Tag Archives: Facebook

Tips for Holiday Marketing on Social Media

 

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Social media is all a-twitter with holiday promotions, holiday party selfies and businesses competing for your business and spreading holiday joy! The social media world can become a very noisy place during the holidays, but here are a few ways you can ensure your small business can stay ahead of the crowd.

Hashtags

Using holiday trending hashtags can keep your business visible among your target audience. Choose hashtags that your target market is already using or might be following. By providing content that aligns with the current conversations on social media you can ensure that your brand will not be forgotten when people create their holiday wish lists.

Seasonal trends

Stay tuned to what’s trending this season and share content that shows your brand is in-the-know when it comes to what people are talking about.

Visual aids

Getting noticed is all about standing out. Create captivating graphics for your social media posts and blogs that are sure to grab people’s attention and make them want to click. (lighting, graphics, design, colours)

Ads / promotions

Social media ads are the most effective way to grab the attention of potential customers. You can create custom audiences of people who may have already visited your site or may already be on your mailing list. This allows you to focus directly on an audience who is already familiar with your brand and thus more likely to follow through with a sale.

Use email

Email is still the most effective way to follow up with customers and potential customers. Many email clients can connect with your online store to help you follow up with website visitors who may have “window-shopped” without finishing their order.  Try sending exclusive coupon codes to your email list for special holiday offers.

Above all, remember that there are real people on the other side of the network who are just as busy as you are this time of year. Present them with solutions to solve their problems and make their life easier. Stay social and engage with your audience online through relatable, interesting and engaging posts and make sure to take time to answer back!


To learn more about how to maximise the effectiveness of your Facebook marketing efforts, schedule a complimentary consultation with Teach Me Social. Teach Me Social owner Kelly Farrell has been helping empower Canadian Small Businesses through social media since 2012. Teach Me Social offers effective social media services which include training sessions and consulting as well as full-service social media account management.

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Are you spending your time effectively on Facebook?

 

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Are you spending time looking at the right parts of your Facebook business page? It’s so easy to get distracted by “shiny things” on Facebook, but as a business owner it’s important to stay focused on your goal to connect with your followers. Having a strategy for your social media marketing should also include regular maintenance on your Facebook page to ensure that what you are posting and sharing is actually connecting with the right followers.

  1. Update the “About” tab on your Facebook Business Page regularly. Take a few minutes at least once a month to revisit and revise the fields with important information about your business. In particular, ensure that the Short Description, Long Description and all contact details are up-to-date and accurate.
  2. Review the Insights for your Facebook Business Page often to analyze what posts are reaching your audience and are engaging your followers. The Insights can help you identify the best time to post and can provide you with more demographic information about the people who engage with your Page.
  3. Monitor the interaction on your posts and be sure to reply to all comments quickly! The average social media user expects a reply within 1 hour to a comment that they make on social media. Be considerate of the time someone took to make a comment, and respond in kind, even if just to say Thank You!
  4. Share your involvement in local or online events and be sure to create event listing for events that your business is hosting. Invite your friends and contacts to join your event page for updates and event information. If you are participating in someone else’s event, you can add that event to your page’s event listing without creating a new event. This helps to connect your business page with others, thus increasing your visibility!
  5. Know when to spend money on boosted posts and promotions on Facebook and allocate an appropriate budget for this purpose. Keep in mind that you should first set up target audiences in Facebook Ad Manager before spending any money on promotions. The more time you spend to target the right demographic, the more return you will see on your ad spend.

To learn more about how to maximise the effectiveness of your Facebook marketing efforts, schedule a complimentary consultation with Teach Me Social. Teach Me Social owner Kelly Farrell has been helping empower Canadian Small Business owners through social media for over four years. Teach Me Social offers effective social media services which include training sessions and consulting as well as full-service social media account management.

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When to follow technology trends in social media

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There is a big difference between jumping on the bandwagon just because “everyone else is doing it” and adding a new tech trend as part of your overall digital marketing strategy. The rate of change in the world of technology, especially for business, is extremely fast-paced and keeping up with the new apps, website trends and social media features can be a very daunting task. Despite the challenges that come with keeping up, it can be very beneficial to be an early adopter of new technologies and digital shifts.

 

First come, first serve

The first users on many new platforms, websites or apps are usually privy to special offers and features. On social media, the early arrivals are almost always the first to develop a large following of other early arrivals, who also tend to be more engaged and loyal than new followers later on.

