The Impact of the “Dumbphone” Trend on Digital Marketing

The Impact of the “Dumbphone” Trend on Digital Marketing

An increasing number of individuals, particularly young adults, are opting for basic ‘dumbphones’ over smartphones for their simplicity and minimal features. While some may view this trend as a digital detox movement primarily centered on child safety, it carries significant implications for the future of digital marketing, especially for small businesses.

The dumbphone trend offers small businesses an opportunity to reach a new, untapped market of consumers who prefer traditional marketing methods like SMS and physical advertisements. This transition can result in establishing personalized customer connections, enhancing brand loyalty, and creating a fairer competitive landscape for businesses that may not have the resources to rival larger corporations in the digital realm. It is important for businesses to adapt and embrace these changes in order to stay competitive in today’s market.

The trend of opting for basic ‘dumbphones’ also provides small businesses with an opportunity to broaden their marketing approaches. By focusing on traditional methods like direct mail, event sponsorships, and word-of-mouth referrals, businesses can reach a wider demographic and increase brand awareness. This strategic shift can differentiate businesses from competitors who rely solely on online marketing by offering a more personalized and varied approach to reaching customers.

For example, a small business could participate in community events or sponsor local sports teams to increase their visibility and attract new customers. By merging these conventional marketing initiatives with online strategies such as social media and email marketing, the business can attract a wider audience and maintain a prominent presence within their community.

The Ad-Skipping Generation and the Rise of Engagement

Consider this: How frequently do you watch ads on streaming services with free tiers? Have you ever thought about paying extra for an ad-free mobile game? We’re living in an age where consumers are actively seeking out ad-free experiences. This desire for ad-free experiences extends to social media platforms too.

People are increasingly turning to platforms like dumbphones to escape the constant barrage of marketing messages. So, does this mean social media marketing is dead for small businesses? Not quite.

Small businesses can still thrive in social media marketing by creating engaging content that resonates with their target audience, building relationships, and providing authentic experiences. Incorporating influencer marketing and other creative strategies can help organically reach their audience. So, despite the growing trend towards ad-free experiences, there are still opportunities for small businesses to thrive in this evolving landscape.

The Essence of Social Media: Building Meaningful Connections

At its core, social media connects people by facilitating communication and interaction. It’s a space for conversation, community building, and fostering genuine relationships with your audience. This is the point where the emphasis should move away from intrusive ads towards fostering authentic engagement with the audience. Here’s the good news: even with fewer users, those who remain on social media are likely to be more receptive to authentic interactions.

Timely responses to comments and messages are essential for effectively engaging with your audience. This is where outsourcing to a company like MYOB can be invaluable for small businesses. MYOB’s team closely monitors social media accounts, ensuring prompt responses and keeping conversations flowing. This high level of attentiveness not only sustains audience engagement but also fosters trust and loyalty, which potentially leads to repeat business and revenue.

Over to You!

The rise of dumbphones doesn’t spell the end of digital marketing for small businesses. Rather, businesses should view it as a reminder to prioritize engagement and proactively establish authentic connections with their target audience. To thrive in this evolving digital landscape, small businesses can excel by providing value, fostering conversations, and delivering exceptional customer service through social media.

How will you adjust your social media strategy considering these emerging trends?

Behind the Scenes of Social Media Management

Behind the Scenes of Social Media Management

Mind Your Own Business began in 2011 as a virtual assistant company.  Social media for business was in its infancy and only a few clients requested social media management for Facebook and Twitter.

In July of 2018, Emily Leye joined the MYOB team as Social Media Manager and brought her knowledge, experience and expertise for digital marketing. At this time, MYOB began to offer social media management as a stand-alone service. Our primary offerings to our clients were for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Remember 2018? Facebook was King, Instagram was all about perfectly curated feeds, whisperings of a new app called TikTok were just starting, and X was called Twitter (and it was a lot more fun!).

