How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business During a Pandemic

by | Aug 19, 2020 | Business Building Musts

Our own Jenn Donovan, Sarah Crawford (designer and developer – who built this site!), Dawn Rieniets (FABULOUS copywriter), and Janelle Larkin (owner of Buy From Tasmania) are finalists this year in various categories.

We decided to get together over Zoom, have a laugh and put together some advice for women juggling careers and kids. 

Standing out on social!

I recently got to chat to 3 other amazing ladies, business owners, trail blazers, mumPRENEURS, about the ways they use marketing and social media to stand out in a crowded and busy marketplace.

Here’s their wisdom

From Sarah

A Lined Design

Standing out from the crowd looks a little different – because she’s a self confused introvert at her core.  Sarah admits that social media is something she struggles with and does better on Facebook than Instagram.

Sarah hangs out where she loves to hang out – on Facebook.  Not only does she feel more comfortable there, but it’s also where her demographic hangs out too – such an important distinction for business owners.

Be where your people are!

“There’s a lot of power in Facebook groups” says Sarah.  She gets to hang out in some great groups that help her both from a business point of view but also a strategic “attracting” clients point of view too.

Interesting fact: Sarah is my web designer – yep she built this website you are currently on – beautiful isn’t it!  And we met in a Facebook group!  That was our only connection. I put out a post saying “hey, I need a web designer” and Sarah was the one, from many, that replied that I choose.  Not only did I get a amazing, conversational, beautiful website, but a friend as well!

But back to Sarah’s wisdom ….

Showing up where her clients are, offering more titbits of advice and value, showing up as a brand personality, with perhaps a funny little otter or puppy videos are some of the ways that Sarah stands out in the sea of website developers using social media to gather leads.

“It’s about finding something that expresses who we are as a brand; that we’re approachable, we’re fun. We’re not overly serious. We care a lot about our work. But that’s not all that we do. I want to start conversations around what does a brand look like, what does your brand voice sound like? And how do you talk to a developer? And what does maintenance look like? All those sorts of things in Between gin and funny puppies, because that’s kind of where we’re at”, says Sarah.

From Janelle

Buy From Tasmania

Be ugly on social media – that’s Janelle’s advice!

Seriously though, Janelle admits she’s not the best at turning up on social media – especially video.

Janelle likes doing live videos, but feels she’s not that good at it!

But being “not that good” or turning up “ugly” is not a bad thing, Janelle admits.  It shows that you’re authentic, that you’re human and you like to have fun.

“Sometimes I’ll do a live and I’ll pick up my chicken in the backyard, thinking “this will be a cute distraction” but it bites me, craps on me and flaps away”.  Sometimes things just don’t go to plan, but people love that!

For Janelle, and her Buy From Tasmania project, it’s more important to be constantly seen to be chatting with people, engaging with people, being social on social than it is to be posting all the time.

Amazing wisdom that – being social on social – who knew!

From Dawn

Roo Spotting

“For myself personally it’s important to show works in progress and to show imperfections and to show things that aren’t complete. Especially with my artwork, my audience loves to see the works in progress. They get so excited. I don’t really want anyone to see what it looks until it’s finished, but they engage with it and they see the progress and connect with it. And then they’re like, I want one!”

Dawn believes, it’s so important to show our imperfections and our process, the gritty and the real.

Turn up authentic, but with boundaries – is the advice Dawn would give about standing out in a crowded marketplace.

“Don’t overshare, and don’t post anything that, people have the opportunity to respond negatively to, that would hurt you or your brand or someone close to you.

Dawn’s strategy, after being on social media for 7 years, is NO strategy!

But that’s not about doing things blindly, it’s more about “YOU DO YOU” – show up as you, don’t try and copy what anyone else is doing.

Your business is evolve, says Dawn.  Even your Instagram feed!

You don’t need a curated Instagram feed, you just need to show up as you.  People will engage with you long before they’ll engage with a curated Instagram feed.

“Just put things out there that you like and that you think looks good” says Dawn.

With Social Media there’s pros and cons to all platforms and Dawn recognises, like we all do, you simply cannot be a small business owner across them all – successful at them all.

Just like Sarah, Dawn believes you should pick the ones you love, the ones that light you up, the ones you are good at and stick to that, without, of course, putting all your eggs on one basket.

We want to drive traffic to our websites at the end of the day, because we aren’t building empires on rented land. AMEN TO THAT!

DAWN’S PARTING WISDOM: Pay attention to what the young kids are doing and when these new platforms pop up, don’t write them off. I used to think Twitter was ridiculous but now like it’s such an important tool for a lot of writers that I know. You know, and even Snapchat and TikTok can be important.

From Our Jenn

Social Media & Marketing Australia

Show up as you!  Want to stand out from the crowd?  Be noticed in a crowded marketplace?  Stand out as you!

Just the other day, Jenn explains, she turned up to a Facebook live, late, under prepared, just home from a walk, egg down her shirt, no makeup, but still turned up.

No one noticed Jenn, everyone was there to learn, not to judge!  So whether you think are you “camera” ready or not – just show up.

Everyone’s favourite subject is themselves – so they are thinking about themselves, just like you are if you think that someone is watching you!

By the way, Jenn just threw on a scarf to hide the egg!  She has some pride!!

Have a reach out strategy too.

Online you need to have a reach out strategy.  Just as Janelle mentioned, it’s just as important to show up on social media and be social on social media, as it is to get that post right.

Having an engagement strategy, making time to spend on the platform, not posting, but thanking new followers and connections, giving value to questions in Facebook groups you hang out in, commenting on other people’s posts and selling (yep, who knew!) are all parts of the jigsaw of getting noticed online.

Want to read more from these fabulous ladies?

We talked for quite a while and we have a lot of advice to give!

Head over to Roo Spotting with Dawn and read Own a Small Business? Four Ways to Stay Inspired During the Pandemic.

And head over too A Lined Design with Sarah and read Being a Mum in Business During a Pandemic

And last but not least, Janelle talks about Keeping it Real Online and Why It’s In Important to Business 

The AusMumpreneur Conference and AusMumpreneur Awards are all about supporting Australian mums in business. This event provides a unique opportunity for women from all over Australia to come together to promote their business, connect with fellow mums in business and celebrate the success of the best and brightest in the industry.

A nationally recognised awards that have been running for the past 10 years. Proudly presented by AusMumpreneur and The Women’s Business School, the Awards recognise and acknowledging success in business, product development & innovation and customer service at a glamorous awards event.

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