How Small Businesses Can Compete with Big Companies


Small businesses have always struggled to compete with big companies and franchised businesses for a share of their market. We’ve all heard stories of the ‘Big Guys’ pushing out the smaller, local businesses.

For the most part, small businesses can be; Mom and Pop Shops, Sports Stores, Restaurants, Convenience Stores, Bakeries, Breweries, Golf and Country Clubs, Local chains… etc.

Compared to five years ago, small businesses now have more tools at their disposal to compete with big companies than ever. Many larger companies like Shopify and HubSpot are looking to close the gap, by catering to smaller businesses to offer services that will help them compete with big companies. This week, we’re going to tell you how your small business can not only compete with the big guys, but beat them at their own game too. So, what can you do to compete with big brands?


Seek out loyal customers (Build Personal Relationships)

The golden rule of success in any business is to always remember, “80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers.”

Loyal customers are the bread and butter of any business, but especially so for smaller companies. Let’s face it. As a small business, you probably don’t have the same marketing budget that a company like Samsung would. As a result, gaining new customers and attracting new audiences can be difficult.

However, as a small business, you have roots in the community. A neighbourly referral from one of your loyal customers could begin a string of new business through word-of-mouth. Small businesses have the power of personality. Big brands spend millions of dollars a year to build up their online personality, but as a small business owner, you have the power to create real, meaningful relationships with your customers. For free! That’s why networking and establishing your business as a neighbor in the community will help protect you from losing business to bigger companies. It will also give people a reason to choose your business over the big guys, which brings us to our next point!

Take care of your loyal customers and they will take care of your business. And if there’s one thing you can never have enough of, it’s loyal customers.


Find a unique selling point.

Our digital world is constantly evolving. With so much going on and so many advertising messages being thrown at our screens on a daily basis, it’s hard to filter through the noise and find a brand that truly connects with us. As humans, we want to belong. As consumers, we want to be understood and catered to. Your business will fail if you have nothing to offer that separates you from your competitors. It’s that simple. At some point, you have to face the music and realize that you cannot undercut prices like the big guys can. You also can’t supply to a larger market. What you can do, however, is offer something unique. You can offer something of relevance to your customers that not only shows them you care, but that you understand how to satisfy a need of theirs that nobody else has been able to do.

Just so you understand how earthshaking this knowledge is to the consumer, take a second to think about this. Imagine that you are at a rock concert from a well-known band that you’ve been dying to see.

Now, imagine this band shows up late (as many big name artists do, from time to time). You’d be disappointed right? You’d feel like you’ve been cheated out of your money. Well, that’s what we feel like when a big company lets us down.

On the other hand, imagine that next to this big concert, is a smaller band playing at a pub. The atmosphere is more pleasant, you’re not being suffocated by a group of teenagers trying to see over your head, and the band players are actually able to make eye contact with you. Not only that, but you decide to stick around after the show and you get to meet the band! A special privilege most people don’t get to experience at larger concerts. Imagine the feeling of belonging a fan would feel from meeting their band and talking to them without being talked down to or brushed off as ‘just a fan’.

In this scenario, the smaller band won business from the more popular band because of their ‘Unique Selling Point’. So, what makes your business different from the big guys? Do you offer services that they don’t? Find your USP and make it shine like the North Star: For everyone to see and admire.


Promote local.

People like to buy local. While online shopping and e-commerce sites offer much of what big box stores cannot, there is nothing that can replace the experience of trying out a piece of clothing or taking a car for a test drive. There are some things that people simply need to see and feel before they make a purchase decision. More often than not, large companies will not have stores in your area. If they do, they may sometimes need to order from a warehouse to refill stock. As a small business, your inventory will likely reflect the purchasing habits and trends of your regular customers.

The basis for any relationship, business or not, is trust. It’s natural to trust a brand in your area than one in another because it’s more relatable. A business that operates in your neighbourhood is much more likely to understand you as a consumer and for that reason, we tend to trust local shops more than big companies.


Be agile.

Big companies have more people in many departments, with layers upon layers of management to go through before any decision is every made. With smaller companies, you can usually speak to the owner or a manager directly for assistance with an issue.

