social media

How YOU Can Create Amazing Events Using Social Media

Does anyone put up flyers around their neighbourhood anymore with “Live Music: At the Club on Fifth Street” stapled to a wooden light post? Though it’s an all right way to promote small local events, your attendees can be reached and targeted much farther, and not to mention, less walking!

Social media has changed promoting events into a more engaging and exciting time, long term. Using these tips will create a shift in your attendees interaction with your business events, making them want to be a part of your next big event!

 

Engage

Engaging with your audience early on is important. Even if it is the most exciting event that your audience would ever go to, if they don’t know that it is happening, then they won’t be there. Use your social media to promote what, when and where your event is happening and direct is at the right audience for your event. If your business is creating a workshop event for learning to cook, you will want to target most likely women, mothers or parents on Instagram and Facebook.

Engage with your audience. Let them know that there is an event coming up that they might be interested in. This can include following, liking, and messaging these people and showing what event your business is offering. A great way for people to know and follow you and your event, is to create one unique hashtag to put in every post that has to do with your event.  

Marketing-Essentials.png

Intrigue

I know that most people have a website and they promote their events and workshops there, but few people know of the ways you can do this for free! An opportunity to do this is through free social media platforms like:

  • Facebook Events

  • Eventbrite

  • And Linkedin (for business events)

Just like engaging with your audience, it is important that you want to make sure you’re promoting your event where your audience is.

 

Excite

When the time gets closer and closer to your event, a good way to excite your attendees is to give a little “sneak peak” into what your event is going to offer people. Include what they can expect from this event, special guests, teaser photos or (if you have one) a surprise that only the attendees will get. A great way to add to the excitement of an event, is to post a countdown of days until the event.

Everyday, make a post of how many days are left until the event, creating scarcity. This makes people think that they need to get their ticket now or they will run out of time. If you have special guests coming, ask them to contribute to your social media. If they make a post about the upcoming event, share it! Show your audience that others are looking forward to the event as well. Invite others to share as well, before and after the event. Watch your hashtag for people posting about the event. Make sure to like, comment, or share them to make them feel that they weren't just there, they were apart of your event!

1.jpg

Integrate Your Social Media

Now we’re talking about on-site experience. This is where social media can really add impact and get people talking after the event. Remember that unique hashtag you’re going to use for your event? Remember to tell people to use it when posting about the event. This is a great way to monitor how your event went and see shared photos from people that attended. The people that didn’t attend, can see how your event turned out, and may come to the next one!

Don’t forget to grab your own media during the event. Use Facebook Live to capture key moments at the event to engage those who did not attend. Also create content that you can use for your next event.

 

At the End of Your Event, Grow.

Take the content from the event, and spread it as widely as possible onto all of your social media platforms. Like I said earlier, your goal is to get the people that didn’t attend this year to see that content and want to go the next year.

Share details from the event, rewarding people who attended. If there was a prize involved, share a congratulations post including the name and a photo of that person at the event. Always invite attendees to share their best quote or photo from the event with the event hashtag. This also is a great way to promote the event and encourage them to attend upcoming events.

 

Looking For More Engagement on Your Social Media? Here Are 2 of the Best Social Media Contests That Work!

Contests are proven motivators. Running contests on your social media can help you grow your followers, likes, interaction, engagement, and build email lists in a short period of time with little effort.

According to research, social media accounts that hold Instagram contests grow their followers 70% faster over three months on average, than accounts that don’t. That’s a big deal. If you’re not running at least one or more of these contests on your business’ social media, you are a part of that 30% not growing and engaging with your potential followers.

social-media-engagement-tips-710x434.jpg

So, we decided to give you three of the best contests that you can run to boost your social media for your business.

Follower Giveaways

People LOVE free stuff. One of the best ways to run a social media contest is to give away a prize or product to one of your followers on one of your social media platforms. The best platforms to use or this contest is either Facebook or Instagram and run the contest at random because it’s where people are most interactive. When posting this contest on your social media, the most successful way to get people engaged with your social media is to make specific rules for your contest.

Let’s say Shirts and Skirts, a young, female based retail store, decided to run this campaign. A great way for them to run it on their social media would be to post a high-quality photo of the item or prize, let’s say that it is a floral shirt, that Shirts and Skirts is giving away to one lucky follower. They may want to write something on the post like the example below:

“We LOVE #flowers! We’re giving away a floral shirt to ONE lucky winner. Be sure that you’re following us, like this post and comment your favourite flower emoji to be entered to win! Winners will be messaged this Friday at 11pm!”

You can also run variations of these posts. Other examples of is doing this includes “12 day giveaways”, “Repost this photo and tag us” types of giveaways. Giveaway contests are great for generating more followers, likes on your posts, and creating more engagement on your social media resulting in more leads.

Challenges

This contest can be both a long term or short term challenge, but is slightly more work than just doing a giveaway. A great thing about challenges is that your followers can participate in them and feel connected or a part of your brand/business.

The most important part of this contest is to think about how you can offer people ways, even small, to achieve success. What problem can you solve in their lives that this challenge can help solve and will result in moving them closer to buying your product? This challenge should be to inspire your followers to take part of this challenge for self-fulfillment. To let people find what your doing on social media, hashtag your challenge on every post.

Untitled design (14).png

As an example, let’s say “Jenny’s Gym” wanted to run a challenge contest all over her social media platforms (Facebook and Instagram). Jenny decided she wanted to help people get more into shape this summer, but also while promoting her gym. To do this, Jenny posts a high-quality photo with the caption:

“This year is the year! We have officially kicked off our #FitForHawaii weight-loss challenge! We’re giving away a trip for two to Hawaii! Between June 1st and July 1st we want to see you get that summer body. Visit our website for details!”

On her website, people can sign up for the #FitforHawaii challenge to receive weekly emails of ways to win at that challenge and weekly motivation. During the month of June, Jenny posts updates or motivation to continue and not give up and do a draw from the participants to win the trip.

By creating this, Jenny’s gains more followers, likes, builds an email list, testimonials, Jenny is promoting and providing a place for the participants to come and complete their challenge.

When Running a Contest, Remember…

Before you run a contest on your social media, always do the following:

  1. Set objectives/goals

  2. Check out other contests (even your competitors’)

  3. Choose the type of contest you want to run

  4. Pick a unique hashtag that relates to your contest

  5. Decide on the contest prize

  6. Choose which platforms you want to run your contest on

Most importantly, have fun with it!

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail... Why Your Business Needs an Effective Social Media Strategy!

Why Is A Social Media Strategy Important For My Business?

The development of a strategic social media plan is a foundation that every business should seriously consider. Every successful business owner will tell you that a well-thought strategy is the key to any successful campaign or business initiative.

If you’re just “winging it”, you’re likely wasting valuable capital, time, and resources that would better be used elsewhere. To avoid this, take the time to clarify your brand and vision, and invest in the development of a detailed tactical plan to guide your social media efforts.

This will ensure that you and your team have a clear idea of how to move forward, what the expected outcome is, and how to go about measuring and achieving it.

What does all that mean? In short, you’ll make more money, faster, and easier!

If that sounds like something you’re interested in, keep reading and let’s get into how to correctly develop a social media strategy that works!
 

Developing Your Social Media Strategy

Before you start developing anything, let me first explain that there are actually two parts to any successful social media strategy. The first being a social media discovery, followed by a social media discovery brief, and the second being the strategy itself.

What is a “Social Media Discovery”?

Remember when I said a strategy is the foundation of any business initiative? Well, the discovery is the foundation of your strategy! Discovery is where you’ll clearly define your brand, your target audience, competitors, etc. and determine how you want to position yourself in the market. Most importantly, it’s where you’ll set your initial goals and objectives, deciding what you want from social media. This is something we do for every new client, and it takes the form of a 2-hour conversation either in person or via video conference.

The Discovery Brief

Once you’ve had some time to discuss and think about your business, brand, and determined what you want out of social media, it’s time to put that together in the form of a document also known as the Discovery brief. This is also something we do for our clients usually within 48 hours of completing the initial discovery session. The purpose of the brief is to take everything discussed in the initial discovery and spend some time researching and going deeper into a variety of the topics. Such as researching your competition and developing a competitive analysis.

