Boost Business with These 7 Tools You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

Boost Business with These 7 Tools You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

A great artist may have vision and talent, but to bring a vision to life, the artist needs the right tools. That’s as true of painting as it is of marketing. And while a true artist should never blame tools for a job poorly done, the truth is that the wrong tools can have a negative impact on their work.

Your social media tools aren’t getting the job done.

You might think you have the latest and greatest – and maybe your social media game is on point. But that said, I’m willing to bet that there are a few great tools that you haven’t heard about. Using them can help you take your social media marketing campaigns to a new level.

Here they are.

#1: Meet Edgar

Facebook’s algorithm changes have upped the ante for business pages. It was already a challenge to get organic reach with your posts and now it’s harder than ever. Even if you post regularly, you still run the risk that your best content will disappear because it simply isn’t seen by your target audience.

Meet Edgar is a social scheduling app that can rescue your disappearing posts and give them new life by re-sharing them. You may already be doing that – but here’s what’s special about Meet Edgar.

  • It allows you to save your social media posts into a database, so they can easily be reshared – no more scrolling down your page to find a post
  • It can pull items from your RSS feed, including blog posts, and add them to your social media library
  • It categorizes your content to make it easy to find
  • It reposts content automatically to ensure it is seen by your audience

Meet Edgar is a paid tool that works for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

#2: Quuu

Good social media management means posting a combination of original and curated content. Finding curated content to share with your audience can be time-consuming. Quuu can help.

Quuu is a social media content curation tool. It will monitor the categories you choose – there are over 500 to choose from – and send you up to 6 content suggestions per day. If you opt for the Free or Amazing Plans (their words, not mine), the curated content will be posted automatically unless you delete it from the queue. Choosing the corporate plan gives you the option to approve content before it gets posted.

#3: Trendsmap

Maintaining a Twitter account for your business requires regular posting and staying on top of the trends and hashtags that are relevant to your location. Trendsmap is a tool that can help you do the latter.

Trendsmap helps businesses get past the national and global hashtag and find the specific local trends and hashtags that are most likely to appeal to your followers. Users can click and zoom on a map interface to see the trending topics in any area. You can then click on a trending topic to get additional information and see what people are saying about it. They have multiple plans available starting as low as $25 per month.

#4: Canva

Visual content gets more engagement on social media than written content, and yet it can be difficult for people who aren’t designers to create the kind of visually compelling posts that will appeal to their followers.

Canva is an incredibly versatile design tool that’s free – and perfect for social media. They have thousands of templates that you can choose from. You can also use their library of images, colors, and fonts to customize your posts. If you opt for their free plan you’ll need to pay for photos, but their paid plan gives you access to the full library plus additional storage and other features.

#5: AdEspresso

Facebook and Instagram advertising can help you grow your business, but it can also be time-consuming to manage. AdEspresso injects a shot of caffeine into the proceedings and speeds up the process.

AdEspresso is an ad management tool created by HootSuite. It gives users a dashboard from which they can manage all of their Facebook and Instagram ads. You can ad tags to your campaigns to make it easier to find them, shortcut the ad creation process, and even split test your campaigns to maximize your conversions. They offer a free trial period and business plans starting at $49 per month.

#6: PushEngage

One of the hardest things for any business to do is to convert a lead into a paying customer. It’s an expensive endeavor and one that requires an ongoing commitment and lead nurturing strategy.

PushEngage is a tool that makes it simple to send push notifications on any browser. That means you can engage with potential customers who have abandoned a shopping cart. You’ll get automatic trigger notifications based on the triggers you specify, giving you the power to engage with users at the perfect moment to make a sale. They offer a free trial and business plans starting at $29 per month.

#7: Mobile Monkey

Chatbots are the future of marketing – and the future is here. If your business isn’t using a Facebook chatbot yet, it’s time to get started.

Mobile Monkey is a tool that will help you build a chatbot for Facebook Messenger in as little as five minutes. They offer an intuitive, drag-and-drop interface that means you don’t need any technical or programming experience to create a bot. They have a huge library of chatbot widgets, including images, text, and even emoji. They have a free plan as well as more comprehensive business plans starting at $42 per month.

An artist is only as good as the tools they use…

…and the 7 social media marketing tools I’ve listed here can help you elevate your social media game, attract new followers, and increase your profits.

Getting people to engage with your social media content is a must. By giving yourself the tools you need, you can ensure that you get the engagement you need to grow your business.

