Category Archives: Social Media Marketing

How To Determine A Social Media Strategy For Your Franchise Business-315

How To Determine A Social Media Strategy For Your Franchise Business

How To Determine A Social Media Strategy For Your Franchise Business-315
Starting a franchise might seem like an excellent way to expand your business, but the process isn’t automatic.

Even the most successful franchises have to pay careful attention to their marketing efforts. If you want your franchise to become huge, you’ll have to do the same.

Digital marketing is one area that new franchises have to consider closely. Specifically, you’ll need to make sure that you have a working social media strategy.

Social media can be tricky for franchises because there is much potential for miscommunication. You might have exercised careful control over your Facebook or Twitter account when you were still a mom-and-pop shop, but it can be difficult to make your franchisees do the same.

Fortunately, choosing the right social media strategy can help. We’ve put together some tips that can help you determine how to structure your social media for low risk and maximum effectiveness.

Choose Your Level of Oversight

One of the first and most important social media decisions you’ll have to make for your franchise is how much control you want over franchisees’ accounts.

Will you simply monitor your franchisee’s accounts and provide them with guidelines on how to post, or will you control every account from a single, centralized hub?

Most franchises skew towards one of these poles, with approximately 51% choosing a high level of involvement in social media for their franchises.

However, some take a middle-of-the-road approach. It’s not uncommon for a business to let their franchisees post autonomously but provide most of the content from corporate HQ.

Conversely, some companies control all accounts themselves but ask individual franchisees to create content for them on a regular basis.

The important thing to remember is the more control over your franchisees means less risk. However, it also means fewer opportunities for them to connect authentically with local customers.

On the other hand, giving control to your franchisees can help them tailor their accounts for maximum resonance with customers in their local areas. However, it also raises the possibility that they may go off message, and can create liability issues.

How To Determine A Social Media Strategy For Your Franchise Business-1

Solve Social Media Issues When You Do Your Research

The easiest way to control your content without sacrificing authenticity is to take a data-driven approach.

Use analytics to learn more about your target audience, and conduct an audit of your current social media practices to see where there might be room for improvement.

Using services like Digital Hill can grow leads and increase engagement even in highly targeted audiences, which lets you connect with customers in each of your franchise areas.

Better yet, you can accomplish this while retaining control of the accounts for those areas, which allows you to avoid the risk of a franchisee going off-message.

Creating the ideal social media strategy for your franchise requires you to make some big decisions. You’ll have to choose the level of involvement you want your franchisees to have, and the tools that you’ll use to keep them effective.

Invest in the right solutions, and you’ll be able to make sure that everything posted under your brand name is clear, appropriate, and on-target.

Use Video to Increase Website Traffic-315

Use Video to Increase Website Traffic

Use Video to Increase Website Traffic-315You’re not alone if you’ve wondered about the power of online video. It’s working!  Now the challenge quickly becomes one of getting the most out of your video efforts. Experts in the digital marketing space have shared many video strategies. Here are some of the best ones we’ve come across.

Use website embeds for maximized Google power.

Are you aware of the fact that search engines look at the time on page as a primary metric for determining the search ranking of your web site? If you weren’t familiar with this important variable in the past, you’ll quickly get to know it.

Time on page is simply the amount of time a visitor spends on any given web page. The idea is to optimize so that this number increases. Do this is by providing useful content for your visitor to consume and make it visually pleasing and easy to navigate.

Video lends itself well to the purpose of slowing your visitors down and getting them to engage with your content. It raises the average time on site metrics above text-only pages or pages with only text and images.

YouTube support has a quick and easy reference for beginner webmasters who’ve never embedded videos before. You’ll find it to be an easy and straightforward process.

Make the video stand out.

It’s not enough to have a great video and embed it on your page. You also have to make sure your guests know there’s a video there in the first place. Often, an embedded video can be mistaken for a still image when a visitor is quickly scrolling down the page.

The popular business website The Sales Lion published a killer strategy detailing a genius way to get your videos to really stand out. Their clever hack netted a client a massive spike in video engagement rates; rising from 11% to 94% video playback rates after the design hack was put into use.

