How Your Business Can Benefit From a Mobile App

Mobile App, marketing, mobile marketing

Mobile apps are not just for big name brands. In fact, most small business owners don’t realize how much potential there is in a mobile app. Whether you’re a small or large business, the mobile trend is something to consider jumping on. An effective mobile strategy is more than just a mobile-friendly website. If you’re ready to take your marketing to the next level, a mobile app might be the next step!

As any other marketing effort, you will need a strategy focused around objectives. Also, ask yourself if a mobile app is for you. Yes, mobile apps work well for most businesses, but it’s not for everyone. If you’re trying to reach your customers on a 24-hour basis, your brand can provide a fun and productive experience on mobile, and you think your business will benefit from a mobile app, you are ready to plan and strategize!

Before I tell you how to build a mobile app (next post), you should know the benefits. If these benefits don’t relate to your particular business, then you know a mobile app is not for you.

  1. It’s a moneymaker. A mobile app is not only an interactive experience for users, but you and your customers can benefit by providing in-app purchases. This way, you are monetizing your app and creating a second stream of income.
  2. It expands your reach. If your current customers use your app, it’s likely that they will get their friends and family on board. You have the potential to reach an entirely new audience.
  3. You’re showcasing your products and services. Unlike social media, it’s ok to overly promote your products and services on your mobile app. In fact, that’s one reason people will download the app. Although the app will have a purpose for the user, it acts like ad that’s not so obvious.
  4. Your brand is visible to customers at all times. An American study found that people spend an average of 4.7 hours on their phone a day! Your brand is in the hands and minds, whether it’s the sub-conscious or not, of customers constantly.
  5. It’s a direct marketing channel. A mobile app serves many functions. One of the biggest advantages is that all the information you would share to customers and leads through marketing, is right at their fingertips. It includes, prices, general information, promotions, sales, and more.
  6. It provides value to your customers. If you have a loyalty/reward program, a mobile app makes it easier for you to track and easier for the customer to collect their rewards via your mobile app.

Promotions 101: 5 W’s of Social Media Promotions

social media promotion, digital promotion, social media marketing

It should be clear why businesses choose social media as their main platform for content marketing. Social media is booming! Not to mention, it’s where the audience is.

A common trend in social media is running a promotion in order to boost engagement, increase reach, and to reach other marketing objectives. However, a social media promotion involves a lot more than giving away an iPad. It’s all about strategy, goals and going where the people are!

Let’s get to the basics talk about the 5 W’s of social media promotions.

Who:

Anyone can run a promotion, but that doesn’t mean everyone should. It certainly doesn’t mean that a promotion guarantees social media success.

Ask yourself these questions before jumping into a social promotion:

  • What are their marketing objectives? Are they looking to generate leads or Likes, engage or activate their existing user base, or reach a new audience?
  • What is their budget? Social promotions can be executed at relatively low cost, but budget considerations should guide a decision on the type of promo.
  • Where are you on the consumer engagement pyramid? The more engagement you already have, the higher barrier of entry you can have.

consumer pyramid.pngWhy:

Have a goal in mind when planning a social media promotion. Here are common goals a social promotion can fulfill:

  • Drive traffic to brand, other social media channels, and website
  • Generate leads and sales
  • Grow fan base
  • Drive opt-in to newsletters, emails, phone calls, etc.
  • Improve brand reputation and authority
  • Gain user data & insight
  • Collect consumer generated content

Ultimately, a social media promotion should increase sales!

What:

There are several different types of social promotions. The 3 most common types of promotions are sweepstakes, deals & coupons, and contests.

A sweepstake is chance-based and has a low barrier to entry. Visitors enter by completing a form and winners are randomly drawn. Sweepstakes work for a wide variety of industries and pages receive key user information that is important for future marketing such as e-mail or location.

Deals & coupons ask the user to do something and then when this task is completed the user is granted access to the deal. This type of promotion also has a low barrier to entry. It expands to reach additional social networks, works for a wide variety of industries, and pages get something of value in return.

Contests are kkill-based promotions with voting or judging. They have more opportunity for engagement, entrants are motivated to share with friends, they better qualify entrants, and they give you access to user generated content.

