How Facebook Stories Can Help Your Business

facebook stories

Staying up-to-date on marketing trends and tools is imperative to growing your business in a world that is, in many ways, fueled by social media. Early this year, Facebook rolled out its own Stories platform and owned up a whole new platform that businesses can use to reach consumers. Much like Snapchat and Instagram. Facebook Stories allows users to post videos and pictures and share them with their followers. This can be useful for your business in a variety of ways.

Engage With Customers In An Innovative Way

Blog posts and articles serve their purpose, but more and more companies are turning to video ads in order to engage with current customers, as well as bring in new ones. It is also becoming more apparent that companies that work with video have a better chance at grasping the customer’s attention. In 2013,  National Center for Biotechnology Information found that the average attention span is only nine seconds. Facebook Stories allows businesses offer exclusive promotions, “behind-the-scenes” footage, and other content that may get lost in other types of posts.

Why Facebook Stories Is Good For Your Business

Facebook Stories is an -easy-to-use video platform that can allow you to reach your customers in a personal way. Whether you’re an online business, an in-store location trying to increase foot traffic, or a business that comes straight to the consumer, Facebook Stories allows you to interact with potential customers in a variety of different ways. For example, Facebook Stories are available to the followers of your business for 24 hours. Your company could create an exclusive offer that could only be redeemed by those who saw your video post. This type of exclusive ad feels less invasive to the customer, while also establishing a personal connection between the business and the consumer.

How Does It  Work?

 Facebook Stories allows you to share photos and video directly, or to your feed. Here’s how it works.

  • Tap on the “Your Story” icon in the Stories bar at the top of news feed.
  • Alternatively, you can tap the camera icon in the top left of your screen or swipe right from news feed.
  • Tap the record button to take a photo or tap and hold it to record a video. You can also upload from your camera roll.
  • If you want to save a photo or video, tap the download icon.
  • Tap Your Story to add to your story, and then tap the send button.

You can also choose to share a photo or video to a single person or a group using the Direct option!

Connecting with customers in new and innovative ways is a crucial part of any successful business. So, how will your business begin telling its story?

Have questions? Contact us today to learn more or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for more tips!

Facebook: A Look At The StatisCLICKs

facebook clicks

When it comes to social media, there’s no doubt that Facebook is the most universally recognized platform. It’s single-handedly altered and advanced the way we communicate, offer personal updates and share news, both locally and globally.

As to be expected…after all, Facebook’s mission is to “give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” I’d say so far they’ve done a pretty good job of accomplishing that.

So exactly how many people use Facebook? Let’s take a look at the 2017 Facebook Statistics.

According to Facebook, as of their Q3 2016 earnings report, there are approximately 1.18 billion daily active users on Facebook. Of those 1.18 billion daily users, an average of 1.09 billion are active on mobile.

Oh—and get this, Facebook calculates that approximately 84.9% of those daily active users are located outside the US and Canada.

Considering the number of people I witness on a daily basis scrolling through their Newsfeed—be it on the bus, at work (oops) or in a coffee shop—that really puts things into perspective just as to how many people across the globe are using Facebook!

While those numbers are impressive, let’s narrow things down to just the US, shall we?

Statista reports, in 2016 there were approximately 191.3 million Facebook users. This number is expected to jump to 211.7 million by 2021. Considering the US population was 318.9 million in 2014 (US Census), we can comfortably claim that well over half of the US is on Facebook.

How much time do we spend a day on Facebook?

In May of last year, The New York Times reported the magic number was an average of 50 minutes a day. Roughly one-sixteenth of our waking hours are devoted to scrolling through our Newsfeed.

You’re probably thinking, “50 minutes a day isn’t thaaaaaat much.” But consider how much time you spend on Facebook vs. how much time you spend exercising or reading a book.

Now take 50 minutes a day and multiply that by the 1.18 billion daily users.

I could go on for hours spitting statistics at you, but truth be told, I wasn’t a math major and all these numbers are starting to hurt my head.

