Category: Small Business

06 Sep

Promoted Pins prove powerful

Harrison Maud Pinterest, Small Business, social media, social media strategy Tags: , 0 Comments

Pinterest reached an incredible milestone this year — 150 million monthly active users, up 50% year-on-year. Also, they reported they’re serving 10 billion recommendations a day, 150 million visual searches monthly and more than 2 billion text-based searches.

For product-oriented brands, Pinterest’s Promoted Pins are an unbeatable opportunity to broaden your audience and expand engagement of organic Pins or videos that translate to impactful sales results.

Similar to Facebook’s Boosted Posts, Promoted Pins are blasted through Pinterest and exposed to more targeted viewers. This helps Pinners discover new things and ideas quicker. They stand out to users, regularly receiving more engagement and superior user ratings over organic Pins appearing in their feed.

Brands can purchase Promoted Pins for any type of marketing goals, such as raising awareness, creating engagement, or improving viewer traffic. You can designate how-tos, demos, sneak peeks, or ideas as a Promoted Pin on your board.

Promoted Pins raise awareness to a targeted audience that is already using the platform to search for ideas and products. As Pinners gain interest, your brand could gain a Pinterest following with the ability to grow exponentially

With Promoted Video, a new feature that allows brands to broadcast videos to a broader audience, you can provide a more direct call-to-action for Pinners to click under the video for more on the products or services featured.

Pinterest is not important for every brand, but it is an effective platform to connect customers with products and lifestyle brands. With the right strategy, target audience, content and budget — Promoted Pins can drive profit.

09 Aug

#ShopEdmond: Why Response Matters

Michaela Lawson Business, Content, Small Business, Social, Twitter Tags: , , , , , , ,

By Michaela Lawson

A local hashtag became the top trending topic on Twitter and even received national response on Friday amid other big ticket news items – Russell Westbrook’s extension and the 2016 Olympics Opening Ceremony to name a few.

The hashtag #ShopEdmond was besieged with responses on Twitter Friday after the lifestyle magazine Edmond Active said it had trademarked the phrase.

IMG_8761

The Twitterverse heartily rejected this assertion, and the hashtag was used by outraged users posting everything from silly pictures to heated screeds about marketing and intellectual property law.

The long and short of the dilemma stemmed from the publisher of the lifestyle magazine Edmond Active, Sherri Hultner, trying to defend a trademarked phrase when used for marketing and advertising purposes. Hultner said the tweet was intended for businesses trying to leverage #ShopEdmond audiences for their own business without advertising with Edmond Active.

However, the tweet requesting people not to use the hashtag was seen as an attempt to keep the public from using the hashtag as well, which is what seemingly fueled the negative conversation.

“It’s not even really a hashtag that the public uses,” Hultner said in a phone interview with The Oklahoman. “It hasn’t been an issue except for three or four people grabbing it for marketing.”

Not only did the original tweet offend, though, but the initial responses between the brand and upset Twitter users – including the blocking of local reporter Brianna Bailey – caused the controversy to continue growing until was a nationally trending topic and garnered a response from the man who created the hashtag, Chris Messina.

IMG_8763Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 12.46.31 PM

Our own Mike Koehler, CEO and Chief Strategist, discussed the issue with KFOR reporter Lorne Fultonberg on Friday afternoon.

So, how could things have gone differently?

In any misunderstanding or issue involving brands, the biggest factor to a successful resolution ultimately lies in the immediate response by the brand. Here are a few things to keep in mind when responding to a crisis on any scale through social media:

  1. Step back and look at the whole picture

By allowing yourself a little bit of time to figure out the best response to whatever is happening, you automatically decrease the possibility of making the problem worse through hastily drafted responses. Allow yourself the time to have consistent, thought-out responses to defuse the situation.

Often times, having the right people in your corner can make the difference. Seeing a situation from multiple perspectives helps identify your blind spots for an overall better response. You may even need to consider having a marketing firm to consult with regularly to prevent and effectively respond to situations like these when they occur.

