Category Archives: Getting Started

Small Business Social Media Tools

Social media marketing is only one aspect of your business. And whether you’re just getting started or finally getting serious, building a small business is easier if you have the right tools. Put in the effort to find the best tools for your business at the beginning, and you’ll save yourself a lot of time in the long run.

To help you get started, we’ve put together examples of the categories of tools you should be putting in your small business toolkit.

2pagemodo_infograhic-small-business-toolkit

Website Tools

Website Building: Webs
Customer Experience: Crazy Egg
Image Editing, Design: Photoshop
Traffic Driving: Moz (formerly SEOmoz)

Social Media Tools

Content Curating: Pagemodo Posts
Page Design: Pagemodo
Image Management: Pingraphy
Engagement Analytics: Linktally

Marketing Tools

Marketing Promotion: Vistaprint
Email Marketing: Constant Contact
Display Advertising: Google AdWords
Relationship Management: ContactMe

Utility Tools

Website Analytics: Google Analytics
Cloud File Sharing: Dropbox
Financial Management: FreshBooks
Personal Organization: Evernote

These are just a sampling of all the great tools available to you. Find more ideas by searching the internet and networking with other small business owners just like you!

The Five Types of Facebook Fans

Any number of motivations and circumstances can drive Facebook fans to your company’s page. If you don’t know what they are, it’s nearly impossible to keep your fans engaged. Recognizing the types of Facebook fans will help you produce content your visitors will love, and keep your page fun and interesting for all.

5-Types-of-Facebook-Friends

  1. The Tire Kicker

Who They Are:
Someone with a passing or surface-level interest in your business who could (with the right hooks or messaging) be converted from onlooker to prospect.

How to Engage Them:
Periodically run polls to reveal your audience’s hidden motivations and unmet needs. Let the answers fuel your status updates, new promotions, blog posts, and other socially shared content.

  1. The Curious Prospect

Who They Are:
Someone who is actively searching for a solution and willing to consider your company but is not yet convinced.

How to Engage Them:
Resist the urge to pepper your page with promotion after promotion. Instead, keep a ratio of 70 percent content—funny, interesting, or unique information relevant to the prospect—and 30 percent pitch. This builds the trust and credibility that ultimately spawns a sale.

  1. The Unrelenting Skeptic

Who They Are:
Someone who knows your market, takes nothing at face value, and frequently challenges your company’s assertions.

How to Engage Them:
Thoroughly and thoughtfully answer every question the skeptic posts. You may never convince the skeptic, but your willingness to stand up to scrutiny will impress your less jaded fans.

  1. The Deal Chaser

Who They Are:
Someone who is solely a fan to take advantage of the deals, offers, and coupon codes your company puts out.

How to Engage Them:
Announce upcoming promotions and specials when non are currently underway. This will keep the deal chaser around as they await their next chance to pounce, and it will encourage them to keep coming back.

  1. The Proud Advocate

Who They Are:
A devoted fan who takes every opportunity to sing your brand’s praises to their family and friends.

How to Engage Them:
Occasionally update your company’s status with good deeds, positive customer support stories, or strong testimonials. These are the “raw materials” that your proud advocates transform into referrals and good will.

Never forget that behind every post, comment, or like is a person, each with different needs, emotions, and reasons for visiting your company’s Facebook page. Tailor your social content appropriately, and these disparate visitors will become fans for life.

 

How to Post on Facebook

Best practices for posting on Facebook have proven to be a moving target for marketers. This is especially problematic for small business owners who have limited time to devote to social media marketing.

We’ve put together the latest findings on what to post and when to post it, so you can manage your Facebook page and get back to business.

facebook-posting-infographic1

Why You Should Post
When you post great content, your followers will engage with it by liking, sharing and commenting.

Aside from endearing people to your brand, engaging content drives social discovery through amplification. And all those extra pairs of eyes can quickly translate into more likes, more leads, and more customers for your business.

What to Post
Facebook uses a complex algorithm called EdgeRank to determine which posts will be seen by the most users based on the engagement each type typically receives. Research has shown that visual posts get the most likes, comments, and share over all.

  • Average Likes for Photos: 26
  • Average Likes for a Status: 18
  • Average Likes for Videos: 13
  • Average Likes for Links: 6

Users also seem to react differently to positive and negative subject matter.(1)

Positive posts get more “Likes” & negative posts get more comments. (2)

  • Best statuses and image captions are less than 80 characters. (3)
  • Want comments? Ask a question or fill-in-the-blank (92% increase). (3)
  • Caption this photo posts get 5.5x more comments. (3)
  • Calls to action get 45% higher interaction. (3)

When to Post It
While experts agree that the best days to post vary by industry, there are definitely some overall trends. Such as posting between 8pm and 7am get a 14% higher interaction rate. (3) What makes the best days and times to post?

The sweet spot will be the time when many of your followers are active, but there isn’t so much content being posted that you get lost in the shuffle.

Wednesday is the worst day for posting, while Saturday and Sunday are the best.

Posting 2-3 times a day keeps your fans engaged without hogging their news feeds.

An easy way to manage your content is to find a savvy tool like Pagemodo Posts that will help keep to this suggested posting schedule. The tool provides examples of content, and allows you to schedule your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn posts in advance. It is a great time-saving tool to help a busy social media marketer reach their marketing goals.

For more specific pieces of Facebook marketing advice, visit our Facebook for Business social media marketing guide.

 

 

(1)http://lp.wildfireapp.com/rs/wildfire/images/EdgeRank and Your Brand – An Analysis of Messaging Engagement on Facebook by Business Category Ch1.pdf

(2)http://mashable.com/2012/01/06/facebook-emotions

(3)http://bddy.me/timelineposting

Small Business Facebook Trends

Since there are new social platforms joining the world daily, it is hard for small business owners to keep up with which networks are the most important to establish a presence on.

So we went straight to the source.

In a recent survey of over 2,200 small business owners in the United States, you will see that Facebook is the dominant social media profile used across businesses for digital marketing.

Webs-Digital-Trends-Survey-Infographic-720x7201

According to the survey (conducted by Vistaprint):

  • 63% of small businesses use digital products as part of their marketing strategy.
  • 59% of site owners created their websites with DIY tools.
  • 80% of site owners are their own webmasters.
  • 88% of businesses with social profiles use Facebook for their marketing, followed in order by LinkedIn (39%), Twitter (31%), Google+ (22%), Pinterest (20%), and YouTube (17%).

But it is important to always keep one question in mind; ‘where is my audience?’

This question will dictate your decisions of where to join in the digital (and social) marketing trends as technology continues to evolve.

For example, as social media networks become a more pay-to-play market, we saw 65% of small businesses with Facebook profiles answer that they are using or are considering the use of Facebook advertising.

So what will be your next digital and social move? Try visiting Pagemodo to help you make your decision.

*Pagemodo is a part of the Webs marketing platform, which is a subsidiary of Vistaprint.

Posting Tips for Facebook and More

Everyone knows that social media is an important part of any marketing plan. And the more profiles you have, the more you stand to gain.

But before you run out and make profiles on every single platform, remember: quality over quantity. You should only have profiles on as many sites as you can run well. That’s why this presentation will focus on four of the most visible.

Why Post Social Content?
There are three main goals marketers aim to achieve by posting and sharing content.

  1. To gain exposure for a brand through social discovery and amplification
  2. To bolster a brand’s rank in search engines through backlinks
  3. To engage, delight, and build loyalty with fans and followers

Dressing-Your-Content_For_Success1

5 Top Posting Tips

Facebook

  • Want to drive engagement? Contests get people talking.
  • Make your posts visual to get more likes, comments, and shares.
  • Post positively. Positive messages/emotions get more likes.
  • Post 2-3 times a day. Check out your insights to find the best times.
  • Get comments by posting questions and fill-in-the-blank updates.

Source: Pagemodo, Mashable

Pinterest

  • Pinterest is about the lifestyles of users. Do not self-promote.
  • Post visual representations of your business, products, and brad.
  • Share things that would be helpful to your followers.
  • Go red! Images with red get up to twice as many re-pins.
  • Post anytime outside of 5pm to 7pm. Avoid dinnertime.

Source: MyCleverAgency

LinkedIn

  • Win friends so you can influence people – network!
  • Join or create groups that are relevant to your brand.
  • Post engaging updates about 20 times per month on your page.
  • Know the LinkedIn audience. They tend to be tech-savvy and entrepreneurial.
  • Keep it short and to the point.

Source: LinkedIn

Twitter

  • Include links, images, and videos to drive re-tweets.
  • Keep it short. 140 characters is a limit – not a goal.
  • Tweet 3-5 times a day to avoid getting drowned out.
  • Network with other users through replies and re-tweets.
  • Monitor trends and participate whenever you can. Just make sure it makes sense for your brand!

Source: Twitter

While there isn’t just one end-all-be-all answer for what will work for your own social media marketing strategy, these are great tips to help you get started.

So for the more advanced marketer – you can expand to more social networks, A/B test your social posts, and calculate your social ROI to make more thoughtful, powerful and strategic decisions.

10 Facebook Timeline Tips for Small Business

As a small business, you know it’s important to have a Facebook presence. Millions of people like brands on Facebook, and being a small business gives you more personal connections and likability.

You want to make sure your timeline is the best it can be to maximize Facebook’s benefit for you. Here are ten ways you can do that.

1. Pick a Good Profile and Cover Photo

These photos are going to be your first impression. Your profile photo can be a company logo or mascot, but your cover can be more creative. You can use a team photo, product display or design something specific for this purpose.

2. Use a Cover Call-to-Action

You have the option to put a button in the lower right corner of your cover. The button can link to a webpage of your choosing. Button options include:

  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Use App
  • Play Game
  • Shop Now
  • Sign Up
  • Watch Video

You can also include the URL of the mobile version of the webpage, if applicable.

3. Pay Attention to Image Sizes

You want your images to look good, so pay attention to sizes. Here are the sizes of commonly used images:

  • Profile: 180×180 pixels
  • Cover: 851 px wide and 351 px tall
  • Shared images: 1200×1200 px

4. Use Apps

There are plenty of apps you can connect your Facebook page with, and these apps can appear at the top with tabs and also have their own section in the column on the left.

One app that’s good to include is the option to sign up to your email newsletter. Most email marketing service providers will have an app you can use to connect the two.

5. Add Milestones

Milestone posts have a very prominent display with a photo, headline, date, location and other details. Business milestones can be a new product launch, achievements or special events.

6. Highlight Posts

One way you can bring attention to important content is by highlighting a post. To do this, simply click on the edit icon in the upper right corner of your post and click the “Highlight” option. This will add a star mark in the upper right corner.

7. Pin Posts

Pinning is another way to draw attention to a particular post. When you pin a post, it appears at the top of your timeline. You can only pin one post at a time, and that post will remain pinned for seven days, or until you unpin it. To pin, click on the edit icon in the upper right corner and select “Pin to Top.” And orange tag in the upper right corner will note a pinned post.

Because a pinned post is at the top, it’s good to post something that will benefit first-time visitors.

8. Set Your Featured Tabs

You can have three tabs listed on your main page, the rest will be kept under the “More” option.

9. Respond to Comments Quickly

Whenever people comment on your posts or photos, be sure to reply promptly. This is especially true if it’s a question or complaint, but even complimentary posts deserve a “thank you.”

10. Add Videos

Videos are rising in popularity, with Facebook users posting 75% more videos than they were a year ago. Creating brief but entertaining videos will allow you to connect with users on the medium they enjoy.


Need help managing your Facebook page and other social medial profiles? Our social media marketing suite can help you get on the right track.

7 Essential Social Media Marketing Tips for Business Owners

Social media marketing has rapidly become one of the most powerful – and essential – marketing activities that a business can take on. Whether your business is large or small, social media marketing can be a cost-effective addition to your overall marketing strategy.

According to one recent report, around 80% of SMBs use social media to grow their business, and around 60% report that they have direct evidence that their social media efforts have directly resulted in new customers. As a result, nearly 100% of top brands in the United States are utilizing both Facebook and Twitter, and between 60% and 70% are on the smaller platforms, which include Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest.

There are a number of reasons why social media marketing has become such a powerful, popular, and effective tool, however there are two statistics that summarize many of those reasons: the average American spends 37 minutes per day on social media, and nearly half of them (46%) use social media when making at least some of their purchasing decisions.

The following are seven social media marketing tips that will help make your efforts as effective as possible.

1. Know exactly what you want to achieve through social media

Before you can even begin to establish an effective social media marketing campaign, the first step is to determine what your actual goals for the campaign will be. Just like anything else in business – and particularly with marketing – knowing what you want to achieve should be the guiding principle from start to finish.

Each business’s objectives will be different, and you should spend some time determining how social media can best benefit your business. One common example is determining whether engagement or branding will be the focus of your campaign. If your primary goal is to utilize social media as a way to interact (i.e. engage) with your customers and prospective customers, then your efforts – and the metrics you use to measure them – should reflect that goal. If your primary goal is to build awareness of your brand, then the same rule applies.

You might be tempted to want to accomplish both of these goals. While that is certainly noble and worthwhile, each requires its own distinct campaign. If you are new to social media marketing, you are better off focusing on one, excelling at it, then working on the other.

2. Identify your target audience(s)

You probably already have a decent sense of who you target audience(s) is (are). However, with social media your audience can be broken into far more granular components. The more specific you can make your audiences, the more customized – and thus effective and cost-effective – each element of your campaign can be.

3. Build out a concurrent (and complimentary) content marketing strategy

A sometimes-overlooked element of social media marketing is ensuring that you have a large and growing bank of content for your audience to consume. Getting social media engagement and followers is only part of the battle; you must also have something useful, engaging, and share-worthy for them to consume (and share). Every social media marketing strategy should have a corresponding content marketing strategy to go along with it.

4. Build a list of competitors and research them extensively

You can learn a lot from your competitors. This is true in general, but it is particularly true if they have more experience than you do in the social media arena. Don’t be afraid to research, and learn from, your competitors. You can rest assured they will be doing the same to you.

6. Assign at least one employee who is responsible for social media customer service

This tip is more self-evident if your primary goal is engagement (as opposed to branding), but it is an essential part of every and any social media marketing campaign. You should have at least one employee whose only job (or at least one of their primary responsibilities) is to actively engage with, respond to, and assist social media followers who reach out to your company.

7. Develop an understanding of each social media channel, and treat them as distinct entities

While Facebook is certainly the leading social media platform, the other platforms are worthwhile (and widely used) as well. Remember that each platform has it’s own distinct strengths and weaknesses, and tailor your campaigns to the uniqueness of each platform.

Hopefully these social media marketing tips give you a better sense of what to look for and think about in the social media realm. Remember that there is help out there if you seek it out!

How to create a business Facebook page

Your business has found that a majority of your audience is active on Facebook, so now what?
You must have a presence on Facebook and engage with that audience!

Here’s how to create a business Facebook page:

First, you must have a personal Facebook account, or create one. All Facebook business pages are managed by at least one personal Facebook account.

Next, visit Facebook’s Create A Page section for a wizard that will help you figure out how to create a Facebook business page. The first question you’ll answer is which type of page you’d like to create (business, brand, public figure, etc.). In doing so, you’ll fill out your business category, name, location and phone number to help you in building your profile.

From here, fill out your “About” section. These sections will help your organic search results:

  • Short Description: This 157 character text box should include a short bio of your business. Try including your website URL, since this is all that’s seen on your page until “About” is clicked.
  • Mission: Share what purpose you serve as a company. Be transparent and open with your Facebook audience about what you strive to achieve.
  • Company Overview: Give a high-level view of your goals, products or services that you provide.
  • Long Description: Extend upon what you wrote in your short description to give visitors a more in-depth look at your company.

If you’re feeling ambitious you can even fill out the year you were Founded, Awards you have won, and Products you provide. Some businesses even share Life Events that allow their fans to go on a journey with them through their success.

The next step in building your profile is using images to give life to your Facebook business page! First, select a profile picture that best represents your business. Businesses usually choose their logo, since it is shown on your page and as the icon displayed next to each item posted from your business page. You should also choose a cover photo. This photo is the large header image displayed above your profile. This image should be relatable to your business, collaborative with your profile picture, and eye-catching. An easy way to find such an image is to design your own with Pagemodo’s Cover Photo Designer tool. Just be sure to follow the image specs Facebook gives you for the best results.

Again, for the ambitious business owner, you can start building out Custom Tabs for your business page. These tabs may include links to other social platforms or helpful pages on your website visitors can access right from your Facebook page! It is another way to keep your fans entertained and engaged.

At last, it is time to promote! Invite customers, community members, friends and family to ‘Like’ your page. And remember to post fun, timely, and informative content to keep them coming back.

And that’s how to create a Facebook business page.

Create a Facebook fan page

When you are ready to start growing your brand, one of the best ways to get your name out there is to create a Facebook Fan Page, also called a Facebook Business Page, or sometimes just a Facebook Page. And while the name has evolved over time, the concept of a Facebook Page has stayed the same.

A Facebook Page is the social hub for everything relating to a brand. Before you create a Facebook Page, you’ll be asked to decide which of these things your brand represents. The choices you’ll see are local business or place; company, organization, or institution; brand or product; artist, band or public figure; entertainment; and cause or community.

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Bear in mind that if you don’t feel like the page you want to create fits into any of these categories, then it might not need a Facebook Fan Page at all – it might be a Facebook Group instead. While a Page is meant to be the official hub of information and engagement with an entity, a Facebook Group is intended for communities of people who are not necessarily affiliated with an entity to share thoughts, news, and ideas about a common interest.

If you decide that it is a Page that you need, it’s time to claim it. Not sure how to create a Facebook Fan Page? It’s easy to get started.

1. Log in to your personal Facebook account.
2. Click the down arrow on the far right side of the blue top navigation bar.
3. Select ‘Create Page’ and you’ll be taken to the list of page type options.
4. Choose a business category and page name, and you’re all set!

How to make a Facebook business page

When you’re first learning about how to make a Facebook Business Page, all of the terminology can get confusing. Below, you’ll find a diagram should help clear up the parts of a Facebook Page, as well as tips for making the most of each section. Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to having to having an engaging, effective business page on Facebook.

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1. Cover Photo
The cover photo is your Facebook page’s billboard. Use this space creatively to tell the world something about your brand and the way people interact with it. You can include a small amount of copy here, but try not to over-use text on your cover photo. It should be simple, graphic, and eye-catching. With Facebook’s recent timeline update, the cover photo now shows up on every section of your page, so make sure to show it some love.

2. Profile Picture
If your Facebook Page is for a business (as opposed to a public figure), this space should be used for your logo. The profile picture appears over the cover photo in full size, and also alongside all of your posts at a much smaller size. Make sure whatever you use here still translates when it’s shrunken down.

3. Fan Count
Not much customization you can do here, but there is a lot you can do to drive that number up! Consider a Facebook Contest as a great way to get people to share your content and like your page.

4. Business Details
Also known as your ‘About’ section, this is where you should put the most important things about your business that you want potential fans to know at a glance. You can put more details in your full profile text, but reserve this space for the highlights. It’s also good to include your web address here!

5. Custom App Images
When Facebook recently updated its timeline, the individual images for your Facebook Apps were moved from just below the cover photo down to this box. If you are using apps that you can customize the images for, make sure you do it! This is a great piece of real estate and shouldn’t be wasted.

6. Posted Photos
Great imagery is key to an engaging Facebook presence. You should regularly post photos of your products, your place of business, your staff, and graphic designs that you create for events and promotions at your business. Everything you post will be kept in this section in chronological order.

7. Mini Timeline
When something important happens in the life of your business, make sure you add a timeline event for it. It helps people engage in the history of your brand, and it gets automatically organized by year in your timeline and mini timeline.

8. Name and Category
This seems like it should be easy, but there are a few pitfalls to avoid. First, when naming your company, be aware that Facebook users frequently search Facebook for the brands they want to interact with. They rarely go to the company’s website, find their Facebook link, and follow through. So be sure your Facebook Page name is as simple and accurate as possible. Picking your category as accurately as possible is also key to searches.

9. Image Posts
As mentioned before, imagery is the most engaging form of content on Facebook. It stands out in the Facebook Timeline and is far more likely to get shared than text-only content.

10. Text Only Posts
While the advice above about image posts is generally true for the majority of Facebook Pages, the EdgeRank algorithm that Facebook uses to determine post organic reach can cause some tricky things to happen sometimes. Some page owners may find that text-only posts have more reach, but fewer comments, for example – or the other way around. Keep an eye on your analytics and see what works for you.

By now, you should feel confident that you know how to make a business page on Facebook.  So start creating now!