No matter which industry your business is working in or how big it is, your reputation is one vital aspect of the long-term success of your organization. Because anyone can post anything online, it is very important to always keep up with managing your online reputation. So what must you do if your business suddenly goes through an increased amount of negative reviews or is stuck in the middle of a social media scandal? The most important thing you must avoid is panic. Panic is not really going to get you anywhere and instead is a big waste of time. Instead, use these tips from our Los Angeles digital marketing agency to recover your company’s online reputation.
What is reputation management?
Before we start telling you the strategies to restore your online reputation, you must first understand what reputation management is. Reputation management consists of improving your business status when you show up in search engine results, reviews, mentions, and any other online high-traffic areas. Any potential customer can see all the reviews and mentions that come up about your business in search engines, social media accounts, blogs, and everywhere else. This can lead to a viewer becoming a customer or just choosing your competitor. So, now it is clear what upholding your online reputation means.
Why your reputation matters
According to statistics, around 92% of customers check out online reviews before they make a final decision on a purchase. That means an online review can make or break your business. If your company’s online reputation is bad, you could lose up to 92 customers for each eight that you gain. Online reputation management helps control how viewers see you online so that you can reach more people and gain more revenue and business.
Strategies for repairing your company's online reputation
Now that you are aware of how important your online reputation is for your success, here are some strategies for managing and repairing it.
Start using search engine optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a method that helps your company show up higher in results when keywords and phrases that have to do with your business are searched.
But, to rank in the results for those specific keywords, you must start creating content that is beneficial to the viewers that target those keywords. If you have recently received a negative or bad review, it is even more important that you create this content. The more beneficial and informative your created content is, the more the negative information about your company will be pushed even more down in search results.
This is crucial since around 75% of searchers do not go look after the first page of search results. That means if a bad review makes it past the first page of the search results, you are good and can relax. Search engines love high quality and informative content. If your website doesn’t have a blog section, then it is already time to get one. This is where you can promote your products while also writing about topics your customers care about.
With SEO, you will be able to boost your content while also burying bad and negative reviews further into the search engine results.
Monitor your blog
This brings to our next step, which is monitoring the blog you create with SEO. Writing a blog is a great way to interact with your customers and showcase why they need your services or products to help them. After you create the content, you should also enable comments. By enabling all comments on your blog, you are opening a conversation with your customers. One comment can help you come up with a good idea for a new product or service. By reading the comments, you can also find out what content your customers enjoy or don’t enjoy reading. Of course, there is also a risk of receiving spam and negative comments. Spam comments ruin the look and feel of your blog. Try to always monitor the comments, only our blog posts, and delete those that look worthless or fake.
Request for Google to remove a page or site
Once any negative information about your business is published on the web, it can be a hassle to remove. But, if you notice that someone has posted inappropriate or defaming content about your business, you can contact Google to request them to remove the page or website from search listings. If you want more information on what content will be removed upon request, check out Google’s removal policies.
Keep in mind that once you complete this step, it still isn’t gone forever. Google is only able to remove it from the listings. You should still contact the site’s writer to take out the content from their site. Just because something doesn’t show up in the search results does not mean it no longer exists somewhere out there.
Create a Facebook business page
Currently, the world’s leading social media platform, Facebook, has over 2 billion users. Along with Google, you can be sure that potential customers will be looking at your company’s Facebook page before they decide to make a purchase. If you do not have a Facebook page for your business already, then you must create one as soon as possible. You should set up your page and fill out all the information accurately. Then start posting regular and relevant content. Always lookout for any responses that may be left by customers. When you reply to a viewer’s question and concern on Facebook, you are showing other people that you truly do care about what your customers think.
You can also motivate people to leave you reviews of your business. Facebook reviews always appear in Google searches, so these mentions are going to help you be more visible. If you receive a bad Facebook review, do not panic. Try to respond to the complaint and make an effort to resolve the issue mentioned. Keeping up a positive presence on media sites like Facebook will help you position your business in a favorable light and encourage viewers to become buyers.
