Are you trying to figure out what to do with all the social media advice that gets thrown around?

Dan Ince of BrandWorks Social is in the Ask the Expert chair.

Dan uses his many years experience in marketing consultancy with big name brands to give small businesses access to a more strategic approach to social media. He recently did a

Focusing on small service businesses who mainly use LinkedIn, his advice helps us identify the best strategic approach based on what we want to achieve.

Here’s what Dan recommends:

Get some clarity

Before diving in and potentially getting overwhelmed, be clear about why you’re using a particular social media platform for your business.

For a small B2B service, it’s best to use your activity to create brand awareness and showcase your skills and knowledge rather than try to fill a sales funnel and find leads. Treat it as a long game in building strategic* relationships.

*Strategic means people who may become clients or recommend you – not your peer group or friendship group.

Be really, really, really clear about who you want to reach (potential clients), what their needs are and how you can help them. Write posts with the intention of being useful and engaging for that audience.

Remember that your social media footprint – the things your audience sees – includes your likes and comments on other people’s posts so make sure you don’t slip into becoming irrelevant to your audience by liking posts that will make them unfollow you. (That sympathy like / emoji for your friend with a bad back is best handled in a private message).

Take it slowly and discover a need before you try to sell. If someone doesn’t need what you do, trying to sell to them is a waste of time and will just annoy them.

Be consistent

The tagline “Mr Kipling makes exceedingly good cakes” is 60 years old.
“I’m lovin’ it” was first heard on a McDonalds ad in 2003
“Every little helps” has been used by Tesco since 1993
“Creating a buzz for your business” has been Andy Boothman’s tag line for Busy as AB for over 25 years.

You may not have a memorable tag line but you can create consistency by being clear on your values, key messages and in the way your posts look as well as their style and tone.

Good examples of this are:
Dan Ince’s 5 4 Friday posts,
Jo Twiselton’s weekly learning points,
and Adam Driver’s three things videos

*Ring the bell  on LI profiles of people you follow to get notified about posts as they’re published.

Don’t worry too much if people don’t appear to be “engaging” with your posts. 90% of people on LinkedIn never engage with anything but this doesn’t mean they’re not reading your content. Lots of enquiries come from people you may never have been aware of until they contact you. This is why being consistent matters.

Ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and relevant to your audience – if people like your content, they’ll take a look at your profile next. Your tone of voice should reflect who you really are. If someone who has been reading your posts has a call or a meeting with you they shouldn’t discover that your posts give a different impression to you in person.

Don’t get sucked into trends that don’t suit your style or purpose. Selfies are not always a good idea, especially just because everyone else is doing them. In fact, if your content looks and feels the same as everyone else, you won’t stand out.

Advice on “being personal” 

This is the most misunderstood advice on social media. If you’re using a platform as part of your marketing strategy to connect with potential clients think carefully about the impression you’re giving them. While most people are nosey and people buy from people, sharing personal content is a fine balance between helping you look interesting (hobbies, activities, interests etc.,) and a big red flag to potential clients who may see inconsistency as a liability. If you wouldn’t walk into a meeting with a new client and start the conversation by saying “I’m having a shit day” its probably not a good idea to share that on social media. Also be mindful of the impact your ‘too personal’’  posts may have on other people who are just trying to get through another day in business.

How often to show up

It’s worth remembering that 95% of your target audience aren’t ready to buy what you have to offer at any given time, hence the need to be active on social media frequently but it’s always better to post when you have something interesting to say than scrape something together that’s pretty flimsy just because you’ve been told “it’s good to post three times a week”.

No-one will notice if you don’t post but they will notice if you post drivel!

The best time to post is whenever works for you. There are no rules. Some people get a good response if they post at weekends or in the evening and others stick to Mon-Fri, 9-5.

To get results from social, it’s vital to not only share great content, but also engage with your audience. If someone comments on one of your posts always reply and try to say something more interesting than “thank you”. It’s called ‘social’ media for a reason!

Set aside regular time to curate and engage with your network.

Most of all be human, be you and remember, if you look & feel the same as everyone else you’re just average!


This is a big topic and how we each handle social media will vary a lot, depending on what we’re trying to achieve. It can be very time consuming to figure out what works so to find out what’s best for you and your business we recommend contacting Dan who has lots and lots of useful strategies to ensure you get the right results.

Dan Ince
Brand Works Social 

07770 738323