LET'S TALK ABOUT...

Growing your business with Social Media, Dominic McGregor

Let's Talk About' is our series of videos offering practical digital skills advice to help you grow.

Dominic McGregor is co-founder and former COO of The Social Chain, an award-winning and hugely innovative social media marketing agency, who helped grow the company to a $200m turnover business. Social Chain is a pioneer in the creation, development and scaling of social media brands.

In this video, Dominic is talking about Social Media Strategy and sharing his tips to help you grow online.

Hi, I'm Dominic McGregor. I went from reaching zero people online to reaching over one billion people every single month. So, let's talk about social media strategies.

Social media is a platform where you can reach millions and millions of people. From my position of advising big businesses, I've actually realised that social media is the same, whether you're a big business or a small business, the end consumer is the same. They're doing the same thing. They're sat there scrolling on their Instagram feed, or their Facebook feed. You can reach them the same way a big business can reach them. You can create content that they care about more by putting something they care about into it, and knowing them better than a big brand can.

People think that you can just produce something and overnight it's going to be a success. That's not the case. Success, in any format, comes from doing the same thing consistently, repeating it and learning from it. Because, when it comes to it, we make a decision whether we like a post, or if we want to follow a business by looking at their content. And that only comes from people having a clear idea of what is going to come in the future. It needs to be something which is thinking about what the future looks like and something which is ingrained in an identity for the business. Something that people can look at and say, "That is you. That is what you stand for. And that is the content I expect to see."

So, when thinking about content and what you're going to produce make sure that you've got an idea of a strategy, which is going to be coherent and going to be long-term. People's timelines are actually very precious. We only have a certain amount of friends and a certain amount of family we follow, and we're very selective over who gets into that space. So, as a business, or a small business to get into that space you have to be adding value to that person.

And that value can come in a number of ways. It can be information, stuff that they're seeing for the first time, which you are bringing to them. Something which is uplifting and inspiring, so you're their toast of good news. Or it could just be of interest. So, people who are interested in - be it design, be it sneakers, be it something or interested in what you're doing and your topics is something that they could also subscribe to. So, when creating content ask yourself, ask your friends, "Will people care about this? Will they like it? Will it make people laugh? Is it information they can't get elsewhere? Is it unique to you? And is it things people would be interested in hearing about?”

One thing about social media: it also is a commercial platform. It also is a place for the business to make money. And to do that you do need to introduce some element of the product, the brand, the education. It won't just work, if you constantly create content, you'll end up being a content channel. So, you do need to have that relationship with your audience, where you educate them on who you are as a business. So, that will come through many formats. It might be through your personal story and who you are and why you've launched this business. Or it might be about the products you sell. People tend to operate a 20/80 split, where 80% of content is that creative, fun stuff, and 20% focuses on the business, the sales, the products. That way you get a nice balance where you can tell people the story and tell people about the business, but also have your kind of commercial opportunities there as well.

Everyone hates being lied to, and people do not trust things they see online. So, you need to come and counteract that by being open, transparent, and honest about who you are and what you're trying to do. Your audience isn't naive to the fact that you are a business, they will be expecting it, and don't shy away from it. Talk about the good months you have. Talk about the bad months you have. Talk about the time you need support. Talk about the time you have record sales. With that balance of the openness and the honesty around the business, people will want to support you, if times are tough, and celebrate in success.

Social media changes every single day. You wake up and there's a new feature, a new product or a new layout. So, when platforms launch new features, they give increased reach, increased exposure to these new features because they want people to use them. If Instagram launch Reels and they're making a big announcement about it, they're going to put a lot of effort into making Reels popular. So, as a business, you should be there testing Reels from the start, because you're going to get a huge trade off from Instagram making it in front of people's news feeds, from Instagram putting it in places.

Take inspiration from people. See what other creators are doing. Influencers will be there first trying things, take what works for them and apply it to your own business. Be there, try it. It might be that moment, which you're waiting for in terms of exponential growth. Or it might reach you to a whole new customer base.

So, on social media as a business, you're running the Instagram, or someone you know is running the Instagram. You have access to it. So, as well as producing content, you also get messages. So, this is a place where people will message you, and talk to you about what you're doing, and they get to know you personally. And this is a really good opportunity to understand and know your customers. Take feedback on what they like, what they want to see in the future, what you could do differently. Ask them questions, they're there to be networked and to be spoken to.

This is a really unique point for small businesses because with big businesses, when you message their Instagram, it tends to be customer support. It tends to be a complaint. It tends to be something which is going to be a negative experience. When you get a message as a small business, you can take that message and, if it is negative, turn it into a positive. Help them, talk them through the problems, be there for them. Or if it's a positive, you can engage with that customer and build a relationship with them for the future.

It used to take big brands months to do surveys of their audiences to find out who buys from them, and what they like about it, and what they think about the new brand. You can get that instantaneously on social media.

If you combine consistency with valuable content and educate your audience about who you are, and what you're trying to achieve, you'll have a recipe for success. Social media is supposed to be fun. You'll learn things, you'll fail, and that's all part of the journey. No one gets it right from day one. So keep testing, keep learning, and keep growing your community online.

Let's Talk About' is our series of videos offering practical digital skills advice to help you grow.

Dominic McGregor is co-founder and former COO of The Social Chain, an award-winning and hugely innovative social media marketing agency, who helped grow the company to a $200m turnover business. Social Chain is a pioneer in the creation, development and scaling of social media brands.

In this video, Dominic is talking about Social Media Strategy and sharing his tips to help you grow online.

Hi, I'm Dominic McGregor. I went from reaching zero people online to reaching over one billion people every single month. So, let's talk about social media strategies.

Social media is a platform where you can reach millions and millions of people. From my position of advising big businesses, I've actually realised that social media is the same, whether you're a big business or a small business, the end consumer is the same. They're doing the same thing. They're sat there scrolling on their Instagram feed, or their Facebook feed. You can reach them the same way a big business can reach them. You can create content that they care about more by putting something they care about into it, and knowing them better than a big brand can.

People think that you can just produce something and overnight it's going to be a success. That's not the case. Success, in any format, comes from doing the same thing consistently, repeating it and learning from it. Because, when it comes to it, we make a decision whether we like a post, or if we want to follow a business by looking at their content. And that only comes from people having a clear idea of what is going to come in the future. It needs to be something which is thinking about what the future looks like and something which is ingrained in an identity for the business. Something that people can look at and say, "That is you. That is what you stand for. And that is the content I expect to see."

So, when thinking about content and what you're going to produce make sure that you've got an idea of a strategy, which is going to be coherent and going to be long-term. People's timelines are actually very precious. We only have a certain amount of friends and a certain amount of family we follow, and we're very selective over who gets into that space. So, as a business, or a small business to get into that space you have to be adding value to that person.

And that value can come in a number of ways. It can be information, stuff that they're seeing for the first time, which you are bringing to them. Something which is uplifting and inspiring, so you're their toast of good news. Or it could just be of interest. So, people who are interested in - be it design, be it sneakers, be it something or interested in what you're doing and your topics is something that they could also subscribe to. So, when creating content ask yourself, ask your friends, "Will people care about this? Will they like it? Will it make people laugh? Is it information they can't get elsewhere? Is it unique to you? And is it things people would be interested in hearing about?”

One thing about social media: it also is a commercial platform. It also is a place for the business to make money. And to do that you do need to introduce some element of the product, the brand, the education. It won't just work, if you constantly create content, you'll end up being a content channel. So, you do need to have that relationship with your audience, where you educate them on who you are as a business. So, that will come through many formats. It might be through your personal story and who you are and why you've launched this business. Or it might be about the products you sell. People tend to operate a 20/80 split, where 80% of content is that creative, fun stuff, and 20% focuses on the business, the sales, the products. That way you get a nice balance where you can tell people the story and tell people about the business, but also have your kind of commercial opportunities there as well.

Everyone hates being lied to, and people do not trust things they see online. So, you need to come and counteract that by being open, transparent, and honest about who you are and what you're trying to do. Your audience isn't naive to the fact that you are a business, they will be expecting it, and don't shy away from it. Talk about the good months you have. Talk about the bad months you have. Talk about the time you need support. Talk about the time you have record sales. With that balance of the openness and the honesty around the business, people will want to support you, if times are tough, and celebrate in success.

Social media changes every single day. You wake up and there's a new feature, a new product or a new layout. So, when platforms launch new features, they give increased reach, increased exposure to these new features because they want people to use them. If Instagram launch Reels and they're making a big announcement about it, they're going to put a lot of effort into making Reels popular. So, as a business, you should be there testing Reels from the start, because you're going to get a huge trade off from Instagram making it in front of people's news feeds, from Instagram putting it in places.

Take inspiration from people. See what other creators are doing. Influencers will be there first trying things, take what works for them and apply it to your own business. Be there, try it. It might be that moment, which you're waiting for in terms of exponential growth. Or it might reach you to a whole new customer base.

So, on social media as a business, you're running the Instagram, or someone you know is running the Instagram. You have access to it. So, as well as producing content, you also get messages. So, this is a place where people will message you, and talk to you about what you're doing, and they get to know you personally. And this is a really good opportunity to understand and know your customers. Take feedback on what they like, what they want to see in the future, what you could do differently. Ask them questions, they're there to be networked and to be spoken to.

This is a really unique point for small businesses because with big businesses, when you message their Instagram, it tends to be customer support. It tends to be a complaint. It tends to be something which is going to be a negative experience. When you get a message as a small business, you can take that message and, if it is negative, turn it into a positive. Help them, talk them through the problems, be there for them. Or if it's a positive, you can engage with that customer and build a relationship with them for the future.

It used to take big brands months to do surveys of their audiences to find out who buys from them, and what they like about it, and what they think about the new brand. You can get that instantaneously on social media.

If you combine consistency with valuable content and educate your audience about who you are, and what you're trying to achieve, you'll have a recipe for success. Social media is supposed to be fun. You'll learn things, you'll fail, and that's all part of the journey. No one gets it right from day one. So keep testing, keep learning, and keep growing your community online.

About the author

About the author

Dominic McGregor is the co-founder and former COO of The Social Chain, an award winning social first marketing agency and social media publishing house with offices in London, Manchester, Berlin and New York. The group owns 400 digital communities and is able to reach over 386 million, working with brands such as Superdry, Warner Music, New Balance and Coca Cola. Dominic is a speaker, entrepreneur and an advocate for young people's mental health and personal development in business. 

If you combine consistency with valuable content, and educate your audience about who you are, and what you're trying to achieve, you'll have a recipe for success.

Dominic McGregor

See more See less