Paid Facebook Posts Guide: Because Facebook Is ‘Pay to Play’ for Businesses
So, you’ve got your Facebook Business page setup and you’re posting regularly. You’ve even got some likes and shares. That’s great! But why stop there? With over 1.80+ billion users active on the platform every day, there’s a lot of real estate to cover, and your content can only reach so far without a little help. That’s where Facebook Paid Ads come into play.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is a Facebook paid ad?
According to Facebook, “With Facebook Ads, you can create targeted ads to reach different audiences and meet your business goals.” It seems pretty straightforward, but let us elaborate.
Facebook Paid Ads are a simple and cost-effective strategy for your business to reach a specified demographic. You can promote your custom ads and content to reach an audience of your choosing. What’s more, you can use the ads to collect data that will help you improve the ads to increase their efficiency.
How to build an effective Facebook ad
When you’re building your ad, there are a few important factors to consider:
Choose your audience
Deciding which demographics you want to target is one of the most important parts of optimizing your ad. Choosing a broad range is effective for some businesses, but you’re more likely to see results by narrowing your terms. For example, if you’re selling video games you might want to target men and women between the ages of 15 and 40 with interests in video games and entertainment, since that’s where your customers are likely coming from. If you’ve optimized your audience to your business, you’ll reach people who will want to follow your page.
Create a compelling message
Your Facebook Ad has limited space, so make sure you’re saying exactly what you want to. Are you offering a deal? Hosting an event? Showcasing products? Make your message relevant to your audience and give it a call to action! Don’t forget to add an image, too. Ads with photos are much more likely to attract attention than those without.
Switch it up
Why make only one ad when you can make two? Creating more than one ad gives you multiple sets of analytics so you can determine which ads work and which ones don’t. If you find your ads are working well, it’s still important to switch them up every so often so the message doesn’t stagnate. People get tired of seeing the same thing over and over again, so keep it fresh!
You’re all set to get started! Facebook Ads are a great way to get your products and services in front of potential customers.
Facebook has some great resources to help you get started. Even a low ad budget each month can help you attract new customers and find new business. Although Facebook advertising is extremely important, creating and running ad campaigns can be a time consuming project. Consider using our Digital Advertising, and with our reporting, you’ll be able to clearly see the ROI and what you’re getting for your money.
99 Blog Post Ideas We Want You To Steal: Social Media Marketing Edition
One of the most common questions those new to digital marketing ask (especially when it comes to content): “How will I come up with topics and ideas for blog content?”
While there are a ton of tactics and strategies (many based on actual data), we thought we’d give you a head start and list 99 click-worthy blog post titles. Today’s subject? Social Media Marketing.
Are you drawing a blank every time you sit down to write? It may be easy to simply write a product feature or fluff up a sales pitch, but it’s important to remember that the point of your blogs is to provide value to your audience, not to sell to them. Take a look at your buyer personas and their pain points or problems, and assemble them into categories. These categories and their relevant personas will focus your writing and guide your use of keywords to optimize the SEO boost that the post provides. From here, you can begin to address some general topics.
Content (not copy) is King
Getting the copy down is one thing, but your blog will be as dry as a bone without engaging content to supplement that copy. The content that your copy supports, more than anything, is what sets your blog apart from your competitors and drives the solution to your readership’s problem.
You Can Pick Your Friends & You Can Pick Your Topics
You just can’t pick your friend’s topics. Unless DMTG is your friend! Steal (or remix) as many of the topics as you’d like, below!
99 (Steal these!) Blog Post Topics for Social Media Marketing Blog Posts:
Where Will Social Media Marketing Be 1 Year From Now?
13 Things About Social Media Marketing You May Not Have Known
15 Things Your Boss Wishes You Knew About Social Media Marketing
The Biggest Problem With Social Media Marketing, And How You Can Fix It
20 Up-and-Comers to Watch in the Social Media Marketing Industry
What NOT to Do in the Social Media Marketing Industry
14 Savvy Ways to Spend Leftover Social Media Marketing Budget
How to Sell Social Media Marketing to a Skeptic
12 Reasons You Shouldn’t Invest in Social Media Marketing
7 Little Changes That’ll Make a Big Difference With Your Social Media Marketing
Meet the Steve Jobs of the Social Media Marketing Industry
What’s Holding Back the Social Media Marketing Industry?
