Social Media for Business (1) – Top 3 SMM Time Management Tips

I don’t need to tell you how effective involvement in social media is essential for your business growth but effective here is a keyword. Social websites are not called social for no reason: they are friendly in nature. To succeed in SMM, you need to focus on building relationships and avoid the sales pitch or at least make it subtle.

It goes without saying that the process can be time-consuming especially with the avalanche of social media options out there. So, how can you leverage SMM without investing too much time into it? Here are some tips to help you out.

Tip 1: Go for cost effective delegation that yields proven results

I often feel that doubling or tripling the number of my page fans/friends on Facebook is both time-consuming and boring until I was browsing a freelancing site and found this interesting job post:” I am looking for someone to add friends to my Facebook account from a certain city. I’m looking to have 3000 friends added from certain area.”

Guess what, the employer offered $15 for this job and there many candidates were lined up. The beauty of hiring freelancers to do the “donkey work” on your behalf is that you save your precious time for what really matters plus there is no risk involved here since you only pay for results. In fact, I would recommend that you browse job postings in some freelancing sites to get more ideas for time-saving tasks that you can delegate. A good place to check is oDesk because they have category for SMM jobs.

In addition, if writing is not your cup of tea, it is worthwhile to hire a SEO copywriter to take care of your blog content because if your blog didn’t standout to your niche market, others will and you certainly don’t want that.

Also, hiring a professional to do few short yet excellent video presentations about your business to be published on YouTube and your own site is definitely an investment in place.

Time is money. Sometimes”buying” some of your precious time for few bucks can be a sound decision. And if you take the freelancing sites route, you will always end up with a good deal.

Tip 2: Be Selective

You need to be very selective and choose the best social media sites that are in line with your business goals. In doing so, think quality versus quantity. In other words, it is better to have quality profiles in 3 social sites and take the time to create a powerful presence there than just creating profiles in 1000 sites that you probably wouldn’t visit again! As a minimum, you need to go for Twitter, Facebook plus your own blog. And hey, YouTube is a fantastic visibility magnet so keep it in mind! Later on, you may also add LinkedIn to the mix.

Tip 3: Leverage Technology

There are so many free tools available online that helps you preschedule your social media posts, the most popular of which is ping.fm. You can dedicate 2 hours per week for prescheduling your posts and that’s it!

Having said that, it is important to realize that these automatic tools only take care of the “broadcasting” side of social media on your behalf. You still need to be effectively present in some carefully selected social media sites in order to answer questions, interact, and build relationships with your niche market. Good luck!

Quick Tips to Boost Engagement on Your Social Media Pages

Before you plan your next post, start using these easy engagement tips to set your pages on fire!

Read on for our favorite social engagement ideas to boost everything from page likes, post likes, comments, shares, followers, to full-blown stark raving mad fans!

1. Instagram – Boost Engagement & Conversions

50% of Instagram users follow at least one business, the app has continued to grow in popularity since being purchased by Facebook in 2012. Making Insta ideal for communicating your brand’s message using visual content – however posting pimped up images is only one part of the equation. If it’s engagement you’re after (and it is… ), it’s important to pimp up the captions that go with those awesome pics!

I’ve curated the main tips below; if you’re after the real nuts and bolts see Aaron’s full article at Social Media Today.

Write With an Authentic Tone of Voice – Instagram users aren’t expecting a serious tone of voice – they’re generally using the app in their free time to look at cool visuals and be entertained.

Include a CTA (Call To Action) – 65% of top-performing brands post on Instagram feature products. Directly instructing people to check out your product or make a purchase can work well on this platform.

Utilize Hashtags – Instagram posts with a minimum of one hashtag generate 12.6% more engagement than those without. Also, I like to use this quick link shortener tool for posts on the fly!

Include Emojis – Almost 50% of captions and comments on Instagram contain at least one emoji. While there’s a range of emojis at your disposal, the most popular one is the heart.

