Category Archives: Work

How to write content for social media

Someone once told me that “online relationships mimic offline ones” and that statement has well and truly stuck with me (..thank you to my boss at Ivy Social for allowing me to interview her for a uni assignment! πŸ€“).

I’ve been writing content for social media for nearly a year now. I may be starting out as a junior in my field but what I know is this: when you write for social media, write as if you’re talking to your audience face-to-face because, like my boss said, an online relationship is just like an offline one.

Now, this doesn’t always mean long captions. Not at all. If anything, I think it’s great to have a combination of short, medium and long captions for social media. If they’re all long, your audience can eventually ‘not be bothered’ to read it. And if they’re all short? Well, one-liners are great and all but for social media, it’s not going to get you very far (…don’t forget that social media is a consistent and long-term marketing tool).

I mean, think about it. Would a one-liner give you a passing grade at school? Would a one-liner win you that job you’ve been longing for? Would a one-liner get you a long-term relationship? Probably not.

Why?

Because one-liners aren’t how we communicate with one another and to be quite frank, how boring would that world be? We create relationships with other people by talking to each other and consistently building on that.

By working in a social media agency, I liaise with clients from various industries so when it comes to content writing week, I’m often putting my ‘client thinking cap’ on two or three times a day (…it was up to four times when I was working from home). When I say ‘client thinking cap’, I literally mean I step into their minds, their brand, their business.

My client pool has covered hospitality, premium cars, wedding planning and sports technology to name a few. Who would’ve thought I’d see the day where I work with a sports technology company? πŸ˜‚


Tip #1: Know your client

With that said, it’s important for me to know my client – especially when I’m smashing out multiple batches of content in a day. It might be pretty obvious but you need to know that you’re not managing a brand’s channels just to be able to write for yourself. I was once told that I had a style with how I managed Public’s platforms and I couldn’t really understand that because I was running the business’ socials, not mine.

In order to know your client, you need to take the time to get to know what they do, the kind of business they have, the industry they’re in and more importantly, who their audience is. This is what makes up your ‘client thinking cap’ or whatever you’d like to call it.

When I was told that I’d take the lead on the sports tech company, I was super nervous about it. I know nothing about fitness, let alone the type of training that their product is targeted towards. I won’t lie to you: I worked really hard getting to know about this client. My boss and I spent two hours with them for a workshop and from then, I dedicated about 90% of one week reading the materials they sent us, reading their website and product reviews, researching hashtags, seeing what other people wrote about this type of training – the whole lot.

And for someone who has next to no interest in sports and technology combined? It was worth every second because now, it allows me to write their organic content without wasting time each month thinking about what to write next. ⚑️


Tip #2: Speak to your audience

Like I said earlier, write as if you’re talking to someone face-to-face and more importantly, in a way that resonates with them. Let’s work with an example:

Caption A: “Mondays are for two-for-one pizzas.”

Caption B: “We think Mondays are always the hardest… but not if you leave the cooking to us! Enjoy our two-for-one pizza deal while you sit back and ease into your busy week.”

Can you see the difference? Caption A is a one-liner. It’s direct, straight to the point but also very boring (..especially if it’s a recurring special). When you read Caption B, it taps into a regular human thought of “Mondays suck, I can’t be bothered cooking tonight”.

You could even spin it away from a negative connotation (e.g. “Mondays are always the hardest”) and turn it into Caption C: “Mondays are always a good time with our two-for-one pizza deal. Why? Because you leave the cooking to us while you enjoy your favourite glass of wine.”

Boom. Now I feel like pizza. πŸ•


Tip #3: Just write

Starting is always the hardest part.

Whether it’s an assignment or the first batch of content for a new client, I always struggle to start – it’s almost as if I psych myself out. Truth be told, if you know what you’re writing about then it’s actually not that difficult and it gets easier the more you do it. One of my clients actually told me that he barely made any changes to the July content because I just got it. It took me months to get to this point and that’s not to say that he’ll never need to make edits. It’s more that I finally got to this point because I just started and I just keep going.

