Why Small Businesses Can – and Should Embrace Technology Trends in 2020

You can either follow a trend or go against it. The choice is yours. The truth is, nonetheless, that if you fall behind, your competitors may overcome you – steal your customers and offer a better service or product. Knowing that being a business owner is a tough job, technology is sometimes considered too hard to implement because it is costly to hire a strategic partner or IT support or time-consuming to learn new tactics yourself. These myths may not apply for your business – today's tools are made to be easy to implement and understood by non-technical individuals.


Technology influences every aspect of your business – IT, finances, logistics, sales, support or marketing. New approaches teach us constantly how to become more efficient at what we do. Saving money or time, increasing the scalability of our businesses or inventing new products and business models is backed by the evolution of technology. On the other hand, not everything that glitters is gold… We've written an article about the difference between trend and hype. Watch carefully what's going on in your industry and what your customers need or require (which is definitely the most important factor of all), but don't jump on every train that goes around. Not everyone will make it to the final station. There is a difference between what influences your business and what doesn't.


We will cover some trends for 2020 below, but before we jump into that, let's speak about the context. In 2018, 50% of the world's population was online. Today in 2019, it's more than 54%. Now, most people have jumped into the information age, where everything is moving at an unbelievable pace. Not only are things (goods and services) changing on a daily basis, but their costs are constantly decreasing. Imagine you bought a 3D printer 12 years ago. 40,000 USD is what you'd have paid. Today, the cheapest 3D printers cost around 100 USD. Yes, your math skills are up to par: 400x less.

Number of Internet Users Around the World
Everything changes. We either accept it and do our best, or die.

The goal of this article is to encourage you to follow the trend and embrace the newest technology in 2020, not to speak about morbid scenarios. 


Going back to where we began: YOU CAN EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY IN 2020, because it is meant to be available for you. When running a local business, you focus on what's really important, right? You don't want to spend time doing things that don't positively affect your bottom line. Being an entrepreneur, there are two key factors to go after:


  1. You want to generate more money with the assets you currently have.
  2. You want to save time and money.


To achieve one or the other, you might try tactics you haven't tried yet. To understand them, let's dive into a few trends to follow in 2020:


Marketing automation

We are bringing you our marketing knowledge, not necessarily the overall business strategy. You know your business best, but we know what saves you time and generates more money when it comes to marketing. Automating routine tasks and delegating the costly work, that you or your agency needs to do, to tools like groost. allows you to manage your online campaign effectively and for a fraction of the price. If you rely on your sales team, CRM systems like Hubspot or Pipedrive strive to help you automate follow up emails or customer retention activities. There is a plethora of tools to use, which we have covered in this article.


"For more than 30% of small businesses is marketing the number one challenge” by Mailchimp

Focus on your customer

We keep repeating this, I know. But it simply is the Holy Grail – always put the customer in the center of your (not only marketing) activities. I can assure you this won't be relevant only in 2020, but will last for decades. The times in which Henry Ford kept saying “You can have any color as long as it's black” is over. In today's era, your customers' desires and preferences are what should keep you awake at night. 


Does this apply to marketing only? Not at all. Imagine you market your product so that hundreds of people are waiting in line to buy from you. Once they approach the cashier they turn back and never come again – unwillingness to serve your customers nicely by one of your employees can be very costly. To give another example, say you run an ecommerce project. Everything from marketing to IT works great, until your logistics crash and the customer does not get what she ordered. Is this something that can badly harm your business? Absolutely! Customers have many touch points when dealing with your business – make sure every one of them is as customer-friendly as possible.

Henry Ford's Famous Statement

Don't rely on your organic reach

Let's stay in the marketing field for now. You probably run your profile on social media. Having 1,000 page likes brings you nothing if you only reach 20% of them. The organic reach is – and will be – decreasing constantly which we covered in our latest article. You will have no other choice, but to create truly engaging content that resonates with your audience and to invest in paid advertising. What you need to focus on is:

  • Keeping your target audience in mind.
  • Calculating the ROI for every campaign you run.


According to the Deloitte Small business technology trends, 80% of small businesses aren't taking full advantage of digital tools. Be the 20% of them.


