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Setting your Social Media Goals

Social Media Marketing is increasingly important for your business. It creates an avenue through which you can directly connect with your customers. Additionally, it forms a bridge between your business and your potential clients to make building a sales pipeline an easier and more effective task than some tactics of the past (e.g. cold calling).

Social media gives your company transparency and allows potential customers to more clearly understand the differences between you and your competitors. Social media is a way to create a voice for your company and a way to listen to your consumer’s concerns. The real-time data your business can collect through social media completely revolutionizes the connection between businesses and consumers.

Social Media Marketing Goals

Reasons why Social Media should be your secret weapon: Technology has transformed how entrepreneurs connect with their clients, customers and stay on top of the industry. Generally speaking, most businesses use social media to promote their business and boost their sales. Some even use it to make a difference and allow their business to grow. Now, entrepreneurs have to understand that this social media craze is not just a fad. As a matter of fact, it can be considered as a secret weapon if you know how to implement it correctly. Here are a few reasons why you should get on board.Before you begin to post information to social media channels, your business needs to define its specific goals that it is looking to achieve by leveraging social media. To effectively manage a social media campaign for your business, you must first be able to define how you are going to measure results. A goal of “increasing website visitors who view more than 3 pages” is an excellent goal.

Your social media campaign and its goals should align with your business’s overall marketing plan (which should tie in with the goals of your business). Once these goals are established, they will be used in every part of your social media strategy. Stay at a high level with your goals right now, you can make them more specific in the next section.

See a number of example goals below. These will get you started so you can write strong SMART goals.

  • Research and learning
  • Lead generation
  • Increase E-commerce sales
  • Increase store traffic
  • Increase brand or issue awareness
  • Reputation management
  • Get your Likes to talk about you (word of mouth)
  • Reach a youth audience
  • Promote an event
  • Build excitement prior to an event
  • Get people to take a particular action
  • Draw traffic to a particular online resource
  • Build your email list
  • Solicit donations for your organization
  • Get supporters to solicit donations for you
  • Recruit volunteers
  • Brand your staff as experts on a cause or issue
  • Get your constituents to talk to each other
  • Build a community around an event or topic
  • Get feedback from your constituents
  • Keep your supporters updated on events
  • Increase relevant visitor traffic and page rankings
  • Let supporters publicly support your cause
  • Disseminate information about an issue or topic
  • Recruit new members, advocates or patrons
  • Support a particular group of members, alumni, etc.
  • Tell stories about the work you do
  • Get press coverage
  • Connect with other like-minded organizations
  • Change hearts and minds on a particular topic
  • Gather photos or videos from supporters
  • Understand what people are saying about you
  • Keep up to date with a particular issue
  • Coordinate people in an action or a project

How will you Measure Success?

Now that you have identified the top three goals for your social media campaign it is important to set benchmarks so that you know if your campaign was a success. If your goal is to attract more people to your website, the success will be measured by an increase of people to the site which can be done by using Google Analytics. However, if a majority of these new people are leaving the site without taking action (i.e. placing an order or calling for more information) then it is hard to say if the campaign was a success. This is why it is very important to set specific foals (i.e. increase the number of sales by 10% annually through our website).

Instructions: Here, we will break down the goals into more specific, measurable outcomes. Below, restate the top three goals you defined above so they are:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Time-based

What are your social media goals?

Social Media Goal #1: _____________________________________________________________

Social Media Goal #2: _____________________________________________________________

Social Media Goal #3: _____________________________________________________________

Examples:

  • Realty Elite seeks to increase the number of leads from social media by 20% over the next 12 months through the use of valuable content, Facebook Ads, and client support. This will be measured monthly.
  • We want to increase our referral rate to 95% (a simple survey will measure this) by the end of this year so we will invite all former clients to our Facebook page.
  • We want to get picked up by 5 local media outlets by the end of this year so we are going to build a communications strategy and start executing in 30 days.

