Marketing Tip of the Week: Pinterest Success Lies in the Re-pin

Every social media platform is different, and each one requires a different strategy to make your marketing plan effective. For Pinterest, the focus is all on the value of your re-pins.

What’s So Special About Re-Pins?

Of course your original material matters, but it’s impossible to generate enough to make your page interesting to other Pinterest users. Besides if all you post is your own material, you aren’t exactly being social. To involve yourself in the Pinterest community, you have to find pins from other companies and individuals and re-pin them to your page!

Selective Re-Pinning

So if re-pinning is the name of the game, how do you do it most effectively? You ask yourself some important questions:

  • Will this be valuable to my audience? – Re-pins are just as important to regulate as your own material. If it’s not something your audience will enjoy, don’t re-pin it! On the flip side of that, you are more able to target factions within your audience with re-pins because you can post them more often. You aren’t stuck pinning watered down over-generalized items in a vain attempt to reach everyone at once. You are pinning items that will find traction from different niches in your audience thereby growing your audience within those niches. And remember, being good enough for you to re-pin means the item also has to be good enough for your audience to re-pin.
  • Is the source valuable to my business? - A re-pin serves two purposes. One, it delights your followers and promotes re-pins from them, and two, it informs the poster you re-pinned from that you found their pin valuable. That may prompt that poster to come to your board and see if you have anything they might want to re-pin or possibly even follow you as a source of pin fodder in the future. That’s how the social aspect of Pinterest works, and if you are re-pinning from quality, well-trafficked accounts, you’re making it work for you.
  • Is the Pin Popular? - As you re-pin from an account with a large following, look to see how often it has been re-pinned compared to their others. Any pin that hits the sweet spot with their large audience should hit that same sweet spot with yours.

Pinterest is an engaging platform, and now that you understand how to use it properly, you can finally get the most out of your marketing strategy!

Marketing Tip of the Week: 3 Tips Helping You Maneuver Toward Mobile

Just like online purchasing did before, so is mobile now quickly building a relevant market share. That means if you aren’t already, it’s past time to start taking the mobile marketplace into account when planning and scheduling online marketing. But what do you need to know to be successful? Read on for four easy tips to help you capture your piece of the mobile pie.

1 – It’s All About the Apps

While it’s imperative that you make sure your website is mobile compatible, the real key to any mobile user’s heart is through the app store. Making an app that will allow a user to shop your stock will do wonders, and app usage is increasing yearly whereas mobile website usage is steadily decreasing.

2 – Socially Acceptable

Social media owes a large portion of its success to the advent of the mobile phone. The ability to upload photos and tag locations in real time has made mobile the platform for most any flavor of social media. So it stands to reason that engaging on those platforms will do more to reach a mobile audience than any other marketing venue.

3 – Seize the … Evening?

Timing matters, and most mobile users access their devices in the evening. What better time to sit back and relax with your phone or tablet than after the workday has finished? That means you need to schedule your mobile-targeted marketing to post after 5 pm. It does no good to target an audience that isn’t tuned in.

Reaching the mobile marketplace isn’t complicated, but like anything worth doing, it requires forethought and planning. Now that you are armed with a little information, your mobile plan should yield even better results!

Marketing Tip of the Week: 4 Fantastic Twitter Tips

Is Twitter a medium that you’re still trying to master? Maybe you’re a Facebook guru, and that always seemed good enough. There’s no doubt that Facebook has long been the king of social media, but Twitter is proving itself a contender for the crown on a daily basis. If you haven’t familiarized yourself just yet, you are just one of a large number of business owners.

But the time to wait is over, and delaying any longer is only going to hurt your marketing future. It’s time to learn the Twitter ropes so that you too can make an impact in this rapidly growing social media platform.

#1 – Pictures and Moving Pictures

I’ve said it many times, but I’m going to go ahead and say it again: media makes your post. According to Twitter, tweets that contain an image are retweeted up to 35% more, and those containing videos see a boost of up to 28% more retweets than the standard text post. Make sure you are tweeting with attached media!

#2 – How to Search

The key to increasing your Twitter footprint is in talking to the right audiences. In order to find groups that share your interests, you can use the Twitter search function, but unlike modern search engines, it will not search for each word you type individually. Instead, it searches for the group as a whole, and that can be limiting your search results greatly.

How do you combat this problem? Simply type ‘the/or’ in between words to get full and partial results!

#3 – ‘Group’ Your Followers

Twitter allows you to place your followers in groups your create. Why is this important? Because it gives you the power to sort your followers by whatever method you choose which then makes it easier for you to talk to each group’s interests. In essence, you can personalize your tweets!

