Create Your Facebook Page

Social Media Monday: How to Setup a “Kick-Butt” Facebook Page

Getting your business on Facebook is easier than you think. All you need to get started is a few key bits of info, two high quality images that meet Facebook’s image guidelines and you’re good to go!

Just follow these easy steps:

  1. If you don’t already have a personal Facebook account, you’ll need to create one…
  2. While logged in to your personal Facebook account, on the “Home” screen, look to the left side of the page, for “PAGES” and click on “Pages Feed”.
  3. Once on the “Pages Feed”, click on “Create a Page”.
  4. From here, you’ll be given the option to choose what kind of page you’d like to create. For the purposes of helping your business be found online, choose, “Local Business or Place” (this option will also give Facebook users the ability to “check in” at your business when they’re there).
    Create Your Facebook Page
    After selecting “Local Business or Place”, you’ll be prompted to select a category from the drop-down menu of choices. Don’t take this step lightly; the fields you have to populate will depend on the category you choose. Don’t see your specific industry? Try picking something more broad, like “Professional Services” as this will allow you to choose up to three subcategories; these won’t appear in a drop-down menu as before but you’ll be able to start typing key phrases and if Facebook has a subcategory that aligns, you’ll be able to choose it.
    Choose Your Business Category
  5. Continue populating this section with as much information as is being asked for; the more info you give, the less users will be wondering about your business.
  6. Choose Your Profile ImageNext, choose a “profile image” for your page. If you have a logo, this is the place to put it; that way when you post comments or photos or, users are sharing your posts, your business logo will be the image everyone sees.
  7. The “cover image” is the very large picture that sits behind your “profile image” on your Timeline. This should be a large, high quality image of something relevant to your business.
    NOTE: Facebook has strict guidelines about cover images NOT being used for “advertising”. If your cover image contains more than 20% text, Facebook could elect to remove your page with or without notifying you. Blogger, Scott Ayres, provides some nifty tools to check if your cover image makes the cut.
  8. Your Facebook page is now up and running; invite all your friends to “like” it and you’re off!

Kelly Flores, Customer Service RepresentativeKelly Flores is a Customer Service Representative at PowerSites®, an all inclusive website-hosting, creation, and marketing solution that helps local businesses establish their brand, drive leads, and track success. PowerSites® is a leading resource in print, online and mobile for hyperlocal advertising, and brand management with our Business Directory Listings.

How to turn your negative customer feedback into customer loyalty.

Social Media Monday: How to Convert Social Media Negativity into Customer Loyalty

How to turn your negative customer feedback into customer loyalty. Eventually, almost every business or company will find a negative review or a post from a disgruntled customer in social media. Whether a retweet takes on a life of its own, or somebody leaves bitter post on your own Facebook page, it feels like a personal attack on your small business. For this blog in our Social Media Monday series, PowerSites is giving you the steps to help you convert any social media negativity into customer lotalty.

Monitor your brand

Negative comments can appear anywhere, not just on your Facebook page, Yelp page, or in a Tweet. Monitor the internet for any negativity so you can take action as soon as it appears. If you’re too busy to do the monitoring yourself, designate someone reliable. This is too important to ignore.

Post a reply

If you do see a post or comment on any of your social media pages, resist the temptation to ignore the post. Statements and opinions posted on the internet have the potential to be magnified and spread quickly, and the impact of a negative post that goes un-addressed can be substantial. People expect to see a response from the business owner, so if there isn’t one, it makes it seem as though the negative comment is the whole truth.

You may need to take a deep breath before you write it, but always reply to a negative post as quickly as you can. If the poster has a valid gripe, apologize and offer to make it right. If the post is just bizarre, make sure that customers hear your side of the story by creating a careful and factual reply. Don’t rush through writing your initial response. You want a well thought out response and you need to make sure it addresses all the points in the original message.

