Facebook has over a billion users worldwide, they went public, and their stock price fell 50% in the first year. Why? Because they were not making money off of their users (ad sales were low). So, instead of charging for their network, they made it so that brands using the network had to use Ads to reach their followers. Not only is it necessary now to build a network of followers, but in order to have them see your posts in their feed, you must pay to promote it to them. The good news is, when you pay to promote a post, it also reaches out beyond just your brands followers, but also goes to all of their friends as well, greatly expanding the voice of your messaging.
Once a brand has 100 likes on their Facebook page, they can “promote” a post on that page and it gets seen by all 100 followers, plus is seen by those followers “friends” (something that does not happen without promoting the post). It is a good strategy to promote a post that is generated from the brands own web site, and is of broad interest to many different types of followers and their friends, as this will generate more clicks on the brands website, increasing SEO results.
Do everything possible to get to that magic 100 likes. We do this by inviting people to join the page from the owners personal Facebook list of friends, sending email invites through the page owners email contacts, and by running a paid “like” campaign though Facebook. The paid campaign is seen by the friends of people that already like the page, and because people like to be included in things, the likely hood of someone liking the brands page just because their friend does, is good.
In the end, it is important to remember that Social Media is nothing more than a billboard above your business online. It rarely drives sales directly, but is more liken to being in the phone book in the 1950’s. If people had a phone, and they wanted to call a business, they way they found you was in that phone book. Today, more than 80% of all business transactions begin online somehow, the more visible you are in the “phone book” the more likely they will call you.
Social Media classes held monthly in San Diego, visit Let's Do Lunch, Social for more info.
The first internet connection was made between two computers miles apart in 1965 and world internet started in 1969. Also in 1969, folks now known as ‘hippies’ loved shag rugs for their luxurious texture, cool colors and warmth, and when paired with the latest walnut shaded wood paneling on the walls, this made for a contemporary home with style. And if you were a successful business person at the time, you had business cards (often printed on plain white paper, but big wigs used a linen textured card stock), if it were a family run business you likely also had the words “& Sons” after your name (even if you had daughters), you had a store front on a popular street in your neighborhood, people knew you by name, and had known you for years. Marketing meant to have a good name and reputation, a clean store, and stand by your word, and maybe the occasional ad in the newspaper so folks could be notified of your spring sale. Easy.
If you are still using a linen card stock on your business card, you are not going to like this article , unless your ideal customer is post retirement age, then I stand corrected and you have hit the mark. You are reading this article on the Internet, so it’s importance is obvious.And I also must share that I adore late 60’s and early 70’s fashion, home furnishings and music. In fact, my home is decked out in artifacts from this era, however my other half draws the line with the shag rugs and paneling, it’s a compromise we are happy with.
When a new client asks me how to increase their online presence, I must start at the same place, the very same place I start when dealing with a large corporate client, or a small business, or non-profit. I must ask the important questions, like who is your target audience, what is the one thing you want them to do, what are your competitors doing that is working, and how do you present yourself as having more value than them. Basic marketing 101, and stuff that would have been asked by a good ad man back in 1969 as well. But now our storefront is our web site, our word of mouth is social media, and our reputation is Yelp. Newspapers are replaced by Google ads, our business cards are digital, and our competitors are global. The only constant is standing by your word.
I want to give to you the basic steps of what it means to have an online presence in 2014, how they tie together, and how it makes you successful. No frills, just the facts. So light up the fondue pot and pour yourself a brandy, here it is:
1. Have a web site.
I know it’s simple, but it still happens. I’ve had musicians, retail stores, and non-profits tell me they don’t have one and they don’t need one. Your web site is your FRONT DOOR; it is your storefront. This is a global market, and even if you cater to your local neighborhood, 95% of our customers are going to look online to find information about you. Put your best foot forward and have a good-looking site, clean and neat, easy to get around, with minimal, relevant text (just the facts). Wordpress sites are my favorite for lots of reasons, including cost, but you need a designer to help you. Even a template site from someplace is better than nothing at all. So get a website.
2. Create Blog Posts (like this one)
Talk about your specials, events, and happenings. This gives you content you can share to your audience, your “word of mouth” topics, if you will. If you skip this part, you have a storefront that never unlocks the front door. Blog articles get people to find you, and let them get to know you. Topics should relate to your target audience, and make them understand you or a mutual interest. Post at least once per week, more if you really want success. This is another reason why I recommend a Wordpress based web site, they are user friendly, and easy to find on a Google search.
3. Create Social Media Profiles
Facebook is the largest social media network in the world. Create a Business Page (not just a personal page), and ask your friends to ‘like’ it. There are various ways to build your audience on Facebook, here is one covered in anther blog , but bottom line is to get your friends to like the page, and start talking to them. Imagine this is the 1969 version of you walking down Main Street saying hello to everyone, chatting with friends, other business owners, commenting on their news, sharing relevant things with your own audience, and posting those blog posts mentioned in #2 above. Here is where your content starts to help drive traffic to your storefront. Twitter is good for some businesses as well, but which ever you choose to communicate through, stick to it, and post every day. Also utilize YELP reviews, though this can open a bag of worms if your company has customer service issues. Better to tackle it head on, listen to the reviews that come in, and take them to heart. Many make their buying choices around this one site alone.
4. Create a Newsletter
Of all the online marketing techniques, email is still the number one conversion tool over all. But email has a skill set. First of all, never, ever sell me anything in it. WHAT? That’s right, inform me, entice me, entertain me, but don’t try and sell me anything, or I’ll unsubscribe. And when you do send emails, use an email service like Constant Contact, or Mail Chimp, these sites make it so your email has a better chance against spam filters, looks more professional, and you can track the open rate to see how you are doing. When at all possible, send your subscribers back to your web site for more information about things, so they visit your front door. Remember blog posts? This is a perfect reason to tease them in an email to read all about it on your web site.
5. Stay Consistent
Once your web site is up, keep it updated. If you have staff changes, update the site accordingly, if you have a new special, change the site accordingly, post new blogs once a week on topics relevant to your audience/customers, and you will start to receive hits from search engines. You just can’t leave your site static; search engines find it more relevant with fresh content. Especially with social media sites, once you stop posting you immediately stop appearing relevant. If I go to your Facebook page because a friend recommended you, and I see the last post was wishing me a Happy New Year, I may wonder if you New Years resolution was to shut down and close the doors. You must create content on your site and distribute it to the world, this is called Content Marketing, and it woks. So blog. Period.
As with anything there are advanced processes involved in each of these areas. But the steps are the same at any level. Storefront, visibility, conversations, and repeat. The times, they are a changin’.
In an intense 4 hour workshop, you will learn what
Facebook and Twitter really do for your business:
This fun, intense workshop is chock full of the latest and most cutting edge solutions to your online marketing needs. You will interact with other business owners in San Diego and Orange County, and enjoy a free catered lunch on us to boot.
Registration is limited to 5 per class and fills quickly, email to confirm your attendance and we'll send you a form for payment.
Next class is Thursday February 21st 2013, from 9:30-2:30 in Normal Heights. Registration is $395 at time of sign up. Cancellations accepted until 5 days prior to date of event, and subject to a $25 handeling fee.
Click Let's do Lunch, Social! to register