Fast-forward to 2024 and things have changed…a lot. The social media landscape is practically unrecognizable. Here’s the thing: if your small business is still relying solely on Facebook ads and static posts from 2018, you might be missing out on a whole new world of potential customers who engage with dynamic content like TikTok videos and Instagram Stories.

What Goes into Managing Social Media?

While content creation is an important part of our work, there is so much going on behind the scenes that not everyone is aware of. When we first meet with a client, we focus on getting to know their business, their brand, their voice. Social media at its core is social, so it is important that we represent our clients precisely how they would represent themselves.

Next comes the research. With every new industry comes time and care researching, ensuring we have the correct vernacular and understand the ins and outs of our client’s business. We look at competitors in the area as well as larger aspects of the industry.

Once we are well-versed enough to begin content creation, we work with our client on branding. Sometimes clients have developed branding guides with specific fonts, pantones, and logo graphics. Other times, clients ask for our guidance on branding, and we are happy to oblige, calling on our graphic designer’s skills to work with the client on branding specifics.

What’s next? Engagement, social listening, strategy meetings, posting schedules, analytics…and more! Now that the content is out there, there is still much work to be done! In order to keep our clients’ businesses ahead of the competition, we must consistently review strategy, analytics of existing content, optimal posting times, competitors’ social media, engage with other businesses or followers on behalf of our client, respond to comments and answer messages and questions. To say the least, social media is a 24/7 job! On top of the constant change on a day-to-day basis, there has been an enormous amount of change year over year.

Let’s talk about the big shift: the rise of authenticity and community. People are craving real connections and behind-the-scenes glimpses. Polished feeds are out, and user-generated content (UGC)—think customer testimonials and reviews—is in.

This authenticity focus has fuelled the rise of new platforms. TikTok, once a platform for silly dance trends, has exploded into a hub for businesses of all sizes. Short-form video content, with its focus on entertainment and education, allows businesses to showcase their brand personality and connect with a younger demographic.

Even established platforms have adapted. Instagram Stories, barely a blip in 2018, are now a powerful tool for fostering connections. There are currently over 500 million people creating and watching Instagram Stories on their mobile devices every day, making them a fantastic way to share behind-the-scenes snippets, host interactive polls, and offer exclusive deals.

But wait, there’s more! Here are some under-the-radar trends you might not have heard about:

  • The rise of niche communities: Platforms like Discord, originally designed for gamers, and Reddit are now home to thriving communities for all sorts of interests. Imagine a community of dog lovers for your pet store or a knitting enthusiasts’ group for your yarn shop—the possibilities are endless!
  • The “conversational commerce” boom: People are increasingly using social media to directly connect with businesses and make purchases. Platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are making it easier than ever to shop directly through the app, blurring the lines between social interaction and sales.

So, what does this all mean for your small business? It’s time to ditch the “set it and forget it” social media strategy. Here are a few tips:

  1. Identify your target audience. Who are you trying to reach? For instance, knowing that your audience prefers Instagram for visual content and Twitter for news updates can help tailor your social media content effectively.
  2. Focus on building relationships. Social media is all about conversations, not just broadcasts. Engaging in conversations with your audience can lead to loyal customers who feel connected to your brand. Respond to comments, host Q&A sessions, and encourage user-generated content.
  3. Embrace new formats. Experiment with short-form video content, such as product tutorials, live streams for behind-the-scenes glimpses, and interactive features like polls to gather feedback from your audience.
  4. Stay informed. Keeping up with the latest trends can feel overwhelming, but there are resources available. Consider following industry leaders on X and Instagram or subscribing to social media marketing newsletters for valuable insights.

Feeling lost? Don’t worry; that’s where MYOB can help. While Emily is the Social Media Manager here at MYOB Inc., the team of five people is loaded with talent and work together.

We know that the most important thing is to be authentic, connect with your audience, and have fun! After all, social media is a powerful tool for building relationships and growing your business.

So, are you ready to take your social media presence to the next level? Click here to get in touch with us today. We’re here to help you through the next six years – and beyond!

Don’t Fall for the Follower Trap: Why Buying “Likes” Hurts Your Small Business

Don’t Fall for the Follower Trap: Why Buying “Likes” Hurts Your Small Business

You have a fantastic product or service, an eye-catching website, and now you’re ready to tackle social media. But let’s be honest, building a following from scratch takes time and effort. Enter the tempting world of buying followers. Thousands of “fans” with a single click—sounds like a shortcut to social media success, right? Wrong. Here’s why purchasing followers for Facebook and Instagram can harm your ability to connect with authentic customers.

Why Artificial Followers Are Not Good for Businesses

The main issue with bot followers is that these artificial accounts do not engage with your content, meaning your posts may not reach real and potential customers. Additionally, social media platforms are cracking down on fake followers, which could result in penalties for your business, such as decreased visibility or account suspension. Sure, your follower count might skyrocket, but these fake accounts aren’t real people scrolling through their feeds. They won’t like, comment on, or share your posts.

Remember, social media algorithms prioritize engagement—the more interaction your content gets, the more people see it. When there’s low engagement despite a large number of followers, it signals a problem to the algorithm, effectively burying your content and limiting its exposure to real customers. For example, if your business buys fake followers to boost your numbers, you may find that your posts are no longer showing up in your followers’ feeds or search results. This could lead to a decrease in website traffic, resulting in lower sales and a negative impact on your overall brand reputation.

How Fake Followers Hurt Your Advertising Efforts

Imagine you’re running a targeted ad campaign on Facebook. When you pay to reach a specific audience, you want to make sure your ad reaches real people who might be interested in your product. Having numerous fake followers makes it challenging for Facebook to identify your ideal customer, turning your targeted ads into a guessing game. This can result in wasted advertising dollars and a lower return on investment.

In order to effectively reach your target audience and maximize the effectiveness of your advertising efforts, it is crucial to regularly audit and clean up your social media following to ensure that you are reaching real, engaged users who are likely to convert. By focusing on quality over quantity, you can improve the performance of your ads and ultimately drive better results for your business.

The Benefits of Building a Real Community

Here’s the not-so-secret secret: building a loyal following takes work, but the rewards are immeasurable. Focus on creating high-quality content that resonates with your target audience. Consider running contests and giveaways to encourage interaction. And, most importantly, be authentic and engage with your followers directly. Although it may require more time, these authentic connections will be valuable and drive actual growth. It is better to have a smaller, engaged audience than a large, disengaged one.

By building a real community, you are creating a group of loyal customers who are genuinely interested in your brand. These followers are more likely to make repeat purchases, refer their friends and family, and become brand advocates. Additionally, a strong community can provide valuable feedback and insights that can help improve your products or services. So, put in the effort to nurture and grow your community, and you will see the benefits in the long run.

Over to You

Abandon the tempting trap of buying followers and instead focus on creating a vibrant online community where sincere relationships foster long-term success.

Here at MYOB, we understand the challenges of social media management for small businesses. This includes customized content strategies, targeted audience engagement techniques, and ongoing support to enhance your online visibility and engagement. Our experienced team of social media managers, with years of industry knowledge, can collaborate with you to create a content strategy that not only reflects your brand values but also captivates your intended audience.

What aspect of building a loyal following do you find most challenging? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments!

Written By: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger

Threads or X? Which Platform is Better for Your Small Business?

Threads or X? Which Platform is Better for Your Small Business?

Imagine you’re at an industry conference. In one corner, a group throws ideas back and forth in rapid bursts, keeping the energy high. Across the room, another group dives deep into a specific topic, sharing insights and fostering focused discussion. These two scenarios perfectly capture the vibe of X (formerly Twitter) and Threads, two social media platforms vying for your attention. But which platform is best suited for your small business? Let’s dive into the details.

Similarities Between X and Threads: Connecting with Your Audience

At their core, both X and Threads are about connecting with your audience. You can share updates, engage in conversations, and build brand awareness. Both platforms allow for multimedia content—think images, videos, and polls (on X)—to grab attention and break up text. Plus, they’re free to use (with X offering a premium tier, but we’ll get to that later). Now, let’s explore the features and differences of X and Threads to help you choose the right platform for your small business.

The Plot Thickens: Key Differences to Consider

Here’s where things get interesting. X thrives on brevity. With a 280-character limit, posts are concise and fast-paced, perfect for news snippets, witty remarks, and joining trending conversations. It’s like a digital watercooler, buzzing with the latest happenings.

Threads, on the other hand, is all about longer-form storytelling. Here, you can create “threads”— think a series of connected posts — to delve into a specific topic, share a tutorial, or showcase your behind-the-scenes process. It’s a more intimate space for fostering deeper connections.

For example, on X, a user can quickly share breaking news updates or engage in real-time discussions about a current event by crafting short, impactful tweets. On the other hand, Threads provides a platform for a writer to explore a complex issue in depth by constructing a series of threads that build upon each other to create a cohesive narrative.

So, Two Accounts or One?

The good news is you may not need both platforms. Consider your target audience and your brand voice. If your business thrives on quick updates and witty banter, then X might be your jam. But if you excel at in-depth content and building a community, Threads could be a goldmine.

A recent poll found that 24% of social media users say that Threads is boring or unengaging, while only 11% feel the same about X.” This suggests it might not be ideal for all industries. For example, a fashion brand looking to engage with a younger, more trend-focused audience may find success on X with its emphasis on quick updates and wit. On the other hand, a nonprofit organization focused on education and community building may benefit more from using Threads to create deeper connections and foster discussion among followers.

Ultimately, the decision to use two separate accounts or just one depends on your overall social media strategy and goals. It’s important to consider the type of content you want to share and how you want to engage with your audience. By understanding the strengths of each platform and how they align with your brand, you can make an informed choice that will best serve your business goals. Remember, consistency and authenticity are key in building a strong online presence, so choose the option that will allow you to effectively communicate your message and connect with your followers.

Demographics Decoded: Who’s on Each Platform?

To enhance your connection with your audience on platforms like X and Threads, conduct audience research, analyze engagement metrics, and directly seek feedback from your followers. X has a diverse user base, with a slight skew towards younger demographics (18–29). Despite the common assumption that Gen Z is primarily interested in TikTok, they actually represent the largest generation on X. X is still a platform that appeals to a wide range of age groups and demographics, however, making it a valuable tool for businesses across various industries and not just younger audiences.

Threads, on the other hand, appeals to a slightly older group (25–34) at 36.39%, followed by 18–24 years old at 19.29%. Threads focuses on nurturing close connections and engagement, providing an ideal space for businesses to cultivate a sense of community among their customers. This emphasis on interaction can lead to increased brand loyalty and customer retention.

Threads and Instagram Integration: Enhancing Social Media Presence

Interesting fact: Threads is smoothly integrated into the Instagram app, enabling users to access it directly from their Instagram feed without requiring a separate app or page. So, no, you don’t need a separate Threads page if you already have Instagram. Just swipe right from your Instagram feed to access it.

Free or Fee? Navigating X’s Premium Options

Both platforms are free to use in their basic forms. However, X’s paid version, X Premium, offers features such as extended video lengths for more engaging content, ad-free browsing to enhance user experience, and the unique ability to “undo” a tweet, which can be a valuable tool for maintaining a polished online presence. And of course, you’ll obtain the highly sought-after blue checkmark, symbolizing verification and authenticity! While the cost varies depending on location, it typically falls around $10 CAD a month.

Over to You: It’s All About Your Strategy

Choosing the right platform is not a one-size-fits-all decision. X and Threads are powerful tools, but the best platform depends on your brand voice, target audience, and content strategy. Experiment with both platforms to determine which one resonates most with your audience. Remember, MYOB is here to help you navigate the ever-changing social media landscape. Leverage our collective knowledge and experience to help you in developing a successful social media presence that enhances brand awareness and drives revenue. So, which platform will you conquer first?