  1. Be upfront, honest and transparent

Own up to your shortcomings in the situation. If you said something you shouldn’t have, apologize wholeheartedly to those you upset and try to right the wrong. If there has been a misunderstanding, apologize for being unclear and reconsider your message. Understand where the outrage is coming from and address that concern directly. People are more graceful when you admit wrongdoing than trying to defend it further.

  1. Respond as quickly as possible

Once you figure out the right approach to resolving the issue, you want to respond to the problem as quickly as possible to try to get in front of the problem before it becomes overbearing in responses. Shaping your own messaging is important for being able to frame the issue correctly before someone else can write their version of your story for you.

  1. Consider what you could do differently

For ongoing issues, see if there is another viable option to resolving the problem without going to social media about the concern. For #ShopEdmond specifically, we suggest reaching out to the few brands using the hashtag without advertising with the magazine. By approaching them directly, you have the opportunity to express your concern and possible establish a relationship that would lead to a partnership opportunity with those businesses as well. The entire Twitter backlash may have been avoided using this approach.

Ultimately, if you need help in a situation like this, know who to call. Oftentimes, there is a fine balance between dealing with crises effectively and making them worse. By having a plan in place for difficult times, you are able to learn to effectively handle issues when they inevitably rise for your business.

20 Apr

Getting your event noticed on Snapchat

Michaela Lawson Business, OKC, Our Clients, Small Business, Snapchat, Social, social media

By Michaela Lawson

When Snapchat opened custom on-demand geofilters to everyone, brands and marketers everywhere went crazy about the news. However, these custom Snapchat geofilters have flown largely under the radar, and are most commonly used by cities and some large events. The ability for local businesses to use these filters is relatively untapped.

While these filters could become an enormous business for Snapchat in its scalability, their value for users is also scalable. The feature is a prime example of content and context at its finest on social media.

Brands and businesses should take advantage of the ability to mark events with these custom geofilters. The value of your branding impression compared to impressions on other platforms is high because of geofilters’ ability to really be seen on the platform.

“Filters catch you off guard – they catch your attention and show up directly in your account. Plus, you’re bringing value to the viewer: they have the ability to interact with it in a contextually relevant and fun way.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

Snapchat has a pretty comprehensive guide to all the rules you need to follow when creating a filter. The premise is simple: design, map and buy. These three steps can lead to high engagement and value to users attending various events, especially local events.

For Rayo OKC’s opening night on April 2, Smirk New Media created a Snapchat geofilter to appeal to a captive audience. We wanted the brand to celebrate along with its fans about the first night of professional soccer in the North American Soccer League in the OKC Metro. With over 400 uses and more than 21,000 views overall, the geofilter brought awareness and creativity to fans in the stands.

In creating the filter, we followed Snapchat’s steps:

  • Design: We came up with a half dozen examples of what could be done on Snapchat – in the top of the screen, bottom of the screen or corner, in ways that would highlight the brand, but still allow users to create a great photo.
  • Map: Snapchat allows you to build a geographic fence on a map in which your geofilter will work. We made a pretty tight boundary for the Rayo OKC filter – just the boundaries of Miller Stadium where the team was playing. This pumped up the exclusivity of the filter and made it a real game-day experience.
  • Buy: Snapchat’s custom geofilter offering is priced based on two factor – square footage of your mapped area and time it will be active.

Local brands and businesses have more to offer their audiences through the use of geofilters for events, whether it’s a grand opening or a monthly event. In order to help brands provide more to their audiences and customers, we are now offering services to create and manage event geofilters. Contact us for more information.

16 Mar

Bridging the Social Media Skills Gap

Content, Facebook, Featured, Google Plus, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Marketing, OKC, Oklahoma, SEO, Services, Small Business, social media, social media strategy, strategy, Twitter

social media skills

By Michaela Lawson

In the last 12 years of the evolving social media world, the number of users on platforms are ever-increasing, while marketers lack the confidence and skills for effective messaging on the different networks. The missed opportunities and lost revenue continues to build as the social media skills gap goes unaddressed.

