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5 Tips to Get Started on Social Media

You may think that social media is not for the faint of heart – but don’t worry, you can do it too! Establishing a social media presence can seem like a daunting task, but it can be a great (and affordable) way to reach out to potential customers and reconnect with existing or past customers. So, we’ve come up with the top five tips that you can use to help you get started leveraging social media to drive sales, and establish an online business presence.

Here you go…

Tip #1: Pick your target audience

This is where the social media strategy begins. First things, first. You must define who your target market is, what social media platforms they are likely to use, and what messaging may be the most effective for your audience. This is just a general guide that may help you decide which social media platforms to go after. Be flexible! This list is not set in stone, but can be used to drive your initial social media research. It’s always best to cast a wide social media net and establish several social media accounts to get in front of your target audience as much as possible.

  • All ages (13 years old and up): Facebook
  • Professionals, business leaders: LinkedIn
  • Bloggers and influencers: Tumblr and Twitter
  • Expectant couples, newlyweds, do-it-yourselfers: Pinterest
  • Teens and young adults: Snapchat, YouTube, Tumblr, and Instagram

Tip #2: Choose your social media platform(s)

Once you have reviewed the social media networks that work best to reach your target audience, now, you’re ready for action! Take note though, choosing the right social media network is a happy marriage between where your target audience is and what content your business can provide to attract customers.

When you first start, aim to establish one or two social media accounts and grow these over time before adding more to your social media resume. Slow and steady does win the race! Consider this info when selecting the right social media platform for your business.

  • Instagram and Pinterest are ideal for businesses that have lots of visual content to share. These sites are a great match for photography, event planning, construction, or interior design businesses, just to name a few.
  • Facebook and Twitter are the go-to for businesses that have unique and shareable content. This can include links to blog articles (just like this one!), videos, or event photos. Facebook is also great for capturing customer testimonials as well!
  • Snapchat, YouTube and Vine are must have social media accounts for businesses that have video or digital content to share with customers. This content can also be shared and linked to using Twitter or Facebook.

Tip #3: Select your social media handle – it’s all in the name!

Whatever social media network you choose to use for your business, you will need a “handle” or username. Take some time to think of a good, marketable username. Keep in mind that this will be visible to customers and your “handle” will be how customers locate your business’ social media pages. Consistency is key, so make sure the “handle” you choose is available across all social media networks. You don’t want customers to be lost in cyberspace looking for your business’ social media pages. It’s always a good idea to make your social media “handle” your business’ name – as close as you can get it!

Tip #4: Create a content calendar and stick to it

You’re almost ready for showtime! With a social media account, you’ll need to share and post content. Believe it or not, you may have more content to share than you think. First, think about what type of content you want to create and share and how frequently you want to share it. For most social media sites, you’re able to repost or link to existing content like newspaper articles, YouTube videos, or other users’ posts. If you don’t have time to create original content, check out great online outsourcing sites like Upwork or Fiverr to score some affordable content creation help! Stay organized during this process by creating a content calendar. It’ll keep you on track with uploading and sharing new content. You don’t want to disappoint your growing following 🙂

Tip #5: Share a good mix of content

Variety is the spice of life, right? So for the best results, you should strive to have a good mix of content on all social media pages, including creative self-promotion, customer testimonials, and original content that is valuable to your customers. Self-promotion can be direct links (like this) to your website, information about sales promotions, or general news about your company. The key is to be creative and find ways to present information so that it is interesting and engaging for your target audience. No one likes fake or false content, so be sure that any testimonials you use are authentic. In fact, encourage your customers to post testimonials directly on your social media pages. To keep it fresh, try to rotate testimonials every few months, so the world can see the evidence of your business’ good works. Always tie your original content to your business, in some way, and all posts should be of value or interest to your target audience. Hint: This is where a seasoned and creative freelance copywriter can come in handy!

Use this as a guide…

Keep in mind that this is a bare minimum recommendation – the more sharing, the better!

  • Blog posts to website, at least once per week and shared across all social media accounts
  • New posts on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn at least two times per week
  • New tweets at least ten times per week
  • Pinterest pinning at least ten times per week

Abandoned houses and social media pages are scary! Plus, an abandoned social media page can be more detrimental than no social media page at all. Remember, establishing a social media presence is about building relationships with your target audience, prospective customers, and loyal customers – so keep it current, not stale!

Check out our social media channels and stay up-to-date with the latest in social media best practices. Come connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Entreholic Addictive Tools – Fiverr

What can $5 buy you these days?

This morning we just bought a 2 minute voice over recording, a professionally designed brochure for our mailing, and 30 seconds of whiteboard animation – all for $5 each.

Hard to believe, right? Not with our next addictive tool!

Drum roll please…introducing…

Addictive Tool Name: Fiverr

Product Boosting Category: Outsourcing & Freelance Resources

Website: www.fiverr.com

What’s the deal?

Fiverr is the holy grail of outsourcing sites! Whether you need a new brochure designed, a killer website, or Facebook likes – fiverr has it all! Top talent from across the globe have accounts on fiverr, ready and willing to provide amazing work at a fraction of the cost.

For $5 you have access to top quality services in media, graphic design, marketing, IT services, writing, and much more. The $5 offerings are called “gigs” and each vendor specifies what you’ll get for $5. For example, $5 may score you a custom logo, or 100 likes on your business’ Facebook page.

What’s the mobile story?

Their mobile app is available for free download in the Apple App Store or through GooglePlay. Now, you can snag great deals on much needed work on the go!

How much?

1 gig = $5.00. Larger work orders or custom requests will cost more, but the price is set by the vendor.

As with any outsourcing site, due diligence goes a long way! Fiverr has an awesome customer service team should an issue arise. Reading through client reviews and checking out their online portfolio are great ways to make your $5 gig a success.

If you can’t do it, don’t have the time to do it, or just want to see what freelance talent is available, then Fiverr is your go-to! Share your experiences with Fiverr, when you try it out, by commenting on this blog.

Entreholic Addictive Tools – StealthSeminar

Do you feel like a broken record sometimes? Saying the same thing over and over again?

We got tired of that too and went to work to find a new way to do our presentations. We came across this gem and had to share it.

Here’s the deal…

Addictive Tool Name: StealthSeminar

Product Boosting Category: Education & Training

Website: http://www.stealthseminar.com/

What’s the deal?

StealthSeminar is an automated webinar system and was designed by business owners like you to save you time and money. You can set up your webinars once using their system, and they will run as often as you desire for as long as you want. You can charge participants to view the webinar and collect funds through their secure site.

Whether you have pre-recorded webinars/presentations or are looking to record new ones, StealthSeminar can handle either. For new recordings, StealthSeminar integrates with Google Hangouts on Air. Or, upload your existing recordings to their server and manage the webinar’s viewing schedule.

Even set up live or hybrid (part live and part recorded) webinars. This way you don’t have to spend time repeating the same information, but can add a personal and interactive feel with a live broadcast portion. StealthSeminar will start each presentation automated, but will email you if someone is viewing the webinar so you can be there if needed, for live Q&A.

What are the integrations?

This is the master of integration! StealthSeminar integrates with all CRMs and autoresponder services including Facebook, MailChimp, InfusionSoft, Constant Contact, WordPress, and even Google Hangout.

How much?

The 1st month’s registration and subscription is $197.00, then $69.95 per month. That’s for 100 webinars a month with up to 150 attendees per webinar.

The best part…they run promotions often, so look out for discounts on the first month’s registration.

What’s the word on the street?

Check out the buzz around StealthSeminar and see what their Facebook Fans have to say here.

We’d love to hear your thoughts about StealthSeminar or other addictive tools you use by commenting on this blog. Knowledge is power!

Addictive Tools Series – 15Five

Still going a thousand miles a minute? At least that’s a little slower than yesterday, right? We found this huge time saver – check it out and see if it could help you too!

Here’s the info…

Production Boosting Category: Employee Engagement

Website: http://www.15five.com/

What’s the deal?

15Five is all about making communication between employees and managers as seamless as possible. Team members take 15 minutes a week to respond to simple questions like “What workplace challenges are you being faced with right now?”. Managers and supervisors spend 5 minutes each week responding to the employees’ answers and engaging in a virtual conversation. Not only does this open the lines of communication, it could lead to lower turnover, higher employee productivity, and saves tons of time because managers now have a pulse on what is really going on in the workplace.

The mobile story

As of now, there is no mobile app just yet, but you can access your account from any mobile device. So, there’s no excuse to do your 15 or 5 minutes a week!

How much?

$49/month for 10 users then $5 per additional user per month. But, they offer 14 day free trials!

What’s the word on the street?

5 stars – and counting. Read more here about how 15Five is taking communication to the next level.

Tap into the power of employee feedback with 15Five. Comment on this blog after you try it out – we’d love to hear about your experience with 15Five.

Addictive Tools Series – MileIQ

A lot of times we forget that many of the miles we drive for client meetings or other special business trips are tax deductible. And at 57.5 cents a mile it can add up quickly for some tax free funds in our pocket!  However isn’t tracking it such a pain?

So we started researching all the mobile apps out there and found this one to be the winner.  If tracking mileage is a big part of your day-to-day work, then we have  found just what you need.

Here’s the scoop…

Production Boosting Category: Expense Tracking

Website: www.mileiq.com

What’s the deal?

MileIQ is an automatic mileage tracker that tracks the miles you drive for business. It uses smart drive-detection technology, to automatically log your drives. Plus it instantly calculates the value of each drive and creates a mileage log that is in accordance with the IRS’ guidelines. Who needs paper mileage logs? It’s really easy, just swipe right after a drive to classify it for business. Even better, MileIQ can:

  • Auto-sync all of your drive data to the cloud securely
  • Add parking fees, toll amounts, and vehicle information to each drive record
  • Record business drives in kilometers or miles – you pick!
  • Store your complete drive history and send you regular drive reports each week

The mobile story

Yes, check out GooglePlay or iTunes to snag the latest version. Oh, and it’s free to download.

Integrations

It works nicely with Freshbooks, Concur, and can export data into CSV files or PDF formats.

How much?

Free for your first 40 drives every month – indefinitely. Unlimited drives are available for $5.99/month or $59.99/year.

Have you tried out MileIQ? If so, we’d love to hear how it went and if it is saving you tons of time and money. If you haven’t tried it, take it for a spin, and let us know how it goes.

Addictive Tools Series – Hello Bond

What do handwriting and robots have in common?

Yeah, who knows? But, we found this addictive tool that is bringing handwriting and robots together to make customer communication personal and affordable.

Ready, here ya go…

Production Boosting Category: Customer Relationship Management

Website: www.hellobond.com

What’s the deal?

Don’t have time to send a personal, hand-written note to customers? Now you don’t have to! Bond offers completely custom solutions from branded notes and inserts to your personal handwriting. With over 16 different handwriting styles, your company postcards, thank you notes, and just saying “hey” letters will touch your customers – and may lead to more sales. Hello Bond is revolutionizing how companies are connecting on a personal level with their most loyal customers, to keep them coming back for more!

The mobile story

No, sorry…but you can check out their trendy website. They like handwriting and robots…

Integrations

You bet! Bond can seamless integrate with any CRM such as Salesforce, Zoho, Sugar, Workbook, and Microsoft Dynamics – just to name a few.

How much?

It all depends on what you need. Each written piece runs between $2.99-$5.00 – they have some cool customization options too.

What’s the word on the street?

Not much buzz, just yet. But I’m sure it’s coming! Try it out and let me know what you think. Looks like they are gaining traction with over 3,000 likes on Facebook and check out their feature on Good Morning America here.

When you try out these handwriting robots, let us know – we’d love to hear how your notes turned out!

Blow ‘Em Up For Boobies

What started as just a small gathering each fall for a skeet shooting event for friends and family has grown into an annual bash during Breast Cancer Awareness Month to raise funds for The Breast Cancer Survivors’ Network and enjoying a fine southern day of skeet shooting, bbq, brews, tunes and bonfires. Blow Em Up For Boobies has been around for 5 years of southern entertainment and giving back to the community. The Breast Cancer Survivor’s Network is an amazing local nonprofit organization that aims to provide positive support services, programs, education, and supplies before, during, and after diagnosis, treatment, and recovery of Breast Cancer.

For more information about supporting the Blow Em Up for Boobies fundraiser, click here

Pull ‘Em for Pink

The vision for Pull ‘Em for Pink was born out of its sister event held each fall, Blow ‘Em Up for Boobies (BUFB).

Blow ‘Em Up started as an annual skeet shoot for friends and family that grew into a charity event supporting the Breast Cancer Survivors’ Network (BCSN). BUFB has raised over $10,000 over the years to help support the mission of the BCSN: to provide assistance, education and positive support services before, during, and after diagnosis, treatment and recovery of Breast Cancer.

In 2014, Brooke Stevens Perez, David Perez, Jamie Traynor, and Chad Knudsen took the good work a step further. After a successful inaugural event, we are looking forward to engaging the Atlanta business community and shooting enthusiasts alike – all with one goal in mind: supporting our local communities impacted by breast cancer each year.

For more information about supporting the Pull Em for Pink fundraiser click here 

New Story Homes for Haiti

We were fortunate to help contribute to the New Story Campaign to help build homes for Earthquake victims living in tent villages for the past five years.  Eddy pictured here, and his family now have a home, and 100% of the donations made to New Story are given to the local partner in Leveque, Haiti to local contractors who take only 2 to 3 months to build each home.  Follow the journey of your donation with updates along the way from New Story when you donate here.

$500 Marketing Budget: 3 Ways to Make it go Farther

The Small Business Administration says you should spend about seven percent of your gross revenue on marketing and advertising. For most small businesses, that number should easily be in the $500 price range.

That said, how can your small business use $500 each month to market your business with the goal of having that money give you some good returns in the short and long run?

  1. Use Paid Media Outlets

Google AdWords, Facebook advertising or even LinkedIn advertising for B2B marketing are all paid media opportunities you can put in place today and get sales from tomorrow. These shorter-term pay-per-click or pay-per-impression options can be crafted to go after a broad or narrow audience and will direct them back to your website, product page, or other lead capture tool to help you get more sales now.

$500 on these outlets can go a long way if you set a goal – leads, sales, traffic, etc. – and dedicate some time to interpreting the data to constantly improve your conversion ratio.

  1. Invest in Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the most widely-used buzzwords in marketing right now because of the massive amount of content that consumers go through on a daily basis. A content marketing budget can be used to help fuel visits and engagement on social media, website content, eNewsletters, blogs and even in-person events, five of the most popular content marketing tactics according to a Content Marketing Institute survey.

Use your $500 budget to create some of the above-mentioned content but be sure to allot a portion to outreach so that you can get as many eyeballs on your content as possible.

  1. Use it Towards Your SEO Budget

SEO is one of the most long-term marketing items on this in that it takes a while for it to kick in. Decide whether you need local SEO or a national SEO campaign and focus in on the types of searchers you want finding your website. Many SEO companies will help you with the above-mentioned content marketing strategy as well as social media so be sure to try to get as much bang for your buck as possible with your $500 budget.