Facebook Marketing Tips: What Every Business Owner Should Know

From Facebook Marketing Skeptic to Convert

Facebook social media marketing tips for Reading PA, Allentown, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and beyondI’ll be honest: I was a more than a little skeptical about Facebook marketing in its early days. Social media marketing was suddenly all the rage, though few businesses knew how to make the most of it.  Facebook made it look easy, with business pages and affordable pay-per-click and pay-per-impression advertising, but would it really work? And if so, would it work for everyone, or was this a social media marketing and advertising channel best used by a narrow sector of the business community?

Fortunately, I had the opportunity to experiment with Facebook marketing in both its free and paid forms, for businesses of varying sizes in different industries, with efforts targeted to both consumers and other businesses. Here’s what I learned that you should know…

A Very Large Portion of Your Audience is on Facebook

There’s a common perception that social media marketing is great for reaching consumers, but not so good for B2B marketing. But think about it. What attorney or VP of Marketing or Purchasing Manager doesn’t use Facebook these days, whether at home, at work, or both? Approximately 1/8 of the planet is on Facebook, and that’s counting third world countries with big populations and little money for technology. The percentage for US, EU, and other Internet users in developed countries is extremely high. In fact, it’s rare to find someone who does not use Facebook at least weekly, with many spending hours per week or even hours per day on Facebook.  Even if your marketing efforts are exclusively targeting businesses, the decisions are made by individuals, most of whom are likely to be regular Facebook users.

Your Facebook Page is Only as Strong as Your Commitment

Creating a Facebook page for your business isn’t going to do anything to enhance your visibility, improve your image, or increase your market share: but working your Facebook page will.  If you’re half-hearted or non-commital about using a Facebook page for marketing purposes, don’t do it.  Having prospects land on a nearly-blank page or one that hasn’t been updated in months is worse than having them not find a page at all.  Don’t take that step until you’re ready to commit to the effort to update it at least weekly, and to check it daily for feedback.

Develop a Clear Social Media Marketing Strategy for Facebook

Businesses use Facebook pages and Facebook advertising differently, and there are multiple ways to achieve success. You might use your page to interact with your local community, to answer questions about your products or services, to share useful links and information that helps build your credibility as an expert, or in some combination of these ways, among others. A Facebook marketing campaign, like any other social media marketing campaign, requires a vision, a strategy, and specific goals. Take the time to plan before you act.

Interaction with Your Social Media Followers is Critical

Once upon a time, most people who’d “liked” your page would see every single one of your page posts in their feeds and be reminded of your business. They’d have an easy opportunity to “like” a post or share it or comment on it, which in turn would appear in their feeds and be seen by their friends. However, this has changed, and now not all those who have “liked” your page will see all of your posts; instead, the amount of exposure you will receive has become more limited, and is influenced by multiple factors, including the amount of interaction between your company and your followers (comments on your posts, and your replies to those comments, among other factors).  You must engage your readers to spread the word, since their “likes”, shares, comments and other interactions will still appear in their friends feeds and tickers.

Facebook Advertising: Affordable, Highly Targeted, and Too Good to Ignore

It’s been suggested that the changes (reductions) in Facebook page visibility are a result of Facebook’s desire to encourage (some would say strong arm) you into their paid advertising offerings. That’s fair in a sense because it’s a business, but many found the change to be abrupt and game changing.  Regardless, Facebook advertising can be effective when used in combination with your Facebook business page and your website.

Facebook advertising is easy to set up and manage, affordable, and allows you to target specific demographics in ways those selling other forms of advertising can only dream of. Targeting uses information based on what Facebook users like according to their Facebook profile, and also by what they like based on their Facebook activity. In addition, you have the benefit of geographical, demographic, and many other available filters.

As with search engine advertising, you have the option of paying for your Facebook ads based on exposure (pay-per-impression) vs. paying for actual clicks (pay-per-click). Facebook advertising is worth exploring both as a way to generate “likes” and interaction with your page, and as a means of directing traffic to a specific landing page on your website.

Facebook Marketing in Summary

Like many social media marketing options, Facebook provides a great opportunity to reach a large audience at an affordable price. Your success will depend on developing an effective Facebook marketing strategy combined with a willingness to engage on a regular basis.

Need help with your social media marketing strategy? Contact us for a free intitial consultation for qualifed organizations.

