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Instagram Marketing in 2019: Social Media Experts Share Top Tips

The word Instagram with the brands colors in McKinney

Instagram is the “it” social media platform for 2019 in McKinney

With plenty of creative possibilities, targeting opportunities, and personalization potential, the youth-friendly platform offers the power to connect with influential tastemakers, break through the competitive noise, and build active, engaged communities of customers.

And it might just offer brands the biggest bang for their content marketing buck. Though slightly in the shadow of big sister Facebook, Instagram boasts over 1 billion active monthly users globally. It’s eclipsed elder social statesmen like Twitter (335 million monthly users), LinkedIn (260 million monthly users), and Pinterest (250 million monthly users). Here are more Instagram Stats you may find interesting,

Given these advantages, the hunger for information and marketing on Instagram should be no surprise.

We’ve rounded up the best insights and advice we offer on the topic, making it easier for the Insta-uninitiated to find their footing, while giving expert tips and tricks for power users to level up their initiatives.

Determine your Instagram strategy

Instagram puts a visual spin on the micro conversations that turned “tweet” into a marketing verb years ago. With its unique photography filters, streaming video storytelling features, meme-friendly editing tools, and ease of use on mobile, it’s the perfect platform for capturing those authentic little moments that bring out the human side of your business.

But before building your brand’s profile and posting pretty pictures, give serious thought to how to position your Instagram activities so they contribute to your strategic marketing goals. (If you need some help, send us an email at information@lucemedia.net.

For example, if lead generation is a top marketing priority, be aware that Instagram doesn’t allow clickable links in post descriptions/captions or comments the way other social networks do. You’re allowed one hyperlink – in the bio on your profile page. You’ll need to optimize your bio content for lead-gen purposes and choose your link wisely.

Even though your linking options are limited, you can drive a flood of leads by including a relevant and enticing call to action on your bio page. There’s a prime example from Foundr Magazine:

Set up a verified business account

While anyone on your content team can set up a personal profile for your business on Instagram, it is easier to manage content activities with a verified business account. Once activated, these accounts can be managed by multiple authorized users and provide deeper insights on followers, performance analytics for posts, advertising tools, and additional post promotion options within the Instagram app.

One critical feature that business accounts don’t have is the native ability to schedule posts. Thankfully, third-party tools can let you keep your fans’ feeds full of conversations and activity day and night – even if one social media manager does all the posting.

Of course, no matter who (or what) publishes your content, there are guidelines to follow. For example, due to the limitations with Instagram’s API, scheduling tools can only publish images and videos formatted in an acceptable aspect ratio.

Check out Olga Rabo’s guide to the best Instagram scheduling tools, which includes a handy chart (below) on acceptable image specs.

Craft your creative with care

Looks count on Insta. Show off your most appealing brand imagery and supply descriptions that draw viewers more deeply into your brand experience. I mean, c’mon, who could possibly look at this post from NatGeo and not want to dive right into an undersea adventure?

Add a human touch

But your posts don’t need to be picture perfect all the time. In fact, Monina Wagner and Clare McDermott have outlined a few formats that don’t require professional photography skills. For example:

  • Livestreaming with Instagram stories: Film and share spontaneous, relatable moments as they unfold, which is perfect for capturing the excitement at a live event or an afternoon outing with your team. Archive your Stories so the posts can be reshared later, using Instagram’s Stories Highlights
  • Polling: Add a two-answer poll to your Instagram Stories. After tapping an answer, users see the results, which puts the focus on your audience’s thoughts and views. (Get more info on using this sticker feature below.)

Put your brand value on display

Even if your content team is photo-phobic, you have lots of creative options. For example, slick glamour shots may be hard to come by for B2B businesses, but SAAS company Salesforcefinds compelling ways to convey its message of value – as it does in this sponsored spot, which promotes a tip-driven e-book using its illustrated cover art:

And in this Instagram Stories campaign, Cheerios  eschewed imagery, choosing to share a series of personalized, text-based posts set against a simple, brand-appropriate colored background. The campaign is designed to trigger positive emotions that the brand’s fans can associate with its “good goes around” tagline.

Place the focus on your followers

No matter what content formats and design techniques you choose, Instagram works best when you understand and appeal to the interests of your target audience members– it’s their community sandbox, after all. Give them personal reasons to invite your brand in to play with them. Here are some ideas to accomplish this:

Fuel their creativity. Encourage your viewers to create user-generated content featuring your product or message.

Create a contest. Product giveaways are a natural fit for this platform. Don’t forget to use a hashtag that encapsulates your message or captures the viewers’ attention enough to make them want to participate and promote your offering.

  • Demonstrate how your products fit their lifestyle. Consumers like to get ideas and see what other products fit with yours, so keep your content as actionable as possible.

Make your messages stickier with interactivity

Another way to bring your followers into your storytelling is with Instagram’s interactive stickers through the app’s tool set. By adding these features to your updates, you can:

  • Create a live countdown for an upcoming brand event.
  • Add a poll or an emoji slider to gauge fan response to a relevant issue.
  • Enable viewers to select a song to play in the background of your post.
  • Give people a chance to ask something they’re dying to know about your business.

Distribute and conquer

Even if only a small percentage of Instagram’s billion monthly users regularly posts updates and stories, your brand’s efforts still need to cut through a lot of content clutter. Promoting your posts on Instagram is as important as it is anywhere else in your marketing mix.

Get discovered via hashtags

In his post on Instagram marketing, Robert Katai outlines the two types of hashtags you can use in your Instagram campaigns:

  • Branded hashtags feature your company name, making it easier for people aware of your company to discover your content and learn more about you.
  • Community hashtags are more organic to the conversations happening. They help users follow broader topics, specific areas of interest, or other unifying themes.

Put budget toward boosting performance

Paid promotions are another way to increase your brand’s reach and engagement on the platform. You can purchase promoted posts and display ads within Instagram’s regular content feed. In addition, you can promote your content by placing ads within Instagram Stories, which display your campaigns between image- and video-centric Stories that users click to view.

Enlist power players

Where would content marketing on Instagram be without recommendations from its legions of influencers – i.e., leading voices who have the trust and attention of your target audience?

Why does a takeover work better than a standard influencer collaboration? As Olga Rabo explains, the incentive for the influencer’s followers is different. They’re not urged to follow the brand but are encouraged by the influencer to see what he or she is doing on your brand’s account. The subtle promotion is more effective to increase reach and drive traffic from Instagram Stories to your site or special offer.

Stay out of social hot water

One final thought: While sharing is caring when it comes to re’gramming admired content and images, posting someone else’s creative property without securing permission is never cool – and in some cases it could put your business in legal jeopardy. If you want to mitigate your brand’s risk, you need an understanding of copyrights and the terms for fair use

This Article was Originally Posted at: https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2019/03/instagram-marketing-experts/?sm_x_cmir_edt_tsprtsnr_cmi_x_sclttw-blogtraffic

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24+ Instagram Statistics That Matter to Marketers in 2019

Instagram MarketingAre you using Instagram to connect with your audience?

And if not, should you?

Okay, that’s a loaded question.

Statistically speaking though, it makes business dollars and sense.

Scan these Instagram stats that show its breadth and depth worldwide. Then use them to shape your Instagram marketing strategy.

Instagram user statistics

Who’s using Instagram? So nice of you to ask.

Well, over an eighth of the 7.6 billion people on the planet (and counting). A look at some Instagram user statistics to keep close to your marketing cuff.

1. 1 billion people use Instagram

Of the social networks, only Facebook and YouTube have more people logging in. With 500 million of them using Instagram—every day. Want some of them to like your business? Click here to for some tips on how.

2. 80% of users are outside the U.S.

That’s a whole lot of global ad revenue for your products and services. With estimates of almost $7 billion in mobile ad revenue in 2018. Interested in doing business in India, Brazil, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia and Japan? Go for it. Tens of millions of active users for your global products.

3. 39% women, 30% men, for U.S. Instagrammers

Women more than men are using this photo sharing app. But the gap has decreased slightly the past couple years.

4. 59% of U.S. users are under 30

…between 18 and 29 years old. Conversely, 33 percent of Instagram users are between 30- and 49-years-old. Another thing, 70 percent of U.S. users have a post secondary education. Now go slice and dice your marketing campaign accordingly.

5. 72% of teens use Instagram, every day

Only second to Snapchat. Yet, 63 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds use Instagram daily, compared to 54 percent for Snapchat. Less users, more engagement on Instagram. All there for you to influence these young-uns with your t-shirts, bracelets, songs, videos, or whatever they like these days.

6. 95% of U.S. Instagrammers use Youtube

…followed by Facebook at 91 percent, and Snapchat at 60 percent. So what, you say? Tell a coherent story for your brand across these platforms. A nice bundle waiting to hear from you.

7. 35% of online adults use Instagram

…with 28 percent of them in the U.S. And they have money to buy your stuff. The right products for the right income earners. For those adult Instagram users:

  • 30% earn up to $30K/year
  • 42% earn $30K – $50K
  • 32% earn $50K – $75K
  • 42% earn $75K+

8. Quick view stats

Quite a few user stats so far, eh? Some more, consolidated. To keep things simple.

  • 34% of Instagram users are millennials
  • 22% of all Instagram users log in at least once a day
  • 38% of users check Instagram multiple times a day
  • 25% of smartphone owners use Instagram

Speaking of statistics… want to see what your business’ Online Visibility looks like? Click here to do Luce Media’s free online visibility test.

That’s some of the who’s, now on to some of the how’s

Instagram usage statistics

How are people using Instagram? Another great question.

Let’s learn some of the hows with these Instagram user statistics.

9. Under-25-year-olds use Instagram 32 minutes a day

Compared to 24 minutes per day for 25 and older. This is more than before. Why? Instagram stories. They make it easy to add a creative flair to any photo or video. You can do the same for your business.

10. Users ‘like’ 4.2 billion posts per day

…making Instagram the happiest place on the internet. And that was in 2016 when there were only 500 million Instagrammers. Is your brand feeling lonely? Get on the ‘like’ band-wagon to make new business friends.

11. 95 million posts per day

And that was in 2016. Surely, a (large) portion of that action is open to your products. What are you waiting for?

12. 400 million Stories a day

Up from 300 million in October 2017. Most brands (2 million of them) are telling their stories with Stories. Over 50 percent one month in 2017. With a third of the most viewed Stories created by businesses. It’s pretty obvious Stories work for brands unless you’re not telling any.

13. 80% increase, year-by-year, for videos

…while the number of videos created each day quadrupled from 2017. Yup, users love their video posts, right from the start. When they launched in 2013, 5 million videos were uploaded in the first 24 hours. Create and run a campaign to feed these video-carnivores.

15. Quick view stats

More quick mentions for how people are using Instagram:

  • 72% of users have bought a product they saw on Instagram
  • Facebook bought Instagram for $715 million
  • Users spend on average 53 minutes a day on the Android Instagram app

Instagram for business statistics

Why use Instagram for business? Because it’s already proven to be business-worthy. As noted by these Instagram business statistics. Whether for the global enterprise, or for your mom-and-pop business.

16. 71% of U.S. businesses use Instagram

…edging out Twitter, which has plateaued. But not Instagram. Things are still and will continue to heat up for this personal and business platform.

17. 25 million business profiles

And over 200 million users visiting at least one business profile every day. From clothing to concerts, lingerie to linguine. Including fashion brands, 96 percent of them are on Instagram. Got something to sell? Instagram has people to target.

18. 2 million monthly advertisers on Instagram

This is a great opportunity for businesses to connect with their audiences, whether on-the-go or in the moment.

19. 80% of users follow at least one business

They ain’t shy about following brands. Yet another stat proving Instagram means business.

20. 60% of users discover products on Instagram

More reason for B2C companies to get on the platform.

21. 75% of users take action

…like visiting a website after looking at a brand’s post. Got good looking products? Instagram is the place to show them off.

22. 70% more likely to buy via mobile

Over a third of Instagram users have used their mobile to purchase a product online– making them 70 percent more likely to do so than non-users.

23. Instagram has 2.2% interaction rate

…dwarfing the other networks, including Facebook with its 0.22 percent rate. Instagram is the engagement king.

24. 90% of the top 100 brands are on Instagram

How many more reasons do you need to hear, to engage on Instagram? Don’t answer that. Rhetorical question.

Other Instagram statistics

  • 50% of businesses on Instagram have produced a Story
  • 50% of Instagrammers follow brands, making them the social networkers who are most likely to do so.

If your business needs help with social media marketing in McKinney, TX. and Frisco, 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.

Please follow us on FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn to continue learning.

This information was originally posted here.

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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.

20 Creative Ways to Market Your Business on a Budget

High-quality marketing is expensive. However, it doesn’t have to be. Thanks to the Internet, the playing field has been significantly leveled for a small business, which now has access to the reach and influence formerly only reserved for the big brands. There are actually many low-cost methods for reaching out to your customers and spreading the word about your business. Here are 20 creative options to market your business online on a budget that you can try.20 Creative Ways to Market a Small Business On A Budget

#1 Run Contests

Contests are a fun and highly interactive way to get greater visibility for your small business. Some suggestions include caption contests and giveaways. Caption contests are good for a laugh and you can provide a small prize for the winners. Giveaways are great for growing your e-mail lists via the entry form. Polls are also helpful because they not only draw attention to your business and its plans but also provide you with valuable data.

#2 Write Guest Blog Posts

Pursuing guest post opportunities is an important way for a small business to grow your influence without spending any money. You may even get paid for your content. These posts benefit both parties because they give the host opportunities for new, unique content from different contributors and they benefit you by reaching a wider audience. Quality backlinks from these sites will also improve your search engine rankings, giving your business further exposure.

#3 Answer Questions on Forums or Answer Site

It costs nothing to offer advice or answer someone’s question. Doing so will establish you as a knowledgeable professional and help you gain the trust of clients. Sites like Quora and Reddit are full of people with questions. Answering a question also offers longevity. These questions and your answers remain up on the site, so anyone looking for a similar answer in the future is bound to stumble across it.

This is really a great way to market your business online on a budget. Why? Because this will show your expertise in your industry, you might become a thought leader if you’re consistent and this will help you generate leads.

#4 List Your Business on Online Directories and Review Sites

Customers use these directories when looking for a business, and so it is important to make sure your company is listed on them. Heavily trafficked sites to list your information on include Facebook, Google My Business, Yelp, Angie’s List and Apple Maps. These sites are free to list on, although you may need to meet some of their requirements first and prove your business is legitimate.  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.

#5 Join Industry Groups and Communities

Industry groups and communities are very helpful places for building your network, growing your authority and both giving and receiving advice. There are industry-specific groups present on sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google Communities on Google+. If you can establish yourself as a helpful contributor to these groups, your influence and reputation will grow. You never know what kinds of cool insider tricks you may learn as well.

#6 Leverage Pinterest

Pinterest, like many social media sites, is free to use and should not be underestimated as a significant marketing force. It is especially useful for sharing images of your products, displaying infographics and driving traffic to your site by linking to it from the image. Pinterest is a great channel to grow and what’s amazing about it is that marketers don’t use it that much yet. This is why Pinterest is a great way to grow your business online on a budget.

Visual media tends to attract the eyes of customers more often, so one of the largest image sharing sites on the Internet should not be overlooked. A staggering 87% of Pinterest users have purchased a product because they saw it or heard it recommended on Pinterest.

#7 A Small Business Should Heavily Use Referral Marketing

If you don’t have one already, you should work on forming a referral program within your company. This encourages your loyal customers to spread the word about your business and bring in more customers. According to Nielson, 84% of customers around the globe believe that friends and family are the most trustworthy sources of information about products.

Referral marketing is a cost-effective growth strategy that can bring you explosive growth. There are many referral marketing examples you could get inspired by.

#8 Actively Participate on Social Media

The interest of marketers has clearly been captured by social media. Facebook, for example, has 8 to 9 times higher click-through rates than regular web ads. Instagram is the fastest growing social platform out there today.  But posting occasionally is not enough. It is equally important for a small business to give regular updates so users are continuously being reminded of your presence and what you do.

I recommend any business of any sizes to have a large social media presence. Social media is inexpensive and is a great option to market your company if you’re on a shoestring budget. You should also get involved in the community, such as by participating in themed hashtag days, for example. You never know what other professionals and customers you might connect with.

#9 Give Out Free Stuff

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that people love free stuff. Some people love it so much that they frequent deal sites. For example, if you are selling a book, giving away free books on a major platform like GoodReads will increase exposure for both your book and your company. Giving away occasional freebies also gets your products into the hands of potential customers and may win you loyal fans.

Graphic Showing Marketing Strategy for a Small Business#10 Create Lists of Statistics

A post consisting of interesting statistics about your industry is a relatively easy way to drive traffic to your blog. People find statistics interesting and love to share them. You don’t even have to go out of your way to do this – it can come naturally from market research you have done or other high authority sources of information you came across while learning more about your industry.

#12 Interview Experts

Interviewing experts in your field is another way to increase your authority. You can interview them with set questions, such as over e-mail, and write up the interview in a blog post to share. The people you interview will also likely post your interview, which shares it with their followers and widens your reach. This is one of my favorite ways to market your business on a budget because by interviewing experts in your industry, not only you’ll leverage their community, you will also connect with them.

#13 Write How-To Guides and Ebooks

There are always people looking to get started in your industry, whether as an employee or an entrepreneur. Writing how-to guides and ebooks for this audience can be a significant source of income as well as grow your influence and establish you as a professional in your field. You might not have the time for this, so it might be worth looking into hiring a ghostwriter. Remote collaboration between content editors and ghostwriters is often highly successful.

#14 Leverage Your E-Mail Signature

In your e-mail signature should be your name, what you do, your contact information and links to your website. You can also include your company’s slogan and social media accounts. Make it colorful, eye-catching and interesting. This reminds or announces to anyone you contact this way that you exist, and thus serves as a good marketing tactic.

Your email signature is just one email marketing tactic. You’ve got a lot of email marketing strategies you can integrate into your campaigns. Plus, email marketing has a great ROI!

#15 Offer Limited-Time Discounts

You have probably noticed how often major companies have sales, which is at least a few times a year, if not more. They do this for a reason – it works. Customers are more likely to take a chance on a new product or service when it is on sale.

As a small business, you need to plan your sales carefully and space them evenly throughout the year. For example, discounts at specific times of the year, namely holidays, are popular. For online businesses, participation in Cyber Monday in November is practically a must.

#17 Ask for Testimonials and Reviews

For most people, testimonials and reviews weigh heavily into their decision-making process when choosing which company to do business with. The New York Times identified that, on average, 65% of a company’s new business comes from referrals. The best way to get referrals is to ask. Also, make sure to ask a customer’s permission before using their testimonial in your marketing or posting it to your sit

#18 A Small Business Can Offer Free Consultations

If you provide a service, whether you are a personal trainer or an attorney, offering free consultations is a great way to bring people in. They can then meet you and see if you can provide what they need. Use this opportunity to impress them so they will want to go forward with working with you.

#20 Comment on Other Blogs

You likely read many blogs to stay up to date on what is going on in your industry. Simply leave comments and start discussions about these posts. Doing so shows that you are actively engaged in the community and lets other users know that you are a professional.

So, how to market your business online on a budget?

Effective marketing is not just about the money. To be successful takes a lot of time and effort. Plus it helps to understand the latest digital marketing consultant - Luce Media McKinney TXopportunities that digital marketing and social media marketing have to offer.  At Luce Media, we encourage your small business to focus on what you do best and let us do for you what we do best.  Never stop looking for new and creative ways to reach your customers, and you will find a winning combination that works for you. Luce Media specializes in helping businesses on a budget grow. We use growth hacking, digital marketing, data, product development and a lot of creativity to do so. If you want to see your business reach new heights, give us a shout at Luce Media now and we’ll start growing together! We provide digital marketing and social media marketing in McKinney, Frisco, Plano, and Allen.

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Instagram to Launch Long Form Video

Instagram is reportedly just hours away from launching a new long-form video hub in a bid to take on YouTube.

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New editing tools expected to boost video upload limit from 60 seconds to an hour. At the moment, Instagram users can only upload videos that are a maximum of 60 seconds long, but the tech site says IGTV will increase that limit to up to 60 minutes.

The social network is aiming to attract internet celebrities, rather than media companies, with the new feature, The Verge reports. Instagram is also believed to be “courting individuals to start producing content”, the news site adds.

If the rumors are true, IGTV will pose a greater threat to YouTube than to video messaging app Snapchat, which features more content from “traditional outlets” such as MTV and Vice. Instagram has reportedly been in talks with content creators about making longer videos as it fights for younger audiences.

IGTV users will be able to link to existing posts and websites through the video feature, which could help social influencers drive traffic towards their online stores, says Engadget.

There may also be a financial incentive with a “monetization” option, the website adds. Some YouTubers make a living on that platform through advertising revenue. The image-sharing platform is well-placed to earn a lot of money from advertising if takes a leaf out of YouTube’s book.

If the new video features were to prove popular, Instagram might launch a dedicated IGTV app, according to TechCrunch.  This follows other recent changes by Instagram and owner Facebook.

IGTV is expected to be launched today during an Instagram press conference scheduled to take place at 9am PST.

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

Social Media Marketing for Small Business

Social Media Marketing for Small Business

Every small business needs customers. Without qualified customers, it would be hard for any type of business (big or small) to survive in the long run. What’s the best way to acquire customers? Social media marketing for small business.

While there are many reasons as to why you should use social media marketing for small business to enhance and grow your company, the most obvious being, it will help you win more customers. And help your company gain more prominence.

With the growing popularity of social networking, there is little doubt that your potential customers are using major social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And the best part is, many of these social media users (your prospects) visit these platforms every day.

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

Here are some stats to help you understand the importance of social media marketing for small business and why you need to take it seriously.

  • According to a survey conducted by eMarketer, 88% of businesses use social media.
  • 96% of the people who talk about your brand online aren’t following you on social media.
  • Customers spend 20% to 40% more on products/services by companies who engage with them on social media.

When you use social media marketing for small business you can easily reach out to your target audience and build a long-lasting relationship with them. This is a highly effective way to build a brand that people trust while getting more bang for your buck.

Also, when compared to traditional marketing techniques, with social media marketing for small business you have a higher chance of getting a positive return on investment. This is due to the fact that marketing via social media is much cheaper for a small business, especially one with a limited budget.

Being a small business owner, you should see social media as a robust tool that can help build strong awareness, increase the number of sales and build a real customer base. When you truly understand the potential of social media marketing for small business, you will see that the results that you achieve are far more better.

Social Media Marketing for Small Business: What Works

Let’s look into four relevant social media marketing for small business tips that will help your company gain an edge over the competition.

#1: Have a Clear Plan in Place

When it comes to social media marketing for small business, having a strong and a clear strategy is the first step towards finding success. There are many reasons why a business may fail to get results with social media marketing, but sometimes it is only because they did not know what they were doing.

Every action you take towards building your social media presence and marketing your brand should be carefully planned. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you run or who your target audience is, as long as you have a plan laid out, you will find it easier to overcome any challenges that you come across.

Here’s how you can create a solid social media marketing plan for small business plan.

A) Set The Right Social Media Goals

What do you want to achieve with social media? When using social media marketing for small business, it is important that you set goals and objectives that actually help you grow.

For instance, if you are marketing on Facebook, you should not only focus on getting more likes to your posts and your page but also try to boost the number of leads and sales you’re getting. Try to align your social media goals to your business goals.
Luce Media - Digital Agency & Social Media Marketing McKinney, Frisco, Plano, DallasWhen leveraging social media marketing for small business, it is easy to get stuck on vanity metrics rather than improving the bottom line of your business. But do understand that social media will only be beneficial to your small business if you’re ultimately getting more customers using it. Or else it’s simply a waste of your time, money, and energy.

B) Conduct a Proper Social Media Audit

In order to get the most out of social media marketing for small business, it is crucial that you know which of your customers and prospects are already connected to you on the major social media platforms, and how they perceive your brand. It gives you a better idea of your position in the social media arena.

By conducting a proper social media audit, you basically understand your current social media following and also learn which platform is mostly used by your customers so that you can tap into it.

A social media audit also gives you knowledge of the areas that you need to improve on. And a better perspective on how your competitors are building their social media presence. Remember, the more you know about your customers and your competition, the easier it will be for you to win the social media game. Which in turn helps your business survive and grow.

A list showing a Social Media Audit Checklist
C) Build Up Your Social Media Presence

If you don’t already have social media accounts for your company, it is time you create them. However, it is extremely important that you only work with social media networks that will directly help your type of business to grow. In other words, the social media network that you dedicate your time to should suit the goals of your small business.

Once you are through this step, you will need to build your social media presence on the network of your choice. This does not mean that you post any random type of content on your social pages. Every single step that you take to enhance your presence should match your big and small business goals.

Graphic showing icons from all social media platforms on top on people's shoulders
Your social media activities should also be in line with the likes and dislikes of your target audience. Regardless of what you want you to achieve with your social media marketing activities, make sure that each of your accounts reflects your objectives and your core brand values.

D) Get Inspired by Other Brands

When you are doing social media marketing for small business, it is easy to get confused and misunderstand what your audience is looking for. This can lead you to create content that does not go well with your overall business goals. Which is why you need to spend time looking and analyzing the type of content other businesses are posting to their social media accounts.

These companies can be your direct competitors or may even compliment your business. The idea is to get a clear understanding of the type of content that is working for them. Look for patterns and see what’s fetching them the most social response.

You can also leverage social listening to find insights about your prospects and what they want to see from you. This not only ensures that you create appropriate content on a regular basis, but it also helps you stand out from the crowd.

When seeking inspiration, it is not necessary that you only stick to analyzing other small businesses using social media marketing. You can also go beyond and actually learn from industry leaders and bigger brands such as Starbucks, Oreo, Netflix, Apple, etc. It allows you to grab some real social media soci lessons firsthand.

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Remember, these big companies have huge budgets that they allocate for social media and a lot of what they do is backed by real research and understanding. When you grasp their way of doing things and see how they are implementing their social media tactics, it gives a real inspiration to formulate your own strategy.

E) Create a Social Media Calendar

Creating quality social media content is not enough. You also need to make sure that it reaches your followers on a consistent basis. An effective way to share the right kind of content is to use a social media calendar. Without complicating things, a social media calendar is nothing but a detailed schedule of the type of content you will be posting to each of your social media accounts. It gives you the much-needed clarity to post social media updates that matter.

Suggested social media marketing posting schedule Monday through Friday
There are multiple ways to create your social media calendar. You can either choose to go the simple way by using a spreadsheet or calendar in your Google Drive, or use a more robust approach by using a paid tool.

It doesn’t matter what tool you use to create your calendar, what actually matters is how detailed it is and how you will be executing it. Because ultimately your precise execution plays a major role in making your efforts successful.

Having a clear social media calendar allows you to stay accountable, be consistent, save a ton of time, get more productive, and achieve peace of mind – all of which contributes to building a results-oriented social media marketing approach.

#2: Choose the Right Platform

One of the things that can impact your social media marketing for small business results is the choice of your platform. In order to get the most out of social media marketing for small business and make your brand stand out from the rest, it is crucial that you choose a platform that is suitable to your business goals. If not, you may end up spending your time and money on a social network that will most likely not give you a favorable return on investment.

Do not make the mistake of selecting a social media platform based on a wild estimate or on what others are doing. It is important that you take into consideration your target audience, their preferences, and other demographics before starting to work with a platform.

Let’s look into three of the major social platforms, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn and what makes them different.

Platform 1: Facebook

One of the reasons why Facebook is an attractive option for social media marketing for small business marketers is because it has over two billion monthly active users, which makes it huge market to tap into that a small business may not otherwise be able to reach.

Graphic showing significant rise in Facebook Monthly Active Users

The kind of reach you can experience with Facebook cannot be found with any other social media website. Which is why having a strong presence on Facebook, can help your small business go to the next level.

Another important thing to consider is the fact that these days a lot of people are searching for products and services directly on Facebook. That’s right, gone are the days when Google was the only search engine on the Internet.

Today, Facebook has given people a new option to search and find what they are looking for.

Here are some key Facebook demographics for you to consider:

  • Facebook users largely fall into the 25 to 34 age bracket.
  • When it comes to genders, 47% of Facebook users are male and 53% of them or female.
  • Talking about senior online users, 56% of baby boomers (65+ in age) are found on Facebook.

Facebook has become a center for businesses and brands to connect with their target audience. It is THE social platform that gives you access to a large number of eyeballs even with a limited budget.

This is exactly why the advertising system that has been created by Facebook is one of the most efficient ones out there.  The level of targeting that you can achieve with Facebook ads can help small businesses like yours get the best return on their investment.

Having a strong presence on Facebook is as important as having your own website. It gives you an edge over other small businesses in your niche that do not use Facebook to do market the business and build new relationships.

The best part about Facebook is that it helps you connect with a large number of relevant people at a fraction of a cost. These can be your potential customers that you may not have reached without Facebook.

Facebook also has live streaming features that allow you to reach out to your audience in real time. This is a great way to grow and nurture new relationships and improve the level of trust people have in your brand.
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Last but not least, Facebook also allows you to integrate your e-commerce business and helps you increase the number of sales in the long run. Obviously, this depends on how efficiently you leverage Facebook and the kind of effort and money you put into making your brand’s presence felt.

Platform 2: Instagram

If you are active on social media in any way then you should know about the popularity of Instagram. Instagram is a photo-sharing app and a social network that is owned by none other than Facebook.

When you see Instagram’s overall mission and how its parent company Facebook wants to position it in the market, you will be able to understand the true potential that the social network offers. It is much more than a photo sharing app. Which means as a small business, you should be able to find your target audience on it and also connect with them visually like never before.

Every Instagram user knows that being an Instagrammer is all about sharing and spreading attractive visuals in the form of images, videos, and stories. And they’re doing their part. Which is bringing in more users day in and day out, and increasing the level of engagement?

Slowly and steadily Instagram is becoming one of the most important places on the Internet to connect with other people by sharing visual content that actually matters to them. More and more brands and small businesses have started to use Instagram creatively to not only spread awareness but to also generate sales.

Graph showing how many Instagram users versus Snapchat users
Here are some key Instagram demographics:

  • Gender wise, Instagram has more males than females. About 51% of Instagram users are male and 49% of them are female.
  • The US. is a popular market for Instagram as 55% of Its users fall into the age bracket of 18 to 29 years. This means Instagram is being dominated by millennials.
  • After the millennials, the users who have the most share on Instagram come in the 30 to 50 years age bracket,  making up to 28% of the overall user base.

Instagram will work amazingly for your business if you have the right visuals to share. For example, if you are an e-commerce website catering to a female audience, then Instagram is a great place to share pictures of your physical products and engage with your potential customers.

Picture showing great example of Instagram post
What makes Instagram different from the rest of the social networks is that it allows you to showcase and present your products the way your prospects actually want to see. People want to connect to a product on a visual level before investing in it. By creating and posting relevant visuals, you will be able to tell a story that your target audience can experience in a unique, memorable manner. What could be more appealing than that?

You can also leverage Instagram’s unique stories feature and take people behind the scenes. Show them what they would not normally see. For instance, you could give them an office tour or show them how your team works in the background. This is a perfect way to document your business’s journey and share it with your photos to grow your brand.

Luce Media - Digital Agency & Social Media Marketing McKinney, Frisco, Plano, Dallas
Instagram allows you to communicate with your audience in more than one away. You can even go a step further and communicate with your followers on a much deeper level by leveraging the power of direct messaging. This way you can connect to your audience in a more personal manner. Which can obviously have a positive effect on your business and how people perceive your brand.

Platform 3: LinkedIn

LinkedIn is where the web’s professionals hang out. It is a social network that lets professionals of all levels connect with each other and create more opportunities along the way. Some people see it as an official version of Facebook, with the exact tools you need to grow your brand’s reach.

There is absolutely no doubt that LinkedIn gives you access to users that you may not be able to identify on other big social networks like Facebook and Twitter. It is where business happens. No wonder Microsoft spent more than 25 million dollars to acquire it in 2016.
Infographic showing growth of LinkedIn and how successful it is at social media marketing

Some more demographics to help you get a better picture:

  • About 56% of LinkedIn users are male and 44% of them are female.
  • 25% of regular users on LinkedIn fall into the 18 to 29 age group.
  • More than 60% of LinkedIn users come in the 30 to 65 years age bracket.

 

LinkedIn offers some of the most relevant and user-friendly features for a small business to take advantage of.

First and foremost, LinkedIn has a community of professionals that love to engage with other professionals and brands. They have a keen business sense and understanding of how to connect and work with others.

It’s a social media platform that offers you a professional type of setting to build connections with other businesses that are also active socially. Which means as a small business it’s easy for you to become a thought leader by leveraging the power of the LinkedIn community.

You can use LinkedIn to increase your brand awareness and get more people to show interest in your business by creating a dedicated company page.

Even when you are looking to hire someone for your small business, LinkedIn allows you to create and post targeted job vacancies that can be found by the right candidate.

Yes, the LinkedIn advertising platform is a little expensive than that of Facebook, but it can be worth it, especially if you are in the B2B sector.

Use the above information to analyze and find out what social media network would work best to help you grow your small business. If needed, you may have to spread out your efforts over multiple social media sites. One or many — your decision should depend on your business goals.

#3: Work with Buyer Personas

Your social media marketing for small business “adventure” will be short-lived and outpaced by your competitors if you fail to understand your target audience. You need to know your audience like the back of your hand to get a better picture of their pain points and also of what excites them. You need to know their goals and objectives.

How well you know your audience can be clearly seen in the social media content you create. If the content doesn’t offer value to your audience and doesn’t help them in a worthy manner, then they will avoid reading it. Which will obviously affect the number of social shares and followers you get in the future.

Luce Media - Digital Agency & Social Media Marketing McKinney, Frisco, Plano, Dallas
When you understand your potential customer and what they are looking for, it becomes easy to connect with them on a higher level. Your business will be able to generate more numbers and add to the bottom line with each customer you connect with.

If you look around, you’ll find that more than half of the businesses haven’t worked on creating a buyer persona, which is the first and the most basic step to knowing and serving your audience. The more you know about your customers typical day and the hurdles they face, the easier it will be for you to live up to your promises and give them worthwhile solutions to their problems.

Step 1: Research Your Audience

To know your audience, you need to do some research about them. This allows you to create a realistic and precise persona. This leads you to learn about the important details of your customers that you wouldn’t have found otherwise.

Begin by understanding your current customers and how you interact with them. Learn about their habits and how they interact with your brand. Do you have some customers who are a big fan of your products? Do some of them buy from you again and again? What traits make them different or similar to others?

Asking yourself the right questions can help you discover the common points between some of your most valuable customers. Based on this information, you would be able to create a strong persona that helps you connect with potential customers on social media.

When you’re using social media, you also have a unique opportunity to connect to customers that have complained about your product/service on Facebook or Twitter. These customers with a bad experience can offer you a lot of unique advice on where you’re going wrong and how you can improve.

Step 2: Develop Separate Personas

Once you have the minute details that you find common between the best customers, it’s time to organize them into different personas, which helps you target with more precision when using social media marketing for small business.

You can easily do this by creating a list of customers within your audience that share the same kind of goals and face similar challenges. Create separate groups out of these customers and categorize them. Each category you add is nothing but a unique persona that you will be leveraging later on.

Luce Media - Digital Agency & Social Media Marketing McKinney, Frisco, Plano, Dallas
For instance, if you are a yoga teacher, some of your students may want to do yoga to perfect their posture while others may aim to do it for building muscle strength. While both of these customers want to do yoga, but for different reasons or goals. Which is why it makes sense to create two different personas for them.

Step 3: Name Your Personas & Add Details

When you give a name to your buyer persona, you’re achieving two important things: first, it will be easier to connect with your buyers when you feel that you are actually interacting with a real person. Secondly, it can help you create far better content that is personalized or customized to the right set of audience.

Image of woman and building social media personasBusinesses that take buyer personas seriously make sure that they focus on the details. So if you can, add a picture to each of your buyer personas to make them easier to connect to. The more realistic, the better.

#4: Don’t Ignore the Power of Promoting Via Social Media

Many small businesses think that social media is only about building a brand and growing awareness. But did you know that by not leveraging social networks for promoting your products you’re actually leaving money on the table? That’s right. Social media is huge and when used the right way, it can bring in a ton of sales to your business.

Now, if you’re thinking that promoting via social media is just about sending out a tweet or sharing a photo on Instagram, then you’re wrong. You need a targeted strategy to make sure you reap the best results from your efforts.

You have to cater to your social media followers by balancing valuable content with promotional content. In other words, most of your social media activity should be non-promotional to build trust and add value to your follower’s lives. A small percentage (say 20 percent) should be focused on actually increasing your sales numbers. For every 8 engaging and informative tweets, share 2 promotional tweets that help you increase your customer base.
Picture of red hammock that is for sale on Instagram

You should also leverage the right type of content for promotion based on the social network you’re working on. Each social media site is different in terms of the content its users share. You have to fit in and create content that goes with the overall theme of the network. If you need more advice on how to implement a strategy for social media marketing for small businesses – that’s our specialty! Check out our social media management services and then schedule a time to talk about how you can leverage all the potential customers out there waiting to see your brand!

This information was originally posted at https://www.lyfemarketing.com/blog/social-media-marketing-for-small-business/

 

Two women working with a laptop that has the words Social Media on the screen

How Small Businesses Are Using Social Media Marketing in McKinney

A survey of small business owners reveals that businesses budget modestly for social media marketing in McKinney and elsewhere around North Texas – which may be a mistake, according to industry experts.

Most small-to-midsize businesses in the United States are now using social media for marketing purposes, according to a recent survey by Clutch, a B2B research firm. Social media, website marketing, and email marketing were key areas of investment.

Some 71% of respondents say their firm uses social media, and 16% say their firm is planning to in the future.

Graphic showing Which Social Media Channels Do Small Businesses Use When Doing Social Media Marketing in McKinneyFacebook is the social platform SMBs use most (86% use it). Instagram is second (48%), followed by YouTube (46%), Twitter (44%), LinkedIn (31%), and Snapchat (25%).

Just over half (52%) of SMBs that use social media marketing post at least once a day.

Many small businesses may not budget much for digital marketing because they have so few employees and limited resources to invest. More than half (57%) of businesses surveyed reported annual revenue of less than $1 million.

In addition, in-house digital marketing teams may not be “teams” at all: 30% (the largest group) of small businesses only have one employee working on digital marketing. This finding suggests that in-house digital marketers may lack the time and resources they need to market efficiently.  This is one of the most important reasons if you are doing social media marketing in McKinney or elsewhere in North Texas, Luce Media is able to improve on what you are currently doing.  We have programs and plans to fit virtually any small business marketing budget.

The adage “you must spend money to make money” is true for digital marketing.

Although the concept is familiar to most small business owners, many still struggle to choose the best marketing methods or to afford marketing at all.

OTHER FINDINGS FROM STUDY

  • The majority of small businesses use both social media (62%) and a website (61%) to market themselves.
  • The majority of small businesses (80%) do not invest in content marketing, and experts warn that they are missing a key marketing opportunity.
  • Websites (54%), social media (51%), and email marketing (36%) are the top three digital marketing channels that small businesses will invest in during 2018.

Over half (54%) of small businesses surveyed will improve their websites and engage consumers through social media, while 36% will direct more resources to email marketing in 2018.

Content Marketing Lags, Despite Cost-Effective Results

Fewer than 1 in 4 small businesses plan to invest in content marketing in 2018, but experts caution that failing to perform content marketing is a mistake for small businesses.

Creating content–such as blog posts, whitepapers, and videos—is a highly cost-effective way to build brand loyalty and boost a business’ ranking in search results.

Keith Gutierrez, vice president of marketing at Modgility(link is external), reminds small businesses that in developing a content marketing strategy, quality is more important than quantity.

“[Content] just needs to be great, quality stuff you can’t find anywhere else,” says Gutierrez.

Small businesses already have what they need to start creating content: they should consider their unique advice and data, then package that information into useful content.

Virtual/Augmented Reality Marketing Sees an Investment Bump

In an effort to keep up with new technology, some companies (12%) will increase their investment in augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) marketing.  AR/VR marketing is especially effective for products that benefit from in-person tours, like real estate and travel booking.

Clutch’s 2018 Small Business Social Media Survey included 351 small business owners or managers from across the U.S. with fewer than 500 employees.

To read the full report and source the survey data, visit: https://clutch.co/agencies/digital/resources/small-business-digital-marketing-survey-2018.

To get more information on Social Media Marketing in McKinney and other communities in DFW, please call  (469) 907-1057 or send us a note at our website.  To find out how we can teach you and your employees to deliver on social media marketing, read more here.

 

FB-Insta

Significant Changes to Instagram and Facebook

Facebook  is entering a tough transition period where it won’t take chances around data privacy in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica fiasco. That’s why it’s moving up the shut down of part of the Instagram API. It’s significantly limiting data available from or requiring approval for access to Facebook’s Events, Groups, and Pages APIs plus Facebook Login. Facebook is also shutting down search by email or username and changing its account recovery system after discovering malicious actors were using these to scrape people’s data. “Given the scale and sophistication of the activity we’ve seen, we believe most people on Facebook could have had their public profile scraped in this way” Facebook’s CTO Mike Schroepfer writes.

Logo for the Instagram appInstagram  will immediately shut down part of its old platform API that was scheduled for deprecation on July 31st. Instagram refused to comment, leading to developer frustration as their apps that analyze people’s followers and help them grow their audiences stopped working. This means if you are using a third-party product, app or connection to post to your Instagram – there is a good chance it no longer works as of today. Several social media sites report hundreds of posts about people’s Instagram accounts not loading today. Here are some details released by Instagram today.

Instagram makes changes effective immediately that will impact users.

The APIs for follower lists, relationships, and commenting on public content will cease to function immediately. The December 11th, 2018 deprecation of public content reading APIs and the 2020 deprecation of basic profile info APIs will happen as scheduled, but it’s implemented rate limit reductions on them now.

There are changes at Facebook as well.  Chief among them is the function that allows Search by phone number or email will no longer work, as Facebook says it discovered malicious actors were using them to pair one piece of information with someone’s identity. Of all the changes, this may be the most damaging to the user experience.

There is a lot more information on the overall impact on users in the next 24 hours.  Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest information.

For a detailed (very technical) description of what happened today go to TechCrunch.

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Social Media Marketing for Small Business – The Lucé Media Academy