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Tips for Promoting your Small Business on Social Media

The digital world is thriving, and social media has been a primary advantage for every business’ marketing strategy. Whether or not you’re a small business, you need to be on social media.

Social media is one of the most significant aspects of digital marketing. You can quickly promote your brand, products, and services. Also, by using social media for your business, you can grow a loyal following, interact with future and current customers, and generate conversions.

As a small business, social media marketing can be overwhelming. Luckily for you, you can implement proven useful tips to achieve your business’s social media success. 

1.   Choose the Right Social Media Platform

Social media is a vast market, and choosing the right platform for your business can be challenging. But, it’s worth the effort you put in if you focus on your marketing goals. The best thing to consider is to start with one account first, be sure to keep in mind where your target audience spends their time. Then you can build up your brand voice and trust before you hop on the other social platforms. Not sure where to start? Below are some of the social media platforms you could quickly sign up on to promote your business.

 

  • Facebook: Perfect for small business owners, Facebook is a great platform to connect to a diverse audience in various niches. In promoting your business on Facebook, you can share different content such as infographics, videos, inspirational quotes, and snippets from your blog or website.

 

  • Instagram: If you prefer more visual content, Instagram would be the best choice. Entrepreneurs and influencers use it to grow their following by interacting with posts, polls, and appealing stories. Also, Instagram has a Shoppable Posts feature that you can use to sell your products.

 

  • Twitter: Ideal for sharing news and information. Twitter allows you to communicate with your fans and customers easily. It’s also a great way to grow your business and reach a broad scale audience.

 

  • Pinterest: A great source of organic traffic, Pinterest is also a visual search engine and is perfect for visual offerings. In using Pinterest, you want your graphics to be appealing to reach more clicks. To do this, you can use Canva in editing your images and make sure to link it back to your website to gain more traffic.

 

  • LinkedIn: Best for B2B, LinkedIn is where most professionals hang out. It has the same features as Facebook, though it’s presented more formally. An effective way of posting on LinkedIn is sharing long-form content such as industry news, research, and company updates.

 

  • Youtube: One of the leading platforms and 3rd most visited website worldwide, according to Grow. Youtube is perfect for expanding your business using content-rich videos to grow your brand and reach more audiences.

 

  • Tiktok: Known for its new marketing techniques using innovative videos and hashtag challenges, Tiktok is not just exclusively for entertainment. It can be a great choice to promote your business and grow your brand awareness. For practical use, you can join in related communities by creating user-generated content.

 

2.   Be Consistent With Your Brand

When you’re posting content on your business page, you want to make sure that it aligns with your branding strategy. The design, fonts, specific colors, and inspirational thoughts are a great way to represent your brand. You don’t want to post silly memes and unrelated topics that will confuse your audience.

 

3.   Visualize Your Ideas

Using visuals in your content is essential to draw attention, improve engagement, and stand out. As I’ve mentioned before, Canva is one of the best free tools you can use to create appealing graphics and images, even if you’re not a pro designer. It has thousands of free templates so you can start designing with little to no effort.

 

4.   Humanize Your Brand

Adding personality to your brand makes it easier for your audience to connect over ideas they can easily understand. People don’t want to respond to a faceless organization. Instead, they want someone whom they can trust. Another excellent way to humanize your business is by sharing your brand’s story and behind the scenes to show your audience that you’re human.

 

5.   Don’t Just Promote to Sell

Promoting your brand is essential, but you want to make sure that you have another purpose besides selling and earning. Your business is meant to help your customers, whether it’s a product or service you’re offering. This way, you’ll provide value to your customers, and at the same time, earn through your efforts.

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6.   Make Engaging Posts and Respond to Your Customers

In social media, the way you write your post and caption is the key to boost engagement. The more people who interact with your post by liking, commenting, and sharing, the more your brand awareness will increase. To effectively create engagement, you can host giveaways, run contests, create polls, ask questions, and don’t forget to respond to your customers.

 

7.   Keep Track of Your Social Media Metrics

Your social media metrics are crucial to measuring how well your marketing strategy is performing. By keeping track of your post’s impressions, clicks, shares, referrals, and conversion, you’ll know how to set up your goals to improve your content. Ultimately, keeping track will let you know what activity or ideas you need to add to successfully run your campaigns.

