Everyone says video is the answer to everything, am I right? On social media, it has to be one of the most recommended formats. It performs better, it can convey emotion easily, and it builds trust. So here is why I wouldn't say I like it.
It's super hard.
The thing with speaking on video is that it's a learned skill, so it's not something that comes naturally to anyone. Like public speaking, there is a real art to it. You have to understand your intonation, control your breathing and know how your body posture is reading on camera. For many people, the idea of being on video causes a lot of anxiety. So much so that even with preparation, they buckle once the recording starts.
It takes planning.
Showing up for filming without a plan is the perfect way to set yourself up for failure. Thankfully you run the same odds of messing it up by over-preparing. Getting hung up on the perfect script can backfire if the nerves sneak up on you. With your shoulders creeping up to your ears and your tongue in knots, creating video content is never boring!
Putting yourself out there.
Believe it or not, very few people love putting their faces out there for the world to see. Gone are the days of drawing male genitals on your favourite realtor on a bus bench and welcome to the world of internet trolls. The fear of being judged or experiencing negativity can be very intimidating. We need to remind ourselves the reward is much greater than the risk.
Video is the best way to connect with your customers on social media. Be smart about it. Mix it up with other static posts that support similar content objectives. Video doesn't have to do all the work. Develop concrete strategies before you film. You won't get a better idea once the camera starts. Seriously.
Most importantly, get some sleep, eat a good meal, drink some water, and keep your head in a positive mental space. If filming late in the day is going to give you too much time to build anxiety, suggest a time in the morning. Give yourself the best chance to succeed by allowing yourself the time to breathe and come in relaxed. You are fantastic and believe me when I say you are going to do awesome.
Pictured above is the Broadway Theatre with their message "Wash Your Hands and Love Each Other" during the first week of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Be a good citizen.
Part of owning a business means being part of the community. No business survives without the tremendous support of the people here in the city. The success of our businesses is so deeply connected to the welfare of our community that it’s impossible to separate them. Being a good citizen means voting, understanding the specific needs of customers and playing an active role in advocating for positive change.
Pictured above is our beloved river valley and the Delta Bessborough Hotel.
Context is key.
Inspire people with your local love and show off the city. Stock photography is tricky since it will never give context to your images and videos. When you are creating content, you should always be looking for opportunities to let your audience recognize the setting. The more familiar content can feel, the better it will perform. Get creative, it’s doesn’t always need to be a shot of the majestic Bessborough. Show off neighbourhoods, local shops and familiar faces.
Pictured above is the new building for OUT Saskatoon.
Business and community.
Under ideal circumstances our city's non-profits run on tight budgets and with minimal people power. During a crisis their resources become even more precious. As local businesses we need to find ways to support the community organizations working tirelessly to make our city a better place. Collaborations, donations and volunteering are simple and scalable ways to make a difference.
Pictured above is a mural by @pineapplesforprimeminister on the back of Foster's Shoes off Broadway.
Work with local creatives.
We all need art for our websites, publications, promotional items, physical spaces, etc. Finding people in the community who can create relevant work for your business is huge. Not only does it support our local economy, but it also allows a creative in YXE to deliver art that is sensitive to the community we live in. A local artist understands the nuances of our culture and can reflect that in their work.
Pictured above is the quirky neighbourhood of 33rd Street in front of Glitch Gifts and Better Off Duds.
Know who you are.
People say that Saskatchewan is a fly-over province. That people often overlook us nationally or internationally. Embrace your weirdness. It’s so important that we are transparent with our audience. Don’t try to make your business look like something it’s not. The things you think no one will be interested in are the exact stories that will endear your most loyal customers to your business for a lifetime.
There is no one size fits all when it comes to supporting a business with social media, but let's be clear: everyone successful has some level of assistance. So how do you know what kind of help you need and what questions to ask? Here are 9 ways to know it's time to find help with your social media.
1. You love social media.
Ok maybe you don’t need to love social media, but you need to see the inherent value of the platform. Once you believe that you can achieve your business goals through this medium it’s easy to understand why you would dedicate time, money and resources into development. If you still think Facebook is only for sharing taco casserole recipes then it might be too soon.
2. You have more money than time.
Many businesses start with an abundance of time and hopefully shift to profitability. Once this tipping point is reached it’s usually an ideal time to figure out what can be taken off your plate and what can be outsourced. At this point, it might be the right timing to involve an agency to take on either content creation or full management.
3. You are mostly over learning.
For many businesses even though they are involved in the process they don’t have an interest in understanding the mechanics of social media. If you know that learning the skills has zero interest for you, then it’s important to train staff or find an agency early on.
4. You don’t have the equipment.
Creating beautiful social media requires a decent amount of equipment from cameras, accessories, lighting, etc. A lot can be achieved with a cell phone camera, but truly inspired social media has a mix of both casual and produced content. Owning the proper equipment and knowing how to use it is a huge asset. At T Squared we have multiple photographers and videographers that understand the structure of social posts.
5. You are too close to see the big picture.
Running a business is emotional and often it's difficult to see things with fresh eyes. An agency provides a new perspective and can look at the situation as a new client would see it. Understanding the customer journey is key to how we build out our goals, dictates the type of content we create and influences the tone of the copywriting. We as communicators can never assume people know anything about what our business does or even cares about it. Building foundational education designed to attract and keep clients only comes from understanding the big picture.
6. You lack strategy.
If your social media has no strategy, then it’s time to get one. Building a strategy based on the key messages of the brand is the best way to maintain consistency. An agency can provide you with the tools to harvest content internally, through user-generated channels and scheduled posts. In other words what can we find, what can we make and what already exists. Great social media isn't a guessing game it's very intentional.
7. You are big on teamwork.
When you agree to work with an agency, like T Squared, you are going to need to trust us. You will hand over passwords and we will have access to digital spaces that some employees may not have. We must be able to do our work to the highest level, which requires us to see how things are moving internally. This allows us to be able to make recommendations and optimizations for future content. We always work as a team with our clients.
8. You want to build a brand legacy.
Creating quality content can be done monthly or quarterly. This is something you can achieve on a project-based schedule or integrated with full management. With T Squared we fit best with clients who have an abundance of stories to be documented. We are designed to create original content and feel it’s the best way to build a brand legacy, not just social media noise.
9. You are ready to do the work.
So, you decided you want to hire an agency and now it's time to run off to Mexico for an extended vacation! Sort of. We can do a lot of work at the management level, but we are just a part of the mix. As things grow there are messages to respond to, comments to reply to and stories to share. We are there to turn on the phone, but once it starts ringing you will need to be ready.
There is no one solution for every business when it comes to social media. You need to know the resources you have in-house and identify where you need assistance. Some clients only need content and others need full management support. You may also just need a little encouragement and some education. Check out our Social Hour series below for our monthly workshops. But If it’s time to find help with your social media, reach out and let’s start creating the brand story you always wanted. Book a consultation to start the conversation.
Created by T Squared Social. We are a Saskatoon based social media agency with a focus on education, content creation and management. We love making great content and helping people with their social media.