Setting your social media goals. Before you begin to post information to social media channels, your business needs to define its specific goals that it is looking to achieve by leveraging social media. To effectively manage a social media campaign for your business, you must first be able to define how you are going to measure results. A goal of “increasing website visitors who view more than 3 pages” is an excellent goal.

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Let’s Talk About Pricing

We are often chatting with new business owners about their pricing. No, this doesn’t necessarily relate directly to marketing, however, it is important to make sure that your business aligns with the market rates and what you’re worth.

In business school we learned about various models to formulate your pricing, however in real life this can be a lot simpler then how the large corporations do it.

There are three, techniques that we often see businesses use. These include using your cost plus a margin, setting prices at the competitive rate, and just choosing a random value. Let’s look at each of these more closely to see how your business can benefit from utilizing them.

Your cost plus a margin

The process here is to figure out the costs of all components of your product or service and add a percent margin over this cost. if you are a dropship store or retail store this is often figured out for you. The wholesale business will often tell you a MAP pricing or minimal pricing that you can sell the product at or the typical MRSP.

If you have a product take a look at the sourcing costs, packaging costs, shipping costs, and admin costs. Add these all up and then increase the price to have a margin of between 30% and 50%.

For a service-based business, you can use a similar frame of thought. Except, rather than adding up the cost of the product, you’ll be adding up the time that it takes to complete all of the different requirements with in a proposal and multiply by your hourly rate. The first step here is to write a list of everything, and I mean everything, that you do for a given client with in that package. When we double checked our calculations for packages this way, we include things ranging from adding the SEO to a blog post, to adding Twitter followers, and costs that we incur with advertising expenses. Our team even built a tool that we utilize that takes into consideration the other pricing models, as well. For any new client, we build the proposal off at this template.

We are currently in the process of building this tool for other service based businesses as well! Please contact me if you are interested in learning more.

The next obvious question here is how do you figure out your hourly rate. You will want to calculate this a few ways. First is figuring out how much you’d like to make every year and how many “billable” hours you expect (or would like) to work each week. How does that hourly rate look? A little high? What about all the other hours you will work prospecting, marketing, and in business development?

If the hourly rate number is within your industry standards or low, rethink the assumptions that you made. Do you really want to set your goal that low? We also always recommend brainstorming other ways that you can bring income into your business that doesn’t require your time and energy.

Competitive pricing

Competitive pricing is taking the same prices that your competitors use for their business. It’s often an easy way to get started, however, it can also tie you down. Before you simply choose the same price as your competitor, think about your brand. Do you want to be the lowest cost alternative and maybe get more volume? Or do you want to be seen as a luxury good or service?

The same product can be sold at many very different price points depending on how you position your marketing and your brand. Being mindful of this when you first roll out a service will help you with optimizing your marketing strategy and type of client.

Before simply researching what rate the others are charging, first decide if you want to position yourself as low-end or high-end.

Choosing a Random Number

You know your industry, so you may have a gut reaction or sense of what you should charge for your product or service. While I don’t recommend choosing a random number without doing research to back up your decision, often times you will be in the right ballpark. Just work your way back through to make sure you won’t be losing money in the long run!

What’s Missing?

None of these methods include the value You bring to the table. Sure you can build that into any of the techniques, but it often is overlooked. We once were hired to fill out keywords, meta titles, and meta descriptions for a site with over 40,000 listings that needed to be cataloged. I was to create the initial batch and teach their intern how to complete the remaining 39,900. The page content was all in a spreadsheet, so I created a variety of IF functions and a legend to combine different characteristics of the page to automatically create the SEO information directly on the sheet. An hour getting the formulas working properly and teaching the intern how to replicate the functions saved the company an estimated 100+ hours. In hindsight, I should have learned more about their project and charged based on the value I was bringing to the table.

