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Are Online Businesses Replacing Storefronts?

Some say storefronts are a thing of the past, while the online business market is exploding with new ideas and products every day. But are online businesses really better than storefronts? Let’s explore the different aspects that make each type of business unique.

Investment

Opening a business online requires much less investment than a storefront. With an online business, there isn’t nearly as much upkeep. There are no utilities or rent to pay, no need to hire a staff to be physically present in-store. There is no need to worry about closing down your store for certain hours.

Online businesses, however, are not without their own costs. Some costs that apply include fees to design a website, purchase a domain name, and market your business. For businesses that sell physical products, you also have to worry about shipping fees. Some of these costs will be a one-time thing, but there may be some costs that are recurring, just like with a storefront.

Competitors

Both online and storefront businesses have to worry about competition. How do the different business types separate themselves from the rest? Storefronts may require more design-related aspects in display windows or sale signs to draw in customers. Online businesses need to use smart online tactics to differentiate themselves from the millions of stores available online to consumers.

According to The Guardian, “there are more than 800,000 online stores, all vying to attract customers through the gateway of Google.” How do they do this? For online businesses, it all boils down to online tactics like SEO, PPC, and more. This type of business has to be very particular with the execution of these tactics in order to find success.

Marketing

Once upon a time, you had to train staff on exactly what to say and how to say it to your consumer. Now, with online businesses, you can write your own brand or product message to effectively convey your message. You can control how you want to be perceived and how you want your product to be sold. The internet makes your customer experience more customizable. Using search engine optimization, you can create a plan where customers can find you organically on platforms like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

If an online business does not want to wait for organic traffic to roll in, they can invest more using pay-per-click or PPC. This method of advertising has the business owner pay every time their ad is clicked on.

Are online businesses better than storefronts?

Despite everything we’ve discussed, there is some conflicting information on this question due to the rise in large online retailers like Amazon and Warby Parker opening storefronts. According to The Guardian, “the trend also reflects the broader industry imperative around ‘omnichannel retailing, where merchants aim to provide customers with a seamless experience whether shopping online via desktop or mobile device or at a traditional retail store.”

A storefront will always have the ability to bring something an online store never can, the human touch and connection with the local community. Consumers like being able to ask questions and opinions about products or services they are getting. They enjoy the ability to see and touch a product in person.

On the other hand, there are many things an online business brings to the table that a physical store can’t. First and foremost is convenience. Being online ensures that someone can purchase a product whenever and wherever. This becomes even more important to those who may not have the capacity to leave their homes. Furthermore, with an online store, owners can use data analytics straight from their site to track their performance with customers. For example, they can read online reviews to gain insight into what is being done right and where they could make room for improvement.

Ultimately, it all boils down to what a consumer wants from their shopping experience. Do they like the convenience of shopping from wherever they want, or do they prefer to interact more with what they’re going to buy?

If there’s anything that’s certain, it’s that online businesses offer many benefits to consumers. If you want to build your online business, contact us today to learn more about how we can help market it.

Why You Need To Use Facebook Chatbots For Your Small Business

Chatbots can give brands a lot of power and help to engage and connect with customers. There’s a huge opportunity awaiting brands with the Facebook chatbot feature, yet businesses are not taking advantage of this. According to SEO Journal, “The marketing opportunity is massive, yet only 1 percent of businesses can automatically engage with customers via messaging.”

It’s time to change this. Become part of the 1% who are in the know by reading about all the important features of Facebook chatbot that you can take advantage of for your business.

Though still relevant, email open rates are declining. The opposite seems to be true with Facebook messenger. According to SEO Journal, the open rates for the messaging platform are “70-80 percent within the first hour.” With this kind of engagement, it’s clear that chatbots provide a good opportunity for businesses.

There are multiple ways you can engage with customers via chatbots. You can use them to answer frequently asked questions or blast larger messages for a greater amount of people to receive. Chatbots are also less intimidating to converse with because there isn’t a live person on the other side being overly persistent about getting someone to pursue their services. Because customers feel less pressured with a chatbot, they are more open to engaging with you and your business. Customers who are engaged and interested in your content will eventually result in higher conversions for your business.

