Tag Archive : instagram

As a small business, it’s becoming increasingly important to be active on social media. Facebook seems like the most natural form of social media for a typical small business, but what about Instagram? This could be the best way for your business to reach the fingertips of eighteen to thirty four year olds. Along with the email marketing, content marketing and search engine optimization offered by Save Local Now, Instagram is the perfect next step to elevate your business’s image! Take a look at these Do’s and Dont’s to get started on Instagram:

DO
Use Hashtags
Hashtags are a great tool for small businesses. Try making a specific hashtag, using clever wording, or simply your business name, which could become your signature at the end of every post. Aim to gain the attention of your followers with these short, to the point hashtags. Some brands you use or sell in your small business may even have their own brand hashtag which you can include! #brilliant
Show Off New Products
Make your new merchandise look better than ever using filters, and editing tools. It’s crucial to update your followers on what’s new in your small business. That way, they are more likely to come see you in person.
Post Special Deals and Promotions For Followers Only
This is a perfect way to gain new followers on Instagram. Post a photo with a caption mentioning that all new followers get 10% off their first purchase at your business, or $5 off if they come in that day. When you limit the deal to only followers, customers are more likely to take the time to follow you.
Update Followers on Sales and Events
Do you have an event planned for next month, or even next week? Let your followers know by updating your instagram account. In the Bio of your account, you should include the address of your business, along with any upcoming event dates.
Be Interactive
If a customer or follower leaves a comment on your photo, make sure to respond to them in a timely manner. This way, you represent the attentiveness of your business, even through social media.
Set A Location on Your Photos
Make sure to enable location on your device, then set a location on all of your photos, notifying your followers where the picture was taken. This is another way to create buzz around your small business.
Get Creative With Posts
Use filters on your Instagram photos, or edit them using apps such as Rhonna or Afterlight. These apps allow you to add words over your photos-a perfect way to advertise a sale or upcoming event! Instagram also includes Layout, which acts as a collage of photos.

DON’T
Post Low-Quality or Blurry Photos
Think of all your social media accounts as a representation of your business’s image. The quality of the photos you post should reflect the quality of the products you create or sell.
Use an Overwhelming Number of Hashtags
Yes, hashtags are a great tool; but a little goes a long way. Stick to 3-5 hashtags per photo, as to not cause disinterest in your followers.
Make Your Username Too Complex
Refrain from using extra numbers or words in your instagram username. Use the name of your business as your username so followers, who are your potential customers, can avoid confusion. If the name of your business is already taken, come up with a simple, creative solution. Example: if Main Street Coffee is your business, try using MainStCoffee.
Use Boring Captions
Your captions are a way to entice your followers to come visit your business. Make sure they represent your business in the best possible way.
Forget to Attach a Link to Your Website!
Make sure you have your website and SLN webpage as links in your Instagram Bio. This makes shopping easy for followers, and draws attention to your small business.

As a small business, it’s important to choose a marketing channel that offers the best results with the most prudent resources. Nowadays, more small businesses prefer social media marketing to other marketing channels, to help increase their brand’s reach, increase sales, and expand their professional network.

In order to know how social media can help promote your business while saving you valuable time and resources, we’ve compiled six tips on social media marketing for small businesses.

Tip #1: Use social media marketing to sell your products and services

Before major social media networks made the foray into e-commerce, the selling relationship for businesses looked like this: listen, help solve problems, and make the sale. With the rise of social selling, the opportunity to connect with potential customers during the research phase got much easier with social media engagement tactics.

Tip #2: Large networks like Twitter can improve your customer relationships

With 72% of people more likely to make a future purchase from a small business after they interact with them on Twitter, there’s no reason for companies not to be on Twitter. The key to finding success on social media is to be on the social network your customers are on—and with over 200 million active users, there’s a high chance many of your customers are on Twitter. Twitter can help your business build relationships with customers, and connect you with the businesses and communities you are interested in.

Tip #3: Social media marketing can drastically increase your reach

Social media advertising has made it possible for companies to increase their reach through targeted ads and sponsored messaging. Social media marketing provides businesses with an opportunity to reach customers across the world—as opposed to a more traditional advertising medium such as a billboard, which is only visible to people on a particular route in a single city.

Tip #4: A LinkedIn business page can expand your professional network

One of the most important social networks, where all businesses, big or small, should have a presence, is LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows businesses to provide authenticity and credibility of their brand through a business page that houses information covering the bases of who, what, and where of your business. It also allows small businesses to be in a space where professionals, potential investors, and customers are.

Tip #5: Facebook Page can improve your business’s customer support

Providing customer support can be expensive and time-consuming. But, with social media networks like Facebook, you are provided with an outlet to effectively solve customer problems. With the availability to post on your Facebook wall or send private messages, customers can connect directly to companies if and when they have a problem or feedback.

Tip #6: Use your social media presence to manage your brand’s online reputation

Trust is an important element in obtaining customer loyalty, and one of the best ways to gain this trust is giving people easy online access to information about your company. Neglecting your social media presence is one way of losing the opportunity to gain new customers or nurture current relationships. Gain the trust of your current and potential customers by creating social media profiles like a LinkedIn company page, Facebook business Page, Twitter profile, or an Instagram account. This puts a voice (and a face) to your company, which will give people more incentive to trust your brand.

 

Original article posted here.

So you’ve got Facebook down, you’ve started the “Twitter” thing, and you’ve dabbled in the world of Google+ and Linkedin. With all of these social media sites already on your tool belt, why bother tackling Instagram? Well, if this interactive and creative platform doesn’t hook you like it already has so many other small businesses, maybe the following figures will:

  1. 200 Million Users

Instagram is one of the hottest social sharing apps right now. With over 200 million users, their popularity (and most importantly influence) is unlikely to diminish in any foreseeable future. Getting an Instagram account and becoming familiar with the platform sooner rather than later is only going to be vital for your business as this number continues to rise. After all, 200 million users offers a lot of possibilities for you to introduce your business to new customers and solidify your presence within that customer base.

  1. Daily Use

It’s estimated that 70% of Instagram users log in to their Instagram accounts at least once a day (38% of which are logging in multiple times per day).  With all this daily use, you can easily keep your followers up-to-date on what you’re doing, any new products coming through the door, upcoming events, and promotional deals. (Instagram)

Consistency and frequency are key when it comes to promoting your business on social media, so make sure you are keeping your material fresh and new so your followers always have something to like!

  1. SEO

A solid range of outlets is crucial to creating a stable online reputation, and solidifying your company’s SEO. Being on sites like Facebook and Twitter is vital, but in order to further increase your SEO, you need to make sure you are active and visible on more than just a handful of sites. Instagram is another great site that can help bump up your SEO without requiring the time associated with traditional methods.

  1. Even the Playing field

Instagram levels the playing field and allows you to show what your company has to offer. How is this possible? Well for one, it’s free. On Instagram, businesses don’t need to shell out hundreds of dollars on third-party marketing help in order to create custom content.

Instagram is also quick. Snap a picture of a new product, throw a filter on it, add some hastags, toss in a fun comment and you’re done. It’s that easy.

  1. Interaction

There are 8,500 likes per second on Instagram and 1,000 comments are made per second. With all of this customer engagement you can create lasting impressions on your followers. Developing relationships through personal interactions is a fantastic way to create loyal, repeat customers. (Instagram)

Young people these days…always submerged in their smartphones, tablets and laptops for hours on end – never taking time to appreciate the world and all it has to offer. Well, not only are these young people (“Millennials”) accessing more content and learning more information than ever before, it turns out they have something to teach us about marketing and publicity. Thinking like a Millennial can actually help promote your business’ next event or outing.

Here are some tips to harness the marketing power of the Millennial:

1.)  Millennials like short and sweet messages

The reason so many younger people are flocking towards Twitter and away from Facebook is because the platform offers concise content with less clutter. Millennials know how to tweet something catchy and bold in 140 characters with smart hashtags to emphasize their message.

Use Twitter to build excitement around your next event and engage your community. Create a hashtag for the event that people will begin to recognize and repeat. Smart, short tweets with clever hashtags will intrigue your target audience and create a buzz around your event.

2.)  Millennials are anywhere and everywhere online

So why shouldn’t your business be, too?  Millennials have shown us that using one social media platform to get out a message only covers a small portion of the audience and restricts the type of content they can post.

If you have the means to do so, use different types of social media to promote your next event. Post pictures, messages, hashtags and links to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.  If the Ice Bucket Challenge has shown us anything, it is that video content is a great way to get attention and support.  Post a short video about your event and business to show your audience what it’s all about!

3.)   “But First, Let Me Take a Selfie.”

We all know of the obsession younger people have with taking selfies, but let’s be honest, you’ve probably taken some too.

During your event, take pictures of what’s going on and post it to social media. Even commission one of your employees to go around and take pictures of themselves or other people doing various things at the event. A live stream of activity will encourage more people to come and check it out.

The bottom line here is to be engaged in and passionate about your event. People will notice your enthusiasm if you post correctly. It will increase community engagement and heighten curiosity about your business and the event.  Be smart.  Be clever.  Be excited.  And embrace your inner Millennial!

Citation: DiRoma, CJ.  “Why You Should Think Like a Millennial to Promote Your Next Event.”  17 Aug. 2014.  <http://smallbiztrends.com/2014/08/millennial-promote-your-event-online.html>.

What is branding? To some, it is the visual identity a company presents to the public, to others it is a business’ overall reputation. More often than not though, branding is a misunderstood field, often generalized and simplified by many. Because of its ever-changing nature, and our inability to concretely measure its success like we do with sales, market share, stock price, etc., branding is often viewed as an insubstantial add-on. Truthfully though, neglecting a brand is not only naïve but also shortsighted for any company, big or small.

When managed properly, a company’s brand can be their most valuable asset. Of all the things a business owns, its brand is one of the few items that will never depreciate. Rarely do companies intentionally manage their brands as the valuable resource that they are. Effective branding improves the visibility of and respect for a product, service, or company. It draws attention and can drive sales. It can also enhance margins, as customers are far more willing to pay more for a product or service from a company that they know and trust.

It is also important to remember that anything done or not done within an organization effects how the brand is perceived.  Company leaders who ignore this are doomed to fail. A company’s brand is not just their logo or mission statement. Branding includes everything from how a PR department deals with customer complaints to how a company is being represented on social media. A business’ brand needs to stand for something and give the customers something to believe in.  It must be presented with clarity, consistency and continuity. With the explosion in digital technology, mobile and social media companies now have the opportunity for a closer, more intimate relationship with consumers.  This increased connection between businesses and their consumers demands a stronger more consistent brand identify.

Here are 5 quick tips for how to better your brand:

1.     First off, build a brand you’re passionate about. Your enthusiasm will shine through all of your branding efforts and will get your customers excited about your product.

2.     Define your brand, and become an expert. Take the time to determine exactly what your company is and what makes it unique. Whether you are looking to gain media attention, attract new clients or build your business, you should focus your efforts on becoming an expert in your field.  Keep it relevant to the goals you want to achieve.

3.     Incorporate a philanthropic component. People are drawn to companies that have a strong sense of corporate responsibility. Building a reputation and status with the community will help establish your company as a trustworthy and compassionate business.

4.     Establish an online presence. Social media, online networking opportunities, and web-based marketing are vital when it comes to establishing your brand. Like previously stated, the increasing importance of digital technology, mobile, and social media give companies the opportunity to establish real and personal relationships with consumers. Businesses not using online resources to engage with its customers are throwing away a valuable opportunity to further establish their brand.

5.     Remember the 3 Cs of branding. Clarity, consistency, constancy. You need to establish a solid foundation for your brand that is easy to understand, consistent with your goals, and use it whenever possible. By doing this your customers will develop a sense of understanding and trust for your brand.

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2014. Wow, can you believe it? We sure can’t. Seems like just yesterday we were using the newly founded Google on the first apple iMac. Times have changed, and so have marketing tactics. Here are a few great statistics from a wonderful info graphic to put the new year in perspective.

1. 96% of small business have 5 employees or less, 91% of CFOs serve as the primary marketers.

Don’t let this stress you out because we got your back. Marketing is easy and time saving with Save Local Now. You can push out all your information, deals, and events with just a click of a button. If you don’t believe us, just ask Debbie McKinney.

2. Top Ranked Marketing Channels for SEO: 1) Email Marketing, 2) Word of Mouth, 3) Social Media.

Save Local Now has you covered. With our new email marketing, you can send out your business profile, deals, and events with a few clicks in 5 minutes or less. It’s easy, and customizable. You can also push anything you create to Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

3. 12% of businesses claim to be online marketing “pros”.

This deeply saddens us because the other 88% clearly don’t have Save Local Now. If you’re with us, you’re automatically an online marketing pro. We give you better SEO than most businesses with a marketing team have. We have all the tools you need to market your business in one easy platform. So have confidence in yourself because you’re on top! If you’re still a bit hesitant try spending at least 30 min a day getting to know facebook, twitter and google+.  Follow some of your favorite businesses and see what they do or, follow us!

4. One in Five businesses plan to market using Vine, Instagram, or Pinterest this year.

If your feeling a bit more courageous, try to market through at least one of these this year. We’re on Instagram and Pinterest and we have a great time sharing our world with the rest of our friends out there in Chamber-land. It’s fun, allows you to be creative, and it’s a great way to show your customers your personality!

These stats are all good news! 2014 is the year you are going to grow and prosper if you use Save Local Now to help get you there. We’ve got a lot of great tools to help you save time, money, and stress. So get excited, because you’re a marketing pro now!

2014

Marketing your small business can be tricky. As marketing trends change and change again and platforms offer you more and more options, you may be wondering, what are you supposed to focus on?

Well, let’s take a look. These are some of the upcoming trends in marketing for 2014.

1. Mobile Marketing – You might already know this one. You should. Mobile marketing is still on the rise and will continue to be for some time to come. As more and more people own smart phones (147.9 million people in the U.S. by the month of September), social media, email marketing, and GPS location features will also continue to rise. Mobile marketing ads are also cheaper and easier on companies with small budgets and can have a lot more impact than television or other traditional advertising methods as they are often seen repeatedly.

Save Local Now strives to continually update our mobile app. Providing sharing features to both the business and the consumer, and streamlining the way a customer finds your business are just some of the ways we put your business on top of mobile marketing. Best yet, our app is top rated and available for both the iPhone and Android market! There really is no need to go building your own app these days when you can use ours for free!

2. Geo Targeting – As mentioned above GPS locating features will continue to rise with mobile. Geo targeting is similar in that it pays (literally) to target people within a few miles of your business. This has been true especially in retail where targeting audiences within a two mile radius can help the business create marketing campaigns that are current and relevant.

We offered Geo location mapping on your mobile and browser from the beginning, and as always we remain a tool for local businesses only. However, Geo targeting at Save Local Now came about a year ago with one of our app updates. With users being able to sort Deals and Events by clicking “Nearby” we give you the opportunity to create custom actionable offers specific to the customers who might be looking for you right around the corner!

3. Image centric Social Media – Twitter and Facebook are not the only Social Media that matters anymore. In fact as Facebook usage declines newer networks are getting a lot of buzz. Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and Vine are among some of the top players even though some of these are still very young on the scene. Whats the draw? Large images or videos dominating the page with short descriptions and hashtags to browse other posts. Sites like Buzzfeed, Imgur, and Tumblr also play a part in this.  We can expect to see a continued growth in image sharing as 2014 rounds the bend.

Save Local Now was onto this when we updated the site in early 2013 to create more focus on your images. With larger placement for your logos or Deal & Event images, we really recommend you take advantage of this trend by updating your images with higher quality photos that pack a lot of punch. Even if you are just starting out and don’t have a logo, we have some suggestions on how to start building one for yourself!

This year, why not make it your resolution to check in with the blog for more tips on how to stay current and relevant in your small business? We are going to make it ours to continue to improve ourselves for the benefit of YOU the local business!

One more thing. As the year wraps up, we’d like to say thank you. We are working hard to help your local businesses thrive and though we might not be local for all of you, we are a small business that values local business being great business and we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you. Please stay happy, healthy, and remember to support your community. We wish you all a thriving, busy new year!

BY MAGGIE OVERFELT, CNN Money

Facebook 

small business social facebook

What it is: The world’s largest social network, Facebook (FBFortune 500) allows users to share content and conversations, create events and deploy targeted ads.

Best business uses: Generating and fostering relationships with potential clients; advertising.

Who should use it: Everyone

How to maximize your reach: When posting to your Facebook page, include value to the user, said Joe Dinardo of Blue Fountain Media in New York City. Add a few brief business insights when linking to industry news or ask users for feedback when posting pictures. Sharing real-world tales of how your company overcame challenges can connect with users on a personal level, which makes it more likely they’ll become clients.

How not to use it: Don’t advertise directly on your page — that turns fans off. And while Facebook is a great place to address customer complaints, don’t get involved in lengthy back-and-forths. “Try to bring a complainer into your world by being more personal about it, but only respond once,” said Don Sorensen, founder of Big Blue Robot, which helps firms improve their online reputation. “If the discussion turns negative, then it’s open to the rest of the room and can affect the whole party.”

Twitter

small business social twitter

What it is: A site that lets users post messages — “tweets” — of 140 characters or less.

Best business uses: Promoting events, news and specials; building your customer base by fostering conversations where you can show your expertise.

Who should use it: Owners with a few hours per week to read, send and search messages.

How to maximize your reach: Use the hashtag symbol (#) or the advanced search option to find questions that relate to your business and provide answers, said Dinardo. Doing so helps increase engagement with your audience and “plant[s] a seed for a relationship that can turn into a customer,” he said. If readers trust your expertise, they’re more likely to visit your website. And while Twitter is a great place to announce special deals and offers, phrase promotional Tweets conversationally: Your followers don’t want to get slammed with ads.

How not to use it: Don’t blindly retweet or set up automatic tweets. Carefully read articles before you retweet to be sure you’re comfortable with the ideas your company will be conveying. Also, beware of the time sink factor: It’s easy to lose hours going back and forth on Twitter.

LinkedIn

small business social linkedin

What it is: The world’s largest resume pool; a place to read career-oriented blogs and news articles.

Best business uses: Hiring; networking to reach potential clients.

Who should use it: Everyone, especially B2B companies looking for new customers.

How to maximize your reach:Establish relationships with high-quality potential hires before you’re actually hiring, said Dinardo. Join a few LinkedIn (LNKD) groups that relate to your company or market. Once you’ve established yourself in a group, work to answer questions and foster conversations, which will boost your reputation as an expert and help others get to know your company.

How not to use it: Don’t spend too much time pitching your products or services.

YouTube

small business social youtube

What it is: Google’s video-sharing site, which has more than 1 billion unique visitors each month.

Best business use: Building credibility by showcasing your knowledge and skills.

Who should use it: Everyone. Financial advisers, lawyers, and marketing professionals can record themselves offering valuable tips; advertising firms can display their creativity.

How to maximize your reach: Make a list of the 10 most frequently asked questions in your industry and film yourself answering them. Think of “the same kind of queries that people sit down to Google,” said Liz Jostes, co-owner of Eli Rose Social Media. And because YouTube videos show up in Google (GOOGFortune 500) search results, make sure to optimize the videos with as many keywords as possible.

How not to use it: Don’t post long videos — keep them under a minute and a half, said Jostes. Focus on one question or issue per video to keep your message on track. And don’t leave anything blank: “Add your company URL and links to all your other social media accounts to your YouTube Channel,” said Jostes.

Pinterest

small business social pinterest

What it is: A place to create and share links centered around visual themes.

Best business use: Promoting your brand to a female-skewed audience.

Who should use it: Retailers, manufacturers and travel sites whose brands lend themselves to images.

How to maximize your reach: Use good SEO practices when titling your boards and filling out pins and descriptions. “Social media sites are search engines — people go to the search boxes and type things in,” said Heather Lutze, author of Thumbonomics: The Essential Business Roadmap to Social Media & Mobile Marketing. “It’s important to name your boards with phrases people will search for.”

Lutze also recommends regularly checking Google Trends: If people are searching for something related to your business or industry, create a board or pins around the topic.

How not to use it: Keep personal pins highlighting your favorite books, fashion, and travel photos separate from those linking to your company’s URL, said Lutze, although it’s OK for both business and personal boards to reside in the same profile. Never use copyrighted pictures to create pins.

Instagram

small business social instagram

What it is: Photo app that allows you to apply artsy effects to your shots.

Best business use: Promoting your brand via stylized images to a largely twenty-something audience.

Who should use it: Hotels, restaurants, consumer products companies and other firms with lots of photos of properties and goods.

How to maximize your reach: The revenue generated by an Instagram follower is 10 times greater than that generated by a Twitter follower, according to data analytics firm SumAll, so you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck if you take take the time to post interesting shots of your products.

“Take pictures of what makes your business unique, whether it’s an office perk (like the organic fruit we receive from The Fruit Guys), a conference you’re attending, or pictures of your team and/or products and customers,” said Rhea Drysdale, CEO of Outspoken Media.

Instagram doesn’t let you link pictures to your website, so connect your account to Facebook or Twitter so the photos are cross-posted there. Eli Rose’s Jostes recommends using the hashtag to search for photos of your products and share those on your other social media pages.

How not to use it: Don’t let your account go dormant, said Jostes. Update it with new pictures at least every other week.

View the original article here.

We all love to share our photos whether it be a meal you just ate or your dog in a funny hat, we can’t get enough of sharing images with our friends. There might be more to the photo sharing than just dogs and hats though. Instagram, the leading social network for photo sharing, is also a creative and inexpensive way for businesses to attract new customers. I’m not just talking about the small clothing boutiques either. You can be a law firm, a bank, or a construction company or anything really. Instagram is great for personalizing your business and allowing your “followers” to connect with you on a more human level, and the more personality you can give to your business the better. Even us here at $LN enjoy using instagram to share a few precious moments (you can follow us at @savelocalnow).

This article shows how companies that don’t have visual products are able to integrate themselves into instagram.

Showing your customers a more personal side of your business can help build loyalty and it’s a cheap way to advertize!

Here’s some helpful hints to get you started:

  • The best times to share are Thursdays between 1 and 4 (that’s when most people don’t feel like working anymore).
  • Create #hashtags on subjects that are current and relevant to your business
  • Follow people who influence your business, and follow your favorite customers!
  • Show both office/business related things as well as giving it a personal flair. Allow your followers to get to know your staff through photos!

Want more? Check out this article for even more great tips for business accounts on instagram

So what are waiting for? Start instagramming today!