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2022 Social Media Engagement Guide For Beginners: Helping You Show Up Well!

OSM in Belleville, Ontario, explains the value of social media engagement in 2022.

2022 Social Media Engagement Guide For Beginners: Helping You Show Up Well!

Social media engagement is a free and powerful tool that can entirely change the way you do business. It is the key to quality brand growth, lead generation, customer relationship management and loyalty in 2022.

And it all happens within a small, hand-held device!

So how do you leverage this technology for your business?

In this article, we explore the ins and outs of social media engagement - from theory to execution! If you’re new to social media, you’ll want to keep this article in reach.

Keep reading to learn how to,

a) Catch your audience's attention,

b) Keep them interested and committed to your content, and

c) Create an engaged community within your niche.

Ready to get started?

 

First Up, What Is Social Media Engagement?

If you’ve ever responded to a Direct Message on Facebook or replied to a comment on an Instagram post, you’ve engaged on social media.

But there’s more to it than that!

RESPONDING to your audience is one thing. But REACHING OUT to your audience is another. And continually showing up, even after that initial interaction, is yet another!

Social media engagement is a two-way street. And, when done effectively, it can also present a domino effect. 

Have we lost you? Hold up! Let’s put this into perspective.

Picture this:

You meet up with a friend over coffee. Chances are, during your meeting, you and your friend will have some back-and-forth dialogue. You ask a question, your friend answers, they say something funny, and you laugh.

That’s the first form of engagement.

But then…

The person standing in line heard the joke and laughed. The barista then asks what was so funny, and they tell her. She repeats the joke to her coworkers. And her coworker then tells the lady at the drive-thru window.

Then the lady continues to tell that joke to her friends, family and coworkers throughout the rest of the day.

Now your simple act of engagement has spread like wildfire!

And while this may look a little different on social media, the concept remains the same.

In the world of social media, you can measure engagement by the following:

  • Likes (or reactions)
  • Shares
  • Comments
  • Views
  • Mentions
  • Subscriptions…etc.

In a nutshell, social media engagement is how your audience reacts, connects and interacts with your content.

 

How Does Social Media Engagement Benefit Your Business?

Here’s the thing…

A big following means nothing if your followers are not engaging with you.

That’s like hosting a big party where everyone shows up, but nobody does anything when they get there. Nobody drinks the punch. Nobody dances. Nobody even talks to you!

A big group of silent, bored people is the opposite of what you had planned for the party.

And the same is true for social media.

An active social media audience is crucial in 2022.

Especially if you’re in the market for brand growth.

However, we’ll let you in on a little life hack:

With the constantly changing algorithms, it can be hard to stay TOP-OF-PAGE. But if you engage consistently and effectively with valuable content, you can work towards an even higher goal:

Staying TOP-OF-MIND!

 

4 Benefits of Good Social Media Engagement

Brand Awareness and Recognition

One of the great benefits of social media engagement is brand awareness and recognition.

Once you’ve created your brand identity and have a solid strategy, the next step is to start showing up for your audience.

In this initial step, you’re finding your niche and showing up where your audience is already hanging out. You’re joining the party, introducing yourself and essentially handing out your business card.

As you continue to show up and engage, this audience will begin to not only know you but also recognize you - even from afar!

 

Brand Affiliation

To be honest, we’ve found some of our best friends in business on social media.

How cool is that?

Once we found our niche and started interacting, it was easy!

We found many people with similar passions, goals and interests as us. In fact, that’s how our podcast, Shop Talk Quinte, began!

We found so many people in our community with a heart for the meaningful work they did. And we admired that in them. So we invited them to have a conversation with us!

We asked them questions. We answered the questions they asked us. We listened to their responses. And them ours.

We began to understand, inspire and learn from one another.

And voila! To this day, we have grown to call them friends.

We are proud to be brand affiliates of their companies. And they are proud to be brand affiliates of ours!

 

Lead Generation

There are many types of lead generation:

  • SEO (search engine optimization),
  • Paid ads,
  • In-person networking events,
  • Online networking events,
  • Referrals,
  • Email marketing…etc.

But one of the most valuable forms of lead generation in 2022 is social media.

Your social media business account holds limitless market potential!

As you continue to build relationships and become a trusted thought-leader in your industry, you begin the first stage in the lead conversion funnel: awareness!

In this stage, the client is getting to know you. The value you bring. The problem you solve.

They’ll begin to trust you!

 

Customer Relationship Management

Keeping in touch with your current and potential customers has never been easier with social media engagement!

With a quick post, you can keep everyone updated on the minute-by-minute happenings of your business. Whether that be new products, unexpected announcements, upcoming holiday closures, new ventures…etc.

They can also ask you questions any time - day or night -  in an easy-to-use medium.

By opening that line of communication on social media, you’re inviting MORE interactivity, connection and interest. And all you had to do was show up well!

So, how do you do that? How do you effectively show up on social media in 2022 to achieve these benefits?

We’ll teach you!

 

Your 2022 Social Media Engagement Guide:

Know Yourself

Step #1 to showing up on social media is to get to know yourself.

AKA your brand.

In our brand discovery meetings, we ask all sorts of questions to get to know you, your brand, your vision for the brand, goals, ambitions, values…etc.

We ask,

  • WHO your brand is,
  • WHAT your brand is,
  • WHAT it is you offer,
  • WHERE your brand is,
  • WHY your brand exists,
  • WHO your brand is targeting, and
  • HOW you add value.

Before you start engaging on social media, ask yourself these questions. They’ll help guide your content strategy and messaging!

 

Know Your Audience

And, of course, once you know yourself, you will then have to discover your target audience.

After all, how do you expect to find someone if you don’t know who you’re looking for?

Start with the basics, like age, gender, location and interest.

Then, move on to language, visual content and tone!

How does your target audience talk?

What tone of voice do they relate to?

What types of visual content speak best to them?

Once you know who you're targeting and how to best communicate and relate to them, you can start creating content directly for them!

 

Create Content That Counts

And that brings us to content!

Want to succeed on social media?

Then you need to create meaningful and valuable content.

You need intriguing content that relates to your people and encourages engagement!

Start by creating original content that is authentic to you and your brand.

Then use that valuable content to start conversations or encourage people to talk about you on their own profiles.

It can be something as simple as sharing an interesting fact about yourself and then asking whether your audience can relate to it.

 

Be Human

This is where the original, authentic content comes in.

Advertising has been around for a very long time. And people usually know how to spot a salesperson from a mile away.

So if you plan to only talk about your business or products, then you might as well just not go on social media at all. Because that’s not what people want. 

And it’s especially not what they want on social media!

Social media should be a place to gather, connect, relate, share and exchange.

Not sell.

Now that doesn’t mean you can’t sell on social media. Because you absolutely can! It’s just not the goal.

The main goal is to build and nurture personal relationships. Even relationships between clients, potential customers and other business owners!

So, as you begin showing up online, try to veer away from all the sales pitches you’ve memorized. Instead, be human! Interact authentically with your audience and focus on being a genuine presence online.

 

Get Involved

And lastly, be brave!

To engage online, you have to put yourself out there.

So, involve yourself in those conversations.

Reach out to new people and brands.

Interact with content from other accounts.

Share your thoughts.

And don’t forget to also be an active listener!

You’ll be surprised at how many incredible relationships you will build!

 

Keep Us Posted!

Was this information helpful? Inspiring? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Follow along with the OSM team on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok or LinkedIn. Or stay in touch with us by signing up for our newsletters!

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7 Reasons Why Starting a Blog Is Essential to Growing Your Online Presence

OSM explains why blog writing is so valuable for business owners in 2022.

7 Reasons Why Starting a Blog Is Essential to Growing Your Online Presence

Writing unique, valuable and optimized website content has never been more of a priority for businesses than it is today. 

The ever-growing popularity of the internet and the widely acclaimed use of web browsers like Google to find local and relevant answers, products and services is incredible. 

What better way to penetrate this modern, digital landscape and gain traction in our online world than by becoming a part of it?

By sharing your answers to popular questions...

By digging deeper into your niche...

By offering unique value to an already information-hungry audience...

That is the power of blogging!
 

Where Did The Concept of Blogging Originate?

Blogging has evolved drastically over the years. Especially since the alleged first-ever blog platform launched in 1994! 

