How to Stretch Your Social Outreach with Less Cost

Some marketers tend to simply focus on investing more money into their social media outreach, but is isn’t necessary to spend more just to get more engagement with your customers, especially online. Companies who make smart use of simple social media techniques get greater outreach for less cost. Within your own small business, you can make social media a more profitable marketing approach, rather than just another money drain. The following are just a few examples of how to do so.

 

Stay Relevant

The first thing you’ll want to do is to make sure you have a profile established on all the top-performing social media profiles your target market invests significant time in. Don’t simply create profiles on every single social media platform there is, but specifically choose social media platforms you know your target audience spends the most time on. Essentially, you’re going to want to spread your brand across all the most relevant platforms without spreading yourself thin in the process. Capitalizing on the most effective social media platforms will save you an immense amount of time and energy that would otherwise be wasted in places that don’t get any reception at all.

 

Stay Connected

Make sure all the best elements of the social media profiles you create have been optimized. The profile picture you use should immediately convey exactly what your brand is, even if it isn’t simply the name of the brand itself. Make this uniform across all your channels. Ensure the names of the social media profiles you establish are easily remembered and clearly define exactly what it is you are, or what it is your business does. Even the custom URL of your social media profiles should immediately reflect the nature of your company and what it has to offer. Make sure all the pages are updated with the most recent contact information, links to your landing pages, and links to your brand’s other social media profiles.

 

Stay Shareable

If you want to expand your reach to the maximum degree, you’re going to want to inspire your target audience to create the majority of your outreach momentum for you. Instead of just focusing on creating original content, curate valuable content you know your target audience is going to want to share. Be sure you also share other relevant posts in the industry and stay on top of news and ideas that are changing the pace of your business. Companies like doTERRA use their brand not just for marketing products, but also sharing scientific information about the oils they produce. You will be seen as more of an authority when you create current content and stay on top of relevant topics.

Getting the most out of your company’s social media experience is all about how you utilize your time and efforts. Simply creating profiles isn’t enough, stay on top of news and new topics and be sure to engage with your audience. Building an online following can take time, but once you have one, you’ll be set up for a long time.

Tricks to Achieve a Better Online Presence Within Two Months

If you are a small business owner and want to establish a strong online presence in a short amount of time, you should learn some proven tricks that will help get you on the right path. Do not expect results overnight. Building a reputable online presence for your business is a frustrating and often time-consuming process. The key is figuring out where to start and avoiding the hype. Here are some tricks you can use to start building your online presence in two months.

 

Identify Your Goals

Before you build a website or ramp up your company’s social media campaign, you must first identify your short and long-term goals for your business. Everything you do online must coincide with your business goals. If your attitude toward an online presence is “I’m supposed to do it”, then you will miss the goals you have established for your business. An online presence is not a “supposed to” proposition, but an effective marketing tool that nearly every successful business uses in their advertising strategies. Make sure you have the structure to begin online marketing as well. An internet provider like Frontier Communications/Business services can make sure you have an internet plan that works with the size and scope of your company.

 

Build a Strong Platform

If you want to build an online presence in two months or less, you need a place to start. For most small businesses and entrepreneurs, that place is their website. A website is the hub of your online presence. It is the platform where people will go to learn more about your company and what you offer. People will go to your website to interact with you and engage you and your content. Start by building a mobile-friendly and easy-to-navigate website containing useful content related to your business. Build up messaging systems so you can connect instantly whenever you have internet access. Having good, visible communication with your clients and customers online will put you at the top for response rates.  

 

Value

Building an online presence starts with value. Whether it is your social media accounts, websites, or community forums that you frequent, your content must provide readers with value. As you start out, begin with traditional written content. You can talk about your products, your store locations, and other major developments your customers might like to see. As time goes on, be sure to upgrade to other forms of content like video, infographics, and improved web design.

People searching for something specific want the content to give them value. Give your readers value by providing them content highlighting the features and the benefits of your product or service. If possible, look for a third party to do some of these things for you. Whether they manage your email marketing, social media ads, blog posts, or video content, it will take another task off your plate and give your readers a new perspective and greater value.

It is possible to create a strong online presence for your company in two months. However, you must start early. Remember the value in everything you do online. Consistency is the key to getting you results and expanding your market. By using a little technical knowledge and traditional marketing methods, your business will be able to grow online very quickly.

