Social Media Marketing

Marketing is a way of communication between a business and potential customers for presentation and promoting values of a certain product or services. The main goal of marketing is to sell. Social media marketing is to take advantage of the benefit of the social network to realize some of the marketing goals such as promotion and establishing a relationship with customers etc.

Social media marketing is used to present business through social media and use this as a way to communicate a message to potential customers. Social media refers to different websites that allow interaction among users and the exchange of information through a variety of channels. Content can come in the form of blog articles, presentation, videos, e-books etc

Below are some of the most important websites

  • Facebook- it is seen as the most popular social network and also a network with the largest amount of potential customers. Facebook pages are for celebrities, businesses and institutions. A page can have several administrators/managers. Facebook groups are for users who share the same interests. It is also for college students etc. it can be closed/open or secret.
  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn is regarded as the largest business professional network. It allows sharing of posts and profiles.
  • Twitter: it is differentiated by its microblogging from sending short messages called tweets. It uses hashtags.
  • YouTube, Vimeo: these websites host video files. Videos can be promotional, instructional or you can start a video blog. You can promote a video by sharing the link on other social channels.
  • Google+: It uses Google+ profiles for individuals, Google+ pages are for companies and institutions.
  • Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr: these 3 websites are visual-content sharing platform. It allows images and short videos for online stores, decorators, clothes manufacturers etc.
  • Foursquare, Yelp: Most times, tourists make use of these social networks for reviews on places visited.

Blogging is a form of social marketing which uses blogs to create and publish content while establishing a relationship with the readers. Blogging is an interactive form of publishing content on the web. The act dates back to 1990s till around 2000s. It comes from the word “weblog” and publishes content which is useful, practical and engaging.

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform. Others are Tumblr, Blogger. For a successful blogging activity, choose a suitable design, be consistent, interact with the readers and analyse your performance.

Tips in using social media for marketing include

  • Customization: you need a profile image, description of the business, cover image, business urls, and lastly your business location.
  • Social Media Optimization: it entails that if a visitor inputs your business name on a search engine, it should be easy to find within seconds.
  • Follow social media guidelines: guidelines on text and URL in the cover photo, conditions when organizing online process and limitations should be adhered to strictly to avoid a ban.
  • Evaluation: It requires monitoring and analysis to evaluate your performance and determine if results are satisfactory. If results are not satisfactory, the approach and methods should be changed.

When you intend to use social media for promotion, there are 2 major divisions of promotion for social media. This is the paid and free adverts.

Paid adverts allow direct promotion with paid ads. It also can track conversion and flow of a paid campaign. A free version, on the other hand, allows you to create and manage a social account and online promotion through a social media account.

Tools for managing Social Media.

  • Tools for planning include Google calendar, post planner.
  • For managing your social channel- Hootsuite, Tweetdeck
  • For monitoring- Google Alerts, Google Analytics and Social Insights.

Social Media Marketing Tips From Experts

When we talk about marketing, social media just pops into our mind automatically. It has indisputably become one of the most important features of marketing. So how do the marketers make the best out of social media to maximize their revenues and efficiency?

Here are the tips provided by experts for social media marketing.

1. Posting on Regular Basis:

A constant communication is really essential with the target audience. Therefore, in social media marketing, posting something on your account on daily basis is the best idea to gain the best outcomes. The more you have to tell to the audience, the more they will get interested in you and a trustworthy relation will be built.

2. Appropriate Content:

Only post content that is relevant with your business. The experts say that irrelevancy can cause lack of trust and interest in the customers. You might be shoving off the audience with this mistake. So only post content that is relevant with your business or whatever you are marketing.

3. Don’t cut out Some Platforms:

Experts say that a lot of people don’t opt for the smaller platforms speculating that they won’t deliver good results. Don’t underestimate the new social platforms. Test everything, like Pinterest, Google+ and Tumblr etc. you might be surprised to see the wonderful results.

4. Images:

Images attract the audience. Post as many images as you can but only the relevant ones. This ensures improved engagement with the audience.

5. Don’t FOCUS on Like and Shares:

The more you dig in for likes and shares, you will be disappointed fast. Shares and likes increase gradually and you just need to focus on bringing audience to your page or blog etc. so the basic thing is to focus on sharing with the audience and indulging them rather than waiting for one post to reach the height of likes.

6. Live Hangouts:

Live hangouts have become very active and impressive way of social media marketing. These ensure that the media marketing experience is more realistic. Google Hangouts and Live Twitter events are gaining huge appreciation and are trending up rapidly.

7. Get one thing Good at a Time:

You don’t need to rush on all the social media platforms and keep up with them all; you cannot do that! It is simply impossible to keep up with all the places. Focus on one thing first and make it stand out. Once you are done with establishing it, and then move to another place along with the first one. Take everything gradually. Don’t rush in. According to experts, establishing your very first platform is better.

If you keep these simple social media marketing tips in your mind; you are sure to get the best out of your marketing spree.

Sales Tips for Small Business Owners

Small businesses are a source of livelihood for many and they contribute to economic growth of every nation. Small business owners range from work at home moms to individuals running small shops and sales is key to the success of these small enterprises.

Typically every small business owner is a sales person and this is because they know their business and products better than anyone else. Here are some sales tips for small business owners.

• Use of social media networks

We live in a digital age and social media networks are the way to go. Social media as a platform has millions of active users across the world at any given time. This makes it the best platform for marketing your business or products. To add to this it is also cheap compared to the contemporary marketing or advertising ways. Social media allows a large number of people to interact with what you are selling and you can create a presence on social media by creating a fan page and posting business related articles that interest your audience.

• Good relations with customers

In every business you will have some top buyers, those who buy your products or services from time to time and you cannot afford to lose such customers. The only way to keep them is by maintain a good customer relationship with them. Maintaining a good relationship with customers is one of the top sales tips used by many small business owners. You can maintain a good relationship with your clients by giving them after sale support. There are many businesses that sell their products and forget about the customers who bought from them. Most of such businesses are never there to listen to complaints from customers. When you give after sales support to your customers, you stand out and increase your chances of making more sales from return customers.

You can also improve customer relations by giving discount coupons. The world economy is not so good and many people are looking for discounts as a way of minimizing their expenditures. Discount coupons attract many customers to buy products or services from your business. You may opt to give discounts to return customers of customers who purchase in bulk.

• Confidence and product knowledge

Clients want to know about your product before they commit to buying it. This means that as a small business owner you need to have good knowledge about your product. You should be able to answer all the questions asked by your customers confidently.

Consistency is very important in sales and with the above tips you are assured of improved sales and growth of your small business.

4 Brand-Building Tips on Using Instagram for Your Business

How to Create a Powerful Instagram Social Media Marketing Strategy

One of the most powerful marketing tools marketers have today is social media. From Facebook posts to tweets on Twitter, sharing your products or services on social media platforms is a great way to increase brand awareness, engagement, sales and leads.

However, many people are left scratching their heads when it comes to marketing with Instagram.

Many of us use Instagram as a personal account to post photos of our family, friends, vacations and food – but how can it tie into business? And should it?

With the speed of which Instagram is growing, don’t underestimate its value to boost your brand and marketing efforts.

It has grown into an incredibly valuable marketing platform and even though the 18-29 year old’s are still prevalent users, the higher age groups are catching on and catching up fast.

Some 2018 Instagram stats from Sprout Social are telling:

• 7 out of 10 hashtags on Instagram are branded

• 80% of users follow a business on Instagram

• 65% of top-performing Instagram posts feature products

If you feel the tug to explore Instagram as part of your social media marketing strategy, check out these initial pointers to help you get started:

1. Use Hashtags Wisely

You don’t need to cram every hashtag you can think of in one post, but you do need at least a few.

A hashtag is the # sign followed by descriptive words about your image as in this example, I used #marketing and #ctaconf, which was the conference I was attending at the time.

When a user clicks/taps on a hashtag or types a hashtag into the search box, it brings up all images that use that hashtag. The user can even subscribe to continue to follow that hashtag.

The hope is the user will see your photo, head to your profile and best-case scenario, follow you and get engaged with more of your posts!

However, when hashtags are extremely popular, the competition to show up in the results is fierce. Similar to SEO keywords, the more popular a term is, the harder it is to stay at the top of the search results. Thus, my example of using #marketing really was futile if I wanted to get any traction from that post.

You want to make your hashtags relevant to your business and location, but also engaging enough that a user would type them into Instagram’s search box.

For instance:

• Say you have a pizza joint in Vancouver. You post a pic of your Pepperoni pizza with the hashtags #VancouversBestPizza #NicolosRestaurant #DeliciousDeepDish

• Or you’re a Toronto wedding planner. You post an image of a bride and groom’s first dance with the hashtags #TorontoWeddingPlanner #LoveWins #WinterWedding

Holidays and special events are an excellent time to promote your business and gain Instagram followers. Whether it’s a sale on Black Friday, a Thanksgiving-related use for your product or a product shout-out on National Dog Day, they are all ideal opportunities to showcase your business brand in a non-salesy way.

2. Thank Your Audience for Showing Up

You don’t just post a bunch of photos and hashtags and wait for the likes to roll in.

To gain Instagram followers, engage with your audience and grow sales or leads, you need to put in the time.

See an example here from video expert Michele Moreno where she responds back to each of the comments left on her video post.

So if someone leaves a comment or question on one of your posts, take the time to reply and thank them/answer their question.

Take a look at their profile, and if you like what you see, follow them.

Businesses often follow commenters first, in the hopes that they might return the favour.

You can also look for people who might be interested in your product, then comment on their photos and/or follow them, but don’t spam them with an ask to follow you right away.

3. Interact with the Right Influencers

Influencers are Instagram users who can influence your target audience because of their popularity and/or social media following.

Danielle Bernstein is a good example of an influencer who worked with a brand. You may not recognize her name, but the 1.8 million followers of her Instagram account WeWoreWhat do.

Bernstein and FIJI Water worked together to create BodyWoreWhat, a marketing campaign offering 8-minute workout videos with her and her personal trainer.

That may be an extreme example, and unless you have deep pockets you probably won’t be able to attract an influencer with almost two million followers.

But don’t despair. From mommy bloggers to local foodies, you can always find someone who your target audience follows, likes or admires. Maybe they’d be willing to review your product or take a photo using it – use your imagination!

4. Don’t Just Shill Your Products

Instagram is not the place to simply share product shots all the time. Think of the experience people have using what you’re offering, or the benefits it gives people.

Even better, show real-examples. Asking for user-generated content from your audience is one way to do this. That means that users share their photos using a hashtag you provide.

The online furniture store Wayfair.com does user-generated content very well. They have a user-generated campaign that lets customers share photos of their stylish Wayfair-filled homes using the hashtag #WayfairAtHome.

Be sure to let people know that their images might be featured on your page and you can increase your Instagram content big time – for free!

No matter how you use Instagram for your business, be authentic and true to your brand. It’s what the platform is all about, and it’s going to help you grow your business, gain Instagram followers and attract sales or leads.