Archive | May, 2019

3 Ways Social Media Marketing Can Help Grow Your Small Business

20 May

Since the beginning of the decade, social media has grown from a fringe marketing strategy to a core component of marketing in businesses of all sizes. This cost-effective marketing tool is perfect for small businesses. The financial investment is minimal, and if executed correctly, a social media campaign can help you grow your business. You will have to contribute some time to the process, but the results can make it well worth your while.

Social media can help you build your brand
One of the most effective and successful marketing tools is your brand. Having a clearly defined brand will help you build the rest of your marketing strategy, as it will help you build your message and communicate it to customers. According to a blog post titled, “Creating a Brand Strategy for Business Growth,” published by Southern Cross University, “The impact your brand strategy can have on your entire business is immense; a poorly-planned or confused brand strategy can have damaging flow-on effects across the larger business strategy.” Social media can help you communicate your brand consistently through many channels.

Social media can help create loyal customers
A popular component of social media is that it allows business owners to communicate with customers in real time. If an angry customer blasts your company on social media, you typically know about it instantly and you can begin repairing the relationship. Conversely, social media also serves as an excellent tool for happy customers to share your business with their own social network. Forbes advises, “Brand loyalty is incredibly important, and social media plays a key role in the success of your ability to build and sustain that brand loyalty. Staying engaged on social media can truly make all the difference.”

Social media builds relationships
Since social media allows you to interact with your customers, it can help you identify potential problems with your business. This honest feedback can help your company improve business operations, and thus, grow its customer base. Much like suggestion boxes and customer comment cards, social media gives customers a tool to communicate their opinions about the features of your products or services they would like you to improve.

People may be more likely to speak up through social media when they have a complaint. Your method by which you approach these complaints can help build a positive image in the minds of potential customers. Social media marketing channels are now a key component of most businesses and can serve as a cost-effective method of growing your company. Using these tools to build your brand and foster customer relationships can help you create more customers long-term.

New Study Shows How People Use Social Media to Grow and Promote Their Businesses

13 May

Social media is one of the most popular marketing channels existing today. Yet, some business and organization leaders have questioned how effective it is in reaching their marketing objectives. Is it worth the financial and human resources investment?

The newly released 2019 Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Social Media Examiner provides us with some insight on social media usage and behavior. The study surveyed more than 4,800 marketers with the goal of understanding how they’re using social media to grow and promote their businesses.

Increased exposure and traffic are the top social media marketing benefits for the past five years. Increased exposure grew to 93% from 87% in 2018 and increased traffic improved to 87% from 78% last year demonstrating that positive results are possible even in a crowded social media landscape.

The next two important increases:

  • Generated leads increased to 74% from 64%.
  • Improved sales rose to 72% from 53%.

Even though Facebook and Instagram are the top two platforms used by marketers, it’s worth noting that Instagram grew from 66% to 73% and Twitter fell from 62% to 59%.

Facebook is number one for both B2C and B2B marketers, however, when separating B2C and B2B responses, the number two spot for B2C is Instagram at 78% while B2B’s second spot is LinkedIn at 80%.

Overall, YouTube is still the number one video channel marketers prefer, with Facebook’s native videos coming in second. When the study separated B2C and B2B responses, B2C marketers use more Instagram stories and Facebook native video while B2B marketers use more LinkedIn native video.

Of the platforms marketers regularly use for social media ads, Facebook is way ahead of the other contenders. However, when separating B2C and B2B, the study shows that B2C marketers are more likely to use Facebook and Instagram ads while B2B marketers are using more LinkedIn ads.

As with many studies of this nature, I always question the ROI (return on investment) for marketing activities. Is social media marketing worth the financial and human resources investment?

Even though we see some ROI results in the first chart, “Benefits of social media marketing,” this next chart demonstrates how marketers need to uptheir measurement activities.

In response to the study’s question, “I am able to measure the return on investment (ROI) for my organic social media activities,” only 44% agreed they were able to measure their organic social activities. This is a challenge that has plagued marketers for years.

Social media marketing is a necessity in most marketing mixes today. Yet, the return on investment still eludes many of us.

4 Tools to Help Boost Your Social Media Marketing Productivity

6 May

For small business owners and , time is a precious commodity. The online world never sleeps, and in order to be successful. it’s essential to be on the ball, to as great an extent as humanly possible.

