The Secret Sauce for Social Media Success

The Secret Sauce for Social Media Success

Social media involvement is extremely powerful, and savvy business owners realize they must not underestimate its importance. Customers are more likely to follow brands with whom they have past experiences and/or feel a connection. An engaging social media strategy thrives on this sense of loyalty and connection, as people will feel more driven to join in conversations and interactions.

So, what’s the secret sauce? Community engagement! Our recipe for community engagement will delight your followers and have them coming back for more!

Start with a generous portion of engagement!

If you make dynamic graphics and great content yet fail to engage with fans who comment or send messages, your growth on social media cannot flourish. Anyone may easily create an account on their favourite social media platform and start building their brand or image. The most important part of social media marketing, however, is to maximize engagement. An important first step is to review your marketing strategy to best reach your target demographic. Doing this also helps to ensure you’re sharing content that is relevant to your audience from the start.

When you interact with your social media followers, you can convert them from fans to customers while strengthening your current customer relationships. When customers comment on your posts or send you a message on social media, you have the perfect opportunity to get to know them and create rapport with them. Be sure to answer their inquiries to go above and beyond to provide exceptional customer service.

Mix in speedy response times.

Engaging with followers who comment on your social media posts is a must. However, being available with timely responses makes a huge difference in how they perceive your business. Are you curious as to whether you are responding quickly enough on social media? Check out these statistics from Sprout Social:

40% of consumers expect brands to respond within the first hour of reaching out on social media, while 79% expect a response in the first 24 hours. (https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-response-time/)

To put it another way, most consumers want a response on social media the same day they leave a comment or question! More and more, people are relying on social media as a support channel, as it’s often faster and easier to use than email or phone calls. People who receive prompt responses are more likely to remain loyal to your brand. And so, the faster you respond the better!

Toss heaping amounts of social into your social media!

Social media should be more about building online relationships and less about broadcasting. By putting yourself on a one-way street of dishing out information, you will only end up being a billboard – and one that less and less people will see. You do want to promote yourself, of course, but it’s better to do so in ways that are informative and shareable, and pleasing to the algorithms. That way, you can open the door to having real conversations with your followers, as opposed to pushing your content at them – no one likes to be on the receiving end of constant sales pitches. As well, the algorithms that are engrained in most social media sites thrive on engagement.

As well, you should do your best to avoid answering inquiries with automated messages of any kind, especially when you are using your social channels as part of a customer service effort. Take the time to personally respond to as many questions as possible. Consumers will trust your brand even more because you’ve answered their questions as a person rather than a robot!

Sprinkle in a listening ear. Followers want to be heard!

When someone sends you a message or leaves a comment on a post, they’re giving you an opportunity to talk to them. Remember to listen to what they are saying and how they are saying it. It’s so easy to misinterpret comments people make on social media and all too often we jump to conclusions. You should acknowledge each person who reaches out to you with a response, whether the message they leave is positive or negative. You can express gratitude for positive messages and offer resolutions for negative ones.

Another way to open the door and truly listen is to ask for reviews and testimonials. Giving a testimonial strengthens your follower’s emotional relationship with your company. It’s a great way to make those who appreciate you feel appreciated by you, especially when you’re listening and paying close attention to their feedback. Obtaining positive reviews is a win-win as well. Feedback is a powerful form of social proof for your business and having social proof can help you attract future customers. Remember that the end goal is engagement, so put on your listening ears and keep the conversation going!

Stir consistently, then serve!

If your community engagement approach is well-organized, you’ll get a better return on the time you spend on establishing and maintaining your community. Customer satisfaction will increase, as will the attraction of new followers on your social media channels. So, take time to carefully combine, then add all the ingredients to your social media strategy and enjoy the benefits of your secret sauce!

5 Steps to Finalizing a Digital Marketing Budget

5 Steps to Finalizing a Digital Marketing Budget

The time has come. You have established a presence on social media for your company and already have fans and followers on multiple platforms. However, to continue growing your digital marketing efforts efficiently and effectively, it’s time for a realistic and dedicated budget.