Watch for the poster’s response to your reply

If the negativity resulted from a legitimate problem, your sincere apology and offered fix may be enough to turn the poster into a happy customer. The internet is full of messages from once-angry people who amended the original post when the business resolved the issue. If you’re lucky, your poster will be one of these people. Now, when people come across the negativity, they also see your response and the poster’s amended comments. They realize that your business cares about its customer satisfaction, and that helps them to trust your products and business.

However, not everybody is so lucky, at least, not every time. If the poster responds negatively to your overture, repeat your reasoned response. Don’t get in to a flame war no matter how many unreasonable or outrageous comments the poster makes. Your responses must always be reasonable and professional.

In any case, it’s important that you make your side of the story available to potential customers. The most loyal customers may even make defensive comments or tweets of their own that highlight excellent service or superior products. By coming to your online defense, their original feelings of loyalty intensify, and they will become a more satisfied customer.

Remember, don’t let negative comments sour you on social media, because they are a terrific opportunity to enhance customer loyalty if you follow a few important steps.

Social Media Monday: How to Use Facebook to Gain Email Subscribers

For this installment of our Social Media Monday series, PowerSites is providing you with some tips on using Facebook to grow your email list.

Facebook is regarded as something brand new and different in marketing, but the truth is that it’s really just one more way to ask for permission, and one of the most effective means we have of doing so. These seven tips will help you to make the most of Facebook as a way to enhance, improve and reach out with your email marketing campaign:

A Permanent Home for Email Content

A lot of people read through an email once and then delete it. By using Facebook as a permanent home for email content, you have a place where people can rediscover the old pieces they liked, and new users can check out examples of what they’ll be getting.

Your email service provider probably has some great Facebook apps that you can put to work for you. Check it out and see if they have anything that makes it easier for people to sign up through your Facebook page, and automatically integrate into your email database. You never know until you take a look at what they have for you to use.

Improve Your “About” Page

Improve and optimize your 150 word “about” description so that readers really know what it is that you’re all about. A lot of people click here first before reading more than one or two of your posts and updates, so this will be a tremendous help in winning over new readers.

Create Updates About Your Newsletter

Make sure to give your readers an update where they can use the comments as a thread to discuss the newest newsletter. When you send out a newsletter, create a post about it on your Facebook page, and pose a question that will engage your followers. It’s a good idea to figure out when most of your followers are online so that you can update them then and make sure that you’re reaching them while they’re actually up and about.

Promote Posts

Promoting posts isn’t always helpful, but at times it can earn you a lot of new readers. Promoting a post costs a little money but reaches out to a wider audience. This means more people, including people that may not already ‘Like’ your page, will be seeing what you’re sharing. Make sure that you’re promoting something special, not just another update, but a story that really resonates, and will catch the attention of someone scrolling through their News Feed.

Make it Better

Finally, make your email marketing content, and your Facebook content, better. Your content may even be good enough, but it can always be better, and every time you make it better, you stand a chance at gaining new followers. Don’t rest on your laurels. Improve your content so that when you share it with a wider audience. It actually matters.

Remember that Facebook is not magic, it’s just one more tool that you can use to grow your subscriber base and social media reach. When used appropriately, the results are endless.

Social Media Monday: 10 Questions You Need to Consider About Pinterest

Social Media Monday: 10 Questions You Need to Consider About PinterestGoing on Pinterest to expand your small business seems like an obvious thing to do, but it’s not always the right choice for everyone. If you’re thinking of covering Pinterest in your business’s marketing campaign, here are a few questions you’re going to want to ask beforehand:

1. What Are We Doing On Pinterest?

In other words: why are you on the site in the first place? There are a lot of social media outlets out there, so why Pinterest? Ideally, you should have a clear concept in mind before you so much as register your name on the site. It essentially comes down to this: what are you trying to convince people of with the pictures you post on Pinterest?

2. What Will Resonate With Your Ideal Customer?

Who are you trying to reach and how will you reach them without seeming pushy or spammy? This question may be trickier than you think.

3. Where Are Our Images Coming From?

Are you posting original content, artwork, comics, memes and macros, stock imagery Photoshopped up to suit your purpose? Consider how you’re going to get your content.

4. How Often Will We Post New Content?

Several new pictures a day can get very spammy very quickly, but if you update irregularly, people will lose interest. Figure out what sort of time-frame works for you and your best followers.

5. Can Others Contribute Content?

Some corporate Pinterest pages let others pin to their page. Is this for you, or do you want stricter control over your page?

6. How Will We Moderate?

How will you moderate, and who will moderate? You can’t let just anyone post whatever they like on your page, so how will you police your users?

7. Who Will We Follow?

Some corporate pinterest accounts follow a lot of other accounts, knowing that their attention can really pay off for both parties. Others strictly post their own original content. This is something to consider.

8. What Are The Most Common Mistakes?

The biggest blunder that people make on pinterest is posting exclusively corporate product images and the like. Social media is not about the “Sell sell sell!” mentality, social media is about sharing, giving and taking. Give your followers content they actually want to follow, not just a sales pitch every five minutes.

9. Will We Pin Videos?

Will you bother pinning videos, or will you keep it image-only? Images tend to get repinned more often, but videos can offer a different kind of content that you won’t get with still photos.

10. How Will I Engage Fellow Pinners?

Finally, this is the big one, how will you engage other pinners? You can’t simply post content and hope for the best, you have to fine-tune your content around what people like to repin and what you think will pay off. Focus on making your followers happy and it shouldn’t be hard to get repinned more often than not.

As long as you keep these questions in mind at all major points in the brainstorming process, you should have no trouble finding the audience you deserve on Pinterest.

Social Media Monday: Take Advantage of Google+ For Your Small Business

Powersites-blog-Google+Google+ recently climbed the social network ranks so that it’s number two in users, which means if you haven’t gotten on the Google+ train already, you need to. It represents a valuable social media marketing opportunity that you can’t afford to pass up. Since this social network might not be one that you’ve used on a personal basis before, there’s a bit of a learning curve as you learn how you can market yourself and your business. Discover how to use Google’s social network with these marketing tips.

One of the main concepts that you need to learn with Google+ are circles. You add people to specific circles, such as Friends, Co-workers, and other circles you create. When you follow someone on this social media network, they do not automatically follow you back. Instead they get a notification that you have added them to your circle, and they may decide to add you back. A few ways to increase the chances that your potential customers and clients will add you back include:

  • Create compelling content

    You need to give them a reason to want to add you to their circles. The last thing that someone wants to do is add a person or business to one of their circles, and be inundated with spam posts and other things that don’t pique their interest.

  • Use Circles to your advantage

    You restrict your posted content to specific circles, or you can make it publicly available. While it is in your best interest to make most of your content public for a wide range of marketing opportunities, you may wish to provide special incentives to those who add you to their circles, or your highest volume customers. Circles make it easy to target your advertising across all of your followers.

  • Create posts that are widely shared

    Like other social networks, viral content gets you plenty of eyes looking at your page. While this isn’t the most targeted traffic, it does give you the potential for very large dividends.

  • Share posts.

    Share posts that are related to your niche that you find interesting. Your Google+ page can get quite boring if you’re only focused on your products. Featuring a wide range of posts, such as showing off the latest news in your industry, behind the scenes moments at your business, and other relevant but not entirely promotional content will go a long way towards humanizing you to your customers. Social network goers want to be able to relate to the companies that they follow, and it’s easier for them to do that if they can see that you’re more than just a marketing mouth.

It’s not too late to create a Google+ page for your small business! It might take some time to get traction, but as you find your way around the network you’ll be able to leverage its great features for marketing and connecting with your customers. It also ties in with other Google services, making it a snap to sign up for.

Social Media Monday: Using Social Media Daily to Help Your Small Business

Today, there is no other single source that can help, or hurt, your company more than social media. In this digital age, social media really is the ultimate “word of mouth” advertising and it needs to be treated as such. You want your customers to say good things about you, and you obviously want an opportunity to address dissatisfied ones. Social media gives you that chance, all you have to do is take advantage of it.

Social media, as a form of marketing, and needs to be taken seriously. Here are some small business tips for social media marketing that should be practiced on a daily basis.

Small Business Tips: Use social media to your advantage!

  • Check in daily.

    Common sense? Probably, but you may be surprised at the amount of businesses who took the initial time to create their Google+, Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook page only to have it sit static for weeks or months on end. Make it a daily routine to log in and review what is being said. You open your mail, email and check your phone often so your social media status deserves at least similar attention. People will notice.

  • Grow your base of followers.

    Growing your followers is like growing your market share. It takes diligent work. Consider online only discounts, contests, and promotions. Ask for referrals. In the case of Facebook, friend other small businesses in your area. Set weekly or monthly goals for increasing your followers. Get your employees and customers involved. Make sure your business cards and other marketing materials include your social media information.

  • Make sure questions are answered.

    This may seem like a simple enough task but it is amazing how many business pages leave followers questions unanswered. Not answering a direct question online is social media’s version of not answering the phone or ignoring an in-store customer. Many businesses make the mistake of treating online inquiries with a lower level of respect. The trouble is, in the case of say Facebook, every other follower KNOWS the question is dangling. If you do not want to address the question in front of all the other followers, then respond with a polite “Thank you for your question. Please contact us directly so I may better answer your question. ”or similar verbiage.

  • Update.

    Updates don’t have to be long, complicated, or pearls of wisdom. Updates can be as easy as a question you may ask at lunch. Open ended questions can stir conversations, so avoid asking “yes” or “no” questions. Questions like “How do you think this weather is affecting people’s attitudes?” can cause people to think and respond. Obviously, just like lunch, you want to avoid politics and religion. Don’t always make your posts about your business. If you are a jeweler, rather than promoting heart shaped jewelry, you may simply ask “How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day?” You can get your message across without direct selling.

  • Play detective.

    Try to take time on a daily basis to research like-minded businesses. Type in search terms you would love to be at the top of and note who is at the top. Take a look at what they are doing. See what local competitors are showing up well in search engines, and again, make note of what they are doing to get there. Decide on what keywords are important for your business and begin implementing them into your website, blog and social media.

Social Media Monday: Five Steps for Social Media Marketing Magic

Running a small business is a never-ending job. There’s always one more thing to do and one more thing to learn, and never enough time or resources for anything, especially marketing. What if you had a magic tool that amplified all your marketing efforts, hundreds of times beyond your current results? That would be a tool worth the time spent learning to use it.

Surprise! That magic tool is here, and it’s social media marketing. Social media is so much more than collecting likes and sharing pictures. It can be a powerful tool to guide your new product plans, to shape your brand and to draw highly targeted prospects to your website. If you’re just starting with social media, here are five essential social media marketing tips to get you started.

Step One
Start by identifying your target market. Every small business thinks they know their target but usually they don’t identify detailed characteristics. For example, if you sell sheet music, you might assume your target is simply musicians. You could be surprised if you analyzed your customer base. If you knew that your two biggest demographics were college freshmen into country music and computers, and music teachers in inner city grammar schools, would it change your messaging or product mix?

Step Two
Next, spend time listening to your key targets. Find out which websites they frequent, and what search terms they look for. Read their posts and discussions and really get to know them. Stay in the background during this step. Your job here is to listen and learn. When you feel like you know your target well, you’re ready to put your social media strategy in place.

Step Three
Develop unique content. It’s essential to include some of the SEO keywords you identified in step two to drive traffic to your posts or website, but don’t go overboard. Search engines don’t buy your products, people do. Make sure you design your content for people to read and enjoy. It’s important that your content is fresh, engaging and readable to keep people coming back, or to get them to repost, retweet or send links to their friends. The value of your content is what counts for social media marketing.

Step Four
Give a little to get a little. Identify key influencers, and retweet something of theirs. Like them on Facebook or join in on the discussions on Twitter. Ask questions if you don’t have anything new to add, but it’s better to offer positive commentary. The influencers will notice you and reciprocate. Once that happens, your results will start to snowball.

Step Five
Keep up the good work. Refresh your content frequently so that people keep coming back. Continue to join in online discussions with intelligent thoughtful commentary. Share interesting content with others, just as you hope that others will share yours. Make sure you respond to messages and posts promptly. This isn’t “Field of Dreams.” If you build it, they may come, but they won’t stick around if there’s no game on the field.

Now that you’ve used your magic social media marketing tools, watch your traffic and sales increase exponentially.

Social Media Monday: Building Your Brand with Social Media

Social media provides an opportunity for any large or small business to build a company brand. It’s all done through relationships. By building strong relationships with new and existing customers in this way, businesses build brand awareness (people know who you are) and loyalty. Social media is also by far the best option for marketing, since it relies heavily on the most trusted form of advertising – word-of-mouth.

How to Make It Happen

As a business owner, you need to reach out and slowly, often step by step, build a presence on social media websites. To do this, take it one step at a time by following a few key small business tips.

Establish an Online Presence for Your Brand

Creating online experiences or destinations on the web where customers can reach out to you, learn about you and interact with you, is the cornerstone of success. It’s easy (and most of the time free) to do. Create a blog. Sign up with a business page at Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Establish a destination that allows you the best reach to your customer base.

How Will They Get To You?

Build Your Brand with Social MediaThere are a couple of things to keep in mind here. First, you need to give people a reason to visit your website. You’ll do this through creating effective, interesting and even off the wall content. You want people to want to read it and share it with their friends. You’ll publish this on your blog and then link to it on your social media sites.

Why do this? It creates multiple ways for people to access your site and connect with you. They can do so directly through their blog. However, you now have people sharing your post and creating new links that feed into your blog. This equates to new opportunities to build your network.

What else can you do to increase your social media skills as a business owner? Consider a few more marketing tips.

  • Join forums and blogs. Write blog posts for other websites that contain a link back to your own. Answer people’s questions on these sites.
  • Never sell. Rather, give. In other words, give people information, encouragement, resources or something else. The more you give people, the more successful your marketing methods will be.
  • Know who the influencers are of your target market. Do you know where your best customers are online? They could be using one site or another. There may be someone in the industry that is well known online. You need to be in that circle to get the attention.

When you do all of these things, you build your brand one step at a time. It is not instantaneous, but this organic method is by far the most effective way to put your business sin the hands of your most likely customers. Social media and marketing is not about selling, but about creating a brand that others recognize and remember, especially when they need whatever product or service you have to offer.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Twitter Marketing Campaigns

The Do's and Don'ts of Twitter Marketing CampaignsIf your small business is looking to test the social media marketing waters, Twitter can be a great place to start.

The platform offers potential access to innumerable users whose interests span every conceivable niche and industry. Establishing a Twitter presence is a phenomenal opportunity to make new contacts, win new customers, and maybe even learn a thing or two.

To kickoff your Twitter marketing campaign successfully, remember the following “do’s”:

Do Tweet Regularly

Twitter moves fast. If you want to your business or brand to be visible, you will have to commit to tweeting regularly. Before you start, ask yourself if you will be able to send out 3-4 quality tweets spread throughout the day on a consistent basis. If the answer is yes, consider yourself ready.

Do Add Value

Remember, your followers have allowed you to be a part of their Twitter stream because they believe you can make their lives better. Fulfill that expectation. Use your tweets to offer tips, give great advice, or to link to amazing content relevant to your niche. There’s simply no better way to build authority and goodwill.

Do Offer Great Customer Service

Use a Twitter client to monitor the Twitterverse for mentions of your brand or company. If you see a customer expressing frustration or asking for help with your products and services, reply to him right away and offer to solve the problem. Not only will you impress him, but you may gain a great testimonial in the bargain.

Do Make Judicious Use of Hashtags

Savvy users will often add a “#” in front a keyword within their tweets. This is called a hashtag, and it’s a handy way to help other users find and follow relevant conversations. It’s a great strategy for connecting with potential customers, and one your business should consider adopting. For example, a graphic designer might tweet “The secret to great #design is…” and finish with some sage advice.

Do Make Offers and Promote Your Brand

If you’ve built goodwill by providing followers with plenty of information they can use, feel free to make the occasional direct offer or say something self-promotional. The gurus all suggest different ratios, but generally speaking, offering one pitch for every nine informational tweets you post is considered good form.

Unfortunately, Twitter marketing also comes with its own set of pitfalls you’ll want to avoid. To help you steer clear of these traps, here are a few of the most common Twitter “don’ts.”

Don’t Be Spammy

Remember that rule about one pitch per nine informational tweets mentioned above? Don’t break it. If your tweets are a constant stream of self-promotion that offers no real value to your followers, they will unfollow you without a second thought.

Don’t Stray Off-Topic

You are on Twitter to establish yourself as the “go to” resource in your niche, so stay on task. Tweets about random topics unrelated to your brand will dilute your authority and cause you to lose followers.

Don’t Clutter Your Followers’ Timelines

While you want to offer enough tweets to make yourself visible, you do not want to tweet so often that followers start to view you as obnoxious. Treat Twitter like a cocktail party—have something to say, but don’t dominate the conversation.

Don’t Send Automatic Direct Messages

Some brands and businesses send an automated thank you message to anyone who follows them. While this may seem polite and be done with the best of intentions, most Twitter users dislike the practice and see it as insincere. Don’t try to fight the prevailing culture on this one; you’ll lose.

Four Social Customer Segments to Watch

Social Media Icons
One of the challenges for small businesses is staying on top of the latest and greatest social media avenues for marketing. It seems like there’s new sites being launched every day, and many of them don’t make it very far. For the ones that do blow up, however, there are many marketing angles you can take depending on the demographic that settles in there. It’s important small business tips to match your message to the social customer segment that makes its home at a particular site. To help you out with this task, learn about the four social customer segments you should be watching (and targeting!)

Fashionista Professionals

  • 26% of social media users are Fashionista Professionals, who range in age from 25 to 34. The highlights of this particular demographic is that they tend to have a large portion of disposable income, they do not have children to reduce this income, they want to be able to connect to the brands that they’re purchasing from, and they have a population of 47.2 million. They are active on social media sites such as Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter and value responsive customer service.

Knights with Shiny Macs

  • The next demographic, known as Knights with Shiny Macs, make up 9% of the population with 16.5 million people. They are very tech orientated, with high salaries, very active on social media networks, and generally very helpful. If you’re looking to augment your own customer service online, promoting this demographic in your community means they’ll probably help your customer out before you even need to. They command high salaries so their income gives them plenty of leeway for purchasing.

Web-Building Techies

  • Web-Building Techies number 29 million, and are men ranging from 21 to 24 years old. If you’re a tech orientated small business and you want to bring in early adopters, these are the guys for you. They like connecting with other technologically minded people, and exclusive free trials are a good way to bring them in. They spend a lot of time on social media networks, so if you get in good with them, they’ll sing your praises across the Internet.

Bargain Hunting Mamas

  • The Bargain-Hunting Mamas are women aged 35 to 44, with a 24.6 million population. They have control over bill paying and household finances, which means they’re making most of the financial decisions for the home. While they might not have the highest salary themselves, they are a very important demographic in the social media world. They are savvy shoppers, so their first stop when looking at products is to check out whether they are the best value, if there are coupons available, and what reviews are saying. They also tend to get involved in online communities such as forums.

Not all social customer segments might apply to your particular product lines, but it’s well worth knowing the types of people who spend a lot of time on social media sites. You can gear your incentives, information, and online communities to attracting the demographic that best fits your brand and products.