How did you decide to set your pricing structure?

setting your pricing for business

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Clever Ways to Ensure You Never Run Out of Blogging Ideas

Whether you’re running a small business or a multi-million dollar company, having a business blog is important. It helps attract prospective customers, drive traffic to your website and enhances your inbound marketing effort. In order to reap these benefits, you need to create content on a regular basis.

While there is always something out there for you to blog about, overtime, you may find it difficult to come up with interesting and relevant topics to write about.

Here are 4 clever ways to ensure you never run out of blogging ideas

Recycle old content

You have probably written some great contents that your readers have enjoyed reading. These pieces of contents are packed with lots of information that readers still appreciate them even after posting them a few months ago. But with the surplus of information on the web, people tend to forget about these timeless gems as businesses and bloggers churn out content every day.

Instead of giving up on those long forgotten contents, you might want to breathe new life into your older articles by rewriting them.

Current events

Something is always happening, so you’ll never run out of topics to blog about. It’s understandable if you want to do away with politics, but if you have an opinion on certain issues, why not blog about them? Topics can range from industry news, natural disasters, latest celebrity hook-ups, trending videos, movie reviews etc.

Check the calendar

Most businesses focus on topics that are relevant no matter what time of the year. After all, these topics retain their value even after a few years and can easily be repurposed. While evergreen topics are valuable, you might want to include some seasonal topics as well.

Write blog posts revolving around the holiday season or holidays like St. Patrick’s Day, 4th of July and Thanksgiving. This is especially beneficial if you’re offering certain products or services that are specific to that holiday or season. Plus, there are less content around these topics; hence, helping you reach more new visitors.

Ask your readers

One of the best ways to know what types of post your readers would like to see is by asking them. Not only will it ensure that they’ll read your blog post, it’s also an effective way to connect with your audience.

Clever Ways to Ensure You Never Run Out of Blogging Ideas

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3 Types of Visual Content That Will Increase Your Conversion Rate

Finding ways to attract and encourage people to keep coming back to your site is no easy feat. If you are looking for ways to generate a stream of targeted traffic that converts, we recommend that you incorporate visual content into your digital marketing campaign.

Visual content is one of the most powerful online marketing tools. They are easy to consume and understand. On top of that, they also increase engagement, brand awareness and earn more new business.

Here are 3 types of visual content that will increase your conversion rate:

Infographics

We live in an era where an average person has an attention span of about 8 seconds. People want to get the information they want fast. Otherwise, they’ll move on swiftly to the next site. Infographics can help you reach your audience and grab their attention, mostly because you make things easier for them.

People love infographics. They are filled with valuable information, but are presented in a user-friendly layout. It requires less time to read, absorb and get the gist of information.

Images

Every day, the average consumer is exposed to a large volume of advertising messages. As such, it can be easy for your content to get lost in the jungle. Providing your text content with an appealing image can help you cut through the noise.

Photos are a great way to showcase your products and services. Take some photos of behind the scenes of your brand. Take some snaps shots of your team members, as well as the process that goes into creating your product. You may also include some photos of happy customers who have recently purchased your products or availed your services.

Videos

Studies suggest that posts with videos attract 300% more inbound links than text-only posts. But in order to set yourself apart in the digital era, you need to make sure that your video is of the highest caliber.

A great video serves as an extra clout for your campaign. It is useful for presenting common problems and then showing people how your products can solve that problem. Also, it is imperative that the videos are congruent with the overall style and ethos of your brand.

3 Types of Visual Content That Will Increase Your Conversion Rate

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Social Media Content Ideas for the Holidays

social-media-content-ideas-for-the-holidaysNot too long ago, businesses celebrate the holiday season by decorating their stores with Christmas ornaments with music playing in the background. In today’s digital world, however, businesses try their best to add the holiday spirit into their social media campaign.

Bringing a bit of Christmas cheer into your social media posts will get everyone in a positive mood. It can also help you drive traffic to your site and customers to your store.

Here are 4 social media content ideas for the holidays.