A Discovery Brief consists of the basic, but highly specific and useful information about your business. Suits Social calls this a “Discovery Brief” because it’s all about learning (or discovering) more about your business and going beyond a name and product. As such, the process becomes more about discovering the value and untapped opportunities in your business as opposed to simply reviewing what you already know. We want to dig deep into what your company is, does, and why it does it. In this formal and organized document, ask yourself these questions:

  • What exactly is my business (Define in detail)?

  • What are my top 3 goals and objectives?

  • What is my value proposition?

  • What is my positioning in the marketplace?

  • Who and where is my ideal target customer, and how do I reach them?

  • Who are my competitors, what are they doing good/bad?

Knowing the answer to these questions are crucial to developing a powerful social media strategy and exponentially growing your business on social media.

The Social Media Strategy

A social media strategy is different from the Discovery Brief in that it clearly provides tactical step by step actions that will be taken to achieve your goals and objectives. Creating a clear path to reach those objectives and goals for your business.

To put it simply, this forward-looking dynamic plan outlines what you need to do, how you need to do it, how long it will take, what it will cost, and what you’ll get out of it. From when and what to post to detailed ad campaigns, and community management protocol.

Developing a detailed social media strategy minimizes the future risk of failure and consequences by keeping your efforts organized and manageable. When we develop a social media strategy for our clients, it typically runs between 25 to 30 pages and typically includes in the following items:

  • Action items for each goal and objective.

  • Budgets, timelines, and expectations.

  • Detailed buyer personas and messaging strategy.

  • Community and reputation management plan.

  • Organic content strategy:

Content Calendar

Creative media examples

Types of posts, contests, challenges, etc.

Media collection plan

  • Paid media plan (Advertising):

Target market research

Ad campaign outlines

Detailed targeting including location, age, interests, and more.

Ad creatives and copy.

Spending & expected ROI.

 

Why we do this

Going through the Discovery process and developing a social media strategy creates an overall clearer performance of your ideas, minimizes weaknesses and threats, and opens new opportunities to reach your objectives and goals for your business.

Every business should have a clear, organized Discovery Brief and social media Strategy that guides their efforts and budgets. Not only are they useful in the present, but  they are useful to use as a reflection later when measuring campaigns, objectives, and determining what worked or didn’t work for your business allowing you to constantly improve results and increase your chances of success over time.

Learn More

To learn more about the Suits Social Discovery and Strategy process, please email info@suitssocial.com or click here to book a free exploration session.


Say Hello To Instagram – The Newest (Old) Tool For Business

More Than Just Selfies & Pictures of Food

Instagram, the platform that we are so used to viewing (and sometimes posting) those oftentimes-regrettable selfies to, has believe it or not, been around since October 6, 2010. So, it is not a “new” platform per se, especially in the highly digitized society that we live in today.

Aesthetically, it has not changed much over the years. In the grand scheme of things, it is not much more than a photo-sharing application to personal users. Though as you will soon learn, it has become much more than that...

Almost 7 years after its inception, Instagram for business has become a must-have tool for companies small and large, looking to compete for market-share in 2017 and beyond. If we as potential buyers can’t see creative photographic evidence, does it really exist? Does it interest us? Does it matter? Instagram can help your business with that.

What Is Instagram Really?

It’s easy to tell people that they need something, but if you don’t tell them why, chances are they probably aren’t going to listen to you (I wouldn’t). So the next couple of sections in this blog post will tell you why your business needs Instagram.

Registering your Instagram account as a business offers users several benefits that include real-time statistics on how promoted posts and stories perform, insights into how your followers interact with your posts, and the ability to neatly add vital information about your company, like business hours, location and phone number to your profile. Whether it be a photo, a video, or a story, the option to promote these wide-variety of posts with specific geographic targeting in the form of paid advertising is also available. Instagram was even kind enough to make the transition from a personal account to business account as easy as accessing your settings and selecting the “Switch to Business Profile” option. More information on available features can be found on the Instagram for business page.

