5 Reasons Your Business Must Have a Social Media STRATEGY | Resourceful Business | Summit, NJ

5 Reasons Your Business Must Have a Social Media STRATEGY

According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 69% of US adults use Facebook, 37% spend time on Instagram, and 22% use Twitter. 

If you believe in the four principles of marketing–Product, Price, Promotion, and Place–the audience reach alone of social media makes it an essential component in the successful execution of a marketing strategy. A fifth marketing pillar, Purpose, as described by Mark Schaefer in Marketing Rebellion, only adds to the importance of social media as a marketing tool. However, the sheer volume of posts and ads in the newsfeed means that a hit-and-miss approach to social media will no longer work. You have to have a STRATEGY. 

Here are 5 reasons your business must have a social media strategy: 

1. Facebook Zero is real

There has been a precipitous drop in organic reach for Facebook Company pages since 2012. Organic reach includes content not accompanied by a paid ad. Facebook has been continuously tweaking the algorithm to prompt marketers and business owners to pay for ads to push out their content. According to Key Media Solutions, in 2012, the organic reach of a Facebook Page post was 16% and that number declined to 6.5% in 2014, 2% in 2016, and is less than 1% today, hence the term Facebook Zero. Also, Facebook has telegraphed its shift to Facebook Groups over Facebook Company pages, so organic page reach will not return. Because an effective social media presence for brands now requires an ad budget, there has to be a social media strategy in place to establish, monitor and revise the ongoing ad spend. 

You can grow your audience with social media tags | Resourceful Business | Summit, NJ

2. You can grow your audience with social media tags

Not to be confused with hashtags (#), tagging (@mentions) is an incredibly powerful feature of social media. When you tag a person or business in social media content with an @mention, the tag calls them out in a positive way and gives recognition. Tags hyperlink back to the tagged entity’s social media and also notify the person or business that they have been tagged. When you take the time to tag relevant businesses or people in your posts, they often will share and comment on the post and in doing so, will widen the reach. Tags utilize the audience reach of others and build engagement. They can bring attention to your brand and are a unique feature of social media. 

3. Social media platforms are essential for reviews

According to Vendasta, the top 10 online review sites for businesses include Facebook, which is ranked second behind Google, and Yelp, which is placed fourth behind Amazon. Yelp is particularly important for retailers and restaurants and as of the end of the third quarter 2018, had over 170 million reviews. Because people spend time on social media, it’s a natural extension to add reviews there. Also, social platforms allow you to add your company website in the profile information and can drive traffic back to your website as happy reviewers go in search of more information about your brand. Because your brand’s digital footprint is connected across all platforms, make sure to clean up your social media information and ensure the address, phone number, and contact information for your business are consistent across all social platforms. 

In 2012, the organic reach of a Facebook Page post was 16%, and that number is less than 1% today.  –KeyMedia Solutions

4. Social media imagery can showcase your product

Social media has the unique advantage of coupling a constant stream of images with the content you create. It’s why many brands now embed their Instagram feed right on the website homepage allowing site visitors to see and click-through to the brand’s Instagram posts. In an interesting article by Buffer that analyzed Tweets with and without images, they found that Tweets with images had higher click-through rates, retweets and were more often marked as Favorites. Social media gives brands the platform to showcase their products or services and utilize User Generated Content (UGC), or content created by other users, which the brand can share on its feed. 

5. You can interact with your customers using social media

Whether it’s a question from a client via Facebook Messenger, an answer to a question posed via your Instagram Stories, or a click-through to your online store, social media platforms are interactive and bring you closer to your customers. Social listening, the process wherein brands evaluate feedback from their customers garnered via social channels, can help flag business issues and drive strategic change. The feedback may come in the form of a review, comment, or direct message. There’s no better way for a potential customer to ask a question than via social media or messaging app. 

Shopping via social media is becoming frictionless, too, with many social platforms like Instagram ensuring the shopping experience remains in-app. In the same way, many brands now integrate Facebook Messenger as a chat option on their websites, and the integration is free, so yet another way to interact with customers. It’s worth mentioning that customer queries need to be answered in a timely manner. According to HubSpot research, 90% of customers rate an “immediate” response as important or very important when they have a customer service question, and immediate means in 10 minutes or less.  

The power of social media is that it puts customer reach in the palm of your hand. Whether you are engaging with customers, collecting online reviews, or growing an audience with tools like tags, social media must be part of your marketing wheelhouse. Interactivity, versatility, and unique functionality are just three reasons it makes sense to put a rigorous, thoughtful social media strategy in place for your brand. 

Posting on Instagram Every Day | Resourceful Business

Social Media: What I Learned By Posting on Instagram Every Day

At the beginning of April, I set myself a challenge. 

For one year, I decided to create a daily post on our company’s Instagram page. The post could be an image, video or carousel, but it had to be custom-created and relevant to our industry–digital marketing. To keep it simple, I decided to focus on only one social media platform, Instagram, but I would also add the post to Facebook. I chose 7 pm each evening as the posting time, and I decided there would be absolutely no social ad spend on the post. Any engagement would be strictly organic.

I have been surprised at what has happened since I began posting daily on Instagram, so I thought I would share. My experience confirms what we all have long suspected or perhaps known. When it comes to social media, consistency is of the utmost importance and posting consistently has ripple effects well beyond social media. 

With five months of daily Instagram posts under my belt, here is what I learned (so far) by posting on Instagram every day

1. I found my voice

When you have to put a post together every day, you stop overthinking the creation process. If you know your trade, there are plenty of topics your audience or clients want to learn. I stopped considering whether my post was interesting enough, creative enough, colorful enough. I found my voice when writing copy each day and just presented something simple, interesting and business-related that I was thinking about or had recently read. 

2. I learned and learned and learned

One of my favorite concepts, pioneered by Gary Vaynerchuk, is “Document, don’t create.” When you are producing a lot of content–as you will when you post every day–you can’t make it up. If you are a practitioner in social media, you are immersed in your field each day. Documenting something interesting or valuable that you are working on or thinking about is not hard. Trying to come up with a creative post when you don’t have the background to talk about the subject matter is hard. 

3. I thought about my business every single day

It may seem counterintuitive to suggest that business owners don’t think about their companies each day. Certainly, they do. However, putting a post together about your industry or field each day is a different type of mindfulness. It’s not about whether you ran your payroll. It’s about a challenge you may be facing, a thought-starter that made you pause or something that keeps you up at night. 

client meeting

4. I put myself in my clients’ shoes

Creating a social media post each day made me really think about our clients. I put myself in their shoes. What would they want to know from me as someone who is involved in social media each day? If we were sitting in a meeting, what questions might they ask me or struggles would they tell me about in their day-to-day business? I tried to think about whether my post for the next day would have practical utility and value-add for them. 

5. I learned a new video marketing tool 

One tool that I needed to learn which was on my to-do list was wave.video. Canva had always been my go-to tool, and it offers a simple video creation feature. However, given that I had 365 posts ahead of me when I started in April, I decided to tackle wave.video because it would allow me to create more complex videos for our Instagram feed. The versatility of wave.video was such that I was able to cancel the subscription my company had to a paid stock photo library. Wave.video has its own library of images and stock videos. Plus, it has a user-friendly video editing tool. You can even add music to your videos, and now I have learned it and can tick off that box.  

6. I discovered interesting people and businesses to follow on social media

I love podcasts. I have a full library of regular programs I listen to about digital marketing. Knowing that I had to create a social media post each day, I became more disciplined at listening to a variety of podcasts. After each one, I would follow the person that was featured or interviewed. I discovered so many talented people in my field and thought leaders. Now, I follow these people and learn via my own social media feed as they put up their posts on their feeds. 

posting on Instagram every day

7. People started visiting my LinkedIn profile

In following more people in the digital marketing space on social media plus posting more on Instagram, I noticed that many more people started viewing my LinkedIn profile. Not only that, but the seniority of people in the industry that were looking at my LinkedIn profile went up too. So, both the quality and quantity of LinkedIn profile views went up for me. 

8. My website blogs received more views

Similar to the increased visibility on LinkedIn, our company blog saw more views and engagement on our website. Now, there are more regular comments on the blogs. Even older blogs seem to be getting some renewed attention. The quality of the comments is interesting too. Posting regularly on Instagram attracted a focused audience, and in fact, exactly the type of audience my company would want. 

9. I began to understand the value of Direct Messages (DMs)

It dawned on me that social media opens up an entirely new level of connectivity. In following more people in my field, I had questions on occasion based on a podcast that I had listened to or article I had read. Instagram Direct Messages, or DMs, allow the sender to message another person on Instagram. Think how challenging that task would be before DMs were around. I learned to DM industry thought leaders if I had a question they may be able to answer, and it was neat to be able to ask other professionals for their insights even though we had never met. Plus, they answered me. 

10. I learned about Instagram Stories

Across the many social media platforms my company utilizes for clients, I don’t think there is anything quite like Instagram Stories. The sticker feature, which allows you to interact with people who have seen the Story, is unique. Stories have the right balance of authenticity, brevity and creativity. It’s no wonder they are so popular and fun, and I became facile at using them alongside my daily Instagram posts.

So, now you have 10 things I learned while immersed in my personal challenge of posting on my company’s Instagram page (@resourceful_business) every single day. It’s been 5 months, and I still have 7 more months to go. I am sure I will have 10 more things to share when I am over the finish line. 


5 Reasons You Must Create Instagram Stories for Your Business | Resourceful Business

5 Reasons You Must Create Instagram Stories for Your Business

Social media content is rapidly evolving.  

Back in August 2016, Instagram launched Stories to compete with Snapchat Stories. Stories were meant to help capture the daily activities of Instagram’s now more than 1 billion users worldwide, and unlike posts, Stories are short-lived–disappearing in 24 hours.

