Struggling to make social media work for your local business, despite investing hours upon hours of effort? Frustrated by your lack of success, because you know large numbers of your customers and prospects are here, yet you can't engage with them in any meaningful way?
You're not alone.
Despite the hype, few local business owners experience any real success with social media, and it's of no fault of their own. Instead, it's a direct result of being advised to use social media as a place to aggressively market their businesses, which simply doesn't work.
In this course, you'll learn...
And much, much more. If you own a local business and aren't experiencing the success you expected, this course is for you!
A brief overview of the course philosophies, and direction on how to proceed through it.
While social media is certainly one of the most talked about "marketing opportunities" these days, it is not the only one, nor is it necessarily the best one for your business.
A quick synopsis of the key points in section 1.
Social media can offer a lot of benefits to most businesses, when used properly. This lecture outlines the 6 main benefits a social media presence offers you, the local business owner.
In this lecture, we'll cover the rarely discussed downsides of social media marketing. This video is an absolute "must watch" for every local business owner. Too often, you're sold on the "benefits" of a social media presence, but rarely are you presented with the downsides of trying to get established on these platforms. The reality however, is that for many local business owners on social media, success is the exception, not the rule.
A brief synopsis of the key points of section 2.
Which social media platforms will we be discussing, and why? I'll also discuss why you shouldn't worry about having a business presence everywhere!
This lecture provides an introduction to Facebook, the biggest social media platform on the planet.
While YouTube may not immediately jump to mind when discussing social media platforms, it has all the criteria of one. That, combined with its size and reach - which is massive - means it's worth talking about.
Instagram's the hottest thing on the block at the time I'm putting this course together. Let's get introduced!
Of all the "big" social media platforms, Twitter is the one that is struggling the most to grow. Learn the basics of Twitter here.
Google Plus was launched as a competitor to Facebook, but has failed dismally in that regard. However, as you'll discover later in the course, Google Plus is still very important for local businesses.
Linked In is what you get when you combine social media with professional networking. It offers value, but mostly to business in the B2B (or Business to Business space).
Picture, pictures, pictures. That's Pinterest. Let's learn more!
A brief over of the key points raised in section 3.
In this section I'm going to make a couple of recommendations for the social media platforms your local business should probably maintain a presence on. However, I don't know your business, and there are always exceptions to the rule. If you're doing something unique that's really working for you, don't change a thing.
In this lecture, I'll reveal the social media platform every business in the world should have a presence on an why. You won't be surprised...
In this lecture I'll reveal the social media platform that should be your second highest priority, and explain why. This one might surprise you!
An overview of the key points from section 4, plus a little help getting started, if you're not already established on these platforms.
Most local business owners are instructed to promote their businesses on social media much like they would any other medium - digital or otherwise. Unfortunately, this leads to very poor results. This lecture explains why.
Since straight forward promotion doesn't work very well on social media, what does? In this lecture, I outline 6 strategies for moving forward.
When it comes to content posted on your social media platforms, there's content you create, and content your customers create. We'll be talking about both in the next two sections.
An overview of the main points discussed in section 5.
In this lecture, we'll discuss the 7 reasons why getting your customers to do your social media marketing for you is such a hugely powerful strategy, and how it connects you with a local audience who can actually show up and spend money in your business.
So... how do you get your customers to promote you? Good question. We'll answer it in this lecture.
Incentives are key to your customers' participation in the promotion of your business (as a general rule, people are more interested in doing things for you if there's something in it for them). In this lecture, we'll discuss the three main types of incentives you can offer, and the pros and cons of each.
There's an easy way to scale your incentives to make them go further, and generate even more exposure for your business. I'll show you how in this lecture.
Having the right incentive is one thing. You still need to ensure your audience is aware of your promotion. We'll talk about how to do that in this lecture.
To make this idea less conceptual, let's discuss a couple of practical examples of promotions so you can see how this works.
Not everyone is going to be able to participate in your social media promotions (they don't own a smart phone or have a data plan, they're not on social media, they don't know how to update their social media profiles from a mobile device, etc).
It's a good idea not to make these people feel like second class citizens. As a result, I would suggest it`s good business that you should have a back up plan that allows them to participate. I'll discuss how to do that here.
Sometimes there are additional promotional opportunities laying directly under your nose, and if you do a little "thinking outside the box", you'll find them. The best way to do so is to see if and how your customers are already promoting your business, and if they are, determine how you can encourage it. I'll provide a real world example of one in this lecture.
While it is key that your customers provide proof that they have promoted your business on their social media platforms in order to receive their promised incentive, don't make things too complicated, or make them jump through hoops. Goodwill and strong relationships are key to the further growth of your business, both on social media and in the general.
While getting your customers to promote your business on their own social networks is a super-powerful strategy to generate interest and real visits to your business, you'll still need to post some content on your own social media platforms.
But just posting any old thing just isn't going to "cut it". You need to post content that engages and excites your audience.
That's what we'll be discussing in this section.
One of the easiest ways to make your business less about the "stuff" you sell or the services you provide is to start including your happy customers on your social media profiles.
Personal information and emotional content rule the day on social media, not pictures of SKU #12654. In order to implement these two vital elements into your business' social media profiles, you will need to start "telling" your story and that of your employees, and include it all; your daily triumphs and failures, frustrations and high points! Let it all hang out!
One of the best places to start our research into the type of content that "connects" with your audience is with the content your have posted to date. Of course, if you don't already have a Facebook presence, you won't do this now. Instead, you'll do it periodically, after you begin posting content.
In addition to seeing how our own posts are doing, it's a smart idea to research what other businesses are doing as well, so you can learn from them.
In this lecture, I'll show you how to perform some basic research on Facebook, so you can see how other businesses attempt to engage their audiences, and what content seems to win hands down, every time.
Here we'll look at a real world example of a small business that really gets the "personal information and emotional content" of social media; you should spend some time here to see how it's done.
If you find a business that really "gets" social media, you should "follow" them, and check in to see what they are doing once in a while. I'll show you how to do that on Facebook in this video.
This is the question everyone wants to know the answer to, and here, I'll do my best to answer it.
Most people post their content to social media whenever it is ready to be posted. That's probably not the best idea - scheduling your posts may help you get more engagement from them. I'll explain and show you how to do this here.
Hashtags - or should I say "#hashtags" - are all the rage right now. But like everything, there are Pros and Cons to using them. I'll tell you what you need to know about hashtags here.
Another question I get often from frustrated business owners who no longer want to deal with the frustration of maintaining their own social media profiles, is "should I hire a consultant?" I'll explain why in most cases you're the best person to be doing the social media promotions for your business.
A brief overview of the critical points from Section 8.
Your life can be made a lot easier with some simple account management and automation tools - especially if you're managing your business on multiple social media platforms. I'll introduce a couple of options here.
By the time you're watching this video, it's very likely a new social media profile has gained in popularity and is all the "rage". Before jumping on the bandwagon and committing yourself to establishing a presence for your business, you need to ask yourself these 8 questions.
In the following lectures, we'll discuss the merits of maintaining a presence on the remaining "800 lbs gorillas" in the social media space.
There's a lot of potential laying untapped in YouTube for local businesses, but a number of factors make it difficult to capitalize on.
While Twitter is an absolute dud for commercial messaging, there are a couple of cool ways you can use it to build and leverage powerful relationships in your community.
Can a presence on Pinterest provide value to your business? Let's take a look and find out!
If your business deals with other businesses, or you are interested in developing joint venture partnerships with other local businesses, having a profile on Linked is probably worthwhile. Otherwise, you can probably leave it.
At the time of this filming, Instagram is arguably the hottest platform in the social media space, boasting engagement rates many times higher than other platforms. But things are already starting to change, and Instagram comes with its own set of challenges that you need to consider before you decide to get involved.
What sort of content resonates with viewers on Instagram? Let's take a look!
Let's summarize what we've learned!
Paul Crane is CEO of Local Text Marketers, a Canadian provider of SMS / text message marketing services. A long time digital marketer and former local business owner, Paul is also an author, speaker, and former Product Manager for SiteSell's Site Build It! (now Solo Built It!). Paul's passions include his German Shepherd dogs, motorcycles, music, and helping small business owners navigate the complex and often confusing world of digital marketing.