Icons of Locations to Have a Online Presence

5 Reasons Why Having an Online Presence Is Essential for Your Small Business

Having an online presence increases accessibility for your clients or consumers. It’s an effortless way for them to browse prices and hours and compare all these factors with your competition with a simple click. And it’s important that it’s effortless—nothing should take too long to load, and nothing should be difficult to find. Any questions that may need to be answered should be readily available on the site itself, and if they’re not, then you should really be sure that your contact information is displayed in an obvious way.

How visible is your business online? Click here to run a FREE report that will show you what percent of searches your business is potentially showing up in.

An Online Presence Garners a Wider Audience

Graphic with bold words Online PresenceAn online presence also allows the customer to come to you. Even when you’re closed, customers will be able to purchase goods and services online. Basically, they’re doing your work for you, even when you’re not working yourself. There’s no better give and take for a business than that. You’ll be able to reach a wider audience, such as people who are unable to make it to your physical shop for whatever reason, be it disabilities, lack of transportation, or even because they’re in another country.

Enabling your business to reach the widest audience possible will only be beneficial. The best part? When customers like what they see, they’re willing to share the news of your products and services with others. Allowing these secondary customers to see that your site is up-to-date will ensure that you come across as professional. To enhance this, having active social media accounts will allow your products and services to be shared easily between customers, and then you’ll have even more customers coming to your site. Win-Win!

An Online Presence Builds Relationships and Consumer Trust

The beauty of having a site, blog, and social media accounts is that they enable reviews and comments about your products. As an expert in your business, you’ll be able to answer any queries quickly and thoroughly. Any glowing praise that is publicly available will build your online presence and show even brand-new customers that you’re a reputable business.

Even where there are less-than-kind reviews or comments, you can reach out to unhappy customers and resolve the issue so that your good name stays intact. It’s better to know about an unhappy client so you can make amends and carry your name forward, rather than having an angry customer sharing their distaste for your business without you even knowing they were unhappy in the first place. Being able to right wrongs only helps to build customer loyalty. If you’re not forgiven, at least other clients and customers can see that you tried and that you’re willing to do everything in your power to keep customers happy.

An Online Presence Enables Effortless Marketing

Selling your products and services becomes an effortless process thanks to your online presence. Consumers will be able to browse your products and ensure that they’re happy with their choice without feeling pressured by sales associates. And, as we said, you don’t have to be there for this entire process to take place. Even at night, customers will be buying.

Not only is the process no longer limited, but it’s also never-ending (in a good way!). Marketing yourself online can cost as much or as little as you decide. You don’t have to mail out coupons or flyers; you can simply share them with the click of a button. You can advertise your products and services for free across your social media sites and on your blog. And, if you focus on improving your SEO, then the search engines will work in your favor.

An Online Presence Shows You What Works—And What Doesn’t

Finally, an online presence allows you to see the effects of all these efforts. Understanding and tracking the metrics of your site and social media accounts is quite simple. You’ll be able to see numerical proof of what works and what doesn’t.  If you share a new blog post and see a huge spike in visits, then you’ll know you’ve hit on some content that your audience likes to see. Being able to see the results of your efforts will allow you to make improvements in every aspect of your business and let you experience the real ROI of social media marketing.

Building an online presence isn’t just beneficial to growing a small business—it’s absolutely essential. By creating a blog, maintaining your site, and becoming active in social media, you’ll be more accessible to a wider audience. You’ll also build consumer trust and be able to market effortlessly. Best of all, you’ll always be able to make improvements in all these areas.

This post originally appeared on allbusiness.com

Social Media for Small Business Owners

5 Ways Small Businesses Can Improve Their Social Media Presence

If you are like most small business owners, undoubtedly you have a very busy schedule.  There always seems to be a never-ending list of things to do that will help provide success for your company.  One of the many items on the list is probably or should be, to spend time and attention to your small businesses’ social media presence.  In today’s fast-paced world, social media is of utmost importance to the success of small businesses.  Today’s Social Channels are Sales Channels.

