Category Archives for "Facebook"

Aug 12

Social Media for Local Business [Case Study]: Local Neighborhood Meat Market on Facebook

By Maria Peagler


Editor’s Note:  Amanda Jensen is a summer intern at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com.  She’s a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.

How can local businesses capitalize on social media marketing to compete with Wal-Mart and Costco’s deep discounting? This week’s case study focuses on a local meat market that uses their small, local status as their greatest asset, successfully monetizing social media marketing in a mid-size midwestern city.

Case Study: Stittsworth Meats

Mychal Stittsworth is the owner of Stittsworth Meats in the town of Bemidji, Minnesota. Stittsworth Meats has been in Mychal’s family since his father purchased it as a grocery store back in 1993, in hopes of turning it into an “old-fashioned meat market”. The town of Bemidji has a population of around 13,000, but Stittsworth’s local business has over 20,000 likes on Facebook.  His ability to reach a fan base beyond the limits his northern-Minnesota town is more than noteworthy.

Michael includes his store location on all of his advertisements.

Michael includes his store location on all of his advertisements.

Stittsworth Meats By the Numbers

  • Facebook Fans:  20,322
  • Twitter Followers:  116
  • Instagram Followers: 136
  • Time Spent Weekly on Social Media:  7 hours

ALL Business is LOCAL

Local businesses often feel squeezed by increasing competition from large big-box stores and online competitors. Though they have become successful enough to open additional locations, Mychal and his staff have been able to maintain their “local business image” in each location.

How?

By engaging with local businesses and consumers on a level no national supermarket chain can match.  Mychal devotes only an hour a day to his social media efforts, but he uses certain tactics such as contests, photos and promotions to get customers engaged.

Promotions are a fantastic way to bring in new and existing clients.

Promotions are a fantastic way to bring in new and existing clients. This simple 3-line post received 98 likes and 15 shares!

Stittsworth increased traffic through the door and product awareness by staying in touch with clients on Facebook. Michael stays in touch with  clients on Facebook by sharing funny photos, and reaching the “friends of friends” to increase his brand visibility far beyond the city of Bemidji and into the state.

On the Facebook page, Stittsworth does a lot of contests, where consumers only need to share their posts to enter. Whoever gets the most shares from their post wins!

Sophisticated Use of Social

While Stittsworth Meats is a small brand, they’ve mastered social media marketing and use it in a highly sophisticated way.  Stittsworth’s business has been featured on Facebook’s own blog as a small business success story. Their website is filled with fantastic product descriptions and tantalizing photos of their meat.

Michael uses attractive advertising to showcase his products.

Michael uses attractive advertising to showcase his products.

Despite their presence on Instagram and Twitter, Facebook is where Sittsworth truly shines:

Stittsworth has a fantastic Facebook page!

Stittsworth has a fantastic Facebook page!

Engagement Through Contests

In addition to their very professional website, Stittsworth Meats has mastered the art of engagement on Facebook. As mentioned before, Stittsworth uses contests to drive engagement, which he says brings people into his shops.

In an interview with IMPACT 20/20, Stittsworth talked about the effect that his contests have on his customers.

There were a lot of people coming through the door asking who was winning, Stittsworth said. “It created a buzz.”

Promotions are a great way to bring people to your business.

Promotions are a great way to get people to engage online and also bring them into your business.

In addition to offers from his own shop, Stittsworth also partners up with other businesses, such as Traeger Pellet Grills to give away other great prizes, which not only engages Stittsworth’s fans, but brings in fans of Traeger Grills as well.

Partnerships with other businesses are a great way to bring in new clients and expand your fan base.

Partnerships with other businesses are a great way to bring in new clients and expand your fan base.

Humorous posts are also extremely effective for Stittsworth. While they aren’t all original content (this one is from Weber Grills), they keep Stittsworth’s Facebook page lighthearted and more personal.

Posting funny quotes and pictures can bring in a lot of likes and shares.

Posting funny quotes and pictures can bring in a lot of likes and shares.

Beneath It All, A Family

Stittsworth Meats is a family business, and Mychal wants to maintain that image. In his General Information and Description pages on Facebook, Mychal gives his fans a look into the story of his local business. He starts from the beginning and talks about his plans for the future, which include maintaining the small neighborhood feel of his shops.

Mychal also thanks his customers for their support, and puts a huge stress on sticking to the family business traditions. Mychal does a fantastic job of conveying his personality in an online medium, which is extremely important. It makes customers (and potential customers) feel more comfortable about the business and its intentions.How You Can Adapt Mychal’s Strategies For Your Business

How You Can Adapt Mychal’s Strategies For Your Business

Stittsworth Meats successfully monetizes their social media marketing by focusing on these tactics:

  • Embrace social media and all it can do for your business!
  • Post consistently throughout the week
  • Engage with fans and other local businesses (local-only)
  • Post lots of pictures, and don’t hesitate to use a little humor
  • Use incentives such as giveaways and contests to increase product awareness
  • Let your personality shine through (tell customers your story, they want to know!)

What have you done?

What sort of tactics do you use to market your local business? What do you think about Michael’s social media strategy? Comment below and share your thoughts with us, we’d love to see your input!

Jul 23

9 Google+ Tactics to Increase Your Blog’s SEO and Traffic

By Maria Peagler


Google+ is a hugely underestimated content marketing tool, which makes using it now a superlative way to increase your blog’s visibility across the web. Google+ offers a prime David vs. Goliath scenario: while big brands are spending millions on their slick Facebook experiences, their Google+ page looks exactly the same as yours.

Big brands can’t outspend you here.

It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it?

I’ve developed an infographic outlining 64 Google+ content marketing tactics and pulled out my favorites to increase SEO and traffic to your website:

1. Link Google+ to Your Blog Home Page

The first step in getting results from Google+ is connecting your profile with your blog’s home page. This is the gateway step to generating incredible results, including displaying your photo next to your blog post links and a wikipedia-style profile listing in Google search results whenever anyone searches for your name.

2. Build Strategic Networks with Circles

Circles allow you to organize connections into the groups you interact with in your life. Family, Friends, B2B, B2C, Local, Media, Influencers, Quilting (my hobby, about which I wrote an award-winning book). Not only can you view posts by Circles, you can send posts to Circles, yet another Google+ first.

Circle’s biggest benefit? People who add you to their Circles see your posts higher in Google search results. Another SEO boost.

3. Look Like a Pro by Offering Live Video Chat via Hangouts & Hangouts on Air

Hangouts not only up your level of branding by enabling you to host webinars for free, if you do a Hangout on Air, Google+ simultaneously streams it here and on YouTube, records the video, and sends you the recording to your email.

Upload that Hangout to YouTube, add the link to your blog and a keyword-rich description, and you’ve got a powerful SEO tool that doubles as a branding resource allowing people can see you in action.

4.Use Hashtags to Make Your Posts Search-Friendly

Just like Twitter and Facebook, Google+ offers hashtags to make searching for topics simple. It’s a great way to get found not only inside Google+, but in the larger world of Google search.

Combine your Circles strategy with hashtags, you’ve put your blog’s SEO on steroids.

5. Link to Your Blog Posts to Rank Higher in Google+ and Google Search

Whenever you have a new blog post, link to it from Google+ and make that post public. You’ve made your post publicly available both inside Google+ and in Google search results worldwide. Remember those people in your Circles? When they’re searching for your subject on Google, they’ll be served up your results first.

6. Use Ripples to Add Influencers to Your Circles

Ripples are a little-known feature of Google+ that identify people who shared a public post, as well as how large an audience they have. It’s a fantastic way of determining who has the power to spread your posts to the widest audience possible.

