With so many channels nowadays to promote your business online, it can be very easy for a small business owner to get lost in the clutter and distractions of online marketing. How do you decide on which one to choose? Which platform do you spend the most time on to get the word out about your products and services? It can be very overwhelming with so much noise in the online world that picking the right social media website can have you feeling drained before the marketing has even begun.
Well, I am here to share with you what has worked best for me for my marketing efforts. As the CEO and founder of SmallBizPhilly.com, what I have relied on first and foremost for all my marketing efforts has been none other than Twitter. This social network, in my opinion at least, is what I believe is the best platform for the budget-conscience business owner and I will share with you why.
First of all, not only is it free like all the other platforms out there, but unlike Facebook, when you send out a tweet, the tweet shows up on all your follower's timelines. This is very important for a small business owner, especially those with not many funds available for marketing (such as myself) because now you know that everyone that is following will have your message show up on their timeline. Try doing that on Facebook where the company dictates who will see your post out of all your followers. You have to pay to play on Facebook, but not is the case with Twitter. Of course, you can always do a promoted tweet to reach those not following you based on their interests (target marketing), but it’s always great to know that all of your followers are getting the message, not a selected few that the social network you are using has any kind of control over.
The reason above would be the main reason why I love this social network so much. There’s also the matter of engagement. Again, based upon my own personal experience, Twitter is the perfect platform for dialogue since tweeting is about communicating in real time. Often, when a customer has a bad experience with a business, they will go on a rant on Twitter to broadcast to the world. This is the perfect opportunity to engage with these unsatisfied customers in real time and consult with them on their needs in the heat of the moment. Twitter was the original social network that created the hashtag, so this is a great way to find out what your customers are talking about and adhere to their needs.
So is Twitter still a viable marketing tool for small business in 2018? Absolutely! So long as the President keeps tweeting as well as other celebrities, this will always be the go-to place for engaging interaction for small business owners and beyond. I have been using this platform for the past six years and have grown my following to over 7,100 just by retweeting and staying engaged with my community. It’s my number one platform of choice for getting my brand out there, and once you start using it as a small business owner, I am sure you will feel the same!
Nathan Aponte is a River Avenue Contributor and freelance writer based in the Philadelphia region. He is available for ghost-writing gigs to help you market your small business. You can follow him on Twitter: @SmallBizPhilly
Digital Marketing + Philadelphia=Home Game for River Avenue Digital
This past week, the Digital Summit came to the Philadelphia Convention Center for a two-day conference focused on all things digital marketing. The lineup of speakers spanned industries and companies, from Pfizer to Facebook and from the Eagles to the Onion. Over the course of the conference, we networked with other digital professionals from around the world and watched presentations about what’s going on in digital marketing. The conference was full of great information and tons of action items we can’t wait to incorporate into our strategies. For now, here are three key takeaways:
Content Kept Coming Up
While a few speakers focused directly on content and content marketing, almost all of the speakers found a way to at least mention content and how it should be used in your marketing mix. What might have been an afterthought or an emerging trend a couple of years ago, content strategy has cemented itself as a core component of marketing and your business in general. You need to consider your content strategy in relation to SEO, your website, blogs, paid search, etc. And that’s just a start.
The first step in creating a content strategy is to define who your audience is by building out buyer/user personas. Talk to some of your customers, maybe conduct a focus group or a survey, do some secondary research too, and build your buyer personas in as much detail as possible. That will help you make sure you use the right message to the right customer.
Once you have an idea of the customer, think about what you are trying to achieve with this content. Are you looking for leads? Prospects? Just more traffic to your website? Answer these questions and then plan and create content accordingly Content marketing is a long-term process, so don’t be distraught if you’re still on square one - but definitely get started.
Make Sure You’re on top of Social Media
Many of the social media talks this year went past just making sure you have a strategy in place. Having a strategy in place has become the standard, now we’re tasked to fine tune that strategy, analyze your results and adjust accordingly.
In order to analyze your results and ROI you need to first think about what your goals are. If your goal is awareness, focus on impressions and engagement. If you want more website visits, you should look at stats like link clicks, page views and bounce rate. If you’re focusing further down the funnel and making sales, think about leads, conversions and revenue increase over time.
Then, of course, there is the issue of the new Facebook algorithm. This has been a hot button topic in digital marketing and media this year, and the impact is still being discovered. Before thinking about how to react to the changes, think about why the changes happened. One of the reasons Facebook made the changes they did is to maximize the amount of time you spend on their platform versus leaving for a different website. Basically, Facebook penalizes content that drives people off their platform. Avoid clickbait and create content and posts that encourage conversation and collaboration to avoid being penalized.
Innovation is More Than a Buzzword
Innovation is not a new concept, but nowadays you can’t go to a company’s website or read an article about startups without being bombarded by innovation, innovative practices and other buzzwords. Regardless of what you call it, creating a novel or unique way of adding value to your customer and differentiating yourself from your competition is integral to a successful business. You don’t need to think of innovation as huge overhauls of the old way of doing things. Innovation is not something that only Google, Facebook and the like can do, anyone can innovate.
Innovative marketing starts with thinking about doing things differently, being creative and unique and considering ways to get people talking about, using and buying your product. Stephanie Miller from Econsultancy spoke about everyday innovation and how even considering more consistent brainstorming tactics or refining a survey for customers can be innovative. The most important part of innovation is making sure that you want to be innovative. Once you’ve made that decision, the possibilities are endless.
These are only three of the major takeaways, and only a start to reconsidering your marketing strategy. Throughout most of the sessions, one consistent theme was making sure the marketing and advertising you do is always taking into consideration the funnel and where your customer is on their buying journey. The first step to a solid strategy is knowing who that customer is and where that customer is.
Not sure where to start? Contact us to learn more about how we can help.
Christian Larsen is a Penn State Grad, pugilist, musician, and all around renaissance man who makes his living from the written word. When he is not engaged in content marketing strategy and search engine optimization he is plotting his next bocce ball move.
Social media is a fantastic medium for getting the word out about how delicious your restaurant's menu is! In this guide, we're going to give you actionable tips on how to market your restaurant on social media. You won't be sorry you missed out, especially when you read tip #5.
Let's face it: social media is by far the best way to reach thousands of people at once. In today's connected world, every business -- including restaurants -- needs to have an online presence.
So how can you use the many social media sites to boost restaurant sales? You'll need a strategy.
That means learning a few actionable tips on how to market your restaurant on any of the social media sites you prefer.
Find Your Followers
Running a social media account without any followers is like screaming to an empty room: you'll waste a lot of energy and nothing will come of it.
So find your followers!
The one way to do that is to concentrate on making great posts. Use photos of your food and your space to entice people to visit. Post something every day to keep your restaurant in people's timelines.
Stay local. Although there are billions of people on social media sites, you only need to focus on those in your immediate vicinity. People will not drive an hour to your restaurant all the time, but people a few blocks away can become regulars.
Building regular followers takes some time, just like building a regular clientele base for your restaurant. Stay diligent and present your best, and the followers will come.
Boost Your Posts
Once you have a group of followers, you shouldn't stop there. Keep trying to grow your followers and good things will happen.
Some social media sites like Facebook will let you "boost a post," where you pay money to have featured posts on the timelines of people who don't follow you. Even a simple boost of $20 can reach hundreds of people who've never heard of your restaurant before.
Boosts are customizable, too. You can choose who sees your posts so you can target your intended audience.
Great posts to boost would be special events and new menu items.
If there's one thing Instagram users love, it's pictures of food. The site seems ready-made for sharing pics of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So don't disappoint!
Take the opportunity to get some great pics of your best-selling dishes and post them. You can also encourage customers to post their own photos as well. People love sharing their experience with their own followers. This can lead to more people visiting your own page and creating new customers.
Don't be afraid to post many times a day on Instagram, either. Some brands will post up to 50 times a day!
While that's a lot, it shouldn't take long for you to figure out how often your followers like to see posts.
More on How to Market Your Restaurant
There are many different ways on how to market your restaurant on social media sites. Sometimes, it's hard to do all on your own and you may need some help. Whether you need specific help with one site or a general marketing strategy, you can always find the help you need.
Please contact us to learn more about all the services we offer.