Social Media for Local Businesses

I love finding good articles regarding social media because they tend to make my blog writing much easier. Not that I’m inexperienced in writing my social media articles from scratch, but it’s definitely nice to get another point of view once in awhile.

I came across an article on soshable.com recently that discusses social media tips for local businesses.  Patterson Riegel Advertising certainly takes pride in being a local Fort Wayne business.  When my dad started this business 23 years ago he made it a point to only stay local to ensure he’d never have to travel with work and leave my family behind.  Anywho, I’m beginning to get off track… This article mainly gives local businesses tips on jumping in to the social media circuit. Most of these tips I agree with, others I don’t.  But then again, not all forms of social media are for every business.  What I’ve come to learn is social media is definitely not a “one size fits all” model.

Take a look at these tips and judge for yourself:

**Remember, this content is from here: http://soshable.com/10-social-media-tips-for-local-businesses/ **

Here are 10 tips so your local biz can reap the benefits of social media:

  1. First make sure that people on Facebook can “check-in” to your business when they drop by. This is especially popular for eating establishments and bars. You want your check-in linked to a Facebook page.

  2. Register your biz with Foursquare as well because they now give you access to the names of all of the people who checked in to your business so you can study their behavior as a customer and target them more directly.

  3. Get ready for the all new Facebook graph search which allows people to find local businesses according to the likes of its fans. This feature is currently available a limited number of accounts, but it’s coming our way soon!

  4. Give your business a voice by opening a Twitter account. Tweet about local events and about customers that drop by. Also ask (give incentive to do so) customers to tweet about you or post a status update about  you on Facebook, that way their friends become your audience too.

  5. Enhance your LinkedIn presence- LinkedIn profiles rank highest in Google searches of all the social media, higher than FB even. So get your profile listed there if you haven’t already, especially if you are a professional who owns a local business. Keep your profile updated and join groups that deal with your industry and/or location.

  6. YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine so create and upload any type of compelling, hilarious, or smart tutorial videos, special event coverage, creative employee features, etc. Ask your customers to upload their videos to your YouTube channel and offer rewards.

  7. List your business at Yelp, which combines local-based reviews with great social features. People go on Yelp to see what others are saying about stores, venues, public spaces, dentists and so much more. You need to keep track of the Yelp conversation about your business and make sure future customers like what they read.

  8. Organize regular meetups, workshops and other informal local gatherings that are related to your business. Promote these events on Facebook, Eventbrite, Meetup.com, SkillShare and other platforms. People will be happy to attend if they feel like they get an added value – information, access, discounts or networking.

  9. Image is everything! Attach photos wherever you can in your tweets, Facebook updates and blog posts. Take snapshots of everything that you associate with your brand and upload them to your sites. Snap photos of your customers/staff and post them on Instagram. Don’t forget to tag the people in the photo, so they have a good reason to share it too.

  10. Blog weekly about your local business. Not about the business itself, but about the experiences and events, news and interesting information surrounding your niche. Focus on rich content and optimizing tags and titles in each post for search engines. Linking in and out of your blog builds both direct and indirect traffic to your business.

I guess the biggest ‘beef’ I have with this article is the first and second bullet.  Coming from an advertising agency, not many people find the desire to ‘check-in’ to our business.  Let me tell you, becoming the Mayor of Patterson Riegel will get you nothing but a pat on the back. However, if your business happens to be food or retail this Four-Square option is definitely a good suggestion.  People love FREE!

Patterson Riegel Advertising is a local full service advertising agency, specializing in all facets of advertising, including consumer-based retail, business-to–business marketing, public relations, promotional services, social media marketing and more.

Advertisements

Facebook Timeline Part Deux

As I’ve mentioned before, when it comes to social media nothing ever stays the same for long.  Case and point, Facebook is making some new changes. (Insert shocked face here!) Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook creator/mastermind is introducing ‘The Timeline”…again!  Yes, just a year after we were forced to change over to the timeline dark side the man goes and changes it again!

Rest easy folks’ the changes aren’t too detrimental. The new Timeline feature will include a bigger emphasis on the apps you use. Currently, apps such as Instagram and Pinterest are available for viewing on your page, but soon new apps like Netflix and Fab will be available as well.  (Basically, Facebook is more ‘up in your business’ than ever before.