By taking note of some of the causes of the social media skills gap and providing solutions to each, businesses and brands can move from baffled marketers to skilled managers.

Cause: Ever-changing platforms and features

It seems that every few months, at least one social platform has changed a feature – usually Facebook’s algorithm is the culprit of this cause of the increasing skill gap. Some months, it seems as though every platform is rolling out something new: Instagram’s account switching, Twitter’s optional algorithm, etc.

With ever-changing platform features, it can be difficult for brands to keep up with the latest trends on each social hub while still running their business efficiently and effectively.

Solution: Staying informed

Make time to stay informed on the latest trends in social media platforms. Set up Google Alerts for social media news to be pushed to you, rather than seeking it out yourself. Get connected with social media marketers on various platforms to see what they’re talking about in the social media news.

Cause: Lack of understanding social media expectations

Where users previously expected brands to only talk about their products and services, social media allows for two-sided relationships between brands and consumers. The wide adaptability of social media among consumers comes with their expectations to get answers to their questions on whichever platform they decide.

Solution: Know what is being said about your brand, respond

When consumers have either an extremely positive or a negative experience a product or service, they often times take to social media to tell their followers about it. Knowing where your brand is being talked about and what is being said is half of the customer service model on social media. Platforms give brands the opportunity to respond to their critics – and fans – in real-time with their complaints or praises.

Cause: Not receiving the proper education on social media

Unavoidably, many business owners and brand managers did not have a course on social media when they were in school. As a newer trend, these courses didn’t exist, or if they did, they were not comprehensive.

Solution: Social media and younger work generations

As social media becomes more and more prevalent with every new platform, their importance is being taught to the next generation of business owners, marketers and brand ambassadors. For current brand managers and business owners, there are various seminars and courses offered throughout the year educating on the latest and greatest of social media.

Smirk New Media is dedicated to keeping information channels open between brands and audiences. Through media training sessions and workshops for small business owners, Smirk aims to help bridge the social media skills gap.

 

08 Mar

Smirk reacts to Facebook Reactions

Business, Content, Facebook, Mike Koehler, OKC, Oklahoma, Services, Small Business, Social, social media, social media strategy, strategy

facebook-reactions

Facebook’s Reactions feature rolled out globally in February and was met with excitement and criticism – as most things are – by people everywhere. After the initial dissatisfaction of Facebook still not having a “dislike” button, the Reactions available to users were embraced with excitement… and some confusion. Like all new things, it will take a little while to fully utilize the new feature. Ultimately, however, Facebook Reactions allow for more authentic engagement with posts.

The Smirk team sat down to discuss their favorite reaction, least favorite reaction and the advantages of reactions for brands and marketers.

What’s your favorite new reaction?

“I love the idea of the multiple reactions because as a user, it gives me more appropriate responses. I think people have already gravitated to that idea.

So far, I like “wow” and “haha” the best, because I think that is going to give us the most insight on how we make content better for these audiences. You want to elicit emotions in order to get engagement and, for lack of a better word, stickiness in the relationship between the brand and the audience.” – Mike Koehler, CEO and Chief Strategist

“Since the smirk isn’t an option yet, my favorite new reaction is the “love” sign because it’s a much more powerful sentiment than the original “like” and can help us gauge what content is resonating with the audience.” – Allie Carrick, Managing Director

“I honestly like all of them, but I think the “wow” and the heart are a tie for me. As marketers, you want to create content that moves people. It’s easy to get a “like,” but to create something that someone loves or takes them by surprise is a powerful thing. And now we can more accurately measure that.” – Kevin DeShazo, Senior Strategist

“I think my favorite reaction so far is the sad face. Not the most positive reaction, I know, but I’ve seen too many statuses and news articles over the years that has a certain mood that doesn’t quite fit the “like” reaction.” – Samaiyah Islam, Strategist

