Social media for service providers comes with its own challenges. But if you are a non-digital native like me, it becomes extra intimidating. So where do you start? Who do I hire to do my social media? And what are some common mistakes small business owners make with social media?
I DON’T KNOW!
You’ll often hear me talk with an abundance of confidence about…
the processes and procedures you need in your business.
the tools you need and don’t need
writing a proposal.
how and when to hire a new staff member
setting and achieving your goals
writing an annual or a quarterly plan
That’s because I’ve fleshed these things out. I’ve done the miles. Made the mistakes and learned from them. I know what works and what doesn’t. And I’m sharing those insights with you.
WHAT YOU WON’T FIND ON THAT LIST IS SOCIAL MEDIA.
Not because social media for service providers isn’t important.
But because… I DON’T KNOW!
Social Media Marketing For Non-Digital Natives
I’m not a digital native.
I grew up in a time when there was no internet, leave alone things like TikTok, or Instagram, or Facebook, or even LinkedIn. And to be honest, it doesn’t come naturally to me.
But I recognise the importance of marketing and the role social media plays in it.
So what did I do?
I asked Hanna Rauch to join me on the podcast.
Hanna is a New Zealand Social Media Strategist. She specialises in solutions for service-based business.
And I asked her all the questions I have about a social media strategy for a service business.
FOR YOU AND FOR ME!
And it all starts with a reality check.
Hanna debunks my preconception of having a big disadvantage because I am a non-digital native.
She points out that it’s not as black and white as I (and many non-digital natives with me) think.
Yes, having a private social media account from a young age probably exposes you to the sort of posts you’ll find on any given platform. BUT it doesn’t mean you also know how to manage a business account or what content will get your business ahead.
A hodgepodge of dog pictures, family photos and the occasional business post is a regular occurrence in Hanna’s world.
Cute? Sure! Good at driving sales? Euh... NO!
Why You Need A Social Media Strategy?
Hanna explains she often sees people who decide to ‘wing it’ or ‘figure it out as they go’. Which seems like the economical thing to do.
You know… copy-paste some tips you found on a reel that promise you a 50% increase in sales within 2 weeks.
The reality is that the school of improv is a very time-intensive exercise. Contrary to what you may think expensive too. Because that reel that promised you the earth is unlikely to work for your business.
But what’s more, even if you nail the Instagram post, have you considered how that social media strategy for service providers fits in your larger sales and marketing strategy? Or even your business strategy?
Seriously, what do you want to achieve with your social media marketing?
The logical thing to do is hire help.
Who Do I Hire To Do My Social Media?
This is where I’m at. I’ve done a bit of winging-it.
The penny has dropped: I probably need some help.
But who do I hire to do my social media?
A VA? A Social Media Manager? A Social Media Strategist?
There’s no one-and-done answer. So Hanna spells it out for me.
Basically, different people do different things.
Social Media For A Service Business : The Strategist
The strategist does… well, they figure out a strategy. A roadmap. A plan.
It starts with deciding which platform works for you.
TikTok may be the hype of the moment, but it doesn’t mean it’s the right platform for you.
Even more so than for a retailer, the key to the right social media strategy for service providers lies in identifying who your clients are, where they hang out, what problems they are struggling with, and how often you should be posting.
But also, a strategist will look at the bigger picture. Hanna calls it an ‘audit’.
How does your social media marketing fit in with everything else?
Do you want to get people to sign up for a newsletter and from there email marketing will do the heavy lifting? Or do you want to social media to work its magic further down the sales funnel?
In other words, the Social Media Strategist is the first person you hire as a one-off. Once you have the strategy, you’re good to go.
Social Media For A Service Business: The Executers
From there, you can either pick up the social media work yourself, or you can get someone to do it for you. That’s where the VA and the Social Media Manager come in. Both are executers and you hire them for the longer term.
Why choose one over the other?
It really depends on the work and the business you have.
Option 1: Your VA
A VA is more of a generalist.
Social media will be just one of the many tasks alongside inbox management, invoicing, travel planning, project management, doing transcriptions, or even writing blog posts and podcast management.
Option 2: A Social Media Manager
A Social Media Manager is a specialist, doing only social media related tasks.
This could be anything from creating content and writing captions to designing graphics, taking photos and then distributing the content on to the pages. Sometimes they also do data analysis. This means they will have a look at what content has performed well, and then feed back into what kind of content they will create in the upcoming month.
Which one out of these works for you will depend on your time, the stage your business is in and your budget.
Common Mistakes Small Business Owners Make With Social Media
I ask Hanna what the common problems are she sees along the way.
- One mistake many small business owners make is to expect results within a few months or even weeks. To make great social media content, the executer (your VA or your Social Media Manager) needs to be very familiar with your business and the brand.
Deciding social media isn’t working for you after a mere 3 months is … let’s say premature because they will still be in the process of getting to know the business.
- One other common mistake is to think that as a business owner, you can now forget about social media because ‘someone is doing it for you’.
Hanna’s experience is that the best results come from accounts where the business owner is still involved in the content that goes out and how it is presented. That’s because social media marketing for a service business relies heavily on conveying the expertise.
Hanna recommends regular strategy meetings (in one form or other), so the VA or the Social Media Manager has the information to go off and create the content with the insight they need.
- Consistency wins the game. Always!
And On A Final Note…
I ask Hanna about her nuggets of wisdom as a small business owner herself. I’ve gotten into the habit of doing that.
What can I say… she nails it!
- Don't take advice from people that aren't where you want to go. Because as much as you love your parents, your aunties and your best friend, it’s unlikely they are running a business in a similar niche. So, although well meant, their advice will not help you. Instead, focus on advice from people who have already done what you want to do.
- Don't be afraid to ask for support in the areas that are not your zone of genius. Get the support rather than just trying for yourself and investing a lot of time and energy in results that won’t provide.
- What Google recommends will not necessarily serve you. Instead, get personalised advice that takes your current situation into account. It may seem like the more expensive option, but in the longer term, it will save you so much money and time.
And that’s it , folks!
Speaking with Hanna about social media marketing for non-digital natives like me has been really enlightening for me, personally. I now realise I need a Social Media Strategist before I look at hiring an implementer in the longer term. (lightbulb emoji)
I’m keen to hear your thoughts!
Connect With Hanna Rauch
If, like me, you’re set on getting a social media strategy for a service business in place, Hanna is your gal!
Depending on your needs, Hanna offers:
- One Off Strategy Coaching Sessions, where you’ll talk about a specific aspect of a social media strategy for a service business. These sessions are great if you already know what you're struggling with.
- A Strategy Deep Dive, which is a comprehensive audit, where you work together on identifying the bottlenecks. This will take two weeks to a month.
- Consulting where Hanna is basically in your back pocket. You can ask me for feedback on anything that has to do with social media and content.
As you would assume, you can find Hanna on most social media platforms.