 

Work out the kinks

Getting on board with a new feature or platform also give you ample time to work out the kinks, a time when making mistakes are part of the game and adds authenticity to your brand. Part of social media is the allure of being able to see behind the curtain of a logo and glimpse the authentic personality driving the message. Working out the kinks and figuring out a new platform with other early adopters also sets you up as a leader and expert when the rest of the crowd follows you.

 

Staying Current

If your brand stands for ingenuity, creativity or innovation in any way, then getting on board and being part of the initial phase could play a huge role in setting your brand up as a leader in forward thinking. When your brand shares their enthusiasm by joining in on trending topics on social media, it shows your followers that you are current, relevant and engaged.

 

Beware of shiny things

All that being said, the biggest danger with new technologies is the “shiny things syndrome”! It’s happened to the best of us – like children, we are easily attracted to new things and can get sucked into spending hours playing with new features and testing out new toys.

 

To avoid getting sucked into new technologies that are not going to see an overall benefit for your small business, you can ask yourself these questions:

  • Will using this tool attract new customers to my business?
  • Is my target demographic already using this tool?
  • Will my business benefit from being part of a trending conversation online?
  • How much time can I afford to spend daily using a new technology tool?

 

If you weigh the pros and cons of each new tool, it becomes easier to identify trends that will have a positive impact on your business and ones that may not be worth your time investment. In most cases, it is always a good idea to get advice from an expert or other small business owners. Attending networking events and joining online communities (like Canadian Small Business Women) are great ways to know what other entrepreneurs are doing online and where they are focusing their energy.


Teach Me Social owner Kelly Farrell has been helping empower Canadian Small Business owners through social media for over four years. Teach Me Social now offers services ranging from training sessions for small business owners and their teams to full-service social media account management. Visit teachmesocial.ca to learn more about our service offerings or to book a no obligation consultation, including an audit of your existing social media channels.

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The importance of small businesses blogging

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When blogging made its first appearance in the late 90’s, it was mainly used by individuals wanting to express their thoughts and feels towards various topics. However, over the years blogging has evolved and is now used as a main tool for many businesses to express ideas, pass along valuable information and is a means of keeping connected with clients. Blogging is one of the biggest, easiest and not to mention free marketing strategies out there. Entrepreneurs, whether established or starting up, need to understand the importance and value of this tool.

What having a blog site can do for you:

  • Boost your websites search engine optimization (SEO): by posting blogs frequently, Google and other search engines will be able to use the important key words, which are plugged into your post and your appearance on the search engines result page will increase.
  • Causes traffic to your website: by linking your blog site to your business’s website, you will increase traffic flow, along with creating more awareness around your brand.
  • Establishing relationships: end your blog post with a question and get conversation going, create a section under your post for readers to leave a comment or additional feedback. Being able to review and respond to their comments will give you some insight as to what your customers are looking for from your business.
  • Connecting to the brand: most outbound marketing techniques do not allow you to show off your personal side, blogging gives you the opportunity to show your business’s true personality.
  • Free marketing: whether readers share your post on Facebook, tweet it or email your blog to a friend, this is helping create more buzz around your business.

 

Dwania is the Founder and Executive Director of Canadian Small Business Women Contact Canadian Small Business Women:

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Dealing with Negative Comments on Social Media

Teach Me Social Blog - dealing with negative comments on social mediaIt’s happened to all of us. We work hard to publish an article or a social media post only to have someone come along and respond with a negative or defamatory comment. It’s disheartening, frustrating, upsetting and even angering and it takes every ounce of patience to not want to write back an equally negative and snarky reply. I’ve been there, and I’ve felt the same way. But I can honestly tell you that the best way to respond to negativity on social media is with positivity.

Sir Isaac Newton described his 3rd Law of Motion by explaining that “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” In elementary Mathematics, we are taught that a negative and positive number of the same absolute value cancel each other out in an equation (ie. -4 + 4 = 0) What does this have to do with social media? Well, the same notion of countering forces can be applied to all positive and negative forces, energy and comments.

As a rule of thumb in customer service, it is always best to respond to customer complaints in a calm, professional manner. As business owners, we need to recognize that the customer just wants to feel validated for their complaint. This can be handled in a number of ways, but it is always best to acknowledge their negative experience and try to offer a solution. There may not always be a mutually agreeable solution, but remember that an angry customer has more potential to do damage to your business’ reputation than a happy one.

