For example, if you run a fitness group, you might want to have “Motivation Mondays”. On Mondays, post a short Live video of yourself hitting the gym or demonstrating proper form on gym equipment. On Tuesdays, your theme might be Transformation Tuesday. Invite your members to share old pictures of their bodies before they became fit.
Keep in mind that while daily posts like the ones above can be awesome, they also have the potential to get old over time. Stay in tune with your group and when a meme stops getting engagement, try something new instead.
Interview Your Members
Another way to drive engagement in your group is to highlight your members. Pick one member a week and do a mini interview with them in your group. You can use a service like BeLive.TV to do this seamlessly with Facebook Live.
Choose to feature members that will inspire your group. For example, if your group is in the personal finance niche, then you may want to interview a member that just paid off a huge amount of debt or a member who just bought their first home. Ask fun questions during the interview and look to deliver some value, too.
Be sure new members are participating soon after joining. You can do this by welcoming the new member. Be sure to tag them in the post so they see it. In your welcome post challenge the new member to make an introduction.
Unless your group is focused on business or leadership topics, your new members won’t be posting long bios. So ask them a question related to your industry. For example, if you run a knitting group, ask new members, “How did you get started knitting? What do you do with most of your knitted creations?”
Guess what that means?
The free wi-fi you offer your customers is also – drum roll, please – a terrific marketing opportunity. Handle it right, and you can use that connection to build your list, gather information about your customers, and even improve your customer service. Here’s how.
What is Wi-Fi Marketing?
Wi-fi marketing is simply marketing that’s targeted to a customer’s mobile device. When you make your wi-fi available to customers, you can begin collecting information about them even before they get access.
Once you have their information and they’re online with you, you can target them with ads, including both general ads and offers tailored specifically to their behavior when they’re in your store.
As you might expect, wi-fi marketing is best suited to businesses with a physical location. If you own a restaurant, bar, club, or retail store – or any other business where customers come to see you regularly – you can benefit from using wi-fi marketing.
Using Wi-Fi Marketing to Build Your List
Do you have an email list? Granting customers access to your wi-fi is a great way to build your list.
You could open up your wi-fi without gathering information about your customers, but why would you? Most people will be willing to give up their email address to get some free wi-fi. You can tether your wi-fi login to a simple opt-in box that asks for the customers email address and first name.
Once you’ve got their email addresses, you can use them to send promotions and relevant content that will help turn them from one-time visitors into loyal customers.
Another option, if you’re using SMS marketing (or want to) is to ask customers for their mobile number instead of (or in addition to) their email address. A word of caution, though – I’ve told you before that adding one extra field to a form can decrease your conversion rate. My advice is to pick either an email address or a mobile number and go from there.
Wi-Fi Marketing Ideas to Try
Building your list is only the start of what you can do with wi-fi marketing. Here are some other ideas that you may want to consider.
Collect Customer Analytics
Having access to your customers’ mobile devices means that you can collect a huge amount of data about them without any fuss. Wi-fi marketing allows you to collect:
Social Wi-Fi Marketing
Another option is to allow customers to log in to your wi-fi using their social accounts. You’ve seen this on lots of sites, I bet. Many customers will choose the convenience of logging in with an existing account over creating a new one.
You might wonder about this one. After all, it doesn’t allow you to collect email addresses or mobile numbers. Is it really worthwhile?
I’d say it depends. If your social media game is strong – and it should be! – then you can use your wi-fi login as a way of encouraging people to follow your social media accounts.
When people follow you on Facebook and Twitter, you get access to both demographic information and their personal interests. That data can help you do a better job of targeting them with marketing and offers.
Wi-fi marketing offers you the ability to provide relevant and useful information about your business and products directly to your customers.
A lot of products have a learning curve. Whether you’re introducing a new product or offering up ideas of ways to use an existing one, your wi-fi marketing can help you prime your customers to buy from you.
It’s also a way of engaging with your customers on an ongoing basis. People like to feel connected to the brands they use. You can do that in a way that doesn’t seem pushy by giving people access to your wi-fi connection.
Think of it as wireless lead nurturing. Every person who walks into your business could turn into a long-term customer. Wi-fi marketing can help you move them down that road.
Provide Customer Service
In an ideal world, every customer would be thrilled with you and they’d buy from you for the rest of their lives.
But we don’t live in an ideal world. You know that.
Wireless marketing can allow you to follow up with customers after they leave your business and gather information about their experience. For example, you could send them a survey to complete. Or, you could simply touch base with a quick email or text.
Either way, you’re letting them know that you care about them and their experience – and that you’re willing to do what’s necessary to turn them into loyal customers.
When people visit your business regularly, it’s a good idea to reward them. With wi-fi marketing, rewarding them is easy.
Because you can track who accesses your wi-fi, you’ll be aware of when a customer visits you more than once, buys something, or makes multiple purchases.
You can use that information to target them with a thank you email or text that includes a coupon for their next visit or an exclusive offer based on their buying behavior.
This kind of direct marketing is hugely effective because it makes each customer feel valued. It’s a great way to turn a one-time buyer into a loyal customer.
Wi-Fi isn’t just for you…
You can use it to connect with customers, gather valuable data about them, and give them incentives to buy from you again… and again.
All the tools you need to grow, in one place, for absolutely free! Sign me up!
You joined a group around a common interest and you wanted to discuss it with other people. But instead, all you’re getting is a string of lame ads.
Avoid Spamming Your Members
Don’t make the mistake of doing this to your Facebook group. You may feel that because members joined they must be interested in your products or services. But that’s rarely the case. Most members join Facebook groups looking for community. They want to find people that love the same things they love.
So, how do you avoid becoming a walking advertisement in your own Facebook group? Simply share valuable content. Give your members actionable tips they can implement today. Post a link to a news article that affects your niche.
Focus on Serving
Business owners that spam their audience do it because they haven’t learned the value of serving their tribe. Instead of focusing on how they can create a great customer experience, they’re focused on how they can make that next dollar.
You can set yourself and your group apart by serving your tribe. Give your members special perks they can’t get anywhere else. For example, if your group is all about calligraphy, create a cheat sheet that covers what a beginner needs to know to get started.
Create a special report that highlights the best tools for newbie calligraphers. Include affiliate links where appropriate then share this resource with your Facebook group.
Protect Your Members
Nothing’s worse than a thriving Facebook group that’s been invaded by spammers. As a group creator, you need to personally vet every new member of your group. Only allow people who are genuinely interested in your niche to become a member.
Download my free 18 point checklist to help your group grow the right way! Let me know what you think of it and this post in the comments! I love hearing from you.
All you need is a mobile phone and a strategy – and we can help with the strategy part.
You may not know that Instagram has some very cool features that local businesses can use to connect with their existing customers and attract new ones. Here’s what you need to know.
Instagram Has Millions of Users, Insert Millions of people
Instagram isn’t as big as Facebook – but so what? As of 2018, there were more than 77 million active Instagram users in the United States, and one billion users worldwide.
That’s a lot of potential customers
And while you might be tempted to dismiss Instagram as being too young for your target audience, you should know that 35% of all adults in the United States have an Instagram account. Do you really want to ignore more than a third of all adults?
Of course, there are some businesses that are better suited to Instagram marketing than others. Service providers may not find the same value in Instagram as businesses that sell photographable products. But, if you have a product that people may want to buy online, then it’s worth it to give Instagram marketing a try.
In the past, the only way to sell products on Instagram was to include a link in your bio. Understandably, online retailers weren’t thrilled with that option. It required the user to click on a profile pic to be redirected to the bio, and then click again to be redirected to a sales page. Not ideal.
Now, that’s all changed. Instagram has recently added a Shoppable Posts option that allows small business to link directly to a sales page from a post. In other words, if you take a picture of one of your products, you can post it to Instagram and include a direct link to the product on your website.
Big change, right?
Here’s what you need to know to get going with Shoppable Posts.
First, as of the time I’m writing this, Shoppable Posts are only applicable to organic posts. That means you can’t promote a Shoppable Post. To get more traffic on your posts, you’ll need to make judicious use of hashtags to make sure that potential customers can find your content.
You’ll need to take some important steps before you can take advantage of Shoppable Posts. Here they are:
Once you’ve taken these steps, Instagram will review your account and if you meet them, you’ll be given access to Instagram Shopping features. You can expect the review to take several days, but in some cases it can take longer if your account requires additional review.
When you’re approved, you’ll receive a notification. At that time, you’ll be able to activate product tagging in your account settings.
Tips for Using Shoppable Posts
One of my favorite things about Shoppable Posts is that you can tag multiple products on each post. Here’s how it works.
On an individual photograph, you can tag up to five products. To do it, simply click on the product you want to tag. You’ll get a search box where you’ll need to enter the name of the product you want to tag. (The menu is linked to your Facebook product catalog.)
Once you’ve tagged all of your products, your post will be updated. People who view your photograph will see a link with the name of the product. When they click on it, they’ll be taken to your sales page where they can buy the product directly from you.
Even better, you can tag up to 20 products in a carousel. If you’ve got a new line of products that you want to feature, you can tag a bunch of them in one carousel.
One of the most important things you’ll need to do when you create a Shoppable Post is to choose the right hashtags. You can add up to 30 to each post. Make sure to include:
The final thing you need to know is that once you have posted nine Shoppable Posts, you’ll get a shopping icon that will show up on your bio. Your products will also be added to the Instagram Store, where users who are interested in shopping can view your products along with others that are available on Instagram.
As you can see, Shoppable Posts are easy to create once you go through the initial sign-up process. They’re a simple way to attract new customers.
What are you waiting for?
Head over to Instagram, create your business account, and get started on the verification process. Your products will be seen by a whole new audience – and you’ll be able to attract new customers, increase your sales and – most importantly – add to your profits!
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.