There are several options you can employ when you want to create this helpful tool for your business. You can use a visual chatbot builder if you have limited knowledge of the Facebook messenger API. You can create different types of content through this chatbot feature, whether they’re more visual or text-based. Businesses also have the option to use purely text messages available to clients or integrate other features.

Facebook has created a chatbot to feel like a human conversation even if the interaction is using automated responses by utilizing technology from wit.ai. Keep this in mind as you design your chatbot.

You can utilize various media using chatbots, including text, audio, images, video, files, and gift cards. This gives you many choices on how you can appeal to your audience and their tastes. With these many options, you can create various content, including testimonials, giveaways, and much more. Your options for message types are also extensive; you can use standard messaging, subscription messaging in beta, sponsored messages, and API. You can also send attachments, including files, URLs, and attachment IDs. All this illustrates how customizable a Facebook chatbot can be.

One of the most important aspects of creating a chatbot is cultivating a meaningful experience for clients, despite using planned responses. Here are some tips to achieve this.

  • Write different versions of the same messages to give people a variation and flow of natural conversation.
  • Please focus on the customer and anticipate their needs.
  • Create questions that warrant a response with feedback and make sure each one sounds conversational.
  • If a potential customer message you first, you have one day to respond with as many messages as you want. We would recommend that you keep these messages low, as sending a customer too many could backfire.
  • Be aware of your tone in these responses and be clear.
  • Offer your customers the choice to subscribe and give them a chance to opt-in or emphasize using contact forms.
  • Don’t be overly persistent. Make sure to allow your users to unsubscribe or stop your messages, and be respectful if this happens.

If utilized strategically, this tool can greatly affect your small business for the better. The more communication you have with potential customers, the more you increase your potential for a great ROI. This new chatbot feature will serve anyone in any industry due to its extensive communication methods. Additionally, the numbers don’t lie; open rates are fantastic! So give it a try and be one of the businesses participating in the latest and greatest technology. For more information on how to use the chatbot feature visit, Facebook for developers.

How To Compete With Amazon As A Small Business

Sometimes, mentioning the word Amazon in a room full of small business owners can make them shudder with fear. It seems like consumers are turning exclusively to the industry giant to buy whatever goods they need. As a small business owner, what can you do to separate yourself and not lose customers to Amazon?

Why is Amazon so successful?

To compete with Amazon, you first have to recognize what makes them so successful. The site’s main selling point is convenience. They carry a wide variety of products ranging from clothes to electronics and home decor. It can be a one-stop shop for all your needs.

Another convenience they offer is speedy delivery. With Amazon Prime, consumers can receive packages within two days, or in some cases, within the next or same day. Plus, people don’t have to leave the comfort of their homes and go out to buy the products they need. Amazon is easily accessible from any computer or mobile device.

What small businesses have over Amazon

Believe it or not, small businesses do have some significant advantages over Amazon. Hyper targeting your audience is much easier for you because you have a specific group of people to cater to with your products or services. On the other hand, Amazon has the task of managing thousands of businesses at once, and can only use automated targeting based on your previous search history. This type of targeting is effective and helpful but lacks the personal touch of a small business.

Small businesses also can build credibility and relationships with their customers by personalizing their customer journey. You can cultivate one on one relationships with customers in person if you have a physical location or send customers follow-up emails and thank you’s for supporting your business if you’re an online business. These small gestures go a long way with customers and make you more memorable. Consumers love feeling a personal connection to a business or brand, and this is something Amazon can’t compete with small businesses on.

How to leverage your advantages

Now that you understand some of the advantages you have over Amazon, how do you utilize them to compete with the e-commerce giant?

Build a loyal audience

A smaller customer base means that you can develop relationships with customers. Cultivate your relationships with these customers because it’s more effective to keep loyal customers than try to find new ones. The more you focus on customer retention, the more likely your business will flourish.

Provide value beyond the product

Be more than just a business and deliver a feeling to customers. Give customers a reason to come back, using incentives like coupons and promotions. Make sure you also embrace the online world. Connect with your customers via social media, using platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and show off your business.