14 Common Misconceptions About Social Media Marketing
16 Must-Follow Facebook Pages for Social Media Marketing Marketers
5 Cliches About Social Media Marketing You Should Avoid
10 Undeniable Reasons People Hate Social Media Marketing
Will Social Media Marketing Ever Rule the World?
10 Things We All Hate About Social Media Marketing
20 Resources That’ll Make You Better at Social Media Marketing
30 of the Punniest Social Media Marketing Puns You Can Find
Ask Me Anything: 10 Answers to Your Questions About Social Media Marketing
The 17 Most Misunderstood Facts About Social Media Marketing
10 Best Mobile Apps for Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing Poll of the Day
7 Horrible Mistakes You’re Making With Social Media Marketing
24 Hours to Improving Social Media Marketing
Why Nobody Cares About Social Media Marketing
How to Get Hired in the Social Media Marketing Industry
15 Secretly Funny People Working in Social Media Marketing
15 Undeniable Reasons to Love Social Media Marketing
Think You’re Cut Out for Doing Social Media Marketing? Take This Quiz
10 Compelling Reasons Why You Need Social Media Marketing
Addicted to Social Media Marketing? Us Too. 6 Reasons We Just Can’t Stop
7 Things About Social Media Marketing Your Boss Wants to Know
The Anatomy of a Great Social Media Marketing
10 Startups That’ll Change the Social Media Marketing Industry for the Better
5 Laws Anyone Working in Social Media Marketing Should Know
How to Create an Awesome Instagram Video About Social Media Marketing
How to Win Big in the Social Media Marketing Industry
Responsible for a Social Media Marketing Budget? 12 Top Notch Ways to Spend Your Money
Why It’s Easier to Succeed With Social Media Marketing Than You Might Think
Why We Love Social Media Marketing (And You Should, Too!)
5 Real-Life Lessons About Social Media Marketing
11 Ways to Completely Revamp Your Social Media Marketing
Become an Expert on Social Media Marketing by Watching These 5 Videos
10 Things Everyone Hates About Social Media Marketing
9 Signs You Need Help With Social Media Marketing
15 Best Twitter Accounts to Learn About Social Media Marketing
Forget Social Media Marketing: 3 Replacements You Need to Jump On
The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Social Media Marketing
Why You Should Forget About Improving Your Social Media Marketing
7 Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Social Media Marketing
20 Myths About Social Media Marketing: Busted
10 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing: What No One Is Talking About
20 Insightful Quotes About Social Media Marketing
8 Go-To Resources About Social Media Marketing
15 Hilarious Videos About Social Media Marketing
15 Surprising Stats About Social Media Marketing
Why You Should Spend More Time Thinking About Social Media Marketing
12 Steps to Finding the Perfect Social Media Marketing
10 Pinterest Accounts to Follow About Social Media Marketing
20 Fun Facts About Social Media Marketing
11 Ways to Completely Sabotage Your Social Media Marketing
7 Simple Secrets to Totally Rocking Your Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
12 Do’s and Don’ts for a Successful Social Media Marketing
10 Principles of Psychology You Can Use to Improve Your Social Media Marketing
The Next Big Thing in Social Media Marketing
17 Signs You Work With Social Media Marketing
No Time? No Money? No Problem! How You Can Get Social Media Marketing With a Zero-Dollar Budget
Watch Out: How Social Media Marketing Is Taking Over and What to Do About It
Social Media Marketing: It’s Not as Difficult as You Think
How Technology Is Changing How We Treat Social Media Marketing
5 Qualities the Best People in the Social Media Marketing Industry Tend to Have
10 Signs You Should Invest in Social Media Marketing
How to Solve Issues With Social Media Marketing
10 Things You Learned in Kindergarden That’ll Help You With Social Media Marketing
10 Things Most People Don’t Know About Social Media Marketing
The Biggest Trends in Social Media Marketing We’ve Seen This Year
9 Signs You’re a Social Media Marketing Expert
Don’t Make This Silly Mistake With Your Social Media Marketing
15 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Social Media Marketing
The No. 1 Question Everyone Working in Social Media Marketing Should Know How to Answer
15 Best Social Media Marketing Bloggers You Need to Follow
15 Best Pinterest Boards of All Time About Social Media Marketing
The Most Innovative Things Happening With Social Media Marketing
What Will Social Media Marketing Be Like in 100 Years?
17 Superstars We’d Love to Recruit for Our Social Media Marketing Team
An Introduction to Social Media Marketing
How Much Should You Be Spending on Social Media Marketing?