The more you write, the better you get. βœ”οΈ

From ‘home office’ back to ‘work office’

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog posts, you’d know that Team Ivy Social has been working from home ever since our lockdown was first announced in Australia.

While it might’ve been understandably difficult for some to adjust to the ‘new norm’ that was WFH, I loved it. I actually feel like I thrived in it. πŸ™Œ

How, you ask?

Well, for starters, I loved being able to roll out of bed and over to my desk. I loved wearing loungewear all day. I loved getting in the zone and smashing out three batches of client content… sometimes four. I loved playing Spotify’s The O.C. Complete Series Chronological Playlist on full blast. I loved not needing to worry too much about my lunch for the day. I loved not needing to worry about my non-existent my eyebrows. And most importantly: I loved not wearing a bra. Seriously, the bra thing was the best part. πŸ˜…

10 weeks later? We’ve returned working to the office.

To be honest with you, I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to wake up at 6:30 am to get ready. I kid you not, my partner was making fun of me because I was worried to return to adult-life. In my defence; I would literally wake up at 8:20 am, make the bed, brush my teeth, make a cup of chai latte then start work at 8:30 am. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜‚

Our first week back was certainly a busy one. Generally speaking, the first week of the month is pretty full-on for us anyway as we do our reporting and ensure that all of our clients are ready for the month ahead. Plus, after almost three months, we had our first WIP meeting and our to-do list grew by three times (or at least, it felt like it did).

As much as I loved working from home, I missed the team even more.

It makes such a difference to be able to turn around and ask a simple question as opposed to rethinking about whether it’s worth sending a text or email to either of the girls. It’s been nice to be able to work outside of a space where I wake up, get ready, study and sleep. It’s been really nice being back in a proper office space. Additionally, it’s been nice to wear proper clothes and feel like an adult again. But the best part? It’s been really refreshing to have a laugh over lunch with the gals and be greeted by the office pups as soon as you walk through the door. 🌿❀️

Now? I’m so glad that I’m back at Keep Co. Thrilled, actually.

Facebook vs. Instagram

Social media is a powerful marketing tool. Not only does it promote your product or service offering, but it also allows you to connect with your audience.

I’ve read a few articles that have predicted the decline of organic content (creative agencies too), which I personally find hard to believe. Don’t get me wrong, social media advertising campaigns are very effective but would you prefer a one-time customer or one that continues to make use of your offering?

If we put this into the perspective of the people that you meet, you might develop a deep relationship with one person and speak two words to the other. My guess would be that you’d maintain your relationship with the first person over the second.

This is the same with your online audience.

You want them to like your Facebook page or follow you on Instagram so that they’re exposed to your content, to your business. You want to create an online relationship with them.


Facebook vs. Instagram

You can’t go wrong in choosing which platforms will work best for you. I do think that delivering organic content across both is beneficial as they serve different purposes and you tend to reach different audiences between them.

Facebook is full of opportunity. It allows us to connect with people. We can share photos, videos and information. We can create events and be involved in discussion groups. It’s information-driven. You can click on links, which lead you to blog posts, news articles, podcast episodes – you name it.

Instagram, on the other hand, is driven by creativity… it’s a visual platform. Image first, caption later. Video first, information later. When a person looks at your account, they’re looking at your business. It provides a snapshot of your brand and while your aesthetic isn’t the be-all and end-all, it’s definitely a factor to consider.

When it comes to the content you publish on each platform, there are two ways to go about this:

  1. You can have the same content across Facebook and Instagram; or
  2. You can have different content across both.

Take Public, for example. I started with posting the same content across both but as I continue to manage its socials and the business evolves, I’m learning that community-related posts perform exceptionally well on Facebook and photos of the venue or cocktails do great on Instagram. You can always start off this way and see how you go, unless you already have a strategy in mind then, by all means, run with it.

Posts vs. Stories

Not sure if you should make use of Stories?

Do it. It’s a mix of content available to your audience.

Stories work pretty similar across Facebook and Instagram but I don’t think FB Stories have kicked-off just yet. The Digital Picnic actually described it to be “a ghost town” because everyone is on IG Stories (..maybe even more so than the traditional IG Feed). Instagram provides an option for you send your Story to Facebook as well, which is a quick and easy way to do so, but I’d probably hold off on creating story content specifically for Facebook… you feel?

When I post about the staff at Public, it skyrockets as a traditional Facebook post but plummets as a FB Story. It differs on Instagram based on what context I’m posting about the staff. For Valentine’s Day, they went around using a filter that guessed who their Valentine would be this year – it performed really well. This is because it was fun and light-hearted so naturally, I wouldn’t have posted that to the feed (..don’t think it would’ve performed great at all!).

Think of Stories as your best friend, the person you tell everything to. Posting to your feed differs in a way that’s more on-brand – “professional” if you will. You’d post a fancy cocktail on your feed but you’d film how to create that cocktail in your Stories. See the difference? πŸ™Œ

Engagement

You could have the best content ever but your stats aren’t red-hot.

What’s missing?

Engagement.

Reply to every comment. Follow an Instagram account back. Comment on other posts. Share posts that are about the business.

Engage often, engage well. βœ”οΈ

When I say “engage well”, I don’t mean interact with every single post on your feed. It wouldn’t make sense for Public to comment on a tradie’s photo out of the blue… but it would make sense if they commented on a tradie’s photo if the tradie was a regular customer who has already formed a relationship with the business. Better yet, it would make all the sense in the world if the tradie participated in the annual Nugg Off as it’s directly in line with the business (..the Nugg Off is a Menslink charity event to raise awareness in the mental health of males and it’s hosted at Public).

Plus, these kinds of platforms notice how active you are and it can actually help your social ranking, which in turn can push your content to more people.


Everyone has their own way of managing social media accounts.. to be honest, I don’t think there is a right or wrong way but there are definitely so many effective ways out there.

Try out a few things and see what works best for you. It’s also important to remember that social media is always changing so what works for you now might work in the next year… or it might not. All you need to do it keep up with the environment. ✨

Why I created a social media strategy for Public Bar

If I’ve learned anything from studying, interning and working in the field of marketing for the how-ever-many years… it’s that strategy is everything. βœ”οΈ

When I was offered the role of Public Bar‘s Marketing Coordinator, I was over-the-moon about it but I was also quite terrified. Confident (shock me lol), but terrified.

Why, you ask?

Well, this is going to sound super cheesy… but Public has actually been a significant part of my life.

I love working there. I’ve had fun, been angry and cried there. I learned a lot about what it means to respect a complete stranger as they’d often treat us bar staff like dirt. I learned how to control my temper (..sort of, kinda used to be worse πŸ˜‡). I’ve also met some of the most incredible people while working there.

..should I add that the Venue Manager was (and still is) one of my closest friends at this point?

Plus, he’s one of the owners.

Yep, that’ll do it. Of course I was terrified. 😬

It all happened pretty quickly actually. I had ideas flowing through my head, so I decided to follow one route and roll with it. There you have it – Public’s very first social media strategy (at least I think so, I hadn’t seen any others before). The frequency, messages, images, captions, hashtags… all of the elements that you put into digital marketing was all in my head. Luckily, I had built momentum from my internship at Ivy Social, which helped me a lot.

This worked for a while, and some of it still does despite the number of adjustments we’ve made to accommodate new launches and the new norm.

What became a concern of mine was that I have plans to move interstate after graduating from uni, which means that my time as Public’s Marketing Coordinator would most likely come to an end (..unless my boss lets me work remotely? 😏). I was worried that all the hard work that my boss and I had put in, all the social media presence that we built, all the online relationships I formed for the business, could easily slow down or even worse: come to a complete stop.

And that’s when I decided to put my thoughts onto paper.

This took me a while… five months, to be exact. I don’t even think my boss read the 18-page report from start to finish and to be honest, he didn’t really need to as we had already discussed all of it. He had that much faith in me that he practically gave me full reign of our social media platforms (not that I’ve ever done something without asking or telling him). Bless that human. ❀️

I certainly didn’t create a strategy that would work forever. Social media is an ever-changing environment and the hospitality industry is constantly on-the-go, so I created something that I could continue to build on, and the next person could build on, and the person after that.

