Social Media Strategy Advice From Kelly Bolton and Entrepreneur Magazine
In today’s technological world, it seems that social media dominates everything. This can make it difficult for a company to stand out. Big companies as well as smaller companies and entrepreneurs will be all over social media, trying to gain the attention of customers. All of this can make it harder for the less social media-adept companies to get a foothold among their competitors.
Related: Social Media Marketing
All of these companies want to get in on the social media craze and use it to their advantage, to advertise and market themselves to all the users out there. But there are so many different social media channels out there, and so many different ways to market on social media. What can a company do to make themselves stand out among the crowd of other companies on social media? What strategies are there they could use?
Twitter is a very popular social media channel. It’s a great way to build a following and keep in contact with your customers. However, it can be tricky as it limits your posts to 140 characters, and it’s fast-paced. It’s demanding in that it requires constant communication with your followers. If you can handle that, one way to stand out on Twitter is to send a thank you any time your company gets mentioned. Try to respond to questions the same day, or within the hour if possible. Add symbols and emoticons for a fun twist to your posts as a way to cultivate interest in your posts while also making them shorter and easier to read.
Related: 4 Keys to Marketing on Twitter
Facebook recently changed up their algorithms, so brands are getting less exposure. This makes it more important for them to stand out. One way for this is make short and simple posts. Longer posts tend to not perform as well. Also, asking questions rather than making statements tends to increase interaction.
Pinning posts is also a good tactic, especially for drawing attention to current specials or important information. Experiment with Facebook ads, too.
Use images when you can. It doesn’t matter what it is — a photo of a favorite celebrity, a pretty landscape, a cute animal, a colorful infographic or a fun GIF. A photo or animation will catch the eye and more than likely make them stop browsing long enough to look. It will also help with your SEO optimization. Videos also work well for this.
Content is king. Remember that. Once your image has caught their eye, the viewer will be looking for the content behind the photo. What they read will determine if they click through. So provide content that will make them want to click. Be sure to keep your target audience in mind when creating your content. What will catch their attention? What are they looking for from you? What answers can you provide to their questions?
- Build a community.
Don’t just look for followers. Build a community with them. Put some personality and humor into your brand with your posts. You want to be “social”, after all. That means you need to entertain your followers once in a while. And remember to converse directly with your followers. Interact with them. Like and respond to their posts. Retweet them. And ask them to interact directly with your posts.
To keep your audience engaged, you need to be engaging as well. One way to do that is run cross-channel campaigns on all you social platforms. But while anyone can run a contest or campaign like this, to stand out you need to make yours have a charitable, inspirational, or emotional component to it — something that will tug at the heartstrings of whoever is reading about it. If your company is already involved in some sort of volunteer work, this is a good way to inspire and engage followers. How do you do this across channels? 1. Tell a powerful story. Use short quotes about if you have to, and link back to your website so they can find out more. 2. Brand your campaign with a unique name and hashtags to make it memorable and stand out.
In today’s crowded app marketplace-MEDIA is king….
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, March 20, 2016 /24-7PressRelease/— People are searching for new apps on search engines, but more often these days they’re downloading apps as a result of search and display ads. Currently, more than 50% off apps downloaded are a result of an ad seen on smartphones. This market shift in how consumers discover apps is driving app developers to begin collaborating with marketing and media companies to help spread the word on the app discovery and awareness. These display ads are demonstrating great return on brand awareness and app visibility by showing up at the exact moment a consumer is actively seeking for apps…and that drives downloads.
Smart Media Marketing & PR http://www.smartmediamarketingpr.com is a Northern California-based marketing and media company that specializes in working with app developers. CEO Landon Charles says “We’ve seen a 40% increase in app marketing and development this year, with developers focusing much of their budgets on marketing and brand awareness.”
Successful app development and launch is a team effort in today’s competitive marketplace. Charles went on to add, “Developers and owners of apps realize the success or failure of the business depends on an effective marketing campaign and so they are turning to the experts to ensure the right mix of ad placement.
For marketers, this means the app has to stand out of the crowd wherever smartphone users are looking to discover apps relevant to their interests. Statista, the stat and study-reporting portal, is reporting that more than 3 million mobile apps in the marketplace for download, that staggering stat is more important than ever in today’s overflowing app market.
CEO Landon Charles says “We’ve seen a 40% increase in app marketing and development this year, with developers focusing much of their budgets on marketing and brand awareness.
