Are you and your business staying active on social media? If not, you should be. Simply having an account and posting the occasional blurb is not enough anymore. In order to have any real success with marketing on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, you need to be connecting with your followers on a daily basis. Not only will this help you maintain your current following, but it will also increase your visibility and help to expand your network.
There are countless social media sites out there for your business to join. It is crucial for your business to be involved with all the top sites and also try out newer social platforms as they appear. As a new platform rises in popularity, you can easily shift your focus to keep on trend.
Consumers search and shop differently, so you never want to have all your eggs in one basket. By marketing through multiple platforms, you are able to capture a broader audience. Identifying your target market and which social media apps they frequent is an invaluable tool.
- Over 90% of people who use Instagram are under the age of 35 making it perfect for marketing apparel, technology, and entertainment.
- For promoting your brand, the best time to post on Twitter is Monday through Thursday between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
- LinkedIn is the ideal place to market and network to white-collar professionals as it primarily consists of a high-income, highly educated user base.
- Pinterest has become one of the top four social networks and consists primarilly of women between the ages of 20-50 years old.
Creating and actively managing a social media marketing strategy will help your business to grow by reaching a broader consumer base. Need help? Ajalon can assist you in maintaining your social media for you. Contact us for more information.
With so many options on the internet today, it’s hard enough get potential customers to your web site. Choices are endless, and competition is plentiful. So once you’ve found a way to get people to your site, you want to insure that you can keep them there. A great way to get people past your homepage is by getting them involved in the site itself. Ask them questions and get them to do something!
Here are a few “calls to action” that you can easily incorporate on your webpage:
- Insert an online pricing tool so potential customers can see what products or services you offer and can get an idea of the cost.
- Create a “contact” form where they can contact you with specific questions or for a more detailed quote.
- Do you have newsletter that you send out to clients? Create a sign up form so people browsing your site can join the mailing list and get notified of new products and specials.
- Incorporate a comments section on your blog or product pages so your satisfied customers can leave testimonials about your products and the incredible service they received. These client review are priceless to growing your business.
Whatever you chose to incorporate, be sure your call to action is prominently displayed on your site. Make things as simple as possible for the consumer and avoid numerous steps that make it difficult to access or more time consuming than necessary.
This month, Ajalon Print, Web & Social Media is offering an excellent printing special. For every letterhead order placed by the April 30th, we will take 10% off the price. We offer letterhead in full color, black and white, and in a wide array of high-quality print methods. You can choose from offset, digital, letterpress or impression, embossing, debossing, foil printing and more. We also have a variety of metallic, colored and eco-friendly papers to choose from. Need help with branding? Our graphic designer can help you perfect your company’s logo.
We are also offering customizable specialty items perfect for marketing your business. This month we are featuring a double-walled, stainless steel thermos with a leather carrying case. You can personalize this and many other items with your logo. Hand them out as promotional items to gain new customers, or give them to repeat customers as a way of saying “thank you for your business.” Contact us for further more information.
Black Pig Meat Co. is the brainchild of chefs Duskie Estes and John Stewart from Zazu Kitchen + Farm in Sebastopol, California. These two chefs decided to make bacon the right way by curing their sustainability-raised, heritage pork for up to 21 days and smoking it with applewood for close to 12 hours. The finished product is sweet, salty, smoky and delicious!
Looking to taste some of this award winning bacon for yourself? You’re in luck! If you live in or are visiting Sonoma County, you can head to Zazu Kitchen + Farm and enjoy some artfully crafted dishes from Duskie and John and see why their bacon so sizzling.
“Delicious, delicate and nuanced with just the right amount of parliament funkadelic to make George Clinton happy. This is a perfect bacon for a smokin carbonara…” – Mario Batali
“The best bacon I’ve had. Great pork flavor…not too sweet or smoky, absolutely delicious.” – Traci des Jardins
Want to incorporate Black Pig into some of your own recipes? This amazing bacon can be found in in multiple markets across the North Bay Area, such as Andy’s Produce, Big Johns and Oliver’s Market, just to name a few. If you live outside the area and want to try some for yourself, you can shop their online store.