Justin Hall created this platform, called Links.net, to share his writings. He would write short articles about his life and then publish them on this online platform for others to learn more about him. 

Over the next three or so years, this way of sharing information online became known as an online diary or personal page. And, although most of these posts were code-heavy technical articles, they soon evolved into a journalistic approach.

At this time, the word blog wasn’t even a thing! 

It wasn’t until around 1997, when Jorn Barger described these sites as Weblogs, that the term came into play.

Then, just two years later, Peter Merholz introduced the simplified term we know today - blogs!

From then on, the world of blogging has gone through many phases. From early code-heavy blogs to inspiring mommy blogs to the search-engine-optimized articles that businesses share on their sites today. 

Now, you can learn how to knit a scarf, build a shed, fix your air conditioner, bake sourdough or choose the right insurance plan. All from a blog article!

With a wide selection of tools, blogs have evolved from simple renditions of personal thought to in-depth articles designed for web traction, lead generation and brand credibility.

With good content and the right tools, you can increase traffic to your website, build your brand personality and position yourself as an expert in your specific industry. 

Who knew words could do so much? 
 

Boost Your Digital Presence With Blogging!

Now that you know how blogging has progressed, you can learn how to use it as a resource in growing your online presence!

When used correctly, your blog has the potential to:

1. Position Yourself As An Expert In Your Industry.

Whether you are an electrician or a seamstress, you want to be considered an expert in your trade. You want people to trust you, rely on your expertise and continue coming to you for leading industry information. 

With a blog, you can achieve all of these things! 

You can increase your credibility and inspire trust in your audience simply by: 

  1. Knowing your stuff (aka. researching and gaining hands-on experience),
  2. Sharing your knowledge in an easy-to-read fashion, and
  3. Being the best answer at the best time!

Picture this:

You are an HVAC company that sells heating and cooling products. With recent inflations, your audience is looking for the most cost-efficient air conditioning solution for this coming summer. 

Because you understand your audience and have been researching their questions, you know their concerns and are ready to offer them a solution!

Your tactic? 

To write optimized blog content on the most energy-efficient and budget-friendly cooling options.

Not only can this content position you as an HVAC expert, but you will be advertising your products at the same time - without seeming pushy or having to give a sales pitch! 

You are simply offering an easily-accessed answer to the question your audience is already asking.

2. Increase Your Social Exposure. 

Your blog content is usable for more than just added content on your website.

Try reusing, repurposing and recycling your content on your social media platforms too! You can use these other media platforms to spark interest and gain momentum for your blog article. 

Here’s an idea:

Post a sneak peek in your newsletter or even a link to the article on Facebook or LinkedIn. These shares can help increase traffic to your site and increase the social exposure of your blog too.

3. Generate Potential Leads.

Would you prefer to take a shot in the dark or take careful aim at a reasonable target with the right tools in your hands?

Blogging is that tool, and Google is your clear target. As long as you learn to aim right, reaching your audience is easy!

By inputting valuable SEO (search engine optimization) strategy in your blog - up-to-date keyword research, quality headlines, proper readability, credible links etc. - you can design your content to be seen by the right people at the right time. 

You can attract people to your website via your blog content!

Then, once you have brought your target audience to your website, you can begin converting that website traffic into potential leads. 

4. Show Up Where Your Audience is Already Searching.

One of the best things about blogging is that you do not have to look for your customers. Google is one of the only media platforms where your consumers search for you! 

For the answers to their questions. For the most up-to-date industry information. For the best of the best!

And all you have to do is show up with valuable content that satisfies their search!

5. Direct Your Target Audience To Your Website.

Did you know that there are roughly 4.95 billion internet users worldwide? And that the average user spends almost 7 hours on the internet EACH DAY?

People are consuming more digital content than ever before! 

But if you are not producing content for these users to engage with, your site will miss out on this valuable web traffic.

Like we said before, people are already searching. It is up to you to show up, drive them to your site and give them the answers they want.

But quick! 

Research has shown that even goldfish have a longer attention span than humans nowadays. You have approximately 8 seconds to grab their attention and tell them that they are in the right place. 

That means you need to write valuable content that is both readable and skimmable!

