On Episode 14 of the Business 360 Podcast, we talk with social media strategist Katie Brinkley. We dive into best practices to leverage social media content and how Instagram specifically can be used for your business.
In this episode, we will cover:
1. Choosing The Right Social Media Platform
2. Understanding Social Media Features
3. Content Repurposing
4. Understanding Instagram
5. Instagram Posting Strategies
6. Instagram Trends & Predictions
For More Information, visit https://www.thinkbusiness360.com/
Rushab Kamdar: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Business 360 Podcast where we will take a 360 degree view of all things business in under 30 minutes. I'm Rushab Kamdar and I help businesses start up founders, working professionals and master students think business, talk business, launch their business and grow their business.
What's going on Business Heroes? Welcome to episode 14. On today's episode, we're going to dive into social media and the strategies to use in order to move your business forward. Social media is here to stay, and if you are a business owner and you're not leveraging it well, now's the time to plug in and see how you can actually use social media to benefit your business. So let's get to it.
Today's episode, we're welcoming Katie Brinkley and she's the owner and a social media strategist and coach at Next Step Social Communications, a social media agency based out of Littleton, Colorado. She has been helping small businesses, real estate agents, and entrepreneurs with their social media for the past 17 years. Katie specializes in coaching entrepreneurs on how social media can be an incredible tool to help them find new leads, build their community and grow sales. So with that, I want to welcome Katie Brinkley to the Business 360 Podcast.
Katie Brinkley: [00:01:31] Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to join you today.
Rushab Kamdar: [00:01:35] Oh, thank you for being here. Uh, you know, this is such an important topic. Uh, you know, I, I have owned seven companies and in all my companies, I never had to really go social media. It was a lot of business to business and my current endeavor is very social media, um, heavy, I would say. So I, myself, after having 17 years of entrepreneur experience am now diving into this world, and I think it's so important for a lot of entrepreneurs to understand the business element and the business benefits of social media.
Katie Brinkley: [00:02:06] Yeah. It's um, it definitely is something that I think a lot of people. It might be tighter though for their personal side and then the, like the people really on it anymore, but it's, it is such an incredible tool. And if you are not using it for your business, you're missing out on a huge opportunity.
Rushab Kamdar: [00:02:24] Yeah, no, I completely agree with you. You know, while I went into this journey, as I entered this journey, I would say of social media for business, um, I didn't even realize that email is not only alive but email is still, probably more dominant than anything else as far as keeping engaged with a potential clientele, I thought email was dead.
Katie Brinkley: [00:02:44] Yeah. You know what, it's, it's funny saying this because I'm a social media person. I teach social media strategy, but I am the biggest advocate for email because you might have 20,000 followers on Facebook or 15,000 on, on Instagram or whatever. But Facebook and Instagram own those followers. And what happens if you get locked out of your account or what happens if you are, um, you know, kicked, kicked off of one of them for some reason? Or what did they just go away overnight?
How are you going to be able to communicate with those 15, 20 or 30,000 people that you've been pushing out all this social media content to, and that's your email. So you do need to absolutely be nurturing your email list on a regular basis.
Rushab Kamdar: [00:03:33] And, you know, something that I want to get into later in this interview, but I want to just highlight here what you said was so important because there is someone that I recently was introduced to had over, I think, 50,000 or 60,000 followers on Instagram. That was their primary social media platform. And I've heard a lot of people getting basically kicked off their accounts and they're not able to get them reactivated, you know, cause I've heard advert your ad account gets deactivated, but then I've also heard people have been kicked off fully of their account.
And so this individual, who is a "public figure", had the blue check mark and all that essentially had to restart an entire new account. So, yes, I agree with you get an email list over anything else, all your followers, make sure you have them on an email list, so you can always stay engaged with them.
Katie Brinkley: [00:04:24] Well, I mean that way, too, if you do have to start a new account that way you are able to guess what follow me on this account now. Sorry guys, or whatever, but it's definitely, if you, if you're not, if you have not been paying attention to email or rethink that, you know, you're checking all the boxes just by being active on social.
Um, really social and, um, email are two pieces of an online presence that need to be married and need to be paid attention to together.
Rushab Kamdar: [00:04:54] So I, first of all, I completely agree with you. And, and so that's right off the bat without even asking any questions. Great advice for the, for any, any of the listeners out there.
Uh, so getting into the first question is that I did mention you are a social media and digital marketing consultant. Uh, maybe you can tell us a little bit about what that entails and who you primarily serve.
Katie Brinkley: [00:05:14] Yeah. So I am a social media strategist, and I, a lot of people say like, well, what does that mean?