You’ll definitely see a trend when you start using Ripples and you’ll notice those outliers who have the power to get your posts seen by a huge audience. Add these people to your Circles and engage with them.

7. Want Engagement? Write Long Posts Inside Google+

Google+ posts that receive the most comments are resource-type articles with a lot of links.  Those covering Google+ how-to information are heavily shared, along with any tutorials.

Write a killer post and link back to your own blog for additional resources. Use hashtags with relevant topics so it’s easily found, and you’ve created an outstanding resource that will get you noticed and increase traffic to your blog.

8. Use Direct Connect so People Can Add You to Circles from Google Search

The most powerful feature of Google+ is Direct Connect — think Facebook Like Box available in Google Search. By placing code between the <head> tags on your blog, people will be able to add you to their Google+ Circles directly from Google search results.

Currently Direct Connect is available on a limited basis and appears to be offered to those pages with a large Google+ following. To be eligible for Direct Connect, you must have that link between Google+ and your blog’s home page I referred to in #1.

9. Use Tags to Reach Out to People and Brands Directly

Like Facebook, Google+ offers the ability to tag people and brands in your posts. This is a great way to connect with people and draw their attention to your latest resources, especially in a noisy digital culture.

As an example, I attended a public relations conference and tagged the people I met at the event in my Google+ post about it.

Give Yourself Time to Master These Tactics

Take the time to learn Google+ and engage with your community here. You’ll see results far beyond what any other social network can offer: both social engagement within Google+ and SEO in Google.

Are you using Google+? What tactics have you found to be effective? Share your story in the comments below:

Jun 16

15+ Case Studies Prove Small Business ROCKS Social Media

By Maria Peagler


Editor’s Note:  Amanda Jensen is a summer intern at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com.  She’s a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.

Photo by Amanda Jensen

Photo by Amanda Jensen

Dell, Starbucks, and Dunkin’ Donuts use Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to promote their brands, and expand knowledge of their products.

Small businesses are no different in this respect. Their owners see the benefit of a social media presence, and they want IN!

Small brands function differently from a large mega-corporation. This makes it difficult to take the strategies from Starbucks or Amazon and apply them to your small business.

You need different approach.

If Dell is looking for some new marketing ideas, they can look at case studies of other large brands and get inspiration from their marketing strategies. These case studies WON’T be applicable to a small business, regardless of what their authors say.

Fortunately, you don’t need to worry! SMOC has a multitude of case studies for you to learn from, and apply to your business. The best part? They’re ALL about small businesses, and they are all proof that social media can help YOUR business can succeed!

Take a look at these success stories from small businesses who used a customized approach, and had HUGE success!

  1. 13 Small Business Case Studies
  2. Social Media for Local Business [Case Study]: Hair Salon on Facebook
  3. How To Make $100,000 in Real Estate from Social Media Alone [Case Study]
  4. How to to Generate 1,200% ROI on a $50 Facebook Ad [CASE STUDY]
Jun 05

What Facebook Isn’t Telling Businesses About It’s New Timeline Design

By Maria Peagler

fb new timeline 2014 fi
On June 6, Facebook business pages will have gotten a makeover.

Again.

Why are they changing things just when you got used to them? That’s what you’ll learn in this week’s post:  the good, the bad, and the ugly that Facebook won’t tell you.

Why is Facebook Changing the Timeline for Business Pages?

There are two major reasons why Facebook has chosen to make these particular changes:

  1. We are a multi-device society, going from mobile phone to tablet to laptop to desktop.  After extensive user testing, Facebook realized its users would login on one device, but continue their session on another.  They want to provide a consistent user experience across devices.
  2. Engagement on mobile devices is significantly higher than any other device, so Facebook decided to make the user experience across all devices as similar to mobile as possible:  a one-column NewsFeed and Timeline.

Both reasons are great for business: a consistent user experience across devices, as well as from your personal profile to your business page, and more engagement.

All good news, right?

Almost.

Facebook announced only the changes they wanted you to know about.  Here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com we’ve transitioned to the new layout, and we’ll tell you everything:

facebook changes 2014

New business page Timeline layout for Facebook 2014

1. Page Name & Category in White Text on Timeline Cover

Good: Nice free marketing for your business & what it does.

Bad: The text is white, so if you have a white Timeline cover, you’ll need to either change it to a dark background or put a dark strip along the bottom so the text shows up.

2.  Custom Tabs Renamed Apps; Moved to More Menu & Sidebar

Good: Gives pages a streamlined look, consistent with personal profiles & mobile.  You do get one custom tab in your Timeline menu.

Bad: Custom tabs were at the heart of many a brand’s marketing strategy.  Facebook renamed them apps and moved them to a far less visible location.

Visitors won’t know you have custom tabs unless they click on More. From my experience in click-tracking and heat mapping, few people visiting your Timeline will click on More.

Solution? Make that single custom tab (now called an App) count.  Offer a freebie in exchange for visitor’s email addresses.  Also make an offer directly on your Timeline cover that does the same.  You can see in our Timeline cover we offer a free class (and also on that first custom tab).  We make it almost impossible to miss.

3.  One Column Timeline Feed

Good: It’s all good! The double column timeline feed for posts was confusing and clunky. This is similar to Facebook’s mobile news feed, which has the HIGHEST engagement of any device. That’s good news for brands.

Bad: No more highlighting a post so it takes up a double column. Not a big deal in my opinion. Few brands took advantage of this due to complex image sizes.

4.  Fan Count is Front & Center

Good: Your fan count is now one of the first thing visitors see to your Timeline. IT MATTERS. The more fans you have, the more credible you appear to visitors. Work on getting a targeted fan base using FB101 Lesson 13.

Bad: This replaces the About section, which Facebook moved to the bottom left of your Timeline. This was an easy, above-the-fold place to put a hyperlink to your website. It’s now gone.

Solution? Every two weeks, do a post that is a description of your brand and a hyperlink to your website. Post it to the top of your Timeline.

5.  About Section Moved to Sidebar

Good: All brand info will be on the left column of your Timeline, making it easy for visitors to learn about your business at a glance.

Bad: The new location is one of the least visible places on a webpage. Do something to make it stand out, like using special characters (available under your browser’s Edit>>Special Characters menu.

6.  Say Goodbye to the Admin Panel

Good: Makes the business page layout consistent with personal profiles and mobile devices.  Admin panels don’t exist on those.

Bad: The Admin panel was a great one-glance dashboard of how your page was doing.  You can still get to that information, but it’s now spread apart under the Admin menu:

fb new timeline admin 2014

Admin panel replaced by new Admin menu

It’s actually a great menu – easier to use than the Admin panel – but will take some time to get used to.

  • Page takes you directly to your business page Timeline.  Previously there was no simple way to do this.
  • Activity displays the latest fan engagement on your page.
  • Insights provide essential analytics for your page.
  • Settings allows you to manage the Admin roles, what’s displayed on your page, permissions, and anything else you can think of.  If you can’t do it anywhere else, look here.

Socialmediaonlineclasses.com Facebook Changes Checklist

We’re keeping you informed about ALL of Facebook’s changes to business pages, and how to execute the best solutions.  We offer how-to lessons on how to make these changes to your Facebook business page Timeline.

Members also get a one-page checklist to make it easy to keep track of the changes and solutions you need to implement.

fb changes 2014 checklist thumbnail

What do you think of the new business page layout? Do you think it will increase engagement for your brand?

Leave a comment and let us know what you think!

