How to encourage social media engagement

Social Media Marketing should not be a standalone ‘push’ of messages. Posts are more likely to lead to new clients when conversations are started and a company has the opportunity to interact one-on-one with a viewer. That way, a dialogue can be tailored to their particular questions rather than pitching to a larger audience.

Critical to the success of social media engagement is being prompt in answering.

Let’s look at an engagement timeline for a conversation:

smm engagement

This conversation shows that the business responded quickly and then more interactions followed quickly. (This example was from Instagram where each reply was addressed to the other party via the @name tag)

There are some ways to encourage social media engagement, here we explore some ways which might just make your viewer click ‘reply':

Introduce yourself

In an age where technology rules, it’s nice to know there is a real person listening so don’t be afraid to share a bit of your story, be it in pictures or anecdotes.

Be smart @ work

Replying to a specific comment should be just that – specific. Don’t post a general comment hoping the right person will see it, tag them, address your content to their profile so they know you are focusing on their question.

Ask a question

Asking a question in a post invites a natural answer. It shouldn’t be contrived, just a subtle change in wording can make all the difference.

smm engagement

Share your best pictures

You have a gallery of images and can post every day, twice a day, for 100 days if you use them all… STOP! Using your ‘ok’ pictures can put someone off your brand and you are unfollowed and ignored before your best picture comes along. It is better to post infrequently, the golden rule is quality over quantity. 

Make your audience smile

It can be difficult to bring humor, and there are certainly businesses and times when a sincere approach is the only path to take. If the opportunity arises to make a joke, a pun, share a funny story, then go ahead, you could brighten up a dull social media feed and stand out. If in doubt about the content, ask a colleague or friend to review it first. If the content you have published is badly received, learn from the experience and modify the posts for the future.

Share inside secrets

You can make your social media audience feel special by sharing product details early, by offering tickets to an event exclusively for them, or by taking them behind the scenes before a product line or new location starts up. It’s a win-win as the viewer gets to find out more, and the business creates a ‘buzz’ about the changes.

Competitions!

Maybe the biggest driver for engagement is offering a prize through social media. It could be ‘like our page and share this post for a chance to win … ‘

For a measured outlay (the prize), your social media reach could double, triple or better. What’s more, the people who ‘like and share’ are saying they want to win your prize and therefore they endorse your product or service. Their friends are likely to have the same interests so you are reaching your ideal target audience.

 

If you are looking for a social media marketing strategy, Trulium can help set up your profiles and reinforce your brand, cementing bonds with existing customers and connecting with new prospects. Contact us today to get started!

 

How Often Should I Post To Social Media?

It’s impossible to give a blanket answer to such a broad question as every business is different, but there are factors to consider in helping you find the right balance for you.

Time Requirement

It’s fine deciding to launch a social media marketing campaign and obviously, the hope is to reach new prospects, engage with current clients and promote your brand.That’s easy to say although the time commitment involved may be more than you anticipated. There are ways to mitigate the time outlay, one is to choose a single social media platform only – ideally the one favored by your customer demographic – and focus on doing one campaign well. This could be a better strategy than spreading your time too thinly across multiple platforms, being unable to do a really good job on any. Another way is to hire a social media marketing agency to action the posts on your behalf.
The time commitment is not merely in creating content for social media as a good campaign should be interactive – this means in addition to posting, time needs to be scheduled to monitor feedback and engage with any customer comments or questions.

How much do you have to say?

It’s difficult to rework posts with little or no new content to share. Conversely, when you have exciting news or are frequently launching new products, this lends itself to being able to post more frequently. If you’re lucky enough to have news to share maybe twice a month or more, posting will form its own natural schedule and you needn’t try to bolster the post numbers.

Don’t be over zealous

We all have one (or more!) friends on social media who share everything, it can be exhausting trying to keep up! In the world of social media, quality posts will beat out quantity any day. Raising brand awareness is most effectively done by creating interesting content rather than creating an overwhelming barrage of posts.