Social Media Marketing & Bonding: Turning Clients Into Friends

Facebook. Twitter. Pinterest. Instragram. Whereever you go people are talking about a picture they saw on Facebook, a funny video on YouTube or an amazing photo they found on Pinterest, but why is social media so popular, and how can social media marketing help your business thrive?

Creating a Bond is Key to Successful Social Media Marketing

How to form stronger customer bonds through social media marketing strategyThink of it this way, although the Internet is making the world smaller by the day, people are spending less time together in person. However, they are spending more time connecting electronically via social media. To prove the point, think of how you or your family members have connected with long lost friends through social media, something that would otherwise have been much less likely to occur.

Regardless of the social media channel used to contact each other online, we all have a human need for “real” relationships.  No one wants to say, “Hey, check out this product that this (nameless) guy on Facebook told me about.” No, they want to say, “Check out what my friend recommended.” Your clients will be much more loyal and dedicated if they feel they can trust you as their friend to provide the best quality products and solutions for them. So knowing this, how can you turn your clients into friends?

The basic answer is simple.  Create a bond that makes your clients know you care about them and are not taking them for granted. One way to do this is to offer special perks to friends of the company (for example, to those who have “liked” your Facebook page or opted in to your other social media). These perks don’t have to break your bank, but they can go a long way to solidifying a bond that inspires brand loyalty.

Testimonials and Likes are Good for Your Business and Your Customers

If a client shares information about your business on Facebook or Twitter or goes out of their way to provide a testimonial, consider featuring it on your Facebook page. It shows your clients that you value their input and provides some often-appreciated attention. Responding to and implementing their suggestions drives home the fact that you and your company care about what they have to say, and therefore take their suggestions seriously.

Another way to create a bond is to show your loyal customers you value their business by offering them special pricing.  For example, if they paid $2.99 a month for your newsletter subscription in the past, consider locking in that rate for a long time to come (and letting them know about the special rates they are receiving each time your regular price increases). Their loyalty to your business can be worth many times the “cost” of discounts.

Create Rewards Programs with Real Benefits

Demonstrate your appreciation for your clients by creating a rewards program that provides REAL benefits. Nothing miserly like “60 days money back instead of 30.”  Instead, consider offering complimentary services, discounts or other tangible, valuable prizes or rewards.

One potentially low-cost way to provide a valued reward is to team up with other non-competing companies who offer services related to yours that will benefit your clients. Own a photography studio?  Work out special pricing arrangements with make-up artists and hairstylists you trust, and then send special offers on those related services to your clients. Share the spotlight with your network of related service providers and ask them to do the same for you in an effort to turn their friends into your friends, and vice-versa.

Gratitude Can be the Best Marketing Strategy

Most importantly, be grateful for your new friends.  Show them regularly how much you value them and they will reciprocate. Be creative and let your personality show, whether it’s donating to your favorite client’s charity of choice, giving away a free product or service, or just by saying, “Thank you for your support”.  Your clients will appreciate it and in turn will remain loyal, spread the word about your company, and will often choose your brand over an equally good competing brand just because they like you.

Make it Personal

Remember, your clients may respond well to an offer to connect connect with you and your business in a more personal way. Using social media marketing to develop a stronger bond can give current and future clients the confidence to choose your business over the competition.

Want to learn more? Contact us for assistance in developing a creative social media marketing strategy to help grow your business.

Social Media Marketing Tip: Ride the Coattails of Popular Bloggers

An Inbound Marketing / Social Media Marketing Parable

Imagine you are visiting a county fair in the heat of the summer.

Walking with your refreshing cup of lemonade, you hear someone talking over the loudspeaker.  You take a look and there is a crowd gathered around a stage, listening to someone speaking.

How to leverage popular bloggers to enhance your social media marketing strategy. Serving Reading, PA, Philadelphia, Allentown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Harrisburg and beyond.Now, imagine every one of the people in the crowd is someone in your target market.  You would love to have the same kind of attention from these people that the speaker is enjoying.

What is the logical question that comes to mind?

What is this person saying that has this crowd so interested?

You would be foolish not to walk over and join the assembly to hear what the speaker is talking about.  It is a tremendous opportunity to strike up a conversation with individuals in the crowd.  Create a conversation around the speaker’s message and add your own insights.  Tell them how you can help them, and invite them to stop by your office.  This is also a wonderful opportunity to answer questions posed by the speaker, thereby revealing your expertise to the crowd.

What’s the Lesson for Your Social Media Strategy?

