The most basic definition of digital marketing is that it’s the process of promoting brands and businesses on the Internet through the use of various digital online channels, tools, and techniques. 

Thus, if you’re posting blogs on your website and sharing them with followers of your social media platforms, you’re practicing digital marketing. 

Does that mean then that everyone who can blog and has social media platforms is a digital marketer? 

In the literal sense – yes. But if you want to get hired by companies as a professional digital marketer or become one who can deliver the desired results, you must have the right skills for the job. 

To be good at a skill requires the proper education, training, patience, and of course, constant repetition through practical application.

This is most especially true in 2022.

How The 2020 Lockdown Changed Digital Marketing For 2022 – And Beyond

More and more economies have started to open up since the initial lockdown in 2020. 

Governments are encouraging businesses to require their employees to report back to the office and follow regular working hours. Schools are slowly opening their classrooms to students and resuming face-to-face instruction. 

These developments appear to be strong signs that the worst of the pandemic is behind us and we’re back to the old normal. 

However, the pandemic did more than just shut down economies. It created a seismic shift in our behavior. 

The lockdown gave people time to reflect on what their priorities are in life. It also initiated a purposeful move to explore opportunities on the Internet. 

Businesses began the process of migrating operations online. People who found themselves unemployed temporarily or whatnot crossed over to the Internet and joined the millions of self-employed freelancers, virtual assistants, and work-from-home professionals from around the world. 

For the past year, the news has been inundated with reports on “The Great Resignation” – employees resigning in record numbers for 2 reasons. 

One, the fear of getting COVID-19 continues to linger. And two, the realization that they can earn and save more as remote workers. Likewise, they get to spend more time with family. 

The shift in business modeling and career planning resulted in a greater demand for digital marketing because market opportunities are now on the Internet. 

Top 10 Digital Marketing Skills You Need In Your Toolbox In 2022

Writing blogs and posting them on your social media platforms won’t be enough because you’re competing with more online content now than ever before. To capitalize on these opportunities, you must have the right skills in your Digital Marketing toolbox. 

1. Search Engine Optimization

Every day, 7 billion people – or 89% of the world’s population – are searching for information on the Internet. And there are billions of content to choose from. How can you increase the chances of your content being found? 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a technique used to make your content more searchable on the Internet. You can compare learning optimization to learning a skill in Martial Arts. 

For example, a front kick would be applied differently in Karate compared to Tae Kwon Do. The technique and delivery are different because the intent is different. 

The use of keywords is one of the cornerstones of SEO but its application isn’t as cut and dry as using only the high-ranking keywords. Depending on your intent, you might have to consider other factors as well such as the level of competition and frequency of use. 

And the use of keywords is just one strategy in SEO. There are other strategies that can be used to enhance your visibility on the Internet – link building, technical SEO, internal linking – to name a few. 

The bottom line is that people are searching on the Internet today more than ever. Acquiring mad skills in SEO will help propel your digital marketing efforts past 2022 and beyond.

2. Video Marketing

Facebook launched “FB Live” and “FB Stories”, the same as Instagram which recently introduced “Reels”. Short-form video platforms such as Snapchat and TikTok have continued to grow in popularity. 

Then, of course, there’s YouTube where more than 4 million videos are streamed every day. 

Video marketing is a great way to build your business brand because the content is absorbed much faster than text. You process content with your eyes and ears. Collectively, the entire experience can trigger an emotional response that can result in the desired outcome. 

If your smartphone camera produces great quality video, you don’t have to invest in expensive equipment. All you need is a good storyboard to plan a video that shares your story with the audience.

3. Content Writing

Have you ever come across an article that came out on top of Google’s search ranking that featured writing so atrocious that it felt like chewing on a piece of ice when you have a toothache?

Learning SEO is one thing, writing amazing content is another. 

You still have to continually hone your writing skills by consistently producing content that’s:

  • Informative
  • Useful
  • Fresh or Unique
  • Accurate
  • Engaging

Content has to be well-researched. A blog needs at least one link to a reputable resource. It would be better to have your content link to multiple sources as long as these links are credible. 

What else do you need to keep in mind when writing great content?

  • Write for mobile devices. Look at how we created this blog post – short paragraphs, short sentences, and a lot of white spaces. Why? Structuring the blog this way makes it easier to read while scrolling on a smaller screen.
  • No errors in spelling and grammar. The ultimate deal-killer. Nothing kills your brand more than misspelled words and poor grammar. Review your content before publishing them. Don’t take chances. Run them under spelling/grammar checker software.
  • Add high-resolution images. Good-looking images will make the viewer stop and pay attention to your content – as long as they are relevant. 

So how do you become a better writer? Practice, practice, practice. Even when you don’t have anything to write – WRITE. 

4. Email Marketing

Email Marketing remains a Digital Marketing strategy that generates one of the highest ROI – US$42 per every US$1 spent. 

With email marketing, you need to use a reliable automated service such as Mailchimp or Hubspot to run your campaigns. However, you still need to develop the proper skills to ensure its success.

What skills are these?

  • Knowing how to segment your audience.
  • Creating an accurate buyer’s persona. 
  • Writing personalized emails and newsletters that specifically target the interests of your audience. 

We go back to the previous skill – Content Writing. It goes hand-in-hand with Email Marketing.

5. Social Media Marketing

Of the 7 billion people on the Internet on a daily basis, 4.62 billion of them, or 58.4% are on social media. 

Because of its sheer size and vast reach, social media marketing should be part of your digital marketing strategy. 

However, just because you post on Facebook every day, that doesn’t make you a skilled social media marketer. 

What are some of the things you need to know about social media marketing?

  • Each social media platform attracts a different audience and therefore, has a culture that caters to the needs and interests of the community.
  • Matters such as post length, time of posting, frequency of posting, and type of content must be considered.
  • You have to know which focus or interest groups you should join and how to behave once your application is accepted. 
  • Learn how to engage properly with your audience. This skill has to do with mindset. Not all comments or views expressed about your business will be positive. How you handle negative or unfavorable comments will determine the growth of your social media presence. 

You don’t have to sign up on every social media platform. Choose 2 platforms – maybe 3 at the most, to build your brand. The fewer the platforms, the easier it is to manage your social media strategy.

6. Knowledge and Interpretation of Analytics

The old saying in business is that “strategy follows numbers, not the other way around.”

The biggest advantage of digital marketing is that it gives you access to data about your campaigns. You’ll see how your posts are performing; if they’re driving traffic to your website and which ones are generating the highest levels of engagement. 

You’ll learn all about your audience – who are they? Where are they from? How did they get to my page? You’ll have enough data to build a reliable Buyer’s Persona. 

All of this data comprise analytics and they give you an empirical basis for devising strategies or improving the performance of current campaigns. But to get the most out of analytics, you must know how to analyze and interpret them. 

The good news is that it’s not hard to be proficient in reviewing analytics. You just need practice. 

What we do at Mountaintop is to guide our clients through their analytics. We prepare a report, take them through it point-per-point, and encourage feedback. Over time, our client becomes more comfortable in interpreting his data – analyzing the information is almost second nature. 

7. Automation Technology

Automation technology is getting more popular as businesses look for ways to streamline costs and maintain consistency in certain functions. 

Robots, A.I, and Machine Learning technologies don’t have to take days off or get sick. They just have to be regularly monitored and maintained. You can have processes such as chat support run 24/7 without blowing up your payroll. 

Complex industries such as Oil and Gas have slowly opened their processes to automation and capitalize on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT). 

You can have data transmitted from the source via smartphones, laptops, and tablets to secured, cloud-based databases in seconds and have the information available to key officers who can use these to make important decisions. 

Drones have made it possible to collect data from places where conditions could be hazardous and present threats to humans. 

Learning all about Automation Technologies will give you a better understanding of what innovations you need to fine-tune costs and improve business efficiency.

The next three items on our list are soft skills or the ideal behavioral attributes a digital marketer must possess to be successful in 2022. 

8. Project Management

A digital marketer doesn’t work alone. He needs a team of specialists behind him to handle the different aspects of the campaign. Typically, a digital marketing team is composed of the following professionals:

  • Web Designer/Developer
  • Content Writer
  • SEO Practitioner
  • Graphic Artist

The Digital Marketer is the Project Manager and is responsible for having the campaign meet its goals and deliver the desired outcomes. Project management is a skill that requires:

  • Business Acumen
  • Knowledge of Finance/Budget Management
  • Having an organized approach to work
  • Personnel Management 
  • Willingness to advance/update learning

As competition for views on the Internet becomes tighter in 2022, digital marketers must sharpen the skills needed for managing projects. 

9. Creative Thinking

With so much information available on the Internet, consumer tastes and preferences can change right away. Yesterday’s trends could become passe today. Analytics could get influenced by these changes and affect your current strategy. 

In addition, the uncertainties created by the post-lockdown shift have made the business landscape more volatile and unpredictable. Problems can arise that can throw a curveball to your business objectives. 

For digital marketers, critical thinking becomes an important skill to learn in 2022 given the abrupt changes in behavior. If data becomes ambiguous, you might have to resort to creative, out-of-the-box thinking to get you out of the bind. 

It’s possible that you have to test unique ideas for content that aren’t supported by data but by intuition. When innovation becomes limited, creative thinking allows you to draw from another source – inspiration. 

 10. Communication

Communication in digital marketing isn’t just about effectively collaborating with your team members. It’s essential to get the right message across to your target audience. 

Successful messaging is a key component of digital marketing. You identified your target audience. The focus now shifts to delivering the message they need – the content that provides the solutions and answers they have been searching for. 

To communicate effectively, you must be both an intent listener and an articulate speaker. Listen to your audience and objectively view their comments, opinions, and suggestions. 

Articulate your message carefully to make sure that it’s impactful and helpful. With consistency, you’ll be able to build trust and loyalty with your audience. 

Conclusion

It would be great if you had all of these top 10 skills available at your disposal. But it’s not realistic to become truly proficient in a skill until you’ve spent time learning the fundamentals and applying theories into practice. 

For example, it’s not realistic to expect to become an effective content writer whose blogs consistently drive inbound traffic to websites and whose web copy converts leads into sales. 

Sometimes it takes years to become a proficient content writer. 

Sure, you can put in the hours honing your craft but this could be time best spent in managing the day-to-day aspects of your business – the ones that add dollars and cents to your bank account.

Your best option is to outsource digital marketing to an experienced agency such as Mountaintop Web Design. 

Our proof can be found in the high-performing websites we’ve designed, developed, and managed for clients and on the content we’ve published on our website such as this one. 

UpCity has cited our blogs as the best in digital marketing.

Allow us to take the digital marketing workload out of your hands. Give us a call and we’ll schedule you for a quick 30-minute free consultation to find out what’s best for your business. 

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community.

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Consumers regard social media platforms as valuable sources of information for making educated buying decisions. A study by GlobalWebIndex revealed that 71% of consumers’ decisions on buying a product or not are influenced by what they read on social media. Likewise, 54% of consumers use social media to conduct research on products and services. 

The data doesn’t suggest that investing time and resources in a social media marketing strategy is a guaranteed home run. Choosing the social media network for your business isn’t a game of darts whereby regardless of how and where you throw, you’ll hit the bullseye. 

Consumer Demographics – What Are They And Why They Are important

The keyword in social media is “Social”. These networks cater to communities composed of people with similar interests, tastes, preferences, and behavioral attributes. They gravitate towards a particular social network based on how the platform is built up and promoted. 

Therefore, these communities don’t function in the same way. The behaviors and practices are influenced by the consumer demographics that are predominant in the community. 

Consumer demographics are the characteristics and qualities of the people that comprise the followers or audience. Demographics can be categorized and organized into the following:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Income Level
  • Education Level
  • Employment Status
  • Career
  • Location
  • Marital Status
  • Number of Children
  • Hobbies and Interests

Why is it important to learn what your consumer demographics are? 

There are 4 reasons why you need to invest time and resources into uncovering the characteristics of your consumers.

