7 Ways To Get Your Social Media Audience In A Physical Store

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Most often people use social media to funnel traffic to their website, but that isn’t the only option you have.  Your storefront itself, is another viable option, and even though it could go against what you’ve been taught, physically seeing the people that make your company run could do your business some good.  So, if this is an avenue you’d like to consider, here are seven tips to get people to your door.

1) Make your special offers in-store only

Although this one is a given, it’s also one of the most effective.  Simple things like “mention this post and get a second free”, or an image for people to show their cashier for a discount would both do the trick.

2) Host an event

This one is going to depend a lot on your audience, but once you decide on the nature and date of it, start promoting it!  If you have a coffee shop and can get a local band to preform or have an art show, either of those avenues could do you a great deal of good.  If you have more of a professional atmosphere however, having a networking event or entrepreneurial speaker could help you out a bit more.

3) Or, if you can’t host, attend

If your location is too small for this sort of thing, go to someone else’s event.  You can set up a booth at a trade show for instance and set up a hashtag so people can find you.  If there’s a local festival near you, you can also go there and hand out free samples or flyers.  If it has it’s own hashtag, post your own pictures under it at the event to increase your visibility and relevance to get people more likely to swing by your location.

4) Post Pics of your Physical Location

If all you’re doing is posting text, people might stop associating you with a physical medium.  To prevent this, make sure you’re posting real time pictures of your business on a regular basis.  Although they can be professional shots, fun shots that show your customers having a good time are perfect too!

5) Show off your employees as well

As a rule of thumb, people like to see other people.  Post images of your crew having a good time as well, or even have profiles of them on an individual basis rotating.  If you’re comfortable with them, you can have them post for you as well.  The point of this is to show your customers who will be responsible for keeping the business going, which in turn gives your physical location a more welcoming appearance that will lead to increased foot traffic.

6) Encourage people to review you

This one, obviously, is only effective for those who have already visited you, but you can accomplish this in a number of ways.  Making signs to encourage it would be a good place to start, encouraging your visitors to post images and descriptions of their in-person experience, or if you’re doing it online, ask for people to recall their most recent in-store experience.  Don’t forget to respond to the people who post though!

7) Share what your fans have to say

People are much more prone to stick by your side if they feel like you’re listening to them, and this is especially the case when you share or retweet what they have to say.  If someone posts something nice about you, retweet and thank them, which in turn will encourage more feedback from your in-person customers as well as showing that you appreciate the people who come out to your storefront.

All in all, foot traffic is something so worth fighting for because it lends itself to more word-of-mouth reviews and brings a greater number of returning visitors.  By all means you should still try to get people to your website, but adding this strategy as well will bring you a wider, more loyal customer base overall.

8 Social Media Mistakes That May Cost You Your Job

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Let’s do a small change of pace with this next one.  There are all kinds of things your business needs to be doing on social media, but as an employee or someone who’s even just in the job market, there’s a lot of things you specifically shouldn’t be doing.  We live in a world now where 93 percent of recruiters check the social media accounts of their applicants including their tweets, Facebook status, Instagram photos and more.  Some company even keep tabs on their employees accounts now, so unfortunately what you say can have serious repercussions.

If you haven’t heard any stories like this in a while, people have been fired for talking badly about their work online.  Whining and complaining about being bored how it’s just the same on a different day can reflect poorly on your professionalism.

Next, it’s important to keep in mind that employers don’t see your social media activity as coming from a persona or an alter ego.  To them, that’s just you, so whatever your reflect is what they expect to see when you come into the workplace.    You can customize albums so only friends see them, but at least keep your profile pic rated G.

Third, continuing with the theme of professionalism, be sure you’re using proper grammar.  Close to a third of the people who check social media for candidates say that spelling and misusing punctuation can be dismissed as poor communication skills.

Next up, if you’d be scared to say something in the office, you may not want to use it on social media either.  Foul language, especially when derogatory, hurt your standing.

Fifth, if you’re saying your sick, you might not want to show otherwise.  Don’t blow your own cover with social media if you’re going to call in sick when you aren’t, not that lying is something I advocate anyway.

