extreme conditions to watch their teams play. In less than 90 minutes, we’d been able to spread the word at three various levels of the game along with multiple other partnering sites who rallied to get the word out. It’s unfathomable to think just how many people will see your message.

It’s this passion and realisation of it’s power to assist business owners relay their message online, that meant I just had to have social media as a focus in my business.

Social media is also a key tool in Events Marketing. If you’re running an event – regardless of where, when or why – you must have an online presence for that event even if the event has no charge.

The events side of my business itself has been something that’s come naturally to me. I started managing events in the late 1990s and, with through career changes, my events experience also put me in a position to assist my employers along the way.

 

YMag – It sounds like you’ve been involved with lots of different event experiences, what are some of the most memorable ones?

KF – In 2016 I worked with the Queensland Police Service to launch a public campaign at a local sporting event. On the day we had police puppies, horses and the highway patrol cars all kitted out – combined with State Ministers, the Police Commissioner and various other government officials. It was a memorable occassion.

I enjoy providing clients with a different perspective. One of my client’s seminars are always held at a local pub, so guests can have a steak lunch with jugs of beer, allowing them to network more casually. Another client now has a successful trade component to their quarterly confrences, which has increased their revenue and built ongoing professional partnerships.

 

EVERY ONE OF MY CLIENT’S SUCCESSES IS MY SUCCESS – Kirsty Fields

YMag – Tell us about your workshops. What kind of programs do you offer?

KF – There’s different formats to my workshops, depending on the audience. I could be in a room full of managers from a franchise or particular industry or speaking at networking groups or conferences.

I run small group workshops a couple of times a year on various topics of social media and event planning. At the moment my most popular workshop topic is Content Creation. It’s where we sit in a quiet space and extract the business information from within you to recognise your original detailed content, ready to present online.

This year Canva, Instagram and LinkedIn are really popular too. Business owners are realising there are special techniques – hacks even, I love that word – they could understand to amplify their efforts in connecting with or attracting others.

 

YMag – Who are the people you work with in workshops?

KF – Most workshop attendees are sole traders in start-up and initial building phases of business. Having an intimate group scenario improves their comfort level as well as giving them a new opportunity to connect with their next collaborator or referral partner. Their incomes are yet to support outsourcing, but they are aware of the importance of activity online to create awareness and start new business friendships and collaborations.

I run my own events, just how I’d coordinate conferences, seminars or sales events for clients – bespoke in content and design.

 

YMag – What makes you passionate about what you do? What’s your Y?

KF – There’s something deep-seated in me about showing others that they don’t have to be rich financially to be rich in knowledge.

Further from that though you can have lots of knowledge, but I don’t believe everyone needs to “know it all”. I want to share with others what knowledge will be helpful to them, to make a difference in their businesses to help them succeed instead of overwhelming them with #allthethings. Let’s use what we need – not just what’s hot for a minute.

Every one of my client’s success, is my success.

There’s also something special about looking at the faces of those people who are attending events. They are there to inspire, educate and motivate themselves.

Corporate events can be different than coordinating “fun events” like weddings, engagement parties or 21st birthday parties. There’s almost always a strong educational element with workshops, seminars, trade expos and retreats. Though I attend a lot of events I always learn something new.

With my own events, I set a target for my delegates and guests to have more then one “light bulb moment”. I call it a “light bulb moment” because you see in the faces of these people when it happens – their eyes becomes wider and brighter, and it’s often joined by a smile. It’s a physical identifier to me that we’ve hit the mark – and it’s a priceless moment to me!

 

Plans for the Future…

My goals for the future are based on what I’ve learnt as a business owner. The first year was tough and I certainly couldn’t have survived without a second income in the house, but it taught me how to build a professional audience of my own, establish a referral network, connect with like-minded peers collaboratively and build a business from $1000. for 2019/2020, I’d like to show others how having a few dollars can create maximum impact and generate what success means to you.


My immediate goals as one of the 100 Small Business Digital Champions businesses from around Australia is to kickstart two online programs. One will support businesses with social media, and the other will support those looking to build their business using events. Social Ocean will be undergoing a digital transformation to support these programs and allow me to reach a national audience.


I don’t think I’m prepared to become an author – working with social media is always changing – so, by the time I published something, it’d be out of date. However, I have template booklets in the works. These are perfect for time-poor business owners who struggle to put time aside at the computer to plan their content.


It feels like a distant dream still, but I’d like the template booklets to lead into a social media planner for marketers, social media managers and business owners. There just isn’t one that combines social media with a great diary – it’s something I find myself searching for every November and December without success. I’d love to hear from other business owners if that’s something they feel would be useful.

 

An edited version of this interview was published in Issue 09 of YMag (July 2019).