  1. Create an Accurate Buyer’s Profile
  2. Efficient and Precise Customer Segmentation
  3. Initiate Personalized Customer Interactions or Engagements
  4. Keep Track of Changing Behaviors and Consumption Patterns

When you have an accurate Buyer’s Profile, you’ll have a better understanding of who your customers are. Segmenting your customers into categories will enable you to come up with a more efficient email marketing strategy. 

Of course, knowing who your customers are will help you develop a deeper, more personalized relationship with them and validate perceived changes in behaviors and consumption patterns. 

Collectively, by identifying consumer demographics, you’ll be able to efficiently manage your marketing budget and allocate more resources to strategies that deliver the desired results. 

You’ll know which social media platforms to use, the types of content to post, and how to interact with your audience in order to achieve your marketing goals. 

The Top Social Media Platforms And Their Consumer Demographics

Did you ever wonder why the “Gym Fails” video that generated hundreds of likes and shares on Facebook came and went on LinkedIn with hardly a whimper? You might have even gotten negative comments from community members from the fitness industry. 

The result will be the same if you post business content with heavy industry jargon and statistics on Facebook. You might not get negative comments but the majority of people in your community will scroll past them. 

The reason is that Facebook and LinkedIn cater to different consumer demographics and agendas. 

People who log into Facebook are leaning towards the social aspect of the platform. They want to see what their friends and family are up to; what the latest developments are in their lives, how they’re feeling, and what they have planned for the rest of the day. 

In contrast, people who log into LinkedIn are looking for opportunities to further their careers or businesses. They might network for new contacts, engage with specific people in their community to offer business proposals or post content that’s crafted to enhance their value proposition to potential employers.

Can you use Facebook for business and LinkedIn for socializing? Yes, but the approaches will be different. And this is why it’s important to uncover and understand the demographics of the consumers in the top social media platforms.

Let’s begin with the biggest and most popular social media platform on the Internet.

Facebook

Facebook Key Demographics:

  • Number of Monthly Active Users – 2.74 Billion
  • Percentage of users over the age of 12 – 63%
  • Number of users aged 13 to 17 – 109 million
  • Largest age demographic – 24 to 35 years old (26.3%)
  • Distribution of users by gender – Male (56%), Female (44%)
  • Fastest growing age demographic – 55 years and older; 46% of those aged 65 and older prefer Facebook
  • Percentage of global audience, Europe – 40%
  • Percentage of global audience, Asia – 39%
  • Percentage of English-speaking users – 56%
  • Percentage of mobile-only users – 79%
  • Time of day preferred by users – 12:00 pm

What do Facebook’s consumer demographics mean?

Despite all of the bad press and the deluge of criticisms from multiple fronts, Facebook remains a crucial component of your social media marketing strategy because of its voluminous number of users in the United States and around the world. 

Reports of Facebook’s deletion in the smartphones of teenagers were grossly exaggerated. Facebook with 109 million users aged 13 to 17 has maintained its superiority in this demographic over Tiktok (78.7 million), Snapchat (71 million), and Instagram (56 million). 

The predominantly young age demographic of Facebook makes it the ideal social media network to market and promote mobile devices, video games, consoles, exercise equipment, snacks, shoes, and fashion apparel.

Facebook is an excellent social media platform for businesses that sell products targeted toward boomers such as vitamins, health supplements, books, skincare products, appliances, household goods, wine, and pricey food items like cheese.

Because of its massive global reach, if your business wants to offer your products and services to other countries, Facebook is the social media platform for you. 

The fastest-growing countries for Facebook users are the Philippines, India, and Indonesia. 

If your business is looking to outsource services in order to lower costs, you can shift your recruiting activities to these countries to get qualified talent. The Philippines and India are in the Top 5 list of best countries for outsourcing.

Lastly, if you’re thinking about paid advertising, include Facebook as one of your channels. 

The social media network’s ad revenues were higher by 22% in 2020 which is proof that marketers greatly valued the site’s large number of users during the time of the pandemic. 

Instagram

Instagram Key Demographics

  • Number of monthly active users: 1 Billion
  • Largest age group demographic: 25 to 33 years old (33.1%)
  • Age groups that log on multiple times per day: 18 to 24 years old (67%), 25 to 34 years old (60%), and 35 to 44 years old (49%).
  • Distribution of users by gender: Male (43%), Female (57%)
  • Percentage of users who follow brands: 90%
  • Potential audience reach of ads: 1.16 Billion
  • Number of users who tap on product tags per month: 90 Million
  • Percentage of people who use Instagram to follow an interest: 91%
  • Top 5 interests followed on Instagram: Travel (45%), Music (44%), and Food and Drink (43%).

What do Instagram’s consumer demographics mean?

Instagram has grown to become the second-largest social media platform after its owner, Facebook. It caters to a younger demographic – 18 to 34 years old – but has fallen behind Tiktok as the preferred social media platform of teens. 

However, there are reports that show 11% of Instagram users in the U.S belong to the 9 to 11 years old demographic which goes against the minimum age requirement set by the platform at 13 years old. 

More women use Instagram than men in the United States but not in its second-biggest market, India, where only 28% of women are on the network. An interesting study by We Are Social revealed that more than 50% of women in India aren’t aware of Instagram. 

Unlike Facebook, Instagram isn’t popular with boomers. Only 8% of users aged 65 and over are on Instagram. 

Instagram is a must-be-at social media platform for businesses in the food retail, travel, fashion, technology, fashion, and beauty industries. 

A big reason why these businesses can hit a home run on Instagram is that you can showcase your products and services via high-quality videos and images. Target your content toward the younger generation and it would be a good idea to sign up influencers to build your brand.

YouTube

YouTube Key Demographics:

  • Number of Monthly Active Users – 2 Billion
  • Largest age demographic – 15 to 25 years old (77%)
  • Second largest age demographic – 45 to 64 years old (70%)
  • Percentage of male Internet users that go to YouTube – 72%
  • Percentage of female Internet users that go to YouTube – 72%
  • Total number of hours of video content viewed daily – 1 Billion hours
  • YouTube rank as the preferred channel for sharing video content – 2nd; Facebook is #1.
  • Ad revenues generated by YouTube in 2021 – US$5.6 Billion.
  • Top 3 popular types of videos – Vlogs/Commentary, Product Reviews, and Tutorials.
  • Most streamed topics – Gaming, exercise, and learning new skills such as cooking and home repair.

What do YouTube’s consumer demographics mean?

YouTube was acquired by Google in 2006. These are 2 of the largest search engines on the Internet. Posting content on YouTube will guarantee you a wide audience reach. 

As you can see from the age and gender demographics, everyone loves YouTube. Your baby brother to your Grandpa will surely go to YouTube if they’re on the Internet. 

Many entrepreneurs, influencers, and celebrities were discovered on YouTube. The popularity of video-based content has leveled the playing field such that you don’t have to be a big brand to be successful on YouTube. 

You just need to create and post high-quality, engaging, and compelling content on a consistent basis. 

Here are a few good examples of video content ideas:

  • Restaurant/Food Business – Recipes; how to prepare/cook special dishes.
  • Travel – Top 10 best destinations for summer vacation.
  • Music – Tutorials on how to play popular songs in your genre.
  • Business – How to find clients.
  • Fitness – Exercise guides or workout tips. 
  • Fashion and Makeup – Tips on accessorizing

The ad revenues of YouTube continue to grow. This is one of the best social media platforms to run your PPC or Pay-Per-Click campaigns. 

What’s important in YouTube is to identify your audience and produce content that targets their interests. Your content must be useful and offer great value for your viewers.  

Tiktok

Tiktok Key Demographics

  • Number of monthly active users: 100 Million
  • Largest age group demographic: 18 to 24 years old
  • Distribution of users per gender: Male (41%), Female (59%)
  • Average time spent on Tiktok per month: 21.5 hours
  • Number of countries that allow Tiktok: 200
  • Percentage of Americans that know Tiktok: 89%
  • Most popular type of content on Tiktok: Fun and entertaining
  • Most viewed type of videos: Music
  • Percentage of Generation X’ers on TikTok: 25%
  • Percentage of Boomers on Tiktok: 4.1%

What do Tiktok’s consumer demographics mean?

Tiktok continues to defy its critics. The social media platform’s growth to 100 Million monthly active users is proof that it will continue to be a top destination choice on the Internet. 

Its market primarily caters to the younger generation or those aged 18 to 34 years old accounting for 52.6% of its users. Likewise, there are significantly more females on Tiktok than males. Not surprisingly, Tiktok isn’t patronized by the older generation.

Because Tiktok isn’t widely received abroad, particularly in Asia where it’s banned in countries such as India, Bangladesh, Armenia, and Indonesia, marketing your products and services to international markets through this platform might not be a feasible option. 

Who is Tiktok for?

If your business offers products and services that cater to a younger generation, promote them on Tiktok. Among the most popularly viewed products on Tiktok are cosmetics, home care items, makeup organizers, sleep masks, hairdryers, facial cleansing products, travel mugs, and coffee mugs. 

Use short videos that run under 30 seconds. It’s very important to get the message across during the first 6 seconds of the video and to capitalize on emotional triggers. This means creating scripts that viewers can relate to or touch an emotional chord. 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn Key Demographics

  • Number of LinkedIn users worldwide: 738 Million
  • Number of monthly active users: 310 Million
  • Largest age group demographic: 46 to 55 years old
  • Distribution of users by gender: Male (51%), Female (49%)
  • Percentage of LinkedIn users outside the US: 74%
  • Percentage of users that access LinkedIn monthly: 63%
  • Number of companies that use LinkedIn: 30 Million+
  • The average annual income of LinkedIn users: US$75,000
  • Percentage of LinkedIn users that are part of upper management: 45%
  • Percentage of LinkedIn users with a college degree: 50%

In contrast to the previous social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok – LinkedIn caters to the older generation. 

As you’ve just read, almost half of the users of LinkedIn hold upper management positions. There are also 61 million users of LinkedIn who are senior-level decision-makers in big companies. These factors contribute to the high average annual income of LinkedIn users. 

LinkedIn is a social media platform that functions more as a networking site for people looking for opportunities to find jobs, clients for their business, end-users for their products or services, and strategic partnerships. 

This is a great platform for sharing your experience, knowledge, and expertise in the industry. LinkedIn has a built-in blogging platform that you can use to create content and share with your community.

Join interest groups and participate in discussions. Look for LinkedIn members who might be interested in hiring your services or exploring the possibility of a business engagement. 

Conclusion

How many social media platforms should you sign up for? It depends on your business goals and the availability of manpower. Tracking the progress of your social media marketing campaign is difficult if you have multiple channels to oversee. 

We recommend starting out with a maximum of 2 social media platforms. Get a feel of the network and run off a few campaigns. Assess the performance and evaluate the results from each platform. 

Choose the social media platform that best fits your buyer’s profile or audience persona. It’s better to have 1-2 social media platforms that deliver the desired results than have 5-6 channels that are constantly underperforming. 

If you need assistance in getting your social media marketing strategy off the ground, give us a call and we’ll get you started right away. 

And if you found this article informative, please go ahead and share it with your friends and family.

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How do you know if your dinner party was a success? If you see your guests engaging with one another; making new connections, getting involved in lively banter, and if you notice more people staying than heading home, it’s safe to say you hosted a successful dinner party. 

The same can be said for your social media marketing strategy. If your posts aren’t generating engagement with your followers, increasing the number of likes, shares, or followers, and if more people are leaving your page than staying, it’s safe to say your social media marketing hasn’t been successful.

What Exactly Does Social Media Engagement Mean?

Social media engagement is no different from the example we made about hosting a dinner party. We can define it as the level of activity in your social media community that’s measurable by the number of likes, shares, and comments. 

While some marketers validate the success of their social media strategy by the increase in the number of followers, the truth is, a better measure of success is the degree of communication or interaction between your business and its followers. 

The ideal outcome from your social media marketing strategy is having an engaged audience, not a passive one. 

An engaged audience is composed of people who are really interested in your message. They are actively communicating with you and others because they want to learn more about or share their opinions and ideas with others in the community. 

