Small Business Opportunities for Building a Strong Online & Social Presence
Hi and welcome to the social media research brief podcast. I know you wanna hear what's new and social research so let's get started today. I'm talking with her. She then owner propel marketing and design a South Florida based marketing company whose Kathleen Age for the company's mission to help small businesses and entrepreneurs repel their companies forward propel marketing and design signed a full service Internet Marketing Company that specializes in SEO PPC social media marketing search engine marketing and graphic design propel works works with clients to compete effective and unique marketing strategies to help raise their online profile and support their business. Subject there see as a marketing consultant and digital strategist. I who's a creative at heart and passionate about the work that she does Hendra claims she works with. I had the chance to sit down with her and talk about tips advice and strategies they can be implemented lamented to help with building a strong online and social presence. There she. It's nice to have you on. Yeah thank you for having me I appreciate it. I'm really excited. You know as we were talking before we got together so we were talking about the power of how small businesses can really take advantage of everything. That's out there right now so I was really excited head to have you on so weak and share. That was our listeners. So what I'd like to do is just start. Just talk about you your company and what it is that you do Shahr. So hello everyone my name is Darcy Sullivan with propel marketing and design and also really helping inspire people to improve their online online rankings and online presence. Easy that through three different ways we have done for you done with you and do it yourself tape item the do it yourself. Type item is of course that we have then we also offer training and then we have the done for you. Service is when we just step in and give you all the assistance you need. That's nice that you have the three different points because this way people can use you on the level that they they need you which is really great now you tell me a little bit more about the diy like what is of course look like the length. Is it self paced. What does that kind of in town? Yeah yeah so it's called ready set rank and Three docking system. It's three stocks is designed to take four weeks and what it is is we walk us through the different stages. Seo and improving your online presence and we do it in a way that combines strategy along with the tack that sometimes people can be scared up so we have a tech library that has videos sit like show you how to implement based on what your website platform is. If it's wordpress wordpress where space wicks shop big commerce etc and we we dive into the mother things that I think. We're going to kind of hit on a little let today and you're going to social media and Seo but designed mainly as an seo course which is search engine optimization. And that's nice. And I like at that's kind of as he's on builds because everybody talks social media right now but you have to start with the SEO be visible. Two billion is you're saying to China builds builds so it's great that you offer it from the ground up especially for small businesses even who are just starting how or a newly starting out sounds like it's a really good resource there and then you also have to do it for you option which is really nice and as far as when someone comes to you and says you know we need help. We want you to do it for us. What kind of things? uh-huh do you start thinking. What would be good tips for people? They're getting ready to delve into this. What should they be thinking of? As a starting point for their strategy deck one is your target audience or your prior personas really scooping them out figuring out what their problems are in the tends to providing them to fix problems. That's the number one step before you've been build a website or go onto social media. You've gotTa Start Start clearly clearly defining who your target audience is. You can't just say my product works for everyone you WanNa whoring and specifically who are targeting the closer that you can get to envisioning the person that probably call the buyer persona where you dive in and you give them a name gene. It gives you a whole different voice when you're talking to them so sometimes people get stuck on. What am I right on social media or whatever right above post about or I don't know what content it's on my website but if you envision these couple of different versions of your buyer personas? It's a lot easier for you to sit down and talk to Jane and thirty four four and works with specific job and lives in a specific location. It's GonNa be easier for you to talk to that person. More authentic way than it is to talk to broader audience. That's a good thing to keep in mind. I really liked that that. You're talking to a person not just hey customer base. The step one is definitely starting for you. Do anything anything at target your audience and figure out exactly what you'll be talking to and then once we get there and once you get there like to say stake your claim and the crumbs. It's just media that comes to your website and when it comes to mind yet I suggest that once you know your company name and what you stand for and you've caught your are you are on your website then on social media. He didn't if you're not sure that you're going to embark on. Let's just say twitter or instagram. You WanNa go beheaded claim your spot on those locations because there's nothing worse than somebody cleaning your your company name as their facebook page inch or their instagram. Even if you're not sure if you're GONNA use the social media locations to connect with people you wanna go ahead and stake your claim point. I've always thought about that from setting it up. He may not use it right now and my thinking was always you know it will be nice to have. Should you decide. That's for your audiences dances. Maybe but from what