VetX, http://www.beta.vetxapp.com is an exciting new app dedicated to helping provide telemed care and vet services for the pet and animal niche. John Dillon, Co-CEO of the company states, “As a high-growth Boston based start-up in the pet-care industry, we have been looking for opportunities to link up with West coast marketing and media firm to augment our existing team’s marketing efforts and user footprint. Smart Media has been instrumental helping us connect with our marketplace and in the Silicon Valley market with individuals passionate about the health of their pets.”
Getting your app noticed is the first step in getting a customer to download, but just how do you get your app noticed? One method of increasing visibility is to focus your ads and app promotion on a consumer location or niche designed for downloads, using what are referred to as, mobile app install campaigns. This way, your app is able to reach a wider market segment while looking for an app similar in type to yours. Varying the format and location of the ads, in addition to search will also help to drive app installs. Using video, text, native and display ads will help can help people discover your apps in all their preferred locations.
Isaac Phoenix, developer of the soon to launch augmented reality gaming app, Shadow Hunters states, “As an app developer I have zero interest in understanding this intricate network of ad platforms and placement but I understand I need these to be successful.”
Phoenix went on to say, “Smart Media Marketing and PR has given me the opportunity to break through this crowded market and is helping me to make my business successful. They have the connections, knowledge and determination to turn this project into a full-fledged business…we could not do it on our own.”
Given the sheer volume of apps in the market available for download, it’s more difficult than ever to overcome app user ADD. That’s why your app needs to stand out from the crowd– So if you’re an app developer or a business looking to expand brand and bottom line by creating and launching an app, you may want to leave the marketing piece to the pros.
According To Robert Carr, who writes for the National Real Estate Investor- There are some “new kids in town” when it comes to cities that lead the US, and world in commerce, tech, jobs and real estate. I tend to agree with these choices. I see many of my new clients and contracts coming from these areas of the country. Let me know your thoughts below. Here is a copy if his article.
The traditional hierarchy of global cities is breaking down, according to experts, as technology, globalization and urbanization trends have started to attract real estate investment on a broader scale.
According to a new report by commercial real estate services firm JLL, the new trends have allowed some small and midsize cities to rival the larger, more established cities in drawing investment capital. These “new world” cities score high with residents and businesses for livability, sustainability and fast adaption of new technology and transportation infrastructure, says Jeremy Kelly, director of global research programs at JLL. Basically, people and companies want to move to those cities, whether it due to a strong spike in jobs, as is the case with San Francisco, or mild climate and high quality of life, such as in Denver.
“There’s increasing evidence that these ‘new world’ cities are attracting a disproportionate level of real estate investment,” Kelly says. “While global real estate volumes have been flat as a whole, investment into ‘new world’ cities is up about 73 percent in the past 10 years, and about 20 percent in the past 12 months. They’re really starting to punch above their weight.”
‘Old world’ cities would, of course, include the established “big six,” he says, including New York, Tokyo, London, Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore. That makes sense, as property fundamentals in those cities are far better than in the rest of the world. ‘New world’ cities, are smaller cities with high income levels, efficient infrastructure, high quality of life and fewer social, environmental or economic drawbacks such as crime, pollution, congestion, high cost of living or high income inequality, Kelly notes.
Globally, these cities include Brisbane, Hamburg, Helsinki, Munich, Melbourne, Vancouver and Vienna. Below we list (in no particular order) the top five ‘new world’ cities in the U.S, according to Kelly and JLL.
Entrepreneur.com had a great piece on Branding Properly I wanted to include here and add in my own 2 cents.
Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small, retail or B2B. An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. But what exactly does “branding” mean? How does it affect a small business like yours?
Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.
Are you the innovative maverick in your industry? Or the experienced, reliable one? Is your product the high-cost, high-quality option, or the low-cost, high-value option? You can’t be both, and you can’t be all things to all people. Who you are should be based to some extent on who your target customers want and need you to be.
The foundation of your brand is your logo. Your website, packaging and promotional materials–all of which should integrate your logo–communicate your brand.
Your brand strategy is how, what, where, when and to whom you plan on communicating and delivering on your brand messages. Where you advertise is part of your brand strategy. Your distribution channels are also part of your brand strategy. And what you communicate visually and verbally are part of your brand strategy, too.
Consistent, strategic branding leads to a strong brand equity, which means the added value brought to your company’s products or services that allows you to charge more for your brand than what identical, unbranded products command. The most obvious example of this is Coke vs. a generic soda. Because Coca-Cola has built a powerful brand equity, it can charge more for its product–and customers will pay that higher price.
The added value intrinsic to brand equity frequently comes in the form of perceived quality or emotional attachment. For example, Nike associates its products with star athletes, hoping customers will transfer their emotional attachment from the athlete to the product. For Nike, it’s not just the shoe’s features that sell the shoe.
Defining your brand is like a journey of business self-discovery. It can be difficult, time-consuming and uncomfortable. It requires, at the very least, that you answer the questions below:
- What is your company’s mission?
- What are the benefits and features of your products or services?
- What do your customers and prospects already think of your company?
- What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?
Do your research. Learn the needs, habits and desires of your current and prospective customers. And don’t rely on what you think they think.Know what they think.
Because defining your brand and developing a brand strategy can be complex, consider leveraging the expertise of a nonprofit small-business advisory group or a Small Business Development Center .
Once you’ve defined your brand, how do you get the word out? Here are a few simple, time-tested tips:
- Get a great logo. Place it everywhere.
- Write down your brand messaging. What are the key messages you want to communicate about your brand? Every employee should be aware of your brand attributes.
- Integrate your brand. Branding extends to every aspect of your business–how you answer your phones, what you or your salespeople wear on sales calls, your e-mail signature, everything.
- Create a “voice” for your company that reflects your brand. This voice should be applied to all written communication and incorporated in the visual imagery of all materials, online and off. Is your brand friendly? Be conversational. Is it ritzy? Be more formal. You get the gist.
- Develop a tagline. Write a memorable, meaningful and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand.
- Design templates and create brand standards for your marketing materials. Use the same color scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. You don’t need to be fancy, just consistent.
- Be true to your brand. Customers won’t return to you–or refer you to someone else–if you don’t deliver on your brand promise.
- Be consistent. I placed this point last only because it involves all of the above and is the most important tip I can give you. If you can’t do this, your attempts at establishing a brand will fail.
If you want a free, fully detailed guide to Branding, just click here
I’m just like most other entrepreneurs I know – I have at least three new business ideas before I get out of bed in the morning. And the ideas just keep coming throughout the day.
Thankfully, after years of trial and error as an entrepreneur, I’ve learned to evaluate my new ideas carefully to determine if they are actually an opportunity, instead of just an idea.
Even more importantly, I’ve learned to evaluate if it’s a good opportunity for me and the lifestyle I want to create for myself.
I do that evaluation by asking twelve questions that I’ve found are critical to determining if a business is right for me. If I have more than a few ‘No’ responses, I can immediately cross the idea off of my list and forget about it. If it’s all ‘Yes’ responses, I know I have an idea with real potential.
Here’s the list of questions, with some of my thoughts explaining why each is important to me:
Will this business support the lifestyle I want (income, ability to travel, flexible work time, etc.)? I work to live, not live to work. I also love to travel and have flexibility in terms of when I get my work done. That immediately disqualifies many businesses.
Is there proven demand for the product I am going to sell? Creating demand is hard, slow and expensive. I’d rather capture my share of already existing demand.
Is there a clear value proposition that will make my product unique in the marketplace? Business is no fun if I don’t have some sort of competitive edge.
Is there a very clear way to market and sell my product or service through existing channels? Leveraging existing sales channels is the fastest and easiest way I’ve found to get a business off the ground profitably.
Can I leverage online marketing and social media to grow this business? These are two of the most powerful business-building forces of our time; I want to be sure to take advantage of them.
Will this business have gross margins of at least 50% and/or net margins of at least 20%? At the end of the day, a business has to make money.
Can this business become a sellable asset? The big win often comes from being able to sell and exit your business when you are ready, but not all businesses are easy to sell.
Can I automate the majority of the operations of the business? I try to take advantage of as much automation as possible to reduce the overhead of operating a business.
Can I easily find someone to successfully run the business for me? Eventually, I’ll likely want someone to run the business for me. Is this a business that can easily be handed over to someone else, or does it require my specific knowledge and talents?
Is this a business that I’ll find fun and interesting to run today? Yes, life insurance is very profitable, but it’s not fun. Profit is not enough; I want to be in businesses that I actually enjoy.
Is this a business that other people will find fun and interesting? I’ve found that it’s much more enjoyable to be in a business that other people think is fun and interesting.
Is this something I’ll still be willing to run seven years from now? The reality is that most businesses don’t grow as quickly or as profitably as I’d like. If I am still running this seven years from now, will I still find it enjoyable?
Use these twelve questions to evaluate your business ideas. You should be able to answer ‘Yes’ to the far majority of the questions.
If not, drop the idea and be thankful that you didn’t invest your time and energy into something that ultimately wouldn’t fulfill your entrepreneurial dreams.
Now, go build something!
Thinking of starting a business? Already have one, but haven’t created the lifestyle you’re looking for? Download our free guide to creating a business that gives you the freedom to decide where, when and who you work with: