social media strategy

The Top 4 Tools Every Business Should Be Using

If there were tools that could make your business run, even a little bit easier, wouldn’t you want to know? Well the good news is, there is! With advancement in new technology and apps, you don’t have to hire designers, video editors etc. for the smaller tasks at hand.

We decided to go through our management tools and decide what the top 4 tools that are crucial to building your business and brand to the next level, with no (or very little) money needed! You know what that means? YES. These are FREE tools that are waiting to be used! These are tools that help manage, increase productivity, help communicate, build your expertise and market in a simple easy-to-do way!

Here’s a list of the top 4 business apps and tools that every industry should be using to grow their brand and business.

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Facebook Pages vs. Facebook Profiles: Why It's Important to Know the Difference

Starting Your Business With Facebook? First, Get to Know the Difference Between A Facebook Page and a Profile!

I’m pretty sure you know what Facebook is, and that you or someone you know has a Facebook account. If you don’t, now is the time to start one for your business!

But the big question that most small business owners have trouble understanding is the difference between a Facebook Page and a Facebook Profile. It can be just be confusing when you’re getting started.

Which one do you use for your business?

What REALLY is the difference between the two?

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This question is a simple one to answer since using a Facebook Profile for business is a violation of Facebook's Terms of Service. If you use a Facebook Profile to share content for profit or you are not using an individual’s name, Facebook can delete your account. However, you do need a personal account to create a Facebook Page for your business, or you can convert your Profile to a Page.

But for the purpose of understanding the difference, here is a quick overview of the two accounts.

Facebook Profiles

Facebook Profiles are personal accounts on Facebook. When you sign up for a Facebook account, you are signing up for a personal account for yourself. This is where you add your family, friends and can communicate by sharing photos, videos, life updates and more on a personal level. Everyone who joins Facebook gets this personal profile where you only have one name.

Facebook Pages

A Facebook Page is where you make your business account. A Page’s purpose is to represent an organization or a company where you can promote specials, contests, and updates about your business to your followers who have engaged with your page by “liking” it.

Having a business Page also allows you to use Facebook advertisements as well as having no limit to the amount of Pages that you can manage.

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Why Should I Use a Facebook Page Over a Profile?

Besides violating Facebook’s Terms of Service like I said a little about earlier, small businesses without a Facebook account is really missing out on a huge audience. Facebook gives you that communication to your customers about what is going on with the business like promotions, contests, or any other updates.

Also, not having a page can give the idea that your business is out of touch with technology and social media. This can make people wonder if you’re really progressing as a business which ultimately can lead to losing the trust of your customers. People love feeling a part  and being able to communicate with their favourite businesses!

Facebook Pages allow small businesses to build a following faster than a Facebook Profile. Profiles make you send or accept “friend requests” before you even make a connection, whereas with a Page, people can follow or “like” your business without that barrier.

Another reason to have a Facebook Page for your business over a Profile is that you receive access to insights (analytics)  that you can track every day. This lets you track the positive and negative impacts and results from your social media.

Think of your Facebook Page as a micro-site that you can use for commercial purposes and where you can directly engage with your customers!

The RIGHT (And Only) Way You Should Be Managing Negative Comments on Social Media

How You Should Be Responding to Unhappy Customers

Social media is an amazing and powerful tool when businesses take the opportunity to use it. It helps them connect, engage, and establish trust with customers you already have, as well as potential ones, increasing brand awareness, website traffic and overall increasing sales.

But what happens when something goes wrong with a customer? Negative comments can start popping up on your business’ Facebook page,Instagram page or Twitter feed. Though some social media managers can respond the wrong way, including ignoring comments, deleting comments, responding with a bad apology or worse, getting angry back at the customer.

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But really, the best and ONLY way you should manage negative comments made from a customer on your social media is to offer an apology AND a solution to their problem.

Apologizing the RIGHT Way

The best way to do this is giving a ‘We hear your issue, and we will make it right immediately” approach. This is your opportunity to turn an unhappy customer into your business’ biggest fan! Responding to comments this way on social media lets people know the loyalty and respect to your business has for your customers.

Usually, a person who is responding with negative comments already has some sense of loyalty to your business. Especially if they’ve already spent their money with you, “liked” your Facebook page, or followed you on social media. However, they’ve had an unpleasant experience. Usually they just want to know that they have been listened to and that you (your business) will make things right.