By January 2019, Instagram stories had grown in popularity to over 500 million daily active users (DAU), meaning half of Instagram’s daily users are on Stories every day. With important, interactive features and a less formal type of content, Instagram Stories have become essential for businesses that use Instagram marketing.

Here are 5 reasons you must create Instagram stories for your business:

Instagram Story stickers

Reason 1: Instagram Stories have interactive stickers

With Instagram Stories, you can add a sticker. Unlike Instagram posts, stickers allow users to tap and interact with your Story in creative ways. There are many types of stickers available including:

  • Donation
  • Quiz
  • Countdown
  • Questions
  • Music
  • Poll or Emoji Slider
  • Location
  • Hashtag
  • Current Time or Weather
  • Selfie

As an example, suppose you are thinking about keeping your business open late one evening of the week. You wonder whether your customers would come. You can create an Instagram Story and add an emoji slider with a thumbs up emoji. Ask, “Do you want us to stay open late one evening?” Customers that see your Instagram Story can slide the emoji to the right if they like the idea, and you get feedback directly from your customers.

Reason 2: Instagram Stories are more informal than posts

There is an analogy used by Bella Vasta, a Facebook Group keynote speaker, which she uses to explain the difference between a Facebook page and a Facebook Group, and the same analogy applies to Instagram posts and Instagram Stories. Bella equates a Facebook page to the front yard of a house–formal and public. Similarly, Instagram posts have a more formal, curated look and feel.

A home’s backyard is the Facebook group – a gathering of people with something in common, informal, more personal and friendly. Likewise, Instagram Stories are the backyard–informal and personal.

The value of Instagram Stories is they give a business tremendous versatility in how it can present content with some reserved for the more formal Instagram page and other content posted in Stories. Another unique feature of Stories worth mentioning is that unlike posts, you can add to your Stories. So, if your business is attending an event, your followers can watch a Story and see new additions to the Story while you are there.

Instagram Story Highlights

Reason 3: Instagram Story Highlights can help cultivate unique audiences

According to Instagram Business, 80% of Instagram accounts follow a brand. Not surprisingly, Instagram users look for Instagram Stories shared by their favorite brands, and Stories have a feature called Highlights – the circles that appear across the top of an Instagram page. These Highlights can be divided into content-related categories that are relevant for your business, and when Stories are added to Highlights, they do not disappear in 24 hours. One of our favorite Story Highlights categories is “Inspo” because we like to see what people in a company are reading, thinking about or doing for inspiration.

Here are some Highlights examples:

  • A hair salon may highlight different haircut styles
  • A retail store may highlight different seasonal clothing styles
  • A blogger may highlight different blog categories

Businesses should establish relevant Highlights categories so followers can discover new content in their areas of interest. Whereas Instagram pages do not allow partitioning of content by topic, Stories do via Highlights. Using Highlights effectively will allow a brand to cultivate unique subsets of their audience based on their content preferences.

Instagram describes its stories product as a way to promote the sharing of moments that don’t meet the higher bar of a traditional Instagram post. The Verge

Reason 4: Instagram Stories re-enforce the business brand

An Instagram Story can serve as an extension of a brand’s footprint on Instagram. As with websites or social media posts, Instagram Stories should have a hint of the company’s brand guidelines – colors, fonts, tag lines. People that see Instagram Stories should recognize familiar aspects associated with the brand. Whether it’s a cameo of everyone’s favorite furry mascot in the office or a behind-the-scenes look at the setup for an event,  Instagram Stories give people a feel for the soul of the business while subtly reinforcing the brand.

marketing with Instagram Stories

Reason 5: Instagram Stories focus on moments and encourage sharing

An Instagram Story can reflect the little moments that occur throughout the day, and people love to feel part of someone’s journey. Instagram posts, on the other hand, allow businesses to build their brand’s presence in a more systematic way, include thoughtful written copy, tags, and imagery. When it comes to Instagram business pages, viewers expect a carefully curated feed that looks aesthetically pleasing.

Stories, in contrast, are spontaneous and current. The concept behind Stories is that people will want to capture moments and share them. Stories are ephemeral, and Facebook, which owns Instagram, hopes users will actively create content that is personal, relatable and captures the moment.

Great for branding, audience targeting and connecting with your tribe, Instagram Stories are a must for your social media marketing toolkit. If you’re interested in creating an Instagram Story strategy but don’t know where to start, contact us.

Social Media: How Much Do You Actually Know?

Social Media: How Much Do You Actually Know?

Social media marketing can be transformative for a business’ bottom line, but doing it well takes time, perseverance and skill. Sometimes a growing business gets caught off guard when it’s time to hand over the reins and get some assistance with social media.

Answer the following 10 questions in our latest social media quiz and by the end, you’ll know if you’re up to speed in social media or a little agency help is in order.


 
Questions about any of the information in the quiz? Contact us.