Facebook for Business 101

Whether you love it or hate it, Facebook is here to stay, and it is the way small businesses can best interact with their customers. So if you are a small business or local business owner and managing your social media account has you feeling frustrated and like it’s not serving your best interest, make sure you are implementing these best practices to help you with your content marketing mission.

  1. the almighty algorithm: Facebook wants you to enjoy your time on their platform and since everyone has an account, you could easily be overwhelmed with content that is being produced at a rapid pace if you weren’t constantly being assessed by Facebook’s robots to determine your current interests and enjoyments. Facebook’s algorithm isn’t a bad thing. It’s meant to show you more of what you truly like to see. Where it can run into problems is skewing your interpretation of the world around you by only showing you one side of the story, or by not showing you the story at all. The algorithm can be modified for users by clicking the “See First” button for your favorite pages, engaging with only the pages you truly like to see, or unfollowing those pages you no longer enjoy. For business admins, you can enhance the algorithm for your needs by being consistent with your posts, being timely with your audience engagements and comments, and using your ads and insights to best serve the information your audience wants to see.
  2. batch producing content: this is another, longer lesson in content planning down the road, but I can’t stress enough that batch producing will lead to enhanced creativity and decreased frustrations for your social media manager…aka you. By producing and scheduling your content one day/week, you will find that you are less frustrated by the process of content marketing. Rather than posting haphazardly day by day, if you can map out your goals and posts, you’ll be able to schedule them at times when your audience is most likely to be online and therefore see your content. Also, by scheduling in advance, you’ll be able to create previews of your offers and major posts to build excitement amongst your followers and generate interest around your Page.
  3. check your insights: use the information you find there to guide your future decisions. Check the average time watched for your videos, look at the analytics of your followers so you can craft material they are uniquely interested in, find your Page’s busiest days and times so you can post when your people will be online. Knowledge is power, my friends!
  4. reflect, reflect, reflect: don’t sell yourself short and quit two weeks in. Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. If people aren’t engaging: try new things! Make sure you are engaging too by responding to comments, liking other business’ posts, tagging other people and businesses (in a non-spammy way) and in general, being social.

Want more???

Watch the MKM Live Tutorial for Facebook 101 here: www.facebook.com/mollyknuthmedia

And download the Show Notes below:

Social Media and Digital Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses

Many of us have social media accounts for our personal use. We follow friends and family members, work acquaintances, college companions to keep up on their lives and important milestones. I’d be willing to be that none of us started our Facebook or Instagram accounts with the express purpose of seeing the most recent Black Friday shopping deals from mega brands or being sold new makeup/workout plans/supplements while we lay in our beds scrolling through our newsfeeds.

As administrators of social media accounts for our business, it can be hard to wrap our heads around that as we design our posting calendar. We want to show off our most recent product or project or broadcast a new promotion or giveaway, but we sometimes fail to pause and ask if this is meeting the needs of our audience and the people who decided to follow us in the first place.

If you are struggling to connect with your audience on social, it may be time to come up with a comprehensive social media strategy instead of just a content calendar of images.

What is a social media strategy? It’s where you combine the needs of your audience with the product or service that your unique business offers up, and uses social media to tell the story of how you can solve the problems your audience is feeling. The rest of what happens on social media (branding, graphic design, video production, blogging, etc.) are just tools that help you implement your strategy.

Want to know the components of the strategy and how to use it for your own small business?Download the show notes below and tune in to the video tutorial on the Molly Knuth Media Facebook Page.

Get on the Blogging Bandwagon: The Top 4 Reasons your Website Needs a Blog (and how to get started)

I know, I know. Sometimes it feels like EVERYONE and their brother, sister, pet, and pastor has a blog nowadays. Maybe you feel like the digital world is already saturated with blog-worthy content, and you just can’t imagine how you and your small business’ area of expertise quite fit in.

Well let me tell ya, fellow pessimist…NEITHER COULD I.

I forcibly resisted starting a blog for well over a year of my website’s young life because:

A. My website wasn’t pretty/polished/trafficked enough

B. I wasn’t creative enough to regularly generate written content

C. I didn’t have time to write! I was running a business and raising a small family, for goodness’ sakes

and D. I didn’t see the purpose

BUT if you, like me, have read and loved Girl, Wash Your Face by THE Rachel Hollis, you know that all of the above are just lies and excuses I was giving myself for not getting started. And you know that if an idea keeps itching the corner of your brain, it’s a sign from the universe that you need to get going and take action towards turning this idea into a reality. After months of thinking about a blog, I did a little research and I learned about the function and importance of regularly generating new content for your website. So, I jumped aboard the blogging bandwagon and got out of my own stubborn way.

So ladies and gents, I humbly give you, the Molly Knuth Media top 4 reasons your website needs a blog and some tips for getting out of your own way and getting started:

The Top 4 Reasons your Website Needs a Blog (and how to get started)

  1. If you, like me are going the el-cheapo, bootstrapped small business route, you probably don’t have a super-customized, top-of-the-line website like some of the celebrity bloggers you see. This may leave you thinking that your site isn’t cute enough, modern-enough, or one of the other “enoughs” to start a blog and send traffic to it. Guess what? You need to get over that. Starting a blog takes nothing more than a handful of ideas and a dedication to sharing those ideas with your followers. The pretty site will come in time, but if you truly have a message to share, that is more important than the color scheme of your links.
  2. If you, like me were worried about being creative enough to generate regular content, then guess what…I’m going to tell you to get over it. If you are already creating weekly posts on your social media page, then take an hour to write one blog post for each of those social photos. The idea is already there, but with a blog, you can take that idea and expand upon it. In my case, I was already creating weekly social posts and themed live video trainings on Facebook. All I needed to do was repurpose those topics into a written format for my blog, and the idea generating (and stress associated with it) was already done. OR if you aren’t at that stage of social media content generation, you can sit down and just brainstorm a huge list of potential topics and pull from that whenever you are feeling a creative drought. Trust me, there is so much potential inside you and your business that people would love to know more about. Share profiles of your employees, show a photo timeline of a project you were working on, take frequently asked client questions and answer them over a series of weeks, etc. Think about what you do day-in and day-out and analyze how you can share that with an audience.
  3. If you, like me were worried about finding time to write a blog, then I can tell you blogging does take time, but you need to get out of your own damn way and just commit to doing the work. I found 30-45 minutes each week to write this blog, and while it may come out in stream-of-consciousness format with typos from time-to-time, that’s all I’ve got to work with. Done is better than perfect. I only give myself these 30-45 minutes because I don’t want to have hours to grammatically proof every sentence or obsess over whether or not I have Google’s recommended word count. If you get too caught up in the details, you’ll never click the “publish” button. So find a dedicated amount of time each week, stick to that time, and click the big blue button.
  4. If you, like me, didn’t see the purpose of having a blog, let me share with you some facts from Forbes: 88% of people trust online recommendations as much as personal recommendations from family and friends AND sales reps who use social media (including blogging) in their sales strategies outsell competitors by 78%. When you write a blog, you are putting your knowledge, expertise, and experience out there for everyone to see, and that will demonstrate your competence when someone researches you for potential business. Not only will a blog prove your knowledge, but regularly updating your website and freshening up your content also improves your Google score which then helps you appear higher on search engine rankings. AND it helps you come up with shareable content for your social media platforms. It’s really a win-win-win-win situation.

In Summary

Do you need to start a blog today? NO.

Before putting pen to paper or placing your fingers on the Macbook keys, I would recommend getting very clear on the purpose of your blog and determining what kind of messaging you wish to share with your audience. Be sure there is a market for your message and that there is room for you to enter that market.

Take some time developing this message and honing in on your specific, unique purpose and start thinking about all the ways you can come at that purpose through written content, photos, videos, and tutorials.

Then get to the business of doing the work. I REPEAT, sit down and get writing and creating.

Hop on the blogging bandwagon, girl!

For a tutorial of the blogging concept visit this link, or get the show notes with even more tips and tricks here.

Building Community Online and IRL

If you’ve heard me say it once, you’ve heard me say it a thousand times…social media was not and is not for selling your products and services.

Seems a little counterintuitive to my business and mission, doesn’t it? But you heard me right.

People started on social media to see cute photos of dogs and babies and to connect with former school mates. They did not sign on to simply be sold to in their down time.

Social media is about the user and the experience they have when they scroll through the feed on various platforms. As someone marketing your business on social media, remember that people aren’t following your page or engaging with your Instagram story because of you…it’s because of them. How they see themselves fitting into the mission of your company, how they benefit from the information you teach in your tutorials, how you make them feel better with supportive videos, how you reply to their comments and make them feel heard and worthwhile.

Build a community that helps people belong to something.

How do you accomplish this larger than life task? Follow the tips below:

  1. Write down your why. What puts a fire in your belly and keeps you coming back to work every day? Write that down and keep it next to your workspace. But don’t stop there…share this mission with your followers. People with similar values and interests will identify with your message, and you’ll start to build a following.
  2. Listen. What is important to your followers? What questions are they asking on your posts? Which of your posts is getting the most traffic and engagement. Use all this data to help determine future topics of interest and content to share from your platforms.
  3. Engage. Each day take time to like others’ posts, comment and ask questions of them, leave reviews for fellow businesses, etc. Show that you are as invested in your followers as you want them to be in you.
  4. In real life offer fantastic customer service. Think about those soft skills you learned in school or your first job: punctuality, friendliness, keeping promises, finding solutions for customer problems, using people’s first names, remembering unique things about them.  Those small acts help to build a customer following and loyalty to you and your brand.

So when you are using social as a marketing platform for your biz, remember that it is your job…no your responsibility…to honor the people who follow you, and build a community to help them make connections and get inspired by your product or service.

For even more about building community, watch the MKM Live broadcast from Tuesday, July 31 or download the MKM LIVE_ Tuesday, July 31.

 

Branding for the Digital Sphere

Branding may sound big and scary, but it doesn’t have to be. For years, local businesses had a small market share, and they didn’t have to concern themselves with branding because they were only in competition with a few other local businesses in that same industry.

Fast forward to the social-media, online-shopping, 24/7 digital world in which we live, and you now need to have a brand and a way for people to quickly identify and connect with your specific brand. You want them to recognize you and your products from the 100 other handmade soap sellers they follow on Insta or the 1000 other wedding photographers that fill their Pinterest boards.

This seems like a tall order, but it all comes down to remembering a few key things when you are intentionally branding yourself:

  • think of how you want to look visually
  • think of how you want to sound verbally
  • think of how you want your people to represent your company

Visual Branding

When setting up your small business, chances are you started with a product or service that you wanted to offer the general public, and then you got started by selecting a name for yourself. After your name, you probably went to work on selecting a logo either by working with a graphic designer, making one for yourself, or working with a logo generator online. All these are great first steps, but visual branding doesn’t end there.

When creating a comprehensive visual brand for your business, you need to make sure all your marketing materials from your business cards to your website to your ads in the newspaper are consistently using the same colors and fonts. Not only will this help your potential buyers quickly and easily recognize your brand and start making brand associations, but it will also help you save time when developing marketing materials because you won’t have to sift through thousands of fonts or spend hours matching the correct shade of blue.

When considering your visual brand, it’s also important to think about color associations made in people’s subconscious mind. If your primary brand color is black, people may associate you with being “classic” or “trustworthy.” If you choose yellow, “happy” and “energetic” come to mind. Be sure that the visuals cues you evoke are consistent with the image you’d like to show your followers and potential customers.

Be consistent with your visual brand and use your logo wherever you can.

Verbal Branding

Visual branding and determining your logo isn’t the end of the branding process. Having a strong verbal brand is important too. Identify a slogan and mission statement to help your followers and clients connect with your “why” and create an emotional connection to your business.

Are you a childcare facility? Make your verbal messaging happy and fun, full of energy and child-centric. Are you a law firm? Maybe take away the silly and the energy and be sure your web copy illustrates that you are competent and professional.

Whatever your business, you need to be the one who decides how to communicate your mission to connect with your customer. People have thousands of opportunities to shop with people in your industry by doing ten minutes of Google research. So use your verbal branding to paint a picture for your potential clients, tell a story of what they’ll get by choosing you, and communicate what it means to work with your small business.

Even More

Want to know more about establishing your brand for the digital sphere? Watch the MKM Live broadcast from Monday, July 23:

LIVE broadcast

MKM LIVE_ Monday, July 23