So you are starting a small business and know that you need to be on social media. At least that’s what everyone says. But where do you start?
The easiest way to start is to create a Facebook page. There are many different social media platforms, but Facebook is still a good place to start. Facebooks crosses generations and genders. You can always add additional platforms, but it is good to start with one and do it well before moving on.
- Create a Facebook Page — Go to “Home” on your personal accout and you will see “Create Page” on the left side of the screen. Facebook will walk you through the steps to create your page.
- Populate Your Page — It is important that once you have created your page, put in the necessary information. Include contact information, information about your company and location.
- Add pictures — People love pictures. Your profile picture should either be your logo or your picture. If you are the brand, then having a picture of yourself on the page is important so you people can connect with you.
- Start posting and keep posting — At a minimum you should be posting three times a week. Keep your content varied and interesting. If all you do is sell, then no one will follow you. Instead, make your page informative and entertaining. Post pictures of your business and staff. Look for news articles related to your industry or related the community where you have your business. Have fun and be creative.
- Schedule your posts — Use the scheduling feature on Facebook. When you create a post, you will see the Publish button. Unlike your personal page, your business page allows you to schedule posts in the future. There is a drop down menu on the Publish button that will allow you to schedule a post for a later date. That way you can spend an hour on Sunday scheduling your posts for the week. This feature may help social media seem less daunting.
- Make sure to invite everyone you know to “like” your page. Also ask friends, family and employees to “like” and “share” your company posts on their pages. This will increase your visibility significantly.
- Don’t be afraid to invest a little money in advertising to promote your page. As little as $25 a month can help grow your social media presence.
- If people are leaving comments or interacting with your page, make sure you acknowledge them. Social media is a conversation, not a lecture. You want people to interact with you.
Need more help? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can help you manage your social media platforms and increase your online visibility.
All small business owners know that they need to be on social media. It’s on the news, websites and advertisements. Every magazine article explains the importance of social media. So many small business owners jump in with both feet only to exclaim several months later that social media marketing doesn’t work.
That’s because social media marketing done wrong can be more detrimental than not doing it at all. Here are the mistakes to avoid.
- Don’t Try to Be on All Platforms.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn? Many small business owners try to be everything to everyone. Decide where your customers are and concentrate on doing that platform well.
- Facebook — Good general place to capture all customers. Targeted advertising can help you reach your ideal client.
- Instagram — Great for visual content. Great to capture under 35 audience, although the audience diversity is expanding.
- Twitter — Helps to promote your brand and establish you as an expert. Not the primary platform for most small businesses.
- LinkedIn — Great for Business to Business transactions.
- Pinterest — Has the highest conversion rate for all platforms. That means that people who see a product on Pinterest are more likely to purchase it.
2. Have a social media policy for employees.
Employees can be your greatest asset or your biggest detractor on social media. Make sure that you are clear as to what are your expectations when it comes to social media.
- Employees should know it is unacceptable to ever make negative comments about customers, even on their personal Facebook page.
- Although you cannot control all the content on employees social media pages, encourage them not to post any defamatory comments. They should also refrain from negative racial slurs and foul language, especially if they identify themselves on their page as working for your company.
- Encourage them to support your page. Ask them to please like and share information on the company page. Anything that helps increase the success and visibility of the company will help all employees.
- Do post photos of parties or other office functions on your company Facebook page. Customers like to see who they are dealing with and it increases employees identification with their company.
3. Not paying attention to the company social media platforms.
Social media is not about pushing out information to your customers. It’s about creating a dialog with your customers and potential customers. It’s not only important to keep your social media sites current, but it is also important to respond when individuals comment on your page or message your company. Be sure that you respond quickly. Facebook actually will rate your company on its response time. With Apps and notifications on your phone, there is no reason, not to respond. If there is a complaint, don’t delete it. Respond appropriately and give the individual an email or phone number where their issue can be handled off-line. How you handle these types of situations can make or break your company on social media.
Need help handling your social media? Contact me on email@example.com.
After 30 years of marriage, there is very litle my husband can say that surprises me. However, the other night when he asked me to help he set up a Twitter account, I must tell you, I was blown away. Apparently there was someone he wanted to follow on Twitter and wanted me to help him set up an account.
Although, he spends his days on a computer, social media, except Facebook, is still a mystery to him. So for my husband and every other person out there who has yet to start a Twitter account, here you go:
- Go to Twitter.com
- In the upper right-hand corner where it says Log in, click on the arrow and go to: SIgn Up.