 

8.  Perfect Your Timing

Many marketers say timing is everything when it comes to social media success. Well, it’s true!

In posting to your social platforms, it’s best to consider your audience’s different times and when they usually get more involved. Each social platform has its own high and low traffic times. So, having the perfect timing to execute your post is essential to reach a bigger audience and achieve your marketing goals. To do this, you have to do a lot of research, conduct some experiments, and use a scheduling tool to make your strategy easier. A good place to start is the platform Insights so that you can see when your audience is typically online.

 

 

9. Keep Your CTAs Clear

A call to action (CTA) is essential for your social media marketing, website page, and email. Your CTA helps to persuade your audience to take the next step you want them to take. It should usually be located at the end of your content or ad, and it should invite your readers to do something that sparks their interest. Whether it’s to learn more from your website, view a video, buy your products, or enroll in your free course, your CTA should be clear for successful conversion.

 

10. Invest in Paid Advertising            

If you’re not yet using paid social media advertising for your business, you’re missing out on possible customers. Investing in this paid advertising will help you amplify your reach, enhance your targeting, maximize your content marketing, and gather market insights that are crucial in growing and promoting your business online.

 

11. Use Hashtags Wisely                

Hashtags play a significant role in promoting your business on social media. It encourages users to look for specific information from a particular niche in a sea of other content. Adding hashtags for your business varies with each social platform. With proper use, it will increase your engagement, attract more followers, and help strengthen your brand image.

 

12. Keep an Eye on Your Competitors                

Knowing what your competitors are doing on social media will help you build valuable insights and grow inspiration for your marketing strategy. You don’t want to copy them, but it’s best to monitor how you as a brand could modify yourself and stand out from the competition.

 

13. Be Active and Have Fun!          

Being active on social media is the key to your successful business. You don’t want your audience to wait for ages to see what you’re up to. Instead, you want to make a consistent effort in posting to your socials. Suppose you’re having trouble staying active on social media. In that case, there are helpful scheduling tools such as SproutSocial, Hootsuite, and CoSchedule to quickly improve your content planning. Or, you could always hire a professional team, like Salt Rank, to post and monitor your social media platforms. Lastly, have fun and love what you’re doing!

 

How to Use Video to Promote Your Business

Making a gorgeous video for your business takes resources, time, and skill. Regardless of whether you’re creating the video in-house or with a team on the outside, the video creation process can be time-intensive and costly. The worst part is that many people overlook the key ingredient – the promotion strategy, after putting all of that effort into making the final product.
 
It might be the case that you’ve gotten good at promoting your blog posts – but video promotion is a whole different ball game. Of course, it’s a known fact that video marketing is extremely effective. In fact, if you just stick a video up on your landing page, you can increase conversions by as much as 80%! So it’s worth the time, but you must make the effort of driving people to find and watch your video.
 
Below we’ve outlined nine video promotion ideas for getting more views on your videos. With these tips, you’ll know that your effort to produce beautifully made videos won’t go to waste.
 

 1. Don’t Forget to Smile!

 
The video thumbnail is crucial in determining whether or not someone will click open your video. The fact is, more often than not, people do judge a book by its cover, which means that your video should give the best first impression possible.
 
The best way to ensure that people will play your video is by including a smiling person making direct eye contact. The simple reason for this is that people relate to other people. A picture of a smiling person is more compelling than a bunch of dull text on a book cover, and the same principle applies to video thumbnails.
 
By including a smile on your thumbnails, you’re likely to get more clicks and plays.
 

 2. Do a Twitter/Facebook Video Campaign

 
The best way to get people to check out your video is to offer some kind of freebie. The ideal place for doing giveaways is social media. People will freely spread the word for you and create hype around your giveaway. This will result in more people visiting your landing page and getting more plays on your video.
 

 3. Create Share Buttons in Your Video Player

 
Everyone knows how effective social media marketing is. Many marketers begin and end every single day on various social media websites. This might not make every marketer happy, but it’s the way things are, so you must make sure that your video can be shared easily on social media.
 