Do you post on social media? And yes, that's part of it, but I help develop the whole social strategy. Why, why are you posting on social media and what is the best time of day to post? What is the best type of content to post? What, which platforms should you be on for your business? So, um, that's what I do is I, I kind of take a deep look at everything that you're doing with your online presence, for social, making sure that it does have a spot to go. You are funneling those people in somewhere. And, um, I've been doing it for 17 years. I started back in the days of Myspace. So I started with bands, helping hands get their music, um, launched and pushed out to different radio stations.
And it's really been, uh, I've I've seen a lot of platforms come and go, and it's been an evolution I never expected to, to really even be a full-time job. When I was in college, doing this from for Myspace, when I got started, it was totally because I was passionate about music and I was working at the college radio station.
Um, I then got my, what I went to college for. I got a job in radio, but I never really forgot about social media. I continued helping businesses with their online presence and I was like, Oh yeah, we should be on Facebook that's a great way for you to do this. And it's totally evolved. I mean, now, we're utilizing it for our businesses on a regular basis.
As I said before, if you're not, you're missing out on a huge opportunity. So I've, uh, I've seen a lot of platforms come and go and they know which platforms make the most sense for you and your brand and that's what I help my clients kind of try to figure out.
Rushab Kamdar: [00:06:59] That's great. You know, and, and I'm glad you mentioned that that's something that also we're going to get to, but deciding which platform is for you.
And, you know, we'll, we'll dive into that in a second. But before we do that, for people that were like me that, you know, did not recognize that how, uh, beneficial and advantageous, uh, the world of social media can be for business, if done correctly. Uh, you know, what advice do you have for them, you know, where should they start? I would say
Katie Brinkley: [00:07:29] So the first place to start is, is finding out what platform makes the most sense for you. So, which I think that's, it's coming up here in just a minute. And I think that, uh, one thing that a lot of businesses think is that they need to be on every single social media platform known to mankind.
And so that's where they start. So, I like to take a few steps back, especially when businesses are new to the platform or if they really haven't been giving their socials enough, love and attention. Take a step back and think about who your ideal client is and what your product is. So if you have something that's maybe not quite as sexy visually, um, and your more of a B2B sort of business you're selling, um, microchips, I don't know, LinkedIn really could be a fantastic spot for you to be putting a lot of your time and effort because people on LinkedIn don't need to see a whole bunch of beautiful pictures. But if you're a wedding photographer, if you're not on Instagram, you are missing a fantastic opportunity because it is such a visual platform.
So know who your ideal client and customer is and go to the platforms that they are on and push out amazing content just on that one platform. Once you start feeling more comfortable and you've kind of built up a tribe of people, you know, what sort of content works and what doesn't, then you can expand onto other social networks as well.
I think that, um, one of the biggest missteps that people are making is that they're trying to be on again, every single social media platform and they get overwhelmed. And they're kind of just talking at all of their audience instead of really listening and starting a true conversation, because that's how you're going to build out your biggest brand advocates.
Rushab Kamdar: [00:09:08] No, I think that's great advice. You know, that, that basically answered what we were talking about, how to decide which platform to jump onto. Uh, and, and you kind of weeded that out really, really nicely, uh, you know, I would say, I would ask you this question. There are a lot of people that are on the fence. They still have this, um, negative stigma towards social media.
So maybe, maybe you can highlight why being on social media and posting content that could help their business. Why, why would it help them? It's like, what is the advantages for that?
Katie Brinkley: [00:09:40] So the reason why, one for reach, um, and now you need to have some sort of, uh, uh, social proof for, for your brand. I mean, if you're not on, um, uh, a singular singular, a social media platform of some kind, um, people it's just like a website back in the day, like back in 2000, if you were a business and you didn't have a website, people say like, are they really a business? They don't have a website.
So having that social proof. Um, is huge also, um, Google searches, all of your posts that you're putting out there. So if, if you have a Facebook page or if you have a LinkedIn account, if you type that into Google is going to populate and again, give you more of that social proof that this business is legit.
Um, another reason why I really think that businesses should be on social media is because you have the opportunity to speak to exactly your ideal client and customer. So if it's through ads, you can target if you want to sell, um, if your ideal client customer is soccer moms with kids ages 13 to 16, you can do an ad specifically for that demographic on Facebook.
I mean, it's insane how targeted you can get. It's not, it's no longer just throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping that something sticks. You can put your message directly in front of the person that is your ideal client customer. Also, it's a great way for market research. You can pose a question or push a post out there, asking a question of your audience and hear their feedback.
And then guess what, from what your audience has just told you, you can then craft your next product for it. You can craft your next ad, built around their answers. If you put out the right type of social content for your business, you're going to be able to move the needle faster with your marketing efforts.
Rushab Kamdar: [00:11:33] So I really, really love the analogy of having what was a website back in the early 2000s and where we're social media today. You know, that's actually what I discovered as I went through this journey of saying, okay, I have to get more customer facing on social media with my business. You know, one of the things I would, uh, uh, the analogy I like to use is basically, I think a lot of people are social stalkers, right? So, uh, and when I say what I mean by that in a fun way is that if anybody wants to know who you or your business is about, they're going to go on social media and they're going to find everything they can. And so specifically for those that are content creators that are coaches, consultants, um, you know, online course creators.
You're going to have individuals that are going to say, well, do I want to pay you? Let me see what you're about. Let me see what you're going to speak on. So that's what I've seen the huge benefit of social media. But the second thing is it's free marketing. It's essentially free marketing. You're just putting information out there. You don't have to pay $10,000 to be on that billboard on, on the highway, you know?
Katie Brinkley: [00:12:38] Exactly. Exactly.
Rushab Kamdar: [00:12:40] Yeah. And you don't have to do, as you said, you don't have to do Google pay per click, you know, anymore, right? Like it's people will find you and people can search and Google's scouring with the SEO. So, great, great, great advice there.
Katie Brinkley: [00:12:53] You know, and I think that a lot of people think that, um, with, with social media, that they need to be posting 18 times a day and it really is all about quality posts that you're putting out there. So if you only have the capacity to put out three fantastic posts a week, that's all you need to do. Like, because people will be seeing those posts and they'll look forward to seeing them show up in their feeds.
So really think about what message you want to put out there, who your client is, how are you helping them with this post? And if you really craft each post to perfection, you're, you're going to get a ton of bang for your buck because you'll have the SEO and the keywords for the post. You're going to have great photos that, you know, people are going to resonate with.
You can start a conversation with them and get that mark, you know, that feedback that you can use for your other marketing efforts. So it really is a great way to just connect with your audience in a way that we, it's like getting the back keys, the keys to the back room. You know, you, you can show the personality of your business, what makes your business different than all the others. And you can do that through social media.
Rushab Kamdar: [00:14:04] So you just touched on a subject that I think is we should press further in, which was the, if you can only do three pieces of content a week, you know, high quality, do that. And for many entrepreneurs, business owners, um, it's difficult even just to do three quality content pieces.
There's a lot of overwhelm and there's various types of content creation. You have podcasts, right, as one form of content creation. But then you have images, you have your regular posts, you have videos, and now there's shorter version of videos. Uh, really, you know, what advice would you give for someone to like, where would you tell them to start and what type?
Because not everyone's good with the video. Uh, not everyone's good being in front of a camera and not everyone's good at, at audio. You know, not everyone's good at maybe even going just on Canva, Canva.com and creating a nice designed image because they may lack that, you know, that creative gene that others have, right? So what advice do you have for someone like where, where should they start in the most easiest way and take away the overwhelming burden?
Katie Brinkley: [00:15:10] Yeah, that is, um, that's what I work with my clients on. And so not everyone has a strong social strategy and that's what I try to teach through my one-on-one coaching is you can be successful with your social media in as little as one hour a week.
That's what I try to teach, um, sitting down devoting one hour of your week. So you have 39 hours to work on the other parts of your business. Not everybody likes to be like me and do you know, 40 hours a week of social media. Not everyone likes that, but that's where I think you can still can be successful and have a strong strategy with as little as one hour a week. It's just sitting down and then scheduling out your posts, figuring out what your message is for that week.
So. I'm just going to go off of a podcast because that's what we're on right now. So let's say you've created your podcast and you're going to push it out on Monday. That new podcast has come out. You're going to include a picture and then a description of what the podcast is about. And there's your first post.
The second post can be a, we'll just going to go off the Instagram because it's easiest for me to give different examples. So let's say you've gone all in on Instagram. Your first post on Monday is a post about the podcast, you know, in the captions, that's what it's about. Second post is going to be an Instagram TV, which could be just a clip, a video clip of what we are doing right now, recording.
And you can take a sixty-second clip of what happened during the podcast and promote that out. The last clip that you can do is you can go into your stories and say, Hey, newest episode of Business 360 has just come out. I want you guys to be sure to listen to it because Katie Brinkley comes out and you can go on and on about it in your stories.
And then your final posts of the week can be a carousel post. Something that people can engage in and swipe through. So again, you've had that one, that one stagnant post that could be the cover art you've had your video on Wednesday. And then on Friday you can have a carousel post with maybe the six tips that we learn about social media on The Business 360 Podcast this week.
And on one side, it can be tip one, next slide, tip two. And then that way people are consuming the information differently throughout the week. You're still promoting that one piece of content. But again, now you have three fantastic posts that people consume. In their own way. So, um, that, and that's, again, I think something that can be done in as little as one hour a week, and then the rest of the time, you can just stick around and be social on the platform, commenting and engaging.
Rushab Kamdar: [00:17:49] Well, I just got some ideas for my own social media content. So thank you for that free advice.