Social Media Marketing: Expectations vs. Reality
15 Up-and-Coming Trends About Social Media Marketing
20 Things You Should Know About Social Media Marketing
11 “Faux Pas” That Are Actually Okay to Make With Your Social Media Marketing
The Worst Videos of All Time About Social Media Marketing
The Worst Advice We’ve Ever Heard About Social Media Marketing
10 Things Steve Jobs Can Teach Us About Social Media Marketing
12 Companies Leading the Way in Social Media Marketing
How to Explain Social Media Marketing to Your Mom
5 Lessons About Social Media Marketing You Can Learn From Superheroes
What Freud Can Teach Us About Social Media Marketing
7 Trends You May Have Missed About Social Media Marketing
6 Online Communities About Social Media Marketing You Should Join
Buzzwords, De-buzzed: 10 Other Ways to Say Social Media Marketing
What Sports Can Teach Us About Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing: 11 Thing You’re Forgetting to Do
The Top Reasons People Succeed in the Social Media Marketing Industry
A Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Marketing
11 Creative Ways to Write About Social Media Marketing
The Most Influential People in the Social Media Marketing Industry and Their Celebrity Dopplegangers
The Pros and Cons of Social Media Marketing
How Successful People Make the Most of Their Social Media Marketing
The Most Common Social Media Marketing Debate Isn’t as Black and White as You Might Think
Your Worst Nightmare About Social Media Marketing Come to Life
5 Tools Everyone in the Social Media Marketing Industry Should Be Using
Why the Biggest “Myths” About Social Media Marketing May Actually Be Right
30 Inspirational Quotes About Social Media Marketing
The 3 Greatest Moments in Social Media Marketing History
How to Get More Results Out of Your Social Media Marketing
10 Secrets About Social Media Marketing You Can Learn From TV
The Advanced Guide to Social Media Marketing
Undeniable Proof That You Need Social Media Marketing
12 Stats About Social Media Marketing to Make You Look Smart Around the Water Cooler
Social Media Marketing: All the Stats, Facts, and Data You’ll Ever Need to Know
Social Media Marketing: A Simple Definition
What I Wish I Knew a Year Ago About Social Media Marketing
20 Trailblazers Leading the Way in Social Media Marketing
How to Save Money on Social Media Marketing
How Did We Get Here? The History of Social Media Marketing Told Through Tweets
How to Explain Social Media Marketing to Your Grandparents
Getting Tired of Social Media Marketing? 10 Sources of Inspiration That’ll Rekindle Your Love
15 Up-and-Coming Social Media Marketing Bloggers You Need to Watch
10 Apps to Help You Manage Your Social Media Marketing
14 Businesses Doing a Great Job at Social Media Marketing
This Is Your Brain on Social Media Marketing
The Social Media Marketing Case Study You’ll Never Forget
17 Reasons Why You Should Ignore Social Media Marketing
What the Best Social Media Marketing Pros Do (and You Should Too)
A Productive Rant About Social Media Marketing
20 Gifts You Can Give Your Boss if They Love Social Media Marketing
The 12 Worst Types Social Media Marketing Accounts You Follow on Twitter
Will Social Media Marketing Ever Die?
Forget Social Media Marketing: 10 Reasons Why You No Longer Need It
From Around the Web: 20 Fabulous Infographics About Social Media Marketing
A Look Into the Future: What Will the Social Media Marketing Industry Look Like in 10 Years?
The Social Media Marketing Awards: The Best, Worst, and Weirdest Things We’ve Seen
The Most Underrated Companies to Follow in the Social Media Marketing Industry
The 12 Best Social Media Marketing Accounts to Follow on Twitter
12 Helpful Tips For Doing Social Media Marketing
10 Facebook Pages to Follow About Social Media Marketing
5 Bad Habits That People in the Social Media Marketing Industry Need to Quit
9 Signs You Sell Social Media Marketing for a Living
10 Meetups About Social Media Marketing You Should Attend
6 Books About Social Media Marketing You Should Read
10 Fundamentals About Social Media Marketing You Didn’t Learn in School
The 13 Best Pinterest Boards for Learning About Social Media Marketing
9 TED Talks That Anyone Working in Social Media Marketing Should Watch
3 Reasons Your Social Media Marketing Is Broken (And How to Fix It)
What Hollywood Can Teach Us About Social Media Marketing
15 Weird Hobbies That’ll Make You Better at Social Media Marketing
15 Best Blogs to Follow About Social Media Marketing
Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Social Media Marketing
Don’t Buy Into These “Trends” About Social Media Marketing
10 Sites to Help You Become an Expert in Social Media Marketing
10 Facts About Social Media Marketing That Will Instantly Put You in a Good Mood
8 Videos About Social Media Marketing That’ll Make You Cry
How to Explain Social Media Marketing to Your Boss
Responsible for a Social Media Marketing Budget? 10 Terrible Ways to Spend Your Money
11 Embarrassing Social Media Marketing Faux Pas You Better Not Make
What Would the World Look Like Without Social Media Marketing?
