Why Consistency in Social Media Marketing Matters

blog2-26.png

It makes sense for a business to build a presence on social media because it’s a cost-effective way of advertising, promoting and connecting with their consumers. This opportunity requires consistency to be successful.

Although social media marketing is a complicated web of content, timing, relevancy, and engagement, consistency is critical, especially if you are on more than one social platform.

Being consistent means that your brand gets exposure with a well-rounded idea of your brand’s message standing behind it. Disseminating your brand’s message on social media will produce a clear and consistent message to your audience. This will give your target audience an idea of who you are, what you stand for, and what you do.

If you aren’t consistent, in any form of advertising, you will lose a sense of who you are. You will get lost in the noise!

Here are some things to think about when you are making sure that your brand’s message is consistent on social media.

Tone & message – Use the same language and tone in your wording on all social networks. Some social networks have a different purpose, but your message and the feel of your brand should be the same. If your target audience is consistent, your brand’s tone and message to them should be consistent as well.

Viewpoints – It would be contradictory to stand behind a belief on one social platform and stand behind the opposite belief on another. You can see how this can be confusing for people who follow your brand. Many people follow businesses on social media, not only for what they sell, but for what they stand for. If your brand’s viewpoints are not consistent, you will lose credibility.

Repetition – If you want to promote an event or promotion, it’s important to consistently repeat posts about it. You might want to change up the words and images, but I would keep the logos/graphics consistent as well as the general message. Because social media is so cluttered with content and traffic, one post will not be enough to get your audience’s attention.

Frequency – If you usually post a couple times a day, keep that frequency consistent. If you stop posting as much, your visibility will decrease, as well as your relevancy. You don’t want people to ask, “What ever happened to that one brand?” If anything, don’t post less often than you do, but you could start posting more if necessary.

Engagement – Engagement on social media is a two-way street. You want engagement from your audience, but you also want to engage with them. It’s your job to consistently respond to reviews, comment on posts by visitors, like comments, etc. This humanizes your brand and shows that you care.

Display name – If you use multiple social networks for your brand, make sure the display name is the same on all platforms. I know a lot of businesses have names that can vary, but it makes it easier for people to find you if the display name is the same across the board.

It’s important to note that consistency is not only important on social media, but it’s also a key factor in all advertising efforts. If your brand’s image and message stays consistent, your audience’s satisfaction and expectations will be consistent as well.

Advertisements

How to Create an Engaging Hashtag for Your Event

Event Hashtag, social media blog, social media marketing, Posts for Posts

As I’ve mentioned before, hashtags are everywhere and they are important if you want to be successful in social media. Once used only on Twitter, hashtags can be found an every popular social network.

I’ve already gone over what hashtags can do for your business. However, if you’ve noticed at most of the seminars, conferences and networking events you’ve gone to, they have had their own hashtag.

Why?

Event hashtags help people who attend the event. They can organize their online conversations and stay connected even after the event has ended. It also helps you see the online discussions easier. You can also increase awareness and visibility of your event. It brings everything that is digital about your event together. Ultimately, an event hashtag results in a stronger and more effective social media campaign.

If you have an event coming up, you can create an event hashtag to boost your social media engagement and success. Follow these tips to get the most out of your hashtag:

1. Make it unique. If you already have a hashtag in mind, search Twitter or another social network for the hashtag. If it’s been used frequently and recently, you will need to rethink it. Remember, the purpose of a hashtag that is associated with an event is to connect the attendees to one another. If it’s already being used, it can be confusing and ineffective.

2.  Short is best. You will want your event hashtag be short and sweet. The shorter it is, the more room your attendees and you will have to share thoughts, experiences and information. In social media posts, every character counts! The perfect hashtag will have 10 or less characters.

3.  Relate it to the event and make it clear. The hashtag should obviously reflect your event. It should be easy to understand and decipher. Make sure that your attendees will be able to know what it’s about just by looking at it with no context.

4.  Make it memorable. If your attendees can’t remember the hashtag, it’s useless. Don’t use abbreviations that the general public won’t understand. You want your attendees to use this hashtag when they are talking about your event, so if they remember it, they will most likely use it more often. Make sure you properly promote the event and the hashtag in order for people to know about it. Include it in all social promotions and registration page for your event and track the hashtag on all social sites. This blog gives several great tips on how to encourage people to use and promote your event hashtag.