6. Revamp Your Search Engine Optimization.

SEO organically improves your credibility and searchability on Google! 

Have you seen the positive results of search engine optimization (SEO) before? If so, then you know what we are talking about here. 

Here are a few ways to improve the SEO of your blog: 

  • Focus on the consumer, not your product. 
  • Write short sentences and paragraphs that are readable by your audience and Google.
  • Use keyword research to your advantage.
  • Write optimized meta descriptions. 
  • Write headlines that foster intrigue.

7. Inspire a Sense of Camaraderie Online.

Consumers are looking for brands they can trust. They're looking for brands run by real people with real thoughts, real experiences and real information. 

They want to be heard, seen and answered by someone who relates to them.

So start listening to your audience!

Start being the answer to their questions. Start building relationships, involving your clients and caring for what matters to them. 

Because in the marketing world, it's about more than just advertising your product. 

It's about creating a community, becoming a trusted source and inviting your audience to follow along with the story of your business!

 

Write On! Start Sharing Your Unique Value. 

At OSM, sharing stories has always been a habit of ours. How we got here, where we are going, what our dreams are and how we do what we do. 

But we constantly flip the mic around too. Why? Because we want to hear from YOU. 

We want to understand what makes you tick. What gets you excited. What ignites a passion in your soul. 

We love the WHY of your business. The HOW. The WHAT-IN-THE-WORLD! 

Because digging deeper, sharing unique value and showing up? 

That’s when sharing a story becomes more than an old fashioned code-heavy page of gibberish that most people will click away from. 

Instead, it becomes a reliable source of helpful, relevant information that your niche audience is not only interested in, but engaged with.

If you haven’t already, we encourage you to try starting blogging for your business!

TIP:

Use your social media to ask your audience their industry-related questions. Then use those questions to help construct blog themes! 

Pssst… don’t forget to tell your social media followers that you answered their questions over on your blog! 

 

Book Our Content Writing Services at OSM in Quinte! We Write For You! 

Now, if you’ve been reading this and thinking, “well sure, but I don’t know the first thing about writing!” - don’t worry!

Remember in our last blog article when we gave you 5 Signs That It’s Time to Hire a Marketing Agency

We explained how a marketing agency can help: 

  • Free up your time, 
  • Give you the expertise you need to move your business forward, and
  • Secure lucrative sale opportunities.

Outsourcing your blog writing can help you achieve these goals while growing your online presence!

Contact our team at OSM to learn more about our content writing services. You can reach us at 613-969-0626 or learn about our Digital Marketing Services HERE!

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Rumour Has It You Need Help - When Is It Time to Hire a Marketing Agency?

OSM in Belleville, Ontario, helps entrepreneurs know when to hire a marketing agency.

Rumour Has It You Need Help - When Is It Time to Hire a Marketing Agency?

How many hats are you wearing today - Social Media Manager, SEO Specialist, Content Writer, Financial Advisor, Bookkeeper? Your closet must be brimming with the many titles you wear each day.

But hey, if you run your own small business, juggling hats is just one of the perks. Right? 

Or is that just what everyone has told you?

You’ve got your hands in every aspect of your business, but are you slowly losing sight of the reason you started it in the first place? 

Are you tired, burnt out, unmotivated and losing the passion that got you here?

Are you running out of time in the day to do the things that really bring you joy?

If so, there’s no doubt about it - you need help. 

 

5 Signs That It’s Time to Hire a Marketing Agency

There are many tell-tale signs for needing to hire a marketing agency. 

On one hand, your business could be excelling in the market - exceeding your expectations and creating more work than you have time for. 

On the other hand, you could be grasping at straws - unable to find good leads in today’s changing digital landscape.

Whether flourishing or struggling, one thing is obvious - you can’t keep doing it all on your own. 

And thankfully, you don’t have to! 

Hiring a marketing agency can: 

  • Help free up your time, 
  • Give you the expertise you need to move your business forward, and
  • Help you secure lucrative sale opportunities!

Still not sure whether a marketing agency is something you need to invest in? Keep reading! Below are 5 reasons why hiring a marketing agency might be the best decision for your business right now. 