Monitor your other social media platforms
Social media accounts and pages are a good way to gain detailed information that you require about businesses. Always check up on your social media accounts to monitor your online reputation. Even if you do not have enough content or time to post every day, you should still check every day to keep track of the engagement. Just like on Facebook, it is crucial that you reply to both positive and negative comments on all other social media accounts. If you wish to be notified by receiving emails, you can turn on your email notifications and always be on track.
Claim your Google My Business listing
You should also claim your listing on Google My Business. After you claim your listing, you can manage the page and reply to your mentions. If you have any negative reviews, always try to remain positive. This is going to show viewers that you care about your customers, and you are dedicated to finding the best solutions for them. Here too, you can encourage your customers to leave reviews about your company. These reviews will also show up in search results when people search for your company online.
Claim your Yelp listing
Yelp is one of the highest rated sites for online reviews. The reviews on this site can have a very large influence on a viewer’s decision to trust your business and make a purchase. Similar to Google and Facebook reviews, Yelp reviews also show up in online search results. If you haven’t started using Yelp yet, you must go on and claim your profile. People have most likely already left reviews of your business, so sign up and respond to both positive and negative reviews. This will show your visitors and clients that you are committed to providing great customer service, and it will assure them that they are choosing your business for a good reason.
Create Google Alerts for your business, products, and services
With the Google Alerts service, you will be able to scan the web for any content related to your company. Once you have set up your specific alerts, you will be receiving emails about when new results about your company are posted in Google search results. This can include any mentions of your business name, products, services, and more.
This will allow you to easily track the latest news and mentions of your business, products, and services. You can also add your competitor’s name in the keyword search so you can keep tabs on them. Google Alerts will help you stay in the know, and you can play an active role in your business reputation management. If it finds any negative attention, you will be the first to know, and then you will have enough time to respond and save the situation.
Encourage positive reviews
You can also control your reputation by motivating people to leave positive reviews about your business. Firstly, you must ask for feedback. When a customer makes their purchase, take the time to ask them to rate their experience. Alongside that, you can also make calls to action on your site to prompt customers to leave reviews about your products and services. This also applies to social media customers. Set up surveys, questionnaires, and fun polls to keep customers coming to your page. Do not do this too frequently, and keep your questions short and fun.
You must make it easy for your customers to write reviews on your website. For example, you can add star ratings on your product sections and motivate people to rate the products after they have purchased them. You can also offer discounts and perks to those who leave reviews to encourage them further.
Check up on your partners
Creating a collaboration with another business can be a great opportunity to have more exposure, promote your company, and lower your online marketing costs. But, before you announce your new partnership, make sure you have checked up on their online reputation. A negative online reputation of your partner can also damage your business in the process. Be aware of who you are partnering with and be prepared for any consequences that may arise. Stay away from business with terrible reviews or those with previous large scandals that may be associated with you.
Use other monitoring tools
If you want some more detailed monitoring options, then you can find a variety of tools to use available on the internet. Here are two of our favorites.
YouScan is really a listening service. It looks through all social media platforms and websites to find any brand mentions. This tool also analyzes all of these mentions to figure out the broader social impact. You are going to see billions of data points which you will be able to go through along with many ways to analyze all the data. The most unique feature that they have on their site is image recognition features, so you can get even more specific with visual searches. When you set up your account, you must insert a few search examples to collect the data you require. Once the system has understood what data meets your criteria, it will show you whatever it has found that is relevant. You can then filter everything down to find what you need.
BrandMentions is another tool for deep digging on the internet. It analyzes all major social media platforms and other nonsocial websites too.
Firstly you must identify all the keywords you want to track, and you can also choose to monitor all of your competitors’ keywords. Once you set up your project, you can also select inclusions and exclusions of specific keywords, then filter the results afterward.
As you can already see, online reputation management is a process that is crucial for any business. It may sound scary at first, but it is simpler than it seems. If you need any extra help with online reputation monitoring, our team at Mirdon Production will love to assist you with anything you may need!
Reputation is everything when it comes to the success and survival of your business. The hard part about reputation is that it doesn’t stem just from what you do or say. It is also largely influenced by what others say and do. This can get especially tricky when it comes to your reputation online.
