We hear you, and we hear your questions. We hear them from our clients, our fellow business owners, our marketing associates.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of answers to the questions we hear. While we can’t give any hard-and-fast rules (post this, do this, etc.) that automatically go viral, we can give you marketing guidelines that you can apply to your business (and to your targeted audience).
Why am I not getting any more followers and likes on social media?
Many a business owner has jumped out of social media expecting immediate results. They don’t understand why their customers don’t like their posts, message them with questions, or come in to buy.
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for these business owners, but there is a list of reasons why they may not be getting results from their social media presence:
- Business is not on the social media platform where target audience is;
- There is no strategy behind the social media posts;
- The business does not have “personal” content that sets them apart;
- The social media posts are irregularly posted;
- The business only posts advertising and sales-heavy content;
- The content posted is irrelevant to the target audience;
- The business bought followers;
- The social media posts don’t contain images (or really bad images-here’s how to choose relevant images);
- The business posts at times when their audience is not online;
- There are unrealistic expectations;
- The business does not respond to messages in a timely manner;
- The business alienates the audience with angry or controversial posts.
If you want to know more, read our post with more details about these common problems—and how to fix them.
How do I increase the reach of my website?
After you invest all your time, funds, and effort into a website, it’s the logical next step: figuring out how to make your investment work for you. How do you let people know it’s out there? Or, even better, get your website in front of your local customers without much work?
- Send an email to your customers (build a email list with these tips) as part of your marketing plan with a clear call-to-action;
- Use website optimization to get to the top search engine listings (ask us how);
- Announce your new website on social media and keep including your website in your social media posts;
- Write quality content with links back to your website (this also is a ranking signal of a quality website with top search engines);
- Fill out profiles with your website on relevant review sites.
What should I post to social media?
This is one of the most common questions we hear from business owners. Our answer is usually pre-empted by a question, “Who are your followers? Who is your target audience?” Once you have an idea of you are communicating with (note, not talking to, you should always view social media as a two-way conversation), build a plan with:
Exclusive discounts. Make your customers feel appreciated and like they are getting a deal just for them because they follow you on social media.
Entertainment. If appropriate for your business and chosen tone, give your followers entertaining graphics and information that makes them want more.
Resources. Build trust with your audience by giving them helpful articles and videos.
(Occasional) giveaways. Give your audience an incentive to take part in an occasional guessing contest.
Want a more concrete list of social media ideas? Here are a few ideas for your next post; find a more extensive list of ideas to post to social media here.
- Photos with a request for an appropriate caption
- Inside photos of your facility or employees (with their consent)
- How-to videos
- Share news from your community (especially photos of your business involvement)
- Guessing contest
- Photos of the history of your business
- Memes (when appropriate)
- Photo or video that gives followers a sneak peak
- Helpful articles with tips
- Photos and videos that highlight your succeses
- Motivational quotes
- Photos relevant to your business on a National Day
- Upcoming sales and offer graphics
When should I post to social media?
If you speak to an empty room, would you expect to get heard? That’s what exactly is happening when a business owner or marketer posts when no one is online. Unfortunately, there’s no hard-and-fast rule for when to post that guarantees success, and every industry is different.
To figure out when is the optimal time for social media posts, use these guidelines:
Know your audience. If your target audience is a “more experienced” demographic, post earlier in the evening to reach the optimal amount of followers. Do the same for a younger audience, business-to-business audience, or whomever follows your brand.
Use statistics. Social media sites and scheduling tools often offer analytics that can help you track when your audience is online and when to post.
Relate to your industry. Industry norms can help guide your social media plan (and this article from Social Media today can help with that information).
What the heck is a blog?
We admit that this isn’t a common question, but it is our favorite—and we have heard many versions of this inquiry. “What is content marketing?” “What is a blog?” “What does a blog do for my website?”
The simple answer: content marketing is the process of providing content targeted at your audience. One of the most successful content marketing tools we’ve found is a blog. A blog filled with content, such as written articles, videos, photos, podcasts, and infographics, can be shared via social media sites, emails to your customers, as guest posts on other blogs, even as customer service when a question is asked. As a bonus, search engines use new, quality content as a ranking signal, giving your blog posts and website a higher ranking in search engine results.
To be successful, new content needs to contain strategic content (in line with your marketing and optimization plan) published on a regular basis; if you need assistance, contact a marketing firm that can meet your needs and has the expertise to answer all your questions.