Being active on social networks pays off in the long run. Customers expect you to be active. It is a sign that your business is performing well so they can rely on your services and products.
If you think about accurate presence in digital space, it often counts number of social media profiles. I think you would agree that communicating and publishing content on social media can be a bit time consuming…or a lot.
This activity is very important, but can be done automatically. The right tools will help you publish posts in just a few clicks. Moreover, at the right time, because within each social network there are different and more effective times in which to contribute to different target groups.
There are hundreds of tools available on the market that offer different features in different price ranges. This article is a selection of several proven applications to help you.
A well-known and easy to use tool for scheduling your social media posts. This should be your starting point for these kinds of apps. Buffer allows you to connect all major accounts and it’s manageable from your smartphone.
Free plan: 3 social accounts, 10 scheduled posts, 1 user.
Pricing: from $15/ month
When it comes to scheduling posts and getting permission to publish, Kontentino is the tool you need.
Free plan: NO
Pricing: from $54/month
An all-in one marketing platform. It offers auto-scheduling so Hootsuite automatically picks the right time to post. It even supports the import of hundreds of social media posts at once, in CSV format. With an easy-to-use mobile app, you can manage your content and scheduling on the go.
Free plan: 3 social accounts, 30 scheduled posts, 1 user
Pricing: from $19/month
If you are focused on Instagram, Planoly should be in your choice. This mobile app will allow you to visually plan your feed, schedule posts and even add stories. You can reply to your comments directly from Planoly and analyze all data.
With CoSchedule you can organize your blog and social media content in one place. Editorial calendar in CoSchedule has a great UI, where you can plan posts by drag and drop.
The former Schedugram is now Sked and is a tool for scheduling and automated adding Instagram Stories. In addition to scheduling Stories, Sked also offers Visual Planning, so you can view the wall and see what it looks like without having to add individual posts.
Free plan: NO
Pricing: from $25/month
The biggest advantage of Postify is that it is free. Only when you need to connect 15 accounts or more do you have to pay $9.99 per month. Although, Postify is not the most visually app-friendly application, it does its job and this makes it a very good tool.
Free plan: Yes
Pricing: from $9.99/month
Probably the best Instagram automation tool. It also offers the ability to publish to other platforms, but focuses on Instagram the most. It offers a mobile app that captures all setup and publishing.
Free plan: 1 account per platform, 30 scheduled posts, 1 user.
Pricing: from $9/month
Even Facebook itself offers a feature to schedule your posts. Just create a post in Publishing Tools, select Schedule and pick a date. It is that easy. There's only a small problem, because it doesn't allow you to publish a post into multiple social media profiles. But still, scheduling multiple posts, as opposed to one per day, can still be an excellent time-saver.
Free plan: unlimited
If you are focused on Twitter, TweetDeck could help you with scheduling your posts. It is an app directly from Twitter. It has some basic features, but it is easy to use.
Free plan: unlimited
To someone who’s already run a local business for some time or someone who doesn’t need the know-how of online marketing yet, it might seem it’s not important to get involved with internet advertising, but that’s not entirely true anymore. Approximately 6 out of 10 people search for local businesses online at least once per week. Search engines have a vast database and almost every business is promoted online. There isn’t a simple answer to the question of what’s the best way to promote a local business online. It largely depends on the kind of business. Not every online channel will help every business thrive.
It’s important to focus on the ideal customer. Who is your business targeting? Is your product valuable for women, men or both? Are teenagers more likely to visit your facility than elderly people? Knowing your customers is the first step to choosing the best online channels to utilize for your business’s promotion.
Facebook is the biggest social media platform in the world with over 2.4 billion monthly active users and still increasing every year. As more and more people and companies adopt online advertising it is easy to see why social media has become a key tool to help different businesses grow and reach new potential clients. It is impossible for up and coming businesses to ignore the importance of Facebook in this day and age. With a variety of different types of ads at your disposal from pictures to videos and many more which will help you reach new people and increase your online presence. The fact is being on Facebook can make your life much easier when it comes to online advertising. You just need to setup the right marketing plan and with the help of Facebook start growing your business.
So, if you are interested in advertising your business online. Follow these 3 steps to start advertising on Facebook.
Have you ever wondered if the journey of your customer is trackable or even viewable? I have good news for you – it is. You can – in many cases – track how many people know about your business, how many of them consider purchasing your goods and, of course, how many already bought and referred your product to a friend. Being able to view the customer journey, optimise its steps and analyze your efforts is crucial for any kind of business. Trust me, the size does not matter (in this case). Every business should do it.
Marketing funnel is a term that resonates with the majority of marketers. They tend to use this model to illustrate the customer journey – from brand discovery to purchase. As stated, measuring every step of the funnel brings you a much better overview of your efforts and, thus, a higher return on investment, which is your goal, isn't it? The more you can get out of every stage of your customer's journey, the better the results are in terms of number count or revenue.
Let's say your customer journey has three main phases:
Please note that in this case we don't cover the scenarios that happen after the purchase is made (retention funnel).