Having a budget to outsource your social media management is practical and realistic. Your annual company budget for marketing should earmark a percentage for social media. The amount to dedicate will be divided between labour and paid ads.

Many companies, and particularly smaller businesses, have limited financial and human resources. These two things can seem like roadblocks to taking the next step. While setting up accounts and using social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are free, the experts who develop a strategy and effectively represent and promote your brand using social media need to be considered in your social media budget expense.

So, what do you need to know to determine that increasing your marketing efforts in social media management is the right step? These are some considerations to make when developing a convincing and realistic digital marketing budget.

#1. Look at your competition.

Scoping out the competition should be the first step you take when planning your social media budget. For example, take time to assess what advertising methods and tools your competitors employ, as well as how successful they are with them. You should be aware of your competition to determine how you can make your business stand apart from them. Taking that close look at the social media efforts of others in your industry will aid you in this endeavour. We call this our audit process when we embark on a new client relationship.

#2. Your time is money.

Bottom line: by investing in social media outsourcing, you will be able to do more “real-world” activities to make a profit for your business. Acknowledging how much time you will save to spend on other revenue generating activities by outsourcing will help put the value of outsourcing into perspective. Not only that, but the time spent by the experts who are focused on your goals, strategy and marketing plan should yield better results.

Digital marketing is a long-term investment. And, because there are so many different platforms to manage and so much content to produce, it is time-consuming to do well. Time is money!

When you clearly define the in-house cost being spent on social media management and compare to the cost for outsourced social media management, you’ll realize the potential of saving time and the value of investing wisely with experts.

#3. Compare what you are doing now with your wish list.

When developing your social media budget, consider what you are already doing for digital marketing and then take time to learn as much as possible about the social media management outsourcing options that are available for your company’s needs. Make a “wish list” and consider the following:

  • Managing social media platforms by creating and scheduling great content
  • Managing your social community by responding to and engaging with followers
  • Creating and implementing a social strategy, including online advertising
  • Handling negative comments/reviews in a timely manner
  • Gaining new leads
  • Growing your online reach and brand awareness

Understanding the digital marketing goals of your own business will help guide you as you prepare this list. We discuss this with new clients in the consultation phase. With this knowledge, you will then be able to determine the scope of activities you want to outsource.

#4. Create a sample campaign plan.

The next stage in planning your digital marketing budget is to demonstrate how much social media marketing already benefits your business. To develop a budget that allows you to reach your goals, you must first determine exactly what you want to achieve.

Consider the following activities (and the average costs) in your sample campaign:

  • Content creation
  • Scheduling content
  • Monitoring your results which includes responding to notifications and timely responses to comments (under 12 hours is a good target which would require monitoring twice a day)
  • Advertising costs

Other considerations for your social media campaign include:

  • ROI (Return on investment)
  • Traffic to your website from your social media posts
  • Lead generation and conversions

What time are you spending in-house to track the measurable results of your efforts?

How often are you reviewing your marketing strategy? Maybe it’s time to change from brand awareness to increasing website traffic from social media.

#5. Talk to the experts.

And now, it’s go-time! Arrange your consultations with the social media companies you would like to work with. You’ve determined your in-house expense and your wish list and marketing goals. Request a detailed proposal including platforms, posting frequency, advertising budget and strategy and then choose the company who can focus on what makes your business great!

We’re here to help.

Social Media Personalities You’ll Meet at a Party

Social Media Personalities You’ll Meet at a Party

There are numerous advantages to using social media as a business. The benefits include directing traffic to your website, merging SEO and advertising, broadening your audience, and fostering a sense of community around your brand. It’s an important aspect of your brand’s story and affects how people view you. However, social media will only be beneficial if you select the best platforms for your company.

You may already know that your brand’s content, voice, and messaging are key to determining which social platform or platforms you’ll want to use. It’s important to note that each social media platform has a unique personality as well! We recently went through a deep dive of each platform using informative statistics, but now we’re ready to have some fun.

