Social Media Marketing for Business Feb 13th, 11am – 3:30pm
Social Media for Business is a comprehensive class that teaches you how to effectively create and execute a social media marketing campaign. We will talk about the why and how of social media including step by step how to make your social media easy and effective.
Social media strategy, content creation, tracking results, producing ads, and getting real audience engagement will all be covered. Take a look at the full list of skills you will be learning and sign up today. Space is limited.https://mybusinessadviser.com/classes
Engagement is the key metric you should be watching as you market your business on Facebook. The higher your engagement the more people are listening to what you have to say. I’d rather have 100 people listening to me than 10,000 ignoring me. Here are 9 ways to get your engagement higher.
Post at the Right Time
Post when your followers are most active. Post consistently, your followers should know when to expect new content. Every industry has a different time when their posts do best, it all depends on the audience. You can look up the most popular times to post on Facebook and start there, adjusting as you see the times your audience is online.
Don’t Just Post Ads
How often do you log on to Facebook hoping to see some ads? Everyone else is the same way, even ads we interact with are interruptions to the reason we are on Facebook in the first place. If all you post are ads people will have no reason to follow you or engage with your content. Post content related to your brand. News, stories, events, funny content, anything that you think your audience would like to hear and keeps within your brand personality. So, what are your followers looking to see while they are on Facebook?
Visual content rules on Facebook so make sure yours pops. Don’t post the same pictures over and over, keep your content fresh and visual. Use different looks that are consistent with your brand image. If you aren’t as skilled in graphic arts use a program like Canva to give your page a professional look. Image is everything, make sure yours says the right things.
Analyze What You Did Right
Look over your most popular posts and figure out why they did well. Improve on that and you keep improving your engagement. You can test content to find out what makes it better, was it a color, a certain call to action, a specific subject. Always be looking at the insights tab on your page, it gives you all the clues you need to grow your audience and get them engaging with your page.
Tailor Your Content to Facebook
What’s trending? What are people looking for? How-to guides, heartwarming stories, quizzes, surprising stats, and bold opinion pieces tend to dominate the Facebook landscape. Every brand is different and not every type of content will work for you. Keep your brand personality consistent, if it’s a serious reserved brand it could look bad to post jokes. Watch other brands and see what works for them, they might have the market research resources you don’t.
This is Social Media, with emphasis on social. If someone takes the time to comment, respond. Engaging with followers creates more engagement on your page. Many brands just fire and forget, never chatting with their audience, don’t be like them. People like interacting on social media, the ones that don’t like interacting would have never commented. It’s ok to delete inappropriate comments but the rest deserve your attention.
Call to Action
Consistently use calls to action. Like my page. Follow us for more content like this. Share this with friends. It encourages them to engage and interact and to bring others onto your page to interact. Likely people interested in your page know people like themselves who would also like your content so encourage it as much as you can, just don’t get carried away.
Keep it Short
You can post longer articles on your Facebook page just don’t expect as much engagement. A lot of people want quick, bite-sized content or they are on mobile, so they skip the wall of text. If you decide to post longer form content make sure there is plenty of quick, visual content as well to keep the mobile users happy. If your audience is predominantly on the phone you may want to save the long post for your blog.
Put your video directly on Facebook. You shouldn’t be surprised that Facebook prioritizes its own content over sending someone to another page to see a video. You can post links to your video channel in the description or comments if you are trying to drive traffic that way. Video links are ok but if it’s your own content post it direct for a boost in visibility and engagement.
Facebook is still the largest social media platform so if you are doing your marketing without a strategy it is very easy for your message to get lost in all the noise. So how do you create a strategy that will help you get your message into the hands of those you need to hear it? Here are seven things to get you started and rise above the clutter.
Set your goals for Facebook.
Don’t leave Facebook to chance Know what and why you are posting Have measurable goals to accomplish what you want to happen. This is the first step in creating an effective strategy. If you don’t know where you are going you could end up anywhere and waste both time and money. In 2018 Sprout Social Index found that marketers on Facebook had these top goals in mind:
-34% wanted to increase brand awareness.
-21% wanted to increase community engagement.
-11% wanted to increase sales and lead generation.
If you don’t already know where you want to focus these are a few good places to start. You may also want to consider increasing sales, recruiting, providing better customer service, and adding value for your customers.
Know Your Audience
Do your research and make sure you know who you are talking to. Different demographics communicate in different ways. Taking a look at the Pew Research Center’s research on Facebook demographics is a good start, but more importantly is looking at your customer base and finding out more about them. Questionnaires, one to one conversations and other market research can teach you a lot about who you need to talk to.