Sometimes businesses forget that handling complaints on social media is the same as dealing with complaints in person. If a customer were standing in front of you with a complaint, you wouldn’t ignore them, walk away from them, or just apologize without giving them a solution to their problem. So why would that be acceptable to do on social media? The answer is, It’s not!

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When you deal with complaints the right way, unhappy customers will tell their friends how awesome your company is and what great customer service you gave. In the end, they’ll most likely encourage their friends and family to buy from you instead. Like I said earlier, social media is powerful, and is free marketing!

Just remember that no matter how amazing your business is, mistakes happen, customers get upset and complain. With the growing of social media, they now expect to be able to speak about these complaints and get resolutions on social media.

Next time you see a negative comment on or towards your business' social media, think of it as an opportunity to prove how awesome your company is!

How do you think a business should deal with negative comments? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Why Is Social Media So Important? If Your Business Isn't on Social Media, You're Missing Out

It seems that social media is constantly on the news, especially lately with Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal.

But despite the current bad press, a large amount of consumers are still on social media, as well as most businesses.

 In fact, 71% of small businesses are on social media, according to recent research from Clutch.

Of the businesses that use social media, 86% use Facebook. Facebook is the most popular social media platform because it has been in the market longer than most. It also helps that Facebook has a larger audience than other social media platforms, at more than two billion users.

Facebook is so successful that 58% of businesses plan to increase their investment in the platform in 2018, according to recent research from The Manifest.

Businesses love this because they can use this tool to reach the most people with the least work 

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Millennial-Owned Businesses More Likely to Use Social Media

Millennials live and breathe social media already – they grew up in the social media world, and it’s a daily part of their lives. It makes sense that 79% of millennial-owned businesses use social media versus 65% of businesses owned by older generations. 

Business owners run their companies with what they know. Millennials know that social media is a crucial part to a successful business in this day in age. With the growing amount of consumers and a business’ competitors getting on social media, it makes sense that these businesses start too.

 

Businesses Post Social Media Content Regularly

Most s mall businesses see the importance of publishing social media content on a consistent basis with 52% publishing content every day, and 79% publishing weekly.

It’s important for businesses to post regularly on their social media channels with high-quality and valuable content. If their social profiles’ most recent posts are from several months ago, they don’t ask questions, and don’t provide value to their audience, no one will engage with the content or profile. You want to be visible and become a leader in the industry to your followers and potential customers. By creating a social media presence, you’re showing them just that.

 

Businesses Post a Variety of Content

Since most of these businesses publish content daily, what do they publish?

Businesses publish a variety of content on social media, but the most popular type is images, by 54%. These photos posted onto their social media can include their products and services, the business’ team, the community, or any type of entertainment that the business’ audience would want to follow and like. 

Humans are visual beings. High-quality images appeal to consumers when they are scrolling through their newsfeeds. Using visual content helps companies stand out on social media because their consumers want to engage more with images that seem more professional and valuable.

 

Engagement Is Small Businesses’ Most Important Metric 

Businesses publish a variety content regularly because it leads to increased engagement. 20% of businesses agree that this is the most important metric so social media.

Businesses value social engagement because it shows if the content they are sharing is doing its job. Is the content reaching who you are targeting? Is it creating a greater following? Is it creating a ROI? If no one is reacting to, following or sharing your content, is it really worth your time?

Engagement is also an easier metric to track than others because it’s easy to see how many people have liked, commented on, or shared your posts.

Conversion, revenue earned, and ROI from social media are also important but are harder to track, which is why companies don’t always see their value.

 

Half of Small Businesses Pay for Advertising on Social Media

46% of small businesses buy advertising on social media, something that is becoming more essential.

Social media has become a pay-to-play game, and the reach of organic content has decreased. For a business to reach more consumers, it should use paid social advertising. Even a small social advertising budget can reach more consumers than organic content.

Although just half of small businesses use social advertising according to the survey, that number should be 100%.

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The Increasing Importance of Social Media

Social media is here to stay, so businesses need to invest time and money in this technology. In fact, of the businesses already using social media, 92% plan to increase their social media investment, indicative of social media’s staying power.

Businesses need to invest in social media. It spreads brand awareness, keeps followers interested in your business, and leads to sales.

It’s 2018. If your business isn’t on social media, you’re missing out on one of the most successful marketing tools possible.

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.

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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.

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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.


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!

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

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