Bottom line is, a lot of people are on Facebook…a LOT—in fact, I didn’t even begin to mention the number of businesses that use the platform!

Have questions? Contact us today to learn more or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for more tips!

The Importance of Reviews on Social Media

Social Media Reviews

Reviews on social media are more important now, than ever before. Not only can a business incorporate reviews from consumers into their social media strategy, but reviews can also contribute to your page showing up higher in search engines like Google due to the valuable, unique content.

More than two-thirds of consumers rely on online reviews before making a purchase and 57% use social media networks for recommendations. If you are not seeking out reviews from your current customer base, you are missing out on a huge marketing opportunity. Here is how to make an impact on your social media with reviews.

Keep a close eye on your reviews. It is important that you respond to reviews consumers leave on your page. Reviews are a valuable marketing tool that help you engage with your fans. It is also a great customer service tool so make sure you are responding to all the reviews you receive. Use the opportunity to address any issues someone may have and fix the problem professionally. It is a great way to show your consumer fan base that you care. Never miss an opportunity to generate positive word of mouth!s

Ask for reviews. How can you get a satisfied customer to be your advocate online? Simply ask! This will remind those who are passionate about your brand to share their positive experiences. Oftentimes consumers only think to review a business if something goes wrong, but why not ask for when something goes right? Many times consumers don’t think about leaving a review, which is why it is crucial that you keep it top of mind. How can you do this? Asking in person is very effective. Have your sales associated ask as a satisfied customer as they are checking out to like their page on social media and leave a review. Your business can also ask for a review by providing a link to your page in a monthly newsletter, blog, or email campaign. The opportunities are endless.

Showcase your reviews on your social media pages. Testimonials are a very powerful tool within social media. When a consumer is researching your brand they rely on the words and experiences of others to help them make their decision. Take your reviews and turn them into a marketing creative. Make content with these reviews so the next time a potential customer visits your social media they will have the positive words of other customers to look to.

The power of reviews on social media is strong. Make sure your business takes every opportunity to gather reviews and use the information in your social strategy.

Have questions? Contact us today to learn more or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for more tips!

Social Media ROI: Stick It Out to See Results

social media ROI

“So…when will I start seeing results?”

How to determine social media ROI is a question we get asked a lot. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t the same for every business. Social media marketing varies depending on each business’ strategy, budget, goals, etc. For some, you could begin to see results within the first few months while others might take a bit longer.

It all depends on a few things: a developed content strategy, budget and commitment.

Develop a Strategy and Define Your Goals

The only way social media marketing will truly work is by developing a thorough content strategy. This means determining a clear set of audience demographics (age, gender, location, interests) and basing your content and posting strategy around what will attract your audience. Often times, this takes a little bit of experimenting to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Once you develop your strategy, it’s important to specify your goals. What are you hoping to gain from social media marketing? Do you want more followers or likes? Are you looking for engagement and/or impressions across your social platforms? Or are you using social to gain new leads or bring in new customers? It’s important to have some sort of metric to measure to gauge the effectiveness of your content strategy and make changes or alterations as needed.

Having a clear strategy and set of goals at the beginning of your social media marketing journey is important, it’s good to know what progress you’ve made. However, you might find that your strategy and/or goals change the longer you use social media—and that’s okay!

Decide Your Budget

Determining how much money you want to spend on your social media marketing campaign is a big decision. Obviously, the more you spend the better chances you have at being successful and reaching a greater audience. But businesses with a smaller budget, don’t be so quick to count out social media! Even with a smaller budget or ad spend, you’ll be able to make an impact on social—it’s all determined by your strategy.

It’s important to let your brand’s social presence build organically before you begin to throw a lot of money towards promoting your page. Customers are more likely to trust a brand who has a consistent presence rather than one who has paid for likes or followers. That brings me to my next point…

Commitment and Consistency is Key

Once you’ve got all of that figured out, it’s time to let social media start working it’s magic—just make sure you’re doing your job by staying consistent and committed. Keep your posts consistent with your brand and engage with your customers! Followers like to see businesses connect with users on a personal level. This means replying to messages and comments and posting relevant content, without over-posting or spamming their timelines. If you’re consistent, after a while you’ll begin to create a “voice” or style for your brand and customers will take notice.