Find and embrace your niche

When you discover your niche, you can easily tailor a shopping experience for these customers. You can make them feel special and cater to their needs on a personal basis. Defining your niche will be one of your greatest strengths. Consumers will be attracted to the unique offerings your business has.

Tell your business story

With its wide inventory of products, it can be hard for Amazon to interest consumers with its unique business story. This is something small businesses can easily achieve. Create a connection with potential customers by sharing a piece of your business story and feature it prominently on your website. Give readers an insight into your beginnings or share some inspiration behind starting your business. Like we mentioned before, customers today value personal connection and transparency.

Highlight product quality

It’s very rare that the items you get on Amazon are not outsourced and made in another country. So while Amazon has competitive pricing and a big inventory, items with higher quality than what your business offers are not guaranteed.

According to Forbes, “the eCommerce Foundation found that nearly 90% of consumers do preliminary research online before making a purchase online or in-store.” This gives you a window of opportunity to highlight the craftsmanship of your products. Emphasize the dedication you have to give your customers the best experience and maybe provide a guarantee if it’s within your budget.

Feature customer reviews

Many Amazon users look at the reviews displayed on products before completing a purchase. Take this account and also be willing to post customer reviews to your website under each product that you sell. Employing this practice could give your business more transparent and can help boost your sales. Reviews create instant credibility for your business. Take advantage and promote your users to leave a review.

Make your website user-friendly

Amazon’s website is user-friendly, making it easy for customers to make multiple purchases. Why not look to Amazon for inspiration for improving your website experience? The simplicity or difficulty of shopping and purchasing through your website can make or break your business. For example, if you want to alleviate the worries of your customers, include an FAQ page on your website as a guide for customers to follow and answer their questions quickly. This will provide another convenient method of customer service.

Also, ensure that you have credible methods for customer payments as this will enhance the customer experience. If shoppers feel they can not trust the payment method hosted on your website, they may turn to Amazon for their reputation of being secure and trusted.

If you can’t beat them, join them

If you’re finding it difficult to compete with Amazon, there is always the option to sell through Amazon. You can still maintain your small business authenticity if done right. USA Today states that “Over two-thirds (68%) of small business owners who sell a product online say that Amazon has positively impacted their sales, according to a poll of more than 2,400 business owners conducted by Insureon and online small business directory Manta.” Don’t be afraid to cash in on Amazon’s success. Amazon has a program that looks to bolster small businesses where you only need to pay either $0.99 per sale or $39.99 per month.

There’s a reason small businesses have stuck around for decades though, and it’s because they deliver a unique customer experience that can’t be replicated by a site like Amazon. Highlight the components of your business that the industry giant can’t replicate and if anything, use their platform to your business’s advantage.

The Best Ways To Get Feedback From Your Users

Feedback from your customers is the best way to analyze your business’ progress. If you are a new business, reviews can mean the difference between success and failure. But how do you actually get your customers to engage with your business and give you those reviews you so desperately need? Moreover, how do you make sure you get the type of feedback you want? Here are a couple of tips on how to achieve this.

Create a call-to-action

The first way to ensure that you can gain feedback from your customers is to make sure you have an avenue for them to access. Make a call to action button or a review form. Give your customers options on what they communicate to you. Whether you want feedback through a multiple-choice format or long-form question format, make sure there are options for customers that ultimately give you the information you need.

Give the incentive to review

The second way to get user feedback is to give an incentive for a review. Leave a discount for people if they complete a survey or a free product or service if they choose to complete the survey. This is will not increase the likelihood that customers will fill out your survey, it will also give them a more positive image of your business overall.

Use email

The third way to gain feedback from customers is to use email as a way to gather important information. The greatest way to achieve success using this method is to create an email that generates rapid responses. Also, create follow-up emails that remind customers who haven’t completed their surveys. Sometimes, customers need that extra push to complete a review, and a reminder email is a perfect way to do this.