Here are some important Do’s and Don’t’s when considering how to respond to customer complaints, reviews or feedback on Social Media…. KEEP CALM AND RESPOND WITH CALM Poster

What not to do –  

  • Don’t ignore it. It might be tempting to try to delete the comment, or hope it quickly fades down in people’s newsfeeds, but there is never any guarantee. It is always better to respond and address the problem than ignore it and hope it goes away.
  • Don’t respond back with negativity. In the world of debates, two negatives never equal a positive! Responding with anger or offence is just going to add fuel to the fire. It’s upsetting for everyone involved and surrounds your business with negative energy.
  • Don’t get into a battle. There is nothing to be gained from trying to have the final say. Anyone following the discussion on your social network will be able to “see” the entire battle unfolding and each of your followers has an easy click to unfollow you and refuse to see any future posts from your business.

What to do instead –

  • DO take time to formulate an appropriate response before typing any reply to the comment. If possible, ask a colleague or trusted friend to read your reply first before you publish it online. Taking time not only allows you to respond with a clear head, but it also has likely given your disgruntled customer a chance to cool off too.
  • DO respond with professionalism and offer to address the complainant’s concerns offline, perhaps via email address or over the phone. Offer a solution to the problem right up front so that the next step is in their hands to either take you up on the offer, or to walk away.
  • DO end the discussion quickly, after a single, well composed reply. There is nothing to be gained by carrying on the discussion if you first response did everything to address the complaint, offer a solution and provide a non-social media form of communication to use to continue the conversation.

Teach Me Social owner Kelly Farrell has been helping empower Canadian Small Business owners through social media for over for years. Teach Me Social now offers services ranging from training sessions for small business owners and their teams, to full-service social media account management. Visit teachmesocial.ca to learn more about our service offerings or to contact us today for a no obligation consultation, including an audit of your existing social media channels.

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Is Fear of Failure Holding You Back?

CHuntly

You have your fabulous business idea, you have your goals written out, and you have written a killer business plan. The next step can be the most daunting one when it comes to launching any business – you have to tell people about what it is you do.

Once you start marketing your business one of three things can happen:

  1. You are an “instant” hit – it looks like you are going to meet or surpass your goals.
  2. Nothing – no one seems interested in buying what you are selling, or perhaps you aren’t reaching them in the right ways.
  3. Your audience vocally doesn’t like what you are offering – this is pretty rare unless you have completely misread your audience.

Often, for an entrepreneur, the fear of failure can hold you back from putting together the best marketing strategy you can. You are afraid that if you put yourself out there completely you won’t be received well. The best way to get over your fears is strategic planning and focus.

I know what you are thinking…  I read this blog for THAT?! As simple as it might seem, the one thing that gets pushed aside is great planning. You may have a lot of great ideas for a marketing plan, but is it a full strategy? And do you have a plan to keep yourself on track?

Here are 5 things to consider to help get over the entrepreneurial fear hump and get your marketing strategy in order:

  1. Have you considered your target audience’s needs and behaviours? Your audience should always dictate how you market your business. For example, if you are targeting an audience that isn’t very tech-savvy, that Twitter Q&A you have planned is the wrong place to invest. You may want to consider more traditional tactics like direct mail or event-based marketing.
  2. Do your selected tactics fit within your overall business goals? It’s easy to get caught up with what your competitors are doing or the latest and greatest technology that is on the market, however you should take a step back and consider those goals and objectives in your business plan. If your goal is to become an industry leader in your field but you hadn’t considered a strong content marketing or PR plan, then you should reconsider your planning.
  3. Focus is your best friend. It is easy to look at all of the things you have to do and find smaller, less important tasks that you “just have to” complete first. While cleaning out your junk drawer in your desk can probably wait as well, I am talking about all of the things that can derail a great strategy. For example, you have set out to market your business on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but you heard about how neat Snapchat is and you thought you would “just set up” an account. Before you know it, you have spent half a day on something that you hadn’t planned on.
  4. Are you evaluating your strategy on a regular basis? Changing your original strategy isn’t a bad thing as long as it comes from a strategic evaluation of what is working and what isn’t. If you aren’t getting the traction you expected from Facebook, maybe you should consider a different social channel or focusing your time and resources into a different strategy altogether. It’s important to track the success of your efforts so you can look at your success over time and tweak your strategy as necessary.
  5. Are you trying to be an island? This is a huge cause of entrepreneurial fear (and failure). You may be the biggest champion of your own idea, however, sometimes it’s good to bring a third party in to look at your strategy with an unbiased eye. You don’t have to hire someone to do your entire strategy and execution for you (your budget might not allow for that!) but you can work with a consultant or coach to make sure you are on the right track. Your hesitation in starting your marketing outreach could stem from not feeling confident in your strategy and this will help with that.

As a business owner you should always give yourself enough space to take a step back, take a deep breath, and get back to the basics of what makes your business a business – your idea, your goals and objectives, your brand story, and your target audience. As long as you have a good foundation in the basics, you can approach everything else with confidence.

Candace Huntly is the Founder and Principal at SongBird Marketing Communications, an award-winning agency working to take organizational and individual brands to the next level. With a passion for all things related to creativity and strategy, she specializes in business intelligence, marketing & branding, content strategy & development, media & influencer relations, and social media. Basically, if you need to put your brand, product, or cause in the public eye, she will find a way to do it, while making the approach unique to you.

Connect with Candace

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Facebook News Feed: How does it work?

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Have you ever wondered how Facebook’s news feed work? Or how Facebook decides what content to show in your news feed?  In this blog we are going to tell you how the news feed works and how you can create more visibility for your brand

 

  1. Facebook decides what to show you in your news feed based on other similar content that you browse.

For example  if you spend most of your day reading articles about animals, watching videos about animals, then you will see more content about pets and animals on your news feed.

How do you get your content to show on your fans news feeds?  You need to create content that engages your users, and keeps them around.  The longer users spend on your content, the more likely they are to see your updates in their feed.

There are a few ways to do this.  Don’t use deceptive headlines, this won’t win you any points with Facebook’s algorithm.  Make sure you have great content.  You want a catchy headline that will make people click on your link, video or instant article.

How much content is enough?  Don’t make content for web and mobile too long.  The majority of people have a very short attention span when interacting with online content, especially articles and videos. While the algorithm measures time on content, there is a maximum threshold.

 

  1. Content Diversity

Due to feedback from users, Facebook plans to implement some diversity in it’s news feeds.  Users have complained about seeing the same content, back to back, from the same publisher, pages or sources.  Facebook learned that users want to see wide-ranging content from different publishers.

Diversity can be harder nut to crack, but there is a very simple way.  Make sure you post your blog on multiple site, get friends pages to share it, if you have partners, ask them to share your info.  The more places that your content lives, the more likely it will appear in people’s news feeds.  I do however want to suggest caution, as having your content on too many sites can damage your google search rating.  It’s all about finding the right balance.

The other thing you can do is to re-purpose old content, and share that to your page via other links like from your blog, your LinkedIn page, employees pages.  You have more content to draw from and share than you realize.

 

  1. Facebook wants to show you the stories that it thinks will matter most to you

This is an easy on to achieve, create stories that matter to your audience.  Are you involved in the community? write a blog about it.  Do you help out with charity drives? write a blog about it.  Did an employee of yours win an award? write a blog about it.  Creating stories is easy because there are so many around you if you just take the time to really connect with your customers and employees.

 

  1. Shows you content based on the friends you have and pages you follow

I’m sure you’ve seen this in action.  You follow a new business page, and BAM, their content starts to show up in your news feed.  Pretty convenient right?

Well, here’s how you can start to take advantage of that for your business.  You have all these fans, maybe thousands, that like your page and have shown interest in what you do or what you offer.  Encourage your fans to share your content.  The more that they share, the more your content will appear on their friends news feeds.  Identify who your regulars are.  Who is always commenting, sharing and engaged with your content? Give them a shout out, recommend that other people follow them.

You can also start following other businesses, recommend other businesses who you have had successful partnerships with in the past.  All of this not only helps you gain more exposure to followers of these groups, but also helps to build your brand awareness and recognition.

 

  1. Types of content users interact with

This one is pretty straight forward, if users tend to watch more videos on Facebook, then their feed will tend to include more video content.  Same goes for text, photos and links.

To overcome this obstacle, be sure to have a wide variety of mediums for your content.  Have a good mix of text, video, pictures and links.

 

  1. Engagement can beat Recency

Lets talk about engagement first.  If a post has a lot of engagement with your audience, it will be more likely to show up compared to something posted recently.  For example, if someone posted content yesterday that got a lot of engagement and you decided to share that same content today, Facebook would prioritize the post with the highest engagement to show up on the news feed.

For recency, be sure you post everyday.  If you take a few days off from posting anything, then you will be less likely to show up in news feeds because your audience also follows pages who may post more often and therefore will have a higher chance of showing up.

So make sure that you post often and that you are getting engagement on the content you are posting.

 

  1. Users can control their news feed

While this is an option for all users, most people are unaware of this option.  Users can hide posts from friends and pages, while still remaining friends and fans of those same pages.  Users can also tell Facebook which pages they would like to see first in their news feed.

Make the assumption that most users don’t know about this option, then tell them how they can be sure to see your content first in their news feed.  Take a screen shot of your page with the instructions of “how to see us first”  Then pin it to the top of your page or make it a part of your cover photo.

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Companies like Facebook and Google are constantly changing how their algorithms work, so it can be a full time job staying on top of the changes and understanding what they mean for your business.  Keep up with the changes and adapt your content to meet those changes and you will see better results.

 

Teach Me Social owner Kelly Farrell has been helping empower Canadian Small Business owners through social media for over three years. Her team now offers services ranging from training sessions for small business owners and their teams, to full-service social media account management. Visit teachmesocial.ca to learn more about our service offerings or to contact us today for a no obligation consultation, including an audit of your existing social media channels.

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15 free or low cost marketing ideas for small businesses

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1)  Communication: start up as many social media sites appropriate for your business; LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, blog site, live chat through your business website and a toll-free phone number.

2)  Business cards: leave them everywhere and hand them out to everyone!

3)  E-mail newsletters: collect e-mails and send out weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly newsletters informing customers about upcoming promotions or events.

4)  Business webpage: keep your website and social media pages up to date and fresh. Your customers need to see that you are active within your business.

5)  YouTube: create a video of your product or service, post the YouTube link of your video on all your social media accounts and on both your blog and business site.

6)  Stay connected: keep in touch with your clients by sending them a hand written thank you card and attach a coupon.

7)  Loyalty: reward your loyal customers with, for example, a 20 per cent off discount for their next purchase. Do not assume customers will keep coming back, acknowledge them and show them that you value their commitment to your business.

8)  Go old school: print out pamphlets, brochures or flyers and go door to door in your community and hand them out. You could also leave them on the windshield of cars in a full parking lot at a local mall.

9)  Get listed on directories: both Google and Bing offer free listings for local businesses.

10) Vendors: speak with the vendors from whom you buy products or services from and ask them if they know of any other businesses that could use your products or services. Also, check to see if they have a bulletin board where you can display your business card and ask to place yours up!

11) Offer to be a speaker: often volunteer organizations, industry conferences and local business groups are looking for guest speakers for their meetings. This will help you and your business gain contacts, name recognition and publicity.

12) Product or services: it does not matter what you are trying to sell, get out there, hand out sample size products and show off your work. This will help potential customers get a feel for your company and give them a chance to see what you have to offer.

13) On the go marketing: if you use a car or truck for your business ensure that your business name, logo and contact information are painted on the vehicle. For a less costly alternative use magnetic signs and place them on the vehicle.

14) Contest: run a contents through your business website or on Facebook. Ensure that the prize is desirable and that it relates to your business. Example: a coupon offering 40 per cent off a service from your business or a gift bag full of sample size products. *Note: this will also create traffic on your business website and social media sites, along with helping you gain more followers*

15) Community events: a fund raiser, festival or even a family day event, ensure you get out there and offer or donate your services/products to events within your community. This is a great way to get your brand out there and help you better connect with potential clients/customers in your area.

 

Dwania is the Founder and Executive Director of Canadian Small Business Women Contact Canadian Small Business Women:

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The importance of using social media for networking

 

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Social media has changed the way companies and people network themselves because now a days it isn’t about who you know, it’s about who knows you. Marketing yourself through social media has become the norm for businesses and thanks to sites like Facebook and Twitter, interacting with your cliental couldn’t be more easy and beneficial.

 

  • Feedback: receiving supportive criticism could potentially impact your business in a more positive direction and help adjust your marketing strategy.
  • Constantly connected: social media provides you with the ability to view problems or concerns customers may have. In return this gives you the opportunity to respond and resolve these issues immediately.
  • Personal: social media to many can feel more like a personal connection and not just some business shoving out advertisement. Being able to read tweets or posts will give you the opportunity to learn what your clients have to say, which can become helpful advice in making improvements within your business.
  • Finding customers: using key word searches is a helpful way to find new clients. Using this tool will give you the opportunity to redirect them to your company’s personal website.
  • Connecting: join multiple groups through Facebook relating to your scope of work. Market yourself within theses groups by posting a link to redirect potential customers to your site; this will help create brand awareness.
  • Promote: media sites give you the chance to get your name out there. This can also help lead to clients recommending you to friends and family members through Facebook and helping create traffic to your website.
  • It’s free marketing: unfortunately we aren’t all rolling in money and have millions of dollars to blow on ad’s for our company. These media outlets are easy to use and manage, while giving you the opportunity to promoting yourself without any fee.

 

Contact Canadian Small Business Women:

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