If this is true in our little parable, it can also be applied to our inbound marketing and social media marketing strategy.  There are bloggers in your industry who your customers and potential customers are following and reading. How can you ride their coattails to a more successul marketing strategy?

Increase Your Social Media Marketing Effectiveness by Learning and Applying the Following:

 

  • Who are the popular bloggers in your industry?
  • What are their website addresses?
  • What are they writing about?  What topics are they not writing about?
  • How often do they publish?
  • How many fans or followers do they have?
  • How frequently do people comment on their articles?
  • What do the comments reveal about the concerns and knowledge of the readers of the blog?
  • Are any of the bloggers local?  (Is there an opportunity for you to become the local expert?)
  • How can you add comments to the blog posts in a way that enhances your reputation?
  • Can you contact the blogger and recommend a mutually beneficial connection?
  • Does the blogger have more expertise and experience than you?  How can you strengthen your knowledge and expertise?
  • Are you a fan of the blogger’s social media pages? Did you subscribe to his or her blog so you know when new content has been posted?

 

Visit Google Blog Search and take a few minutes to search for blogs in your industry.  Answer the questions above and identify new opportunities to reach out to potential customers in your target market.

Do you have a solid marketing plan for your business? One that combines the best traditional and online marketing techniques to form a smart, cohesive marketing strategy? Contact us to learn how we can help with our unique approach to gaining more leads and more customers for your business. Contact us today.

Twitter Marketing 101: How to Gain Followers Fast

So you have a product or a service or a message. Good. Now, you need to get that product, service, or message out in front of people. You want them to learn about you, and to become customers, members, or subscribers. In short… you want to do some serious online marketing, but with the endless series of social media marketing platforms available to you, including some that seem to overlap (such as Facebook and Google+), perhaps you’re not sure where to start. One thing you’re sure of: you don’t want to waste your time and money trying to fill an endless and unquenchable social media black hole.

You’re Not Alone!

Twitter Marketing for Small Business Owners in Reading, PA, Berks County, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Allentown, Bethlehem, York, Lebanon, Pennsylvania and beyondIf that’s you then take some comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. As we all know too well, the world of marketing has changed a lot in the past few years. Given the head-spinning number of options, gadgets, tools, and techniques available, many business owners at a loss as to where to start, especially when it comes to social media marketing.

At the same time, it can’t be ignored because the potential gains can be enormous with the right social media marketing strategy.

Social Media is perhaps the most powerful and influential new force of our time, and is changing the world. With roughly a billion Facebook users alone, the impact of social media and its potential for marketing is staggering. Properly harnessed, social media can be a highly effective way for a business, a non-profit organization, or other entity to spread information, gain a following, and grow to reach a worldwide audience. But where to start?

Not All Social Media are Created Equal

Not all social media are created equal, and with so many choices, it’s important to strike the right balance between cost and return for your organization. For some, sharing videos on YouTube may be the perfect way to spread the word. For others that may simply be too costly or time consuming. In short, every type of social media has its benefits, costs, and each places different demands on your organization’s time.

If Easy Matters, Then Twitter Marketing May be Right for You

Your easiest and safest bet for spreading information quickly, reliably, and with the least amount of effort may be Twitter. Twitter marketing can be a very time-efficient, low-cost way to get your message out there quickly. Twitter marketing can also be a wonderful solution to the time-starved organization or small business owner because it is so blissfully simple and clear: you craft your brief message (maximum 140 characters!), share it with your followers, and they in turn can share it with their network, ideally launching an ever-expanding current of knowledge about your company and whatever it is that makes you great!

Follow and They Will Follow Too

However, for your Twitter marketing campaign to be really effective, lots of people have to see it. So, how can you easily attract a steadily growing group of followers? One of the easiest and most overlooked tactics is to start following lots of people and businesses yourself.

With a comparatively small amount of time and effort compared to other forms of social media, you can research current Twitter users to find people who are a good match to your products, services, and interests. You can determine this by browsing their past tweets, checking out their profiles, and, perhaps most telling, see who they are already following. When you start to follow someone, chances are they will be happy to follow you too. Also, when their followers see that someone they are following now follows you, some of them will follow you as well.

Go Direct

Another tactic for gaining Twitter follwers is to directly approach people. Either through Twitter marketing itself, by using other social media outlets, or by leveraging your emails or word of mough, you can ask people to follow you on Twitter. You may be surprised by how many people are wide open to this approach! Twitter marketing is not seen as invasive or spammy, so you can afford to approach people more openly than some other forms of online marketing, such as email marketing.