Identifying your company’s and your audience’s personalities, and then selecting the best venue for them to meet, is a significant component of successfully utilizing social media in your digital marketing strategy. And so, in this blog, we’ll compare the internet to one extra-large cocktail party… and the most popular social networks and their users to the different types of people you could meet there.

Are you ready to PARTY? Let’s get started!

YouTube – The fun party animal who always wants the keep the party going.

When you use YouTube to create videos and playlists, you can engage your audience and improve your SEO all at the same time. There’s no need to try to fit into a specific content or personality box – you could find success creating how-to videos, topic awareness content, customer success stories, case studies, or expert interviews. People will visit YouTube to learn a new skill just as often as they do to find hilarious entertainment. If your company has the time and resources to produce high-quality videos regularly, then YouTube is the guest you’ll want to chat up at the party!

Facebook – The best friend who loves to know everything about you and wants to introduce you to all their friends.

When it comes to Facebook, you can count on it to deliver. Other social media platforms may try, but they will never be able to unseat this well-known site. It’s your go-to for keeping up with relatives and friends, or for snooping on folks you used to know.

As a business, Facebook allows you to share your products and/or services with an international audience. As well, your website’s SEO is influenced by Facebook reviews and the details of your business profile. And, if you choose to advertise on Facebook, you’ll have the ability to target specific groups of people based on their geography, demographics, and even their interests. Facebook ads are among the most cost-effective forms of advertising for small businesses. At a cocktail party, you’ll definitely want to connect with Facebook for the opportunity to expand your network and friendships!

Twitter – The ultimate social butterfly.

You’ll never know where a Twitter conversation will lead you when you first jump in. It can be really educational at times, highly entertaining, or leave you completely baffled. When it comes to breaking news, Twitter is definitely on top of it. World leaders, the media, and other organizations may all provide you with a wealth of knowledge very quickly. On the other hand, anyone can use Twitter to send out all kinds of messages to the entire world, which means you can easily read a ton of trash talk and misinformation.

So, why on earth would you want to utilize Twitter to promote your company? There’s one word that sums it all up: conversation. When it comes to speedy customer support, Twitter is THE place to go, and this is especially true for SAAS (software as a service) and other software and tech companies. Twitter is the ultimate social butterfly that draws in and keeps individuals from all over the world and all walks of life. Conversations with this party-goer can be fast and furious, but you’ll never run out of things to talk about!

LinkedIn – The classy professional who is eager to network, introduce you to their business and associates, and help you get a fantastic job.

LinkedIn is probably the top social media platform for professionals, but it’s far from boring. Unlike the other platforms, LinkedIn won’t bog you down with fluffy, silly videos or misleading content. Instead, the content most people share on LinkedIn is meant to boost their company’s profile, connect with other businesses, and foster recruitment. It’s the third most popular way of contacting prospective employees, aside from phone or email.

LinkedIn is the guest at the party who is going places and would love to bring you along. As a bonus, this same guest will gladly participate in long chats with you so that they may get to know you better. This is the best connection to make if you want to get your name in front of companies that are most likely to do business with you.

Instagram – The party guest who is so pretty that you can’t help but stop and admire him or her – and take a photo!

Instagram has the potential to be perceived as either sophisticated or narcissistic, but that’s part of what makes it so endearing. Instagram is also an excellent platform to help you humanize your business, showcase your values, and elevate your brand with eye-catching photographs and videos.

According to a Facebook survey (which owns Instagram), many people think that companies using Instagram to share their social media content are popular, creative, relevant, and devoted to their online communities. If you’re especially looking to connect with a younger audience, Instagram is for you. These users use Instagram to learn about new products and services when making decisions about purchasing them. So, keep in mind that Instagram has spent a lot of time and effort to appear stunning for the party, you’ll want to be sure to pay attention to the details and share high-quality content when engaging with this guest to make a successful connection.

With whom will you best connect at the party?

