Should You Choose Facebook or Twitter for the Start of Your Social Presence?

When a business decides it’s time to keep up and get their brand on social, it is extremely overwhelming. There are many social network options, but most new-to-social businesses settle on Facebook or Twitter as their first online marketing platform.

Via Flickr by Jason Howie

Via Flickr by Jason Howie

Why is this? Well, Facebook and Twitter are warring clans for the dominion of social media. While Facebook is the innovator that amped social media into what it is today, Twitter was ahead of the curve in creating a new form of social networking. Since their rise to popularity, Twitter and Facebook have been borrowing site layouts, keywords, hashtags, content formatting, and algorithms from each other. Much like the rivalry between Microsoft and Apple, Facebook and Twitter are in a casual war.

So, when businesses are new to social, they gravitate towards one of the two giants. They have a tried and tested layout that attracts users from every demographic. No matter what your business is, you can find your audience in the folds of one of these platforms.

But which one do you choose? If you only have enough time or room in your budget for one, you have to look at who your target audience is.

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

For larger businesses that have a target audience that spans across the country, Twitter is your best bet. The audience of Twitter is vast and the platform makes it easy for your audience to interact with your brand. As long as you understand how to craft your messages, use hashtags, create a conversation, and how often to post, Twitter is going to be your best platform.

Via Flickr by Ricky-Lai

Via Flickr by Ricky-Lai

For the smaller or localized businesses, head to Facebook. The users want to interact on a more personal level with Facebook. They want to have conversations with their brand and stay up-to-date on what is going on. Local businesses thrive on Facebook because the people want to support their city and create relationships with owners. They also love bragging about that awesome boutique on Main Street or the greatest tacos ever at the 3rd Street Mexican restaurant. You are likely to get high interaction and more referrals on Facebook.

However, I highly recommend you get on both. My starting price for my social media services cover both Facebook and Twitter posts. This is because I believe businesses need to be on both and it does not take up a great deal of extra time to create different messaging for each platform. Your audience is not restricted to one platform. There will be some of your audience on Facebook but not on Twitter and vice versa. To stretch your reach as far as possible, starting on both Facebook and Twitter will give you excellent leverage.

Originally posted on LinkedIn

Advertisements

How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms for Your Business

So you realize that you need to be social. But where do you start?

It can be overwhelming. There are numerous platforms and every social media advice website will tell you something different. Here is what it comes down to – you need to evaluate your brand message and your marketing goals and find platforms that match the “persona” of your business.

“But how do I know which platforms match my business?” Luckily, I am here as a social media expert to break it down the main platforms for you.

Via Flickr by marcopako

Via Flickr by marcopako

Facebook. Many say Facebook marketing is as dead as paper marketing, which, if you follow my posts, you know is not the case. It is good to have some Facebook presence no matter what your business is (however retail, restaurants, and local businesses do the best). It’s a numbers game – there are over 1.2 billion active users as of January 2014. You can’t ignore that big of platform. Granted, Facebook’s algorithms make it hard for your messages to reach that platform, but if you do a little bit of research you can greatly use organic reach Facebook to your advantage.

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Twitter. With the right hashtags, you can do anything on Twitter. Yet the best businesses on Twitter are the opposite of the best businesses on Facebook. This is because retail, restaurants, and local businesses have a dedicated customer base while other businesses have more casual relationships with the audience. This is where Twitter comes in. Twitter allows you to connect with other businesses, prospective customers, and industry enthusiasts who will promote you for free – as long as you use the right hashtags. I insist the majority of my clients get both a Twitter and Facebook. They are the two powerhouse platforms you can’t ignore.

Via Flickr by Link Humans UK

Via Flickr by Link Humans UK

LinkedIn. LinkedIn is THE platform for B2B marketing. Yet LinkedIn can be tricky. You need to have one employee be the “face” of the company, meaning they create, manage, discuss, and make connections on the company’s behalf. It can be tricky to outsource your LinkedIn marketing. Usually it is best to do in house after researching the best way to use LinkedIn as a connector tool, not as a spam marketing robot.

