Category: Social Media

3 Reasons Why You Should be Utilizing Hashtags for Your Small Business

Hashtags. They’re everywhere on social media. 

Although they first appeared on August 23, 2007, hashtags did not rise in popularity until October 2007 in response to the California wildfires. From then on, hashtags have retained their popularity among social media users and marketers alike. Now that we are in 2021, it is important for small business owners to continue to understand why it is important to utilize hashtags for their business’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Reach Your Target Audience

When a person searches for a hashtag in Facebook or Instagram, they are brought to a collection of every post created that has utilized that specific hashtag. It is important for your business to know who your specific target audience is before using a collection of hashtags in your posts. Let’s say that your business is a small clothing boutique and that your target audience is women between the ages of 20 to 35. You would want to utilize hashtags that would best reach that audience. For instance, hashtags relating to fashion and your local area would be a great way to reach your business’s audience.

Increase Engagement

Fun hashtags are a great way to increase engagement with your followers and customers. Utilizing a fun hashtag can bring your followers together and get them to interact with one another. Additionally, you can use hashtags to promote contests and use them as a key component in entering them. For example, if you are running a giveaway on your business’s Instagram, you can ask your followers to comment on your post with a specific hashtag to make them eligible to win.

Build Your Brand

Having a specific hashtag for your business is an easy way to make your brand more recognizable. The more you use that hashtag with your social media posts, the more your followers and customers will associate that hashtag with your business.

Do you need help with your social media? Give us a call at 717-496-8302 OR visit www.25pennmarketing.com!

The 3 Best Ways to Keep in Contact with Your Customers Through Social Media

In today’s society, social media has become a major component in people’s lives. Whether it is to stay up-to-date on family and friends or to discover new things, there is something for everyone on social media. For small businesses, social media is an excellent way to engage with customers on a daily basis. Below are 3 effective ways to keep contact with your customers by utilizing social media.

Stories

Instagram or Facebook Stories are a great way to keep your customers updated on a day-to-day basis. Stories are best used for daily updates due to their 24 hour posting period. With Stories, you can easily promote daily deals for your customers to discover as well as highlight new products or services. Or, if you would like feedback, create polls to get a feel of what your customers would like to see more, or less, of. Stories allow several ways to create opportunities for followers to voice their opinions!

Live Video

If you want to keep your customers updated in real-time, live video is the perfect way to reach your customer base. Use live video to show off new products, answer questions, or provide your customers updates about your store. You can even use live video to allow an open discussion with your customers to ask for input on your store. No matter what the reason is for utilizing live video, it is a great way to communicate with your customers.

Contests

Nothing gets customers more excited than a contest. Hold a contest that encourages customers to explore your website and discover all that your business has to offer. Do a giveaway that encourages interactions in the comments with your followers. Utilizing contests is an efficient way to continue communicating with your customers! 

Overall, social media is an effective way to continue communicating with your customers and encourage interactions among them!

Do you have questions about social media? Visit www.25pennmarketing.com or call us at 717.496.8302!

Why Bother With Instagram for Your Small Business?

In our personal life, we can’t imagine social media without Instagram. What a loss – how ever would we get our daily dose of coffee memes, local hangout promos, silly kitty gifs, and inspirational #quoteoftheday ?

The trouble is, the only way to post to the beloved photo-dependent, meme-friendly app is to use the camera feature on your mobile device. Thank goodness this includes tablets and ipads! And while the platform has tried a few variations of theme -initially launching in 2010 (iOS) and 2012 (Android) followed by a very limited desktop app, it has remained steadfast as the go-to app for easy access to searchable photos and videos.

With over 600 million instagrammers to date and 400 million of them posting daily, who could deny it’s popularity?! That’s 95 million photos and videos per day!

What does this mean for your small business?  

Last year is said to be the first time more businesses used Instagram for marketing than Twitter.

More than 15 million registered businesses use this particular platform to date. Part of this popularity among brands is due to the platform buyout with FaceBook. Thanks to a solid decision by the-powers-that-be, FaceBook and Instagram can share ad space – that is, you can easily, simple, almost brainlessly post to both platforms at one time. Crazy, but what a time-saver for the busy business owner!

Better Posts = Better Engagement

Think about your business in a new light – or rather – think only in photos. What is the visual you want to portray? Color, casual, formal, dark, light, all of it plays a part in the visual brand on Instagram. More than 60 percent of the top brands on Instagram use the same filter for every post – hence the same look and brand!