All the News That’s Fit to Tweet: A Tutorial

While some of my clients hire me to run all their social media for them, others want training to handle it themselves. Still others want an introduction to figure out if it’s something that might work for them and if they have the time or interest. Recently, Fleta Monaghan of 310 Art in Asheville’s River Arts District invited me to give a group of her fellow artists a “Twitter 101” Course. Since I promised to follow last month’s blog post summarizing the most popular social media channels with in-depth examinations of each one, I figured I’d feed two birds (get it?) with one seed and share my presentation with all of you.

Designed for an audience of people who have never used Twitter before, the presentation covers all the basics:

  • What Twitter’s good for, what it’s not.
  • How to set up your Twitter Profile
  • What hashtags do and how to use them
  • What the @ symbol means
  • Ways to use Twitter as another means of exchanging messages
  • How to include links and pictures in your tweets
  • Scheduling your Tweets, and
  • Twitter etiquette (the dos and don’ts of tweeting)

An effective and engaging social media presence doesn’t have to take hours a day and hundreds of dollars. It really is something *you* can do – and it can even be fun!

Spread the Word! Getting Visitors to your Website.

Ok, so you’ve tuned up your website and everyone you show it to loves it.  Now, how do you attract visitors? Here is an easy plan to get started.

First, put your website address on EVERYTHING. Business cards, letterhead, email signature blocks (not always an intuitive process, but you only have to do it once). Anywhere you would put your name and contact information should have your website address too. Think of it as part of your branding.

Of course, this step only works for people you are already in touch with. Reaching new customers and keeping existing ones engaged (without spending a lot of $$$ on advertising) is what this Blog is all about. Aside from the obvious advantage of being free, the benefits of social media channels are:

  • Social Media helps your SEO, which is how search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing and others) find you. It is better to have at least one or two that are updated regularly and that people interact with rather than lots of social channels that you don’t use.
  • Social Media puts your message/products in front of customers on a medium they are already viewing a lot. (Think of billboards and why they are located on major thoroughfares).
  • People who join/follow/like your social media profile become ambassadors to an even larger audience. When they like or share your content, their connections (who may have never heard of you before) will see it too.

Yes, there are more social channels all the time, so which ones should you use? Don’t make the mistake of trying to be everywhere at once! Since they each have their specialties, I recommend picking one or two based on your particular product/service and goals. (Important note: you should sign up for a business page on each social media channel you use. This is separate from your personal profile.)

For now. I’ll give a brief overview of the top options and get into explaining the nuances of each in some future posts.

Facebook – Probably the widest-used and the easiest to get started by networking with your existing contacts. However, due to internal changes and the sheer number of businesses using Facebook, it is getting increasingly harder to get organic views (the ones you don’t pay for).

Pinterest – Started out as a way to create wishlists and is now one of the top selling channels.  Pinterest is excellent for such visual products as art, crafts and clothes, but it does take some time and effort to build up an audience.

Twitter – Home of the 140-character limit, tweets are most useful for announcing upcoming special events or sales (or your opinion on breaking news), but not as much for sharing links or information that takes more than a handful of words. Twitter is also being used by a growing number of people as an alternative direct messaging tool.

Google+ – The newcomer to the social media party, Google+ tends to provide fewer interactions with friends (called “circles”), yet increases search engine visibility dramatically. When my clients ask why they should be on Google+, I simply say “Because Google uses it.” Enough said?

Instagram – The ultimate in visual channels, it is designed to share photos and images – not so much for direct sales. The audience is young, techno-savvy and has the latest devices, so your uploads need to be high quality. Also, due to its origins, most users go there to look rather than shop. You’ll get great exposure for your visual products and can build a fan base quickly, but you’ll have to lead them to an external site where they can buy.

Blogging and Newsletters – Not exactly what most people consider social media, but both go straight to customers who already want to hear from you. Blog posts are a great way to keep your website fresh (search engines LOVE websites that are frequently updated). They also provide out-of-the-box content for your social media channels, which, in turn, drives people back to your website. Email newsletters/announcements may seem soooo last decade, but remain the most effective way to get in front of existing and potential customers (and, again, direct them to your website). There is a reason why presidential candidates rely so heavily on email for fundraising and motivating people to go to the polls.

If you are just getting started on Social Media for your business, I recommend setting up a Facebook business page and Google+.  Once regularly updating your social media has become routine for you, you can pick one or two of the other channels to conquer.

If you have any questions, please email me at changerycommunications@gmail.com. And stay tuned for upcoming posts about what kind of content best promotes your business, the dos and don’ts of social media, and easy (free) tools to manage multiple channels!