Know Your “Why”

Know Your WhyI have been on a blog hiatus for various reasons and have come to the conclusion that writing is one of the best tools to leverage for my business. I have written articles about the value of blogging and writing, but it wasn’t until I stopped that I really experienced the loss of something meaningful to me and my business. I’m back now and will dedicate future articles to extolling the benefits of blogging and details to make it work for you. For this article, it is back to basics…

For those of us with an increasingly short attention span, see the ADHD Summary below

What’s the Point?

Have you heard the expression, “Start with the end in mind”? Steven Covey wrote this in Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, but he is by no means the only one to advocate for this idea. It is an argument for planning and goal setting, in a culture that promotes jumping into action, then people give up when the results don’t meet unreasonable expectations. By starting with a clearly defined and obtainable outcome in mind you can create a manageable path to that outcome

This is also true for digital marketing and social media engagement for business. If you are not clear about the outcome you are striving for in social networking your business, how will you know if you are get it ? What are realistic goals for businesses using social media? Are the outcomes you are seeing good enough or can they be better? All these questions, and more, can and should be answered when you set up a digital marketing campaign. The resources available to help you figure this out are abundant – both online and professional guidance from companies like Social Media Maxima.

Since many small business owners and entrepreneurs do not understand the real purpose and function of social media for business, they  often take the wrong approach or have no plan at all. If, for example, the end you have in mind is that your Facebook page will drive traffic and paying customers to your website, but your approach is to post an article every once in a while and have no interaction with your audience, you are probably not going to get business from Facebook. If you want to develop a platform to showcase your products and services, but do not engage with an audience, you will have a lovely Facebook page that no one will see or care about.

Once a business owners understands that social media is inbound marketing and the benefit goes beyond the bottom line, there are some very reasonable and valuable outcomes (end) from engaging in social media for your business.  Here are some suggested actions (path) to take to achieve that end:

Brand Development

Create an attractive page. Make sure the cover/profile images posts and shared content are consistent with your message. Your website, collateral material, messaging, color schemes, images, etc. should be in sync. For more support on brand development and strategy, seek the help of professionals like SPT and True Consulting.

Thought Leadership

Write articles, blogs, and posts that inform and inspire your industry and share on digital platforms. Interact with your peers and other interested observers on these platforms to share your knowledge and expertise. Help forums often have the option for the community to answer questions posed by platform users. This is a great way to help others and establish yourself as an industry expert. Avoid presenting yourself up as a “guru”, as that may have the reverse effect.

Presence in the community

Like the pages of other businesses and organizations in your area, Chamber or Commerce, and other business groups. Engage with them on their pages, like their posts, offer supportive comments, and share their content on your page where appropriate. Participate in community events and share pictures and event details on your page.

Get More Paying Customers

This is the most common, and least effective outcome for most small business. Approaching social media with this as a primary goal is treating social networks like advertising platforms. This is the number one misconception about digital marketing and the reason why so many small business owners are disillusioned with their results.  The only real path to success if increasing revenue is your goal is to throw money at it. Dedicate funds to social media advertising and keep your pages up with relevant and interesting content. If you have trouble keeping up with the demands of creating a powerful online presence, hire a professional social media management company. Advertising will drive people to your platforms, and you want to wow them when they get there. 

All of these are valid outcomes to expect from social media engagement for your business. They all require dedication of resources in the form of time, attention, consistency, and in some cases, money. Putting adequate resources to these ends is as good a return on investment, if not better, than many traditional paths to market business. One of the best things small business owners can do to adjust to the new digital age is accept the reality that there is NO FREE marketing and establish a budget to incorporate these actions.  Just make sure your goals and strategy are realistic and you stay with your plan. If you aren’t certain what are realistic goals and strategies, there are a lot of resources online, or seek the support of a professional like Social Media Maxima, Inc.

ADHD Summary –

* Social media is not advertising and treating it that way will lead to disappointment

* Know what you want from engaging in social media for your business

* Set up realistic expectations for your campaigns

* Educate yourself or get professional help if you aren’t sure how to set up a campaign

* If you want more revenue, spend some money

 

Thanksgiving and Social Media

Thanksgiving and Social MediaHow to Incorporate the Attitude of Gratitude into your Digital Marketing

The holidays are the perfect time to express gratitude to your connections on your digital platforms. As the end of the year draws near, people tend to turn their attention to the things that matter most. We think about our family and friends and what to give as gifts, maybe we are planning to attend or host parties and festive get-togethers, and there is a heightened sense of energy and activity. This is true for businesses and professionals too. Next year’s budget needs to be prepared and we may be assessing the value of our business relationships which have been built over the past year.