The new features of the web today have given people many opportunities to affect even the strongest of business reputations, whether that be positively or negatively. This means it is vital to monitor your online reputation. As a popular Los Angeles digital marketing agency, we know how important an online reputation is for a successful online marketing campaign. Our team has compiled some reasons why you should monitor your online reputation and how you can do that easily.
5 top tools for online reputation monitoring
1. An online presence is everywhere.
There are tons of platforms your online reputation can spread to, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Quora, Reddit, Tripadvisor, and more. The list of platforms can go on forever. There are many ways customers can find information on your services and products. Having a blog or a social media page is a great place to interact with your audience and this where a challenge arises. You must try to keep up with your customers’ comments, conversations, thoughts, and feelings they share about your business. Don’t hide away; instead, use this opportunity to join the conversation.
Try to respond to comments in a positive and professional manner. This also includes the bad and negative comments. The way you respond to comments will leave an impression on other clients and will say a lot about your business.
2. Review responses are crucial
Around 90% of people trust online reviews much more than they trust a word of mouth recommendations. This means an online review can make or break your online reputation. You must always respond to positive recommendations and mentions. It is also essential that you also reply to negative comments to show people that you truly care. Responding to negative reviews will allow you to publicly take care of situations that have the potential to damage your online reputation. Leaving comments and mentions unnoticed will make your company seem arrogant and will not appeal to potential customers.
3. Unknown business claimers
In a world of catfishing, it is not unusual for businesses to also become targets just like individuals. Literally, anyone can go online and list your business as theirs. Just as you are able to purchase business domain names and register them on social media platforms, anyone else can also do this. Someone could easily claim your business and start to tarnish your online reputation by posting whatever they want.
But, you can reclaim your business if you see that it has been listed by someone else. This process isn’t very fast, and you must show various forms of certification, but it is still possible. All of this explains why it is crucial that you monitor your online reputation. If you are able to catch these catfishers quickly, they won’t have time to post anything since you will have reclaimed your business.
4. People trust people
Online reviews are much more powerful than you would think. Just as in real, people trust other people online too. Time is a precious thing, and people tend to blindly trust reviews instead of doing any fact-checking. A single five golden star review can convert a casual visitor into a long-time client. The same way a negative review can seriously damage your business. Our team recommends showcasing positive reviews and testimonials on your website. Don’t overdo it, so it doesn’t seem like you are bragging, but let people know of your positive reviews.
When it comes to negative reviews, we all know how quickly a business can fail. Once a day, a hashtag canceling a certain business is trending on Twitter. It is not that easy to come back from being canceled online. Instead, if you are monitoring your online reputation, you can take control of a bad situation quickly. Once you apologize or fix an issue that arises with a client, you will instead be put in a more positive light afterward.
5. Automation tools
Some businesses choose to activate automation tools for their social media platforms. We are not saying this is a bad thing, but it must be monitored. You must always check up on what is being posted from your business sites. Make sure that it is always authentic and relevant. Users will immediately be able to tell that your posts are automated and not genuine if they sound too robot-like. Content is king, so make sure you like what you are putting out into the world.
Now that you have understood the importance of monitoring your online reputation, it is time to move on to the process of doing this. It may all seem daunting at first, especially if you aren’t very tech-savvy. But, our team is here to assist you with this. Read on for our compiled tips on how to easily monitor your online reputation.
Watch review sites
Of course, one of the obvious ways to keep track of your online reputation is by checking review sites like Yelp. These sites allow everyone to add a listing, so even if your business doesn’t have an account, it might still be on there. Your business may unknowingly be collecting reviews, so it is important to check up on these sites. Make sure you claim your listings whenever possible to avoid any damage and monitor review sites very frequently. If you see negative reviews, do not panic. Respond in a positive and professional manner, thanking them for the constructive criticism. Try to resolve their issue whenever possible and let them know about it.
