Need stock photos?
License stock photos from a site like Pixabay or iStock for your marketing materials, website or social media. Do not use Google for an image for your website or social media post. Not only will you avoid legal trouble by using one of these sites, using purchased stock photos (or your own photos) consistently helps build your brand.
Run a Facebook Contest
Hosting a contest on your Facebook page is a great way to boost engagement and get more "likes." If you're going to spend the time and effort, use an app - Woobox or Wishpond - to help you collect information (names, emails, phone numbers) and make sure to follow Facebook's rules.
Want to make your own infographics?
Have information from a report, or stats to share? Images and graphics convey it in an easy way. Try Canva or Piktochart.
Need help organizing your social media pages?
Schedule and monitor your posts on all of your pages - Facebook, Twitter and more with Buffer, Everypost or socialoomph. Waaffle works with Instagram and Twitter.
If you're not seeing the results you want, it may be time to try something new and get people engaged and talking about your business. Try asking different questions, incorporate video, and invite people to get involved.
Video Series on YouTube
Show off your expertise with a tutorial, make an announcement, invite people to an event, highlight a new product/service, introduce employees, host a Q&A... Once you have your videos on YouTube, you can easily share them on social media, an email or your website.
Host an Event
Offer a workshop, class, meet-up, customer appreciation event... It doesn't have to be anything too formal. Have a plan on how you will consistently promote it (a few weeks and days before the event), and the best ways to reach the group you're targeting.
Create and promote your own hashtag!
Using relevant hashtags on Instagram or other social media posts ensures that your photos/posts are found. When creating your own hashtag, make sure it is unique (if you pick one commonly used by others, you won't be able to tell who is talking about your business) short and easy to spell, and have a plan to promote it.
You can use a hashtag to...
As a business owner, you have spent time and energy on your organization's brand - name, logo, colors, marketing materials. Your personal brand needs attention too.
Your personal brand is what you're known for, and the values that your customers/clients associate with you. Your personal brand is impacted by what is online and offline - your social media pages, personal website/blog, portfolio, presentations/speaking engagements, published articles and books.
It's hard to know how others perceive you, but just like your organization's brand, you can take steps to strengthen it and make sure it aligns with you and your goals. Your personal brand is going to change over time, and is important if you are just getting started, growing your business or changing careers.
What is your personal brand?
What are the values you want to be know for? Write down a list of your strengths and the words you would use to describe yourself. Now ask people you work with and your close friends to let you know how they would describe you. If your co-workers and friends have a very different idea than you, it's time to get to work!
The first impression someone may have about you comes from what comes up when they search for you online. Make sure your social media pages - your professional and personal pages - align with your goals. If you're looking for a new job or changing careers, spend some time updating your LinkedIn page and share and write content about the industry you want to work in. If you are established, share your thoughts on your industry or tips on your blog or social media pages.
Be the Expert
Give a presentation, offer a workshop, or sponsor an event to share your expertise.
I'm always a fan of claiming your domain name, and have linked my name - CatrinaOssmann.com - to my LinkedIn profile. You could use a personal site for a blog, or portfolio of your work. Depending on your industry, you can add samples and photos. There's a fine line between self-promotion and personal branding, The focus of your personal website and portfolio should be to strengthen your brand.
You can't be something your not, so build on your strengths (offline and with online tools) and be authentically you!
Try these few ideas to improve your Social Media
Make sure you give people a reason to follow you - Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter - and keep it professional and up-to-date.
1. Reward Your Customers
Promote a drawing/raffle for a gift card. Think of ways to incentivize people to share - offer extra entries for people that visit your location, or if they share a post on Facebook. If you use your social media page for a contest, make sure to follow the rules (see Facebook's rules).
* Use an app/website like Wishpond or Woobox to help organize your contest.
2. Revamp your Look
When is the last time you updated your marketing materials or website? Start thinking about how a new look could help before you start Holiday promotions, attend a trade show, or start a new campaign.
3. Partner with other businesses
Find an organization that is targeting similar customers (that you're not competing with) and come up with a promotion that benefits both businesses.
4. Celebrate your Success
5. Pay It Forward
Planning a Holiday campaign, or need help with an upcoming event?
Clever Ideas Marketing can help!
Less people are going to see your post, but here's what you can do about it.
Facebook recently announced that users want to see more from friends and family in their newsfeeds, and less from business pages and brands. Unfortunately, this means that you can expect to see even less views on your posts, even if your Facebook page has plenty of likes.
Here are 3 things to consider to make sure your audience will still get your message...
1. Use video - Go live! You can now live stream video directly on your Facebook page. Use this feature to highlight new product, give tips, record testimonials, invite people to an event, introduce your staff... get creative! The best part - everyone following you will get a message that you're live streaming to encourage people to click on the link and watch it live.