Holiday recipes

If you are in the food business, it is a good idea to share some holiday recipes with your audience. A lot of people, especially those who are hosting a family get together for the first time, are looking for easy recipes that they can prepare for their family this Christmas and New Year.

Share recipes of desserts, typical holiday drinks and other holiday themed recipes. While you’re at it, you might also want to share some tips on how to serve these items.

Gift ideas

Did you know that 65% of shoppers go online to find great deals, considerable discounts and gift ideas for their loved ones this holiday season? Feature your products and let people know why they make an ideal gift for their loved ones.

DIY videos

According to Psychology Today, social media posts are likely to receive 56% more likes and 36% more comments if they are presented in a video format. In addition, 39% of users are likely to share these videos.

If your brand has a product that requires demonstration, go ahead and create a how-to video. Video generated content allows you to deliver your brand message with impact and encourages customer engagement as well.

Showcase your fans

Customers have this inherent urge to share their experiences with others. Now is a great time to encourage your fans and followers to share their stories. Ask them to take a picture of themselves with your products and have them create a story about how they use them.

By allowing your customers to take center stage, it allows you to grow your online presence, increase engagement and reach new market segments. The result – maximized conversions and sales opportunities.

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4 Ways to Get Readers to Spend More Time on Your Blog

4-ways-to-get-readers-to-spend-more-time-on-your-blogA blog’s success greatly depends on its readers. Without readers, all those content you’ve created will go down the drain. The problem is that, modern internet user have short attention span.

More often than not, people will browse through your post for a few seconds. If you fail to give them what they want, their cursor will be heading to the back button and on to another site. You’ve worked hard creating those contents, but why isn’t anybody sticking around to read your posts?

Here are 4 ways to get your visitors to stay on your site longer.

Provide them with valuable content

Content remains the number one reason people visit your site. You need to provide readers with valuable content. This includes detailed information about your products, educational tools, industry news or updates.  This will give you an opportunity to share your knowledge with your prospects and will eventually help you build a loyal fan base.

Use subheadings

Most people will scan through a post and just pick out pieces of information they need. Make it easier for them by using subheadings with descriptive wordings. This way, it will be easier for them to find what they need and allow them to jump to the appropriate section if they wish.

Ensure fast loading time

Your site speed is also critical to its success. No matter how interesting and informative your contents are, people may not be interested to read them if your site takes too long to load. Remember, you only have a few seconds to convince people to hang around. A sluggish site will cause you to lose readers and subscribers. Don’t make people wait.

Make it visually appealing

People make snap judgements. In fact, it only takes less than a second for people to decide whether they like your site. You want to make sure you make a good first impression.

Aesthetics play an important role in first impressions. People like to look at pretty things. A visually appealing blog can attract attention, and may even convince them to stay for a little longer.

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How to be Successful with Instagram

how-to-be-successful-with-instagramAre you in love with Instagram as much as I am?

Are you a business owner that has an account on Instagram and not sure how to build your business on it?

Don’t worry I am here to help!

Here are just a few fun facts about Instagram that will blow your mind:

    • Instagram has over 500 million active monthly users.
    • Instagram users have shared over 40 billion photos to date and share an average of 95 million photos and videos per day.

 

  • 80% of Instagram users come from outside of the U.S.

 

  • Instagram is used by 31% of American women and 24% of men. Read more stats here from Hootsuite.

Now that we have those stats out of the way, it is clear that Instagram is the place to be! It is also owned by . . . what’s that social media platform that has the blue f on it??? Oh yeah FACEBOOK! The two of them got hitched in 2013 and Instagram has grown into this beautiful, amazing beast of a social media platform!

What does this mean for your business? Nothing really if you are not posting correctly!

There are many different ideas, ways and theories out there about how to post to Instagram page and what will work best. I wish it was that easy to say ok if you follow these 3 steps your Instagram account will grow by hundreds, you will see an ROI right away and it is SO easy! BUT there’s not, the only way to see what will work for your business is to try each of them! Each business is different and their audiences are different, the key with Instagram is to make your posts visually appealing that it draws your audience in, to get them engaging on each post. Either by liking the post, commenting or even reposting.