May 19

How to Outsource Your Social Media Marketing

By Maria Peagler



networking imageStartups and small businesses don’t have the time to do everything themselves, and often social media marketing is one of the first services entrepreneurs look to outsource.

Trusting your social media marketing to an outside firm is a big leap —  often one that leaves everyone disappointed.  In this week’s post, I’ll share my secrets for ensuring a successful delegation of your social media marketing to an outside team.

1.  Is Your Business a Good Candidate for Outsourcing?

A hard question you need to ask yourself is this:  are we a good candidate for outsourcing?  Not every business can let go of their marketing, nor are they organized enough to do so.

Is your team organized?

Handing off your marketing requires that your social media team understands your brand and your clients as well as your in-house staff.  That requires spending a lot of time with the team and educating them on what you offer, what differentiates you, and what you want your brand voice to be.

Do you have content, images and copy?

Marketing also requires a lot of content: your calendar of events, product/service images, staff headshots, product copy, and more.

In my experience, most brands are so busy doing the work they don’t remember to take the time to photograph what they do.  The result? They end up with little in the way of marketing images.  Even when they’re in a visual business like retail.

Your social media team needs those images so they can get engagement on social media.  Can you provide them?

2.  Do You Know What to Look for in a Social Media Marketing Team?

Hiring a social media marketer with an impressive certificate of credentials is a good start, but it’s not enough.  You need to know they understand your business, have produced results for previous clients in the past, and can do the same for you.

Do they have social media marketing training?

Where did they get their social media marketing education? What tactics does that organization teach, and will you be comfortable with those tactics with your brand’s name on them?

Many social media training “experts” teach highly aggressive forms of marketing that violate Facebook’s terms of service.  Using their tactics can get your business page banned.

Know the social media training organizations you can trust and recognize the candidates with those credentials.

What results have they produced for previous clients?

How do you know hiring a team will produce results?  A Socialmediaonlineclasses.com member hired a consultant to do his marketing, and she did an awesome job tweeting, posting on Facebook, and engaging with fans/followers.

The problem?  The content she was posting had absolutely nothing to do with his new product launch.  Not related in the slightest sense.  She didn’t understand his brand or his product enough to speak for him.

What is your goal in hiring a social media marketing team? If you want to grow your business, you need to be prepared to have that discussion with your team and identify how to accomplish that.

Want to increase visibility for your brand? How many fans & followers is realistic for your business?

3.  How Will You Measure Success?

This is the ultimate test for any marketing campaign:  what was your goal and did you accomplish it?

What is your social media marketing goal?

You need to discuss your goals for hiring the team and agree on measurable ways to analyze whether you’ve met them. While increasing your fan count may be part of that, it’s usually not enough.

Do you want social media to drive traffic to your website? Generate telephone calls for a consultation? Get people visiting your store?

You need to have SMART goals in place and ensure that both you and your team understand and agree with them.

How long does your team have to accomplish those goals?

Last month I received this email:

Hello I need a way that I can get 1 million customers over the internet. Can you email me a model plan. I am a Sports consultant, Life Coach, insurance rep, and football coach.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to help, because this entrepreneur lacked focus, a budget, and a timeframe.  His expectations were also wildly unrealistic.

Have a candid discussion with your potential marketing team about what a reasonable timeframe is to accomplish the goals you’ve defined.  That way you’ll know how much you need to invest before you see measurable results.

Socialmediaonlineclasses.com Now Offers Done-for-You Social Media Services

Because our members have asked us for years to provide done-for-you services, we’re debuting our Social Media Services this month.

We help your business grow using social media marketing, email marketing, and search engine optimization.  No questionable tactics. Only highly trained consultants you can trust.

You’ll have the assurance that our team uses only the best marketing tactics, understands your business and product offerings as well as an in-house team, and can produce measurable results to meet your business goals.

how to outsource social media marketing
May 12

How to Outsource Social Media Marketing: Live Webinar + Recording + MP3 Audio

By Maria Peagler

how to outsource social media marketing Free webinar Thurs, May 22 @1pm EDT/5pm GMT.  Join Maria Peagler for this brief live webinar:

  • Learn how to successfully outsource your social media marketing
  • Thurs May 22, 1pm EDT, 5pm GMT
  • 30-Minute Webinar + On-Demand recording + MP3 Audio + Checklist
  • $297.00 value FREE for Members (Membership is $57 per month, cancel easily anytime.)

Get Webinar FREE with SMOC Membership

Already a member?  Your webinar access codes will arrive in your Inbox a few days before the webinar.

Have you considered outsourcing your social media but don’t know where to start?  Then don’t miss this webinar!  Maria Peagler will reveal what you need to know before you trust your marketing to an outside agency. In this 30-minute webinar, you’ll learn:

  • whether you’re a good candidate for social media marketing outsourcing
  • what to look for in an outsourcing team or candidate
  • how to measure the success of your outsourcing team

Plus, plenty of time for Q&A, so come with questions, so sign up today!

Get Your $297.00 Webinar ticket FREE When You Join SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com Today  (FREE for college students)

Purchase your Webinar ticket for $297.00 now, or get it free when you join as a Member today for $57 per month. Cancel easily anytime.

SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com is a continuous service, including instant access to over 200 online lessons valued at $1,997.00 plus $397.00 worth of new Bonus Webinars & infographics each month, billed to your payment card every 30 days at the lowest rate then in effect, currently just $57.

In total, you’ll get instant access to $2,297.00 (and growing!) worth of practical Members-Only training to grow your business using social media. SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com Membership helps you:

#1. Get Access to One Billion Potential Employers in 10 Minutes

Learn how to identify the social networks best for your unique career path, then build a profile that WOWs potential employers. SMOC brings you ‘what works’  training that cuts through the noise & crushes social media overwhelm.

Members  instantly access how-to videos, screen shots, checklists, infographics, and case studies — tools which can be put to work on your website & social networking right away.

#2. Get More Fans in Less Time

Discover how to get fans & connections without spending all day in social media.  You really can post to all of your social networks in as little as 15 minutes a day, and you’ll learn how to generate content & posts that get your business noticed, attract fans, and turn them into paying customers.

Members immediately get their hands on how-to checklists (like 13 Ways to Get More Facebook Fans), videos that teach you how to do search engine optimization yourself, and real-life examples of successful small businesses who’ve achieved great success.

#3. Customize Your Learning Track

Online training is often a one-sized fits all plan, but not for SMOC Members.  You’ll get a customized social media assessment that details the optimum social networks for your unique career path & industry, and you can use it as your guide for what classes you’ll need (Members are often surprised at the results).   Plus, Members can instantly access:

  • hands-on video tutorials
  • monthly social media makeovers (for your website or any social network)
  • bonus webinars that dive deep into profitable tactics
  • infographics to print as your cheat sheets
  • a private community forum
  • virtual office hours

#4. SMOC networking plus exclusive Q&A Webinars & Workshops

Members get instant access to a private online community of peers eager to connect and discuss what’s worked and what hasn’t for them.  Each week, members also get one-on-one Q&A time with Maria during Virtual Office Hours.

Plus, your Membership includes a complimentary pass to SMOC’s monthly Bonus Webinar or virtual workshop focused on a hot social media business topic — ranging from one & done posting to getting listed on search results — with plenty of time for extended Q&As . The webinar alone is a value of $297.00 per month.

As a member you’ll get immediate access to all the materials on the site plus that month’s Bonus Webinar. After that, you’ll be billed the lowest available monthly fee (currently just $57) via convenient automated billing. It’s risk-free and guaranteed, you can easily cancel at any time.