Small businesses also have the power to be spontaneous and much more creative. Two things that are extraordinarily successful in the world of social media. If something isn’t working with your strategy, at least you won’t have to worry about getting an entire floor of executives to approve your decision before it’s too late.


The booming success of companies such as HubSpot and Shopify comes from helping small businesses to compete with larger scale companies by helping them set up online stores and email marketing strategies.

Online stores have been an excellent way for even the smallest companies get noticed and make sales with customers from all parts of the globe. They also provide a unique experience, which certainly beats going to the store on a rainy afternoon.


Advertise/Promote with Social Media

As we mentioned before, social media is the place to be if you’re a small business. With more reach than some of the biggest media companies in the world, it’s no wonder why almost 90% of small businesses are active on social media.

The landing page of your website or social media page is essentially the entrance to your place of business. If someone were to walk in your store or business, that first impression will be from your online presence.

We’re always searching. Whenever we are looking for a new car, house, set of cutlery, or what have you, we tend to do our research online. Now, when people search for your brand, they will have the opportunity to discover your story online. Be different. Be relevant. AND MOST OF ALL: PROVIDE VALUE.

Social Media is free to use and post your content, making it a cost-effective tool for small businesses with little to no advertising budget. If you want to take the next step and grow your reach, advertising with social media platforms have netted businesses some of the highest ROI’s (returns on their investment) in the industry, alongside video marketing and email marketing as the most efficient and effective strategies in the marketing world today.

The Battle for ROI. Google Ads vs Facebook Ads

With over 100 billion monthly search queries, it’s easy to see why paid search is at the top of many marketer’s to-do lists. The problem is, getting your paid search ad in front of the right people can get pricey. It’s not as easy as it looks, and you’ll often be competing against other businesses for popular keywords. As the owner of a small business, you have to make sure that you are getting the most return for every marketing dollar you spend. We’re going to break down the myths commonly associated with paid search marketing and reveal how social media ad platforms, such as Facebook ads, can actually take your dollar much further than you expected.

Google ads and paid search marketing are effective marketing strategies, nobody can deny that. However, there are a few common misconceptions around the level of success a paid search campaign can do for you compared to social. Here’s a short list of reasons why social media ads are more effective for small businesses than paid search ads:

Better Targeting Options

For years, marketers have been restricted to the confines of understanding audiences from basic demographic information. Facebook and all its genius allow us to actually target people based on their digital behavior, interests, and common connections. In addition to this, you can create Custom Audiences which allow you to track users on your site with a piece of code. Then, you can target those people who visited your site with retargeted Facebook ads.

Retargeting ads are much more effective because they are reaching an audience that has already shown an interest in your business by visiting your page. You’re also showing the potential customer that you understand their needs by reaching them with the right message, at the right time and the right place. This will build trust between the brand and the consumer, which means they’ll be receptive to more ads/promotions like this.

Improved Conversion Tracking

While Google AdWords and Facebook both have their own platforms for analytics and managing your ads, Facebook actually has more options for accurately tracking your conversions. Facebook allows you to look a little deeper into the consumer’s buyer journey. Facebook ads will track users that click on your ad, as well as which of those users that clicked also converted on your website into customers. To do this, you will have to add a piece of code on the page you want to track conversions for, but it’s quite simple and quick to do. You can then build audience profiles around your campaigns to learn how certain audiences react to a particular message.

It’s not to say that you can’t track conversions with pay-per-click or paid search ads, but you can do the same thing with Facebook ads. So, why spend more time tracking two platforms when you could achieve the same and more by using a more efficient and cost-effective platform for advertising?

Positive User Experience

Paid search ads or banner ads are intrusive. As a matter of fact, most people will look for the top organic results because they know that they did not pay to be there.Visual content is much more engaging than the text-only Google ads that have been around for nearly a decade. According to recent social media studies, visual content (content that has a photo or video element) is 40x more likely to be shared, liked, and commented on than static text content. Google serves text-only ads, and for that reason, you’re that much less likely to have a higher return on your ad spend than with Facebook ads.

The customizable nature of Facebook ads allows you really mix things up as a marketer. Instead of the same, text-only ads appearing in your search, you can choose a wide selection of ad formats. Unlike a banner ad that just kind of sits on the side of your page like an eye-sore, Facebook ads seamlessly integrate into the users home page news feed.