- Enter your name, phone number or email and create a password. Make sure you write it down or save it somewhere. If you don’t have a Twitter account yet, chances are you might be at an age where you forget things. I know I am. Phone number is optional.
- You will then be asked to create a user name. Twitter will give you a series of suggestions of available names. Pick one.
- Then you will be asked to choose interests. This way Twitter can help suggest accounts you might want to follow. Not everyone wants to follow Kim Kardashian
- Then you are asked to import contacts. I never do, but it is your choice.
- You will be given a series of choices that have been pre-checked. If you do not remove the “Select All” check, you will end up following multiple accounts that you have no interest in. Review the list, choose who you want and move on or choose no one. Move to the next screen.
- Remember to reconfirm your account through your email or you will not be able to tweet.
- If you want to, you can upload and profile and background picture.
- To get started, click the quill in the upper right hand corner. To look for people or topics you are interested in, put your topic in the Search Twitter box.
You are ready to tweet. Have fun!
Have you heard of regramming? That is when you repost something you have seen on Instagram onto your profile.
On Facebook, you can share posts from other pages. On Twitter you can Retweet or even quote a retweet to put your own spin on things. However, until recently, Instagram didn’t have an option to repost or regram something. Now you can and its easier than you think.
- You need to go to the App Store and download a reposting app. For Apple, you go to App Store or Google Play . I chose to download Repost for Instagram by Red Cactus, LLC. Remember Instagram works best with your phone so download Repost on your phone.
- Connect your Repost App to your Instagram account.
- Find a post you like on Instagram that you would like to Regram.
- In the corner you will see … When the drop down menu appears choose “Copy Share URL”
- Open your Repost App and you will see the post there. The App automatically credits the original creator. Click “Repost” and caption. Now you have that content for your Instagram account.
How could you use reposting?
- Leverage user content when your company has been tagged in a post.
- Post content from influencers that would be helpful to your followers.
- Open up your audience as new users may find you.
- Freshen up your feed with new content from another source.
How would you use reposting to help promote your business? Let me know
Have questions about this post or need more help with your Social Media Marketing? Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
I use this blog to talk about Social Media Marketing. Changes, strategies and challenges. But it’s Mother’s Day today and I am feeling particularly reflective about life and the lessons it teaches you.
As a small business owner, I often times find that I am hampered by fears. Fears that I will not make the right business decision and it will cost me money or customers. Fear of spending too much money or not enough. Fear of pursuing opportunities and the what happens if I don’t pursue them. When I think about fear, I think about my daughter who is absolutely fearless.
Although she is sometimes afraid, she never let’s that hold her back from making a decision. It sometimes makes it difficult to be her mother as I must just hold on tight and pray, but it has made her an incredible human being.
When she was nine or ten, she decided she wanted to play lacrosse. At that time none of her friends were playing lacrosse, but she wanted to play lacrosse and “reminded” me every day to sign her up. The first year, we missed the deadline so after a year of “reminding” me, she played the next year and for several years after that.
Then she was on the Internet and found a program at Princeton through the Center for Talented Youth on “Genocide and Political Torture”. She was 14. She didn’t want clothes or make up or anything else, she wanted to go to this program at Princeton. So we decided to forego our vacation and she attended the program.
This trend continued throughout her life. She raised money to go to Gutamela on Winter Break in College and studied abroad in London. We supported her, but she lead the charge. When she received a job offer in New York City before she graduated from college, she negotiated the salary and moving expenses, at 20 years old, and moved there not having any real close connections.
In the past two years, she has changed jobs, met her now husband, quit her job, moved to Australia, finished graduate school, got married and is now moving to Singapore for her next career. She is 24.
Sometimes I wish I had half the confidence she does to know I am making the right decision or at least to accept the consequences of a wrong decision. Sometimes I struggle with the decision as to what to have for lunch.
Imagine what you could do if you followed your instincts. I think the problem is that our instincts get covered up with the fear of what we have to lose instead of weighing what we have to gain.
So this Mother’s Day, I will be grateful that God has blessed me with such an amazing daughter and I will try to learn to not let fear stand in the way of what my instincts are telling me is the right thing to do.
Marketers are beginning to take notice of a new customer demographic in town: The Perennial. It’s really not a new group, its a new way of looking at customers. The term, coined by Gina Pell of the TheWhatList.com, was because she felt that the traditional approach of marketing towards generational sterotypes was outdated and irrelevant.
For example, not all people over 60 have a Baby Boomer mindset where they are anti-technology and long to go back to the Good Old Days. Not all Millenials are living in their parents basement .
Gina believes that, like Amazon and Apple, its time for marketers to look at the individual interests of customers, not how old they are.
By some measures, I am a Baby Boomer. So I am supposed to be anti-technology, have stayed with the same company for 30 years and be thinking about moving to Florida to maximize my retirement. Not one of those sterotypes applies to me. In fact, my Millenial daughter who has never lived in my basement, has had a job since she graduated from college and now is employed overseas, says that I know more about social media and technology than she does.
Businesses who are continuing to sterotype customers by the same old age-based personnas may be missing opportunities to market their products to the right customer. By focusing on the interests of customers, rather than age, you can effectively market to the largest customer based who will be interesed in your product.
According to Wikipedia, one of the meanings of the word perennial means lasting or remaining active all year or all the time. Gina Pell desribes Perennials as people of all ages who stay up on technology, know what’s happening in the world and have friends of all ages.
As an example, she points to Netflix which divides its shows by interests rather than age brackets. It does not designate TV shows for Millenials. Although there may be categories which Millenials are more interested, Netflix designates categories as Mystery or Comedy and offers suggestions based on previously watched shows.
How could this change in advertising prespective change the way you market? It’s possible you might change your visuals to a more generic image or use social media even if your target demographic is older. You could even experiment with multiple images to see which ones actually speak to your target audience.
As the confines of traditional generational marketing begin break down, business owners will realize that a more interest based approach will expand market reach and attract more customers.
On Easter, I signed into Messenger to send my daughter a picture of her cat with Easter Stickers. Yes, we are those people. I thought I was sending the message to her, but instead, I posted it to My Day. As a Social Media Marketer, I probably should have already known about My Day on Messenger, but sometimes things are moving so quickly, I get dizzy.
So what is “My Day” with regard to Facebook? Just like on SnapChat and Instagram, if you are familiar with them, My Day is where you post content in Messenger for 24 hours. After that, it disappears. You can post video or photos.
- This feature is only available through your mobile app.
- You can take a picture/video or you can choose one from your library.
- You can add text, filters, stickers, etc.
My Day will not show up in the Newsfeed or on your friend’s timeline.
So how does it work:
- Go into Messenger. You can click on the blue circle at the bottom center of the page or click on the + sign and “Add to your day.”
- At that point you will go into camera, however, if you click on the photo icon in the left hand corner, you will be able to select a video/photo on your phone.
- If you don’t have a photo, but have something you want say, you can click on the palette in the right hand side and proceed on a colored background.
- Then, you have an option to apply stickers, text or drawing. You can save the photo or apply it directly to your day where it will be displayed for 24 hours. You will be able to see which of your friends viewed it.
- In addition, once it is posted, you will see three dots to the right hand side. By clicking in these dots, you can choose to share your post with everyone or customize your audience.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to play with this feature, now is the time. It is something that you could use personally or for your business. At this point, a business can only message customers who have messengered them first, but there is significant opportunity for marketing growth in messenger.
If you are not sure whether or not your business page is set up to accept messages, check out this article: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-use-facebook-messenger-for-your-business/
Facebook is determined to make itself the go to place so that you never have to leave to go SnapChat or some other platform. Its features continue to grow and will only enhance the social media experience for users and marketers.
Do you think you could use this feature in your business? How could you use Facebook Messenger personally? How could you leverage it as a business?
Want more information about social media marketing? Message me on Facebook at @itsallgeek2me or email me at email@example.com.
The news has been filled with how United Airlines physically removed a paying passenger from one of its flights to make room for one of its crew members. The passenger sustained an injury and the United CEO called it re-accomodating the passenger. Then after he received negative feedback from his initial statement, he put out another statement blaming the passenger.
The company has now lost $800 million dollars over this incident and its negative domination of social media simply continues to grow. The public is angry, appalled, outraged, fascinated, and engaged. As a business owner, you need to be paying attention to this story.
First, what kind of corporate culture would make employees think it was okay to call guards to physically pull a paying customer off a plane to make room for a crew member? What happened to the customer is always right?
