Hello from the charming town of Cobh! As a proud resident of this delightful town and a digital marketing consultant with years of experience, I’ve had the privilege to help numerous local businesses in Cork shape their online identities. The picturesque landscapes, historical landmarks, and the vibrant community here in Cobh make it a hotspot for quaint family-run businesses.
Yet, amidst the bustling streets and the seagulls’ songs, I’ve noticed a pattern: many of these small businesses struggle with their social media presence. Let’s dive into the main barriers they face and how to overcome them.
1. Lack of Time and Resources
For many local businesses, resources are stretched thin. Proprietors, often wearing multiple hats, sometimes believe they don’t have the luxury to allocate dedicated time to manage their social media.
Solution: Create a weekly content calendar. Allocate specific times during the week to engage with your audience, post content, and review analytics. Tools like Meta Business Suite, Linkedin scheduler, Later or Hootsuite can help schedule posts in advance.
2. Entrusting Social Media to Novices
It’s common for businesses to leave social media to work experience personnel or young family members, assuming they’d naturally know the digital realm. While they might be tech-savvy, they might lack the nuanced understanding of the business or its branding, your target audience, your USP or even the algorithms of your selected platform.
Solution: While it’s great to involve the younger generation, ensure they’re given proper guidance. Hold regular meetings to discuss content ideas and review feedback. Training sessions can also bridge any knowledge gaps. Your local LEO will often offer great training resources for beginners also many social platforms provide additional training. Always start your planning and ideas with a purpose, what the purpose of this quarter’s social media plan, how will you/they achieve it and how will you measure success.
3. Inconsistent Branding and Voice
A family-run bakery might post a professional image of a cupcake on Monday and a pixelated meme on Tuesday, a local service provider might have different people writing and creating content, one day their caption might sound completely different to another days caption. This inconsistency confuses followers about the brand’s identity.
Solution: Establish a clear brand guideline. From colour your schemes to the tone of voice, consistency helps in fostering trust and recognition among followers. I love good do’s and don’t list visible to everyone creating content.
4. Not Engaging with the Community.
Social media isn’t just about broadcasting; it’s a two-way street. Some businesses post content but fail to engage with comments, mentions, or direct messages.
Solution: Take a few minutes daily to engage with your audience. Answer queries, share other businesses’ posts, thank your audience for their comments, and foster a community spirit.
5. Overlooking Analytics
Without understanding what’s working and what’s not, businesses can’t refine their strategies. Look at what your data says instead of always trusting your gut.
Solution: Use in-built analytics tools on platforms like Facebook and Instagram to monitor post performance. Adjust strategies based on what resonates with your audience.
A Beacon of Hope in Cobh’s Digital Landscape
Being in my 40s, I’ve seen the evolution of digital marketing. I’ve also witnessed the resilience and adaptability of Cobh’s small businesses. With a bit of planning, consistency, and engagement, our cherished local businesses can thrive in the digital age. People are amazing, I’ve seen businesses thrive with just a little fine-tuning of their Social platforms. Remember, every tweet, post, or story is an opportunity to connect, engage, and grow.
Stay Digital, Stay Relevant
Your Digital Marketing Consultant
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