So why not join today and see how SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com can help your career grow!

Get Webinar FREE with SMOC Membership

Apr 28

The State of Social Media for Small Business [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Maria Peagler

We posed questions to Socialmediaonlineclasses.com members (almost 300 of them!) to take the pulse of social media for small business in 2014.  Some results were expected, while others were shocking.  All are shown in the infographic below.  (Following the infographic is a brief explanation of the finding for each question) state of social media for small business

Share this Image On Your Site

Majority of Small Business Owners Do Have a Website

website

Most small business owner do have their own website, which is big jump from 2011, when less than 50% did (according to the SBA).  That means more entrepreneurs sare making the transition from traditional marketing to digital.  It’s also a positive step in owning your space online: social networks may change, but you own your website and your domain, and can control its look, feel, and what you share on it.

More Business-to-Consumer Brands Use Social Media

b2c It’s no surprise that more business-to-consumer brands (B2C) use social media, as far more social networks exist for those channels.  Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are definitely stronger in the B2C market, while LinkedIn, Twitter, and Slideshare are focused more on the B2B space. Google, Google+, and YouTube cross both spectrums.

Are Your Clients Mostly Women?

pinterest The response to this question was surprising:  women are more active on social networks, and Pinterest is primarily a social network for women.  But a clear 63% of Socialmediaonlineclasses.com members said that women were not the majority of their clients.  Greater than half of small brands reach out to both men and women in their marketing.

Everyone Watches YouTube

youtube YouTube remains the biggest missed opportunity for small business, as over 98% of Socialmediaonlineclasses.com members have watched a video there, but fewer than 10% actually use video marketing.   Brands can learn to record and produce video quickly with smartphones, webcams, and even use YouTube’s built-in editing features to get started marketing their business with video.

Search Engine Rank is Essential

google Ranking highly in search engine results is critical to small brands for growing their business, as a clear 87% responded it was important. However, SEO services remain out of reach to small business budgets, with the average SEO project costing $4,000 (according to moz.com).  Entrepreneurs can improve their own SEO rankings by focusing on their domain names, content marketing, and earning high quality links to their websites.

Few Brands Give Presentations, Workshops, or Lectures

slideshare Only 36% of small business owners give presentations, workshops or lectures.  Educational marketing offer a tremendous opportunity for brands to reach a wider audience, provide “infotainment,” and build their client list.

Both B2B and B2C brands can benefit:  Fun Finds and Designs, a retail consignment store in Canton, GA, gives monthly how-to workshops in their store.  Here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com we repurpose many of our infographics and webinars into excerpts on Slideshare.com – both are great marketing tools.

Small Business Needs Influencer Outreachtwitter

A little more than half — 57% — of small brands said they need to get the attention of influencers in their industry.  Twitter is an excellent, low-maintenance way to do influencer outreach, yet many entrepreneurs still see Twitter as a celebrity social network.

While the definition of an influencer will vary from one industry to another, you’re quite likely to find those key players on Twitter engaging in multiple conversations daily.  Brands should be on Twitter, focusing on their industry influencers, and engaging in those conversations.

Tip: a great way to group conversations by industry in both Twitter and Hootsuite is to use a list.  You can have separate lists for the media, vendors, potential joint venture (JV) partners, and more.

Biggest Challenge Facing Small Brands: How to Start with Social Media?

challenges

The top challenge facing small brands is this: they’re overwhelmed, with 48% responding they don’t where to start.  Almost every brand assumes they need Facebook: in reality, only those B2C businesses or those using Facebook regularly will benefit.

Few brands have a clear strategy, and usually don’t know the questions to ask to develop one.  (Register for the free Social Media Strategy class on the Socialmediaonlineclasses.com Home page to build your own strategy.)

A close second is being faced with far too many social networks, and not knowing which one holds the best potential for their business.  Too many brands feel the need to be everywhere, and end up burned out and frustrated over a watered-down presence not generating results.

The third challenge facing small brands is not seeing a return on their investment (ROI).  Not surprisingly, if brands are unsure where to start or which online platform will perform best for them, their ROI will suffer.  It’s critical to develop a strategy, identify your highest potential social network (take the quiz from our Home page), and measure results over time.

Action Steps: How to Capitalize on These Results

What can you take away from these results to improve your own marketing?

  • If you don’t already have a website, you need to get one
  • No matter who your audience is, there’s a social network for you
  • Every business should start video marketing in 2014. You’ll see improved search engine rank and increased traffic to your website.
  • Educational marketing offers major opportunities to build your brand
  • Search Engine Optimization is important, and small brands can do basic SEO themselves
  • Influencer outreach can be simple & low-maintenance on Twitter
  • Develop and clarify your marketing strategy and your highest potential social network
College Guide to Landing a Job Free Webinar
Apr 08

College Guide to Landing a Job: Live Webinar + Recording + MP3 Audio

By Maria Peagler

College Guide to Landing a Job Free Webinar

Free webinar Thurs, April 24 @1pm ET

Join Maria Peagler for this brief live webinar:

  • Learn how college students can differentiate themselves in a crowded job market
  • Thurs April 24th, 1pm EDT, 5pm GMT
  • 30-Minute Webinar + On-Demand recording + MP3 Audio + Checklist
  • FREE for enrolled college students or $297.00 value FREE for Members (Membership is $57 per month, cancel easily anytime.)

Get Webinar FREE with SMOC Membership
 
Are you a college student? Get the webinar free here:


Already a member?  Your webinar access codes will arrive in your Inbox by March 26. Are you a college student who will be graduating soon? Is your child a college student & you want to help them get the best start possible?  Then don’t miss this webinar!  Maria Peagler will reveal how college students can stand out in a sea of job applicants and WOW potential employers. In this 30-minute webinar, you’ll learn:

  • the changes college students must make to their social profiles
  • the secret to WOWing potential employers
  • how to land an interview when you’re not getting callbacks

Plus, plenty of time for Q&A, so come with questions: college students and sign up today!

Get Your $297.00 Webinar ticket FREE When You Join SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com Today  (FREE for college students)

Purchase your Webinar ticket for $297.00 now, or get it free when you join as a Member today for $57 per month. Cancel easily anytime.

SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com is a continuous service, including instant access to over 200 online lessons valued at $1,997.00 plus $397.00 worth of new Bonus Webinars & infographics each month, billed to your payment card every 30 days at the lowest rate then in effect, currently just $57.

In total, you’ll get instant access to $2,297.00 (and growing!) worth of practical Members-Only training to grow your business using social media. SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com Membership helps you:

#1. Get Access to One Billion Potential Employers in 10 Minutes

Learn how to identify the social networks best for your unique career path, then build a profile that WOWs potential employers. SMOC brings you ‘what works’  training that cuts through the noise & crushes social media overwhelm.

Members  instantly access how-to videos, screen shots, checklists, infographics, and case studies — tools which can be put to work on your website & social networking right away.

#2. Get More Fans in Less Time

Discover how to get fans & connections without spending all day in social media.  You really can post to all of your social networks in as little as 15 minutes a day, and you’ll learn how to generate content & posts that get your business noticed, attract fans, and turn them into paying customers.

Members immediately get their hands on how-to checklists (like 13 Ways to Get More Facebook Fans), videos that teach you how to do search engine optimization yourself, and real-life examples of successful small businesses who’ve achieved great success.