Dig into YouTube Analytics.

Google is known for giving away powerful tools for free. Here is another one, The YouTube Video Analytics tool. With this, you’ll be able to see a bevy of valuable data about your YouTube videos as well as data about people viewing your videos.

Some of the insights are:

  • Knowing which videos hold your audience’s attention the longest.
  • How long your videos are played on average and where people tend to exit or close out of your content.
  • Understanding which videos are more popular with men and which ones are popular with women.
  • You’ll know the average age of a viewer for each video you upload.

Leverage data.

Now that you’re able to slow down your web visitors, provide them with incredible value. As a result, you’re also ready to see an SEO bump. Google loves you for helping their search users find the information they need. Keep the attention of incoming search engine traffic and expect Google to keep sending people your way.

Want a consultation on using video for your site and social media efforts?  Contact us today!

How to Get More Conversions on your Website-315

How to Get More Conversions on your Website

How to Get More Conversions on your Website-315

Many online marketers believe that more leads result in more conversions, so they concentrate on generating leads and not on anything else. But this doesn’t mean you don’t need to drive conversions — not if you want to keep ahead of the game. After all, every step in the marketing funnel is just as significant as the others.  Each step has it’s place of importance in ultimately generating more sales.

What is CRO?

For leads, there’s search engine optimization (SEO) to get more targeted traffic to your website. For conversions, there’s conversion rate optimization (CRO). After attracting traffic through optimized content, your next priority is to get the most out of that traffic. This is where CRO kicks in.

CRO is the practice of improving your site’s performance, so visitors take the action you want them to do. When you don’t have a carefully planned CRO strategy, people will look around your site for a bit out of curiosity then leave without subscribing to your newsletter, providing their contact details for a free download, or doing anything that will keep you connected to them.

But with a CRO plan in place, your website will be designed to foster engagement from visitors and eventually, turn these leads into conversions.

How do you apply CRO?

Now that you know what CRO is, it’s time to get to the how part. CRO can be implemented in many ways, and here are a few practical examples:

Enhance high-performing post

  • If you’ve been creating content for some time, you’ll know that some posts fare better than others in terms of attracting traffic. It’s either they’re ranked higher on search engine result pages or shared more on social media — or even both.
  • Next, check their conversion rates. If these are too low for the traffic they get, it means some components aren’t working. Maybe your call to action (CTA) isn’t exciting enough to be engaging. For example, pick which looks better for a high street fashion brand: “Subscribe to our newsletter” or “Never miss a surprise sale again — sign up now!” Chances are, you’ll go for the latter.
  • But if your CTA isn’t the problem, the offer associated with a specific post can be the issue. Let’s go along with the high street fashion brand again in the next example. If a blog post is about finding the best swimsuits for different body types but the offer at the end is for a weak 5% off, don’t be surprised if you don’t get a lot of conversions for that page. But if you always align a relevant and meaningful offer with the content, you’ll get better conversion rates.

Promote high-converting posts

  • Some posts don’t get a lot of hits, but they still yield a good number of conversions in relation to the traffic they receive. In this case, the pages already work well enough for your purpose, so you should pay attention to promoting them instead.
  • You can share them on all your brand’s social media pages, produce guest posts with a link back to them, or offer influencers an exchange deal they can’t resist. There’s nothing like an authority figure or a celebrity for boosting hits of a post.
  • You can also go back to basics and check the pages if they’re optimized for search engines. If they happen to be old content dating a few years back, consider updating them to make them fresh and relevant once again.

With SEO at the start and CRO at the end, your whole marketing process will improve.

Need a strategy consult and setup of your funnel?  Contact us to discuss the options.

Add Features to Your Facebook Page with Apps-315

Add Features to Your Facebook Page with Apps

Add Features to Your Facebook Page with Apps-315Facebook apps extend the functionality of your page. By installing apps onto your Facebook page, you can run contests, collect lead data, and even provide customer support. Facebook apps lend an entirely new level of engagement with your followers. Here are 8 Facebook apps that will enhance your follower’s experience on your page.

