You can really bring out your best in social media, but you can also bring your business down. Making you look WORSE! Here is step 1 to nailing stellar social media skills!
YOU have a profile
YOUR BUSINESS has a page
and your BUSINESS PAGE has a group
YOUR PROFILE Posts on the group and is the face of the group.
One human face should be associated with the profile.
types of groups
Open: Anyone can view the group, its members, and their posts.
Closed: Anyone can view the group and its members, but only members can see group posts.
Secret: Only members can see the group or any of its information.
– Your Business
Purpose of Posts
– Show activity
– Sell online
Photos galleries, organization
Posts should persuade people to share and spread the word
Social Proof – if you only have 5 followers, people might think less of you
– Business Information
opening closing hours
summary of business
ask questions, polls, opinions, decisions
– Best practices
– Social Calendar
Create a template
Google sheets, calendar apps, asana, somewhere where you can type out a text draft ahead of time
Directly through FB
– How often
General rule, once a day. Go from there.
– Things to remember
Even though it is social media and more casual – professionalism is important!
if you are advertising you are going to a market, make sure dates,days are correct
No Potato quality photos
videos should be easy to watch / understandable audio
Check your Inbox, respond to customers!
If people PM you, reply
If people tag you, like/reply back
Set up auto-responder if appropriate in FB messenger
Engage in comments
If people leave a review – thank them (good and bad reviews need replies)
Any comments on your photos, posts, etc should be replied to somehow
Welcome to the Custom Apparel Startups podcast, your best source for information, news, tips and tricks to get you off the ground running, and earn success with your custom apparel decorating business. So, get ready to soak up some knowledge!
Now, here are your hosts, Mark and Marc!
Marc V: Hey, everybody! Welcome to episode 118 of the Custom Apparel Startups podcast. This is Marc Vila, and I’m here with Hannah Rago today, actually, which you might notice is a little bit different. If you heard my voice in the beginning of this, and you’re used to hearing Mark Stephenson, that’s why.
We’re going to do something a little bit different today, and bring some expertise, Hannah Rago here. Why don’t you go ahead and tell us what this episode is going to be about?
Hannah: Marc thought it would be a really good idea to talk about social media, and just a little bit over basic social media skills that can really bring your business to the next level. I do a lot of our behind the scenes in our groups, our Facebook groups, so he thought why not bring me on to talk to you guys a little bit?
Marc V: Social media can bring out the best in your business’s personality – who it is, who you are, if you’re more directly involved, or other folks in your business, if you have employees or partners that you work with. But social media can also bring out the worst. It can actually make your business look worse, right?
Hannah: Sure, absolutely.
Marc V: We’re going to go ahead and talk today about what I kind of consider the initial steps of nailing down your stellar social media skills. It’s not necessarily about building followers and things like that, specifically. It’s more of just how to nail things down, to make social media work for your business, rather than against it.
Hannah, why don’t you start us off with – we’re talking about some of the different social channels. Start us off with Facebook, and kind of break it down.
Hannah: This is something that it sounded weird in my head, but when you think about it, it really makes sense. Basically, on Facebook, you have a profile. In best practice, your profile should really be you. It should be a person. It should be a human. It should have a face to it. That’s really your personality, I think, behind your Facebook.
Marc V: Specifically, this is – everyone listening probably does have a Facebook page. If you don’t, you’re finally going to do it. Because you’re reluctantly going to do it for your business, you set up a Facebook page that’s you. When you go to Facebook and it says “Sign up” and it asks for information, it’s your name, your email address, and a picture of you.
Hannah: Right. Then, with your profile, which is you, that’s when you make your business page. That page is for your business. That’s where you can write your business information, have your logo, the basics. But then, your business page is what makes Facebook groups.
Marc V: There we go. Facebook is really promoting groups. There’s even TV commercials.
Hannah: Right. I see them all the time.
Marc V: If you’re in the Custom Apparel Startups group, or you’re probably in other groups, you may be familiar already. But a group is typically managed by either a person or a business. For the sake of what we’re doing here, you want your business to kind of have the group.
Hannah: Right. Then, as your profile, that’s where the personality comes from. So, when you write your posts and whatnot on your group, it’s nice to have your name attached to it.
Marc V: Exactly. Talking about this stuff right here is important, and we’ve mentioned it on the podcast some time ago, but it’s against Facebook’s terms of service for a profile to not be a person. They will actually, you will wake up in the morning, and your Facebook page will be deleted, gone. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had it for ten years or two days.
I may have even talked about this in the podcast before, but a friend of mine created a secondary Facebook profile. He created it like – just naming a random name, protecting the identity – Tom@SoAndSoSales. He put his first name, he put the name of his company, sales. He was going to use this to help sell online in groups, because he didn’t want to connect his personal Facebook page to it.
I was like “I don’t know, Dude. I really think that Facebook will knock this down. I’ve heard of this.” “No, my wife’s been doing it like six years.” I said “Okay, I’m just saying.”
A week goes by, and he comes and talks to me. He’s like “They shut me! I can’t believe it! My wife’s is still up!”