How do you get that visually appealing content? Do you need to hire a professional photographer? Get a studio to showcase your products or services? Invest in a super high-end camera to get the best quality pictures? NO, NO, and NO

All you need is a smartphone! That is great news right?

Here are 2 blogs that show you how to use your smartphone for images: Shopify Article and a RealSimple Guide

There are so many different apps that really do the work for you nowadays. The camera on your smartphone will work perfect, you just need to be creative. You may need to spend a few bucks for a simple background like buying a piece of foam board and covering it in marble contact paper so it looks like you have a marble countertop, or purchase a small tripod to help keep steady while taking images, go to the dollar store and find a few fun props if needed.   

I want to highlight a few Instagram accounts that I follow and how they are being successful with their content. Some posts are very long like a full blog length and some are short sweet and to the point, then some are in between.

Let’s take a look:

  1. The first one I want to showcase is one of our clients Coach Jessie May she is a branding coach, so her posts have a theme to them and her content is longer on each post. We love that she uses plenty of #hashtags and emoticons on her posts, by having more content she is adding more value for her audience which increase her engagement through likes and comments.  jessie_may_ig_post
  2. The second one I love is Mantra Magazine  this is a simple motivational quote that is not very eye appealing BUT has a GREAT message on it. What they did on this post they kept it short and yet gets you thinking and engaging. They used 24 #hashtags on this 1 post and got 1,465 likes and over 20 comment, sometimes keeping it short and sweet is good, asking a question to get your audience commenting always works! mantra_magazine_ig_post
  3. The third one I wanted to show you is Boulder Magazine, they used someone else’s image (gave credit) but this image is very creative and thinks outside the box! This is showcasing that listening and watching your audience can be good for your business. Sometimes it is hard to think of NEW, Fresh content everyday, so when you look at your audience and what they are posting you can share their images. Remember to give to give them credit by @mentioning them and thanking them in your post. This post generated 672 likes and over 15 comments!  boulder_magazine

These are 3 different types of businesses here and each of them is using Instagram in a different way. So what I am telling you is test the waters, put a post up that is short sweet and to the point like a motivational image and ask a question, then try a longer post like a blog post and use #hashtags, and then try a repost from someone you are following, see which one gets the most interaction and then you can start building your strategy from there. We recommend posting to Instagram between 3-5 times per week.

Instagram takes time, this is the one social media platform (besides Pinterest) that you cannot schedule posts to go out, you have to post manually! There are a few tools out there like Buffer, Hootsuite, LaterGram that allow you to schedule posts on their platforms then they push you a notice on your phone that you need to post your scheduled post to instagram, it’s a little complicated right?

So here are a few apps that I love to use when I am creating images for our Instagram account and our clients, most are free but some I have paid for and WELL worth it!

PhotoCollege

LiPix Pro

Canva

WordSwag (Paid $4.99)

QuotesCreator

Fontmania

MOLDIV

Vidstich

Boomerang

Hyperlapse

Ripl

Prisma

There are literally hundreds of image Instagram apps to try, download a few and see which ones you like the most and are easy for you to use. You can also check out some free picture sites to help with background and images. Canva, WordSwag and Pixabay are good for free images. In the beginning it may take more of your time to take images of your products, or download a bunch of free images so you can create a stockpile of them and then just grab and create. Use Pinterest as creative motivation and pick 3-5 businesses that you really like what they are posting on instagram and use them as a guideline.

I have filled your head with TONS of content, tips, how to and now it is time for you to step into the Instagram world and get busy!

If you are interested in a FREE, yes I said FREE 30 minute consultation with me on evaluating your existing Instagram account or on how to get your business started on Instagram please email me at Marketing@TheBIMSTeam.com I would love to assist you with your success on Instagram!