TabSite

Tabsite is a multi-functional promotional and engagement app for Facebook. Hold photo contests and run lead-capturing sweepstakes, review mobile stats, create promotions, and capture leads in multiple ways with mobile-friendly promotional tabs.  Integrates with Mailchimp, Infusionsoft, GotoWebinar and more!

MailChimp

Are you an existing user? With MailChimp’s Facebook integration, your followers can subscribe to your newsletter without leaving Facebook.

Shopial

Shopial connects your followers to your online store. Creating a Facebook store with Shopial imports all your prices and listings from your website store to Facebook, allowing followers to see and buy products.

Polldaddy

Polls give you insight into your follower base as you gather their responses. Bring customized polls to Facebook with the Polldaddy app. Polldaddy provides 3 account tiers (free, pro, and corporate). All accounts can create unlimited polls, making this great for marketers.

YouTube Tab

Integrate your YouTube and Facebook pages with the YouTube Tab app. Install and setup your app and followers can see your YouTube content on your Facebook page.

Fan of the Week

Fan of the Week is an app that monitors follower activity on your page. Each week the most active follower on your page gets a special shout out to recognize them.

Boast

Testimonials help convince visitors to buy your product. Boast collects the praise from your page followers and displays them. Brands control which campaigns collect testimonials and where (and which) testimonials are displayed.

Zendesk

Zendesk lets your business connect your customer support team to your Facebook page. With a ticket system, questions, comments, and concerns made on Facebook can be addressed by the appropriate customer service agent. This app provides a management system for customer communications and interaction.

Facebook apps give your brand the power to do more. Add value to your page by adding Facebook apps.  We built TabSite, so we’re a little biased!  For a limited time get 30% off a monthly plan. User discount code: Facebookapps at checkout!

Online Social Media for Business Workshop

Practical and informative online workshop to help businesses take advantage of the power of social media as a way to market their business.

• Want to use Social Media strategically in your business?
• Trying to determine what social networks to be on?
• Having trouble keeping up with the latest social media marketing updates and best practices?

All this will be covered and a strategic plan overview for how social media
can be used by your business to grow leads and sales will be outlined to attendees!

Social Media is different than traditional marketing.  Learn about the methods for Attraction, Engagement, Lead Capture, Conversion, and more.

The workshop, presented by, Mike Gingerich, and available live online or by replay after will help entrepreneurs, small businesses and marketing teams from larger businesses understand how they can use the latest tools and updates in social media as part of their overall integrated marketing plan to increase their website traffic, reach new customers, and nurture new leads to become clients.  This is a entry to intermediate level workshop.

Businesses will have the following questions answered:

  • What social networks should our business focus on?
  • How can we not just spend time, but gain real leads via social media?
  • What trends for 2017 in social media do we need to be aware of?
  • How do we use Facebook Live Video, Instagram Stories, & Facebook Ads?
  • How does social media fit into our overall marketing plan?
  • How do I capture leads from social media?

A question and answer time will be included after the initial 60 minute presentation for an additional 15 minutes to answer further specific questions.  Each participant will leave with actionable steps to help guide them in next steps they can take to improve their use of social media for their business.

WORKSHOP DETAILS:

Date: Thursday, May 25, 2017 – 12:30-1:30 pm Eastern Time

WHERE: Online

Cost: $10.  (special price discount for current Digital Hill clients!  Contact us.)

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Get practical knowledge and tips you can implement anytime!

001-mike-gingerich-maincut-out-354-squareAbout Mike:

Mike offers no-nonsense,  straight talk on growing leads and leverage with social media and digital marketing to help small and medium-sized businesses elevate their game and win online.

Mike is President of Digital Hill Multimedia, a web development & marketing agency, co-founder of TabSite.com, a leading Facebook Page app service for contests, and Waftio, a website lead capture tool.  He is a noted Facebook Marketing speaker, as well as author of the book, Game Plan for Social Media Lead Generation.  Mike’s passion is to see businesses and people grow into their highest potential.