Hannah: It does what it wants, really.
Marc V: Or somebody reported you for it. It got noticed, or what. I’m like “If you want to take your wife’s down, you could report her.”
Hannah: Maybe she reported him!
Marc V: Maybe she was jealous.
Hannah: Maybe! You probably see it all the time, but I see it all the time. A company will divide their company name up by first and last name, and that will be their profile. It’s just weird.
Marc V: It’s just not the practice to do, really. What you should do is you should have your profile, like you said, which is you. What about privacy? Because that’s why some folks do that. They don’t want their business tied to their personal Facebook page. What are your thoughts on that?
Hannah: Personally, I attach my own personal Facebook to our groups, because I guess I’m an open person. But there are ways to privatize your account. Like your account is pretty private, right? But then on the other hand, you could have two accounts that are both you, as a human.
You can have your business account, your more professional account, you could call it, and then your family and friends account.
Marc V: I’m not 100% sure if that’s terms of service allowable on that.
Hannah: I’m not sure.
Marc V: But the likelihood of that being brought down is probably low.
Hannah: Because they’re both humans.
Marc V: Yeah. But beyond that, on my Facebook page, I do a ton of stuff with business on Facebook, and I just choose that if I’m going to post pictures of jokes that I like to make or family pictures, or where I am on vacation, just personal things, I share that with my friends. Then publicly, I’ll share that separately, if I want to say something in a group.
Like I’ve said “Oh, you’re going to Disney this weekend? I am, too.” I’ve said that in our Custom Apparel Startups Facebook group, but the rest of it, I keep it private. The bottom line is you can lock down the privacy as much as you want on your personal page, so nobody can see all of the information that you’re sharing to your friends.
Facebook gives you the opportunity, because they know people conduct business and personal stuff on there. In addition to that, there’s also settings where you can have multiple levels of privacy. So, you can post something that’s only available for your friends to see. And you can post and share other things that everybody can see.
Next, let’s go ahead and tell us about – we talked about profiles a bit. Can you tell us more about groups?
Hannah: Yeah. Groups are, like he said earlier, are huge right now with Facebook. Facebook is really into this engagement and this community aspect, and they’re a really great way to communitize your business. There are a couple of different kinds.
There’s open groups. Anyone can view it. Anyone sees it. There are members. They pop up sometimes, actually, on the side. You’ll see groups that maybe Facebook thinks you’d be interested in.
There’s closed groups, so you can view it, but only members can see the group posts. You have to gain membership, to see the posts.
Marc V: You can search for this group, like Custom Apparel Startups.
Hannah: Exactly. Then there are secret groups. You can only find that group if someone invites you.
I’ve seen both. I’ve seen businesses have closed and secret. I don’t think businesses, as much, have the open groups, because you want this to be a really close niche of your business. This is your target audience, really.
Marc V: Yeah. If you decide that you want to start a group for your business, meaning – I’m trying to think of a couple of examples of what that might be. You sell shirts to like a fishing and hunting community. You do apparel for them. So, what you might do is you might start a hunting and fishing group.
Marc V: We’ve talked about this in other podcasts. Maybe it’s going to be for your state or for your area, or you just start a t-shirt group. It’s just about cool fishing t-shirts. If you start this group, then typically, closed is the way to go, like you mentioned. It keeps it close.
People ask to come in. You vet them, you let them in. Then, if they post things that you don’t like, or a virus in the group, then you go ahead and kick them out. The problem with open groups is that 100% of the time, if you have an open group, it’s going to be 75% people that are not your customers.
Marc V: Just tons of people from India and Pakistan. People trying to sell you some sort of an SEO service on your page. You don’t realize, on the Custom Apparel Startups group, how often. You had asked me one day about that, right? That we only let in -?
Hannah: Oh, yeah.
Marc V: Do you remember what it was?
Hannah: How many people asked to be in the group?
Marc V: Yes.
Hannah: It seems like almost 100 a week. Every day, there’s like 10 or 15.
Marc V: And how many are legitimate?
Hannah: I would say in a day, we really only accept like two, on its highest. Maybe one or two.
Marc V: So, it’s like 10% are going to come in. That’s why you close a group up, because all the time, we’re seeing it’s just somebody in India who has a digitizing service, that just wants to come in the group, not offer any value, but sell their digitizing service.
The reason why we’re not going to have them in the group is they don’t make apparel. They’re not there to bring value. It’s pretty much designed to be an American group, because it’s about our market here, how we sell here. Also for folks who want to outsource and things like that, to other people in our community. So, it’s kind of a U.S. group.
Hannah: Right. Normally, we’ll see those people that have no business really being in the group, they’re in like 100 groups. Who’s really in 100 groups?
Marc V: Other folks that will try to come in are any type of spam stuff. They’re going to be there.
So, we’ve got groups. I think the way to go for most of this is probably a closed group?
Hannah: I would recommend closed.
Marc V: Secret groups are …?