#3. Customize Your Learning Track

Online training is often a one-sized fits all plan, but not for SMOC Members.  You’ll get a customized social media assessment that details the optimum social networks for your unique career path & industry, and you can use it as your guide for what classes you’ll need (Members are often surprised at the results).   Plus, Members can instantly access:

  • hands-on video tutorials
  • monthly social media makeovers (for your website or any social network)
  • bonus webinars that dive deep into profitable tactics
  • infographics to print as your cheat sheets
  • a private community forum
  • virtual office hours

#4. SMOC networking plus exclusive Q&A Webinars & Workshops

Members get instant access to a private online community of peers eager to connect and discuss what’s worked and what hasn’t for them.  Each week, members also get one-on-one Q&A time with Maria during Virtual Office Hours.

Plus, your Membership includes a complimentary pass to SMOC’s monthly Bonus Webinar or virtual workshop focused on a hot social media business topic — ranging from one & done posting to getting listed on search results — with plenty of time for extended Q&As . The webinar alone is a value of $297.00 per month.

As a member you’ll get immediate access to all the materials on the site plus that month’s Bonus Webinar. After that, you’ll be billed the lowest available monthly fee (currently just $57) via convenient automated billing. It’s risk-free and guaranteed, you can easily cancel at any time.

So why not join today and see how SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com can help your career grow!

Get Webinar FREE with SMOC Membership

social media for local business webinar excerpt
Apr 07

Social Media for Local Business Webinar Sneak Peek

By Maria Peagler

Members had so many questions during the Social Media for Local Business webinar they stayed for an additional 30 minutes with loads of questions!

The best member takeways were:

  • how to get a steady stream of new customers
  • which local resources were best for their business type
  • how to optimize social resources to help local consumers find your brand
  • and much more!

Webinar Sneak Peek

Here’s an exclusive excerpt from the webinar:

Not a member? Start learning today by becoming a Socialmediaonlineclasses member.  Click here to learn more:

Mar 27

The Ultimate Guide to Social Media for Local Business [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Maria Peagler

ALL NEW FOR 2015!

Click to download the infographic

<< Click on the infographic to download your own full-size version.

How do you decide where to spend your time marketing your local business?

So many social networks and marketing options can be overwhelming. How can you ensure you’re focusing on tactics yielding the most return on investment (ROI) for your local business?

Rely on the Social Media for Local Business infographic.  It reveals the eight most powerful social marketing platforms for local businesses; use it as a menu to pick and choose the ones the suit your brand.

Browse the explanations of each tactic, why it’s important, and what it can do for you. Remember to share this infographic with your own network, using the social buttons at the top & bottom of this post.

Google+

local google+

1. Get a local business page

Getting found on search engines is crucial for any local business, and the #1 step you can take to appear on page one of Google search results for your area is to get a Google+ local business page. It six weeks for Google to verify your address, but once they do, you get a free listing worth thousands in advertising.

ultimate guide to local business Socialmediaonlineclasses 1

The simplest way to get a local business page on Google is to use Google+

2. Add photos of your business’ exterior

Give people a snapshot of what your brick & mortar location looks like. While a professional image would be great, one you take yourself will do nicely.

3.  Add photos of your business’ interior

Do you invest a lot of time making your store an inviting place to stop in and browse? Show it off with photos of the interior, including your products, inventory, and what makes your business unique.

4.  Offer the ability to add reviews

People trust reviews from real consumers and businesses, so allow the public to review your brand. Don’t worry about negative reviews: studies show they actually increase overall review credibility. Just ensure they don’t outweigh the positive ones.

5.  Post hours of operation

Add your location’s hours and Google will let people know if you’re open at the EXACT moment they’re searching. Google is relieving your staff workload by avoiding that phone call of “are you open today?”

6.  Includes a map and directions

Google+ provides a map to your location, making it easy for visitors to get directions from Google Maps both on desktop and mobile.  Again, a phone call saved asking “how do I get to your office?”

7.  Add local area code and telephone number

Adding your local telephone number makes it easy for customers to get in touch with you and call your store by pressing just one “Call” button. Even better?  Adding your local area code also boosts your local search engine rankings.

8.  Use local hashtags

People do a lot of searching on Google+, and using hashtags relevant to your area will help you get found more often. A local insurance office would do well to use the hashtags such as #insurance, #atlanta, and #allstate (substitute your brand name here).

YouTube

local youtube

9. Record a brief intro video

YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine, so you’ve got to show up there with a video. Record a brief video introducing your business, what you do, and your location. Think of it as your own YouTube commercial.

10. Video title should include your city, business type, name of business

It may sound dull and uninspired, but including your city, type of business, and your business name is the best way to get found on YouTube.  So the title: Layton Utah Ford Dealership | Ed Kenley Ford ensures that people know your video is the one they’re looking for:

youtube for local business

Notice the location and type of business in the YouTube video title?

11. Website hyperlink is first item in description

What’s the next thing you want viewers to do after watching the video? Visit your website? Then put the website hyperlink as the first element in the video description.  That ensures viewers will see it even if they don’t click on See More to view the full description.  Want viewers to call you? Then use your telephone number as the first item in the description.

12.  Use city and zip code as tags

Tags are categories you can use to further describe your video, and they help YouTube determine which are the most relevant videos to your search.  By using your city name and local zip code as tags, you’re telling YouTube to serve up your video as local results when people are searching for videos in your area.

13.  Keep video short, less than three minutes

Make your video easy on you to record AND easy on viewers to watch by keeping it short, under three minutes.  Remember, television commercials are 30 seconds: watch them closely to see what they include and emulate the ones you like.

14.  Give viewers a virtual tour

You’ve likely invested heavily in your office or store’s interior, so show it off to viewers.  Give them an idea of what it will look and feel like when they visit your location. Be sure to point out what differentiates your brand from others in the area.

15.  Invite viewers to visit

Lastly, extend an invitation to viewers to visit your location, and offer something special to them when they do. Give away a freebie when people tell you they saw your video on YouTube.

16.  Mine Analytics for a gold mine of viewer data

YouTube offers excellent analytics about how many people watched your videos, for how long, and how they found them.  If people are watching only the first 10 seconds, take another look at your video. What’s your most popular video? Your least?

Facebook

local facebook

17. Select local business as your business page category

Facebook offers local businesses valuable features on their pages not available to others, including a map, your hours, and reviews.  All these items make it simple for people to find out about your brand directly within Facebook.

facebook local business page

Facebook’s local business pages display your hours, customer reviews, and a map to your location

18. Local business pages offer a map

When you add your physical address to your local business page, Facebook displays a map to your location.  This is particularly helpful to mobile users, who can click on the map and get directions from their current location.

19.  Local business pages offer reviews

Reviews from real consumers are one of the best ways to boost your brand’s credibility.  Yes, you risk getting a negative review or two, but studies show those bad apples actually increase the authenticity of all the reviews.  No need for people to go to Yelp — you’re letting your best customers say how much they love you and why!

20.  Are you open today?

Facebook actually saves your staff from endless calls about “are you open today” and “how late are you open” with real-time status: Open 11:00 – 3:00 or Closed Today. Helpful for both your team and consumers.

21.  Use local hashtags in posts

Hashtags are a great way to get found in Facebook GraphSearch, and local hashtags give you an intimate connection with your community.  The more you use hashtags, the greater the opportunity for people to find your business on Facebook. G. Michael Salon, the #1 hair salon in Indianapolis, uses up to 13 hashtags on a single post.

22.  Motivate fans to tag your business

Tagging allows a fan to mention your business in a post or a photo, resulting in it appearing on your NewsFeed.  Can you say “free public relations?” Give fans a reason to tag your business: motivate them with a freebie or an opportunity for an experience no one else gets.