In short, don’t rush the process! Any good business owner understands that it takes time to build a company—the same goes for social media. However, if you have a solid strategy, the right tools in place and a marketing team (or agency…like, say No Time for Social) that’s willing to put in the work, you’ll begin to notice a boost in your social presence.

Have questions? Contact us today to learn more or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for more tips!

Does Your Marketing Plan Need a Content Strategy?

content strategy

As we previously discussed in a  blog, content strategy is important to mapping your social media presence. It is the overall vision that guides the voice of a brand in order to achieve a specific business goal while appealing to a certain target market. But does your social media marketing plan really need a content strategy to be effective? YES! Read on to find out why.

1. If Content is King, Content Strategy is Queen

Have you heard the term “content is king”? This statement could not more accurate when it comes to using social media. Content is what attracts and informs customers and motivates people to buy from your business. Developing a content strategy is one way to ensure the content you are pushing out is quality and on point.  Without a clear vision, your company’s marketing message may be all over the place. If your branding, message, and target are inconsistent, your followers may be confused. If you don’t know what you want to accomplish, how can your audience know what the takeaway is?

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 69% of B2C businesses are creating more content today than they did a year ago. However, only 27% of business surveyed have a documented content strategy.

2.Target, Test, and Repeat

Part of creating a content strategy includes narrowing down who your target audience is. Without knowing your customers and competitors, and what your voice will be, you may not be able to craft compelling content to reach those most interested in your products or services. Having a solid content strategy can also help you narrow down which social media platforms to be on. For example, if you are a boutique or a restaurant and you’re not using Instagram, you may be missing out on opportunities to connect to your customers. Research what platforms your customers they are using and then find out what types of content they react to. If you are not sure what works with your audience it’s ok! With a documented content strategy, you can target, test and repeat until you find out what works.  Without knowing this information, you may be missing your audience completely.

3. Stop the insanity! Determine Social Media’s ROI

Determining the ROI of social media is something that almost all business struggle with. Many business owners feel like if they post content to keep their pages “active” customers will just eventually come, or worse, just stop using social media to connect with customers altogether. If doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition to insanity, then it’s no wonder why business owners are frustrated with the results of their social media marketing.

Creating and using a content strategy eliminates the need to ask “what am I getting out of this?”. Having a clearly defined content strategy will allow you to develop content and initiatives centered around your business goals and give you the ability to measure ROI and success through analytics tracking provided by social media channels.

Key Takeaways

1.Content without a consistent theme or message may not reach your audience, hurt the credibility of your brand, and ultimately leave your goals unmet.

2.Document your content strategy and review it often

3.Target, test and repeat until you find out what works with your audience

Have questions? Contact us today to learn more or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for more tips!

5 Free Social Media Tools to Save You Time

5 free social media tools

When it comes to managing social media for your business, every minute spent, is valuable. In order to keep up with what’s happening on your profiles it is important that you are quick and efficient. Some tasks can be more time consuming than others! This is why it is crucial to take advantage of the social media tools that allow you to save time so you can focus on what is important: creating engaging content. Here are a five free social media tools that can help!

Canva

Creating visually stimulating content on social media is a must, but it can be time consuming! Canva is a great tool to use to help you create professional looking images. On this application you will find a wide variety of graphics, text options, shapes and more. This tool also allows for simple photo edits like fades and blurring of an image. This is a great option for those who are not proficient in Photopshop.

Pixabay

Sometimes it is not necessary to spend time creating unique images for every piece of content you put out on social media. Unfortunately, stock photos can be incredibly costly. Pixabay is a great stock photo site that provides over 740,000 free high-quality images.

