Archive for Social Networks

What Startups need to do for Grand Opening Success

How do people find your business if you’re brand new? That’s the dilemma for startups.

Back in the day, it was easy to buy a few “coming soon” ads in the local paper and you were set. Not any more.

However, what today’s social media marketing allows you to do is to build a following – a customer base – even before you open!

Here are 2 examples of startups I worked with who had successful grand openings:

Growler USA – Craft Beer Pub – Opened September 2015 – North Phoenix

Growler USA is a franchise and they did get some help from their parent company with logos, a website and more. George and Melissa, the owners, knew they had to learn how to manage their own social media. While George runs the restaurant, Melissa does the marketing. While they were under construction, Melissa attended the first few classes of my Social Media Marketing Boot Camp, but she couldn’t finish it because she was helping George get everything ready. They hire me to help promote the pub for the grand opening.

Growler USA is unique because it features 100 taps of local craft beers. In fact, one of the “beertenders” coined the phrase “1 Stop Pub Crawl”. I immediately replied, “That’s a hashtag!” So #1StopPubCrawl became the main hashtag including #craftbeer, #brewpub, #100taps, etc.

I set up their social media pages at first with generic pictures that their HQ provided since they weren’t open yet. During their soft opening, I took lots of pictures and created the cover graphic collage they use now.

Growler USA Facebook Cover Graphic
Pre-building a following on Facebook is hard if you don’t do paid advertising.
On Twitter, however, it’s different. I went hunting for people who had #craftbeer in their profiles or tweeted about craft beer and they were local to the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas.

Usually it takes me 30 days to reach 100 followers of hunting and posting daily – about 90 minutes a day. For Growler USA it took me 2 weeks. Seems like the craft beer enthusiasts were eager to learn about yet another brew pub opening up.

I also started following the local craft brewers whose beer they would be serving. Most of them retweeted when I’d mention them in a tweet.

Growler USA Grand OpeningOver on Facebook, I did ‘Like’ the local brewers’ pages with their page as well as “tagging” or “mentioning” the breweries in “coming soon” posts.

At the end of September, their grand opening was indeed grand – jammed packed with people checking out the 100 taps.

Once I built their following, Melissa took over the daily social media management after she finished the boot camp videos.

Simply Smashing Rage Release Room – “A Safe Place to Lose Control” – Opened November 2017 – Tempe

Steve’s situation was similar, however, his was a totally new concept – Simply Smashing Rage Room. It wasn’t as easy as finding all the craft beer enthusiasts in the area. For his place we needed to create awareness and increase exposure and search engine optimization.

I knew that once he was open, he’d get some TV press coverage. The challenge was when people then Googled “Rage Room Phoenix” or “Anger Room Tempe” or some variation of that, his page would come up.

The other challenge was construction delays. Steve had wanted to open in August of 2017, but wasn’t able to until November. With the first projected opening date in mind, in June, once the website was finished, I started blogging for him daily with articles on how stress is bad for you. At the end of each blog post, I’d have a call-to-action to join their email list to get a special invite to the opening.

Each blog post was shared on social media: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, his personal LinkedIn and the company page on LinkedIn. (Notice Instagram isn’t listed because you can’t share links on Instagram, only pictures and videos.)

Simply Smashing Rage Room Websie StatsAt the end of June when I was pulling together the monthly report, I was blown away by one post that garnered over 1800 views from Pinterest! My first thought, “There are a lot of stressed-out people on Pinterest!” Who knew? I was posting to Pinterest mostly for the SEO backlink. (Here’s the infamous post.)

In late October, once we had a confirmed opening date, we had only 100 people on the email list. (I think it’s because it’s such a new concept and he wasn’t open yet.)

However, once I set up the grand opening event on Facebook and shared it on the page, which had about 80 likes, Facebook exploded. All of a sudden people started “tagging” friends in the comments below the event and the video ad posts. As soon as the friend was tagged, they got a notification. We saw that on almost every post. We had set the event capacity to 100 and it was full in less than 12 hours! And I hadn’t even sent out the invitation to the email list!

Facebook remains their main source of connecting with current and potential customers. Instagram, once they were open and they could post pictures and videos of people breaking stuff, started driving traffic to the website. Remember, you can’t post links on Instagram posts. They were going to the profile page and clicking on the link there. In the website tracking, we saw an increase in people coming from Instagram.

Furthermore, when someone in the Phoenix area Googles “Rage Room” they come up. In January 2018 they got 2000 visit to the website from the search engines. My strategy worked.

