How to get your employees on board with your company’s social media strategy

Turning followers into sales starts at home.

If you’re not getting your staff to buy in to your social media plan, you’re missing out. Social media advocacy by employees is vital to success. When people receive messages from their friends and coworkers, they’re much more likely to pay attention and trust what they’re being told. In fact, when your staff shares content, it beats company-generated content in engagement eight times over! Even better, it’s re-shared 25 times more regularly.

So now you know why you need to bring the team into the fold, but how do you do it?

It starts with the type of environment you’ve created at the office. Forcing employees is never a good idea. Instead, you want to create an ambiance in which they want to share. Staff who are engaged and happy, and who believe in the business, will be motivated to post and tweet about all the cool stuff you’re doing.

Make sure everyone is on the same page. Has your staff been trained on the social basics? Avoid making assumptions about what employees know. Get them up to speed on the various social platforms. Then provide them with clear guidelines on what they should discuss about the company.

Even the most passionate person will lose enthusiasm – and follow-through – if the process is too complicated. So keep it simple. Take the guesswork out of sharing with suggested posts, pre-written messages or even a custom app. This also ensures your employees stay on message.

An employee who’s a social supporter multiplies your marketing efforts, far beyond your Marketing Department. With a well thought-out approach in place, every team member can expand the reach and impact of your social media messaging.

3 ways to be authentic on social media

We all know when someone’s trying to sell us something, and we usually don’t like it, especially in an informal, personal medium like social networking. Being authentic on social is key to success, but how do you do it?

Authenticity is all about being genuine, which sounds simple, and it mostly is – once you have a couple of tips under your belt.

Fries before Guys – As with any marketing project, priorities are important in social media. More than sales or brand awareness, your main goal should be offering valuable information. So before you get into the sales pitch or behind-the-scenes corporate stuff, make sure you’re providing tips and advice that’s relevant to your followers. Be a resource and promote the sharing of ideas. That – and the occasional cat video – will give your followers a reason to keep coming back.

Bye, Felicia – Don’t want your followers to dismiss your message or, worse, you? Stay away from the brand-speak. People want the real you, the person behind the company. To get them to care about you (and your business), engage like a real person would. Don’t refer to yourself as your business. Comment and ask questions. Provide valuable information just for the sake of it, rather than always asking for something in return.

Messy Hair, Don’t Care – Life isn’t perfect, and your social media shouldn’t be either. By that, we mean you don’t have to use perfect grammar or big, fancy words in your social interactions. Communicate professionally but like you would if you were chatting with a colleague at the office or networking with someone over lunch. People trust people – and want to buy from people – who are real, flaws and all.

It may be quick and easy to set up your online presence, but developing relationships takes time. Remaining consistently engaged and interacting authentically with your followers is the foundation that will build your social media success.

How to use video to boost your SEO

Every business wants to be on the first page of Google. Success depends on being able to get in front of as many potential customers as possible, so it makes sense to do everything you can to reach that sweet spot. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is what gets you there.

Video is one SEO strategy you may not be using. If not, you definitely want to add it to the mix. Video is a great way to improve your SEO, and it’s only going to grow. According to Cisco, nearly 70% of consumer Internet traffic will come from video by 2017.

The first step to getting an SEO boost from your videos is posting them on YouTube. YouTube is owned by Google, so its content naturally ranks higher. YouTube is also the second-biggest search engine, behind Google.

To maximize this opportunity, make sure your YouTube videos are optimized with the appropriate title, description, keywords and tags. Use the YouTube Keyword Tool to find the keywords and topics people type into the search box, and include those keywords in your title. Incorporate them into your description, too, and include a link to your website. Instead of using the screenshot that YouTube automatically generates, customize your video’s thumbnail image so it makes the best impression.

Finally, don’t make the mistake of posting your video only on YouTube. Blog about it. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. Include it in an email blast. Video is inherently shareable. According to HubSpot, 54% of senior executives share work-related videos with colleagues on a weekly basis. And having “video” in the subject line of an email increases click-through rates by 65%.

Getting to the first page of Google is just the beginning. Keep posting quality content, including videos, to maintain your hard-earned ranking.

The economics of decluttering your social media

Social media success comes from trial and error. When you first start marketing on social media, you may not know what platforms your customers are using or which channels work best for your business.

So, you try it all.

This can lead to a hodgepodge of social media accounts that are no longer updated, have an outdated logo or worse. Don’t lose money by losing clients who’re turned off by platforms that aren’t updated or by inconsistent branding.

Develop a habit of identifying and streamlining your social media accounts at least once a year. Deactivate unused accounts and make sure those that remain are consistent with your current branding.

As you review your social media accounts, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the company name correct?
  • Is the logo correct?
  • Do you have the most current login and password information?
  • Have you changed the password as employees have left the company?
  • Do you have the right person managing your social media presence? Or do you need to outsource it to an agency?

Tidying up your social media presence improves your credibility. And because people like to buy from people they trust, it’s a big boost to your bottomline.

The 6-step social media audit every Small Business Owner should be doing

When was the last time you reviewed your social media strategy?

Do you even have a strategy? Or have you been posting just to post, inconsistently, without any sort of plan?

All good marketing starts with a plan. If you don’t have one, you need one.

If you do have one, you need to understand what you’ve been doing and how well it’s been working.

When it comes to social selling, that means doing a social media audit. Hearing the word “audit” might send shivers up your spine, but don’t worry. This kind of audit is well worth the time and effort. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be daunting.

There are common elements to all social audits, regardless of the platform. These six steps cover the core social strategy components you need to be on top of.

  1. Your Profile: Are your images clear and professional? Is your bio compelling?
  2. Your Posts: Are you posting regularly? Is the content interesting? Is the frequency right for the platform?
  3. Your Formatting: Do you have your posts customized for each channel? Are you using the appropriate tools for that platform?
  4. Your Tools: Do you have a way to track and analyze your progress, such as Google Analytics?
  5. Your Competition: Are you reviewing what your competitors are doing and figuring out what’s working for them?
  6. Your List: Are you capturing leads to build your email list?

See? It’s not so hard. With these easy steps, you’ll have a better sense of how your social media strategy is moving you toward – or away from – your company’s goals.

Are hashtags on the way out?

The big news at the Super Bowl this year wasn’t the rivalry between the teams. Well, okay … it was. But in the world of social media, the big news was that hashtag usage during Super Bowl commercials had fallen 5%. Marketing Land reported that hashtags were in 45% of Super Bowl ads in 2016, dropping from 50% the year before – which, in itself, was a 7% drop from 2014.

Maybe this is because hashtags are sometimes more of a hindrance than a help in marketing. For example, according to Re/code, tweets without hashtags or @ mentions get 23% more clicks. In that 140-character landscape, hashtags can be a risky investment. This is especially true when it comes to branded hashtags. They may or may not get clicked, and they’re vulnerable to misappropriation by trolls who have an ax to grind.

That said, hashtags still have their place. For example, they make it easier to follow an event and connect with attendees. Or to celebrate annual occasions like #WorldNutellaDay.

And, of course, hashtag effectiveness depends a great deal on the platform. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags for a single photo, enhancing the discoverability of your content, which can increase your engagement and following significantly.

After you’ve factored in the platform specifics, it comes down to what you’re trying to achieve with your social media marketing. If joining the conversation is the goal, the hashtag should definitely be included. If moving followers to a website is the desired action, adding a hashtag may take up valuable real estate and ultimately be a distraction.

The three-step process to mastering social media marketing

The formula for social media success can be elusive. That’s because there isn’t a formula.

Effective social media marketing is a mix of art and science.

Think of it this way: Social media is the digital version of word-of-mouth marketing. If it’s done right, it’s a low-cost way to build brand awareness, goodwill and credibility – which can ultimately lead to sales.

But there can be downsides. It can be difficult to control. Just ask anyone who’s tried to make a post go viral. And evaluating the results takes skill.

The basic framework for social media marketing success comes down to these three steps:

1. Failing to plan is planning to fail. You need a content and marketing strategy for your online efforts, just as you do for your offline efforts. What are you trying to achieve with your social media? Which platforms are best for your business? Do you have knowledgeable staff internally or do you need to hire an agency?

2. Measure appropriately. Tracking likes and followers is easy. And doing so has value, but it’s just one tool to evaluate what’s working or isn’t on your social platforms. Make sure you’re reviewing all the analytics and know what they mean. Again, if your staff isn’t qualified to find and interpret that information, hire out.

3. Connect rather than sell. Social media, more than any other marketing platform, is about connecting and engaging with people. Selling is a very small component of it, and when it’s done, it should be done subtly. Let consumers get to know your brand and the people behind it. Give them valuable information so they keep coming. And most importantly, interact with them.

Following this framework, your social media marketing will create a positive experience for your customers and potential customers – which will likely lead to referrals and sales.

How to brand yourself properly on social media

Each social media channel allows a customized profile, banner or background image. If you’re not using branded imagery, you’re missing out on a powerful way to magnify your brand.

Bad imagery – that’s improperly sized, of poor quality or looks thrown together – leaves visitors with a negative impression. However, visuals that are properly sized for the platform, look appealing and include your logo, tagline or website address make a positive statement about your business to both prospective and existing customers.

Each platform is different in terms of the size, shape and area they allow you to customize, and they frequently change their specifications.

Strong brand equity enhances your perceived quality and demonstrates the added value you bring to your customers. Make sure your branding is visible, consistent and engaging. If you need to, hire someone to do it for you. Branding yourself properly is that important.

The secret of repurposing your content

What if you could give your SEO a boost, reach new audiences and expand your authority – all at once, using something you already have?

That’s the power of repurposing your content.

Content creation takes time. Since time is always a limited resource, you want to make sure you’re using it as effectively as possible. That’s why repurposing your content is such a great secret weapon.

Here’s how to do it:

First, review past newsletter articles, blog posts or other marketing materials.

  • Look for “evergreen” content, which is content that stays relevant no matter how old it is.
  • Also look for popular pieces. Focus on newsletter articles that got a lot of positive feedback or blog posts that ranked well in Google Analytics.

Second, turn that content into something else.

  • Create a presentation from fact-laden content using Powerpoint and upload it to SlideShare.
  • A listicle can become several new posts when you break out each item on the list.
  • Summarize your content in an infographic, using a free online tool like Canva to design it.
  • Launch a daily email series by breaking your content into bite-sized chunks and sharing them, little by little, each day for a week or more.
  • Pitch yourself as a guest blogger and use the content as the foundation of your guest post.
  • Don’t change a thing but share your content again on social media at varying times. 

When you repurpose your content, one article or post can morph into dozens of other content opportunities. It’s the secret way to make the most of what you’ve already created while reaping invaluable benefits.

Sit back, relax and leave the social media to us.

Stress-and-multitasking-at-the-office-Vector-illustration-300x210We know running a business isn’t the only thing you have on your plate, and that alone is a big plate. You’ve got family, friends, networking, keeping up with the industry and a lot more. Because of this it is sometimes easy to let social media and online marketing be put on the back burner.

You have a million different things you could be working on. We’ve got one thing and that is your company’s social media and online marketing. Posting on social media, making sure SEO is good, and utilizing PPC is what we do!

All of these things are very important and even missing a few days can cause your reach and engagement to plummet. But really, we’ve got your back. We’re able to automate social media posts to ensure your company is being consistent and reaching the customers you want.

We want to make your life just a little bit easier. Give us a call and you will have one less thing to worry about.