Hannah: I would say, like Marc mentioned earlier, like going to Disney. If you have a group of friends, even long distance friends, and you want to meet up at Disney and stuff like that, I would keep that a secret group. I don’t really see as much of a place for the business, with that.
Marc V: You don’t want anybody else to join.
Marc V: A secret group you might do for your business, maybe it’s just your customers.
Hannah: Or your staff. I see staff a lot, absolutely.
Marc V: That’s actually a great idea, too. You could make one for your staff or your customers. Or maybe you have a little network of people locally, that you do business with, like a sign shop, your shop, a screen print or maybe a marketing company, or a real estate company, and you decide “Hey, why don’t we just make our little network together, and refer to it as a secret group? Because no one else is going to be in there, unless we invite them.”
Saying all of that, then we can just wrap up with – what other social media profiles might be beneficial to the business?
Hannah: I think they all have a place. Instagram, people love Instagram. It’s more photo driven, I would say. I think it’s important, if you’re considering an Instagram page, to have some great photo content. Everyone has a Twitter. It’s great to post little posts. Short engagement, I think is always nice, in Twitter.
LinkedIn is very important, professionally.
Marc V: When we’re talking about mastering some of these skills, Mark and I would say Facebook is just one of those ones you should do. If somebody is Google searching your business, Facebook is going to pop up toward the top. It will help drive traffic to your business. Most of your customers are going to be there.
Most everyone is going to be there, where not all of your customers are necessarily going to be on LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram. It’s going to depend on what your market is.
Marc V: If you do a fishing t-shirt type of a company, that might be one where, on Instagram, you’re posting pictures of your shirts, telling people where to find them. And you’re connecting with other people that are into fishing and hunting, that are taking pictures of outdoors t-shirts. And these images might be enough to drive some traffic to you, or just help to build up your brand a little bit.
LinkedIn is probably not as big of a place for that market.
Marc V: LinkedIn would probably be if you do a lot of corporate wear, because all of those people are on LinkedIn. They’re using LinkedIn, too. Mark and I have always said to go to where you know your customers would be. If your customers aren’t on Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn, that you know of, then you don’t have to put in a lot of effort, to go there.
Hannah: I think bottom line, though, if you’re going to do it, do it. Don’t just halfway do it. If you’re going to have an Instagram, then actually do it.
Marc V: Yes. Don’t have an Instagram for your business – for your personal, do whatever you want – but for your business, because I post on Instagram once on year, almost. But I look at stuff on Instagram every day. I follow a few pages. I enjoy going through it.
If somebody is on Instagram and they find your business, and there’s like one picture on there.
Hannah: You haven’t posted in a year, most likely, they’re probably going to think you’re not open.
Marc V: They’re going to think you’re not open or they’re going to see you abandoned this, or whatever that might be.
Now that we’ve kind of gone there, you had made some notes for us, Hannah, about kind of the purpose of some posts. Let’s go through some of the purposes of these posts, and hopefully by the end of this, those of you listening out there will have some good ideas of how you’re going to post online.
Hannah: Right. That transitions well. The first purpose, I think, of a post, is to show activity. Like we said, if someone lands on your page on one of these social channels, and you haven’t posted in a while, most people might just think that you’re closed, you have really small hours, you’re not a fully developed business.
There are so many thoughts that can pop into peoples’ heads, when they see a business social page that’s not very developed or not very active.
Marc V: There’s a negativity to it. It’s the equivalent of walking into a store and not seeing any employees, or walking by a storefront, and it’s February now, and you still see a Christmas sale sign up. If feels like …
Hannah: Yeah, what’s wrong?
Marc V: “What’s wrong?” is a question that’s going to come across peoples’ heads. You had also put selling online could be another thing for posting. This happens all the time. My daughter does skating, so I’ve joined a few groups that are set up by businesses.
One of them is like a buy/sell/trade group. It’s set up by a business that they post their own stuff that they custom make. So, every fourth post is them posting something they make. In between that, people are selling some of their used ice skating gear, like outfits and skates, and things like that. That’s a good example of what a group might be.
This woman who runs it, she’s using it to sell online. Her posts are “Here’s this. There’s one of them. It’s a size 10. The price is this. Message if you’re interested.” Plenty of people do this with all types of stuff that they custom make, online.
Hannah: Absolutely. I’ve also seen people use groups to sell. I’ve also seen people use their business pages to sell. Personally, I’m a huge online shopper. I shop on social media frequently. If you’re going to sell on your page, I think you need to have it organized.
If you’re going to be uploading photos of what you’re selling, make albums. Keep it where it’s user friendly, where people can find what you’re selling.
Marc V: Yeah. What was the last thing you bought on social media, do you think?
Hannah: A sweater from a local boutique. A lot of their stuff, they sell online. You comment “I want it.” You know, a cash app type of thing, create transaction, and then it’s my sweater.
Marc V: Again, that’s going to depend on what you sell, I think.
Marc V: Because if you’re mostly doing all custom, then it might not necessarily work. You also might do custom, but that’s replicable. So, you might have a tote bag that you’re selling or something like that, or a towel that you’re selling, that’s monogrammed. Then you could put in there “Get your monogram on this towel. I’ve got five of them. Message me. There’s five left.”
