Paid social media campaigns are important to make an impact on your audience. Organic posting is no longer enough for businesses to be seen.Social Media still feels like the wave of the future. However, understanding how to use it to grow your business is essential in reaching your maximum audience. The amount of people using social media is increasing daily, and trying to keep up with every new app can be difficult for companies to tap into. Does this mean you have to do this alone? Of course not, hiring a company to manage and run your social media accounts allows your company to really reap the benefits of being social media savvy.
Measuring success, is translating into likes, views, and conversation, for example cable companies used to judge shows based on ratings. Since streaming channels have become the source of entertainment, and measuring ratings has become difficult, cable companies now judge a show’s success on how many people are talking about it on social media. Similarly, small businesses can really find success in social media campaigns, gaining the publics interest and trust outside of personal interaction, is online. Customers love to rant and rave about their experiences to their friends and families, and the fastest way to do so is on social media. So, why not start the conversation?
Starting a paid social media campaign can seem scary. You might ask yourself where do I start, and how different can it really be from an average campaign? Well, what is interesting about all of these social media outlets is their drive to help companies reach a larger audience. Sites like Facebook, and Snap chat really thrive on business interest. More importantly, it is cost-effective, and flexible to any budget. Campaigns can become really creative, with all of the technology at the disposal of social media. Sites are realizing the strong interest and are making themselves more accessible, for companies to expand their brand.
As cost-effective as paid social media campaigns can be, simply paying $5 on Facebook to reach x amount of people isn’t enough to make an impact. Paid social media campaigns take time, and social media allows companies to be flexible in the sense that they get direct feedback from consumers and adjust accordingly. It comes down to the measurements, sure you paid so much money, but if it doesn’t translate into an increase of views, likes, and conversation then you haven’t really maximized consumer interest. At the same time if you aren’t spending some money then you are not exhausting the full potential your company can have. As blogger Justin Lambert said, “Brands have an ultimatum: pay to play or forfeit the game.”
Take your social media to the next level and invest in your first paid social media campaign
Social media is THE most popular activity online right now. So it makes sense that businesses, (both national and local) want to take advantage of this. But simply opening up a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account isn’t enough anymore. By avoiding some basic mistakes, many businesses can have the ability to increase return on investment, and create more opportunities from social media accounts.
Missteps to Avoid
#1. Not having a game plan
Social media users are bombarded with information and messages every minute of every day via social media. Businesses that don’t have a social media strategy often get lost in all the clutter and fail in reaching their target audience. Creating a game plan for social media includes having distinct goals, developing a clear voice online, and planning out content with a goal in mind. Without a clearly defined game plan you can have the best content on the web, but receive little engagement.
#2. Integrate everything
Social media should be used as a part to a whole. Not only should you link your social media accounts to each other, but they should be directly tied to your website, email, and paid search campaigns. Not taking advantage of connecting these accounts drastically reduces your potential audience reach.
#3. Use IMAGES!
Think about how you use social media. Doesn’t a post with a vibrant image capture your attention better and longer? While an image might not be appropriate for every post, include one whenever possible to help draw attention to your message.
Hashtags are a great way to join conversations and trending topics. Using hashtags strategically can help you find your target audience and reach non-followers in large numbers. Just make sure that it makes sense for your business to use the hashtag and that it flows with the current conversation.
#5. Make sure to Interact
Social media is meant to be interactive. Not every comment needs a response but responding to your “fans” adds to “humanizing” your business and builds trust between the brand and your consumers.
Don’t assume that just because you are posting content good things will come to you. You need to ensure that you are constantly monitoring and gauging what is and is not working on social media. This ensures you are on your toes and can make changes quickly when something isn’t working. Overall your business should work towards creating your own social media voice and community. Social media has the ability to be a cost effective way to reach out to your potential customers and help increase sales.
Are you looking for ways to increase your presence in the market without having to increase the size of your marketing budget? One great way to do this is to create a strategic marketing partnership.
What exactly is a strategic marketing partnership?
Simply put, it is a partnership you create with another business with the goal of helping you both achieve your goals. In the case of a strategic marketing partnership, it is a simple and effective way for brands to expand their audience.
Why would you want a strategic marketing partnership for your business?
The real question is, why wouldn’t you want one? This type of relationship is one that can be mutually beneficial to both companies involved, because it allows you access to twice as many customers, contacts, and other businesses that could potentially be partnerships as well. By partnering with another company, you double your exposure, because while you are promoting them to your customers and contacts, they are doing the same for you. In addition to being beneficial for you, it is beneficial for your customers as well. They get access to a larger pool of referrals from someone they already trust.