The Timeline layout will also be a little different.

Granted, we’re not going from this:

1st

To this…

Coca-Cola-Cover-Photo-Facebook-Timeline

But merely to this:

profile_cropped

It appears as though Facebook is becoming more visually obsessed friendly.  Before you boycott, this new layout lets you design and customize your columns.  If you’d prefer your Instagram photos to have the top spot on your page, by all means!

All in all, if we would prefer to continue using Facebook as the largest social media outlet in the universe we’re going to have to make like REO Speedwagon and ‘Roll with the Changes.”

 

**Image provided by Coca-Cola

NEW Digital Media Department!

I’m happy to announce that Patterson Riegel Advertising is now expanding the digital media department! Before, we only specialized in the social media aspect of this media outlet, but now we’re taking on a bigger focus in regards to paid placement ads. PRA will now be placing ads for businesses on not only social media sites, but also on the major search engines.

google-adwords

As director of the social media department here at PRA…I’ve now taking on the role of head of the entire digital media department.  I’ll be taking on quite a workload but as a business we’ve come to realize that the social media sites have gotten wise and are now making it more difficult to advertise for ‘free’ on their websites.

Now instead of the majority of your business page ‘fans’ seeing all your updates on their news feed they barely see any. This only changes if fans go to the trouble of subscribing to each page they’ve ‘liked.’ (This takes far too much time and it’s just too confusing for most to find.) Thank-you (cough)Facebook(cough). Social media sites now stress that businesses should pay for advertisements…as if these sites need to expand their bazillion dollar empires. But business is business, I suppose.

facebook-on-fire

Even though this is a fairly new option for our clients, I’m confident that I have a sturdy grasp on what it takes to provide each business with the most beneficial keywords and payments plans to ensure growth on the digital media end. We’re also opening up this option to other businesses that are interested in digital media and increasing their SEO. The web has been around for decades now, it simply cannot be ignored by businesses any longer.

What are your takes on digital media?

Do you think that budgeting for paid advertising online is just as wise as on television?

Social Media: How Important Is A Big Fan Base?

About a week or so ago I conducted an experiment at Patterson Riegel Advertising, bear with my folks!  I decided I was going to cut back on vocally speaking for the day and only communicate via social media and other forms of communication such as text message and e-mail.  Shockingly, I spoke five words the entire day.  Some were probably relieved at my lack of vocab for the day while others probably didn’t give a rats patootie. This zany experiment helped to reiterate that fact that vocally speaking is purely going out of style.

Hmmm. Does this mean that by the time I decide to procreate that my child will be learning to Facebook post ‘momma’ before actually speaking the word?  Well now that’s a fairly frightening concept!

Back on subject, with social media slowly taking the world  by storm…or typhoon, or hurricane, or tornado (the word ‘storm’ just wasn’t cuttin’ it) businesses are quickly jumping on the bandwagon.  (If this were a version of Oregon Trail, businesses would be choosing the Big Daddy of wagons, hands down!)

As social media marketer at PRA, I’ve always struggled with the stress of trying to gain more and more fans for my clients. Obviously, more fans equals more business….right? Our survey says, WRO…eh, not necessarily.  Research shows that really only 6% of your ‘fans’ actually interact with your page.  If you need help with the math–1,000 fans is only equivalent to 60 fans actually paying attention to your page. Kudos!

**By the way, do they still make Kudos bars? They look delicious!**

Now, I don’t mean for this post to be negative but more or less to be like a spinoff of the Tortoise and the Hare. The bigger companies may have more fans, but that doesn’t mean they provide better service. Mom and Pop Shops need love too! A super-sized fan load may be even harder to build when it comes to your line of work as well. An ice delivery service may be a lot harder to promote in a small town compared to a big city.  For example, Fort Wayne has two known ice delivery companies whereas New York City has over 40. It’s all about supply and demand, blah blah blah.

But how do those smaller businesses measure up to the big dogs? It’s simple, put the stress of building a larger fan base on the back burner and focus more on keeping those faithful customer’s. (The ‘Groupies’ if you will.) These followers are the ones that are going to recommend your business to others, compared to those who has never used your services before.

The social media based website, Sochable, is probably better at explaining this concept than I am…Plus they’ve even cleverly named it. Take a peak at the article here.