Use insights to drive strategy

Check out the data available within the social media accounts to see what are the most popular times of the day or days of the week to post. Tailor your plan to optimize the time you post. If in doubt, switch up your schedules and then record the results. Maybe posting at the weekend is better, maybe posting at 6 pm is your perfect time. Take a mix of the data already available to you and then periodically review your strategy and fine tune your schedule.
 instagram business account blog

Drip feed over time

Maybe your jewelry business has just started selling a new line of necklaces. You have beautiful promotional shots and want to share them on Pinterest. You have an established following who eagerly await new pins for inspiration. You could stretch or drip feed your new material over time to fill your social media posting schedule rather than pinning 50 images and then having nothing new to pin for a few months.

 

If you’re ready to start your own social media marketing journey, Trulium can help. Contact us today to get started.

How to choose Hashtags

If you’re active on social media you’ve probably seen hashtags even if you aren’t using them. A post may end with words or phrases prefixed with the # symbol.

It might seem like a fad but there are real benefits for a business to jump in and adopt a hashtag strategy. On certain social media platforms (like Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, and Instagram), the hashtags are a great way to extend your reach and present your content to new potential clients.

Hashtags basically act as a filing cabinet across the social media world, they pull together similar posts so that they can be searched for and seen together. Think of a big file with all the #food posts, then each file can be subdivided further to make it more specific eg. #donut or #cake

It’s, therefore, important to stay on track and relevant to the use of hashtags. It would be pointless to post a picture of a waterfall with #delicious, but there are many options which would be more appropriate like #nature #scenic #scenery

There is no need to separate hashtags with commas, just a space, and if you want to use a phrase, run the words together like #naturephotography

It’s best not to get too long and complicated, as it can be difficult to read and it’s very unlikely someone will find your content through a search.

Choose hashtags that reinforce your brand or the quality of your product. For example #businessname #bestnatureshots

One way to find popular hashtags is to click on the magnifying glass within Instagram, click on tags and start to enter one of the words you want to use. A list will come up showing some of the most utilized terms. Here is an example:

instagram hashtags

It’s important to think about the audience you are trying to connect with, reaching thousands of people may not deliver one lead. The secret is to hashtag to hone in on your target demographic. If you are selling honeymoon packages, a good hashtag may be #futureMrs for instance.

As a business, it is likely you will not only connect with potential clients but will also build a network of like-minded professionals who may follow your feed or ‘like’ your posts. If you see a business similar to your own and like their content, click on their profile and look at a couple of posts to see how they are targeting their audience. Are they using a hashtag strategy that could also work well for you? Your inspiration may come from the other side of the world as the searches yield international results. If your business is multilingual, use hashtags in different languages.

Actively searching the hashtags you are using also demonstrates how your posts compare to the competition out there. Are your posts of the best quality? Are others using filters and editing to create more original content?

Taking the first step is the most daunting. Once you get started, experiment with new hashtags, see what works for you. There are many who say don’t use more than 1 or 2 hashtags but every business is unique and your hashtag journey is yours alone.

If you want help planning a social media marketing campaign or want to explore a new internet marketing strategy, contact us today.

10 Reasons To Use Pinterest For Your Business

It’s Free

It’s easy to sign up for an account and it’s free to use the standard account. If your account does really well and you want to start paying for ‘promoted pins’ at a later date then that is always an option. Before doing that it is worthwhile building a gallery of pins because if you attract traffic and they want to scan your images, you’ll want them to find the best you have to offer.

It’s Primarily Visual

No matter what your product or service, you can either showcase the item itself, someone using the item or the before’s and after’s of  a service. With a bit of creativity almost anything can be presented in a visually attractive way. If all else fails, text can still be pinned – choose a font or format which is eye catching to compete with the barrage of stunning images out there.

It Builds Links Back To Your Site

Each pin can be edited to link back to your site. Therefore as your pin is picked up by others, your links are naturally growing. The more successful your boards and pins, the more significant the increase in not only links but the chances of yet more ‘pinners’  seeing your brand name or website address, hopefully being intrigued enough to take a look.

pinterest for business

Showcase Your Best Angles – From Every Angle

One of the benefits of Pinterest boards is the unlimited number of pins and the ability to break up the content into different boards. This means you could have one general board and then use more detailed boards for supplemental shots from unusual angles, close-ups, images of the product in use, relative size (displayed next to something recognizable), shipping materials, your production team, your warehouse – anything that you know will enhance your reputation. This is an alternative to cramming your website full of these images because the ‘real estate’ on the page is so scarce.

It’s A Great Way To Connect With One Of The Biggest Shopping Demographics – Women!

Pinterest is most popular with women and depending on your type of business, that could be ideal targeting for your key demographic.

It Builds Over Time

Rather than trying to pull together a collection of your best pictures, Pinterest is custom made to build your galleries over time. This means that instead of sending many images to potential clients or colleagues, you can share the link to your site and they can see your galleries any time they wish. It might seem impossible to build a gallery of hundreds of pictures, but by adding a dozen or so each month, the collection steadily builds and what once seemed a daunting task has become a reality.

Clients Can Build Boards From Your Images To Indicate Exactly What They Want

Instead of describing what a customer wants as ‘the picture in the blue second from the left on the 3rd page’, they can ‘pin’ the images they want and then show exactly what items or components they are interested in. This is reinforced with accurate and meaningful product descriptions on each pin so the text needed to identify the product is tied to the image.

It Shows Your Company Evolution

If the older items are still in service and for sale, the boards act as a timeline showing older models as well as the newer models which over time your business will more likely focus on. If they are defunct and no longer for sale, then those older images or boards should be deleted.

Everyone Else Is Pinning

If you don’t get in the Pinterest game, you are missing an opportunity to reach a set of potential clients that your competitors are likely reaching already.

It’s Easy

For the time investment, it’s a really simple way to get a great looking portfolio. You can add the Pinterest icon to your site and cross reference it from your other profiles.

social media buttons

 

Whatever your reason to get started, it’s a sound platform to promote your business and don’t be put off by competitors who already have galleries with hundreds of thousands of pins. They also had to start somewhere and it’s amazing how quickly the number of images can build. For this reason – think strategically up front about how you want to partition your data into boards. Get started, get comfortable and then go ‘public’ with your profile when you’re happy with it.

If you need help planning a social media marketing strategy, Trulium can help. Likewise, if you want a Pinterest gallery but don’t want to do it yourself, Contact us today and let’s get started! Pinterest accounts for business can be a great addition to social media marketing, especially if your product or service lends itself to stunning visuals.

To hashtag or not to hashtag

That is the question

It was familiar, it’s still right there on our telephones, trusty and recognizable – “Please enter your date of birth followed by the pound sign ….”

Social Media Marketing DenverNowadays a whole generation will have to translate in their heads “Oh .. by pound sign they mean hashtag”, because for every time you see or use the ‘pound’ sign (#) you will see the same symbol followed by keywords or catchy phrases as hashtags, ubiquitous on social media platforms like twitter, facebook, instagram, google+ and pinterest.

So should you pay attention?

The answer (whether you are still denying their meteoric rise or not) is yes. Their popularity shows no sign of slowing down and even if you weren’t jumping onto a ‘popularity’ bandwagon, they work as an effective tool in marketing. The seemingly fickle # can:

  • help you connect with other vendors in the same arena
  • help you find new customers
  • bring your brand to a wider audience
  • get you marketing exposure
  • give your social media campaign credibility
  • help you keep pace with competitors who are leveraging the #’s reach

Even more food for thought:

  • It’s free
  • It takes time to discover what works best for your brand, so the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll find out what works for you and how much time and effort is worth investing – every product or service provider has a different niche and it would be naive to suggest that everyone would benefit equally.
  • If your sector or brand name are not already popular in the world of #s and their search results, you can ‘claim’ them now and make them work for you. If someone else has a very similar name or is already using hashtags which would fit your campaign, it will be harder to join that established forum, whereas a savvy marketing campaign starting from scratch would look to set up something unique.
  • What works on one platform works on another – not only does this make your hashtag strategy easier, it reinforces your branding and helps pass your message consistently across your social media platforms.