Now may be the perfect time to acknowledge the people who have helped your business in various ways, from clients and customers who have contributed to your revenue, to service providers who have contributed to your business structure, and referral sources who have kept the flow of business coming in, allowing you to stay afloat and grow. Continue reading

The “Know, Like, Trust” Process Works

shiny objects

 

Consequences of Following Shiny Objects

You may have heard the adage that people do business with companies they know, like, and trust. As an avid networker and BNI (Business Networking International) enthusiast for years, this concept has been one of the cornerstones of my business. All of the people I rely on to help manage and grow my business I know personally, I’ve come to like, and because we’ve established trust, I refer them to others to help grow their business This process works and I trust it completely. So what was I thinking when I decided to pull my website from the trusted designer/developer we have been with for 4 years to go with a glitzy national company offering promises of grandeur? I’ll tell you what…following shiny objects rather than sticking with a resource that has made it through the know-like-trust progression. Continue reading

Creating Landing Pages to Generate Leads

Facebook for Business

How to Get the Most our of your Facebook Page for Business

This is the second in our “Building your Business Through Facebook Pages” series. Last week’s blog offered an introduction to lead generation on Facebook and described the first step in developing a dynamic Facebook marketing plan – Creating a Compelling Lead Magnet Offer. We discussed how to come up with an offer that your audience would find valuable, then offer it for free. This  blog delves into the second in a progression of steps intended to capture the attention of your prospects, encourage their continued engagement by signing up for your offer, which adds them to your email list where you can continue to connect with them through blogs, tips, coupons, and other or refined offers. Continue reading

Generate Leads with your Facebook Business Page

money magnet How to Create a Lead Magnet for Facebook

Have you noticed that the impressions for people seeing your posts have gone way down? Facebook has changed the algorithm for who sees your posts, decreasing that number dramatically. A previous blog post – “Who Sees Your Facebook Posts” goes into detail about Facebook’s official position and some things you can do it help boost your presence. An element of this shift that is causing some turbulence is the Pay to Play concept.  Facebook has made it clear that if you want to get real traction on your site, you have to put money toward boosting your posts and promoting your page. As a small business owner, you can choose to ignore this and go on with business as usual while your page impressions tank, you could break up with Facebook, or you can see this as an opportunity to further expand your reach and client base. We are going to assume the latter, and out create these challenges to a dynamic internet presence! Continue reading

6 Steps for a Small Business Social Media Strategy

Social Media strategy How to Develop a Rockin’ Social Media Strategy

I’ve have been participating in the Social Media Success Summit, put on by Social Media Examiner – the leading producer of content all things social media and digital marketing. This is a month long digital event with many hours of valuable content delivered by true industry experts. I am learning a great deal and intend to pass on the best of what I gain from this series. Social Media Maxima clients will also benefit as we continue to develop and refine our services with cutting edge knowledge and technology. I continue to be amazed and inspired by all of the services, ideas, platforms, and resources available to business owners who want to leverage the power of the internet to grow their business. This week I am using as the base for this blog, one of the sessions on developing a social media strategy, though I have modified it quite a bit to suit my audience and experience. Continue reading

More Resources to Market Your Business

Expanding OpportunitiesDigital Opportunities Continue to Expand

Sometimes I learn about different online resources for business through industry research, tapping into the community, and other times I discover new avenues out of frustration or boredom. Recently, review sites have been challenging my patience with poor customer service and other objectionable behavior that often accompanies wild success. In an effort to circumvent some of the big dogs, I found what often lies behind corporate giants…viable but smaller competitors committed to creating a better solution. Continue reading

Culture of Sharing in the Digital Space

Culture of sharingInformation and Resources are abundant and available

There may be no such thing as a Free Lunch, but there are plenty of free resources on the internet. I am struck by the culture shift, that parallels the rapid growth of the internet, away from information as intellectual property and toward a collective agreement to share what we have. This is not to say that copywriting, licensing, and patent protection are a thing of the past…quite the contrary. I also don’t mean to suggest that there is no cost for these free resources. When companies provide tips and tools without asking for monetary compensation, they are doing so with an expectation that they are cultivating one or more of the following benefits in return. Continue reading

Who Sees Your Facebook Posts?

Facebook AlgorithmWhat you can do to help guide your newsfeed

 

Have you ever wondered who sees your posts and why your post impressions are so much lower than the number of likes on your page?  Of the average 1,500 posts that could show up on a newsfeed at any particular time, only about 300 actually make the cut. Why don’t you see every post from every one of your connections? Imagine how cluttered your newsfeed would be. You would miss posts from the people you interact with the most because they would be buried in a sea of content. Facebook has distinguished itself from sites like Twitter and Instagram, where every post by your contacts is on your newsfeed, and created algorithms that choose which posts you see on your newsfeed. Continue reading