Posts Taged small-business

Better Social Media in One Week

 

“I just don’t have time to do social media.” If we had a dollar for every time we’ve heard this phrase, well, we wouldn’t have to be in business any more. But we are here to help just those types of business people. We do understand that many small businesses can’t afford to hire a social media manager, which is one of the reasons we are passionate about educating anyone who is willing to learn. (That, and both Darlene and I have worked in education in past lives, so it kind of comes naturally.) While good social media marketing will absolutely take time and effort, I’m here to let you know that you can make a real difference in your marketing efforts with just 20 minutes a day. With my plan, your social media marketing will be much improved in just one work week. Don’t believe me? Keep reading.

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Trust Me: Four Practices for Brands to Be Authentic in a Big Way

 

Trust Me: Four Practices for Brands to Be Authentic in a Big Way

Young business woman sitting on steps

One of the trendy marketing phrases of our day is, “Be Authentic.” On the surface, this sounds like a flippant call to action, asking brands to simply be themselves. However, brands are not human beings. Yes, they are created by human beings, but while a brand’s identity is as complex as a human’s personality, it is quite different in many ways.

So what is “authenticity” with regards to a brand? According to Dr. Mike Schallehn, a professor at the Cologne Business School, who was quoted in his March 2013 SlideShare presentation, it is “the degree to which brand identity is causally linked to brand behavior.” In layman’s terms, it’s walking the talk.

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Getting Started on Your Business Page

Wonka Social MediaSocial media can be a great asset to a business, but it can also be overwhelming when you don’t have much professional experience with it. Sometimes the most difficult part of creating a page is deciding how to organize it and what to post. The most important thing to remember when using social media is to tailor your pages to your business. The first steps in creating your social media page are brainstorming and research. These two steps are the foundation to creating a lasting and meaningful presence online.

Brainstorm– When creating a social media page for your business, begin by thinking about what you would look for in a business. If you want to create a Facebook page for your restaurant, consider what you would want to see on a restaurant page, including: specials, upcoming events, and pictures of delicious-looking food. Chances are, what you would want to see on that page is what your clients will be looking for as well. Next, think about what makes you different. What makes your business special?

Research– After brainstorming, the next step is to do a lot of research. This means looking at the pages of other businesses to see what their strategies are. It helps to see what other companies have done well, or not so well, so that you have a basis for where to start your page. Once you have a few ideas from other business pages, again think about what you could do differently. If you create a page that resembles every other social media page in your industry, your page is going to be lost in the millions of other pages online. Why should a client choose you over the many other businesses in your industry?

Get Started– The next step is to just get started creating your page. As you experiment with different ideas, you will begin to see what works and what doesn’t. The best strategy when using social media is to start with a foundation of research and be flexible with your work. Certain ideas may not work, and you have to be willing to change things if they aren’t working for you. This is not a quick process; it will take time to learn what works and build a following. Just be patient and keep working at it.

At D. Cohn Communications, we use our knowledge of this process to create successful pages for our clients. Feel free to contact us for help with your business pages. 219-309-9726 or info@dcohn.com.

 

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LinkedIn for Social Marketing

LinkedInOne of the least understood options for social media marketing is LinkedIn. We know LinkedIn as a place for professionals to showcase their individual talents and experiences, to network with other professionals, and to find jobs. How do those options translate into successful marketing opportunities for businesses?

Just as with any marketing campaign, owners should create their LinkedIn Company Pages with its specific audience in mind. As with any social marketing campaign, the goal is to foster meaningful relationships that inspire brand loyalty and sales. So when you create your LinkedIn Company Page, you are working to establish your company as an industry leader while at the same time encouraging LinkedIn’s business-minded users to actively engage with your company.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your company’s LinkedIn page:

  • Refer to LinkedIn’s excellent guides when creating your Company Page. They are helpful and make Page set up easy.
  • Make sure your Company Page’s profile is complete. Fill in as many fields as possible using search-friendly keywords.
  • Provide high-definition, properly-sized images, usually of your company logo.
  • Add separate “Products and Services” tabs for each of your company’s primary offerings. Describe what your business offers using search-friendly keywords. You can add documents, photos, or YouTube videos to these tabs as well.
  • Use your Company Page to post relevant content about your company and about your industry. Remember, your goal is to engage your followers, so post material designed to capture their attention and encourage conversation. Ask them to respond with their ideas, experiences, and expertise.
  • Just as with other social media services, LinkedIn requires interaction. Posting your own material is not enough. Take the time to read, like, comment, and share your followers’ posts, and they will reciprocate. Take the time to say thank you for any recommendations your company receives, and recommend other companies you follow.
  • Become an active participant in LinkedIn groups. Find groups using the advanced search options. Your posts and comments in these forums will draw attention to your personal profile as well as your Company Page.
  • Don’t forget to integrate your company’s LinkedIn page with your other online resources: add a link to it on your website, newsletters, blogs, and in your email signature. You can promote your LinkedIn page further on your Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages by adding posts to those streams that link back to your LinkedIn content.

Have more in-depth questions about using LinkedIn as a marketing tool, or want to chat about social marketing in general? Feel free to contact me at (219) 309-9726 or darlene@dcohn.com. You can find D. Cohn Communications on the web at www.dcohn.com, facebook.com/dcohncommunications, twitter.com/dcohncomm, and www.linkedin.com/company/d-cohn-communications.

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Keep Control of Your Brand on Social Media

There used to be a saying, “When customers are happy, they’ll tell their friends. When they’re unhappy, they’ll tell everybody.” Thanks to social media, those “friends” just happen to be the 500 people on your customer’s Facebook list or Twitter feed. Deliver a great product, and you’ve just earned 500 public pats on the back. Well done! On the flip side, “everybody” is their friends, and those friends’ friends, and those friends’ friends’ friends, and so on. As I’ve mentioned before – it’s rarely a good thing when something goes viral on the Internet.

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The Myth of Viral Marketing

just-ask-me-to-make-something-go-viralI once had a potential client tell me outright that she wanted to make a video for a social organization she was founding, and that through Facebook, she could make the video go viral. “I have about 500 friends, and they’ll all like it, and it will go viral.” Sadly, that’s not really how it works. If it were, every college student who ever recorded his friends’ beer-fueled antics would have a viral video on his hands. Luckily, that doesn’t happen too often. 

The “viral” post is the Holy Grail of online media. And yet, if you think about it, very little goes viral because it is positive or inspiring. Videos and posts go viral because they provoke a strong emotional reaction across a broad demographic, and that’s not easy to manufacture.

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Keep the Hits Coming to your Facebook Page

facebook confusionYou may have seen the panicked posts on Facebook, claiming that without paying to Promote them, small businesses’ Page updates will disappear from users’ News Feeds. This isn’t quite true. Facebook has changed the way it selects which posts show up in which users’ feeds, but that doesn’t mean free business posts are gone forever.

Facebook’s changes are meant to ensure users see the updates they’re most likely to engage with. The program examines Pages and posts for key data and matches it to users’ interests, friends, past Likes and Comments, and locations. As Facebook rolls out its new Graph Search, these changes could become useful for local businesses who want to target their Facebook marketing more effectively.

In the meantime, here are essential tips for making sure your business’s posts reach your fans:

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