Website, Social Media, and Digital Marketing Solutions
The Power of the Facebook Boost

To boost, or not to boost? Facebook is actively squashing your reach, and if you want to get noticed by more than friends and family, a Facebook Boost may be just what the doctor ordered.

With some careful targeting and thoughtful construction, you can get the most from a post without breaking the bank.

Think about who your clients and customers are. Where do they live? Are they close by? Do they drive to get to you? How far?  If you’re a restaurant, most likely your base clientele are within a few miles. Set your distance accordingly. If your customers are all within 15 miles, setting the distance for 50 miles is wasting your exposures but you may want to set it for 20 or 25 miles to try to get some new folks from a little further away to give you a shot.

Who are your competitors? You can target a boosted post to people who already “like” your competition. They’ll see your post whether they’ve bought in to what you’re doing or not.

What are the other things your customers might be interested in? Really give this some thought. If you’re a nicer restaurant or a high-end shop your customers may be into golf, so target people who like golf.

You don’t have to box yourself in. Get crazy, experiment a little, take a chance or two. You’re not going to break anything and if it works, you win!

Now, how much do you spend? You can have a lot of success with a carefully crafted message and a $4 boost over four days or so. That’s a dollar a day.

Wouldn’t you spend a dollar a day to reach a new group of people?

Got questions? Contact us! We can help!

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Which Social Media Platform is Right for your Small Business

Focusing primarily on one social media platform is the best way to grow your audience and gain loyal customers.

But how do you know which platform is right for your type of business?

To help you decide, here is a brief guide to the type of customer you will find on each of the 3 most popular:

  • Facebook

Facebook is still the king of social media, with Pinterest and Twitter right on its heels. If you’re not sure which platform to focus on, Facebook is still a safe bet. Businesses that require a lot of interaction, host giveaways or require a lot of explanation do best by using this platform the most.

  • Pinterest

Although a newer platform, Pinterest is growing more quickly than any other at the moment. The audience here is predominately women. Businesses that rely on visual imagery for the bulk of their advertising would be wise to spend some time growing their Pinterest platform. Anything related to gardening, beauty, weddings, decor, or recipes does especially well here.

  • Twitter

Twitter is the platform you want to use for announcements or breaking news as it’s more of a fast-paced environment. Companies focused on marketing, finance, and other topics that don’t use a lot of visual imagery do best to focus on Twitter.

Of course there are several other up-and-coming social media platforms that are catching up in subscribers, such as Instagram and Snapchat; but the 3 detailed here are still the chosen platforms for most small businesses.

Narrow your focus and choose one platform to devote your time to. You’ll find that using this tactic will have the biggest impact on audience participation.

Contact us today to find out how we can help manage your growing social media demands.

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Keeping Your Outdated Website Reflects Poorly on Your Business

A building that looks a century old suggests a business that’s reliable and trustworthy, but a website that looks ten years old conveys that its owner doesn’t care very much. It may seem unfair, but if people’s first reaction is “That looks out of date,” they’re likely to take their business elsewhere. A site that consists of a headline, a big block of text, a couple of stock pictures, and some footer links will make people feel as if the dust will make them sneeze. To bring in customers, you need an up-to-date look.

Style is a big factor, but the way people use the Web has changed too. Social media have become more important. The majority of Web access now comes from mobile devices, especially phones. A site that’s designed just for a big monitor will look terrible on a smartphone’s screen.

The word for websites that work on all kinds of devices is “responsive.” They respond to the browser environment by adapting the way they present content. A three-column layout may shrink down to one. A huge image will fit the small screen’s dimensions.

Splash pages — ones that just post a greeting and ask users to click for any actual information — went out with the Model T. A home page should give people the basic information about your site.

Links that don’t work are deadly. If your site links to places that don’t exist any more, people may wonder if your own business still does.

Social media are important. If you have social media accounts (and you should), link to them. Followers will remember your site. Also provide buttons to let people mention you on their accounts. Free publicity is nice.

With a seriously outdated website, it’s better to rebuild it from the ground up than to apply a few fixes. Your site’s design needs to reflect a thriving business that’s interested in its customers and in touch with the latest technology. Please contact us to learn how we can help give your site a modern look that will put it ahead of the competition.

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Why Social Media is Important for Your Business

Without a doubt, social media is all the rage among people of just about every demographic. In fact, one would be hard-pressed to find someone without a profile on at least one social media website. Due to its popularity, social media is frequently used by businesses as a marketing tool. Here are some reasons why social media is important for your business.

Increase Brand Awareness

The best way to boost sales is increasing brand awareness. After all, if no one knows about the products and services you offer, it’s unreasonable to expect sales to go through the roof. Not only does social media allow you to seek out potential customers, but it also allows them to find you. Many customers are turning to social media to find new brands to do business with.

Engage with Customers

More and more consumers care about the human side or “personality” of a brand. Social media allows you to engage with your customers and keep them thinking about your brand. The customers that love your brand will want the opportunity to tell you that.

