Maybe* is constantly looking for ways to improve and drive our own social media forwards. As well as helping the UK High Streets and independent businesses sell via social media and improve their content and connection to customers, we want to get better too. Just like you we are an independent business, We’re also a new business, and a small one. Albeit a small one with some mighty ambition and some awesome results. 2020 was as challenging for Maybe* and the team as it was for any other business.
Like you, we’ve spent the year with our noses to the grindstone, constantly reacting to changes in working conditions, living conditions and trading conditions. But to get a sense of where you’re going next, you need to know where you’ve been. Just recently we reviewed our own performance over the last 12 months. So with that in mind, we wanted to share our own ten steps of what’s working for us. We’ll also show you where we’ve spotted opportunities in our own data to improve, and where we found that insight, so you can see that we walk our talk.
Step 1: What was the business goal?
The Maybe* goal is to help businesses use social media to sell. The last 12 months have made selling to customers and staying connected to them so difficult for businesses. But the pandemic has also provided an opportunity to move forwards, innovate, and sell to customers in new ways.
Step 2: Telling the Maybe* story
Since March Maybe* has been focused on sharing ways businesses can stay connected. Like most businesses, we had a lot of plans in January 2020, that had to change. And we moved quickly with the times. We’ve highlighted the national and independent businesses also facing these challenges and responding to the challenge well. We’ve told those businesses stories through our content. We’ve turned those stories into social insights to share on social media and longer case studies over on our blog. By sharing the positive stories we hope to show our customers how not to despair and how to move forwards despite the fear and frustration 2020 delivered.
In addition to that we have to bring our product to life, so you know what it can do for you. But we’re a remote team. And always have been so to help you get to know the team, we like to get the team involved making videos announcing new features, how to use them and get the best from them. We launched a lot of new features last year, and we’re really excited about them. Place insights shows the number of businesses in a place on social media, the sentiment of the conversation and how engaging that content is. Meanwhile the best post in place tool has become a game changer at helping us identify businesses who are really knocking it out of the park.
Whether its webinar content, a short and snappy social media post, or an insightful case study on the blog, the stories are all brought to life wherever we talk to customers. We hope our story is inspiring, thought provoking and is encouraging you to use the product, engage with customers and sell to them remotely.
Our best post of the entire year had nothing to do with our product. It was about the things businesses were doing to stay positive. This has inspired our approach through 2020 and into 2021. Show people the good stuff, and how to do more of it.
Step 3: What does Maybe* want you to do with its social content
Our social content is about encouraging as many of you as possible to sign up to the product online or connect with us via a webinar. We also love a chat on social media about what we’re working on and the challenges facing the UK High Street, so you’ll catch us on Twitter asking you what you think a lot.
Step 4: How does Maybe* engage with customers
Maybe* is active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. We’re a busy team and as well as creating content, we spend a lot of our days engaging with all the businesses in the towns we are working with. We follow all of them within the Maybe* platform, and use the Engage function to well, engage.
We’ll have a yarn with retail influencers, social media experts and brands. Our approach is to tag people into our content if we know they'll be interested in what we have to share. We also use the #stayconnected hashtag in all our content, and we share the love with all the businesses doing wonderful things by tagging them into any of our content they’re mentioned in.
We engage with 100’s of businesses on a daily basis and we love getting to know them online via social media, or over one of our Wednesday Webinars.
The Maybe* Engage view showing the conversations for all businesses in the #Shoplocal conversation that Maybe* can engage with
Step 5: Who does Maybe* want to engage?
We want to reach BID’s, councils, shopping centres, retail experts, social media managers and of course the individual businesses out there who need our help. We know whether or not this is working by using the Maybe* Who’s got influence report which shows us every week the most frequent commenters on our own content, and who’s mentioning us in their own content.
When we see businesses from our webinars in there, or BIDs we’re working with, we get a warm and cosy feeling inside. And we also appreciate the retail pundits over the last year who have used their voice to share a light on our national case studies and insights.