Use social media

The fourth avenue to try when you want user feedback is to utilize social media. Customers are more inclined to share their opinions on this platform. Various social media sites have incorporated different ways for you to gather user feedback. For example, Facebook has reviews and polling tools. Don’t forget to also look to comments and direct messages as another way to gain reviews from your customers.

Find the hidden reviews

Finally, use data analytics to find how customers interact with your business. This is probably the most honest review you can get. Take a look at your site, how people interact with your FAQ section or your chat section. According to HelpScout, “If your FAQ section has a 0:09 average on-page time and an awful bounce rate, you know something isn’t being communicated clearly.” Analyzing how people interact with your website is a good indicator of how your business is doing.

Customer feedback is priceless when it comes to the health of your business. Although sometimes gaining reviews can be a rough process. Utilize these tactics to grow and change the way you gain user feedback.

SSL Certificate: Why Your Website Needs It

As the digital era skyrockets and technology evolves, the security of the information you release becomes increasingly more precious. There are many cyber attackers hanging out in the chaos of the web. Their intentions are to find your unsecured data to steal and use for themselves. Therefore, you need to take precautions to protect your website.

How do you, as a small business owner, protect not only your customer’s information but your own as well? What makes the difference between a safe website your customers feel is credible and one they feel may be unreliable? The answer to all this is an SSL certificate.

What is an SSL Certificate?

Although you may not have heard the name before, an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is something anyone who has visited any website will instantly recognize. You may be familiar with the padlock icon that appears in the corner of your search bar. They’re digital certificates that create strong internet security by establishing an encrypted connection between an individual’s computer and your website. By doing this, it protects sensitive data from being exchanged when it is not warranted.

How SSL Certificates Help Businesses

Securing your website with an SSL certificate can have many benefits for your business. First and foremost, it will help you retain customers who are visiting your website. According to Stratejus, “Customers are more likely to trust and complete purchases from sites that use HTTPS.” They also point out that 17% of customers didn’t complete a purchase because they were concerned about payment security on a site. If you don’t want this happening to you, an SSL Certificate is worth the investment.

More benefits include an increase in SEO rankings, support from the credit card industry, legitimacy, and stronger brand recognition. This is an essential tool to have in your arsenal, as Google Chrome has made websites without SSL certificates look unreliable placing a “not secure” warning next to any site without one.

Furthermore, information from credit cards is easily compromised without protection, but this will allow such data to be encrypted. Updating your site with an SSL certificate will provide your customers the security they need to follow through with online purchases of your product or service.

Obtaining an SSL Certificate

Getting an SSL certificate is easy because there are many sites that offer them. BrandRep understands the importance of securing your business and your customers’ data, which is why we offer SSL certificates for websites. With all these resources to secure your site, there is no excuse for you not to do so.

Having an SSL certificate ultimately benefits your business in the long run. Make sure you secure your website.

The Importance Of Branding Your Small Business

Creating a business involves many steps. One of the most important steps in creating your small business is branding.

Take a minute to think about big companies like Disney, Apple, and Amazon. These million and billion-dollar companies are champions of branding; when you think of them, their images are immediately conjured up in your brain. These images don’t appear in your head on accident – they’ve been ingrained into the branding of the companies. Every time someone sees these images they are able to recall the company associated with them.

Creating a successful brand takes a lot of time, creativity, and effort to separate yourself from the rest. Here are some tips to effectively help small businesses be able to brand themselves like bigger companies.

Why should you brand your business?

Owning a small business gives you the power of recognition and presents long-term value. It also helps you separate yourself from the competition.

Branding also makes your business appear legitimate and polished. When a brand is significant enough to be known simply by their logo, they have reached a whole new status with consumers.

Executing a good marketing strategy can help you get to that point. Without a brand, you are simply a product or service without an identity. By branding your business, you increase your chances for future partnerships, credibility among consumers, opportunities for expansion, and overall value.

What’s the difference between branding and marketing?

Many people think that marketing and branding are synonymous, and while they may work together harmoniously, they are certainly not the same thing. Your brand is the identity you want to market to consumers. On the other hand, marketing is simply promoting a business’s products, services, or even brand.