10 Tips on becoming a successful #er

  1. Social Media Marketing DenverDon’t focus so much on the hashtags that you lose the focus of your message. Describe your post or picture and then apply hashtags that are appropriate to that particular post rather than your brand in general. When you have diverse posts the selection will automatically find the right audience. For example, if you sell tiaras and anklets, you may always #jewelry (which has over 25 million posts on instagram so far) but then only use #anklet on specific anklet pictures – don’t have a standard list you always use like #jewelry #anklets #tiaras #everythingelseIsell as viewers who don’t find what they expect are less likely to trust your brand.
  2. Switch it up! If you use the same set of hashtags on every post, you will be reaching the same audience each time. For the people who have already found you, they have the option to ‘follow’ you if they want to see more. Your goal in marketing is to reach new potential customers and impress them enough to be noticed.
  3. Do use your brand – # your business name if possible and you can reinforce that by adding your business name to the post as floating text or in a text bubble.
  4. Don’t be afraid of the #. The limit on instagram is 30 #s but rarely does anyone go anywhere near that limit. If you’re creative, you should be able to get your brand and everything you want to promote with 3-8 hashtags.
  5. Don’t make them too long. #ItsHardForYourAudienceToPayAttentionIfItGetsRidiculous
  6. Social Media Marketing DenverLearn what works for you. Look at the success of your posts and tweak future posts to explore that direction. It isn’t a popularity contest. Success here doesn’t mean the number of ‘likes’. A post with less likes but a solid lead which you can convert to a dialogue is worth more.
  7. Look at how your competitors are leveraging hashtags to give you ideas – don’t copy but instead let that inspire you to find your own social media identity.
  8. Have fun. Humor can be used effectively by almost every business.
  9. If you are a local business reliant on local customers, use your location as a hashtag as your customer base may well be searching to support local business interests.
  10. If you don’t know where to start, look to your SEO keywords as a great launching pad.

You are the expert in your business, if you want to launch an effective social media campaign, let us help you with a plan. Contact us today  info@trulium.com

Which social media platforms are right for your business?

Like it or hate it, social media is an important marketing tool. Chances are when you go to a place where people are having some ‘downtime’, like the airport lounge or riding the train, they’re not talking to each other but instead looking down at their ‘phones busily scrolling away. Along with all the personal catch up with “friends” and family, they’re checking out reviews on the latest restaurant or pricing services that they’re researching. These links matter as they not only represent your business in a different way, they are part of the net you cast to filter potential clients to your door. If your social media posts show your products or services in an engaging and positive manner, you’re one step closer to selling your product or initiating a new dialogue.

social media platformsChoosing which platform to use largely depends on what you are showcasing. A starting point may be to launch in the social media zone you like most and are most familiar with – if you look for ideas on Pinterest and it works well for you, look at if that tool will work for your business. If you don’t have help from a team experienced in social media, this will get you off on the right path and once you’ve taken the first step (no matter which tool you use), the next will follow more easily.

What factors are most important?

  • Who are you trying to reach? What social media platforms will they be using?
  • Do I need my posts to be seen quickly (for instance if you want to post a flash one day sale event, Facebook and Twitter are perfect for spreading the word. Facebook has far and away the most active users and is a good fit for virtually everyone.
  • For building a gallery or portfolio which can build over time and represent your brand, Pinterest is accessible and popular, primarily to females, which is great if they are your core demographic (eg wedding planning). Instagram is another image driven application (with more active users than Pinterest) allowing you to share instantly or filter and enhance your content, allowing you to highlight your brand and set yourself apart from your competitors. A plethora of supporting apps help morph your image into a piece of art!

social media platforms Trulium social media blog - after edit

Use supporting apps
to stand out from the
crowd

 

  • For professionals who want to network and build contacts, LinkedIn was designed just for you.
  • For local business visibility and for the power that Google brings, Google+ will continue to become more relevant – get in early and build your social platform.

