Just over a month ago we completely altered our social media strategy and revamped our blog. We've learned a lot in those five weeks – new strategies regarding social media, business, and creating content that is truly valuable to your audience, to name a few.
What's the most valuable benefit we've gained?
We've nearly doubled our site traffic since June since launching campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. And we've landed business from multiple clients who found us through social media only. Those are measurable positive results!
Looking back, it's almost surprising that we only really started giving social media outreach considerable attention within only the past few weeks. Why almost? Because every day we see the hesitation that small businesses feel when deciding whether or not to commit resources to online engagement.
And we completely, completely understand – because we've been there too.
It's intimidating! And in the beginning at least, it feels really strange to promote your own business, your own work, your own successes. We're seriously not used to owning up to our strengths, and we've had to make a conscious decision to alter that trend and really share our full skill set and knowledge. In fact, changing the way we talk about Hoot and what we do was such a big decision that we wrote a whole post on our new communication strategies.
But for us, making the leap to consistent social media engagement has already started to pay off.
So what does 5 weeks of consistent engagement do for business?
Let me tell you!
We've found three core benefits to our fearless five:
1. It Grows your audience
We've seen an amazing increase in site traffic within the past five weeks – it's nearly doubled. The more people we've reached out to, the more attention our site has received.
So far in July, the HDco site has had 2,689 page views – a 70% increase from our page views in June. Our audience size has increased by 60% over the past month, and our site visits have increased by 86%.
Check out a snapshot of the increase in our site traffic metrics:
Alongside our social media promotion push, we've paid much more attention to our site performance in order to measure which strategies have been successful. And what a difference a little attention has made!
Tracking our growth has allowed us to establish a strategy feedback loop – which in turn enables increased growth.
Figuring out what's working and what's not based on measurable metrics has been incredibly motivating and pushes us to continue. Though I absolutely love the rich site data that Google Analytics provides for more in-depth investigation, Squarespace's excellent at-a-glance metrics (like the site traffic chart pictured above) are perfect for a quick and simple check-in. They are one of the many reasons the platform gets a big 👍 from us.
2. it Drives your audience where you want them to go
We've seen a HUGE increase in engagement on our blog.
The key has been creating high-quality, valuable content and then promoting it through social media channels so our audience can find it! Through our blog posts we've been able to direct readers – and potential clients – to blog content that's beneficial to a small business owner or creative professional (so readers want to be reading it!) and we've been able to ensure that our audience knows about Hoot, who we are, and what we do at the same time.
Connecting with readers through multiple social media channels and offering direct links to the content we want to share has ensured that visitors head where we'd like them to go – our blog, which (when combining the visits to the /blog landing page and individual blog posts) accounts for nearly 50% of our page views in the last month. A major increase in numbers there!
"Build it and they will come" is totally not how things work on the interwebz/blogosphere. Nope!
Creating awesome content – or offering amazing services – alone isn't enough if nobody knows about it. You need to actively court the audience you desire and drive them to the content you want to give them. And the best way to do that is through committing to online social outreach.
What's that saying – if a blog post is published in a forest but nobody's there to read it...?
3. it Lands YOU more business
Though I don't have metrics charts to show you on this one, it's true: since we made our online outreach a priority, clients have come to Hoot based solely on our social media presence – something that's never happened before.
In addition to reaching new clients, social media outreach and our revamped blog presence has been an excellent way to get back on the radar of past clients who hadn't initially wanted services like a monthly design retainer. It's been an excellent method to make sure clients are aware of our areas of expertise beyond brand creation.
For example, we've been able to explain the benefits of a design retainer (and why we offer them!) very effectively through posts about common ways new brand owners damage their brand and key strategies to consider before posting online in order to create effective content. We've even created a free download to help brand owners consider online posts in a more strategic light!
All of this is key to a major aspect of landing additional business: ensuring that your audience recognizes you as an expert.
Before we began our push to create consistent, high-quality blog content and promote our company across social platforms five weeks ago, we simply hadn't been effectively communicating the extent of our skills and expertise to our clients. Many people were more familiar with our business model from years ago – one based on custom baby prints and art prints – that we've since phased out in order to devote our full attention to branding, which is what we've been passionate about since day one. Because we hadn't been communicating about our branding and marketing expertise as effectively, we hadn't been securing business based on them!
Now, we both connect with new clients and reconnect with past clients because we're effectively communicating across platforms and producing content geared towards their needs. Win.
The bottom line:
Consistent engagement online really does drive business.
Our social media outreach strategy has had a huge impact in just the few weeks we've been at it.
And after engaging, trying new strategies, and – most importantly – learning from our mistakes five weeks in a row, we've come a long way. We've developed go-to thought processes and efficient workflows for our content and promotion – and have discovered what works and what doesn't through lots of trial and error.
By no means are we done strategizing. And we don't have every bump along the way perfectly ironed out. In fact, we look for ways to keep improving every day.
But the fact is, imperfect as we humans are, we've benefitted all around. And I know you can too!
So for the rest of the week we'll be sharing the strategies we've learned these past five weeks with you – and we'll be covering a different platform every day.
You can make the leap – I know it!
I'll see you back here tomorrow for our... Drumroll, please... tips on Twitter engagement.
Until next time,
We're working hard to show you what five years in business looks like. Comment here or on Facebook with topics or questions you'd like to see us cover. Or maybe just links to your favorite GIFS. You can also tweet us your feedback @hootdesignco or @averyenderle, follow us on Insta, come check out our Pinterest boards, and keep up with us on BlogLovin'!