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Tag : local business

Giving Back as a Local Business

Giving Back as a Local Business (1)
2Dec

It’s great to see companies like Amazon give away $100 million in a period of five years, but that just isn’t possible for smaller, local businesses. And that’s fine! You can still give back to your customers, employees, and community without ten figures in annual profit. You may even have an advantage, since it’s easier for you to interact with people face-to-face!

Let me show you how you can make December your business’ month of giving back without breaking the bank!

Giving Back to Customers
No customers means no business, so you’d better demonstrate your appreciation! If money is tight right now, you’re better off skipping huge deals or rewards programs. Instead, go with something that’s completely free but remarkably effective: customer promotions!

Sharing your customers’ stories on social media tells everyone that you value them as individuals. This doesn’t mean you need to write a biography on everyone who walks through your door, but strike up a conversation with the shoppers who pop in every week. Maybe one of them has an event that they’d like you to promote, or someone would just appreciate a public recognition of their support. Find their story and tell it! The people being highlighted will appreciate the personal attention, and your followers will appreciate being more than sales to your business.

Giving Back to Your Community
Generalized advice like “Donate to charity!” isn’t worth much when you’re trying to connect with your community. These are the people who pass your store every day, so it’s in your best interest to get them on your side. What does your community need? Whether there’s been a natural disaster, a healthcare crisis, poverty, or anything else, you need to find the point of need and meet them there.

Get in touch with community leaders to see how you can help. A brief conversation with a local elected official will help you rub elbows with local government and give you a font of information about the goings-on in your community. Once you know the problem, donate time or resources to a local charity that’s already helping in that area. This way, your contribution is going where it’s need most. People in your community will appreciate that!

Giving Back to Employees
Everyone wants motivated employees. But what are you doing to make their jobs more than a means to a paycheck? Cards are great for businesses that can’t afford lavish gifts, but only if you take the time to do them right. Writing “Thanks for all the hard work!” isn’t going to make your employees feel valued. In fact, it’s probably going to annoy them more than not giving them a card at all, because you’re pointing out how little you care about them and their work.

Instead, remember each employee’s accomplishments from the past year. When did they show moments of real skill? Find these successes and tell your employees how much you appreciate the work they did. On the surface it’s the same as a regular card, but “nice work” feels very different from “We really appreciate how you handled X situation.” But don’t stop there; rave about them! Show them that you’re their biggest fan! It’s easy for employees to get caught up in monotony, so take this as an opportunity to remind them of their highlights from 2018.

Think Through Your Plans
The surefire way to ruin any attempt at giving back is to act too quickly. As a local business, you probably don’t have the luxury of being able to throw money at people and causes to solve your problems. You need to make up for your lack of funds with a plan, and the above tips are a great place to start.

Do you want some individualized help with your social media marketing? Just set up a free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

041719-Go-Blog_-How-to-Optimize-Your-Google-My-Business-Listing-min
17Apr

Local businesses can’t succeed online without optimized Google My Business (GMB) listings. First impressions are everything, and your GMB profile is the first thing that a lot of your potential customers will see. Why not make it impressive?

The number one reason I hear that local businesses don’t use GMB is that they’re not sure what they’re supposed to do. You fill in your business’ name, address, and…then what? I’m going to walk you through how to optimize your GMB listing so you can catch up to your local competitors!

Add a Business Description
Let people know who you are! Whether your local business’ name is something obscure like “Vulture Inc.” or it’s super clear like “Jim’s Pants Shack,” not having a business description is a missed opportunity.

No matter how you write it, it’s going to give your brand a distinct voice. If you do it well, a business description can give your brand a more human aspect for people to connect with. If I’m looking for a jeweler and find “Stefano’s Luxury Diamonds” then I’ve got some idea of who they are, but when I read a description describing their “60 years of jeweler experience to provide customers with unparalleled service and expertise that blah blah blah,” I get a better sense for who they are and if they’re who I want to buy from.

Never treat a business description as optional. You need it, and just as importantly, it needs to be clear, on-brand, and error free!

Fix Any Inconsistencies
Your listings need to have the same information across all platforms. No duh, right? But think of the areas you might be overlooking. Are your hours EXACTLY the same? I can’t tell you how often I see local businesses listed as open 9:00am-5:30pm on one site and 9:00am-4:30pm on another, and trust me, that’s going to matter to your customers. If you don’t know your own hours, why should they come by and hope you’re open?

The same rule applies to spelling your business’ name, your address, etc. But it doesn’t stop with information issues! Your style needs to be the same across platforms. So if your Twitter bio says you work on, “Planes, trains, and automobiles!” then your GMB listing can’t say you’ll handle “Planes, trains and automobiles!” Believe it or not, commas matter!

Take a good chunk of time to check this. You don’t want to post a listing and find a mistake three months later!

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Check On Your Customers
If you haven’t heard; a LOT of people use Google. When a potential customer looks you up on Google and they have a question, they’re going to ask on your GMB page. And if you don’t answer, you can kiss their business goodbye.

82% of customers expect immediate responses, so don’t think you can get away with checking your GMB listing every other day. You need to have alerts set for customer questions and be actively monitoring the page to make sure you haven’t missed anything.

You should also set up messaging so that customers can reach your cell phone directly. This way you’ll be able to answer any questions as they arise and earn the confidence of your local customers!

If it sounds like a lot of work, it is! But the alternative is losing local business, so think of it as a necessary evil.

Post Updates
While you don’t need daily updates like on Facebook or Twitter, GMB is a great place to share details about your latest sale, event, or blog post. You already know that your local audiences are going to see your GMB listing, and these features are crucial in drawing them in!

Posts stay live for seven days after posting them, so bear this in mind when you’re scheduling your GMB content. Old posts are still visible on your listing, but they’ll be pushed down by newer GMB updates. Bear this in mind when building a content mix and recycling old content!

Don’t Think Small
Optimizing your GMB listing isn’t as simple as filling out a box or checking on things twice a month. You need to be engaged, proactive, and present with your listing. Take this advice and make some big changes to your GMB listing if you want to succeed!

Does this all sound like a lot to handle? Let’s talk about your business’ GMB listing during your free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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3 Things You Should Be Doing on LinkedIn But Aren’t

041519 Go Blog_ 3 Things You Should Be Doing on LinkedIn But Aren't (1)
15Apr

The reason that so many otherwise great local businesses fail on LinkedIn is that they’re not really sure what to do. They look at Google publishing white papers and Wal-Mart rolling out national promotional campaigns, and they’re not really sure what their role is on the platform. Lucky for you, I’ve got the answer.

I’m going to cover what your local business should be posting on LinkedIn and how you should be posting it. Let’s catch you up on the LinkedIn strategies you’ve been missing!

Say Something Meaningful
As a local business, you don’t have the reach or the bottomless resources of a Fortune 500 company. But what you do have (hopefully) is a point of view. You’re working in your industry every day—use that knowledge to offer insight that only you can provide!

One tactic that The Go! Agency uses for our clients is to curate content then share it with something meaningful attached. So if you were a fashion boutique, you might share a post about a runway in Paris with your thoughts about the styles.

“But Christopher!” You say, “I don’t want people to care about that fashion show in Paris, I want them to care about my local business!”

Think bigger picture. Sure, the article isn’t about how great your business is, but it shows that you know what you’re talking about when it comes to fashion. It establishes you as an authority, so that when people in your area are looking at your LinkedIn page, they’re impressed and interested in your brand.

There’s more to succeeding on LinkedIn than just having a point of view, though. You need to say it before people get bored.

Make It Quick
On every social media platform, users are scrolling through their feeds, paying (at most) half attention to what they’re looking at. That means you have to spit it out!

No matter how good your insight is, I promise you that nobody wants to read an essay before they even get to the article you’re sharing. Keep your LinkedIn posts to two short sentences AT THE MOST. If you can manage it, fewer than 100 characters is ideal.

While this does limit the nuance you can give in your posts, it also makes it easier for people to see what you’re talking about. That means more engagements, more connections, and more business opportunities going forward. Save the long-form content for the blogs and make sure that your LinkedIn updates will actually get read!

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Join Relevant Groups
If you’re not joining LinkedIn groups, you’re missing a great opportunity to connect with people who would engage with your business. If you’re a salon, join some beauty groups! If you’re a restaurant, join a group for foodies! Whatever industry you’re in, there is going to be a LinkedIn group for your business.

Once you get in these groups, don’t be silent. Strike up some conversations! The key word here is “conversations,” though. You can’t just post constantly in the same group and hope that people will engage with you. Not only is that ineffective, but it’s a great way to get banned by a moderator for spamming the group.

Instead, like and comment on other people’s posts in the group. If you’re engaging with their content, they’re likely to reciprocate and send some attention your way. Just be sure to do the same when someone likes or comments on one of your posts!

Use This Advice ASAP
I’ve seen countless small businesses fail to use these best practices on LinkedIn—don’t be one of them! Starting today means you’re late, so hop on this train before you miss your chance for your small business to succeed on LinkedIn.

Could you use some more advice on how to succeed on LinkedIn? Schedule your free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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Why Your Successful Local Business Needs Digital Marketing

Why Your Successful Local Business Needs Digital Marketing
8Apr

Making a local business successful is never easy—congratulations! You feel stable and you’re netting a nice profit, so you might not realize how important it is to invest in social media while you’re ahead. Let me fix that for you.

Too many times I’ve been talking to a potential client who insists that they’re successful and don’t need social media, only to look them up a year later and find that they went out of business. And they weren’t entirely wrong; these were successful local businesses! But ultimately, it doesn’t matter how successful you are, because you will always need social media.

Here’s why.

Competition Is Everywhere
Sometimes local businesses luck out and won’t have any competition for stretches of time. That’s great and makes your job easier, but you can’t count on that lasting. Let me share a real example that I’ve seen happen over and over again.

I was trying to get an Italian restaurant (let’s call them “Pastasciutta”) signed on for a social media package, but their numbers were good and they didn’t see any reason to put money into their digital marketing. And I assume that worked fine, until three months later when a new Italian restaurant moved in just a couple blocks away.

I don’t know if the new place’s food was actually better than the original’s, but they were more active on social media, so they started to get a good local following. They weren’t taking all of Pastaciutta’s customers, but a big enough portion left that the restaurant was noticeably emptier even at their peak times.

Without their own social media presence, Pastaciutta just couldn’t compete. The new place ended up moving 8 months later, but by that point, Pastaciutta had lost so much revenue that they had to close.

What’s the moral of this story? 1. Give your Italian restaurant a better name than Pastaciutta and 2. Your local business is not too good for social media. Just because it’s feast today doesn’t mean you’re safe from famine tomorrow!

I think there’s another lesson that we can pull from this story, too.

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Customers Are Fickle
If brand loyalty isn’t dead, it’s certainly on life support. A common mistake I see is assuming that people are going to support your business unconditionally. After all, if someone makes a purchase from you and you know it’s a great product, you can count on that repeat business, right?

You can’t.

It doesn’t matter if you’re the best deli/bar/haberdashery in the county; customers care infinitely more about who your brand is than what you’re selling. That’s where social media comes in! Social media marketing isn’t, at its core, about pushing your latest products or talking about how great you are (although that’s definitely a part of it). The goal of any social media campaign is to engage with the audience to form connections, and if there is ANY way to earn brand loyalty in 2019, that’s the way to do it.

And “mom and pop” store owners, don’t think you’re immune! Great customer service is nice, but people are forgetful. Unless you’re keeping your store’s name fresh in your audience’s mind, they’re not going to remember how you helped them find the perfect product or how friendly your smile was when they came through the door.

Yes, Social Is Right for You
If you want to maintain your local business’ success, then social media marketing is just non-negotiable. Don’t wait until it’s too late! Start looking into how your local business can succeed with social media.

Do you need some help planning your new social media strategy? Schedule your free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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How to Update Your Local Facebook Ad Targeting Practices

How to Update Your Local Facebook Ad Targeting Practices
1Apr

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already given Facebook ads a shot. How did they go? What I generally hear is that the first ads were okay but a little lackluster, and definitely not as impactful as you’d been hoping.

I hate to be the one to tell you, but the issue probably isn’t with Facebook advertising. There’s a lot that goes into making a successful Facebook ad for your local business, and if you’re not satisfied with your results, then that probably means it’s time to work on targeting.

Finding the right audience is harder than you think.
If your target audience is only X gender of Y age and Z income, you’re going too vague. What are their interests? Hobbies? Even political affiliation can make a big difference, and these are all factors that you can work into your Facebook ad targeting.

When you set up the audience for your Facebook ad, take these factors into account. If you’re still not sure what areas to include when targeting your Facebook ad, let me give you a list of the most common things your business should be considering:

  • Education
  • Zip code
  • Recent life events (engagement, birth of a child, graduation, etc.)
  • Household composition (children in-home, new teen drivers, etc.)
  • Net worth
  • Behaviors (the other ads they have/haven’t clicked on)
  • Pages they’ve liked
  • Websites they’ve visited

The list goes on and on. You don’t need (or generally even want) to target all of these areas, but consider who your buyer is and which of these factors are going to be relevant in getting them to visit your local business.

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Test out custom audiences!
You can go even more specific than regular Facebook targeting, though!

If you’re not using Facebook custom audiences, you’re potentially costing your local business a lot of money. Custom audiences allow you to put ads in front of existing customers (found by traffic to your website, your mailing list, etc.) to encourage them to buy more often, spend more, or otherwise increase their lifetime customer value.

I know that many small business owners don’t have email lists (even though they should), but you can always install the custom Facebook pixel on your website so that you can track visitors and deliver your Facebook ads directly to them!

Unlike other ads where you’re paying in the hopes that viewers will like your brand, your odds of success are much higher with custom audiences. These are people who have already shown an interest in your brand, so why not encourage them to finalize that sale?

Try using lookalike audiences…with a few changes.
Once you’ve got your custom audience established and it seems to be working for you, don’t stop there! Lookalike audiences are pretty much what they sound like—audiences that are demographically similar to your custom audience.

Even if you couldn’t use an email list to create your original custom audience, you can always use your Facebook followers as a base for your lookalike.

Why do it? Your custom audience might be great, but eventually you’ll need to expand your reach, and lookalike audiences are perfect for that. They deliver your ads to people who have similar demographic data to your target audience, meaning they’re more likely to generate clicks, conversions, or any of your other tracked metrics.

The one caveat with lookalike ads that local businesses need to be mindful of its location. Facebook ads tend to go a little broad sometimes, so make sure that your new lookalike audience is still within a suitable distance from your brick and mortar location.

Keep your Facebook ad targeting evolving.
Are you noticing a theme? There’s never a time when you can stop improving on your Facebook ad targeting! Your audience’s behaviors and interests may well change over time, so it’s important that you’re constantly renewing your targeting strategies if you want your local business’ Facebook ads to be successful!

Don’t be embarrassed if you feel a little lost—Facebook ads are complicated! Let’s discuss them during your free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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How to Optimize Your Local Business’ Online Listings

How to Optimize Your Local Business' Online Listings
27Mar

Social media is an exciting opportunity to engage with your customers, reach new audiences, and all of that happy jazz…but only if you’re smart about it. You wouldn’t believe how often I see local businesses that don’t have consistent, clear listings across social media. Why even advertise on social if nobody can find your store?

I don’t want your local business to fail at online marketing like the others, so I’m going to break down how you should be listing your business online!

Finish the Listing
You’d think this would go without saying, but I can definitively tell you that people need to be told this.

Partially filling out your online listing is not nearly good enough. If people don’t know your hours, it’s not really worth anything for them to know your address, is it? The same goes for photos of your store, your phone number, etc.

If your business is in some kind of middle ground right now, you still have to fill out the entire listing. Maybe you’ll be moving locations soon and don’t want to post the old location—do it anyway. Post whatever is accurate at this moment, then update it when it changes. Which brings me to my next point…

Keep Everything Updated
If your social media page, website, online listing, etc. lists your business’ information, that information should probably be accurate. In my experience, what happens is that people input that information correctly, but it becomes outdated. Hours change, stores get moved around, and suddenly the people Googling your business have no actual means of buying anything from you.

Don’t just think about text, though; visuals can play a huge role in your online listings too. 60% of consumers say that local listings with quality images encourage their business. What does that mean for you? Your images need to be a.) appealing, with no garbage or other clutter in the shots and b.) recent! If you recently updated your storefront, make sure your listing photos match. The last thing you want is for a customer to walk past your business because it doesn’t look like what they saw on the listing!

The solution is simple; just check your business’ listings every now and then, and be especially watchful when big changes are happening. My one caveat is to remember to check more than one platform. Just because your Facebook hours are right doesn’t mean the same is true for your Google listing, so be proactive and thorough if you want people to find your business!

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Have a Consistent Style
If you want people to take you seriously, then the written parts of your online listing need to share a style. For example, if one listing has your business’ name as “The Brewery Co.” and another lists it as “The Brewery Company,” you’ve got a problem. Your business looks unprofessional, and it’ll be more difficult to have a uniform brand identity if you can’t keep the name straight.

This also becomes an issue when listing your address (“road” vs “rd” vs “rd.”), and while I understand that these can sound like nitpicky details, they’re things that all come together to either make your brand look experienced and professional or amateurish and lackluster. When you’re checking up on your listings, just make sure that these stylistic issues are consistent across platforms, or you may be spreading the wrong idea about your local business.

List Wisely
Online listings are must-haves if you want to see your local business grow, but they’re only as valuable as the effort you put into them. Without optimized listings, it’s going to be an uphill battle to get any traffic to your business. Save yourself the hassle and use these tips if you want to save yourself a lot of headache!

Do you have questions about your online listings? Let’s talk about them during your free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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Find the Right Social Platforms for Your Local Business

Find the Right Social Platforms for Your Local Business
25Mar

Just about everyone is on social media. But that doesn’t mean they’re all on the same platforms! There are always exceptions, but different platforms tend to cater to different ages, genders, incomes, etc.

I’m here to help you find the social media platforms that your business should be marketing on. If you don’t want to waste months marketing on the wrong platform, then keep reading!

Facebook
Full disclosure: It is very, very rare that I advise a business to NOT market on Facebook.

What makes Facebook such a universal must-have for online marketing? Well, it’s got 1.74 billion active users, so you can be confident that whoever your target demographic is, they’re going to be on Facebook (unless you’re marketing to the Amish, in which case I really can’t help you).

Beyond that, Facebook has a sophisticated advertising system that too many local businesses miss out on. With this, you can target your ideal section of those 1.74 billion users and not worry about getting lost in the flood. It’s worth noting that organic reach is particularly hard to come by on Facebook, so think of an advertising budget as a necessity if you decide to go with this site.

LinkedIn
As the default professional social media platform, LinkedIn is a hotspot for online marketers, especially for those working with B2B organizations. Instead of traditional followers or friends, LinkedIn uses connections for users to track the people they’re interacting with. This name is entirely intentional: Think of LinkedIn as where you go to rub some virtual elbows, not to hang out with friends.

Beyond Professional pages (which can be advantageous if you use them to promote your business), there are Business pages where your organization can directly interact with its followers. These are good for building your brand identity and encouraging people in your industry to take you seriously, where personal profiles are better suited for showcasing your brand’s human side.

If your target audience is maybe a little older (think 50+), has a high income, and/or works in an office setting, then LinkedIn is probably where you want to be. LinkedIn can be valuable for your local business because you can search for new connections based on location, so you should seriously consider this platform if I just described your target audience.

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Instagram
No, it’s not just for teenagers and adults trying to be teenagers. With over 25 million business accounts and 200 million user visits to those pages every day, there’s a good chance that your local business can benefit from Instagram.

One of the big draws for local businesses? Instagram is one of the easiest sites for reaching people in your area. You can tag posts by location, and your hashtags should include a fair few pertaining to your store’s location (for example, if I owned a brewery in Columbus, Ohio, I might hashtag my posts with #Columbus, #ColumbusOH, #CbusOH, etc.).

This platform does tend to steer younger (mostly 18-34), but see who’s posting in your area before you rule out Instagram marketing!

Twitter
Like Facebook, Twitter appeals to a lot of different demographics, so it’s a safe platform for most local businesses. It does tend to be pretty fast-paced, so your posts will have a shorter shelf life than on other social networks. For that reason, I generally advise posting on Twitter more than once a day if at all possible. Users could blink and miss your post!

That fast-paced nature also makes it better oriented for sharing news and talking about current events. So if you’re running a beachfront restaurant, sharing news about local water quality, activities to do on the beach, etc. would be a safe bet for Twitter.

Another reason I usually recommend Twitter is that your users will use it to voice their complaints. Twitter is a popular platform for clients to engage with brands, and you don’t want to miss out on that! The age range of Twitter users is pretty evenly spread out, so most businesses should be on here if not for drawing in new sales, then at the very least for engaging with their audience!

Get Social
It’s always better to work smarter than harder, so don’t waste your time trying to reach an audience that doesn’t exist on your chosen platform. Use my advice above and I’m sure you’ll get your social media campaign off to a great start for your local business!

Are you still unsure of where your business should have social media profiles? I’ll give you some answers during your free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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Why and How to Use Branded Hashtags for Your Local Business

Why and How to Use Branded Hashtags for Your Local Business
11Mar

One of the most common misconceptions I hear is that branded hashtags are only for national/multinational businesses. Untrue. Hashtags that are made by and for your local business can be great, provided you know what you’re doing.

If you’ll let me rant a little, I want to explain how you can make branded hashtags work for your local business. You don’t have to be Amazon to pull this off, people!

Why Do You Want Branded Hashtags?
Most of the time, getting your brand in front of new eyes is going to mean spending a healthy sum on advertisements. While that investment can be 100% worth it, wouldn’t it be nice to have a free alternative to supplement it?

That’s where branded hashtags come in. When you create a hashtag for your customers to share, you’re essentially having them advertise your business for free, directly to their friends and family. And personal referrals are effective! So for exactly $0, you get someone with a meaningful connection to other people in your target demographic to talk about how great your business is. Sounds like a good deal, right?

Beyond that, you’ve got a way to create a community around your brand. When people search your hashtag, they have the chance to see what other people love about your business. Then they can talk to your other customers, and bam, you’ve got local buzz going at no cost to you!

What makes this especially useful for local businesses? Bigger brands benefit from a wider audience, but the local proximity can work to your advantage, too. Think about it: people are a lot more likely to tell their friends about a local business than a huge corporation. Why would you rave on Twitter about how great Amazon is when everyone is already a fan of the company?

You’re much more likely to talk about that Thai place you found on accident, and that’s your advantage here. People want to show their friends new things, and when you make a branded hashtag, you make it easier for people to tell their friends all about how great your business is!

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How Do You Make Branded Hashtags Work for You?
When brainstorming ideas for a brand hashtag, keep it simple. You can go with your company name, but you might want to try for something a little more interesting. Short, easy-to-spell taglines are always good. KitKat’s hashtag #HaveABreak is a great example—it’s creative, it’s short, and it plays on their tagline.

Let’s say your Italian restaurant is called Gino’s Pizza; your hashtag might be #DinnerAtGinos or #GinosGrub. These are some basic ideas, but don’t be afraid to take a hard look at your brand and see what you have to play with!

Once you have a hashtag, start using it! If you’re not sharing content with the tag, nobody else will, either. But when it becomes a staple in your social media updates, people are much more likely to take notice and use it themselves.

This is not something you want to put in place and forget about. Track the tag, especially as it starts becoming more popular in your community! You can set up a Google keyword tracker or just make checking the hashtag part of your daily site work on each platform.

Respond to customers (whether they’re praising or ranting about you) and take this opportunity to guide the conversation about your brand. People are going to talk about your business no matter what, so you may as well make sure the conversation is favoring you!

Try This New Strategy
I find that a lot of local businesses have stagnant social media strategies, and you don’t want that! Keep things fresh by trying out a branded hashtag and see what you’ve been missing out on. Branded hashtags offer you unique benefits as a local business—make the most of them!

Are you still feeling a little lost on how to use a branded hashtag for your business? Let’s talk about it over your free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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How to Advertise Your Local Business on Facebook

_How to Advertise Your Local Business on Facebook
6Mar

You know more about Facebook ads than the average social media marketing bear, but how do you bring all of that together? After all, just knowing what an engagement ad does isn’t enough to get major attention on your posts!

Don’t worry, I’m here to explain what you need to do to have a successful Facebook ad campaign for your local business. Ready? Let’s work out how you’re going to grow your business with Facebook ads!

Set Goals
The mantra you’ll always hear in marketing is that your goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. What does that mean in real people speak?

You need to have a firm goal (e.g. a cost-per-click of $0.75), it needs to be something you can track, related to your business and its needs (if you’re trying to get people to visit your website, don’t waste money trying to get comments on your posts), something you can reasonably achieve, and it needs a set deadline. Of course you’ll get 100 clicks on your posts eventually, but it’s only a SMART goal if there’s a reasonable deadline attached to it.

Take a look at what you want to achieve with your ads. Do you want to talk to customers, drive traffic to your website, or something else? Whatever it is, identify exactly what results you’re after before you even think about creating an ad.

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Look Nearby
I’m sure your business is great, but very, very few people are going to drive 30 miles to go to a business they’ve never heard of before. You’re a local business, so market locally!

When you’re establishing the audience for your Facebook ad, try putting in specific zip codes or only sending the ad out to people within 15 miles of your store’s location. Yes, you’re reducing the number of people who are going to see your ad, but why would you want your money to go to putting an ad in front of someone who’s too far away to ever purchase from your visit? The beauty of social media advertising is that you can get specific and make the most of your investment, so put that to work with your Facebook ads!

Optimize Timing
Thanks to Facebook’s “Insights” tab, you can track when your followers are online. Those are the times you should be posting! If your target audience works in an office, then posting your ad while they’re working is probably a bad move. But running your ad right after they get off or when they’re on their lunch breaks has a much higher chance of being effective.

Because you’re a local business, this is especially important. There might not be that many people in your immediate area who fit your target audience, so it’s vital that you reach as many of them as possible!

Don’t limit it to specific times, either. What about days? Have you noticed a drop in social media engagement on Tuesdays? Then don’t have your ad run on those days! When I say you can (and should) customize these ads, I mean it. Don’t be so obsessed with appealing to every single person on Facebook that people who might actually like your store never see your ads.

Start Testing
You won’t get your first ad 100% right. That just isn’t a realistic expectation for somebody who’s new to Facebook advertising. But you can use this advice to skip a lot of pitfalls and make your first ad a worthy investment in your business’ future. So put a lot of thought into it, follow my advice here, and be prepared to record your results so you can make your following Facebook ad even better!

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A Guide to Facebook Ads for Your Local Business

A Guide to Facebook Ads for Your Local Business
4Mar

You don’t know enough about Facebook ads.

It doesn’t mean that you’re not a great business owner, but I’ve spoken to enough local businesses to know that there’s a lot of confusion out there about what exactly Facebook ads are good for. No, you don’t just put “Buy from my business!” over a stock image of your logo and no, Facebook ads are not one-size-fits-all.

That’s why I’m stepping in to clear things up for you. I’m going to talk about the different types of Facebook ads and why they’re really a must-have if you want to grow your business online!

1. Engagement Ads
Have things gone a little silent on Facebook? For better or worse, Facebook’s algorithm highly prioritizes paid content from businesses, and the landscape is very much “pay to play.” For you, that means that if you want to spark the conversation with your customers, you need to run an engagement ad and encourage people to like, comment, or share your ad!

2. Page Likes Ads
If you’re newer to Facebook, it probably won’t be long until your page likes run into a wall. You start off and they’re climbing up, up, up…and then they stagnate.

It’s normal, and investing in some page likes ads is your best bet if you’re hoping to grow your Facebook following. These ads will go to people who aren’t following your page but may be interested, based on the demographics you target (I’ll get into this in my next blog).

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3. Check-In Ads
While not its own explicit ad category, check-in ads are perfect if you’re trying to get some more people into your brick and mortar store. How do you do it?

When creating your ad, you’ll go under the “conversion” category and choose the “store visits” option. From there, your copy should incentivize viewers to check-in at your store, maybe by offering a promotional code to anyone who checks in. This way you’re increasing your sales and getting more check-ins/reviews on your page, which will in turn drive customers to your business.

4. Event Responses
Do you have an event coming up? Run an event response ad to make sure you’ve got a full house! These ads make it easier for people in your area to learn about your event, and they show responses from the people you’ve already invited. This way people see your event, see that people are looking forward to it, and are much more likely to make the effort to go!

5. Traffic Ads
If most of your business happens online or you just want to get more people on your website, a traffic ad is right up your alley. You can encourage people to visit a specific page on your website, usually to a contact or reservations page. From there, you’re more likely to see an uptick in your site traffic. If you make the ad using industry standards and target it toward your audience, this is a great way to create conversions!

Join the 21st Century
As you can see, there’s not exactly a shortage of Facebook ad options. You don’t need to run all of these at once, but take a look and see which ad is going to work for your goals. Don’t run ads optimized for page likes if what you want is engagement, be sure to create visuals and copy according to digital marketing best practices, and you’ll see why Facebook ads are a staple in social media marketing!

Are you still a little fuzzy on the nitty gritty of Facebook ads? Schedule your free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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