How Essential is Social Media to Your Small Business?

How Essential is Social Media to Your Small Business
Many businesses jump into social media because they “have to.” So they hire an intern who kind of knows what their business is and who definitely knows the platforms they are using… and then wonder why they aren’t seeing more customers.

In this day and age, if you are not on social media platforms, then you are missing out on reaching a big chunk of your target customers. According to Social Media Today, more than 74 percent of social media followers looked to their networks for advice on making a purchase!

Engagement is Key

Most anyone can get his or her FaceBook page “liked” by an existing client – but to get that client to comment or even write a review is a different story. The fact is, yes, you do “have to” be on social media. But you also have to draw in your customers – you have to provide an area for them to converse, you have to show that your business is more than dollar signs, and you have to engage.

Bring your Personality

So how do you do that? Make the focus about you and your business by promoting your products with visuals. Add in a few blogs, articles from expert sources, or other social media posts that directly relate to your mission, vision, and values. This will solidify your clients’ idea of who you are. The more they like, the more they will want to engage, the more they engage, the more realistic it is that they will walk through those doors and spend in your store. Add a video to the mix and folks will notice, too – since more videos are shared on social media than any other type of post.

Share the Love

Social media platforms are a great way to take the pressure off of you, too – and put it on the client. Your customers LOVE talking about what they like, so why shouldn’t it be you and your business? Provide opportunity for folks who follow your social media pages to “share” with their friends and your reach can grow exponentially! You posted one great photo with caption – your client has 1,000 friends who she shares to, and if even one of them shares, you are golden!

Even the smallest mom-and-pop shop can benefit from a social media page. Reviews alone could bring in customers. In fact, 93 percent of shoppers’ buying decisions are influenced by social media – because 90 percent trust peer recommendations. With those numbers, why wouldn’t you jump into social media?

Four Tips to Encourage Event Success

Four Tips to Encourage Event Success
The energy we put out is the energy we get back. (Rachel Bermingham)

When it comes to hosting an event, the energy we expend is tremendous. We not only have the idea for the event, but are also the sole promoter, planner, speaker, coordinator, greeter, host, and organizer. So how do you expend the least amount of energy to get the most amount of people to attend? Use your FaceBook connections of course!

Did you know in 20 minutes 1,484,000 event invites are posted on Facebook? How do you make yours stand out? Here are three easy (organic) ways to promote an event to success:

1. Create a FaceBook event, tag a co-host or speaker, and make sure the entire event is shareable.

Creating an event on FaceBook is the easy part – FB has a great format with simple-to-use instructions to keep you on track.* You can even add a link to sell tickets to your event if you need to! Plus, an event on FB gives you the chance to gauge interest/attendance beforehand, so that’s a major bonus!

Tagging a co-host/speaker will help your overall reach as obviously the post will be fed not just to YOUR followers, but also to THEIR followers. (Pssst! Be sure to ask the co-host first of course!)

2. Make sure folks who are interested in the event have the opportunity to share it with their friends/followers.

This is big! The networking opportunities are HUGE if you play your cards right – folks who follow you may

have hundreds of friends, they post to their page and it snowballs exponentially. In fact, people share 1.3 million pieces of content on Facebook every minute of every day – why shouldn’t your post be one of them?

(Tip: You can even encourage sharing in the discussion section.)

3. Speaking of discussion – start one!

When folks start expressing interest in your event on the event page, start a discussion. Add video if you have it, ask questions pertinent to the topic, call out folks who have an opinion – these posts then are fed to your “interested” parties who have not necessarily signed on to attend… yet. You got their attention with your blanket posts on your page, then pulled them in to click “interested” on the event, now you need them to feel like part of the conversation. Users spend 21 minutes per day on average on Facebook – which means they could easily watch your 30 second video!

(Tip: Video posts in this section also work very well to make attendees feel like they know the host – so speak to them with updates on numbers, attendence, the venue, or any other tidbit! Videos don’t have to be lengthy or involved, just sincere.)

4. The day of the event – POST!

Keep folks interested in what’s going on – drum up some excitement with a quick photo of the venue as it’s being set up, the refreshments as they are laid out, or the material that will be handed out, add a note about how excited you are as the host, tag a few folks who you are expecting to see and who will be willing to share their excitement. All of these things will make people even more anxious to be a part of your NEXT event as well.

Don’t forget to publicly thank attendees for their time at the conclusion of the event. Folks won’t forget the hospitality and sincerity behind your message however you deliver it.

*Also remember you can boost a post on your page or even boost the event itself and get even more reach!

3 Big Mistakes You Can Make When Going “Live”

3 Big Mistakes You Can Make When Going Live
Since its release over a year ago, live video has become all the rage across many platforms but, while it’s a great tool for your small business, it can be annoying to your followers if you do these three things:

1. …are unstaged.

You set up your screen and it works and sound is on, so you are good to go, right? Wrong! If your view is showing a half eaten pizza, two crushed soda cans, and a pile of recycling meant to go outside then you are definitely not ready! Do a test shot to see if your “stage” is set. Are you putting your best foot forward? I don’t mean that you should go out and redecorate your entire office but pay attention to what is in view. Maybe adding the plant from the conference room and moving the chair closer to the screen is a big enough change to make it better, maybe you like the blank canvas of white wall behind you, but I can bet you don’t want your audience to see your dirty laundry or trash can when you are discussing your expertise in financial planning!

2. …are inaudible.

So you set up your screen, checked the view, and are ready to rock! Or not. If your wifi connection is spotty or you have lawn mowers roaring in the background, your viewers will be s-t-r-a-i-n-i-n-g to hear what you are saying and they will most likely give up.

Make sure that while the space is not silent, it is at least audible. Again, a test run is a great idea.

3. …are unprepared.

Sound is great, video is great, and you press “go” and… wait. That’s right – most social sites have a buffer of time for when you start your live feed so that you can gather an audience. During this time, some folks are still setting up their space, messing with items on their desk, or just sitting staring at the screen! Bad news! Your audience may start to gather and then give up if they have to watch you do nothing for five minutes. Instead, try a countdown timer, start talking about general information (a kind of lead in to what your video is going to really dig into), or at least make it a nice view! Don’t look unprepared!

Video viewers account for 1.71 billion monthly active users on FaceBook alone! Can you imagine the reach that your videos could have if done thoughtfully? How are you using your influence to reach customers and tell your story?

For Best Practices directly from FaceBook, click here: https://live.fb.com/tips/.

Social Media for Your Business

Social Media for Your Business
Why should your business be using Social Media? Using social media platforms such as Faceook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest allow you to generate a HUGE online exposure for your brand, allowing you to showcase your products and services. Social media allows you listen to what people are saying, including your customers, prospects, peers, and competitors.

7 Reasons Social Media is good for Business…

  1. You can get more online exposure though social media. Your customers and audience is online. In fact, they are spending 16 minutes consumed by social media.

 

  1. You can showcase your brand. With a good branding you can build a better reputation using social media, and this in
    turn makes people trust you. 71% of business owners are using social media for brand awareness.

 

  1. Through social media, you can hear what people say. Social listening is what this is called, where you “listen” to people’s thoughts and insights through social media. Not only do you “listen” for what people think about your brand, you also have to monitor mentions. Address negative things and help improve your business.

 

  1. You can generate leads through the help of social networking sites. 77% of business to customer companies are generating leads through Facebook. Social networking sites can help you generate targeted leads in your business, which will ultimately result in more sales.

 

  1. Social Media attracts more customers. Facebook has made selling even better because of its influence. Social Media has a wide coverage, it has the capability to influence people, and convince them certain products and services are worth buying.

 

  1. Social Media allows you to contact your prospective customers with personal touch. Everybody is online now regardless of age. People who are over 65 years old use social media. Make sure you address each of these customers with a personal touch and understand their concerns individually.

 

  1. You can build relationships with potential customers. People are using social media more and more each day. In fact, they can access their social networking accounts almost anywhere. You can use social media to connect with them daily, and build a strong relationship with customers.

 
For help growing your business online visit http://25pennmarketing.com/social-media/ or call 25Penn Marketing at (717) 496-8302.

Top 3 Tips for Top Social Networks

Top 3 Tips for Top Social Networks
The easy part of social media is setting up the account, then the real work starts! Finding content, images, scheduling, while making sure to be consistent with your business image. Here are my top 3 tips for using my favorite Social Networks.  

Facebook is a social networking service where users can create a user profile, add other users as “friends”, exchange messages, post status updates and photos, share videos and receive notifications when others update their profiles.
 
Top 3 Tips to using Facebook:

  1. Post photos and videos to your Timeline.
  2. Create an engaging cover photo. You don’t have to be a graphic designer to do this. Try using Canva.com. They have a template for Facebook Cover Photo, and it’s easy to use.
  3. Use the Call-to-Action button. You can choose to have visitors “Sign-Up”, “Shop Now”, “Contact Us”, “Book Now”, “Use App,” “Watch Video,” and “Play Game.”

 
Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. Registered users can read and post tweets, but unregistered users can only read them.
 
Top 3 Tips to Using Twitter:

  1. Engage with Twitter users to build your following.
  2. Use popular hashtags in your post to maximize the reach of your tweet.
  3. Tweet frequently, at least 5 times a day, and don’t be afraid to tweet the same thing more than once.

 

Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its user to take pictures and videos, and share them on a variety of social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr.

Top 3 tips to using Instagram:

  1. Images need to be designed in a square. For example, using Canva I design all my graphics using the Social Media template (800×800 pixels)
  2. Engage with Instagram users to build your following.
  3. Add at least 20 hashtags to your post to maximize the reach of your message.

 

 Pinterest is a free website where users can upload, save, sort, and manage images-known as pins-and other media. Users can browse the content of others on the main page.

Top 3 tips to using Pinterest:

  1. Make your website pinnable by using eye catching visuals on your website and blog.
  2. Engage with Pinterest users – they will hopefully reciprocate the interest.
  3. Check out the competition.

Engaging with your customers and industry is a must in today’s market. If the idea of managing your social networks sounds overwhelming allow 25Penn Marketing to mange them for you.