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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 The genius of inbound marketing is to eliminate the nuisances of outdated marketing tactics such as purchasing lists and spammy messages.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.

 

Coordinate

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.

 

Conclusion

 

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.

Conclusion

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”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuOBzWF0Aws

 

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.

 

Links

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.

 

Engagement

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!

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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.

 

Goals:

-Grow follower base

-Create “hype” leading up to the event

-Attain leads on new and larger exhibitors for the show

 

Solution:

-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

 

Tactics:

-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

 

Results:

-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

 

Take-aways:

-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

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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.

 

Goals:

-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

 

Solution:

-Build followers organically through engagement

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

 

Tactics:

-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

 

Results:

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

 

Take-aways:

-Stay true to branding, but always be human

-Use engaging CTAs in captions

-Engage with the community (provide recognition)

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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.

Increasing Engagement on a Budget

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Summary: When working with small and local businesses who typically have different budgets than the average marketing agency client, creative and strategic thinking are key. We were able to create cost effective content, including viral videos and promotional photography that got the job done! Going in with a plan ensures optimal use of resources and the best results!

 

Background: Kunstadt Sports, a long-term social media management client, became interested in using media rich custom content, such as professional photo and video, to promote their 3 Ottawa locations, the products they carry, and the events they take part in. This content would be developed and implemented into the existing social media strategy we created and manage.

 

Goals:

-Create custom content (photos and videos) that would drive engagement and increase brand awareness and reach

-Showcase the amazing company culture Kunstadt Sports has

-Increase shares on Facebook page, which will, in turn, increase the reach of the content to relevant potential customers

 

Solution:

-Photo and video content using Kunstadt Sports employees as the “models” and actors/actresses

 

Tactics:

-Boosted video content using Facebook Ads to reach more potential, and local, customers

-Strategically used photo content for promoting different events, products, and general brand awareness (Each photo shoot provided content for months)

 

Results:

-Engagement increased (more likes, comments, and clicks)

-Shares went through the roof, especially on video content!

 

Take-aways:

-Visual content is key

-Create something relatable and then come up with an extreme example

-Stay true to branding/company culture (let it shine through in the content)

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Click here to read more about our work with Kunstadt Sports!

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A Community Within a Community: How Social Media Creates Loyal Customers

As a business owner, you may be familiar with the 80/20 rule. 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers. That fraction represents, for the most part, loyal customers. When deciding what resources in your budget go where, focus on your ‘loyals’. Appeal to their wants and needs. The question is, how do you figure out who your loyal customers are? There are many ways to do this. However, the most cost effective way is to publish content and listen.

Opinion leaders: The more they engage, the more you learn.
Whenever you post something to your accounts, take the time to read through comments. Often times, the top comments are good indicators of an opinion that has substance. Think about it, if other people have liked the comment, they probably support and/or agree with that opinion. You can also gauge the quality of your content by the number of shares and likes it receives. After listening to your audience over an extended period of time, you will learn what works and what doesn’t. Once you start to consistently push content that is engaging a lot of your followers, you can begin to really look into who is contributing the most. These are your opinion leaders. They will push your content to their personal channels and the sharing will continue, depending on the share ability of your content. This is why it is important to listen to your audience and find what content receives the most engagement.

A sense of belonging.
As humans, we want to feel like we belong. A sense of purpose, if you will. It’s important to create an atmosphere on your social accounts that breeds engagement. Most people don’t like to talk to strangers, right? A brand is no different, unless you build trust by pushing relevant content and encouraging engagement. When someone does decide to engage with your brand, be sure to commend their trust in you by liking their comments and replying to them. Nobody likes to be left out of anything fun so strive for exciting content that breeds engagement. The comments and shares will snowball, but once enough of your followers are engaging with your content regularly, you have created a community of loyal customers that not only enjoy interacting with your brand, but also can’t wait for the next chance to do so.

User-created content.
Nothing says community like having followers that favour your brand enough to create content like photos or videos of them interacting with your business. Not only is this a good look for your brand in the eyes of your other consumers, but it is also a way for you to show your appreciation of their hard work on a public platform. Reposting their content to your accounts will give them a sense of accomplishment. If they cared enough to create something relevant for your audience and tag you in it, then it’s worth your time to tell them they did a good job. Like a parent recognizing their child’s hard work. We could all use a little bit of gratification once in a while. If they feel like their contribution did not go unnoticed, they are more than likely to post again and keep coming back to comment because they will feel like they are a part of the brand and the community at large. User-created content is also another surefire way to learn exactly what your audience cares about.

Test your content, not your audience.
For many business owners, monetizing every single one of your promotions may sound like a good idea at first, but have you ever conducted a test to see which kind of promotion your audience would react to the best? Initially, test two versions of the same promotion on your audience. Be sure to post the two versions at similar times. The one with the most engagement is more likely to do better when you do decide to monetize it. You can also make subtle changes to one version of the promotion and keep testing to see which changes affect the engagement and how. For instance, sometimes all you need to do is change the background colour or font of a promotion to see a difference. Be careful not to make too many changes and post the same promotion to your page over and over. Nothing is more cringe worthy than a cluttered social media feed.

Forget surveys. Just ask.
Trying a new product? Promotion? You’ve probably heard the expression that two heads are better than one. Right? Whether you own a business with one or 100 employees, you can never have too many opinions, and who better to ask than the people paying for your product or service? For example, show a picture of a potential service, promotion or product you wish to implement and ask for their opinions? Often times, you will get a simple yes or no. Now that Facebook has implemented reactions to their metrics, you can gauge exactly how little or how much your audience likes your content. Not only this, but your audience will feel involved in the process, making them more likely to purchase your product or service, and recommend it to others.

Interested in hearing more? Contact us at getsocial@93agency.com or follow along on social media at @93agency.

Social Media Marketing: Luxury or Investment?

Social Media Marketing: Luxury or Investment?

Written by: Natalie Allport
Busting the Myth

We’re often faced with the situation of clients who are hesitant to make the financial investment towards social media marketing. It’s a common mis-thinking among small and medium business owners that social media is a luxury, when in fact, it’s a necessary investment. Whether you’re starting up, are highly successful, or struggling to make ends meet, social media can provide you with unmatched ROI. Not only that, but social media is a NECESSITY for achieving credibility, superior customer service, and remaining competitive. Just as you would budget for office or commercial space, social media should be worked into your base monthly expenses. We see many businesses from start-ups to established organizations focusing their budgets on marketing that produces little to no ROI. Simply because they’ve always done it that way, their competitors do it that way, or they simply are misinformed. It’s not whether your business can afford social media marketing, it’s whether it can afford not to.

Social Media vs Traditional Marketing

Is most traditional marketing outdated and expensive? Yes. Is there still room for traditional marketing in your marketing mix? Yes. However, which should you focus on first? Social media (digital marketing) or traditional marketing? Which is the more important investment? We’ll let the data do the talking.

In terms of cost per thousands metrics (CPM: how many $ you need to spend to reach 1000 people) there is no comparison to social media. In fact, social Media costs HALF as much as the next most effective traditional marketing channel.

Credit: Lyfe Marketing

 

Additionally, there are hidden costs to traditional marketing, such as advertising costs increasing during peak times and large changes in pricing due to production expenses rising.

Social Times Blog has a great Infographic that shows more statistics and key differences. You can check it out here: http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/social-vs-traditional-media-marketing/466873

Ultimately some of the key differences can be outlined in the following chart:

Here’s a great infographic which compares content (digital) marketing with traditional marketing:

Credit: Marketo & Digitalist Magazine

Credit: Marketo & Digitalist Magazine

As times change, so does the way we do business. This is why social media is becoming THE main marketing channel for business of all types and sizes, including both B2B and B2C organizations.
Necessity

Why do you need social media? Out of necessity, of course.

First, social media provides your business with increased credibility. With a majority of end users or consumers going to social media pages prior to even visiting websites (and needless to say, before visiting your physical location or calling/emailing), it is important to have a professional presence on social media. Having professionally managed, aesthetically pleasing, and popular social media accounts is comparable to having a dentistry certification on the wall of a dentist office. Better than a review, a professional and strong presence shows that you are a credible tried and true business.

Additionally, social media can and should be used as a base for any other marketing campaigns you may have (traditional or not). All marketing campaigns should send people somewhere, why not send them to social media where they can positively share their experiences or post about the campaign? Imagine asking people to post photos of themselves with your product but having nowhere for the campaign to link to. This is where you can add a #hashtag and ask users to @tag your account(s) where people can find more great content, information, and links.

From a consumer perspective, I personally would be hesitant to check out a business for the first time that does not have a strong social media presence. I almost never go to a business’ physical location without checking out their products, services, reviews, and content on social media prior. The truth is that we are in the digital age, where people like to know everything before they go anywhere or do anything. If the ice cream shop down the road has a stronger social media presence than yours, then chances are I am going to go there rather than yours, despite whether you have the best ice cream in the world or not.

Lastly, social media is a necessity for providing superior customer service. We receive several comments, messages, and reviews everyday on client accounts which we are responsible for monitoring, engaging with, and responding to. Engaging with customers in this way develops long-term customer retention. In the case of negative postings, through simply listening to a customer complaint the issue can be resolved. We recently had a scenario where a customer wrote that he received untimely and unprofessional service at the physical location and would NEVER return. We responded within minutes thanking him for sharing his experience so we (our client) can improve upon this and letting him know that this is not what we (again, our client) strive for in the way of customer service. The customer was quite surprised at receiving a response and noted that the response was worthy of a second chance! From never returning to a second chance within minutes!
Generating Sales

It all comes down to this. Can social media provide a return on investment? Quite simply, yes it can. With millions of local and worldwide social media users, potential customers are out there. Using targeted advertisements and informative posts can help you reach and engage with these potential customers. We know how to take advantage of social media to generate leads, increase sales, find and engage customers, and drive traffic to your business.
Ready to Make the Investment?

Is your handshake strong or weak? As your online first impression, social media is integral to the success of your business. No matter your size, industry, or goals, we can help you achieve your social media and digital marketing goals in creative and cost effective ways.

I’ll leave you with this:

“You can’t win the lottery without buying a ticket. Thinking of social media as a luxury that you can only afford ONCE you’ve reached your goals is like hoping to win the lottery without yet buying a ticket. You have to make the investment first.” -Daniel Sesiakin
Ready to dive in? Email us at getsocial@93agency.com!