you're saying to you don't want someone else to pick it up whether it be a competitor or the thinking really crazy disgruntled customer and I don't know but ah thinking of it from that perspective to some really good point. I've never thought of before. And also it gives you the opportunity to as we all now social media It is its own search engines. So let's just say you have decided that maybe twitter isn't it for you but if you include your bio you maybe you have a note saying hey. We don't always participate on here but check us out on our facebook page. You can still find our website. It gives people the opportunity to connect with you wear they are. They're looking exactly and it wouldn't take much offer like you're saying just say hey. We're not here a lot but we are on facebook and so everybody does Nina websites excites you WanNa make sure that your website is set up in a way that is mobile friendly offer in connection with your target audience your buyer personas a-. And then you want to start to create content which of course we shot through social media and other location and that can be daunting I I know especially on a consistent basis because we know how social media tends to move very quickly. But I'm sure you also have great insight. They when you do work with clients on how to create that aditorial content and like you said at the beginning if you're targeting you're you're building the foundation of your strategy from the very beginning knowing you're talking to Jane Smith who fits this persona that perch probably going to be a lot easier than people tend to envision it when they're just starting out. Yeah and then you know it comes. I like pushing out your content and tracking and seeing what is working in. What isn't working? So you can make adjustments so this do it for you in. This is all all of the the pieces you just talked about correct. Absolutely that is a great overview of the strategies and it is building blocks and it it takes time and but it sounds like it's very helpful especially going the full circle in kind of thing you know you can take a look at what's working and help them make adjustments and and that work and then I do WanNa go a little deeper because you did touch on this. How are so many opportunities for small and mid sized businesses to really you know it out of the park with social media and take advantage of all the listening and the opportunities of connecting with customers that his out there so if you can talk about different ways that can help the small businesses as it can be daunting? And how do I get. My voice heard absolutely so one. You're not a big business and and I think that that's like step one and say okay. I'm not a big business. And that's okay I'm GonNa be me or rain is going to be us and we are going to be authentic and then the next up is to show up. And I think a lot of people discount groups whether it's been thinking or groups and facebook first tons of information that you can gather I listening it'd be a part of these groups and its opportunities for smaller businesses to connect and and if you read audience in a way that isn't just you on your face per page thing. Hey Look at me here. 'CAUSE that's not the goal social media so I think when it comes to you know groups it gives you the opportunity to say. Hey if you get into group where your target where Jane is they were talking. Uh earlier where your target audience your persona are having conversations directly about solutions that you saw or things that relate to your business it gives you the information one. What were they using? Do you can make sure on your website and on social media using their words not your word art it gives you the opportunity to grab onto their problems and it helps give you insight into how you can solve their problems. There's been a lot of studies he's done about. When you talk like your customers do it does make them feel even more connected and like they are being heard? which is? It's the play when it comes to you connecting and engaging especially online. I think absolutely one of the things too but I love about these. Groups is one of the quicker ways to to build. An audience is to connect with somebody who is an alignment but isn't direct competition but has an audience. That's the same audiences you you so you can partner up with some of these companies that you can find in these groups or if you can get initial feedback you know people for more apt to say yeah. I'll have a conversation with you about this or the hat. Yeah these groups then they are just if shops directly. Yeah and and you find that people are pretty happy to align that way now. How do you suggest joining facebook? Groups linked in groups is there are any good search tips to find ones that would be most appropriate to what their business model is. Just simple as typing in the industry name or are there different and search techniques. Maybe on facebook in Pensacola type in something and it might not always come up. How you're expecting? Yeah you've gotta just do a little searching and you gotta gotTa use the keyword terms that you're looking for more and industry terms that you're looking for and I think that that gives you a lot of insights h you can also even just for conversations like you know. Look through social media to see who's having hunger Sikhtian and what the conversation are regarding the topics that relate to your business and that's even a good starting point for more general social listening to find those communities that do relate to your industry three and then you can possibly branch out into more outside of the facebook twitter and to maybe get a better understanding what customers are looking for us and that it was one of the things I did WanNa talk to you about. Is that social listening when we hear about it. There's a lot of focus on the platforms that are available. But there's there's ways you can do socialists if you're on a restricted budget or you don't have the time to learn different listening tools so do you have any tips on start with the groups and you start to