The New in 2014
Over the years I have noticed that most small business owners have their own process for accomplishing tasks to reach a goal. Specifically in marketing. Some prefer to still do advertising in newspapers, others prefer direct mail and some solely focus on word of mouth.
Marketing in 2014 in Two Words
Every year bloggers and marketers attempt to predict what will happen the next year. Mainly to show their "expertise." It's a lot like watching a weather person give their forecast, you know they are guessing based upon the data they have available to them. The more data the more accurate they will be.
Thanksgiving is more than time with your family, watching sports, eating more food than you normally would or even wearing “stretchy pants.” It is about showing thanks and gratitude. We truly appreciate our clients and would like to say thanks. We appreciate your loyalty and trust through 2013 and we look forward to a great year of marketing your business in 2014!
Black Friday & Cyber Monday for Small Business
Small business owners send us questions about marketing via email, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Here is a recent question someone sent to Gary Winchester about Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for small businesses. Is it important for small businesses to offer Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals?
The Key to Timing Your Tweets Just Right
Every marketer has their own tools that they use for different results. Some use automation tools, some use manual tools and some in between tools. I use a good mixture, but what I find that works best for me, and my clients, for Twitter is two tools. I use SocialBro and BufferApp to help me manage and report on progress.
SocialBro allows me to track analytics on Twitter, from identifying the audience to tracking engagement and even the best time to tweet. I find that timing is everything, especially on Twitter.
There are a lot of companies that have tracked tweets and shared their best time to tweet theories. Although these claims are tracked, backed by analytics and most likely accurate they are still theories because what works for someone else may not work for you. This is why I use SocialBro. The best time to tweet feature tracks your top 500 followers, allowing you to identify the best and most accurate times for you to post by day and by hour. Also, this feature can be integrated with another tool I use called BufferApp.
I use BufferApp to create a schedule for content on each social network based upon analytics. I specifically use it in conjunction with SocialBro for Twitter. However, I do not take advantage of the integration. Here is why, if I use the integration it gives me the same schedule every day of the week, but the best time to tweet is not most accurate that way. What I do is go into SocialBro, check the best time to tweet for each day, write the peak times down and then put those into the BufferApp schedule. Although it is more time consuming I find it gives me better results and allows me to more accurately target your audience.
I tend to take the extra steps because I believe that the details will set me apart from any competition.
What things do you do in your industry that sets your business apart from competition?
Think Social is a Waste of Time?
Before you give up and throw in the towel think about three key areas that impact your social marketing efforts.
You need to ask yourself two why questions and answer them truthfully.
1. Why are you using social networks for marketing?
The answer to this question is the foundation to the content you post and how much effort you are truly putting into social marketing. Your why for everything determines how hard you work at it.
2. Why are you doing this alone?
The answer to this question will tell you if you need to take a step back and get some help. Use someone like me to consult with you, to help you learn more about the social networks so you can fully take advantage of them. A consultant is a great way to learn and honestly puts you on the fast track ahead of your competition. Be aware, don’t hire the first consultant you find, interview them and test their knowledge. Or simply start doing your own research. Two great websites to start with are mashable.com and marketingprofs.com, there are many more, but these are a good start.
Ask yourself these two questions and answer honestly.
1. Have I truly been posting content my audience will like, share or comment on?
You analytics won’t lie, plus if you are about to give up then I would assume the true answer to this question is no. Which means you need to take a step back and evaluate your target audience.
2. Have I been posting content just to post content?
Most of the time, if someone is ready to give up on social marketing they usually have to answer this questions yes. Which means you are not the only one, there are a lot businesses doing the same thing but in order to make progress you need to come up with content guidelines. This will tell you what type of content to post on which social network and what time.
I have two more questions for you to ask yourself and answer honestly.
1. Do I know what my social analytics are telling me?
One thing to understand about social analytics is that it tells you more than just age, gender and location of your audience. It tells you about your content, if they are engaging with your content or not. It also tells you so much more if you know what you are looking at and read it properly.
2. When was the last time I looked at analytics for all my social networks?
You cannot judge your social marketing results based on one social network. First of all social marketing is just one piece of your marketing pie and each social network is just a tiny sliver of that piece. Your analytics should be telling you which network is most successful for you and which networks you are failing on. Analytic are there to tell you where you are and how to improve in order to get the desired results you want.
Before giving up take are good look at why you are using social networks for marketing, what your audience is or is not doing with your content and look at your social analytics. There are literally hundreds of social consultants out there, pick one you can trust and pay them to help you. FREE won’t get you where you want to go!
What is a Mobile Web App?
Something you may have heard about lately, plus something we wrote about last week, is the term mobile web app. This is not something new, but something that will be very valuable for your business. If you have heard this term them you most likely have heard the term mobile responsive.
Marketing with a Social Perspective
I’ve worked hard the past several years to be known as a social pro, the go to social guy. I am finding out the fruits of my labor have put me into a box, making me “just” the social guy. Now it’s time step out of that box and let people really know what I am capable of.
Many businesses see social not as a marketing avenue but as a tool for branding. I have disagreed for a very long time and have been able to prove it. I have been successful using social as a marketing avenue with for profit and nonprofit companies. I have been successful using Facebook and Twitter in achieving a high return on investment. This took more than just social content.
This took marketing with a social perspective, or a social marketing mindset. I have experience and knowledge marketing many companies, plus a unique social perspective. Make me more than just a social guy, or social pro.
Over the years I have learned two very important lessons.
1. Social is just one avenue for marketing.
It takes so much more than just posting and replying. It takes a full marketing effort to be successful, implimenting social into your marketing plan and strateegy.
2. Success only comes through relationship.
Creating relationships online is just one side of the relationship coin, the other side is creating relationships offline. Both are the key to success. Managing and maintaining relationships with customers and businesses is what will make you truly successful.
I am fortunate enough to know many local businesses, it has made me a friend, a customer and a referral. It is through those relationships that I am able to help others. It is also through my relationship with my fantastic business partners that I am able to use my talents in helping our clients grow.
It is this partnership, our combined knowledge and experience, that makes us TheMarketingMinds.com. It is here where we can truly grow your business.
Have you worked hard to be known as the go to person and now struggling to be more?