Let’s talk Tweeting!
Now it’s time to talk “tweeting” on the social platform that revolutionized the way we get information: Twitter. This is the fourth in our blog series on Social Media for Small Business.
Twitter revolutionized the social media world when it arrived way back in 2006. The platform really pushed the use of hashtags and has changed how we consume both news and politics. Twitter acts like a conversation, allowing you to put out a “tweet” of 280 characters or less with an image or a link. People are able to respond in real time to your tweet, like your tweet, or “retweet” your original tweet to their followers. The ability to communicate in real time really changed up how conversations on social have taken place.
- Twitter has 313 million monthly active users.
- Twitter accounts for 16% of referrals to longer articles from social sites and 14% for shorter news articles. (Pew Research Center, 2016)
- Content consumption on Twitter has increased 25% in the last two years.
Twitter isn’t Facebook
Tweeting needs to be treated as a different beast altogether. Be sure to keep the following in mind.
- Keep it short. Just because Twitter has 280 characters for you to use, doesn’t mean you should!
- Understand hashtags and make them work for you. A hashtag is nothing more than the pound symbol (#) in front of a word or phrase that turns it into a searchable term on all social platforms.
- Follow industry leaders, not only to increase your knowledge, the chance of a follow back but because you’ll see all their conversations and maybe find potential customers.
- Be visible. Having your information visible and correct on Twitter matters as well.
- Make sure you have a bio. Let people know who you are!
- Be consistent in your branding. You’ll have to change the dimensions but make sure that your profile picture and header fit, and are relevant.
- Use relevant hashtags for posts, these can help you be found.
- Engage! If someone likes your tweet reach out to them with a thank you! Same for retweets, and especially if someone responds to your tweet.
- USE VISUALS. Nobody wants to read text all day!
Example #1: Nine Pin Cider
- Nine Pin Cider has a relevant header and profile picture.
- Their information is clear and their bio is short and to the point; They make hard cider in NY.
- The color scheme is consistent – green, bright and draws you in.
- They’ve included a link to their website.
On to engaging on Twitter:
- Retweeting with your audience is great! It’s lets folks know that you are a real person and you are seeing what they are putting out there through the use of tags and @’s.
- This is also a method of gaining followers.
This next picture though is something you don’t want to do.
- Pushing posts like this, ones with no image and only a link forces folks to read and can cause them to ignore or overlook your posts.
Example #2: The Market
- The Market hotel has a very grainy header image that isn’t completely relevant and their profile picture is neither clear nor sized properly so the majority is cut off.
- This makes the profile appear as though not a lot of thought has gone into it.
- The bio is complete, but by using hashtags and @’s makes it a bit hard to read.
- They don’t post images in their tweets making them text only.
- They don’t retweet any of the posts they are tagged or @ed in, which can be disappointing for the members of the audience.
Everything about this Twitter page makes it feel like an afterthought and with the sporadic posting
Winning Tweet Example
- The following tweet encompasses all of the best practices we covered in the first half of this blog and as we can see by the engagement it received people liked what was being said.
- This post includes an image, hashtags and is short and sweet. We can see that it was retweeted and has some likes.
It’s important to remember that engaging on Twitter is the best method to grow not only your audience but also your brand. You want to make sure that the content you are putting out is relevant to the conversation you want to have. You also need to get out there and make connections, Twitter isn’t a make an account and leave it platform.
Feel free to reach out to us at 518-694-4044 if you have any questions or concerns. Do you have any tips for using Twitter for small business? Leave it in the comments.
We take reviews seriously…so does our partner, Google.
So, when the mail arrived at the office today and we had a package from Google, we were doubly surprised to find this nicely printed (great quality paper) poster with one of our attendee’s reviews!
Hopefully you are following along with our series on social media for small business. Today the topic is LinkedIn. If you’ve been in the business world you are probably familiar with the LinkedIn platform, and may not understand how beneficial it can be for your small business.
