1*TZIlM4CYkTlB0vu4-ZMFFw.png

You don't need to go viral 

With so much attention focused on “going viral” on social media, small business owners could be forgiven for thinking that cat videos and goofy memes are the only way to make it on social media. However, by focusing on the “social” side of social media, small business owners can harness a powerful set of tools for discovering and promoting their business to a loyal band of followers.

The key is to realize that social media isn’t about the quick adrenaline rush of a viral video, but about building long term relationships through small, consistent gestures. Basically, using social media isn’t any different than building a solid business — take care of the little things, treat your customers with respect, and watch things grow from there.

You may not need a viral video to be a social media superstar, but there are a few easy things you can to do build a loyal audience.

Be where your audience is
You don’t have to be on every social media platform. Go to the platforms where your audience hangs out and get really good at them. If you’re a writer, go to Twitter; if you have a restaurant, Instagram can be great; if you’re a professional, get a LinkedIn account immediately. Do your research and find where you can make the most impact with the least effort.

Be consistent
It doesn’t matter whether you post every day or every week, just make sure you set a plan and stick with it. Nothing kills social media momentum faster than missing a few regular postings. Think of posting consistently as a promise to your audience, and when you miss one you’re breaking that promise.

Have fun
Whether you’re a lawyer or a hospital, if you aren’t having fun then neither is your audience. You have a heart, you love your business, and you love your customers, so feel free to show it through your social media accounts.

As a small business owner you’ll likely never have a post that gets viewed a million times, but that’s OK. Instead, work on building a loyal audience every day, every week, every month, and you’ll have something far more valuable than a viral video — a loyal customer base.

Adding it up on faceobok.png

Adding it up on Facebook 

If you own a business, there’s a pretty good chance your customers are on Facebook. Even if they aren’t on their professionally, they probably still have a personal page, which means Facebook is an excellent way to get in front of your customers. And at just $5 a campaign, Facebook ads can be an enticing way to spend your ad dollars.

But as this guy proved with his $600k disaster, attracting customers through Facebook is not as easy as just throwing up an ad and crossing your fingers. You need a plan and a good targeted campaign to attract the right type of customer (like any other advertising medium) or else you’ll be wasting your money and time.

Here are a few tips for not wasting your time and money with Facebook ads.

Have a goal
This is really important with any advertising or marketing campaign, but especially so with Facebook ads. Facebook offers so many ways to customize your ads that you really need to know what you’re hoping to achieve, or else you could get lost in the proverbial woods. So, ask yourself what is end game for this campaign, and then tailor the ad and target demographics to match your goals.

Pro tip: Converting customers is not a realistic goal for your first Facebook ad campaigns. Most people don’t buy immediately, so decide what step the prospective customer can make that will make them a good target for your sales team, and then tailor the ad and demographics to that.

A Picture Says a Thousand Words
We live in a visual age, and Facebook ads are no different. While Facebook doesn’t currently allow video, the centerpiece of any good Facebook campaign is a great image. Make sure you use an eye catching, unique image that draws the reader into the text of your ad. You want an image that is so awesome that the customer is clicking on the ad before they’ve even read what you’re selling.

Pro tip: Make sure the picture fits with your brand and messaging. If you’re selling construction products, then don’t use a picture of a dancing baby or a young woman holding a smart phone. That will just confuse the audience, and a confused audience is no audience at all.

Call to Action
The most important thing for any successful ad campaign is to make sure that you’re asking something of the audience. The last thing you want is a potential customer who is interested but has no way to act on their interest. So make sure you have a next step for the customer. A button to a customized splash page is good, or directing them to like your Facebook page.

Pro tip: Be creative with your call to action, but don’t get too cute with it. Make sure it’s clear what you’re asking of the customer.

Facebook is the king of social media and there’s a good chance your customers on it, so take advantage of Facebook’s massive global audience with Facebook ads. But, before you start make sure you have clear goals for the campaign, use eye-catching images, and ask something of your audience in the ad.

If you’d like more info about digital marketing, sign up for our newsletter for weekly tips on marketing and SEO. If you sign up for our weekly newsletter you’ll receive our latest eBook, The Big Three.

 

When the Poo Hits the Fan

1*BucD0ZeSmh1Tz0amy7P_1Q.png

Managing Negative Online Reviews

Negative reviews are an unfortunate fact of life for a consumer-facing business. There is no way that you can avoid this. Customers have a voice and they have lots of places to express their opinions. However, this doesn’t mean you’re helpless before the review gods.

Here are some tips for being proactive with negative reviews:

Monitor your reviews
The obvious first step is to actually look at your reviews. Now, there are a ton of review sites out there, but the MapMeLocal software aggregates all your reviews positive or negative, in real-time so that you can be aware of what customers are saying about you.

Have a process
This may seem like another no brainer, but it is important to know exactly how you wish to deal with both negative and positive reviews before you start getting the reviews. Train management and staff on a first response and follow up customer process, so that every customer leaves satisfied no matter how they showed up.

Ask for reviews
There’s no faster way to get rid of a negative review than to bury it under 100 positive reviews. So, create a plan to ask for reviews from every customer…especially the ones that seem really happy.

Nothing can sink your online reputation faster than having a ton of negative reviews. So, be proactive, know how you’ll deal with unhappy customers, and go get a ton of reviews.

For a free snap shot report on your business reputation online click here and we will send you one absolutely free.