connect that way. Are there any other social listening tips. You can share with our listeners. So when you know we have have tax that we search through and and you had keyword terms although some of the tools that are out there are really great when you're just getting started as mentioned before social media site their search engines within themselves so you can use them to search the specific topics whether it's typing the key word or typing in the Hashtag Josh Todd to see what content is out there regarding them and what conversations people are having that we didn't touch on is the in fact when it comes to social media looking to your competition even though we don't WanNa copy what they're doing looking to them the whatever stations they're having with Dan audiences how they're having this conversation and that could be another really great way to to understand not only your competition but customers from that space to learn like you said how talk what their problems are and so forth conductor social media audit you on competition you can go in and you can dive in and see not only how how they talk to their audience. How their audience? Because it's not about your petition. It's about your target clients customers so house. They're taking taking in the information. If there's twenty videos that your competition post but one of the twenty is getting twenty million views while the other ones getting three gives you an idea of what type of content your target audiences interested and what they react. Best as its image images if it's studios if it seems like they get more in our action and on instagram were. If it seems like whatever's where they're rocking Eh. It gives you that information as well and I love how you say it's not. You're not trying to be your competition. You're trying to learn your target. Who is your audience? And that's a great tip because especially and you alluded to this in the beginning to you need to figure out where your customers are talking. The most and this is a great way. If you don't know that off hand or oh you can't quite figure it out easily. You came up to the competition to kind of get a really good understanding of that and you need to understand each platform so a lot of people are like it should be on instagram. Because everybody's on instagram. And yet your hands my and instagram. But let's just say you still copiers. Are they really going to instagram's INSTAGRAM's look for information on copiers. They they're probably there but you don't WanNa hit them with information in a place that they're not looking for it so that's a great tip you gotta be just because everyone's on instagram doesn't mean you need to be right that happens when small businesses start their journey on social media. Is they assume that they can take one continent and share it the same way throughout all forms of social media. And that's not the case you have to figure out how your audience audience and how people take in information from the different social media platforms so obviously twitter like you can't have the link of the post A- as long as some of the other platforms and as I mentioned when you typically do a post instagram which more visual. So you've gotta gotTA gotTa take into account how people take their information from each of the social media platforms and one of the things too. I kinda like about that. Is it forces. Sousse you to think about repurposing your contact because you can start with one great and maybe it's a blog post and you think okay. I'd like to use this on. Social Belt can't just reposted necessarily facebook and Lincoln and twitter and get any traction but you can do the visual component and with a snippet of something and you you know use it here and then you have just a lot of opportunity to get that content generated which you had talked about when you were laying out the stops For developing a strategy so it is good to talk to people where they're at and how they want to talk to because I've even heard some businesses have found that their customers use twitter. Maybe because they want to hear what. The company's newest product is going to be but they use facebook for more educational purposes even when they do their webinars series or something something so they've kind of learned where their customers are and what they need from each different platform and they they adjust to it and give them what they're what they're looking for absolutely and you have to do that in order to be successful on social media so you can look to what your competition's doing look at how they took a block past and how they repurpose the blog. Post to push it out through to twitter through facebook through instagram. Supensri us if you get an idea of how they re purpose the coal plant. That's one great thing to do during your competitive analysis and your social media audit so you don't WanNa copy exactly what they did. I tell people that are just getting started star with like the top three questions that you get out by people all the time. Tom And let that be your guide towards what kind of content you're sharing and exploring and communicating with through social media after your website insight. Because you have to start somewhere if you're getting those three questions saw that and start being that resource for on those start getting to know you and what you're all about how The thing I kind of wanted to touch I wanted to see what your thought is. We talk about social marketing and engagement. We think of the social sites but to we always share that there's different places out there like forums. That may have a certain edge is forums and other non traditional type social. Aw engagement something so yeah when when it comes to that. I think that the nice thing about stuff like like that is it's less saturated people think social media and they think that the big players but nearly especially has broadened you know. We can't talk talk about social media without talking about even as much they'll have to include y'all and Google my business and open tangible will places where people leave