Tag: Social Media

Six Steps To Bootstrap Your Business On Social Media

Social media for small businesses is as important as having a company website. In this day and age, it almost doesn’t make sense to have one without the other.

What’s surprising though is that there are still a lot of small business owners who aren’t on social media, or don’t use it to its full potential. Social media marketing can be a powerful tool, but only if crafted strategically. Otherwise, all the time and effort invested in it can go to waste.

Follow these six steps below to start your social media marketing today:

Determine your business objectives for social media

Set goals that are concrete, measurable and achievable. Social media takes time and you may not see the rewards as early as you anticipated. However, once established, your feed has the potential to grow your audience by engaging new and returning customers.

Define your audience

Before hastily jumping onto the social media bandwagon, ask yourself — who am I talking to and why am I doing this? Remember, in order for social media to grow and be successful, you need to build an audience on an authentic level. Find out what their interests are, what they are looking for, what concerns they have and what’s endearing to them.

Establish a social media presence

Figure out which social media platform works best in reaching your audience. Facebook and Youtube have the highest number of users, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore other channels as well. Every platform has its own unique offering and audience, even if its overall user base is low. Flickr may only have 92 million users, but if those users are your audience then it may be more effective than being on Youtube which has 1 billion users. It all depends on where your audience is and how much time you want to invest creating content.

Content creation and engagement

Start building brand awareness by getting people to recognize your name and associate it with your product. Write a blog to establish your brand’s voice and nurture your audience. And don’t forget to engage your audience – get them involved in the discussion, share their experience, listen to their concerns and create incentives to get them to act.

Promote your social media channels online and offline

Look for opportunities to promote your social media channels not only online but out in the real world as well. If your business has a store, make sure you have signs showing your social media handles in highly visible areas. Though you may want your feeds to draw new customers, the greatest value of social media is the ability to convert existing customers into brand ambassadors, so inform customers of your feeds at every touchpoint.

Consider third-party consultants

With social media, the money you save on traditional marketing will be invested in time. Social media marketing is a long-term investment, and not all companies have the time or the resources to sustain it. This is where you should consider hiring a consultant or content curator to manage it for you. Their expertise and experience will work to your advantage.

To get started, click here to download this free guide to Social Media for Small Business (PDF).

Need social media advice or content curating services? Let’s talk!

Memories of 2016: A Social Media Yearbook

Social media marketing has come a long way since it took the world by storm in the mid-2000’s. From the beginning as a trend, it has become an essential part of a consumer’s life and a marketer’s plan. The platform has been evolving ever since: every year, new developments and launches create new opportunities and challenges.

2016 was no exception. Remembering last year, it is hard not to talk about the Pokémon Go frenzy and how the world lost its political balance. However, the year belonged to the progression of the platform, through innovations, reforms and shutting the lights on the obsolete.

Last year, more brands entered the world of social media to understand their customers and provide a better experience. Social media platforms became more engagement-oriented, fuelling the craze of connecting and sharing; encouraging users to post more frequently and more candidly about their lives.

Overall, customer experience remained the main focus. Let’s review the most impactful news which was noise worthy in 2016.

Express More

Acknowledging that “like” isn’t the right sentiment for every occasion, in February, Facebook went beyond the ubiquitous thumbs-up button with a new way to express thoughts and feelings. The new feature not only improves user’s ability to express emotions, but it has also been used to take surveys which has improved fan engagement.

TV Camera In Your Pocket

Facebook released a new feature, ‘Live’, in April which changed the rules of broadcasting, making it possible for the site’s users to broadcast videos of almost anything to a huge audience in real time!

Read The Official Announcement

Tell A Story

Early August, Instagram introduced ‘Stories’, a feed of temporary content that is available for only 24 hours from the time of posting. The feature is nearly identical to the central feed in Snapchat, which is also called ‘Stories’ and which helped supercharge the company’s growth rate after it was introduced in 2013.

See The Launch Video

Put A Pin In It

Pinterest introduced Promoted Video Ads mid-August, allowing users to expand its existing, animated Cinematic Pins to access a full auto-play video ad with sound. Brands can display six Buyable Pins beneath each video as it plays to improve conversion compared to other platforms. Video content has been on Pinterest for many years now, but it has only now been available as an advertising vehicle thanks to its new native video format, which integrates seamlessly with the platform.

Read The Press Release

A GoPro For Your Face

Taking the social experience to a new level, Snapchat announced a pair of connected sunglasses, in September, called Snapchat Spectacles. The device can record video snippets that automatically save to your Snapchat Memories. The sunglasses feature a camera with a 115-degree lens, with the purpose of mimicking how humans see.

Read The Press Release

Tweet To Touch Down

In September, Twitter’s first live broadcast of a National Football League (NFL) game reached 2.3 million users globally. The game, New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills, marked the first time Twitter sold ads for live sports video. The average audience size watching the game on Twitter was 243,000 people with an average watch time of 22 minutes per viewer.

Read More About This Event

Remember The Vine

October brought the unfortunate news that Twitter was discontinuing the app that gave people six-seconds of internet fame: Vine. Vine was the only social channel that stayed true to itself, but it simply couldn’t stay ahead of the curve. Instagram made Vine obsolete when users realized they could have everything they wanted in one place, on Instagram. A sad demise.

Read The Details Of This Decision

Truth Trumps Lies

With the U.S. election, fake news became incredibly popular on social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, as well as news aggregating services. In light of the damage done, Google and Facebook finally took steps to curb fake news.

