Signals indicating the importance of social media marketing are all around us.   In recent years, there has been a growing shift in the way consumers interact with businesses and how they make purchasing decisions. It’s no longer effective to just place an ad in your local newspaper proclaiming the cheapest prices. Why? Because before consumers purchase anything from you, regardless of the price, they are going to do their due diligence and research your business. Not just on Google, but on social networks too.

Facebook-marketing-njIf you are relying on the old method of buying ads and hoping people ‘drink the kool-aid,’ you’ll be lost in the noise. Consumers expect to form some sort of relationship with your business before they come, and social media is where they will go looking for it. By tapping into the psychology of social relationships, businesses can retain customers, create loyalty and attract new customers.

By focusing on relationship building through social media, you won’t need to undercut your competitors. Relationship building through good social media marketing has the power to create awareness, establish your brand, increase your reach with consumers and attract customers. This is what a large number of recent advertising success stories are based on; relationship building. The average American aged 18-64 spends 2-3 hours a day on social media. Your customers and potential customers are online, are you?

Building Your Brand Through Social Media Marketing

Here are three tips to build your brand and establish relationships through social media marketing:

1)   Decide what the ‘tone’ of your Social Media marketing should be. That decision should be based on your industry. If you run a funeral home- you don’t want a sarcastic, joking tone to your page. On the contrary, if you own a local bar that is very popular among the college kids- that type of tone would work very well. Your tone provides a ‘personality’ for your business through social media and will help you connect with customers.

2)   Create a benefit for customers who connect with you through social media. ‘Facebook only’ offers are one example but benefits don’t have to come in the form of a discount. Another benefit could be releasing company news and information to your social audience FIRST.

3)   Follow through with all comments, messages, questions, tweets, favorites, retweets, etc. Thank people for their comments and reply to them quickly. ‘Favorite’ and ‘retweet’ others who mention your name or tweet to you on Twitter. In the world of social media, everything is very instantaneous. People expect responses quickly. Set aside time each day to follow through with all social engagement.

Hiring A Social Media Marketing Company

In the real world, business owners can’t wear all the hats in the company. There just isn’t enough time. Every social channel is different. From hashtags to social etiquette, it changes from Twitter to Facebook to Google+, etc. Understanding each channel’s idiosyncrasies is key to a successful presence. What you put into relationship building on social channels will pay you back in the long run. If you don’t have the time to invest in your social presence but would like to reap all of the rewards associated with good social media marketing, talk with one of our social marketing professionals about how we can help manage your accounts. Our NJ based web design, SEO and social media marketing company has customized social media marketing plans for our small business clients, because there is no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone.

About Kinetic Knowledge

Based in Monmouth County, NJ, Kinetic Knowledge is a full service digital marketing firm offering website design, SEO, social media, graphic design, e-commerce and custom app solutions.

Visit us online at www.kineticknowledge.com

Kinetic Knowledge Facebook PageLike many businesses, small or large, Facebook is constantly evolving and altering to not only better meet the needs of users but also to better meet the needs of their own profitability. Let’s face it- Facebook is a business – and businesses exist to make money. Facebook is no different.

Within the past several months, Facebook has not only changed its visual design but they have also changed their algorithm as well. The algorithm refers to their proprietary technology that governs which stories, photos and news updates users ultimately see within their own newsfeed.

The average user on Facebook has about 200 friends give or take and is a fan of more than 35 different pages. With all that competition, Facebook has to decide which posts should appear in a user’s newsfeed in order to give them the best experience possible.

Recent changes to Facebook’s algorithm are making it harder for business pages to be seen. One way around this problem is to buy Facebook ads, to guarantee that posts are seen by an audience. Facebook, however, insists that the changes were not meant to force businesses to pay for visibility, but rather to give users more of the content they desire to see. And according to Facebook, that doesn’t always include posts from business pages.

How do these changes affect your small business marketing? When your Facebook posts are ‘liked’ or ‘shared’ on Facebook, it potentially exposes your content & brand to new groups of people outside your existing circles and fan base. This is a major plus for businesses.

With Facebook’s new algorithm change, it may be more difficult to get your content seen, ‘liked’ and ‘shared’.

What should you do? Buy ads on Facebook? YES, but not so fast. There are a few things local businesses can do to ensure their posts get shared and seen * more * on Facebook. Here are a few tips:

    1. Use pictures or videos of clients or customers. Video testimonials work great. When you upload the video or photo tag your customers. This greatly increases the post’s visibility by sharing it with their friends as well, not just your Facebook fans.
    2. Ask your employees, friends and colleagues to share your Facebook status updates on their own newsfeeds.
    3. Post updates that invite comments- comments create greater visibility than ‘likes’. Make the questions worthwhile. Example for realtors: post a photo of a house for sale and take a poll. Ask your fans, “Which is more desirable for you: a fenced in back yard or a garage? Why?” People like to give their opinions.
    4. Avoid sharing links to news stories without any introduction. These posts seem to get much less visibility. Give an excerpt of the story you are posting and ask a question that relates to it. Again, invite comments instead of just posting a link.
    5. Leverage #Hashtags, see Using Facebook #Hashtags For Visibility

And let’s not forget- when it comes to content that you post on your website, search engines, especially Google, use the social sharing of your content as a ranking signal. It’s important to not only focus on getting your [in] Facebook posts ‘liked’ and ‘shared’, but also getting the content on your website ‘shared’ to social networks as well. To facilitate this, make sure you have a ‘social sharing’ plug-in installed on your website. This will add the social icons for Facebook, Twitter, etc. right above or below a post or page on your website, making it easy for people to click and share anything that they have read and enjoyed.

Having a very active social strategy in place as well as organized plans on how to execute that strategy daily and weekly can help keep your business visible on social media networks. It also offers potentially self- fulfilling effects on your competitive keyword SEO. If you’re looking for strategic help maintaining and updating your social media accounts, ask us about our social packages.

If you’ve been paying attention to our blog, for instance, ‘ The State Of Modern Advertising’, you know that we believe online Pinterest for Marketing | Kinetic Knowledgevisibility for your content and your brand depends upon activity & a positive user experience. In other words, social reaction to your content (i.e. shares, likes, pins, etc.) is not only going to expose you to new people, but search engines are using certain positive social activity signals (i.e. links & inbound traffic coming out to your pages) to rank your content higher. Google, for instance, with its recent ‘Hummingbird Algorithm Update,’ NOW! places a great deal of emphasis on how content is discussed on the social Web when ranking pages. However, information overload is a genuine obstacle! Are people more likely to stop their daily race and read your article OR maybe stop when something catches their eye…like an image? There is no one answer that fits all so your marketing needs a multi- channel approach, with time allotted proportionately to those that can bring more visibility.

Pinterest, in our opinion, is one channel that deserves your attention!

Marketing 101: Make It Simple For Your Audience

With YouTube and newer social networks like Instagram and Pinterest gaining more & more traffic, consumers are demonstrating an interest in simplicity. Pinterest is not only simple to use, but it’s image based. Let’s face it – images often capture eyeballs…especially in this super time- strapped world. Content that serves as a resource is never to be written off, but with so little time and so much noise, the consumer’s interest in simpler forms of content is only logical.

Pinterest makes learning about your product, business or service simple for the consumer.  It starts out with a large photo to capture their attention.  Then, a brief excerpt of text peaks their interest further.  And, to drive it all home (literally), a live hyperlink back to your website should satisfy their desire to learn more.

The process is so simple for consumers and offers the benefit of a positive visibility for businesses.

Top Benefits of Using Pinterest As A Marketing Tool

Position Yourself As An Expert or Authority In Your Field

You may already be doing this with blogging and YouTube videos (if you’re not—you should!). Pinterest can round out your effort by giving you another channel to share useful knowledge.  And since we already mentioned that Google is placing a larger emphasis on how content is discussed on the social Web – it’s worth your time to take the few extra minutes to ‘pin’ your own images and link back to your content.

Develop Strategic Relationships with Other Business For Cross-Promotional Opportunities

Like Twitter and Instagram, it’s easy to seek out people and businesses to follow on Pinterest and form relationships with them by either searching for their name directly or searching hashtags that relate to their industry.  ‘Follow’ businesses or people that you want following your business in return.  Hopefully they will notice you, give you a ‘follow back’ and even repin your images. Be sure to ‘like’ and ‘repin’ any of their information that your audience may find useful. Not only will your audience appreciate it and add to your credibility as an authoritative figure, it will help you build a bigger network of alliances that you can use for cross-promotional opportunities. It may even lead to new business in a relatively untapped environment.

Drive Traffic To Your Site

We already mentioned this but it’s so important that we’ll say it again – Pinterest allows live links back to your site. This is extremely valuable in terms of link building and driving traffic there.  Remember- the days of link farms are long gone.  Google and other search engines are smart enough to analyze where links to your site are coming from and whether or not they are quality sources.  Google is giving more value to content that is shared and discussed on social networks.

To recap, Pinterest can further position yourself as an authority in your industry by posting and sharing relevant content.  It can also be a liaison between you and other industry colleagues, helping you form relevant and opportunistic relationships.  And finally, the links that Pinterest allows back to your site are valuable to search engines, especially Google, when it comes to ranking content.

If you share your content on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, take two extra minutes to include an eye-catching photo that can be ‘pinned on Pinterest along with a captivating excerpt and link back to your site.

Side Note:

Obviously this is not a ‘how to’ on using Pinterest.  There is, as usual, etiquette and guidelines to follow for using Pinterest as there is with any social network. In this article, we’re hoping to raise awareness for those not already aware of Pinterest as another great potential marketing channel.

Related How To:


How To Use Hashtags For Small To Medium Sized Business (SMB) Marketers

twitter hashtag #LongIslandCity | kinetic knowledgeHashtags should be a part of your social media strategy! For those small to medium sized businesses out of the loop, Twitter is where the concept got popular; however, virtually ALL social networks NOW service hashtags! 

For the SMB it’s a huge opportunity to broaden visibility or, better yet, for ‘broader content marketing reach‘ amongst qualified individuals actually searching for information on a particular subject. While there is no direct SEO value in hashtags, they will increase the search- ability of content… and interaction with content leads to signals that do improve SEO

Hashtags Defined

Simply put, hashtags are created by pairing a number sign (#) with a word or phrase. By adding the #hashtag to your latest tweet or status entry you can simultaneously have it enter a place where similar information is being aggregated. Think of #hashtags as social network bookmarks for the automatic & continuous collection of Facebook Post With Hashtags | Kinetic Knowledge Facebookcontent related to that particular topic. For instance, posting a message with #SmallBiz to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus or other social networks will add it to a live aggregation of posts that include the same #SmallBiz hashtag. If you target B to B marketers, they may just find you there.

SMB HashTag Mistakes To Avoid!

Like with any content online, exercise caution! There are some embarrassing #hashtag minefields out there so don’t ever forget to research them before using them. Take a look at the #hashtag in the social network you are working to see what it’s being used for and avoid any potentially embarrassing mistakes:

  1. Deaf Ears: Understand why a hashtag exists or why people are using it. If no one is paying attention, the effort of adding it will be wasted. And know that the vast majority of hashtags are met with web-wide indifference, so look for where there’s opportunity first.
  2. Desperate: Don’t overwhelm posts and tweets with too many #hashtags. It’s never appealing to readers and it certainly can make you look desperate.  Maybe 2- 4 maximum is best practice. 
  3. Hijacking: Don’t be the problem! Don’t hijack social media with worthless entries and as a result, undermine its value for the people you seek. Certainly not if you want value from Hashtags yourself. Per Nick Denton of Gawker fame, “The idea of harnessing the intelligence of readership has been lost in the quest for Facebook likes. For many, readers have become synonymous with hateful commenters. It’s time for a renewed push to realize some of the original dreams of the web.”
  4. Bad Taste: The Kenneth Cole brand has had a couple poor taste tweets now, but Facebook Hashtagsduring the fighting in Cairo when they tweeted with the hashtag #Cairo, “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at http://bit.ly/KCairo – KC” they were ripped apart in the media and online for their insensitivity. 
  5. Too Risky: Skittles invited people to tweet about them and then allowed that activity to hit their home page. Amidst all the activity that ensued there were some horrible tweets they may have regretted being visible on their home page. McDonalds wanted to have a collection of customer love stories so they invited ‘love story’ tweets to #McDStories. Unfortunately people tweeted some awful things about their food and the campaign was shut down within a couple hours.
  6. Unrelated Conversations: Entenmann’s tweeted, “Who’s #notguilty about eating all the tasty treats they want?!”; thereby, entering themselves into a conversation that had no place for ‘baked treat marketing’. There was backlash and soon thereafter they felt compelled to tweet again “Sorry everyone, we should have checked the trending hashtag first.”


SMB Hashtag Marketing Tips!

  1. Use Camel Case: When using a hashtag with more than one word, capitalize each word = #SmallBiz. Hashtag searches are NOT case sensitive and forgetting capitalization won’t decrease visibility, but it will make longer hashtags much easier to read.
  2. Target: Enter tweets or status with hashtags only where you can target qualified clients. For instance, it’s likely many small to medium sized marketers follow #SmallBiz #SMB #marketiGoogle Plus Hashtagsng for advice and resources. All three are highly active hashtags, but they may not be as useful for the business to consumer (B To C) marketer!
  3. For Sales Add #sales, #ShopLocal +#(your city or town):  If you are running a sale these hashtags may be key to spreading the word! Even if shoppers don’t search the hashtag in Twitter, related coupon sites or local magazines or even blogs may share them with their audience.
  4. For Jobs Add #jobs, #networking, #hiring: Professionals use Twitter to search and it’s only likely they will use the same method in other social networks servicing hashtags. Post a job with the hashtag #jobs or #hiring or #networking, alongside the position and people on the hunt will find it!
  5. Create New Conversations: For the SMB, create conversations that might serve a local area, a neighborhood, town or county like #TorontoHomes. If the new conversation takes off it may keep your brand visible for a very long run!
  6. Track Target Conversations:  It can be set up in a HooteSuite or TweetDeck account, and depending on who’s entering what into that stream of targeted hashtag consciousness, there may be business at stake! If you’re a real estate agent in Honolulu, it’d be nice to see people tweeting in real- time about how much they want a Honolulu HI Condo with a view of the water. And there’d be nothing stopping you from direct messaging in real- time with some great waterfront listing information!

Hashtags Summarized

It’s obvious that hashtags can be a blessing when it comes to your marketing; however there are as many pitfalls as there are opportunities. In order to promote your SMB in social media, think about clever ways to leverage hashtags that add value. If you haven’t yet, jump in with something easy; always watch what’s going on, experiment and be careful!