One of the other things about selling online is be sure to update that post, when it’s sold or sold out.
Hannah: Right, yeah.
Marc V: That’s frustrating for people dealing online, is they comment “I’m interested.” “It’s sold.” That’s frustrating. You can look at Facebook Marketplace. Speaking of that, what do you think about in our industry, selling on Facebook Marketplace?
Hannah: On Facebook Marketplace? I’m not a huge Facebook Marketplace. It kind of sketches me out a little bit. I’m never too sure about the sellers on there. I buy from local boutiques that I know. They have contact information. I don’t know. I want to trust them.
Marc V: I’m a Facebook Marketplace user, so it definitely depends. You have to understand who your customer is. I don’t know if it might be an age difference thing.
Marc V: I grew up in a time where I bought and sold stuff on Craigslist.
Hannah: Yeah, no. I will not use Craigslist.
Marc V: Now it’s considered scary, but 10 to 15 years ago, it was just where you’d go and buy and sell stuff. Then, just like anything, things can degrade over time. But Facebook Marketplace could be an opportunity. Usually, the issue with that one could be that folks might not necessarily be looking for the custom apparel. I don’t know. You should look up and see if you can find anybody selling monograms, like if you do embroidery, or selling custom t-shirts.
Hannah: Right. And location, too. I know on Facebook Marketplace, I’ve seen things that are not necessarily close. They’re in Tampa, where they’re in the area, but they can be far. So, definitely something to look into.
Marc V: Yeah, I’m curious about it. Maybe I’ll do a podcast just on that, one day. Note taken.
So, what’s the next thing?
Hannah: Sell online, and then gain followers, the purpose of your posts. I think the big part about this – the benefits of this kind of posting style is your branding and your recognition. Brand awareness is pretty key, I would say, in the custom apparel.
Marc V: So essentially, you’re posting something that is shareworthy, or if somebody stumbles upon it, it is worthy of them “Oh, that’s interesting enough where I want to see more from this page.”
Marc V: It might be a particularly beautiful design you’ve done, a particularly interesting or funny design. Or it could be a themed niche design, like I mentioned fishing. Somebody might see that, and “Oh, I fish. I love fishing shirts. I have a ton of them.” I mean, I don’t. Other people do. I don’t know much about it, besides there’s fishing poles and line.
Beyond that, somebody might see that you do ice skating type of apparel or cheer type of apparel, or sports apparel or funny t-shirts. They see your post. It’s shareworthy, where they might share that funny t-shirt to a friend, or tag a friend in your post.
This is going to happen probably on your business page, because your group is closed. So, no new people are going to find it in there. It’s only going to be people who are already members. And it’s not going to be on your personal page, because your personal page is going to be your friends and other people like that.
But on your business page, you post a particularly funny t-shirt, and hopefully you will see people tag their friends, who will also find it funny, or they’ll hit that Share button and share the post.
Marc V: When you gain followers, we’ve talked about this a bunch of time. Gaining followers, in a way, it’s like points that you get on the internet, that don’t matter. But it does do a couple things. You mentioned the branding and recognition.
If you go to a page and they have 10,000 followers, that seems like it adds more clout to their brand, versus somebody who has 15, something like that. So, it can help build it up. You don’t need to have 10,000 for a small business, to seem legitimate.
Hannah: Absolutely not.
Marc V: If you’re a small enough business, and you’ve been doing it for a while, and you have 1,000 or 500, that right there can say “Okay, this is a local small business that seems like they’re doing something.” And that comes down to the social proof of it.
Hannah: Of course, and kind of the activity aspect, as well. I think it all incorporates. Like we said earlier, you don’t want social media to make you look worse.
Marc V: Yes, that’s it. You create a Facebook page, you post a couple times, nobody likes it, nobody likes your page, nobody likes your posts, nobody has commented. All of that stuff, it looks barren. Your most recent post is “Christmas special,” and it’s in the middle of February.
What you’re doing here is you want to kind of grow that page to a point so when new people look you up, say they just Google your business name or they Google “embroidery shop” in the city, and the first thing that comes up is your page on Facebook, would be a wonderful thing to happen. If they click on it and it looks barren, they’re probably going to hit the Back button, and look for a better answer.
Marc V: The next think you mentioned, business information. We’ve talked about this a ton, so I’m going to let you give your take on it.
Hannah: Sure. I think we can tell now that I’m a huge local boutique kind of shopper. I love online. I love clothes. A lot of business pages post their business information on there. What that means is hours, store opening, store closing. The thing with local businesses is sometimes people are open traditional, like 9:00 to 5:00, but they won’t go in on Tuesday.
So, they’ll post that on their Facebook page. “We’re closing up shop today. Have some family things going on.” Sales, they’ll post a lot of sale information. And a summary, a good summary of their business; what they sell, what they do.
Marc V: Yeah, that’s it. The thing about that is if you’re a small business owner and you have a local page, you might look at the stats of your page through the Facebook Insights. It may not seem like it’s that big of a deal, like 16 people went there all week.
