Creativity and passion for your business will come across if you love what you do. But when it comes to marketing, you have to be inventive online and in social media and your website to bring consumers to a business.
There are so many ways to engage consumers today that if you’re not trying and doing and changing activities online and offline, your business is dying. If your business needs marketing, hire an experienced firm that tracks trends, does research and provides proof of service and results.
Advertising and marketing expertise is imperative when handling your social media messaging.
Social Media Engagement Tips
Facebook Has Changed
It was noted on a recent radio tech talk show and multiple online pubs that personal Facebook pages are not longer good for business. It seems research showed that the purely social, social media has methods for keeping business off of personal pages and out of feeds. People are on Facebook to socialize. Sharing business information in a social setting is tacky.
It’s a good way to get your feed turned off by friends and family. Facebook and every other social media is like an online coffee shop where people chat and share. If you’re posting business things in your feed no matter what you think, your friends and family look at you like the person who can’t turn off their sales pitch in social circles. Ick.
This is why Facebook advertising is a new option according to Facebook. But before you click into the budget from which you have to show some return on investment, try to get creative with Facebook interaction.
There are plenty of Facebook engagement tactics that can still get businesses noticed and followed, liked and interacted with regularity by targeted consumers and businesses. This new twist is Facebook’s way of forcing businesses to pay as it struggles to find a pay-for-play product.
Organic vs. Paid Engagement
You can pay to engage by advertising on Facebook but you risk losing the organic appeal you started out with. You’ll also add a line item to your business budget.
Organic means unpaid (to Facebook) online interaction that is handled by a marketing person or skilled staffer who knows your business, your brand, product or services and is equipped to interact, market, share and respond with clientele.
Facebook Likes Are Difficult to Earn
It used to be that a business would launch its Facebook page and invites to friends and family would quickly gain a load of loyal fans who would like things posted. Whether likes were earned or friends and family were simply being supportive, a business Facebook page could rack up the likes.
Try to get anyone on your Facebook page to Like a page and you can get in line. People have backlogs of “LIKE” requests from well-meaning passionate friends and family who urge friends and family to LIKE what they LIKE.
Burnout on Facebook may have set in using the old ways. So change it up! Do some investigating. Snoop around and look at the iconic companies that are in your business category. What are they doing? Do what they do.
If you know as a business owner that it’s hard to get LIKES, hand out a few daily to businesses in your community. Engage with their business and comment on what you like about a business. Or an issue, or better yet, comment on and share stories from national publications.
Time, Newsweek, Forbes, Fortune, newspapers and groups share amazing amounts of information. Engage there and see what happens.
Social Media to Drive Brick & Mortar Business
While dining out in Winter Park, Florida, this weekend and in Madison, Wisconsin, all last week, I talked with restaurant, coffee and bar owners about how they drive business online using social media. Many are struggling with the responsibilities of engagement which require maintaining social media interactions. The common answer is that they don’t have time for it or don’t believe in it.
People search Facebook for businesses the moment they arrive by checking in when they arrive to the venue. While others use FourSquare, no reason not reward check-ins with specials.
Social Media Use During Large Events
This weekend alone, Central Florida was the site for MegaCon, The Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Invitational Golf Classic and The Winter Park Art Festival.
The businesses who knew that these were coming weren’t surprised when the crowds did NOT come to their doorsteps for dinner. The events are the hero on event weekends. Unless your business is within walking distance, you can’t benefit from the event crowds the weekend the event occurs. However, if you pay to advertise on the websites, have in-person street teams at the venues, paper the places with your business coupons and specials you can bring customers to your door.
Planning for an investment in marketing is important because last minute, thrown-together marketing is expensive and haphazard. Then, on occasion, events occur that will hinder the attendance, like bad weather, or Tiger Woods announcing he’s not playing in Bay Hill five days prior to the event that can effect a return on the investment. Invest with a return in mind and only planned event marketing will go well.
There can be other issues including lack of information by organizers who may under plan for attendance. MegaCon was expected to generate $23 million in revenue from 75,000+ attendees yet was panned for overcrowding, parking issues, lack of ready information. Maybe the Official App should have been marketed more aggressively. There were only 1,000 downloads. Twitter and Facebook were filled with equal amounts of kudos and complaints. No official Twitter account. Incomplete Facebook page despite having nearly 32,000 likes.
No communication or interaction was available “live” in real time for the event that could have been handled on social media.
The big question was how ready the venue was for WiFi accessibility and device companies offering increased or available broadband data that clients were able to use devices to get information and updates on problems and issues.
Capitalize on Large Events by Planning Ahead
If local restaurants, hotels and shops wanted business from MegaCon, Bay Hill and the Art Festival they should have had the events on the calendar for months in advance. Purchasing promotional event advertising and marketing opportunities assures that your business is included in event marketing.
Social media posting for a month and all weekend around the clock to social media engaging and recognizing enthusiastic MegaCon, Bay Hill and Art Festival visitors can make a lasting impression. Liking pictures, sharing Tweets and engaging on social media gets the interest and approval of social media users and posters. Paid advertising in the airport welcomed visitors with a booth, information and specials. Any business with coupons could hand them out.
Big box stores and restaurants offered customized deals to those who came in wearing their costumes. Held special events off-site for every favorite movie, persona, fan club possible to let the visitors know that they were welcome all over the city. Palm cards and handouts, premiums and social media plans should have been planned for the parking lots as people were lined up for hours.
Twitter and Facebook Tips
Most businesses are using Twitter and Facebook but could try:
- Posting pictures several times daily
- Automation of posts
- Posting specials and sales, new products
- Responding to Likes and Follows
- Following everyone who follows them
- Liking comments
- Liking Likes
- Using Lists
- Creating Lists
- Direct messaging personalized responses to engage Twitter Followers
- Responding personally to every Follower or Liker
- Checking notifications to Favorite, Retweet, and respond personally to those who Tweeted them
Suggestions for Social Media Complaints, Criticism
Respond to questions from visitors or comments on service acknowledging, not arguing or defending. Customers just want to be heard and recognized. If someone took the time to complain, tell them publicly that you’re sorry and offer a make good, bonus or something to make them feel better.
Don’t debate an online critic. You’re asking for a war and you just may get it. However, what began on one social media can go viral by spreading to another. Watch what you say. Don’t be snarky, short, snappy or snotty. Please don’t explain why something happened. Fix it!
Be kind, admit fault, apologize publicly. Take one or two lumps and keep it moving. You can’t please everyone, but you had better be trying to make everyone happy with service, products and thank yous for doing business with you.
Change what you’re doing online to stay active and engage, engage, engage. You can be sure your competitors are doing it so be relentless and try to share the passion you have for your business by interacting with your prospective clients with equal interest.