Use Google Alerts
Another great way to monitor your online reputation is by using Google Alerts. When you activate this service, Google is going to notify you whenever new content is published about you. They will search for the keywords you provide. You can set up searches for your name, the name of your business, and some of the most common misspellings of the name of your business. With this service, you can keep track of what is being said about you. Then, you can be quick to catch and discuss negative reviews, and also get back to positive mentions. You may even make alerts for the names of your competitors, to keep tabs and see what people say about them.
Monitor your social media platforms
Social media is a very easy and simple way to get all the information you need about businesses. You must always check your social media accounts as a way of monitoring your online reputation. Even if you are unable to post every day, you should check every day to keep up with the engagement. The same rule used for online reviews also applies here. It is crucial that you reply to both positive and negative comments that have to do with your business. You can turn on your email notifications, so you are aware of the posts and comments that are published.
Monitor your blog
A blog is the best way to engage with your customers and showcase how your services or products help them. Enabling comments on your blog is also a good way to interact with customers. You never know how one comment will give you a good idea for a new product or service. This way, you can also see what your customers enjoy reading and post more similar content. But, this is also a risk since you are opening your page to spam and negative comments. Spam comments give your blog a very unprofessional look. Try to keep up with your comments and delete those that look fake or worthless.
Check up on your partners
Collaborating with other businesses is a great opportunity to increase exposure, promote your business, and lower online marketing costs. But, before you start a partnership, make sure you check up on their online reputation. A very negative online reputation may also harm your business in the end. Be aware of what you are associating yourself with and be prepared for any consequences that may arise. If you are just starting to construct yourself a reputation or are coming back from a setback, then stay away from businesses who are going through the same thing.
Ask Your Customers
Your loyal followers and customers can also help monitor your online reputation. Use surveys, polls, and questionnaires to get a general sense of opinions. Ask them about the experiences they have had with your website and other platforms. Do not overwhelm them with too many or too frequent questionnaires. Keep your questions short, simple, and fun.
Use other monitoring tools
If you want other more detailed monitoring options, then you can use a variety of tools available on the internet. Here are a few of our favorites.
YouScan is basically a listening tool. It scans all social media platforms and other websites for any brand mentions. This tool is also able to analyze mentions to understand the broader social impact. It comes up with billions of data points that you can go through along with many ways you can analyze the data. The most unique feature they offer is image recognition features, so users can get incredibly specific with visual searches.
To set up your account, you must insert some searches to obtain the data you require. Once the system has identified data that meets your criteria, you can go to a section that will show you all mentions that the system has collected, and that matches those criteria. You are able to filter everything down to look at only what is relevant to your search. With their visual tool, you are able to get super specific and look through all the images that are associated with your search. You can also find interactive graphs that show all the trends that have to do with the topics of choice.
BrandMentions is another site that does some deep digging. It analyzes every single major social media platform. This tool will also look through other non-social websites like news, blog, and review sites.
During the set-up, you go through a thorough process of firstly identifying all the keywords you wish to track. You are also able to monitor all of your competitors’ keywords and social media platforms. With this tool, you can set up a project to require the inclusion and exclusion of specific keywords in your results. Of course, you can also filter all your results afterward.
Once you create your project, it will only take a few minutes, after which you will be able to look at a breakdown of your mentions. You will have many opportunities to filter the results, and you can pick a specific mention for a more in-depth analysis. If you wish to reply or interact with social posts, you can do it directly from their site.
As you can see, monitoring your online reputation is a key step in the online marketing process. Always keep a lookout for mentions all over the internet. Be active on social media and check anywhere you might think of that could include a mention of your business. Check up on review sites every single day and respond to all positive and negative mentions. Always keep it professional, polite, and positive when responding to clients, no matter what they wrote. Do not be discouraged by negative opinions; instead, use this opportunity to see your flaws and improve. This process only looks scary from the outside, but it is just keeping a careful lookout for all mentions. If you need some extra help with online reputation monitoring or don’t know what tool will work the best for you, you should contact our team at Mirdon Production. We will gladly help you every step of the way, so you will never have anything to worry about.
At least once a week, the hashtags “canceled” and “___isoverparty” are trending on Twitter. The power social media has is very evident here, and a simple online marketing mistake can cost you your company. It is tough to bounce back once you are canceled,or once you get a bad reputation. I will share with you some of the most common online marketing mistakes to avoid, according to my experience and some of the top marketing agencies in Los Angeles.
1. Ignoring or Neglecting Your Customers
One of the critical parts of building a successful business or brand is the customers. Your primary aim for online marketing should be to achieve customer satisfaction, and if your customers aren’t happy, then you are getting nowhere. Marketing agencies in Los Angeles report that 80% of all customers use social media to reach out to companies. So essentially, social media is a vital part of online marketing and brand image. A lack of response leads the customer to believe that they are not essential, and most will turn away from using what you advertise after being ignored. Social media pages of airlines are usually an excellent example of online marketing. Below, this customer may have even tweeted this as a joke, but the “JetBlue Airways” twitter response is sure to have made them feel heard and appreciated. It’s things like this that get people to stay loyal and always come back to you. This is also something that is sure to get around, as people love sharing their experiences with companies, whether it be to praise them or to warn others to stay away. One bad customer experience can be fatal to a smaller brand, so be sure to avoid this common online marketing mistake.
2. Being Too Pushy
It is essential that you are not too pushy with sales. A common online marketing mistake is that people often consider social media as an advertising medium when it should be a platform to engage customers while also promoting your brand and increasing awareness. People follow a page to stay updated, so you should provide them with engaging and intriguing content to keep them coming back. If all your posts are urging customers to make a purchase or are directly promoting your product, customers will be annoyed and turn away. Not to mention, too many sales posts portray a lack of originality and professionalism. Social media is based on building relationships, and if your page fails to do that, then your followers will surely leave.
But by following this rule, you must also make sure that you do not overwhelm followers with too much unrelated content. It is great to post memes and funny posts every few posts, but if you don’t promote your products, enough followers will unfollow, deeming your page purposeless. A small tip is to use the 80/20 rule if you’re unsure what to post. 80% of posts should be of some value to the audience, and 20% should be direct promotional activity. Once you start to be more active, you will get the hang of it and realize what your audience prefers to see.
3. Being Too Formal/Informal
Just because another business is “popping off” because of the brand’s funny or sarcastic personality, doesn’t mean you will too. What may work for another brand will not always work for you. You shouldn’t be striving to be one specific adjective, such as funny. Instead, you should focus on being open and friendly while maintaining your brand personality. Try to create and keep a steady online personality, so people will always know what to expect. In order to create a brand personality, you must thoroughly understand your target audience. A witty personality may attract millennials but will usually be off-putting to older customers. Being too casual with customers may also make you seem unprofessional.
At the same time, it is crucial to remember that social media is popular because it is friendly and casual. Everyone knows there’s a person behind a brand social media and not a robot, so that is how you should come across. Using traditional media terms such as “Sir/Madam” or “To whomever it may concern” will make you seem dated and lacking. It’s essential to keep the customer feel comfortable but still give them the impression that they are speaking to someone who is a professional who knows what they’re doing. A small tip used by marketing agencies in Los Angeles is when responding to someone online is to look at their page and see what their name is listed as, and respond with “Dear Name.” This makes it more personal yet also keeps it professional. Whichever personality approach you choose, consistency is key. It is most important that you stick to one brand mindset and develop it without drastically changing it.
4. Having too much Presence
More is not always better. Being an active presence on all social media platforms is not only going to be time-consuming and difficult but also purposeless. It is much wiser to spend your time perfecting your brand personality on two or three social media platforms than it is to provide mediocre content on many. Deciding which platform to use requires knowledge of your content and target audience. Imagine what your average customer looks like, their habits, and their daily activities. Take the time to build marketing personas, which is a sketch of a segment of your audience and should include some basic details such as age, gender, salary, location, and education. Using these personas, you should be able to find research regarding which social media platform they tend to use the most. You should also consider the type of content you are going to be putting out. For example, if your content is an image- and graphics-based, then you should consider using Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. A small tip from Los Angeles marketing agencies is always to attach images, even if your content depends on the text. Pictures always catch the reader’s eye first and attract them to the content. If your content is text-based, such as offering professional advice, then considering using Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
But, keeping all this in mind, it is also important to maintain a presence on the big three of social media, which are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Even if you aren’t actively posting on these pages, you should still keep it updated, and it should have all the links to your more active social media pages. These “big three” are what usually come up when a brand is searched on Google, so try to lead a new customer to your more active pages through all your more dormant ones.