When it comes to choosing and using social media platforms as a business, you’ll want to remember that your brand’s personality is probably the most important thing. As well, by tuning into each platform’s unique personality, you can more easily determine whether you’ll get along with each other and make a real connection to provide the best messaging in the most effective way for own audience.

Deep Dive into Social Media Platforms: Choose the Right Ones for Your Business

Deep Dive into Social Media Platforms: Choose the Right Ones for Your Business

In our recent blog post, “Which Social Media Platforms Does My Business Need?”, we touched upon the importance of including social media in your marketing toolbox and provided suggestions for deciding which platforms to use. In this post, we’ll take a deeper dive into some of the most popular social media sites to help you determine which may be the most appropriate for your business.

Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in!

Facebook

As one of the world’s oldest (it turned 17 this year) and most widely used social networks, Facebook has nearly 2.8 billion monthly active users. That’s a lot! It’s also a great platform to reach people who already know your business.

When developing an effective Facebook marketing strategy, businesses must understand two main things: 1) Who is on the platform and 2) How they are using it.

So, who makes up Facebook’s billions of users? They come from all over the world and represent all age groups. Here are some interesting statistics:

  1. In Canada, over 72% of the population has access to Facebook. The number of Facebook users in Canada reached 27.35 million in 2021 and is expected to reach 36.2 million by 2026. (Source: Statista)
  2. 83% of Canadians have a Facebook account, making it the top social platform in our country. (Source: Hootsuite)
  3. Many of Facebook’s users are between the ages of 25 and 34. (Source: Statista)
  4. Two-thirds of Facebook users visit a local business page at least once a week. (Source: Sprout Social)
  5. Facebook ads are among the most cost-effective advertising options for small businesses, and its marketing features extend into Instagram (which Facebook owns) and Messenger. (Source: WordStream)

Instagram

Instagram has expanded tremendously over the years and continues to do so. The photo-sharing app has evolved from being a favourite place for people to share their holiday, food, and family photos into a platform that appeals to a wide range of influencers, advertisers, and brands. Instagram is an excellent platform for humanizing your company, showcasing your values, and elevating your brand through eye-catching images and videos.

It’s probably safe to say that your target audience is on Instagram. In fact, your ideal customers are probably scrolling through their Instagram feeds right now! Check out these numbers:

  1. Instagram is estimated to have 1.074 billion users worldwide in 2021 (Source: eMarketer), and it’s the fastest growing social media platform in Canada.
  2. The average Instagram user spends at least 7 hours per week on the platform. (Source: Sprout Social)
  3. 71% of the billion monthly active users on the Instagram app are under the age of 35; The single most popular age range is users between the ages of 25-34, followed by users between the ages of 18-24. (Source: Statista)
  4. Even though Instagram is most popular among those aged 18 to 30 (Gen Z and Millennials), 71% of B2B companies now have an Instagram account. (Source: Social Media Examiner)
  5. 50% of Instagram users follow at least one business, meaning that businesses have a great opportunity to increase their reach through Instagram. (Source: mention). One appealing option for brands is they can add contact information to their Instagram Business pages, which isn’t an option for personal profiles. This includes a business phone number and physical address.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a powerful business-oriented network and the most popular social media platform for professionals. The content shared on this platform is primarily designed to improve a company’s profile, connect with other businesses, and encourage job recruitment.

Although it’s not the biggest social network, or the one with the largest reach, LinkedIn is still a great site to be on, whether your business offers B2B or B2C products and/or services. Here are some statistics to consider:

  1. LinkedIn has 722 million members; 57% of the platform’s users are men, and 43% are women. (Source: Hootsuite)
  2. 1% of all Internet users in Canada use LinkedIn each month, and 44% of all Internet users in Canada have an account on this social platform. (Source: eMarketer). LinkedIn reports a total of 17 million users in Canada.
  3. 9% of LinkedIn’s users are between 25 and 34 years old. (Source: Hootsuite)
  4. 55 million companies are on LinkedIn. (Source: Hootsuite)
  5. LinkedIn is only second to Facebook as the most popular social media network for B2B marketers. (Source: HubSpot)