Finding a video player (such as Wistia) that includes a share button is a good idea. That way, interested people can share a link to your video directly from the video player.

 4. Ask people to like and share your video

This might seem like an obvious point, but people often underestimate how powerful liking and sharing actually are. Liking is good for the algorithm and for social proofing.
 
As for sharing, even if you just ask your close connections (like family and friends) to share your video, you never know whom they are connected to.
 
The bottom line is that a share can go a long way, so don’t limit yourself to who you ask!
 

 5. Link Together Your Email Marketing With Your Video Marketing

 
Video is a potent ingredient in the email marketing recipe for success. According to the data from Animoto, just putting the word “video” in your email subject line can:
 

  •         Boost your open rates by 19%
  •         CTRs by 65%
  •         Can limit the number of people who unsubscribe by 26%

 

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 6. Invest Into Video Promotion on Social Media

 
Most of these tips have been given with frugality in mind. Now let’s talk about making use of some of that pocket change you’re carrying around. Putting some money towards your video marketing strategy is always a good idea, especially when you do it on social media.
 
Advertising your videos on Facebook and Twitter isn’t that expensive. Furthermore, your promotional campaign could be a great success if you pay attention to your campaign and audience settings. Success with video promotion is defined as getting the right people to your content and receiving a fantastic ROI. 
 

 7. Make Your Video Part of an Event

Many of us have had experience sitting through dull speeches at industry events. Most of the time is spent staring into space or keeping busy on our smartphones, trying desperately to stay awake. However, it’s actually even worse for the speakers.
 
As a speaker, if you see that your audience isn’t engaged, you’ll likely become more and more nervous.
 
An excellent way to overcome this is by playing a video.
 
A video would be beneficial for two reasons – one, it gives the speaker a break, and two, it provides the audience with a break from listening to the speaker the entire time. Even the most outstanding speakers at TED talk conferences employ videos during their speeches. Videos allow their audience to “recharge” their attention for the next portion of the speech.
 
It doesn’t matter how engaging the speaker is; playing a video during industry events will always be beneficial. So why not fit your video marketing into it? It’s the perfect opportunity for you to reach your target audience.
 

 8. Twitter Tip – Put Your Video Front and Center

 
This means pinning your video tweet to the top of your personal (or company) Twitter feed. This will ensure that your video won’t get buried under the constant barrage of new Tweets. It will also bring more engagement to your valuable video tweet.
 

 9. Don’t Forget about Online Communities

 
Social media can end up taking all of our attention, so it’s worth mentioning the value of sharing your videos with online communities. These communities can also exist on social media. For instance, your industry might have a significant presence on Reddit, Twitter chat, or a LinkedIn group.
 
So don’t forget to engage with these communities and spread your video content whenever appropriate.
 
When is it appropriate? Whenever you happen to be part of a conversation where someone is experiencing problems or struggles, and your video fits into that somehow. You should then share your video with them, and it will assist them in the most engaging way possible. 

 

How to Use Hashtags on Every Platform

For brand promotion on social media, hashtag usage is fundamental for success. The hashtag is basically just the pound sign. It’s used to make your content more discoverable online (as long as you use it correctly, more on that later).
 
Hashtags first gained popularity on Twitter but are now widespread on every social media platform, the main ones being Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook. Learning the art of using hashtags will give you the tools you need to engage your audience and increase your social media reach without costing you a dime. The only cost will be the time that it takes you to learn how to use hashtags on each platform, and then it’s just paying attention to what’s currently trending.
 
So, when you use hashtags correctly, they will help people that are interested in your topic discover what you’re posting about it, thus expanding your influence and following online.

 

Defining the Hashtag

A hashtag can be any word placed after the pound sign. However, it’s more effective to put a keyword phrase after the pound sign. A keyword is something that people are currently searching for, so it makes sense to do some research on the best keywords before starting a hashtag campaign. Hashtags can be misused and ruin your image, so it’s essential first to know how to use hashtags to boost your business. When done correctly, hashtags can allow you to draw more attention to your posts and to create more interaction on your pages.
 
When you use a keyword or phrase as a hashtag, you do it like this: #howtousehashtags. Notice that there are no spaces. Your hashtag can include numbers but cannot contain punctuation or symbols. As for where to put your hashtag, you can put it in the beginning, middle, or end of your post. You can also write comments that include your hashtag. By using hashtags, what you’ve written becomes indexed by the social media website, so that whenever someone there searches for that keyword, your stuff will show up for them. The main advantage of hashtags is that it allows people who aren’t currently part of your social media circle to find out who you are. They can then become potential followers.

 

The Basics of Hashtags

You are placing a pound sign before your keyword to create a hashtag. While the idea might sound simple enough, there are still more basics that you need to be aware of before trying to be discovered with your hashtags.
 
Hashtags can only benefit your marketing strategy IF you do it the right way. So, here are some essential tips to remember on how to use hashtags across all social media networks:
 

  • Don’t go overboard with using another hashtag every couple of words.
  • Make your hashtags as short as possible while still being memorable instead of trying to fit in many words in one tag.
  • Don’t try to come up with something unique or clever. The whole point of using hashtags is to be more discoverable online, which isn’t going to happen if no one is searching for your hashtag!
  • However, short doesn’t mean broad. Your hashtag should be as detailed and specific as possible while still being something your target audience would search for.
  • You shouldn’t try to force hashtags into every post – that won’t come across very well. Rather, you should only use them when they can add value to your post. Value can mean having the potential to drum up conversation and interactions on your post.
  • Hashtags have another use besides attracting your target audience. They can also be used to research your competition. Simply search for your own hashtag, and you’ll find content related to your topic popping up. This content will likely belong to your competitors.

 

Hashtag Research

Before you start using random hashtags in your posts, be sure to do your research. Hashtag research is key to finding your audience and getting your posts in front of the right people. 
 
Here are some basic steps to performing your research:

  • Create a spreadsheet with these categories 
    • Hashtag, Size, Size Category, Topic, and Experience
  • Start by researching hashtags you use most often or hashtags that pertain to your business, services, or products and fill in each category.
  • Size refers to the size of the hashtag, on Instagram you will see this at the top of the search page.
  • Each size has a different category, as follows: 
    • Tiny – Less than 25K
    • Small – 25 – 50K
    • Medium – 50 – 100K
    • Large – 100 – 999K
    • Gigantic – 1M and above
  • Fill in the topic with just that, the topic in which the hashtag falls (ie. Social Media Tips, Website Stats, etc.)
  • Lastly, if any of your posts show up on the page when searching that hashtag make note of it under Experience.
  • Continue this process moving through business hashtags as well as researching what your competitors and target audience use and search for.

 
Salt Rank Digital Marketing Kansas City Hashtag

Facebook Hashtags

On this network, it’s especially important not to overdo it on hashtags. It’s generally recommended to use only one or two specific hashtags on this platform. Going higher than that will make you look unprofessional and annoy other users.

 

Twitter Hashtags

For Twitter, one or two hashtags per tweet are acceptable. Also, when you use a couple of hashtags and then ask your followers to retweet, this will bring you even more engagement. For the most significant impact on this network, research the trending hashtags. The best tool for researching Twitter trends, specifically, is Twitonomy.

 

Pinterest Hashtags

On Pinterest, you should use one or two hashtags that are relevant to your topic. Broad terms are mostly ineffective on this platform. On the other hand, unique or specific hashtags pertinent to your topic work exceptionally well here.

 

Linkedin Hashtags

Hashtags haven’t always been emphasized on LinkedIn, but that’s changing. Today it’s now acceptable to use 1-3 hashtags in your long-form content posts. On LinkedIn, where networking is one of the central, vital features, hashtags can be essential to getting your posts in front of people who don’t usually see them. Or, in other words, people who are outside of your network. Utilizing hashtags on LinkedIn is also an excellent way to increase brand awareness.

 

Instagram Hashtags

On Instagram, hashtag usage is much more acceptable. It’s usually quite useful in terms of engagement to use more hashtags. You can use as many as 30 different hashtags on one Instagram post. However, it’s better to start with 10-11 hashtags that are relevant and popular on Instagram. You don’t have to use that many hashtags, but it’s good to know that you can if you want. Don’t be too afraid to experiment with hashtags here as it’s the best place to do it! You should use hashtags everywhere here, including in comments, posts, and photos.

7 Tips for Amplifying Your Social Media

Social media is needed for every business, but it’s not always easy to maneuver. We understand this and are here to help. With years of social media experience under our belts, we wanted to share some of our top tips for amplifying your social media marketing.

 

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KNOW WHEN TO POST

Knowing when to post on each social media platform your company is on is crucial. You want to make sure that you are posting content at the time your audience is likely to be online. You can see this on many platforms by looking at the Insights. For instance, on Facebook, when you navigate to the Insights page, select Posts on the left side. You will then see a timeline of a one week period and how often your posts appear when your fans are online. There have also been many studies done that show when optimal times are to post in your niche, like this one from Sprout Social or this one from HubSpot.  

USE VISUALS

Sometimes a short and sweet post with text can get a point across, but if you really want to amplify your engagement you have to use good visuals. Photos are always an easy one and get people’s attention quickly. Graphics are also great, whether it’s a simple vector of something you mention in the text or an infographic that explains steps of a process or visually tells a story. Video might be the king of all visuals, especially in today’s world for YouTube and TikTok. One study showed that “social media videos generated up to 1200% more shares than text and images combined (MartechAdvisor).”

ASK QUESTIONS

Not really sure what kind of content your audience wants to see more of? Maybe you want their opinion on a new product? All you have to do is ask for their opinion. Just about every social media platform now has a way to ask questions or create a poll, aside from just a simple text post.

LinkedIn recently added polls to their website and even Instagram has a question feature as well as a poll in their IG Stories. Asking questions is a great way to communicate with your audience as well as find out more about who they are and what they like. It also generates more engagement which means a boost in numbers for you. 

USE A CONTENT CALENDAR

Creating, curating, and scheduling posts can be very time consuming when it comes to social media. Maybe you are a one-person show and just don’t have time to work it in all the time but you know that it needs to be done. Invest in a good content calendar online tool or create your own using a spreadsheet or even just writing it down on a printable calendar sheet. Using a content calendar can help you save time operating your social media so that you can focus on other areas of your company that need attention. There are many great online platforms out there if you are interested in investing a little money into a program.

Platforms like Hootsuite, Coschedule, and Sprout Social are some of the most frequently used platforms out there and offer a variety of plans and tools to help you with your daily tasks.  We suggest taking about an hour or so each day to create and plan out your content a week in advance. You can always work ahead as well, but be sure to come back and check your calendar before things are posted to make sure they are still relevant to current events. 

(You could also hire a company, like Salt Rank, to help you manage your social media platforms. See more here!)

SHARE FROM INDUSTRY LEADERS

Though creating and sharing your own content is key to showing others you have knowledge about your business, it is also important to share what industry leaders have to say. This helps to further your understanding of your industry and shows that you are well informed. Always be sure to credit your sources and tag them when relevant. Tagging these other industry professionals can also help you to be seen by more people. 

 

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POST WITH PURPOSE

When you are creating content, always be thinking about your audience. Will what you are about to post be beneficial to your audience? Does it hold value? You never want to just “post to post,” you want to make sure that you are sharing information your audience wants to see. Information that helps to solve a problem your audience may be having. 

USE ADS TO GROW YOUR AUDIENCE

Using ads on any social media platform is a great way to grow your audience. For a new business, it’s a great way to get your business in front of your local audience and tell them about who you are. For a business that has been around for a bit, it’s still good to run page like ads to find new potential customers, but engagement ads are also great. Many platforms like Facebook and Instagram often let you know when a post is doing well or could potentially reach more people if you boost it. Boosted posts are a great way to generate more engagement and attract new customers. Each platform has many different ad options and testing them out is great for any business. Even offering up a small budget for testing each month could help you to find new potential strategies to grow your business.

There you have it, our 7 Tips for Amplifying your Social Media. Did we miss anything you think we should have mentioned on our list? Have a question or want more information? Check out our social media platforms for more tips on the industry and follow us for added value each week. Feel free to reach out and we will be happy to assist you with all of your digital marketing needs.

Using Images to Market on Social Media

Do you like to share images on social media without a second thought? If so, have you ever wondered whether that’s the right thing to do? Knowing the basics about copyright law will allow you to use images on social media legally as well as help you protect your content.

There are rules and laws to follow when it comes to image marketing, and a good online marketing services company will adhere to them.

The following guidelines can protect your business from a copyright infringement lawsuit.

 

 

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What is Copyright Protection?

Copyright can apply to many different types of creative works. Copyright protection is automatic (if you used it, then that work is assumed to be yours). But what about the copyright symbol? Well, some people still like to use it as a way of saying, “Hey, this is mine,” even though it isn’t legally required.

Copyright essentially means that nobody else can use your creation without permission.

However, the protection can only be enforced if you apply with the US Copyright Office within 90 days of when you released your content. So, for example, if a violation occurs on June 1, you’ll have until September 1 to apply. If you don’t apply by then, you won’t be able to sue for copyright infringement.

 

Using Others’ Work

When it comes to using others’ work, always remember this rule: if you didn’t create it, then you shouldn’t use it. Even giving the creator credit won’t always be enough.

The exception is if the image is “labeled for reuse” or if the owner gave their express permission for others to use their image. Also, pay attention if there are any caveats like “for non-commercial usage only.”

 

Read the Terms of Service

Each social media website has its own rules put in place to protect their company and their users. That’s why if you’re a business, then this next step really is mandatory: you must read through the website’s terms of service. It’s super important and can save you much trouble down the line.

 

Why You Should Read the Terms of Service: A Real-World Example

We need to hammer this point home, which is why we’re going to show you an example of why you should understand terms of service. On Pinterest, they have a couple of interesting rules. The first one is that you’re responsible for everything that you post on the platform. The second rule is that you’re allowed to repin other people’s images on Pinterest. 

The first rule can get you into trouble. Let’s say that Sarah has a blog about puppies, Rachel on Pinterest loves one of those puppies and copies the picture onto her Pinterest account. Jane comes along and repins the image onto her board of adorable puppies. In this case, Rachel and Jane would be violating the terms of service, even though Jane wasn’t aware of where the image originally came from. That’s because of the seemingly simple rule “you’re solely responsible for the content you post to Pinterest.”

So it’s essential to not only read all of the rules and terms but to understand them as well. This area is where an online marketing services company can be very beneficial. They will make sure that all of the rules are followed to protect you and your business/brand.

 

 

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Understand Image Licensing

Another layer of complexity comes from stock services: image licensing. You can purchase images from these stock websites, and you have the option of what kind of license you’d like them to have. Generally speaking, the more expensive licenses allow you to do more with the image. Depending on the license in question, you may only be able to post the picture a certain number of times, or for certain types of usage only. With images and licenses, it’s essential to know what you’re buying.

 

Seek Permission From the Creator

You should always try and get permission from the owner before using their image or video. Many people will be happy for you to use their image, provided that you give them credit. Also, keep in mind that there are attorneys and photographers out there looking for people who violate copyright. Most of them will be happy to settle outside of court, but that can still cost you thousands of dollars. Just remember it’s better to be safe than sorry when you’re considering whether or not to use an image or video to market on social media.

 

Fair Use Guidelines

But what about fair use? You might assume that fair use doesn’t apply to images used in marketing campaigns, and your assumption would most likely be correct. You see, fair use is one of the only exceptions to the copyright rule. The purpose of the fair use doctrine is to allow for exceptions of when images and content can be used by others, as long as that usage doesn’t impede the original author’s rights.

Giving credit to the creator isn’t the same thing as fair use. Fair use refers to how you are using that content. If you’re using it for education or nonprofit purposes, then it’s more likely to be considered fair use.

Whether or not it’s fair use depends on the nature of the work.  Also, how much did you use – for example, did you use a single page of a book or the entire book?

An example would be a TV show. Sure it’s fine to take a snapshot of the TV show and post the picture in your ebook. However, what you can’t do is take an entire episode of said TV show and publish it on your website while claiming fair use for educational purposes.

When it comes to fair use, always ask yourself the question, “why am I using this content, and how much of it am I using?”

Continue reading “Using Images to Market on Social Media”

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