Social Media Marketing for SF Bay Businesses

What do you do when you are so busy that you have no time to maintain an effective social media campaign for your business?

Social Media Consultant or Assistant
Hire the right social media manager for your business needs.

First: Take a look at the health of your business today.

Can your business handle more clients? How is your sales pipeline? Do you have a backlog of people to follow up with or is it empty? Are your administrative tasks handled in a timely fashion or do you find it overwhelming and draining?

Also, why do you want to maintain a social media campaign? Is it necessary to your business? Is it just for fun? Is it just because everyone else says you “must be” on social media?

After you've determined that it is necessary—and especially if you are regularly maintaining one but it is not effective and you are not receiving any clients from it, your best option might be to outsource and hire either a social media manager or an assistant.

Determine if You Need a Consultant or an Assistant

Do you:

  • Already understand social media and have a plan in mind,
  • Need someone to handle the data entry and scheduling of the posts,
  • Have additional administrative tasks that need to be completed?

I recommend hiring an assistant who is familiar with social media.

This person can be an employee or an off-site or virtual assistant (VA). A social media assistant performs social-media related tasks delegated by you or by your social media manager.

Since VAs vary widely in depth of experience, sometimes there can be real crossover between the two, especially after you and your social media VA have worked together for some time. But knowing which type of social media assistant you need before you look for one will help you get exactly the type of help you need. (The difference in what you pay a true social media manager and a social media VA can be a wide gap, too.)

Do you:

  • Want someone to guide you in creating effective social media campaigns,
  • Want to integrate your other marketing strategies (email, SEO, referrals, print, etc.) with social media,
  • Already have an administrative assistant, but social media marketing is not in their skillset?

I recommend hiring a social media consultant to handle the the strategy based on your business goals and manage the assistants to implement the campaign.

A social media consultant would be responsible for:

  • Recommending the most effective social media strategy for your business' goals and objectives,
  • Consulting with you on what your buyers want to know before they hire you,
  • Increasing awareness and reach of your brand on social media,
  • Creating a targeted strategy for your social media content,
  • Ensuring your social media communications reach the most targeted audience possible,
  • And Increasing leads from your social media campaign.

A social media consultant also manages social media assistants —both yours and hers.

For example, each of our clients are assigned a team of assistants from our agency: the Social Media Strategist, a Project Coordinator, the Social Media Manager, and a Social Media Advertiser.

A social media assistant is typically responsible for:

  • Checking and monitoring your social media accounts,
  • Scheduling and uploading posts created by you,
  • Answering common questions on your behalf,
  • And other tasks you assign to him or her.

A social media consultant is the best person to hire when you are serious about developing and implementing an effective social media strategy that will generate leads for your business.

A social media assistant is the best person to hire if you are simply too busy to enter pre-scheduled posts to Hootsuite or Buffer or customize photographs for Pinterest and just want a help with your workload.

Is it time to hire a social media consultant? Here are the signs to look for:

  • You are spending hours on social media every week, leaving money-making tasks undone.
  • You do not have time to create social media tasks to delegate to your assistant.
  • You are inconsistent with maintaining a social media presence, you are not connecting with many people, or you are not attracting your target market.
  • You are not sure which social media sites to focus on and what to post.
  • You absolutely hate using social media. (You find it distracting and a waste of time, even though you know your business needs it.)

If reason number one is your only reason (or your strongest reason), you most likely need to hire an assistant.

If any of the other signs apply to you however, it's time to hire a social media consultant.

Contact us to schedule a complimentary Online Marketing Strategy Session to discuss what your business needs and the next step to start generating online leads. >>

"Does social media really work? What's the ROI?"

Those are the most frequently asked questions I get.

Smart business owners understand that social media isn't actually free. Even when they are not active on it, they understand that to use social media effectively, it takes time and know-how... and they are often busy enough.

Investing your money on an expert may be better idea than investing your own time to become an expert.

Social Media ROI

So how do you measure your ROI for social media?

In Andrew Jenkin's article, Five Questions to Ask About Social Media ROI, Jenkins reminds businesses to ask themselves:


Are we confident about how we measure the results of our current sales and marketing efforts?

Let's start calculating your social media ROI by evaluating your current marketing efforts.

Step 1: Your Current ROI in Marketing

  • Advertising, Online
  • Advertising, Print
  • Advertising, Radio
  • Advertising, TV/Cable
  • Articles
  • Associations
  • Books
  • Catalogs
  • Cold Calls
  • Direct Mail
  • Email
  • Events
  • Newsletters
  • Promotional Products
  • Promotions
  • Public Relations
  • Referrals
  • SEO (search engine optimization)
  • Speaking
  • Social Media
  • Strategic Alliances
  • Trade Shows
  • Walk-in's
  • Other

Step 2: Your Customer's Buying Process

Do you have a sales process? (I hope you do!) Guess what? Your customer has a buying process.

To get the most out of your online marketing, including social media, make sure what you post, facilitates (and even speeds up) your ideal customer's buying process?

  • Do they tend to do research first before they contact you?
  • Do they ask their friends for recommendations?
  • What information do you they need to know before they contact you?
  • What is their preferred way to contact you?

As search engines themselves, social media is a research tool as much as it is a communication tool. How your customers shop will influence your social media investment.

Calculating ROI requires tracking the investment as well as the return. It can be a little tricky to categorize social media in budgeting terms. Instead of forcing it into an existing classification such as advertising, word-of-mouth, SEO, PR, or customer service, make social media an independent category – then you know exactly what you are putting into it.

Step 3: Track Your Return

Ask your customers how they heard of you. Do you know when a client lands on your website from social media? Do you know how many of those website landings result in a sale?

Once you’re confident about your current tracking system, you can calculate and interpret your business's social media ROI from a cold prospect to a hot referral.

In James Clear's article, This Coach Improved Every Tiny Thing by 1 Percent and Here’s What Happened, he describes the "Aggregation of Marginal Gains".

 

It’s so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making better decisions on a daily basis...

...improving by just 1 percent isn’t notable (and sometimes it isn’t even noticeable). But it can be just as meaningful, especially in the long run...

There is power in small wins and slow gains. This is why average speed yields above average results. This is why the system is greater than the goal. This is why mastering your habits is more important than achieving a certain outcome.

 

It reminded me of what I heard in marketing seminar once:  Changing the direction of your ship by one percent can bring you to a different continent.

One Percent Shift in Marketing

 

The 1% Shift in Your Social Media Marketing

How can we apply this concept to social media?  I see so many small business owners get discouraged when they don't see instant results.  Aim for incremental gains instead.

Also, there's a difference between competitive analysis and letting your competitors' statistics stop you from marketing your own business.

 

Social Media Metrics that Count

Start tracking the following numbers:

  • Traffic to Your Web Site
  • Sources of Traffic
  • Keywords and Number of Searches
  • Followers/Likes on Social Media (tracks brand interest)
  • Email Subscribers (tracks buyer interest)
  • Calls/Emails/In-Store Visits by Potential Customers
  • Sales
  • How Your Customers Found You
  • Length of Buying Cycle
  • Which Social Media & Email Newsletter Your New Customers Follow/Subscribe To
  • Number of Reviews and Average Rating

Note when they are increases (or decreases), and determine what caused that change.  Did paid advertising help?  Was it the content of the post?  Did it have more engagement?

As you pinpoint the most effective online marketing strategies, create tactics to incrementally increase your strengths until your ready to improve one of your weaknesses.

 

What's the 1% shift you will make in your social media marketing?

One of my goals with social media is to drive traffic to my client's web site. In order to do this, the social media post must be enticing enough to compel a prospect to leave the social media site they're on now and click through to read the rest of the post.

I found this insightful article on the HubSpot blog on the psychology behind Twitter engagement by Lanya Olmsted. Even though it focuses on Twitter, the same principles can be applied to increasing click-throughs on any social media platform.

Psychology & Social Media Click-Throughs

 

Here are my interpretations of the four psychological theories presented by Olmsted and examples of different social media headlines for one blog post, "3 D's to Drive Referrals" by Brennan Scanlon.

 

1. Challenge Assumptions

Challenge what your prospects think are true. What are they ignoring? What did they forget? What important step are they missing?

Examples:

The 3 D's You Might Be Ignoring That Could Drive More Referrals
Do You Have Consistency & Quality in the 3 D's You Need to Drive Referrals?

 

2. Appeal to the Ego

Appealing to the go is the opposite of challenging assumptions. What do your prospects identify with? What are they already great at and would still improve?

Example:

The 3 D's Great Networkers Excel at to Drive Referrals

 

3. Benefit

This psychological theory is the easiest one for me to write on. What do your prospects get from reading your blog post? What do they learn? How will this improve their lives?

Example:

Drive More Referrals and Revenue with The 3 D's

 

4. Need

The Hubspot article suggested using the words "ought" and "should". I hate using the word "should". I think it has a manipulative intent that prays on someone's self-worth.

Instead use the words "need" or "recommend".

Example:

The 3 D's You Need Have to Drive Referrals

 

Bonus Tip: Use Keyword Rich Blog Post Titles

Some bloggers make the mistake of creating cute or funny blog titles. Instead, save that for your social media posts and use keyword phrases that your prospects search for.

 

Your Turn

Do you agree on how I interpreted the four pscyhologcial theories that Olmstead presented? What examples would you add?

Try these exercises whenever you're writing social media posts and comment below with a link to where you used it. I would love to see how you're putting these ideas into action.

 

A version of this post was previously published on Ludlow Media's blog, Video as a Master Format.

Effective content marketing depends on providing a consistent flow of content to your customers. The problem most business-owners face is how to create that content at a pace that suits their content marketing strategy — without compromising quality.

At Ludlow Media, we are trying to change the way businesses approach their content marketing by using video as a master format. We build our production process around this approach to make video the most efficient tool for any content marketing strategy.

All of the content you need for a full, diverse content marketing strategy can be found in a video if you approach video as a master format. Videos are very content-rich. They combine images, sound, and writing in the form of a script.

Take advantage of the density of video by breaking it down to its component parts and generating content from those parts:

  • The audio can be put out as a podcast,
  • the script can be turned into a blog with minimal tweaking, and
  • the images we use can be turned into infographics.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. A video producer specializing in content marketing, such as Ludlow Media, can yield up to 4 videos and 32 pieces of content in just one visit to their studio.

Repurpose & Distribute Video Content

Get the maximum amount of content, utilizing a minimal amount of you and your key people’s time.


 

About Rhys Ludlow

Rhys Ludlow, Video ProducerRhys is the Founder and CEO of Ludlow Media. He has spent the past 25 years in marketing communication and corporate training as an entrepreneur, consultant, director and content producer. He has helped hundreds of private and public organizations communicate their marketing & training messages clearly and effectively using video, web and print communication.

He has received numerous awards including Platinum and Gold Ava Awards from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP), the prestigious Telly Award and an ITVA Golden Vision Award. He is a certified Inbound Marketing Professional.

Follow Rhys on Google+ or on Twitter.

If you are like many professionals, you have a lot of connections on LinkedIn. Many of them you know, many of them you may have met in passing and they wanted to connect with you.

The benefits of being on LinkedIn are growing, and one of those benefits is the possibility of growing your referral network through it.

LinkedIn Neworki

Expanding Your Referral Network

  • Do you have gaps in your contact sphere?
  • Does your Top 12 feel like a a Top 5?
  • Are you unable to invite visitors to your networking group because you’ve “run out” of people to invite?

Figure out some professions you want to connect with, and then search in LinkedIn to find people in your area in those professions.(Hint: use the ‘Advanced’ search feature with keywords and locations.)

When you find someone who has a profile that interests you and may be a potential referral source, find out who is connected to them and ask for an introduction.  Even better, call your mutual contact and ask for the introduction rather than waiting and hoping they check their LinkedIn messages.

When you get that introduction, invite the person to coffee or to a networking event to get to know them and start your new possible referral relationship.


About Cory NottCory Nott, Referral Marketing Coach

Cory is the Co-Owner and a Referral Marketing Coach for Referral Institute Oakland. His mission is to support entrepreneurs in developing their true potential and build the business they dream of through coaching, consulting, and training in referral marketing.

Follow Cory on Google+ or on Twitter.

This post was previously published on the Fortune Marketing Company blog.

 

At first glance, Pinterest can befuddle. To the new user it appears to be nothing but a screen of random photos. The experienced, however, see it as an elegantly designed photo-sharing site optimized for planning and inspiration.

Pinterest is a powerful social media tool for small businesses, increasing brand recognition, website traffic, and sales.

The statistics are phenomenal:

  • By 2011, Pinterest drove more traffic to retailers than LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+
  • 81% of U.S. women who spend time online trust Pinterest for information and advice
  • 70% of those on Pinterest use it for purchasing inspiration
  • The average Pinterest user has a household income of over $100,000

Pinterest is undeniably a muscular business tool. But, how do you apply it? 

Four Steps to Leveraging Pinterest for Your Business

Fine Floorz on Pinterest

1. Make Your Business Visual

Document your products, services, and staff with your smart-phone camera, or hire a professional photographer or videographer. Then use those images to promote your business on Pinterest.

Create boards to showcase your company’s before and after photos, how-to information, case studies, and reviews.

Develop a special offer just for your Pinterest followers, like a coupon or free report.

2. Know Your Target Market

Pinning photos and videos about your services and products is just the beginning of leveraging Pinterest for your business. The next step is to create boards highlighting your target market’s other interests.

If you’re representing a flooring company, as an example, begin with boards that feature hardwood, tile, and carpet. Next, create boards on dream homes, remodeling, design ideas, house cleaning tips, organization, recipes, or whatever will draw your target market to your site.

Researching your target market will help you create a successful Pinterest strategy specifically, and an overall marketing strategy in general.

3. Drive Traffic to Your Website

Write content for your website on the topics you have chosen. This can be blogs, articles, reports, FAQ’s, or videos. After you post that content on your site, upload the featured image to Pinterest. Even better, include the name of your content on the image, like this example:

Make sure you include keywords, descriptions, and hashtags in your board titles. Verify your website with your Pinterest account by going to your Pinterest Settings page and clicking on the Verify Website button. This will increase your Pinterest’s profile credibility and trust with your followers.

4. Remember, Pinterest is Social

Pin consistently and pin during peak times. Just as with all marketing platforms, to be effective, you must use Pinterest consistently. Scheduling software such as Sendible.com is a convenient way to schedule your pins in advance. Because most people suggest pinning 3 to 10 images a day, pre-scheduling pins allows you to consolidate your marketing time.

Pinterest users are most active in the evenings and on weekends. Schedule the majority of your pins for those times.

Putting the power of Pinterest to work for you is an amazing way to build your business. Remember, though, that advertising yourself 24/7 gets tiresome for your followers. Therefore, when you pin, blend content from both your own site and other business sites.

Social media is social – engage with your followers. Share pins from their boards, comment on their pins, and thank them for sharing yours.

Posting your business on Pinterest is a great way to increase your brand recognition, website traffic, and sales. In four steps, you can be successful on Pinterest: be visual, know your target market, create content on your website, and be social.

Twitter is celebrating its 8th birthday with a new site where you can discover the very first thing you tweeted. You can also search other accounts to find their first tweets.

My #FirstTweet is probably what everyone thinks the first time!

Follow @GailNott on Twitter
Follow @GailNott on Twitter

Twitter's campaign is a great example of involving your online audience in your company's celebrations. Think about your own business. What do you have coming up?

Are you launching a new service? Hiring a new employee? Celebrating a milestone anniversary?

Next, brainstorm ideas on how to get others involved. Where do you have the largest, most engaged audience? What's a popular activity to do on that site?

For example, if your largest and most engaged audience is on Facebook, you could create an Event and invite all of your fans. Ask them to post their favorite photos of what you do and invite their friends.

If your best audience is on LinkedIn, create a group, invite your clients, vendors, and staff, and create a networking community to serve them.

Involving your online community into your company's celebrations help form a lasting bond with quality clients you love to serve.

 

Find your first tweet here: https://discover.twitter.com/first-tweet

And Happy Birthday Twitter!

 

One of the features I didn't like in Constant Contact, besides a temperamental WYSIWYG, was that you were limited to only one autoresponder series. That limits the ability to automate your email lead nurturing, as well as decreases the effectiveness of segmenting your list. Both of which are important to a strategic online marketing campaign.

This morning, Constant Contact sent an announcement to their Solution Providers that they have updated their features and you can not only create an unlimited number of autoresponder series, you can have an unlimited number of emails in that series.

Constant Contact Autoresponder Series

This is great news for my clients who prefer using Constant Contact for their email marketing. I look forward to helping them implement new online marketing strategies.

Social media can be a little scary for small businesses to implement. It's the only type of advertising that talks back to you!

What's great about social media is that it can be leveraged to showcase what makes your business unique -- you and your staff. Take advantage of social media's ease of entry and visual storytelling to build a personal connection to your current and potential clients.

Compel Potential Clients By:

  • Post fun, social, & informative information 80% of the time.
  • Respond within an hour, at most a day to comments & questions.
  • Keep your posts under 80 characters to get the most engagement.
  • Build your social media following organically & integrated with your other marketing tactics like sending out an email newsletter that spreads the word about your Facebook page.
  • Ask questions & post enticing content.
  • Post no more than 2 times a day on your Facebook Page. (I disagree with the infographic on posting no more than 4x a day. Post daily if time allows.)

 

Here are twelve best practices to compelling social media on Facebook:

Courtesy of: VerticalResponse

info@gailnott.com

855-709-4245

Concord & Oakland, CA

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