Your Facebook Marketing is Missing the Boat with Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z

Your Facebook Marketing is Missing the Boat with Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z

You might be a Facebook marketing whiz. You’ve got targeting down, you create compelling posts to share with your followers, and you can curate content like nobody’s business. But guess what?

If you’re not tailoring your content to the generation of your audience, you’re missing the boat.

Wondering why? It’s because members of Generation X, Millennials, and Gen Z use Facebook in different ways. There’s no one approach that will work for all of them. That means you’ve got to know your audience and then customize your approach to ensure that you’re reaching them.

Marketing to Generation X

Let’s start with Generation X. The people in Gen X were born between the mid-1960s and the late 1970s. They’re sometimes referred to as the Latchkey Generation and they’re sandwiched between the Baby Boomers and Millennials.

Nearly two-thirds of Gen Xers say that Facebook is their preferred social media site. Just about half of them follow brands on social media, and following a brand is a precursor to making a purchase. That means that your Gen X followers are primed to buy. You just need to give them a reason to do it.

The key is knowing why they follow you. 58% of Gen Xers follow brands because they want to get information about sales and promotions. In other words, if part of your target audience is in Generation X, you can engage them by offering them special deals, coupons, and promotions.

What does that mean in practical terms? You can target your Facebook promotions by age, so you might run an ad with a coupon and target it to people in your area between the ages of 39 and 53. You can add additional targeting options based on your audience’s interests, as well.

Generation X has a huge amount of buying power. They’re gainfully employed and doing well – but that doesn’t mean that they want to spend more than they need to. Keep that in mind when you’re marketing to them.

Marketing to Millennials

Millennials are a different breed than Gen Xers. Millennials were born between 1980 and the late 1990s/early 2000s. In other words, they’re between the ages of 18 and 38. Facebook is still their most-used social site, but they also spend a lot of time on Instagram and Snapchat.

Millennials are the first generation of digital natives, which means they’ve seen it all when it comes to online content. They’re far more likely to share viral content like memes and GIFs than Gen Xers are. Millennials want to be entertained, so the content you create should be informative and entertaining. Examples might be how-to videos, behind the scenes tours, and things of that nature.

The most important defining characteristic of Millennials when it comes to marketing is that they are inherently distrustful of content that’s created by brands and of sponsored content in general. They’re far more likely to put their trust in user-generated content (UGC) and online reviews than on anything you say about yourself.

The solution is to encourage your followers to create content on your behalf. A good example is Starbucks’ White Cup campaign on Instagram, which asked followers to decorate plain white cups and post pictures of them. They had to use Starbucks’ special tag to enter the contest, which gave Starbucks the opportunity to share that content with its followers.

Here again, it’s a good idea to create a targeted ad campaign that is directed at Millennials. By choosing the right content to promote or making an ad that will appeal to your Millennial followers, you’ll increase your chances of reaching them. It’s also a good idea to time your Millennial-targeted posts for when they’re most likely to be online: between 8 PM and midnight.

Keep in mind that Millennials now make up the majority of the work force in the United States and have a ton of buying power. You should allocate your Facebook advertising budget accordingly.

Marketing to Generation Z

Generation Z is the generation of young people born between the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s, although there’s some disagreement about the start and end years. There’s some overlap with Millennials.

When it comes to social media use, Gen Z has a lot in common with Millennials. They use Facebook but also spend a lot of time on Instagram and Snapchat. Where they differ is in the type of content they prefer to see.

The first thing you need to know about Gen Z is that their attention spans are notoriously short. Where Millennials might watch a long video, Gen Z is more likely to engage if your video content appeals to them instantly – in about 8 seconds or less.

Another key concern of Generation Z is community involvement and charity work. While this issue has been a focus of articles about marketing to Millennials, it’s even more important when marketing to Gen Z. These are young people who want to use social media to change the world – and they want to support businesses that take a real interest in helping others.

You can reach Gen Z by creating short, snappy videos with relatable actors in them. You don’t want anybody who seems phony. Filming your staff wrapping up donations for a local non-profit would be a great way to engage with them. Likewise, flash sales and things that require immediate action can help you grab their attention.

Keep in mind that Gen Z is still young – but they’re the up-an-coming generation. Right now they might be spending their parents’ money, but in a few years they’ll have their own. If you can hook them now, you’ll be in great shape when they come of age.

Targeting your ads by age might seem like a lot of work…

… but it doesn’t necessarily require you to spend more money than you already are. Understanding generational differences – and providing the kind of content that will appeal to your customers of every age – will maximize the chances that you’ll be able to convert followers into paying customers.

How to Tell Your Marketing Isn’t Working (and How to Fix It)

How to Tell Your Marketing Isn’t Working (and How to Fix It)

When you are running a small business, your marketing can make all the difference between a successful year and one that falls short of your goals. Of course, every business does their best to develop and execute dynamic marketing plans to drive customer conversions, however they can often fall short of the mark.

One of the biggest mistakes that companies make is failing to review their marketing strategy to see where exactly they are falling short. By performing regular reviews of your marketing plan, you can quickly identify when it is not working, leading to solutions that you implement right away.

Here are 5 tell-tale signs that your current marketing needs improvement, as well as the best fixes for each scenario. By objectively auditing your advertising performance, you can easily see the areas that need to be fixed, then come up with a new strategy to get your business back on track!

You aren’t getting qualified leads for your marketing campaigns

The goal of marketing is not to just get leads, but to get leads that will actually bring you new customers. If you recognize that a large number of your leads are people that are not actually interested in your products or services, then you are definitely doing something wrong.

By analyzing the type of people that call, email or visit your website, you can tell whether or not you are targeting the right people through your current marketing scheme.

The Fix: If your leads are not high quality and are not resulting in customer conversions, then it’s time to revisit your content and target demographic. Make a list of your ideal customer, including key traits such as age, location, gender, and income level, then tailor your marketing plan to directly target those people.

You do not have a consistent marketing strategy

Have a look back through your recent content and advertisements to look for continuity. If you notice that your social media posts, email blasts or sales materials do not all convey the same message, then you can be confusing clients.

You want your business to be represented in a structured manner that runs the gamut of the sales cycle: getting potential clients interested, cultivating leads, converting clients, then reselling. If you strategy doesn’t follow this pattern, then you may be missing out on vital elements of digital marketing.

The Fix: Put yourself in the perspective of a potential client. Draw out a roadmap of how you want to captivate somebody to be interested in what you offer, how you can guide them to becoming a client, a persuasive manner to close the deal, then a follow-up strategy to resell to them.

You are not differentiating yourself from the competition

Regardless of your industry, there is likely to be a wide range of competition that is also marketing to the same clientele. One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make is that they play it too safe, being afraid to truly draw attention to themselves by being unique.

If your marketing strategy is too generic, then you will simply be lost amongst the hundreds, potentially thousands of competitors that are offering similar products or services. This will not help you increase sales or grow your clientbase, but rather be a waste of your marketing budget and your resources.

The Fix: Pick a handful of businesses in your industry and have a look at their marketing campaigns. If you notice that yours are quite similar or see that most companies are doing the same thing, then make a list of ways that you can set yourself apart. From compelling organic content to the use of dynamic media such as videos, start adding innovative aspects to your marketing plan that nobody else is doing.

Searching your business does not bring favorable (or any) results

The whole goal of marketing is drawing eyes to your brand in a positive manner. By simple conducting some online searches for your business and relative terms, you are able to get a sense of how often potential customers see your company. If you aren’t on the first page of search results for your services or local searches, then it becomes exponentially harder to draw in new clients.

When you do find your business online, you also want to see what existing clients are saying about you. Checking Facebook, Google, and any industry-specific review sites for feedback is extremely important. Businesses that have a large number of positive reviews are far more likely to convert searchers into paying customers.

The Fix: If you notice that your business doesn’t appear in searches, it’s time to ramp up your SEO. From regular organic content to strengthening social media presence, you need to add new dimensions of marketing. If you are lacking reviews, reach out to your current customers by incentivizing them to add feedback on a variety of review sites.

You haven’t pre-sold to your customers

When you have clients contacting you or visiting your website, you want them to already know exactly what they want. They should be walking into your door ready to take you up on your latest offer or buy your newest product without you having to convert them.

If you find that potential customers are unaware of your products or need to be convinced to buy from you, then your marketing needs to ramped up. Marketing should not just begin the sales cycle, it should already have people in the mindset that they are ready to do business with you!

The Fix: You may need to be more direct in your advertising efforts, focusing on both informing and persuading people within first glance. Integrating some sales videos that highlight the benefit of what you offer and intensely pushing current promotions will give the clients a sense of urgency to act as fast as possible.

Turning your marketing strategy around

If you notice that one or more of these issues apply to your current situation, then there is no better time than the present to begin revamping your marketing plan.

Working with a professional marketing team can drastically increase the efficiency of your campaigns by driving customer conversions, maximizing ROI and reducing costs.

Click here to request your free marketing blueprint session to help fix any current issues and bring your company the business that it deserves!

7 Things People Don’t Tell You About Social Media Marketing

7 Things People Don’t Tell You About Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing can seem deceptively simple to people who look at it from the outside. All you need is a great product or service and your audience will find you.

Wouldn’t it be great if that were true? But sadly, it’s not.

In fact, social media marketing is a real challenge for local businesses – and can prove tricky even to people who spend a lot of time and energy managing their social media accounts.

The reason? There are some popular misconceptions about social media marketing and some secrets that you simply won’t know about unless someone tells you.

Here they are.

#1: The Size of Your Following May Not Matter

One of the biggest misconceptions about social media marketing is that Page Likes equal success. That’s often not the case.

You can create an entertaining account that attracts new followers and not see any change in your bottom line. If that happens, you’re basically whistling in the wind. The time and energy you spend on managing your social media pages isn’t getting you anything in return.

A better bet is to focus on attracting highly qualified and motivated followers who are likely to turn into customers and share your content with their friends.

#2: There’s No Such Thing as Overnight Success

To quote the cliché, social media marketing isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. It takes a lot of time, commitment, and dedication to attract a following and see results from your social media marketing efforts.

In many ways, this misconception relates to the first one. A big following doesn’t equal success. You may spend a lot of money boosting your page and attract a lot of followers. However, if those followers don’t buy from you, the money will have been wasted.

In other words, social media marketing requires an ongoing commitment to excellence. You’ll need to work hard to create valuable and entertaining content – and be willing to tweak your methods to get the results you want.

#3: You Won’t Succeed Without Analysis

Analyzing the results of your social media marketing is a must if you want to grow your business. It’s not enough simply to eyeball your Likes and other obvious metrics. You’re going to need to dig deep to refine your strategy.

Fortunately, most platforms offer basic analytics that you can use to get started. If you pay for a social media management tool, you probably have access to additional reporting and analysis. Either way, it’s essential to use the data you have to test, refine, and re-test your content and strategy.

Even if you’ve done well on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll need to commit to doing the sometimes-tedious legwork that will help you hit on the right strategy to grow your business.

#4: Engagement Is Just as Important as Content

You might create fantastic content on a regular basis, but if you aren’t also setting aside time to engage with your followers, you might as well not bother.

A lot of companies make the mistake of forgetting the “social” in social media. It’s your job to monitor your content, reply to comments, answer questions, and generally make your followers feel that they are important to you.

Engagement can be time-consuming, and it’s one of the reasons that a lot of small businesses don’t do well on social media. You may need to hire someone to monitor your mentions, comments, DMs, and questions to ensure that nothing is falling through the cracks.ss on social media.

#5: Success is Difficult to Predict

The Holy Grail of social media marketing is the viral post. Whether it’s a video, a meme, a photograph, or a blog post, every social media marketer dreams of creating The One – the special post that reaches millions of followers and sends their business into orbit.

We’d love to be able to give you a formula to help you create that perfect post. Sadly, there isn’t one. The best you can do is create the most entertaining, valuable, relevant content you can – and hope that your followers will share it and that it will catch on.

Of course, there are some things that can help your chances of going viral. Humorous content does well, and so does content that’s useful to different groups of people. Instead of focusing on virality, spend your time getting creative – and the rest will, hopefully, follow.

#6: You’ll Need a Creative Team to Help You

Your social media goals may be simple or grand, but either way, it’s important to understand that you may not be able to do everything you need to do without help.

Creativity is a plus when it comes to social media marketing. If all you do is share content from other people or Tweet out information about your products, you’re not going to attract the passionate following you want.

The key is to give your social media manager the creative support they need. That may mean hiring a creative team to work with them. Or, it may be as simple as giving them a creative budget that they can use to hire freelance writers, photographers, and artists to give your social media marketing a boost.

#7: Everything Can Change at a Moment’s Notice

One of the trickiest aspects of social media marketing is that change is normal. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are constantly tweaking their algorithms – and you’ll need to stay on top of the changes they make if you want to do well.

For example, Facebook recently changed its algorithm to prioritize posts from personal connections over those from businesses. As a result, business owners have had to rethink their strategies, work harder to get organic engagement, and increase their Facebook marketing budgets to make sure that their posts reach their followers.

Tracking your performance and engagement can help you in this regard. However, it’s essential to be aware of changes and to adapt your strategy accordingly so you’re not spinning your wheels.

Social media marketing isn’t as easy as it seems…

That much is clear. But, keeping the seven items we’ve outlined here in mind can help you make the most of the time, creative energy, and money you spend to promote your business on social media.