That doesn’t feel very encouraging, but if you were to think about your storefront, if you had a storefront and you had 16 more people come in, in that week, especially for a new small business, all 16 of those people are potential customers, and could be a potential big customer. It could have been 16 more orders that you got. And then, the referrals that may come.
So, you want to take a look at what that number is, and you want to make sure that all of those people understand who you are, how to reach you, and any of the other information, and you want to look good for them. So, even if it is a small number, all of those people are potential customers who would have called you or walked into your shop, or whatever it might be.
You mentioned engagement. Having good engagement on your Facebook page can be something that, again, might offer some clout and credibility, and will make your customers like you more. Essentially, this means ask your customers questions.
Marc V: Yeah, polls.
Hannah: Let them make decisions, even if they aren’t real decisions.
Marc V: It might just be that you’re not sure. We do that, too. We’re thinking “Should we do A or B?” We’ll just say “Why don’t we just ask our customers and let them decide?” Because we’re 50-50 on which one is better, but we only have enough time to do one of them. Then we’ll do the next one maybe another day. So, you can help your customers make decisions on that. “Which style of hat do you like better?”
I think it’s important that this one is last, because if you’ve got nobody on your page, and nobody visits it, and you are asking polls with no answers, that’s going to be just as awkward as having any of the other mistakes that we mentioned earlier.
Marc V: At least if you have some friends and family who love you enough to want to participate in these things. If you have five or six of those that will respond and answer, at least you’ll create some activity, and then hopefully, that will grow for you over time.
Our Facebook group and page, they started with one person, just like everybody else.
Marc V: Let’s talk about some best practices.
Marc V: What about frequency? How often should we be posting online?
Hannah: I would say once a day. It may sound like a lot, but with good planning, once a day can be easy. But there’s not a problem if you don’t post one day. No one is going to freak out if you don’t post on Tuesday. But I would say best practice would be once a day, at minimum.
Marc V: You’re not going to offend everybody if you post one picture a day from your business on Instagram or -.
Mark S: Oh, my God! I’m being replaced!
Marc V: Mark Stephenson noticed we’re doing this podcast without him!
If you take a picture of some apparel that you’re making or of your equipment running, or of some of your customers every day, and you’re posting them on Instagram and Facebook, you’re not going to be offending anybody. And if somebody un-likes your page because you did that, they probably didn’t care anyway.
Hannah: Right, exactly.
Marc V: That’s why they went away. And the frequency is completely adjustable. We talked about earlier, if you do youth sports and there is a big tournament this weekend, it’s not inappropriate for you to post 10 times, 15 times in that day. Pictures of kids getting their trophies, pictures of kids and parents wearing apparel.
Hannah: Yeah. Don’t pass up the opportunity to post. If you have content, post it.
Marc V: Yeah. If you have content, post it. That can be really good, because also, people will come and visit your page and see you, and they’ll go back in time a little bit. That’s typical, right? You get to a page, and just to peek at it, you scroll down.
When they’re hitting that scroll button, if they land on a tournament day, and they see your business with a bunch of people, a bunch of smiling faces, a bunch of cool apparel at an event, that really adds some clout to who you are, that you’re involved in the community. “Oh, wow! Look at all these teams that we work with!”, and things like that.
Hannah: After this, “clout” might be my new word.
Marc V: Yeah, it’s a cool word! It’s fun! Talk about photo and video.
Hannah: Quality-wise, photo and video is important. You should have good quality photo and video. But photo and video also really enhances a post. Just posting some text is okay, but if you can add a photo that relates to it, or even better, a video that relates to it, you’re going to get some more mileage.
Marc V: This kind of almost goes without saying, but we should say it, since we’re doing a podcast on this. Everybody knows that when you’re scrolling through things, you’re more likely to stop at a picture or a video to check it out, than you are if somebody just posted words. Especially if it’s a big long post of words, telling everybody how Facebook is changing their rules, and if you don’t share things.
Hannah: The one my dad did? Yeah, that was.
Marc V: So, it’s a good idea. In your frequency, I would say especially in the custom apparel world, if almost all of your posts were just a single picture or a single short video, I think it’s going to do great for you. And just a side note on that is don’t count likes and count comments as success, when you’re starting this up.
Marc V: Just do it, because it’s going to take a pretty long time. We have – I don’t even remember the number now – 40,000 people that follow us on Colman and Company.
Hannah: Yeah, I have no clue.
Marc V: We’ll post one picture that will just get one like and one comment, sometimes. We don’t know why. We could post a similar picture, and it gets 100 times that. Maybe it was a really busy day in the world, with some other piece of news, so everything else was trending on top.
Hannah: There’s so many reasons.
Marc V: Just do it, continue to do it. If you build it, they will come, kind of an attitude on it. Because what you’re looking for is, especially if you’re a small shop, you might only be doing two orders a week, at the beginning, or ten orders a week, or 100 orders a month. A successful shop could be doing 50 orders a month, 20 orders a month.
You’re reaching a point in your business where your income is great, the size of your orders is good, and you are happy to continue your business almost indefinitely at kind of that pace and that size, which means that if it’s 20 orders, a 20th of your business could be that one person that’s going and flipping through the pages, seeing the effort you’ve put in, and saying “This is somebody I want to do business with,” and they’re giving you a check for $2,000.
Marc V: You have to consider it for the big picture sale, because you’re not Revlon, selling makeup to a million people.
A couple of other things on the best practices, you had mentioned tagging and page sharing. Do you have any comments on that?
Hannah: Yeah. Any opportunity that you can get to have people tag their friends or share this with likeminded – the fishing example, I think is really good. “Share this with your fellow fishermen.” Things like that. Any opportunity, “Tag a friend that you would wear this t-shirt with,” things like that, they go for miles.
Marc V: “Tag a friend who is in love with monogramming everything!”
Hannah: Right. We all have one!
Marc V: That’s a good opportunity. Another thing you could do is tag people that are in the images with you. If you’re at that sports tournament for the kids, and you’re taking a picture of one of the sponsors, maybe like a local plumbing company who sponsors one of the teams that you made the apparel for them, you could say “Hey, could I take a picture and tag your business in there?” Of course, they’re going to say yes.
Hannah: Of course, right.
Marc V: Then, they’re tagged in there. Maybe some of their followers or friends or family, or whoever it might be, might see that. It’s all like this tiny little snowball that you’re hoping builds up big over time.
Let’s talk about, then, a social calendar. The reason we bring this up is it’s easy to say “I’m going to post every day.” Right?
Marc V: But how hard is it, really? It’s hard! It doesn’t seem like it would be.
Hannah: Right. When we go through all of this, it seems like a lot. Making a social calendar and just keeping yourself organized, and preplanning, can really help keep you on track with frequency. There are so many ways to plan ahead.
Like I said, if you have content, use it. Save content, have a plan. There are so many ways you can make a calendar. You can do it simply, through Google Sheets, something as easy as that. There’s more advanced ways. We personally use an Asana type calendar.
But any time that you can plan ahead for the week, I think you’re going to thank yourself in the long run.
Marc V: What are some things that they might plan in that week, or to rolling weekly? Do you have any thoughts on that?
Hannah: We have what we do personally. I have the whole calendar set up. What I like to do is on Monday, plan my week. I kind of have common themes, which can help things roll along. On Wednesdays, I like to do a common, maybe a podcast theme. On Thursdays, I want to make a post that makes people make a decision.
On Mondays, I like to do humor now, and now we have Meme Mondays.
Marc V: You have some amazing memes. You’re taking it to a new level. I love it!
Hannah: A common theme, I think can help things roll along.
Marc V: So, what I might think for a business owner, especially somebody in the custom apparel business, for one, if you participate in something on a frequent basis, like if you are the type of person who goes to the farmers market shops every weekend. Maybe you could say “Every day, when I’m there, I’m going to post. Then, every Wednesday, I’ll do the reminder, to let people know I’m going to be there, and here are some pictures from last week.”
So, there’s two days right now, you’ve got ideas for. Then, maybe Monday you could do a theme of say, like a “Back to the Grind Monday,” and maybe show a little video of your equipment running, or you doing some actual work; packing boxes, making t-shirts, things like that.
Then, on Tuesday, you could maybe share a customer story.
Hannah: I love that idea.
Marc V: Every Tuesday, you share a picture of some customers that you’ve done business with, and the apparel you made for them. We’ve already covered Wednesday. Then on Thursday and Friday, do you have two ideas you can throw in there?
Hannah: Friday is a fun day, I think. I like Fun Day. Anything fun, maybe some behind the scenes quirkiness. I think people love that on social.
Marc V: That’s a great idea. If there’s any bloopers from the week, somebody made a shirt upside down, “Here’s this week’s mistake.” Somebody spilled ink on the ground, which at first you’re upset about, because it’s so much time.
Hannah: But now it’s Friday, and it’s like “Alright, it’s funny now.”
Marc V: You can take a picture of it and say “Here’s this week’s mess-up.” Then, we have Thursday.
Hannah: Maybe a general marketing for yourself.
Marc V: There you go, general marketing.
Hannah: “Remember our hours,” or “We’re open on Saturdays, remember!” Something like that.
Marc V: “Here are some things we do.” You can show a picture of one garment you do. If you have 30 different types of shirts, hats, bags, stuff you normally work with, you’ve got 30 weeks out of the year set on Thursday.
Hannah: Yeah, there you go!
Marc V: Then, for the other 20-something, just repeat. Just go back to January, and pull what you did from that first week, because it’s a type of shirt you’re sharing. Very few people are there every single week, and memorizing what you did. You can at least share another popular hat. So, there we go! I think we’ve got it for you!
Hannah: That’s a full week there.
Marc V: Put it on the calendar.
Hannah: Now, schedule it, too.
Marc V: Yeah, schedule it. When you mention scheduling, what we mean specifically is you don’t have to post it at that moment.
Marc V: Meaning you take a picture with your phone, hit Post, and go.
Hannah: Right, which is great. You can do that as it comes, too. But when you’re scheduling and planning ahead, no harm no foul in scheduling things. You can do this on Facebook, directly through Facebook. You can easily schedule things. “I want this to go live on Monday at 2:00 PM.”
Marc V: And you can do this on your groups and on your business pages.
Marc V: The way that I would do it is, let’s say Tuesday is a particularly busy day for you that day. That particular Tuesday is a busy day. You had three orders you were delivering, and all three of them were just like homerun hits. You love the color of the shirt, you love their logo, you love the design. All of it came out beautifully.
So, what you do on that day is you take pictures of all three of those. Then, on I believe Tuesday we said was Share Customer Work Day. Right there, you go ahead and schedule those three. This one is going out next Tuesday, this one will go out the following Tuesday, this one will go out the following Tuesday. You’ve got three weeks in a row set up on one day’s worth of work.
Hannah: Right, and Facebook stores it. You can see all of it that’s scheduled. You’re not just posting it and “Oops, surprise!” There it is on Tuesday. You can look back and remind yourself what you have scheduled.
Marc V: Exactly. If you deliver to that customer, and they just turn out to be the biggest jerk constantly, and you don’t want to share the logo, you can cancel it. You can do this directly through Facebook, speaking of there, but there are some other tools you can use. Hootsuite, Loomly and Buffer are three really popular ones. They offer free and paid services, for monitoring and posting and scheduling social media.
Typically, folks will do this outside of Facebook, just because they might offer a more robust tool or app that’s more interesting. Or it will post to Instagram and Twitter and Facebook at the same time, for you. So, you can program all three accounts in there. Put one picture in, and it will shoot it out to all three at the same time.
There’s plenty to dive into on that strategy alone, whether you should have different content for different social. But for now, if you’re taking pictures of good things you’ve made, it’s pretty safe to just go and share it out there. Dive deeper into it, over time.
The last comment here we talked about already, but a general rule is just post one a day, and just go from there.
Marc V: If you forget a day, or you don’t have anything interesting, don’t panic that day. Just go ahead and skip that week. And the days when you have a surplus of content, take advantage of that.
It’s almost time to wrap it up. Let’s just throw out a few things to remember, and we’ll let these folks go and actually do some of this.
Hannah: Yeah. Let’s kick it off. The first thing to remember that I think is super important and people often forget, even though it’s social media and it’s more casual, being professional is so important. Spell-check your posts. Look at your photos. Make sure they’re good quality, your video is audible. Just be professional, because it’s still your business.
Marc V: A couple things – if you are not great at spelling or grammar, what you can do is, especially if you’re posting from your mobile device like most people are, you can go ahead and open up your email app. Write your post in there. Your email app is going to automatically have some of that grammar and spelling checks in it. Then, you can go ahead and copy that, and paste that into Facebook.
This way, you’ll get your “you and your” and things like that, “there and their,” and things like that. It also gives you the opportunity to write it, read it, check if there’s any squiggly lines telling you that you spelled something wrong, copy/paste it, read it again. Now you’ve read it two or three times, and when you make your post, you’re good.
The great thing about scheduling, too, speaking about that, is when you’re kind of going in, like if on Monday you’re reviewing what’s going to be posted this week, you can re-read that all again.
Marc V: Then, you can make sure things are good, again. Compared to when you post live, if you make a mistake, you have to go and edit it. You did that and you make another mistake when you make the edit.
Hannah: If you’re scheduling through some kind of calendar, usually that will have a spell check on it, too. So, definitely read through that.
Marc V: You mentioned about the quality. I made a note here, “no potato quality photos.” That is an old internet joke. What it means is some videos on YouTube in the beginning were so bad, people would joke “It looks like you shot this with a potato.” That’s how bad.
Hannah: This is the first time I’ve heard this!
Marc V: That’s really important. If a photo is fuzzy, if the image is really bad, you’re almost just better off not sharing it. I understand that you wanted to share this picture with somebody at this event, but if it’s really poor quality, just don’t even bother to share it.
Hannah: Don’t force content.
Marc V: Yeah, don’t force content. If you took a picture and you have to zoom in so much to get the logo that it’s fuzzy, just don’t even bother to share it. You’d rather just not have that there. Anytime you’re questioning something like this, whether your photos look good or not, pick a big brand that you already follow, whether it’s a big restaurant chain or a big whatever it is, any big brand that you follow, and look at their photos, and compare it to yours.
You don’t have to be as good as them, but they at least need to be clear and not fuzzy or weird, or whatever it might be.
Marc V: Let’s see here. Check your inbox. Tell us about that.
Hannah: Definitely respond to your customers. Not only does your page actually generate a response rate, it’s just great practice. If your customers are asking you questions via Facebook, just respond to them, even if it’s short. If you’re busy, just “I’ll get back to you,” or anything just to show them that you’re actually there.
It goes back to you’re showing activity, really.