Include Your Twitter Invitation Everywhere

Consider placing your Twitter connection icon in every appropriate place you can think of, from ad banners next to search results to websites relevant to your offerings to embedding your Twitter icon in emails and every form of advertising. Make it easy for people to find and follow you by placing prominent links and icons wherever you already have online “real estate,” such as your web page or Facebook page, in short, on virtually every online, digital, or printed marketing asset.

Link, Link, and Link

Twitter marketing can be the easiest way to build a social media following. But remember the most important tip of all: tie as many tweets as possible back to your other online assets by imbedding links within your tweets to your company website, blog, company Facebook page, and your other social media pages. This will build valuable incoming links from your followers’ blogs, Facebook pages, and other social media sites over time, gradually building traffic and enriching your followers with the full scope of your online content.

You Don’t Have to Go it Alone

Need help in crafting a smart online marketing strategy that includes all the right social media to fit your needs and budget? If so then please Contact us today for a free, no-obligation initial consultation.

The Secret of Copywriting for Social Media Marketing

Nearly every business owner or chief marketing officer accepts the importance and influence of social media. It seems we can’t read an online article without someone telling us that if we’re not taking advantage of social media then our business will remain in the Dark Ages. If I were to believe everything I’ve read, I’d have to assume that without Twitter or Facebook, the typical business is literally doomed to failure. That’s hype, of course, but there is an element of truth, and for some businesses it may actually be true in the long run.

Tips for effective copywriting for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. From PMI, serving Reading, PA, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, York, Lebanon, Allentown, Bethlehem, and Berks County, PASocial media marketing is big and growing bigger by the day, but the key is to find the right approach for your business. The one thing that we can all agree on, though, is that social media marketing is a huge trend, and one that deserves careful consideration.

Fortunately, copywriting for social media is not difficult, although it differs from traditional media. Regardless of which social media service you use, honing your copywriting style for social media is a must.

The Big 3: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

The top three social media sites are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, so developing an appropriate copywriting style for each is important. For example, when it comes to peer-to-peer business relationships, LinkedIn is more relevant than Facebook or Twitter. Most people find that LinkedIn is a networking tool better suited to building professional relationships than gaining potential customers, requiring a different style than for other social media.

Copywriting for Facebook

Facebook has “Pages,” which a business uses to transmit copy and information to Facebook users who “like” that particular page. The copy may include a link to another website, or the copy can actually be on the Facebook Page itself.

For Facebook copywriting to be effective, it should be highly engaging and relevant to the business posting it. For example, a plumbing company might post helpful tips on preventing pipes from freezing. This may cause visitors to the Page to “like” the posting. However, a plumbing company posting a recipe for a really good bundt cake may be perceived as a waste of time and “spammy”, resulting in a declining following. Make sure your copywriting pertains to your business, or to things that people who need your services may be interested in, even if you don’t offer them yourself.

Copywriting for Twitter – It’s All About the Headline

Twitter, on the other hand, is more of a “link” social network. Twitter posts, or “tweets” are limited to 140 characters (not words — characters!), which takes copywriting to a whole new micro-level. This is about the length of two very short sentences. In most cases, businesses that use Twitter will simply post a quick sentence and then link that tweet to an external website. Whereas Facebook can be self-contained with the information that a business presents, Twitter is more of a “headline” portal, having a user post an interesting topic, along with a link to the actual article. Naturally, copywriting for Facebook requires more effort than simply posting a quick tweet. To gain real traction, take the time to develop highly compelling titles.

Copywriting for LinkedIn

LinkedIn is used by social media marketers to keep abreast of current trends and topics, as well as to build network connections with peers. Like Facebook, LinkedIn posts can also be self-contained, but LinkedIn does not have Facebook’s massive general audience. Therefore, most of your LinkedIn copywriting will have more of a focused, business-related tone.

Tips for All 3

When it comes to the copywriting on various forms of social media platforms, the information should be interesting, clever, and informative, and never a hard sell. Humorous, provocative, or tongue-in-cheek material generally works far better than the direct “advertising” approach common to tradtional media like TV, radio, and print. The key to creating the best copywriting for any of the big 3 social media outlets is to refrain from coming on strong. There’s a reason it’s called SOCIAL media, after all.

By keeping things light but informative, businesses can develop a social media following that carries over into the brick-and-mortar world, resulting in true sales growth and increased brand awareness.

Need help with your social media strategy? Contact us for a free initial consultation for qualified organizations.