LinkedIn is considerably different than all previously covered social platforms. It was launched in 2003 and designed specifically with businesses and career networking in mind. This space isn’t as light and is used more for career building – staying in touch with past and current coworkers and clients as well as finding new ones. Best practices used for other platforms can fall short here.
- LinkedIn has 250 million active users.
- 40% of users are on the platform daily.
- 25% of adult internet users use LinkedIn. (Pew Research Center, 2015)
- LinkedIn is the only major social media platform for which usage rates are higher among 30- to 49-year-olds than among 18- to 29-year-olds.
So how exactly do you use LinkedIn?
- Keep it PROFESSIONAL: LinkedIn is not the place for your political views or pictures of your children and pets.
- Make sure your header and profile image are relevant and properly sized.
- Make sure your company page has all information filled out.
- LinkedIn has a feature where you can highlight your services and products. Use it.
- Ask your clients for recommendations of your services/products. The same way that other platforms offer reviews, the recommendations feature is powerful.
- Build thought leadership by posting blog articles to the page. Publish content that shows that you know what you are talking about.
- Respond to questions or comments on posts or through messenger
- Use LinkedIn to keep an eye on your competition and gain some valuable insight!
Our first example is a small technology company page on LinkedIn. They are B2C, and while they are following some of the best practices, many of them they are not.
- Their about us is filled out with all company details.
- It appears that they have recently updated the page.
- They have employees on the website which adds legitimacy to the company.
- They have no header on their company page and their profile picture leaves a little to be desired.
- Their feed has not been posted to in 6 months
- This hurts their credibility as well as hurts their thought leadership
- The have a small number of followers meaning they are not actively trying to grow their network.
An example of a technology company also B2C killing it:
- This company has around the same number of posts, but almost 11k followers.
- All their posts are about their company – not just posts to a blog
- Company culture
- Company ideals
- Photos are bright and engaging, not a solid feed of text and minimal images.
This company is excited and they want you to know all about it.
LinkedIn is a place to talk about your business professionally. It is the platform where you need to create a network of individuals you may be able to pitch to down the line, after you’ve developed your thought leadership through posting. You want to ask your clients to review you on LinkedIn, and maintain your activity posting relevant, interesting content.
Keep an eye out for the rest of our “Social Media for Small Business 101” blog series, as we still have Twitter, and Instagram left to cover. Find our Social Media basics here, and Facebook 101 here. If you have any comments or concerns reach out to us today!
Today our topic is Small Business Facebook pages and it’s the second blog in our social media for small business series. Love it or hate it, Facebook is here and utilizing it as part of your marketing strategy is important. First of all, Facebook can be a valuable asset in not only building your audience but also then engaging with that audience. This social platform is a fantastic source of social proof for your business and if you don’t have one you are really doing your business a disservice.
Small Business Facebook 101
Started way back in 2004 as a social networking site created by Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg and some friends in the dorm. It eventually spread to most college universities in the US and Canada, before opening to everyone with an email address over the age of 13 in 2006.
Not convinced you need a Facebook for your business?
- In 2018 Facebook now has 2.19 billion monthly active users.
- 5 new Facebook profiles are created every second.
- 58.3 million U.S. Facebook users were between 25 and 34 years old.
- 72% of adult internet users use Facebook.
- Facebook has the most engaged users:
What do these statistics mean for you and your business? Facebook offers up many opportunities for your business, if you take advantage of them.
Things to keep in mind when using Facebook for your business:
- Facebook is image heavy, try to use video and images to entice viewers
- Facebook is predominantly for entertainment and value. People look to a company’s profile before making a purchase or reaching out to them.
- Facebook is “share” heavy.
- Content that resonates with the audience is more likely to be shared.
- You can target relevant audiences on Facebook
To make it easier let’s look at a examples of a small business killing it on Facebook.
Caskade Bar & Grill
Caskade Kitchen & Bar have hit the mark for having a standout Facebook page. Why does their page stand out? It:
- Has a header image and a profile image.
- The images are not blown out or pixelated.
- Labeled as a restaurant.
- Has the about us section is filled out, including the contact information.
- The review section is utilized on the page.
- Posts have images to quickly grab attention.
Diving into the engagement and reviews on the page offers up more insights:
Here we see comments.
Caskade Kitchen & Bar ENGAGES with their comments and reviews! If they don’t leave a comment, they make sure to like the comment so that they are above all, still engaging with the audience.
When they post they:
- Use Images!
- Images are bright and clear, catching attention and drawing engagement to the post.On posts with questions, they RESPOND to the question or statement.
- Use Hashtags!
- Hashtags used are relevant to the post – the name of the establishment, location and what the image is off.
- Again the image draws in engagement – likes, comments and shares, and the business makes a point to respond and like the comments – building community!
Not Up to Snuff
Now it’s time to flip it and review a small business not taking advantage of everything that Facebook has to offer.
Baja Chops Surf Grub have completely missed mark for a page with many missed opportunities on this page.
- This is an unofficial business page, meaning no one is running it and the small business is not utilizing this social media platform.
- The about is empty as the page is unofficial offering no way of contact for this business.
- Reviews are relatively old between 1-4 years old and offer again no interaction from the business.
- A quick Google search shows that this page is the only online real estate for this company.
Treating social this way gives an air of disregard, as though you don’t care enough to open up this channel of communication for your customers. This lack of social proof can hurt a company since more and more potential customers look to a company and their social platforms before moving forward.
Facebook for small business is a useful tool and a platform that you can’t afford to lose out on. Hopefully these best practices will allow you to form your own habits and help you build an engaging audience today. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to us at (518) 694-4044.
“It’s not about having the right opportunities. It’s about handling the opportunities right.” -Mark Hunter
It’s important to remember that every sales cycle differs, depending on your sales person and the people they are selling to. At its base, a sales cycle is nothing more than a repeatable, series of steps that can be mapped out to track interaction with your prospects. These steps allow you to pinpoint the first interaction with your business all the way through to the close.
There are 5 basic steps to account for in EVERY single sales cycle, regardless of the amount of time a prospect spends in each of them. Drilling into them will help you make sure you don’t lose anyone on their journey to becoming a client.
- Lead Generation. This is one of the easiest steps for your sales person, putting together a list of leads, or as some call it, a prospecting list. They may do this using outbound methods, their own network or inbound marketing. Once you’ve made the list you then have to go through it and decide who meets the criteria you’ve put together. This is where having solid buyer personas come in.
- Qualifying. This is crucial. You don’t want to waste money and time on pursuing an individual who is not ideal for your company. Ask yourself if the company in question has a need for your services. Do they have the budget? If not, move on. If you are unsure, it doesn’t hurt to have a discovery call, but use the call to quickly drill down on whether or not you’d be a good fit.
- Value Sell. Now that you’ve qualified the lead and reached out and they seem interested, it’s time to show off. Show this prospect what your solutions are and how they can assist the prospect in reaching their goals. If you fall down here, you can pretty much guarantee that you’ll lose the sale.
- Trusted Advisor to Prospects. You’ve dazzled the prospect with the value your services can add to their company and now you’ve have to dazzle them as they voice their objections and questions. This is where you set the stage for the delivery of the product and the relationship with the client moving forward. You must be able to handle the prospect’s objections and help them to understand why they need you. If you can do this, you will leave with the sale.
- Deliver and Support. You may have made the sale, but the relationship doesn’t end there. You’ve got to make sure you deliver what was promised and make sure that you keep an open line of communication with your new client. Set up a quarterly business review, to check on the progress and open the path to upsell other services.
This is a very basic breakdown of the sales cycle. You can add more steps or break these steps down into even more detail, either way it all depends on you and knowing your sales cycle. As always if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or, reach out to us at 518-694-4044.