Establishing a clear identity

Every brand will differ depending on the business you are running, but there are some consistent questions every business owner should ask themselves when first cultivating their identity.

  • Who is my target? – Find your core demographics, age, gender, location
  • What is my purpose? – Help consumers understand why you created this business in the first place and why you feel passionate about it.
  • What is my message? – Cultivate a message to convey to your consumers about your business.
  • What value do I bring to the consumer? – Establish values that are going to shape the culture of your brand and brand vision.
  • What is my strategy? – Set milestones for your branding journey.
  • What is my brand story? – Create a story from the inception of your business to the point you are in right now.
  • What is my brand personality? – Cultivate a unique personality that people recognize you for.

Steps to cultivating a successful brand

Keep your customer in mind

Always keep your customer at the forefront of your mind. Your brand needs to sell itself because no one wants to be sold to. Customers want to feel they have a choice when they select your brand as the one they invite into their lives. Thus, you need to create a brand that resonates with your target audience.

Develop a personality

Successful brands usually have a unique voice. This brand personality is what you will become known for. There are many options for what personality you want to develop for your business. Do you want to use a lot of humor, or do you want to come off as posh? Regardless of what you choose, make sure it fits your business well and appeals to consumers.

Create a strong logo

Images will always capture a consumer’s attention first. Therefore, you want to have an eye-catching, unique logo. Take the time to understand how to integrate concepts like color psychology to create a good logo. Make it so users recognize you at a glance because if customers are highly aware of your brand, they’re more likely to buy from your business.

Be consistent

A lot of big companies have changed the way they brand their products with logos, new campaigns, or slogans. The one thing that always remains the same is the essence of the brand. The core of your brand that people got to know should still remain unified across all your messaging. Take Apple for instance; they’ve changed the colors of their logo and the very nature of their products and their technology. But since their message of innovation and ingenuity in the industry has remained the same, consumers continue to recognize and trust the company.

Collaborate with larger brands

Another way to gain traction with your branding efforts is to align yourself with larger brands. This will not only gain your business attention but allow you to leverage their audience as well. This will not come in the blink of an eye; you’ll have to network with industry professionals and create meaningful relationships with companies that you join forces with. Though it takes time, it will be well worth your efforts in the long run.

Respond to feedback

Keep in mind that what you think is great branding choices may not sit well with consumers. Make sure to ask for and listen to the feedback you get regarding your new campaigns, slogans, and logos. If it’s not working for the customer, it will probably not result in sales.

Branding yourself online

The first thing you want to do when branding yourself is to create an online presence. There are many ways to execute this, with creating a website probably the most important. A website gives you your own space online to branch out with landing pages, company updates, connect your social media, feature videos, and gain media attention.

The more people can find you online, the more likely your brand will gain attention. Websites are a great way to feature your company journey and the reason you are a unique addition to the business world. Consumers crave authenticity, so making honesty and transparency a part of your brand will go a long way. Social media will also be very beneficial to your branding efforts, as each platform has a unique space for you to express a consistent message of your brand while having fun connecting with customers in comment threads or having giveaways.

Branding your business in person

If you are a brick-and-mortar store, you may be wondering how you can create a brand within a single location. The good news is, that is how most of the biggest brands in the world began. Take Starbucks for instance. Although a giant chain now, at their core they are presented as a high-end coffee shop where you can chat with friends or get some work done. Their locations are adorned with low lighting, leather seating, and your own barista. You even have your name written on your cup to feel like your experience is more personalized. While these may be things we are used to now, it was a revolutionary concept that skyrocketed them to success.

How can you execute this in your own business? Decide what you want to be known for and create this presence in your store. Maybe you use a signature scent that people recognize when they walk through your door, or you adopt a unique greeting that people know you for. If you can figure out how to deliver something to the consumer that is well known as being uniquely you, then you have begun to brand your location.

Affecting your bottom line

According to Deluxe, branding builds financial value for small businesses. “A strong brand usually guarantees future business. Whether a company is in the position to borrow funds for expansion or rolling out to an IPO, being perceived as more valuable will make the process advantageous for the owner of the payday loans online company.”