Each stage represents a different behaviour stage of your potential customer. Say she has a problem which she is able to name. She begins to search for a solution – which you offer with your product or service. As soon as she discovers your business – among others – offers the solution she is already in the awareness stage.
Your presentation, product, its price and other factors determine whether she will move further on the journey. The consideration stage, needless to say, is a phase in which a potential customer already considers your product, is comparing it to your competitors and is aware of its pros and cons.
Decision. That's the phase we aim for. We want her to buy our product, right? That's when a decision is made. In this stage, your potential customer has already conducted the research, has chosen you over your competitors and is happy to buy what you have to offer.
We just described (in a very simple way) what a customer journey can look like. Sometimes it takes weeks to guide her through all stages of the journey, sometimes it is a matter of minutes. Imagine yourself buying a coffee in the city center. You probably don't do any thorough research, but you certainly look for coffee quality and price. You don't spend days comparing the product to other cafés or bars. You make the decision according to a few key factors. Your journey is fast and your decision is made pretty quickly. But it does not mean the café owner should not pay attention to the key factors, like what the café window looks like, or if their prices are reasonable, as it influences the customer's journey.
The customer journey can easily be viewed as a funnel. Therefore, marketers use it to analyze their efforts. To explain the basic idea behind the marketing funnel, let's use the widely-known model AIDA which stands for attention, interest, desire and action. Each of these phases represent a stage in which you might find your customers.
Obviously, your ultimate goal is to guide them through the stages without friction and in the shortest time possible.
Let us look at an example of a basic marketing funnel:
People obviously start at the top – marketers call it the top funnel. This represents the awareness stage. As customers move further in the funnel, they know more about you and your offer and start, as well as continue to consider it more and more.
Here is what a perfect marketing funnel would look like:
This would mean that everyone who discovers your product will decide to purchase. Going back to our example, 100% of the people who enter your café will buy a coffee. Of course, that's a seller's utopia. In an ideal world, this would work, not in the real one.
Your task is to carefully measure your funnel and optimize its steps.
Let's finally give a more concrete example of what a marketing funnel can look like in your case. Say you run a real estate business, and aim to attract potential house buyers with your website. That's also where you generate leads that you can then convert. Your main channels would be:
You would try to attract as many people as possible with your marketing budget and lead them to your website to show all the products or services you have. After they land on the website, ideally you want them to fill out a form, in case, they are interested in a particular offer. As soon as they do so, you connect with them via phone or email and find out whether their interest can lead to a conversion.
This is what your funnel would look like:
Let's do some math now. Say your marketing efforts help you reach 10,000 people with your ad. 3% of them interact with your ad and visit your website. That would mean you have 300 people on your website, right?
How many of these people are you able to convert into leads? That depends on how your website attracts its users and how juicy your offer is, doesn't it? Let's say you have a 10% conversion rate (10% of website visitors convert into leads). In this case, you would have 30 leads waiting to be contacted.
How many of them can you convert into sales? Again, factors like your response time, will play their role now. If you made it to 50%, you just made 15 sales. Now go back and think about what can be improved...
You can see that there are more factors that influence the efficiency of your funnel (and your efforts). One bit of advice would be: measure each step of the funnel, focus on the customer and do your best to improve the areas where it falters!
Going back to our example, simply by making your ad more appealing, you can increase your outcome from 3% to 6% which (if other metrics don't change) make 30 sales at the end of the day! Improve your website from 10% conversion rate to 15% and you almost hit the sky… You know where I am heading, right?
You may be wondering where you can get all of this data? Tools like Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Business Manager or our own app that simplifies the process of ad management, can give you great insights into how many people you reached, how many of them interacted with your content, how many made it to the website and finally, how many were converted into leads. There is a plethora of ways to measure your marketing funnel – the customer journey. Even a piece of paper and good data sources can create miracles…
One thing is for sure: if you don't measure your efforts carefully, you may be investing money and energy into something which does not bring you results at all.
You may be wondering if your advertising tactic is the best for your company, or what options may be better suited for your needs. Because of this, we’ve outlined the pros and cons for the most popular of online channel. As well as we show you how popular they are and among which audiences.
Today around seven to eight in ten Americans use social media to connect with one another, engage with news content, share information and entertain themselves. Explore the patterns and trends shaping the social media landscape over the past decade below.
Bear in mind that users use several channels and most important of all, they do it almost simultaneously.
Imagine an average household, three people = three users. Each user can see their favorite program on television while they have their mobile phone in hand, with the Instagram app open and making stories about what happens in that program. How many channels come into play in this situation? How many channels can you use to reach that user in one way or another? At least 3. Television, the Smartphone and Instagram itself. Al that without taking into account the rest of applications and tools that are inside that device.
Since this blog is mainly for small business owners or entrepreneurs, and especially it's about online marketing, let's talk more about the online channels.