Mike has the unique ability to dive deep quickly, understanding businesses, social networks and trends, while delivering energetic and practical ideas marketers can understand. Mike has 10+ years experience in Internet Marketing, a Master’s in Organizational Development and Leadership, and a proven track record of providing innovative digital and social strategy consulting for businesses.

Facebook Ads vs LinkedIn Ads vs Twitter Ads vs Google AdWords - 600

Facebook Ads vs LinkedIn Ads vs Twitter Ads vs Google AdWords

Facebook Ads vs LinkedIn Ads vs Twitter Ads vs Google AdWords - 600

Digital marketing truly has revolutionized the way we reach people. Even though it’s better, faster and more affordable to advertise in the internet age, some of the old rules still apply.

One of those rules is that you need to know who your target customer is and choose the right marketing channels to reach them.

Even now, when launching an ad campaign takes a few clicks and a credit card, the wrong choices can cost money and turn what might have been a great idea into a dismal failure.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Facebook: Lots of variables, but Great Reach

Facebook’s PPC campaigns are a conundrum wrapped in an enigma, with a sprinkling of pixie dust. Which means they’re a huge vortex and if you can get it right and find what you need, it can be magic. You may find you pay very little per click for one post, and 10 times as much for another. It takes time and detailed targeting experimentation to get it right.

What they do have is a great reach. With a billion users and a very granular targeting system, you can reach large numbers of very specific people, which is great if you know exactly who you want to sell to.

2. Twitter: Lower Cost, Random Audience

Twitter is a relative newcomer to the world of paid advertising. So it’s no surprise that their offering is a little rough around the edges.

The targeting options for a Twitter campaign don’t exactly have the pinpoint accuracy of Facebook. So you’ll need to spread the net fairly wide.

On the other hand, with clicks at a dollar or two at most, it’s generally an inexpensive way to advertise if your audience is on that platform. So you can stretch your budget to the max on Twitter.

3. LinkedIn: Best for B2B

LinkedIn isn’t the cheapest advertising option. It doesn’t have the best targeting options, and it’s not the biggest network in the world. But it focuses on business, which is great if you are targeting B2B clients.

If you don’t want your serious business advertisement to be vying for feed space with cat pictures, beach selfies, and lunch snaps, then LinkedIn can be a solid place to launch an ad campaign.

4. Google Adwords: The All Rounder

Google has been doing paid advertising for a long time. Longer than anyone else on this list! So it’s no wonder they’re a leader in PPC ads.

Google’s Adwords platform has global reach and great targeting possibilities. However, because it’s one of the most popular ad platforms bids on popular keywords can be very high, and you’ll need to expand your budget if you want a popular word in your campaign.

Trial and Error

Like any form of advertising, ads on social media are a process. They take time to perfect, and will probably require some trial and error.

While you might get really lucky and hit on a winning formula right off the mark, it’s a very rare thing in an increasingly noisy world. You’ll probably find that you have to tweak a few things to get the results you want.

So set aside a little extra in the budget, do some research before you start, and track your results. Eventually, you’ll find the platform and formula that works for you.

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Facebook Marketing Strategies that have Proven to be Successful-315

Facebook Marketing Strategies that have Proven to be Successful

Facebook Marketing Strategies that have Proven to be Successful-315Marketing and Facebook have become bosom buddies. Facebook sits at the top of social media platforms and key marketing opportunities. By using Facebook, you can ramp up conversions, traffic, sales, and social media following all while growing your brand’s influence. To capitalize on this giant’s marketing power, you need to use effective strategies.

Proven Strategies for Facebook Marketing

Why waste time (and money) wondering what does and doesn’t work when you can go with tried, tested and reliable strategies?

Use Your “Free” Ad-Spaces

Your brand’s presence needs to be felt throughout your page. Before you create that first ad, look for these free advertising spaces – your profile pic and your cover page. Your logo could suffice for your profile pic. For the cover page, make sure you have engaging copy for your business description and feel free to get creative. Take advantage of the flexibility of a cover page and change it up for:

  • Holidays
  • Promotions
  • Special Events
  • Milestones

Invest in Facebook Ads

As we all know, not everything in life is free. When doling out money for ads, however, think of Facebook ads as the next best thing to free – an investment. Facebook ads are a cost-effective way to drive conversions. Determine what you want to build (likes, engagement, app installs, offer claims) and use Facebook’s many targeting options to nail down your target audience.