The Maybe* Who’s got influence report showing the voices in the conversation about Maybe*
Step 6: Where does Maybe* need to engage and how do we do it?
We believe you should focus your efforts on where your customers are, and where they engage with you the most. The Maybe* See What Works report will help you figure this out for your business. For Maybe* We consistently see that engagement from local businesses and people interested in shopping locally happens for us on Instagram.
Facebook is the platform where our national stories land the best, and we get plenty of juicy consumer feedback here which can be turned into the research pieces you see from us.
Over on Twitter we see a lot of our retail industry content perform best, as well as engagement on those meaty themes and trends in social media and the future of the High Street, Twitter is also great for creating discussion around the facts and figures we come across during our research and by using the platform. Therefore the product in action really comes to life on Twitter.
Being able to see what types of content is working to drive engagement the best, and what kind of audience is responding to it enables us to be really efficient about our social media efforts.
In fact traffic from our organic social media activity grew by 73% in 2020.
The Maybe* See What Works report for Maybe* showing the content and engagement with it May 1 - December 31 2020
Step 7: Who or what else are your customers distracted by and interested in?
Maybe* knows its audience are interested in the shop local cause, retail trends, the future of the High Street, and of course social media. But Covid meant that we had to serve customers without face to face meetings. Our customers were plagued by uncertainty, distracted working from home, and having to make decisions without the usual level of comfort available to them.
So we took those distractions and we helped normalise them with content about working remotely. We also used the data from 3.4 million businesses to start providing not just commentary on what was going on for businesses, but how to guides to show you exactly how you could overcome the situation you were dealing with. We listened to the conversations about covid, about retail trends, and we used this to inform exactly what new approach we needed to take ourselves in to help our customers.
The Maybe* See What Works report for Maybe* showing the content created about #shoplocal May 1 - December 31
Step 8: Mastering advertising
If you’ve got a Facebook page, you can have a free Facebook ads account which allows you to advertise on both Facebook and Instagram. Don’t be daunted, Maybe* makes using the Facebook Ads manager super simple.
Our resident ads masters Emerson and Fiona are always looking to make our ads work harder. To get the content that works best in front of the audience who most need it, so we can connect with those people and help them use social media to sell.
We also use the Ads Manager to keep track of what’s working and what’s not. We increase spend on the campaigns delivering us engagement and traffic, and we switch off the campaigns that simply aren’t working.
See how to connect Facebook Ads Manager and manage your advertising
Maybe* Ad Manager showing current ads running for Maybe*
Step 9: What are Maybe*’s measures of success?
Our measure of success is how many of you are creating Maybe* accounts, logging into Maybe* and using it. We also look at the number of you who sign up for webinars. Over 700 of you joined us last year. We want that to triple. And of course we look at our social media performance to understand what content is working best to engage you, our users, so we can keep creating the good stuff.
We may be the new kids on the block, but we are outperforming some of our more established competitors when it comes to social media engagement, which is exciting and humbling at all once.
The Maybe* Insight Summary showing the social media follower counts, content volumes and engagement metrics of Maybe* and other competitors.
Step 10: Measuring delivery on the original objective?
Using the Your Report feature Maybe* means we’re able to monitor engagement and turn the insight into ad campaigns. We’re able to pinpoint the businesses we’re working with who are doing exceptional things and turn them into case studies and social media content and our webinar content, to better serve you with those learnings. We’ve increased our users by 103% in 2020, and we can’t wait to serve more of you in 2021.
How using your report within Maybe* helps you track your social media and business goals
Maybe* is here to help businesses use social media to sell to more customers be that online or offline. While it shocked us all to our core, lockdowns and the Covid-19 crisis have accelerated the attention investing in independent businesses and the UK High Street deserves. While frightening, there is also a huge opportunity to be had and we’ve got the case studies to inspire you to trust in that and take action.