reviews places where people go for the information and I think that when you can dive deep into it socially and find those niches is where people are going and they're having the conversations and you can jump in it allows you to really connect with your target audience Trying to be authentic and be imagine if they can be part of that group. You know like it's cool when a restaurant pays attention to you or me or a group of You know that means something I think out there and I think it builds loyalty and that's a fantastic way to come and engaged with them and you WanNa make it now like you want. If you're starting you WANNA have up. Hey these are handled. This is where you can find it on social media because you want people checking in at your location you want. People beating reviews. Reviews are touch an underrated item when it comes to the importance of small businesses it is growing on social media being aware of all the different sites. Because there's all any review sites and that's probably part of what you encouraged to monitor for for businesses. Because like you're saying it can. It can be a blessing or it can be a curse if something goes awry. And you're not aware visit here not tracking it. Yeah absolutely and you know. Unfortunately we live in a world where not everybody is happy at the time and sometimes are are not happy. The first thing they do is take the social media. So I've seen companies small companies do amazing things when it comes comes to it when somebody leaves a bad review taking us an opportunity to not ignore it but jump in the conversation and explain. Why the bad thing happened happen? Even to the point of that wasn't our location that you're complaining about we don't have a red room jumping in and not just being like yeah. Yeah we got a bad review. Did you ever see the AD. It was for. ISKY company a ski slope. And when somebody left a bad odd reviewing it with a one-star like this is too hard and they turned it into an whole advertising campaign where they're over there like shape gave us a one star because Josh he's looks or too hard and it was like a guy just falling down the slope and the company did so well. Because everybody's like oh it's it's such a good slope. It's too hard for the people like Dave that can't handle all I love that. Yeah so I think that you know you've got to be aware of what people are saying about you online. Talk Jump into the conversation that you could totally own it and take part of the conversation when somebody says oh well the food with too spicy. Yeah it was because wor we offer the spiciest in San Antonio jump jump on it and spin it the right way but when I even seen I believe it was the harmony I'm thinking of it writes this was going back here are too but it was almost like. They took their negative feedback and turned into commercial. Because I remember the commercial and the man was on the commercial and he said you know people complain plane are forms. Take too long to fill out there so many questions. But that's because we're making the best match for you and I thought wow yeah turning that negative like you're you're saying into a positive and that was that was pretty fantastic to what it also does. Is You know. Some people are just not always happy. Or they're just I'm not going to be happy and if the company is reaching out through that conversation the company can win too because they could like. You're saying it's the spiciest sued it's supposed to be spicy if that customer keeps going back at them and trying to negate them in some way it's going to make the company look really good because they are having in this conversation very publicly and they can see the customers just not a good match and that reviews shouldn't be taken into consideration if someone's deciding maybe that's you know we're going to go for dinner that night to win on the loop and we did talk about how to handle path reviews. I think also important for small businesses specifically typically if they're interested in ranking locally to make sure that they're getting the positive reviews and they're putting forth effort to stay. You leave us an honest. You WanNa say honest review you never want to leave us a five star review. Because then he goes to feel intimidated or pressured. You I WANNA say leave us an honest review we love your feet that but make sure that you and your team members are out there gaining and working for the additional channel responses. You want somebody to go in and just describe their experience not just five stars. There's a lot to this for order but that's why you exist. Do you know for that very piece rate here because you consider a company and help locks on through this and help them put all the pieces together other and then figure out a really good strategy so they can be successful without being completely overwhelmed right and one more thing that I wanna mention more just talking about reviews looked here competition. Is You find over and over and over again that people are complaining about your competition does fill the blank then make sure your positioning in. Your strategy allows people to know that that's not an issue with your brand. He up and knowing their pain points can help drive your marketing marketing message. There is such a wealth of information. I know it's set before but I know the smaller businesses sometimes feel a little not intimidated a bit. Like where do I fit in in this world of social but you've outlined so many great opportunities in tips and ways to get information that's going to help awesome succeed. They're all readily available. I hate you. Don't have the time this is why they call you and you can walk through and help them make sense of it all well and then I'm sure the life cycle of starting the very basics USA the SEO and getting your website to get to the social piece to get to the content to who gets the engagement takes awhile. And I think at least we're at the point where people know. This is not a magic bullet. This is not happening today tomorrow or next week. You're building a foundation condition and it