Tweetdeck

For those who like to schedule posts in advance, you have probably noticed that Twitter does not give users the ability to schedule content. Luckily, there is TweetDeck! TweetDeck is a Twitter management tool that allows you to schedule and see and manage all of your Twitter feeds at once. The application allows you to customize your dashboard to monitor alerts and feeds. You can access this tool for free with a valid Twitter account.

Bitly

Bitly helps you save time AND space while managing your social media accounts! With only 140 characters allowed on Twitter, you can spend a lot of time trying to adjust your captions. Using Bitly allows you to shorten your link – but that’s not all. This tool grants you the power to measure performance through link analytics. You can learn from these insights to see what is resonating with your target audience to help you adjust your social media marketing as needed.

Facebook Insights

When it comes to measuring insights on your social media accounts there are a lot of tools out there to choose from, and it is necessary that you are monitoring successes and what is not working for your clients. Unfortunately, many of these analytics tools can be very costly. Facebook Insights is one of the best tools to use, and it is free! These insights allow you to look in depth into your target audience. With this information, you are able to tailor your content to make sure your message is appealing to the right people.  You can also learn from your content as the insights reveal important information about your post engagements and reach.

If you are responsible for managing your business’s social media accounts, giving these 5 tools a try is sure to help you maximize your efficiency!

Have questions? Contact us today to learn more or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for more tips!

Signs You Need To Outsource Your Social Media

signs that you should outsource your social media

Social media is such a common part of most of our lives that most of us perceive ourselves as experts, or at least knowledgeable enough to handle running a Facebook or Twitter page on a daily basis. Sure, you may do an awesome job posting pictures of you and your friends or funny news articles and videos, but running a social media account for a business is an entirely different ballgame.

Lots of business owners and employees think they can approach running a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram page for their business the same way they would their personal pages. This is not the case, and the result of this mentality can do damage to your business. We’ve all seen that restaurant whose daily specials are loaded with typos, or terrible photos that make food look gross. Or maybe you’ve seen a cringe-worthy post on a Facebook page from an angry manager having a public meltdown. Just as bad as seeing any of those things, is seeing a social media account that hasn’t been active in months, making you wonder- is this business even open?

As much as we would all like to believe that we’re experts when it comes to social media, sometimes you need to face the facts that it’s time to enlist the help and services of a social media manager. So, how do you know just when it’s time to call in the heavies? Here are a few signs you need to outsource your social media:

Not enough hours in the day

Between scheduling content, communicating with customers, and networking with other businesses, handling your social media accounts effectively takes an investment of several hours a week. Let’s say “several” is anywhere between 3-10 hours over a 7 day period. If you own a busy restaurant, every minute, let alone hour, is important.

Sure, you can try and post a daily special when you get the time, or even ask a manager to do it, but in many cases we’ve seen this go poorly due to a lack of consistency and a lack of quality content being posted. For many businesses, social media pages are the main point of contact and identity for their customer base. Investing in a social media manager may seem like a lot up front, but over time it gives a business owner peace of mind knowing that they can devote the precious hours of each day to what matters: running their business.

Posting updates is one thing, making them look good is another

I touched on this in the last point. You may not think you need a social media manager because you or one of your employees is able to post updates on your page every so often. That may be effective, but more often than not, we have seen businesses who do this receive little engagement because their posts are not professional looking and, most importantly, just aren’t any fun. People use social media (Facebook at least) to engage with their friends, and pretty much all of these people would never use social media if there wasn’t something fun about it.

There’s nothing wrong with giving people the straight meat and potatoes, but sometimes you need to doll up the dish a bit! You know? Add a little flare to make it more appetizing! A good social media manager spends the time to build your brand and create content that is both informative and exciting to your customers! The best part is that they can do this on a regular schedule, so your brand is always growing and attracting fresh eyes.