Thus, when you’re trying to build the online presence of your business, you must always focus on the quality of your followers, not just the quantity.

What Are The Benefits Of Increased Social Media Engagement?

If your posts aren’t engaging with your audience, it means your audience is engaging with your competitors. And you don’t want that because you’re losing opportunities to grow your business. 

For this reason, we always recommend to our clients that the social media strategy should prioritize increasing the level of engagement. 

What other benefits should you expect to get by increasing social media engagement?

  1. Build Your Brand By Humanizing Your Business – Chatbots are great but human chat agents can provide one thing that the bots can’t – feedback. Communicating directly with your customers humanizes your business because it shows that you care about their concerns and opinions. 
  1. Foster Strong and Sustainable Relationships – Customers prefer to patronize a brand they can identify with. Through strong engagement, customers will come to realize that your brand shares the same ideals, values, and beliefs as they do.
  1. Enhance Customer Support Services – Even the most irate customer will appreciate the effort you put to try and resolve his problem in a social media thread or private chat. 
  1. More Cost-effective Than Other Forms of Marketing – Creating a post that generates a ton of engagement through shares, likes, and comments will widen your reach and enhance your brand faster and more effectively than printing and handing out 5,000 flyers to random people. 
  1. Present Social Proof of Your Business – What would be your perception of a business if you visit its social media page and see a lot of followers and notice that the posts are constantly liked, shared, and lined with comments? You’d be more encouraged to patronize the brand, right? 

The same can be said about your business if you improve its level of social media engagement.

3 Key Steps To Developing An Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy 

Before we go through our tips on how to increase social media engagement, let’s make sure your social media strategy is moving in the right direction.

Step 1 – Review Your Social Media Numbers

In order to establish your goals, review your current social media marketing numbers and assess its performance thus far. 

  • How many followers do you have?
  • What is your Audience Reach?
  • What is your Engagement Level?
  • Which posts generated the most engagement?
  • Which posts didn’t generate engagement?
  • Did your posts drive traffic to your website? 

Once you have the social media numbers summarized, it will be easier to set your targets.

Step 2 – Get To Know Your Audience

If you’re involved in the fitness industry and 70% of your audience are vegans, why would you keep posting about hamburgers and steaks? 

Get to know your audience so that your content writing strategy will have a direction:

  • Which types of content do they like to read?
  • Do they prefer videos, images, or text content?
  • Where do they come from?
  • What device do they use to access social media?
  • What issues and concerns do they want to address? 
  • What are the demographics?

Create an Audience Profile and use this to plan out your content marketing strategy. 

Step 3 – Plan Your Content 

Now that you’ve identified your goals and have an idea of who your audience is, it’s time to plan your content strategy.

The type and quality of content are factors that drive engagement. Your content marketing toolbox should consist of a variety of processes and tactics and there are many to choose from:

  • Blogs
  • Surveys
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Curated Content
  • GIFs
  • Stories
  • A Day in the Life
  • Contests and Giveaways

The next step is knowing how to create content that will encourage greater engagement from your audience.

10 Tips On How To Increase Social Media Engagement

Setting up social media accounts for your business is a great way to get your products and services noticed by your target audience. 

However, posting for the sake of posting on social media won’t get you the desired results. This has become a harsh reality for many entrepreneurs who are using social media to promote their businesses.

They thought “My posts on my personal social media page are always getting likes, shares, and comments. Why can’t I get the same results for my business page?”

That’s because your community of followers on your social media and business pages is different. Your purpose is also different. 

On your personal page, you like to update your current status. On your business page, you’re trying to get your followers to patronize your business. 

Therefore, the approaches to increasing social media engagement in more likes, shares, and followers and most importantly, creating more engaged followers are different. 

1. Join Relevant Special Interest Groups

Look at your list of Facebook friends. We’re sure that you can categorize them into different groups based on their interests. For example, you might be able to arrange your friends into the following interest groups:

  • Fitness enthusiasts
  • Coffee drinkers
  • Guitar players
  • Chefs at home
  • Comic book collectors

So if you post about the new HIIT workout you tried this morning, your friends from the fitness enthusiasts interest group will actively engage in your content. The same can be said for your coffee drinking friends if you share your experience at the new Dutch coffee bar that opened near your place.

You can expect higher engagement levels if you join interest groups that are relevant to your business. 

For example, if you’re in the Software Development business that designs programs and apps for recruitment, joining the following interest groups might benefit you:

  • Human Resources 
  • Manpower Agencies
  • Small Business
  • Start-Ups
  • Hotel and Restaurant 
  • Manufacturing
  • Sales 

The key is to engage with the group members first and win their trust. Don’t share your content right away. Join active discussions and contribute ideas. 

The more active you participate in the discussions, the greater the interest your fellow members might have in your business. You might not be aware of it, but a few co-members could be checking your business page and reading its contents.

2. Repost Content from Followers

Once you’ve been accepted into an interest group, a good strategy would be to share a fellow member’s content. You can repost it on your business page and/or personal page. 

Your fellow group members will appreciate it. Trust us when we say, they will reciprocate in kind in the future.

Do the same thing with your followers. If someone posts a reference on a thread on your business page, repost it and give credit to the follower who contributed the link. 

If the link is from a follower’s business page and the reference is relevant and useful – share and repost it. 

Actively engaging with your followers will make them feel good and appreciated. It will encourage them to engage more in your social media posts. 

3. Get Influencers Onboard

Getting an influence onboard can be costly but he/she can get your content and business noticed right away. A person becomes an influencer when he/she has amassed an impressive number of followers who trust his/her opinions. 

According to the 2020 Report by Influencer Marketing Hub, you can earn US$18 in media value for every US$1 spent on an influencer. 

By getting an influencer to share your content, you are leveraging his/her massive base of followers – but this comes at a price. The influencer knows his/her follower base is a cash cow and he/she will milk you for its use. 

Another option is to get an influencer who isn’t as well-known or established in your industry but has a good enough number of followers to warrant a marketing arrangement. 

Try to negotiate a win-win arrangement. For example, offer commission-based payouts or free items in exchange for the influencer sharing your content or mentioning your business in his/her social media channels. 

4. Personalize Your Responses

If your post landed one comment, personalize your response even if the comment posted by your follower is negative. 

All comments are assets. If a follower says something unfavorable about your content, don’t get triggered and exchange fire. Take a deep breath, compose your thoughts, and remain professional.

A negative comment still shows the person took the time to share his opinion on your post. For that alone, he should be commended. Likewise, the comment opens the door for engagement. 

Let’s assume that you’re in the business of selling supplements and you posted content on your social media about the health benefits of creatine. Your lead-in to the post read:

“Creatine is a substance that our body develops naturally but not enough to generate the same health benefits if you were to take it in supplement form.”

A follower named Daniel posts the following comment:

“Creatine is overrated. Everyone knows it can lead to hair loss, kidney and organ failure because it draws water to your muscles. You should be more responsible about what you post and include the cons, not just the pros. Value our health over your profit.”

Respond to Daniel in this manner:

“Thank you for your comment, Daniel! We appreciate and trust that we do value the health of our customers. The fact is the study on hair loss was only conducted by one research group that could not validate the result. 

“Regarding the consequences of creatine, as with all supplements, it’s very important to follow directions on use correctly. Even Vitamin C can have health consequences if taken irresponsibly. 

“You can refer to our previous blogs on creatine that we always advise our readers to drink plenty of water after taking it. If you have other questions, Daniel, please feel free to reach out.” 

5. Generate Conversation

Sometimes all you need to increase social media engagement is to generate conversation by posting a question to your community. 

For example, you’re in the business of selling California wines, you can generate a discussion in your community by posting this question:

“Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon with Filet Mignon is an Excellent Wine and Steak Pairing! How Do You Pair Your Wine with Your Steak?”

You can be assured that your followers who are wine aficionados would be chomping at the bit to share their ideas with you! 

Try to add a high-resolution image of your subject matter, in this case of the Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon and Filet Mignon to captivate your readers.

6. Add Hashtags

Hashtags are keywords that are used by people to search for a particular topic. You’ve probably seen your friends add hashtags to their posts. The keywords are preceded by the symbol “#” and the words are strung together. 

Sometimes the words are differentiated by a capitalized letter. For example, #MakeAWish or #ChillOutTime. 

The important thing to remember is that the hashtag must be relevant to your topic. This way, anybody who wants to search for content that’s related to your post can just do a search via hashtag.

Finally, don’t go crazy with hashtags. No doubt you’ve come across posts that have 10 hashtags. That’s too much! The message might get misunderstood. Worse, your followers might get annoyed. 

7. Use Images and Videos

Creating posts with videos or images has been proven effective in driving social media engagement simply because these forms of content can deliver the message faster and clearer than text-based content. 

Here are 4 tips on how to choose videos or images for social media posting:

  • The video or image has to be relevant to your products and services so that it will resonate with your target audience. 
  • For social media channels that can deliver content in various formats such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, videos that are no more than 2 minutes long deliver the best results in increasing engagement. 
  • For social media channels that are primarily for video streaming such as YouTube, you’ll get higher engagement levels on videos that are more than 10 minutes long. 
  • Use images that are colorful and have high resolution. You can combine with text content such as statistics or facts to make an Infographic.

8. Conduct Surveys

Conducting surveys have 2 immediate benefits for your business.

First, surveys will create immediate engagement with your audience. Second, you get data that will give you ideas on how to improve your business, its products, and services. 

If you’re running a bed and breakfast business and there’s a long holiday weekend coming up, you can post a survey about the kind of festivity that your guests might want to see in your hotel:

  • Jazz band
  • Outdoor movie
  • Backyard BBQ
  • Fireworks display
  • Garden buffet

When you’re conducting a survey, schedule it on a date that will give you enough time to gather and assess the data and to prepare for the event. 

9. Stage Contests or Giveaways

Question: “What makes a good burger great?”

Answer: “When it’s for FREE!”

Everyone loves to participate in contests and giveaways because they have a chance to win stuff for free. 

Key things to remember when running contests on your social media page:

  • The item must be in demand.
  • Give complete details on the mechanics of the contest.
  • Make sure you have enough stock of the product. 
  • Clarify charges or fees, if any. For example, if shipping charges are for the account of the contest winner. 

Staging contests or giveaways on your social media page will definitely get your audience engaged. 

  10. Be Strategic When Posting

It’s important to stay active in social media to remain top-of-mind with your audience. For example, on Facebook, the latest studies recommend posting no more than 1-2 times per day and 3 times per week. 

The recommendations are a stark contrast to the practice carried out by marketers years ago that required them to post 1-2 times 5 days a week. The focus has shifted to the quality of the post over quantity. 

You have to be strategic when posting otherwise, your posts might annoy your followers. 

Think about the time when a business page you followed kept posting sales-type content? All you see on your news feed are posts from the business page to “Buy This” or “Buy That”. Over time, all of that sales content will come out as noise. 

Here are 3 tips on posting content:

  • The post must have value to your audience. This is where a survey helps. 
  • Mix it up. 

For example, Monday is for your latest blog. Wednesday is for videos or images and can be used for sales-type copy. Friday is curated content day. 

Review your page metrics to be sure of the types of content to post on a specific day of the week.

  • Apply some of the tips provided above such as the use of videos or images, adding hashtags, and responding to all comments. 

Conclusion

Always remember that increasing social media engagement doesn’t happen overnight. It requires consistency, persistence, and patience. You might not see any significant improvement right away and that’s okay. There’s a learning curve to be respected in every activity.

We like to stress the importance of tracking the performance of the strategy by constantly reviewing your page’s metrics. Use the data to tweak your strategy. In time, you’ll get a better feel of social media and how to drive engagement levels up. 

If you’re truly desirous of taking your social media engagement to the next level, let us handle it while you focus on running the business. Give us a call or drop us an email so we can get started. 

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community.

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Welcome to part 2 of our article on the top social media platforms for your business in 2021! If you haven’t read part 1, we suggest you do so you can have a better understanding on why your business should be on social media this year and beyond. 

