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How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms For Your Business

How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms For Your Business 900 600 Amy Judge

We’re in a social media revolution, and there’s no telling what the future will bring.

Think back to 2006, when both Facebook and Twitter were launched: over the past 11 years, they’ve had a phenomenal and unexpected impact on marketing and commerce. New platforms are introduced every year: some will evolve into “the next Instagram” and others will fail to take off.

You know a strong presence in social media is essential today, but the sheer quantity of platforms is so overwhelming that paralysis sometimes sets in.

Here’s some good news: experts agree that the best strategy is to pick two or three platforms and devote your digital strategy to mastering them and attaining a strong presence. It’s not realistic to achieve mastery of multiple platforms–the bandwidth and resources requires are too great. The prevailing wisdom is to craft a social media presence that’s deep and thorough on the few platforms which are best suited to your needs, rather than to generate a shallow and ineffective presence on many.

So how do you choose the right platforms for your business? Consider the strengths and weaknesses of each platform: B2B vs. B2C, highly visual vs. service oriented, brief vs. in-depth.

Also, consider your goals. Forbes.com offers these top ten benefits of social media marketing: http://bit.ly/2wgqGUX

  1. Increased brand recognition
  2. Improved brand loyalty
  3. More opportunities to convert
  4. Higher conversion rates
  5. Higher brand authority
  6. Increased inbound traffic
  7. Decreased marketing costs
  8. Better search engine rankings
  9. Richer customer experiences
  10. Improved customer insights

While all of those goals are worthy, you’ve got to prioritize. A younger company in a competitive field may prioritize increased search engine rankings, whereas a high-touch business like a restaurant or tour company may consider richer customer experiences or improved customer insights more important.

Where will you get the most traffic? It’s tempting to pursue the platforms with the highest numbers. According to Wikipedia, as of April 2017 these were the top five, based on active use accounts:

  1. Facebook: 1,968,000,000 users
  2. WhatsApp: 1,200,000,000 users
  3. YouTube: 1,000,000,000 users
  4. Facebook Messenger: 1,000,000,000 users
  5. WeChat: 889,000,000 users

However, what’s more important than total users is demographics. Where are your customers hanging out? Research the demographics of the platforms you’re considering. Only 9% of Facebook users are between 18-24, so that’s not the platform for you if your audience is young. Snapchat, however, is a perfect target for young consumers: 60% of users are under 24 and 100 million users consume 30 minutes of content daily. LinkedIn is an excellent platform if you’re offering B2B products or services: with its business-focused membership, sharing content here is a great way to establish credibility.

Because the best platform depends so much on what type of business you’re in, your customers, and your marketing goals, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. It pays to research the characteristics of various platforms, and study what the competition is doing. Search online for inspiration in “social media success-story” articles and case studies.

If you need some help with social media, contact us to schedule a marketing strategy session with one of our team members, which will include our insights into social media and guidance so you can master that side of your promotions. In the meantime, check out this handy Social Media Cheat Sheet to help you pick the best platform for your business.

5 Tips to Tracking And Measuring Your Marketing Efforts

5 Tips to Tracking And Measuring Your Marketing Efforts 900 601 WildFigAdmin

Tracking and measuring your marketing efforts is imperative to optimizing the success of your business. It ensures that your process is effective. It also allows you to quantifiably follow your business success from your mission statement through your core objectives and your marketing strategies to your bottom line. Then, if necessary, you can make the appropriate adjustments in your marketing strategies to maximize your results.

The thought of tracking and measuring your marketing can be overwhelming at first. Let’s simplify things by taking a look at 5 important tips to consider when embarking on this process…

1. Determine Your Key Performance Indicators or KPI’s
You must first determine which KPI’s best support your business goals. Choose actionable KPI’s and track them on a regular basis. For some metrics tracking them frequently is crucial – perhaps weekly or monthly. Some, however, can be tracked on a quarterly or bi-annual basis. Keep in mind, however, that actionable metrics are continually evolving and as such, can be frequently adjusted to better align with your marketing goals. Some KPI’s to consider include online conversion metrics (how well does your online audience convert into paying customers?), brand awareness metrics (how are people hearing about your brand?) and customer retention (are customers sticking with your brand or dropping off at a certain point?).