Marc V: So, if they comment on a picture or post, “How much is this? Where can I get it? I love this!” Whatever it is, whatever they write, try to respond back to that. If they message your page directly, be sure to respond, because Facebook will say “Usually responds” in a certain amount of time, and you want to be able to have a good rate there.
I think you can also control that, too. You can go into your Facebook settings, and you can say “Usually responds the next day.” Then, your customers have an expectation.
Hannah: Yeah, absolutely.
Marc V: Facebook also, in your business page settings, you can set up an auto-responder, which we use, too. We get so many Facebook messages, between – we have Live Chat and multiple phone numbers and all this stuff. We have so many Facebook messages that it becomes hard to manage all of it, especially when there’s a lot of nights and weekends when our staff is not here.
So, we have an auto-responder that when somebody messages us, and many of you may have started this way, it says “Thanks for reaching out to us. We don’t monitor this 24/7. If you want to reach out to us, here’s our phone number, here’s our website, etc.”
Hannah: Right, and no one will take offense to that.
Marc V: Yeah, especially if it’s a nice couple of sentences, you can do that every time. “Hey, I don’t monitor this all of the time, but it’s really important for me to hear from you. Here’s our business phone number. Here’s our email address. Those are the two best ways to reach us. By the way, we’re typically available from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday through Saturday.”
Hannah: There you go!
Marc V: The last bit here was just engaging in the comments, which is the same as kind of what we’re talking about now, just in the comments. One of the big things, if people are leaving reviews, either on a picture or on your page, I’m always a fan of respond to every review.
Hannah: Right, even if it’s bad.
Marc V: If it’s bad or good, even if it’s good. If they say “Love this monogram!”, “Thank you! I appreciate it,” or whatever it might be. “I was really upset at this company, because I wanted shirts in five days, and they told me that their turn time was ten days.”
“Sorry, we’re really busy. We’re working on getting things caught up. We’re hiring some new people,” or whatever it might be. You can respond to that, that way.
Hannah: Absolutely. It could be a lot, so I think it’s important to just maybe take a little bit of time a day, or every other day, to catch up on this. Don’t just sit there on Facebook. You could easily get trapped in this all day.
Marc V: That’s actually a really good point. You had mentioned like designating some time to do it.
Hannah: Right, exactly. It could be like 30 minutes.
Marc V: Typically, what I’ll do in my routine, is I’ll come in here, and it’s some of my waking up with coffee stuff. I’ll turn on Facebook. I’ll look at my notifications, and I’ll see “Do I need to respond to anything? No.”
If I do, if it’s particularly hard, like it’s a really bad review, I don’t necessarily let it consume my day, at that point in time. I say “Okay, I’m going to have to handle this review. I’ll do some research.” If it’s just a bunch of “Oh, thanks! This looks good!”, then it’s really easy to just type “Thank you so much. We love you, too! You’re great! We appreciate you!”
You’re just reading them, and in my head, I’m always thinking like “That’s a really nice review! I like this person. I like that they said that about us,” and I say that out loud to them, just like they were in person. It would be particularly awkward in person, if someone came up and said “Wow! I really love these shirts that you made for me,” and you sat there in silence.
Hannah: Right. It would be weird.
Marc V: I always try to think of these online things, how it might be to handle it in person.
Marc V: Hopefully, some folks here learned something new to do. I like to always leave folks with an action item at the end of the episode. Do you have something that you think that, when they stop listening to this and they sit down in front of their computer or their phone, what do you think they should do next?
Hannah: I feel like your next step, if you don’t have your profile, your business page and a business group set up, make your plan and do that. I think that’s the most important. Just type out a plan. Just make a plan in your head of what you want to accomplish with social media. Go from there.
Marc V: I like that. I would say your personal and your business page, have those. If you’re not sure on a group yet, just hover on the idea. Have that as like a possible long-term to-do, of “What would my group be?” One day, I think that idea will click.
What I would say some homework to do on this is, if you already have all of this set up, go into it. Go into the settings and look at all of the settings again. Look at anywhere where it’s a description, hours, information, auto-responders. Do a little bit of a check.
Hannah: Yeah, some housework.
Marc V: Do a health check, and go through everything. Make sure it’s good. We do that here every so often, and every time I go into that Facebook page, and go to the Colman and Company or ColDesi Facebook page and re-read it, I find something again that I can add, remove, change, update, and it feels good to go ahead and be keeping on top of that.
Hannah: I like that one.
Marc V: Good! I think that we’re ready to go. The way that we end the podcast is Mark Stephenson will say “Thanks for listening,” and we end the podcast. Then, he’ll say “This is Mark Stephenson,” and then I’ll say “This is Marc Vila.” Then, he’ll usually say “Have a good business!” So, we’re going to do that, okay?
Hannah: Okay! Which one am I doing?
Marc V: You can say “Have a good business,” because you’re replacing him, like when he walked in. So, you would say “Thanks for listening!”
Hannah: Alright! Thanks for listening! This is Hannah Rago.
Marc V: And this is Marc Vila.
Hannah: Have a good business!
Marc V: That was good.
Hannah: Nailed it!