Big Engagement, Little Price Tag: Making Social Media Tools Work for You (for Free!)

Don’t have the budget for a Facebook campaign or sponsored ads on Google? Not to worry. At McCauley Marketing Services, we know that social media is all about how well brands use the tools available to engage their audience, not necessarily just about how much money they spend to do it. Instead of throwing money at your marketing team – even if the “team” is just you – force it to get creative and resourceful. Below is a list of social media tips, tools, and best practices that businesses can use to get a leg up on your branding success.

Listen and Learn

All-Social-Media-Buttons-in-RowYou can’t respond to what people are saying if you don’t listen in. Paying attention to the conversation will put you ahead of the marketing curve when it comes to addressing customer complaints, heading off crises, and detecting important trends. And you don’t have to be glued to your monitor all day to do it. Free, easy-to-use services like Google Alerts keep you abreast of any online mention of your brand, while Social Mention keeps track of the conversation on a dozen different platforms, including microblogs and bookmarks. Other similar useful tools: Icerocket, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Topsy, and Brand24.

Repackage Your Content

Don’t just tweet your brand’s big news and call it a day. What about your Pinterest followers or the diehard careerists on LinkedIn? If you’re launching a new product, for example, post an exciting behind-the-scenes shot on Pinterest and provide a bulleted list of the product’s amazing attributes in a LinkedIn article. The same newsworthy item can be remade over and over to suit the preferences of all your audiences. Don’t have much going on? Update and republish older content. You can lower your voice temporarily, but you should never leave the conversation.

Get to Know Your Audience

No, you’ll never meet all of your brand’s supporters personally, but you can drive up your chances of turning them into paying customers by getting to know their habits and opinions. This can be as simple as posing an engaging question – for example, asking your Twitter followers to tweet their favorite ice cream flavor.

Remember That It’s Not About You

Social media is about other people. No one logs on to Facebook because they’re dying to know what Nike is up to, but they might pay attention if Nike wants to know what they’re up to. Striking a balance between self-promotion and genuine engagement can be tricky at first, especially as you determine your social media personality and goals. Try to see your brand objectively and don’t be afraid to ask followers for feedback!

For the most up-to-date marketing news and information, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, or contact us by calling (770) 447-1114.

The Importance of Business Branding

So you have “it” – that singular product or service that you are absolutely sure no one can live without.  The problem, of course, is that you have to let everyone know that it exists.  That’s where marketing comes in.  But before you can even start talking about advertising or public relations tactics, there is an absolutely vital step that cannot be overlooked: branding.

business-branding-servicesBusiness branding encompasses several different elements, but overall it is the name, symbol, or design that identifies and differentiates your product from other products.  It is the expression of your most essential values and communicates those values, clarifying what your particular brand is and what it is not.  Branding must precede and underlie any marketing effort, because defining your brand creates the foundation upon which all of the other components of marketing can be built.  It is the strategy that comes before any marketing campaign and the idea left behind in your customer’s minds after all the advertising efforts are done.

Marketing is all about getting your customers to buy what you’re selling, but branding goes far deeper, establishing the relationships that will develop into a long-standing base of loyal customers.  Branding your business is an integral part of customer relationship management and ensures that even those with whom you have not done business will know what you’re about.  It helps you to make sure that, when the time comes that they need your product or service, your company will be the first to come to mind.  Successful branding makes your sales people more effective and encourages customers to become advocates for your organization.

Seriously considering the decisions that go into branding is an essential first step in any marketing strategy.  A stable brand can convey the image of reliability and longevity, but having to change elements later on only muddies the waters.  You should not only pay attention to your name and logo (brand icon), but also to graphic design elements like the colors, slogan, and packaging.  Even the sound of the brand can play a role.  Every element that contributes to your overall look and feel will have an eventual impact on the brand’s position and experience.

Above all, in order to truly succeed, your brand should speak to the needs and wants of your customers and prospects.  It will stand as a symbol, in your customers’ minds, as the sum total of their experiences with and perceptions of your company.  If you’re interested in starting the journey to effectively marketing your business with us on social media and beyond, contact us today.  Be sure to connect with us, McCauley Marketing Services, on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

How Paying Attention to Posting Times Nabs Social Media Engagement

At McCauley Marketing Services, we spend a lot of time coming up with marketing strategies that most effectively reach our clients’ target audiences. This includes a lot of trial and error, tried-and-true methods, and discussion to determine what works and what simply does not. It may sound obvious, but one way that has proven effective to pulling in and engaging fans and followers is watching the clock. No, no…we don’t mean monitoring social media 24/7 or bolting out of the office at 5:00PM—we mean determining the right posting time for each client to reach the right people.

deadline end of month  conceptPosting times vary greatly depending on the social media platform you are using. Various research studies exist touting to know the exact time to post on Facebook each day, but we find that this really varies depending on our audiences. We use Facebook Insights to determine what time the most people are online for each of our clients, and will try to post around that time unless the social content we are posting is time specific (i.e. an event that is occurring that day will be posted early in the day, regardless). According to Social Media Today, engagement rates on Facebook tend to increase 18% when workers hit a “slump,” usually on Tuesdays or Fridays. Research from BufferSocial suggests that around 1:00PM is the ideal time to get shares, while posting at 3:00PM can get you some extra clicks.

When it comes to Twitter, use your weekends wisely. Twitter usage highly increases on the weekends, so it’s best to schedule more tweets on Saturday and Sunday. Scheduling tools like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, and Buffer are all reliable options for scheduling tweets ahead of time. Don’t be afraid of Twitter overload if you’re just posting 2 to 4 times per day—it’s easy for your tweet to get lost in the user’s stream if you don’t post often enough. On the other hand, posting on the weekends on LinkedIn offers no real benefits, as most people check it before or after work.

While statistics show that certain times are effective for upping post engagement, we notice a lot of adjustments and differences in our varying client’s social media based on demographics. Remember to always do what is best for your specific audience. For more insights on social media or if you’re interested in learning how to effectively take hold of your marketing, contact us today. Be sure to connect with us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

Healthcare on Social Media: Setting Up the Basics

While some argue that healthcare doesn’t have a place on social media, we beg to differ. If you desire a branded practice with a distinct online voice that represents your true persona as a business, social media is great place to start and encourage a conversation with current and future patients. Though beginning your social media pages can be a bit daunting, McCauley Marketing Services is here to walk you through. Below, find four basic points to touch on when setting up your social media pages and creating a social media marketing strategy with our team.

McCauley Marketing Services Atlanta GATarget market: Who is it?

  • Pinpointing your target audience so that you can tailor your content specifically to them can strengthen, streamline, and focus your efforts.  Ask yourself questions about your current patient base as well as the ideal patients you want to see more of.  Samples: What types of procedures are they most interested in? What is their age range? Where do they live?  What websites or social media pages do they currently like?

Goals: What do you want to achieve, and how long are you giving it?

  • When you made the decision to jump on the social media train, you had a purpose outside of just existing among competition. Are you selling a product that you’d like to increase the potential amount of buyers for? Do you aim to direct more traffic to your website or blogs? A great thing about social media is that it is very quantifiable, so you are able to see what content works best with concrete numbers to back it up. While creating your goals, establish timelines along the way to ensure you’re getting the results you desire and on the same page as your marketing team.

Budget: How much do you realistically want to put into your social media?

  • It may be free to set up an account on most social media platforms, but paid advertising is an increasingly popular and often effective way to reach a wider audience. How much do you want to put towards advertising? We recommend trial periods of putting a certain amount of dollars into advertising per month and adjusting your budget until you reach a number that balances your financial ability and marketing goals.

Peers: Who do you admire?

  • Observe what other businesses like yours are doing online. Which social media platforms do they use and what kind of content do people seem to engage with? What tactics of theirs would you like to emulate, and what would you rather stay away from?

When you meet with us, McCauley Marketing Services, we will cover far more than just the basics of setting up accounts and are happy to help you understand the social media process in an easily comprehendible way. If you’re interested in starting the journey to effectively marketing your healthcare business with us on social media and beyond, contact us today.  Be sure to connect with us, McCauley Marketing Services, on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

Mastering Paid Advertising on Facebook

Over the last few months, you may have noticed your Facebook organic reach steadily declined. Posts, pictures, hashtags, videos—you’ve tried them all, yet the numbers stay within the same range consistently or don’t budge at all. Then one day, you notice the “Boost Post” button and everything changes.

facebook-1There are differences between simply boosting a post and creating an advertisement, though both create similar effects. While you may be weary to start shelling out bucks, Facebook advertising does have its benefits and as of now, it’s being adopted by millions of users and marketing companies.  Facebook has a hugely diverse audience, allowing you to reach as many people as with radio or TV advertising.  However, with Facebook advertising, you can target precisely to users with interests that pertain to your business and detailed demographics on a relatively low budget.

There are a few things you can do to make your Facebook advertisements stand out. Firstly, write copy as you would for a print advertisement. Make it compelling, eye-catching, and clickable. Always include a graphic of some kind whether it’s hand-crafted by a graphic designer or a stock photo. Secondly, always use ads that are placed within a newsfeed. According to the Marine Software Social Index report from Q2-Q3 2013 as reported by Social Media Today, newsfeed ads attained a 44 times higher click through rate (CTR) than right hand side placed ads. As an added bonus, newsfeed ads achieve 67% lower costs per click than right hand side ads.

Always be sure to make your ads mobile-friendly, as many people scroll through Facebook almost exclusively on their smartphones. Facebook recently introduced a custom audience feature that allows you to target advertising by uploading email lists, phone number lists, Google+ circles, and more. If your email marketing is suffering, moving your email list contacts over to Facebook can be an effective strategy to recapture the attention of silent consumers.

Don’t fear Facebook’s advertising model. A small budget can work wonders, and as of now, Facebook isn’t totally paid or pigeon-holed—you have a variety of options. In the long run, investing in social media means investing in the inevitable future of your customer base. Play around with your audience to see what strategies work best for you.  If you’re interested in starting the journey to effectively marketing your business with us on social media and beyond, contact us today.  Be sure to connect with us, McCauley Marketing Services, on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

« Older Entries Newer Entries »