Engage Your Audience
Social Media is about communication. Get your audience talking, bring up subjects that interest them, ask and answer questions. Better engagement should always be your goal because then your audience is listening to you and not just skipping you page or promotions. Facebook suppresses organic content from businesses but if you build an engaged community you can turn that algorithm in your favor.
Schedule Your Content
Consistency is key. Make sure your audience knows when to expect posts. Make sure it comes out in intervals when your audience is most active. Every audience is different, but you can get a good start by looking at Facebooks own research. These may not be the best times for your audience but it’s likely they are close. Here are the best (and worst) times to post on Facebook for most industries.
-Wednesday is the best single day to post.
-11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Wednesday gets the most engagement.
-The best general time to post is on weekdays between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
-Sunday gets the least engagement.
-The least recommended times include early mornings and late at night.
Create an Ad Strategy
Your ads on Facebook should have a strategy as well. Use it to further your overall goals. Don’t spend a lot until you find an ad that performs well. Never use the boost button, it wastes your money. You can get good responses with it but if you set it up as an ad you can target the content better and get higher engagement for the same price. Always do small sample tests, see what works for getting your audience’s attention before you spend a lot of money on an ad. In general, several smaller ads give you more bang for your buck, but it takes more time to make them. Of course, make sure your ad goes along with your Facebook strategy you decided previously. How does it help your goal? When making your ad consider:
-Does it relate to your company and effectively showcase your product or service?
-What do the viewers get out of it? It could be a deal, discount, promotion, whitepaper or an industry guide?
-Does your content maintain the same tone and feel across your entire Facebook page?
-Your content must create action. This goes back to your goals. A clear and specific call to action is best.
Encourage Employee Advocacy
With good company culture, your employees should be your biggest supporters. Get them involved with your Facebook presence and make it fun. According to a Sprout report, 72% of people said they felt more connected with a brand when its employees shared information about it on social media. Also make sure the management is engaged. In that same report, 70% of consumers feelt more connected when the CEO was active on social media.
Track and Analyze Your Results
If it’s not measured, it’s not managed. Keep track of your Facebook stats as you learn and progress so you can tell what is working and what needs to be improved. This is one way of making sure your efforts on social media are a good return on your investment (ROI). Impressions, followers, engagement, are all good numbers to follow to see if your brand is trending up or down on Facebook.
A perfectly crafted message doesn’t do you any good if you can’t reach your potential customers with it. So how do you get your message out there so you can start growing your business? There are thousands of ways to get a message out to the masses but in this post, I will be talking specifically about Facebook. Here are 6 methods that work for getting eyes on what you have to say.
An often overlooked avenue to getting a message out there is the cover picture. This is the large picture at the top of your business page. You can show your brand personality through pictures, quotes, or statistics, whatever gets people to stop and pay attention. You can also put your call to action here, getting your customers interacting with your company. This is in addition to your call to action button on your page so this gives you the ability to have 2 different calls to action.
Posting on Your Page
This should go without saying yet a lot of businesses still don’t post regularly. Don’t just post ads you won’t create engagement if all you do is sell. You should post information your customers are looking for, show that you are the expert in your field and can solve problems and pain points for them. Content marketing is still big and it’s effective at gaining new customers.
The basic Facebook ad is a powerful tool that businesses neglect. It doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective. I have seen $10 ads create big impact. Show and give value, present a clear call to action, don’t spend big money until you know you have an ad that works. Ads work best when you use them in conjunction with page and group postings.
Post in Groups
There are 620 million Facebook groups so the likelihood there is one containing your ideal customers is high. If the groups you find don’t allow ads that’s even better because there is less noise to contend with and you can become known as a trusted resource and use that to drive traffic to your page. Show you are an expert and be useful to the members of the group.
Form Your Own Group
Do you have information customers need? Form a group and you can advertise to a captive audience. Let people ask questions, pose problems, help each other and build community. Set the expectations from the beginning and stick to it. Make sure the group stays active with good content and not just spam.
More commonly used to spam by businesses and bots, you can use this tool to bring in more customers and business if you use it right. Don’t message unless they request it and primarily focus on helping rather than selling. Don’t be spammy and don’t over use it, still one more tool in your box if you use it right and bring a personal touch.
With 2.7 Billion monthly active users Facebook is too big for businesses to ignore. Some businesses can manage their entire structure on the platform from marketing and lead generation to order fulfillment and customer support. Setting up your business page is an important first step. These are the seven steps I feel are essential for every business. I still see a lot of businesses skipping these easy steps and I know it can cost them business so make sure your business page has its best foot forward by following this guide, it really is the minimum you should be doing.
