When it comes to marketing efforts, having sufficient resources is often a struggle for small business owners. They know that social media is a cost-effective way of getting a company in front of thousands of people but planning a focused content strategy can be overwhelming.
Most small businesses don't have the resources to hire a part-time employee to take care of managing their social media accounts, so they're either left with the choice of doing it themselves or hiring a freelance social media manager. Either way is fine as long as you have the right tools and focused strategy to get optimum benefits and success from your efforts.
Here are four essential elements to help you get started:
1. Establish your goals: First and foremost, you need to determine what you want to accomplish with social media. You must decide whether you want to drive more traffic to your blog or website, to create brand awareness, or increase the sale of your products and services. After you have set your goals, you can then go ahead to determining your audience, which is crucial to selecting what social media platform is going to give the biggest ROI.
2. Determine your audience: Your audience needs to be at the forefront of every social media plan. After all, it's called "social" media which means that content must be created to benefit the end user. It shouldn't be completely self-congratulatory. As a result, you must specify who your ideal audience is, and what suits them best. In fact, you should do a bit of research to understand their most preferred social media platforms as well as products and services that they use most. In doing so, you are most likely to achieve your goals rather than flip-flopping with content that puts off your intended group.
3. Identify your social media platform: At this point, you’ve already set your goals and have identified your target group. Next, it is critical to develop and share content on a platform that best fits your business. Your audience should be the main factor for choosing your platform because they are the main stakeholders. Also, the nature of your business can guide you in making this critical decision. For example, if your business creates images, you may consider visual platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest. Likewise, Twitter and Facebook offer the best way to interact with like-minded individuals and potential clients. You can use LinkedIn to generate sales leads as well if you're in a B2B market. As a rule of thumb, only take on what you can manage. This usually means picking 2-3 social media platforms and doing them well, rather than trying to tackle them all. For instance, if you create social profiles on several platforms, ensure you post content in all of them at regular intervals. If you have lots of profiles that you only post to a few times a year they look like "ghost profiles" which can end up having negative implications for your brand.
4. Engage your audience: Don’t just share content- engage as well. In doing so, you create substantial client following and gain authority to control their behaviors. There are various ways you can do so including prompting your target group to like, comment, and share content. On the one hand, you create Twitter lists to stay on top of what is trending, and on the other, use tagboard to navigate around relevant hash-tags.
Final thoughts: Social media is the most critical aspect for the growth of any business in 2018 and there are more businesses than ever online, all competing for a share of the audience. Therefore, anyone who manages social media profiles for small businesses needs to have the essential tools to make their profiles stand out from the rest.
One such tool is the Social Blastr social media management dashboard. This awesome tool offers both free and premium software that lets social media managers create and schedule content for multiple platforms from one dashboard. Besides managing medial social accounts and saving time, the tool enables you to access trending content to curate and the tools to analyze your strategies effectively.
Head on over to social.intelligencelocal.com to get your free forever account today!
So you’ve finally joined the masses and created a profile for yourself on Facebook. Now you may be wondering “what do I do next to grow my business using this site?”
Creating your personal profile is the first step, but if you want to start generating business from Facebook, you need to take things a little further. In the end, you will have a solid marketing tool that is both affordable and effective when it comes to generating more business online.
Create A Business Fan Page
After you’ve created your personal profile, create a fan page for your business. Your fan page will be separate from your personal profile and this is where your customers and potential customers to interact with your brand.
Once users “Like” your fan page, they will receive consistent updates from your business in their news feeds. This means you can engage with them on a regular basis by posting valuable content,which leads us to our next step.
Start Posting Shareable Content
After you have created a business page, start posting shareable content. By “shareable,” we mean useful, helpful content that people will find interesting enough to share with others. This could include links to blog posts, articles, videos, images, quotes, and more. The more shares your content gets, the more people will visit your fan page. This leads to more website traffic, more in store traffic, and more sales. The Social Blastr Social Media Management Dashboard can help you manage your social profiles, create engaging images, and share interesting content with your audience easily. Sign up here to get started!
