Tag Archives: social media advertising

Social Media Strategy for 2016

Social Media StrategyHow to Develop a Kick-butt Digital Marketing Plan to Take Your Business to the Next Level

The start of a new year naturally fosters a view toward analyzing the past and planning the future. Like a reset button, transitions from one year to the next call for a fresh look at our process, habits, actions, and goals. We take a look at what we have been doing to see what works, what needs adjustment, and what needs to go. Are you looking at your business to improve your digital marketing in 2016? If so, here are some ideas to set the foundation for a great plan.

Analysis – Look at your business objectively: are you satisfied with your online presence, how you are using social media and other digital platforms to present, connect, and market your business? Are you putting the right resources to this effort? Do you know if what you are doing is producing positive results? Do you know what to do differently to achieve better results? Answering these questions will give you a better baseline from which to grow.

Goals – In the above analysis, you were asked if your efforts were producing positive results. If the answer to that question is either “I don’t know” or some version of “no”, the next step is to be clear about the results you want. Most of us want more clients = revenue, however, setting up a goal that broad may be too abstract and lead to scattered actions. Next week’s blog will focus on establishing specific goals that are realistic and measurable. For now, think about your purpose for engaging in digital marketing and what you need it to deliver in order to justify the expense of time, money, and attention.

Expand Your Audience –  Who cares about your business, products, services, or industry? If you are only concerned with consumers, you may be missing segments that could be a help to your business. Identifying the connections that bring value to your offering,  either by bringing you more customers or through supporting your business process, may be just as successful as going after direct consumers. Make a list of every person, business, organization, or association that is or could be impacted by what you offer. This becomes your expanded target audience and helps define your message.

Your Message –  Many entrepreneurs struggle with defining their clear message. Some are concerned that blogging or writing social media posts would be difficult because they don’t believe they have much to say. However, once they get into talking about their industry and experience, their knowledge flows out as valuable content they could be delivering to their expanded market. Don’t minimize the value or withhold your expertise, this is how you can shine online and set yourself distinct from others in your industry.

Where are the Eyeballs? – Some research is involved to find out where people and businesses you most want to connect with are engaged online. You may discover different platforms for different segments. For example, your target customers may be looking on Angie’s List, but your referral partners are active on Facebook. Having a sense of this will help you determine what kinds of posts go where. In this example, your emphasis on Angie’s List is to encourage happy customers to post positive reviews and respond consistently to those. On Facebook your message will be centered on an expanded view to interest and engage people who are not in your industry, but connected to it in some way. I suggest doing internet searches and talking to people in person and in forums, blogs, and Facebook groups to get this information.

Pull it Together – Once you are clear with these elements, put it together in a plan. Answer these questions:

Who – who is doing the interacting online and who are they connecting with?

What – what platforms are you using, what resources of time and money will you dedicate, what is message, special, enticement?

When – when will you do your online interactions, follow-ups, requests to connect on and off line?

How – how many posts, blogs, emails, per week? How will you stay on top of it? How will you know if you are getting anywhere?

This is the skeleton of your digital marketing strategy; using this to support details, specific campaigns and brilliant ideas. Please let me know if you have any questions, I’m always happy to help. Watch for next week’s blog on drilling down to establish more specific goals.

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

Social Media in 2014?

What Small Business Can Expect This Year

2014In answer to my last blog…yes, social media takes a holiday. Over the previous two weeks, during the holiday, we afforded ourselves what I used to consider a luxury, but now know is crucial to mental health…a break. Of course, services to our clients continue like clockwork, so their social media, blogs, and email campaigns went out as scheduled. But some of the other functions, such as this blog, were set aside so we could give greater attention to our families, friends, travel, and celebration.

Now we are back and excited to offer new insights, information, and predictions for the coming year to help position your company to take advantage of the increasing benefits of social media and inbound marketing.  This is the time of year industry experts share their view of where the industry is now and how it will be evolving in 2014. There is a plethora of blogs and articles on this topic and being a rapidly developing field, many of the predictions of last week are being seen today. Though there are many advances in the digital communication field that have an impact on individuals, being a Business to Business provider, we are focussing this article on trends in social media for small business.

According to the well-regarded online publication, Social Media Today, “2014 is going to be a killer year for Social Media and Small Business“. The article goes on to point out what those of us who actively use these resources for our business already know, “It all comes down to how you communicate with your customers, how you leverage relationships, and of course how you share GREAT content“.

My top three areas for  business-related social media development in 2014 are:

Google+

I have been waiting and watching Google+ to see if it would pick up enough steam to put our clients’ resources to it. Google+ is becoming a social media force to be reckoned with and it looks like this trajectory will continue. One of the obvious advantages of using Google+ is the SEO benefits inherent when you post activity on a Google site. For those who are concerned that Google is taking over the world, you have a point. There is good reason to be circumspect about all of the personal information processing, aggregating,  sharing, and possibly exploiting that is done on search engines like Google. All concerns aside, Google+ offers some advantages the other platforms do not, such as grouping your audience into circles for efficient message delivery. They launched “Communities” this past year, which some say is more powerful and relevant than Linkedin groups. It certainly is more visually appealing and engaging. It has been my hope that if Google+ can do a better job of meeting the needs of the small business community, they will have it over Facebook and will be a huge success. Still watching, but now more actively engaged for us and our clients. What is your experience with Google+?

Mobile

According to Business Insider, one in five people worldwide own a smartphone. Over 50% of those in the US use smartphones with young adults come in around 80% as users. As these devices become increasingly utilized for what a home computer or laptop has typically been used for – researching information, social media, connecting with others, etc., having a website that is formatted to look and function optimally on these devices is going to be extremely important. Your business may have a great website, but if your audience has to reshape it, can’t open pages, or find what they are looking for while using their smartphones and tablets, you may well lose business.

Social Media Advertising

This is a whole blog article in itself, but suffice to say the emergence of advertising options on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin opens the door to all kinds of possibilities for getting your company message out. In future blogs I will go into greater detail about advertising on each platform, the advantages and challenges associated with each one. With social media increasingly becoming the preferred forum for all kinds of communication among a wide audience, it makes sense that marketers would want to capitalize on all of this consumer real estate.   Social media advertising is still in the early stages but predicted to grow substantially, from 4.7 billion spent in last year to 11 billion by 2017. Though this is expected to be a significant advertising outlet, many businesses are not familiar with it or comfortable to put resources to it. More on this to come…

I predict small business will continue to enter the digital marketing space in record numbers in 2014. Is your business still in the dark ages of marketing “Old School”? Contact us if you would like help with your online presence.