Mention Other Instagram Users – It’s important to remember that Instagram is a social network. Brands that relentlessly self-promote with little regards to community never do well.

Place Important Content at the Beginning – In a user’s Instagram feed, captions are cut off after the first few lines. To see the entire post, they have to click the “View More” button – which they won’t if the first few lines are unappealing.

2. Facebook – Boost Engagement, Leads & Sales

Explore 11 of the most effective strategies for enticing your Facebook Followers to get enthusiastic about your page and start encouraging likes, comments, and shares with their closest friends. Facebook is the perfect platform for small businesses to build a relationship with their customers and many are outperforming their big-budget competitors by employing a personalized social media approach.

I’ve curated the main tips of Andrea’s case studies below; if you’re after the real nuts and bolts visit Social Media Examiner for her full article:

Move Your Audience to Action – Litographs came up with a fun idea to create temporary tattoos of sentences from Alice in Wonderland. They invited 5,000 people to join the world’s longest tattoo chain. This kind of idea is a great way to mobilize your audience and make them part of something special.

Host a Facebook Party – Mamavation is a website that teaches natural wellness and nutrition and champions GMO-free food and products. They have held fun Facebook parties to give away gift certificates and discounts to people who engaged with each post.

Show Personality – Through a Dog’s Ear is a small 7-year-old company that makes music to help calm anxious dogs. Their Facebook page is filled with personal photos of the founder and her dogs.

Incorporate Humor – Cool Mom Picks is a website that curates gifts, gear, tech, and resources for moms. They have great video tutorials and they bring together interesting finds in blog posts. They also use humor and show some personality in their posts.

Have Fun – think about using Facebook as it was originally intended: a social site where you let people know what you’re doing. Author Erica Spindler does a great job of getting personal and having some fun. Share things that you find funny or you feel are important for people to know.

Be Responsive – Make it a habit to respond to comments and your messenger inbox quickly.

Create a Facebook Event – If you have events on Facebook, re-share them, post in the events to get more visibility and encourage people to join them.

Post to Your Page and Profile – David Newman of Do It Marketing uses his Facebook page and personal profile to market his business, which helps speakers get more opportunities. He’s connected with many speakers personally, so it makes sense for him to get extra traction by posting about his business on his personal profile. If you occasionally share your business page posts on your profile, you can extend your reach.

Invest in Videos – Videos are huge on Facebook and Learn Cake Decorating Online uses them effectively on their page. They have a featured video and regular quick videos that get lots of views and engagement. The company also uses the 22Social app to give away a free video class to build the email list and then offer a membership to people who sign up.

Provide Great Local Content Realtors sometimes find Facebook a challenging place to market. Posting images of houses is great, but Realty Austin offers great local content, too.

Go Behind the Scenes – Getting personal on Facebook is a great tactic, but so is giving your community a sneak peek at something no one else can see. The Celtic band Barra MacNeils literally takes people behind the scenes during their shows.

3. Twitter – Boost Engagement & Attract Followers

Social Engagement on Twitter helps to build and nurture a relationship between you and other industry peers and experts. Hearting, retweeting and commenting on each other’s quality posts build peer relationships and industry street cred for your small business. Clicks on content you post can drive traffic directly to your site, increasing leads, visitors, and sales.

I’ve curated the main tips below; if you’re after the real nuts and bolts visit Adesspresso for Ana’s full article:

Engage with Other Users Content – If you want other users to engage with your content, a good way to start is to always interact with their first. Like, respond to, and retweet your users content when you can, and following them can also help.

Retweet Other Users’ Tweets – You want to do this early and often. I’m singling out retweeting as engagement because this is what most users value the most; not only are you liking their content enough to confirm it, but you value it enough to share it.

Keep Your Tweets Brief – We are all forced to keep our tweets relatively brief automatically, with Twitter limiting our posts to 140 characters. This is challenging enough as it is, but limiting our posts just a little more can actually increase engagement.