2. Enact Closed Loop Marketing
Whereas businesses often assess the success of their marketing efforts largely based on response rate analysis (click rates, requests for more information, etc.) closed loop marketing is a process in which a business tracks their customer from initial contact to the final sale. This wide angle approach gives your business a much better indication of which marketing efforts are working and which ones aren’t. How long does your customer stay with you? When does s/he drop off? How does your customer’s behavior affect your bottom line?

3. Utilize Report Generating Software
One of many great options is Google Analytics. It allows you to automate your data collection and provides you with a data snapshot at any given point in time. In addition, many social media and email marketing platforms have built-in reporting tools that are simple to use and easy to understand. These are invaluable to you as a business owner as they allow you to evaluate your marketing efforts continually and make necessary adjustments while freeing you up from the laborious process of manual data collection and organization. Best of all? Many of these tools are completely free!

4. Be Teachable and Take Initiative
What are other successful businesses in your in your field doing to track their marketing efforts? Talk to and learn from them. “To gain knowledge we must learn to ask the right questions; and to get answers, we must act, not wait for the answers to occur to us.” Anatol Rapoport

5. Consider Hiring a Data Analyst
Perhaps you see the importance of all this tracking and measuring yet feel swamped with other business priorities and tasks. Hiring a data analyst provides valuable insight and takes a load off your mind as a business owner. A data analyst can drill down into your marketing efforts and answer key questions about what is and what isn’t working, which demographic (age, gender…) responds where (social media, email, blog…) and to what product or service if your business offers multiple. They can also help quantify your ROI, or return on investment, for each marketing campaign.

There are great people, processes and software in place to assist with the sometimes daunting process of tracking and measuring your marketing efforts but if the thought of mapping out our marketing measurement efforts overwhelms you then contact us to set up a strategy session with one of our experienced team members who will help you outline a plan that will help support and track your marketing and business goals!

Don’t Overlook the Power of the Hashtag #

Don’t Overlook the Power of the Hashtag # 900 600 Amy Judge

Hashtags. Introduced in 2007 by an unassuming Twitter user and initially reserved for social media platforms hashtags are now prevalent even in colloquial speech. #crazyright. Most of us have a general idea of what they are but how many of us know how to leverage them appropriately to drive the content marketing reach of our business?

With numerous social media platforms and hundreds of millions of new posts per day the quantity of social media content and the rate at which it is growing is virtually incomprehensible. For example, Twitter grows by 500 million tweets per day and Instagram grows by 60 million posts per day. This does not include Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Google+ and the like. So how does a consumer find specific content related to their particular subject of interest? Or how does a business reach a potential client with pertinent marketing? Think of hashtags like keywords that link related content. Hashtags provide a pathway through which to help a consumer categorize and sort content, similar to the now-antiquated library card catalog. For your business this means that hashtags provide the ability to drive a tremendous amount of organic traffic to your content with a miniscule amount effort – #brilliant.

Alright. We’ve established the value of leveraging the almighty hashtag to optimize your content marketing reach. Now let’s take a look at 5 practical tips for incorporating them into your social media marketing:

  • Create a custom hashtag for your business to help create brand awareness and drive social engagement within your follower database. Think both catchy and relevant. Just make sure that your custom hashtag isn’t already widely-used for an unrelated topic!
  • Implement your custom hashtag as well as other relevant hashtags to promote events or campaigns within your business. Hashtags are an incredibly efficient vehicle through which to generate interest and engage an on point audience with your marketing endeavors.
  • Educate yourself on which hashtags are currently trending and ride those waves. Hashtagify.me is one resource that will keep you up to date on trending hashtags. Incorporating trending hashtags will maximize your brand’s visibility.
  • Research each of your preferred social media platforms with regard to hashtag rules, etiquette and statistics. It’s important to recognize for example that Twitter only accommodates 140 characters and 2 hashtags per tweet and incorporating 1-2 hashtags per tweet generates 2X more engagement with that post. Conversely, Facebook doesn’t limit the number of hashtags a user is allowed and their character limit on status updates is a whopping 63,206!
  • Test out hashtags. See what generates engagement from an on point audience and what doesn’t. Then make necessary adjustments to ensure optimal impact.

Don’t overlook this effective little symbol.

Hashtags are a powerful tool in your marketing tool box. Careful research and implementation of hashtags on the social media marketing front will undoubtedly drive the content marketing reach of your business and propel you towards achieving your goals. Contact us for ways we can help generate strategic, engaging content to capture more leads while letting you focus on what you do best. To learn more, schedule a complimentary, 15-minute exploratory call with our team: calendly.com/wildfig/15min.

Is Automation Right For You?

Is Automation Right For You? 900 600 Kevin Switala

The answer is yes. We haven’t worked with, or heard of, a single company that couldn’t profit from automation. In fact, the return on investment (ROI) for automating processes typically falls between very attractive and no brainer! But it’s not just for financial reasons that we automate. Here are some of the benefits of automation:

  • Increased efficiency and minimized risk
  • Increased client retention and strengthened client relationships
  • Increased credibility and a preservation of your reputation
  • A guarantee that processes are followed
  • The ability to track and measure what’s working
  • Saved time so you can spend time doing what you love!

Automation Wears Many Different Hats

A lot of times in the digital marketing space, we automate our campaigns, funnels, and marketing processes but we forget about other automation. The more we leverage our automation platform, the more value it brings to us. Think about these examples:

Sales Automation

  • How many times do your sales people (or you) miss an opportunity due to missed follow-up?
  • What if you could send a text message to provide basic info for a critical sales call?
  • What if you could automatically send appointment reminders to clients AND salespeople?
  • Do your potential clients get the right information at the right time during the sales process?
  • How much time do you spend writing down the same to-do’s from prospect meetings?

Lead Scoring

  • What if you could perform action based on how interested or active a lead or prospect is?
  • How about if you were alerted to the top 10 readers of your content?
  • What if you could automate follow-up for those that are opening emails and clicking on links frequently?

Digital Marketing Automation (oops, did I slip that in the list?)

  • Provide monthly email newsletters to your clients to stay top of mind and promote sales!
  • How about a text your name/email to this number for a chance to win at your next sponsored event?
  • Need a call-to-action landing page to grow an audience for a future webinar?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice to automatically provide timely information to prospective clients on their sales journey?
  • Want to keep your client list clean by monitoring email open rate and client involvement?

Internal Automation

  • What if you could automate on-boarding new clients with the first email after conversion – forms, signatures, filing?
  • How about a basic payroll prep automation – collect hours and pre-approve for your payroll company?
  • What if you don’t have an HR department? Do you have processes for time off requests, W4 updates, 1099 or subcontractor agreement  updates, online training programs/sign-off?

Payment Automation

  • What if you could process monthly subscription payments and invoices automatically?
  • How about avoiding transaction failures by building a credit card expiration reminder email sequence?
  • Wouldn’t you love to automate the sale of product and provide single point fulfillment orders for processing and delivery?

Date Driven Automation

What if you could deliver time sensitive communication throughout the delivery engagement? We have brides that need caterers and seating charts, we have chiropractors that need to prepare patients for months to come, we have educators that need to provide timely curriculum and materials to match class time, we have automotive needs that were too expensive earlier in the year but have become critical maintenance items.

Automation 101

A couple of notes about when to automate…

Is the Practice Repeatable? – In order to automate a practice, we need to have a set of well-defined steps that are followed each time we perform the function. If the process is different every time, it will be hard to automate and our success rate will fall.

Can it be Documented? – We need to be able to document the process we want to automate. Sometimes there are too many variables or too much human intervention – for these situations, document and automate the main process and account for human intervention with delayed steps and/or task management.

The Over-Automation Mistake – If the process you automating is a one-time, 2 hour process and it takes 4 hours to build automation, then maybe it’s not a good fit for automation.

Don’t stop now!

There are many ways to automate the things we do every day. The more you can automate, the more time you get back for doing the things you really want to do!! If you’re ready to take that next step to find out how automating your business can help you save time, increase leads and deepen your client relationships, then schedule your call to explore how we can help you breakthrough to the next level in your business and give you back more time to do what you love!