If you want to get found, you have to blog and be active on social media.

Each business is different.

Target markets are different.

With these examples, Twitter, which worked so well for Growler USA in generating a buzz, didn’t work for Simply Smashing. Where Facebook drove most of the interest for Simply Smashing, it didn’t generate so much for Growler USA.

That is why you need to really understand your target market and do your research as to how best to reach them in today’s digital world. You don’t have to be in all the networks. Moreover, focus your valuable time on the ones that are…

  1. Driving traffic to your website – and you learn this by checking your analytics monthly.
  2. Where your target market hangs out the most.
  3. Where you’re building valuable relationships with potential customers and referral sources.

Those will become your primary networks. Furthermore, you’ll have secondary networks like Google+ that help with SEO. You need to post there consistently to keep coming up in page 1 of Search Engine Page Results (SERPs).

If you’re not sure how to approach social media for your startup or existing business, schedule a free 15 minute phone consult.

You can become social savvy!

Need some coaching? Check out my 1:1 training and coaching service.

What You need to know about Facebook’s Algorithm Change

Facebook’s at it again. In attempts to make the network more about family and friends and less about business and fake news, they’ve changed their algorithm yet again.

Users are going to see more posts from their peeps – friends and family – and less from “publishers” – businesses, organizations, causes, they’ve liked or follow.

Facebook explains it in this video:

What You need to know about Facebook's Algorithm Change

So what will a user see?

Posts that you see first are influenced by your connections and activity on Facebook. The number of comments, likes and reactions a post receives and what kind of story it is (example: photo, video, status update) can also make it more likely to appear higher up in your News Feed.

Posts that you might see first include:

  • A friend or family member commenting on or liking another person’s photo or status update.

  • A person reacting to a post from a publisher that a friend has shared.

  • Multiple people replying to each other’s comments on a video they watched or an article they read in News Feed.

So how will this affect a business on Facebook?

You have to get even more clever and eye-catching.

Any user can choose to see a publisher’s post first by changing the settings under “following” in a business’s page. That will ensure that a business’s posts get seen. However, you can’t tell people to “share”, “like” or “comment” on the post, because FB is reducing the visibility of posts that encourage people to act.

So what can you do?

  • Blog often with interesting, informative advice that your followers will want to share with their friends.
  • In an email message, tell your current customers if they want to make sure not to miss your valuable posts, to choose “see first” on you page.
  • Be creative and use more videos, animated gifs and eye-catching pictures. There really isn’t any excuse to NOT do video with all the devices and free tools available.
  • Consider paid advertising. I wouldn’t be surprised, if an ulterior motive of Facebook’s would be to increase their advertising dollars.

Need some creative coaching? How about a brainstorming session?

Book a 1:1 coaching hour or two with me and we can hatch out a strategy for your business to overcome this latest obstacle.

 

You can become social savvy!

Online Marketing Trends for 2018 that You Need to Know

It’s that time of year again! As we say “goodbye” to 2017, we look forward to 2018. For small business owners the thought of planning online marketing may seem intimidating given all the…

  • Choices of media and social networks
  • Rules, do’s and don’ts
  • New technology

So here are a few of the Online Marketing trends and strategies that I think the average small business owner needs to embrace for 2018 or…

Get Left Behind in the Dust…

My top 13 Online Marketing Trends, Tips and Strategies:

  1. Video and Live Video: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and now LinkedIn have incorporated video. We know video sells. It’s eye-catching. People will watch a video before reading a blog post. What’s great is it’s so easy to create videos with smartphones and tablets – you really have no excuse for not taking advantage of this medium. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have the Live Video capability so you can broadcast live from anywhere where’s the Wi-Fi.
  2. SEO is not dead. Search Engine Optimization is still important if you want Google to know that you exist. Google is still the number one traffic-driver to websites. The good thing is, you don’t need to hire an outside firm if you can do a few things including Content Marketing, sharing on Social Media and benefiting from Organic Search Results. Watch this…