5.  Brand it. Make sure to use the hashtags across all social media accounts your company has. If it’s consistent and branded, it will be more successful and visible.

If you successfully create and implement an event hashtag, you’re on your way to running a successful social media campaign. Having a clearly branded and effectively used hashtag will improve your social media presence! Just remember, that social media and hashtags are just part of what makes your marketing efforts and your business successful.

5 Ways to Use Facebook Groups for Your Business

Posts for Posts, social media blog, Facebook Groups

Many business pages have the same problem. They have trouble connecting with their fans. Facebook groups are not only great for networking, but they allow you to further grow your customer relationships and fuel your current social media efforts.

If you haven’t considered using a Facebook group for your business, maybe you should!

There are many ways to use Facebook groups. If you don’t have any experience with Facebook groups, I suggest starting with one and building from there. You may be asking, “Wait, I need more than one?” Well, there are several ways you can go with your Facebook group. It can be used for your current customers, team members, or brand ambassadors.

Connect with your audience, increase engagement and build your business’ reputation with Facebook groups! Here are 5 ways to use Facebook groups:

1.  Provide value to your current customers. Support current customers by making them feel special.

Invite people to join the minute they become a customer. You can also include a link in emails inviting customers to join, on your sales page, or receipts. Explain to customers that this page allows them to connect with other customers, share ideas and experiences, share photos, support one another, and give feedback.

Make sure this is a private group. This way, you know that all members are paid customers. To develop this group, offer tips and tricks on your lesser-known features and services, respond personally to complaints, respond as quickly as possible, and be inclusive by offering deals and promotions that aren’t listed publicly.

2.  Discuss current events. Groups are a great place to keep up with current events and trends in the industry. Members of this group can have an open discussion about what’s going on, not necessarily with your business, but in your industry. I suggest keeping this group public so anyone interested in your industry can join.

This is beneficial for your business because you can see what people think about your competition, what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. This also allows you to get topic ideas for blog/post content.

3. Network with dedicated fans. Your Facebook group is not a page you want just anyone to join. It’s for people who believe in your company and what you stand for, and for you products/services. It’s basically a fan group for your business.

This group is separate from the page you dedicate to your current customers because these people could also be brand ambassadors; someone who represents your brand in a positive light and helping increase awareness and sales.

This group will stand as a discussion forum for fans, potential customers and current customers and it will help spread positive buzz about your company and what you sell.

The key is making the members feel special. Send them free gifts, give them a discount, or simply share their content. Also, thank them on a regular basis, whether it’s online or a hand-written letter.

4. Nurture customer segments. This page will help you identify your customer personas. You will easily be able to find out their worries and troubles with your products or services.

Since most businesses have several different segments within their target audience, you could create multiple Facebook groups catering to each. For instance, if your business caters to multiple languages, build separate groups for each language.

 5. Strengthen your team. If you have a large number of employees or a diverse team of people in different locations, a Facebook group is a great way for everyone to keep in touch.This way, you can ensure that your company culture is the same in every location. You can also share news, such as new products, new company policy, etc. with employees.

Ultimately, Facebook groups work with Facebook pages. A Facebook group is simply another marketing tool and can fuel your other marketing efforts. This blog explains how you can set up a Facebook group for your business!

6 Reasons You Aren’t Connecting With Your Audience on Social Media

blog2-11.png

You’re posting on social media everyday and putting money towards boosting posts and digital advertisements. Why aren’t you connecting or engaging with your target audience? It could be your content or it could be your strategy.

Now that digital marketing has become prominent in this day and age, customers expect a personalized experience with businesses and their brand. In order to connect with these people, you have to stay on top of the game and realize what you’re doing wrong. Here are 6 reasons you aren’t connecting with your audience on social media (this can also be related to blogging and website content):

1.  You aren’t evoking any emotion. Does your brand evoke emotion? If it does, it should transfer to social media. To establish brand loyalty and engagement from your audience, you need to establish a loyal fan base through emotional appeal. People are more likely to engage based on emotion. With every social media post, think about what your brand stands for and how the public perceives it.

2.  You only care about yourself. Your social media efforts might not be working because you aren’t following my 80/20 rule. If you focus too much on products, services and promotions, the reader won’t want to read about you. The occasional announcement is okay, but make the majority of the content about the reader.