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Tips for Creating a Hashtag for Your Marketing Campaign

tips-for-creating-a-hashtag-for-your-marketing-campaignThese days, hashtags are everywhere. We see them in advertisements, in weddings, on our newsfeeds. We even see them on the corner of our TV screens when we watch our favorite TV shows.

Creating a hashtag for your business can have a lot of benefits. It gives users a new way to get in touch with your business and spread the word about an upcoming event, your products or services. Of course, these things can only be achieved with an effective hashtag.

Here are some tips for creating a hashtag for your marketing campaign.

Less is more

When creating a hashtag, always remember that less is more. Come up with something short and brief. You may use a few words or a short phrase, but make sure it’s not too. Two to three words is ideal.  Long hashtags can be tricky to read and easy to misspell. Remember, the shorter, the better.

Be unique

Sure, there’s no rule that says you can’t use an existing hashtag. But if you opt for a hashtag that is currently being used by another company, this may create confusion among people.

Since there are millions of active social media users all over the world, it can be difficult to create a unique hashtag, but it’s doable. Use your creativity. Alliteration is your friend.

Double-check your hashtags

Make sure you check across different social platforms to make sure that it doesn’t already exist. If another brand is already using it or if you find thousands of posts with the hashtag you have in mind, then you might want to come up with a new one. But if there are only a few posts, then go ahead and claim the hashtag.

Make sure it’s relevant

You may have successfully created a unique hashtag, but it won’t benefit your marketing campaign if it has nothing to do with your brand. Make sure you create a hashtag that is relevant to what your company has to offer.

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4 Ways to Boost Engagement on Instagram

4-ways-to-boost-engagement-on-instagramYou may know Instagram as a great platform for sharing selfies, vacation photos and mouthwatering dishes, but did you know that it’s also one of the best social media channels to build your fan base and promote your business? In fact, Instagram has 40 times more engagement than Twiter and 15 times more user engagement than Facebook.

Whether you’re working on behalf of a company or growing your own business account, use these tips to boost engagement on Instagram.

Be active

We know you’re busy, but posting once or twice a week isn’t going to do much for your engagement and brand growth. When it comes to social media, consistency is the key. You need to be consistent with your posting schedule. Find the best time and days to post and stick to it. This way, your loyal followers will be more likely to catch your posts.

Engage with others

Social interaction is the key to improving your engagement. If someone tags you in their post, respond to their post or give them a shout out. Make it a habit to communicate with your followers regularly.

Use eye-catching images

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at the number of businesses that fail to use eye-catching images.

People don’t spend too much time scrutinizing every post as they scroll through their feeds.  With more than 70 million images uploaded on Instagram every day, you have to make sure your images stand out. Otherwise, it won’t get noticed.

Use hashtags

Hashtags are the language in which Instagram users speak. A hashtag is a great way of organizing your content and growing your community. It can also help engage your audience and increase your exposure to a large and targeted audience. To ensure you’re being searched by the right people, make sure that the hashtags you use are relevant to your brand.

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New Webinar: What’s all the buzz about with Twitter?

Learn How to Use Twitter for Your Business

With over 500 MILLION tweets being sent each day, it is important you know how to use Twitter correctly so you see a return on your investment!
In this webinar, we will review the components of a profile and talk about images, tips, and tools to manage your Twitter profile!  RSVP today!

In this webinar, you will learn how to properly use Twitter for your business and WHY it is SO important! 

Join Amber Irwin, CEO on September 27th
3:30 MST
 for this FREE webinar!

When:
September 27th, 2016
Where:
Free Webinar – Details provided to RSVP’s
 Time:
3:30-4:15pm MST

Anyone with a computer and internet connection has the ability to manage a social media account. When done right, businesses can see huge boosts in brand recognition and sales. If managed poorly, social media can be the downfall of your business.

The BIMS Team prides itself on keeping on top of the best practices of digital marketing and Amber is excited to empower you to feel confident in showing you how to use Twitter for your business!

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