The Power of Instagram for Businesses:  A Guide to Success

The Power of Instagram for Businesses: A Guide to Success

Instagram serves a greater purpose than just being a platform for teenagers to share selfies and food pictures (though, admittedly, those can be enjoyable too). For businesses, Instagram can be a powerful tool for reaching new customers, increasing brand awareness, and driving sales. Instagram can help your business stand out and connect effectively with your target audience by using hashtags, engaging with followers, and creating visually appealing content.

With over two billion monthly active users globally, as of early 2024, businesses can use Instagram to expand their reach, increase brand engagement, showcase products, run giveaways, and attract customers from all around the world. Effectively using this platform has become crucial for maintaining competitiveness and distinguishing from competitors and fostering brand loyalty.

Understanding Your Target Audience on Instagram

The era of relying on guesswork in marketing strategies is long gone. Instead, Instagram allows you to laser-target your ideal customer. With a whopping 78% of marketers using Instagram, the platform is teeming with people specifically interested in discovering new businesses, supporting small business and shopping local. Even better, Instagram’s demographics skew young, with a significant portion of users between 18 and 34 years old. This aligns perfectly with many small businesses, especially those targeting tech-savvy millennials or Gen Z.

Paid Ads Are Not Required

The beauty of Instagram is that organic reach, or the ability to get your content seen by people who don’t already follow you, is still very much alive. While paid advertising can certainly boost your visibility, it’s not a requirement for success. The key to success is to create high-quality, engaging content that resonates with your target audience. Consider showcasing stunning product photos, featuring user-generated content like glowing customer reviews, and providing glimpses from behind-the-scenes. Statistics have proven that posts with multiple images are more popular than a single image post.

Decoding Instagram’s Algorithm

Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes posts that generate engagement — likes, comments, shares, and saves. This means that the more interactions your posts receive, the more likely they are to be shown to a larger audience.

To boost your business’s reach on Instagram, focus on creating content that encourages these types of interactions. Encourage your followers to like, comment on, and share your posts by asking questions, running contests, or hosting giveaways. Engage with your audience by responding to comments and messages and collaborate with influencers or other brands to widen your reach.

By consistently producing high-quality, engaging content, and actively interacting with your audience, you can increase your visibility and grow your business on Instagram. Additionally, using Instagram’s features such as stories, reels, and Live can also help attract more followers and engagement:

  • Stories allow you to share more casual, behind-the-scenes content that can create a more personal connection with your audience. You can also use this space to share content from other creators that aligns with your own or share your own posts to bring additional attention to them.
  • Reels are a great way to showcase your creativity and personality through short, videos.
  • Instagram Live is another powerful tool for engaging with your audience in real-time, allowing you to answer questions, host Q&A sessions, or even collaborate with other influencers or brands.

By diversifying the types of content you share on Instagram, and using all of the platform’s features, you can attract a wider audience and keep them engaged with your brand.

Essential Features for Business Success

Instagram offers a wealth of features specifically designed to empower businesses. Here are a few key ones:

  • Instagram Shop: Turn your profile into a mini online store, allowing customers to browse and purchase products directly within the app.
  • Shoppable Posts: Tag products within your posts so viewers can seamlessly click through to purchase.
  • Insights: Analyze your posts’ performance to see what’s resonating with your audience and tailor your content accordingly.

Enhancing Your Instagram Strategy with Professional Support

Although mastering Instagram requires time and dedication, there are resources to support you in navigating the platform effectively. Consider exploring social media management tools or brushing up on your marketing skills with online courses. Remember, a thriving online presence is an essential part of running a successful business today. If you have any questions about getting started or need assistance with your online marketing strategy, feel free to reach out to us for guidance.

Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger

Why Your Small Business Needs a Facebook Page

Why Your Small Business Needs a Facebook Page

Imagine this: There’s an amazing bakery down the street that used to have lines out the door for their cakes and cookies. They were all the rage a few years ago, but lately, it seems a little quieter over there. What has changed for them? It could come down to one thing: either a lackluster or zero social media presence.