5 TOP PROFILE PHOTO TIPS

Updated your social media profile photo for your “new year, new me” already?

You might have updated your profile photo because you look different. Maybe you lost 30 kg, gained 30 kg, grew your hair, chopped it off, grew a beard or fell in love with a recent image of yourself.

Whatever the reason for updating it, that never matters because we love to see our friends, family and clients update profile photos to reflect the current version of themselves.

I can’t think of any bad reasons to update your profile, unless you’ve managed to select photos suffering from items on our 5 top profile photo tips list.

I update mine to acknowledge my personal changes. This year my hair is the same length as my 2019 portraits, but I’m pretty sure I’ve gained 10kg. Check my LinkedIn profile here.

Not everyone has a professional photographer following them around (which is a bummer, you really should try to get one).

Instead, run through our five top tip checklist and prep to upload the new  you.

Even if you think your profile has a killer image, review our list to double check.

1. Recognise Me

The number one reason for updating your profile image is so that your connections recognise you offline. I want you to recognise me, seek me out at a conference or meet for our first coffee chat without wandering around in circles.

When auditing client social media accounts, the profile image or logo and the cover photo are the first things we see. The percentage of those clients that have room for improvement here is at least 50% of our Social Media Audit clients.

Changing your style, brand and other obvious physical changes are a perfect reason to update your profile photo.

Your profile photos is the first element people see on their timeline or home page so it should be a good one.

2. Noticeable Age Gap

You may not have experienced physical change, but across time they creep in unnoticed. Excluding those brave enough to get a face-lift, we don’t wind back the clock just by stepping out of the office. Don’t let your profile photo reflect a back to the future experience.

You might have lines on your face, and a different hair colour or hair line (sorry guys, it’s true). But it’s equally true that many people will look better now than they did 20 years ago.

Accept your age. Upload a profile photo from within the last 12 months.

3. Dark Glasses

Like one of my sisters (the inspiration behind this article), you’re likely to have a phone full of beautiful selfies.

My sister’s problem is that she’s wearing huge dark sun glasses in 70% of those photos.

Allow people to connect with your digital self and let them see your entire face.

If you wear glasses to see – don’t stress – you should be wearing them, so don’t let them stop you posing. Also, don’t take them off. People recognise you in glasses and may not recognise you without them.

Same problem for wearing hats or longer hair. Remove hats if it’s covering your face – and definitely take it off if it’s a cap or you’re wearing it backwards – and flick your hair back, out of your eyes.

Creative Director Kirsty Fields at the jetty
This photo is from the first professional photography I had taken for myself for Social Ocean. It’s a great example of a landscape setting.

4. It’s Crowded

Avoid confusion over which person belongs to the profile, by discarding photos with multiple people.

You don’t want to cause confusion about which person you are, nor do you want to use a photo of you and your significant other as your professional profile. Leave the personal photos for your personal Facebook account and put a business front on for your professional profiles.

Review others with a crowd in the back of shot.

Struggling to decide on what to cut out? Cut out any with people in the background entirely, as the image is likely to be too busy for the small piece of real estate your profile takes up. It’s YOUR profile remember, distractions are not your friend.

Landscape photography with you featured in the foreground is often a great choice. Non-professional versions of this regularly have the background still in focus and can sometimes take the focus off you. Keep an eye on that.

5. Off Balance

When you zoom in or out of your photo in the LinkedIn or Facebook profile editor, you’ll know selecting an image you are not in the centre of is a pain in the butt.

Best options here are the photos with unimportant background or space around your face. This allows you to zoom in and centre your head in the circle template in your photo uploader.

This also means you’ll be able to discard more from your “maybe” pile. Remember you can zoom in to you during this process.

Kirsty Fields posing for photos
Whilst the photo of me above is nice, I have to cut this one from my list of options as I’m too close to camera. When using the photo editor in LinkedIn or Facebook, I’m going to hit the straight line of the left hand side of the image. My face will then be too big and out of proportion.

TAKEAWAY

Showing clients or potential clients what you look like when you get out of bed, where you holiday with loved ones, and when you are sweaty from a workout isn’t a good look.

Even if you are a professional sleeper, traveller or personal trainer – professional profiles should reflect a polished version of yourself.

If you don’t have a photo suitable on your phone or on your desktop, there’s a quick and easy solution.

Book in with a professional photographer, ask a colleague or friend to take snaps of you in work attire, or grab the closest teenager you know.

Let that first impression of your online self make a difference and update your profile photo with an image that makes it through all five tips above.

Put your best foot forward, show off who you are and reflect your personality. Your aim to stand out from the crowd is a necessity that every one can achieve to get noticed in a busy online world.