Engaging Facebook Post Ideas for Small Businesses

Engaging Facebook Post Ideas for Small Businesses

Having a profound Facebook strategy in place that provides the results you’re looking for can prove incredibly difficult. Facebook’s algorithms and consumer behaviors are constantly changing, so creating content that matches up with each of these is always a challenge.

It’s helpful to constantly remember the 80/20 rule, where 80% of your content should be used to inform, entertain and educate your customers and 20% for selling. It’s important to continuously seek out new and unique post ideas that follow this formula. Here are just a few to get you started:

Present a Problem, Ask for Solutions

Posts that ask a question can generate a lot of engagement from your followers, especially ones where the solution can ultimately benefit them. People also love to provide answers and opinions to such questions. Consider asking your followers what they would do in a specific scenario or posing a popular question that’s frequently asked about your business. They can then respond with their own feedback and you can interject with yours.

User-Generated Content

User generated content is content that is created and displayed by an unpaid individual. It can include pictures, videos, testimonials and more. User-generated content can help build brand awareness, gain trust with your customers and help you build relationships with your local community. It shows potential customers that people who’ve visited your business previously are satisfied enough to post about it, and that’s a big deal.

For example, if you own a small furniture store that specializes in refurbished items and someone posts one of those items within their home on their any social channel (not just Facebook), you can share the post with your followers by linking or posting a screen shot. Be sure to add in a call to action, like “Show us how you’ve taken your home’s décor to the next level with our furniture.”

Utilize Facebook Live

A 2018 HubSpot survey revealed that 54% of consumers want to see more video content from brands and business they support. Facebook Live is a great way to change up your content strategy, if you can come up with a unique idea for using it. Think about what makes your business stand out and provide your followers with an inside look into those components. You can also do Q&As with your audience, discuss important events happening within your industry, provide views from an industry expert or provide a demonstration of a new product. The possibilities are endless.

Create a Poll

What better way to understand the wants and needs of your customers than by simply asking them? Facebook polls can not only drive engagement, but you can uncover valuable information about your business by creating them. Take some time to determine your most lingering questions you have for your followers, then formulate a timeline for asking them.

Be sure to keep it interesting and not too self-promotional. For instance, you might consider asking what products they want to see your business offer, what content they want to see more of on your social channels or even the problems they’re having that relate to your field of work.

Seasonal Content

Now that the holiday season has begun, it’s important for small business owners to remember that this time of year presents a massive opportunity for content creation. Posting fun, feel-good, holiday-themed content that isn’t promotional can provide positive engagement from your followers. If executed correctly, they may even feel motivated enough to share it with their own followers. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be holiday themed. Consider posting about holidays that align with your business, like national cappuccino day or national pizza day (both of which, do in fact exist).

Make Small Business Saturday a Success with These Valuable Tips

Make Small Business Saturday a Success with These Valuable Tips

In 2010, American Express introduced Small Business Saturday, a national holiday dedicated to celebrating small businesses across the US. The date falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and Black Friday. The annual shopping tradition was designed to help local consumers support the small businesses within their communities.

Since enacted, US consumers have spent an estimated $85 billion at independent retailers and restaurants. Now in its 8th year, Small Business Saturday is bigger and more popular than ever. And in order for your business to be prepared and reap the benefits, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Tell Your Story

What better day to tell your business’s story to customers than one that celebrates small businesses? Create a blog post, email or social media post that details the ins and outs of how you came into business, what’s kept you going and where you see yourself in the future. Stories like this humanize your brand and help build trust with consumers, both old and new.

Keep Customers Informed

Nowadays, consumers have options when deciding where to shop for goods and services. You want to make sure that your business is at the top of their mind’s when they’re ready to make a purchase. In order to do that, you need to keep them in the loop about what you have planned. For events like Small Business Saturday, you should be promoting your offers via your website, blog, social media channels and emails.

