Do you need help using social media for your business?

It’s now 2015 and if you are not using social media in some way for your business you are majorly missing out.

Yes, social media for businesses has taken a lot of heat lately with people complaining about low reach, spending money to be seen and so forth. However, if you are using it the right way and for the right purpose you can get around all of that.

Take a look at these stats:

  • 70% of marketers have successfully gained new customers via social media (Emarsys)
  • 74% of customers rely on social networks to guide purchase decisions. (Emarsys)
  • 86% of B2B businesses are using content marketing (Social Media B2B)
  • B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads than those without blogs. (Social Fresh)
  • 85% of B2B buyers believe companies should present information via social networks. (Iconsive)
  • Over 70% of US online adults use some form of social media networking. (Heidi Cohen)
  • 72% of all internet users are now active on social media. (Jeff Bullas)

Most people expect a business to be on social media somewhere – it could be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. If you’re not there, your competition is.

There are businesses using social media effectively on their own, but there are twice as many who try to use it and just end up giving up. I think it’s a shame when they give up because I know how much hard work goes into setting up a social media presence.

They don’t have to give up. You don’t have to give up.

That is why I have created two new programs – social starters. One program is for business owners who are getting started or who are just simply lost on what to do. The other program is for individuals who are taking on social media management – whether it’s for themselves as a business or for a company they are working for.

I have a heart to help others and that’s what I hope to accomplish with these programs. Each program is for three months and provides hands-on training.

To find out more about our social starter programs, click here.

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Blending Social Media Marketing with your Traditional Marketing this Holiday Season

Blending Social Media Marketing with your Traditional Marketing this Holiday Season

It’s November, which means it’s time to get into holiday marketing mode if you have not started already.

In a former life I worked in print advertising. This time of year was our busiest (still is) and most profitable for the newspapers I worked at. Businesses crammed to get as many ads as possible into the paper and spent more money than they did the rest of the year. It seemed they saved all their marketing dollars for the last 2 months of the year.

Enter social media marketing and the whole holiday marketing game has changed. Newspaper advertising (and pretty much all print advertising) is on the decline due to advances in technology, aka social media.

Do I think you should completely scrap your traditional marketing plan and advertising? No, for this one reason: not all of your market is online. I know I typically recommend not advertising via traditional methods, however during the holiday season, more people will look at newspapers and such to find the best deal. This is the one time of year it’s okay to use some marketing dollars on traditional advertising.

There are some great and creative ways to blend your traditional marketing with your social media marketing. Doing this will give you the best coverage this holiday season.

Here are some ways to mix it up…

1. Cross-promote.

Are you having a social media contest? Promote in your print/radio/television ads. Hang signs up in your storefront (if you have one). Encourage people to follow you on social media when they come into your store.

2. Leave breadcrumbs.

Put forth an advertising campaign that leads your social media community to your print ads and vice versa. For example, if you are having a contest, encourage people via social media to visit the store to enter or look for a special code in a print ad to enter. Give them just enough info to know what to do, but they either have to visit you in-person or follow you on social media to participate.

3. Make sure your social media links are everywhere – on print ads, television ads, flyers, brochures, etc.

The more places you can tell them and the more places they will see it, the better. Something I learned in advertising a long time ago is that is takes someone, on average, to see something 3 times before they act on it.

4. Make information exclusive to your social media community.

For example, in print ads, say “Like us on Facebook for exclusive discounts.” Tease them in print ads and give them a reason to follow/like/circle you online. Encourage your customers to sign up for email newsletters.

There are many more ways to mix and blend the two. Social media, in some form, is here to stay. Traditional Marketing and Social Media will continue to evolve and blend as digital marketing grows and evolves.

Since not everyone will be online, traditional marketing will always be around in some form. It’s important to not forget about your offline community. That’s why every business should have a well-balanced marketing plan mixing the two together.

How do you blend traditional and social media marketing together?

Ask Mandy Q&A: Using Facebook in Your Holiday Marketing

Ask Mandy Q&A: Using Facebook in Your Holiday Marketing

Ask Mandy is a weekly Q&A blog series. To ask your question about social media, please click here.