Another benefit we haven’t touched upon is the ability to inspire your employees, giving them a goal and purpose for their work. If your employees believe in what your company is doing, they’re more inclined to work hard and stay loyal to your company.

Finally, generating new customers. Excellent branding will always attract the eye of potential customers. When people are looking for a new business to buy from, good branding will give you have the opportunity to establish yourself as a leader that consumers want to buy from.

Although branding seems like something more suited for big business, it is necessary for all businesses. As a small business, you have a unique opportunity to separate yourself from others and grow. Your goal for your business is from going from unrecognizable to unforgettable. It will also you a clear focus moving forward on what you want your company values to be, how you want to impact your customers and help you integrate yourself into your customer’s mind.

SEO VS SMM: The Battle For Online Traffic

How do Social Media Marketing (SMM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) work together? Are they worth the time and investment? These are just some of the common questions asked by businesses when it comes to choosing between SEO or SMM, or opting in for both. Let’s break down the benefits of using each, then explore if one is better than the other, or if they should go hand-in-hand.

Social Media: Word of Mouth Marketing Digitized

Social media is a wonderful tool to have in your arsenal in the world of digital marketing; it’s the online version of word of mouth! The fast pace at which social messages are spread to the public can make a significant impact on your business. Imagine; if someone raves about your business on social media, people who follow them and their own circles will hear all about it.

SMM also helps to build brand awareness, customer loyalty, happiness, and trust. It gives brands a chance to engage with their current or potential customers and provides a good place to answer questions quickly for customers. Additionally, businesses have the opportunity to become trending and gain massive exposure or have a more creative space for branding.

You also have a lot of social media platforms to select from. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are just a few. Each platform provides unique resources and features that can help your business. For example, Facebook provides resources for reviewing and rating the experience they have had with a business. Good reviews can result in a surge of new customers and more businesses for brands. On the other hand, with Instagram, people can unofficially review your business on the platform through comments and shares. Depending on who your audience is and what they need, there’s a platform that can help your business. BrandRep can help you identify what platforms to use and how to use them effectively.

Some drawbacks to Social Media Marketing are the difficulty of creating original content and being seen if there are products very similar on the market. Social media can sometimes essentially be a popularity contest, so people will trust the company that has the most followers.

SEO: Find Your Business with a Simple Search

Search Engine Optimization, better known as SEO, facilitates the process of making content relevant to search engines for organic searches. It is also a great tool to build brand awareness.

The most important thing when it comes to the success of an SEO campaign is high domain authority or a high score of how your website ranks among other sites. It provides a level of trust to people looking for a product or service. Remember, search ranking affects everything. It is much easier to analyze results from SEO than social media through tools like Google Analytics. With SEO, you can see how your data directly translates into a monetary return on investment for your business.

Furthermore, with SEO, you know that people are going out of their way to look for a product or service like yours via search engines like Google, Yahoo! And Bing. On social media, people may hear about your business, but it may not be relevant to them. Thus, SEO is better at finding potential customers.

One con to SEO is that it can be a slow return on investment, as it involves organic search results. It can take a while before you see results, and you may need to constantly refine your SEO strategy to get better outcomes. However, there are tools that can help you search for the headlines, keywords, and phrases that are garnering the best results for your competition. This can also give you insight into how your competitors are faring and how you can do it better. At BrandRep, we’re experts at SEO, so we can do the heavy lifting for you.

Can Social Media and SEO Work Together?

As it turns out, social media can help boost your SEO and vice versa. According to SEOPRO, “Sharing content by means of SMM is a successful way to draw considerable traffic to your website which ultimately boosts the online presence of your search engine.” Social media acquires engaged users that are interested in your content, and engaged users are more likely to look for you on search engines. Additionally, by providing backlinks to your business site in your social media profiles, brands are able to gain traffic, which will also ultimately benefit your SEO. You can also provide links to your social media on your website so people engage with you further through those platforms.

