social media

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Are you maximizing social media opportunities?

Most companies are investing aggressively into social media marketing to expand their customer base, increase sales and build brand loyalty.

%

of small businesses use social media1

%

of small businesses use Facebook for marketing1

%

of small businesses post daily to social media1

%

indicate social media efforts
generate more business exposure3

%

average amount of annual marketing budget allocated to social media2

predicted increase in social media advertising budgets over the next 5 years4

What’s your social media strategy?

Do you have a plan? Don’t know where to start?  Maybe you have even given up on social media. Take heart, many small businesses struggle with social media marketing. Answering these six questions will help you maximize what social media can do for your business.

What is your marketing mindset?

Are you conversational?
When you enter a store on Main Street a good salesperson will ask how you are, what you’re looking for and keep mental notes of your preferences for future visits. Take that same approach online and you have effective social media marketing. Engagement and conversation build trust and brand loyalty. Older, traditional forms of marketing like business listings, print ads, TV / radio spots, even websites rarely promoted conversation.

79% of millennial business owners use social media versus 65% of Generation X and baby boomer business owners combined.1

Many millennials have never known a world without the Internet and social media, so online social engagement comes naturally.

Do you think social media is irrelevant?
Other business owners perceive social media as a wasteland of memes and animated gifs irrelevant to their success. But the statistics on social media use and its influence on spending are undeniable. Your business will benefit from posting strategic content that reinforces (not dilutes) your brand.

Do you think social media only works for certain businesses?
B2Bs often assume only B2Cs can benefit from social media. B2Bs gain a competitive edge by using social media to present themselves as the industry authority. This is accomplished by posting trade news, product / service releases, training videos and answering questions.

Certain B2Bs may benefit from investing more in search engine optimization and email marketing than social media.

Do you know your limits?

Many businesses try social media marketing and give up.

The most common social media challenge businesses face is not having enough human and financial resources. More than one-quarter (26%) of social media marketers say this is their company’s biggest challenge when using social media.5

You might not have the time to answer Facebook questions or the expertise to create stunning photos and video posts. And you might not have the budget to hire an employee dedicated to do that either.

If you are in this situation consider outsourcing your social media for a fraction of the cost so you can stay focused on managing your business.

Do you have a strategy?

Successful social media requires a strategy. You need clear, achievable, measurable goals. It’s important to know which social media channel(s) are right for your type of business and how frequently you should post. You also need to develop a consistent social media “voice” that reflects your brand.

We recommend smaller businesses outsource social media marketing strategy and then play a collaborative role in content development while you handle customer service messaging.

How effective is your content?

Is it visually engaging?

  • Facebook’s algorithm gives preferential treatment to video and photo posts.
  • 80% of marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing.6
  • 54% of consumers wanted to see more video content from a brand or business they support.6

There are online tools to help business owners create posts (if they have the time). But that approach can yield posts that look inconsistent, unprofessional or just like your competitor using the same services. If you’re not a designer we recommend outsourcing visual post creation to maintain a cohesive brand message.

You may want to also check out our two previous articles on Stock Media that Sells and Video Marketing.

Is your content conversational?
Create content with polls or questions to start a conversation between your business, customers and each other. The more people interact with, like and share your post the greater exposure it will get.

Have you tried targeted pay-per-click advertising?
Consider advertising on your social media channel(s). Facebook and others allow you to specify parameters like a date range, geographical area, gender, education, income, interests, etc. and set your budget. Make sure your ad is visual stimulating and has a strong call to action.

Is Your Voice Positive?

Your posts should avoid controversial topics like politics which can distract from or damage your brand.

Listen to and learn from critical feedback. Be positive, not defensive. Send a short, gracious response (an apology if necessary) and resolution. Leave them and everyone else impressed with how your brand treats customers. If additional dialogue is needed invite them to message you privately.

How do you measure results?

There are all sorts of complicated social media analytics dashboards out there that require an expensive subscription. Most small business owners will find themselves completely lost trying to understand all the data. Consider this statistic:

Only 44% of businesses agree they’re able to measure the return on investment from social activities2

That’s because post analytics don’t reveal the whole picture. A video post about a new product might get amazing views and shares, but how effective was it for sales? If you include a unique product coupon code only available within the video then you can measure results at checkout in-store or online.

We recommend small businesses use analytics built right into Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or other channels. They will give you easy-to-understand, actionable results.

We’re here to help you…

  • Clarify your brand and social media “voice”
  • Create a customized, goal-oriented social media strategy
  • Develop a 12-month social media content calendar
  • Create engaging post content including videos and graphics
  • Help you interpret post statistics and put them into action

Let’s Get Started

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Or call 574.875.8525 – Monday – Friday, 8AM-5PM EST.

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