The Cold Hard Facts

Still not convinced? Let me demonstrate how you are missing the boat by not joining this platform as a business. According to information obtained by Business Insider, Instagram as of September 2017, has two million active advertisers monthly, up from one million in March of this same year. Businesses are seeing its impact and performance. No it was not large corporations who have contributed to this growth, they have been there all along. Small and medium-sized businesses have driven this growth, and all indications point to continued growth.

As a business user, you don’t want to waste your time and resources posting to a platform that harvests little to no active users. Obviously. This is hardly a concern for Instagram, who also reached another impressive milestone in September 2017. The application reached 800 million monthly users, up 100 million since April 2017 and up a grand total of 500 million users since August 2016.

According to this same report, Instagram users under the age of 25 spend just over 32 minutes a day on the application, while those older than 25 spend just over 24 minutes a day on the platform. I could personally vouch for the above noted statistics, as someone under 25, I spend almost 45 minutes of my day surfing my Instagram feed and viewing stories (many of them businesses).

 

 
   Source: Business Insider

 Source: Business Insider

 

Final Thoughts

Are you a “dinosaur” if your business isn’t using Instagram?

I would say so. (Sorry, sometimes the truth hurts.)

With the amount of small to medium-sized businesses that have recently jumped on to the platform in order to advertise and promote, It would be hard to compete without making your presence felt here as well.

Instagram is not nearly as big in terms of active users as Facebook or Twitter currently are (you should already be there), but it is outdoing Snapchat and other well-known social media platforms, with a trend of continued growth that shows no sign of slowing down.

According to the above noted Business Insider article, 2.8 billion people, or 37% of the world’s population use social media platforms in one capacity or another (usage and interaction varies, of course). Knowing this, social media presence (and usage) for businesses, especially newer businesses without an existing large customer base, is almost imperative to succeeding in the modern business landscape.

You don’t have to necessarily be on all platforms to be successful though, but besides Facebook and perhaps Twitter, Instagram for business should definitely be a weapon in your businesses artillery.

Before you say... you or someone you know, has run a business for 50+ years and never needed social media, so why should you need it now. Let me leave you with my final thought on that.

You/They didn't need it for the last 50 years, because it didn't exist. Attention was on television, newspaper, directories, phone books, etc. Good chance you used those in the past 50 years? But today those are obsolete.

So if you're looking to stay the same size and work with existing clients fine... but if you want to grow your business TODAY, stop marketing in the year 1960, and start marketing to today's customers.

Your customers attention is on social media, yours should be too, and Instagram is a big part of that. 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

BLOW UP Your Business With Local Micro-Influencers

What are Local Micro-Influencers, how do you find them, and how can you use them to grow your business? 

By this point we all realize that social media is important for growing a business, there's no doubting that.

You've also likely heard about "Influencer marketing". If you have't it's basically when someone with a large social media following, partners with a brand/business to create a single or multiple pieces of sponsored content.

Essentially by paying someone with a large following to promote your products, you can get in front of a large audience in a very organic way.

Think "word of mouth" at scale... 

Because influencers have built great relationships with their following, the people that will see your product/service will trust the recommendation far more than a traditional ad.

The problem local businesses have when working with a large influencer is the cost, with top influencers commanding 6 figures or more per promotion. Talk about blowing the budget...

But don't worry...if you're a local business and not an international brand, there is an even better way for you to get the same effect as influencer marketing, for little to no cost.

The Alternative To Regular Influencer Marketing

It's called Micro-Influencer marketing!

A Micro-Influencer is an influencer on a much smaller scale, they usually have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers, although opinions vary give or take a few thousand.

The idea behind Micro-Influencer's is very much the same as with larger influencers, but with a few added benefits.

1. Micro-Influencer will promote your business for free or for very cheap in exchange for free product, service, or commission on sales.

2. Their following is much more intimate, mostly composed of friends, family, and locals.

3. Because they don't often get brand deals (yet) their following is not bombarded with ads, so they're far more receptive to sponsored content.

These are just some of the benefits of working with micro-influencers.

But what about that whole "Local" thing? 

Local Micro-Influencers are simply Micro-Influencers that live/work in the same region as your business.