Tips:

  • Keep entry forms simple
  • Make prize relevant to the company
  • Make sure the prize value equates to product or time consumed by entrant

Where:

Social media promotions work on any social media channel, especially Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. The key is finding your audience. Your “great idea” for an Instagram promotion won’t work if your audience is not on Instagram.

social-media-platforms.png

When:

First of all, and I have said this before, do not start a social promotion without an objective! These are common times when businesses should run a social media promotion:

  • When business is slow
  • When you want more information about your audience
  • When you want to promote a product/service or event
  • When you want to increase social media engagement
  • When you want to reach more people on social media

Once you decide to do a social media promotion, there are multiple steps to take to run a successful campaign. I created this infographic to break it down:

social promo infographic.png

 

8 Ways To Integrate Social Media With Traditional Marketing

integrated marketing, social media marketing, traditional marketing

Although social media has transformed the way we do business, traditional media still has an important role. It’s important to consider how to blend both online and offline space. If you’re keeping digital, print and radio advertising separate, you’re doing it all wrong! In fact, they work best when they work together with the same goal.

A successful marketing campaign ties each marketing channel to your brand in the minds of the audience. Businesses using social media need to set objectives, create a strategy and make sure it dovetails with their entire campaign and marketing strategy. When you plan on integrating your campaign across all channels, it’s good to remember the 4 C’s of integrated marketing; coherence, consistency, continuity, and complementary. Are all aspects connected in come way? Do all the messages support each other and consistent across platforms? Are you producing a balanced whole?

Once you decide to expand your campaign to social media, you have to find out what kind of content is going to be engaging but also ties into your brand. Here are 8 ways social media and traditional marketing work together.

1. Use other forms of media to drive social. Give your audience a reason to join the conversation on social media. Use print, radio and other traditional media to promote your social channels. Tell your audience what kind of content and conversation they’re missing out on if they don’t check out your Facebook, Twitter or other social media page. The first hurdle you have to get over when utilizing social media is getting people to find you and follow you. If they’re not seeing your content, is it really beneficial to you?

2. Make conversation in the traditional space. If you are getting positive comments and reviews on social media, make that into a testimonial for your website or quote for your next blog post. Make sure you get permission from the person who wrote it, but it usually drives more engagement and reach because it demonstrates your brand in a one-on-one experience.

3. Expand your story on social media. Let your campaign blossom! In radio, TV, and even print, you are limited to the amount of space you get to share your message. Add on to the story of your recent ad. Create a YouTube video with a behind-the-scenes look or and alternate ending to the ad’s story. Give the audience a point of view they haven’t seen yet. I would also suggest including your main TV commercial in your Facebook “About’ section. Kate Spade did a great job extending her campaign across social channels.

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 9.36.33 AM.png4. Allow social to capture feedback. Social media is a great platform for customer service and getting feedback from your audience about your current campaign. Be aware that this is not always positive, but it can help you modify your campaign to the likings of your target audience.

5. Use consistent hashtagging. If you’re using a common hashtag on your social media channels, use the same wording in your print, radio and TV ads and vice versa. You don’t necessarily need the hashtag in traditional media, but using a common phrase that’s part of your campaign and not necessarily your slogan can tie your marketing efforts together across all channels. Coca-Cola did this with their 2015 Super Bowl campaign. They used the hashtag #MakeItHAppy across all social channels and it even appeared on TV.

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 9.43.43 AM.png

6. Respond with traditional media. If you’re seeing a common objection on social media or find one that is interesting enough to publicly approach, respond to the comment with traditional media. This shows people that you actually care about your customers and you’re not just a brand, but you’re real people who deal with real problems.

7. Tie offline events with social media. If your company is throwing an event, tie in a social media contest or hashtag. You should also promote the event on social channels. Create buzz during the event by having the attendees Tweet or post with a hashtag or tagging your brand to win a giveaway.

8. Produce a style guide for your campaign. If you have multiple people working on your marketing strategy, make sure they all know your brand’s style. Come up with a color scheme, your brand’s tone and image, consistent verbiage, and main objective. A style guide can help you make sure you follow the 4 C’s of integrated marketing.

Social media is certainly not like any other form of marketing. It can be confusing and complicated at times. If you keep the message and image of your brand consistent across all channels, you should be able to successfully integrate social media with traditional marketing.

December 2015 Social Media Update

Social media; social media update

A new year with new updates! Social media continues to be ever-changing. Check out the new updates that came out in December!

Twitter:

  • New photo options – Users now have the ability to uncrop images. Twitter also unveiled new larger multi-photo displays.
  • Non-chronological timeline – Twitter is experimenting with this to find ways to show the best content for Twitter users. The algorithmic-driven news feed came out early December.

