LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook… Not only do we use them to follow the news but also to choose a training course!
Why use social media?
There are many benefits to using social media for a freelance trainer or training company. Let’s start by taking a look at some of them.
- Creating and maintaining your network thanks to your personal profile, primarily on LinkedIn, while staying in touch with former trainees, identified prospects and any other contacts with whom you create a bond.
- Enhancing the visibility of your business by presenting offers, particularly new offers, and allowing a glimpse into the life of your training company.
- Being identified as an expert in your sector by sharing high-quality content (high value-added videos and articles).
- Gathering leads who show an interest in your expertise or business by downloading a white paper via a contact form.
What kind of financial investment does it involve?
You need to invest in three areas: content creation; daily/weekly account management and the advertising/paid publicity/sponsoring budget.
- The time and means dedicated to producing content (article, video, website, white paper, photo, graphics, etc.). The more you have to share, the more visible you are, quite apart from any sales–oriented approach. The time you spend on content creation is very variable and depends on how important it is to your marketing strategy. This time is converted into a financial cost if you outsource part of this work.
- The hours spent interacting with your network of contacts and your community: coming up with catchy phrases; framing images; posting content; interacting on your posts and those of others; etc. 10 to 15% of your time, or half a day in total per week, is already a significant chunk of your time.
- The social media advertising budget, i.e. the cost of purchasing advertising space and sponsoring. The strength of social media lies being able to obtain a lot of professional information about users.
Nowadays, creating content without sharing it on social media is a real missed opportunity. Being present on social media without sharing your own content is possible, thanks into particular to careful monitoring, but is less impactful. In order to make the most of investment in advertising, it is essential to regularly update your accounts and pages by posting content that is not only sales–oriented.
What content to post?
‘Content’ is a rather vague, catch-all term but here is a basic list for you to personalize at will:
- Articles you have written and posted on your website, your blog, an external blog or in the media (platform).
- Press articles (monitor your sector and articles by journalists in your field).
- White papers and practical guides regarding your areas of expertise.
- Computer graphics to summarize a topic linked to your expertise in a few figures, words and images.
- Photos taken during training courses (with the explicit consent of the participants).
- Information relating to your network of contacts and partners.
- Ads for events in your sector.
- Your training offers.
- The life of your training company: teams, highlights, partnerships, innovation, etc.
- Videos: 3-minute presentation of a topic, 30-second video presenting an offer, video about a special offer, interview with an expert, etc.
As explained below, avoid sponsoring content or a commercial offer without a full set of marketing tools: subject, teaser, text, image, video, offer presentation page, contact form, etc. Everything must be perfect.
A few golden rules
- Above all, use the content you already have. Social media is a sounding board for your other communication channels and spaces: website, blog, conferences, trade fairs, etc.
- A post or a tweet focused on your activities should ideally contain a link to a page on your blog or website via which the user can contact you (email, telephone, click to chat, form, etc.).
- Images and videos capture users’ attention better than text and increase their interest in the article to which the image refers.
- Choose quality over quantity.
- Be generous to others and they will return the favour. The ultimate goal on social media is for your contacts to recommend you to their own contacts. When a participant posts that they have taken part in one of your courses, for example. To this end, it is important to take on board the notion of sharing and to conduct all your interactions with care.
Freelance trainers and training companies: each to their own strategy
If you are known by your family name: opt for a personal account highlighting ‘you’ and your skills. Having a profile on LinkedIn is now absolutely essential.
If you have a brand (trademark or company name): highlight the complementary nature of your personal accounts and corporate pages. It would, however, be difficult to manage three personal accounts and three corporate pages at the same time. Focus on two strategies: making the most of your existing accounts and pages and exploring the possibility of investing in new ones, particular by testing the benefits of purchasing advertising.
If your brand is your main calling card: invest your energy and budget first and foremost in corporate pages. That said, personal LinkedIn pages remain essential, linked to your company’s corporate page.
If the directors and trainers are active on social media: your presence on social media benefits in three ways. The personal accounts of brand ambassadors (directors, permanent and occasional trainers) serve to amplify the company’s posts, as long as they are not simply cut and pasted. The corporate pages make the personal accounts more visible. The viral nature of the posts is significantly boosted thanks to mutual tagging, given how intuitive it is to implement.
The three key points to remember are as follows: be actively present on a few social networks rather than on several networks but with no real strategy; take care with regard to your posts and interactions and try to stand out from the crowd.