Not only is visual content more appealing, but research has shown that consumers are 60% more likely to remember the information of an ad with visual content than text-only ads.


Facebook ads often cost FAR LESS per CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions), resulting in more ad views, link clicks, and customers.

Let’s recap.

The fact is, people are using their smartphones for entertainment. They are also using them for research, daily news, and more. If your audience is already using social media, then it’s only logical to reach them where they spend the most of their time, right?

While paid search ads may not be the best way to maximize your ad spend, they are still effective when used in conjunction with your other marketing efforts. For small and medium-sized businesses, your dollars are best spent on social media advertising and the magic of custom targeting. This will get you a higher return on your investment for every dollar, and provide those new customers with a user experience that your competition could only wish for.

Remember, marketing a small business isn’t about casting the widest net possible. It’s about bringing in quality leads and then retaining the loyal customers who will become your main source of income.

Are You Guilty Of This Social Media Mistake? | Lemonade Stand Marketing

Owning a business, big or small, requires you to wear a lot of hats. You’ve got a lot on your mind, and there is always something more important that you could be doing. As a result, many business owners tend to treat their social media accounts like a lemonade stand; yelling about their promotions to the first person who will listen, undermining the value of their service with uninspired content, and spamming the reluctant few who have subscribed to your pages with the same messages over and over. Until they eventually unfollow your business’ page. We’re going to tell you how you can take your business to the next level and avoid damaging your online presence further.


Social media is constantly changing. Be proactive and stay ahead of your competition.


Long gone are the days where posting the same photos and weekly status updates could net you a steady growth of organic followers.

Watch your competitors for clues. Keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing isn’t copying if you’re doing it better than them.

Stay on top of trends. Social media is all about being at the right place, at the right time, with the right message. If there’s an event or trending topic that has to do with your business, make the most of it. Tailor your content to the audience and the context it serves. These are skills you will learn as you commit more hours to managing your profiles and pages, but it will undoubtedly pay off.


Stop telling. Start showing.


One of the most difficult aspects of creating high-quality content for your audience is to assess the value it provides. It’s easy to say that your promotions are of value to you because you’re the owner. Think about what action you want the potential reader or viewer to take. One of the best ways to capture anyone’s interest is to make them feel like they are missing out by not subscribing to your blog, your channels, or your mailing list.

Instead of simply creating an event page, think about how you can take it one step further and truly wow your audience and interest them in your event. Consider what sort of information might pique the interest of potential attendees. You could create an event page on your website that the event ad will lead to. If there’s a famous guest speaker in attendance or any other main attraction, use that to draw the masses.

If you’re a restaurant owner and you’ve got a new menu, don’t just post a picture of the new menu. SHOW US. Show us how these new and fantastic menu items can be used. Think of food pairings, or describing the history of a dish to give it a story. Let’s face it, who doesn’t love a good story? The point is, show your audience the value of your service. Put it to use.

Most people will search for a brand online before making any sort of purchase. With that information in mind, the content you make available to them will be your source for testimony to show the true quality and personality of your business.




While lemonade stands may have been a fun way to start a business as a kid, those tactics won’t work on a population consumed by digital content. Highly active brands are out there using every tool and resource available to create almost addictive content for their followers. We can all take some time to learn from these iconic brands to help us break away from lemonade stand marketing tactics. Social media isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution and is best used in collaboration with your other marketing channels. Used effectively, social media can be the most cost-effective marketing tool in your arsenal.

Make sure to follow us so you can be the first to know about new articles on marketing tips for small businesses, industry news, case studies and more!

The Power Of Email and Social

Social media is a powerful marketing tool on its own. Partnered with email marketing (average ROI of 3800%), these tools can become a magic marketing duo. Successful integration of email into your social media marketing strategy can greatly improve your SEO, generate leads, and create a brand experience that your audience will enjoy and remember.

Does this mean that you have to start buying mailing lists to contact people with your messages? NO! The genius of inbound marketing is to eliminate the nuisances of outdated marketing tactics such as purchasing lists and spammy messages. In this article, we’re going to show you how email and social can work together to create a successful, cohesive, and consistent inbound marketing strategy!