The Best Way To Increase Your SEO Fort Wayne, IN

If you’re a business owner, you should be no stranger to the acronym, “SEO.” Some might boast at the sight of their business holding the top spot on the organic listing, whereas others might cringe when they find their business has yet to make the first page. As a social media marketer, those three letters pretty much determine whether or not I get paid. Thankfully I’m still getting a paycheck, but my job does not come as easy as some may think.

You can certainly tell how much technology has changed now Search Engine Optimization no longer is soley determined by the mere visits to your website, but now is based in large part on your social media prescience.  I recently came across an article on the social media based website, Soshable, that discussed how important social media is on your Search Engine Optimization.  Shockingly, the article’s titled, Social Media Is Now The #1 Most Important Factor In SEO.  I suppose I don’t need to go into much detail regarding the article, but there was a very interesting blurb that I found almost necessary to share with you all:

“What does this mean for the industry? Businesses that have been ignoring social media are going to find themselves slipping in the ranks, if they haven’t already slipped. This study makes it clear that links ARE NOT ENOUGH. To remain competitive in today’s market, you MUST become heavily involved in social media.

This trend will ultimately make the internet a better place. With social media shares ruling the roost, you’ll see far less spammy content and pages of useless links. Wikimotive has long upheld that content is king, and this has never been more true. To succeed in SEO today, you need to succeed in social media, and to succeed in social media, you need to produce quality content that engages your audience so that your shares (and likes, favorites, Tweets, reTweets, etc.) organically grow.”

“Oh what a tangled web we weave…”

Improve Your Facebook Business Page Fort Wayne, Indiana

It’s National School Lunch Week, so slice up a piece of rectangular pizza to celebrate!

Being an avid internet user, and self proclaimed social media extraordinaire (emphasis on self proclaimed) I recently found an article on Social Media Examiner that I felt necessary to pass on to my clients.  Although I’m the one who updates the social media sites for the Patterson Riegel clients, I feel as though it’s important to keep them in the loop when it comes to what’s new in social media.  Or maybe it’s just a way to convince them that I’m doing my best to ensure their social media budget is money well spent. Either way, I try to make an emphasis on all the good happening in the social media world, not so much the bad. By the way, did you hear that Facebook stock has reached an all time low of $20 per share? Read that train wreck (Oops!) article here. Back to the topic at hand, the title of the article I came across, 5 Ways to Improve Your Facebook Engagement says it all! In short, the article discusses five new ways to improve the engagement on your Facebook business page.

The five ways include:

  • Keep your updates short
  • Don’t use URL shorteners
  • Post at Times Ideal for your Fans
  • Use the Right Words for Higher Engagement
  • Ask Questions

All five of these ideas are spot on when it comes to increasing the population of Facebook posts (and Twitter, and Google+, etc). Check out the article here for a more in-depth description of the five ways listed above, you won’t be disappointed!

Social Media Blogging Fort Wayne, Indiana

In our technology crazed world, social media is getting harder and harder to ignore.  As head of the Social Media Department/Blogging Extraordinaire for Patterson Riegel Advertising (straight out of good ol’ Fort Wayne, Indiana) I’m still finding it difficult to convince some of our clients of the importance of having a social media presence.  I’ll admit, several of these clients have been running businesses for years and are hesitant about trying new forms of advertising.  “Why fix what isn’t broken?” Right? Wrong. Technology isn’t just the future anymore…it’s here, now.   Soon enough the Internet is going to be far more popular for advertising than television.  Radio and print ads are slowly being left in the dust. I encourage you all to get familiar with the social media powerhouses, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WordPress, Tumblr, foursquare, etc.

As part of my job here at Patterson Riegel, I subscribe to several blogs regarding social media and marketing.  Last week I came across a perfect blog to help reiterate the importance of social media marketing for businesses.  Not only did I print the article and post it on my ever populated bulletin board (Yes, I still have one of those!) but I also e-mailed it to my somewhat more stagnant clients.  We’ll see where that goes.  Anywho…I encourage you to read this article as well.  Maybe not to convince others to choose the social media route, but to continue to stay on top of all that is social media.  Enjoy!

Social Media Magic’s Blog: 5 Crucial Things That Execs Should Know About Social Media