Does Your Social Media Marketing Pass The Test? 7 Things You Can Improve On Today
15 Terms Everyone in the Social Media Marketing Industry Should Know
Enough Already! 15 Things About Social Media Marketing We’re Tired of Hearing
How to Explain Social Media Marketing to a Five-Year-Old
The Most Common Complaints About Social Media Marketing, and Why They’re Bunk
The History of Social Media Marketing
10 Inspirational Graphics About Social Media Marketing
How to Master Social Media Marketing in 6 Simple Steps
3 Common Reasons Why Your Social Media Marketing Isn’t Working (And How To Fix It)
Is Tech Making Social Media Marketing Better or Worse?
A Social Media Marketing Success Story You’ll Never Believe
10 Quick Tips About Social Media Marketing
7 Things About Social Media Marketing You’ll Kick Yourself for Not Knowing
This Week’s Top Stories About Social Media Marketing
Why You Should Focus on Improving Social Media Marketing
When Professionals Run Into Problems With Social Media Marketing, This Is What They Do
10 No-Fuss Ways to Figuring Out Your Social Media Marketing
5 Laws That’ll Help the Social Media Marketing Industry
The Ugly Truth About Social Media Marketing
Why You’re Failing at Social Media Marketing
How to Outsmart Your Boss on Social Media Marketing
15 Tips About Social Media Marketing From Industry Experts
10 Best Facebook Pages of All Time About Social Media Marketing
Where to Find Guest Blogging Opportunities on Social Media Marketing
11 Ways to Completely Ruin Your Social Media Marketing
10 Wrong Answers to Common Social Media Marketing Questions: Do You Know the Right Ones?
A Step-by-Step Guide to Social Media Marketing
What the Oxford English Dictionary Doesn’t Tell You About Social Media Marketing
20 Best Tweets of All Time About Social Media Marketing
15 Gifts for the Social Media Marketing Lover in Your Life
The Urban Dictionary of Social Media Marketing
15 Most Underrated Skills That’ll Make You a Rockstar in the Social Media Marketing Industry
The Intermediate Guide to Social Media Marketing
The Ultimate Glossary of Terms About Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing Explained in Instagram Photos
The Most Hilarious Complaints We’ve Heard About Social Media Marketing
The 3 Biggest Disasters in Social Media Marketing History
Social Media Marketing Explained in Fewer than 140 Characters
Why People Love to Hate Social Media Marketing
14 Cartoons About Social Media Marketing That’ll Brighten Your Day
A Trip Back in Time: How People Talked About Social Media Marketing 20 Years Ago
How to Outsmart Your Peers on Social Media Marketing
The Worst Advice You Could Ever Get About Social Media Marketing
25 Surprising Facts About Social Media Marketing
10 Things You Learned in Preschool That’ll Help You With Social Media Marketing
The Best Kept Secrets About Social Media Marketing
5 Killer Quora Answers on Social Media Marketing
The Most Pervasive Problems in Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing: 10 Things I Wish I’d Known Earlier
10 Tips for Making a Good Social Media Marketing Even Better
20 Reasons You Need to Stop Stressing About Social Media Marketing
15 People You Oughta Know in the Social Media Marketing Industry
So You’ve Bought Social Media Marketing … Now What?
10 Celebrities Who Should Consider a Career in Social Media Marketing
How the 10 Worst Social Media Marketing Fails of All Time Could Have Been Prevented
From Around the Web: 20 Awesome Photos of Social Media Marketing
The Best Advice You Could Ever Get About Social Media Marketing
5 Vines About Social Media Marketing That You Need to See
What the Heck Is Social Media Marketing?
