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

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Why You Need to Outsource Your Social Media Marketing

Back when email was on the rise and everyone was head-over-heels in love with this quick new form of communication (after you waited for AOL to log you in using dial-up for about half an hour), many businesses scoffed. “We don’t need this email. It’s a fad that will pass. Customers would rather call us on the telephone!”

Those businesses learned very quickly they do need email to reach a large portion of their customer base and those who did not perished. History repeats itself and this time social media marketing is the new “fad” businesses are reluctant to pick up.

Via Flickr by tashmahal

Via Flickr by tashmahal

Some businesses outright refuse to add social media accounts for their businesses. Others hastily create accounts and pages and often do them wrong (such as creating a Group instead of a Page on Facebook).

There are also many businesses that realize they do need to have a social media presence, but try to do it in-house to save money. Here is where the majority of businesses go wrong. It may seem easy to create a business profile and update it every now and then. You do it every day on your own Twitter and Facebook accounts, why should your business be any different?

You feel confident at first, filling out some basic About Us information and sharing your first post. You might think it’s a good idea to link your Facebook and Twitter posts to save time. You might decide to update once a week or every few weeks with text updates on sales or sharing funny cat videos you find online. When you don’t have time to post, you let your employees take over. People start liking and commenting, which you love looking at. Every now and then a customer might complain in a post on your page that is promptly deleted so your business doesn’t look bad.

It seems things are running smoothly on the social media front. However, your business is not growing at all. Your time on social media seems like a waste and you don’t know how other businesses are accomplished on these platforms. This is because you don’t understand everything you did wrong like I just did.

Nicole Yeary2

Via Flickr Nicole Yeary

As a social media marketer for a huge variety of different business industries, both big and small, I can look at your profiles for five minutes and understand all the mistaken steps you took. I will start brewing ideas on how to fix them and optimize your account.

Many customers prefer to communicate through social media and get updates from their business on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and more. When you ignore these platforms or use them incorrectly, you come across as inauthentic, inconsistent, and uncaring about customer needs. Hiring a professional social media marketer allows your business to become a likeable brand on the internet. Your customers will turn to you for their questions, concerns, and investment in your industry.

Professional social media marketers have studied the nuances of every platform extensively. They know the exact formula for posting on each platform and the language preferred by those users. They understand how each social media site is different in expanding a business’ reach, what kinds of posts get the most engagement, and how to create and time messaging. They can also analyze your account and audience to find out when your customers are online and most likely to see your messages.

Social media experts will interact with your audience as a business and customer service representative to increase your customer loyalty. Marketers will learn everything about your business to create a brand personality for your social media presence that is likeable and engaging. They will collaborate with you to get the most out of your website, blog, special offers, sales, events, and more. On top of that, social media marketers are constantly analyzing your platforms to see where improvements can be made.

Via Flickr ChrisL_AK

Via Flickr ChrisL_AK

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? For social media marketers, it is another day at the office. For you, it takes a lot of research and all of your free time, if not more.

This work is not as expensive as you might think. No matter how big or small your advertising budget is, you can find ways to afford social media marketing. At the very least, you can shell out a one-time expense to get consultation on the basics of social media marketing.

I have base prices for my services and different package options for all kinds of businesses. However, I can also take any monthly budget you set and tell you exactly what I can do for you with that amount. I also offer consultation on the basics of marketing tailored for your business needs and goals. You can view my social media marketing service options on my website. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments or to email me at h.s.hobbs@gmail.com!

Originally posted on LinkedIn

 

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!