A strong community becomes a place where customers interact not only with the brand, but also with each other. This is a great source of positive and authentic reviews and it is also an opportunity to build a relationship with your audience. The best brands have killer community management strategies and this article explains the top 5 tips to help you better manage your community across all channels.
People plan their meetings, their gym sessions, their tasks in general, why not just plan the content, then? Planning weeks or even months in advance gives you the ability to readjust your posts if needed. Set up your content calendar and approval flows. If you are doing the content alone, make sure there are no errors. Stay consistent and relevant. Planning your content ahead will help you to see the overall impression. Try it! It’s satisfying.
2. Represent your brand identity
Are you a real estate agent, owner of a flower shop or a barber? Representing your brand or business does not mean you should be boring. Be entertaining, so your audience feels good as part of your e-company. Give them valuable information, call them to action so they engage with you. Be consistent and you will become memorable. If it is not in your brand identity to behave cheeky, as for example, Netflix does, find another way to communicate in a friendly and engaging way. :)
3. Track important metrics
As mentioned above, the realtor, the barber and the flower shop owner have something in common — they should not be boring. But they can have different social media goals. The realtor might be looking for new leads, because they don’t want to be dependent on one channel like e. g. Zillow. The barber needs more customers and the florist needs to be in the minds of all the guys who live near the shop, so once their special lady has a birthday, they know where to buy the best flowers! It can be difficult to determine how your efforts have contributed to sales and leads directly. Instead, it’s better to determine how you define your own success, depending on your goals.
Think about these points below:
Traffic: Is your community on your website? Do you see growth over time? Where is the traffic coming from?
Engagement: How many people are coming to your page versus those actually engaging? Which topics are they engaging in most often? This may determine your future questions, content and discussion starters.
Members or customers: How many new members do you get every week and how many do you lose? Is this consistent? If there was a drop or growth, find what caused it!
4. Use the data you collected
Analyse your posts, interactions and the feedback you get from your audience. Then OPTIMISE! You are the one who knows the data and your customers best. The value of data cannot be understated — you’ll end up with happier, more loyal customers, as well as more easily converted leads. Use the advantage!
People trust other users experience more than the companies themselves. Did you know that reviewed a product’s chances to be sold are 80% higher than one without any review? Positively reviewed, obviously. Social media is all about interaction, sometimes the best content will come from your audience.
This is User-Generated Content, or UGC. It is amazing because it is authentic, and reflects what your customers think about your brand and… it’s free. It will show your customers’ experiences, and it drives the conversation forward in ways that you won’t be able to do by yourself. It is the gate to engage with people and get closer to them, making your brand feel more personal and approachable. UGC can be anything e.g. posts or tweets mentioning your brand or reviews.
Two examples of UGC campaigns:
Remember: Everybody wants the response. And everybody wants the answers quickly or even instantly. Do care about your response rate and response time. It might seem that people take it for granted, but it really makes the user experience unique and enjoyable.
Have you ever wondered about how it is possible that you actually like the products you see in your feed? That is because of the targeting. You should always know who you are talking to. Who is your buyer persona? If you know it, you can tell Facebook what your potential customers look like and Facebook will target them.
Facebook allows you to target custom audiences, lookalike audiences and saved audiences. The saved audiences are our topic in this article. Those are the audiences that you can define by choosing people’s interests or location, demographics, used devices, income level, etc. You can create Saved Audiences both in the campaign setup phase or in the Audience Manager. To narrow or broaden your audience, you can combine those as much as you like!
Regarding demographics-based targeting, you’ll get plenty of topics to refine your audience based on many options. The basic 3 are: Age, Gender and Language. That’s easy.
Location targeting allows you to pick the whole country, a city, or a specific radius around a pin you drop on the map. Imagine you are a realtor and you have a perfect house to sell in California! As an example, you can target people currently traveling or planning their next trip right there… To read more about the location targeting, read this article.
What is interesting here is the interest-based targeting! Interests are one of the best (and easiest) targeting options. They allow you to target people interested in a specific subject related to your product. Does it sound like a good option to target people interested in your competitors or the market segment you are in? To target people based on interests, you can either browse the menu with hundreds of interests or simply type some of them in and see what Facebook can suggest and offer you.
Everytime you edit your audience, you can check your potential reach and estimated daily results based on your campaign objective.
How does Facebook know? The interests are based on its users’ likes, apps they use, Pages they’ve followed, and more. Adding more than one interest will target people with at least one of them so you’ll broaden your reach.
Behaviour-based targeting allows you to target Facebook users by their purchase history, events they were interested in, personal anniversaries, etc. This data is gathered by Facebook analyzing many factors and also using external data sets.
You can include or exclude people based on another kind of information or connections e.g. ads they click, pages they engage with, the mobile device they use or the speed of their network connection. Interesting, huh? You can read more in Facebook article about best practices for detailed targeting.
Pretty much everything is summed up in the picture above. To save your time, save your audiences, so you can always use them again, copy them to make small changes and have a brand new one.
To read more about this topic, you can download our e-book below!