Brussels Sprouts and Black Pig Bacon with Sebastopol Apples
1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, render the bacon until slightly browned, a few minutes. Add Brussels sprouts; cook until browned on at least one side, about 3 minutes. Add shallots; cook 1 minute more.
2. Add vinegar, then toss to combine. Add frisee, apples, almonds and olive oil; toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with cheese.
— Duskie Estes and John Stewart, Zazu Kitchen + Farm
In today’s tech-heavy world, more and more consumers are choosing to shop online rather than in-store. Options are endless, with new companies launching every day. This onslaught of choices gives them the chance to shop around – not only for the best deal, but also for what suits their individual taste. This makes the visual aspect of shopping all the more important. Currently, the best social media platform for marketing to these visual shoppers is Pinterest.
Let’s talk strategy:
- KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE: Research shows that approximately 75% of Pinterest users are female, and most are between the ages of 20-50 years old. It is important to keep this in mind when creating boards, choosing what images or videos, and deciding what keywords to use in your text.
- MAKE EACH “PIN” COUNT: Pinning is the most important part of Pinterest because that’s how people find you. If you are marketing your business using this social media platform, you want to get the most out of your time and effort. Studies tell us that most users are logged in, and active between 8pm to 11pm, so it would make sense for you to also be active during this time. Now there are two ways you can choose to pin but we recommend using both.
- The first thing you should do is upload new images of your own products to your boards. Be sure to link these images directly to your website so consumers can click through to your site. Continue doing this whenever new items are added to your site.
- The second thing you should do is look through Pinterest at what others are posting. You can choose to either follow or repin their items to your boards. Your level of participation will make other users more apt to follow or repin your items, expanding your reach.
- USE KEYWORDS: While you are uploading and repining items to your boards, you will also need to add text to attract your desired audience. In order to ensure you are reaching the correct demographic, or showing up in the appropriate searches, you need to know which keywords to use. A great free resource is Google AdWords. By using the Keyword Planner, you can enter different keywords that you’re thinking of using, and see how often those words and phrases are actually searched. This tool also provides you with alternative word choices with search ratings.
- PINTEREST ANALYTICS: Once you have set up a Pinterest account and started creating boards and adding pins, you can start viewing your analytics. There is a drop down on your home screen with the option to review your analytics. This is a priceless tool that will allow you to see how successful your marketing is. What it does is it breaks down your daily profile views, your engagement, and how many of the pins viewed are actually linked to your website.
Hashtags have grown in popularity over recent years. They went from being strictly used by social media big-dog Twitter, to being used on over a dozen social media platforms. If you’re trying to use these sites to market your corporation or small business, investigating your time in researching this free tool should definitely be on your to-do list.
The purpose of a #hashtag is to highlight keywords, topics, and phrases in your text. For example, if you are an artist and are tweeting about an upcoming event you are attending, you could say, “Displaying my new pieces at this weekends #Art Trails #Event”. If someone were to search for #art or #event, they could be directed to your tweet. In fact, #art ranks in at 57th in the top 100 hashtags with over 62 million posts. Studies have shown that tweets with hashtags receive two times more engagement than those without. However, there can be too much of a good thing. Though posts with 1-2 hashtags gain 21% more engagement, there is actually a 17% drop in engagement if you use three or more.
I’ve mentioned Twitter a lot, but the use of #hashtags has also been adopted by several other big social media players. The list includes Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+. If you are using some of these other platforms to market your company, your products or yourself, implementing this tool in your daily posts can be worthwhile.
The best way to ensure you are getting as much as you can out of your tags is by using the right ones. If you use the correct hashtags, you can maximize your post’s reach and in doing so you can create a larger network of followers for your brand. Websites like hashtags.org are a great resource to see what is trending and what tags could be most beneficial to you.
By developing, implementing and managing a social media marketing strategy, your small business will benefit from the many ways in which social media can expand your enterprise. Need help? Ajalon can help you create and maintain your social media for you. Contact us for more information on how.
Communication is a fundamental part of business that is often overlooked. It doesn’t matter how unique, or amazing your product or service is, if you don’t have the skills to properly relay the facts to the public. You’re the voice of your company, and what you say, and how you say it are essential to not just closing a deal with a potential customer, but also in retaining them as a long-term client. Here are some things to always remember when dealing with the public:
- GIVE THEM YOUR UNDIVIDED ATTENTION This might seem rather obvious, but it is always worth mentioning. Unless your product is truly one of a kind, customers have a choice in who they work with. If they’re not getting the attention they feel they deserve from you, they’ll go elsewhere.
- RETURN EMAILS AND PHONE CALLS WITHIN 24 HOURS More than likely, the people calling you are also shopping around and calling your competitors. By responding to quickly, you are more likely to get their business. If you don’t, someone else will.
- CONSISTENCY IS KEY One thing that small companies have, that some larger ones struggle with, is consistency. Not with the product, but with the people. Knowing that they will work with the same employee every time they call, gives the client a sense of security. That is a small thing that goes a long way in creating lasting customer relationships.
- DON’T MAKE PROMISES Unless you are 100% sure you can deliver on a promise, don’t make it. If you give a customer an estimate or timeline that you know is unrealistic, you are putting a strain on that relationship, and they will be less likely to return to you in the future.
SEO is a component of your business that you can choose to work on. While SEO is a natural part of your presence online, it is a conscious choice to improve your rankings and successes with search engine optimization with focus from your marketing department and social media skills. However, focusing on SEO may not be the best decision for your business.
Businesses benefit greatly when they focus on SEO. Long term effects are seen and will slowly but surely improve ranking on search engines to boost your company to the top. Sometimes, though, a business needs a quick fix to help improve web traffic. This is an excellent opportunity to shy away from SEO strategies and try other options to bring customers to you.
Paid advertising is a way to find immediate success for your business. By putting money into advertising, you are spending the time reaching out to create initial relationships with soon-to-be faithful customers. You can explore what words, images, and strategies work to bring in consumers to try out your brand. Once you have seen an initial interest in your business, you can then branch out and work to create a long term SEO plan.
There is no way to avoid SEO completely. The effort put into maintaining and growing a relationship with search engines and customers will change your business strategies for the better. But don’t be afraid to take a break and blast the social media sites with paid advertising to make a fast and easy name for yourself while gaining solid footing.
As SEO changes, so must the businesses online. SEO is in a constant state of evolution to stray away from marketing ploys and abuse of links and keywords. With Google at the forefront of SEO and analytics, it is up to the businesses to pander to Google’s requirements in order to win a high ranking. Search engine optimization’s keywords are starting to shift as well.
Link building in the past involved creating clickable words that could transport the user to the site mentioned. This was highly misused with businesses using every change they could to create spam links and ad space. Now, Google is looking at brand mentions within social media sites and blogs. Each time a brand is sited somehow, a link automatically is created. Reblogs and mentions will help a brand gain higher ranking. This means businesses need to encourage their followers to mention the brand name more for rewards.
Content marketing requires businesses to focus more on social media mentions from Facebook and Twitter. Google is now openly suggesting that analytics will be scouring the social platforms for business mentions. As more and more ecommerce and link sharing moves to social media, the analytics trends must follow. This also means that websites need to be more mobile friendly. The less usable a site is on a smartphone or tablet, the less likely that link will be clicked at all.
Think smart and focus your marketing toward the places that really need it. Your customers need you to make yourselves available and easy to access.
Hootsuite is a management tool that helps businesses schedule their posts to reach their desired viewers. With different customer groups residing on different social platforms, it is important to reach the right slice of followers at the right time. Hootsuite has revolutionized the ability to maximize a business’s reach. Now, with ecommerce always on the rise, Hootsuite is working to shcedule Buy Buttons.
Both Twitter and Facebook are working on the Buy Now buttons, which will allow impulse buys to reign the social media platforms. A buy button will be placed alongside any ad or product mention online. Buyer information will be autofilled into the shipping and credit card areas for an easy purchase. With projected success, Hootsuite will allow their users to schedule the Buy Button for different platforms at different times of day.
This will revolutionize the ability for businesses to sell online. Keep up with the trends and look out for the upcoming buttons that will change your business forever!