If you are new to marketing, social media can seem like a huge mountain to climb. Getting started with social is super easy, so we’ve compiled this primer on what social media is, and best practices for the major platforms.
What is social media?
You may be familiar with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You’ve probably also heard of Instagram and Snapchat. These are all examples of social media platforms including the most popular ones.
Social media, by definition, is the use of websites and apps that allow the user to contribute content and participate in social networking. It’s important to note that social media is not a lead generation machine. That’s not to say you won’t get a couple of leads from your social media platforms, but you shouldn’t consider social to be a huge source of leads. Social media is a way to boost your engagement with your audience and help boost both your authority and social proof while aligning with the overall brand.
Why do I want social media?
Social media is a fantastic way to not only engage directly with your audience, but to build social credibility. Building and enhancing your brand, as well as your authority as a marketing expert, is important — social proof is one method of doing so. Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people look at actions and thoughts of others before they move forward with an additional action.
Social media gives you a way to share relevant, industry-specific content with your audience and build your brand and credibility. You also stay top-of-mind. Social media allows you to create a space for your thought leadership and be a resource to your audience. Just having social profiles also helps give you and your business legitimacy as people expect to find you on social. Not being there can make people distrust you. Regardless of the reason, you need social!
How do I use Social Media?
The real question is ‘how don’t you use social media’!? It’s important to remember that social media is free. Free advertising, free press, and free posting. While there are opportunities to pay and increase your social media reach, keep in mind that social media is generally not a solid lead generation platform. Social media can be an outlet for communication directly with your audience or another place for reviews. You can use your social media platforms as an additional place for information like your methods of contact, hours and location.
You can also help give the public an inside scoop of your company culture and showcase how awesome you really are. Use your social media platforms to advertise (sometimes at a lower cost than PPC), and gain insight on your audience as well.
How do I know if I am doing well with social media?
There are many benchmarks you can use to determine how well your social media platforms are performing, such as “likes”, “follows”, comments and engagement on posts. Depending on the platform we also look for “shares”, “and retweets.”
Now that you have an understanding of what social media is and why you should be using it to market your business, look out for the next blogs in this series as we cover best practices for each platform.
So many file types, what do you do!
There are so many different image formats out there. Some formats are better for print, while others are perfect for the web. Knowing which one is best can be a struggle. We’ve compiled a short primer on the most popular so you know which format to request when you need it. This is part one of a two part series and is focused on web files.
What is a JPEG?
JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group (you’ll know for the next trivia night) and that mouthful is usually found on the internet. These files are compressed and much smaller than a raw file which makes them best for uploading to social sites or being used in a newsletter. The majority of image programs will open a JPEG file, but that doesn’t mean you should use them in print. Due to the compressed nature of a JPEG you lose many details and they may have a grainy look when printed. Side eye any designer who gives you your art files in this format.
What is a PNG?
PNG is the shortened form of Portable Network Graphic and are commonly used as graphics on the web. PNGs are not animated like GIFS and they are not compressed like JPEGs. Because these files are not compressed they can be too large to use on many social media sites. Like a JPEG however most image programs will open a PNG and you will be able to save the file as a JPEG to compress it. PNGs may not be fantastic for shipping across the web due to their size, but they are good for print, due to their quality and clarity. Keep their size in mind and how that can affect the speed of your website when using them online.
What is a GIF?
You’ve probably seen the internet stuffed to the brim with GIFs and never given them much thought. GIFS are an older file format like the JPEG and it stands for Graphics Interchange Format. GIFS are also compressed files that support animations so you’ve probably sent one or two to a friend. A GIF is a web based file only – don’t use this in print and again be aware that because they are compressed the image quality can suffer extremely.
What do you do with them?
That depends on what you are hoping to use the particular file for. It’s important to note that while you can print with PNG files many designers frown on it as they are not really intended for print. These are the 3 files most associated with web use and they are the file types you need to know and be aware of in the digital world.
Keep an eye out for the next part in our file series on the print file types you need to know.