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Social Media

Facebook Best Practices and Posting Tips

When using Facebook for business it’s important to know the best practices that will help you connect with your customers. Here are 3 to keep in mind:

1.) Provide Value – Are you providing value to your audience and customers? Are you making the lives of your audience better when sharing content? Are you educating or entertaining? Would you want to see your content every day in your News Feed?

2.) Use a Consistent and Frequent Publishing Schedule – Implement a content plan. Use FB’s scheduling option.

3.) Involve Your Audience – When customers, partners or businesses comment on a post, respond. When they ask you a question, give them a thoughtful reply.

Here are some helpful tips when posting to your business Facebook page:

Keep it short – Facebook posts under 40 characters receive 86% higher engagement than other posts.

Incorporate Images and video into your posts – Photos are the most engaging type of content on Facebook..video and links are next.

Ask Simple Questions – What’s your favorite thing about summer?

Sharing {Content} is Caring – Sharing content from other FB pages is a great way to connect with other businesses or partners.

Change it up – Variety on your FB page is key.

Bonus Tip! Check your insights! They might be telling you something about what and when to post for your business to maximize your marketing efforts.

The Worst Advice We’ve Ever Heard About Marketing

Every business owner gets advice and needs advice once in a while.  It’s great to seek out other successful business owners or friends and get their opinions and bounce ideas around.  However, we’ve heard some interesting advice that doesn’t make sense for every business.  Here are some of the worst that marketing professionals cringe at:

1.)   Why aren’t you on {insert random social media network here}? You need to be on there!

Yes, there are some real benefits to using social media to market your product or service.  It gives you the ability to interact with your customers, it can be cost effective and you can see what the competition is up to.  But do you need to be on every one?  Absolutely not.  You need to evaluate what social media networks your customer are using and what makes sense for your business…and concentrate your efforts there. If you’re a B2B brand, for instance, you may find that you have limited success using Facebook. Also, remember that if you have niche audiences, other appropriate platforms may prove more fruitful than the mainstream. To try and be everywhere at one time might not be the best strategy for your business, not to mention time consuming.

2.)   Want more exposure on Twitter? Add as many hashtags as you can!

#Hashtags are everywhere these days. You see them not only on Twitter, but also on Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and now Facebook. As a marketer, you can’t ignore them. You need to know how to strategically use these tagged topics because hashtags can expand your content reach, amplify your brand, target your market, get your content found, improve your SEO, and more. However, the best strategy is if your hashtags are brand/campaign specific, […]

Social Media for Small Business: 3 Steps to get Started

How Much Time Does Your Business Spend on Social Media?

A new survey from email marketing software firm VerticalResponse found that 43% of small businesses (100 employees or less) spend at least six hours a week on social media, with seven percent spending over 21 hours a week on Facebook, Twitter, and such! Wow, with hectic schedules and the many hats they wear, small business owners are spending more time on-line, suggesting that more businesses are either realizing or actually seeing the benefits of social media marketing.  “Our survey confirms that small businesses are understanding the value of social media,” said Janine Popick, VerticalResponse CEO/founder. “They’re spending more time doing it, and investing more money into it at a faster rate. But the extra work will likely lead to time management issues, especially for the small business owner who’s handling social media on top of all the other responsibilities of running a company. This implies that small businesses are in need of tactics and tools now to help them save time.”

It’s interesting to note that small businesses are realizing the value of content – but, again, time is an issue.  More than half (55 percent) of small businesses surveyed have a blog.  (Of those, 43 percent publish a blog post at least once a week. Nearly half (45 percent) spend one to three hours to create one post, while 16 percent spend more than three hours.  (I can relate as it often takes time to come up with content, write the blog and then post it).  So, nearly half of those who blog spend up to three hours per blog post on at least a weekly basis – time that, prior to having a blog, would have been used on other business activities. This […]

How Pinteresting

How many of you are pinning?  Pinterest, the newest social media site, just hit more than 10 million unique visitors, making it one of the fastest growing websites ever. In the past six months, visits to Pinterest grew by 4,000%, receiving 11 million hits in just one week! I have been seeing or hearing about the site everywhere…from the delicious recipes I was perusing on Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures that had a link to her Pinterest page to the friend at my son’s basketball game last weekend that shared she recently got an amazing recipe and her kid’s Valentine idea from the visual pinboard.

Pinterest was named the best new start up of 2011 by TechCrunch and is doing a great job of driving traffic, leads, and sales. In fact, early research indicates that Pinterest is more effective at driving traffic back to a website compared to other social media sites, even Facebook. Josh Davis includes some interesting stats on his blog:

Pinterest is now driving more traffic to the Real Simple website than Facebook is.
Warbly Parker, the hip but inexpensive eyeglass retailer, reports that 11% of its social traffic is coming from Pinterest. 18% is coming from Twitter.
Like many early bloggers, Kate Bryan managed a blog that was based around her interests, but it never generated many readers. She blogged about her professions of hairstyling and jewelry making, and also her craft projects. Hairstyles are extremely popular pins on Pinterest. Kate started pinning her own work and rapidly started generating traffic. In five months, she achieved over 14,000 new subscribers to her site as well as generating over one million page views from Pinterest.

What’s unique about Pinterest compared to most social media websites, is that it reduces […]

5 Branding Tips for Small Business

Even though you may not be the size of a corporate giant like Coke or Microsoft, engaging in branding is important for your small business.  Here are 5 branding tips that could make a difference for the long-term success of your small business.

1.  Create a logo and put it on everything.  You don’t need to spend a lot of time or money creating your logo, but you do need something that stands for your business that customers can recognize.  You then need to put it on everything from letterhead and invoices to your website and newsletter…and every communication in between.

2.  Start a blog. A blog can be a great tool for a small business. With it your site will rank better in search engines, you can communicate to customers and grow brand involvement. Blogs help you share valuable information and help you become the expert customers will trust when the time comes to make a purchase decision.

3.  Prepare a one-page business overview. This one pager will be critical as a leave behind when you meet prospects. Be brief – Use short sentences in short paragraphs – people like to read quickly. Also make it very conversational; it’s not a white paper. Your one page overview should include your value proposition, target audience benefits, customer testimonials and a mini-case study – and don’t forget to put how to contact you!

4.  Participate in local business events and network.  Participate.  Get involved.  Going to events is wonderful, but you’re just a face in the crowded room. Ask to be on one of the committees or chair or sponsor a meeting. Interestingly enough, it’s as easy as just asking most of time. Groups are looking for volunteer to […]

Local Business + Social Media