It seems that entrepreneurs either really LOVE or really HATE social media... There doesn't seem to be a lot of middle ground. And what’s worse is that posting just isn’t enough today, you have to create engagement. Engagement is the key to online visibility and a successful social media marketing strategy. Facebook rewards engagement by opening your content to new viewers so if your post doesn’t get any traction early it is most likely doomed to not be seen.
For a post to be successful you must engage your followers by interacting with them and encouraging them to interact with each other. This means sharing, liking, commenting, mentioning, messaging, and more. If you can successfully create this interaction, you will see your visibility, credibility and audience grow and become more active over time.
Keep reading to find the 5 things you can do TODAY to increase your online visibility and engagement to create the credibility and sales you need to grow and thrive online.
1. Get Personal
Let your audience get to know you. Remember people do business with people so you need to showcase you, your talents and your interests.
Entrepreneurs seem to either LOVE or HATE social media. There doesn't seem to be a lot middle ground here. There are many reasons for this but the most prevalent reason is that there are so many people that are introverts that do not like to promote themselves at all.
Whether you love it or hate it there are probably some things you can do to get more personal. Start blending a little more of your personal life into your posts. People want to know you.
2. Get Engaged
Asking and answering questions is a great way to put yourself out there to make new connections. The first rule of social media is to be social. The best way to sell on social media is to sell yourself first. Don't just drop product links and hope people will buy.
Asking questions on your profile, pages and groups will get people involved even if it isn't business related. It will also help to open the algorithm for your posts to be seen by more people. The more you can get people to engage the more your posts will be seen. As people start to engage with your content they will see it more regularly. That means they will see your promotions as well.
People do business with people and you have to make connections for people to know, like and trust you. Answering questions is the best way to help and let people get to know you and ultimately trust you to buy your products or services.
3. Get Current
Current events are a great way to capitalize on local and national happenings. There is no shortage of content surrounding events. People are always celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and more. Celebrating with gifs and comments can go a long way for exposure.
People love to be recognized so be on the lookout for accomplishments that you can congratulate others for as well. Be sure to post your own content but be on the lookout for other people's content that you can like, comment and share to gain exposure.
There are always specific hashtags for events to be sure to use those to get more traction and exposure for your content.
4. Get Inspired
Since the invention of social media networking, sharing inspirational quotes has been the most widely used form of posting on social media. Today with all of the negativity and bulling on social media we could all use a little more encouragement.
There are many ways to encourage and share good will online. Today we are going to go over a five ways you can inspire and encourage others to take action. People are naturally drawn to positive people and will want to join in which in turn pays it forward!
Inspiring others to take action will make people take note of your ability to lead and hopefully want to work with you.
5. Get a Plan
Social media is an extremely fast moving form of media and of course you can fly by the seat of your pants and post all willy nilly but you won't get good traction with that approach.
Social media can also suck you in and trap you for hours if you are not careful. You need to have a plan of action and know the steps you need to take when it comes to using social media for business.
There are some simple steps that will allow you to save time in the long run. Most of these are one time steps that will help you organize and streamline the process.
Having a plan will help you to have more time for engagement activities like commenting and interacting with others thereby making real connections.
Need Step by Step Help with Implementing These?
Facebook continues to be one of the most popular and influential social media platforms in the world with more than one billion active users.
As a business, you can no longer continue to leave Facebook out of your online marketing strategy.
If you want to grow your business, you have to have a presence on Facebook. However, to be successful, and build your Facebook fan base, you have to be engaged with your audience.
Here are five of the best ways that you can boost Facebook engagement and increase your fan base.
A great way to spark dialogue with your audience is to ask them questions. It’s by far one of the easiest ways to boost audience engagement on your Facebook fan page. The type questions that you can ask to get your fans to engage with you are endless. The key is to just get the conversation started.
Include Call to Actions
Unfortunately, from a marketing standpoint using clear CTA’s is something a lot of small businesses simply overlook.
Placing a call to action on your website pages and social media platforms sends psychological nudges that are proven to help you drive your audience to respond the way you want.
Want your audience to click here, call now, or schedule a consultation? Then tell them to do so. People tend to respond more often when they are told what to respond to.
Get the Timing Right
This may be obvious, but when it comes to posting to your Facebook page, timing is crucial. Facebook’s organic reach is already pretty low so the last thing that you want to do is post when everyone is working or sleeping.
Numerous studies have proven that the best times to engage with your audience is to post at 9 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm. These are the times that your audience is most likely to check for updates. Scheduling your posts ahead of time is an easy way to keep your audience engaged, even when you’re not online.
Utilize Facebook Ads
Due to Facebook's newest algorithm, only a small fraction of your audience will get to see the wall posts on your Facebook page. If you want to boost the engagement of your audience, you can promote it through page post story ads, which will help your posts reach more people.
The frequency that you post has been shown to have a significant effect on Facebook engagement. According to recent studies, businesses that post one or two times per day have 40 percent higher engagement rate than those who post more than three times per day.
What works for some businesses may not work for others when it comes to boosting audience engagement. But generally speaking these tips are a great place to start if you want to increase your engagement with your audience, and generate more targeted traffic to your business.
Promoting your business online in today's short attention span theater isn't easy. Even those companies that currently rank well on search engines or have a thriving social media presence still face stiff competition. But simply ranking fairly well and engaging with your audience on social media is going to cut it.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, an effective content marketing strategy is a must. Developing and executing an effective content marketing campaign takes a lot of work, but it will be well worth the long term benefits it can provide your business.
Every time you add a new post to your blog, it’s another page that Google is going to index. While having more pages doesn’t necessarily correlate to more search traffic, it does give you the opportunity to rank higher for more search queries. By targeting long-tail keywords and topics that your customers search for, you won’t have any trouble appearing in those searches with your archived information.
Higher Domain Authority
Producing more, higher-quality content will increase your perceived authority, expertise, relevance, and trust of your site and business. When your content gets more inbound links from external sources, your domain authority rises. A higher domain authority directly relates to higher search rankings.
Increased Conversion Potential
The primary reason to create content is to engage, inform, help, and bring value to your audience. Once you’ve taken care of this, you can use the remaining space to pitch what your business has to offer. When done right, this can lead to a noticeable increase in your conversion rate.
Improved Brand Recognition
The people that are reading your content are building an impression of your business. When visitors are looking for helpful information to a problem or an immediate need they have, and they find what they are searching for on your website – This builds trust and credibility, and you can quickly become an authority with your audience.
Decreased Marketing Costs
The only thing that content marketing will cost you is time (and effort) but it can provide a pretty darn good ROI. Effective content marketing isn’t a race. But you’ll get there. The sooner you start investing your time in a solid content marketing campaign, the sooner you'll begin to see results.
No matter what you are looking to achieve, whether its higher conversion rates, increased traffic, or a genuine relationship with your customers, there’s no reason not to include content marketing in your overall marketing strategy.
It’s easy to share images of entrées you serve in your restaurant. And who is really going to complain about your new fall fashion line for your boutique clothing store?
And if your business sells items like handmade crafts, you have definitely got an “in” on Instagram. But, does this mean that every business should consider using Instagram as part of their marketing strategy?
It IS possible for just about any business to use Instagram. But, some businesses may need to be more strategic than others in their approach.
.. And may end up with unfollows if you this approach.
If your business doesn’t translate well on Instagram, you may have to think of alternative methods to get your message out. For example, that same insurance agency could use images of disaster aftermaths and their company disaster relief team helping the people who were affected.
Then ask your followers to comment about their own experiences & encourage them to share their own images.
This is just one example of the many ways you can engage with your audience through Instagram, even if you don’t think you have post worthy content to share.
The more you get your followers involved, the easier it will be to get people to share. Also, the higher the influence of the people sharing, the greater the reach.
This is not to say you should just simply focus on influencers, but, they can definitely expedite the growth of your following.
Instagram is a new medium for small businesses but that is changing, and there hasn’t been a better time to “get in” when it’s good.
Do a little competitor research and find other insurance companies on Instagram (or whatever your business happens to be) and pay attention to the type of engagement that is happening. If It works for them, there is a good chance something similar can work for you.
Another option is to consider partnering with other businesses that are complimentary to yours. Connect with these businesses and brainstorm some mutually beneficial promotional ideas.
One idea is to offer special discounts for your partner’s business through your Instagram and your partner does the same for you. Keep in mind REFERRAL business is the BEST business. And both businesses benefit by tapping into a fresh customer base.
It’s important to not lose sight of the fact that Instagram is a social platform. Be less willing to sell and more willing to reach out and help others. Be involved in a meaningful way.
Find ways to give valuable content that makes it easy for followers to share it and you might find Instagram to be a great platform for your business… No matter what business that happens to be.
When it comes to establishing a strong foothold within your industry, it is absolutely necessary to build a unique and recognized brand that aligns with a clear and direct brand message.
Your brand message should clearly and concisely convey to potential customers what you have to offer, and how committed you are to providing quality and value.
But here’s the thing… “You aren’t the one who defines your brand message – your customers do!”
However, your customers will be the ones who decide what your overall brand image is based on their interactions with your business.
A well-defined, strategic brand message can build instant credibility in your industry, while helping you gain authority in your market and shape how customers perceive your business. It’s quite often the key difference between a well-structured online presence, and a faltering business that is struggling to connect with its audience.
So, how can you build a recognized brand that provides a clear message that resonates with your market?
Start by thinking about your target audience and what is most important to them. Once you’ve evaluated your audience, you will be able to position yourself so that you are directly addressing their most burning questions, concerns and needs.
To do this, you need to gather as much intel on your market as possible, which you can do easily just by looking at the competition.
What are other business owners and product developers offering your audience? What kind of products and services are they successfully selling?
Take things to social media and begin by evaluating social signals – which are clear indicators as to what is currently in demand, popular and selling well. The higher level of interaction, the more advertising dollars spent, and the more engagement; the better.
Knowing how to develop a strategic brand message begins by recognizing what is already successful and improving on it within your own business.
You want to become the go-to person in your niche market, the obvious choice when customers are considering who to turn to when making their purchasing decisions.
When you work towards building an unwavering presence in your market, starting with a strong foundation of trust, you’ll eliminate the initial barriers standing in the way of you connecting with your target audience.
To do that, you need to learn as much about them (your customers) as possible so that you can build a brand around what is most likely to capture their attention.
You’ll also be able to lower the barrier of resistance and leave a lasting impression on them. When you do that, they’ll come back to you time and time again.
And how do you do begin? It starts with what is called a U.S.P.
USP stands for unique selling proposition (or unique selling point), and it is critical that you establish what yours will be right from the start.
What U.S.P Really Means
Contrary to popular belief, a USP has nothing to do with logos, slogans or graphic design.
Sure, those are components of your overall brand that help people identify your products and recognize you, however, a USP is far more important than that when it comes to building your customer base, and breaking through the barriers of resistance that most businesses experience when they first appear in their market.
A USP is what truly tells potential customers how you are different from the competition. It helps to align your goals with your customer’s. Your USP tells them that you can be trusted, that you have their best interests at heart, and that you fulfill all promises. And most importantly, a USP ensures you aren’t a faceless brand.
This would include key factors that differentiate a product or service from its competition, such as the lowest price, an extended, no-risk guarantee, a unique or exclusive product or offer not found anywhere else, or the first-ever product of its kind.
Your USP should also demonstrate your dedication to satisfying customers, and provide reassurance that you stand by your products, and that there is no risk to your customer when doing business with you.
To start, think about what your product or service has that the competition doesn’t.
Consider ways you can highlight those differences and emphasize the benefits. Paint a clear picture as to why a prospect is making a wiser, sound decision to purchase your product instead of someone else’s.
Your USP is the driving force behind clearly illustrating value and giving potential customers a reason to purchase from you rather than the competition. That’s its one and only job.
Creating a unique brand that stands out in your industry and communicates to customers that you have something better to offer than your competitors can be an up hill climb at times, and nobody said it would be easy.
The key is to focus on defining how your brand is different than others and why customers should choose you over the competition and then going the extra mile for them.