Via Flickr Zack D. Smith

Via Flickr Zack D. Smith

Google+. I admit, I have a love-hate relationship with Google+. There is a lot to be desired and I don’t see its use as a social media platform – outside of its affiliation with Google. With Google’s search engine rules, having a Google+ page is practically a must. With a Google+ page, you get higher search engine rankings and more credibility in Google’s (AKA – Internet God’s) eyes. If you rely on high search engine rankings for your business, get a Google+ page.

Via Flickr marioanima

Via Flickr marioanima

YouTube. YouTube is more of a supplemental platform for your marketing plan. Only certain brands are good for YouTube. If you have the opportunity to make instructional videos, product reviews/highlights, or “commercials” online with your product or service, then YouTube is a great platform for you. Just make sure your videos are professional and high quality!

alicegop

Pinterest. Pinterest is a great platform if your business is highly visual. If you have high quality product photos or offer services that are eye-catching, get your boards started! The pinning platform is best for craft, home decor, home improvement, wedding, food-related, and retail businesses.

Via Flickr Play Among Friends

Via Flickr Play Among Friends

Instagram. Like Pinterest, Instagram is great for highly visual businesses. The difference in Instagram – you need to be very interactive as well. On Pinterest, you can get away with throwing up content without a whole lot of interaction. On Instagram, you have to be involved. You have to know the best filters, know the hashtags, and know your audience as well as constantly communicating with your audience.

Via Flickr by manoftaste.de

Via Flickr by manoftaste.de

Blog. Bottom line – blogs are important for pretty much every business. Blogs are your opportunity to showcase your knowledge about your industry. The golden rule is to never write an entire blog post as self-promotion. You should always blog to give away “free samples” of information to your audience so they want more.

Originally posted on LinkedIn

5 Strategies for More Facebook Likes on Your Business Page

Getting more Likes on your Facebook business page can provide your company with great exposure and other benefits. Communities that are developed when you learn how to promote your business on Facebook will help you increase brand awareness and ROI. There are many marketing strategies that can be used to gain more Facebook fans.

Via Flickr mkhmarketing

Via Flickr mkhmarketing

Create Engaging Content and Be Active About Posting It

Content needs to be authentic and varied. Do not be overly promotional or only post one kind of content. Post links to articles related to the industry, text about specials going on, informative videos, and images. Images are by far the most popular content to put on Facebook, but it should still be diversified.

Include a call to action at the end of every post on Facebook. Tell them to Like, Comment, and Share. Pose questions to your fans in order to increase their engagement. You need to post content at least twice a day every day. When to post varies depending on the fans of your business. A good starting rule of them is to post in the evening from six to midnight. This is the period of time most people are online. Thursday through Sunday are the best days to post as well.

Network with Other Companies in the Area

Facebook provides many tools on a business page that allow you to find and interact with other companies in your area and market niche. Using a Graph search can help you find these companies. You need to Like them through your business page by going to Edit Page and selecting Use Facebook as Your Page. After the pages have been Liked, you can comment on and share their posts on your page. The company will likely follow you back and engage on your page, increasing Facebook Likes for both of you.

Via Flickr Ksayer

Via Flickr Ksayer

Ask People to Like Your Page and Supply Like Buttons Everywhere

Invite all friends, family, employees, and business partners to Like your page right at the beginning. This will give you higher visibility and credibility. Tell your customers, prospects, and your community to Like your page as well. Promote your Facebook page on your website and any other social media outlet your business uses.

Add social plugins on all of your social media accounts to include a Like button. This is especially useful when maintaining a business blog. Adding a Like button to the sidebar and on every post will increase the likelihood that someone follows your page.

Give Out Coupons and Hold Contests Exclusively for Facebook

Hold a contest exclusively for Facebook fans. Tell them to like a post and share it in order to be entered in a contest with a prize from your business. Offer multiple entry opportunities when they get someone else to Like your Facebook page.

The same sort of idea goes for coupons. Offer coupons exclusive to your Facebook fans. They are doing a lot of your advertising work by Liking and sharing your page and posts, so let them have 15 percent off their total order, free shipping, or another discount. This will make them feel appreciated and allow them to become loyal to your brand, increasing the chance they will get their friends to Like your page.

Via Flickr owenwbrown

Via Flickr owenwbrown

Look at Analytics to Learn About Your Fans

Analytics are able to tell you how many people see your posts and when and why you get new followers. This helps you understand what your fans like to see, allowing you to adjust your content. Analytics will also be able to tell you which kind of content your fans like the best. If fans consistently Like, comment, and share videos more, then you should start posting more videos over other kinds of content.

Another thing analytics do is help you determine when to post your content. You can see the times of day and which days of the week your fans access your content and business page the most. From there, you can decide when to post content.

How important are getting Likes on your Facebook page as opposed to a following on other social media sites? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!

EVERYTHING Small Businesses Need to Know about Facebook Marketing

Marketing strategies have taken a huge turn since the rise of the internet. Today, more than ever, businesses are using social media for their marketing purposes. Creating a Facebook business page is the most important tool in your marketing toolbox. Facebook supplies businesses with endless creative social media marketing ideas to supply small business solutions. There are six things small businesses need to do in order to effectively use Facebook for marketing.

Via Flickr by marcopako

Via Flickr by marcopako

Offer discounts

The first way is to offer discounts when customers checkout. No matter if you are in a brick and mortar store or online only, when customers checkout ask them if they have Liked your Facebook page. If they have not, have them Like it right there in order to get 10 percent off their entire purchase. Most people will jump at the chance for a discount and Like the page, allowing you to build your Facebook Likes.

Once people have Liked your page, continue offering discounts on Facebook. This is revolutionary because businesses can live market based on the situation of both the business and the customers. For example, if you are a bakery and you have a lot of stock left with two hours until close, put on Facebook you are offering a buy one get one free deal on cupcakes. This allows you to get rid of stock while still making a profit. Or, if it is snowing outside, put on Facebook you will give a free to-go cup of hot chocolate for customers who stop in to the bakery.

Make posts short, mix up media, and be consistent

Facebook posts should be 80 characters or less. The shorter the post, the more people will engage with it and share it. While images are an important part of Facebook, do not only post images on your Facebook page. Most posts should include links or photos, but it is okay to provide text-only posts.

Post content between one and four times a week. Do not skip weeks of posting, or fans will forget about your business. On the other hand, posting too much will make fans un-Like your page. Following the one to four rule will create 71 percent more brand engagement.

Via Flickr by Coletivo Mambembe

Via Flickr by Coletivo Mambembe

Share at the right time

Even if your business is only open 9-5, do not post things on your page during this time frame. This is when most of your customers will be at work and not able to check their Facebook. Instead, post during the 6pm to midnight time slot where people are relaxing on their social media sites.

It is also important to know the best days of the week to post content. Thursday is the best day to post on Facebook. People are anxious for the weekend and making plans on Facebook. Friday is the second best day to post things since people are checking their accounts to see where friends are going. Weekends are the absolute best time to post since people spend more time on Facebook on the weekend.

Put up emotional content

People love sharing content that impresses them or makes them laugh or cry. Post images, links, or stories about things related to your business that hit an emotional nerve. If you are the bakery, for example, you can post a funny cupcake comic. You could also post a story about a bakery giving their leftover cookies to the homeless in the area. Or you could post a little known fact about baking or dessert history.

Engage users and tell them what to do 

Ask your Facebook fans questions and post polls to get them engaged with your brand. As the bakery, you could ask which of the three flavor options you should bake for cookies this week. Or you could ask for their favorite dessert to eat. This information not only engages customers, but gives you insight into their tastes and habits. Don’t be afraid to tell them to Like something, comment on a post, or share a link. Many will follow your instructions with good content, or with incentives to share. This increases your brand awareness.

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Be social!

The reason it is called social media is because you need to be social online in order to market effectively. Start conversations in posts by asking questions. Respond to user comments and complaints on the page. Time needs to be spent building relationships with your customers on Facebook. This allows them to value your brand more and become loyal to your business.

What are other ways small businesses can be successful on Facebook? Let me know in comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!