2. Use Facebook Ads - Facebook has a few options including boosting a post to ensure people that like your page (and more) see a specific post. This can be beneficial for a post that has had engagement (likes, comments and shares) and you want to keep the momentum going. A better option is to invest in ads that target your exact audience - based on demographics like where they live, age, interests - with a strong call to action. What do you want people to do once they have clicked on your ad? Does the page tell them to call you, sign up for a newsletter, come in to your store for an event? Facebook ads allow you to direct people to a specific page on your website, promote your Facebook page (to get more likes) or to your call to action - call you, book now, etc.
3. Diversify - Facebook is great, but it should be just one part of your marketing strategy. Don't rely on any one way to promote your business. Find other social media pages to share your content and make sure that your audience is using that platform. You can create great content on every social media platform out there, but it's only worth your time and effort if you're building awareness and seeing the return and getting customers from it.
Besides social media, you can also write a blog, write an email newsletter, advertise on radio, host a workshop or special event at your location, offer to speak at a chamber event or cross-promote with other trusted businesses that you share an audience with, but are not your competition.
No matter which options you go with, make sure to set goals and measure your progress. If I can help get a marketing plan - especially social media - going for you, email me and let's work together to promote the great things you do!
Are you looking to try something new for social media... see if something besides Facebook could help grow your business?
Instagram might be a good (and user-friendly) way to try something new! 3 ideas for using Instagram for business...
1. Use #hashtags. Use relevant hashtags to make sure people find your post. These are going to be different for each business. Hashtags are the keywords (or search terms) to categorize your photos. This is critical for growing your page.
2. Be engaging. It's social media - you need to be social! Follow your followers back, comment on posts, start a conversation!
3. Have fun! How can you be uniquely YOU with your photos? Give people a reason to follow you - host a photo contest (details on that - from Instagram - here), use video, highlight your product or services, feature your customers or your staff.
If you're in the Adrian area, I'm hosting a workshop on Instagram on Friday, March 11th. Click here for details or to RSVP.
Social media provides you a direct connection to potential and loyal customers. As we begin 2016, now is a good time to evaluate how you are using social media to promote your business.
1. Know WHY you’re using social media. It can be frustrating to figure out if using social media is worth it and if you’re getting a return. Make a list of goals for your social media pages. How will you know your finding success?
2. Focus your efforts on the platform your target audience is using.
3. Your updates should sound like you do in real life.
4. Be the expert!
5. Make sure you’re easy to find. You can have great, engaging posts, but people have to know the pages are there.
Want to do business with this person? Add a professional photo or logo to your social media pages!
Your social media page is a reflection of your business and is often the first impression potential customers have of you – make it a good one!
Ready to get organized and keep your page updated? Clever Ideas Marketing can provide strategy and management for your social media pages.
Give Catrina a call at 517.442.4796!
SESSIONS TO FOCUS ON FACEBOOK AND LINKEDIN
Catrina Ossmann of Clever Ideas Marketing is presenting a 2 workshops about social media at The Centre in Adrian.
The first session, Best Practices for Facebook Business Pages, will be held on Tuesday, March 17th, 8:00-9:00 AM. Facebook made changes in January that impact those who have a business page on the site. The session will cover both free and paid options for reaching more people. Participants should have a Facebook business page, and be familiar with the website.
The second session will be held on Tuesday, March 24th, 8:00-9:00 AM. The workshop will cover promoting a business on LinkedIn. The session will focus on best practices, optimizing a personal profile, and tips on how to reach current and potential customers using the website. Participants should have a LinkedIn profile and be familiar with the website.
The cost to attend each session is $5 per person. Registration is required and is available online.
Best Practices for Facebook Business Pages
• Tuesday, March 17th, 8:00-9:00 AM
• The Centre, 1800 W US-223, Adrian
• Cost: $5 per person
• Register online
Utilizing LinkedIn to Promote Your Business
• Tuesday, March 24th, 8:00-9:00 AM
• The Centre, 1800 W US-223, Adrian
• Cost: $5 per person
• Register online
Takeaways from the "Your Turn Challenge"
I added a blog post for 7 days in a row. Before this week, I sometimes went 7 weeks between posts. I learned about the Your Turn Challenge, which asked participants to commit to writing everyday for a week through Seth Godin's blog.
This was the motivation I needed to make myself find the time to do it.
The best part of the challenge was connecting with others on Twitter and reading their ideas, dreams and tips to make things better. A few of the posts from Twitter...
My takeaway from this challenge is to keep going even when I don't think I have anything to say, or that anyone is reading it. I'm going to keep learning from other writers, and seek out something new. The Your Turn Challenge Blog Archive page is a great place to start!
Thank you to those who have reached out and offered some encouragement to me and others participating in this challenge.