What Does This Mean for Your Social Marketing Strategy?
In November 2014, Facebook announced that beginning in January 2015 they would be killing the organic reach for business page posts in user’s newsfeeds, meaning businesses cannot offer promotional deals via a post for their business such as:
“Huge sale on Mother’s Day bouquets! Use the code FacebookMOM for an additional 15% off.”
Posts like this will no longer show up on an individual’s newsfeed. Instead, the business will have to pay to advertise on the site to show up as promotional. While this is good for the every day user who was tired of ads, what does this mean for your small business and your social marketing strategy?
Facebook is unclear about what their algorithm will consider “overly promotional”, so a few months of data will be necessary to completely determine the impact of this change; however, businesses are already reporting a significant decline in their organic reach, some up to as much as 75-90%.
A few ideas to consider to adding to your social marketing strategy in light of this Facebook change:
- Add social relationships and interactions to your own website. Write blogs that your users are interested and want to share. Encourage a direct relationship with your customer because their organic reach can be far more powerful than businesses ever could.
- Don’t make Facebook the center of your businesses marketing strategy and interaction with your customers. Encourage them to sign up for newsletters to stay in contact with your business. Newsletters delivered by email are served 90% of the time while Facebook posts are served 2% of the time. Fostering a relationship via newsletter is going to be much more effective in the long run than relying on social marketing.
Facebook killing organic reach is going to be unfortunate and costly for businesses, so reconsider your 2015-2016 social marketing strategy in order to maximize the effectiveness of both your website and your social media for your customers.
In an earlier post, I talked about the benefits of using Instagram for your business or not-for-profit. Using Instagram as part of your social marketing strategy is a way for your business to visually market products and services, establish your company’s personality, create trust within clients, show expertise in your industry, and drive more traffic to your website. However, simply creating an Instagram account won’t do these things for your business. Here are some ways on how to best market your company on Instagram!
How your small business should use Instagram:
Hashtags- Just like twitter, Instagram has hashtags. Utilize hashtags! They are a great way to connect with users interested in your industry and for new people to find your business. Think of hashtags as keywords or search terms used by certain social media sites. Using hashtags is a great way to create followers—as people will find your business and photos, based on hashtags that tell users what your content is about.
Interaction- The best way to create a strong follower base on Instagram is to interact with your followers. If a user comments on your post, reply to their comment. If you get a new follower, follow them back. This shows respect and interest in the people that follow you. As a small business these interactions are a great way to display positive customer relations and the attention you give to current and potential clients.
Creativity- One of the great things about Instagram is how easy it is to be unique and creative. Share what your company does in a new light. Each photo can easily be filtered and edited— providing a different view or perspective on your products and services. With tools right at hand, display your product or service in an aesthetically pleasing way. This will instantly catch a user’s attention and interest in your company.
Personality- Your Instagram should be more than just posting pictures of your company’s product or service. Instagram gives your business the opportunity to really show how your different. Display the whole process of your work. What happens before the finished product? Who you are? What makes you unique? Showing the whole process of your business or client success stories can be a great and easy way to establish your business’s personality and make potential customers feel more connected to your company, employees, and work. Show the early stages of your product or service. Show members of your business at work, at play, or involved in any community activities your organization supports. Ad hoc, fun photos allow followers to look at your company as real people. Personal photos on Instagram are also a great way to humanize your business, establish trust within viewers, and make your small business stand out.
Credibility- Another great way to utilize Instagram is to display your expertise in your field. If you’re a landscaping company, post tips on how to keep up a garden. If you sell organic food, share tips on healthy eating. If you sell clothing to be worn during outdoor recreation, post pictures of different local hiking spots. By posting tips, fun facts, or anything related to your industry you convey your business’s credibility in an easy and fun way. This displayed expertise in your field causes your company to seem reliable and knowledgeable.
Who are you-The easiest, but most important thing to do for your Instagram is to give followers and viewers a way to find your website! When setting up your account, give a short description of what your company does and link your website. This provides easy access to your site so after your posts have sparked someone’s interest, they can click on the link to learn more about what you do. Indy CD and Vinyl's simple, but descriptive profile invites one to visit their store and website.
With a few tips to get you started, create an Instagram for your organization and make it your own. Instagram is a unique and manageable way to visually connect with potential customers, develop customer relations, share your company’s story, and establish trust. Only a few minutes each day are needed to snap a shot of your product, a new member of the team, or a work in progress!
The amount of social networking is immense and ever growing. To market your business it seems more and more social sites must be created and managed. How is it determined which are necessary? With Facebook, Linkedin, and Google+, Instagram does not seem to be a front runner. Yet, Instagram has grown and quickly. With 200 million active users monthly, Instagram has more user engagement than Facebook or Twitter. With this social network’s widespread popularity and the growth of visual marketing, every small business and not-for-profit needs to consider Instagram for their social marketing plan. Instagram opens a marketing door full of opportunities not offered by other social networks.
Why your small business should use Instagram:
Visual Marketing- Images instantly draw viewers in and gain their attention on any social network. Solely dedicated to images, Instagram drives constant intrigue of a user. With popping images, easy creativity, and filters Instagram is an easy and unique way to showcase your products and services.
Personality and Trust- One of the top reasons to use Instagram is the personality it gives your company. Connection on a social network creates familiarity with users. Small businesses stand out because of the relations they can provide to customers. All social media precipitates better customer relations; however, Instagram has an edge. Posting personal and behind-the-scenes photos and interacting with those who follow and comment on your account can help customers get to know your business as the people in it and the work they do. Humanizing your company establishes trust with viewers, making them more likely to work or keep working with you.
Credibility- Digital credibility is critical for your online success and Instagram is a great way to establish credibility in your industry. Share your vast knowledge of your field on Instagram through tips, fun facts, or the excellence of your work. As an interior decorating company, a great way to show your credibility would be to post pictures of a spacious living room. Along with your photo, your caption can share tips on how to best place furniture to make one's room look bigger. Whatever your business, Instagram can be a great way to share your expertise.
Traffic to your Website- Images you post on Instagram will leave viewers wanting to know more about your work. A link to your site on your profile and references to specific pages on your site in photo captions will bring more traffic to your website! Additionally, relevant links to your site from Instagram and improved social rankings will help to improve your site’s search rankings (SEO) via Google, Bing and Yahoo.
Determining what social media your business should use can be difficult and tedious when they all seem to provide similar benefits. Along with the networking and broadcasting that all social networks provide, Instagram gives your small business personality, builds trust, displays your products/services, establishes credibility, and draws attention to your business and traffic to your website. If you have a strong visual component to your organization (visual products, services, events, etc.), you should especially consider adding Instagram to your social plan. It’s vast and exponential popularity along with unique touch make Instagram a social network that cannot be dismissed.
Need Help with Your Digital Strategy?
Financial Health FCU launches new website!
Financial Health FCU launched a new website to highlight their services and financial health tools.