Work on inbound marketing

There are two main communication strategies: inbound & outbound. Inbound makes the potential customer discover you by the content that you create – be it articles on your website, videos on your Youtube channel or podcasts on Spotify. Outbound is focused on push or disruptive strategies – you reach your potential customers while they scroll on their social media feeds, watch videos on Youtube or read articles. Working on your content brings you long-term results. Educating your audience, providing valuable content (and boosting your inbound marketing) is something you should be focused on throughout not only 2020, but every upcoming year.



We've come across a few basic tips to leverage technology in 2020. As stated, even small businesses can – and should embrace the latest technology (not only in 2020, but beyond).

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How to Find and Engage Your Target Audience on Instagram?

If you are reading this then you have probably heard of Instagram. It is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. With over 1 billion monthly active users and more than 500 million daily users.Nowadays more and more businesses are using Instagram as a key marketing tool when it comes to online marketing.

 

But it is important to do your research and learn the ins and outs about marketing on Instagram. So you can enjoy all the benefits it has to offer and create the best possible marketing strategy to ensure great results.

 

Your main objective is to find your target audience and engage with them in the best way possible. This is achievable by using a number of key tactics and data which are all available to you via Instagram. Studying this information will help you come up with the best marketing strategy for your business. Which will help you reach your targeted audience to ensure you are offering your product or services to the right people.

 

Sound interesting. Here are the key methods to finding and engaging with your targeted audience on Instagram.

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How To Use Facebook Groups For Your Business

Facebook Groups are one of the basic components of Facebook. You are probably even a member of some of them.


It's a place where people with the same interests can connect online. The basic principle is that it is an online place for people to discuss, share experiences and express their opinions and attitudes. It also allows people to organize events, share photos, videos, or broadcast live videos.


Any Facebook user can create a group and its operation is completely free. Each user can be a member of up to 6,000 groups at the same time. 


Unlike FB Pages, groups can be closed, and while the Page serves primarily for brand presentation, groups are focused on users and their activity in the community.


There are 3 types of Facebook Groups:

Public groups are the ones anyone can find and join. On the other hand, Closed Groups can be found, but their content is hidden and the membership must be approved by its moderator or administrator. This is a great tool to control who wants to join the community and thus control the membership. The highest level of privacy is offered by the Secret group. You cannot view or search those on Facebook. Members of these groups are directly invited by administrators or other members.


Key takeaways

  • Anyone with a Facebook account can create and run a group for free
  • A user can be a member of up to 6,000 groups at the same time
  • Groups can be public, but also completely hidden and closed
  • You can create events, share content, and discuss, exclusively in a group, without showing content on your wall
  • As an administrator, you can delete a group at any time

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5 Tips to Write Outstanding Texts for Your Facebook Post

Most people have been through the struggle and know how you feel or have felt when writing a piece of content for Facebook, “What text am I supposed to put here?”, “Is this gonna work?”, “Is this too informal?”  Writing an engaging post on Facebook – for your business page, as this is what I will be talking about here (not your personal page where you know perfectly who you represent and what tone of voice to use) – can be challenging. You are trying to get the customer's attention, arouse a reaction and avoid ignorance...


How do you write posts that simply can't be ignored? This is what we will explore in the following 5 tips. Keep in mind, that before you write or produce ANY PIECE OF CONTENT, have your targeted audience in mind. What will be appealing to them? What tone of voice should you use? These are some of the questions that you need to answer.


So, let's dive into 5 tips, so that you know how to become your own best-in-class copywriter. Oh, or not yet… I probably did not stress enough how important it is to catch one's attention! So let's take one step back…


The 21st century offers almost unlimited ways to reach out to your desired audience, your potential or current customers. And that's the problem. There are many ways, many advertisers, businesses (like yours) targeting an audience that has its limits. Especially when it comes to attention span. The more stories we tell and the more frequently we are trying to tell them, the less time we have to draw our audience's  attention.     


8 seconds per one piece of content is on average the time span of a person spending time on social media (by the research conducted by Microsoft). In 2000, it was 12 seconds which only shows how rapidly the span decreases. For some of the placements, like Instastories, it is even less – around 3 seconds. That being said, you truly have to catch the eye or remain ignored…


Luckily, I am about to share some tips for you. If you follow them, your chances will increase!