In a scene reminscient of “The Lottery”, a story in which an individual is chosen to be stoned to death by pulling slips, an elderly doctor was forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight with multiple passengers recording the event on their cell phones. These videos then played over and over again on TV, on laptops, desktops, Smart Phones, Tablets, etc. A snap decision by this crew may end up bankrupting this Mega Company. The power of social media.
Lesson 1: Treat customers with respect. Always. No matter what. If a customer becomes belligerent, find a way to to resolve the situation. Never resort to violence or a physical confrontation. I’m really appalled I have to even put this in print.
Then the CEO put out a statement saying that the cusomter had re-accommodated. I’m not sure that anyone would think that was an appropriate way to “re-accommodate” a customer.
What the CEO didn’t understand is that every person saw themselves in that scenerio. Anyone who travels, knows what it feels like to be delayed, forced to wait, bumped from a flight or other way inconvenienced. They thought about what it would be like to be forced off a flight when they had to get home. The passenger refusing to leave the plane was standing up for all the passengers who had ever had a negative experience with an airline.
Lesson 2: If your company messed up (overbooked) in order to squeeze every dime out of every flight, then you need to pay up. For a high enough price, someone would have gotten off that plane. Think how much money offering someone a thousand dollars to get off would have saved the company. If you forget Lesson 2, go back to Lesson 1.
When people took offense at his language, he doubled down and blamed the now victim/hero passenger.
Lesson 3: Apologize, even when you’re not wrong. Even when its not your fault. Apologize and go back to Lesson 1.
Lesson 4: Talk to your employees about this situation. Ask them how they would have handled it. If you don’t like the answers, go back to Lesson 1.
Finally, if it’s your competitor who is attracting negative attention, take advantage of it. During United series of unforunate events, Southwest tweeted out a revised slogan, “We beat our competitors. Not you.”
As a business owner, take notice, learn lessons and touch base with your employees so they understand that this type of response is never acceptable. It’s much better to go viral on social media for your exceptional customer service than for a bad decision made by and overworked employ.
Stay tuned: I smell resignation by the end of the week.
That blasted Facebook algorithm has been a challenge to business owners everywhere. The Facebook algorithm decides which stories users see in their News Feeds making the idea of organic reach all but nonexistent for small business owners. Although Facebook states that the algorithm is used to enhance the user experience and hide “boring stories” (edgerank.net/), many business owners know that the algorithm seemingly suppresses posts on users feeds delivering it to a limited number of followers. The only way to increase reach is to boost posts or a business page through advertising.
However, there is another way to increase visibility without spending money. Business owners can raise post reach and outsmart that algorithm by increasing interaction. Interaction is defined as anytime a post receives a like, comment or is shared on another page. When interaction is increased the Page posts will begin to naturally or organically be seen more often in users news feeds. Larger companies and organizations do this through encouraging employees to like a share company pages, but what about small businesses. What can a small business do to increase its organic reach?
No one is quite sure of how the Facebook algorithm works and if they tell you they do, they are lying. However, interaction does seem to improve visibility. Getting company employees to like, comment and share posts from company page through their personal pages can help. However, if you are a small company, that may not be enough.
Instead, it may be time to enlist help from outside your company ranks. Hopefully, you have friends and family who are willing to like and share your posts. Although this is helpful, these individuals may not be your ideal customer. In addition, think of the power of partnering with complimentary businesses so that you can work together to promote each others posts and pages.
For example, if you have a florist shop, perhaps you could work with the local bakery to not only like and share posts on each other’s business pages, but also encourage employees to share on their personal pages as well.
How might this work?
A group such as a Chamber of Commerce or a group dedicated to creating leads for one another’s business, could publish a list of all the Facebook pages of its members. Businesses could review the list and see what companies would be a good compliment. The leaders of the groups could even make recommendations as to which businesses might be able to work together.
Then, the businesses and employees would work together to improve the visibility of these companies. It is similar to creating leads. This list might also be an opportunity to create cross marketing for contests or other promotions.
Of course, the trick to this working is to find businesses who are willing to work as hard as you are to promote their business and yours.
This same technique cannot be applied to Instagram. The Instagram algorithm will simply show you more posts from whoever you like so if you employ this technique on Instagram, businesses will simply see each other’s posts.
To start, find one or two businesses that are interested in increasing their organic reach on Facebook. Try it for a month and see how it works. Like any business deal, it is important to right to have the right partner.
Another way to increase reach is to hire a professional Social Media Management company like ItsAllGeek2Me. For more information contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.