• Adam Whittaker

A man walks into a bar

A man walks into a bar,


“5 quid”

And off he trundles to his seat berating the price of real ale and of course, the state of the weather.

In real life this would of course not be the case, or shouldn’t be unless it was one of those dodgy back street pubs where you wipe your feet when you leave. In any hospitable establishment you would expect something like,


Evening, what can I get you?

“Amazing choice of beers you have on tonight, I’m a bit spoilt for choice.”

What do you normally go for?

“Something pale, not too hoppy or strong, maybe a bit citrusy.”

Try this. I think you’ll like it.

“Oh yeah. That’s great. Pint please.”

Awful weather out there…

“I know. Seems like it’s been raining for a year non-stop.”

And as for that coronavirus…anyway £5 please.

Sounds pretty straight forward doesn’t it? This is how you would expect people to behave and operate not just in the hospitality trade but also any other sector for that matter, whether business to consumer or business to business. So why do we expect it to be different online?

We tend to spend a great deal of time procrastinating over what posts we should put out on social media and when? Choosing target audiences, planning campaigns and showcasing our products in the best light become paramount to the success of our business and quite rightly, they should play a key part in our marketing and social media strategy. Whilst becoming engrossed in the content of our Facebook post, we often forget the fundamental principle that the platform within which we are operating is called SOCIAL media. It is supposed to be a social interaction and a two way conversation not just one continual sales pitch.

The algorithms behind the main platforms rely on engagement. Posts Instagram thinks you will want to see tend to hang around on your time line for a while until you either like or comment. The more you interact the more chance you have of seeing similar posts in the future. Reports vary, but it is believed approximately 70% of Instagram posts never get seen a startling statistic when you weigh up how much work you put into crafting that beautiful picture of a cup of coffee with a swirly pattern on top, counting your optimum number of hashtags (currently thought to be 15) and posting it at time you think your target audience will be online. The workings behind Instagram however mean that none of this matters as much as engaging with your followers.

When I’m delivering workshops or 1 to 1 sessions, I always advise that we should treat things online the way we would offline. Talk to people as you would in a bar, a cafe or on the phone. This philosophy carries over into other aspects of your marketing too. If you are a mobile hairdresser who can coiffeur 5 clients a day, a gardener who can only tend to a garden a day, a brownie maker who can only bake 100 brownies a day, and you are at full capacity, you wouldn’t walk up and down your local high street handing out leaflets showcasing your wares. So why keep promoting yourself online? Keep a presence of course but hold back on the sales talk.

People will often say, ‘I’m running Facebook Ads but they’re just not working’. Chances are the ads aren’t targeted enough or just as likely, potential clients are seeing the ad, heading over to the page and are subject to a diatribe of money off, discounts and help me I’m desperate type posts.

It was Bill Gates who originally said ‘Content is King.’ Naturally quality content is essential but maybe it’s now a prince or princess and being sociable is boss.

If you’re struggling with content or what to post on social media, give me a shout