3.  You don’t have a clear target audience. You can’t create engaging content without the knowledge of your audience. Create an audience persona to help you create better content and to help guide your strategy and post topics.

4.  You aren’t creating content specifically for your audience. Now that you have a target audience, you need to create content specifically for them. Target your posts and ads on social media towards this audience. Ask yourself, “What are they like? Why are they looking at your profile? What do they want and need to know? How can you solve their problem? What do you want them to do?” Answering these questions before you create content for you social media posts will help attract the right audience.

5.  Your content doesn’t provide value. Attention spans are very small these days. If you don’t provide immense and immediate value to your audience, no one will waste their time. Provide your audience with facts, tips, statistics, funny and shareable photos and videos, etc. Go back to your questions about your target audience and answer what they need and want with your content.

6.  You’re too impatient. If you’re new to social media, gaining an audience takes time. Creating compelling and engaging content takes time and effort. Just remember to always keep your target audience in mind. Social media marketing is just like any other form of marketing. To get results, you must be patient.

9 Tips on Dealing With Negative Reviews of Your Business

blog2-9.png

Working with multiple companies and radio stations and managing their social media has taught me that some people are not very nice online. I have had calls from business owners and questions from the radio personalities asking me how to get rid of negative reviews, specifically on Facebook.

Well, I’ve got news for you. It’s nearly impossible. Not only that, but you don’t necessarily want to get rid of negative reviews. It diminishes your credibility as well as your transparency. The reality is, you can do everything right and still receive a negative review. Bad reviews happen!

What if I told you that you could actually make a positive out of a negative? No, this isn’t a math lesson, but you really can put your business in a positive light after receiving a negative review online. Rather than trying to find ways to delete the review, consider these 9 tips on how to deal with negative reviews of your business.

1.  Remember that bad reviews don’t mean that you’re bad. Before doing anything, remember that as your business grows, you’re going to see more reviews and they might not always be good. Don’t take them personally. Your business isn’t right for everyone, and that’s a great thing! Treat a negative review as an open window to make something within your business better.

2.  Join the conversation. The best thing you can do is to respond to the unhappy customer. If you ignore it, people will take notice. Responding in a timely manner shows the customer that you care. This may also allow the person who gave you a bad review to give you a second chance and respond to your response.

3.  Highlight the positive. Believe me when I say that negative reviews can benefit your business. In your response, include a link to your blog or website that may resolve the customer’s issue. Or you can draw attention to the more positive reviews. You can even show how you will use this review to make some changes.

4.  Empathize and apologize. Show the customer that you understand how they feel. Use language like “understandable,” “I can see where you’re coming from,” or “I’d be frustrated too.’ Make the customer feel like they are right and you know that. Then, apologize. Even if you don’t think you were in the wrong, be genuine in your apology and show that you don’t like when customers are upset.

5.  Resolve the issue. Ask what you can do to make this right. What will make the customer happy? Of course, you have to put a limit on these requests, but try to resolve the issue quickly. The longer you let the customer heat up, the bigger the explosion.

6.  Diagnose the problem. Find out why this issue happened in the first place. Without blaming anyone, get to the bottom of why this negative review happened. Also, remember that taking responsibility is not a shameful act.

7.  Encourage positive reviews. Once you realize that reviews, whether positive or negative, are there to stay, the best thing to do is to encourage satisfied customers to leave a reviews.

8.  Prevent it by following up. You can try to prevent negative reviews by following up with customers after they have done business with you. If you are a restaurant or retailer, this step can be difficult. However, if you have your customers’ contact information, you can call them after the business transaction is complete and ask them how their experience was. What can you do better? This action simply shows that you care about your customers and are willing to change if needed.

9.  KNOW WHEN TO TAKE THE ISSUE OFFLINE! This is extremely important. If the discussion starts to get heated and you think that there may be inappropriate comments made, take it offline. Ask the customer if you can take this issue to email or phone. Keep your business’ name and reputation in tact at all times.

How to Build a Mobile App

blog 2-4.png

In one of my recent blog posts, I explained how a mobile app could benefit your business. It’s clear that whatever your business does online can also be done on mobile. Not only that, but mobile apps allow you to reach your consumers on a whole other level. You are not only promoting your products or services, you are also connecting with them by supporting online transactions, loyalty programs, social media interactions and more.

The problems most small business owners face are budget and the step-by-step process.

