Playbook’s Top 5 Social Media Tips

Playbook’s Top 5 Social Media Tips

social media

We are Social Media Experts

If you are a business owner, you probably struggle with the same dilemma as every other business owner: the amount of hours in the day. We certainly cannot manufacture a few extra hours into the day to accomplish more tasks, and we cannot ask our staff to work round the clock. So, the best business owners figure out how to be most efficient with their time.

Have you ever sat down to check your Facebook and then found yourself still scrolling the newsfeed an hour later? Social media can be a huge time waster, but social media is PR. It is a relatively cheap vehicle to relay and your company’s image and brand message to your target audience. There is no guarantee on this translates into immediate sales, but it effects how people feel about you and your brand. For this reason, many companies have opted for services that automate the social media portion of their marketing plan.

While the automated approach seems great and frees up manpower, it may not be wise. NPR recently tested the effectiveness of having a live person working their social media in real time versus their automated approach. They were shocked by the results. During the five days of manual updating, traffic to the NPR website increased by 45%. Twitter links tweeted by @nprnews were clicked on nearly 100,000 more times than links shared automatically in the previous week. Sounds like a compelling reason to lose the robot.

Here are Playbook’s “Top 5 Social Media Tips.” We hope they help bring NPR type results to your social media engagement.

1. Outsource

The #1 reason for outsourcing to a call center is that businesses do not have time to devote to the task of making and fielding calls. This approach makes sense in social media too. Marketing companies have account managers that are dedicated to servicing their client’s social media needs. They typically use a combination of a live person during office hours and then some degree of automation.

2. Give your posts a personal voice.

Your brand has a voice. Speak in that voice and make sure that your social media sounds like there is a real person that cares about them and the world posting.

3. Separate business and personal pages/ posts.

While people want corporate posts to be quirky and fun, they shouldn’t know everything about you. The smaller the business is; the easier this line is blurred. If you like to “party like a rockstar,” only a handful of potential clients will relate. The rest will be turned off and not want to do business with “Mr. Party Animal.” You also don’t want controversial posts on your company’s social media sites. It is usually better to save the controversial topics for your personal outlets.

4. Respond to all posts.

Social Media can cause PR nightmares, so it is important to respond to your audience’s posts and comments quickly. In order to so this, your business needs a point person who can respond in a pleasant and appealing manner. Put a crisis management protocol in place, so all “hot” topics are sent off to management or customer service department for further action.

5. Automate some of the social media experience.

While there is value to having a dedicated social media team, it may not be realistic. So, you will need to figure out how to automate a portion of the social media time while still allowing for personal connection. Hootsuite is a wonderful tool to help with automation.

What is the bottom line? You need to get personal and friendly when it comes to social media without stepping into the twilight zone of losing time. If you plan out your approach, get some help from marketing experts, you should be poised to navigate social media with maximum effectiveness.

Content Marketing: Social Media Style

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-blog-marketing-concept-business-hand-pointing-image35801387Content Marketing: Social Media Style

Whether you love or hate the social media trend; the reality is that it is a part of American culture, with people of all ages devoting time to their favorite social media outlet. Think about it – if you have kids, they are on social media, you and your friends are on social media, and more than likely, even your parents have an account on one of the social media outlets. In fact, the 55-64 year old age group is the fastest growing age group on Twitter. Social media has broadened into every age group imaginable. According to the Business Insider (BI), Social Media is now the top Internet activity. BI reports that Americans spend an average of 37 minutes per day on social media, a higher time-spend than any other major Internet activity, including email. As a business owner, you have an opportunity to use social media to:

a) interact with your target market daily,
b) develop brand loyalty, and
c) generate new business.

So, how do you develop a social content marketing strategy that keeps your people engaged?  Here are a few tips in keeping your brand in the newsfeeds:

1. Use photos.

According to recent marketing research, photos makeup 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook. Maybe it’s because; the brain processes visual data 60,000 times faster. While website links or YouTube videos might be relevant or interesting to your brand, people aren’t likely to share them. Grab your audience with a photo and they will share with their network allowing you to reach new people.

2. Plan out your top social media outlets for postings.

When developing your marketing plan, you will need to identify the top social media outlets that are the best fit for your company. Social media gives people the illusion of personal conversations so if you post the same info across all your social media outlets, you will lose the conversational approach. For instance, tailor your Twitter tweets to the twitter audience. A tweet includes a shorter message, but with relevant #hashtags and interaction with key people interested in your content. Also, since the newsfeed shifts so quickly, you can re-post a blog link several times, but try that on Facebook and people will be turned off.

3. Blog

Did you know that B2b companies that blog generate 67% more leads than those that don’t!  In fact, it’s so important that we devoted last month’s entire blog to the subject: Click here to read Content Marketing – Blog Writing.

4. Don’t be a robot.

For time efficiency, you will need to automate some of your social media postings. However, there must be a real live person engaging the audience, sharing info, growing the site, and handling any positive or negative feedback. People want to think there is a beating heart behind your brand.

5. Use customer testimonials.

According to Social Times, customer testimonials have the highest effective rate in social media sharing at 89%. The great news about this is that these are so easy to share on social media! Post the positive, support it with a picture, and you just graduated from PR101!

Let’s face it; it’s a full time job keeping up with content marketing. We will develop a content marketing playbook for you,and track metrics to support its effectiveness. Because we are a small firm we can shift the plan based on results, and find deep engagement with you target audience. The potential of content marketing via social media is endless. Isn’t it time you tested the waters?