Create your page. Decide what type of account you want to set up, your choices are either a Business/Brand account or a Community/Public figure page. This of course depends on your company structure and how you want to connect with your audience. Most businesses set up a Business or Brand account because that most closely aligns with their business structure and goals. The Community pages are for organizations to spread information to members of that group and the Public Figure pages are for influencers, artists and similar businesses where on person or a small group is the brand. As you are setting up your page make sure you choose carefully since changing the name and URL is a troublesome process.
Add some photos. Specifically, you need your profile photo and your cover photo. A good idea for your cover photo is to put your business logo there as most brands do. If you have something unique and recognizable about your business you could put that as your profile photo like a mascot or specific building. The cover photo should express your brand personality or be a second place to express your Call to Action (CTA). Many businesses put up a generic picture as the cover photo and are missing an opportunity to speak to your audience. Of course there are lots of ways to show brand personality or deliver a call to action, make sure whatever your cover picture is that it aligns with your goals on Facebook.
Add a short description of your business. This description will appear on the side of your page as well as in search results when people are looking for a business like yours. There are two things your description should do, first explain what your business or at least this page does or what it is for. Second, to show off your brand personality. After reading the description people should have a good idea what they are going to find by looking further. Of course you have to keep it short, under 255 character, on top of all that. A good description takes a while. Get something on the description and improve it late if you have to, something is better than nothing.
Create your business name. This is the name that will appear in your URL and will be how people tag your page. Make it logical and simple so people will remember it easier, most likely you will just use your business, group, or artist name. If your preferred name gets taken you have to get creative probably by adding something to your name. As an example, “the real”, ‘the original”, “the best” are some ideas to get you thinking about how you can get your Facebook name to stand out. Make sure to use it as you promote your page by placing the @ symbol in front of it every time you tag your page (remember, no spaces when using this method).
Set up your page roles. If you are the only one in the business this is simple but the more people who help with your marketing the more roles you need to set. Each level, Admin, Editor, Moderator, Advertiser, Analyst, and Jobs Manager each have different abilities to manage your page. Remember that if you make someone an admin they can do pretty much whatever they want on your page. As the owner you can still remove them but only give the level of access your team truly needs and make sure you trust who you add to roles on your page.
Set up your notifications. In the settings, you can set up what type of notifications you want to receive, how often and where you want it sent. Keep in mind this is how you will keep track of and interact with your page so make sure you are receiving enough notifications to easily run your business page. Some notifications are critical and depending on how hands on you will be with your page you may get multiple messages per day.
Add your call to action. One of the most important things is your call to action (CTA). A call to action is when you encourage the visitor to your page to move to the next step in becoming a client. Usually Facebook isn’t the final destination of your clients journey, you need to get them to your webpage, email list or some other place to turn them from a visitor to a paying client. Make sure your call to action is clear and they understand what will happen by clicking the button. Being vague or misleading will result in not only fewer clients but fewer people interacting with your Facebook page. Not everyone is ready to be a client yet, but if you are clear and honest when they are ready to engage your business they will be more likely to do so and become your customer.
Podcasting is one of the fastest growing yet often overlooked ways to do content marketing. The key to good content marketing is educating potential clients and the main reason people listen to podcasts is to learn something new. Three out of four podcast listeners tune in to learn and be inspired.
Another good reason to be podcasting is that people who listen to podcasts are more likely to buy products advertised than other forms of content marketing. They are interested in the podcast and if the products being sold are relevant to the audience they are very likely to at least take a look at the website.
Being a guest on a podcast builds credibility as well. Just talking about what you know and how you can help people will drive traffic to your website if you are speaking to the right audience. Conversion rates are also higher, in fact 4 times higher than regular brand advertising.
So get out there and podcast, or find the right podcast to be a guest on. Most podcasts (including ours) are looking for guests to help create great content and talk to their listeners. Get podcasting!
LinkedIn is a little different than other social media platforms because it is more formal. If you treat it like Facebook or Twitter you won’t get good results and my end up standing out in a bad way. Here are some tips and tricks to successfully navigate the world of LinkedIn.
1) Complete your profile Personally, I would hope this goes without saying, but fill out your profile as completely as possible. There should be very few things on your profile that are blank. It’s not always possible to fill everything out, but you should make the effort. • List all the jobs or positions you’ve held, along with descriptions of your roles. • Have 5 or more skills on your profile. • Write a summary about yourself. • Fill out your industry and postal code. • Add where you went to school.