5. Not Tracking your Progress
To get the most you can out of online marketing, you should always analyze the results, and this includes the negative and the positive. This will help you in many aspects. You will understand if you’re reaching your target audience or not. You might be surprised at the customers you reach with your content, and it may be the polar opposite of your expected target audience. If you can’t choose what social media platform to use most, then try keeping a few pages on different platforms active and assess the analytics. If two of your pages are getting more attention, then it is time to leave the rest and amp up the content on these platforms. Online marketing can be a tricky area at the beginning, so it is crucial that you analyze your results and make changes to your strategy every week or so. It is also important to look at the big picture. For example, lots of likes mean nothing if you aren’t getting any comment, or your engagement blade is staying low. If, after some time, your account is growing, but your revenue isn’t, then it is time to alter your online marketing strategy.
6. Not Accepting Negative Feedback
Social media is all about interactions. It is a back-and-forth conversation between a brand and a customer. Reading and responding to negative comments and criticism will give you more insight into what the customers think of you. It will show you where you can improve, and what will bring in more customers. If you respond to a customer voicing their negative opinion about an aspect of your product, it will make the customer feel heard and appreciated, ensuring that they stay loyal even after an unpleasant experience. Before the age of social media marketing, a brand would’ve spent lots of money on conducting market research with surveys and questionnaires in order to gather customer opinions. But now brands receive free reviews in the form of comments and tweets, so you should always seize this opportunity. It can also severely harm your brand if you don’t. Jeffree Star, a famous beauty Youtuber, and owner of his own cosmetic brand has recently been under fire of accusations from fans. Apparently, Jeffree Star blocks everyone who voices an unfavorable opinion or complaint about the cosmetic products. This also includes fans who have supported him for years yet aren’t satisfied with a single product; they are also immediately blocked. Jeffree even goes as far as to harshly respond to those complaining about hair in their products, which lead to him losing many fans and gaining a horrible reputation.
7. Online Marketing: Posting Inconsistently
This is a huge online marketing mistake that includes a few aspects within itself. Here are some of those.
Posting Similar Content
Posting alike content constantly will leave people with the impression that the brand is boring, and there isn’t much creativity there. You should always maintain a consistent personality, but that doesn’t mean posting similar content all the time. Instead of posting links or random quotes all the time, take the time to analyze your target audience and stay in tune with it. Posting similar content, you are sure to lose your whole following in a very short amount of time. Your page should portray a message, should advertise your products while also being fresh and exciting, and should keep your followers engaged.
If you find yourself stuck or running out of ideas, then spend some time studying pages of competitors, and compare them to yours. Pick out what their best qualities are and use it to your advantage while also giving it a personal twist.
Posting Too Much
Everyone hates those irritating brands that keep putting out content on their social media platforms, to the point where it fills up the customers’ timelines. Posting too much at once is a terrible idea, and will lead to you losing all your followers. Customers do not want to go on social media and just see posts from one brand constantly. If you keep posting, a customer will most likely unfollow or overlook all your posts. Wherein posting similar content will make a customer simply overlook the posts, posting too much will seriously annoy the customer, and this will likely stick in their mind, and they will avoid making any purchases from you.
Not Posting Enough
Updating once in a while is NOT going to do the trick. In a constantly developing world, you need to stay on your toes and watch out. If you aren’t putting content on a customer’s timeline, then that means that the slot is taken up by your competitors. There are so many brands and pages out there that if you don’t constantly remind the customer of your brand, they will most likely forget. It will also make your page seem careless and unprofessional. According to many marketing agencies from Los Angeles, if a customer goes onto a page to see that the latest post is older than two days, then they will most likely not follow.
What to avoid in Online Marketing
To avoid all the above-mentioned problems, I would recommend creating a content calendar and sticking to it. This calendar should include the types of posts, captions, dates, and times. Once your engagement grows, and you realize you’re on the right track, then you can be less strict with yourself.
Online marketing is a tough area to master, but you must understand that it holds opportunities and growth possibilities that you will not find anywhere else. By avoiding these common mistakes and staying on track you are sure to see improvement for your brand.
Do you remember Barney’s 16-step elaborate plan for making a girl fall in love with him from the show “How I Met Your Mother”? Watching the show, this plan seemed ridiculous and unnecessarily long. Still, as I started interacting with marketing agencies in Los Angeles, I have come to realize that similar to Barney’s plan, social media marketing strategies require the same amount of effort and many steps. The crucial part of social media marketing is having a strategy. Posting something at a random time is never going to get you to where you want to go. Scrolling through a company’s Instagram, it may seem effortless and easy to do, but everything is very carefully set up and planned down to the tiniest details. Keep in mind that a strategy is where you’re headed and not how to get there. Here are some tips with you on how to start planning for social media marketing and what you should consider before starting.
1. Why do you want to use social media?
The first step to an effective social media marketing strategy is to establish your goals. It may seem simple and straightforward, but trust me when I say it is essential for all types of things such as social media marketing, website design and development in Los Angeles, where everyone is trying to achieve an online presence. Whenever setting a goal, you must make sure it is SMART.
Setting unrealistic goals is a common mistake in any area. It may seem motivating at first but can be very damaging. If your time frame is over and you haven’t reached your goal, you are likely to get demotivated and lose hope, leading to the ruin of everything you have achieved. It is better to appreciate even the smaller steps then go for something unattainable. Your goals must also have a deadline, or else they will seem ambiguous, and you won’t realize whether you’re moving forward or falling behind. This is a list of goals I find to be relevant to most people who are planning to use social media for marketing. Increase brand awareness
- Drive traffic to the website
- Create new leads
- Grow your revenue (by increasing sales or clicks)
- Boost brand engagement
- Build a community
- Provide social customer service
- Increase mentions in the press/media
- Be aware of the conversations about your brand/site
Your goals should concern a few areas. Of course, one of the reasons to do this is to increase revenue and sales of a product or a service you’re providing. But, social media marketing should also be somewhat customer based. It should be a space where people can interact with each other concerning your product/service, let others know what they appreciate about it, and help build a community of people who have one thing in common, usage of what you offer.
2. Who is your target audience?
Take some time to imagine what an average customer will look like, imagine their habits and their consumption patterns. A fun activity to do is build marketing personas. A marketing persona is a “sketch” of a critical segment of your audience or the audience you hope to attract with what you offer. For content marketing, you will need these personas to help you provide content that will be most relevant and attractive to your audience. The personas you create should include the basics such as age, gender, salary, location (rural/suburban/urban), and education. Then you should continue by adding their primary and secondary goals and what you will do to help achieve these goals, followed by common objections and challenges during the sales process and what values will get in the way. Some additional details should also be added depending on the type of product you are going to offer, such as hobbies, real quotes from interviews, what social media they use, what blogs they read, and so on. If you get stuck, try forming questions and answering them, such as what are they interested in that you can provide? (entertainment, educational content, news), why do they consume this content? (to get better at their job, to be healthy, to stay up to date).
Now comes the hard part, forming a small elevator pitch. This should be 1-3 sentences and should focus on selling your product or service to this specific person you have created, and must be based on what you have written down.
3. What will you share?
I know that once you see this question, you might be thinking about types of content you are going to share like photos or videos, but this is more about the bigger picture. Try to research and choose a “theme” for your page that will match the message you are trying to get across. Are you going to post HD photos of your products, or are you going to opt for posting customer submitted pictures? Maybe you think it’s better if you post memes or funny content or maybe reviews. This is where a great understanding of your target audience and your marketing personas will be helpful. Look at your research and try to understand what goals and challenges your consumers have and how you can help solve them. Now, this doesn’t mean you don’t have to limit yourself to one theme or content type. Lots of marketing agencies in Los Angeles find that using a handful of themes is actually more effective and engaging. But, all must be done in moderation, as not to seem messy or overwhelming. If there are too many types of content on your page, new customers will think it unprofessional and won’t check out your products. There are a few types of strategies for handling the types of content you put out.