Sixth, don’t bad-mouth your coworkers.  If you have an issue with someone in your office, don’t take it online in a huge rant.  It’d make things wildly uncomfortable and if your boss sees you or your activity as the cause, then things may not end well on your end.

Next, be sure what you’ve done in the past doesn’t come back to bite you.  People have all kinds of different hobbies and that’s fair, but the more controversial of these might be best to keep private.  Last year there was a woman who was discovered during the world cup and offered a modeling contract, but when they found these photos of her, they terminated it.  Untagging yourself from these kinds of things could have you some headache later on.

Finally, be more of an optimist than a pessimist.  Celebrate the good rather than dwell on the bad, and comment on the work related things you’re proud of, both yours and your coworkers, but be weary of bragging.  By all means, bring your healthy, professional environment online rather than keeping it locked up in the office.

For a continued reading on the matter, click here for Preen’s article on the matter.

This Month in Review

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Social media can be a handful to get into, and then after you do, everything is always changing.  This has a tendency to make things difficult, but things get easier the more you anticipate the new courses and are aware of what’s occurring around here.

If you haven’t heard yet, here’s what’s been in the works for May.

1) Facebook has changed its algorithm

Specifically, they’ve reworked aspects of their News Feed so that friends are prioritized over pages.

a) People with a lower number of friends weren’t likely to see multiple posts from the same person in a row, but this rule has relaxed.

b) Content posted directly from your friends will appear higher up in the News Feed

c) Things that your friends have liked or commented on now appear lower down, or even not at all, to priorities the people and pages that matter to you

2) Pinterest Posts can now be scheduled with Buffer

To begin, you can read about it in-depth here, but what Buffer does for you is that it grants you the ability to pin from anywhere on the web or upload your own images, create a variety of unique daily pinning schedules and track your repins, likes and comments.

3) You can now search phone numbers on LinkedIn

This helps you find the profiles associated with your contacts, and you can even do an area code search for prospects.

4) LinkedIn shut down their 3rd party API

As of May 12th, their APIs only support these uses:

a) Letting members represent their professional identity using their profile API

b) Posting certifications directly to their profile

c) Sharing professional content to their LinkedIn network

d) Sharing professional content to LinkedIn with their company API

5) Live video streaming enters the fray

Both Periscope and Meerkat have overtaken twitter with their live-streaming and have left a huge impact in their wake.

6) Twitter update now says why Topics are Popular

Every once in a while we hear about a huge blunder a company made by jumping into a topic they know nothing about, but now the Trending Topics on Twitter now offer explanation of what they are, as well as why their up there.

7) Twitter has now implemented Quotes

Basically, these are tweets within tweets and the option shows up when you go to retweet someone.  If you do that, you’ll be granted 116 characters of your own text to go along with the original one.

8) Twitter now allows you to directly message anyone

You no longer have to be someone’s follower or have them follow you to send them a message, and while this can be convenient if you want to reach out to someone privately, it can also be abused by spammers.

9) Facebook adds a Safety Check in Areas of Major Tragedy

What this does, is if Facebook detects you in an affected area, it gives you the option to either mark yourself as safe, or not in the area, and then takes that information to notify your friends list.

10) Twitter rolls out Hightlighs

Highlights are going to look at accounts and conversations that are popular with those you follow, tweets from people you’re tied to, trending topics in your area or within your network, and even trending people who you’re following.  At the moment, it’s only available for Android but it will be coming to Apple.

11) LinkedIn introduces Elevate

At the moment it’s strictly invitation only, but Elevate will offer your employees quick access to what’s being shared by other people within your origination so it can easily be shared with their network, and seeing as on average, employees tend to have 10 times the number of connection as the company page has followers, it could be a game changer.

For a continued reading on the matter, click here to view TopDog Social Media’s article in its entirety.

7 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Engagement

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If you want to learn about people you need to listen to them, but unfortunately it can be difficult to get your audience to engage with you on social media at times.  Sure, likes and shares are great, but it doesn’t quite give the same insight as a person replying to something you’ve said on your feed, so here are seven ways to boost that up.

The first thing you should do is not just ask questions, but ask them creatively.  While not limiting your answers can give your audience a larger list of possibilities to say, people actually respond better when they have set choices, and respond even better when you have a graphic along side it.

Next, try to come up with unique contests for your followers.  Typically a good route to take is a twist on a photo contest, especially if you use an image heavy network such as Instagram.  TurboTax for example, had a huge turnout when they ran a contest where they had people post a picture with three zeros with the hashtag #absolute0.

Third, you can arrange a Q&A session.  Whatever your industry is, people are likely to have questions for you so it’d be good to give them an opportunity to reach out.  A few examples of how you can do that is simply by hosting a Google Hangout, Twitter chat, or even making a post on Facebook asking if there’s anything anyone would like to know about your product.

Fourth, be sure to tag people in curated content, especially when you’re sharing someone else’s.  Writing your own articles is another great choice, but when you do reference multiple articles and when you post it, tag everyone you mentioned in the post.  Typically when you mention someone in a curated post they’ll comment in one way or another, so it makes sense that the more people tagged the more comments you’ll receive and they’ll be more like, share and tag you back.  Don’t tag people at random however, be sure it has purpose.

In a similar vein to sharing other people’s content, user-generated content is great.  It’s the best way to get people talking about your page, although it can be one of the trickier ways to get them to engage with you.  Make sure your idea has been well thought out before you send it out.  For a good example of how this can turn out well, Starbucks launched a #WhiteCupContest back in 2014, and it did so well they brought it back.

Sixth, connect with an important cause, even if it doesn’t have a direct connection to your brand.  If there’s any cause your company supports, create a campaign or just spread the word on your page.  Your fans are likely to engage with you when you’re being socially responsible.

Next, it’d be a good idea to keep up with current events.  In a lot of ways, social media is today’s water cooler, and the more you know about things people want to discuss, the more inclined they are to listen to you, be it a holiday, event, or even a show.  Additionally, when you’re talking about things your fans are already talking about as well, it helps you engage with them.

What’s been working the best for you?

For a continued reading on the matter, click here to view Social Media Examiner’s article in its entirety.

12 Social Media Truths

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Ten might be the cleanest number I know, but it feels like the best things come in dozens.  Eggs, bagels, cookies, donuts or pretty much anything else you bake, but in that spirit, how about some quick tips?

To begin with, the number of followers you have doesn’t always matter.  Sure, high numbers can look impressive, but if you’re paying for them, you’re getting nothing out of them after that.  Spend your time being a person and engaging with your audience than just searching for ways to make your ticker go up.

Next up, you don’t need to be on all the networks.  Not everyone has an infinite amount of time, so it’d be much better to focus on only a few of them and work on being of value to the community there.  It’s better to not be somewhere, then be there and outright neglect it.

Third, you’re in the best position to find out where your customers are at.  Anyone can put in all kinds of research into who’s where, but alternatively, you could simply ask them yourselves as they come and go.

In that vein of where your customers are, Facebook is always a safe bet.  There are over a billion people on there at the moment, and if your clients aren’t there for business, then they’re likely still there for entertainment.  Often times people research a product on social media, so be sure to be there.  If you’re sharing interesting and helpful information however, they’re much more likely to  stick with you than just give you a quick glance.

Fifth, contrary to what everyone seems to be saying, social media isn’t free.  Back in high-school I had a social studies teacher always tell the class that there was no such thing as a free lunch.  It’s the same concept here, even if you aren’t spending money for it, you’re still spending time.

Next, you don’t have to be a certain age for this to be successful.  Maybe millennials have a lower learning curve, but it isn’t too difficult to pick up.  If it wasn’t, they never would’ve had the traction to get their feet off the ground.

Now similar to that one, if you’re quick to shovel off the social media responsibilities to someone else, you may want to veer from giving it to someone’s kid simply on account of them being a kid.  Even if they have lots of Facebook friends, if they don’t know your business, they shouldn’t necessarily be handling your business.  And that brings us right into the next one.

You do have time for it.  People are busy, I’ll be the first to admit that, but at the same time, people also make a point to have a bit of free time each day.  You may have to cut into that a bit, but if you did, you could really help your business grow.

Going off of that, you can create content as well.  Your every day observations tied to your industry could all be content.  Changes in the law that could effect you, what helps and hurts from the news or even what some other people in your industry are doing could all be beneficial to you.

As far as blogs are concerned, they’ll always be what you say they are.  If you see them as nothing but long strands of texts spanning several pages, then that’s all it’ll be for you.  Some of the most helpful posts out there are simply lists of links to important news for your industry.  Additionally, the goal should be to get a customer thinking about you, so if you can do it in a paragraph, that’s all you’d need.

As often as I keep hammering to connect with your customers, they want to connect with you too.  If you went somewhere or did something fun, go ahead and share it!

Finally, you can do it.  Although the entire ordeal may feel like a handful at first, it could eventually prove to be the fun part of your marketing strategy, in addition to aiding you forage bonds with your target audience.

For a continued reading on this matter, click here for Venture Beat’s article in its entirety.

How to Leverage Instagram and Pinterest for Your Business

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Typically when you’re reading about social media, it’s about Facebook and Twitter, but I think it’s about time we cover some of the image heavy juggernauts, particularly Pinterst and Instagram.  To begin, your audience is going to want to see activity from you, so be sure to post at least twice on a daily basis to get started, and as you do so, be sure to make use of hashtags for more interaction, which will lead you to more re-pins and comments as they come up better in searches.

Additionally, make sure that you’re commenting and replying in a fitting way for both websites.  Instagram tends to tag names and use hashtags, whereas Pinterst usually includes comments and links.  As you engage with more and more people and grow your audience, be sure you have website links prominent on your profiles, although on Instagram, the link will simply be mere text.

Lastly, make sure you’re connecting with your market.  Both of these offer a great advantage of making it easier to get in touch with your niche market, so make sure you’re engaging with them.  When you follow someone new, be sure to comment and share their posts, as this will help you grow your audience even more.

Although neither of these two aren’t as in the spotlight as a few of the other networks out there, they’re both too important to just pass up on!

For a continued reading on the matter, click here for Small Business Trends article on the matter.

7 Must-Take Steps For Social Media Marketing Success

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I have to admit, I’ve listed off quite a few rules by now, but the truth is that they might not all work if you don’t already have your groundwork laid out.  There are many things you should be doing, but in truth, there are some that you have to as well.  Here are seven of those to get your started.

Point of Differentiation

Just to open, you need to be different that you competition.  What sets you apart from them, what do you do that they don’t, or what are you most proud of?  There has to be something unique to you and your brand otherwise there wouldn’t be much reason to follow you.  Don’t be a carbon copy of someone else.  Are you the safest in your industry?  Play off that!

Point of View Content

This can be anything like a report, ebook or guide that simply shows how you do things.  The reason why this one is so important is simply because it educates those interested in your method, which makes them more likely to trust you and ultimately use your service.

PR Relationships

Media coverage is an extremely credible source to your consumers, so reach out to your local reporters.  Comment and engage with what they’re doing and slowly introduce them to your brand.  Take them out to coffee and make sure to be a resource for them.  If they think you’re interesting, they’d likely want to do a story on you.

Presentations

If you’ve got skills to show off, do it!  Present seminars, webinars, workshops or anything else that could help people understand or lean your trade.  This’ll introduce you to people who are interested in what you do and will let you interact with them personal, strengthening bonds and solidifying them as a customer.

Online Content Platform

No matter what your main, central content hub is, it needs to be full of education content, articles and how-to information.  Even if it isn’t received well, consistent content creation is easy for search engines to find and index, which in turn can be shared and aid you in rankings.

Marketing Automation

Simply put, landing pages could be critical in your advertising.  Typically, when talking about their products or services, a company will often link a potential customer to their home or products page.  Unfortunately, even though this does give them a way to find the information they’re looking for, it also offers one last chance for them to get distracted and to lose the deal.  Landing pages cut out that last risk and take them directly where they want to be.

Business Objectives

Finally, you need to create a plan, and one that focuses on your business objectives.  Whatever your goals are, they need to be clearly identified so you can begin focusing your efforts.  Another critical thing to have, is understanding of your clients desire and problems so you’ll be able to tackle them on your social media.

For a continued reading on the matter, click here to view Business 2 Community’s article in its entirety.