2) Add an updated profile picture Profiles without pictures seem sketchy. Even when it’s someone I know I am very cautious about connecting if there is no picture. Also, make sure your picture is up to date or within a few years. It is unsettling and unprofessional to have pictures on Linkedin that don’t look like you.
3) Network. Network. Network. This is the key to making Linkedin work for you. There are two strategies here. Connect with everyone or connect with only the people you actually know. Both have advantages and disadvantages.
4) Personalize connection requests. Don’t send the standard Linkedin connection request. Personalize the request to the person you are sending it to. It is more professional and it shows you care about connecting professionally with that person.
5) Grab your name Courtesy: Ken Krogue, Forbes Writer. Did you know you can get your own name as your linked in profile instead of the alphabet soup you were randomly assigned? This makes it look more professional on your emails and resumes. It also makes your Linkedin page easier to remember. Go to the profile edit page and an edit button is available at the end of your Linkedin URL.
6) Never SPAM! Another no brainer. It is possible to spam and get one or two leads, but at the cost of potential relationships. No one likes being spammed. Just don’t do it.
7) Edit or Remove Endorsements. Your endorsement section is out there for everyone to see. Sometimes we are endorsed in ways we don’t want. Sometimes we are endorsed and it looks biased. You can remove endorsements on your profile edit page. Trim up your endorsement to keep your best foot forward.
8) Freely give and receive recommendations. Someone asks for a recommendation, give it. Don’t have a recommendation, ask. This is a way to let others know what to expect from you. People like a second opinion.
9) Join industry and local LinkedIn Groups. Groups are a great way to learn information about subjects that interest you professionally. Many industry leaders post in these professional groups. If you have some insight, post it. It gets your voice out there and could lead to some great connections.
10) Vet a group before you join. Groups are great in general, but some are just ads in disguise. Pay attention to who the members are and what topics they are discussing.
11) Use 3×3 analysis when connecting with people. Courtesy: Steve Richard of Vorsight Meeting someone you can find on Linkedin? Spend 3 minutes and learn 3 things about them you can use as talking points. It shows professionalism and attention to detail. People like talking about themselves so it helps you build rapport quickly.
12) Use InMail strategically. Don’t use Inmail like your regular email. A good practice is to only use it for business that is being facilitated on Linkedin. An example would be asking for an introduction to another Linkedin connection. Use your email for normal correspondence and Inmail for Linked in business.
13) Use Follow effectively. Follow industry leaders. Follow businesses that interest you within your industry or related industries. This will get your profile more exposure and you can meet interesting people in your field.
14) Use “Tags” to categorize your connections. This is especially useful when you have a lot of connections. You can keep track of where you met each person and how you know them.
15) Ask for referrals through LinkedIn. Looking for a new job? Looking to connect to a company? Find out who you know and ask for a referral. Make sure you follow good business etiquette so Linkedin remains a great place to get your referrals.
16) Browse LinkedIn privately. If you are looking at a lot of peoples profiles and businesses, browse privately. This way you don’t seem like a stalker. It is the polite thing to do.
17) Add media. Put up your blog posts. Link articles. Post videos. In general, get yourself on the Linkedin feed. This can create top of mind exposure and help with your other Linkedin business.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool to use in the B2B (business to business) world. It can be used for networking, sales, research, and getting answers to your business questions. LinkedIn isn’t Facebook so you can’t use the same tactics to get noticed, you have to think a little different. Here are 5 ways to get noticed on the worlds #1 B2B platform.
Put a head shot in your profile. This should be a no brainer but I see a ton of profiles without a head shot or even worse with an unprofessional head shot. A profile with a professional head shot gets 21 times more profiles views and also makes it 36 times more likely you will receive a message. Make sure it’s just you, not you and your team or you and your significant other. Business attire is preferred but depending on your industry you could get away with a work uniform. This is your first impression so make it a good one.
Add your skills. Get noticed by adding your skill set to LinkedIn. If you add your skill set your profile views increase 13 times. That’s a big jump for such an easy thing to do. If you list 5 or more skill that jumps to 17 times more views. This is the place to let people know what you do, it’s what LinkedIn is about. It’s even better when you can get colleagues to endorse your skills. The best way to make that happen is to ask.
Talk about what you know Get noticed by posting content, unique content is best. The LinkedIn algorithm loves unique content and content written specifically for its users. Influencers average 130,000 post views when they write on LinkedIn and you don’t have to be an influencer to get going and take advantage of this. You should write about things you know so people understand you can help them when the time comes. Get your posts out with proper tags and people will start to follow you for more information.