takes time and but it can be done and it. It's a great opportunity for local businesses to really be hurt and in reach more people apple than they were able to fifteen years ago. Yeah something else think that are. Is that your marketing. Should be a cohesive plan but if you try something just take Google it's or facebook ads and you and you realize that your audience resonates with certain pictures over other pictures or certain texts over other text copy happy then. Those should carry over to Gore campaigns. Whether it's your website campaign for Seo or your social media campaigns or just how you have conversations with your audience absolutely agree on that to see this time of year. I always liked to ask I guess like what are you seeing for the next year. What do you think's GonNa Happen? Then you have been on the rise but it's easier and easier for people with a low budget to enter. It's becoming becoming easier than it's ever been. I think that when it comes to gaining confidence with jumping on social media with your video like you just gotTa connect- met you gotta be like okay once a week for five minutes. I'm jumping on facebook live over to instagram. It'd be like hey guys check out. Our facebook live later today day. But if you say even for a month or two that you're going to do at once a week pressure work but you're gonNA gain your confidence and even if you do something as simple as buying like a twenty dollar light so that the lights better in your office or wherever step outside so the light is great. You'll feel more confident about it. And if you're feeling more confident about your audience is going to really resonate more with it and if you do. QNA's jumping in and answering questions that people write in. Maybe tell your email this. Hey we're GONNA jump on. facebook live on Thursday covering all questions. You Send Bendon related to fill in the blank. Well if they really WANNA question answered related to fill in the blanks and they're gonNA jump on facebook to see your answer so I think video is going to absolutely continue to grow the other thing that we're gonNA see continue to seek growing is boy searches and when people are doing voice searches. They're usually asking a question and we've noticed specifically when it comes to SEO for websites like we're including more question terms and and this goes for social media as well because there's been the avalanche than it used to be somebody who's going to go to Google and type in a term like facebook CEO if they were interested in finding out who then facebook CEO is now they type in who is facebook CEO. Or are they just ask it to their phone or were whatever device so you have to not only think customer thinks that you need to include the questions that your customers asking answer them with the voice you. How many times do we do that? We all do it. Yeah and now we're GONNA get a household devices and other things personal assistance that you're talking the two in the same manner and you know when you type in questions like that website. The only things that are coming up you tubes coming up other social coming up you WANNA make. I'm sure that you consider questions. And I always forget to about the Alexis and Google homes. But yeah you're exactly right. We talked to those like we talk to people so you have to make sure your seal is backed up to support that and you're coming up when people are asking. What's the best restaurant in my town? That serves Japanese food. Sales are two big ones again. I think it micro moments just connecting your blog posts or facebook post isn't gonNA take somebody from A to Z of anything right. It's not like it's a big course or a full book or anything. But you're looking for are these micro moments to connect with people and you can do that through these little. Itty bitty nuggets that you're offering them through social media and that build over time I'm You keep remembering his company's helpful. I found this. I found that and really attention spans anymore Charlie micro-moments so darn aren't fitting and I think that people sometimes think too much about companies about themselves and they have to think of themselves elves and there you ever bigger potential customers. Choose and say. Why do people see our stuff on social media and there have been studies as has to why people share on social media and a lot of it has to do with positioning themselves as an really think you're war so hey Karen you now? I know we were talking about that. Look at this leaks. Say when I make the information you're providing is hopeful or funny or something that's GonNa make you get go by role can do that was very few words or images or you don't have passed occasion to be rented. This is why I get so excited about this because there is so so much out there and when I talked to someone like you who can lay out all these possibilities I know it gets people thinking and it gets people excited about what they can do and if they do get due to the point that they're overwhelmed. They know that their support out there. That's who people can turn to for the help they need. Your conversation has been so helpful today. I really appreciate it. It's an and fantastic. Get an fun. And whatever they do in the show notes is I am going to put a link to your company into your social sites if that's okay so that people can learn more about what it is that your company offers and if they want to reach out to directly on socially engaged with you of course we encourage that just just to learn from you and what you do and again I thank you very much for taking the time to talk me and I look forward to view again in the future. Absolutely yeah just a lot of times and that wraps up. Today's social media research free feature to listen to our other episode listed on the estimate. Say or wherever it. Is You listen to podcasts. And don't don't forget to subscribe leave a rating and share with your friends in college and for more information on Social Media Research Association please visit I said. SM Murray Dash Global Dot Org. Thanks so much the next time yeah.