The great YETI giveaway

​W​e are going to be running a contest / promotion on our Linkedin and Facebook pages!
We want to use the ​information​​ collected in this contest to show our clients how they can run a successful contest and obey the rules of both Facebook and Linkedin.  We know that Yeti cups are a hot item right now, and we are hoping to see a strong response to this promotion. We have assumptions on which platform will do better, we also plan to create a blog post once this is over showing our stats on both pages from when we start to when we finished. We will run the contest for one month. At the start, we have 487 likes and average about 25 actions on our posts per week, we have 39 followers on Linkedin  and dismal actions. 

Facebook rules for the​ Ye​ti giveaway contest are as follows:

You can receive 5 entries total. You will receive one entry for a like​ and one for a comment​. ​​W​e can not give entries for shares or tagging people​, as​ this is a clear violation of Facebook​’s​ policy​. You will receive 3 entries for liking our page.

Linkedin rules for theYeti giveaway contest are as follows:​

You can receive 5 entries total. You will receive one entry for a like, one for a comment, one for a share and 2 entries for following our page.

2016 do’s and don’ts for social media marketing.

Wow! What a 2015 it was for social media.! We saw engagement on Facebook decline, but with a rise in video; the growth of Snapchat; the rise of paid social; Twitter changed “favorites” to “likes” and much more!

If you’re a social media manager like I am, you can’t help but be excited for what is coming to social media in 2016.

Here are just a few tips to help you through the new year.

1. CREATE A SOCIAL MEDIA CALENDAR

Time to organize your social media. Plan out your year early, and after you have a system to keep each platform you operate regular, you’ll be in much better shape (social media wise) in 2016. There are many calendar templates you can use – look at samples from Hootsuite. Also, consider using Buffer since they have an internal social media calendar that is super helpful and will save you time. No matter which you choose, your calendar will help you campaign events, set your platforms up for success and keep your profiles organized.

2. DON’T AVOID NEW PLATFORMS

It’s a new year, so it’s time to ditch the old routine from 2015! Switch it up a little bit. Have you been thinking about using Snapchat? Try it for a little, see if it makes any impact. In using a new platform, you will have a chance to interact with your audience in a new way, and that can keep them interested in you and your business. Try it for six months. Set attainable goals for those six months. What do you hope to get out of using this platform? What purpose will it serve for your company and brand? What messages will you choose share? If it doesn’t turn out the way you expected in 6 months, ditch it. At least you tried!

3. BECOME MORE VISUAL

We should all admit- social media is now primarily visual. You need to take the time to learn how to design great visuals with your content. Infographics are a great starting point. Create a Canva account and learn how to use the platform well. You can re-purpose old content, improve your storytelling, and create impactful posts by using infographics. Don’t forget to share your story through video as well as pictures. You will have a better chance of engagement if you use visual posts on all social media platforms.

4. DON’T FORGET TO BUDGET FOR SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING

Paying to win on social media is a must these days- it’s almost inevitable. Anything you post on Facebook, just 9% of the people who like your Page will see it. Why is that? Because Facebook basically requires you to pay for the engagement we used to get for free! If your goal is to reach a larger audience, boost your posts on Facebook. You will see impact. Be realistic with your budget, it shouldn’t break the bank, but we generally recommend AT LEAST $1/day towards Facebook ads/posts.

5. TRY OUT THE LIVE-STREAMING OPTION

Live-streaming is probably the latest and greatest addition to your toolkit! This is a FANTASTIC way to engage with your audience and receive their reactions in real time. It will provide the opportunity to humanize your social media platforms. Putting a face to your brand is important for many consumers! How do you use live-streaming, you ask? Do a Q&A session, share bits from a big event or behind the scenes moments of your brand.

7 Tips to Dominate Small Business Saturday

small busniess saturday chattanoga

Between Black Friday, back to school, and other holiday sales- there’s always a chance to increase your marketing and to have sales. For small business owners, Small Business Saturday is invaluable! This day was created to drive traffic to small businesses and encourage locals to shop small. Many people see the value in shopping locally, they just need to know you’re there and what you’re offering for this special day!

How Small Business Saturday Started

 

American Express is responsible for this day. It is kind of ironic, seeing as how they are far from local. They started this initiative during the recession, when most people were just trying to stay afloat, and were not concerned with where they shopped. This day is the day after Black Friday– when most people shop the big chain stores who seem to be opening earlier and earlier these days!

Lisette Bernstein, Vice President of Small Business Saturday at American Express, told Forbes: “In only five years, Small Business Saturday has taken on a life of its own and it’s been very exciting to see how small business owners and communities have come together to own the day and make it special.”

American Express’ plan is yielding huge payouts to local businesses- in 2014 88 million people supported #ShopSmall and spent $14.3 billion at independent stores and restaurants, which was an increase of $300 million from 2013! Small Business Saturday doesn’t necessarily mean you have to dramatically cut all of your prices- it just means you need to be creative with your advertising so people come visit you!

Basically, if you want to increase your sales by encouraging people to #ShopSmall, you have to break away from traditional marketing tactics (mailers & signs) and try something new!

local chattanooga shop

Some examples on how to spice up your marketing include:

1. Register (this is probably the easiest one.)

You don’t have to register for Small Business Saturday, but you’ll miss out on some great perks from American Express! You’ll receive logos, signs, and a spot on their searchable Small Business Map! For a little bit of time, this is totally worth it and will help you get the most traffic on this valuable day! Best part of all of this? It’s totally FREE. Now you really have no excuse not to sign up!

2. Don’t give prices too much attention- promote the customer!

Another benefit of Small Business Saturday is the ability to gain lifelong customers. If you’re flashing 60% off signs everywhere, people will be visiting your store for the sale only, and will have no reason to come back once things are regular price again. Take the time to talk to every customer, make connections with them and ensure they have a positive experience- that way you’ll have gained a new repeat customer, which pays off way more than a one-time shopper who bought something at a steep discount.

Depending on the size of your establishment, this may be easier said than done. Employee training is very valuable to ensure the best turnout for this. Your employees should hopefully already know the products, but now they have to take the time to get to know the customer. Ideally, they would already be practicing this method, but a check-in is definitely in order. A simple smile and a brief conversation goes a long way in the customer’s eye, as that is not typical treatment they receive at big box stores. You can give them some easy conversation starters, for example: “Have yo ever been here before?” and let the conversation progress from there as necessary. This could lead to talking about nearby parking, or where a good place to catch a bite to eat afterwards would be.  This will ensure a positive experience for your new customer and they’re sure to return.

3. Re-target your Facebook ads.

Assuming you already use Facebook for advertising your business (if you don’t, we need to talk!) this is a great time to leverage the power of Facebook. Target customers who have been to your store, or to businesses close to your store. You can increase (or decrease) the radius of the customers to which you advertise to make sure you’re getting the most for your money.

You’ll want to start the ads 3-5 days before Small Business Saturday to ensure the most exposure. Target the friends of people who have visited your store, or live very close by. After all, the whole point is to shop locally, so targeting people who aren’t geographically close to your store is a waste of your time & effort!

4. Tweet your heart out. 

Remaining active on Twitter in the days leading up to Small Business Saturday is also very important! This should continue on through the day itself, as well as past it. It’s the easiest way to get information to your customer’s quickly and effectively.

A great way to maximize the benefits is to interact with other small businesses on Twitter. Create a list with @ShopSmall (Amex) and other small business/business groups in your area.  Interact with these customers in the weeks leading up to the big day- do some re-tweeting, favoriting,  and possibly even highlight another small business (in hopes that they may return the favor some day!)

You should also consider using a social media posting tool (such as Hootsuite or Buffer.) You can analyze posts with the hashtags you intend to use (such as #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSaturday) and see what works best for other companies. 10-15 minutes per day interacting with others goes a LONG way!

5. Do Something Different!

As we mentioned before, price cuts aren’t necessarily the route you want to go on this day. Instead, turn your business into THE place to be on that day. Host a special event with hors d’oeuvres, drinks and possibly some giveaways. This just adds to the customer experience and helps set you apart from the competition!

The main thing you’re accomplishing on Small Business Saturday is getting people through the door. As you know, there are customer retention rates that will also apply to these customers, but increasing the number of bodies through the door will inevitably increase your customer base!

6. Create A Village.

As the owner of a small business, you probably already have connections with other business owners in the area. Maybe you don’t sell the same products, but have similar clientele. Consider joining with these businesses and doing one large giveaway. For example, maybe you own a bakery- you could pair with a local photographer, bridal shoppe, and florist to do a giveaway to include everything for a wedding!

If a giveaway is too big, maybe consider offering reciprocal discounts. For example, if someone visits the above mentioned bridal shoppe, with a receipt, you could offer a discount to that customer. Referral networks are a great source of business!

Before jumping in on this plan, you’ll want to do your research on the businesses you’re considering partnering with. Choose companies with a positive social media presence, as well as someone that you feel would advertise your business the same way you would theirs. Building these relationships with the right businesses will definitely pay off for you in the long haul!

sharing-your-knowledge

7. Sharing Is Caring.

Everyone has their own unique set of skills. This is a great time to highlight yours (or those of your employees!) Using the previous example, as a bakery owner, maybe you could drop off pastries for the small businesses around you the morning of Small Business Saturday. Or if you are great at dialing in your targeting on Facebook, perhaps you could host a webinar showing how you do it! Don’t forget the benefit of the soft sell in situations like these. They’ll get to taste your pastries, or see what specials you’re currently offering on Facebook!

Don’t Forget The Benefits After Small Business Saturday

 

While it’s evident that more people are engaging in #ShopSmall, your business can benefit year-round from this one day! As the years go on, you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t work, and tweak the promotions/events accordingly! A good way to monitor coupons (if you choose to use them,) is to create unique coupon codes for each different promotion you run, that way you’ll know where you received the most bang for your buck.

Don’t fall off after the holiday has passed- once you get a customer you want to keep them as a customer! Consistent social media engagement is a very important aspect of this!

By practicing these simple steps- y0u’ll gain long-time customers and inevitably, increase your bottom line!

36 Popular Entrepreneurial Twitter Hashtags You Should Have Started Using Yesterday

Do you feel like your content goes to a deep dark hole when you post it? Hashtags are necessary for people to find your content on Twitter and Instagram. Hashtags basically put your post into a category with other posts with the same material. This way, when people are looking for posts regarding a specific subject, yours will show up- even if it’s not someone you have any connection to!

As a small business, you’ll want to utilize the most common hashtags in order to boost your visibility to potential clients. A good place to check is the What’s Trending category of Twitter.

Hashtags increase follower engagement twofold- and are 50% more likely to be retweeted than their hashtag-less counterparts!

Are you sold yet? Next time you use Twitter, add a hashtag and see what the engagement looks like. Your tweets will instantly be exposed to a substantially larger number of people and I bet your followers increase as well!

Best practices say to use 1 or 2 hashtags per tweet. Don’t go overboard, as posts with more than 2 hashtags have shown to decrease engagement by about 20%.

 

Here is an entrepreneurial list of 36 Popular Twitter Hashtags you really needed to start using yesterday!

  1. Entrepreneur
  2. Entrepreneurship
  3. Business
  4. Success
  5. Startups
  6. ThinkBig
  7. Mindset
  8. WontStop
  9. Wealth
  10. Lifestyle
  11. Hustle
  12. BusinessOwner
  13. Freedom
  14. Dreams
  15. Mentoring
  16. GoodLife
  17. Inspire
  18. Passion
  19. SmallBiz
  20. Leadership
  21. Inspire
  22. EntrepreneurLife
  23. OnlineBusiness
  24. Ambition
  25. Startup
  26. Happiness
  27. Believe
  28. Businessman
  29. SmallBusiness
  30. InspireDaily
  31. HardWork
  32. StartupLife
  33. BeYourOwnBoss
  34. WorkIsInMyBlood
  35. HardWorkPaysOff
  36. WorkHardPlayHard

 

Here’s a pretty funny video from SNL regarding Hashtag Abuse.

 

5 Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile Today

It is estimated that 1 out of every 3 professionals use LinkedIn. With that being said, are you happy with how your LinkedIn profile looks right now? Maybe you haven’t updated it in quite some time (we aren’t judging.) But now is the time to update your profile. We will share 5 great ways to make your profile better with just a little work. So grab some coffee, log in and let’s make this happen!

5 Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

1. Add a photo (preferably a professional head shot)

Remember- your picture represents YOUR brand. Make sure it’s a photo that represents you well (we’ve seen some pretty awful photos used.) Your profile is 11x more likely to be viewed if you have a picture! Check out this article for some great insight into LinkedIn profile pictures.

2. Don’t forget keywords

Put these keywords in your headline, summary, experience and skills. Take some time to check out profiles of others in your field and take note of the keywords they use. List products and services by name, too- it’ll help you show up in the search results.

3. Add media

Do you have any great videos to share? Testimonials, slideshows and any other media are a great way to market yourself and/or your business!

4. Maintain company branding

Ensure your branding includes the correct logo and description for the company. You want your LinkedIn profile to be as accurate as possible.

5. Add connections

Think of the people you’ve met since first signing up for LinkedIn. Add them as connections, and check out the “suggested connections” as well, you will be surprised by how many people you know! LinkedIn shared a great post about growing your connections- https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140425145918-25026422-how-to-massively-grow-your-linkedin-connections

These 5 tips will help you make some serious progress with your LinkedIn profile. I know I said I had 5 tips, but here’s an extra for good measure.

Participate!

Spend 5 minutes a day commenting or “liking” things that your connections have shared. If you’re feeling really brave, you can add your own content for others to read. Interaction with your connections is important, because it shows them you’re interested in them. If you’re interested in them, they’ll show interest in you!
In case you were wondering if investing time in LinkedIn is worth it, check out some of these statistics from http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-a-few-important-linkedin-stats/

-Total number of users: 380 million total (as of 7/30/15)

-New users per second: 2

-Number of LinkedIn users in the United States: 107 million (as of 11/9/14)

Increases your referrals with Facebook in five minuets.

Staying on the mind of your referral partners and people you meet ​though networking has always been a huge key to success for small business​es​. ​S​ome people ​can do​ this naturally, they never meet a stranger​,​ and everyone remembers the​m​ the next time they see them. Now​,​ if you​’re​ like me​,​ you were not blessed with this gift​,​ and you have a small ​disdain for those who were. But do not worry, in this post I am going to show you how to use the power of Facebook to stay on the top of everyone’s mind! And, NO you are not going to add an hour to your day, this can be done in just 5 minutes every day.
​W​hen you sign in to you​r​ Facebook page, you will see the word “friends” on the left hand side under groups. You probably have never clicked on this, do not feel bad, 98% of most people do not even know it is there! (This is a made up statistic, just FYI.)

Facebook friends section

On​c​e you click on this​,​ you ​will see that you can create a list. This is where we want to add all of your referral partners as well as past and current clients. Really you want to add anyone that could give you a referral… trust me. Take a moment and think about this- your grandmother may love you, but unless your target market is silver sneakers, she might not need to be on this list!

Facebook

Once you have made this list​,​ you can look at everything ​the people on your list have done on Facebook. Neat, right? The magic comes in when you can quickly go in and implement the 5,5,5 in 5. What in the world is that you ask? Simple. It is the ability to take 5 minutes of your day and interact with 15 people. You do this by liking 5 things, commenting on 5 things, and sharing 5 things. People love it when you show interest in them, and when you act first people will follow! Implement these easy steps and I guarantee you will see your business referrals start to grow.

How insurance agencies can target facebook users based on the car they drive

Our focus is on a specific category found within behavioral targeting: Automotive.

The Basics

This is found within behavior targeting. Whether you’re creating an ad within Power Editor or the ad create tool, click “Browse” within Behaviors.

facebook power editor behaviors How you can use facebooks targeting to send ads based on the car a user drives

facebook-behaviors

That will give you the following categories:

Automotive (DLX Auto Powered by Polk)
Charitable Donations
Digital Activities
Financial
Mobile Device User
Purchase Behavior
Click on the Automotive category.

facebook-behaviors-automobile

You will then be given the following sub-categories:

Motorcycle
New Vehicle Buyers (Near Market)
New Vehicle Shoppers (In Market)
Owners
Purchase Type
Used Vehicle Buyers (In Market)
Now we can start digging into what you can actually find here!

Motorcycle

facebook-behaviors-motorcycle

When you click the Motorcycle sub-category, you’ll get two options:

Purchased
Owners

facebook-power-editor-behaviors-motorcycle-owners

When you click “Owners” sub-category, you’ll be able to target Facebook users based on the type of motorcycle that they drive. You’ll get the following options:

All Motorcycles
All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV)
BMW
Domestic
Foreign
Harley
Honda
Kawasaki
Less than 600cc Engine
Minibike/Moped/Scooter
Off-Road/Trail/Dirt Bike
Over 600cc Engine
Polaris
Road/Street Bike
Suzuki
Yamaha

facebook-power-editor-behaviors-motorcycle-purchased

Click on the Purchased sub-category, and you can target based on how recently they bought that motorcycle, and whether it was new or used:

0 – 6 Months Ago
7 – 12 Months Ago
13 – 24 Months Ago
25 – 36 Months Ago
37 – 48 Months Ago
Over 48 Months Ago
New
Used

New Vehicle Buyers

facebook-power-editor-new-vehicle-buyers

The next two options are for new vehicle buyers:

New Vehicle Buyers (Near Market)
New Vehicle Buyers (In Market)

facebook-power-editor-behaviors-new-vehicle-buyers-near-market

If you click the “New Vehicle Buyers (Near Market)” option, you’ll be allowed to target people who will be considering a new vehicle purchase within the next 365 days, by style:

Crossover
Economy/Compact
Full-Size SUV
Full-Size Sedan
Hybrid/Alternative Fuel
Luxury SUV
Luxury Sedan
Midsize Car
Minivan
Pickup Truck
Small/Midsize SUV
Sports Car/Convertible

facebook-power-editor-behaviors-new-vehicle-buyers-in-market

If you click the “New Vehicle Buyers (In Market)” option, you’ll be allowed to target people who will be considering a new vehicle purchase within the next 180 days, broken up into three categories:

Make
Model
Style
If you select “Make,” you’ll be given 33 options that include:

Acura
BMW
Honda
Jeep
Porsche
If you select “Model,” you’ll get 50 options that include:

Chevrolet Camaro
Ford Escape
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Subaru Forester
Toyota Prius
Click on “Style,” and you’ll get the same options as listed above when this option is selected for “Near Market.”

Owners

facebook-power-editor-behaviors-automotive-owners

Click on the “Owners” sub-category, and you’ll get the following options:

Aftermarket
Make
Purchased
Style
Vehicle Age
Vehicle Price

Aftermarket

Within the “Aftermarket” subcategory, you’ll be able to target people who are likely to buy auto parts, services or accessories:

Auto Parts
Auto Parts and Accessories
Auto Service Buyer

Make

Within the “Make” subcategory, you can target people based on the make of the car in their household. There are 40 to choose from, including:

Audi
Dodge Ram
Infiniti
Mercedes
Saab

Purchased

Click on “Purchased” and you’ll be able to target users based on how recently they purchased their current vehicle. Options include:

0-6 Months Ago
7-12 Months Ago
13-24 Months Ago
25-36 Months Ago
37-48 Months Ago
Over 48 Months Ago

Style

The “Style” sub-category will allow you to target Facebook users based on the style of vehicle they own. This was discussed earlier, and includes things like:

Commercial Truck
Crossover
Economy/Compact
Full-Size SUV
Full-Size Sedan

Vehicle Age

Targeting users by age of vehicle in their household could be a way to reach those likely to be in the market to buy. Options include:

0 – 1 Year Old
2 Years Old
3 Years Old
4 – 5 Years Old
6 – 10 Years Old
11 – 15 Years Old
16 – 20 Years Old
Over 20 Years Old

Vehicle Price

Finally, you can target users based on vehicle price. This could be a good indicator of disposable income:

Less than $20,000
$20,000 – $30,000
$30,000 – $40,000
$40,000 – $50,000
$50,000 – $75,000
Over $75,000

Purchase Type

facebook-power-editor-behaviors-automotive-vehicle-price

Within the “Purchase Type” sub-category, you can target users who are likely to buy or lease a car based on the following characteristics:

Buy New (In Market)
Buy New (Near Market)
Buy New or Used (In Market)
Buy New or used (Near Market)
Buy Used (In Market)
Lease (In Market)
Reminder: “In Market” means that users are likely to perform that action within the next 180 days, and “Near Market” is the next 365 days.

Used Vehicle Buyers (In Market)

facebook-power-editor-behaviors-automotive-used-vehicle-buyers

Finally, you can target users who are likely to buy a used vehicle within the next 180 days. You can refine your targeting buy Make and Style. Both were already discussed above.

 Where Does Facebook Get This Data?

All of this information comes from Partner Categories. Facebook partners with data mining companies (in this case Datalogix) that collect data based on purchases, applications and surveys completed and send it to Facebook for ad targeting purposes.

It will undoubtedly sound creepy to some that you can target based on some of this information. But if you get past the creepiness, this data can be used to generate incredibly relevant — and useful — advertising.

For the purpose of the automotive targeting, Facebook explains the source of almost all of this information as follows:

Multi-sourced, U.S. consumer household information that draws from geographic, demographic and area-level vehicle characteristics. Validated using actual vehicle registration data.

Is it accurate? Test to find out!

How Can Small Business Use This Data?

Here are a few examples of how advertisers can use this information…

Auto Dealership: You can target users based on whether they own a new or used car, by make and model, and you can make sure that you’re only reaching those who are likely to currently be in the market for a new car. Lots of possibilities!

Mortgage and Loan Company: What are your current rates? Target people in the market for a car, making adjustments based on likely amount a customer may put down.

Auto Insurance Company: Target users based on the specific make and model of car they own, complete with typical rates for that car.

Lifestyle: For brands with big ticket items that may only appeal to the wealthy, target those with expensive cars! On the flip side, you may have a product or service that appeals to a demographic on the other end of the spectrum.

Want a piece of content to “go viral”? Read this first

Every content creator dreams of seeing one of his or her pieces of content “go viral.” We’ve all seen countless pieces get viewed, ‘liked,” and shared millions of times, and publishers and marketers are now racing to find the magic formula to make it happen at will.

But can you really make a piece of content “go viral”?

The short answer?

No. It’s pretty much impossible.

The long answer?

Yes, but it’s still pretty much impossible. Keep reading.

going-viral

In order for content to “go viral,” not only do tons of your friends and followers have to ‘LIKE’ and share it, but so do tons of their friends and followers, and so on. And it really, really helps if your audience of friends and followers is already huge.

Before any of that can happen, however, the content has to connect with your audience.

Is it interesting?

Is it surprising?

It is optimistic or motivational or inspiring?

Is it useful?

Does it grab their attention and keep it?

If not, then go back to the drawing board. If yes, then you still want to proceed with caution. The most viral pieces of content contain those attributes—but so do millions of pieces of content that don’t go viral. You can have the greatest, most shareable piece of content ever created, but if you don’t position it for success, no one will ever see it.

If you want a piece of content to go viral, ask yourself the following questions:

• How are you planning to distribute it? Do you understand those platforms or channels? Is your audience even there? Are you overlooking better options?

• Are you willing to spend money on advertising—or to create content in the first place?

• And what about your headline? Will people actually want to click on it? (“Clickable” headline writing is a topic unto itself. We’ll talk about it in a future post. Check back later.) How many headlines did you brainstorm before you settled on one? Are you willing to spend time testing a couple of them?

Needless to say, there is a lot to consider. Everything has to click for people to want to click. And even if they do click, there is no guarantee that those clicks will translate into sales. Instead of striving for millions of people to like and share one piece of content, you’d be better served if a more modest number of devoted followers liked and shared all of your content. That’s how relationships are built, and relationships drive sales.

It’s almost impossible to create a piece of viral content. But it is possible to create great content that produces great results for you and your brand. And we can help. Contact us today and let us help you tell your story.