But don’t do this as many people view it as a form of spam and aren’t likely to stay in your group. It’s better to have a few passionate members who care about your community and want to nurture it.
Post on Your Page
After you’ve set up your group, post about it on your page. Let your followers know about your group and post a link to it so they can join, too. Keep in mind that all of your followers may not see your post about your group. Plan to share about it 3-4 times over the next week.
Explain the Member Benefits
Some people will join your group simply because they like your brand and want to follow along with it. But some people will need more of an incentive to become members. This is your chance to explain the special perks that are exclusive to your group.
You might say, “Join my new fitness group to get weekly exercise motivation, answers to your fitness questions, and a monthly workout schedule.”
Blog about Your New Group
Once you have a few members in your group, blog about it. Invite your readers to check out your group. Let them know about any group rules in your post and tell them to message you if they want faster approval. This gives you the opportunity to connect with blog readers who normally lurk on your blog.
Share about Your Group on Facebook Live
Take a moment to stream a Facebook Live video all about your group. Facebook Live videos are frequently promoted by Facebook, meaning even more people than you expect will hear about your new group.
But aim to have your video last for a minimum of 15-20 minutes. Facebook prefers longer videos and are more likely to promote ones that are 15+ minutes. Don’t forget to post a link in your video description so viewers can easily click through to your group.
Ask Members to Share about Your Group
Give your members text and graphics that they can copy and paste on their own profiles. But remind members not to use Facebook’s ‘add members’ feature since it can feel spammy to some users. Instead, encourage members to reach out with a personal message to people they know are interested in your niche.
Create Exclusive Content for Your Group
One way to drive traffic from your blog to your group is to offer a free content upgrade that’s only available to members. For example, write a blog post series on organizing your home. Then create a checklist and turn it into a PDF file.
Upload the checklist to your Facebook group. Include a call to action at the end of each blog post, encouraging readers to get your checklist by joining your Facebook group. This will help even more people discover your new group.
A group that’s started to attract potential customers and turn them into satisfied clients is going to have a different atmosphere than a special insider’s group that’s only accessible to people you’ve worked with.
How Much Privacy Should My Group Have?
Currently, Facebook has three different ways of categorizing groups. Public groups are groups where anyone can see the content as well as the members. Closed groups allow for more privacy. With closed groups, anyone can see which Facebook users are members but they won’t be able to view posts unless they join, too.
Private groups are invisible. No one will know a private group exists if they aren’t invited to join. This can be helpful if the purpose of your group is to get feedback from a select group of users or you want to discuss sensitive information, like details about your upcoming products. However because of the nature of private groups it can be hard to grow them beyond a few members.
What Will the Guidelines Be?
Every group needs guidelines about behaviors that are acceptable and those that aren’t. Some group creators don’t want members to post about controversial topics like politics or religion. Other group creators don’t care what’s discussed as long as the conversation is civil and members are respectful of each other.
Regardless of what topics are acceptable, don’t rule your group with an iron fist if at all possible. You want to guide and create a great culture, but members won’t respond well to you acting the dictator. Doing this can actually cripple your group and make members think poorly of your brand.
Be sure to protect your members from spammers and marketers that use aggressive tactics. One way to avoid this is to ban members that only promote themselves or their businesses.
That might sound too good to be true, but it’s not. The trick is knowing what makes someone a brand ambassador – and then leading them down the road instead of hoping they’ll get there on their own.
What Can Brand Ambassadors Do for You
Brand ambassadors are more than just enthusiastic fans. When brand ambassadorship is at its best, customers identify heavily with the brands they love.
One example is Apple customers. You’ve probably noticed that they:
Brand ambassadors can also help you build customer loyalty. Knowing that others are enthusiastic about your products can increase their perceived value. A truly enthusiastic fan can even create new brand ambassadors for you.
What Does Engagement Have to Do with It
You know that engagement is the Holy Grail of social media marketing. What you might not know is what engagement means nowadays. Your engagement might be up while your sales are down – and when that’s the case, it’s hard to get excited about a few hundred likes on Facebook or Instagram.
Not all engagement is the same. There are levels and you must understand them if you want to understand how to create brand ambassadors. Here’s how I break it down:
The Four Steps to Brand Ambassadorship
As I said before, there are four steps you can follow to create brand ambassadors. They’re not difficult, but they do require some planning and persistence on your part.
Starbucks runs a white cup contest on Instagram every year. They challenge fans to create designs on plain white cups and post photos of them. The company shares the posts with their fans and produces a limited-edition run of the winning design.
Beauty brand Dove often asks its fans to tell stories about themselves and their families. They’ve run Mother’s Day promotions where they request information about customers’ mothers and then create one-of-a-kind social media “cards” for them.
What you can see from these ideas is that fans will engage with your brand if you ask them, incentivize them, and reward them.
Your brand ambassadors are waiting to be inspired…
It’s time to start thinking about what’s going to convince your current customers and followers to embrace your brand as ambassadors.
Not sure where to start? Try asking on social media! Your fans who are already engaged will be eager to tell you what they want – and you can use their advice as guidance to get things started.
How Popular is Snapchat?
I want to start with some Snapchat statistics because I’m finding that a lot of the local business owners I meet have ruled it out as a potential marketing platform.
Here’s what you need to know according to HootSuite.
Create a Snapchat Business Account
Ready to use Snapchat for marketing. You’ll need to start by setting up a Snapchat business account. The process is very easy. You can start by clicking here.
You’ll be prompted to enter your:
Grow Your Audience
Attracting new followers on Snapchat isn’t difficult but you’ll need to do a bit of work. The first and easiest things you can do are:
We’ll talk about paid advertising a little later in this article.
Create Snapchat Stories
Snapshot Stories are Snaps that are meant to be viewed sequentially. Unlike stand-alone Snaps, which disappear almost immediately, Snapshot Stories live on the site for 24 hours before vanishing. They’re an ideal way to connect with your audience.
You should make sure to give your Snapchat Story a compelling narrative arc. Some of the Snapchat Stories I’ve seen businesses use include:
All the content you share on Snapchat should meet the site’s technical specifications. They are:
Tips to Make Your Snapchat Content Sing – (Chris Format into Checklist graphic)
One of the cool things about Snapchat is that there are lots of fun tools and tricks you can use to amp up your content. Here are a few of my favorites:
Track and Refine Your Results
Like other social media platforms, Snapchat has some useful analytics that you can draw on when you pay for advertising. You can use them to track:
Once you’ve started using Snapchat for Business, you should keep an eye on the above results. You can use them to refine your Snapshot marketing strategy. You may notice that your video Snaps are getting far more engagement than your other content and adjust your marketing budget accordingly.
Marketing on Snapchat can give you a leg up on your competitors...
Remember, only a little over a quarter of businesses in the United States are using Snapchat. If your competitors aren’t – and they probably aren’t – then you can get access to a huge audience of Millennials and grab them as customers before your competitors know what hit them!
Facebook groups can also be leveraged to help you grow your business. You’ll meet new potential customers and learn more about your target market. Plus, here are three more ways that running a Facebook group can build your brand…
Members Get to Know the Real You
Facebook Pages allow you to share content but don’t give you any privacy controls. This means if you want to say something to one customer, you have to say it to them all. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it does make it harder for followers to get to know the person behind the brand.
A Facebook group gives you more privacy options. You can make your group closed so no one outside of members can see your posts. This can allow you and your participants to be more relaxed and share more personal details with each other.
Members Can Share Their Feedback
Another advantage of creating a Facebook group is that you can learn a lot from your members. For example, you can post about your upcoming product and ask for feedback on the sales copy or request comments about the graphics for your project.
Some group creators have also used Facebook groups to generate community content. Ask about a controversial topic and feature answers from different members on your blog or website. Invite members to share their best tips for doing something in your niche.
Members Will Look to You for Guidance
As you share valuable content with your members, they’ll begin to trust you. The more they trust you, the more they’ll come to you for guidance and advice. This gives you the chance to offer even more value and share product recommendations.
All you need to do is observe, think, and ask a few key questions about what they’re doing.
Where Are They Marketing Themselves?
The first thing you need to know is where and how they’re finding customers. You don’t need a copy of their marketing blueprint to figure it out. Here are some suggestions.
What Makes Them Unique?
You’ve spent some time figuring out how to distinguish yourself from your competitors – but how do they distinguish themselves from you?
A brand’s Unique Value Proposition tells you a lot about how they see themselves. Are they branding themselves as innovators? Solid and reliable? Affordable? Luxury?
You can pick up a lot of clues about your competitors’ unique qualities by looking at their websites and ads. What you learn can help you figure out how to be more competitive.
What Marketing Techniques Are They Using?
It’s not enough to know where your competitors are putting their marketing dollars. You also need to know what they’re doing with it. It can take some time to get a handle on their strategy, but it will be time well spent.
You may notice that they’re running both search engine ads and retargeting ads. That may indicate that their target audience requires a lot of nurturing before they buy. Or, you may notice that they’re relying heavily on customer-created content on social media, and that could inspire you to create some brand ambassadors of your own.
You should also make note of the kinds of content that performs best for them in terms of engagement. Are they posting lots of videos or sticking mostly to photos? Are they using infographics or instructographics? Every technique they use could point in the direction of more effective marketing for you.
What Are Their Strengths and Weaknesses?
As you observe your competitors’ marketing and check out their websites, you’ll probably notice that there are some things they do exceptionally well. Maybe they’ve got killer blog posts that fans love and that get tons of shares on social media. Or, maybe they’ve got a YouTube channel with hundreds of useful videos.
At the same time, you should look for things they’re not doing so well. Maybe their website’s out of date or their social media posting is irregular. Maybe they haven’t done a good job of differentiating themselves in the market.
Make note of anything that might be helpful. Your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses can help you fine-tune your own marketing strategy.
What Are Their Values?
It’s become increasingly important to consumers to know that the brands they buy have a moral center. You know that because you’ve seen the way brands can suffer when they misbehave. Customers can turn on brands in a flash if they feel they don’t share their core values.
If your competitors are affiliated with causes or charities, it’s important to know about it. You should look especially hard at any marketing efforts that tout their involvement and values. It’s quite common for brands to dedicate pages on their websites to their charitable efforts and values.
Millennials put a very high premium on corporate values both when they seek employment and when they shop. If you’re not clearly articulating your values and your competitors are, you might be at a disadvantage.
Keep in mind that when you express your values, you should look for causes that align with them. For example, a lot of food manufacturers and restaurants get involved with local food pantries and soup kitchen or sponsor food drives for hungry families.
How Do They Engage Fans?
Perhaps the most important question to ask is what your competitors are doing to engage their followers and fans. Engagement can mean a lot of different things from reading a Facebook post to creating unique, brand-based content – but it matters at every level.
One of my favorite ways to track engagement is to look at my competitors’ CTAs on social media. What are they asking fans to do? They might:
What your competitors are doing shouldn’t be a mystery to you…
If you think of yourself as a detective or a corporate spy, you can learn a lot about your competitors by tracking them online, taking notes – and then using what you find to improve your marketing strategy and beat them at their own game.
Since you can’t count on marketing suggestions knocking on your door, let me help. Here are 7 things you can start doing right now to market your business better.
#1: Identify Your Unmet Goals Where You Expected to Do Better
The first step is to review your marketing plan and business plan and figure out what you still haven’t accomplished. You might have specific goals that remain out of reach, like attracting a certain number of new customers this year or passing a profit milestone.
Even if you haven’t articulated a goal, you might still feel disappointed about some of your marketing. Maybe readers aren’t finding your blog or you’re not getting as many people to sign up for your newsletter as you’d hoped.
Whatever it is that isn’t meeting your expectations, write it down.
#2: Update Your Market Research
The answers to marketing difficulties are nearly always found in the data. If it’s been a while since you conducted any serious market research, it’s time to retest those waters and see what’s new.
You should be gathering two sets of information about the people in your target audience. They are:
#3: Sneak a Peek at Your Competitors’ Marketing
Competitor research doesn’t get enough attention, and if you’ve never checked out your competitors’ marketing for ideas, you’re missing out.
You should be looking to see:
#4: Find Out Where Your Target Audience Is
Once you’ve evaluated your competitors, it’s time to start thinking about where to focus your marketing efforts to reach your target audience. For example, if your customers are mostly women and you have an aspirational product, then your marketing budget will be well spent on Pinterest. If you’re a B2B company, you should focus on LinkedIn.
You’ll also want to think beyond social media and ask how your target audience will find you. Remember that voice search is on the rise and think about where people are going to look for your products – and how they’ll do it.
#5: Revamp Your Marketing Plan
This is step is a big one – but it’s necessary if you want to achieve your marketing and growth goals. Take all the information you’ve gathered and sit down and rethink your marketing plan. You should be planning:
#6: Automate as Much as Possible
Marketing automation can save you a ton of time and money as you work to achieve your goals. If you try to do everything yourself, you may wind up missing deadlines or failing to keep up with your intentions.
I’m a big believer in email automation for marketing. There are tons of good marketing email providers, including companies like AWeber and Constant Contact. You can use them to create email sequences to send out to your subscribers – or hire someone to create them for you.
I also suggest using automation to monitor your social media mentions and post on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. You’ll need to set up the posts and schedule them, but the beauty of this approach is that it means you don’t need to worry about remembering when to post something. You can also use Your Social Plan which includes 3 daily post ready to brand and schedule!
The automation will do it for you.
You may also want to consider setting up automatic replies on your Facebook page. Lots of companies use bots to handle customer questions and increase engagement – and you should think about it, too.
#7: Test Everything (and I Do Mean Everything)
The final step is not to assume that your new marketing plan is perfect. Even seasoned marketers make mistakes. They guess wrong and need to correct course.
Tracking your results will help you figure out what’s working and what isn’t. You should know:
And there they are…
Marketing isn’t an exact science but doing these 7 things can help you realign your marketing strategy with your most important business goals – and at the same time, increase your profits and help you attract new customers.