How do you choose a strategic marketing partner?
1. Make a list of products or services that compliment what your business does or sells. What is it that your customers need in addition to your products? Make sure you choose things that are not in direct competition with your business.
2. Find 15-20 businesses that provide the products or services you identified in step one. You can find these businesses through your own personal knowledge or by talking to your customers.
3. Contact these businesses. You know that you hate getting cold calls from people that are trying to “sell” you something, so keep that in mind when contacting them. Try writing a letter instead that outlines what you are trying to do, what the value of it is to you as well as them, and how it will benefit both of your customers.
4. Review the responses you receive back, and determine which business best fits with your company and your marketing needs.
5. Sit down with them and figure out how you can work together and what you both need to do.
What can you do for each other to make this strategic marketing partnership work?
- Share posts on social media.
- Provide content for a newsletter.
- Write a featured blog.
- Make mentions of your partner on social media.
- Create a freebie to give to your customers that features both business.
- Provide coupons/discounts as a way to introduce your partnership to your customers.
- Make a referral to your partner whenever possible and relevant.
- Host an event that features your partner. Make sure it is interesting for your customers.
It may take a bit of work up front, but in the long run a strategic marketing partnership can be beneficial to everyone involved.
Are Your Business’ Social Media Outlets Ready For the Holidays?
Christmas is a week away, and that means that businesses all over are trying to keep up with the holiday rush! Regardless of the rush, as a business you need to ensure you are publicly presenting an image of festive cheer in addition to being there to help your customers who have gifts to buy, meals to plan and family to take care of in order to get everything done on time! According to Mashable, 65% of shoppers turn to social media to find the perfect gift, and, when they do, you need to make sure that you are there to help them out.
So if you haven’t turned your attention to your company’s holiday social media plan, here are 5 tips to help you get started!
1. Decorate your social media
Nothing says holiday cheer like the right decorations, so make sure you get your social media accounts decked out too! Change your cover photo to something that reflects the holiday season. You can go all out or simply give your logo a festive twist.
2. Create holiday engagement
The holidays are a great time to get people talking about your products and your business. Encourage comments and shares from your fans by posting holiday related content.
For example, post an image of your company’s Christmas tree. Then ask fans to share an image of their tree.
3. Think visual
Do you have seasonal products? Make sure you post them on your social media sites, and ensure you add call to action! Make sure you post them with seasonal sentiment, as this will help make them more engaging. A call to action will help bring your company’s name to the forefront of your customers’ minds during this busy time.
4. Holiday competitions
People love businesses that give back, and the holiday season is one of the best times of the year to show your giving side. Holiday competitions give you a great way to get your business noticed and show your customers you understand the spirit of giving.
For example, give away gift cards to help customers plan their holiday meals or buy their stocking stuffers. You can ask them to share their favorite recipe or a picture of a holiday tradition.
5. Check out what’s trending
The holiday season is the most high-stakes time of the year for businesses. Make sure you get the most exposure possible by checking what’s currently trending on social media, so you can tailor your message accordingly. Just make sure you jump on a trending topic that makes sense for your business. Your message should be relevant and fit in organically with the conversation going on.
Overall, the holiday season is a busy time for both customers and businesses, so make sure you have a strong social media strategy to increase the chances of reaching your customers. In addition, customers are turning to social media to ask questions and report problems, so make sure you are dealing with all the inquires in a timely matter. Don’t forget making customers happy at this time of the year is a top festive priority.
68% of People say a business blog can add credibility to your website
A business blog is a great way to not only establish a presence across the web, including your website as well as your social media channels, but it is also a great way to establish yourself as a credible authority in your industry. Social media is a great way to be in contact with your customers / followers on a daily basis, but you can’t always get your point across in one tweet or one Facebook post. A blog can allow you to expand on your social media presence with a quick teaser and a link to more information.
Why do I need a business blog?
There are two main purposes for a having a business blog. The first is to bring traffic to your website. The second is to create a conversation with your followers.
When someone goes online to search for a business within your industry, you ideally want your business to show up close to the top of the search results. In order to accomplish this, you have to have effective search engine optimization (SEO). One of the ways to create effective SEO, is to post consistently with relevant keywords and original, high quality content. A blog can help to accomplish some of this.