Twitter

Whether you love the platform or not, Twitter can be an extremely effective tool for expanding your company’s online presence. If you’ve spent any time at all on the platform, you already know how fast-paced and chaotic it can be, so It’s vital to be able to stand out as a business on Twitter these days if you want to succeed. Here are a few numbers to help you decide whether tweeting may be worth your while:

  1. There are 554,750,000 active users on Twitter. (Source: Rival IQ)
  2. 24% of people check their Twitter feed more than twice a day. (Source: Rival IQ)
  3. 70% of small businesses are on Twitter. (Source: Rival IQ)
  4. 33% of Twitter users follow a brand. (Source: Rival IQ)
  5. 79% of Twitter users are more likely to recommend brands they follow and 67% of Twitter users are more likely to buy from brands they follow. (Source: Rival IQ)

YouTube

Does your business create a lot of video content? When it comes to traffic, revenue, and a vast user base that can’t get enough of video content for any brand’s target audience or budget, YouTube’s effectiveness for a business is beyond compare. Even better? It’s not too late to start a YouTube account for your business if you haven’t already, and the process isn’t complicated.

Having a business YouTube channel can help you reach a larger audience, expand your business, and further establish your brand. Check out these statistics:

  1. YouTube has 2 billion monthly active users worldwide, making it a very close second to Facebook. (Source: Foundation)
  2. There are YouTube users in over 100 countries. (Source: Foundation)
  3. YouTube is not just for the teens and millennials. Surprisingly, the fastest growing demographic currently on YouTube are Baby Boomers and Generation X. (Source: Foundation)
  4. Google recently revealed that Generation Xers (ages 39-53) now account for over 1.5 billion views per day on YouTube, with 75% of that group viewing YouTube at least once a month. (Source: Foundation)
  5. 90% of users say they discover new companies or products on YouTube, which could mean that video is becoming a more common way to get your brand’s name out there. (Source: Foundation)

Are you ready to make your business stand out on social media?

There are even more social media platforms available than we have covered above — and new ones pop up almost every day it seems. Either way, social media networks are exciting marketing tools to have in your toolbox and managing them and engaging your customer base is one of our areas of expertise. Your business is unique and the social media activity you choose needs to be aligned with your needs.  Let’s talk about the options!

Which Social Media Platforms Does My Business Need?

Which Social Media Platforms Does My Business Need?

As a business owner, you already know that social media is an essential tool to have in your marketing toolbox. You may also be aware that using the most appropriate social media platform(s) for your business can assist you in attracting new business while retaining existing customers. Other business goals that can be accomplished by using social media include driving traffic to your website, capturing a higher quality of leads, driving in-person sales, and boosting brand awareness and engagement.

The only issue with choosing social media platforms? There are so many possibilities!

A few years ago, choosing your brand’s social media platforms used to be fairly “simple”: you started a Facebook Page, created a Twitter profile, and then gradually added others. It is safe to say that the social landscape has changed a lot since the early days. Instagram has become much more popular (and stayed popular) for businesses and individuals. Facebook’s dwindling organic reach is a troublesome reality for business owners; Twitter’s algorithms are always changing; and LinkedIn is seeing increased traffic. Surprisingly, platforms like Pinterest and TikTok have become quite popular for brands, and if you are going to create video content, YouTube should be at the top of your list.

Trying to be active on dozens of social media channels at the same time is simply not feasible. So, it’s important to determine which ones are right for your business and marketing efforts. Here are some suggestions to help decide which social media channels are best for you.

Begin with your own audience.

When it comes to social media platforms, your target audience is unquestionably the most important consideration. Nothing else, not even size, matters if your audience is not engaged on the channel. Facebook, for example, has the most active users of any network. However, if your target audience is hanging out on TikTok or Instagram then that is where you should be.

In other words, each platform has a unique core audience; it is critical to identify your target audience and connect with them through their preferred social media channel. At the same time, if your product and target audience do not use a specific network, it makes no sense for you to be on that network.

What are your competitors doing?