10 Misconceptions Your Boss Has About Social Media Marketing
The Most Common Mistakes People Make With Social Media Marketing
The Most Influential People in the Social Media Marketing Industry
What’s the Current Job Market for Social Media Marketing Professionals Like?
Sage Advice About Social Media Marketing From a Five-Year-Old
The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing
Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Social Media Marketing?
4 Dirty Little Secrets About the Social Media Marketing Industry
The Evolution of Social Media Marketing
8 Effective Social Media Marketing Elevator Pitches
10 Tell-Tale Signs You Need to Get a New Social Media Marketing
5 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Social Media Marketing
10 Situations When You’ll Need to Know About Social Media Marketing
20 Questions You Should Always Ask About Social Media Marketing Before Buying It
14 Questions You Might Be Afraid to Ask About Social Media Marketing
The 10 Scariest Things About Social Media Marketing
10 Great Social Media Marketing Public Speakers
9 Things Your Parents Taught You About Social Media Marketing
7 Things You Should Not Do With Social Media Marketing
Undeniable Tricks To Help You Manage and Benefit from Negative Reviews
You’ve taken the (necessary) leap to jump feet first into the ocean of digital platforms, competitors, and customers. It is, after all, sink or swim when it comes to owning a business — but are the waters full of sharks? Yes. But it’s full of sharks for all businesses — not just yours.
You’re talking online. Your digital footprint proves that! Your competitors are talking, your customers, and your employees are all throwing in their two cents online.
Do you know how you know?
Simple: reviews. Yup, both positive AND negative. The first trick to managing them isn’t a trick at all, it’s a proven practice — respond, to both positive and negative. This way you’ll be able to better control the conversation — otherwise, especially with negative reviews, the public that is hiding behind a keyboard has the conversational upper hand.
No business owner should want that or let that happen.
So what’s the deal with negative reviews? What are the best practices? Who knows — there’s no definitive rule book. You know what there is, though? Data to back up the following tips and tricks to manage and even benefit from negative reviews.
Believe it or not, the same premise applies to negative review response as it does to positive reviews. How you respond to a negative review impacts not only the reviewer, but all the sets of eyes (and attitudes and customer actions) that come afterward.
Seeing a business handle a particularly challenging review online suggests that the business as a whole is proud of their business, their products, and their services. It also proves, undeniably, that you’re willing to go the extra mile to maintain not only your reputation, but that your brand truly cares about its customers.
4 Proven Steps To Manage Negative Reviews Like a Pro
Make potential clients see the light with these four steps:
- Get offline
- Keep it simple
How to respond to negative reviews using the above 4 business-saving tactics
Apologize and sympathize: The first step towards fixing a problem is acknowledging that one occurred. Regardless of what happened, a simple apology and sympathy for your customer’s experience goes a long way.
Promote : So the famous crab cakes weren’t up to par the day this particular customer visited. If they’re what you are known for, why not reiterate that? “Our crab cakes are usually a hit, we’re sorry to hear that they weren’t up to par when you visited!”
Move the conversation offline: Don’t open a can of worms. Keep the lid on tight by offering the reviewer the chance to reach out via phone, email or both.
Keep it simple: Avoid specifics and don’t ask questions. Those conversations are much better served in a space away from the prying public.
One last pro tip/trick: Leave your business name, location and category out of this. You don’t want your negative reviews showing up in search!
You Reclaimed the Conversation, Now Benefit From It
Being the stellar marketer/business owner that you are, you followed the above 4 steps. And now that you’ve responded and stoped crying yourself to sleep every night because of a negative review/mention, it’s time to use the situation to your advantage.
Awesome, but how?
It’s tempting to creep over to the dark side, but now that the process for turning things around is gaining some momentum, it’s time to do the following:
Understand that negative reviews aren’t the revenue destroyer that you think they are. In fact, less than half of polled consumers say they’d stay away from a business because of a negative review.
Additionally, consumers actually don’t mind a full spectrum of review sentiments. Consumers who have the opportunity to read the good, the bad, and the ugly feel better informed during their decision-making processes.
3 Marketing Wins from What Seemed Like a Marketing Fail
Let’s let Harry Truman chime in (who knew Harry Truman had the insight of a modern digital marketer!?):
A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.
So, whether you’re a glass is half empty person or a glass is half full person — the perceived set back of a negative review needs to be redefined in your mind:
The facts about what negative reviews can positively do for your business:
- They alert you to problems you weren’t aware of, so you can fix/improve them.
- They give you an opportunity to improve brand sentiment by how and when you respond.
- They can provide a search engine optimization (SEO) bump, since they add legitimacy (and trust and credibility) to your business.
When you have a negative review, it’s better to do what we’ve outlined above — but know that every failure is an opportunity — do you think Thomas Edison didn’t fail thousands of times? Amazon? Apple?
Just like we use data, as marketers, to improve our marketing campaigns, that’s all a negative review is: data for you to either use to your advantage or it’s wasted data that can hurt in the long run if you don’t wield it like a sword to cut through the noise and (instead) send the right signals — to your customers, your potential customers, and the search engines.
And don’t ignore positive reviews. They need love (responses) too! Have you seen our Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Responding to Positive Reviews?
Some powerful Instagram marketing tips for success
Instagram growth has been phenomenal since its inception; it has grown to be the essential place for people to share photos. Today Instagram boasts over 800 million active users a month. The number of photos posted every day is north of 60 million and the number of likes on a daily basis is 1.6 billion.
The site also has a large subset of influencers on the platform — many with a massive number of followers. If you play your cards right, you can also turn into an influential brand on Instagram. You just need to post the right type of content to ensure your relevance among your current followers; while you also attract new followers.
The problem is knowing what kinds of posts will resonate the best among your growing audience.
Get a business profile – Do it ASAP
Make sure you have a Business Account on Instagram before you start laying down your marketing plans for Instagram. If you already have a personal account, it is very easy to switch to a business account. You just need to go to your account settings and change it there.
There are a lot of benefits of having a business account compared to having a personal account on Instagram. For starters, your followers can just click on the contact button and they will be able to contact you right from the Instagram page exactly like they can on your website.
If you have a business profile, it will allow your creation and publication of Instagram advertisements without having to use advertising tools from Facebook. You will also get access to the analytics tools of Instagram, which are called insights, which will provide you statistics about the number of impressions and the reach of your posts.
Now, once you have unlocked the free benefits that you get because you now have a business profile, you need to use them in tracking metrics and understanding your audience.
Use the free Instagram tools
The business profiles that you have on Instagram are not different from the business profiles on Facebook. If you start using insights, you will be able to see statistics like engagement data, impressions and more.
You will able to get a better handle on the demographics related to your followers by breaking it down on the basis of gender, location, age and most active times. Insights are just not about general things. You can get very specific details on the posts you have made for the week and you will be able to see the number of impressions that occurred during that time period (as well as your top posts).
Put out product teasers – urge them to buy
How would you feel about being able to sell more of your products and services merely by posting product teasers?
With Instagram, you can. Instagram is a wonderful place to be advertising your products on. Now don’t get too pushy or your followers will drop. Posts with product teasers are merely a way of speaking about your service or product and create excitement without coming out looking as if you are trying too hard to sell.
When you start with teasing people about the services and products that they may be interested in, and you do not push them too much into buying something, they are more likely to end up buying something.
Even if they will not buy, they will at least be engaging with your posts, they may comment on it, or share it with a friend. So, don’t shy away from showing off your products or posting photos of your products.
Bringing it all together
Instagram has become a dominant force in the world of social media.
Try to find partners with influence who have a wider reach inside your industry. They will have followers who will trust the recommendations coming from them. Leverage the power hidden in the content generated by users by reposting photos that the customers are sharing.
Every month or every week, pick a photo that goes with the message of your brand and share it. Finally, ensure that you are tracking the correct metrics to keep an eye on how your marketing efforts on Instagram are doing. Always have a close tracking on the engagement rate, the growth rate of followers and the click through rate on your URLs.
Social Media Marketing Might Not Be the Conversion Machine You Think It Is:
Google Analytics defines a conversion as “the completion of an activity that is important to the success of your business, such as a completed sign up for your email newsletter (a Goal conversion) or a purchase (a Transaction, sometimes called an Ecommerce conversion).”
That’s a broad definition — but it means is that a conversion for one website/business owner may not be considered a conversion for another. Conversions are unique to each website and each marketing activity.
Business Owners & Marketers WANT Conversions
Of course they do. That fact doesn’t mean that each marketing activity and or platform where great marketing occurs is the point of the conversion (furthermore it isn’t always the first touch — the conversion typically happens at the last touch).