Share a Variety of Links – If you want to get clicks to your site, the best way to do so is to put links in your Tweets. Also, I like to use this quick link shortener tool for posts on the fly!

Respond When Someone Tweets to You – This is particularly challenging for large brands or brands that have a large amount of engagement (even if it’s just when major content goes live), but doing your best to respond in some way when a user tweets to you can go a long way.

Know Your Peak Hours – Just like with Facebook, there will be certain times of the day or days of the week when more of your users will be active on the site or more likely to engage with your content. By being able to find those peak hours and posting them, you’ll get more views and you’ll be more likely to increase engagement and clicks on your post.

Use Twitter Ads – When you’re looking to best engagement quickly, Twitter Ads are a good way to do so, especially if you don’t have a lot of followers or followers that often engage with your content. Twitter Ads do cost money (and are more expensive than Facebook Ads), but they can still help increase engagement when you need it. Promoted tweets work best for this purpose.

Always Provide Value – Social media, for many, has become an environment where many users will share every thought that pops into their heads. While non-brand users can get away with letting the world know that they can’t decide if they want a coke or a lemonade, brands definitely cannot.

Always Use Hashtags – Hashtags are an essential part of Twitter usage; just like with Instagram, you pretty much expect a Tweet to come with at least one hashtag attached to it. Not only do hashtags offer the benefit of helping a relevant audience find you when they search the hashtag you’re using, but they can also increase engagement.

Share Images – Images are an important part of social media; this is particularly true when we’re limited to 140 characters.

4. LinkedIn – 5 Ways to Increase Engagement with Your Content on LinkedIn

Fast approaching 400 million users, LinkedIn has become more than just an online resume platform. Learning how to use LinkedIn marketing tips is essential for any small business. LinkedIn is still drastically underutilized making it an easy opportunity to make a splash if your target market is hanging out on this professional platform.

I’ve curated the main tips below; if you’re after the real nuts and bolts visit LinkedIn Business for Pearce’s full article:

Keep it concise and prompt an action – Drive higher engagement by keeping description copy <70 characters and feature a call to action. Keep in mind that copy will get truncated on the desktop after 100 characters and likely adversely affect your engagement rates.

Don’t just report the news, analyze it – Yes, your audience wants to stay up to speed on industry news and trends. But they also want to know the impact it will have on them. On top of reporting key industry news and trends, take it a step further and offer key insights, takeaways, and your unique perspective.

Repurpose compelling 3rd party research – Creating great, in-depth content is time and resource intensive. Find a 3rd party source that is already developing the type of content that aligns with your audience’s interests.

Use the power of video to tell your story – YouTube, Vimeo, and SlideShare videos play natively within the LinkedIn newsfeed. This allows you to engage your audience without disrupting their experience. It also allows you to tell your story in a much more vivid, creative format.

Professionals are people too – While it’s always an effective strategy to aim to create content that helps solve your audiences’ business challenges, keep in mind that they are also people too. Human interest stories help prove your brand in an engaging, less overt way, as well as diversify the type of content you are publishing.

5. YouTube – Boost Visitor Engagement & Channel Subscriptions

Using YouTube to market your small business, involves creating videos with content your target market will find engaging on some level (entertaining or educational) are the most common formats. While social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have a strong focus on creating, posting, and sharing different types of content, creating content for YouTube means you’ll be investing your time in video production and video production only. Learn how to set up and create valuable and engaging content on your YouTube channel to attract an engaged fan base of subscribers to your business.

I’ve curated the main tips below; if you’re after the real nuts and bolts visit bplans for Briana’s full article:

Set up your YouTube channel – Setting up a channel couldn’t be easier; in fact, if you already have a Google account, you technically already have a YouTube channel, even if you don’t know it.

Add a banner and create a trailer – Before you start focusing on putting out video content regularly, it’s important to make your page on YouTube visually appealing.

Create videos that show off your brand – Is your brand serious and formal? Prank or joke-style videos are probably a bad fit. On the flip side, if you’ve built your brand tone around a light, conversational style, don’t create video content that feels stuffy or overly professional.