Although you shouldn’t do something just because your rival is doing it, it is often quite helpful to see what others in your industry are doing so you can make an informed decision. Consider things such as what platforms they are using, what is working (and not working) for them, and how engaged their audiences are on each channel.

Consider how your brand comes across to others.

Your products and services, as well as the personality of your brand and the nature of your business, should all play a role in the social media platforms you select. For example, creative brands and artists could focus on visual sites like Instagram or Pinterest, while B2B companies should have LinkedIn at or near the top of their lists. Keep in mind though that there are no black-and-white options when it comes to platform selection. Plenty of B2B and B2C companies may have a visually attractive brand presence that potentially allows them to shine on Instagram, too.

Learn about the different platforms and understand them.

Each social media site has its own distinct personality and communication style. Twitter, for example, is wonderful for discussions and popular subjects, whereas LinkedIn is great for highlighting professional skills and corporate information. One important reason we recommend Facebook to businesses is that this account allows happy clients to tag you and recommend you.

Taking some time to learn about the channels you are considering as well as becoming familiar with the communication protocol has several advantages. Doing this will not only assist you in determining the ideal platform(s) for your business, but it will also assist you in avoiding communication blunders.

Are you ready to get social? We can help!

As you can see, having a solid social media presence provides numerous benefits, especially when you use the best platforms for your business. If you are eager to get started with social media management, we would love to help you avoid wasting time on sites that aren’t going to bring you the results you deserve. Find out how we can help your business stand out on social media by calling or visiting us online!

Who is Minding Your Store?

Who is Minding Your Store?

Imagine you are out window shopping one day. Suddenly, you come across a lovely new store with an incredible selection of exactly what you have been looking for! How exciting! You cannot wait to start shopping, so you walk on in. However, once you start looking around the store, you start to feel a little uncertain about shopping there. Something just doesn’t feel right, but you can’t put your finger on it. Then suddenly, you realize what’s going on…there is not a single person around to talk to. Not one.

Who is going to answer your questions or help you with your purchase? What if you buy something but need to return it? Who is minding this store? Unless you prefer a completely automated shopping experience, you are probably going to leave this beautiful store and never return.

Surprisingly, albeit it virtually, this scenario occurs on a regular basis for many of us on our favourite social media pages. And, unfortunately, there are far too many pages with large numbers of fans who receive no responses to their questions or comments. With someone to “mind the store,” so to speak, these pages would potentially see increased reach and engagement, as well as more trust and brand loyalty from their fans.

Why is community management so important?

There’s no doubt that social media use has exploded since 2004, and the numbers of users continues to rise. As a result, community management of social media pages on the major platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn has become a critical component of customer service. Good community management is key to retaining current customers as well as acquiring new customers, especially through referrals.

Are you still not completely convinced? Check out these statistics:

  1. As of 2020, there are 3.78 billion social media users, which equates to about 48% of the current world population. (Statista)
  2. 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend that same brand to their friends and family. (Ambassador)
  3. In 2020, nearly 6 in 10 consumers preferred visiting social media pages of brands before deciding to visit their websites (an 81% increase from 2019). (Digital Information World)

Clients and Community Managers work together!

The relationship between a client/brand and its Community Manager is critical for a variety of reasons, but especially because it requires complete confidence for them to delegate the critical task of engaging with their consumers on their behalf. Although it can truly be challenging at times, it is important to understand both the tone of voice, and the industry jargon. This ensures that engagement with the clients’ followers on their social media pages is reliable and genuine.

Community Managers are on the front lines to promote and protect their clients’ reputation. This includes responding to negative feedback and all comments in a timely and respectful manner. All in all, the client is counting on their Community Manager to “mind the store”. By interacting with customers through social media platforms you are showing them that you care. What may seem like a simple gesture will often go a long way toward establishing positive customer relationships.

Let’s Begin.

At MYOB, our Community Managers research your brand and competitors to develop a strategy to meet your marketing goals. They will prepare an audit of your existing accounts and offer recommendations to move forward. MYOB can help you mind your own business better!