Facebook:

  • Messages Page plugin – This update makes it easier for customers to interact with companies. People can message businesses without leaving your website.
  • Events Page plugin – This new feature allows people to discover and intereact with events from your Page, directly on your website. You can create an event on your Page and feature it on your website while managing it from one place.
  • Live video – Facebook opened Live Video up to a small percentage of people in the U.S. with iPhones. It was originally limited to celebrities. Those who have the feature will see a “Live Video” option when they go to make a status update.
  • Collages – This new feature groups together photos and videos that were posted together into a scrolling, moving collage. You can add a title, add, remove and rearrange photos before sharing.
  • Buy Tickets button – This update allows users to purchase tickets for pickup directly in Facebook. The Buy Tickets button will go on events created by Pages.
  • Transportation on Messenger – Users have the ability to request a ride from a car service without leaving Messenger. The first partner is Uber. It is being tested and will be available to select users in locations where Uber operates in the U.S.

Pinterest:

  • Track buyable pins – Users will now be notified when the price on a buyable Pin they have saved drops. Users can go straight to the Pin and purchase the item without leaving Pinterest.

LinkedIn:

  • Redesigned app – LinkedIn launched their redesigned app and it looks a lot like Facebook. It’s centered around a home feed and shows updates from people in your network.

 

9 Common Mistakes in Social Media Marketing

Social Media Mistakes, Social Media Marketing

Whether you’re a large business owner or a small local business owner, you are probably thinking about jumping on the social media bandwagon if you haven’t already. It makes sense. That’s where everyone is these days!

If you quickly search “social media marketing” online, you’ll find tons of tips and advice on how to successfully market yourself on social media. However, if you’re just starting out with social media marketing, there are common mistakes you should be aware of. You could be generating relevant and interesting content, but you’re not seeing results. Why?

Maybe you’re making one of these 9 common social media mistakes:

  1. Not having a plan. At all.

Some businesses create a profile and curate and share content regularly. However, many businesses struggle to grasp the value of social media because they have no strategy or objectives. Randomness is your enemy. Your social media efforts should be consistent. Like all marketing efforts, social media needs a plan with obtainable and measurable goals. Otherwise, how do you know if it’s working or if you’re just wasting your time?

  1. Using too many social networks.

Don’t spread yourself too thin. Start with creating a profile on one or two networks that best fit your market. Try to build your following and digital presence on those networks before you commit to too many. You want to make sure you are using social media effectively.

  1. Failing to use hashtags or using irrelevant hashtags.

If you read my post about hashtags, you know that they are essential to engagement and being part of a larger discussion on social networks. Of course, you want to integrate hashtags when you can. However, only use one or two hashtags per post and make sure they are relevant to your content and message. This way, you will reach people who are interested in what you have to say.

4. Overselling.

I can’t stress this enough. Although social media is a marketing tool, its purpose is very different from other marketing method. Social media can be a tool for customer service, PR, humanizing your brand and getting one-on-one with your customers and potential leads. I’ve mentioned the 80/20 rule before, but if you missed that blog post, it states that 80% of your content should be entertaining, educational and informational and 20% of your content should be self-promotion.

  1. Not using visuals.

Don’t be a one-trick pony. That being said, visuals are a major part of social media marketing. If you’re only using text and links, it’s hard to grab the attention of your target audience. Include graphics, infographics, video and photos to draw people in and increase engagement.

  1. Ignoring comments, mentions, and reviews.

Don’t neglect the “social” aspect of social media. That is the whole purpose of social media. Right? You want to have a conversation with your followers. Try to start a conversation with engaging content and questions or engage yourself in conversation by responding to comments and mentions. You can even simply thank people for following you. Most importantly, don’t ignore the negative feedback. Like I said before, social media is a great tool for customer service. If a customer is unhappy and posts about you or on your page, you need to respectfully address the situation ASAP!

  1. Sharing too much.

Don’t be annoying. Even if people Like your page on Facebook, they can easily hide all of your notifications and posts if you start to annoy them. On other social networks like Instagram and Twitter, it’s as easy as clicking the unlike button! Focus on quality before quantity. Yes, you want to be consistent and visible, but make sure it’s content that people actually want to see. I suggest trying to post 3-4 times a week starting out. Eventually, try to post once a day.

  1. Aiming in the dark.

Is your target audience too broad? Do you even have a target audience? On all social networks you can select your audience and customize the demographics. I strongly suggest doing this before sending out content and/or paying for an ad. You want to reach a lot of people, but if they aren’t qualified leads you are wasting your time and money.

  1. Not measuring results and expecting results too fast.

First of all, social media is a slow and steady race. You have to figure out what works and what doesn’t. That takes time and trial and error. I agree that it’s frustrating to measure your results after a month and see not much in return. That just means you need to mix things up a bit and try something new. I usually measure social media analytics once a month. How many new followers did we get? What was our reach? How much engagement are my posts receiving? Answer questions that are related to your objectives in your social media strategy.