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.
Social Media can definitely be a downer for a lot of reasons: it’s a huge time suck, it requires a seemingly superhuman commitment and it’s introduced some new mental health concerns. You want the bad news first? As a business owner it’s almost impossible to avoid this powerful tool. Traditional forms of marketing are still relevant, but social media is really the place to be for many of us. So how do we just walk away from a platform that could increase sales, brand awareness and help propel us into the marketing stratosphere? Well… we don’t. Here’s the good news. I spend more time than anyone I know on social media, and over the past 3 years, I’ve had many conversations with peers and tried lots of ways to manage my fatigue with social media. Here is how to stay sane(ish) while wrestling social media on the daily.
You are the boss.
This little device we carry in our hands is not the boss of us, it's meant to serve a purpose. Mostly it should be making our lives easier, more efficient and super convenient. It's important to manage your notifications and prioritize apps that send persistent notifications based on the urgency of the task. For example, I don't receive email notifications on my phone because 99% of my emails require me to be at my computer to address them, for this reason, I make a habit to check my emails periodically throughout the day when I am at my desk. On the flip side Facebook/Instagram notifications I consider customer service, so I am notified in real time so I can respond in a timely manner.
Take breaks, take time.
No matter how well you manage your phone sometimes you just need a break. It's important to recognize that we are physical and emotional beings that require some basics: food, water, sunlight, etc. Using a timer app to remind you to stand up and give your eyes a break from your screen can be helpful. One thing I like to do is separate when I am creating content from when I am consuming content. For example, when I am writing copy or arranging art I typically have all social media (and messenger apps) turned off. I find it easier to be creative when I am not being interrupted or distracted by the never-ending temptation to scroll, scroll, scroll.
Eating a large meal especially high in carbs can be detrimental to writing, most writers I know prefer to do the bulk or first draft on a near empty stomach.
In Real Life.
One of the best things you can do to give yourself a break from social media is to get off your devices. Spending time in nature, especially during our short summer months, can be a super brain boost and get you quickly recharged. Also, ask someone for lunch/coffee or even a phone call instead of using a messenger app. Our bodies are an ocean of chemical reactions and it's important to give yourself some time to decompress and relax. Engage your senses and take time to experience the world in three dimensions. There are two ways you can define technology-free zones, with time and space. For example, you may decide that during your lunch hour you turn your phone off and enjoy the company of others, this is defining a time. I personally choose to never have my phone on at the dog park, this is defining space.
Relax, be human.
Lots of people think that if you don't post for a couple of days or weeks that the algorithm will get angry with you. In my experience, it's more important to be creating relevant interesting content than pushing out crap that no one cares about. Good content is good content. Period. The best way around needing to take time off is planning a killer content schedule or hiring someone to help with your social media. Having a great strategy will help you function from a place of intention without being reliant on passion to keep things on track.
If you decide to take a week off from social media as a business don't announce it, I promise you literally NO ONE will notice. Just enjoy a few days away and come back refreshed.
Your phone is your office.
As the world changes and our workplaces become more mobile it's important to recognize that our office desk now basically lives in our pocket. Like any healthy relationship, you need to be able to set boundaries or you may end up feeling overwhelmed. The simplest way to separate your personal and professional life is to physically have different devices for each purpose. This way you can power off the work phone when you are not at work. If this is not possible for whatever reason you can limit access by scheduling the "do not disturb" function.
At the end of the day, social media looks like it's here to stay, for a while. It's important for us as business people to recognize the useful tool that it is but also not give it too much power. Find the right cadence that you can commit to, seek out educational opportunities and find the right support for the tasks outside your capacity. There are so many positive and incredible things that can come from a fine-tuned and well executed social media strategy. Enjoy the process. Be playful with your content. Trust that you are attracting the right clients through inspired social.
Tyler Babiy is the owner and creative director of T Squared Social where he works with multiple local businesses to create social media content. With a formal education in fine arts and fashion design, he is also the driving force behind Social Made Local, a socially responsible apparel brand. When he is not working (which is rare) he can be found at the dog park, binge watching Netflix or enjoying a craft beer with friends at a local brewery.
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.