  1. Twitter Follow MeTwitter is not dead. Sorry, naysayers, Twitter is still alive and a viable medium for marketing, SEO and exposure. We have President Trump to thank for the increase in users, tweeting and opinion-sharing that’s so prevalent on the never-ending news ticker. Take advantage of regularly trending Hashtags and spin your marketing message around them. Use a free tool like TweetDeck to schedule promo posts so you don’t miss opportunities for exposure.
  2. Email / Marketing Automation. Once it’s setup, it just runs by itself! And what’s more, services like MailChimp offer automation for FREE if you have under 2000 people on your email list. You can segment your list by asking 2 or 3 pertinent questions on the sign-up page. Offer visitors to your website a freebie to entice them to join your list. Having the right Call-to-Action on your site is critical to marketing success.
  3. Customer Experience Marketing. Always think of the customer’s buying journey – even if they’re not ready to buy! You need to put yourself in their shoes. That’s why getting to know your target market(s) is so important.
  4. Instagram Stories. Owned by Facebook, Instagram is the fastest growing social media network going from 600 million to 800 million active users in 2017. Over 300 million daily active users take advantage of Instagram Stories doubling in the last year. The idea is that you can combine several pictures and videos to simply tell a story.
  5. How to Develop Social Media Marketing Strategies for Your BusinessStrategy over Tactics. So many small business owners jump in and start posting with absolutely no clear strategy whatsoever. That is such a waste of time, energy and efforts. You must think it out and plan it out. Do one month at a time.
  6. Influencer Marketing. This is basically finding folks with a lot of followers whose opinion matters to your target market. Then make friends with them. Get them to notice you and hopefully they’ll share your fabulous content with their thousands of followers.
  7. Make it Visual. Videos, stories, pictures, graphics, infographics. No one pays any attention to a tweet or Facebook post with just text and links. Their eye is going to the movement in the video or the interesting picture. Remember, you’re not just competing against your direct competitors for your target’s attention. You’re also competing with the family, friends and other businesses and causes they follow. You need to stand out and going visual is the answer. Use a free tool like Canva.com to create eye-catching pictures.
  8. Voice Search. More and more people are asking Alexa or Google to help them find things, shop, answer questions, etc. Where do they come up with the answers? The search engine finds content on websites that most closely matches the question. Which is why you need to blog and be aware of the varied use of keywords in your writing. Mastering the Google Keyword Tool is also beneficial.
  9. Become a follower magnetHaving a Social Media Base. Building a loyal following takes time. These people follow you or like your page because of what you post. They could be loyal customers or are just interested in your business. They won’t follow you if you’re not posting anything. If starting from scratch, it takes about 90 minutes a day for the first 30 days to build a following. If you’re new to social media, my FREE Master Class will help get you started.
  10. Transparency. Fake News is a hot topic. People are wary of “click-bait” headlines that entice one to click on it only to find the article talks about something else or is trying to sell you something. Honesty is still the best policy. Don’t make up a story just to get attention. The truth always comes back to bite you in ways you never imagined. If you have a disgruntled customer who leaves a bad review, do your best to rectify the issue and respond publicly.
  11. Paid Targeting. I always tell my clients to try social media marketing along with proper SEO and blogging without spending money for 3-6 months first. Track your analytics, metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) each month to see what’s working and not working. In the event that business slows, you might have saturated your market. It’s time for paid advertising. Based on your analytics and target market audience, placing key paid ads in the right networks will help you expand your reach and be noticed by more people. Yes, you have to have a budget, but then again, you do have to spend money to make money. Put some paid advertising dollars in to your marketing budget for 2018.

You must be feeling overwhelmed right now.

Where do you start?

Here are two choices:

Live SCORE Workshop on 1/11, 1-4pm, $25 at Greater Phoenix SCORE Central Phoenix…

Online class on Strategy and Planning, Free…

Got questions? Contact me…

 

How to Take Advantage of Twitter’s Longer Tweets

I’m really loving the 280-character-longer tweets! It’s about time! Twitter users have been asking for this since its conception 11 years ago.

And because of President Trump’s love for tweeting at all hours, Twitter usage had grown tremendously in 2017.

So how can you use Twitter’s longer tweets to promote your business?

  1. By quoting other people’s tweets and adding your own comments, hashtags, even a link to your own website. Now, instead of a countdown, you see a circle. As you get close to the 280 character count, it’ll change color and tell you exactly how much space you have left. How to Take Advantage of Twitter's Longer Tweets2. Put full quotes and excerpts. Not all sharing tools have caught up to the 280-characters yet, but they’re getting there. Take advantage of Longer tweetsThis is what the longer tweet looks like: Take advantage of longer tweets3. Thank more people at once. Especially if you’re just started on Twitter. Your objective is to build a following and get noticed by your target market and influencers (people who have a lot of followers). Now you can thank a whole bunch, add a hashtag, call-to-action and link. I like using TweetDeck to do this easily and manage my Twitter account. Thank more people on Twitter with longer tweets

If you’ve been ignoring Twitter, you’re missing out on a very powerful platform to get exposure and SEO (search engine optimization.)

