The Ten Biggest Lies About Social Media and Your Business

In the world of social media, it is hard to navigate the best practices for your business. Companies may try to tell you what the best practices are, but how are they working for your business? Are you looking for more? Trying to up your social media game for your business? Here’s the top ten lies companies are spreading about social media practices for businesses and how you can overcome them.

 

You can’t just come out and ask people to follow/retweet/comment/like/share…

But you can. Actually, it’s even encouraged. Think about it in terms of inbound marketing. You are directly asking your customer to do something for you. But first, you have to build their trust. Posting relevant content that is both sound and appealing to your audience helps boost your credibility and makes it easier for the people you are interacting with to help you boost your content. Never be afraid to ask.

 

Reach is your most important metric.

This could be the biggest lie in the social media industry. Reach is important. As is engagement, post performance… essentially every piece of your analytics. Looking in depth into social media analytics once every quarter is a great way to gauge what is clicking with your customers and what is not. This helps you line up with them to communicate with them better. However, each piece – whether reach, engagement, clicks, and so on – is just as important as every other piece. Reach may only tell you how far it went on Facebook, but engagement will tell you with that reach how many people actually interacted with your content. Remember this.

 

All you need is social media.

False. Why? The main point of a social media presence for a business is to sell. You want to be using your social media to drive customers to your business to make a purchase and make you money. In order to do this successfully, a website that is fully-functioning, responsive, and current is just as – if not more – important as your Facebook page. Keep in mind that your social media can act more as a channel to the main hub rather than the target.

 

Delete or ignore negative comments. Actually, just disable comment posting entirely to protect your brand.

Believe it or not, negative comments are not as bad as they seem. Of course they are hurtful, but this can act as an advantage to your business.

 

First off, deleting negative comments seems shady to perspective customers. How can you have a rating of 3 stars when every single review is flawless? It also discredits your business – because no one is perfect.

 

In addition, negative comments can be a host of customer service opportunities. Responding timely and appropriately to customer service issues on a public front shows customers you are attentive and want you customers happy. It also acts as a great damage-control tool and helps increase your online presence. Let the negative work its magic for you. Like the old time saying, “there’s no such thing as bad press.”

 

Hire an intern to do all your social media work for you.

While we do believe in intern programs and the opportunities they provide, hiring an intern strictly to manage your social media accounts could go through a few different scenarios. Most importantly, you do not want a full-time student with limited experience handling some of the issues social media can present without someone there to guide them. Whether this is a supervisor, policy, or admin on a page, it is important that interns are provided with some direction and not just handed the passwords to your accounts. Give them expectations, let them shadow others in your business to get an idea of the company, create goals on social media to ensure your intern is getting the most out of their internship while also giving you the social media supervision you need.

 

Automate your updates to save yourself time.

Auto-posting through social media suites may seem like a step in the right direction to saving yourself time on social media, but it’s not always the best policy. Automated messages can seem rigid and timed to your followers which in turn turns them off to what you want them paying attention to – your business. Try posting in real time as often as you can. Make sure your content is timely and current with what is going on in the world as well to help increase engagement.

 

Auto-publish content to save time when sharing content to several sites.

Auto-publish is never a good idea. So often after I hit the post button on a blog, I will find a grammar error, forget to include tags, have to modify a layout… change something before it reaches the masses via my social media. Auto-publish may work against you, especially if you accidently click the publish button before you were really ready. Remember, once it is on the Internet, it is there forever – especially in terms of social media. Keep this in mind before setting up auto-post to your social accounts from your website.

 

Focus on Facebook.

Facebook may have a huge interest base now, but what about tomorrow? Social media is always changing a moving. For instance, YouTube proceeded Facebook in unique users for the first time this summer, meaning more people are using YouTube than Facebook for the very first time. This is leading to a big change in the social media world. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – disperse your content and customer interaction between several social platforms.

 

You need to be on every single social media platform.

Tying into the previous point – while you want to diversify your social media platforms, you also don’t want to consume yourselves with more than you can handle social media wise. For us, a few big platforms we like to encourage our businesses to try out and see how they work for them: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google Plus. Invest a little time on each and see what practices work best for your business to design your social media efforts to best fit your customers.

 

You don’t need an email if you have social media.

This couldn’t be more contrary from the truth. In fact, you need an email more than ever with a social media account, perhaps even one that is specifically set up to handle social media management. This email will help you received notifications and communicate with customers more effectively.

 

 

Practice makes perfect, and with social media we are helping businesses take control of their social and online media and make it work best for their businesses. Contact Maximize today to learn more.

Social Media Series Part I: The Hashtag

I once saw a tweet about how a user saw an old flip-phone cell phone that had a pound key on the keypad. They wondered why they would ever need a hashtag back then because Twitter was not a thing yet.

