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Your Marketing Checklist for January 2020

Your Marketing Checklist for January 2019
23Dec

There’s a lot going on at the start of a new year! When January rolls around, you’ll probably still be recovering from the holidays, which puts you in a bad position for kicking off your 2020 social media marketing. That’s why I’m here!

I’m sharing my marketing checklist that’s going to get your business off to a great start in January. If you want to improve your 2020 marketing and stay ahead of your competitors, check it out!

The Checklist:

1. Evaluate your 2019 marketing results to identify areas in need of improvement.
Look back at how your social media campaigns performed in 2019. Most likely, some of them were more successful than others. If you want to improve those results in 2020, look for trends. Maybe your blog content performed well, but users weren’t as engaged with your ads. This tells you what to improve in the new year!

2. See how you compare to your competitors.
Spying on your competition is a key skill for any marketer, but it’s especially important at the start of the year. What’s working for them? What areas are they missing that you can fill? Figuring this out early is going to be a key part of creating a 2020 digital marketing strategy.

3. Create S.M.A.R.T. marketing goals that align with overall business goals.
S.M.A.R.T. goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. This means they’re things that you can track and check on throughout the year. Otherwise, you’d just wait until next December to find that you hadn’t reached them! They should also tie into your larger business goals. If your business goal is to increase sales, then a marketing goal could be to increase traffic to your catalogue page by February.

4. Determine if your 2019 target audience is still accurate.
Did your business undergo some changes last year? If so, it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re still appealing to the right audience. Even if you just expanded your offerings, that could open you up to a new market that you should be targeting!

5. Consult with a social media expert to create a strategy for 2020.
You don’t want to take chances with next year’s marketing strategy, so talk to someone who knows what they’re doing. Once you’ve gathered all your information, talk to an industry professional who can give you real, actionable advice on how to achieve your marketing goals in 2020.

6. Create a content calendar to better plan out your strategy for the year.
After you have goals and your plan outlined, assign everything specific dates! Laying out a plan for the year is a great way to make sure that your strategy is cohesive. Each month should flow into the next. When you take the time to make a content calendar, it makes the rest of the year so much easier!

7. Double-check that you’re on the same social media platforms as your target audience.
Social media platforms come and go, and so do their audiences. Whether you didn’t check this last year or your audience could have migrated, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re still on the optimal sites. The last thing you want is to be marketing on Facebook when your audience decided they preferred Twitter!

8. Share your social media channels on your website.
This one is a no-brainer, but you wouldn’t believe how often I see people who don’t have their social media on their website! It’s not that hard, so just link to each of your channels on your “Contact” page. Otherwise, you’re making it too easy for people to ignore your social media presence!

Plan Ahead
If your social media strategy doesn’t get a great start, it’s going to be harder to see the results you want. So get moving! Use this checklist to make the most of January! By following the above steps, I’m sure you’ll be able to create a strategy that serves your business’ goals and sets you up for success in 2020.

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 Get More for Less With Your Holiday Ad Spend

How to Get More for Less With Your Holiday Adspend
14Oct

Without fail, social media ad spend skyrockets during the holiday season. So why do marketers throw their hats into that ring every year? Because people are buying.

Sadly, knowing that people are spending money doesn’t magically increase your advertising budget. That’s why I’m here! I’m going to show you how to stretch your holiday ad spend dollar whether you’re a nationally-known business or a local store.

Timing Is Everything
When you’re marketing on the day of a holiday, your cost-per-click (CPC) goes up dramatically. Why? Because everyone is bidding for the same virtual ad space.

While on any given Tuesday it might be just you and a (comparatively) small handful of other businesses, advertising on Black Friday is going to pit you against retailers like Walmart and Target. By the time you finally win a bid, you’ll likely spend more on ads than you’ll ever see in ROI.

So what do you do?

For National Brands: 
If your organization is big enough, you may actually stand a chance at competing with larger companies for ad space on a major holiday. Still, question if this is the best move for you. Take into account how many of your clicks regularly turn into leads, then how many of those leads turn into conversions.

From there, you can work out how much money each of those ad clicks is going to earn in your customer’s lifetime. When running these calculations, remember that holiday shoppers are less likely to become lifelong customers.

Once you’ve got your number for how much profit each click will generate for you, based on past experience, find a margin that works for you. How much can you pay for clicks and still get an exciting ROI? Find that number, and don’t bid a penny over it. It’s unfortunate if you can’t get holiday ad space, but it’ll be worse to lose money on those same ads because of increased holiday ad spend.

For Local Businesses: 
Don’t even think about throwing your hat into that ring. The amount of traffic your local business is going to get is almost certainly not going to cover how much you’ll end up sending on clicks. Unless you’re the one local business in the world with an ad budget to rival a worldwide retailer, don’t waste your time bidding on ad space that you can’t afford to support.

For Both: 
If you find that it just isn’t feasible for you to run ads on a holiday, that’s completely fine! You can still get your share of holiday revenue. Just pick a day around the holiday to target.

You probably don’t want to skip Cyber Monday just to do the day before, where the bidding landscape will be almost identical. But what about the day after? In many ways, the day following a holiday is an overlooked hotbed of potential sales.

Immediately after a major retail holiday is exactly when all the bargain hunters come out. This is where you can shine! The ad spend market won’t be nearly as saturated with bids, and there will still be plenty of online shoppers for you to draw in.

Place your lower bids, and watch as you get prime ad space for a fraction of what it would’ve cost you 24 hours earlier.

Spend Wisely
You’re working with a limited ad budget in a competitive market, so choose your investments carefully! Take this information and make a name for your brand without spending every last penny on holiday ad space.

Does your holiday marketing plan still need some work? Set up your free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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The Worst Status Updates Ever and How to Write Better Ones

050819 Repub_ The Worst Status Updates Ever and How to Write Better Ones
8May

Status updates are the backbone of any social media account. A page can have an amazing profile photo, the best cover image in the universe and hundreds of positive reviews, but the bulk of content that people will see are the status updates. Mess them up, and it can destroy your good work in other areas.

If you’ve read the other posts in this series, you’ll be unsurprised to find out that the page we created as “The Worst Facebook Page In The World,” doesn’t do very well when it comes to their status updates.

I’m going to go through a few of their updates now and show you their issues, along with the best practices that could be used to make improvements.

Status Updates With Bad Writing

Let’s start off with the easiest issue to solve, but also the one my team and I see most often: terrible spelling and grammar.

In this day and age where every phone and computer has spell check, there’s simply no excuse to misspell anything.

Here at The Go! Agency, when my team writes status updates for clients, they use software to help check spelling and grammar. From there, the copy is proofed by another team member to make sure there aren’t any leftover errors.

While this process may be a bit too much for a small business, there’s still no excuse for not doing a quick check yourself before you hit “Publish.”

Using correct spelling and grammar isn’t going to win you any new customers, but it does ensure you look professional. Status updates filled with errors can turn customers off because they make you look sloppy and lazy.

Do you need to be the Ernest Hemingway of status updates? No. But do you need to make sure you’re not posting typos and spelling mistakes? Yes.

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Status Updates With Unappealing Photos

Your business might be in a shack in the middle of a parking lot. It could be in an unappealing strip mall with a dull storefront, or it could be the size of a postage stamp.

Many business owners don’t have the perfect location and have to do the best with what they’ve got. A lot succeed despite these weaknesses.

But showcasing those weaknesses on social media can only hurt your business.

Before you post photos from your business location, ask yourself how potential customers will respond. Sure, maybe your location isn’t the best, but do you really want to highlight that? Remember that you’re in control of how your photos look and what they show, so only show your best side.

That run-down shack might look delightful inside.

Behind that dull storefront might be a sleek, modern restaurant.

That postage-stamp-sized business might be cozy and warm inside.

You decide what people see, which means you can (and should) hide the less great parts of your business.

Which brings us to our next failure:

Status Updates With Bad Quality Photos

You can probably see a theme here: If a visual isn’t the best quality you can possibly make it, don’t post it. Remember the old quote that goes, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt”? The same rule applies with social media.

If you can’t post something of a high quality, don’t post anything. Sure you won’t be making progress toward your marketing goals, but you at least won’t be making things worse, either.

Unfiltered Status Updates

For everyday users, Facebook is a great place to share opinions. People get used to that free space to say whatever comes to mind, and they think that it’s okay to use their business page as their personal soapbox.

It’s not okay.

Your business doesn’t get to have opinions on controversial topics. It’s great to post content that your followers enjoy, but if it even comes close to the realms of politics or overly personal subjects, do yourself a favor and avoid it like the plague.

Don’t Settle for So-So Statuses

You’ll only get one chance to make a good first impression, so make sure your statuses are up to the occasion. Use our “Worst Facebook Page in the World” as an example so you can avoid these common pitfalls!

Need a little extra guidance on your Facebook updates? Schedule your free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Digital Marketing

042919 5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Digital Marketing
29Apr

Now that spring is here, you’ve probably seen a lot of tips and tricks for cleaning out your home. But what about your digital marketing?

Spring cleaning isn’t just for basements anymore! Regular updates to your digital marketing infrastructure are important to keep things optimized and running smoothly. After all, the marketing standards have heavily shifted over the past 5 years, so why would you want a website that hasn’t been updated in 5 years?

Like in your home, an in-depth digital marketing clean is harder than most people realize. That’s why I’m going to share the 5 things you need to do to spring clean your digital marketing.

1. Freshen Up Your Lists
If you’ve been practicing effective digital marketing, then you’ve almost certainly got a few lists lying around. Potential customers, email lists, etc. But when was the last time you looked at these lists to make sure that none of those names or email addresses had lost their relevancy?

For this part of spring cleaning, you’ll want to review your lists and take off any expired emails, addresses, people who can no longer be considered potential customers, etc. A simple way to do this for your email marketing list is to send out an email blast asking users to verify that their information is correct or needs to be updated.

2. Take Out Your Website’s Trash
If you’ve been updating your website over the past year (or more if you haven’t done any site cleaning before), then there’s probably some content that has expired. This can look like: non-functional links, missing images, or pages that your website just doesn’t need anymore.

Now is the perfect time to clear out this digital junk. If you see any pages that are irrelevant, have links that don’t work, etc., then salvage what you can and scrap the rest. Finding a lot of issues across the board is a major sign that your entire website could use an overhaul.

3. Edit Your Email Strategy
You’ve been keeping up with your email marketing, but what results are you actually seeing? I often see that people start email marketing with good intentions, but before long it becomes a chore and is given the least amount of attention possible.

Make sure that your email marketing is performing well by looking at your results and comparing what you’re getting with what you’re aiming for. If there’s a disparity, that’s your sign that you need to give more attention to your email design, copy, or delivery system.

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4. Track Your Social
Do you know what sites your business is on? Maybe you tried Pinterest for a few months before losing interest. Look around every social media platform and see if you have any presence that might have fallen to the wayside.

If you do find any old accounts, you’ll have a choice to make for the account. If you can show that it’s boosting your SEO, then by all means, leave it standing. But if the page looks unprofessional and isn’t doing anything to benefit your business, then scrap it ASAP or put in the work to make it work toward your business goals.

5. Brush Off Your Branding
When was the last time you worked on your branding? Without a devoted marketing and branding team, there’s a good chance it got lost in the stress of day-to-day operations. Take some time to reflect on what you want your company to emphasize in its public image, then compare that to what messages you’re actually sending.

Some questions to ask during this process:

  • Does your logo reflect your brand identity?
  • Are you maintaining consistent branding in your visuals and promotional materials?
  • Does your social content mix advance or contradict your brand’s values?

If your answers are showing anything but a consistent brand image, then you need to redouble your branding efforts or find a team that will handle those concerns for you.

Start the Cleanup
While you’re spring cleaning around the house, you may as well keep the ball rolling and extend that cleanup to your digital marketing. It’s a lot of work, but you’ll be glad that you took the time to focus on digital marketing when you’re seeing increased traffic to your business and engagement with your brand!

Does this sound like too much to handle? Let’s talk about your options during your free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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Is Your Social Media Marketing Company a Good Fit?

Is Your Social Media Marketing Company a Good Fit?
23Jul

No one should settle for “meh” when it comes to social media marketing companies. Some of those companies just can’t hack it–and make the rest of us look bad in the process. How will you be able to tell that your prospective social media marketing agency is worth the investment? Here are some hallmarks of a good social media marketing firm.

1. The staff members fill specific roles. 

The smaller the firm, the more hats each employee wears. However, great social media marketing companies will have team members with specific jobs (account managers, content writers, graphic designers, etc.). That’s because those companies want these tasks to be completed by people who know what they’re doing. Sure, sometimes an account manager might throw together some graphics as a place holder, or the team will split the duties of a coworker who’s on leave, but generally all roles are clearly defined. 