“My favorite Facebook reaction is “love”. The shape and color are the most distinct and it appears to make a wholly positive impression wherever it is left. I have seen it used primarily in three ways so far: people posting life events (such as engagements), people posting that they’re feeling sad (the “love” then being used as an “I love you”/”I am here for you”) and people posting screenshots of conversations in which they are being funny/arguing with someone and the “love” being used as a reward (“love the way you shut them down”, “love your sassy response”). The uses are so varied! Side note: I love that all of the reactions are animated on mobile.” – Kailey Emerson, Sales Strategist

“My favorite is the “love” reaction because it shows so much more emotion than just a simple “like”. As a user of Facebook, I appreciate the ability to show a wider range of response to a post beyond just a like. It’s nice that I can show that I saw the post without saying I “like” something sad or serious that may have happened in a friend/family member’s life.” – Lennon Patton, Sales Strategist

What’s your least favorite reaction?

“I guess I like the “like” reaction the least then, because that isn’t giving us as much information to drill down with.” – Mike

“I don’t think I have a least favorite, as all have a place. There are times when a post will make you sad or angry, and it should, so while some may see those as fueling negativity, I see them as a way to respond to posts that, for good reason, make us sad or angry.” – Kevin

“Because I am already used to seeing the “love” reaction used in a comforting way, I just can’t get behind the “sad” reaction. It’s too simple. I almost think the appeal of the other reactions is that they can be used in a wider variety of contexts. Maybe I just haven’t seen “sad” shine yet.” – Kailey

What can Facebook Reactions add to brands and managers?

“If we have a brand that can be a little cheekier with, these nuanced responses will help us do more of one kind of content and less of another. More real-time insights on Facebook are always great, because they allow us to pivot faster on the content creativity.” – Mike
“We’re always looking for new and improved ways to measure brand sentiment for our clients and the prospect of going beyond the “like” in a quick, easy format is exciting. For years, users have expressed that “like” just didn’t go far enough when they feel passionate about a piece of content.

I’m hoping the new reactions are just the tip of the iceberg in Facebook’s efforts to help users and brands connect and understand each other better. When brand managers have a deeper understanding of a Page’s digital audience, we can elevate our content — resulting in a better overall user experience. Plus, the easier it is for users to engage with our content, the more valuable this platform is for advertisers.” – Allie

“I like the 6 they have now, but one option would be too add a “confused/confusing” emoji reaction, for those posts that just make us scratch our heads and wonder what in the world we just read/saw.” – Kevin

“The new reactions feature will be great for managers because it gives them an idea of how their content is performing. Rather than just relieving a “lazy like” from your audience, you can see if people thought your content was funny or offensive. If you are getting a ton of “wow” or “angry” reactions on content that you didn’t mean to be controversial, you can get in front of the crisis and handle it accordingly.” – Samaiyah

“I think it will be another interesting aspect of engagement to measure. Right now, people are using the reactions in such varied ways, but I think over time there may be a more standardized usage and from there we can figure out how best to measure them. I am excited to see what it will reflect.” – Kailey

06 Mar

Moneyball comes to social media

Mike Koehler Content, Facebook, Marketing, Small Business, Social, social media, social media strategy, strategy Tags: , , , ,

Mark Zuckerberg is many things, but he’s not a dummy. He’s also a multi-billionaire. He also holds (and pulls) the strings on a social media platform very important to us and our clients.

So it’s been no surprise as Facebook has become more focused on money. Since going public, Facebook is looking for a steady steam of revenue. And, frankly, for too long we’ve been able to leverage content on the site, especially promotional business content, to a captive audience without ever having to pay a penny to Facebook.

That all changed at the beginning of this year, when Facebook turned around the rules of what kind of reach sales-driving content got for free. The answer: Zero.

Boosting posts and buying ads in order to improve reach is now a must for all businesses. And for people sitting in our seats as strategists, so is the importance of understanding the nuances of just what they are getting for that money. This is not a matter of throwing tons of money at a platform and all your problems are solved. Like everything with social media, there are a lot more intricacies to that, especially if you are looking to reach very specific audiences with very specific messages.

This is where we can put into play what seems to me to be the Moneyball aspect of social media strategy work. For those of you nerds who haven’t been plugged into sports for the past decade, “Moneyball” is a best seller written by Michael Lewis, about how the Oakland A’s used data to make decisions about the players they would add to their team rather the gut instincts of their scouting department, because it allowed the A’s and their limited payroll to compete with teams like the Yankees who were able to stock up on talent with big-money contracts.

This Moneyball idea has since spread to many other sports teams and businesses, who are looking to analytics in order to draft the best players and make their personnel dollars stretch when it comes to competing with other, often larger and more revenue-rich, organizations.

As someone who works with small and medium sized business, and is part of one myself, this Moneyball philosophy has a lot of appeal. But I’ve also seen the idea of precise targeting of dollars in social media spending be trampled by a run-away elephant of brands who are throwing cash at agencies, who in turn throw it at the platforms with no real strategy in place. Aside from the strategy of SPEND!

This is the New York Yankees plan, and I guess works at times, but it becomes a battle only the most bloated powers can fight.  A big enough company could, in theory, buy so many ads on so many platforms to make any targeting unnecessary. They want to reach everyone, and indeed they will reach everyone. But then does that reach turn into transactions, or by then are people so sick of the brand buying its way in front of their eyeballs that they want nothing to do with them?

And on the agency side, is there any effectiveness in taking loads of money to buy a wide reach when none of those customers are going to have any relationship with your brand. It’s like we say about follower and fan numbers – you can get a billion Chinese people to like your page if you pay enough money, but unless your small business in Edmond needs a billion Chinese customers it doesn’t do you any good. Anyone who has done and continues to do this sort of unfocused cash dump for clients is only interested in their piece of the cash dump.

Now let’s get back to Moneyball. What does that look like in the digital marketing space? It looks a lot like targeting to a very nitty-gritty audience in order to make $5 or $10 a day into a potent weapon, while at the same time using great content to continue to service the audience who are sticking with your brand every day on social media. Fortunately, the platforms continue to provide us in the social media strategy building world with metrics, statistics and data that shows results, often in real time, just as the originators of Moneyball had at their nerdy fingertips when they were determining the real value of players who got on base or were efficient with each at-bat.

In a world of online marketing, where every dollar counts, where every piece of content is a doorway between your brand and a potential sale, and where the rules can be changed from day-to-day on the whim of a young billionaire, it pays to be agile and able to make smart moves instead of big ones.

27 Feb

The thin line between brand relevancy and trying too hard

Michaela Lawson Small Business, SmallBiz, social media strategy Tags: , , , , ,

We’ve all known that middle-aged relative that tries too hard to be hip with the times. They start conversations with sayings like “the good ol’ days” and tales of “when I was your age” and frequently asking what “you kids are calling it these days.”

Some brands have crossed the line of relatable and, in doing so, became THAT middle-aged relative, making their messages something to sigh about rather than respond to.

These brands grasp at the waves of trends and end up looking like fools among the masses of millennials. Referring to your newest item as “clutch” does not appeal to the younger generation and infiltrating snapchat translates as an invasion of their privacy. Instead of following the ever-changing trends, brands need to be generating creative, yet appropriate messages that have a voice of their own.

Creating a Voice

Find a tone that communicates your brand’s items, products, services or mission effectively, while maintaining the interest of your audience. Especially if you’re not targeting teens, why would your brand sound like one? Instead of jeopardizing the loyal fan base you’ve already established, focus your efforts on catering to your niche network. Brands should not be chameleons, changing their ways to entice and fit in with every crowd. Instead, brands should own their image and be consistent with it.

Reaching Out vs. Selling Out

Being part of the trending network is not always creating trends in your messages. Brands can be an active part of conversation if their business or product is directly intertwined with the topic at hand. Consumers do not expect businesses to participate in every trending topic. In fact, most audiences get annoyed with brands that they perceive are trying too hard to insert themselves into every conversation. There’s a difference between participating in a conversation with your industry and fitting your products into trends that do not pertain to your brand at all (square peg, round hole).

Stand Your Ground

Everyone can respect a brand that knows their voice and sticks with it. No one expects an oil company to know the ins and outs of the upcoming Oscar awards. Knowing your avenues of conversation is the first step to successful relationships with audiences. Understanding the when, where and why of all messaging is essential to survival in the muddy waters of trends and slang.

Don’t be the brand that people are rolling their eyes at for referring to your product, service or customer as being your “bae.” Be a contributor of useful content, not more noise.

23 Feb

Rediscovering a redesign, finding fun in February

Mike Koehler Business, Content, Entreprenuer, SEO, Small Business, Social, social media, Twitter

What is it about February?

Maybe it’s the ability to breathe after the busyness of the holidays and the inevitable re-evaluation of all things that happens around New Year’s.

That one-one punch, along with the fun and challenges that come with our continued growth seems to hit Smirk New Media in February as well.

In 2012, it was the first major overhaul of our website. In 2014, it was the launch of Social Network Staffing. Today, it’s a brand new version of our website – the best yet. We felt like it was a critical time to do it for a few reasons, a few of which we hear echoed by clients.

First, is this whole February thing again. I don’t think it’s just us who get antsy about flexing our creative muscles, and trying out new ideas. All our pals at the most popular social media platforms have been bowling us over with changes since the new year flipped. Twitter has added native video, group direct messages and continues to improve promoted Tweets. Facebook tweaked the rules for promotional content and is turning social media video on its head. Pinterest is getting deeper metrics. LinkedIn’s muscular content publishing abilities are growing. Instagram is opening up ads to more brands and Snapchat keeps being gross.

With the challenge of keeping up with those changes is one of our most important roles — to provide great social media strategy — the Smirk New Media brains have to be the first line of defense for our clients. We wanted our site to reflect that speed of change and how important relevance is in what we do.

Second, words are important. We do words. We aren’t designers or developers, coders or conductors. We create great online content, on social media and on the web. It was time our own “words on the web” got an overhaul. Each one counts. It counts for us and it definitely counts for other small businesses looking to break through to a larger audience. Words matter to search engine optimization (SEO), words matter for strategy, words matter in content strategy. Honestly, I was getting tired of using the “shoemaker’s children” excuse as to why our site was older than the web sites we’d project managed. No more excuses. Only results.

Finally, here’s to flexibility and personality.

When we talk about “Smirk New Media” to someone new to us, there’s always that puzzled look of “You’re what now?” about the name of the company. When I get a speaking engagement, I often hear about my “unique” or “laid-back” speaking style. We have a Smirk New Media way of doing things. We’re not a huge, full service agency. We’re small, we’re scrappy, we have fun and fight to do the best job we can in space that drives us crazy and makes us happy. We want a site that reflects what we try to explain to everyone about the Smirk name and what we do. A smirk is an intersection of a ridiculousness and seriousness. We know that’s what we do and we’re glad to do with with more and more clients in new and improved ways.

12 Feb

Why social media makes sense for small businesses

Michaela Lawson Small Business Tags: , , , , ,

Social media is this century’s Model T – the accessible and affordable vehicle that drives efficient interaction between small businesses and their audiences.

According to Hubspot, 92 percent of marketers in 2014 viewed social media to be an important asset for their business, which is a six percent increase from 2013. Social media is no longer an option for businesses; adaptation is essential and only the most fit survive. Here’s a quick look at the top five benefits (of the top ten from Forbes) of social media marketing for small businesses:

Increases brand recognition. Every interaction fuels more interactions. So, sharing content immediately produces more reach and generates better brand recognition. Audiences only know as much about you as you provide and the frequency in which you share with them, the better recognizable you become. For example, say you meet someone for the first time and when you part ways, you immediately forget their name. The more interaction you have with that person, the more likely you are to remember their name and you build a relationship with them.

Reinforces brand loyalty. People want to talk to people and interaction increases interest. Engagement with customers transforms you from a number-crunching organization into a living, breathing organism. The more your audience cares about what you do, the more loyal they are to your company and the more likely they will become brand ambassadors.

Builds brand authority. When people have something to say about a product or service, they say it on social media. Their social spheres become your social sphere through association. If their followers like your services too, a ripple effect is formed and the more people talking about you on social media, the more valuable and authoritative your brand seems to new users. Posting valuable nuggets of information allow your followers to rely on you for new reliable information about their interests.

Creates better SEO rankings. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “organic” search results. Studies show that more than 58 percent of marketers who have been using social media for one year or longer improved search engine rankings (Hubspot). Search engines look for the best possible site for what their users are looking for. It does this by figuring out which websites provide you the most satisfaction through four key elements:

  • Content – What are you contributing to viewers? This includes the products, services and/or ideas you provide audiences.
  • Performance – The speed and functionality of your website for providing information.
  • Authority – Determines if your information is unique, consistent and sharable among multiple platforms.
  • User Experience – This establishes how satisfied your audience is with your website based on appearance and how ease the website is to navigate. If a user is frustrated with their inability to find what they are looking for on your social platform, they are less likely to visit the site multiple times.

Improves customer insights. Finally, in an era of mutually beneficial relationships between customers and brands, social media enables businesses to break the one-way glass and have open communication with their audience. As customers get to know your company, they invite you into their social circle and allow you to know them as individuals. This allows brand messaging to be relevant to your audiences based on their interests. According to eBizMBA, the top user sites of 2015 are:

  1. Facebook (approximately 900 million unique visitors monthly)
  2. Twitter (310 million/mo.)
  3. LinkedIn (255 million/mo.)
  4. Pinterest (250 million/mo.)
  5. Google+ (120 million/mo.)
  6. Tumblr (110 million/mo.)
  7. Instagram (100 million/mo.)

While businesses may have been able to survive without social media in the past, they simply cannot in this day and age. Not adapting has serious repercussions, consider these:

  • It’s highly likely that your competitors are connecting with potential customers through social media and if you’re not, they have an advantage.
  • The sooner you begin, the sooner you benefit. Your audience is waiting for you.
  • Long-lasting marketing, branding and sales benefits outweigh the cost and time it takes to launch your accounts and create effective content.

You’ve passed your driving test (starting a business), you just need to get in the car (social media) and drive (promote your brand).

17 Feb

Can Small Businesses See Big Returns From Social Media?

Allie Carrick LinkedIn, Small Business, SmallBiz, social media Tags: , , 0 Comments

Small_Businesses_-_geograph.org.uk_-_682645

By: Kurtis Wiles

A new study conducted by TNS on behalf of LinkedIn found that 81 percent of small businesses (SMBs) are currently using social media to drive business growth and 94 percent are meeting marketing objectives through the integration of social media.

The study, called Priming the Economic Engine, surveyed nearly 1000 SMBs to glean insight about their industry and how implementing social media or not implementing social media has impacted their business over the past few years. Almost three out of every five SMBs say that consistent social media integration has played a key role in their business gaining new customers. Not only is there growth in new customers, but according to the study, SMBs are seeing a lot more customer interaction and engagement from existing customers – especially customers who have had positive experiences with their organization.

The fact: Businesses that have devoted themselves to integrating social media as a marketing tool have met marketing objectives through stronger customer acquisition and retention.

According to another LinkedIn study, conducted by Borrell Associates, there is a strong correlation between SMBs that have increased social media spending and those that have achieved “hyper growth.”

“Through the study, we found that SMBs that are in growth mode rely heavily on social media for multiple activities in their value chain,” said Jennifer Grazel, category head for financial services at LinkedIn.

Hyper-growth companies with significant year-over-year increases in revenue are among the most active in social media marketing, finding the most effective social media practices to include branding, word-of-mouth, lead generation and content marketing.

The fact: Increasing financial resources in social media efforts and effectively “practicing” your brand through social media often leads to successful growth – even hyper-growth in some industries.

According to the U.S. Small Business Association, seven out of every 10 new jobs are created by small businesses. To learn more about the new social media positions that will be seen in 2014 (maybe even in your own small business) click here.

RECENT TWEETS

SOCIAL PROFILES

Join our emailing list