The best Facebook ads are timely, eye-catching, creative, well-crafted and engaging. Take a look at two ads featured in Adespresso’s list of inspiring Facebook ads. Each ad serves as a great example of a high-quality, engaging Facebook ad.

Facebook Marketing Strategies that have Proven to be Successful-snickers

The Snicker’s ad is witty, positive, timely and makes use of the season to sell their famed products.

Facebook Marketing Strategies that have Proven to be Successful-Fiverr-ad

Fiverr’s ad employs color psychology to elicit positive emotions towards the brand while drawing in the audience.

Engage Your Community

Building a relationship with your customers goes a long way in fostering repeat customers and customer loyalty. Show your fans that you care about their opinions and thoughts.
Create a dialog by asking followers relevant questions. Use the @ feature to tag specific fans in conversations.

Reply to comments and questions as quickly as possible to get the conversation going. Don’t forget to ask customers to like and share your content.

Engage With Other Pages

Facebook lets you discover your followers like and dislikes. Track those likes back to groups and pages your followers frequent and leave a comment.

Set Up a Facebook Group

Create a group for your fans. Open groups are often the best at building traction for your brand. With a group, you can increase engagement by encouraging participation. You can also test content in your group before you publish it to your page.

Create Content Schedules

Consistent posts let audiences know when to expect an update. When you post on a regular schedule, you increase engagement.  Facebook allows you to schedule posts in advance.

If you have a well-defined target audience, you can schedule posts for the best time (such as the time zone most of your fans are in) and increase the number of people who see them. Using the Insights provided by Facebook, view the hours your audience is typically online.

With an effective strategy, you can get the most out of your Facebook marketing. By following these proven strategies, Facebook will be your brand’s best tool to grow your reach and build a strong customer base.

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10 Instagram Carousel Post Ideas

10 Instagram Carousel Post Ideas

10 Instagram Carousel Post IdeasInstagram recently introduced its enhanced carousel post feature that lets you upload up to 10 videos or photos — or a mix of those — in one swipeable post.

If you aren’t excited about this development, you should be. There are so many things you can do with it for your business!

Tutorials

The carousel is the ideal format to present simple tutorials online. Your followers will find your lessons easy to learn because of the text and visual content. You can teach arts and crafts, life hacks, etc. What can you use it for?

Quote series

To inspire and motivate your followers, share several quotes relevant to your industry. The great thing about this is that you don’t have to be a graphic designer to create these. Use an application like Canva or Recite. The end results look professional and sleek, even if it took less than 5 minutes to make them.

Multiple testimonials

You can also create customer testimonials in the same format as quotes and present them as a carousel. This is effective for trust-building. Include a photo of the customer (with their permission, of course), so your followers can put a face to the name.

Event snapshots

Gone are the days when you have to make multiple posts on Instagram to share photos from an event. Now, you no longer have to flood your followers’ feeds. Compile the pictures and post them in one go.

Event highlights

You can also take photos of an event’s highlights – like keynote speakers, for example – and share them as a package. Your followers who weren’t at the event won’t feel like they missed anything because you’re there to fill them in.

Sizzle reels

You’ve seen sizzle reels before even if you didn’t know what they were. A sizzle reel is a short, fast-paced video that incorporates audio and visual elements to grab attention and promote someone or something. Instagram carousel is made for this, so start making those videos now.

Team spotlight

Who’s who behind the scenes? Let followers get to know your business by featuring staff members and employees in a carousel post. It’s a good way to humanize your brand

Aside from those general suggestions, try out these suggestions if they apply to your business:

Property listings

Beautifully presented pictures of properties with informative captions can elicit enough interest from potential buyers and renters to make an inquiry or even a visit. Real estate agents can use the carousel format to present properties in the same area.