Here’s What They’re Doing About It

Every year, we get an inch closer to connecting the world with social media. The consumers are embracing this dynamic world and becoming braver in sharing their personal life online. All the while, we marketers, are making all efforts to learn from it.

At BTI, we believe that there is nothing constant in the world of social media. That’s why our team strives to be ahead of the curve. To know how social media can help your businesses connect and engage with your audience in 2017, Poke Us!


Hey, Have You Heard About Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing: a key component of business and sales which has been around for a very long time, is slowly evolving into a much more accessible platform due to the emergence of social media. Typical influencer marketing is the process of targeting key customer influencers, and hiring them as advocates for your business. This marketing avenue selects specific individuals that are influential towards the focal business’s target market.

The Good

Often, key influencers have an extremely broad reach, as well as creative campaigns that drive sales and benefit both your business and theirs. When working with an influencer that shares values and interests with your brand, you are directly communicating with a relevant audience that shares similar interests with your brand as well. Additionally, influencer marketing has a positive effect on your SEO, the more links that are shared for your website, the better your SEO becomes. Established influencers have been around for quite a while, so partnerships can not only boost ROI, but also boost the credibility of your brand. If viewers or followers believe in their influencers and trust their opinion, endorsements of your brand will not be taken lightly. Finally, influencer marketing’s most profitable benefit: it requires little work on your part. That’s right, when you sign up to partner with an influencer, the campaigns, man hours, and dedication to promote your product are mostly on their end. Of course, your responsibility continues to be micromanaging the campaign remotely, but with an influencer, you can remain out of the spotlight, while your ambassador promotes your brand for you.

The Bad

Influencer marketing’s main criticism is the risk involved in selecting the right influencer. Unfortunately, there is an opportunity for error in picking the ideal influencer, and given the nature of mass media, unless your product or service directly correlates with the values and purpose of your influencer’s channel, page, or feed, you will be reaching out to a sizeable audience that might not care for your business at all. This being said, the problem can be eliminated or the risk may be reduced through heavy research and strategizing prior to launching your campaign. The good news is that Web Toaster’s team of marketing and brand specialists are fully equipped to handle your business’s influencer marketing all on our own! Rapidly expand your brand through influencers in any medium, including (but not limited to) Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram. 

The Bottom Line

All things considered, influencer marketing is the way of the future. Given how accessible the internet is, social media has allowed us to leverage the popularity and influence of individuals all over the world, and use them as a marketing outlet. This process not only benefits you as a business, but a strong relationship will have a positive outcome for your influencer as well. Despite the arduous research and strategizing, influencer marketing can result in a very high ROI if implemented correctly, and Web Toaster would love to help you get started today!

What Is Social Media Marketing?

Is there really a problem with social media marketing? Do you question whether the time, money, and effort you put into social media nurturing is worth it? We believe there is a HUGE problem with social media: the term itself.

“Social media” is an umbrella term that incorporates dozens of websites and apps, each with unique features, benefits, and drawbacks. The problem is that all of these unique platforms are being grouped together and companies feel that in order to have a successful social media presence, they need to be involved in every social media platform.  This stems from the rise of social media in 2006, when to say “social media presence” meant being involved with Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter, which were all of the major platforms.  However, over the past 8 years, there has been rapid growth in the social media industry and dozens of apps and websites now fall under the term, but many marketers are stuck in 2006, when it was the norm to participate in all of them.

How is this a problem? A simple rule of economics is that specialization is necessary for an efficient and profitable economy – the same holds true for social media.

These problems may occur when involved in an excessive amount of platforms:

1) Unique Customer Relevant Content – Customer Presence = Poor Following

You may be providing unique, customer-targeted content for each platform, and spending a lot of time to do so, but since your customer presence may not be strong in all these platforms, the returns and following generated from your efforts and investment may not meet expectations.

2) Reusing = Irrelevant = Inconsistent Following

Another alternative is that you are saving time by posting the same content on multiple platforms, however, customers use different platforms with different expectations. For example, the same post may be very successful on Facebook but irrelevant on Twitter, making your Twitter presence and following suffer.

3) Platform Relevant Content – Customer Relevant = High Following

A third possibility is that you have a strong following in all your social media platforms, and have spent a lot of your budget in doing so. However, the demographics and content of different platforms vary greatly. In this situation, it is likely that content was created to match the audience on each social media channel, rather than to match the company’s target audience. Though following will be high, this does not translate into business because the content is not targeted at your potential customers.

So what is the solution? Strategic social media nurturing! Brands should treat their social media strategy the same way they’d treat any other marketing communication tool. Research each individual platform and strategically plan your approach. Consider the following for each platform: who is the target audience? What are the strengths and weaknesses? What are its unique offerings? Where are your competitors? Can you realistically provide effective content on that platform?

For a great example of effective targeted social media use, look at Apple, who for years only nurtured Twitter accounts. Apple recently joined Tumblr because they felt that Tumblr “separates itself from a creative standpoint”. They specifically use this account to advertise their iPhone 5c because its target audience matches up with Tumblr’s audience; 56% of Tumblr users are under 34, which is the same for the iPhone 5c.

Don’t let social media become a problem. Use effective targeting, strategy and planning to maximize its benefits and minimize waste. If you need a hand in coming up with strong, relevant, targeted social media strategy, we’ll be happy to help.