Join groups Do a little research and find the groups relevant to your interests or that contain the people you want to talk to. Ask questions, provide answers and be useful in the groups you join don’t just look for the sale. Hard selling tactics backfire on LinkedIn, you should be trying to show expertise without pushing for customers..
Personalize your connection requests Tell people why you want to connect with them or where you met in person so they know who you are and why they should click yes. A personalized invite makes you stand out. Most people will connect with you on LinkedIn and even more will connect if they know why you sent the request.
Pro tip: Don’t connect with someone then start selling, it is a good way to loose a valuable contact. Even if they don’t disconnect with you they will remember that first interaction and decrease the chances they will help you or buy from you in the future.
LinkedIn is a great tool especially when your target is other businesses. Besides Facebook, it’s the other social media platform I believe every business and business person should be on. It has its own culture and ways of doing things so don’t use Facebook tactics over on LinkedIn. I will help you figure out if you should be spending time on LinkedIn and if so what you should be doing. Some businesses just need a presence there as it denotes legitimacy and confidence in your business. Other businesses should be more active on LinkedIn than on Facebook.
First, let’s look at the statistics of LinkedIn and why it is important. What do you want to know about using LinkedIn to increase your business? Your question could be the inspiration for the next infographic!
I am seeing a lot of people who relied on in-person marketing starting to panic as social interactions decline. So now is the time to take a look at your online marketing strategy, are you ready to go digital? I feel a lot of products are better sold in person (including mine) but if you don’t have that chance you better have a solid backup plan until things settle back into normal. So quit panicking and strategize.
It’s a long game but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start now since you can still get short term results. Content Marketing is about providing value to people and showing you are worthy of their trust (and business). I still am waiting for an industry that shouldn’t be doing Content Marketing on some level. A lot of the things on this list are part of an overall Content Marketing strategy but could be used alone as well. If you are not doing Content Marketing you really should ask yourself “why”? If the reason is not extremely compelling, you should get started.
If you are in business and you aren’t collecting emails you are doing it wrong. Email marketing can bring big returns if you do it right. No need to overwhelm your audience with spam, have good information or timely and valuable deals and you will maintain a loyal following. Be consistent on when you send out emails, keep it relevant to the interests of your audience.
If done right social media posts can bring a big return. Lead with your offer or your value proposition. Make the post valuable and not just another generic “buy me” ad. It is also a great place to spread your Content Marketing if you have that plan in place. Join groups and interact rather than just advertise (though some groups that is all they are for, ads). Keep your business page active, engaging and useful. Make sure the social media platform you are on (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc) matches your target demographic.
It’s just a fact that every platform is trying to get you to pay them to put your ads in front of people. The only way around this is Content Marketing, but it isn’t all bad. The reason people pay to put ads out is that it works. They wouldn’t be able to sell ad space if no one clicked through and bought products. The good news is you can spend just a little money to find out if it is right for you. If you don’t have a strong marketing strategy I would recommend getting in touch with a professional first because it is easy to waste money on paid marketing and get nothing in return. Start with less expensive platforms and move on to the more expensive ones once you learn how the whole system works and you have a value proposition that pulls in sales.
Probably one of the most misunderstood aspects of online marketing. Basically, your SEO determines how close to the top of the search results you are. It takes in a lot of factors and is almost constantly shifting. There are some basics you can do to increase your SEO like having robust content on your page, a relevant URL, and a fast and mobile-friendly page. You might have to bring in an expert on this one but looking up SEO essentials articles will give you some other ideas you can use to bring your ranking up.
The cornerstone of Content Marketing, a blog is so much more than just a place to put down thoughts. It can be the centerpiece of your online efforts. A well written 1200 word article produces at least 7 pieces of content for your other platforms. If an article you write trends higher and gets more engagement then that subject might be your next idea for your value proposition ads. Besides bringing in leads on its own, a blog makes the rest of your online marketing better and easier to maintain.
Beyond strategy, there are hundreds of online tactics to increase readership, engagement and online sales. Discounts, contests, auctions, live events are all examples of ways to get more eyes on your products and services and get more selling done. Watch for future articles on tactics to use in the online world.
If you need help with any of this then give me a call or send a message. I have over 28 years of experience in sales and marketing and am an expert on Content Marketing and maintaining an online presence. Let’s craft your online strategy while everyone else is still figuring out what to do about the shifting sales landscape.