Welcome to the third and final part of Marketing & Social Media 101 for Business.
So far we have covered marketing in general, including:
· Defining what marketing is
· Looking at the difference between marketing and selling
· Identifying the four ways to grow a business
· Discussed business growth strategies
· Listed many of the tools of marketing
· The importance of having an on line presence in some form
· Ensuring consistency between your traditional and social media marketing strategies
· The importance of setting clear objectives
· Acknowledging that your customers are already on social media
· Having a clear social media marketing plan
· Being patient with social media – not to expect immediate results
· Recognising that social media should not be used to solely sell – that it should be utilised to principally build community and trust, and to inform and educate
Tool of Social Media
There are many and a growing number of social media tools available for you to utilise in your social media strategy.
The most popular social media tools that utilised by business include:
Facebook Twitter Blogs Youtube LinkedIn Pinterest Google+
Of course, there are others – and new ones come and others disappear eg the popularity of Myspace has diminished substantially over the last 3 years.
Your social media policy may incorporate any combination of these tools.
The question is – which tool or tools?
The simple answer to this is – use the tools where your customers (existing or target) are. There is no “one size fits all” solution.
So how do we find out where our customers are? Well one simple way to do this is to ask them – then encourage them to join you! Other means of finding out where your customers are can be by utilising tools such as Google Alerts or Social Mention, just to mention a couple. But I still think that asking your customers and making them aware of what social media platforms you are using will enable you to grow your presence in these networks.
Let’s now take a closer look at some of the tools.
Facebook is a social network that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, family and co-workers. Anyone can sign up for Facebook and interact with the people they know in a trusted environment.
It’s important to understand how big the Facebook phenomenon is – here are some facts:
§ Facebook is the most visited/trafficked website in the world (now even ahead of Google!)
§ More than 1 billion active users – if Facebook was a country, it would be the 3rd largest in the world!
§ 50% of Facebook’s active users log on in any given day
§ 1/3 – The proportion of women aged 18-34 who check
Facebook when they first wake up – even before going to the bathroom
Facebook when they first wake up – even before going to the bathroom
§ Average user has 234 friends
§ People spend over 10.5 billion minutes per day on Facebook
§ 481.1 million local businesses are active on Facebook
What are the different types of Facebook presences?
There are three. These are:
1. Personal profile – used for private individuals for personal purposes
2. Group – used for community groups and common interests
3. Page – used for businesses
§ It is against Facebook rules to set up a personal profile or group for business purposes.
§ Facebook will delete your group or profile if they detect that it is being used for the wrong purpose. They could permanently ban you from Facebook!
§ Many local business have incorrectly set up personal profiles for their businesses
How do you know what a particular Facebook presence is?
Simply be looking at Facebook you can tell what a particular presence is. That is, if the presence has:
· Friends – it is a personal profile
· Members – it is a group
· Likes – it is a business page
What Can a Business do on Facebook?
A Facebook Page is a public profile that enables you to share your business and products with Facebook users. Pages are similar to personal profiles and brands accumulate fans (“likes”) instead of friends.
Within pages you have the option of posting and collecting content, importing Twitter and blog feeds, collecting user reviews, running promotions, competitions and hosting discussions.
You do not see your fan’s newsfeeds or private comments once someone likes your page. However, if you have incorrectly set up your Facebook presence as a personal profile, any comments that your “friends” make on their newsfeed will appear on yours. This may mean that inappropriate comments may be made that will appear on your business Facebook presence. You will therefore need to be vigilant in deleting these comments as they may reflect on your reputation. However, if your Facebook presence was correctly set up as a Page, you would not have this issue.
Facebook Insights provide interesting statistics about interactions with your Facebook Page – this is not available for personal profiles or groups – and is another reason why setting up as a Page is so critical.
Another important strategy is to claim your own vanity URL (web address) within Facebook. When you set up your Facebook page, your Facebook address will be a list of random letters and numbers. Claiming your own URL means that your Facebook URL address would look like, for example, www.facebook.com/citypharmacy, making it easier to search and find.
There are many applications available that are designed to enhance your Facebook presentation and functionality. These can range from shop fronts, chat, surveys to competitions. These can be free or at a cost, depending on the complexity of your application. Further, there are specialist Facebook developers who can build a specific application to suit your needs – at, of course, a cost.
There is also the ability to advertise through Facebook. Facebook Ads offer banner advertising which can target age, gender, location, relationship status and interest, or music and lifestyle interests – which can result in very powerful, targeted promotions. You can set a specific spend budget with Facebook Ads – therefore the cost can be easily managed.
MY RECOMMENDATION IS THAT YOU HAVE A FACEBOOK PAGE AS A MINIMUM!
§ Post Photos and Videos
§ Ask questions
§ Promote others
§ Use check-ins
§ Feature employees/behind the scenes
§ Use contests
§ Post often!
§ Have fun
§ Have valuable content – use links
§ Change cover photo regularly
§ Tell people what’s happening
§ Feature events
Check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/greentaylorpartners to see how we have been utilising this tool.
Twitter is the simplest form of blog - but in simplicity there is often great power.
Twitter is a microblogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters and delivered to the author's subscribers who are known as followers.
Some basic Twitter facts:
· There are more than 500 million registered users
§ New users signing up at the rate of 460,000 per day
§ 190 million unique visitors come to the site every month
§ Over 250 million “tweets” are sent in a day
§ 37% of active Twitter users use their phone to tweet
§ Around 600 million search queries per day
§ Tweets have relatively short life. Typically 24 hours
It has been established that one good Tweet is equivalent to 10,000 impressions!
In fact you now have a virtual PR and marketing team that works for free.
In fact you now have a virtual PR and marketing team that works for free.
You can attach links to your tweets back to your website, blog or Facebook page . I have had great success in driving traffic to my blog as a result of tweeting about my latest blog post.
Some of the things you can use Twitter for include:
§ Marketing - branding, promotions etc.
§ News, Events
§ Monitoring, Competitive tracking.
§ Innovation, Research
§ Search engine optimization.
§ Put out vacancies, job postings .
§ Customer Service
Feel free to check out my Twitter profile – go to www.twitter.com and search for theastuteaccountant.
A blog (a contraction of the term "web log") is a type of website with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order
Some interesting facts regarding blogging:
· There are more than 100 million blogs on the Internet
§ 70% of bloggers are organically talking about brands on their blog
§ 38% of bloggers post brand or product reviews
§ Over 70% of internet users read blogs
A well written Blog is a great strategy to show expertise, educate readers and ultimately build trust within your audience. If you link your blog to your website, your website will improve in any search on the web for your business or type of business – Google loves blogs and enhances your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
The two most popular blog platforms are:
These tools are generally free!
Feel free to check out my blog at http://chrisfoster1959.blogspot.com.au
LinkedIn is a social networking website geared towards companies and industry professionals looking to make new business contacts or keep in touch with previous co-workers, affiliates, and clients.
Some facts for Linkedin:
§ LinkedIn has over 135 million members worldwide
is currently the fastest-growing country to
use LinkedIn, with around 3m total users India
§ Of all social networking websites, LinkedIn has the most financially affluent audience
§ 75% of users on LinkedIn have a college degree. High index of graduates and post graduates
§ Over 70% are 35 years and above
What can businesses do with Linkedin? I have found that Linkedin is a one of the best social media tools for making professional connections. If you are a professional, it is imperative that you be on Linkedin. It is an absolutely brilliant tool for meeting other professional, joining professional interest groups eg business owners, retailers etc and in general, a great source of knowledge and learning.
Linkedin has also become a great recruiting ground for professional employees – in fact, some commentators have suggested that Linkedin may replace many of the professional employment websites as a means of sourcing new employees.
I strongly recommend that if you are not a Linkedin member – join now. And there is no cost! Feel free to connect with me on Linkedin!Youtube
YouTube is a video sharing website on which users can upload and share videos.
Some facts about YouTube:
§ People are watching 4 billion videos a day on YouTube
§ Every minute, 72 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube
§ 50% of users visit YouTube at least once a week
§ An average user spends 1 hour 41 minutes a month on YouTube
YouTube can be a great resource for getting in front of your customers for building that trust that I mentioned earlier in these articles. Many people are better at “visual” learning rather than reading or listening so YouTube can be a fill this important gap.
So what can YouTube be used for? Really, it is up to your imagination, and can include:
§ Training and support
§ Marketing and brand enhancement
§ New employee orientation
§ Product overviews, demonstration
§ Customer testimonial, customer success stories
I have a passion for restoration of classic cars and was looking for a particular type of welder. The supplier had a comprehensive selection of videos on YouTube and this enabled my in my own time to watch the videos and be convinced that it would suit my needs – ultimately I purchased the welder!
At Green Taylor Partners, we have established GTP TV on YouTube and we have uploaded short videos on many topics including business advisory, taxation, self managed superannuation and using special features that MYOB and Quickbooks have. We also use Youtube to promote upcoming seminars – the seminar presenters talk about the seminar and expected outcomes – a great “soft” way of promoting an event!
Feel free to check out GTP TV – just go to Youtube and search for Green Taylor Partners TV.
As stated earlier, these are but a few of the many social media tools out there – your choice really depends on where your targeted audience is!
Posting Tips for Social Media
Listed below are some simple tips on posting into your social media tool
§ Manually post into each medium
§ Multiple posting saves time – use tools such as HootSuite or Tweetdeck that can easily do this for you
§ These tools will also allow you to schedule your posts – this means that you can prepare your posts in advance
§ Find out when your most effective posting time will be e.g. research has shown that:
§ Post tweet in the afternoon as highest % retweets occur around
§ Most Facebook sharing occurs on a Saturday
§ Facebook shares tend to peak around or after
§ 1 post every 2 days on Facebook will achieve the most likes
§ Photos and videos are great for increasing exposure
Question – where is your target audience and what time zone are they in?
The Do’s in Social Media
§ Set clear objectives – decide what you are trying to achieve as it allows you to establish success or failure of your efforts
§ Be honest, transparent and authentic
§ Provide advice and ideas around subjects you are knowledgeable about – its about education, building trust and community
§ Respond to interactions promptly – you owe it to your audience to be responsive and open. Deal with negative comments appropriately. Or simply put, ENGAGE!
§ Monitor activity and adjust strategy based on results
§ Post regularly
§ Refer people to additional information – be helpful!
§ Do attach photos and videos to posts as much as possible. This will ensure that your posts have a better chance of appearing in your audience’s newsfeed
The Don’ts in Social Media
· No hard selling (educate first)
· Don’t lie, don’t pretend. Be transparent
· Don’t get caught up in the race for followers. Forge a strong community with the existing ones instead and the numbers will follow.
· Don’t fight your customers and expect to win
· Don’t lose sight of your objective
· Don’t expect immediate results – PERSIST!
· If you don’t have the resources to implement social media properly DON’T DO IT AT
ALL - or pay someone to do it for you!
I trust you have found this series of articles useful and that you have gained to some ideas out of all the points raised. It’s important that you now take steps to implement some of those ideas – an idea is only that until it is implemented.
As stated at the outset, this is a summary of a workshop presentation delivered in the last month. I have a video recording of this presentation available – if you would like access to this, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a link.
Once again, if you have any questions regarding your social media strategy, please feel free to contact me at the above email address.
In my next article I’ll provide you with some information on QR Codes and how you can use these in your business.