With over a billion users on Facebook, there should be no question as to whether or not you should use Facebook to market your company this holiday season. Social media has become one of the primary ways people get their news and information. By allowing customers to maintain a voice in the marketing world through social media, users have established that there is a way to meet your customer needs.

Facebook users can have a very large impact, not only on the company but on future customers as well. Users can influence product discovery, product consideration, and even product purchase. This may be a scary concept for some companies, but if you’re willing to take the leap in creating a holiday campaign on Facebook then big results should come out of it.

Big or small, your company has the potential to make a name for itself if you choose the right campaign strategy. During the holidays, customers are looking for good deals and advice on products that they plan to buy. Your company can provide this to customers very easily, and allow them to seek out your company for their holiday needs.

You can use Facebook for this in many different ways:

Hold a contest. 

Social media contests are great way to get customers interacting with your company as well as showing them the important message you want them to see. It’s an exciting game to play in order to attract, engage and convert new customers. An example would be a like and comment content on Facebook.

Offer exclusive deals. 

Everyone knows that one of the most exciting things about the holidays is that EVERYTHING is on sale. Customers will be constantly searching for these deals throughout the season. Don’t let your page get over looked by not participating in the fun; offer exclusive deals for the holiday season that they can’t pass up. You can even offer deals that are for your online customers only.

Getting people to talk. 

The best way to find out what people want this season is by getting them to talk and what better way to do it than right on your own page. Crowdsource, getting customers to talk about what they are buying and even have them give a review of your company. You can do this by asking questions or blocking off time in the day for a chat session.

Spread the holiday cheer.

One of the best ways to get your company out there is teaming up with other companies. Hold joint contests. Do charity work together. By doing this, you will have your business/brand seen to a whole new audience.

Make a personal connection. 

The biggest reason as to why customers shop with small businesses is because of the relatioship. People buy from people. By creating this connection you will gain the trust of your customers and they will continue to be loyal for years to come, as well as spread the word to others.

Facebook is a great way for people to express their feelings about a number of different things and catch more attention in the marketplace. This has allowed both larger and smaller businesses to meet their needs and goals. By doing these simple things on your company’s Facebook page this holiday season, you are likely to see a very positive response from your customers.

What types of holiday marketing does your company participate in?

 


Do YOU have a question about social media for businesses? Simply click here to ask!

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4 Social Marketing Time Management Tips

4 Social Marketing Time Management Tips

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra

Time management has always been a hot topic. It’s so easy to get lost down the rabbit hole and realize two hours later you did not get anything accomplished.

 

If you work in social media, then you get what I’m talking about. There are distractions thrown at us daily via new blog posts to read, Facebook updates from friends, new pins on Pinterest and so on. Staying on task is something that has come down to a fine art. Either you’re good at managing your time and get things done or you’re not and stay stressed all the time.

 

I’d like to think I’m good at managing my time overall. There are those days that I just get off track. What’s important is to get back on that track the next day.

 

Here are 4 ways that I’ve found to help manage my time on social media –

 

AUTOMATE!

The more you can automate content, the better. Hootsuite, Sprout Social and Buffer are three popular platforms.  All of these allow you to schedule posts for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  A good personal Google+ scheduling tool is the Do Share extension for the Google Chrome browser.

What I suggest is take about 1 hour, once a week, to schedule your content for the next week.  You can then spend the rest of your time responding and interacting. Keep in mind, and I want to stress this, you cannot automate engagement. It’s fine to have some standard content and questions scheduled, but never automate your responses. Automating the standard content allows you time to engage in real-time.

“The most efficient way to produce anything is to bring together under one management as many as possible of the activities needed to turn out the product.” – Peter Drucker

PLAN AHEAD!

If you have a goal to blog 1-2 times per week, dedicate time each week to spend writing and scheduling those posts.  This will save you from the “oh crud” moment you have when you realize you are suppose to have a post up in 12 hours!  WordPress sites have scheduling functions within them to schedule a post for the future.  For example, I am writing this post on Sunday afternoon and it will be published Tuesday morning.

The plan ahead suggestion applies to more than just blogging – plan ahead as much as you can for everything.  This will keep your organized and in a routine.

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” – Alan Lakein

DO NOT DO IT ALL.

Yes, I did just say you do not have to do everything.  Many businesses think they need to have a presence on every.single.platform when in reality, they don’t.  If you know your target market posts on Facebook more than any other, then concentrate on that one.  There is no sense in wasting your time updating 5 or 6 social media platforms when your customers are only on Facebook or Twitter.

Concentrating on those platforms that your target market is on and forgetting about the rest will free up a lot of time.  Trust me, it easy to lose time on these platforms – just stick with what works!

“You cannot run at full throttle when applying your mindset to all of the different things running through your head. Focusing is the key to manifesting your desires.” – Stephen Richards

TIME YOURSELF.

Decide how much time you want to spend on each platform and then set a kitchen timer or an alarm on your smartphone to buzz when your time is up.  For example, if you want to set aside 30 minutes per day on Facebook, set the timer to start when you do and then it will let you know when your 30 minutes is up.  At that time, close it out of your browser and move on to something else.  I know of several who do this and swear by it. Placing a time limit can force you to concentrate on what you need to do and get it done.

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” – Bruce Lee

 

Effectively managing your time is the key to being productive. The more productive you are, the more and better results you’ll get.

What time management tips do you swear by?

 

How to use SnapChat for Your Business

Ask Mandy Q&A: How to Use Snapchat for Your Business

Ask Mandy is a weekly Q&A blog series. To ask your question about social media, please click here.

Mediated marketing is all about being ahead of the curve, and allowing companies to flourish when their campaign is strategically thought out. This may mean taking on a newer, smaller but very popular platform. With over 150 million photos snapped every day, Snapchat is on the fast track to changing the way teens through college-age kids communicate. This image-capturing application is a must for effectively establishing a marketing tactic to reach that audience that gratifies them by providing a different kind of thrill.

The basic premise of the app is to send a quick image or short video along with a quick caption to friends. The whole message has a very short life and recipients are only able to view the message for a designated time of 1 to 10 seconds before it disappears (or unless someone screenshots it). The creators said they designed this application with the focus on “sharing authentic but fleeting moments in life.”

A question that has been churning in business owners’ heads has been –

How can I use Snapchat for my business?

Snapchat allows businesses to promote themselves on a more personal level with this short-term visual message format. Snapchat may be more useful for targeting the younger generation but when it is done right, it can fit perfectly into your mobile marketing strategy. Here are four ways to create a great social media strategy.

Make it Personal

One of the many ways that makes Snapchat unique is the personal feel it can give customers. Your brand can pick specific individuals to snap and provide them with an exciting link to the business and the people who work there. Taco Bell was one of the first major companies to take this bull by the horns and released the marketing statement saying “its all about treating them [their fans] like personal friends and not customers.”

The Funnier the Better

Professionally designed images are great for Pinterest and Instagram but Snapchat isn’t that type of forum. On this platform you should go beyond what you would normally do for marketing. Snapchat is about using the “fleeting moments” to really show some humor in your office or about your business. This takes a special skill and you might have to call on a expert snapper to make some very original “Snapasterpieces” that will give your customers a good laugh.

Leave Them Wanting More

Offer special promotions that are exclusively for your Snapchat followers. Businesses that take advantage of this new way to provide coupons and other deals are taking advantage of this cost-effective platform to entice consumers. You can even hold contest or challenges to get customers to snap you back for a special “prize.”

Advertise an Upcoming Product

Consider using Snapchat in your upcoming launches or events to see if you can grab attention with it. Create a Snapchat campaign to reveal a new product and you will have customers on the edge of their seats and excited for the arrival. Show a piece of the new product or leave a message vague to intrigue them about whats coming soon. This will be a sure way to start engagement among your customers.

As social media continues to grow, it is crucial for companies to stay up to date with their customers on all platforms. By adding Snapchat to your mobile marketing campaign it will help your business to maintain a consistent and engaging social media presence.

What other ways have you used Snapchat for you social media marketing campaign?


Do YOU have a question about social media for businesses? Simply click here to ask!

Don’t miss out on our weekly Q&A! You can subscribe to receive these via email here.

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