23.  Check-ins from fans appear in their NewsFeeds

When your fans visit your location and check-in, their status appears in their NewsFeed along with a link to your business page.  Another fantastic opportunity for free publicity. Capitalize on your local status and encourage fan check-ins with photo opportunities, cool displays, or other unique experiences.

24.  Local businesses appear in GraphSearch first

If I’m looking for an insurance agency in my city, Facebook GraphSearch serves up those I’m fans with first, then  local matches.  Grow a targeted, local fan base and you’ll see improved search results.  Also check your Insights to see where new fans are coming from.

Slideshare

local slideshare

25. Gives local business a huge SEO boost

Few business owners understand the impact Slideshare can have on your search engine rankings.  After all, it’s where you share PowerPoints, right? Yes, but Slideshare transcribes the text of your slides, search engines (Google, Bing, & Yahoo) read that text, and if they like what they see, your search engine rankings improve.

slideshare for local business

Slideshare offers local businesses a HUGE SEO boost IF you use it correctly

26. Presentation title should include your city, business type, name of business

Similar to #10 for YouTube, including your city, type of business, and your business name is the best way to get found on Slideshare and in Google search.  So the title: Layton Utah Ford Dealership | Ed Kenley Ford ensures that people know your business is the one they’re looking for.

27.  Use SEO keywords in title text

Your SEO keywords are those search terms people use in Google to find what they’re looking for.  Someone from Atlanta searching would likely search for “Georgia Ford Dealerships” if they want that cool new Shelby Mustang. If those keywords are in your presentation title, your business has a much greater chance of appearing before searchers on Google and in Slideshare.

28.  Slideshare transcribes slide text for SEO

A perk of uploading a presentation to Slideshare is that it transcribes the slide text for you.  Search engines LOVE that. Aim for a balance of text on your slide that is enough to help you rank in search, but not so much you crowd the slide.

29.  Add a location slide with a photo

Help people visualize where your business is located by dedicated one slide to how to find you.  Give your address, nearby landmarks, and a nice photo of your building.

30.  Differentiate your business

What’s unique about your business? Hair salons are plentiful in most cities, but not all have Redken-trained colorists and carry Aveda products. A small one-person barber shop is an entirely different experience than a full-service barber who offers hot shaves, mustache trims, and a large collection of American Crew styling products.  You know what your customers want:  tell them you offer it in your presentation.

31.  Use a variety of images

Please don’t resort to the snooze-fest that is the text-only slide, or Death-by-PowerPoint. Make your slide presentation visually engaging by using a variety of relevant images, great slide design, and easily read fonts.

32.  Few local businesses use Slideshare

If you’re a local business reading this blog post, you’re in the minority.  Most small brands don’t use Slideshare, so simply uploading a presentation there puts you in the place of most potential. Try it – and let me know how it works for you.

Review Sites

local review sites

33. Yelp is important for local restaurants

If you own a restaurant, people are already reviewing it on Yelp. It’s become the go-to source for finding a great place to eat in any town. Especially critical if you’re located in a tourist town. A Yelp listing offer your address, telephone, hours, a map, photos of dishes you offer, and reviews.

34. Kudzu is great for local service businesses

Kudzu offers reviews for automotive, legal, health, financial and residential construction service businesses in major cities in the U.S. However, reviews are a small part of a large, detailed description and list of services you can display on Kudzu for free. Kudzu should be high on your list if you’re in a service-based business.

35.  TripAdvisor is a must for travel businesses

TripAdvisor is the first place travelers look when they’re planning a visit to a major city around the world. I personally booked a bicycle tour in Paris from reviews on TripAdvisor, and during the tour, the business owner told me TripAdvisor is a major source of new business for them. They key to credible reviews on TripAdvisor:  photos.

Blue Bike Tours has a thriving business - TripAdvisor is their #1 source of new customers

Blue Bike Tours has a thriving business – TripAdvisor is their #1 source of new customers

36.  Review sites can be an ongoing source of new customers

While many local business owners fear negative or fake reviews on these sites, it makes sense to embrace these websites and make full use of the wealth of free resources they offer you. Instead of waiting for your clients to come to your website, go to where they are: the review sites.  From there you can link to your website, offer inviting photos, and make your listing so inviting they can’t wait to visit.

37. Ask clients to use photos when they review your business

Much has been published about fake reviews (and people even sued over them); the best way to add credibility to any review is to add a relevant photo to it.  A photo of a clean body shop in an auto dealership can say far more than the review content, plus it shows the reviewer was really at your location. Ask your best clients for reviews and encourage them to snap a photo with their smartphone.

38.  Pay attention to review content

Make it a habit to read the reviews of your business and those of your competition.  While it’s impossible to please everyone, you’re likely to see a trend in what people rave about and what needs improvement. When reviewers complain about your competitors, identify how you can capitalize on their weaknesses or suggest a collaboration: you offer what they can’t, and vice-versa.  I know of a local quilt shop owner who formed a friendship with the local Wal-Mart manager, and they agreed to refer customers to each other when shoppers couldn’t find what they needed.

39.  Increases SEO results for your website

Review sites get massive traffic everyday, so a link on Yelp, Kudzu, TripAdvisor or other credible review site will help your website rank higher in search engines.  Don’t stop with just one review site: if your industry has multiple review sites consumers use, create listings on each.

40.  Add menus, photos, and details to your listings

Give visitors a multi-sensory experience when they look at your review site listing: can they see your restaurant’s inviting decor? Can they taste your tiramisu? Smell the Columbian coffee? Give viewers as much detail as possible in the form of photos, descriptions of products/services, directions, and other relevant information.

Instagram

local instagram2

41. Follow local Instagrammers

Who are the local Instagram influencers in your area? Search for your local hashtag, ask at your next chamber of commerce meeting, and start following those colleagues.  Also identify who the influential Instagram consumers are in your area and follow them as well.

42. Use a variety of images

Mix up the image types you share: staff photos, new products, inspirational quotes, your team at local charity events, before & after transformation photos, in-process photos and more. Keep your image feed interesting:  too much of the same type of image gets repetitive.

43.  Offer behind-the-scenes pictures

Some of the most fascinating images come from places consumers can never go: your kitchen, your body shop, stockroom, etc. Example? A local auto body shop shares fascinating before & after images of wrecked vehicles and the step-by-step process. I’d take my car there!

44.  Before & after transformation images are popular

Want to show off the impact your brand can have? Share before & after images of your clients! Great for hair salons, med spas, auto body shops, remodeling contractors, insurance agencies (before/after a home fire or other disaster) or any brand that has a visual impact.

45.  Share product photos with advice on how to use them

One of my favorite consignment stores posts photos of the new inventory they get weekly. I’d love to get a few of their tips on how to style or use the pieces they get.  Their vision of how to use their products is priceless beyond the piece itself.

An insurance company could share tips on what to do after hail damage to a car. Getting ideas for your brand now?

46.  Add location to images

Sharing those fascinating images is the first step to gaining followers.  Adding your location to those images makes it easy for those followers to find you when they’re ready to visit.

47.  Use local hashtags

Hashtags are crucial to getting found on Instagram, so what are the ones for your area? Indianapolis uses #indy, atlanta is known as #atl.  How about your town?

48. Use city, business type, business name, zip code and area code

If this image is the first time a follower has seen your brand, don’t make them guess at your details. Use hashtags to identify what you do: #atl, #barber, #barkerjackson, #30305, and #770 tells locals everything they need to know about your business at a glance.

