This week’s blog is written by our friend Nicola Moss of Moss Social. Nicola offers us her thoughts specifically on how you should share your successes via social media. Over to you Nicola!
“If you’re serious about marketing your business, awards are a huge opportunity that shouldn’t be overlooked, but what does this have to do with social media, I hear you ask! Admittedly there are some businesses who may be encouraged to enter an award – if they’re a finalist, they turn up on the day, have a photograph and that’s the end of it. But how many opportunities for publicity and profiling have been missed if you don’t shout from the rooftops every step of the way about being nominated, being shortlisted, becoming a finalist and potentially winning!
Start connecting with the awards themselves on social and ‘stalking’ others who’re taking part. Twitter is a great platform for this as you can easily trace connections and then find them on your other social media platforms. I’d suggest opening up a Google sheet to add in the handles for each platform so that you’re not continually searching for people – yes, I’ve done that many times and I’ve learnt the hard way; you don’t need to!
Has a hashtag been set up for the awards you’ve entered? Did you know that if you search that hashtag all the other users who’ve interacted with it can be found? (This is one for LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter as the hashtags aren’t effective on Facebook). It’s a great instant way for you to track down and connect with everyone else who’s involved with the awards in some way. Get following and interacting, creating your list on Twitter and saving the handles to your Google sheet.
Join the Business Awards Community
Having been involved in awards on both sides I know the organisers love it when businesses engage with them on social and will be happy to engage back. I’m not saying that will influence the outcome but everyone wants a higher profile and, particularly when you’re a small business, it feels good to be part of something bigger. So use your social media accounts to let everyone know that you’re entering and become part of that award organisation’s community. There are some great networking opportunities to be had here and also you’re mixing with businesses who have the ambition to be something more, just like you – a melting pot for innovation and collaboration!
Once you’ve been shortlisted you may be given a logo to share. You can really go to town with that (and make sure it’s on the bottom of your email signature and proudly displayed on your website too!) and share on all your platforms.
Have you checked who the sponsors for your event are yet? Particularly for any categories that you’ve entered, but why not follow and engage with them all and thank them for sponsoring? I’m sure they will be just as interested to find out more about you as understanding that you want to know more about them. Remember why sponsors sponsor – to get in front of more businesses like yours – they love the connection too. You now have some more social media handles to add to your Google sheet!
Find the Business Journalists on Social Media
Do you have local press contacts? Journalists mainly hang out on Twitter so that’s the place to look for them. Tag them and local news/radio outlets in your posts to get their attention. It may not fit their news story on that day but once they notice you you’ll get more opportunities. Remember, don’t expect success with your first touch point, relationships take time to develop. Be prepared to like and engage with a few of their other posts too.
If these awards are forward thinking there’ll be a gathering to celebrate the next stage (virtual currently given the environment we’re all in). The announcement of the finalists! You can see where we’re going with this can’t you? Let everyone know that you’ve been announced as a finalist – I know it’s not part of the social media strategy but write a press release and share your news with everyone.
With a period of up to a month (it’s not usually any longer) you’ll have the chance to mention that you’re a finalist again and again and tag in others (remember you’ve collected all their handles above?) to keep that momentum going up until the day of the event. Don’t forget to encourage other finalists along the way, show that it’s not all about you, but that you’re building others up around you. There’s a saying that you’re the sum of the five people closest to you so ensure you’re surrounding yourself with creative (and I’m not referring to artistic here but people who find creative ways to improve their businesses), big-hearted businesses and you won’t go far wrong.
Remember Pictures, Pictures, Pictures for your Content!
You’ll probably need to set aside the whole day of the awards event to social media (as well as attending and taking part) but the visibility you’ll have built up for you, your business and maybe your team if you have one will attract attention to you. Potential new clients and potential new staff are attracted to award-winners, so use this positioning to your advantage. Please ensure you take plenty of photos along the way! It’s easy to get caught up in the moment! Some awards organisers will supply you with imagery but capture your feelings of the day, the emotion of did you win and being happy for those around you who have won. Video, video, video – these videos will be gold dust for you to use on the day and afterwards, how often do you get a nice image that pops up as a ‘throwback’ or ‘on this day’ – you can relive your experiences and success stories again and again!
When you post all this activity on social media you’ll find others congratulating you who you haven’t been in touch for a while. Ensure you respond to every comment, send direct messages to those who you’ve not spoken to for a while (have you tried the voice messaging options yet?). Think about how flat a written message can be, yet if you’re excited, how infectious that excitement can be? People will love to be a part of that even if only for a second and you know you’ll put a smile on their faces!
How Does it Make You Feel?
I saw a post on LinkedIn recently where someone, who was not my connection, had posted a video to let everyone know she had been made an MBE! She was so excited and it grabbed me, as I’m sure it did many others. I couldn’t help but post in her comments as she made me feel good – and it had nothing to do with me. Think about how you react when you see someone over the moon. Unless you’re a cold soul I’ll wager you have a little smile and it lifts you up, even if for a moment? Just imagine having that effect on all the people who see your video posts. You know, I reached out to connect with the lovely lady in question above and connected her to someone in my network who I could see a perfect collaboration unfolding for …… I have a good feeling something amazing will come out of it.
So you’ve won!….or maybe you didn’t but it doesn’t matter! It’s being there, sharing the space with all those other businesses that have been deemed finalists and putting yourself and your business out there that helps you grow. One of the challenges with entering awards is getting all your information and stories down on that application like where you’ve started from and where you’re aiming for, so it really makes you examine your processes, highlight places you could improve and think about your goals – all great business practice.
Post-awards Content for Your Social Feed
You now have more content to use in your social media, you have your photos, videos, stories of how it all felt and engagement with all those other fabulous businesses, which you must continue. Any of these businesses – sponsors, other finalists or those simply following you on social – could be your next client, look after them well.
So the next time awards are mentioned to you think about how you can capitalise on the marketing power they could provide to your business and also….. Stop hiding your light under a bushel and be open, loud and proud about the amazing work you do and be publicly recognised for it!”
Nicola would love to know if you have any further tips on how to maximise your awards journey. If you do let us know! Also, Nicola is offering her readers of this blog her 10 top tips to make your social media more effective. You can claim your copy by clicking on the link above.
This week’s blog contributor is Nicola Moss, Founder of Moss Social https://www.mosssocial.co.uk/