Keeping up with trends and daily changes to platforms is overwhelming

If you are unable to keep up with social media platform changes, it is one of the signs you need to outsource your social media. One day people are saying Twitter is dying or Facebook has no value, or this and that new platform will be the next big thing. It’s overwhelming to say the least, and in the day in and day outs of running a business, it’s basically impossible to keep up with the rapid growth and constant changes happening in social media. Your social media manager has a job to keep up with the changes happening and to present them to you in a way that makes sense. Also, having a reliable social media manager means that you can count on your business always being up to date in whatever is happening out there.

You’re not seeing any engagement

Without spending money, getting engagement on social media is something of an art. Content rules! As I previously mentioned, creating content that attracts people to like, share, tag friends, and comment on posts takes skill and time. You may just be concerned with posting updates to your business pages, but does simply being there mean engagement? No. Getting active engagement can be a frequent source of frustration for business owners as it doesn’t come easy. Investing in a social media manager means that you have somebody with an incentive to make your social media pages perform as best as they possibly can, which usually translates to more customers.

You forget to respond to customers and followers

People who engage with a business on social media expect a quick response. In fact, a 2012 study by Edison Research showed that over two-thirds of customers expected a response from a business the same day they contacted them. Not responding (even to negative reviews) shows neglect and ultimately reflects poorly on your business. Do you really have the time to deal with every single customer who posts a comment or a review? Probably not, but a social media manager does.

Advertising!

Advertising on social media, especially on Facebook, is a skill set in and of itself. There are a million ways to do it wrong and just a small handful to do it effectively. It’s also a whole other realm of social media that will make the average person’s head spin! Working with a social media manager allows you to take comfort knowing your business and its message is getting out to the people!

Have questions? Contact us today to learn more or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for more tips!

How to Handle A Negative Social Media Review

How to deal with negative social media review

The social media landscape has taken over as the way customers communicate with businesses. Not only does it allow for a quick response, but one negative social media review has the power to impact positive or negative word of mouth, with the ability of reaching thousands of people. In many cases this can be a great thing, but one bad social media review can be the source of a lot of anxiety for many businesses.

Oftentimes a negative comment or warning of a particular experience sends business owners into a panic. Don’t worry! It’s not the end of the world. There are a number of ways businesses can respond in an appropriate way to comments or complaints, and sometimes even turn a negative experience into a positive customer service event. With the right response, your business can better your relationship with consumers.  Take a look at these 4 tips to help you craft the right response to negative social media reviews.

Always maintain professionalism, even when you feel like the consumer is wrong.

Sometimes a bad review will feel like a stab in the heart. Try your best not to take it personally and keep in mind that the world will be able to see your response. Take five minutes to cool down before you respond. You don’t want to say something in the heat of the moment that can come back to haunt your business forever. Any negative comment on your side could escalate the issue at hand. Instead, approach the review in a professional manner and explain that you are sorry that they had a negative experience and you hope that they will give your business another chance. It is always a good idea to invite the person who left the review to contact you personally so you can get more information.

Learn from the negative review!

Even the best businesses have room for improvement. Use the negative feedback to your advantage! Invite the consumer to use the product or service again and then follow-up with them to ensure that they are satisfied. This will show the public that you care enough to make changes and that they have a voice. Don’t delete the review unless it has profanity or is inappropriate. If they care enough to leave a review, they will most likely be checking back for a response. The last thing you want to happen is another harsh review, this time telling the public you deleted the first one.

Focus on the positive

Oftentimes a review will highlight some positive aspect of the consumer experience. Mention it in your response! Not only does it lessen the blow, but It benefits the business by highlighting a positive buried inside a negative.

Start a Conversation

Responding to a negative social media review is a great opportunity to engage meaningfully with consumers. Not only does a response show that you care, but it shows that you are listening to their concerns. For more intense issues always give them the option to contact you directly.

Most of the time, social media is a place where businesses are able to engage positively with fans of their brand. Use these tips to keep your business in a positive light in the eyes of the public.

Have questions? Contact us today to learn more or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for more tips!

Using Instagram Stories In Your Marketing Strategy

If you’ve been on Instagram lately, you might have noticed the newest app update: Instagram Stories. Similar to the Stories feature on Snapchat, you can now upload photos and videos to Instagram Stories, which expire after 24 hours and do not appear on the Instagram timeline. The new feature also includes editing tools (like color filters and drawing tools) similar to Snapchat, although the Instagram edition doesn’t include “filters” like the ever-popular dog filter or face-swap.

This new feature is a great marketing tool for businesses to begin using to increase engagement and draw new customers. We’ve compiled a few reasons why you should consider incorporating this new tool into your marketing strategy.

Behind The Scenes

Instagram Stories allow you to quickly and easily upload a photo or short video to your account to build engagement and build trust with your audience. One great thing about the Stories feature is it allows you to upload extra content to your business’ Instagram without over-crowding your customers’ timeline. It’s also a fun way to include a behind-the-scenes glimpse at your business or build buzz for upcoming products or campaigns, all the while still making it feel personable to your customers.

Instagram Stories Let Your Business Reach A Larger Audience

Since the feature is so similar to Snapchat, you might ask: Why not just use Snapchat Stories to market my brand? The biggest difference between Snapchat and Instagram for business is reach. Over 500 million active monthly users use Instagram, which is much greater than Snapchat’s 150 million users. The bigger your audience, the better chance you have of making an impression and gaining new customer. Plus, if you already have a substantial presence on Instagram, why not take advantage?

Promos, Giveaways and Contests

One unique way to make the most out of the Stories feature is to include promos or giveaways for your customers. Stories allow businesses to post content that won’t be seen anywhere else! Why not give the customers that are viewing your Stories a bonus!  By uploading a promo or discount code to your Story, it’s also a great way to measure engagement and draw new followers to your Instagram page.

No matter how you decide to use Instagram Stories for your business, it’s a great way to stay relevant, increase brand awareness and keep your audience engaged.

Have questions? Contact us today and let us customize a social media plan to fit your business! Also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for more tips!

 

5 Tips for a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy

social media marketing strategy
 

It’s no secret that social media marketing can benefit your business. Not sure where to begin? Take a look at these 5 tips for a successful social media marketing strategy!

First, establish a target audience?

For your social media marketing efforts to be successful, you must first decide who your business is trying to target. This will establish your brand voice and messaging, which is crucial to your content strategy going forward. Research your audience thoroughly before diving in. When researching, ask yourself – What type of content does your intended audience respond to? Which platforms are most popular with who you are trying to reach? How does this audience communicate with each other? You cannot create successful content without first knowing who you are trying to communicate with.

Make a content calendar for your marketing strategy!

A big part of being successful in social media marketing is sticking to your deadlines and keeping a constant presence on platforms. This is where your content calendar comes in. A content calendar will allow you to visualize your social media strategy while keeping you on track to achieve your goals. This tool allows you to plan out your content in advance. Pro tip: use a scheduling tool like Hootsuite or Sendible to schedule your content to publish automatically. Make sure to keep in mind that real time content is also important to the success of your business on social, so leave places in your content calendar for present information and set a reminder for yourself!

Create engaging content.

When creating social media content for your business or brand, it is crucial that your audience feels engaged and interested to ensure that they keep coming back to your social media pages for more. How can you do this? Ask questions! Create compelling images to accompany information. Publish local content. Instead of posting 9 times a day create one quality post. Always remember quality content over quantity.

Learn from what does not work and improve it.

In order to be successful at marketing your business on social media you need to be constantly monitoring your pages to determine what is working and what is not. If a certain strategy is not working after a long enough period, adjust your content accordingly. Building your presence on social is a learning experience. See something that is working? Keep doing it! Even better, find ways to improve it to keep the movement happening.

Patience is key.

Social media marketing success does not happen overnight. Allow your brand time to create lasting relationships with your audience.

Overall, a well thought out social media marketing strategy will benefit your business the most. Not sure you want to take on the responsibility? Outsourcing your social media is always an option! Contact us for more information!

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for more tips!