Katie Brinkley: [00:17:55] You're welcome. You're welcome.
Rushab Kamdar: [00:17:57] Uh, you, you talked about the various, um, ways of, uh, I would say the various features of a posting and, you know, let's stick with Instagram, let's that's a great transition. There's a, the post feature, then there's the story feature then there's the Instagram TV and then the reels feature. Um, I think I covered basically all of them.
Uh, what, what advice do you have for anybody that's a content creator, which one they should leverage? I know reels is the most newest one that's out there, but again, that's video based and maybe not everyone's all about that. So, I mean, but just still, what advice would you give for anybody that's new to this?
You know, and they're so confused because reels and posts have different dimensions on when you're posting out there, right? So all these things can make someone who feels like, Oh, I just made one piece of content. Now I got to reformat it. Now I got to do this. I got to do that. So what advice do you have for those?
Katie Brinkley: [00:18:52] You know, I wish I could say, just worry about one, uh, focusing on one way of posting, but really you can't. And that's why I think you need to focus in just on one platform when you get started. Um, because it's the same on Facebook too. I mean, there's still video, there's still stagnant, there's still carousels. Um, focusing on one platform and then go from there because if you decide Instagram is, is your place, that's where you're going to be pushing out content.
You need to show up in all the different avenues on a consistent basis. Because I might, I might never even go into the feed. I might only just check out stories and I watch Instagram stories like a television show. That might be how I consume Instagram now, whereas you might never go into the feed or it might, you might never go into stories and you only go into the feed, um, or you love long form IGTV video.
You love showing up for a 30 minute video, um, that someone would post. So I think everybody consumes content differently. And that's why throughout the week you give that same piece of content different ways so that no matter who's following you and how they consume, they're giving it differently.
And then that way again, also, if they are seeing all of your posts, you have to keep in mind, like not, everyone's going to see every single post that you put out. So you're not going to be bugging people. But if they do, by chance, see every single post, you're giving them the information to them in a different way that they consume the information that you're giving them.
Rushab Kamdar: [00:20:26] I that's a great advice. And you, you actually spoke on something that leads me to the next question. You said that not everyone may come across a post, but you know, they may see it on a different avenue, right, whether it's through the feed or through stories or the reels. Speaking about whether people will see things or not, you know, Instagram, since we're specifically talking about it, their algorithm has been a little funky. It's been causing, you know, uh, I would say complaints on that.
I don't know if that's something that you have seen, or what do you advise people now as like obviously new entrepreneurs that are hiring you and what advice would you give about that?
Katie Brinkley: [00:21:07] Well, if you're not doing reels at least like once a month, I feel like if you can just do one reel a month then, then you're winning.
But I mean, I would love to see like two reels a week. I know that that's asking a lot from people. Um, but that, that is. That is how you are going to grow. And that's how you're going to be showing up in, in new feeds on a regular basis. Instagram is pushing reels out like crazy right now. So if you're put, if you're not doing reels that you need to start, I know it's intimidating.
There's third party apps that can make it a little bit easier if you're not familiar with the, um, the formatting for producing a reel. Um, just record a 15 second video outside of the app and then do your editing in a third-party software and uploaded if it's easier for you. But reels really is, um, where it's at and I know that there's been a lot of funky things happening with the algorithm. A lot of it had to do with the election last November, like hashtags were hidden and then now hashtags are gone from stories altogether. So I mean, like there's a lot of stuff that they're changing.
Instagram is going to be moving away from hashtags and just into SEO. So that's why you're seeing a lot more of those really long, like mini blog feed posts, because they're trying to push out as much SEO as possible into that post. So, I mean, things are always changing. Um, and these businesses, you know, like to keep me on my toes. And so I have plenty of stuff to keep up with and the algorithm is ever-changing.
So we, uh, we just have to kind of try and evolve and do if they, if they say do reels then, okay. Okay. Instagram we'll do reels.
Rushab Kamdar: [00:22:47] Well, if anybody that's listening to this podcast, uh, hasn't figured out that Katie knows her stuff. Now you do, because I didn't even know what that Instagram is moving away from hashtags and doing more of this, uh, SEO type content. So that's it, you're on top of it. You're letting all of us know. And that's awesome.
Thanks for listening, Business Heroes. We're going to continue our conversation with Katie Brinkley on episode 15, which will drop next week. And on that episode, we're going to talk all about the new social media app called Clubhouse. And she's going to educate all of us, how we can leverage it for our business. So stay tuned.
Thank you for joining us on the Business 360 Podcast. To learn more about our guests, go to thinkbusiness360.com. In life, I follow two things that keep me grounded. Number one, if you only listen to someone's successes and not their failures, you've only heard half the story and number two, compete with yourself and help everyone else. You stay classy, Business Heroes.