You can also set up those who promote your products in a group which customers and potential customers can search for and view as well as place your competitors in a private group so that you can monitor their activities, but no one can get to their feed from you.

#4 – Don’t Forget Communication

And this holds true for all social media. It’s easy to fall into the trap of turning your feed into one big advertisement for your business. The problem is, people don’t want to see or follow that. Social media is about engagement with your audience. Real connection breeds real brand loyalty.

Find things your audience will find interesting and retweet it. Ask open-ended questions (preferably about your industry, but don’t feel restricted), let your followers answer and then give them your actual opinion. This kind of engagement makes you approachable, and when your opinion pans out, it makes it validates you as an expert.

C’mon, folks. The Twitter train is pulling out of the station. Are you on board?

Marketing Tip of the Week: How To Do Native Advertising

In case you are unaware, native advertising is when you attempt to make your advertising look like a natural part of an already existing site. A vendor spotlight here on the FGmarket blog is a perfect example, (And that’s a free service for all our members, by the way. Talk to your sales rep!) but so is any article sponsored by you in your local paper or in your own blog that talks about you and/or your business but isn’t presented in traditional advertisement format.

So how do you do it right?

Make It Relevant

And that works both ways: Your advertisement needs to be relevant to your business and relevant to the audience of the site on which you’re advertising.

The first one seems like a no-brainer, but there are numerous examples of native advertising that has absolutely nothing to do with the company promoting it, especially on the web. But if the customer can’t make an immediate connection between the content and your brand or product, you’re wasting your advertising dollars.

As for the second point, if it doesn’t blend in with the site it’s technically not native. The whole idea is that the content is presented in such a way that it appears to be a natural extension of the site itself.

That being said, it is still important to label paid content as such. The idea is not to deceive the customer, merely make the experience more smooth and engaging than a traditional advert.

Native advertising has proven to be effective for all types of businesses. If you haven’t tried it, you should. And if you are already dipping your toes in the vast ocean of possibilities, make sure it’s being presented properly!

Marketing Tip of the Week: Social Media Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint

While there are many campaigns you can design for immediate results, the choice to enter into social media is a process with a slow yield. Sure, when you first start your page, be it on Twitter, Facebook or your other social media site of choice, you will receive a flood of likes, but those are probably all from already established customers or personal friends. Once you’re past that initial onslaught, the pace slows dramatically, and that sudden change can be daunting, especially if you’re not expecting it.

Don’t Be Discouraged

That’s easy to say, but man is it difficult to do, especially if you’re staring at a Like counter or Follower list that never changes. But it’s to be expected. This is social media. It takes time to find people who want to interact with you, and it takes time for you to understand how to interact with them. It’s not as simple as just turning your page into a constant advert for your business. People aren’t fond of commercials, and if all you do is advertise for yourself, they will turn you off.

Follow the 80/20 Rule

What is the 80/20 rule? It’s a social media rule that says 80% of your content should be focused on your followers and 20% should be focused on yourself. Find content that your audience enjoys and direct them to it. Promote the content of industry leaders (especially if those leaders aren’t direct competitors) and show your followers that your page is more than an online billboard for your business. This will build your audience and also make any advertising you actually do that much more effective!

Building an online presence isn’t going to happen overnight, but with some love, care and nurturing, it will eventually blossom. Keep your head up, follow the 80/20 rule and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!

Marketing Tip of the Week: YouTube Matters

As social media platforms go, YouTube may be the internet’s best kept secret, especially among business owners. How often do you think about it as a viable platform for your business? My guess is not often, and that needs to change.

Looking at the Numbers

According to the people at Compete, as of June 2014 YouTube surpassed Facebook for most unique visitors. What does that mean? For the month of June, more people made their first ever visit to YouTube than those who made their first ever visit to Facebook. Okay, great. But what does that mean for marketers? It means that YouTube is growing as a social media platform at a now faster rate than Facebook. It means that YouTube is relevant for your marketing dollars and presence.

Getting Involved

So how do you get into YouTube? Fortunately, it’s easy and requires little in the way of initial investment. All you need to get started is a smartphone with a camera, and you’re on your way. The key to a successful video, be it an advert or just a community post, is the same as any other marketing content: keep it concise, sincere and interesting. And that’s really the key. Not every video you post has to be an advertisement, and they shouldn’t be. Just like with your website and other social media, you should give more than you ask.

Social media marketing expert Gary Vaynerchuk calls it the give, give, give ask rule. You should always give three times more than you ask to keep your audience engaged.

YouTube is emerging from Facebook’s shadow. It’s time for business owners to take notice.

Marketing Tip of the Week: 3 Ways to Grow Your Audience

If you’re a small business owner, you are always on the lookout for way to grow your audience. After all, the more people following your page(s) the more opportunity you have to convert them into paying customers. But if you’ve already established yourself on the web, how do you take the next step? Read on to find out more! Continue reading “Marketing Tip of the Week: 3 Ways to Grow Your Audience” »

Marketing Tip of the Week: 3 Ways to Connect with Your Audience

Today’s business world requires more connection with our customers than ever before. A company that just provides quality products and good customer service had better also guarantee those products are completely unique. Why? Because everyone provides products, and everyone pride’s themselves on customer service. The only way to truly distinguish yourself from your competitor is through customer connection. So how do you do it?

1. Be Engaging

That sounds vague, but that’s because it can be done in so many ways. People following your site are interested in your products, but just presenting those products won’t get it done. Sure, it might help if you mix up your media with some videos, but mostly you just want to give your audience something to talk about. Offer some new bit of information that they can discuss around the water cooler at work. Get them engaged in your business or products and you’re over halfway there!

2. Listen

Social media isn’t just an outlet for you to make business-themed announcements. It’s also a great forum for you to hear the voice of your customer. But you need to do more than just listen, you should also react to what you’ve heard. Let your customers know you’re listening by doing your best to give them more of what they want.

3. Don’t Forget the Service

While quality and service cannot be your only selling points, they do need to be there. Your level of connection only matters if you are meeting customer expectations in the other areas as well. You must carry the products they want and offer the high caliber customer service they require.

If you want to succeed in today’s business market, you have to be more than a faceless company. You have to get to know your customers and let them get to know you.

Marketing Tip of the Week: 5 Facebook Quick Tips

When the discussion turns to online marketing or social media marketing, Facebook always gets a mention. And it should. It is a monstrous platform in both popularity and potential impact, but like any tool , it has to be used correctly in order to receive the desired effect. Here are 5 quick tips to help you use Facebook the right way!

5 Facebook Quick Tips

  1. Au Naturale – It’s easy. Just be natural. Make your post conversational. Speak to your audience, not at them. It’s not always about selling, sometimes it’s just about connecting. 
  2. Relevance is Key – When the goal is engaging your audience, make sure the topic you’re discussing is current and relevant. If it’s a month or two stale, your response will be lackluster at best.
  3. Pictures > Words - When you can use a picture to replace words, do it. People have a tendency to scroll past text, but a compelling visual image will get their attention every time. Remember, you are competing with every other person and entity on their news feed. They only have a finite amount of time to devote to Facebook, and you want to be sure that your message gets through.
  4. Questions = Engagement – Don’t be afraid to ask your followers questions. They create immediate engagement and let your audience talk to you. The value of hearing your audience’s voice cannot be overstated.
  5. Shorter is Better - If you have a lot to say on a subject, Facebook is not the place to post it. Long-winded posts are better for your blog. Leave your Facebook page for more concise content.

None of this is extremely difficult, but it is important. These tips will help you engage your current audience, build your existing base and limit any drop-off. Social media won’t single-handedly make or break your business, but it can be a big influence. Make sure your experience is a positive one!

Marketing Tip of the Week: Build an Online Audience

Online marketing is difficult at the best of times. Finding a way to discern your voice from all the others clamoring for your audience’s attention can be daunting, but trusting in yourself and your knowledge base is the first step in getting it done. Here are a few tips to help you get noticed!

Post Frequently

It stands to reason that the more you post, the more opportunities you have to get your audience’s attention. But beyond that simple concept is another, less discussed but equally powerful, one. By posting frequently, you have the opportunity to become part of someone’s routine. Once your site is incorporated into an individual’s daily or weekly check-in, you have an open line to promote your business. Keeping your topics relevant and interesting will bring the audience you want, and posting frequently will keep them coming back!

Keep It Simple

This applies to all aspects of your site, not just the content. A simple user interface will ensure that customers understand exactly what to do and exactly where to go to get what they want. And a simple approach to your content serves the same purpose. Even if your business is complex, the benchmark of an expert is in their ability to take a complex subject and boil it down to its simplest form. Focus on what’s important, and cut out all the extraneous material.

Building an online audience doesn’t have to be difficult. But like anything else in business, it does require time and attention. It’s easy to let that go when other issues seem so much more important, but remember that growing your online audience is one of the fundamental building blocks to growing your business!