Trying to maintain high levels of productivity, while simultaneously juggling the tasks of creating and distributing content, developing your brand’s marketing campaign, promoting said brand across multiple channels, and setting your goals and objectives is no mean feat – and that’s just the beginning. If your business is on the larger side, you may also have the added complication of motivating staff and upholding your respective standards across the board.

Canva For Work

Quite possibly the most important duty of any social media manager is that of creating the content itself. Enter Canva for Work, an easy to use tool which will guide you through every step of the process.

Whether you’re a novice, or a seasoned veteran, Canva has a bit of everything – and it all works via a simple drag and drop system which enables you to create flashy graphics to show off your brand to your heart’s content. You can tinker with fonts, colors, sizes etc. You can also choose from one of Canva’s built-in templates, or create your masterpiece completely from scratch, if you’re feeling confident.

The capacity to establish a uniform style across all of your designs can really help to formalize your branding, while the eye-catching animation tools can help bring a certain sense of flair to proceedings.

You can take advantage of the generous 30-day free trial to ensure that this is the tool for you before making any commitments, but if you do decide to sign up, all of this and more can be yours for a respectable $9.95 per month.

Zoho Cliq

If you manage a workforce of any size, Zoho Cliq, a communication and collaboration tool for teams, is an excellent starting point for any social media manager.

Team communication is very much the order of the day here – the objective of Cliq is to enable your colleagues to communicate with each other easily and efficiently, with minimal fuss. The simple interface includes an instant messenger system – not unlike the gone but never forgotten MSN – where team members can discuss any ongoing strategies, updates or anything else in real time. The drag and drop system makes it easy to share files with each other, and the inclusion of emojis can helps to bring a more light-hearted touch to proceedings.

Another handy function of Cliq is that it comes with its own app, which will give you and your team 24/7 access, wherever you are. Admittedly you may not be thanked for asking them to talk shop outside of office hours, but in an ever-moving industry, that kind of flexibility truly can be the difference between failure and success. Add to that a fully searchable chat history, and completely unlimited storage, and it’s pretty handy all around.

There is a somewhat restrictive free version (mostly in terms of storage space), but if you’re looking to go the whole hog, there’s a tiered price structure, dependent on how many users you require.

Agorapulse

A one-stop shop for all of your social media needs, Agorapulse provides a comprehensive dashboard which simplifies the entire process for you.

Keeping everything under one banner can, in itself, be an incredibly effective way to boost productivity, and with all the features at your disposal here you should be all set.

One of the standout features of Agorapulse is the ability to monitor all the social media conversations related to your business. You can compile a report which shows you, at a glance, who’s talking about your brand (and what they’re saying about it), who your biggest repeat ambassadors are and every time you’re hashtagged. Another handy time-saving feature is the ability to schedule posts.

Agorapulse also features several team collaboration tools, enabling you to manage your social media as a team, and set up clear and effective social media workflows.

Agorapulse offers a tiered pricing structure, again dependent on how many people are going to be using it, as well as the number of social profiles required.

Cyfe

Particularly useful if your social media presence spans across multiple platforms, Cyfe brings everything together onto a single, easy to use dashboard.

Analytics are very much the key element of this one – Cyfe gives you the opportunity to track websites, SEO keywords and domains, amongst various other vital pieces of data. You can also keep tabs on your social media demographics, followers and brand mentions over a set period of time, to give you an idea of how you’re performing on the whole.

Cyfe also boasts a range of inbuilt widgets which enable you to pull data from existing services, such as Google, YouTube and Salesforce. With the ability to run every one of its many, many dashboards simultaneously you can transform your desktop into ‘Mission Control’, and ensure that you never miss a thing.

You can sign up to Cyfe for free, but if you’re looking to make the most of what it has to offer the premium version is a pretty good value for money. For $29 per month, you can access the full shebang, including unlimited dashboards and widgets, historical data over a 30-day span, a raft of custom themes, and the ability to schedule an unlimited number of posts to your social media accounts.

Conclusion

Being a social media manager is an often challenging, exhausting and thankless task. Do it the right way, however, and it can also be an extremely exciting one. Remember that you don’t have to go it alone – make use of the tools available to give you a head start and your brand, and business as a whole, is sure to reap optimal benefit.