Search engine optimization and social media marketing are both useful and important to a successful digital marketing strategy. They serve unique purposes and require different strategies, but both serve the purpose of making your business more visible to consumers.

6 Essential Social Media Tips for Small Businesses

When you own a business, it’s not enough to have just a website; now, there’s an expectation that one must be everywhere at once. This is why being on social media is extremely important for marketing a small business. It may seem time-consuming, but in the long run, an active presence on social media can give several avenues to finding new customers, create a community for your business and strengthen your overall brand.

With so many platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and more, getting started on social media can be daunting. In this blog, we provide 6 essential tips that you can apply to any social media platform you choose.

1. Use Visuals

Use creative visuals to maximize exposure for your business. Instagram is a great platform that shows the influence of visuals. According to Social Media Today, “in 2017, Instagram announced that approximately 800 million people now use the platform each month.” When it comes to images and visuals, bright colors and movement in videos like Boomerangs are especially eye-catching.

2. Use Videos

Speaking of moving visuals, videos are another important thing you should use in social media. Whether it be through Youtube, Instagram live or Facebook live, embrace the world of video marketing and the power to engage an enthusiastic audience. An overwhelming number of people prefer video to anything else in terms of being marketed to. According to Inc. “YouTube is the best video marketing platform to engage the audience through DIY videos, explainer videos, video tutorials, testimonials, and behind the scene videos.”

Video gives you yet another avenue to access your target demographic. Try giving a behind-the-scenes look at your business or a free tutorial about your product. You can also engage people with a video post about a featured employee. Regardless of what you choose, video is a great way to make your business more personable.

3. Engage With Others

]Don’t just post to social media and leave it at that – engage with your audience by liking and responding to comments across all platforms. For example, on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, you can retweet or repost a successful customer review. This will show that you care about your customers and also incentivize them to write another positive review the next time they use your services. It’s gestures like this that will take your social media presence to the next level.

Another important aspect for gaining engagement is using hashtags or tagging people/brands in your posts. It’s essential that you use the right hashtags for your business. If you are a marketing business, a hashtag like #beautifulday may get your post some likes and possibly a few followers, but not necessarily the followers you want. A better hashtag could be #marketingmonday. This will more likely gain the interest of those who are in the marketing business or those interested in marketing services.

4. Know Your Target Demographic

Social media, like any other marketing tool, requires careful analysis. Ask yourself, who are you looking to reach? What age range, what gender, what interests them? Whatever it is, there is a social media channel for you, and it’s important to use the one that will serve your target audience best.

Times Union stated that “according to a recent Pew Research Center report about 62% of online adults ages 65 and older now use Facebook, a 14-point increase from the 48% who reported doing so in 2015.” As for the younger demographic, “Among the other social platforms including Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, the highest concentration of users is still in the 18 to 29-year-old range.” This demonstrates that more and more people, regardless of the demographic, can be reached through social media.

5. Stay Consistent

Keeping a consistent posting schedule is key to social media. Once people expect regular social media content from your brand, you must follow through. It’s also important to have cohesion throughout all of your social media channels. Use the same logo for all platforms, the same writing voice when responding to comments, and the same color scheme for all platforms because you’re establishing your brand via social media. When people see your brand’s colors or logo they should immediately know it’s you.

When people see our bright blue logo, they know it’s BrandRep. We also make it a point to emphasize that we are a Google Certified Partner because that is an essential part of our brand that separates us from the competition. Make sure you emphasize what makes your business unique across all platforms!

6. Always Give Value

Showing what makes you unique is important because ultimately, you want to show customers that your business offers them value. Remember to prioritize quality over quantity when posting to social media. You can have a million posts, but if they don’t have a purpose or offer value to people, they won’t engage with your business.

BrandRep uses posting as an opportunity to advertise and give helpful tips to current and potential customers. For example, we created a post showing customers that with the help of BrandRep, you have the potential for more customers and reviews on Google. This gives people valuable information and promotes our services.

Social media may seem like a big beast to tackle, but with these 6 essential tips, you’ll be well on your way to using social media to grow your business. Which of these tips did you find most helpful?

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