Cross Promote

Tease your audience about the perks of email by posting hints on social media as to what they’re missing out on. Vice versa, you can also send an email to your subscribers about the joys and benefits of following your social profiles.

Twitter and Facebook both have features that allow you to create a post or form for others to enter their information like an email address (lead ads). Just be sure to make the offer worthwhile! Contests and giveaways can go a long way here!

You can also add social buttons to the header/footer of your emails, similar to how you would add them to a blog or webpage. They should not be disruptive to the content and should provide a call to action that directs your audience from one brand touchpoint to another, taking them to the next step in your sales funnel.

Facebook also has a feature which lets you add a button to the top of your page. You can use this for many things, but it is especially useful as a “Sign up” button for people to enter their email address.



Line up your weekly/monthly content by topics or relevance so that email and social content do not repeat, confuse or distract users from your objectives. Coordinating your content with a calendar is a good way to make sure that your content is organized, not scattered. This also allows you to ensure that multiple teams or departments will be on the same page. Consistency is the name of the game here!


Custom Audiences

Did you know that you can use your mailing list to create a custom audience on Facebook? This will allow you to specifically target those in your mailing list with promotions and content through Facebook Ads. Additionally, you can add a Facebook Pixel to your website to track users who have visited your site and retarget them on Facebook. Using these custom audiences, your ROI for ad spend will be much greater and the cost of acquisition per customer will be much lower. This is because people who have either visited your website or subscribed to your mailing list are already interested in what you have to offer.

You can also upload subscriber lists to most social platforms like Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn.


Indirect Email Marketing

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have niche communities that are called groups or lists. Usually, these groups are public and anyone who is interested can join. Some of these groups have moderators and will not let marketers in, but if you have something of value to offer, they might let you post in the group. What does this have to do with email marketing?

When you have subscribed to or joined a group on a platform like LinkedIn, you will be sent a notification triggered by activity within the group via email. This is a unique opportunity for small business owners to really network with their audience on a niche level. With this method, you won’t have direct access to their email, but you’ll be getting into their mailbox indirectly.


Your Turn!

Try using these strategies to support your blooming online presence! The businesses that have the most success are the ones that plan everything from start to finish, and never give up. It can be overwhelming, but if you ever have any questions, you know who to ask!


Not sure if what you’re doing is working? Sign up for a risk-free Social Audit with 93 Agency and let us show you why we’re the go-to social media experts! Don’t forget to follow us on social media for your weekly dose of small business marketing tips.

Storytelling 101: A Guide For Small Business


New businesses often have common ‘startup’ issues. As an agency that specializes in finding and solving these common issues, we can tell you that most of those mistakes can be easily spotted on your online presence and through your content creation process.


What does storytelling have to do with your business?


First of all, storytelling is a form of entertainment. Naturally, as humans we feel the desire to be entertained. The beauty of storytelling is that it allows us to escape reality very briefly, detaching us from the stresses and responsibilities of everyday life. Social Media is often the perfect distraction from reality because of how quickly we can consume the content. If someone is surfing around social media, they are likely going to different pages, while watching their own news feed. Now imagine if you could get one of these users to stay in one place for an extended period of time. The chances of them making a purchase in the store is much higher, right?

That’s where storytelling comes in. You want to keep your guests (potential customers) interested so that they will stay in your store long enough to make a purchase. The same theory applies to your digital and social marketing. As consumers, we are thirsty for more content. At the same time, there are so many marketing messages directed at consumers that they don’t know what to look at. It’s our job as the marketer, to make sure that our message is the one they are paying attention to. How do we do that? Storytelling.


What story will you tell?


Every business has a story, the same way every person does. Where did you start? What problem are you solving? Incorporating elements that speak to the history of your brand and personality in your marketing strategy will ensure that your business is relatable. If your consumers can relate to your brand, then they will trust your brand. Brand storytelling is our way of letting the consumer know that we understand their personality, their lifestyle, and most importantly, what satisfies their needs. Just like a best friend would.

After all, if a consumer trusts your brand, they will be loyal. Everybody knows that 80% of your business comes from the loyal 20% of your customer base, so it’s no surprise that the secret to the long lasting success of any business is trust.


How do you build a story around your brand that people can trust and relate to?