If you’re still baffled, look to a competitor that is reaching your audience now. Checkout their website to see their links to social media. When a potential customer likes what they see on your website, they often click on your social media links to be reassured by your professionalism and follow or connect with you whilst considering your product or service.  An important note to take is that your branding should be consistent across all of your platforms, present what make you unique so that customers know you will be a good fit for their needs. The landscape changes over time and the customers of the future are embracing social media as a powerful tool. Your campaign needn’t be a burden – have fun with it, start new avenues for conversation and opportunity.

It’s not a popularity contest, look to build a loyal following of potential clients and attract prospects through new channels. Be attentive to your social media traffic and respond promptly to deliver a good experience. Set up a plan and start the journey. Once you’re up and running, use the tool analytics to guide your next strategy. If you’re looking for a helping hand, why not contact us today  info@trulium.com

Why your Business Needs Reviews

Reviews can be considered one of the most dominant factors in a consumer’s head when it comes to a purchase.

We’re all guilty of diligently going over reviews before we make a decision on everything from services to cars. When you’re on the lookout for a brand new computer, what’s the first thing you browse to get a better idea of its functionality? When you’re in the market for a new hairdresser, what is your top concern when figuring out if you can trust that person?

If you’re like most people, you wonder what others who have tried those products and services have to say. It’s how we’ve evolved as shoppers. We look to each other to tell the actual truth beyond marketing and brand awareness. Consumers in this era know how to find the answers they need to keep them away from schemes and bad businesses.

In that vein, there’s nothing more skeptical and disheartening than a business without reviews. It’s because of this that you should ask for reviews every time your business does satisfactory work with a client, and you should never be ashamed of it. Most people are more than happy to give their opinion on your business if they’re reminded.

Reviews are essential because:

Good Reviews Mean Business

A review is not just some client rattling on about your services. It’s essentially confirmation that you are worth the money. A happy customer is much more convincing than you’ll ever be to a potential client. It is especially telling when someone takes the time out of their busy schedule to go on about how great your company treated them, and it makes the sales funnel that much shorter.

Reviews are SEO Heaven

Getting people to talk about you online is pure beauty to your local SEO. The more your business is linked and mentioned, the better chances of it coming up higher in search results. Good reviews on sites like Yelp and Google will pull you up even higher, so make sure to spread the review love as often as possible. It helps to have links available for happy clients to click through email – this saves them time and gives them even more reason to like you. Your search engine marketing will reap many benefits from a client’s visible happiness.

Remind Them Why They Love YouTrulium-Oct

A happy customer is a repeat customer. Giving a client a chance to review everything you did right gives them more incentive to come back. It’s the best type of memory jog when all is said and done.

Without reviews, your business could very well be left in the past. People do their own research now-a-days. You may be their top choice before you even meet them, especially with the right atmosphere. Boost the chances of that lead choosing you over everyone else by building great reviews.

 

Is Pinterest Right for Your Business?

Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook … the list of social media sites keeps growing and growing.

You may be wondering what the differences are between each them and whether or not they are for your business. Here’s some help from Trulium to get you started, especially if you’re considering Pinterest.

Pinterest is a virtual scrapbooking app/social media that allows you to pin board and share images with others. Instagram is a photo sharing app and Facebook utilizes both photos, text and videos, although as of lately, it’s getting more visual. You can actually share your “pins,” or visuals, from Pinterest on Facebook, too.

Pinterest is highly visual and you can pin almost anything from on the web onto it and share it with other users. Pinterest also allows you to re-pin other people’s “pins” and they can do the same with yours.

Pinterest can be used to create buzz around your business, especially if you have lots of visuals to showcase. You also can include videos, blog posts, etc. When you create a pin, you can attach web addresses to them so that when people clink on those pins, they can also go to your website. This is especially handy for sales and promotions. Pinterest can be an effective way to promote your branding.

Here’s something another thing to consider. According to the Pew Research Center (March 2013) and based on social media statistics they gathered, women are five times more likely than men to use Pinterest.

We believe Pinterest has the potential to be a great marketing and sales tool, depending on your link of business, and it can boost your Search Engine Optimization and Content Creation.

Got my more questions about Pinterest or other social media? Feel free to contact us at Trulium. We’re here to help.