Because a business blog allows you to so easily share information about your business and industry, it can be a great way to create an online customer / reader/ follower base. Allowing your followers and customers a view inside your business can let them communicate with you in a more in-depth way. If your business website does not have a blog, you are missing a big opportunity to increase your company’s visibility, which could also correlate to an increase in your bottom line.
What needs to be done in a business blog?
The main goal of a business blog is to engage your readers / customers and build trust with them. There are a few ways to effectively do this.
- Have a clean, good looking design with a professional logo.
- Keep your posts short and easy to understand, but not too short!
- Share with your social media channels.
- Use correct spelling and grammar.
- Have good quality photos and graphics.
- Encourage customer feedback and reviews.
- Link to trustworthy sources and sites.
- Don’t write about your competitors.
- Focus on the positives of your company and products.
- Build relationships and establish links with affiliates who will promote your products as well.
- Make sure to use keywords that your customers might be searching for.
What type of content should my business blog have?
Setting up a business blog is a fairly simple task. The difficulty begins when it comes to maintaining it with original, unique content that your readers will find useful. It is necessary to keep your customer in mind, so that you can focus on writing content that is attractive to them.
You will only convert your readers into customers if you have engaging, relevant, credible posts. Therefore, you want to tell and show your readers why your products and services are unique and reliable. You also want to make sure you keep them updated with upcoming products, new services, future events, and any other relevant news within your business. Overall, it is a great forum for sharing relevant, reliable information about your business, products, services, and more.
Get Customers Talking About Your Business.
6 tips to create effective customer engagement and turn them into your biggest advocates
There is nothing better for your business than happy customers! Happy customers help spread the word about your business to their friends, family and anyone who will listen. Customers will only promote your business so much, so you have to make it easy for them to go that extra mile without realizing they are doing any work. On average, a happy customer will bring in 3 new customers! So how do you create customer engagement and encourage these happy customers to spread the word? Here are 6 tips for turning your happy customers into your business’ biggest advocates:
1. Turn your receipts into customer feedback questionnaires.
Receipts are a guaranteed touch-point with customers. They’ve already come into your stores and liked you enough to buy something, so why not ask them for their feedback? Use your store receipts to direct them to an online survey, or go one step further, and make the survey social with links to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social media sites where they can spread the word about your business with reviews and promotions.
2. Get geo-social with Foursquare, Facebook and Yelp!
Take advantage of geo-social networks like Foursquare and Facebook by giving your customers the opportunity to check-in and share their location with their networks. With over 30 million people using Foursquare and the ability to sync it with their other social media networks, it’s a great way to get your happy customers to tell others that they are at your business. In addition, you can encourage check-ins and competition (think Foursquare Mayorship) by offering special promotions for only those that check-in or hold the Mayorship.
3. Start a feedback cycle.
Online reviews have become one of the most powerful forms of advertising. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising. So take advantage of this, and open up the line of communication between you and your customers. Send a follow up message, text or letter to remind them to leave a review of their experience with your business on your social media networks.
4. Go mobile with social apps!
Encourage your customers to upload their photos via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest of your products/services they use. This will help build a community around your brand, and fans can share their personal experience with your business, thus becoming an organic marketing strategy for your business.
Or go a step further and develop your own mobile app. Encourage your customers to write reviews, post content, and share information with their friends about your business all on your own branded app!
5. Automate the sharing process.
Make it simple for your customer to share your products/services with their networks by integrating Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest on your website. By doing this you allow your customers to have instant access to recommend, like and share your products/services with the people in their social networks.
Don’t have a website? What are you waiting for?! Get an optimized website developed that can be used across desktop, tablets and mobile.
6. Display your social properties with PRIDE.
Make it easy for customers to find you online. The more members you have on your online communities the more chances you will have to convert followers into customers. Feature links to your Facebook page, Twitter handle, Pinterest page and other social communities on things like:
- Storefronts and walls at your business location
- Menus and Napkins
- Email Newsletters
- Any marketing images and videos
- Local Advertising efforts, such as newspapers, radio, billboards
If you promote your social networks make sure you are managing them effectively with unique and relevant content for your followers. There is nothing worse than following a business that doesn’t care enough to regularly post and manage their social media networks. So make social media management a top priority a your business.
Customer engagement and satisfaction should be the top priorities for your business. Encourage feedback and take action on all feedback, whether it’s good or bad. Helping customers spread the word about your business can be one of the most powerful marketing tools. Just make sure you do it right.