People aren’t stupid. They know if it’s worth following a particular page or not because they can almost instantly tell whether or not the content they are looking at is valuable to them. That’s why the quality of your content is so important. It’s important to always focus on providing VALUE.

Imagine that your newsfeed is like the first chapter of a book. If I don’t like what I’m seeing in the first few pages/posts, then why would I subscribe to suffer through more boring and invasive messaging that I can clearly tell is meant to sell me on something? That answer is, I wouldn’t. And neither would you. Create content that you yourself would enjoy viewing. Ask yourself, is my content valuable in helping my customers with issues they may be having? What questions is it answering?

Then, build your story through a steady, consistent stream of content that highlights your brand’s best qualities. These qualities could be in the form of services, products, and more. The idea is to openly show them the things you care about. By doing this, you are showing that you care about more than just selling, and that you want to help them with their pain points.




Hopefully you have a better understand of why spamming your page timeline with promotions and advertisements will not build trust with your customers. What will build trust with your brand and customers is transparency and credibility. People will follow and support your business because they believe in your story. Remember to entertain, entertain some more, and then entertain again.

Why do you think we call a tissue a Kleenex? A copy machine a Xerox? Storytelling, my friends. Storytelling.

Maximize Social Media Ad Spend

Social Media marketing is one of the most cost-effective advertising solutions for small and medium businesses. However, if you’re not using it right, it can cost you significantly in time and headache and you might not see the ROI. Managing your ad budget can be tricky. How do you know how much you need to spend and where? What keywords to use? How do you know what’s working/ what’s not? Here are some simple best practices on how to effectively manage your ad budget.


Choose and Create an ad. Cast your net.


Sponsored vs. Promoted Posts


Facebook and Twitter ads: they’re all the same, right? Wrong! There is a huge difference between sponsored and promoted posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Promoted posts are organic posts uploaded to your page. They can be “promoted” by spending a little money to increase the reach of your post. A regular post will only reach a portion of the people who follow you, by default. Once you pay to promote it, the post will then reach people outside of your page’s following, or you can simply promote it to reach a larger percentage of your audience. The choice is yours!

-Promoting your top performing posts is a good way of testing the quality of your organic content if you think that you have too small of a following to generate a good measurement of engagement.

-It’s also good to use when you are running a contest and you have a post that you want to be shared. Paying to have that specific post reach way more people is an excellent tactic for this type of promotion.


Sponsored posts are posts you can create solely for the purpose of advertising. You can visit the Facebook Business page to see all the ad formats and their benefits. These sponsored ads are to be created for a specific audience and purpose. Ranging from website clicks to page likes, you can custom create a message that will appear on someone’s feed the next time they log on while your ad is running.

While sponsored and promoted posts will both appear on someone’s feed in the same manner, the two will achieve two entirely different objectives.


Start reeling in leads with repetition through retargeting.


The beauty of advertising with social media platforms is that you have the ability to custom create your audience.

-Facebook Pixels. This is a piece of code that you can add to a landing page on your website to track visitors. You can use this pixel code to then import an audience into Facebook’s ad manager. From there, you can actually target people who have recently visited your page (or been on a page that contains your pixel) with your ad. People who have visited your page are more likely to purchase from you because they are familiar with your brand and it is top of mind.


Analyze and Optimize.


To truly master managing your ad spend, you will need some practice with analytics. Every platform that you advertise with will have some form of analytics available to you. Use this information wisely, because it’s there for a reason. Whatever platform you are using, be sure to monitor your ads as they are running. Look for key differences and things that need improvement. These are some of the most common ways to test your ads:

-A/B Testing. This is a method that simply uses two or more different sets of ads to test which subtle changes are more effective than others. Some ad sets might be best tested to see which images are more appealing to your audience, or which caption is more enticing, etc. Then you can make sure you’re only spending money on the most effective ad.

-Audience testing. Test two identical ads but with different audience profiles to see if you are properly targeting your potential leads.

After testing your ad sets to find out which combination of settings will perform the best, it’s time to start investing in the ads that will net you the best ROI.


Let’s recap.

  1. Create Visibility Through Targeted Ads. (Cast the Net)
  2. Reel In Your Leads Through Retargeting
  3. Tweak with Analytics. (Invest in what’s working to Maximize ROI)


Are you thinking about getting started with advertising on social media? Sign up for a free consultation with one of our experts!

If you’re a small business owner and have a marketing problem you want to be answered, fill out a contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

As always, follow the conversation @93Agency on social media.

Video Marketing for Small Business

It’s no secret that video posts generate higher engagement on social media. In fact, over 60% of small businesses have added video marketing to their social media marketing strategies. So what’s new?

Over the last few years, brands have been steadily adopting video marketing strategies into their overall communications. In 2013, marketers predicted that video content would account for 50% of all internet traffic. It’s now 2017, and guess what? Video content now accounts for 80% of all internet traffic! The point is, if you’re a small business owner and your current marketing plan doesn’t include video content, you’re missing out. Big time.


Videos are social engagement magnets.

A Facebook video receives, on average, 135% more organic reach than a Facebook photo. Videos are also 6x more likely to be retweeted (Twitter) than a photo. Thanks to industry research like this, we can begin to see a trend in what kind of content elicits a response from your audience.

Most of the content that we see on social media is text-based. So, when someone finally sees a video on their feed they can’t help but focus their attention on it. From there, you just have to keep them interested.

Social media is much more cost-efficient than traditional forms of advertising such as; the local newspaper, magazines, radio, and especially TV. The cost of creating a video will depend, but getting your video to reach potential customers is free. If you want to spend a little on promoting your post to reach more people, you can do that as well. There are so many options that allow you customize your ads that overspending is virtually impossible.

Builds trust and improves brand image.

75% of users have visited a company’s website after watching one of their videos on social media. Videos are also easier to remember. In fact, 80% of users can recall a video ad they saw 30 days ago. 90% say that videos helped them in making purchase decisions.

Your brand is your personality. As a consumer, they will have a much easier time making a connection with that brand’s personality if they can see you, hear you, and understand you. As we mentioned before, roughly 2/3 of small business owners are using video marketing in their social media strategies. As a consumer, I’m going to view the brand that has put more effort into earning my attention as more credible.

Increases your SEO rankings.

Google loves video. You’re actually 53 times more likely to show up first on search results if your company website has a video embedded on the landing page! The reason for this is largely because consumers will spend more time on a page with video on it. By watching the video, they are staying on that page. This tells Google that the content is valuable and is a good place to send others searching for similar things. Since Google owns YouTube, the benefit of having a YouTube channel for your business is large.

To make sure Google picks up your company’s video on its radar is optimize your video title, tags, and description to match appropriate keywords that people might be using to find your video. Uploading your video to multiple channels will increase your ranking, as will having it shared by your followers. Higher engagement tells Google that others found your content useful. As a result, Google will rank your brand name higher than those with little engagement. By investing in video marketing that you are actually investing in SEO as well.

Easy to Digest.

Reading a product description or filling out a form can be highly tasking. It’s easier for a consumer to simply watch and listen to a video for 30-90 seconds before making a decision.

This decision will depend on your video’s purpose and what action you want your viewers to take. Your consumers want to see your product or service in a real life situation. Something that they can relate to. Videos leave less to the imagination than photo ads and thus, are less confusing and easier to digest. This is why most people can recall video ads over a print ad.


Video marketing is one of the best ways for small businesses to separate themselves from the competition. With some practice and a little bit of help, your next successful video could go viral in your local community!

Thinking about getting started with video marketing and have a few questions before you’d like to get started? Sign up for a free social audit with the experts at 93 Agency!

If you’re a small business owner and have a marketing problem you want to be answered, fill out a contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

Social SEO: The Basics

If you’re a small or medium sized business owner, you’ve probably done your own bit of research on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The problem is, many marketers will try to intentionally confuse you in order to seemingly make their services more valuable. In turn, businesses owners like yourself shy away from investing in social media management because most marketers aren’t able to provide value for these kinds of services in the first place. To remedy this problem, we’re going to give you some social media SEO Basics that you can easily apply to your current marketing efforts. No headache. No studying. Just a few minutes of your time on our blog and you’ll be on your way to becoming a social SEO wizard!