Promote Your Page with Ads
Facebook has one of the most powerful paid advertising platforms available on the Internet. With Facebook Ads, you can target users based on their interests, demographics, and even their geographical location.
After your fan page is up and running and you’re regularly posting great content, consider running a Facebook paid ad campaign. You will be able to laser target your ads and attract the exact audience you want to connect with. This is a great way to get more eyes on your business for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.
Hire A Professional to Help You Get Going
Facebook has many customization tools and features that will take your social engagement to the next level. However, it takes some time to learn and implement them all. So if you’d rather get started on the right track instead of trying to figure it all out on your own, consider hiring a professional to help you out. First impressions are everything; your page needs to be relevant, active, and eye-catching. Therefore, hiring a professional social media consultant to manage, monitor, and track your social presence could drive impressive results.
If you're looking for a more hands-off option, our professional social media content writers can help with that. Just visit us at intelligencelocal.com/services to find the solution for your budget.
Are you thinking that customer retention is just a minor part of keeping your business afloat? You may be surprised to hear that it’s actually one of the most critical factors for increasing your bottom line.
Marketing for new customers is extremely expensive – for both large and small companies. However, the costs for generating repeat business from existing customers are far less and more effective.
In fact, studies show that businesses pay FIVE times more to acquire new customers than they do to keep existing ones. Therefore, putting extra focus on customer loyalty and retention is a smart move.
Here are two things you can do on social media to increase loyalty and retention:
Create Great Offers for Your Social Media Followers
Everyone loves a special deal or coupon. By making irresistible offers to your followers, you create a bond with them that makes them feel special. If they love your product or service, they will likely take you up on your offers and remain connected with you.
Not only will you reel in repeat sales, but you will gain exposure to new prospects as well. Social media users love to share great deals with their networks; and the more something is shared, the more sales it can generate for your business.
Also, post about your offers multiple times (but don't go overboard) to make sure all of your customers see them. It may seem counter intuitive to post about the same thing more than once, but if your offers are good enough, your customers will appreciate the courtesy reminders.
At Social Blastr, we not only offer our prospective customers FREE lifetime access to our social media management dashboard, but also offer tons of free online marketing training for local businesses to help you learn the best, most effective ways to market your business or your service online.
Handle Customer Service Issues Promptly and Professionally
Nothing builds trust like showing your customers that you care about their feelings, wants, and needs. Social media has become the very public platform where consumers tell businesses exactly how they feel – especially when they’re not satisfied.
Therefore, whenever a customer service issue arises on social media, be sure to respond and handle the situation calmly and professionally. Some studies have shown that many unhappy customers continue to do business with companies they had problems with in the past – as long as their issues/complaints were handled in a timely manner and they were treated with respect.
Positively handling these issues in the public eye will also put your potential customers at ease about doing business with you; thus helping you boost customer acquisition as well.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because you have a great product or service, your customers will automatically come back to do business with you. In today’s competitive markets, you have to earn that honor; and social media is a free, yet effective way to do so.
Lots has changed with digital marketing in the last few years. Today, advertising online, especially with social media, relies a lot on visual images which is much different than it was years ago when most ads were most often blocks of informative text, or the long form sales letter.
This could be because studies have shown that we are able to process images nearly 1000 times faster than just by reading text. A picture really is worth 1000 words! It makes sense that the internet has become filled with various forms, styles, and combinations of visual data.
This has become even easier now that technology has evolved and almost anyone can create and post attractive videos and images to promote content engagement, comprehension, and effectiveness.
As you’ve probably noticed, videos and images get the most likes, shares, and comments on social media, and that's no coincidence. With the increasing popularity of Instagram and Pinterest for business, images and other forms of visual content play a crucial role in effective online communication and interaction.
Here are four tips on how you can use images and videos to enhance your social media content and create more opportunities for engagement:
1. Get more shares and comments with combination content-images
Everyone loves images that include quick snippets of content like a motivational quote, quick “how-to” tips, infographics, and checklists. By incorporating some of these into your posts, you will be giving your audience a better experience and increasing the likelihood of shares, likes, and comments. All you need to do is spend an hour on Facebook to see that these types of images are often very popular and can go viral quickly, giving you even more exposure on social media.
2. Use The Right Tools To Create Your Images
It can be really easy and inexpensive to create compelling images for social media. My two favorites are the Social Blastr Visual Composer tool and Canva, which is a free app you can download on your phone to create images on the go and upload to your social media management tool in less that 30 seconds. There's absolutely no need to spend money on graphic design software or hire an artist if you feel comfortable with basic technology and have a decent eye. The Social Blastr Visual Composer tool is built into our free social media dashboard allowing you to create beautiful images quickly and easily, then share them across your social platforms with just the click of a button. It's free forever, so sign up today and see just how easy it is to get creative!
3. Use Images With A Call To Action
Images can do more than just convey information. They're also highly effective as lead bait and teasers for blog posts, articles, social media posts, videos, and more. All you need to do is to use your visual composer tool to quickly add a call to action to get people to click on the image. Then set your image to open a new page and, voila, your audience can be directed to any other webpage you'd like them to view. The possibilities are endless!
4. Don't be afraid to hire a professional
If you don't feel like you've got the time or ability to create images regularly, there are professionals to help you that can be hired for a reasonable price. A social media content professional can easily create attractive images for your posts, as well as other types of content, ensuring that everything flows well and that you put your best foot forward online. For less that $200 a month, you can have a social media content created for two social platforms and posted 5 times a week. Many small business owners have found that this small investment for a specialist is definitely worth it. If this sounds like you, check out our social media content packages. We've got options for every budget so head on over to our services page to see how we can kick your social media presence into top gear.
Social media has taken over the world and become fundamental to so many aspects of life, including business. Marketing is no different; social media has been changed by the exponential use of social media sites. New markets are available which can be a huge advantage to any business, but there are ways to use social media more effectively. Here are some tips, which can help a business develop a more effective social media marketing campaign and presence.
1. High Quality
With so much content available online these days, you need to ensure your posts are of the highest quality and really valuable to your target audience. Get a competitive edge by spending more time creating valuable content that you can share with your followers. Stellar content wins shares and likes, be useful, be informative, offer more than your competitors and you will win people’s trust and devotion.
If your campaign is only tailored around promos and self-serving social media updates, your followers are likely to switch to another business who offers them more.
2. Be Focused
Vague and undedicated content is of no use to people. Your followers are following you for a reason and want to see posts that are well targeted to their interests. Stick within your niche. It is a bad idea to try to post about everything; it will muddle your message, and turn people off who can to your profile with a specific intent. Post on topics in your own niche and perfect them to wow your audience.
3. Dedicate Time
Social media marketing is a not a quick activity; meaningful posts take time and thought. You need to dedicate this time to your social media marketing strategy to ensure it will be effective. There is no point rushing through a few posts once a week with little interaction; this will not create the best image of your brand and business. Social media marketing experts recommend each word and each link to be thought out with specific goals in mind, be it to build your brand, offer a more valuable customer experience, make sales, or simply engage new followers with authority content.
4. Connect With Key Individuals And Organizations
To be effective and influential, you need to identify the key people or organizations who can promote your business. These organizations will ensure the audience you are trying to reach will see your posts and can increase your business. Social media is one of the best platforms to connect and network with other marketers and businesses in your niche, and cross promotions are ideal opportunities to grow your customer base. Don’t be afraid to promote others, the rewards can be substantial.
5. Be Accessible To Your Followers
There is no point posting content online and not enabling people to interact with you following the post. You need to ensure you are available to your followers so they can interact with you and ask questions, which give you a further chance to promote your business and become a go-to source in your niche.
6. Share And Promote Other People’s Online Content
If you want people to engage with you, you need to share and comment on their content. Social media is not a one-way street; you need to share, repost, and comment on other people’s content and they will do the same for you. This further promotes your business and increases awareness of your brand.
7. Pick Your Social Media Sites
Not every demographic will use the same social media sites. To be effective, you need to pick the sites, which are used most by the people that you are trying to target. For example, Snapchat is used by young people whereas all ages are on Facebook and Twitter more. 58% of all Pinterest users are women who shop! So, any ecommerce benefits from being on Pinterest.
