If you think having a #Facebook page is the best place for your business to be, you might want to think again. Until last week, I thought the same thing. But, when delivering my Making Every Word Count - Using Clear Communication to Connect with Clients workshop to new entrepreneurs, I learned some key information. Millennial entrepreneurs prefer #Instagram to #Facebook. They have good reasons. This was promptly supported by an online article.
Why Instagram over Facebook?
This Red Website blog post, from the day after my workshop, caught my eye. 5 reasons you should ditch Facebook and concentrate on Instagram instead put it in #plainlanguage. Facebook has plateaued and without paid for ads your chances of getting conversions are declining. Instagram is just getting started. And, the filtering process used on the platforms makes a huge difference (See 3. below).
What do the numbers say?
In a colourful poster, Red makes the numbers sing.
1. Since 2013, Facebook's organic marketing reach has declined 63%. Instagram's has grown 115%.
2. Only 32% of Facebook users engage with brands. 68% of Instagram users engage with brands.
3. Only 6% of Facebook brand followers are reached. While, Instagram reaches 100%.
This information is definitely worth exploring.
So, what do you do?
'One of the reasons I love to train, is what I learn from my students. Technology and entrepreneurial millennials are pushing the boundaries. They have experience across all platforms, curiosity and confidence, and want to be able to do things better. The words status quo - or leave as is - are not in their vocabulary. Read this article. Read more articles. Consider a small change in direction for
your online marketing. And, definitely consider updating your social media marketing strategy for 2016.
Consultants work best when they are - and truly feel - part of your team. There are mountains of information on how consultants should work with their clients. But, ask any consultant about their 'favourite' client, and you'll find some very basic expectations that can lead to optimum results. Here are three common things consultants appreciate from their clients.
1. Make them a team member
The more knowledgeable your consultant is about your organization and needs, the better the quality of their work. And, making them part of your team is a great way to achieve this. Whether they work right beside you, drop in occasionally, or work virtually, investing a little time in connecting with your consultant pays off. It's just human nature. Clients who add my name to their staff list on their website, identifying the work I am doing, get extra points for inclusion.
2. Agree on the best communication channels
On a recent, virtual (long distance - never met the client) project, the importance of communicating, in a meaningful way, grew in importance as the project progressed. I really appreciated that the project manager responded to inquiries promptly. And, if she didn't have the answer immediately, she told me when I could expect it. This made me feel valued - I know how busy PMs are - and helped me with project scheduling. If I learned anything, it was to discuss the 5Ws of communications at the start of a project. Think about communications options, time zones, topics. Agree on the plan.
3. Take time for a de-brief
Although many clients see a consultant as an 'extra', the consultant gives each project their full attention. This energy is what gives a value-added edge to the work. It shows commitment, professionalism and a connection with the client organization. When the project finishes - especially if it is a one-off - consultants can feel isolated, outside looking in, or even down-hearted that it is all over. Clients who have sent me thank-you cards, remembered to copy me in on the final distribution or a key link, and, booked time for a debrief get top marks. It offers an excellent opportunity for learning, and having a positive finale. Everyone wins.
The consulting relationship is an important one in many organizations. A little thought, planning and connecting before you start the work can make everyone pleased with the final results.
Kate Harrison Whiteside has over 25 years experience in plain language, writing and editing, training and consulting.