Lunch and Learn: How to maximise your social media impact

Posted: Wed 29th Jul 2020

Social media coach, She Means Business trainer and Beyond Social Buzz founder Joanna Michaels joined Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones on today's webinar to talk about maximising your social media impact.

Joanna has spent the last seven years helping startups and small businesses build deeper connections with their social media followers and convert them into customers.

We've included some of Joanna's best advice below.

The five pillars of effective social media

Joanna breaks down social media into five key areas. Spending time on each will make sure your posts target the right audience and align with your business goals.

1. Understand the key challenges of the social media landscape

Incredibly, Facebook turns 16 this year. It's a good time to reflect on how much the platform has changed, particularly for businesses that want to advertise there. It's a crowded platform - Joanna explained that there were about 16 million business pages and six million active advertisers on Facebook in 2019.

"The algorithm wants us to serve content that creates meaningful conversations. If what we post doesn't create engagement, we're not visible. We want content that engages and connects people with each other," she said.

2. Set a strategy and objectives

A strategy is essential to building a successful social media presence. Your strategy provides a foundation for your activity and should include:

  • Where your business is now and what's working

  • A review of your competition and the industry landscape

  • What you want to achieve and how you'll go about it

  • How you'll measure and refine your activity

The goals you set for your social media should be linked to your business objectives. Joanna recommends following the SMART methodology to make sure your goals are clear and measurable. Each goal should be:

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Achievable

  • Relevant

  • Time bound

Joanna gave the example of a business owner opening a restaurant. Rather than simply deciding you want to raise awareness about your business, you should outline your goals:

"To increase brand awareness, I'd start by setting a time scale - maybe a month or three months. Within a month, I want to increase the number of page followers by 20% and clicks by 15%. I'll do that by posting five times a week on Facebook or Instagram and engaging with competitors' most engaged followers. I'll also inject a £30 budget into advertising that will target customers in a five mile radius," she explained.

3. Recognise the differences between platforms

A lot of businesses will share the same update across all platforms, but Joanna warns that this is over automating your activity. If people know you're sharing the same message, they'll switch off when they see your posts.

It's important to understand the fundamental differences between the platforms. For example, a format that's perfectly suited to Instagram won't perform well on Twitter.


Facebook is still growing and Joanna explains that your customers are likely to be there, unless they're very young. The fastest growing age group on the platform is the 65+ demographic, also known as the "silver surfers".

"In terms of what Facebook offers, there's an incredible amount of business tools that will support growth for your brand. You can set up a shop, turn your online community into an offline community through events and build your online reputation through reviews," Joanna said.


Joanna describes Instagram as being focused around inspiration and aspiration, so businesses need to empower their audiences and make them feel good about themselves.

Instagram works particularly well for visual businesses like fashion, beauty and property.


"If someone Googles your name, your LinkedIn profile is likely to come up before your website. LinkedIn is good for building a strong professional brand for yourself and sets you up for professional networking," Joanna said.


The fast-paced nature of Twitter means you can post multiple times a day. According to Joanna, it's excellent for networking and tapping into PR opportunities because there are so many journalists on the platform.

4. Create messages that connect with customers

It's crucial to know your customer. Otherwise, it's hard to know what, when and where to post.

Basic demographics like gender, age and income level are important, but Joanna recommends looking at psychographics - in other words, your customers' psychological attributes. Here are some questions to get started with:

  • What are their main pain points?

  • Who do they admire?

  • What might they want to learn about your niche?

  • How do they want to be talked to?

  • How do they learn? (For example, younger people might watch 30-second videos whereas older audiences might stay for longer.)

5. Build and maintain strong relationships

Social media changes quickly, but Joanna wants to remind people that it's a marathon, not a sprint. It's important to be consistent. Once people get used to hearing from you, don't let them down.

"People can easily move to another account to follow. Be generous when you're showing your expertise and be generous towards your community. That means being responsive and being approachable.

"Be strategic and clear about your social media goals. Understand where you should be investing time and money. Build trust and be approachable," she summarised.

Kat is a writer for Enterprise Nation, The Pitch and Side Hustle Club. She's worked with small businesses for the last four years, championing Britain's startup scene and anyone who has snacks. 

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