With that said, setting expectations is key when pitching a marketing campaign. For example, if a business owner balks at social media marketing in your proposal, it’s key that you educate that business owner as to the fact that there are many touch points in a customer journey — and, brand awareness is important to the conversion process — even if that conversion happens later, from a different source of traffic.
What is Social Media Marketing & What Are Some Basic Strategies?
And, social media, while it isn’t always the conversion machine, it lends a strong hand to the conversion process — as people in the customer journey will often use a social media presence during their ‘evaluation’ period of the journey from interest to customer.
And beyond simply setting that expectation, it’s key to have a solid understanding of social and social media marketing as you are explaining and pitching to a client.
Before we go too far, let us take a deep breath and think about what social media is. Most people have been thinking of this too narrowly, it is actually much broader. It is more than just your usual Facebook and twitter. There are actually around 13 categories of social media. Here is the list:
- Monitoring tools
- Publishing tools
- Social Networking Sites
- Micro blogging sites
- Collaboration tools
- Photo Sharing Sites
- Video Sharing Sites
- Personal Broadcasting tools
- Virtual Worlds
- Social Commerce
- Location Based Services
- Social Bookmarking and News Aggregation
So when you think about your social media marketing strategy, it is important to think broader and keep this list in mind.
Questions you should ask yourself
- What do you want to gain from a social media plan?
- What does your business offer that people are likely to want to discuss?
- What is your current business model and how can social media impact that?
- Do you sell through e-commerce, retail stores, third parties, OEMs?
Forrester’s POST Methodology
Forrester’s is a really good methodology. Mentioned below is an expansion of Forrester’s POST methodology:
- People: Who are you trying to target, and why do they care?
- Objectives: What are you trying to accomplish?
- Strategies: Define how you will accomplish this using Social media
- Technologies: Look into technologies that fit
- If you keep an eye on POST, you will avoid a lot of hassles in life. Just saying For example, “I want to be on Facebook” is not a strategy. A strategy will be clear on what you want to accomplish by your presence on Facebook.
The Ignite Method of Social Media Strategy
There are six steps to it, but step 2 and step 4 are the most important.
Step 1: Discovery – Getting up to speed.
Step 2: Community Analysis – Get into a deep dive into the social space, in the process, you will uncover active target audiences, how they are engaging and interacting with each other. Also get into how they are interacting with brands, including what terminology they are using, etc. This also includes competitors.
Step 3: Goal Setting – Social media objectives are chosen for success metrics, activities, and a groundwork is laid down leading to a measurement plan.
Step 4: Engagement Plan – A plan that is detailed and a list of recommendations on social media resources, tactics, budgets and timelines that are in line to support the objectives of business and marketing.
Step 5: Metrics and Measurement Strategy – We come to an agreement on how objectives will get measured, which goals will be allocated and have reports and what will be the monitoring needs in the long term.
Step 6: Implementation/Training – Develop resources, specific teams’ trainings, putting the plans in motion and providing ongoing support.
The goals are set in step 3 but step 5 is the one that ensures that the goals are quantifiable, so they can be measured and mean the same to everyone involved.
Channel Analysis (Community Analysis)
- What Channels are currently being used by the brand?
- The first thing to look at in Channel Analysis is to figure out what channels, example: Facebook, Twitter, etc. are being used by the company/brand.
- Do they serve any clear social media needs for both the brand and audience?
- Are the resources in place to support all the channels (the puppy problem)?
- Having a social media presence is like having a puppy. If you get to have a puppy, you must feed him every day. If you cannot feed the puppy, just don’t have one!
- Previous Campaign Analysis
- Think of all the previous campaigns you have done and analyze them, see what the social spread of those campaigns was.
- What are the current strong points of campaigns? Weak points?
- How does the campaign get started?
- How strong is the social spread?
- How easy is the social spread?
- What are the short-term benefits of the brand?
- What are the long-term benefits of the brand?
- How does SEO support the campaign and/or how does the brand improve its SEO because of the campaign?
- How is the campaign supported by or supportive of other marketing channels?
- Competitive Analysis
- Take a look at your competitors and pay attention to what they are doing.
- Who are the competitors of the brand and what are they doing in the social space?
- How do the social media efforts of different brands support (or not support) the differentiation?
- What are the strong points of competitor’s campaigns using social media? Weak points?
The longest part of this is the Audience Analysis. The only superior source of competitive advantage is the knowledge about the customer. If you can get that superior information about the customer, you will be way ahead.
- Who is the target audience for the social media plan?
- What can we learn about the target audience so far?
- Which networks are they on (Composition and index)?
- What are their social behaviors (Creators, Joiners, Inactives)?
- What do they believe/watch/do that is different than non-targets?
- What do they want from the brand?
- Social Strategy (Engagement Plan)
- Strategy refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. This is where all of the information from the Community Analysis is used to make a roadmap for the client to use social media to succeed.
- What content will you be producing and in what formats (video updates, blog posts, tutorials)?
- How frequently will you create this content and what is the editorial calendar for the next few months?
- Who is producing this content, and do they have the time/ability to do so?
- Do they have access to the information to do so quickly and credibly?
- Who will care about this content, how will they find it and how/why will they share it?
- What channels will be used to implement the plan?
- Where is your target audience and how can you effectively engage them?
- Which channels are the brand ready to support (content and resources)?
- Once you have been through the homework, the next steps are designing the actual campaign and launching it.
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.
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.
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.
Maybe you’ve begun to notice the saturation of hashtags in every corner of the internet. We find them on websites, at the bottom of every post on Instagram and Twitter, even memes and other parts of our culture. The question remains however, what is a hashtag and how do they help your marketing efforts?.
Let’s begin with the basics, what the hell is a hashtag? A hashtag is nothing more than the pound sign (#) placed in front of a word or phrase. Used on social media platforms these hashtags turn into searchable terms, pulling all other medias using the tag. You will want to remember that you can’t use punctuations in your hashtags. So no, spaces, exclamation points, commas, or periods. Feel free to use capitalization, though hashtags are not case sensitive so #SaveTheWhales will bring the same results as #savethewhales. Hashtags are a great way to find relevant or similar content or depending on the platform, a way to engage in discussion (Hey, Twitter).
Platform use of hashtags varies and while the use of hashtags is certainly more relevant on platforms where visual and audio content is shared we’ll do quick breakdown of them.
-> Twitter: King of the hashtags, or the place where hashtag use is generally considered to have started. Twitter hashtags are used to mark what the conversation is about, i.e. My love of Jeff Goldblum. You can click on the hashtag #jeffgoldblum to pull every tweet made with the hashtag. You can also search by hashtag and Twitter creates a list of hashtags for you based on your interests. So what are you waiting for? Jump in on a conversation!
-> Instagram: The land of visually based content! Hashtag use on Instagram greatly increases the engagement of a post. Hashtags here are used in bulk, or at least groups of 30 per post. Hashtags are clickable and allow you to find similar content, new users to follow and can help boost your own following.
Facebook: Facebook was a late adopter of hashtag use and the use of tags there is still pretty hit or miss. Some brands and users use them, while others leave them to other platforms. Clicking a hashtag on Facebook brings you a list of content with the same tag, but encompasses all users on Facebook.
There are other platforms that use hashtags (Tumblr, Pinterest, LinkedIn) and the functionality of pulling like content is very similar. One thing remains the same, using hashtags can help increase your visibility on these social platforms. It’s time to talk some best practices for using hashtags in your marketing. Following these won’t make you Queen or King of the hashtag, but they will certainly help you on your way.
Make a list. If you are using the same hashtags over each post you make of your product making a list of applicable hashtags will make posting a breeze. You won’t have to remember the hashtag you used last time, and you won’t have to type them all out again!
Be Direct. Trying to grab Jeff Goldblum’s attention on Instagram? Be sure to tag his name in your post, #jeffgoldblum. Take the subject of your post and pop a hashtag on it. You’ll be surprised how many people click through hashtags to see what they come across.
Be Creative. The greatness of the hashtag is that you can literally take any word or phrase and turn it into a hashtag. If you are marketing your travel agency look up the #travel tag and see what else comes up. #jetsetter, #worldtraveler, all can be considered relevant and will help to bring in traffic.
Branded. Everytime you push a post be sure to include your company hashtag. Don’t have one? Now is the time to create one. Use the company name and be sure to tag each post with it. Eventually you’ll have a bunch of posts to peruse, and that means others will as well!
Don’t Go Overboard. Many platforms have limits to the number of characters or hashtags you can use in a post. Make sure you are only using relevant hashtags to the content you are posting. Not sure it it’s relevant? Ask yourself if your audience would click on the tag to find your product, if the answer is no, cut it.
This is by no means a comprehensive breakdown of the world of the hashtag, just some of the basics. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment.