Does anyone remember years ago when the only way to research something was to go to the library? Or if you were lucky enough, your family owned a collection of Brittania Encyclopedias at home. It took a lot of searching to find what we were looking for. Things sure have changed. Did you know that there are over 2 billion people worldwide on the Internet and over 100 trillion emails are sent every year! That is mind blowing!
So, the internet is our biggest marketing tool!
Let’s talk about Social Media! By now I’m sure you are all aware that your business needs to have some sort of social media presence.
Market research shows that:
- 8 out of 10 internet users are reached by social media sites and blogs.
- 87% of small businesses claim that social media has definitely helped their business.
But, you can’t just create a Facebook or Pinterest account and expect immediate success. You need to understand which social media platforms work best for your company and where your audience spends most of their time. Is it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, Vine….There are so many to choose from.
A company that sells jewelry might get more exposure from visual-types of social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. If you are a company with lots of promotions and events, you may find Facebook to be the best fit. And if you are a musician, you may find YouTube and Twitter perfect for reaching your audience.
For small businesses, I recommend choosing two social media platforms.
Other tips on social media include:
- How often to post? 2 x week. If you post too much, then you lose people.
- The power of Visuals (photos, short videos, Facebook LIVE)
- It’s okay to toot your horn but also give equal industry advise. This will build your credibility.
- Give the viewer an action (point them to your website for more SEO)
- Hashtags (don’t overuse) – no more than 2 otherwise you look spammy
- Have automation between a couple of platforms (ex: did you know that you could set it up that everytime you post to FB, it automatically posts to your Twitter account?)
- Low-cost targeted advertising (like your page, see your event, click your website link)
Market research also shows that:
- Marketers saw an increase of 74% in website traffic after devoting just 6 hours per week in social media.
Continuing on that topic of website….Another important marketing tool is a website. Every business needs to have some sort of website. It could be a simple 5-page website with general information.
- There are many website builder programs that small business owners with little technical skills can use to build their own website. A few of my favorites are WordPress, Wix, Weebly, Bandzoogle, .
- Or you can hire someone to do it for you for a fee. They will also be able to set up your Website Hosting plan, your website URL name reservation and email addresses too.
- Choosing your URL (spend the money to register a few names that are close to yours – marketingbymarcia.com, marketingwithmarcia.com, marketing-by-marcia.com, .net. only $13/year. You don’t want to lose people.
- If someone else creates your website for you, be sure you get all the login information for both website builder and hosting plan from the person who created it so you can manage it yourself. Try to customize an existing theme so that down the road you can make changes without have to redo your entire website.
- Keep it general enough so you don’t have to constantly update it (except for calendar/events and blogging pages)
- Choose your words wisely! Be sure to use keywords on every page that you want someone to use to find you in a search.
- Blogging for SEO-Search Engine Optimization (again, choose your words wisely, use keywords!)
- Set up blogging to automatically post to your FB page
- Keep image sizes low so the load time is short
- Check your spelling and links!
- Keep pages short
- Create great navigation!
So you’ve got your social media pages and you’ve got your website, now you need to build your audience.
Build Your Audience
- Choose an email builder and setup an account. I like to use MailChimp because it is free for the first 2k emails. Now you need to build your email list. Ask your family & friends if it’s ok to add them to your mailing list. Either collect their emails and do it yourself or give them the MailChimp link to sign up. Talk about your newsletter on every family occasion. Have your friends sign up when you meet them for drinks.
- Reach out to ALL your friends on social media:
Post publicly on Facebook about it:
“Hey all, I have a new newsletter I’m starting, and would love any of you to sign up! This will keep you updated on what I’m up to in my career. Would love your support! And more so, if you can share this post it would be awesome and will help me maybe reach some of your Facebook friends that might find my content relevant to them.[LINK TO SIGN UP]”
- Post the sign-up link on your social media profiles: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, or any other relevant platform.
- Join Networking Groups to meet local people (WBA, Middlesex Chamber of Commerce)
- Get involved in your town to meet local people (town meetings, social media groups)
- Attend relevant workshops and conferences (I attended MA Conf for Women and met many great people and companies and added them to my email list and vice versa)
- Co-marketing! If you are an author and are having a book signing event at a book store, be sure to tag the book store in your Facebook post so that their audience sees your info too. Other ways to co-market are to put links on your website, team up for promotions (a spa and a restaurant for a “fun night out” of pampering and good food, etc.)
So you’ve got your social media and website working, you’ve begun to build your audience, now let’s do some Marketing Communications with Email Marketing to let the world know what you have to offer!
- Create your email list
- Create your templates with your logo/company information
- Send monthly newsletters with subject lines that are powerful and to the point!
- Connect with your audience. Don’t be too stiff.
- Make it fun. Tell them what you’ve been up to.
Click HERE for the Video of Marketing Tips by Marcia.