Numbers in Social Media Marketing
For example, posting 50% of content that will drive traffic back to you, 25% of the content from other sources, 20% of content that will support enterprise goals, and 5% about HR and the culture of the company. If you are new into social media marketing and think this is too much or sounds complicated, you can try the easy 80-20 rule, which is 80 percent of informing, educating, or entertaining posts and 20 percent direct brand promotion. You can try these out and see which you find best. A great example of mixed content and effective social media marketing is the Instagram page of the makeup brand Fenty Beauty established by Rihanna. It includes HD photos of their cosmetic products and photos of celebrities wearing Fenty makeup. But, it also includes very frequent posts of customers using the products. This not only makes the average consumer feel involved in the process and appreciated, but it also encourages other consumers to post videos or photos of themselves using the products in the hopes of being featured on the official page, which indirectly further promotes the product.
Another vital aspect is choosing the personality of the face you will be using on social media. Will you be replying to comments in a sarcastic tone or a kind tone? You must choose a specific “persona” and keep it consistent. Everyone knows about the famous Wendy’s twitter account that interacts with customers asking for free food and even competing fast food social media accounts. In fact, their sarcastic and shady comments gained so much publicity that their sales multiplied.
4. Where will you share?
Now you are going to choose which social media platform you will be using. Remember, more is not always merrier. It is not important to be everywhere, all at once. A much better strategy is choosing one or two platforms and putting out consistent, high-quality content than posting everywhere to no avail. While you keep this in mind, you should also have a presence on the big 4 of social media, which is Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. You should post once in a while, and keep your information updated, as these are usually what will come up first if the name of your company is searched online. Try to use this to your advantage by making the consumer end up on the social media platform you are most active on.
Choosing your platform once again depends on your marketing personas and consumer profiles. Take some time to research your target audience and their social media usage. For example, most younger people I know prefer using Instagram. Other people usually use twitter for staying up to date with the recent news and would prefer seeing targeted content on Facebook. This is highly specific, and there is no general rule, so look-up studies and analytics by age groups, genders, incomes, and so on.
5. When will you share it?
This is a commonly overlooked step in website design and social media marketing in Los Angeles. Once again, it is essential that you know your target audience and their habits. Kids and teens tend to not go on social media during school and only go on after school, which is in the afternoon and the peak time of seeing your content. Sports fans will go online right before and during a sporting event to interact with other fans and find relevant information concerning the game. Mothers go on social media in the middle of the night when their child has awakened them, and they can’t go back to sleep, or they are feeding the child. Travel enthusiasts tend to go on social media during late evenings when their hotel has wifi, or on weekends when they are planning their next trip. As you can see, it is highly variable from person to person and should be researched. Once you figure this out, set up a calendar with reminders, and stick to it with no exceptions.
6. Who else is there?
Catch up with your competitors. Try to check out comments and reviews and figure out what they are doing wrong and what they are doing right. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” There isn’t any point in starting from scratch and wasting time on obstacles that could have been non-existent if you had done a little more research. Many companies have been around for years and have mastered the art of social media marketing, and if you dig a little deep you can find all their downfalls and analysis on their mistakes if you spot any shortcomings, such as the absence of a feature that the audience demands, try to fill it. By doing this, you can also find out what to expect, so there will be no surprises once you start.
7. Are you doing social media marketing right?
This is a step that you should be doing after following this guide for a few months. Now, it is time that you take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Review all current analytics and reviews. Figure out what is working and what isn’t not. Which posts are getting higher engagement, and the reason behind it is the content or the time that it is posted at. Look at the engagements and if the comments are positive or negative. Is your target audience who you expected it to be, or do you need to tweak your settings for a new audience? Are you reaching your audience at all, or are you being met with a brick wall? These are only some of the observations you should be making, and if something isn’t working out, try looking at competitors’ sites, researching more, or redoing something to make your content ideal.