Simply Business – Simply Authentic Social

Social Media London’s May talk was about the #SocialMedia efforts of small business insurance firm Simply Business with Jasper Martens.

The first thing to notice was that he had patent leather indigo shoes.

Is that the display of a man who wants to click his heals to find his home on social? If it is, he’s being very practical about it, working with a crew of helpful sidekicks, travelling the yellow click road of authentic links.

To be clear, there were two points:

Be true to your brand. Know your values and what you stand for then support that with simple truths that reflect your brands beliefs on the platforms that suit your values.

Make big content pieces peppered with bite size content and post regularly on the carefully chosen platforms.

Since Google’s Panda and Penguin validation iterations, the Simply Business social approach has mollycoddled content and link creation, encouraging Google to recognise them as authentic, and earning a push up search rankings (even outranking Mashable on the ‘Social Media Guide’ search term!)

This drive for authenticity is reflected in the titles of their staff; digital expert, coordinator, analyst, communicator, product expert. These role titles are the actual contribution from each person getting good work done, without the need for a social media ninja or a content marketing evangelist.

To follow the yellow link road…

You’ll need to have heart:

  • Write about topics that you and your team would like to know more about
  • Make sure you respond to comments on the guest sites

You’ll need brains:

  • Simple observations have been Simply Business’ best assets, difficult subjects didn’t fare as well
  • Follow a process – Have a content meeting. Write a piece on a timely topic. Send it to editors with the hope of getting a link from them
  • A Google+ page and filmed Google hangout will please Google (always good for ranking) and give you video content for YouTube if you use it
  • Infographics are interactive and have to be embedded when used by others, which will link back to you
  • Time your various posts (they only use Hootsuite at the moment)

You’ll need courage:

  • Go Big! Their eight big content pieces have generated 840,000 visits to their site in a year
  • Decrease your spend with your PR agency to cover costs

When trying to convince others this journey will get their business the traffic they seek, show them the numbers of the natural search and SEO as current quotes levels. Let them know big content campaigns don’t actually cost that much to produce. Do something safe for them and see the increase in traffic.

If they want to focus on sales and acquisition, click your heels three times, tell them they’re living in black and white, and technicolour is the only way to go!

@JasperMartens Shoes: @florisvanbommel


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