In this article, we will discuss four more social media platforms that you should consider for your business. Yes, there are other networks circulating on the Internet that we didn’t include. 

It’s not because those networks are not effective. They probably are, otherwise those platforms would have followed MySpace, Friendster, and GooglePlus to the social media graveyard. 

However, the social media platforms discussed here and in part 1 have continued to grow over the last few years because marketers have been able to generate the desired results. 

Let’s start out with the preferred social media network of Human Resource managers, headhunters, senior-level influencers, and fresh college graduates.

1. LinkedIn

The best way to describe LinkedIn is that it’s the social media platform for professionals. People sign up at LinkedIn to network for business contacts, create strategic partnerships, find clients, promote their brand, and share their knowledge with those in their industries. 

Fresh graduates use LinkedIn to look for job opportunities, connect with HR people, and build their professional online presence. 

The following numbers further validate the reputation of LinkedIn as the social network for professionals:

  • The number of job applications per second: 55.
  • The increase in the number of remote jobs posted on LinkedIn during the pandemic: 2.5x
  • The number of people who use LinkedIn every month to look for jobs: 40 million.
  • The percentage increase in conversions among LinkedIn connections: 55%.
  • The number of senior-level influencers on LinkedIn: 61 million or 25% of the community.

Despite the professional nature of its platform, LinkedIn maintains its “social” aspect by allowing community members to engage with one another in their respective news feed, focus/interest groups, and through InMail. 

How to use LinkedIn for business:

  • Create a professional business profile – Use a high-resolution image of your business logo and a picture that best represents your brand. When writing a description about your business, make sure the content is positioned to address the needs of your potential customer or client. Yes, it’s about you but more importantly, how can you help your client or customer address their issues or concerns?
  • Share your LinkedIn Business Page – Invite your employees, associates, customers, and clients to like your page. Promote the Business Page in other social networks and ask your community to follow you. 
  • Add videos or images to your posts – Similar to other social media networks, posts in LinkedIn get higher engagement when they’re embedded with images or videos. 

2. Pinterest

Pinterest started in 2010 with only 10,000 members. Today, the social media platform has 442 million monthly active users. 

The number of active users might not be as impressive as Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram but Pinterest with a return of US$4.3 for every US$1 spent on ads is one of the most profitable platforms for online advertising. 

However, based on the numbers below, Pinterest might cater to specific market demographics:

  • The largest percentage of community members are women: 70%
  • The largest percentage of new users are men: 40%
  • The percentage of community members who follow businesses on Pinterest: 33%.
  • The percentage of users who find new products on Pinterest: 77%.
  • The percentage of unbranded searches on Pinterest: 95%.

How to use Pinterest for business:

  • Develop a Pinterest marketing strategy – You’ve seen the numbers and have an idea of the community’s demographics. Evaluate your business and see how you can best use the platform to promote your products and services. A good way to start is to see what your competitors are doing on Pinterest. What types of content are they sharing? How is the level of engagement? How often are they posting?
  • Create high-resolution images that are of excellent quality – Similar to Instagram, video-based content works best on Pinterest. It’s important to note that 82% of users view Pinterest from a mobile device. Make sure your images stack up well on a mobile screen.
  • Maintain Consistency – The key to getting the most out of your Pinterest marketing efforts is activity. Be consistent when pinning your content. We recommend pinning no less than 11 times per day but no more than 30 times per day. 

3. Snapchat

Snapchat is one of the newer platforms on the social media scene. The network only started in 2011 but has amassed 315 million monthly active users. 238 million Snapchat users are active every day. 

Is Snapchat for you? Look at the numbers below and see if you can benefit from using this platform for your business.

  • Percentage demographic breakdown in Snapchat: Women – 60%; Men – 40%.
  • Percentage of users aged 34 and younger: 82%.
  • Percentage of users who make purchases after seeing an ad or a post in Snapchat: 60%.
  • The number of snaps taken per day: 4 billion.
  • Number of times users open the app every day: 30.

How to use Snapchat for business:

  • Cross-promote with your other social media platforms – If you’ve built an audience with your other social media platforms, use them to inform your followers that your business is now on Snapchat. 
  • Reach inside and find the quirky you – Again, Snapchat appeals to a young demographic. People aged 34 or younger prefer fun content that might border on being “over-the-top”. To get an idea, check out the Snapchat accounts of your competitors. 
  • Include a Snapcode – A Snapcode works like a QR Code. People can scan it with their smartphone so they can find your content right away. You can also use Snapcode to connect with other Snapchat businesses. 

Lastly, add the Snapcode to your website, emails, newsletters, and social media materials. 

4. TikTok

TikTok is in the bottom position in our list not because we think it’s the least useful platform for your business. Actually, it’s not. TikTok is at the bottom of our list simply because it’s the newest, having been founded in 2016. There’s a good chance not many of you are familiar with Tiktok. 

In reality, TikTok is the fastest-growing social media platform. A 2020 survey by Nikkei Asia revealed that TikTok beat Facebook as the most downloaded social media app in the world. 

If you’re still on the fence about TikTok, here are some numbers that might get you moving:

  • The number of times TikTok has been downloaded: 2 Billion.
  • The number of monthly active users: 689 million.
  • Position of Tiktok in the list of best social media apps to trigger consumer spending: 2.
  • The average time spent per day by a user: 52 minutes.
  • The percentage of users between the age of 18 – 24: 41%.

How to use Tiktok for business:

  • Challenge your creativity – This is a social media network that caters to a young audience. When creating content, you must find ways to appeal to their senses. A good example would be to include pets in your videos. Cat videos have been a smash on YouTube and you can expect the same level of success by adding your feline family member in some of your Tiktok ads. 
  • Collaborate with Tiktok influencers – Collaborating with influencers is the fastest way to have your brand noticed in the community – and Tiktok has a lot of influencers. Reach out to relevant influencers and negotiate an arrangement that will entice them to do a “collab” with you. Of course, this will entail an expense,  but if you choose the right influencer, the cost will be worth it.
  • Make Your Content Fun – Boring content won’t sell in Tiktok. Check out the content posted by your competitors. Even the worse ones are at the very least trying to be fun and entertaining. 

Loosen up your tie, kick up your feet, get in a good mood, take in some inspiration – then, come up with content that would elicit laughs and interest.

Conclusion

The social media platforms we discuss here and in part 1 have been proven effective and consistent in delivering the desired results for the past several years. 

Bear in mind that success is not guaranteed by the social media platform. 

Success will invariably depend on how you plan, strategize, monitor, revise, and implement your social media campaign.

Also, just because the engagement level in your personal social media page is impressive, doesn’t mean you can generate the same result in your business social media page. 

Your business page will reach out to a wide, diverse audience the majority of whom don’t know you. They will react to your content in a manner that’s unique to them. 

To find out if your strategies are working, you have to constantly keep track of the analytics and come up with the necessary adjustments to stay on course. 

For the most part, you might have some difficulty steering the ship across the social media ocean. But with consistency and by keeping an open mind, you will eventually experience smooth sailing. 

A better option would be to hire Mountaintop Web Design to develop, implement, and manage your social media campaigns. We’re confident that our experience, resources, and talent will be more than enough to help your business grow its social media presence. 

Give us a call or drop us an email if you’re interested. Let’s get you started in the exciting world of social media marketing.

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your social media community.

Social media marketing is an indispensable part of the digital marketing strategy toolbox. You’ll spend less money and still reach a wider audience compared to traditional marketing strategies. The problem is, there are so many social media platforms on the Internet. Which ones should you choose for your business?

5 Benefits Of Using Social Media For Your Business

If you asked friends and associates for their recommendations on which social media platforms you should use for your business, chances are you’ll get different answers. 

We created this article to remove the guesswork. To clear all doubt, we included the key statistics on why a particular social media network made our list. Likewise, we added tips on how to use the platform for your business. 

If at this point, you’re still not sure why you need social media marketing, here is a short rundown on its 5 benefits for your business.

1. Build Your Business Brand – To have a successful social media strategy, you must stay active. Post at least once a day. If you’re able to do this, more people will see your content and be interested in what your business is all about.

2. Engage With Your Customers – Social media makes it easy for you to engage with your customers through commenting and messaging. Keep in mind that not all comments will be positive. Your mindset should be “It’s better to be talked about than not talked about at all.” If you receive a negative or less-than-flattering comment, reach out to the person and engage in a respectful manner. This is a great opportunity to build a strong relationship.

3. Generate Leads – Social media marketing is a numbers game. Let’s assume your post gets seen by 500 people. We can conservatively expect 10% or 50 to engage with your post. Of the 50 people, 10% or 5 can visit your website, and 2% or 1 person might buy. “One sale” might not sound enticing. But if this happens on a daily basis, you won’t have a problem generating regular sales for your business. Now, increase the Audience Reach to 1,000 people and do the Math. 

4. Improve Your Search Rankings – Google’s algorithm doesn’t incorporate social media as a ranking factor. However, social media will provide your content a channel that can drive people to your website. Your challenge is to consistently create content that’s:

  • Unique
  • Informative
  • Useful
  • Engaging
  • Relevant

It’s important to always include your website URL at the end of the lead-in posts to your social media content. 

5. Boost Your Sales –  It’s not uncommon for customers to want to transact with you directly on your social media page. For example, a customer might want to purchase via Facebook Messenger. When this happens, redirecting the customer to your e-commerce website might prove to be an inconvenience that you’ll just have to provide other means to close the sale. Facebook has a feature that allows you to set up an online store on your Business Page. You can take advantage of this feature to close out transactions but be ready to transact via Messenger. 

If you’re convinced that you need social media marketing for your business to grow, let’s turn your attention to the top networks you should consider in 2021 and most likely, 2022.

Let’s start off with the consensus #1 social media platform for business.

1. Facebook

If your business isn’t on Facebook, it’s not on the Internet.

That’s an extreme way of highlighting the importance of having Facebook in your social media marketing strategy. Just the numbers supporting Facebook is proof enough that you should join its community:

  • Number of monthly active users: 2.70 Billion; up from 2.45 Billion (2020)
  • Number of daily active users: 1 Billion
  • Number of social media users on Facebook: 60%
  • Number of FB small business pages: 80 million
  • The average amount of time spent on FB by a user: 10 minutes

Facebook continues to grow and reportedly earned US$86 Billion in 2020. If this is your first time doing social media marketing, Facebook is an excellent platform to start out with.

How to use Facebook for your business:

  • Create a Facebook Business Page – Make sure to use a high-resolution image of your brand and a relevant image for your business profile picture.
  • Post 1-2 times per day – Staying active is important but focus on the quality of the post. If you have nothing relevant or useful to share, don’t post. Your social media campaign on Facebook won’t take a hit if you don’t post for a few days. 
  • Invest in Facebook Ads – Facebook Ads will place your content directly in front of an audience with the highest probability of patronizing your brand. 

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2. YouTube

YouTube has grown exponentially in the last few years. With more than 2 billion monthly active users, YouTube is the second most popular social media platform behind Facebook. 

Here are other YouTube statistics that should encourage you to start a channel:

  • Number of hours worth of YouTube videos streamed daily: 1 Billion.
  • Number of channels checked out by daily visitors: 8.89
  • Percentage increase of videos with the keyword “home office”: 210%
  • Percentage of B2B decision-makers who were influenced by YouTube to make a purchase: 50.9%
  • Percentage of viewers who bought a product after seeing an ad on YouTube: 70%.

These statistics prove that YouTube has grown not just in terms of revenue but in terms of purpose. What used to be a source of entertainment, has now become a valuable source of information. 

In that regard, allow us to share one more stat:

72% of YouTube streamers report they used the channel to help them get fit and healthy during 2020 – the year of the pandemic.

How to use YouTube for your business:

  • Before you open a Brand Account on Google – To start a YouTube channel, you have to first open a Brand Account on Google. Before you do that, research your competition. Find out what types of content they’re putting out and take note of the ones that are generating the highest engagement. Also, create an Audience Profile. Gather data from your website or if you have, from another social media platform. At the end of every month, use YouTube demographics to finetune your Audience Profile.
  • Optimize your channel – First and foremost, YouTube is a search engine. Similar to its parent company, Google, it ranks content based on a specified set of factors. Optimize content by embedding high-ranking keywords in the title and description. Create fresh, unique, useful, informative, and engaging content that will compel more users to patronize your channel.
  • Engage your viewers – It’s perfectly fine to stay on a script but from time to time, veer away from the lines and just talk to your audience from the heart. Don’t hesitate to remind your viewers to “Like”, “Share”, “Subscribe”, or “Ring the Notification Bell”, at the end of your video. If they love your content – they will!

3. Instagram

How many of you have entered a cake shop wanting a cheesecake only to change it to a Sacher Torte with Schlag? Or how many of you only intended to bicep curl 50 pounds then at the last second, increase the weight to 100 pounds?

Such is the power of the Instagram effect! 

Image-based content creates engagement faster and at higher levels compared to text-based content because it stimulates the sense of sight and sound (if video-based) and in so doing, triggers a wide range of emotions from your audience. 

It’s no surprise that Instagram has grown from 1 million users during its first 2 months in 2010 to over 1 billion users in 2020

Here are a few more noteworthy numbers about Instagram:

  • Percentage of users who log in every day: 62%
  • Number of clicks on commercial posts: 130 million
  • The average number of minutes per day a user spends on Instagram: 30 minutes
  • Number of Instagram users who visit a Business Page every day: 200 million.
  • Number of Instagram users who click on posts about shopping: 130 million

How to use Instagram for your business:

  • Identify your target audience – The demographic of Instagram users is quite young. The majority of its community members are in the 25 to 34 age bracket. Also, the demographic on gender is too close to call with 51% women and 49% men comprising the Instagram community.
  • Write a good Business Profile – You only have up to 150 words to make a good business bio. Make the most of it by getting straight to the point – what is your business all about and why should consumers choose you? 
  • Create a storyline – Show your followers how your products are made. Let them know what a day is like in your office. Bring your followers to a special event such as a product launch. And always use excellent quality images!

4. Twitter

Twitter’s short messaging format makes it an ideal social media platform for marketing and promoting your products because the act of purchasing is often triggered by an emotional response. 

Short messages also resonate faster and when properly crafted, they can compel the reader to act accordingly. 

The numbers on Twitter show that it’s a great way to engage with your audience:

  • Increase in engagement when tweets are supported by videos: 10x
  • Number of tweets sent out per day: 10 million
  • The size of Twitter’s advertising audience: 353 million 
  • Percentage increase in Twitter usage because of the pandemic: 9.6%
  • Percentage of B2B content marketers who use Twitter: 87%

How to use Twitter for business:

  • Create an eye-catching profile – In the Twitter world, great visuals will always stand out. Create an eye-catching business profile by uploading a high-resolution image of your business logo and have a captivating design for your banner. 
  • Add a CTA to your Twitter handle – If you own a coffee shop called “Morning Java”, instead of using @MorningJava as your Twitter handle, add a CTA. For example, @GetMorningJava or @WakeUp2MorningJava. 
  • Tag Your Followers – Twitter is a wonderful social media platform to host events or contests. Going back to our previous example, Morning Java can have an anniversary giveaway of a large Americano for the first 10 visitors to a particular location. Then, tag a number of your followers who live near that location.

Conclusion

In Part 2 of this article, we will discuss four more social media platforms that you can consider for marketing your business. 

If you can’t wait and want to get your social media marketing campaign running, you can certainly do quite well with the four listed in this article. 

We recommend starting out with just one social media platform because it will be easier to manage and monitor the results. Get yourself well-acquainted with the social media platform before adding another network to your strategy toolbox.

An easier option would be to have us run your social media campaign for you. We have content writers with the skill to optimize your posts and graphic designers who can create amazing logos and images to give your brand a boost. 

Part 2 of the article will be dropping very soon! In the meantime, if you found Part 1 informative and interesting, feel free to share it with your community. 

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Chatbots were created to make it easier and more convenient for customers to interact with businesses. 

Rather than deal with a human who may not provide the right answers because of duress, lack of preparation, or poor communication skills, customers can interact with a chatbot that has the answers to everything.

However, what the imperfect humans had the nearly-perfect chatbots did not have:

The ability to relate to humans. 

For all the times’ customers became irate with the agent on the other end of the line, they still missed the human touch. What humans lacked in giving an accurate response, they made up for in empathy. 

The earliest incarnation of the chatbot did not have this. 

That is until the Facebook Messenger chatbot came along.

What Is A Facebook Messenger Bot?

First, let’s define what a chatbot is.

A chatbot is a form of Artificial Intelligence or A.I. that is designed and developed as a messaging software program to allow businesses to communicate with customers.

The software program of a chatbot enables it to understand the various questions and inquiries relayed by customers so that it can formulate an accurate response. 

Thus, a Facebook Messenger bot is a chatbot that is incorporated into the social media giant’s messaging platform, Messenger. 

Why Does Your Business Need A Facebook Messenger Bot?

If your business is on Facebook – and which business isn’t – then you’re familiar with Messenger. 

Setting up a Facebook business page is almost a standard feature in every Digital Marketing strategy toolbox because the social network has 2.7 billion active monthly users.

But posting content on Facebook is not enough to harness the full power of the social media platform. Likewise, your business should have a Facebook Messenger marketing strategy.

1.3 billion people use Facebook Messenger every month. 

What are the benefits of using Facebook Messenger for your business?

1. Acquire New Customers 

It all starts with a simple inquiry. Turning the inquiry into a sale depends on how fast and accurately you can provide the answers. If the prospect is impressed with the response time, you can be assured of a new customer any time soon.

2. Increase the Rate of Sales Conversions

With Messenger, you can have customers browse through your products. For example,  if you are selling nutritional supplements, you can distribute the promos to your followers. If they’re interested, they can transact the sale right there and then.

3. Build Your Brand

It’s not just having a popular messaging platform to promote your business. If customers love the experience of dealing with your company via Messenger, it will leave an indelible impression. For sure, if friends ask them for recommendations, your brand will come out top of mind.

4. Enhance Customer Experience 

Have you ever tried to call customer service only to be put on hold for almost an hour? With Messenger, customer queues are a thing of the past. All they have to do is post their inquiry on your Messenger account. However, make sure you respond right away. Response time of 24 hours is still acceptable. 

How A Chatbot Powers Up Your Facebook Messenger Strategy

All these benefits of using Facebook Messenger considered, adding a chatbot to the messaging service takes your strategy to the next level!

Why?

Although there are 1.3 billion active users of Messenger and more than 6 million ads, only 300,000 have chatbots

The playing field is still sparse; the competition is fewer, you can access your customers faster and provide better service than your competitors who don’t have chatbots.

Investing in a Facebook Messenger chatbot is also cheaper compared to investing in an app because according to statistics 71% of people who download an app delete it after 90 days. 

With these in mind, how can adding a bot power up your Facebook Messenger strategy?

1. Target Your High-Priority Customers

A chatbot can identify customers from your subscriber list who are most likely to buy from you based on their past history and levels of engagement. They can send your Facebook Messenger sponsored ads directly to them. 

2. Speed Up – and Improve Customer Service

A human customer service representative can get tired answering the same questions over and over again. Not a Messenger chatbot – and the A.I. can respond within an hour. 

3. Qualify Potential Leads

Sometimes when you inquire about a company’s products or services on Messenger, your inquiry would be met with a default message that advises you of the turnaround time for the response.

In addition, there is usually a questionnaire asking the following questions:

  • Your purpose for the product
  • How you came across the company
  • Your budget
  • Questions on demographics

The chatbot is getting details to create a buyer’s persona. The information will help you qualify leads or potential customers for your business.

4. Close the Sale

A customer who’s in a rush won’t leave Messenger and go to a website to complete the transaction. A chatbot can do this for you simply by asking the customer to fill out an order form. 

Once the order has been paid for, all the customer has to do is send a copy of the proof of payment via Messenger. The chatbot can confirm the order right away and provide details on the expected delivery time. 

5. Encourage Repeat Sales

A chatbot can accurately maintain the purchasing history of your customers. It can send a gentle reminder to a customer who bought a Truffle Cake for his wife to celebrate her birthday – which is 5 days away. And your customers will appreciate your business for keeping them in mind. 

Okay, so that’s the context of why your business needs a Facebook Messenger chatbot.

Now, let’s find out how to build one for your business!

Step-By-Step Guide To Making Your Facebook Messenger Bot

It used to be the case that you had to hire a developer to build a chatbot for you. Thanks to advances in digital technology, there are programs that can help you create a chatbot on your own. 

Will it take only 10 minutes to make a Facebook Messenger bot? Maybe if you have some background in coding or have done this before. Our point in stating that you can create a bot in 10 minutes is to tell you that it can be done and it’s not as hard as you think!

Who knows? Maybe you can build your chatbot in 5 minutes!

There are 3 popular chatbot-building programs to choose from:

  1. ChatFuel
  2. ManyChat
  3. DialogFlow

Of these 3 programs, we recommend ChatFuel because we believe it’s the easiest to use and offers wonderful versions even if you opt for the free version.

Step 1: Log-In To Your Facebook Account Then Connect to ChatFuel 

Make sure you’re using the same browser that you used to log-in to your Facebook account to access the ChatFuel homepage. 

Once you’re on the ChatFuel homepage, click “get started for free” then authorize ChatFuel to access your Facebook account. 

Step 2: Choose the Facebook Business Page For The Chatbot

Chatbots only function for business pages and not personal accounts. If you don’t have a Facebook Business Page, you must create one first.

If you have more than one Facebook Business Page, choose the one that you want to have a chatbot for its messaging service. 

Step 3: Take the Tutorial

When you’ve connected ChatFuel to a Facebook Business Page, you will be given a chatbot builder tutorial. We suggest that you take a few minutes to go through the tutorial. 

Step 4: Compose Your “Welcome” Message

Whether your visitors are first-timers or previous customers, everyone loves to read a welcome message. It makes them feel attended to and important. 

Should you mention that the message is from a bot? 

We think that it’s perfectly fine to inform the visitor that he’s dealing with a chatbot. First, chatbots are common so there’s no surprise really. Second, it shows the visitor that you’re honest and transparent. Third, if something goes wrong, the visitor can immediately attribute the problem as a technical or programming issue. 

Here’s an example of a welcome message:

“Hi Larry! Welcome to Garden Emporium. Thank you for taking the time to chat with us. I’m a chatbot that can help you find answers to your questions. How can I help you today?”

An A.I bot can decipher the visitor’s question and pull out the response from a default list of answers. However, be prepared for inquiries or problems that weren’t covered by the list of responses. 

What you can do is to create a backup message for situations such as this. Here’s an example of a backup message:

“I’m not clear on what it is that you’re asking. But if you could click on this link, you may have the answers you’re looking for.”

Then, provide a link to a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page or to a reference link that could be relevant to the visitor’s inquiry.

Step 5: Create the Conversation Navigation

At any point in time, the chatbot will be faced with different questions from visitors. You have to anticipate what these questions are and prepare the Conversation Navigation or the series of default responses that the chatbot can give. 

There could be dozens of questions! Start first with the most common ones such as:

  • Where is Garden Emporium?
  • What is the fastest way to get to Garden Emporium?
  • What varieties of plants do you sell?
  • Do you sell garden tools and equipment?
  • Do you accept credit cards?
  • What time do you open?
  • What time do you close?
  • Are you open on holidays?
  • Are you open on Sundays?

To get the conversation navigation in motion, you have to create a “block” for each question. Don’t worry if you have a laundry-list of questions. It’s easy to create a block. 

  • Click “Add Block”
  • Give each block a title

When you’ve created a block for each of the questions, go back to your welcome message page and click “Add Button”.

Type in the name of the button in the first field. This is the name that you want your visitor to see.

Finally, select the block that you want to bring your visitor to.

Step 6: Create the Dialogue for the Block

Now you’re ready to compose the answers or the response for the blocks you just created. 

ChatFuel has a number of options you can use to customize your responses.

  1. Text Card – Simply type in the response you want on the block.
  2. Typing – The visitor will get the experience of someone typing the answers.
  3. Quick Reply – No need to bring the visitor to a new block. Instead, the response is shown on the block.
  4. Image – If the visitor’s inquiry requires a visual, the block will upload the appropriate image. For example, if the inquiry is “Do you have an image of the echeveria succulent plant?”
  5. Gallery – Similar to Image but the request is for more than one image.

Step 7: Build Your A.I.

Simply click “Set Up A.I.” and you’re good to go. 

This is the step where you fortify the messaging service by making sure all the possible questions and inquiries to your A.I. will be covered by accurate responses. 

Yes, you can direct the response to the blocks you created but you can also create new responses to other possible questions.

Step 8: Go Live With Your Chatbot

The other cool thing about ChatFuel is that it saves your work as you go along. To go live, you just have to copy the link and paste it into your Facebook page. You can also add the link to your website and online ads.

How?

  • Open the left-hand navigation menu.
  • Go to the “Promote” page.
  • Copy the URL.

Then paste as you please!

Conclusion

Chatbots are here to stay so start building one for your Facebook Messenger account. It’s easy enough to create on your own and a chatbot will add more value to your Facebook Messenger strategy. 

Your customers will certainly appreciate having their questions and concerns addressed right away. 

If you want assistance, we can build your Facebook Messenger chatbot for you. Just give us a call or send an email. We will get back to you as soon as we can.

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community.

To get straight to the point – Yes, you should include social media as part of your digital marketing strategy in 2020. 

Over the last decade, social media has evolved from a platform for connecting with social circles and sharing daily updates to a powerful medium for influencing choices with the targeted distribution of optimized content, the active promotion of thought leadership, and purposeful engagement with the community. 

Thus, social media is an effective medium for sharing content. It is a proven platform for building your business’ brand and reputation, promoting products and services, and creating strong and sustainable relationships with your customers.

If social media was part of your digital marketing strategy in 2019, read on! The tips we provide will make your 2020 strategies more relevant, effective, and impactful. 

And if you haven’t included social media in your digital marketing strategy, it’s not too late! 2020 is as good a time as any to start your first campaign. 

Why 2020 Is A Good Time To Launch Your First Social Media Campaign

In 2019, there were an estimated 3.484 billion social media users worldwide – a 9% increase from 2018. 

The increase in the number of social media users goes hand-in-hand with the number of Internet users. The more accessible the Internet becomes, the more people will venture to social media.

In 2018, the Internet was accessible to 3 billion people. In 2019, the number of people on the Internet was estimated to be 4.4 billion people. 

According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the growth of the Internet will slowly catch up with the growth of the population. 

The group forecasts that by 2021, 75% or 6 billion of the projected population of 8 billion people will have Internet access. By 2030, 90% or 7.5 billion out of an estimated 8.5 billion people will be online. 

Based on these trends, we can reasonably expect that as the population grows, so will the number of social media users. 

If you are still thinking of including social media in your digital marketing strategy, remove your “thinking” cap and put on your “working” cap. It’s time to get social!

7 Social Media Trends To Watch Out For In 2020

Social media is in a constant state of evolution because people’s interests, tastes, and preferences are always changing. The strategies that produced results last year may no longer be effective in 2020.

Here are 7 social media trends that could shape your digital marketing strategy in 2020.

1. Less Focus on Getting People to “Like” Your Content

Social media is no longer just a platform where the objective of posting content is to generate the highest number of “likes”. 

Getting a “like” will do wonders for your ego but very little – or nothing at all – for your business. It could just be a sympathetic gesture from friends who want you to feel good. But clicking the “like” button does not mean people like your content. 

People are looking for content that has value. They want content that addresses a specific need, compels opinions and ideas to be shared and helps members of the community arrive at the best decisions. 

For this reason, social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter are putting less emphasis on “vanity metrics’ – like the “like” button and the number of followers. 

Digital marketers feel that the pressure to garner “likes” only succeeds in affecting the person’s mental health and does little to strengthen the brand or put the product at the forefront of the consumer’s consciousness.

Instead, the focus should be on the quality of content and the rate of community engagement. 

What good would it do your business if you have 1,000 followers but only 10 members regularly engage with your content? On the other hand, your page could have only 100 followers but 50 of them could be actively engaging with each other in your posts. 

2. Video Content Will Be King

Bill Gates once famously wrote, “Content is King”. Today, the billionaire-founder of Microsoft would willingly amend his statement as “Video Content will be King”.

A 2019 study that was published by Social Media Week revealed the following eye-opening numbers about the future of video content marketing:

  • 82% of all online traffic will be composed of video-based content.
  • 78% of daily Internet users spend their time watching videos.
  • 72% of consumers prefer video as the medium for learning about a company’s products and services.
  • 95% of consumers retain information better with videos.
  • 54% of consumers want more video-based content.

Video marketing is an effective driver of content because it appeals to the senses of sight, sound, and can potentially trigger powerful emotions that can compel the audience to comply with your call-to-action. 

Today’s smartphones have cameras that can capture good quality videos. Start a YouTube channel for your business and upload video content about your products and services. 

How do they work? What problems or issues can they fix? You can also post videos about your personal life to give the audience an idea of who you are and what you do outside of work. 

At Mountaintop, we recommend having an explainer video made. You can post it on YouTube then embed the link on the homepage of your website. An explainer video will get more people to stay on your website and check out your products and services.

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3. Social Media Audience Segmentation Will Play a Bigger Role

Social media gives you the advantage of targeting consumers who may be interested in your products and services. Even if you’ve acquired a good-sized following, they remain part of a community – your social media community. They followed you for a reason.

People follow you for different reasons. Yes, most will probably follow you because they are fans of your business. They love your products and want to stay updated on future developments.

There could be those who followed you not for the products you are selling, but for the tips you provide in your blogs. Maybe they are not interested in your products but they value the insights you provide in the industry. 

Keeping track of who engages in your content; the ones who ”like” or share your blogs, and reading through the discussions in your posts can give you valuable insights on the market segments you are attracting.

You can use social media analytics to give you key data on the types of content that are generating the highest levels of activity on your page. Take note of who they are, where they are coming from, and how they are accessing your content. 

Use data to create specific buyer profiles of your customers. Having data-backed information will help you customize the types of content that will target specific market segments. 

4. The Continued Rise of Social Shopping

If you’re a retailer, having an e-commerce website is a key component in maximizing online opportunities. The website is where interested parties go to view your product and transact with your company.

On the other hand, social media platforms have become effective in generating inbound traffic to your e-commerce website. 

Research has shown that social media has significantly contributed to the growth of e-commerce in the United States in the last decade. 

Posting images and information about your product on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest has been proven effective in influencing the buying decisions of consumers.

Publishing blogs on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google Plus about your business, industry insights, opinions on current trends, and providing useful tips that solve common problems will do wonders for your online reputation as a valuable resource. 

To get people to visit your website, always include a link with your call-to-action in your blogs and other types of content. 

5. Public Sharing Will Give Way to a More Personalized Approach

Privacy remains an issue on the Internet. Other than the constant threat of cyber-attacks, you want to manage the risk factors that you can control. When engaging in social media, it’s a good idea to take full control over your personal information. 

Concern over the security and integrity of personal information is one of the major factors that have contributed to the popularity of messaging apps such as Messenger. 

For example, if a follower of your Facebook page asks for details about the price of your product and preferred mode of payment, you can just send the person the information via Messenger. 

Another example is dealing with customer complaints. 

If a customer posts a complaint on your Facebook page, you can shift the discussion from the public thread to Messenger. This is a great way to manage your online reputation and at the same time personalize the approach for your customer. 

6. Greater Dependency on Authentic Content

The Internet is rife with online merchants offering a wide variety of products and services. Unfortunately, you take the good with the bad. 

While there are e-commerce websites that you can trust, the Internet has its fair share of businesses that have malicious intent as their primary objective. 

Also, there are businesses with the “take it or leave it” mentality. They only care about the sale – not the customer.

In a sense, social media has tipped the balance of power toward the consumer because it has given him a platform to air his opinions about a business. It has given consumers a valuable resource for getting information on a product or service before making the decision to patronize the business or not. 

Think about your own experiences. If you liked your dining experience at a particular Italian restaurant, wouldn’t you take pictures of the food you ate and post it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?  

In contrast, if you had a rough encounter with the customer service people of a telecommunications company, wouldn’t you post about the incident on Facebook or LinkedIn?

Powerful emotions compel people to write reviews about a product or a service. This is why consumers value them. They are content that is perceived as sincere and driven by purpose and therefore, authentic. 

Invite your followers to post reviews and comments about your products and services on your social media pages. 

Your willingness to leave your business vulnerable to the risk of getting scathing reviews shows your confidence in your offerings. We will continue the discussion in the next section!

7. Social Media Builds Meaningful Relationships

For businesses, product reviews and other types of customer-generated content are a win-win situation. Yes, getting bad reviews can be good for you!

In the first place, there is no such thing as a perfect product. Consumers have different tastes and preferences. 

Perfect service is the goal but it is not realistic to expect it 100% of the time because people are human and there are days that they can be off their customer service game.

If you get a negative review, don’t ignore it. Act on it right away! Use it as an opportunity to show your other followers that you care by addressing the issue directly on the thread.

For example, a customer named Matt posted a complaint on your Facebook page that the Wi-Fi router he bought from you did not last 2 days. 

A good response would be:

“Hi, Matt! Thank you for calling our attention to the router. We are sorry about your experience. I am Roger and I handle technical support. I just messaged you my email address and contact number. Kindly email the details and let’s schedule a phone call over the next 24 hours. Rest assured, we are committed to making you a customer for life!”

When you respond to a comment, it will not matter if the customer is irate. For sure, he will appreciate your immediate attention and timely response to his concern. 

And if the customer is happy, an appropriate response will show that you value the relationship and not just the business. 

Conclusion

The “social” aspect of social media refers to its dynamic nature. As people change, so do their online behavioral patterns. You have to keep track of these changes in behavior and apply your findings to your strategy so you can stay ahead of the competition.

Social media will remain relevant, useful, and valuable in 2020 and beyond because it gives your business more than just an online presence. 

Social media humanizes your business. It creates bridges that connect you with your customers, followers, and potential end-users. 

In combination with a thoughtful, purposeful, and engaging content marketing strategy, social media will give your business a personality that consumers can connect to and develop a strong, long-lasting relationship with. 

For consumers, it’s not just about “What” your business is – it’s about “Who” your business is. 

Let us help you get back on track with your social media program! 

Give us a call or drop us an email. We can design a smart, data-based digital marketing strategy for your business that will optimize our content-driven social media marketing campaign. 

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community!

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Any marketer should know how important social media is for growing your business in 2019. It can be a powerful influencer that should be a standard feature in a Digital Marketing toolbox.

If you are already using social media for your business, you might be in a great position to leverage its scope and reach in order to capitalize on opportunities available on the Internet. If not – it’s never too late to start in 2019.

There is no question about it. If you want your business to grow, you should be in social media.

With so many social media platforms on the Internet, the more appropriate question would be – which ones should you use for your business in 2019?

How To Choose The Right Social Media Platforms For Your Business

You may come across some entrepreneurs who will tell you that social media marketing isn’t as effective as people – and the marketing websites – make it out to be.

“Overrated”

“It takes too much of my time.”

“I don’t have any results to show for my efforts.”

Social media marketing is not the veritable “lightning in the bottle”. It is no magic potion that can cure whatever ails your business. As popular and effective as social media marketing is, there are no guarantees.

You have to put in the time, thought, strategy, and effort to make social media marketing deliver results for your business. It all starts with knowing which social media platforms will help you achieve your marketing objectives.

Choosing the right social media platform for your business is a process in itself. You cannot simply write down the name of the platform on a piece of paper, throw them inside a hat, give a quick shuffle, and blindly pick out the social media solution for your business.

Before selecting your social media platform, ask yourself these 3 questions:

1. What Kind of Business am I Running?

In any given industry, the business model of an entrepreneur will be markedly different from another entrepreneur.

  • Are you B2B?
  • Are you B2C?
  • Do you cater to both B2B and B2C?
  • Are you selling tangible products?
  • Are you offering services?

The kind of business you are running will have an influence on your choice of social media platform.

For example, if you are running a B2B enterprise, LinkedIn is a good social media platform to use for targeting potential clients, expanding your business contacts, or enhancing your reputation as an expert in the industry.

LinkedIn also has its own blogging platform. Create your own content and share your knowledge with the community. It is a great way to highlight your expertise in the industry and an opportunity to build your business’ brand.

For a B2C enterprise, Facebook would be ideal for you because the platform encourages customer interaction. People on Facebook are regularly searching for recommendations, product reviews, and high-value opportunities.

If your products are highly visual, such as fashion apparel or food, you should include Instagram among your choice of platform.

2. What Is the Profile of My Audience?

One of the most common mistakes people make in social media is to post without rhyme or reason. Sure, posting content will help you stay visible. But are your posts relevant enough to keep you top-of-mind?

If your posts do not resonate with your audience, they will largely be ignored. Over time, your audience may simply view your posts as a “nuisance” and you may end up losing followers.

When posting content, the number 1 rule is to post for your audience, not for yourself. Get an idea of who your audience is:

  • What types of content do they like?
  • What are their interests?
  • What are their needs and concerns?
  • Do they prefer long posts or short posts?
  • What is their average income?
  • What are the demographics?

Having an audience profile is valuable when putting out PPC ads. You want to be sure that your ads will appear in front of people who will find value in them.

For example, if you are a realtor for high-end properties, your ads should find their way to people who have families, a stable job that pays well and are looking to invest in property.

3. What Is My Marketing Goal?

Businesses have different marketing goals. Some may want to use social media to generate leads. Some may want to build up their number of followers. Other businesses may want to use social media to share their expertise and in so doing, build up their brand.

Social media platforms are communities on to themselves. They attract specific types of users. These platforms can be used to meet different marketing goals but there are platforms that may be better suited than others.

For example, LinkedIn may be a better lead generator for B2B accounts than Facebook although Facebook would be more effective for B2C.

Can you have multiple marketing goals? Yes, but it would be better to focus on just one goal then break the rest into smaller goals. This way you will be able to maximize each social media platform that you will use.

The Best Social Media Platforms That You Should Consider For Your Business in 2019

The most effective way to find out the best social media platforms that you should have for your business is to get a social media audit. If you are interested, feel free to give us a call or send an email. We can arrange a free 30-minute consultation on how to go about your social media marketing strategy.

For the time being, we have created a list of the best social media platforms you can consider for your business in 2019.

1. Facebook

With more than 2 billion monthly active users, 65 million business pages, and 6 million advertisers, Facebook is the biggest social media platform on the Internet. If you want to build a massive social presence on the Internet – and who doesn’t – you should put up a Facebook page for your business.

As we mentioned earlier, Facebook is great for B2C clients but may also have value for those targeting B2B clients. This is because Facebook encourages close customer interaction. People love to post comments which opens the door for engagement.

Facebook also has its own messaging platform, Messenger. Businesses use Messenger as their chat support service. Likewise, Messenger has become a popular medium to run PPC ads.

Here are our tips on how to use Facebook for your business:

  • Post relevant content twice a day.
  • Ideal length of a Facebook post – 40 words.
  • Ideal length of a Facebook ad – 5 words
  • Whether you decide to create or curate content make sure it has value to your followers.
  • Encourage your customers/ followers to post reviews, comments, and suggestions.
  • Don’t be afraid of negative reviews. If you do receive negative reviews, respond to them in a professional and timely manner.

2. YouTube

YouTube is the largest video-streaming website on the Internet and is owned by Google, the largest search engine on the Internet. It is also the second largest social media platform after Facebook with 1.9 billion monthly active users.

With those kinds of data and numbers to back you up, YouTube should be seriously considered as part of your social media marketing strategy.

Video is also a powerful medium for delivering content. A study published by HubSpot revealed that after watching a video, 80% of the audience will remember its content one month later.

Here are our tips on how to use YouTube for your business:

Keep your videos short. The average length of a YouTube video is 4.4 minutes.

Your Call-to-Action (CTA) should be stated during the first few seconds of the video.

Ideal number of characters for the video title – 70 characters

Ideal posting frequency in YouTube – It would depend on the type of business. Gamers usually post multiple – 5 to 6 – short videos every day. Try posting at least one video per week to stay top-of-mind.

Instead of embedding your explainer video on your website, upload it on YouTube and attach a link on your Home Page.

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3. Instagram

Instagram is a popular video and image-sharing social media platform that enjoys over 1 billion monthly active users. It is also owned by Facebook which should give you extra motivation to add Instagram in your social media marketing strategy.

Recently, Instagram introduced IGTV for users who enjoy posting longer content. If your business sells products that are highly-visual, Instagram is for you. The same can be said for businesses that offer services which are highlighted by movement such as Personal Training and cooking.

Here are our tips on how to use Instagram for your business:

  • Ideal posting frequency – twice a day.
  • Recommended length of posting captions – 138 to 150 characters.
  • Recommended length of ad captions – 125 characters
  • Focus on quality over quantity; use high-resolution images.
  • Use hashtags to generate more followers and increase engagement. According to a study by Maven, 11 hashtags per post result in the highest levels of engagement.

4. Tik Tok

Have you heard or read about Tik Tok? You can be forgiven for not being informed about this fast-rising social media platform which originated from China. Currently, Tik Tok has 500 million monthly average users.

Tik Tok is a streaming service for short music videos. Although it is popular in Asia, the platform is fast making its way to North America. In 2018, Tik Tok beat out Facebook and Instagram as the Internet’s most downloaded app.

Here are our tips on how to use Tik Tok for your business:

  • Tik Tok appeals to the young demographic; the “tweens” up to age 18.
  • You can record and upload up to 60 seconds worth of video; on average keep it shorter at 15 to 30 seconds per video.
  • Ideal posting frequency – at least once a week.
  • Use the special effects feature to create more dynamic, entertaining, and engaging videos.

5. Twitter

Twitter is perfect for social media campaigns that need real-time engagement. For example, if you are celebrating the First Year Anniversary of your bakeshop, send out the following tweet for instant sales:

“One Year Sale! First 50 customers in the next hour will get 1 dozen glazed donuts for free!”

Twitter is a great source of information on anything from sports, entertainment, politics, and various special interests. It is ideal for doing research on your market and creating an audience profile.

Twitter averages 335 million active users every month.

Here are our tips on how to use Twitter for your business:

  • Keep your tweets to 70 to 100 characters.
  • Tweet multiple times per day – 15 tweets per day is highly recommended.
  • Twitter is particularly effective as a customer service channel. SalesForce calls Twitter the new 1-800 number for customer service.

6. LinkedIn

For the reason that LinkedIn is the popular choice of executives, influencers, job seekers, and Human Resource personnel, it should be referred to as a professional network more than a social network.

LinkedIn is great for networking. Subscribe to LinkedIn’s premium service so you can customize the parameters of your search. You can find potential contacts by identifying the industry, designation, and location of your prospects. You will also be allowed to contact them directly through the InMail feature.

Here are our tips on how to use LinkedIn for your business:

  • When sending invitations to connect, make sure to personalize them. LinkedIn has a default invitation format but it is always a better idea to add a personal touch to your networking approach.
  • Blog at least twice a week to develop your brand and increase your profile.
  • Advertise in LinkedIn. Your personalized ads can be directed to specific inboxes.
  • Update your profile frequently.
  • Update your status twice a day; use between 50 to 100 characters.

Conclusion

There are other social media platforms that you can consider.

Similar to Instagram, Pinterest is image-based. This is another fast-growing network which users find particularly effective for building brands. According to a study, 78% of its 250 million monthly users find its content useful for patronizing certain brands.

Reddit and Tumblr are ideal for generating engagement, brand building, and driving traffic to your website.

Keep in mind that you should not expect to achieve success overnight when using social media. It takes time and effort to increase visibility and your online presence organically.

If you want to learn more about how social media marketing can grow your business, give us a call.

And if you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share!

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While many employees spend their free time daydreaming of becoming financially independent, the entrepreneur is working to make the dream a reality. That is why entrepreneurs are risk-takers by nature.

Entrepreneurs are willing to take that all-important first step of breaking free from the chains of the 9-to-5 grind and take command of their of their own destiny. Instead of driving someone else’s business, they go behind the wheel and follow the course they have charted for their own business success.

Yet, sometimes these very same attributes – ambition, drive, and dedication – can become an entrepreneur’s own worst enemies.

They end up taking on too many tasks most of which are administrative in nature. As a result, a big chunk of their waking hours are spent – rather, wasted – attending to functions that have no direct contribution to their bottom line.

The workday becomes unproductive. The essential tasks or the core functions of the business are left unattended. Goals are not met. Business targets become farther away today compared to yesterday.

By taking on non-essential tasks, the entrepreneur ends up working for his/her business instead of on his/her business. Ironically, the entrepreneur has become an employee of his/her own business.

Is there a way or a process the entrepreneur can use so he/she can focus on the main functions of the business without overlooking the administrative tasks?

The Solution: Outsource Tasks And/Or Services!

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Would you rather spend 2 hours filtering your Inbox or working on a client’s project?
  • Would you like it if your phone keeps ringing every 30 minutes while you are working on your client’s project?
  • Would it be okay with you if the Internet provider cut its service because you unwittingly forgot to pay the latest invoice?

If you answered “No” to these questions, it is time for you to consider outsourcing tasks of your business.

Outsourcing is the process of delegating or transferring predetermined tasks or functions to a third-party service provider.

You can read more about the benefits of outsourcing in our article “How Outsourcing Tasks Can Save You Tons Of Money – And Build Your Business”. In the article, we presented an accounting of how much money you can save through outsourcing.

Essentially, outsourcing is the ideal strategy for entrepreneurs, especially those in the start-up stage, because it is a low-cost, high-value solution. From the article, you will come to understand that with outsourcing, costs are easily managed.

Outsourcing will present you with options that you can use to stretch your finances without compromising the quality of goods and services.

FTE Vs. Outsourced Talent: Which Is The Better Option?

Cost savings are possible because you are taking advantage of comparative advantages that are generated by outsourcing foremost of which is labor.

With outsourcing, you are not hiring full-time employees or FTEs. Instead, you are contracting the services of qualified people or agencies. This distinction between FTE and contracted services is very important!

Let’s compare the FTE and the outsourced talent:

Particulars:FTE:Outsourced Talent:
Rate/Hour (Minimum)$18$8
Work Hours/Day8Flexible
Work Days/Week5 to 6Flexible
Paid Benefits:YesNo
Total Cost:$27/hour$8

As you can see, flexibility is the key differentiator between an outsourced talent and an FTE. When you contract services, you are not obligated by law to pay a minimum wage or designate the mandated work hours per week.

This makes it possible to be more financially flexible with the outsourced talent compared to hiring an FTE.

Here are some real-world examples:

  • Contract the services of a virtual assistant who can manage your administrative tasks 10 hours a week.
  • Outsource content writing services and pay the outsourced talent on a per word or per productive hour basis.
  • Outsource web development/management services to Mountaintop Web Design and pay fixed charges on a monthly basis.

By agreeing on the conditions for payment, you are assured of higher productivity and better quality of work.

According to a study that was presented by productivity coach Steve Pavlina, the average American office worker only puts in 90 minutes of productive work every day.

That is 90 minutes out of 480 total work minutes every day or a productivity rating of only 19%! Yet, America remains the strongest economy in the world.

What happened to the remaining 390 minutes? According to Pavlina, those hours are spent surfing the Internet, taking extended water cooler/coffee breaks,  napping, checking their cell phones, and reading the news.

Guess what? Those hours are paid. This means every time an FTE chit-chats with a another FTE about the latest Netflix movie, you are paying for those minutes.

By outsourcing, you are also increasing your level of productivity because now you can place greater focus on the main enterprise of your business.

A study presented by the Harvard Business Review showed that at most, people can only maintain 100% focus on a given task for 90 minutes. After completing the task, you have to rest the mind for at least 10 minutes.

Assuming an 8-hour work schedule, this means that by outsourcing tasks, you can target 4 to 5 tasks to accomplish every day. That is 360 minutes out of 480 minutes per day or a productivity rating of 75%!

In contrast, a fully-paid FTE who can tender only 90 minutes of productive time per day will possibly only accomplish 1 task per day.

Which Tasks Should You Outsource?

Hopefully, at this point, we have convinced you of how outsourcing can build your business. The question we will answer in this section is which tasks you should outsource.

In the future, we will present a more detailed and comprehensive article on how to take a strategic approach to outsourcing that can scale up your business. For now, we will show you how to identify the tasks that you should outsource in order to streamline costs and increase productivity.

You will need to answer these questions:

  • Which tasks are non-essential or not directly related to my business’ main enterprise?
  • Which tasks will require a higher level of expertise and greater experience?
  • Which tasks are repetitive in nature?
  • Which tasks do I have the tendency to overlook or forget?
  • Which tasks do I greatly dislike doing?

From there, you will probably come up with the same or similar tasks that we have outlined below:

1. Administrative Tasks

For many entrepreneurs, administrative tasks are the necessary evils of running a business. These tasks are categorized as non-essentials, meaning they are not directly related to your business’ main enterprise. However, they play an essential role because administrative tasks keep your business organized and running.

Examples of administrative tasks that you should outsource:

  • E-mail Filtering
  • Calendar Management
  • Appointment Setting
  • Phone Handling
  • Preparing Reports
  • Limited Research
  • Database or CRM Management
  • Bookings and Reservations
  • Preparation of Limited Communication

2. Technical/Specialized Skills

Your business may need to introduce new products and services that require greater skill, a higher level of expertise, and longer tenure. These are skills that you cannot become proficient at simply by watching YouTube videos or reading a “For Dummies” instructional. Otherwise, the quality of work will suffer.

Examples of technical/specialized skills that you should outsource:

  • Website Design/Management
  • Digital Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Content Writing
  • Graphic Design
  • Software App Development
  • Transcription Services
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3. Customer Support Services

Many businesses stunt their growth because they are only focused on new market development. In so doing, they neglect their current market base or end users of their products or services.

Don’t forget your current end users. They are already your customers. The cost of maintaining them is lower than creating new markets for your products and services. And the returns are much higher because your current end users already made the decision to choose you over the competition.

Having great customer service assures your existing end users that their needs and concerns are always met and addressed right away.

Examples of Customer Support Services that you should outsource:

  • Inbound Phone Support
  • Technical Support Services
  • Email Support
  • After-Sales Surveys or Outbound Call Support
  • Chat Support
  • Content Moderation Services

4. Back-Office Functions

It’s called the back-office because the people who work here are not seen but otherwise play a valuable role in running your business. You can outsource these tasks to qualified third-party service providers and still get great results.

Examples of back-office functions that you should outsource:

  • General Accounting
  • Payroll Preparation
  • Employee Benefits Administration
  • Human Resources Management – Recruitment, interviews, testing, evaluation, and selection

Conclusion

To better understand the value of outsourcing, let’s delve into the mind of the entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurs or to be more specific, small to medium scale business owners, are limited by their resources. Even the most successful ones do not have the benefit of liquidity compared to large scale businesses. This is, of course, part of the growth process.

As a small business owner, the immediate challenge is to maintain liquidity before achieving profitability. Effective cash flow management is very important. Thus, an entrepreneur strives to keep operations as lean as possible.

Instead of hiring employees to help him/her run the show, they take on most, if not all of the tasks of the business.

Ask any entrepreneur and they will tell there is nothing they can’t do. Like a superhero, an entrepreneur will take on any challenge and believe they can win it. The reality is, victories are only short-term.

Over the long-run, the number of unproductive workdays has accumulated to a point that the business starts to suffer.

Your best option is to outsource specific tasks or functions. Not only will outsourcing services greatly reduce the costs of running a business but the strategy will help you increase productivity without compromising the quality of work.

If you enjoyed this article and know people who would greatly benefit from it, please feel free to share!

And if you would like to know how Mountaintop can help you get started on your own outsourcing solution, please do not hesitate to give us a call. You can consult with us for 30 minutes free of charge.

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Whether you are a start-up or a business that has been running for a while, people you meet will surely ask one question:

“Are you on social media?”

There is no denying the power and influence of social media. Of the 4 Billion people who are on the Internet every day, almost 3 Billion are on social media. That’s 75% of the daily Internet users and nearly 40% of the world’s total population.

If you want to build an online presence, you should be on social media.

Or do you?

Is social media the be-all and end-all of online marketing?

Is it possible to survive in a competitive industry without the benefit of social media?

Not only will you survive a competitive industry without the benefit of social media, but you may even thrive.

Is Social Media For Everyone?

If someone wants to lose weight, one of the first things he/she will probably do is take up running.

And why not? Running is a basic skill we learn growing up. It is an activity that you can do anywhere and many people have gotten great weight loss results from running.

However, running is not for everyone. If you have weak joints, running can lead to serious injuries. Likewise, using poor running technique can lead to chronic pain in your feet, knees, and lower back.

Moreover, it is not the only way to lose weight. You can swim, bike, walk, play ball, or work out in a gym.

Of course, exercise alone will not make you lose weight. You have to follow a strict, low calorie, healthy diet. A combination of exercise, diet, and good quality sleep will lead to long-term, sustainable weight loss.

The same can be said about social media. It is not for everyone and social media is not the only way to market and promote your business.

Social media has gained prominence as an online marketing strategy because every business website that writes articles about growing your business invariably has a section devoted to social media.

In fact, we have written about social media in our articles “How to Launch a $100 Digital Marketing Campaign” and “5 Reasons Why Small Businesses Need to Invest in a Digital Marketing Strategy”.

Social media has become such a force of nature that you can easily get swept away by its power and influence.

Big companies such as Apple, Amazon, Samsung, Nike, and Walmart are active on social media. So are major influencers such as Neil Patel, Tim Ferris, Sir Richard Branson, and Warren Buffett.

Social media marketing is also inexpensive. Once you have created an account, you can reach out to people you know and work your way through their contacts list so you can grow your own followers.

From there, it is just a matter of posting content frequently.

Easier said than done.

7 Ways To Grow Your Business Online Besides Social Media

If you haven’t seen quantifiable results from your social media efforts, you are not alone. It takes time to grow your followers organically.

You need to put thought and purpose behind your content. After some time, you will have to use social media analytics to help you pinpoint the types of content that generate the highest levels of engagement.

And it doesn’t end there. The best way to validate your social media efforts is to convert interest into sales. That is an entirely different ballgame.

Just because everybody – or more accurately 3 Billion people – are doing it doesn’t mean that you should also.

It may not be for you.

There are other ways to grow your business online besides social media.

1. Mobile-Responsive Website

If you have a website – good. If you have a mobile responsive website – great!

It would be difficult for your online marketing efforts to bear fruit if your audience cannot access your website from a mobile device. 57% of online traffic comes from mobile devices, especially smartphones.

Mobile-responsiveness is also a ranking factor in Google’s search algorithm. If your website is not mobile-responsive, it will not lead to a pleasant experience for users. Google will penalize your website in the search rankings.

2. Optimize Web Content

Writing online is different from writing a college term paper. Yes, you have to check your work for spelling and grammatical errors and the content must be thoroughly researched.

However, when writing Internet-based content, you must always have optimization in mind. Optimizing content makes it easier to get found on the Internet. The fundamental component in content optimization is the use of keywords.

Keywords are the words and phrases used by people to launch a search query. When integrated into your content, keywords will make it easier for the search bots to find and index your page for the SERP.

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3. Content Marketing

A 2018 global survey conducted by Smart Insights showed 20% of marketers believed content marketing was the online process that would have the most significant impact on business.

It should be no surprise because people continually search for content on the Internet. No just any ordinary content. The material that you publish must have the following qualities:

  • Fresh, original
  • Relevant
  • Usable
  • Informative
  • Well-researched
  • Easy to read

By consistently posting quality content on your blog page, you will be able to build a solid base of followers organically. They will consider you a valuable resource in the industry and trust the quality of your content.

Include a blog page on your mobile-responsive website. Then pack it with optimized, keyword-rich, and high-quality content.

4. Integrate Chatbots

Customer service a key component of every business. Great customer service means having the needs, concerns, or issues of your followers and patrons addressed right away.

Chatbots are becoming the norm in how customers interact with websites. In one study, 15% of respondents reported that they have interacted with chatbots over the course of a year.

Chatbots are a convenient way of managing customer service. First, they give precise answers. Second, they are not affected by emotional outbursts or stressful situations. Third, chatbots do not get sick and can run 24/7.

However, if a chatbot gets stumped, make sure it can be programmed to transfer the inquiry to a human customer service agent.

5. Email Marketing

Email marketing may not be as hip or cool as social media but it may well be a more effective online marketing process than Facebook or Twitter.

Take a look at the statistics comparing email to Facebook and Twitter:

  • Number of users – Email: 2.6 Billion, Facebook: 2 Billion. Twitter: 313 Million
  • Percentage of users who check these processes first thing in the morning – Email: 58%, Facebook: 11%, Twitter: 3%
  • Percentage of people who use these processes at least twice daily – Email: 91%, Facebook: 57%, Twitter: 14%
  • Users who made a purchase because of these processes – Email: 66%, Facebook: 20%, Twitter: 6%
  • Customer Acquisition- Email: 7%, Facebook: <1%, Twitter: 0%

Lastly, email has a higher ROI at 21% versus Facebook and Twitter combined at 15%.

6. Search Engine Directories

In the old days, when someone wanted to search up a business, he/she would use the Yellow Pages telephone directory. Today, that person would use search engine directories.

And yes, the Yellow Pages can be found online. This time, YP has other search engine directories as competition. These search engine directories include Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, and Yahoo! Local Listing.

Having your business listed in an online directory is an effective way to get found. This is especially true for retail-type businesses.

According to Google, 80% of Americans use search engine directories to track down a business. 50% of the search has resulted in a visit to the store and 18% of those visits resulted in a sale.

You can read more about search engine directories in our article, “Why Should Retail Locations Be Listed in Search Engines”.

7. Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is a good strategy to use for building your brand, establishing yourself as an authority, creating natural inbound links and driving traffic to your website.

There are blog sites that allow guest writers to share content on their website. However, it is a good idea to check on the authenticity and reputation of the blog site before making your inquiry.

In the same manner that there are good guest blog networks, there are also bad guest blog networks. You will know who they are because their ground rules sound spurious.

For example, these bad guest blog networks will not allow you to edit content or remove spammy links. Also, a visit to their site will yield a “treasure trove” of poor quality content.

Conclusion

Social media is a great way to build your business online. However, it is not the only way. Also, it may not be the best way to grow your business. As you have read, there are other tools that you can use to give your business the online presence it needs.

The bottom line is, a digital marketing strategy should not be dependent on only one tool. It should utilize a good number of processes that can provide your business with different avenues to achieve its goals.

From there, you can use Analytics to determine which processes are generating good ROI and which ones aren’t. Analytics is an effective tool for fine-tuning your digital marketing campaign.

If Analytics show that your social media marketing strategy is not delivering the results, find out why. Identify the weaknesses and try to institute improvements.

If upon further analysis, the results are not to your satisfaction, do not hesitate to repurpose the resources to other processes that yield better ROI.

Hopefully, we were able to give you some level of objectivity toward social media. Yes, it is powerful and influential. However, it may not be for everyone.

The good thing is there are other tools at your disposal which can be more effective than social media.  

If you liked this article, please feel free to share it. And if you want to learn more about how digital marketing can grow your business, please do not hesitate to give us a call or an email.

Consult with us for 30 minutes free of charge!

We hope to hear from you soon.

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