Many people are hesitant to start developing a mobile app because they don’t have any technical background. Since the mobile app market has exploded in the past couple years with the iPhone and Android, there are now several different ways that everyday people like you and me can build an app! There are several programs to think about. This article describes 6 tools to build a mobile app on a budget! If you would rather do everything yourself or you don’t want to rely on a program, you can learn to code or hire an external team.

Recently, I read a great article by Forbes, “How to Build Your First Mobile App” by Melanie Haselmayr. I love her 12-step process so much, I’m simply going to summarize it for you!

Step 1: Define your goal. Every time I bring up objectives I feel like I am repeating myself. Before you start working on any details, you must have a goal. What’s your app’s purpose? Having a goal will help you outline your app and help you get to the end result faster.

Step 2: Start sketching. Simply sketch what you want your app to look like on a mobile device. This will help you “visually conceptualize the main features” and layout. As you go through the process, you can go back to your sketches.blog 2-4.jpg

Step 3: Research. The more research you do, the easier it will be for you to create a unique app for your business. Find out what other apps are doing, find inspiration for the design, research any technical information you need, and find the best ways to monetize your app. It’s going to take some time and a lot of research to be able to develop an app that hasn’t already been done before.

Step 4: Create a wireframe and storyboard. In this process, you are creating a mockup of your app. Melanie gives some prototyping tools online: Balsamiq, Moqups, and HotGloo. The storyboard gives you a roadmap that will show each screen and how the user can navigate through the app.

wireboard blog.jpg

Step 5: Define the back end of your mobile app. This is where the technical aspect comes in. If you are working on your own, you will definitely need to do some research on how to do this, but sketch your servers, APIs, and data diagrams as a reference.

Step 6: Test your prototype. Take your prototype to friends and family and have them review it. Use the feedback to tweak your app.

Step 7: Build the back end of your app. Have a developer set up servers, databases, APIs and storage solutions. Also, sign up for developer accounts at the app marketplaces you are developing for (App Store, Android Marketplace, etc.).

Step 8: Design the app “Skins.” You or your designer should develop high-resolution of your wireframes; each screen within your app.

Step 9: Test again. Now that you have an actual app concept with graphics and text, test your app to see what it will really look and feel like. Melanie from Forbes gives 2 great testing apps: Solidify and Framer.

Step 10: Revise and continue to build. After you’ve tested the design and collected more feedback, polish up your app.

Step 11: Refine each detail. You will want to test your app’s functionality as it proceeds. You will want to monitor it until it’s complete.

Step 12: Release! Each marketplace is different, but once you release your app, Android and iOS will review and, hopefully, approve it!

January 2016 Social Media Update

Another month, another load of social media updates! Some of these new features are great for marketers, so if you haven’t had a chance to catch up on the updates this past month, now’s your chance!

Facebook:

  • Facebook Sports Stadium. With the Super Bowl this month, Facebook came out with this new feature right in time for the big game. Facebook Sports Stadium is a new destination inside Facebook that updates you on play-by-play coverage of sports matches and allows users to comment on the updates, as well as experts and analysts.

 1453407636-11068Facebook-Introduces-Sports-Stadium-Hub-for-All-Sports-Fans-out-There.jpg

Twitter:

  • Enhanced video player & auto-looping GIFs. Twitter released a new custom video player and stated that GIFs will receive a unique badge and will auto-loop playback.
  • Conversational ads. Twitter’s new feature makes it easier for users to engage with a brand and share their campaign message. This will allow advertisers to drive more media and brand influence.

CX-Wx5zWwAEYTXg.png

  • Twitter Flight School. This is a free online education program for marketers provided by Twitter. If you’re a marketer trying to become a Twitter expert, this update is perfect for you!

Snapchat:

  • The White House launched official Snapchat account. This account lets people see behind the scenes of the White House. Unfortunately, it won’t be like the show “Scandal”, but it’s to engage the broad cross-section of the population in creative ways. For example, taking you behind the scenes of the White House’s State of the Union preparations.

White_House_Snapchat2-970-80.jpg

  • Profile URLs. Snapchat makes it easier to add people with profile URLs. Users create a unique URL and copy and share it through other social networks or their email signature.

YouTube:

  • Donation Cards. Subscribers and viewers can now donate to an organization, charity, or business directly from videos.
  • HDR video support. YouTube will support the latest version of video; HDR (high dynamic range).