As mindless as this tweet sounds, this is a prime example of how prominent the hashtag has become in our world today. No longer do we view a pound sign as a part of a numeric keypad. Instead, we view it as a crucial part of our social media presence.

The hashtag may have begun as a Twitter-exclusive, but now it has migrated to almost every platform in the social world. But, does each hashtag means something different on social media? And how can you use this to benefit your business on social media? Or should you even use them in your professional field? Here are the answers to your questions.

 

Yes, you should most definitely be using hashtags

The hashtag is a means of categorization. It increases search optimization, increases engagement, and aids in potential retweets. The science behind the hashtag proves that using the correct hashtags will benefit your online presence for the better, however there is a bit of science to the method. What is appropriate and how many to use could be the indicators.

Use no more than two per update

Research has shown that tweets, updates, and statuses perform better through the use of hashtags, but excessive use will hinder them. Research suggests sticking to two extremely relevant and beneficial hashtags to increase the potential for your media.

How to determine hashtag relevance

Your hashtags need to be tailored to your content. For example, if you are a business tweeting about a flash sale promotion you are having, you would probably include a hashtag such as #flashsale in your tweet.

Having trouble figuring out what hashtag to use? Look at the What’s Trending tab for inspiration on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or other social platforms for ideas. Still knee-deep in uncertainty? Check out Hashtagify.me for ideas on relevant and related hashtags and how you can best incorporate them in your statuses.

 

Hashtags on Social Media

There is a level on appropriateness when it comes to hashtags on different media platforms. Since just about everyone is using them, it’s up to you to understand what works and what doesn’t when it comes to hashtags based on the social media platform.

Twitter

This is where it all began. Twitter has a great system for hashtags, using them to categorize tweets on its site. Tweets with hashtags get two times more engagement than those that do not have hashtags, making them 55 percent more likely to be retweeted. But excessive hashtags tanked engagement. Stick to the 1-2 hashtag rule and you should be good to go.

Instagram

There seems to be no true rule of thumb here. The more the merrier, at least what studies show. Hashtags on Instagram are utilized to help build community and distinguish uniqueness and detailed information. Interactions are highest on posts with 11 or more hashtags. They may also be your best bet for growing your follower count on Instagram, as well.

Facebook

It seems as though Facebook users are less likely to hop on the hashtag train. With the studies performed, statuses without hashtags performed better than those that included them. But be mindful to tailor your strategy to your audience. Perhaps try including them in your content if your page is more business-minded by Twitter standards and see how your posts perform before continuing the use of hashtags on your Facebook account.

Google+

What Google+ has going for it here is that it already creates the hashtags for you, taking one less step out of the challenging marketing strategy online. You can always add more through comments and your posts to increase your search opportunities.

Pinterest

Pinterest uses hashtags to brand and specify. You can actually click on hashtags to find more relevant information to your linked content. There also seems to be no limit on how many you can include here. The more you have, the more engaged your content might be.

 

 

The hashtag is nothing to fear, and Maximize recognizes its great potential. Let Maximize help you understand how to best utilize hashtags on all your social media platforms today.

Get on the Map with Google My Business – A Part of Our Social Media Series

Google+ has made big changes to their business profiles recently. Completely reconstructing their goals, Google tore down the once-familiar Google+ page and has created their own social media for businesses: Google My Business.

Similar in look and feel to your Google+ of the past, this newly redesigned platform is optimized for your business. Centered on providing accurate and informative content for users, the Google My Business profiles have added content for ease of use, making it better for businesses and increasing what you want most out of being online: search optimization.

How is Google my Business different from my previous Google+ account?

If you are already on Google+ as a business, your profile will immediately convert over. You might notice some differences right up front:

More photos

Upload more photos than ever to sell your business and what you are offering.

Longer business intros

Use this to give customers a brief idea of what your company is about – hopes, dreams, aspirations.

Maps information

One of the most revered installations would include the incorporation of Maps on business profiles. This helps customers find your location easily through Google searches as well as on your profile and provide them with directions.

Local pages

Initially-created brands pages will now merge with local pages after verification. All information including reviews and address information will directly move over to the “new” page.

Insights

This gives Google+ page managers more information about the who and what when it comes to interaction with brand content.

Google Hangouts

Use video chat to get face-to-face interaction with customers. Announce customer appreciation days or special releases. The world is your oyster with this newest feature.

Upon first accessing Google My Business, you will be asked to verify all your information before being launched onto the new dashboard.

There’s an app for that

Google got smart and realized that in this fast-paced world we live in, we need to be able to access our information anywhere. So they gave us Google My Business in app form.

Through the app, manage and edit business information all at the touch of a finger. Access business information and more all by downloading the app through Google Play or iTunes.

How to set up your Google My Business Account: Beginners and Previous Users

If you already have a Google+ account for business, remember that your account will automatically flip over. You can skip this portion and scroll on down to the next section to help with setting up your new profile.

Beginner

Type Google.com/mybusiness into your browser. You will then be brought to the Google My Business Greeting Page. Scroll through the information if you like. Then click on the Get on Google button.

You will first be brought to a Page Categories section. Select the title that best descries your business:

  • Storefront: this works well if you have a physical location that users can reference or stop by for business. Shops, coffee houses, boutiques, hair salons, advertising companies, or other forms of retail or customer service would all fall in this category.
  • Service area: this is for those of us who don’t really have one location we may call home. Taxis, delivery services, food trucks, or other mobile businesses would check this box.
  • Brand: this is a non-local business. This category deals with everything else that the other two do not cover, such as bands, causes, major companies, products, name brands, and so on.

After selecting your category, you will be redirected to Google Maps. Depending on your company’s status, you will need to claim a business, create a new business, or claim a non-local business.

  • To claim an existing business, type your company name into the search bar on the Google Maps Page. You should be able to find the location and then follow the steps to verify the business is yours.
  • To create a new business, you will enter your company’s information and then click, “No, these are not my businesses,” or, “I’ve correctly entered the business.” You’ll then be asked to enter details, then click Submit.
  • If you are claiming a non-local business, you will most likely skip this step.

Finally, you are ready to take the guided tour and get to work on Google My Business.

Previous Users

If you are already on Google+, your page has already merged and become a Google My Business Page. You will skip all the steps above and begin with the new dashboard. Where do you go from here?

Share

Share with users the newest happenings. Keep up-to-date with users by adding various content here including events, videos, updates, offers, and more. Make your page look sophisticated and tailored to users, increase your presence and brand awareness, and make your business look credible.

Remember, in your description, that you have 735 characters to utilize to make your business stand out. Make sure to tailor these to be super hyper keyword to optimize search results. Since Google+ has done away with categories, this is extremely important.

Verify your Information

This is essential to gain access to insights. There are several ways to do this:

  • By Postcard: request a postcard to be sent to your business address. After receiving the postcard, go to your dashboard and enter the verification code.
  • By Phone: just click to verify your phone number on your dashboard and enter the code provided in the message upon receiving your phone call.
  • By Website: click the verify button next to your website link on your profile. A code will pop up. Just copy and paste into your backend on your website.

Insights

The Google My Business Dashboard gives you a quick overview of your Google+ insights. In 30 day increments, see how many people viewed your profile, actions on posts, and how many followers you have received to gage content and awareness. You have to be verified to access this feature.

In managing Insights, you have a few breakdowns of different elements.

  • Sum Total of Presence: shows your total followers, number of times your content has been viewed, actions taken on content, and your last post.
  • Viewership: how many times your business listing and content has been viewed in the last week/month. You can also view graphs on profile, posts, and local views.
  • Actions Taken By User: view new followers; +1 clicks on content and share; comments; and number of clicks on maps, driving directions, and local search results.
  • Post Performance: shows the number of views on a post, comments, shares, and +1. You can also view the numbers in increments, how it was accessed, and why it was accessed.

Reviews

On the Google My Business accounts, you will find a Reviews section (if you have reviews on your business). You can read and respond to these reviews as well as track analytics to see how customers are evaluating your business. User your Reviews inbox to see a list of reviews that customers have left for your business, or check out the Review Analytics tab to view detailed evaluations and average scores of your business.

Always remember when responding to reviews to do so in a timely manner, be polite, thank them for their service, and be professional. Continue to encourage reviews on your account and become active on the account to increase awareness and presence online. As always, make sure your information is verified and correct so that it meets Google quality guidelines.

A lot of information to take in?

Let us help you. Contact Maximize today and let us take your business to the next level on Google My Business.

Marketing for Young Adults

Is your primary market “young adults”? Maybe just looking to expand your online reach? Young adults ranging from 18-29 (sometimes to mid-30s) are a large possible audience for any business. The key to attracting this audience is involvement. .comFacebook's Reach Among Young Adults Graphic

The above graphic is the result of a polling of young adults from Harvard Institute of Politics. From the data, we see young adults can be reached out to in three major ways: Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. These social media sites are all vastly different and offer unique ways to engage an audience. Here at Maximize, we strive to help drive companies to expand their online reach. It’s highly suggested to make more than just a business Facebook account, but engage on different mediums as well. The consistency of your message and visibility will go more noticed amongst a young adult market.

 

Don’t limit yourself to just those three, Maximize can help give you an overview of your social media marketing.

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Source: Statista.com