  1. Keep in mind: Your copy is the bridge between the user's desire and your offer

The user's desire. That is your Holy Grail around which your activities should be tied. When you create a copy, make sure to address it. No one is interested in “just another product”. Need or desires to be addressed first, product/ offer comes afterwards…


  1. Bring your audience in (intensify your text)

Don't speak about yourself. With all due respect, no one is interested (unless you own a big and known brand). Bring your audience into your text, speak about them, use words like “you”, use questions to draw the attention, have a dialogue rather than a monologue... 


  1. Attract users' hidden and unspoken values & beliefs

Everyone has them. Values, beliefs and roles we play or want to play in our lives- we rarely speak about them, but have them in mind every time we make a choice when picking your best suit for a date or arriving at a business meeting in your luxury car. Apple is great at attracting our values and beliefs. Is it a piece of hardware, a PC or mobile phone, or rather something else that increases your status in other people's eyes? The answer is clear, I believe… Be Apple. Leverage on these values and beliefs when describing your offer or when designing a catchy headline.


Note: I do not encourage you to be manipulative. If you cannot help your customers with your product, if you truly cannot satisfy their needs and make their desires come true, stop reading this article, please. But if you and your product can help customers, feel free to show it…


  1. Follow a structure

When creating a FB post, there are certain platforms for which you create the copy. Mostly, it is the text above the picture or video, or a headline that occupies the largest place accompanied by a description. There are few models (continue reading) that – if used well – can help you draw the user's attention more effectively. Follow them and…


  1. Test, test, test…

I know. This has been said thousands of times. But how many of you run AB testing every time you create an ad? Do you think thoroughly before creating the second version that is the copy or do you follow the kind of approach: “Oh, I should do a second version… Let me change one word here… and that's it! I will run the AB test now!” 


Testing is the only right tactic to find out what resonates most within your audience. Who does not test, pretends to predict the future or relies on her thoughts…


I promised to present you some models, structures you can follow to create outstanding Facebook posts. Here you go…


But let us first showcase what a Facebook post usually looks like:


Structure of Facebook Post
Structure of a Facebook Post



  1. Question – Answer + Call to Action – Proof

Ask a question in the text section, answer it (by offering your product, service), use call to action in the headline and add a proof that your solution works (testimonials, number of users, …) in the description section. This model works best if your audience already faces the issue you aim to fix or a desire you aim to satisfy. 


  1. Identification – Call to Action – Urgency

Make the reader feel like you are reading her thoughts when reading the text. Make her feel completely identified with what you write there. Use a combination of short stories and metaphors. After she feels like she just read her life's story, make her complete the action in the headline – offer a way out, a way to improve, a way to get what she desires. In the description, use a sense of urgency. There is something called FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) that drives people crazy (make sure to read the article after completing this one). 


  1. Come up with yours (tomorrow)

Try to invent your method of approaching your audience in a way that simply cannot be ignored! There are many approaches that can be followed. Go out with your copy, test it and let me know on my LinkedIn profile what worked for you! 

Note: The structure text, headline and description applies for posts that contain a link. If you share a picture, text is the only editable section. Similar rules apply in that case.

Here are some of the posts that were created in a really smart way:

Example of Facebook Posts
Example of Great Facebook Posts

After your post has been published, make sure to check the results! This may seem like a no-brainer, but not everyone is checking how well the content performs. Do not be one of them. Measure and build on what works. Facebook allows you to see the engagement rate (percentage of people who interacted with your posts divided by the number of people reached) in the Insights tab. The higher the engagement rate, the better your post has resonated within your fan base.

Facebook Insights
Facebook Insights

Final touches:

You have been given very concrete instructions on how to write an outstanding Facebook post. Keep in mind this is a lot about testing and finding what works for your business. There are, nonetheless, some rules that haven't been mentioned yet:

  • Keep your text short – no one will read long stories.
  • If you want people to complete an action, guide them: use a call to action.


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How Can You (Effectively) Generate More Quality Leads Through Instagram?

Instagram, one of the most famous social media platforms based mainly on visuals, is currently used by more than one billion users and the number is only growing. That, needless to say, represents a great opportunity to reach the audience you haven't reached yet. One of your marketing goals might be to generate quality leads and Instagram may be the channel you want to use. Now the key question is how to effectively leverage this platform so that you generate valuable leads at a reasonable cost. There are ways. 


First of all, you need to consider if Instagram is a channel for you and your type of business. If you can't think of a way to showcase your products or services, show your personal story or share something from “behind the scenes” in a VISUAL way, Instagram may not be a good fit for you. Similarly, if your audience is not present on Instagram, consider other channels for your communication mix. Try to look deeper into LinkedIn or Facebook which represent opportunities to generate leads too. 


On the other hand, if you figure out a way to leverage its visual style, Instagram is a great fit for connecting your potential customers with your brand. 62% of people say they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories. That's just one placement. If you effectively leverage all of what Instagram offers, people will love you (and your brand).


Let's finally jump straight into ways to effectively generate more quality leads through Instagram!


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5 Effective Ways to Sell Houses with Online Advertising

Gone are the days of driving through different neighborhoods and searching for houses and apartments with the for-sale sign. With around 50% of new homeowners finding their new homes online and only 7% finding it through the traditional yard sign it is easy to see why online advertising is becoming very important and effective in the real estate industry. More and more buyers are using the internet to search and find their dream house and it is easy to see why. Today’s technology allows us to search for any corner of the country for properties from the comfort of our living rooms.

So, with everything happening online here are 5 effective ways to sell houses with online advertising.

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Why Should Every Realtor Use Instagram?

Are you using Instagram to attract qualified real estate leads? Or are you merely relying on Facebook?


Things changed in the last years and social media platforms as well. Instagram is one of the platforms that has grown dramatically in the last decade. In the beginning of 2012 it started with “just” 15 million users. After 8 years the user base grew to over 1 billion in 2020. Not just these numbers is a reason to consider using Instagram in your business.

37% of American adults use Instagram

In most of 2019, almost forty percent of adults were on Instagram. This number will grow rapidly in the next few years, so it makes IG a great place to reach your potential clients.

Direct communication

Instagram is based on connecting people. It is therefore, very easy to communicate directly with your followers or even potential customers, whether publicly in comments or in private messages. In addition, the Instagram application is very well optimised, so it is comfortable and easy for the person on the other side of your communication.

It's visual

Instagram is based on visual content. People like it and spend a lot of their time looking at a variety of photos, pictures and videos. Embrace it when you have something to show. Photos of houses are very popular on Instagram and this is a huge opportunity for you! Show the properties you are currently offering. 

More engaging than Facebook

Instagram is an engagement powerhouse. Brands see 10x higher engagement here than they do on Facebook. It's because the interaction with the content on instagram is much more natural and convenient for users.

You don't have to compete with Zillow

When you offer your services on Zillow, Realtor, or Trulia, you compete with almost all real estate agents. On the other hand, according to FitSmallBusiness.com, only 14% of agents are on Instagram. It gives you a big advantage. Up to 83% of buyers want to see pictures of properties online.

Precise Ads targeting

Instagram is a part of Facebook. It brings great advantages. Via Facebook Business Manager, you can publish ads on Instagram with very precise targeting. This allows you to reach potential customers using a number of parameters, such as where they live or even whether they are considering buying property. If you are not sure about the Business Manager, try our groost app, that simplifies the whole process to just 7 steps. 

Reach right audience with hashtags

Essentially, hashtags are an SEO on Instagram. It is a tag in the description of your post and it allows users who are not following you, to find your content and, hopefully, follow you. Basically, you have two types of hashtags, global and local. Local hashtags are best if you are running a business account or have a physical location and want to promote locally.

Publishing content is easy and quick

From the very beginning, Instagram was designed to publish visual content. With the official mobile app, it's very easy and fast. You have a variety of tools to edit your photos and videos on the go.

Live streaming

Live streams are becoming more and more popular. It turns out, according to this study, that up to 82% percent of people prefer live videos compared to social media posts. And 80% of users would rather watch live videos from a brand than read a blog. Because it is honest and authentic. Take this opportunity to present the property you are currently selling.

Insights into a business profile

On Instagram, you have basically 2 types of profiles. Personal and Business. The business one offers you more features that are essential for your business. One of the features is called Insights. You can see several charts and numbers here and use this to analyse your audience to find out what is and isn't working.

It’s free

In the end, Instagram is a free platform. Anyone can use its features for free and that is the reason why Instagram has over 111 million active users in the U.S. alone.


What to say at the end? Instagram is apparently a platform that you shouldn't ignore in 2020. It has many benefits for your business and its influence will grow.

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