The small business community is filled with some amazing hidden gems and Rachel Beaney is definitely one of them. Being super-modest is one of her superpowers and social strategy is another. We finally caught up to discuss all things social media and business building…
I’ve known you for a few years now, but for those playing at home, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Rachel Beaney, and I’m a freelance digital and social media specialist working with medium to large businesses to build their businesses and brands online.
What does that actually mean?
I help businesses turn their business goals into something we can execute online. I look at what their objective is to grow their business, and plan the best approach for them using digital or social media, whether that is growing a LinkedIn Page, retargeting their existing customers using Facebook ads, building their newsletter list, creating more engaging blog content or managing their online community.
How did you get into social media in the first place?
I was in the right place at the right time! I had come out of university with a degree in Writing and Cultural Studies and a strong interest in tech. I was lucky that my skills and interests blossomed into a whole industry! More specifically, the day I got my job in social media was rather unconventional: I was looking for work while at coffee meetup for people into tech, and I was asked if I knew how to use Twitter. A global agency was looking for someone to help with a corporate Twitter account. As laughable as it sounds now, I didn’t understand what they wanted because corporate Twitter accounts didn’t exist at the time, but I thought it was an interesting idea! I got my foot in the door working for clients like Microsoft, Aussie Home Loans, Yellow Tail and more. Over time, the industry grew into the multifaceted space it is now.
How important is it to have a social media presence?
In the same way that iPhones replace a TV, watch, calendar, camera and more; social media does a lot of things, but it has the one phrase to describe it. Social media is a place to tell your brand story. A place to build trust. A place for customer reviews. A place for customer service. For many businesses, social media is simply a digital extension of their business, so in that way, it’s pretty essential as one of the tools used in your digital marketing mix.
“Social media is a place to tell your brand story. A place to build trust. A place for customer reviews. A place for customer service.”
What are your biggest tips to help business owners promote their competitions on social media?
As with all social media, the key is to know your audience! Promoting your competition should be where your audience is.
- If there is a hashtag your audience is using, make sure you’re using that hashtag to extend the reach of your posts.
- Find groups where your audience are hanging out and share it in those groups (with permission, of course).
- Don’t be afraid of spending some money on ads to raise awareness of the competition.
- Use your owned assets: make sure you update your Facebook Cover image, share it in your newsletter and add it to your website.
- And, make your competition shareable from the outset: design it so there is a ‘share with a friend’ pop up after they enter – or even build it into the mechanics where they get an extra entry if they share it on social – as long as the social media platform permits.
What are the common mistakes people make when it comes to social media/Facebook/Instagram?
When I ask some businesses what they are wanting to achieve with their social media, they say one thing, but they are actually doing the opposite on their channels! It’s pretty common for businesses to not know why they are posting on social media, or if they do have an objective, they aren’t sure how to execute this in the real world to get the results they need. They might say that they are trying to push traffic to their website and that they are posting to Facebook five times a day – unaware that the algorithm change means that nearly no one is seeing their content. Matching your objectives with your tactics is essential.
What are some of your favourite social media accounts and why do they inspire you?
I always get a buzz out of social media accounts that have a very clear objective and execute on it really well. I love what Xero is doing on their social media accounts, love NSW Police’s account, but to be honest, a lot of my favourite pages are small businesses in my area who tell their stories in really playful, honest and a human way.
What’s your super power?
I love being strategic, I love sinking into data, and I love being creative: combining those skills is my jam. I love coming up with the right solutions for businesses in a way that isn’t overwhelming for them, especially if they are new to digital.
What would be your one big tip for people struggling to get their head around marketing themselves on social?
Write five reasons the world is a better place due to your business. Now, each one of those is a springboard for a piece of content on your social channels.
Finally, how can people get in touch with you if they want to know more or work with you?
I’d love to grab a coffee and have a chat with any businesses ready to take their social media to the next level. You can check out my services on my site at rachelbeaney.com and pop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to use my superpowers on your business!
Rachel Beaney is an Australian freelance social media specialist with over a decade in digital media. She’s worked with global names like Microsoft, Samsung, News Corp and General Assembly, in addition to not-for-profits and government bodies. She loves helping clients solve their business needs with creative and data-driven solutions.
Jump on her website to find out more at rachelbeaney.com.