Promote on Social Media

As with any special event, you want to make sure that you are promoting what’s happening on social media. Post about the deals and discounts that you’re offering, or if you’re presenting something unique, like a product demo, unveiling of a new product or another big announcement. Be sure to use hashtags that relate to Small Business Saturday so that consumers can find you easily via a simple search.

Offer Special Deals and Discounts

To get customers through the door, you need to provide them with an incentive. Much like how retailers offer specific Black Friday deals and discounts, your small business should do the same for Small Business Saturday. Think about something unique that your customers will want, things like buy one get one half-off deals, x% off a purchase, free gift with purchase, etc. As mentioned earlier, don’t forget to promote what you’re offering. You should also be promoting the products you think would make the best gifts, as that’s what many people are on the lookout for this time of year.

Partner with Nearby Businesses

The more traffic the businesses within your local community generate, the more beneficial it is to your business. Consider partnering with neighboring businesses on your in-store promotions. For instance, if you operate a vitamin/health shop, you might consider partnering with the yoga studio next store and offering 10% off a class. Bounce ideas with other business owners and promote the deals via social media, email and in-store.

Weekly Bitz: Digital Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season & Why Online Reviews are Important

Weekly Bitz: Digital Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season & Why Online Reviews are Important

Below is the roundup of some of this week’s MarketingBitz articles and blogs. MarketingBitz publishes digital marketing articles, videos and slideshows written to address the needs of small businesses.

Digital Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season (November 15, 2018)
MarketingBitz: “Whether customers are researching or purchasing online or in-store, you want to make sure that you have components in place online that guides, encourages and educates them. So how can you increase your chances of standing out against competitors online this year?”

Why are Online Reviews Important for Your Small Business’s Reputation? (November 13, 2018)
MarektingBitz: “Reviews are a love-hate thing, especially for small businesses trying to build a solid reputation. On the one hand, positive reviews help promote your brand and on the other, negative reviews can produce an undesirable impact.”

3 Wonderful Dos and Don’ts to Unlock Your Social Video Marketing Potential (November 13, 2018)
Business 2 Community: “One of the main reasons why social video works – and does it very well – can be best summed up with a single word: Familiarity. That’s not to be confused with getting used to things. Something can be new and yet feel familiar. Familiarity speaks to a sense of close acquaintances and relaxed friendliness between two parties.”

How to Use Social Media to Promote a Product (November 12, 2018)
Search Engine Journal: “You have a product you’re passionate about. You’re gearing up to launch that baby into the world. What’s a low-cost, high-impact way to do it? How do you make waves and get people interested, especially the fans that already follow you on social media?”

5 Secrets to Get More Visibility for Your Business (November 12, 2018)
Business 2 Community: “The aim of any business is to make a profit but there’s no profit if people do not know about your business. It’s all about increasing the visibility of your company. As a busy owner, you might quickly find yourself in a time and budget crunch with your marketing. In turn, you lose opportunities to grow your business.”

Digital Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season

Digital Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season

It’s that time of year again, the holiday season is upon us. Arguably the most profitable time of year for many small businesses, the holidays bring about tremendous opportunities for gaining new customers, building brand awareness and increasing sales. In fact, according to the National Retail Foundation, 20-40% of yearly sales for small and mid-sized businesses takes place within the final two months of the year.

Whether customers are researching or purchasing online or in-store, you want to make sure that you have components in place online that guides, encourages and educates them. So how can you increase your chances of standing out against competitors online this year? Here are a few tips.

Determine Your Goals

What was your target holiday revenue last year? What is it this year? What are you going to do to achieve it? In order to meet your goals, both sales and others, you must first determine what they are. Are you looking to gain more social media followers this holiday season, or increase your exposure across multiple channels?

Much like a digital marketing plan you would prepare for the entire year, you should also create one that focuses on holiday goals, specifically. As stated above, this time of year provides the greatest opportunity for optimal sales. Take advantage by putting together a plan, as well as the steps needed to achieve your goals.

Start Sooner Rather than Later

It’s seems that every year holiday promotions start earlier and earlier. Don’t get left behind, sooner is better when it comes to launching your digital promotions and campaigns for the holidays. You want to let consumers know what you’re planning as soon as possible. Keep them in the loop as the year goes on.

Although many people plan to shop on Black Friday, they may be unaware of exactly where they’d like to go. Consumers need to know what you can offer them, whether it’s discounts, a new product or something else. By advertising your offerings prior, you may sway them into visiting your store, as opposed to a competitor’s.

Offer Discounts and Promotions

Nothing sets a business apart better than a good discount or promotion. Think about the problems your customers might be facing this holiday season and come up with promotions that help solve these issues. For instance, you might consider offering free shipping on all orders. Or perhaps a limited offer that runs a few days before the holiday, that way, last minute shoppers will take advantage.

Consumers are continuously researching products and services on mobile devices. According to a Google/Purchase Digital Diary study, of the consumers who used a mobile device to research a product or service, 92% made a purchase within a day and 76% visited a related business within a day.

If you want to capture the attention of these users, it’s a good idea to send targeted promotions via email, or even post about them on social media. This will increase your exposure over multiple avenues, rather than just your website.

Utilize Social Media

Social media is not only an easy way to let people know about your holiday deals and promotions, but it’s also a great avenue for interacting with customers and spreading holiday cheer to them.

Don’t solely promote your business, be sure to set posts aside that simply celebrate the holidays and wish people well during the season. Not only will this humanize your brand, but it will show your commit to customers and making them happy. They might even share your post to their followers to highlight the positive message you’re sending.

Why are Online Reviews Important for Your Small Business’s Reputation?

Why are Online Reviews Important for Your Small Business’s Reputation?

In 2018, reviews made by consumers on websites like Google, Facebook, Trip Advisor, Yelp and more can make or break a business. Not only do 91% of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews, but 84% trust them as much as personal recommendations. It’s statistics like this that explain why online reviews have become an invaluable asset for small businesses.

Reviews are a love-hate thing, especially for small businesses trying to build a solid reputation. On the one hand, positive reviews help promote your brand and on the other, negative reviews can produce an undesirable impact. As a business owner, you should always remember that a negative review here and there is inevitable, and if the vast majority are positive, you have nothing to worry about.

There are three major steps within the online review timeline, including inquiring customers to leave them, monitoring the reviews that come in and responding to the customers who leave them, both positive and negative. You should be prepared to invest your time and resources into each of these components.

In order to understand why these investments are necessary, here are a few reasons why online reviews are so important.

Reviews Build Credibility

In the era of smartphones, consumers conduct more research than ever prior to selecting where to purchase goods and services. And, as mentioned above, most of them trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Consumers turn to review sites to gain a better understanding of a business, so the more positive reviews you have, the better. These positive reviews will help instill trust within your business and solidify your reputation as a leader in your perspective field.

Reviews Help Your SEO

In order to appear in online searches, your business needs to have good SEO (search engine optimization) tactics in place. Online reviews play a big role in SEO, as reviews can influence where a business falls within search rankings. Google, for instance, gathers review information from many sites when determining where a business will fall in search results. Sites like Yelp and Facebook determine a business’s ranking based on overall rating and number of reviews.

Reviews Help Connect you with Your Customers

To stand out against competitors within your local community, it’s important to find interesting ways to connect with your customers. Reviews provide an avenue for doing just that. When a customer leaves a review, you can take the time to respond and thank them for taking the time to do so. This will also provide credibility to others who read the reviews and see your responses.

You can also learn about issues that you didn’t know existed this way. For instance, a customer might leave a comment regarding an issue they came across. You can then provide them with a solution to their problem, and hopefully turn that negative comment into a positive one.

Small businesses should embrace the power of positive online reviews. They can help customers learn more about your business so that in the future, they turn to you when they’re ready to learn more and possibly make a purchase.