1. You Can’t Keep up with Increasing Demand 

Not being able to keep up with increasing demand can be a good thing! It means your business is growing. But it also means that it’s time for you to grow with it. 

Have you noticed a lack of internal resources recently? Not having the available time or manpower is a dead giveaway that you need some help. 

A Marketing Agency Can Help You:

  • Free up your time,
  • Delegate your workload, and
  • Focus on what you’re good at. 

It’s easy for marketing to go on the backburner when you’re trying to keep up with things that offer immediate ROI (return on investment). But if you don't work on things like brand reputation, lead generation and website traffic, your business can quickly lose momentum. 

Hiring a team of marketing experts can help keep marketing a top priority while freeing up your own time to do the things you love! 

2. You’re Not Getting the Results You Want 

Are your results failing to match up with your projected progress? Have your marketing efforts fallen flat?

Marketing is constantly evolving, especially in the last two years. Small businesses have had to continually pivot just to keep up with the changing marketing landscape. 

Has your business made the necessary changes to adapt to the changing landscape?

A Marketing Agency Will:

  • Identify your specific market (target audience, niche etc.).
  • Create and implement a unique strategy that works in today’s market.
  • Track your success and pivot efforts accordingly. 

The result? Measurable and actionable results! 

3. All You Can Find Are Dead-end Leads

Is your sales team coming back to you less-than-impressed? Your marketing efforts may have gotten the traction you wanted, but if it’s with the wrong people, you’re wasting both your sales team’s time and your marketing dollars. 

Instead of taking a shot in the dark with your marketing, you should know:

  • WHO you’re talking to
  • WHY you’re talking to them 
  • WHERE to find them
  • WHEN to approach them 
  • And WHAT HAPPENS next (aka your sales funnel).

A Marketing Agency Will Work With You In Creating:

  • A strategy that creates real business results
  • A sales process that aligns with your internal marketing strategy
  • A constructive sales funnel that successfully leads your prospects forward.

 

4. You Have No Idea Know What You’re Doing or How to Do It

Imposter syndrome or unqualified? 

You may have become a true “jack of all trades”, but as we’ve all heard, a jack of all trades is typically a master of none. You don’t need to do everything yourself!

As an entrepreneur, you hear the term ‘imposter syndrome’ quite a bit. Those feelings of inadequacy are all too common for big dreamers and doers. But, there is a difference between having imposter syndrome and not having the necessary expertise to do a job well. 

Are you amazing at photography, but lack the skills needed to build a high-traffic website?

Are you an exceptional baker, but lack the knowledge needed to showcase your talents on social media?

Are you a trained massage therapist, but lack the education needed to write and optimize high-converting content?

You started a business so that you could do the thing you love. The thing you’re really, really good at. But to make a successful business, there are many shoes that you need to fill.

A Marketing Agency Has:

  • A specialized skill set,
  • Qualified personnel, and
  • Readily available resources.

All of which are going to give you:

a) The freedom you need to do the things you’re good at, and 

b) Peace of mind knowing that the rest is in good hands.

5. You’ve Become Stagnant

Have your sales come to a grinding halt, regardless of booming interest in your product? Are you unknowingly using outdated marketing tactics, selling to the wrong people or using the wrong platform(s) to showcase your product?

A Marketing Agency Brings:

  • Fresh perspective,
  • Modern strategy,
  • Current trends, and
  • Up-to-date market research.

This boost of fresh creativity, knowledge and experience can launch your business forward!

 

Looking for a Local Digital Marketing? Get in Touch with the OSM Team in Belleville, Ontario!

As a small business ourselves, we understand both burnout and growing pains. It’s these moments of discomfort that encourage us to lean into the next season of our business. Without them, we would miss out on some incredible opportunities!

Are you looking for a local marketing team in the Quinte region to help grow your business this year? Get in touch with our team at OSM! 

You can reach us at 613-969-0626 or learn about our Digital Marketing Services HERE!

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HOW TO START YOUR OWN PODCAST - 5 EASY STEPS!

OSM in Belleville, Ontario, provides 5 Easy Steps to starting a small business podcast.

How To Start Your Own

Podcast - 5 Easy Steps!

MYTH: You need to be an established content creator in order to start your own podcast.