Having an active Facebook page to display their delicious treats, interact with customers, and advertise special offers could help them reach a broader audience and revive their busy days. Social media is a valuable tool for small businesses to remain relevant and engaged with their local community.

Indeed, managing social media can be tough for small business owners because of its rapid pace. Yet, by putting in some effort and creativity, you can recapture customers’ interest and revive excitement around your business.

Now, you might be thinking, “Isn’t Facebook a dying platform? Don’t the algorithms make it impossible for businesses to get seen?” Indeed, there is some truth to that. Organic reach, the number of people who view your posts without paid promotion, has declined. Yet, this doesn’t mean Facebook is useless for small businesses. In fact, it can be a powerful tool if you use it strategically. Here’s why:

Standing Out from the Crowd: Algorithms and Searchability

Facebook’s algorithms might favour personal connections, but that doesn’t mean business pages are invisible. Here’s the secret: business pages have different algorithms than personal profiles. This means you can optimize your content specifically for business goals, like driving website traffic or increasing brand awareness.

Additionally, Facebook’s searchability can work in your favour as a small business. By using keywords and relevant hashtags in your posts, you can help more people find your content. This can help you reach a wider audience and attract new followers who may be interested in your products or services. By staying active on the platform and engaging with your audience, you can build a strong online presence and establish credibility in your industry. Overall, with the right strategy and consistent effort, Facebook can still be a valuable marketing tool for small businesses looking to grow their online presence.

Plus, a Facebook page enhances the online visibility of your business. It functions as a digital storefront, including your bio, contact information, and a prominent link to your website. This information pops up in Google searches too, making it easier for potential customers to discover you.

Remember the imaginary small bakery I used as an example above? They could update their approach and use their Facebook page to showcase their daily specials, new menu items, and customer testimonials. By consistently updating their page with mouthwatering photos and engaging posts, they can attract more foot traffic. Additionally, by responding promptly to messages and reviews on their page, they can build trust with customers and improve their reputation both online and offline.

Public vs. Private Groups: Fostering Your Community

Facebook groups are a fantastic way to build a community around your brand. But should you go public or private? Here’s the breakdown:

Private groups: These offer a more intimate space for discussions and member interaction. Think of it as a loyalty club where you can share exclusive content, company news, links to your blog, and even host Q&A sessions. When members join using their personal Facebook pages, it creates an opportunity to share your business page within the group, encouraging interaction and promotion among members. However, keep in mind that referrals within private groups may not always send a notification to the tagged business due to privacy settings.

Public groups: While they offer a wider reach, public groups are also more susceptible to spam and negativity. Despite the potential drawbacks, public groups can be a valuable tool for reaching a larger audience and gaining exposure for your business. By sharing valuable content and engaging with members in a positive way, you can create a thriving community that supports your brand. Just be sure to monitor the group closely and enforce rules to support a positive and welcoming environment for all members.

Ultimately, whether you choose a private or public group, both can be effective in building relationships with customers and growing your business.

The Power of Paid Advertising (But Not Always)

Organic reach on Facebook has declined, and in some cases, paid advertising is necessary to effectively reach your target audience. While paid advertising can be a powerful tool for reaching a larger audience, it is important to consider the cost and effectiveness of each campaign.

Sometimes, organic reach can still be effective, especially if you have a strong community and engaging content. It’s important to test different strategies and measure the results to determine the best approach for your business. In the end, a combination of both paid advertising and organic reach may be the most effective way to grow your brand and reach your target audience.

So, should you revive your Facebook page or, if you don’t have one, should you create a new one? Definitely! There’s a whole community waiting to be discovered, and your small business has something unique to offer.

Over to You!

So, does your small business need a Facebook page? Without a doubt! But remember, strategic planning is key. Customize your content, use groups, and evaluate paid advertising based on your goals.

MYOB can assist you in navigating the dynamic landscape of Facebook for business by providing customized strategies and expert guidance. We provide resources and ongoing support to help you get started and continue growing. So, what are you waiting for? Jump in and start building those connections today!