Fashion suggestions

Shop owners, fashion designers, and brands can showcase their clothes through a series of looks their followers can wear. They can create themes per carousel post – by season, style, garment, color, and anything else they want!

Recipe breakdowns

Chefs, restaurateurs, grocers, and bakers can experiment with delicious recipes and share the step-by-step process along with the results.  It’s no surprise that food posts are among the most popular on Instagram. People can’t resist yummy creations especially those with beautiful presentations.

There’s so much you can do with Instagram carousel ads, so unleash your creativity. They’re not only compelling to share – they’re also easy to create. With Instagram growing in use by adults and older adults, it’s become a business marketing destination where your business needs to be represented.

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Best Social Media Customer Service Practices-315

Best Social Media Customer Service Practices

Best Social Media Customer Service Practices-315Thanks to technology, it’s now easier than ever to build relationships with your client base—or is it? While new technology has certainly given us more ways to connect with potential customers, it also comes with its own rules and learning curves. Don’t assume that having the hottest gadgets or using the latest apps will automatically put you a step ahead of the competition. You’ll also have to make sure you’re employing the right strategies to use those tools effectively. Otherwise, you might as well still be cold calling from a phone book.

Social media is one of the best examples to illustrate this concept. Practically every established
business out there has Facebook and Twitter pages by now, but look at the numbers and you’ll
see that some brands have much greater success across these platforms than others when it
comes to key factors like customer acquisition, satisfaction, and retention.

Furthermore, there are plenty of other social media platforms out there, each with their own uses. Figuring out how to make the best possible use of each one can be overwhelming—so let’s start slowly. Here are a few simple things you can do to improve your social media customer service practices across the board:

Choose the platforms that work for your business

As we mentioned previously, there are plenty of different social media platforms out there—in
addition to Facebook and Twitter, there’s also LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and a whole host
of others. Before you drive yourself crazy for the next week setting up accounts for each, do a
bit of research into what platforms are most likely to help you interact with your audience. The answers will vary widely depending on factors like the size of your company, the demographics
you’re trying to reach, and of course, the products or services that you provide.

Best Social Media Customer Service Practices-4

Monitor your engagements

Good customer service is great for growing your brand, and if that’s one of your goals then you need to know how often your brand is being talked about—and by whom. Without this crucial marketing data, you leave yourself no room to develop—there’s no telling how to move forward when you don’t know where you currently stand.

All major brands already do this, and every startup with serious ambitions should. Look for resources that can help you track mentions, likes, and other forms of engagement.

Pay attention to feedback

Communication with your audience isn’t a one-way street, and most social media platforms give your customers ample opportunities to speak back to you about the quality of your products or services. In addition to monitoring the number of times you’re being mentioned, you should also pay close attention to the context—are people talking about you because they’re thrilled with your brand, or are they upset about a major flaw in your business model?

In either case, your customers’ opinions can be extremely useful. Good feedback is an excellent way to find quotes for testimonials, whereas negative feedback might alert you to a correctable error before it sinks your company entirely.

Best Social Media Customer Service Practices-1

Always respond appropriately

Stay clear, composed, and professional no matter what platform you use. As well as, no matter how many people are talking about your brand and what they’re saying about you. The anonymity of the internet makes it very easy to fire off a retort when somebody gets under your skin. However, remember that you’re not anonymous when you’re representing a brand.

The news is full of examples of businesses who have lost customers and damaged their credibility with a short-tempered social media posting, including a Las Vegas pizzeria that threatened one customer for posting a negative Yelp review. Train whoever represents your business on social media to have some basic negotiating skills—it could save you from a scandal down the road.

Social media can be an extraordinarily powerful tool, but it’s a double-edged sword and you need to handle it with care. Wasting your energy on platforms that don’t work for your brand, failing to monitor customer engagements, ignoring feedback, or responding to it inappropriately can all do more harm than good.

Keep our suggestions in mind, though, and you should be able to connect with your customers while avoiding these common mistakes. We look forward to seeing you and your brand on the web!