Of course you aren’t competing with all of these businesses, but searching for your industry will give you an idea of how competitive you need to be.

#Hashtaglikecrazy

Secondary to this is your caption and searchable hashtags. These two steps go hand-in-hand. Write your caption based on your visual, then search out words to tag – sites like hastagify.com can help show you which hashtags are popular now (and can search demographically!). Start a hashtag directory as you do your search and you will have a cache of viable hashtags that your customers will be looking for! Now some folks despise hashtags, noting that they clutter the appearance of the caption, but if you want to raise engagement, you need them. (Plus  in-the-know instagrammers are well aware that the latest rules allow and ENCOURAGE hashtag following! What a great branding opportunity for your small business!)

In fact, just ONE Instagram hashtag can raise your engagement and visibility by more than 12 percent!

In a world that is fully dependent on mobile access, it is completely natural that an app for posting videos and photos (and is #hashtaghappy) would be mobile-dependent as well. If you business is ready to take the plunge, create your page, find your niche, and get those followers! Your brand – 600 million instagrammers – will thank you.

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

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”

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

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.

Social Selling With LinkedIn

So, you set-up your LinkedIn account, now what? LinkedIn boasts over 107 million users in the United States. A business-oriented social networking website for professionals to network, job search, and share their knowledge with connections.

How do you sell on LinkedIn? To sell on LinkedIn you need to commit to logging in regularly. Spend thirty to sixty minutes a day “selling” with these 4 easy steps.

  1. Find Content to Share.

Use LinkedIn to educate your buyers, and potential buyers. Make them want to buy from you! Your content can come from articles on the Internet, sharing a post from another connection, inspirational quotes, or new products/services you offer.

  1. Share Content.

Once you have found your content you are ready to share it to the public and your connections. Log into your LinkedIn account, and click the “Share an update” tab.

Write your own update, add pictures, and/or link, then choose to share with the public or just your connections.

  1. Connect with People.

Check out who viewed your profile, and shared your content. These professionals are ob
viously interested in your profile, and what you have to offer. Connect with these professionals. Send them an invitation, and be sure to add a special message to the invite.

  1. Grow your network.

Think of LinkedIn as an e-newsletter, and your connections as subscribers. To increase your readership you want to grow your network. Convert 2nd & 3rd connections into 1st connections for a higher probability of content views.

An “All-Star” LinkedIn profile will draw the attention of business professionals all over the world!  Maximize your LinkedIn account to sell yourself, services, and business.

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.

Gain Loyal Customers with Social Media

Want long-term customers for your business? To build customer loyalty you need to engage with your customers and show them you care.

Personalize the Fan Experience. This could be as simple as sign off on posts and comments with your name. Coca-Cola took this to the next level where you can personalize and share a virtual bottle of Coke.
However you personalize your fans’ experience it boosts their trust and loyalty.

Offer Rewards. Show your fans you appreciate their input on your social media page by offering a reward. Involve and reward your entire social media community with offers, such as unique discounts, contests, and bonus or sneak previews.

Surprise Fans and Customers. Add to your customers’ experience on social media by finding ways to create surprise and intrigue. Surprises are a great way to build word-of-mouth marketing. They also encourage brand advocacy, because fans who get a treat are likely to share the experience with their network.

Listen to Your Customers. Listening to your customers and fans is a great way to increase engagement! Monitor what is being said about your company, and engage with your fans, respond, and take action.

Listening is the best way to get feedback about your product or services, so you can make improvements and provide better customer experience.

Follow Up With Fans. The initial follow-up is just part of the equation for great customer support on social media. To build long-term relationships with your fans, follow up ask your fans how they’re doing since your last contact.

Following up lets your customers know you’re still interested and value their time.

Cultivate Trust. Trust takes a long time to acquire, but only a matter of seconds to lose. The easiest way to maintain the trust of your community is to keep your promises.

If you do make a mistake or end up with a social media crisis, the first thing you should do is own up. Admit to mistakes and take action to resolve the situation.

You work hard to build the trust of your social media fans – do whatever you can to keep that trust!

Share Your Values. If your company has a strong view on a particular topic or issue, share it with your community.

Since fans on social media tend to be more loyal to a company that shares their beliefs, share updates not only around your products or services, but also posts that exemplify the core values of your organization.

Showing your customers that you value them is the most effective method to build long-term relationships. This will increase trust, loyalty and sales.