Post your video’s on your blog – With YourTubePlayer you can easily generate and customize YouTube embed codes from the video ID or URL with options like autoplay, loop, hide controls, eliminate related videos and much more.

Focus on informational videos, how-to style content, video series, or vlog content – If you have a product or service, feature videos of your product in use. Similarly, if you offer a service, show how your service benefits customers. Informational videos are a great place to showcase your product or service in “the real world,” to give customers a sense of what’s in store for them if they buy from you.

Feature client testimonials or other customer feedback – When brainstorming what kinds of content you can feature on your new YouTube channel, you may want to look to your satisfied clients and customers. What can they say about your business that would make a valuable addition to your video content?

Pay attention to title keywords – Much of your organic traffic will be search-driven. That is to say, if someone is searching “braided updo tutorial,” and you just happen to have those keywords in the title of your YouTube video, there is a higher chance that searchers will find your video.

Subscribe to similar channels and interact with them – One of the best ways to get your YouTube channel out in front of a potential new set of viewers is to leave a thoughtful comment on other YouTuber’s videos (ideally, on a YouTube channel that produces content similar to your own). Hopefully, your comment will be upvoted by other viewers, increasing its visibility and therefore potential clicks back to your own channel.

Interact with your viewers – Once you start getting engagement on your own videos, make sure you are reciprocating! Respond to your YouTube comments in a thoughtful way that makes it clear you are tailoring your response to each commenter. Make sure you avoid responses that sound canned or insincere.

Include a call to action and track your success – What is your goal with creating YouTube videos? Is it to increase brand awareness, build up a more comprehensive social media presence, drive viewers back to your site? There are plenty of different goals you could have, and be clear what they are early on. Including a call to action in your YouTube videos is a great way to push people to take the steps you’d like them to take that coincide with your chosen goal.

Finally, remember the goal here is to create a raving fan base. In order to capture and convert all the traffic, your highly engaged posts have generated, you will need a responsive Lead Capture Page.

5 Best Social Media Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Whether you have a small business or a startup, you cannot disagree with the fact that social media is an essential part of marketing strategy. Anything going wrong on social media can have a negative impact on your business. Here, we’re presenting the five best ways through which you can make your social media marketing strategy work:-

Proper Planning

Many small business owners think social media marketing is simply creating an account and sharing regular updates. However, when they don’t get any positive response, they give up straight away thinking that social media doesn’t work. Conversely, the reality is that they did not make a real plan.

Social Time Scheduling

In social media marketing, the time and the frequency chosen for posting are important. You will have to keep a close eye on the latest ongoing trends that are pertinent to your business. Regular interaction and having conversations with your clients is essential.

Clients’ Engagement

You are required to focus on regular engagement with your clients. A small business owner can engage with clients by promoting their updates, and sharing their views. You are required to reply to their queries, asking them questions, and asking them for their opinions.

Content is Real King

Writing and sharing interesting content with your audience and potential customers should be your main concern. It can play an important role in getting your message across. A great content will attract visitors organically, and they will regain in touch with your business.

Have Some Excitement

Your social channels should be practical as well as they also need to be appropriate. Everyone loves to express amusement, so make time to keep your audience by posting jokes or fun images. Focus on your target, post relevant updates, and keep up pace with the newest trends going in the market.

Some of the social media marketing strategies involve:-

Facebook Marketing: Facebook had whopping billions of monthly active users. You need to be taking full benefit of this most popular social network. We’re here to help with forward-thinking social media strategies including content creation and promotional contests related to your business.

Twitter Marketing: Twitter has become a great place for businesses to connect with customers. Most of the users are more likely to procure a brand followed by them on Twitter, there’s no better place to get started now!

LinkedIn Marketing: LinkedIn is the largest professional network in the world. In the event you’re looking to establish your brand, don’t forget LinkedIn out of your marketing strategy.