Not to mention, I love to watch my friends succeed.. especially when I get to be part of their success.

VP ✨

From ‘work office’ to ‘home office’

The best thing about working from home? Being at home.

And the worst thing? Being at home.

Now, there are a number of arguments for both cases here and everyone’s situation is different. For me, I’ve been able to switch off and focus on a uni report or Public’s marketing for about the last three years.. up until this week.

This week, the team at Ivy Social had to pack up our things from Keep Co and set camp to work from home (along with other small businesses). I was so ready for this but quickly learned that it was a little hard adjusting to the new norm.

What I’m here for is to give you my three tips on how to stay motivated and on-track with all that work that you know you need to do.


Stick to that morning routine

Just because you’re about to be at home seven days a week, doesn’t mean you’re in holiday mode.

Do the regular things: wake up, get out of bed, wash your face, do your skincare.. whatever it is that you usually do before you leave for work in the mornings – do it. The only thing I haven’t stuck to is doing my makeup or hair. Everything else, I’ve continued to do.. especially making my bed. This is a huge deal for me (..seriously, just ask my partner πŸ˜‚) because if I come home to an unmade bed, my mood instantly shifts. Just imagine if I’ve had a long day.

Getting changed as if you were actually heading out to work was a game-changer. I’m not saying you need to put on your office attire, I’m just saying that it helps if you get out of the clothes that you slept in. For me, my desk is in my room so I need to be able to shift my vision from my bedroom to my office all in the same space. Can you see my struggle?

By following your (somewhat) regular morning routine, your brain thinks you’re going to the office, which puts it into work mode. βœ”οΈ

Home office dΓ©cor is everything

I didn’t go out and buy a cute paperweight or anything but I did buy lots of cute stationery (..which isn’t even visible on the table lol). All I did was keep things tidy. Now, for some, organised chaos is the way to go – not this girl. Mess simply stresses me out and I’m a stress head enough as it is!

All you need to do is play to your strengths.

Do you work well in a colourful environment? 🌻

Add colour. Get some flowers or candles to spruce the place up. Whether you’re someone who likes sticking to a colour palette or you’re someone who wants to brighten up your space, you can do just that. To be honest, my desk at the office has its own tones. Think: mauve, golden vibes. And pink. I need pink.

Do you work well with inspiration? 🎨

Look for some artwork. You’d be surprised at how much creativity and motivation a person can find just by looking at a piece of art. Check out Scott Leggo‘s online gallery for premium landscape photography.. you won’t be disappointed.

Do you work well with photos of your loved ones surrounding you? πŸ“Έ

Print them out. This is what I have in my bedroom/home office. I have photos stuck up on my wall and in frames on my desk. They’re the people who motivate me in real life, so it’s only natural that I want to be able to see them if I ever need a mental pick-me-up (..perhaps something I should think about for the office?).

I found that working in an environment with something visual helped me get motivated. Sometimes, it’ll take me a while to get into the swing of things but when I do, I’m there for a while. Despite however long it may take me to get to this point, it would most definitely take me longer if I didn’t have anything to look at and readjust my focus.

Get yourself an Ivy Social team

Now, I may be biased, but the girls at Ivy Social are just something else. 🌿

We’re quite lucky, in that our line of work can be done remotely but what I love is that the culture hasn’t felt too different since working from home. We still have our morning meetings and talk to each other all-day (albeit it’s over a phone call or in a group chat).

The only downside I’ve experienced this week is hitting that 3 pm struggle where we’d usually have a quick chat about non-related work things or go get a coffee from next door. This is just something that I’ll need to work on at home so that I don’t get used to it and take it back to the office with me when we return.

I understand that you won’t have the exact same work culture but it certainly helps to surround yourself with people who are either in the same boat as you or just simply get it.


Now that the first week is done, let’s hope I can keep this up!

VP ✨