Believe it or not, SEO is actually a very simple concept. Imagine if Google was a person. Now, imagine that Google is that one friend we all have that is really smart. You know, the kind of friend that seems to know EVERYTHING?! Whenever you want to go somewhere or try something new, you go to this friend to ask for their advice. You do this because you know that whatever recommendation they give you, it was in due diligence.


“If Google Was a Guy”



While most comedy skits tend to exaggerate the truth, Comedy Central kind of hit the nail on its head. If you were this person who everyone trusted to be a meaningful and useful resource of information, you would feel an enormous amount of pressure to maintain your friends’ trust, right? Google feels the same way. Google wants to maintain your trust so that you’ll keep coming back to use their search engine. So when Google sends out little spies (also known as Spiderbots) to pages with your brand name on them, it wants to know that if these pages can be trusted to be useful to their friend who is asking for information. So how does Google verify that your brand name and all of its touchpoints are valid, reliable, and useful?

Similar to what you may have heard already, there are a few main things that Google will look for on your social media accounts that you can easily change on your own. These changes will ultimately help your SEO and enable your brand to show up higher and more often in searches.


SEO Keywords

When you’re creating a post for one, or a few, of your social media profiles, it’s important to look at the body copy (writing) of your caption, headline, and any other aspect of the post that contains text. To truly optimize each post, think about using a combination of “simple” and “complex” keywords that truly represent what that post is about, so it’s easy to find from a search engine. Remember, your ranking on social media searches are just as important as your Google ranking. With that said, you’ll need to optimize your page’s descriptions to attract your target audience. This will take some research to know what keywords they are using and where they are engaging. There are plenty of free keyword search tools that you can use to find out which keywords are the most used and even which words your audience is using in search terms.



You’ll see links in posts with articles or sometimes a video with a YouTube link attached to the bottom. If your brand is on Instagram, then the most common way to generate linked content is by posting a link in your profile description. This will usually be a link to your blog or website, also known as a “call to action.” Additionally, you can re-post trending or popular posts from influencers (with their permission) to generate an indirect link to their profile; further adding to the credibility of your content and links. Twitter will let you do a similar thing with “quote tweeting”. The reason high-quality links in your social content are important is because it gives your brand credibility. Credibility is the foundation for all things SEO. If Google can’t cite credible sources, then it’s not doing its job. Our job as social marketers is to make Google’s life (and yours) easier. When you have a moment, take a look at all of your social profiles and backcheck to make sure that your links are leading to other credible sources.


Social Mentions

Just like word-of-mouth, Google tends to trust a brand that has a lot of mentions from social media or other sites. Speaking specifically about social media, getting mentioned by 100 people is great! Getting 1000+ mentions is even better. Even better than that would be getting 1000+ mentions from followers and 5 mentions from influencers (usually verified accounts with large followings). Needless to say, these influencers are in big demand from marketers all over the world desperately trying to reach a specific audience. Mentions on social media exist in a few forms such as; reviews on apps like Facebook and Yelp!, getting tagged in a photo, getting your business location tagged in a photo, getting your account handle (ex: @93Agency) tagged, and hashtags (#93Agency), to name a few. That’s why constant communication with your followers and pushing relevant, useful content will help in attracting mentions.



Likes, shares, follows, mentions, tags… the list goes on. The truth is, you can never have too much engagement. That’s why there are so many ways to measure it – because it is so essential for providing value to businesses who invest in social media marketing. Engagement also shows that your brand’s content is valuable to its audience, and that shows “credibility” in Google’s eyes. In fact, when a post is successful in engaging your audience, chances are that they will share it with their social networks, and your brand will start to reach more people. As a result, you’ll gain a larger following and continue to build your brand name in SEO rankings. If you don’t have a large following, getting engagement on your content will be much more difficult than it would be for verified accounts with thousands, or even millions, of followers. But that doesn’t mean that your brand or business can’t leverage other accounts with lots of followers. Contests and giveaways are common ways of partnering with other social accounts. Sometimes partnering with a charitable cause or a community initiative can help attract a following and valuable engagement numbers, as well as genuinely be a great thing to do as a small business.


Did you find this article helpful? Let us know in the comments section! If you’re a small/medium business owner or someone who needs help with managing social accounts, contact us for a free consultation and social audit. If you have a question that you’d like answered in an upcoming post leave a comment down below! Don’t forget to follow us on social media @93Agency to hear about all our latest posts.