2. The firm is focused on your long-term success.

You want a firm that looks at the big picture. These firms won’t waste resources on campaigns or tactics that will not have lasting effects. The managers strategize with you on a monthly basis, but with an eye on their annual strategy for your brand. This technique can be slow to take-off, but then will yield steady results. Such social media management companies are proving that they are invested in their clients.

3. Your account reps are accessible and responsive.

(Please note the tacit “within reason.” Few reps will be on-call 24/7/365, unless otherwise stated and even then only in case of an actual emergency.) If you have a question, you can easily reach them for an answer. If you have a problem, they will address it immediately. You should be able to get into contact with the correct person when necessary. On a slightly related note, good firms have low turnover. This is great because it means you will probably keep the same account manager or creative team throughout your relationship with the firm. This also indicates that the firm has good management and reliable employees.

4. They listen to and address your concerns.

A good social media marketing agency will work with you. True, you might disagree with their advice, but they won’t force you to follow it. They will be knowledgeable about your situation and will have researched the challenges facing your industry. They have a vested interest in your success, so they will try to persuade you on the best marketing strategies. Bad social media marketers take the maxim, “the customer is always right,” to an extreme–agreeing with every idea from the client, no matter how wasteful, silly, or damaging.

5. Good social media marketing firms have successful track records.

These agencies proudly display portfolios of previous campaigns and testimonials from satisfied clients. They have nothing to hide. Reputation matters: your agent should be able to provide references upon request.

What do you look for when hiring a social media marketing agency? Tell us in the comments!

How does your current social media marketing firm measure up? The Go! Agency has the digital marketing skills you need to thrive in the modern marketplace! Contact us today for a free consultation!

 

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The 10 Traits Of The Ultimate Social Media Marketer

Go! Blog Image Templates (900x350) (21)
3Jan

What does it take to be a truly effective social media marketer? One that can push a brand like no other and establish an amazing online presence? The truth is, some marketers are able to tackle the world of social media a little better than others. Why is this? They’ve taken the time to perfect their strategy. The good news? So can you.

Here are the top traits that the ultimate social media marketing campaigns have:

1. Focus. Your content should be specifically relevant to your industry and type of work. This doesn’t mean every post should be about your business. Instead, post articles and interesting posts that your followers will enjoy.

2. Passion. How are people supposed to be interested in your company if you’re bored with it? Trust me, your lackluster effort will show in your content. Get pumped up! You should be proud and passionate about your brand.

3. Professionalism. Social media is about casual communication, but that doesn’t mean you’re not a professional. Keep it classy, fellow marketers.

4.Authenticity. People can spot a scam a mile away. The internet is already full of cheesy marketing tactics and empty promises. Make sure you stay honest and true to your brand.

5. Consistency. You never want an excessive amount of time to go by without sending out a post. A day is understandable. Two, you’re going to start to suffer. A week, and you will need to wipe away the digital dust. Keep your publishing schedule consistent and reliable.

6. Communication. When a customer, client, follower, or fan contacts your company, you have to abide by three things. Friendliness, timely responses, and a satisfactory answer to their inquiry. Make sure you stick to the basics of customer service and communicate with a cyber smile.

7. Positivity. There’s enough bad news in the world, in particular on the internet. Make someone’s day by spreading some joy through a post. Whether it’s a quote, tasty recipe, or a fun image, your social media content should have a fun factor.

8. Integrity. Don’t take advantage of bad news for marketing gains. Don’t post inappropriate or controversial content. Don’t curse. Don’t fight with dissatisfied customers. Once again, keep it classy.

9. Entertainment. One of the defining factors of social media is that people use these platforms for FUN. Make sure people actually enjoy seeing your tweets, posts, and pins by studying what is trending and most engaging.

10. Patience. This trait combines a bit of everything. You need to be consistent, have a focus, stay positive, and use your exceptional communication skills. All the while, it may take time, but don’t let the quality dwindle. Don’t forget that social media takes time. Do not give up!

There are plenty of businesses who have all ten of these traits. There are also MANY who have none of them. Make sure you keep these in mind when you pursue your marketing ventures. If you do this, online credibility and brand awareness will be yours! 

Contact us today to learn more about the best strategies for social media for your business and how you can implement them!

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The 7 Things Most Businesses Fail To Do On Social Media

Go! Blog Image Templates (900x350) (9)
26Oct

Does your business have a social media presence? Chances are, the answer is yes. (Although if the answer is no, we need to talk.) But the real question is, do you have a GOOD social media presence? Once again, you may think the answer is yes. However, most businesses out there have quite a lot of room for improvement.

Many times we are approached by business owners who hire us to specifically clean up messes that were created unknowingly. Many times social media is delegated to interns or entry-level employees when they should be given to a qualified person or agency to execute. Social media requires a professional touch. With that in mind, here are seven of the most common things businesses fail to do on social media.

1. Interact with customers. Social media is a new form of customer communication. But what happens when your business doesn’t, well, communicate? It looks horrible when comments, reviews, or even tagging goes unanswered. Although you may have missed those notifications, it just looks like you are ignoring your audience. Hey – if the huge big box brands can do it, so can you.

2. Incorporate imagery. There should never be a piece of copy on your social media platforms that isn’t accompanied by some form of imagery, whether it be a GIF, picture, video, or something in between. You need something that will entice your audience to stop and engage with your content. Visuals are engaging.

3. Pay for advertising. The biggest misconception about social media marketing? It’s free. Sure, it’s free to sign up, but if you don’t create a budget for some well-strategized advertising, you’re going to have an issue. On Facebook alone, without advertising odds are none of your social media updates will be seen.

4. Update ALL accounts. Okay, so you’ve been doing great keeping your Facebook updated. You’ve been posting on a daily basis and even remembered your pictures. What about your Twitter? It hasn’t been updated since July? That’s a problem. Make sure you update all your accounts, even if you focus more of your attention on just one. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, YouTube and Pinterest are yearning for your attention! Oh yea, and don’t forget about your blog.

5. Update information. Did your business recently change hours? Do you have a new website? Maybe you rebranded? Make sure your social media reflects the most updated version of your business. Nothing is more shameful than wondering why you are not getting any phone calls when your phone number is wrong on every social account.  And yes, I see this all the time.

6. Add informative content. To be successful on social media and stay competitive, you need to make sure that you don’t just share promo after promo. It’s a sure fire way to lose followers. Instead, incorporate content that your followers want such as articles, pro tips, recipes, quotes, freebies and more.

7. Join the community. One of the biggest goals of businesses on social media is to be seen. However, your goal should really be to be seen as an industry influencer or thought leader. You do that by interacting with others in your field, talking about hot topics and much more. Cultivate a following and engage with them regularly. Pro tip: join the global conversation by joining LinkedIn groups and really hit the ground running.

It’s easy to see how having a qualified person handling your social media marketing is important. The truth is that social media needs a team of professionals to deliver quality, creative, and analytical results. It’s up to you to find a way to make it happen, just never be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Professional agencies can help you get started much faster and will help you get results, and training, that you need to stay competitive in your marketplace.

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How Creativity Can Boost A Social Media Marketing Strategy

Go! Blog Image Templates (900x350) (8)
11Oct

Imagine the social media landscape as a city — it most certainly has the population of one (actually a whole continent, for that matter). Just like any city, businesses both big and small are trying to get out their message in one way or another. While a real city uses billboards, posters, blimps, and sign twirlers, the social media city utilizes more effective tools such as optimized content, boosted posts, audience targeting, etc. However, similar to a marketing piece in New York or Los Angeles, your message may be lost in all the clutter and noise that surrounds it.

Do you want to get more attention? Of course you do! 

Social media marketing has the ability to allow businesses of all shapes and sizes to harness the power of the internet to significantly raise brand recognition. Yet because so many people are using Facebook, Twitter, and the other platforms, it can be a challenge to truly strike it big with your audience. That’s why it is so essential to create unique content.

When we consult clients, one of the most common and significant problems I encounter is their inability to change. Thinking outside the box and generating innovative content is where the creative and analytical parts of your brain meet. 

Here are a few suggestions that may help you create new, refreshing, and original posts:

1. Unique social experiences. It is social media after all. You want people to start talking! You can do this in the form of polls, quizzes, live video broadcasts, and many more innovative ways to invite your audience in to the conversation.

2. Add Video. Video works for multiple reasons. First of all, you are presenting the content in an enjoyable medium that consumers love. Secondly, most social media platforms give preference to video, especially on their mobile apps, which is where a majority of social media users go to. Finally, video allows for strategies that may prove to be undoable otherwise such as behind-the-scene tours, tutorials, and more.

3. Add new visuals with new colors. Sure, you want to stay consistent with your company’s branding, but the right graphic designer knows how to turn the pre-existing material into something new and exciting. Find a way to create new pictures, videos, live broadcasts, GIFs and more.

4. Incorporate podcasts and blogs. These two handy mediums can help you position yourself as a credible source of information in your industry through innovative forms of media. Blogging and podcasting are extremely popular methods that businesses share their story with an audience. The best part of all is that once you have the writing down for one, the other is essentially finished too.

 The above four content ideas incorporate social, creative, and informational tools to allow your audience to get a new glimpse of your brand. This is the best part of social media – there are always new and exciting ways to engage your audience. Start creating today! 

Creativity not your thing? No problem. At The Go! Agency, we have a team of creative copywriters, graphic designers, podcast editors, and many more professionals who are waiting to help you! Contact us today.

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How To Start Your Social Media Copywriting Journey

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26Jul

When you first set foot in the world of social media marketing, you have some “company soul searching” to do. You have to reassess what is important, which services you want to promote most prominently, and perhaps most important, what you want your customers to remember the most about you and your team. All of this is of course conveyed through the written word in all the fields that the social media platforms provide.

This is the time to start talking about yourself. Every company needs to make sure their social media profiles are optimized with the most relevant, updated, and essential information so a customer does not have to make an effort to find the information needed to interact with your brand and in the long run, make a transaction.

Fill In Every Field.

Creating a social media profile for your company from scratch will force you to go back to the drawing board for certain items such as “mission statement” and “company objective.”  Other times, you will (and should) have all the information immediately available. It’s important to fill out every single field the platform offers. Some sites such as Instagram will require very little information to achieve a 100% optimized profile. Others such as Facebook will have request quite a bit of writing. Additionally, others may have certain functions hidden behind a paywall or only allow so many details before you have to upgrade to a premium account. Regardless of platform, be as thorough as possible.

But here is the good news – a lot of the heavy lifting may be already done for you through pre-existing marketing and general information you have created for your company for other purposes.

However, if you are writing from scratch, ask yourself what you would want to know about your company if you were stumbling across it as a customer for the first time. What is your team’s work ethic? What do you hope a customer can take away from their experience with your company? What products are your pride and joy? Consider these questions when trying to define your business and what makes you stand out.

Keep in Mind the Keywords!

In the world of social media marketing, we often talk about keywords when referring to content. Yet keywords also help you when you are in the early stages of page optimization. When you are filling out your company’s About section, Company Overview, Mission Statement, etc., keep in mind the words that people would use to search for a business like yours.

For example, if you run an auto repair shop in Miami, you should definitely incorporate “auto repair,” “Miami,” “Florida,” “automotive,” and other relevant words in your copy. You may want to even consider some top-performing hashtags. Just make sure you don’t overuse them and ensure they are evergreen. In other words, make sure they are hashtags that stay relevant and do not depend on the time of year or a temporary element of your business.

Set Hours and Mark Your Location

Consider social media your online “open / closed” sign. Many people use company’s social media pages as resources for information and perhaps one of the simplest requests is to figure out if a location is open or closed. Simple, but very effective.

Another vital aspect of optimizing your social media pages is to set a location. Yes, this may seem obvious. But I cannot tell you how many companies I have interacted with that have not added a location to their Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram pages. These companies miss out on location service and targeting audiences. This is particularly useful for mobile users because they will be able to see what companies are in the area that offer a particular service or product. This is also very helpful when companies who wish to delve into more advanced advertising techniques, as locations, zip codes, and regions are all instrumental in finding the right audience.

Time Travel and Stockpile

Let’s face it – no one will like or follow an empty page (except for Apple, which hasn’t shared a single tweet, but manages hundreds of thousands of followers thanks to its name). You will want to create a ton of content and, if the platform allows, backdate it. This is only a function offered by Facebook and a select other platforms, but it proves to be useful when you are trying to position your business as legitimate and modern.

You should also stockpile content that you can start sharing, including tweets from industry influencers that are available for retweeting and quote tweeting, news articles you want to share and comment on, and ideas you may want to later talk about in the form of a blog or note.

Pin Your Spotlight Content

After you have been created content for some time, create a piece of content that you are particularly proud of and pin it to the top of the profile. This will be the first post that your followers see when they visit your page. This should be a piece of original content that expresses just what your company is all about, whether it’s a promotional piece or a useful piece of content that can be used a resource.

Later down the road, you can use this prime piece of real estate as a spot to promote a sale, holiday greetings, or other time sensitive information. Yet when you are just starting out, pick your best content and start pinning. This post should be switched out on a weekly basis.

Invite Your Regulars And Start Following Prospects

Now that you have your social media page fully optimized, you are ready to invite followers. Think of it this way, you have cleaned up the house and set up decorations, now it’s time for your party guests to come by and enjoy what you have prepared! There are many ways to start gathering a large following on social media, many of which will come as you start sending out relevant content and generate a large amount of user-generated content and feedback. However, when you are first starting out, you need to do a lot of the heavy lifting.

Offline, you need to ask your loyal customers to like your pages and share them with your friends. Encourage employees to do the same. Have social-media-exclusive incentives and sales only to be found online and make it known at your location. Train your employees to tell customers and clients about your pages. Most importantly, your content and copy should be a homing beacon for these people to come because of the “takeaway” they will receive. This is why you cannot just write promotional posts. You need to become an informative, educational, and entertaining resource that people will welcome into their social media sanctum.

Online, you can start following major influencers and those who follow them. This will introduce your newborn pages to new people and social circles. Try to be selective about who follows your page, but do not be too picky because you never know who those people will know and they will be able to see your content if and when they share it.

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Does Marketing Your Business Make You A Sell-Out?

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31May

A few days ago, I met with an old friend who had recently started up his own business.

He was looking for some advice. His company was doing well. He had a popular niche product and a list of customers waiting to buy it. But he wanted to take things to the next level.

Soon his company was going to expand, and he knew that he’d need to find new customers somehow. He couldn’t live off word-of-mouth forever. That’s why he came to me.

So I sat him down, started to tell him what his first steps would be. But each time I told him what he needed to do, he would cringe. He never had to say it, but I knew what he was thinking, “I don’t want to sell out.”

I’ve heard this before.

Often when people go into business for the first time, they find it hard to market themselves. They often see marketing as a negative thing. They don’t want to be like every other business out there. They think that the more they run their business like their larger competitors, the less unique they’ll become.

They don’t want to be “just another company”.

Here are a few points I threw at my friend to think about:

Growing Doesn’t Mean Losing What Makes You Unique

A common issue for businesses is that growth means more employees, more products, and more customers. Which often can lead to the personal connection of a smaller business being lost.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way. When a business grows, it’s easy to lose the human element as it often feels like the least important thing to focus on when there are a hundred other things to think about.

But by choosing to make that human element something important to your business and its ethos, you can ensure you gain customers while continuing to make connections. If it’s important to you, nothing will stop you.

The great thing about being a small business is that the business itself is more accessible. By keeping that accessibility as you grow, you won’t lose what makes you unique.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that you’re the business owner, so you’re the one that controls what makes you unique. No matter how big you grow.

There’s Nothing Wrong With Promoting Yourself

Many people balk at the idea of promoting their product as they fear a negative backlash. I often find that it’s not the imagined backlash that’s the problem. Often it’s just a case of feeling insecure with the business.

“Marketing” often feels like a dirty word to some as they think everybody will look at them and see a Used Car Salesman.

I prefer to think of marketing as simply a way to connect people to what they want.

My friend has a great product that he’s passionate about. A product that many people would love to use as it would solve some of their problems.

But without making those people aware of the product, his passion is wasted. Just because he wants to share his product with others, that doesn’t mean he can’t genuinely want to help others.

If I have a problem with my plumbing, I don’t get annoyed at plumbers for putting ads online. I’m grateful that they’ve made it easier for me to connect with them.

Truly Loyal Customers Don’t Judge You

This is some advice that isn’t even about business, so much as it is life.

People often feel bad when they make changes in their own lives because of negativity from their friends. But if somebody doesn’t accept the changes you make, are they really your friend? (No!) And if they’re not your friend, why should you care what they think?

The same can be said for business. Any “loyal customer” that turns their back on you when you make decisions necessary to keep your business going isn’t a loyal customer at all. So why care what they think?

A Niche Won’t Last Forever

This I leave for last, as it’s a sad truth.

If you’re not willing to expand your business into new areas and create new products that appeal to a range of customers, your business will be dead in the water.

My friend’s business is doing well now because his product is unique and he’ is tapping into a dedicated group of customers. But what will he do when all of those customers have his product? Eventually, there’ll be nobody left to buy what he’s selling.

So he has two choices:

Either to find new customers or sell new products.

Regardless of his decision, he’s going to have to connect people to his product.

Which means marketing.

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