TRUTH: As long as you have a voice and something to say, you have the power to launch an incredibly successful podcast! 

 

Did you know that more than 8 million Canadian adults listen to podcasts at least once a month? It’s incredible how quickly podcasts have grown and become such a prominent piece of our daily education, advertising and entertainment. In fact, “what podcast are you listening to lately?” is almost as common a question as “what Netflix show are you watching lately?”.

 

So, why are podcasts so popular? 

  1. Podcasting is the multitasker’s best friend 

  2. Podcasting is an easy and convenient way to absorb information 

  3. Podcasting is a great way to engage with, communicate and amplify your message 

  4. Podcasting = Brand Personality 101 

  5. Podcasting is FREE for listeners - meaning ANYONE can access ANY podcast!

 

Why Should You Start A Podcast For Your Small Business?

Podcasts are an incredible tool for small businesses and here’s just a few reasons why!

Brand Identification 

During the pandemic especially, people are looking for connection and relationship - someone they relate to, trust and can have a good old fashioned conversation with! This is where your podcast comes in! What better way to share your brand personality and voice with the world than to TALK ABOUT IT. Your podcast is your opportunity to share your life, your passion and your authenticity with someone who honestly wants to hear it!

Community Building 

Podcasting is such a great way to build a natural connection with your audience. You can read every single one of our blogs and social media posts, but do you know what we sound like when we laugh? Probably not (unless you’re watching us on TikTok or our recent Instagram Live!). 

Podcasting is your key to building that personal connection! It gives you the opportunity to build on running jokes or themes, to engage with what’s happening in your life in the moment, to connect with other people in your area of focus and to really SHOW UP for your audience. 

Content Marketing 

Remember when you thought you could only start a podcast if you were an established content creator? NEWSFLASH! If you run a business and are, in fact, the voice and passion behind that business. You are a content creator! All you have to do now is get that content out to the right people. 

Authority Building 

Do you ever find yourself saying, “Oh I could talk about that for hours! Just hand me a mic!”? 

DING DING DING - this is your chance!

Podcasting is a great strategy to use when identifying yourself as an expert in a given topic or industry by providing real, authentic content on that given topic. 

Networking

Did you hear our recent podcast episode with @fourcornerscollective where we talked about Being A Mom & An Entrepreneur at the same time? It’s GOLD! And the best part? We got to network with an AWESOME brand doing AWESOME work in a similar industry as us! This, my friends, is called networking - and we love it! 

Podcasting presents an opportunity for you to connect with other people in your genius zone and start to have those impactful conversations that leave you, and your audience, feeling inspired!

 

Here Are 5 Steps To Starting Your Podcast Today!

  1. Create a vision for your podcast and understand the audience you want to reach/impact.

  2. Create 5-8 themed questions to ask each guest.

  3. Choose the platform(s) you want your podcast episodes to be accessible on (Youtube, Spotify, etc.)

  4. Utilize tools like Zoom for recording your episodes.

  5. Have fun with your podcast and use it to have the conversations that are really meaningful to you!

So what are you waiting for? If you’re looking for a social media platform that gives you the freedom to show up authentically, to increase brand awareness and connect with your audience all at once - this is the answer! 

Here’s How We Use Zoom For Our Podcast!

Click Here To Install The Zoom App

Step 1 

Record your episode on Zoom. 

Step 2

Download the recording to your computer and move it to your phone using a USB cable.

Step 3

Download the video editing app Powerdirector.

Step 4

Edit your video and export as MP4.

Step 5

Upload MP4 to YouTube (or other streaming platform) and add a thumbnail cover! 
 

Stay In Touch With Our Team At OSM!

“Marketing is really just about sharing your passion.” - Michael Hyatt 

It doesn’t have to be elaborate with perfect video or sound quality. It doesn’t have to be planned down to the second. And it doesn’t have to be the best thing you’ve ever created. 

In fact, it can be awkward, a little choppy and a lot uncomfortable when you first start - ours was! 

But that’s the beauty of it. Because people aren’t looking for perfection, they’re looking for connection. 

So start sharing your authentic, passionate, REAL life...

And then tell us how it goes! 

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Do this before spending money on ads

 

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