Here’s my free Twitter class

Why Social Media is Important for Customer Service

It’s unfortunate that many business owners are ignoring social media — especially Facebook and Twitter — and especially when it comes to customer service.

One of my clients is opening a “rage room” in Tempe this weekend. Someone wanted to book a party and had a question. The contact form on the website gave her an error message when she tried to send it. Where did she go? FACEBOOK.

She sent a message and I got the notification. I replied for her to call the owner with his number and reported the contact form error to the webmaster.

Depending on the type of business and your target market, your customer and potential customers will use social media to reach you when conventional methods (email, website, phone) fail.

The problem here is if you’re monitoring your social media, you’ll never know when you get a message from a potential client! Facebook also will give you a “badge” if 90% of your average response time is less than 15 minutes.

My client was messaged on Twitter by one of the anchors from the local TV station wanting info on the business and on Facebook from another.

Could you be missing out on some free publicity because you’re ignoring social media?

You can’t afford to!

Here are a few points to ponder:

  1. It’s your online image. What message does it send if you haven’t posted anything on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn for months, even years? Lazy? Clueless? Behind the times?
  2. It’s where your potential customers are hanging out. Check out this article on how to reach the different generations through social media.
  3. You may be missing big opportunities. You’re not increasing your reach or influence. You’re not driving new traffic to your website. Moreover, you’re losing valuable SEO (search engine optimization).

So what do you need to do for better customer service?

  1. Learn how each of the social networks work and figure out which ones your target market uses the most. Here are my free classes and the free Define Your Target Market Workbook.
  2. Set up your social media profiles properly. Take into consideration your branding.
  3. Check your analytics monthly. They’ll tell you if your website traffic is increasing, if people are converting (from a visitor to a lead or a customer/ downloading / buying), and which social networks are contributing to the conversions. Here’s my free analytics class.

No more excuses! Stop letting these customer service moments slip by!

  1. Download and set up the mobile apps for the social networks that your clientele frequents the most.
  2. Turn on notifications. Now, make sure that you do a “do not disturb” parameters or set the notifications to badges and not sounds so you don’t get woken up in the middle of the night.
  3. Respond in a timely manner. Have the links to Frequently Asked Questions handy so you can just copy and paste.

So, the phone might not be ringing as much lately, it’s because your customers are trying to reach you via social media. Get with the program and stop living in 20th century!

Start with the Free Social Media Marketing Master Class!

Why You Need to Be On Pinterest for Exposure and SEO

There are a lot of stressed-out people on Pinterest. How do I know that? I wrote a blog post for one of my clients, Simply Smashing Rage Room (opening in Tempe, BTW) titled, How To Increase the Serotonin In Your Brain. It included an infographic (a graphic with data) which I pinned on Pinterest as soon as I published the article.

Why You Need to Be On Pinterest for Exposure and SEOAs of this time, and it was published on June 23, we’ve had close to 1200 views of that page! Wow! And look where the majority of the people came from! Mind boggling!

I’m not going to go into detail of how you can use Pinterest for your business – whether B2B or B2C. You can view my How-To class here.

What you need to understand is…

You Cannot Ignore Pinterest!

How Pinterest Works

See, when someone pins a picture or video from your website, it takes the link with it. Thus, helping with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) because Google likes relevant back links.

Furthermore, when someone sees the pin and saves it (repins) it to one of their boards, it creates yet another back link to your site.

When someone clicks twice on the pin, it takes them to your website!

The more people pin and repin your pictures and videos, the more “Google Juice” or “Link Love” you’ll get. Make Google happy and it’ll reward you with first page listings when people search for what you have to offer.

If you’re B2B, you might be thinking that it’s not for you. Not true! Go in and search for “technology” or “social media marketing” or “business tips” and you’ll see lots of pins and boards come up with infographics and videos.

People use Pinterest to bookmark and categorize anything that interests them. It’s like a huge bulletin board. We love visuals. The more eye-catching and easy-to-read, the better.

You might be afraid of Pinterest because it’s distracting. Yes, it can be. If I’m there working for a client and I’ve allocated 15 minutes, I set a timer.

Moreover, keep business and personal separate. Setup a business account or convert a personal one on Business.Pinterest.com. If I’m following you for business, I don’t want to see pet tips or hot hairstyles.