 

Pinterest

local pinterest

49. Use place pins to offer a map to your location

Pinterest now offers “place pins,” which allow you to enter your address and it displays a map of your location. Great for both desktop and mobile users, no one has to guess where you are.

50. Add city and zip code in your board/pin titles and descriptions

Pinterest offers strong SEO results both internally and in Google, so using your city and zip code will help people find their local results.  Do you need them in both the pin and board descriptions? Yes. Why? Boards show up more often in Google, while inside Pinterest you’ll easily find both boards and pins.

51.  Pinterest provides your brand with an easy SEO boost

Not an internet geek? Awesome! You don’t have to be, nor do you have to pay an SEO consultant $5,000 to “optimize” your site.  Just add relevant local details to your boards and pins, and it will definitely help people to find you – both inside Pinterest and in Google search.

52.  Create local theme boards

The sky is the limit here: create “themed” boards around an experience: Date Night board could include dinner at your restaurant with live music. Spa Day board could be your hair salon “makeover” package with cut, color, facial and mani/pedi. Service-based businesses can do this too:  Insurance agencies can do boards around the dream cars, homes, and vehicles they insure. Financial services firms can showcase Saving for College or Retirement boards.

53.  Follow local pinners

Pinterest allows you to easily integrate your Facebook friends into your account, so you can connect with them. This is a great way to find local pinners.  Also search by hashtag to find pinners in your area.

54.  Offer contests to encourage visibility

While Pinterest may not be the first social network to come to mind for contests, brands like Amazon Fashion, LandsEnd, and Lily Pulitzer rock their contests, generating huge follower interest. How? Ask pinners to create boards with their brand favorites, and use the contest hashtag in the board description.

55.  Create a staff board

You’ve invested in a top-notch staff, so let pinners get to know them. Feature a staff board with a pin for each staff member, and a short bio. Want more? Include links to each staff members product recommendations and advice, as described in #56.

56.  Offer staff “picks” and advice

Let each staff member curate their own boards with their favorite products, advice, local hangouts and styles. It’s a great way to let local pinners get to know the faces behind your brand, what their strengths are, and who they identify with.

Mobile Marketing

local mobile

57. A mobile website is CRUCIAL for local businesses

People no longer rely on the Yellow Pages, and they use Siri and Android apps to find the closest business to them. Yesterday I was car shopping and asked Siri “where’s the closest BMW auto dealership?” I immediately looked at the most relevant results (my son was driving!). If your website is responsive or has a mobile version, you’ll get far better click-through rates and more people coming into your location.

58. Make your website responsive

A responsive website is one that automatically detects what device visitors are coming from and optimizes its display for the best viewing experience. Talk to your web developer about the simplest and most elegant way accomplish this: it’s an investment, but one that you need to do sooner than later.

59.  WordPress plugins provide a simple responsive solution

If you have a WordPress website, several plugins turn your website into a mobile version when visitors come from a smartphone or tablet.  These plugins are a smart solution for testing the response you get when you offer an optimized viewing experience for mobile users.  WP Touch and WP Mobile Detector are both highly rated and simple to install.

60.  Design emails for mobile reading

Most of us check our email on our mobile phones at least part of the time, so make your email newsletters mobile-friendly.  Use a mobile-friendly theme or just simple text in one column.  It’s not fancy, but it’s easily read and looks more like the emails readers get from friends and family (they don’t feel like they’re being sold to).

61.  Look at your website and emails on a tablet and smartphone

Great! You’ve got a mobile version of your website and your email newsletter! Have you looked at them yourself — as a consumer? Sure, you’re developer says they look great, but how readable are they to you? Ask staff members and friends to view them from their devices and different browsers to see how they look across the board.

62.  Use a large font size for easier mobile view

One simple tweak you can make to both your website and your email newsletters is to use a larger font size. That automatically reduces eye strain, especially on a tiny smartphone screen.

63.  One column layout is easier to read

Studies prove that a one column layout is both easier to scan and read, and gets higher click-through rates. Consider updating your website and your email newsletters to a simple one column layout. At least test a simplified version of each and see how the response rates change.

64.  44% of website traffic is mobile (and growing)

What adult (or teen) do you see without a smartphone in their hands? Mobile visitors are increasingly becoming a majority of traffic to your website, and local businesses likely get far more than 44% from it.  Check your Google Analytics (or ask your developer to) and see how many of your brand’s website traffic comes from mobile.

Where is Your Business Online? Can Your Customers Find It?

Local businesses are increasingly transitioning print, radio, and television advertising budgets to online marketing. Have you?

Identify your staff member who loves social and can represent your brand well, and give them the opportunity to build or improve your online marketing.  Give them this infographic as a “to do list” of tactics, and experiment with a few to see which ones generate the most traffic — both online and in your brick and mortar location.

Mar 11

Social Media for Local Business [Case Study]: Hair Salon on Facebook

By Maria Peagler

How can local businesses capitalize on social media marketing to compete with chains and online competition?

This week’s case study focuses on a local hair salon that uses their small, local status as their greatest asset, successfully monetizing social media marketing in a mid-size midwestern city.

Case Study: G. Michael Hair Salon

Greg Lee is the owner of G. Michael Salon in Indianapolis, voted the #1 salon in the city. While you may not think of Indianapolis as a hotbed of social media, Greg and his staff are savvy marketers that use multiple social networks to connect with a fan base far beyond their city.

G. Michael Salon's Facebook Page

Social Network

Pinterest

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Followers

10,321

3,358

1,098

1,175

Hours Invested in Social Weekly

33

ALL Business is LOCAL

Local businesses often feel squeezed by increasing competition from large big-box stores and online competitors.

Greg and his staff have turned the challenge of being a small, local business into their greatest opportunity.

How?

hair salon instagram case study

G. Michael's fans love their Before/After transformation photos

By engaging with local businesses and consumers on a level no national salon chain can match.

They devote 33 hours each week to their social media efforts: three hours each week planning on what to post, and 30 hours executing their plan.

Sophisticated Use of Social

While G. Michael is a small brand, they’ve mastered social media marketing and use it in a highly sophisticated way. Their Pinterest boards feature staff photos and bios. Click on the Staff board and you’ll get a map to their salon and you can see their large use of hashtags to help their SEO on Pinterest:

hair salon case study pinterest

G. Michael Salon's Pinterest boards

Staff bios, a map, and lots of #hashtags!

Engage Where Your Clients Are

G. Michael has beautiful and vibrant social media presences on multiple social networks, includingFacebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. They upload before and after hairstyle makeovers, run contests, and support local charities. Combine that with their hashtag use, maps, and reviews on Facebook, and they are a formidable brand to reckon with.

G. Michael salon runs contests regularly

The salon engages on those social networks where their clients hang out, like Instagram.

G. Michael keeps their branding consistent across social networks, and their engagement levels set them apart from other salons in the area, helping to differentiate their brand.

Turning Social into an Over-the-Top Experience in the Salon

Greg credits his team for keeping their clients happy once they’ve engaged on social media and visit the salon, saying:

Once a guest chooses to visit your business after finding you through all of your hard work, it’s time to deliver! Deliver above and beyond what the guest expects each and every time. Consistency is always key. Offer your new guest an excellent experience/service each and every time and they will now become another part of your thriving business

How you can adapt this case study for your own small business

G. Michael Salon successfully monetizes their social media marketing by focusing on these tactics:

    • Weekly planning session for their social media marketing
    • Post consistently throughout the week
    • Engage with fans and other local businesses (local-only)
    • Deep use of hashtags for SEO (local-only)
    • Take advantage of maps on both Facebook and Pinterest (local-only)
Mar 03

Local Social Media Marketing: Live Webinar + Recording + MP3 Audio

By Maria Peagler


March's free members-only webinar ($297.00 value)

March’s free members-only webinar ($297.00 value)

Join Maria Peagler for this brief live webinar:

    • Learn how local businesses can get a steady stream of new customers every month
    • Thurs March 27th, 1pm EST, 6pm GMT
    • 30-Minute Webinar + On-Demand recording + MP3 Audio + Checklist
    • $297.00 value FREE for Members (Membership is $57 per month, cancel easily anytime.)

Get Webinar FREE with SMOC Membership

Already a member?  Your webinar access codes will arrive in your Inbox by March 26.

Do you own a local business?  Then don’t miss this webinar!  Maria Peagler will reveal how small local businesses can easily get new customers, increase revenue, and turn your fans into your best marketing team.

In this 30-minute webinar, you’ll learn:

  • where your #1 source of new customers will come from
  • the secret to getting free advertising worth over $10,000 every month
  • marketing resources for local businesses only (your competition doesn’t know about these!)

Plus, plenty of time for Q&A, so come with questions and sign up today!

Get Your $297.00 Webinar ticket FREE When You Join SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com  Today

Purchase your Webinar ticket for $297.00 now, or get it free when you join as a Member today for $57 per month. Cancel easily anytime.

SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com is a continuous service, including instant access to over 200 online lessons valued at $1,997.00 plus $397.00 worth of new Bonus Webinars & infographics each month, billed to your payment card every 30 days at the lowest rate then in effect, currently just $57.

In total, you’ll get instant access to $2,297.00 (and growing!) worth of practical Members-Only training to grow your business using social media. SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com Membership helps you:

#1. Get Access to One Billion Customers in 10 Minutes

Learn how to identify the social networks best for your unique business, then build a profile that turns more visitors into paying customers. SMOC brings you ‘what works’  training that cuts through the noise & crushes social media overwhelm.

Members  instantly access how-to videos, screen shots, checklists, infographics, and case studies — tools which can be put to work on your website & social networking right away.

#2. Get More Fans in Less Time

Discover how to get fans & connections without spending all day in social media.  You really can post to all of your social networks in as little as 15 minutes a day, and you’ll learn how to generate content & posts that get your business noticed, attract fans, and turn them into paying customers.

Members immediately get their hands on how-to checklists (like 13 Ways to Get More Facebook Fans), videos that teach you how to do search engine optimization yourself, and real-life examples of successful small businesses who’ve achieved great success.

#3. Customize Your Learning Track

Online training is often a one-sized fits all plan, but not for SMOC Members.  You’ll get a customized social media assessment that details the optimum social networks for your unique business & industry, and you can use it as your guide for what classes you’ll need (Members are often surprised at the results).   Plus, Members can instantly access:

  • hands-on video tutorials
  • monthly social media makeovers (for your website or any social network)
  • bonus webinars that dive deep into profitable tactics
  • infographics to print as your cheat sheets
  • a private community forum
  • virtual office hours

#4. SMOC networking plus exclusive Q&A Webinars & Workshops

Members get instant access to a private online community of peers eager to connect and discuss what’s worked and what hasn’t for them.  Each week, members also get one-on-one Q&A time with Maria during Virtual Office Hours.

Plus, your Membership includes a complimentary pass to SMOC’s monthly Bonus Webinar or virtual workshop focused on a hot social media business topic — ranging from one & done posting to getting listed on search results — with plenty of time for extended Q&As . The webinar alone is a value of $297.00 per month.

As a member you’ll get immediate access to all the materials on the site plus that month’s Bonus Webinar. After that, you’ll be billed the lowest available monthly fee (currently just $57) via convenient automated billing. It’s risk-free and guaranteed, you can easily cancel at any time.

So why not join today and see how SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com can help your business grow!

Get Webinar FREE with SMOC Membership

Jan 28

Easy Facebook Ads on a Budget Webinar Sneak Peek

By Maria Peagler

We had record attendance at the Easy Facebook Ads on a Budget webinar, and the best member takeways were:

  • the difference between the ad types and which best suits your goal
  • how to target your audience
  • how to use the 5/35 ad formula for 900X their current reach for $35
  • how to get 1,200% ROI on a $50 ad

It’s not too late to get the webinar! Join before January 31 and you get the $297.00 webinar for free as a member.  After the deadline, you’ll need to join at the Annual level to access this and all webinars in the vault.

Webinar Sneak Peek

Here’s an exclusive trailer from the webinar:

Not a member? Start learning today by becoming a Socialmediaonlineclasses member.  Click here to learn more:

Jan 21

How to to Generate 1,200% ROI on a $50 Facebook Ad [CASE STUDY]

By Maria Peagler

Have you considered Facebook ads but just weren’t sure if they would produce results for you?  Do you wonder if your small budget is too small to compete with mega-brands for ad space?

This case study of a local business who achieved a stunning 1,200% return on investment (ROI) on an ad of $50 will prove it’s possible for small businesses with no experience in running Facebook ads to generate significant revenue from them.

Meet Bradley Cummings, Photographer

Bradley Cummings is a Socialmediaonlineclasses.com member and the owner of Bradley Cummings Photography in Canberra, Australia.  He specializes in workshops, portraits, and location photography, and like most private business owners, wears many hats.  He handles marketing, books photography sessions, travels to photo locations and conducts the photo shoot, and teaches workshops.

Bradley Cummings earned a 1,200% return on his investment in Facebook ads

Bradley Cummings earned a 1,200% return on his investment in Facebook ads

Bradley’s goal was to generate revenue during a normally slow season.  He wasn’t focusing on Likes or engagement, but increasing his bottom line.  Because he was investing money in Facebook ads, he expected an increase in revenue in return.  Specifically, Bradley wanted to fill  his photography workshops.

Bradley’s Road to Success with Facebook Ads

Bradley admits that his first attempt at creating Facebook ads was a frustrating experience.  His ad was rejected for having too much text (images on your ads can have only 20% text) and then he received notification that there was “dubious” activity on his PayPal account.  Facebook asked him to provide identification and send it to them. Once all that was resolved, he created a second ad, and here are his results:

  • Doubled the amount of traffic to his website
  • Filled his photography workshops during a normally slow season
  • Spent $50 (AUD) on Facebook ads and earned $600 additional revenue in workshop registrations
  • Achieved a 1,200% return on his $50 investment

Will Facebook Ads Work for Your Business?

Some businesses do better with Facebook ads than others.  Those include:

Local businesses

Local businesses do well with Facebook ads.  Anything local catches Facebook users’ attention, so if you’re a local business, be sure to use your town’s name in your ads or posts.  Also, since you’re paying for the ad to appear in a limited area only,  your overall cost will be lower.

Businesses who invest in quality images

Facebook is a visual medium, so any business that’s invested in high quality photography of its founders and offerings will make an excellent first impression and be more likely to achieve a higher ROI on an ad.

Those who are persistent

Creating a Facebook ad requires being comfortable with images, resizing them if necessary, and using Facebook’s ad manager.  Bradley admits that he was frustrated by his first attempts, but he persisted and achieved eventual success.

However, even if you don’t fit neatly into one of those categories, you can still achieve success with Facebook ads.

How You Can Achieve a 1,200% ROI on Your Own Facebook Ads

Members – login to get the details on how Bradley achieved such a great ROI and how you can do the same: click here to login!

Not a member? Start learning today by becoming a Socialmediaonlineclasses member.  Click here to learn more:

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