Of course, the customers that don’t love your brand will also want to express their opinion. While the idea of encountering negative comments may be scary, social media serves as the perfect platform to rectify these concerns. If you deal with negative comments in a constructive way, more than likely these negative comments will become positive.

For more information about the importance of social media for businesses, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Five Questions for Figuring out Which Social Media Platform Is Right for Your Small Business

Which social media platform is right for your small business

  • What type of business do you have?

This is the most important question to consider when choosing your platform. Consider the services you offer or the products you sell. If you are a more visual business such as a photographer, baker, or in the fashion industry then Instagram is important. Another visual platform to consider is Pinterest.

Facebook is a platform that works for professional services such as law offices, writers, and the like as much as it does visual industries.

  • Are you able to condense your thoughts?

If you answered yes to this question, then you may want to choose Twitter. If this is a difficult skill to master because of your business, then skip the little bird. Keep in mind that Twitter is making changes to their limits that may help your business in the future.

  • How do you plan on updating your platforms?

As a small business owner, you often wear many hats on a daily basis. When it comes to social media, do you plan to update the platforms yourself? If so, then limit the number of platforms you join. If you plan to use a program like Hootsuite to ensure updates are made even when you are busy, then join as many as you can.

  • What is your target audience?

In order to answer this question, take a moment to consider your target consumer demographic. If you are geared towards more professionals, then consider LinkedIn and Google+. If you are trying to reach a larger number of consumers than Facebook is an important tool.

  • What is your social media advertising budget?

Marketing is extremely important for growing small businesses. How much can you afford to spend? If it is zero, you can still use many platforms including Facebook and Twitter, however, it will be difficult to stand out. if you plan to pay for ads, check out the platforms that interest you and read their ad pricing details to see if the prices fit your budget.

For more information on standing out in the social media ocean, contact us today.

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Dealing with Social Media Trolls

Dealing With Negative Reviews

Your response shows potential customers how your business deals with complaints.

Some refer to them as haters. They usually make you want to fire off a quick response in return because they’ve evoked negative emotions. A social media troll is one who deliberately posts negative comments or reviews to provoke others. Whether true or not, their intent is to cause trouble in your social media communities.

Customers are looking for reviews to see positives as well as how a business responds to complaints. The way you react to trolls can impact your reputation. Here are a few tactics to keep in mind.

1) Always respond

It’s important to always engage with a comment, whether it is positive or negative. A response shows that you took time to try and find a resolution.

2) Restate The Complaint

In your response repeat back what the customer is posting about. Is the complaint about your company or product factual?

3) Highlight Your Strengths

Show the customer that your products or services have a reputation.

4) Don’t Make Excuses

Don’t place blame on an employee or situation. Take ownership of the complaint.

5) Resolve the Issue

An offer is usually the easiest way steer the complaint towards a position outcome. This doesn’t have to be extravagant, a simple $5 gift card can often make a customer happy.

6) Don’t Be Afraid To Ask for Proof

If you feel the complaint is fraudulent don’t be afraid to ask for proof of the complaint. You loyal fans will see this complaint for what it is and support your actions.

There’s no way to completely stop negative comments or reviews, but using these tips you can help you keep them under control should you find yourself going head-to-head with a troll on your brand’s page.


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Traditional advertising agencies vs. digital marketing agencies

Have you been looking for help with your marketing? Your online presence plays a big factor in your marketing success.

What’s the difference between a digital marketing agency and a traditional advertising agency? A lot. However, many traditional advertising agencies claim to offer a full suite of digital services, when, in fact, they do not.

This isn’t a big secret. But, traditional ad agency sales pitches can seem like smoke and mirrors, hiding the fact that they are not capable of providing true digital marketing services such as search engine optimization (SEO), social marketing, and efficient website redesign and development– and let’s not forget the ever more critical content and UX strategy now necessary for any brand to truly succeed online.

This is why you see award winning creative ads, like the Susan G. Komen Addy Gold winning “Race Never Ends” by GSW with so few YouTube view counts (862 at last check after over 12 months online). The ad is remarkable, it makes an impact, it stirs your soul on an emotional level and may actually persuade you to donate or join the race – but where is it online? Perhaps that wasn’t the intent or strategy behind the ad, but if not, why not? Clearly the ad would have done very well online and the Komen Foundation would have been better served to hire a true digital marketing agency to ensure the video also had an impact online.

If you’re looking for inspiration, check out the past year’s DoGooder award winners on YouTube. Watch the videos and then find their website’s and the campaigns behind them. Video is just one element of a successful marketing and advertising strategy in today’s segmented digital marketing world. Same goes for your website, your social marketing platform or your direct mail piece. Every element of your brand’s marketing needs to be built for digital in one way or another, and the truth is, most traditional agencies simply can’t offer digital services.

To that end, many brands are now pairing agencies together, rather than turning to one traditional agency for all of their services or to one digital agency. If you’re a CMO, marketing director or brand manager, I don’t need to tell you how expensive hiring the wrong agency can be. Sure, there’s the dollar figure and investment, but even more costly is the time lost. In digital, every day you’re not truly optimizing your brand online is a day lost to the competition that you’ll never gain back. That’s why you have to hire the best digital marketing agency. End of story.

Check these scenarios. If you’re in one of them, there’s a solution below.

You’re bound to a large traditional agency by contract or political obligation.

Hire a digital agency to compliment their work with an audit or content strategy. Depending on the size of your website, these audits and content strategies cost between $300-$3,000. A small price to pay to ensure the traditional agency’s beautiful creative work actually succeeds online. Digital agencies, like ours, play very well with traditional agencies.

You love your traditional agency and don’t want to offend them by questioning their work.

First of all, you’re being too nice. This is your business and/or your career and if your agency isn’t bringing in the results you’ve spelled out then it’s okay to question the quality of their work. Now, clearly, there are always egos involved and  for a true agency partnership to succeed your approach as the client is paramount to that success. Introduce the idea of a digital agency audit as something that can help the traditional agency’s team to succeed. And be sure to choose a digital agency that will play nice with your traditional agency. Make it clear to both sides that the relationship will not be a pissing match or competition for the other’s work. “I’m happy with your agency for this reason, but we need this agency for this reason. Play nice, or I’ll have to find an agency that can do both.”

You can’t afford to hire both a traditional and digital agency, but your brand has to perform online.

Skip the traditional agencies all together, and explore a relationship with a creative digital marketing agency like Speaking Socially. We are a full service advertising agency with digital marketing at our core. So, the digital is in the bag and the traditional is just gravy. Your campaigns are then designed from the outset to perform offline and online.

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Choose the Right Social Media Platform

The first step in social marketing is to choose the right social platform to market your business. Even if you plan to use two or three different platforms, you still need to choose the ones that suit your company the best. What works for one company may not work for you. Therefore, you have to determine which one to use based on your specific needs.

You need to go where your customers/clients are!

A good place to start is with your targeted audience because different age groups are attracted to different social media platforms. If you’re targeting another business, LinkedIn may be your best option.

Consider what type of content you’ll be posting most of the time and this will also help you choose the right platform. Instagram or Pinterest are excellent choices for restaurants because of the visual effect you can achieve with photos while YouTube can work for almost any type of business.

The reason for using social media will also determine which platform to choose. For example, if you want to enhance brand awareness, Twitter is a great option but Facebook may be a better choice if you’re interested in getting consumer feedback.

Choosing the right social media platforms for your business will help to ensure you get the most from your marketing efforts.

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Four Great Social Media Strategies

Social media is a great way to enhance brand awareness and drive traffic to your site but before you set up your account, it’s a good idea to have a plan outlining your strategies first. This will help you stay focused on your goals so you can get the most from your online marketing. Below are four great social media strategies to help you get started:

1. Use more than one social media platform- This will allow you to reach a wider audience because some people prefer Facebook while others prefer Twitter or Instagram and so forth.
2. Encourage users to communicate with you- When you encourage engagement, you’ll generate more interest in your account, learn more about your followers and attract new fans.
3. Be selective who you follow- You can’t follow everyone so choose the people you do follow carefully. You want to be associated with those who have a positive influence in your industry.
4. Set goals and monitor your account- You need to have some idea of what you want to accomplish with your social marketing, so set your goals and then monitor your accounts to see what’s working and what needs changed.

You can use these four strategies with any social media platform to help you get started.

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The importance of responding to clients

You wouldn’t ignore a customer in your store asking a question at the customer service desk would you? Or even one that called in on the phone? Of course not! For years the customer service desk and telephone calls have been perceived as a normal way for customers to interact with business to get answers to questions about products or services. However, for the last ten years, a new player has been on the field of business to customer engagement and it is one that, although it is here to stay, goes unanswered 7 out of 8 times.

That new playing field is social media and it is where more and more consumers, young and old, are turning to get their questions resolved. According to a recent study, customers seeking support on social media is up 21 percent in just the last two quarters of 2015 alone and seven out of eight customer messages go unanswered within a 72 hour period.

Unfortunately, most businesses are 4 times more likely to post things to their social media then they are to answer a customer’s question or reply to a comment. If your response is “If they want to know something they can call or come in person to my store” then you can probably expect to lose that particular customer. And as it was with the telephone, it is a trend that will continue to grow.

Statistics show that the Real Estate industry is currently struggling the most with this trend, as they are 11.7 times more likely to post something than return a message from a potential client on social media and consumer goods based business are 40% slower than educational establishments which have the quickest response time.

Social customer service

So now that the scary numbers are out of the way what is the good news , you ask? Why is this important to your business? Customers who engage with companies on social media spend 20 – 40% more with those companies. 71% of those who have positive customer service through social media will recommend the brand to friends. So what is a small business who does not have multiple employees to do with limited resources in the face of this new surging trend? Simple! Follow these four steps:

  1. Develop a social media customer care strategy for your business.
  2. Equip yourself with the right tools to execute that plan.
  3. Listen and provide timely answers to questions and comments.
  4. Be genuine. You wouldn’t be otherwise in person, and your online persona should reflect the same.

If your business needs assistance setting up and implementing a social media customer care strategy or someone to maintain it for you, contact us today for a fee consultation.

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