8. Acknowledge Your Followers
If a potential customer contacts you by telephone or comes to your office, you would greet them and provide a good level of customer service. Enquiries online is no different; if one of your followers contacts you through social media, you need to ensure they are contacted with the same priority as if they came in through your office.
9. Remember Your Followers Are People
It may sound silly, but it can be easy to forget there is a normal human behind each social media post, like and comment. Tailoring your social media content to these people will ensure they feel valued and included; this is what will increase sales for your business.
10. Pay Attention To Competitor’s Posts
A key method of ensuring your social media marketing works is to simply read other posts. This means you will be kept up to date with the latest trends and developments, to which you can respond accordingly. It also helps avoid replication and enables you to set your posts apart from others.
Get access to our free social media management dashboard tool and stop wasting your time managing your social media presence. Learn more about our free social media scheduler here.
I am often amazed when people ask what type of content ranks best in today's search engine results. The answer is and will always be the same: Google wants one thing, and that is quality content. Google strives to provide its users with the best possible results. There are several reasons why some sites rank at the top and others rank at the very bottom.
Two of the main ones are:
1. Delivering high quality original content that is both legitimate and credible
2. Updating the site with fresh content on a regular basis
The first and foremost tip is to stop trying to game the search engines with black hat techniques. True, they may work for a short while, but eventually the search engines will catch up and put your site in the sandbox. Once in the sandbox Google won't send you any more traffic. Instead of spending hours trying to find a way to trick the search engines why not spend an hour or two writing a valuable piece of content the search engines and people will love?
So what can you do to be sure that Google views your content as valuable? There are two major factors that Google looks at, and you can easily track how your website performs through cold, hard data.
User Engagement and Bounce Rate
The first one is engagement. How engaging is your content? Are people actually reading the entire article or are they hitting the back button as soon as they see it? This is how Google measures engagement. They want to know how long people are sticking around to read your content. If they stick around for several minutes, they know you are providing value. This metric is measured by what is called Bounce Rate, and lower bounce rates can help rankings.
If users typically click back, and your site has consistently high bounce rates, this can affect rankings in Google.
The second thing they look at are linking patterns. Google and other search engines learned very early on that people link to content they consider valuable. Content that is considered useful almost always is shared by users. Content that is considered useless doesn't. It's quite simple, but don't be fooled. All backlinks are not created equal. This ties in closely with user engagement and Google wants to see that your content is being shared by reputable sources with real people.
While linking algorithms have advanced quite a bit over the last several years, the basic principles of this concept still hold true. So if you want your content to rank make sure it’s valuable. Make sure it helps the end user. That's the key to getting your content ranked. There are no magic methods or solutions.
Make Content For Users Not Search Engines
I am sure you have heard this said before and it’s true. When one creates a web page for search engines their focus is keywords. Focusing on keywords and feeding the Google bot often results in overstuffed and awkward content that is boring and difficult to read by your actual customers.
While you may see a brief rise in your search results with these types of black hat tactics, most often it’s only for a short while and then the site is hit with a big fat penalty and ends up in the black hole of SERPS.
What Goes Around Comes Around
Useful content leads to happy users and a low bounce rate, happy users link back and/or spread the word about the content through social media, which leads to more traffic, which leads to better rankings in Google.
Therefore, when it's all said and done, your end tactic needs to be focused around providing useful content. That's what Google wants and that's what your potential customers want.
Any time anyone uses Google to make a search, they have an intent. They want to either find out about something, learn about something, solve a problem, buy something or treat something. Google is going to provide users with information that fulfills that intent, so do your research and find out what type of content your target audience is searching for. Make it a point to construct your content around their wants and needs. This will not only increase your rankings, but it will also increase your conversions and sales.
If there's one take away point from this post, it's this: people read content, not the search engines and people are your paying customers. Do away with the keyword stuffing and anything else that is designed to manipulate the search engines. Write good content that people will love to read and your content will be ranked!
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