Using Facebook and Twitter to Grow an Event

We achieved an acquisition cost of $0.62. If your business is not taking advantage of Facebook advertising, you truly are missing out!

[divider align=”center”]

Summary: With social media being the first place that many people check first when looking for more information on an event or business we know that it is important to have a respectable audience size (more followers) to provide credibility to all those that find your business page. Facebook Advertising is an incredible tool for building a Facebook following. Twitter is also an equally impressive tool, especially in the case os B2B engagement. Now that the Ottawa Ski, Snowboard, and Travel Show has a large social media following, they are able to attract larger brands/exhibitors who view the Ski Show’s large social media audience as added value to becoming an exhibitor.


Background: When handed the logins for the Ottawa Ski Show social media accounts, the accounts had a combined following of less than 100 people. The event needed a boost to regain its title as the “go-to” event in the ski, snowboard, and travel community.



-Grow follower base

-Create “hype” leading up to the event

-Attain leads on new and larger exhibitors for the show



-Facebook Ads to promote the page, event, and important content

-Build Twitter audience organically through engagement

-Reach out to brands and businesses on Twitter to attain new exhibitors



-Using targeting tools on Facebook ads to ensure only potential attendees were being targeted (no ad spend goes to waste = increased ROI)

-Creating promotional videos that would be shared within the community and also by exhibitors with equally large followings (thus driving more people to the event)

-Share trending content to become the page to check for information on skiing, snowboarding, and travel

-Direct tweeting

-Cross-promoting attendees, allowing them to reach our audience



-Event grew tremendously in both exhibitors and attendees (line-up out the door waiting for the doors to open for the event)

-Event received media coverage

-Exhibitors and attendees became more engaged, posting their photos and tweets about the show, which helped the show reach even more people year over year

-Show is a yearly “Must Attend” event



-Develop a plan well in advance (6 months out from event in this case)

-Start promoting early, businesses (exhibitors) and attendees alike plan their schedules ahead

-Create value. For exhibitors, the value is the large social media following and engaged community. For the community, it is the informative posts and articles, and engaging content

-Use advanced targeting with FB ads (Monitor it closely so you can adjust as you go)

-Build a community and “they” will come

-Twitter still is a dominant B2B tool

[divider align=”center”]

Organically Building an Engaged Following

Summary: We took it 0-100 (1000, actually)!


Background: Greco Fitness, an amazing Ottawa success story (grew from 1 location to 13 in the Ottawa area alone, and now 1 location in Toronto) was acquired by a group of investors In September of 2016. 93 Agency is fortunate to have been hired to lead social media and digital marketing efforts as the brand looks at growing across North America. Upon being given the task of the social media accounts, we were tasked with creating and growing the Greco Fitness Brand. Each Greco Fitness franchise has their own locational Instagram account, however, there was no corporate account for Greco Fitness. We wanted to quickly create and grow this, as Greco Fitness recognized Instagram as an effective community building and lead generation tool. It should be noted: the following was all built without any paid ads or automated tactics.



-Increase brand presence on social media, and create + enforce brand consistency

-Increase leads for current Greco Fitness locations. (Once potential members get inside a Greco location, they know why Greco Fitness is such a great success and can truly change their lives. We just need to get them in there!)

-Create a #GrecoCommunity where members, trainers, and all stakeholders are engaged and enthusiastically promoting the Greco Fitness brand



-Build followers organically through engagement

-Create and share content that is well branded, easily recognizable, and engaging



-Use engaging CTAs (Call to actions)

-Re-post and/or recognize member contributed content

-Build audience through pro-active engagement

-Use photos of ACTUAL Greco Members for graphics and promotional photos



-Instagram following at time of this case study: 1018 (built from 0 over 4 months)



-Stay true to branding, but always be human

-Use engaging CTAs in captions

-Engage with the community (provide recognition)

[divider align=”center”]

[ux_image id=”449″]

[ux_image id=”450″]

Prior to when we began work on the Greco Fitness Facebook page, the average reach per post was 520 people. Since we have been managing the page, the average reach per post is now 842. That means EACH daily post is reaching 322 more people on average than before, equalling a 161.9% increase in reach.