Tag Archives: local

How To: Expand Local Business Social Reach Through Content Creation

Even the smallest brands and individual online marketers need to create relevant content for their target audience. It’s about creating thought leadership in certain topics, staying top of mind with your audience and driving traffic to your site through your blog or other social platforms.

Expanding Social ReachThere are many types of content creation that marketers and small brands can and should be doing. Some of the types of created content are; Blog posts, video, images, graphics, infographics, email newsletters, landing pages, events. Most of these kinds of content creation can be done with limited resources, using smart phones or by outsourcing to experienced small agencies.

Expand Your Social Reach:

One of the important and often overlooked reasons consistent content creation is so important is that it provides the opportunity for local businesses and small marketers to expand their social reach. By consistently creating content that is relevant and valuable to your target audience, you also generate content that other social media users want to share.

At the heart of effective social media marketing is sharing or “curating” relevant content from others. In fact, when done properly, about 80% of what a social media marketer posts should come from sources other than themselves. This means that they need recent, relevant content on a daily basis and a lot of it!

Some How To’s:

  • Be consistent with at least 1-2 blog posts per week. Make it easy by using images and videos you capture in and around your daily work and personal activities as the basis for your posts.
  • Optimize your posts around locality and topics both your audience and content curators are interested in.
  • Share your content with hashtags both your audience and content curators are using and following around your locality and topics.
  • Write for legacy, not always events. In other words, create content that is not event-driven but is timeless and can be posted, read and consumed long-term, not just for a specific date or event.
  • Identify and build relationships with social media accounts that post and share about local content frequently. By developing these relationships, they will likely find and share your content as well.
  • On the day’s you publish your posts, schedule shares on Twitter up to 3-4 times across the day and once on other social platforms.
  • ALWAYS include at least one graphic in your posts.
  • Share the graphic from your blog post on image networks like Instagram and Pinterest with a link to the blog post it came from.
  • Share your legacy content in your social streams repeatedly over time.
  • Start conversations with your target audience when they post something that is connected to one of your recent posts. As the conversation develops you can mention a blog post you did on the topic and share the link. (when appropriate)

Some Never Ever’s:

  • Never tag people/accounts when you share it on social media. We call this spam. Earn relationships that want to share your content.
  • Don’t create content that is only and always about you, your company or what you do. Instead create content around what interests your target audience at a rate of 80% and 20% of your blog posts should be about you, your products, services and specials, etc.

Content creation can be a very effective way for local businesses to drive traffic to their website. It is best done when it adds value to the target audience and is not-self centered. Include outreach campaigns to develop relationships that need your content for their social media strategies and always thank those that mention and share your content.

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Filed under Blog, Content, content creation, Curation, Infographic, Marketing, Relationship, SEO, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Marketing, Spam, Strategy

78% of Local Brands Believe Social Media Essential – Only 1/3 Prioritize It

In a new study published by eMarketer states that brands believe websites, social media marketing and email are the most important digital marketing elements for effective local marketing. 78% stated that social media marketing is important or essential. Those statistics alone are quite dramatic, but if we spend some time looking into the data a bit deeper, some very revealing trends appear.

SMB Social Media ImportantThe biggest irony within the study shows that only 25% of those same respondents planned to prioritize social media marketing in their digital marketing efforts. Wait a second… 78% said it was important or essential, yet only 25% were going to prioritize it. That was astounding to read, wasn’t it?

The report goes further to explain that 80% of brands expected to maintain or increase their digital marketing spend for local marketing in the coming years.

The report does not get into the details of why the massive disparity between deeming social media marketing essential for local businesses and the lack of prioritizing it at a similar level. Being very experienced in local, national and international social media marketing, we thought we would outline some of the reasons we believe this may be the case.

Why aren’t local brands adding social media marketing as a priority, though they believe it’s essential?

1) Budget – Many of these same local brands are already tight financially. They’re often spending money on a lot of “old school” yellow page and direct mail marketing without tracking the results. Often the belief is that they need to continue doing those things or their situation will decline even more.

A thoughtful evaluation of these mediums, outdated email marketing efforts and other digital optimization requirements can show areas where costs can be reduced or eliminated and where funds can be reallocated to social media and an overall digital upgrade. In today’s world for most SMB’s, these are the things that begin to make a growth impact on their business.

2) Knowledge – If you are an SMB that realizes the importance of social media marketing, yet you don’t have the knowledge or experience to do it, that can paralyze you from taking any action, let alone making it a priority. You don’t have a strategy, plan to execute it even if you did have a strategy, or any base of knowledge that would enable you to do it effectively anyway.

Enter the consultant

3) “Consultants” – So you’re a small business owner that recognized you needed a presence on social media some time back while it was beginning to rise in the news, with users and then with big brands. You had no idea how to do it but a social media expert/consultant was doing a presentation at the local networking group meeting and you decided to pay the $100 to attend.

After listening to all the information they presented, you realized you still couldn’t do this alone and needed help, so you took the expert’s business card and called for an appointment. They pitch you on setting up your social media accounts, making a strategy, consulting and training so you could be really effective.

$800 and 6 months later you are overwhelmed, frustrated and feel like you had been mugged. You aren’t getting anywhere on real results, have spent time and money you don’t have to spare and the consultant is now offering additional training services they’d like you to invest in.

Sound familiar to anyone? I hear this every single day from unsuspecting business owners. It’s no wonder they are not making it a priority.

For a large percentage of small to medium local brands, these factors are a reality. They know their industry and business, not something new and ever-changing like social media marketing. They want and need to focus on what they know and don’t have the time, resources or ability to add another item to their plate. Most simply need a clearly defined reason as to why they need to make it a priority, coupled with a cost-effective solution that handles it for them with the least amount of time required on their part. They are willing to pay for professional help that will get results and enable them to focus on their business.

If you’re a business owner that fits into the statistics outlined in this report, I suggest that you find a social media professional that understands what is detailed here and will take the time to consult you through these points to discover cost reduction opportunities. They will also be able to propose a total social media management solution that gets results for you so you can focus on what you are good at.

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Filed under Agency, Brand, Local, Marketing, Results, Social Media, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing

Has Social Media Eliminated the Need for Face to Face Networking?

After a slow period of adaptation for many business people, nowadays most savvy business people are soundly embracing the Internet and social media for their networking and marketing needs. Even those who held out against social media use in their business are now realizing that this powerful force is here to stay and that using it is cost-effective and delivers results. In fact, many are starting to wonder if social media has eliminated the need for real world networking.

Face to Face Networking Remains Relevant

Digital NetworkingWhile online marketing is incredibly efficient and widens your scope of who you have the opportunity to network with, networking face to face is still incredibly important. This is especially true if your clientele is at least partially local. Getting out and meeting people will do wonders for your business, because those who may be on the fence about using your business will be more likely to be swayed in your direction after getting to know you.

There are many things that you can achieve much more readily in person through face to face networking. These are the things that tend to be more challenging to achieve when you only network online. Face to face networking lets you:

  • Build relationships that will lead to cross marketing opportunities with other businesses.
  • Establish yourself as a subject matter expert with your local community.
  • Stand out from the competition that is not doing face to face networking.
  • Get immediate feedback and responses that take much more time online.

Integrate Online And Offline Networking for Maximum Results

Integrating online and offline networking can produce the biggest benefits for your business. In fact, doing so allows you to be very strategic in your networking efforts and make the most of the time you dedicate to real world networking.

Use your online efforts to connect with others who would be ideal customers or fellow business people that you could partner with. Share local networking opportunities with these people and plan to meet at a real world networking event. Not only will you benefit from solidifying a relationship that you have started online, you will likely meet other people through that connection. When you attend networking events, check in via social media and you will likely find that there are other people you are connected to online who are in the same place.

As with any time you meet up with clients or business associates who are virtual strangers  to you, keep safety in mind. Always choose a public meeting place and use your own vehicle to get there, so you can leave quickly if necessary. When possible plan to attend daytime networking events or meetings. Share your plans with a trusted individual, who agrees to check on you if they have not been contacted at a prearranged time.

Even though the Internet is a much safer place to interact with strangers, there are distinct advantages to meeting face to face. Be wary when you do so and you can reap the benefits while not putting yourself in danger. Get the best of both worlds when you network online and off.

This was a guest post by:

TiffanyTiffany McDonald is a mommy, wifey, blogger and cat lover. She is also addicted to coffee, the Internet and all things social. She will talk to anyone willing to listen and is currently on an education campaign regarding family safety and security. She believes the new technologies surrounding home automation will empower caregivers for those of all ages. Connect with Tiffany on TwitterLinkedinor Google + 

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Filed under Community, Social Media, Social Media Marketing