Marketing to Millennials

Marketing to Millennials

smartphonesMarketing experts are talking about how to reach Millennials, people born between 1981 and the year 2000. And they should be. This group is the largest market segment in our society today totaling over 80 million people, surpassing the size of the baby boomers and the GenX groupings. Millennials have careers and money to spend. However, because of the way our society consumes information and data marketing to this group is very different than marketing to the Baby Boomers or even to GenX.

Today’s technology (i.e. tablets and smartphones) quickly links us to our friends around the world. According to data gathered from AD Week, the majority of Millennials own tablets and smartphones and check into their devices on average about 48 times a day.

Millennials tend to reject the traditional marketing paths of the past. You are not going to reach this consumer with a celebrity spokesman on TV or a gimmicky mailing campaign. They tend to reject this sort of marketing message and in turn will ultimately reject your brand. If they do reject your brand, watch out because they will share their feeling socially. In fact, Millennials share more of their brand likes or dislikes than any other consumer group. Social sharing and recommendations from their family, friends, and even anonymous online reviews influence their buying decisions.

So how do you reach this group?

1.    Create a mobile ready website.

There is a more than 68% chance that your website will only be seen from a smart phone, or tablet. Your website should be easy to navigate from a mobile device, or it will render itself useless to an entire generation.

2.    Create a social media strategy.

42% of Millennials log on to Facebook daily, and over 60% follow brands on Facebook. Create a social media strategy that increases your interaction with your target market. Decide what outlets you need to be on and keep at it with a consistent message.

3.    Create authentic interaction and monitor what is being said about your company.

Be real, or at least appear that way by limiting the gimmicks and false claims. Since Millennials trust recommendations more than claims by brands, you need to be well aware of your testimonials and what people are saying about your brand online.

With Millennials, the focus needs to be on technology and creating an authentic, intimate brand experience. Your website has to be mobile ready and easy to use. You have to have a brand presence across all social media channels or your brand risks becoming irrelevant to this large consumer group.

For help making your website mobile ready, social media management, and increasing your word of mouth PR, call Playbook today!

5 TIPS FOR FACEBOOK

5 TIPS FOR FACEBOOK

Tips-for-FacebookWe recently attended a seminar on the evolution of Facebook and how to leverage this social media outlet for small businesses. Before the event, there was an opportunity to chat and have coffee with the other attendees. Many of the people we spoke with were starting a new business and were overwhelmed with the task of managing and leveraging social media, especially the beastly Facebook site. Since they had already sunk most of their money into starting their new businesses, it left their advertising budgets in a diminished state.

The good news is that this social media beast is easy to tame, and a valuable investment for those with minimal advertising dollars available. The average person checks their Facebook page at least 14 times a day, and for many; the Facebook NewsFeed is the first thing they see in the morning! So leveraging the enormous Facebook audience is a must for most business owners.

Here are our top 5 ways to use Facebook for your small business:

1. Figure out your demographics

Just like with traditional advertising streams, you better know your target audience. Once you have created your Facebook page, you can use the Facebook insights to report on who your “fans” are- the people that like the page and engage with it on a weekly basis.

2. Create a clear strategy

Don’t just wake up in the morning and post whatever is on your mind at the time. While you want your posts to look authentic and relaxed, there should be a concise social media strategy that reflects your brand image and mission.

3. Boost posts

Because Facebook went public, they have to answer to their shareholders. This meant that business pages are rarely showing up in Newsfeeds unless you are spending money to boost your post. Yes, boosting posts costs money, but it is the best way to ensure that people see the posts you have spent so much time creating. When you have a post that seems well liked by your fans, invest the money required to boost engagement.

4. Focus on photos

Keep your word usage short and sweet, even in the photos. Your audience is scrolling through a newsfeed where you are competing with other companies, your fan’s family photos and your fan’s best friends. They want to see a photo that is intriguing and beautiful to capture their attention. You can add a call to action into the post once you have captured their attention. Also, your profile pic and cover pic should tell the story of your business without jamming up the message with too many words.

5. Connection is key

Monitor your page and if a fan is interacting, interact back in a timely manner. Start a conversation and keep it going. And with any Facebook page, there is bound to be some negative posts by fans…DO NOT let them sit there without a response. You can respond in a public manner and then reach out to them privately to ensure loyalty. Online Reputation Management (ORM) is essential in today’s business world! Even if you are not online your target audience is!

When managed correctly, Facebook is like a trained dog rather than an intimidating beast. Develop a loyal and engaged audience with creative and strategic posts.

Social Media Tip- #SharetheGood

Social Media Tip #SharetheGood

#SharetheGood

Social Media Tip – #SharetheGood

Social media can get a bad rap. We blame social media for the declining social skills of our children, for keeping people plugged into their computers for hours of their free time and a whole slew of other problems that could be caused by the advent of social media.

But it can also be a tool for a whole range of positive things. Within minutes, people can connect to their family and friends that are continents away to share photos and stories of their lives. People share their favorite experiences, their favorite quotes, their accomplishments and their dreams.

This sharing of the “good” has given rise to what BlogSpot terms, Human to Human Marketing. Companies that use Human to Human Marketing make their messaging and images personal, conversational, and inspiring. This approach often creates consumers that feel more brand loyalty and “closer” to these brands.

Can a brand be your “friend”? On social media, it can. Your brand message can show up in their timeline right next to their best friend getting married and photos of their cousin’s new baby. Making sure your images and photos have the Human approach ensures that you get noticed and remembered.

Consider adding this approach to your marketing strategy this year, especially the social media plan. You can still sell your products with adding in a call-to-action in these posts. The call-to-action could be growing your email list, a targeted offer or direction to your website for increased traffic.

If you are ready to create a Human to Human Marketing plan, we can help, contact us today!

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