Recently, our CEO, Deanna Rivera, hosted a small 2 hour marketing workshop for mother owned businesses. The focus, after polling attendees about their largest concerns, was primarily on social media tips. The day to day care of social media can be an overwhelming subject for most business owners, particularly those who are “doing it all on their own”.
Summarized below are what we feel were the most important takeaways from that conversation. UplinkSpyder may host more of these workshops in the future, so please let us know if you’re interested in attending.
1. Social Media should be used first and foremost as a branding tool for your organization.
Facebook, Instagram and the like provide a way to give potential and current customers consistent information that help to tell your story. Most people won’t buy from your business page directly and your individual posts are only seen by a small percentage of your total audience, so what you want to think most about is the overall impression your page is leaving. If someone were to scroll through all your posts and photos, what feeling would they be left with? Is that feeling consistent with your brand? A great way to influence that feeling is through strategy (see #4 below).
2. Social Media is also a directory.
When looking for you online, your social media channels will be listed along with your website, so it’s important that when people visit you, the information is current and correct and looks its best (and is consistent with your website, other social channels, business cards, and materials.) Note: It’s also important that when you put your business name in to a Google Search, that you personally visit each and every one of the listings that come up with your information and if possible, control the content listed about you.
3. The most successful companies are those that can effectively engage their audience.
This can be done with welcoming questions and comments and interacting online. One of the best ways to do this is through video. Video can especially help to differentiate you from others in your field as it does something no logo or static post can…adds in personality, warmth, and charm. Video can be used in so many ways and always attracts more attention than any other type of post or information.
4. The most important takeaway is about strategy.
If you are posting each day and not thinking about the bigger picture, you’re not only missing the opportunity to craft the impression you’re giving, you’re wasting time. Plan out a week or month of posts at a time. Sitting down once, instead of once or several times daily, and scheduling or planning posts, saves a lot of time that a busy business owner needs. You’re also less likely to forget something and you’re more likely to hit people during peak hours when your posts will make the biggest impact. If video is part of your strategy, create a month’s worth of video posts at once and schedule in when you’ll go live instead of trying to find moments within the busy week.
We discussed much more than this…differentiation between social channels, how to reuse posts, how best to use ads, and a bit about content marketing. The most important thing to remember when marketing your business is that all of these things are tools. Just like you wouldn’t use a hammer before knowing what you want the project you are making to look like…don’t use social media without goals and a vision of where you’re going and how your goals fit into a bigger strategy. Need help with any or all of that? That’s what we’re here for.
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The Christmas shopping season is one of the busiest and most important times of the year both for our clients and our company. In order to get the most out of consumers’ expanded need to make purchases this time of the year, retailers and marketers need compelling holiday campaigns across multiple channels. The same strategies apply throughout the year as other holidays and opportunities arrive. Other seasons and celebrations can be equally if not more important to you and your business and unlike Christmas, may not have as much competition for your consumer’s attention. The following helpful tips and strategies should be considered when creating any marketing campaign around a specific season or celebration.
Plan Ahead: Don’t start planning your marketing strategies days or even a few weeks before certain holidays. Planning your holiday campaigns a few months in advance will give you time to adjust to any changes and won’t have you throwing rushed, low-quality campaigns together at the last minute. Create a schedule and include specific weekly and daily tasks for each channel. Create assignments for people in your organization.
Be Creative and Generous: Use your creativity and the various channels at your disposal. A few ideas we’ve had success with include:
- Run a Facebook exclusive promotion that you only post and promote on your Facebook page for your fans.
- Use Pinterest or Twitter to run a re-pinning or re-tweeting contest for your followers.
- Send out weekly or daily newsletters counting down to the big day that include a deal in each.
- Offer larger promotions specific to well-known shopping days like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.
- Create a “Last Minute Gift” promotion closer to Christmas. Most people shop online now, so offer promotional codes and make sure these codes are working before sending them out to your audience.
Engage Your Audience: Make your customers and fans feel special. Ask them via Facebook or Twitter what products they want or would like to see more of for the holidays. Use unique hashtags for them to use to interact with you. Consider running a photo contest or a “Caption This Photo” contest and have them submit their own photos or sayings. This makes them feel special, but more importantly it keeps them coming back to your page.
Show You Care: Show your customers and fans that you are a considerate and philanthropic company. You can start by partnering with a local charity or non-profit organization. Host a donation drive or volunteer at a charity event that benefits this organization. Helping those in need shows your audience you care about more than just sales.
Be Festive! Your clients are showing their spirit, so why shouldn’t you? Create festive graphics to utilize across all channels, including your website. Decorate your place of business and post photos of the décor and your happy helpers (employees). In the midst of all the promotions you are running, your audience will appreciate the occasional “fun” post or photo. It is also smart to create a special newsletter to send out. Something as simple as “Happy Holidays from All of Us” or “We are Thankful for You” shows that you appreciate their patronage.
Hopefully these tips will help you get an idea for a successful holiday campaign. Start planning your marketing strategy for the next holiday, celebration, or season using engaging and creative campaigns that will excite your audience and give you more brand awareness and sales.