When social media marketing is done properly it can be very effective. However, you need to understand the nuances of each of the social networks. Each one is different. The only one that covers all generations is Facebook. The others have specific user demographics.

Free Download: Define Your Target Market WorkbookYou need to clearly define your target market(s) before you can effectively promote your business online. Click here to download the free workbook!

This also proves why analytics are so important. You must measure and go over your insights and statistics at least once a month. Here’s a free analytics class!

Happy 6th Birthday, Google Plus! And They Said It Wouldn’t Last [Infographic]

When Google Plus (G+) first came out, many people thought that it was just another Facebook. Many people said that it wouldn’t last. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen articles saying, “Google Plus is dead.” And here we are celebrating Google Plus’ sixth birthday. Amazing.

This infographic, from FulleStop, highlights Google Plus’ milestones along with some current stats and important characteristics:

    • 440 million active monthly users (not too shabby!)
    • Over 2 billion profiles (imagine if all of these were active)
    • 8 new users join every second (constantly growing)
    • The average user spends 12 minutes a day on it (this is surprising)
    • 70 out of the top 100 brands are on it and they have more followers on G+ than on YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest combined! (even more surprising!)
    • It connects to YouTube. Setup your G+ page first then setup your YouTube Channel. (This is part of your online branding. Get it right.)
    • Everything posted public on G+ gets indexed in the search engine!

That last point is reason enough to be posting regularly on G+ — just for the SEO value alone.

Happy 6th Birthday, Google Plus InfographicSo are you convinced that you need to be on G+? Click here to watch my Google+ video class on YouTube. It’s free!

What Social Amplification Looks Like When It Works Right

Posting on Facebook or any social media network is fruitless unless you have a following. You want social amplification. That’s when one of your followers shares your post with their friends. Your reach grows by how many followers they have. If they have 100 followers, your post has the chance of being seen by 100 people.

I recently started working with a nonprofit, House of Refuge SunnySlope (HRS), a faith-based, transitional housing program. They’ve been around for a almost 30 years and have over 800 Facebook likes. Until I started with them, no one was blogging. Yes, their website was being updated with pictures from events, but not blogs.

What Social Amplification Looks Like When It Works RightMy 3rd post for them was a video with the story of the gal who was the Women’s Program Director who was leaving. The “featured image” was a picture of her and her family.

What blew me away was with only 18 shares (that is people who shared the post with their friends), they got a reach of over 1700! That means that 1700 people had the potential to see the post. For a non-profit that is huge!

Non-profits have actually 5 target markets. Their main goals are to get donations, build awareness and recruit volunteers.

The more visibility they get, the better.

Also, telling stories is what attracts people to posts and blogs. Especially positive ones. That’s what I love about working with HRS — the stories of people who were as down and out as one can get and how God worked wonders in their lives. The eye-catching picture didn’t hurt either!

Everyone wants more visibility and exposure and that’s what social media and content marketing provide when done properly.

There is no reason why your business — for-profit or non-profit — new or existing — cannot get social amplification.

However, it takes time and effort.

So you need to either budget dollars to hire someone outsourced or in-house to do your social media or budget time to learn how to do properly and effectively and then actually implement your strategic and tactical plans.

It’s your choice.

Video: How to Find the Best Time to Tweet with Audiense

How do you know when your followers are online and you have the best chance for your tweet to be seen and retweeted to get the maximum exposure? Use Audiense, a free tool (used to be SocialBro). Audiense also helps you to find influencers – folks with a lot of followers. The idea is to get noticed by them and get them to retweet your tweets. See the 2nd video.

How to Find the Best Time to Tweet with Audiense:


Note: you need to have at least 100 Twitter followers for it to be effective. If you can’t devote the time it takes to build a Twitter following, check out my Jump-Start service.

Finding Influencers on Twitter with Audiense

How to Survive Twitter: Manage it with TweetDeck

How to Survive Twitter: Manage it with TweetDeckTweetDeck is a free tool by Twitter for Twitter. It helps you manage your Twitter account easily, see who’s followed, retweeted or mentioned you, create lists to monitor competition, monitor hashtags and most importantly, schedule tweets to post in the future. Great time-saving tool!

I first discovered TweetDeck when I was trying to manage an employer’s Twitter account as well as my personal one (because I was promoting a book). I was switching back and forth having to log out of one to log into the other. I also needed a way schedule tweets to out in the future. (Twitter’s up 24/7, you don’t have to be!)

How to Manage Your Twitter account(s) with TweetDeck: