Social Media Marketing Tips for the Holidays

Social media is the perfect place to promote your business during the holidays. People are looking on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter for gift ideas and great deals. With the right social media marketing strategy, you can boost holiday sales, engage with potential customers and spread holiday cheer.

The holiday season is generally considered to run from late November through the New Year. Unlike birthdays and anniversaries, this gift-buying frenzy is spread across the whole of society at the same time. That means a lot of consumer spending

Here are five tips on how your business can use social media to boost sales this holiday season.

 

1. Use Facebook Live, create events and run giveaways.

Hosting Facebook Live videos is a great way to give your followers the scoop on your deals for the holidays, what new products you have or what services you’re offering. One big benefit of using Facebook Live is that you are guaranteed to get more reach than with any other type of Facebook post.  Facebook tells us you get as much as a 12 times the number of people as a normal post will get you.  Check out our other blog on 10 Things You Need to Know Before Going Live on Facebook by clicking here.

Along with Facebook Live, you should also use Facebook’s events feature.  You can create Facebook Events for any in-store events you might be hosting during the season. Once you’ve hosted a live video or created an event, be sure to continue to post all your promotions on your social accounts.

Another great way to engage and connect with your followers is with a giveaway contest. People can use a little help this time of year and the chance to win a big gift that someone on their wish list may appreciate is a very attractive prospect and grabs quite a lot of attention.

2. Use Twitter polls to identify customer pain points.

Social media platforms are constantly updating and adding helpful features. From Instagram questions to Twitter polls, there are a range of ways to easily engage and connect with your followers online.

You can use those features to identify pain points and then provide a solution. If you can identify a problem your customers are facing and solve it for them, you will create customers for life.

3. Use Instagram stories.

Introduced in 2016, Instagram Stories quickly became a popular social media tools and marketers need to take advantage of this feature this time of year. Today, Instagram Stories are the most engaged platform of all social media platforms.

Stories have nearly taken over the Instagram platform with their temporary availability and features that allow for product-feed integration and swipe-up to shop, simplifying the purchase experience for users. And don’t forget about Highlights. Your temporary content can be saved to Highlights on your profile for the duration of the holiday season and removed come January.

While focusing on Instagram stories doesn’t mean you should forget about posting a regular picture, it does allow you to supplement your content and post more frequently. Not convinced that you need Instagram stories for your business? Check out our blog post on why Instagram stories are crucial for small businesses, here.

4. Engage with followers and get creative.

While you use social media to market your business, your followers use it to have fun and engage with their favorite brands. Being creative on social media such as running a contest, creating a holiday playlist for your business on Spotify or offer holiday tips is a great way to boost your business.

Tips for the seasonal holidays or winter season in general make excellent social media posts. Whether you are discussing holiday safety or decorating tips, the holidays are a great time to give your business a personal appearance and voice.

When you’re creating your company’s social media strategy, it’s important to keep in mind why customers are on the platform. Try to avoid being too salesy. Be the type of business customers ‘know, like and trust’ and have fun with it. After all, if you’re not enjoying the process others likely won’t either.

5. Get Festive.

Many of us like to decorate our home or office to get in the holiday spirit. It’s a good idea to give your online presence a similar type of makeover by applying holiday themes to your website and social profiles.

Adding small touches to your website with holiday-themed graphics and colors helps signal to your customers that the season of giving is upon us. Bright, engaging colors and animated GIFs tend to work well.

Though the holiday season is in full swing, there is still time to boost your social media marketing efforts and earn customer loyalty by improving the way you interact with them on the various social media platforms. Leveraging the power of social media marketing is vital for increased sales, satisfied customers and a whole lot of holiday joy.

Even when it’s not the holidays, your company’s social media presence is extremely important to the success of your business. At Luce Media we have all the tools and more to make sure your social media success lasts year round. Check out our social media services and then schedule a time to talk about how we can boost your business. From everyone here at Luce Media, we wish you a safe and Happy Holidays!

This information was originally posted here and here.

Image from Luce Media showing Google My Business logo

6 Steps to Claim and Optimize a Local Business Listing on Google My Business

For a lImage from Luce Media showing Google My Business logoocal business that wants to get discovered in search results, maintaining an accurate Google My Business listing is critical. The listing details (such as the business’ phone number, website, photos, and hours of operation) determine what information consumers see in Google Search and Maps.

Business owners need to take control of the company’s Google My Business listing to ensure up-to-date business information is displayed online. This means creating or claiming the business listing on Google My Business and optimizing the content to ensure accuracy and improve visibility.

Claim and Optimize a Google My Business Listing in Six Steps

Here are 6 Steps to claiming and optimizing a local business listing on Google My Business.

1. Search for the Business on Google

The first step is to find out if the business already has a Google My Business listing. Google often generates listings based on information available online, which may or may be fully accurate. An existing listing should be claimed so the information can be updated and kept accurate.

A simple Google search for the company name can reveal whether or not a Google My Business listing already exists. If a matching listing appears in search results, there should be a link that says “Are You the Business Owner” next to the listing. If, however, the business does not show up in search results, it’s important to create a new Google My Business listing and update it with correct information about the company.

2. Request Verification of an Existing Listing

To claim the listing, click on the “Are You the Business Owner” link. Next, sign into Google, search for the business name, and request verification. This will give you control of the listing and allow you to begin optimizing it. In most cases, Google will give you two options to verify the listing, “Mail me my code” or “Call me now.”

If the “Are You the Business Owner” button is not visible, then the listing has already been claimed. Talk to any partners, owners, or marketers involved with the business to find out who has claimed the listing. Double check if there is another Google account linked to the business. If you can’t figure out who verified the listing, you’ll have to go through Google Help to gain access.

3. Confirm Business Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP)

Once the business has been verified, you can easily edit and update the business details that will show up in search results. It’s crucial that the business’ name, physical address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across the web – so the NAP data in the Google My Business listing should exactly match what’s on the business’ website.

It’s highly recommended that if you need to make changes to the listing you make those before requesting the verification from Google. If you make the request and then make a change, you’ll quite possibly have to make a second request to get the listing verified.

4. Choose a Single Business Category

Customers and search engines both prefer business’ that accurately represent themselves online. So when selecting a category for a company’s Google My Business listing, it helps to be as specific as possible. Even if the business falls under multiple categories, it’s best to select the single most relevant category to describe the products or services offered. If you aren’t sure which category is the optimal choice for a particular business, search for similar companies on Google to see what categories they’ve selected.

5. Upload Relevant Images to Represent the Business

In order to provide customers with more context in search results, Google likes to display images next to business listings. Google My Business listings with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions as well as a 32% better click-through rate to the company’s website.

If the business doesn’t upload official images, Google can display photos uploaded by the public – which can sometimes result in embarrassing mishaps for the business. Although a business can suggest a ‘preferred photo’ for search results, Google will only use the recommended photo if it truly represents the business.

Here are some tips for setting preferred photos that Google will approve:

  • Upload high-quality photos that give an accurate impression of the store location.
  • Use real pictures of products sold by the business.
  • Keep Google’s recommended file size (between 10KB and 5MB) and minimum resolution (720px tall, 720px wide) in mind.
  • Don’t use stock photos or text-based images.

6. Further Optimize the Business Listing

There are a few more ways to get the most out of a Google My Business listing, including:

  • Keeping the Business Hours Up-to-Date: Google displays hours of operation to tell consumers whether or not the business is open at the time of their search. Remember to update this information if business hours change during the holiday season.
  • Collecting More Customer Reviews: Encourage customers to leave reviews and take the time to reply when they do.
  • Adding a Description on Google+: Although businesses can no longer edit their descriptions on Google My Business, this field can still be viewed and edited on Google+.

Whether claiming an existing Google My Business listing or creating one from scratch, use the above tips to ensure accurate information shows up the next time a consumer searches. Keep customers happy, keep Google happy, and increase local visibility.

Need help claiming, creating, or optimizing a Google My Business listing? One location or one thousand, we have you covered!

This story first appeared on Advice Local

Instagram with the Instagram icon

Why Small Businesses Absolutely Need to Use Instagram Stories

Instagram is a great social platform to bring a strong identity to your brand, have interaction with new followers and expand your reach. Not only are Instagram Stories fun and creative, but they’re great for growing your engagement, building brand awareness, driving traffic to your website, and even making e-commerce sales!

Today, over 400 million people use Instagram stories each and every day. If you are a small business in McKinney looking to market to your customers – this is one place you are going to want to be.

However, if you’re simply posting images to your business’s Instagram page, you’re missing out on a major opportunity on the platform: Instagram Stories. With stories, you are able to show the personality of your business.  Is it fun, serious, very people oriented, etc?  Instagram stories are great to show a behind-the-scenes look at your business. Stories can also allow you to build authentic relationships with your followers.

If you’re still wondering: What’s the point? There are over 400 million active daily users of Instagram Stories, and 33 percent of the most popular Stories are from businesses. Not only that, but 20 percent of Stories posted by businesses result in direct messages.

While it might sound daunting at first, you’ll never know until you try. To help you get started, here’s a quick guide to using Instagram Stories.

First and foremost, it’s important to prepare — brainstorm a plan for the story you want. It’s all about the images- you can upload new or older images to Stories now.

Next, figure out the best time of day to post by taking a look at your audience. Generally, user engagement levels are highest on Mondays and Thursdays between 7 and 9 p.m., but this can vary based on your followers. Another important piece of advice is to make an impact in the first four seconds of your story. Viewers’ attention drop after four seconds, so it’s important to get to the point.

Within the world of social media marketing, and especially within the world of Instagram, Instagram Stories is an important place for your business or brand to show up. Among all the social platforms, Instagram is where people engage the most.

If your business needs help with Social Media Marketing in McKinney, TX or anywhere in the Dallas area, please contact us at Information@LuceMedia.net.

Infographic About Instagram Stories

If your business needs help with social media marketing in McKinney, TX., please call us at (469) 907-1057.  Luce Media has deep expertise in Digital Marketing, B2B Marketing, Internet Marketing and is a well established Digital Media Consultant in McKinney, TX.

Sign on store door that says Come in We're Open

Costly Mistakes That Sabotage A Business’s Local Search Presence (And How To Fix Them)

More customers are actively searching for small businesses online than ever before. Google processes over 3.5 billion search queries per day, over half of which take place on mobile devices. That’s a lot of on-the-go mobile shoppers looking for nearby stores. But that traffic is worthless to businesses that fail to optimize their local search.

Social Media for Small Business OwnersImproving your business’ online visibility and placement in search results is one key to attracting more local shoppers to both your website and your small business location. That said, local competition can be fierce. Small businesses that want to connect with local consumers online can’t afford to make marketing mistakes that place them at a disadvantage.

Although there’s no perfect formula for dominating local search, there are certain mistakes that you must stop making to keep from sabotaging your own visibility. Today, we’ll examine the most common mistakes and what can be done to remedy them.

Writing Content For Search Engines, Not Local Customers

Done right, content marketing can be a powerful tool for local businesses. Publishing consistent content allows you to tell your brand story and educate consumers about products, news, and trends, all while establishing your small business as an industry leader.

Quality blog posts also help search engines learn more about your company, which can lead to increased credibility and higher rankings in search results. To be specific, Google loves E-A-T content — content enriched by the author’s expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. Local small businesses need to take it a step further and realize content is most effective when it has a bit of local flavor. A local perspective can infuse blog content with personality, make it more relevant to readers, and help the business build a stronger connection with local customers.

Sacrificing Backlink And Citation Quality For Quantity

Gone are the days when those scoring the most backlinks are guaranteed to come out on top. Backlinks are the number of other websites that have a link in them pointing to your small business website.  Sure, having lots of citations and backlinks pointing to the business’ website can still be great for SEO, but only if the sources are authoritative and credible.

Businesses that invest in high-quality link-building and submit listings to respectable local directories will see a boost in their online visibility. However, search engines do notice when a site receives most of its traffic from untrustworthy sources, which can result in lower search rankings.  Luce Media has a very cost-effective program to get your business on the top 50 online directories.  To check what your online visibility looks like, click here.

Instead of trying to get as many backlinks as possible, focus on earning high-quality citations from reputable sources. The citations themselves should offer up-to-date information, and the business’s name, address and phone number (NAP data) must be consistent across the web.

Here are a few suggestions for improving your web presence through backlinks and citations:

  • Submit small business listings to high-quality local directories
  • Contribute guest posts to authoritative websites
  • Sponsor a local charity event or Little League team
  • Include the website in social media bios for the business

Just remember: Quality is more important than quantity.

The online visibility of any small business is essential for getting found by consumers in this digital age and, if there is bad data, duplicate listings or no listing at all, then small businesses are losing customers. Luce Media has the tools and the technology to make sure your small business is highly visible online.  Online visibility is not a “one and done” process. A small business’s local presence must be monitored, maintained, and adapted based on algorithm changes on a consistent basis.  Contact us here at Luce Media to find out how we can help you improve your SEO and be found more often in Google searches. Luce Media helps companies in McKinney, Allen, Plano and Frisco with social media marketing.

Written by Bernadette Coleman and originally appeared in Advice Local’s blog.