So if you're a car dealership in Toronto, you would look for car photographers or vloggers with a following of 1,000-10,000 that live within Toronto.

The benefit of local influencers is that they're "following" or "audience" will be primarily based around your place of business. Hence the term "Local Influencer".

Local influencer marketing is essentialy a word of mouth referral, but the person giving the referral isn't just telling one or two of their friends, they're telling thousands! 

How to Find Local Influencers

So you now you get what a local micro-influencer is, and it's important, but how do you utilize them? What exactly do they do, and how do you find them?

Well first let's start with how you find local influencers.

You can find local influencers in a few ways:

 
blogpic2.jpg
 
blogpic3.jpg
 
blogpic4.jpg

 

That's how you find local influencers, but what do you do once you find them?

Once you find them you need to reach out, and provide them with an offer. Maybe it's free product, free service, discounted venue, or perhaps an invitation to an event. It all depends.

Sometimes you can leave it up to them, tell them your goals and let them be creative with how they promote you, but you'll have to make it worth there while, and usually that means compensation.

But if you're a little more creative, you can get influencers to work for free. How?

By providing them with a fun and engaging framework to be creative.

Host a local event, go on a coffee run with them, bring them in for a tasting, it depends on your industry but the concept is simple.

Create a fun event that they can't resist attending. Make them feel exclusive and special, and once they get there, it's in their nature to document and share. 

They'll wan't everyone to know about this super cool event their at!

Launching A Local Influencer Campaign?

Launching a micro-influencer campaign can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it, and the process to do so will vary depending on your business.

For example, if you sell fitness clothing, you might just want to send a few influencers your clothing, have them take photos in it, and share with their following.

But if your a restaurant the approach is different, maybe you invite a few influencers for a "VIP Tasting" in exchange for them documenting the event and sharing it online.

For more information about my take on local influencer marketing, check out this video!

Feel free to leave a comment under this blog or in the video, and I'll be happy to answer any questions that I can!


Grow Your Business With Social Media

Download The Entire Presentation Free

 

Hey everyone, Darren here!

Recently I've been invited to speak at a few venues on the topic of growing your business with social media, including at the Barrie Country Club, The Barrie Chamber of Commerce, and at Flying monkeys brewery for the Simcoe County Home Builders Association.

Big thanks to all of the groups inviting me out to speak, it's an absolute privilege to stand up and speak to incredible people for 40 minutes about something i'm deeply passionate about. 

As per popular demand, for those who did not attend, or who did attend but want a copy, i've included the entire presentation here available for download!

The presentation includes:

1. An entire crash course on what social media "really is" and how to most effectively use it to grow your business.

2. We asked 2000 business owners what their biggest concerns were in regards to social media, and then we addressed them one by one!

3. 5 Actionably step by step strategies you can implement right away to blow up your social media fast!

Download The Entire Presentation!

Screen Shot 2017-09-07 at 7.26.33 PM.png

For a copy of the complete presentation, drop your email below and i'll send it your way!

Name
Name

 

 

 

How to Respond to Online Reviews - The Right Way!

Before we get started, if you're serious about your businesses online reputation, and want to take control of your online reviews, download our "Top 5 tips for responding to online reviews" guide. A must read for any business owner or manager, available for download FREE at the end of this post. 

Responding to your businesses online reviews is no longer an option, it's expected. Online reviews are where customers are having a conversation about your business, and where potential customers decide if you deserve their hard earned dollars. It's extremely important that your business is responding to every single review, good or bad. It's important to respond to bad reviews because bad reviews are like a billboard that says "Be careful when doing business with us". Responding to these bad reviews gives you a chance to right your wrong, prevent further reputation damage, and show customers you're a responsible business who values customer feedback. It's also just as important to respond to good reviews. It shows customers that your not just trying to put out fires and responding to the negative, but also praising the positive and valuing the input of very single customer. Good reviews also provide a great opportunity for up sells, and also make for great social media content. Don't be afraid to share your customers reviews on a regular basis, and make sure everyone knows how great you are!

Ready to learn more? If you're serious about taking your business to the next level and want to read the full guide for responding to online reviews, you can download it for FREE below!