YouTube Marketing: YouTube has maintained its position as the top video sharing website in the world, and with over billion hours of video watched every month. In the event, you have commercials, ‘about us’ videos, etc., YouTube is the main property for getting your videos found.

7 Tips for Improving Online Sales Using Social Media

Nowadays there is huge competition prevailing in the online marketplaces. Thus, it has become very important to improve your online sales process and provide a better user-friendly experience. However, you will need effective tips to connect with your potential customers on your social media channels. By using the right plan, you can improve the experience of your visitors and create more sales.

In this post, you will explore seven tips for improving online sales using social media:

1. Use messaging services to offer excellent sales support

You must focus on providing sales support by using native chatting within every social network. By using conversational e-commerce you can use the messaging services that will help you to personalize, automate and customize your communication. These messaging apps have become great go-to-choices for many customers. It helps them to directly interact with companies as these apps have increased engagement and retention rates.

So, if you aren’t using messaging apps to automate confirmations and for selling, you’re losing a big social e-commerce opportunity. However, make sure to be careful while using automated chat apps such as Facebook Messenger Bots.

2. Analyse conversations about your brand and services

When it comes to participating in conversations with your customer’s social media is the most effective tool. However, the continuous attack by customers make it difficult to determine the useful information. Thus, keeping an eye on your users online activities will help you to understand the confusing situations. You will be able to generate more leads and create effective marketing strategies.

Brand listening is the skills of developing important insights by analysing your clients’ conversations about your services, brand, and competitors. However, you will need to need to focus on more than simply monitoring your official social media accounts.

3. Encourage your users to share their personal experience

There is no doubt that the success of every social media is not based how much they talk about themselves. Instead, it depends on how much their customers talk about their services and brand. Thus, you must provide your customers an option to share their experience before, during and after making a purchase.

A recent evidence has shown that 1 out of 3 Facebook user has first shared, liked and commented the product prior to purchasing it.

4. Provide easy and quick buying options on your social channels

These days we can see a great expansion in retail sales that are driven by social channels. In these channels buying buttons play a major role in generating more sales. With the help of the buy buttons your clients can make smooth and secure purchases from within the social networks. This reduces the need to follow a multi-step process and limit it to a single click sale process.

5. Feature User-generated content (UGC)

The content that is created and shared by your customers, followers and fans on social channels also generate content – User-generated content (UGC). They either create it instinctively or through other options like giveaways or contests. Curating UGC’s work effectively for e-commerce businesses. Usually, people who see UGC are 97% more likely to buy your services, according to Business Insider.

The content generated in the form of images by the customers also work effectively. In fact, 77% of online shoppers choose Instagram pictures when they were to make a choice between UGC (like images posted on Instagram’s) and professional images (given on the pages of product description). When you use authentic pictures it works as a social proof, enhance your ad performance, attract high-intent visitors from Instagram to product pages and improve on-site conversion rates.

6. Develop seasonal and business-related content

Almost all eCommerce businesses create effective business-related according to the seasonal calendar. They perform very well in generating sales, creating special offers, incentives and emails. They also outdo at stocking their social channels with announcements about all related seasonal e-commerce activities.

But when you create seasonal content that isn’t highly promotional most stores fall short. Therefore, it is best to stay organized with an effective content creation platform on your social media channel.

7. Create social-friendly visuals

Nearly all businesses using social streams are hard pressed to create social-friendly content. As users are more knowledgeable and they avoid generic stock images. According to a Chute Digi day Study over 70% of users find it at least two times more effective to use pictures than only written content alone.

However, the problem arises when a web owner is not able to hire a professional designer. In that case, you can consider using Buffer’s Pablo, which offers more than 600,000 royalty-free photos to choose from. On the other hand, if you need pictures for graphics and infographics, using Venn gage will be a great option. It offers hundreds of design templates to generate detailed images quickly. These templates are usually are categorized into Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. So, you can choose pictures according to your level of expertise.