Social Media Marketing sign

There are several things that you can do to improve your presence in the social media outlets that you have chosen for your small business.  Below are a few ideas you should review to ensure your business is maximizing what it already has in the social space

  1.    Choose your Social Media Outlets Carefully, Depending on your Audience.

When you are running your own small business, you don’t have a lot of spare time; however, it is important to make some time to attend to your company’s marketing efforts and that often means your social media platforms.  The trick is to choose which platforms you use very carefully.  Research suggests that the majority of people who enjoy social media use Facebook.  Others enjoy Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and the like.  It can be overwhelming to try to post on every social media site, and statistically, it probably does not make sense for you to do so.  Therefore, choose 2-3 networks that you believe will reach your loyal customers effectively, and devote time and attention to your social media presence on those platforms.

  1. Decide Your Small Businesses’ Plan and Goals Prior to Posting.

     Put some serious thought into what you would like to highlight in your social media posts.  It may be wise to write up a long-term plan for a monthly, quarterly, or yearly calendar.  People receive plenty of “junk mail” through emails or on social media sites, so it is a good idea to avoid posting “fluff” items that don’t really have a lot of meaning or purpose.  Choose topics that your customers will find useful in their daily lives.  Also, choose topics that you are very familiar with and ones that you are passionate about.  Stay true and honest to your small business in your social media posts, and aim for posting snippets of value for your customers. This is incredibly important so I will say it again – bring VALUE to your audience and then start building a relationship with them.  They will greatly appreciate it, and in turn, will continue to follow your posts regularly.

  1. Commit to Staying-on-Top of your Social Media Posts.

Social media provides a two-way street between a small business and its’ customers; therefore, you need to commit to staying current with your posts and reply to customers, as needed.  It is important to respond to any unanswered questions, as well as thanking your customers for positive comments.  Conversing with people online should be done in the same way you do it in person. Be genuine.  This shows that your company is interested in their customer’s opinions, as well as setting a good example for other clients who may be watching.

  1. Keep your Posts Consistent and Clear.

     You may decide to choose one staff member or a team of members that have the responsibility of operating your social media platforms.  By appointing one person or small group of people this task, your posts have a better chance of remaining clear and consistent on a regular basis.  Even though you may have multiple people that can contribute to social media ideas or posts, it is a good idea to have one person act as the “poster”, the editor, the monitor, and the responder, should the need to respond arise.  Choosing social media posts can be very challenging and stimulating, so it’s a positive thing to have ideas from several different sources.  Several people can provide input in all of these areas, but by using one responsible person for the final social media product, it will be simpler to have the same “voice” throughout multiple posts.

  1. Post on Social Media on a Regular Basis

It is a wise idea to post on your social media platforms on a very regular basis.  You can either achieve this by creating a calendar and following through with that designated schedule, or you can use one of the many sources available that will automatically post things for you.  There are software programs available that can be used to post snippets automatically, once you create all of the settings.  You might also decide to outsource the project of providing a social media presence for your small business.

Lucé Media is a company that offers full-service social media marketing and a project-based approach.

Summary

If you own a small business, then having a social media presence is vital to the success of your company in today’s society.  People are so interconnected via social media platforms these days, that, as a small business owner, you should really be a part of this connection.  Social media sites are not just for promoting your small business, but they also provide a place for you to give valuable information to your audience and share the knowledge and expertise that you have acquired over the years.  Use this outlet wisely, and chances are that social media will not just benefit your small business, but will prove beneficial to everyone who sees your posts.

There are a couple areas that will give you free information on how you are currently performing in digital and social media marketing.  One tool allows you to see how visible your company is online, in searches and on multiple platforms.  Click here to add your business and zip code and get your free report.  The second free service is a topline review of your current social media efforts.  To get that review, click here and schedule an appointment.

Graphic showing Instagram logo and how to use in content marketing in McKinney, TX

8 Ways to Use Instagram for Business – INFOGRAPHIC

Using Instagram for business is an effective way to help connect to current and potential clients, reinforce your brand, and expand your reach as a business. With over 200 million monthly active users, and over 1.6 billion likes happening on the app every day, that’s a whole world of social engagement to explore. Brands that generate the active social engagement you want, who boast followers over 100K, see a growth in sales and business operations as a whole on an average of about 163% in a two-year span of time, according to a Simply Measured research study. With numbers like these, it’s only logical that you want to take a closer look at how Instagram can be used to help grow your business.

Here is an infographic that outlines 8 best practices for startups and small to medium-sized businesses when it comes to using Instagram for Business.

Content Marketing - 8 Ways to Use Instagram for Business

Show Your Products

Instagram allows you to spread high-quality photography or video of your products and services freely. You are your own filter, and it doesn’t cost you anything to post. Using hashtags and as many as 30 keywords per post, you can target specific markets, regions, trends, lines of business, groups of products, or even advocacy networks, with each post you generate. This means connecting more people to your product than ever, and faster than ever, because people naturally process visual images 60,000 times faster than words on a screen. Connection happens fast.

Show How It’s Made

In the same vein, Instagram allows you to provide a personalized insight into how a product is made. Give a face and a name to the woman who knitted the hat, the artist who curated the design, or the managers that facilitated the shipping of materials. This openness helps to humanize your brand, and creates a genuine connection between you, your process, and your product to potential clients.

Go Behind the Scenes

The Instagram Story feature is perfect for giving the most intimate expression of what your business is like behind the scenes. You can give glimpses of a company dinner, the excitement of an expo event, or even a sneak peak of a new product launch—without the need for such high-definition, permanent images that you’ll want on your business’ Instagram page. The Story feature is liberating, in that it allows you to tell the full behind the scenes story of your company, but without interrupting your branding or marketing strategies for specific Instagram posts.

Show What Your Products Can Do

Take your products for a test run, and document it for the whole of Instagram to see. This is especially helpful if you’re trying to promote a more obscure good or service, or help in a product launch. Quell customer skepticism with video footage or before-and-after shots. These can be great for convincing potential clients that what you have to offer is truly worth it. Today’s younger market is full of skepticism, but Instagram transparency helps bridge that gap and create trust.

Show Off the Office & Employees

You are more than just a fancy font and a logo. Your business is made up of individuals, each with their own excellent personalities, each contributing something a little different to the overall goals of your business. Real faces and real stories are what genuinely connect with customers, and social media is no exception to this rule. Keyword marketing gets you connected, but letting people see who your team members really are, understanding what they do, and hearing how much they love their office space can inspire a sense of genuine loyalty and trust in your brand. This means they’ll better trust the goods and services that you can provide.

Take Your Customers with You

Is your team taking a business trip? Perhaps part of your team is traveling to a different city to do some collaborating? No matter where your next big event or corporate retreat is, let your customers in on the scope of what you do by including that in your Instagram’s storytelling. This is another instance where utilizing the Instagram Story feature can really come in handy. Let a specific employee take over the Instagram feed, give some insight into their personal experience working under your brand, and present a more relatable and engaging narrative to your customers.

Quotes & Inspiration

Brand loyalty comes from more than just an understanding of a product or service. Clients and customers in our current age expect a level or moral acuity from the businesses that they regularly patron. If you want deep customer loyalty, one of the foundations of that can be expressive encouragement, positivity, and advice related to your business or service on Instagram. Clients are far more willing to follow and engage with your business Instagram if you have some variety in your posts. Sharing your latest fall fashion items on sale is certainly a must, but customers prefer to have the line blur between a sales pitch and a personality pitch, because they want to like you for who you are just as much as what you can do for them.

Competitions

Instagram is the best social media platform for hosting raffles, giveaways and competitions with the online community. It works far better than Twitter or Facebook simply because the platform is both image-driven and keyword-driven, and engagement rates are 15% higher on Instagram than Facebook, and 20% higher compared to Twitter, according to a 2015 study by Simply Measured. Images hook potential customers far better than words. In addition, the keyword-based nature of the Instagram platform, combined with a liberated character usage, makes it an easier platform to use when trying to use keyword marketing to target specific subgenres of potential clients to enter your giveaway. These competitions are an incredibly effective tool in spreading your brand by word-of-mouth. It’s as simple as requiring one of the rules of entry to be tagging three friends in the comments section of a post. If only fifty people enter your giveaway, then that’s at least 150 new people who have viewed your Instagram page and become aware of your brand. These numbers can easily multiply into brand loyalty, purchases, and better long-term growth.

Around 70% of brands are using Instagram already to promote their products and services to a highly active online community. In order to ensure the healthiest growth and future for your company, you’ll want to make sure that you’re one of them. It might be time to reach out for expert help in how to maximize social media engagement in growing your business fast, and lastingly.

Lucé Media is a digital and social media marketing company in McKinney, TX and Frisco, TX and Plano, TX and Allen, TX that works with small to medium-sized businesses. Whatever social media platform you need, we are strategists with deep experience that can help you.  Please contact us here and we will get right back to you.

10 Benefits of Social Media Marketing

10 Reasons Why Social Media Is Your Startup Marketing Plan’s Greatest Weapon

By now the power of social media is well known within the business world. The ability to connect directly to an audience in such a personal way has been an incredible advancement for companies of all sizes, whether they work on a local, national or even international basis. Social media platforms provide a window into the life of the consumer, showing the needs, wants, praises and complaints that before could only be gleaned through stodgy and expensive survey campaigns. Not to mention the helpful details that can be mined through demographic and ad insights alone.

Looking at the statistics regarding social media as it stands today, we can see just how influential these platforms truly are:

  • 85% of consumers within the United States are regular social media users, with 58% of those using social media to connect to brands. (MarketingSherpa)
  • 71% of consumers who are satisfied with social media based customer support, or who have a positive social media experience with a brand, will recommend that brand to others. They will also spend on average 21% more. (Ambassador)
  • 57% of consumers say that seeing positive reviews of a business online is a strong influence on them choosing that brand. (DMN)
  • One in three consumers actively seek out brands on social media. (Global Web Index)

The Importance of Social Media for Startup Marketing

As a startup, particularly if you are limited in your capital or could be described as a bootstrap company, you have a unique challenge awaiting you. No matter how good your product, it won’t go anywhere without the ability to reach the intended audience it was made for. That is just step one. If you can’t convince that audience once you’ve connected with them that your brand can stack up against the big guys, or against the other startups already established in the industry, you won’t move the needle.

Social media is an effective, affordable and powerful tool that will give you everything you need to push your brand into the spotlight. As you achieve growth milestones it also gives you a platform to further hone your engagement and continue that upward trajectory.

Luce Media - Digital Agency & Social Media Marketing McKinney, Frisco, Plano, Dallas

Here are the ten reasons why social media is your startup marketing plan’s greatest weapon.

1 – Increasing Your Exposure

Exposure is not in and of itself the goal of social media use, as it isn’t how many followers you have but what you do with them. However, this is the first step in making a successful social media marketing campaign. You want to build the numbers to get your brand’s message out into the social sphere.

2 – Increasing Your Traffic

Generating traffic is the top reason for most marketers to utilize social media. Thankfully this is a major function of every platform. Regular social media use posted to redirect people to your website is a guaranteed traffic driver.

3 – Establishing Brand Recognition

Half of being successful as a startup is being noticed. Brand recognition ensures that your reputation is preceding you. It shows that you are sticking out in your audience’s mind, rather than getting lost in the sea of faces that is the online marketplace.

4 – Generating Leads

Lead generation is one of the most tedious and difficult aspects of promotion for any marketer. The constant grind can be wearing, but social media makes it easier. You have a pool of potential leads just waiting for you to reach out.

5 – Upping Your Search Ranking

Google prioritizes social searches on their engine, particularly Twitter. You can use that to your advantage by working to make your social profiles as SEO friendly as your website, as well as posting regularly to bring your social profiles to the top of search results.

6 – Gaining Insight Into the Marketplace

When using social research, you can begin to develop better insights into the marketplace at any given moment. Seeing the purchasing habits of your audience is one benefit, though watching the competition can be equally as effective in helping you better develop your own brand strategies.

7 – Building Business-Boosting Relationships

B2C isn’t the only direction you can take your social efforts. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit and many other platforms give you a launching point for establishing new relationships and partnerships that can be beneficial for your startup.

8 – Improving Sales Figures

Direct sales has been an iffy use for social media since Facebook tried to create storefronts on business pages. But even if in-page checkouts fail to bring exciting results, social media is a great tool for driving conversions by pushing consumers to your site.

9 – Reducing Marketing Costs

Startups have to budget with great care and there are a lot of balls to juggle. Social media is a cheap (in many ways free) marketing tool, with decent advertising options that can work within your business’s means.

10 – Gaining Brand Loyalty

Perhaps the most important part of a startup marketing plan is building brand loyalty. You want to bring your audience back again and again, which is easy if you engage them properly.

Are you looking to improve your social media marketing and digital marketing strategies? The experts at Lucé Media are ready to help your business move into the next phase. We do content marketing in McKinney, TX and Frisco, TX and Plano, TX and Allen, TX.

 

Luce Media - Digital Agency & Social Media Marketing McKinney, Frisco, Plano, Dallas

Create a Killer Content Marketing Campaign by Going Beyond the Written Word

Content marketing is an essential consideration for any business hoping to build a robust online presence today. Chances are good that when you think of content marketing, you picture techniques like blogging, social media posts, creating reports and whitepapers, and the like.

Luce Media - Digital Agency & Social Media Marketing McKinney, Frisco, Plano, DallasThere’s good reason for this, too – written content is important, and can provide you with a significant return on your investment. However, there’s more to content marketing than the written word, and utilizing non-written types of content in your online marketing efforts can drive significant traffic, result in ongoing growth, and support profitability.

A Look at the Statistics

While the statistics surrounding written content are impressive, those surrounding non-written content marketing metrics are just as remarkable. Here are a few of the most important takeaways, according to HubSpot:

  • Podcast listening grew 23% between 2015 and 2016, and 21% of Americans 12 and older report listening to at least one podcast in the previous month.
  • Of the content distribution channels most heavily used in digital marketing, five have nothing to do with written content (YouTube, Facebook Video, Instagram, podcasts and Snapchat).
  • Visual content is 40x more likely to be shared on social platforms than other types of content.
  • Infographics are liked/shared on Facebook 3x more than any other type of content.

Those are pretty noteworthy statistics, and they clearly illustrate the need to ensure you have non-written content in your marketing strategy. What types of content work best, though? There are quite a few that you should know, and we’ll outline them below.

Vital Non-Written Content Types for Content Marketing Campaigns

Many of the content types mentioned below should be obvious from the statistics previously discussed, but there may be a few surprises.

Video: This should come as no surprise. Video has been, and will continue to be, the most frequently consumed type of content online. Consider the fact that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world and deals only with video content.

Three of the platforms mentioned in the statistics section also cater towards video to one extent or another, and there’s the fact that this type of content can be used virtually anywhere, from YouTube and Vimeo to Facebook and Instagram to your company’s blog.

Infographics: Infographics are interesting combinations of written text and illustrative graphics. While the text provides important information, it’s the graphic elements that really capture your audience. These powerful tools do an incredible job of breaking down complex topics into manageable chunks, explaining convoluted subject areas and connections, and more, and they can be used by businesses in virtually any industry. They can also be used as content on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, Instagram, your website or blog, as guest posts on other sites and more.

Livestreaming: This one wasn’t mentioned in the statistics section, but bears a little scrutiny. While it should not be the cornerstone of your marketing, it can be an important addition. Livestreaming is being used by businesses and organizations in every industry, from Food Network to NASA, and everything in between.

It provides a dramatic, immediate connection between you and your audience, allows your audience to interact with you (or your presenters), and can be recorded and reused later. It can also be done on most of the big social networks today, including Snapchat, Facebook Live and YouTube Live. Instagram has also now introduced similar capabilities for their users.

Podcasts: For those not in the know, podcasts are essentially Internet radio shows. They’ve been around for a very long time, but have really caught on in recent years. You can use a podcast to create a reputation as a thought leader in your industry, to explore specific topics in depth, to provide entertainment, and more. They’re heavily used by creators today, but also by many others, including Fortune 500 companies and small businesses.

Other Visual Elements: There are quite a few other visual elements that can be used in your content marketing, either in addition to or conjunction with written content. Memes are hugely popular, and can help you tie into pop culture while remaining relevant, but they are not right for all companies.

You can (and should) be using images to pepper your written content, as well. Articles and blog posts with images outperform those without by a significant margin. Then there are things like presentations, slideshows (Slideshare is an incredibly popular site), and concept visualizations to name just a few.

As you can see, there are plenty of non-written options that can be vital inclusions in your content marketing plan. Perhaps the most important consideration is that you work with a partner who understands not just the importance of content marketing in today’s world, but the wide range of content types that should play a role in building your online presence and sales funnel.

The strategists at Lucé Media can help with all types of content marketing. Click here to get a free analysis of your companies digital marketing and social media marketing efforts. We do content marketing in McKinney, TX and Frisco, TX and Plano, TX.

Source:

https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics

http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/developing-a-strategy/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/miketempleman/2016/11/03/content-marketing-trends-what-to-expect-in-2017-and-beyond/#7aba33d248bb

https://memeburn.com/2014/05/beyond-writing-8-alternative-content-marketing-ideas-and-how-to-leverage-them/