Social Media Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Social media marketing is all the rage lately, and with good reason. The potential to reach large networks of potential customers is hard to pass up, especially when such exposure is available almost free of charge.

However, while it may be possible to start up a social media account or two on your lunch break, it can be a little more difficult to conduct a successful social media marketing campaign. In fact, many businesses make mistakes that inadvertently undermine their efforts. Here are some common mistakes to avoid with your social media marketing campaign.

Mistake 1: Failing to Develop a Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social media marketing, like any type of marketing, requires a strategy if it is going to succeed. Unfortunately, many businesses jump into social media without a plan. What needs to go into a social media marketing plan? Here are just a few things to consider:

  • An editorial calendar
  • A vision and measurable goals
  • Metrics to track those goals
  • Regular posts and updates
  • Selection of relevant and targeted topics

Without a plan, your social media presence becomes less of a marketing effort and more of a personal account. With a plan, your social media presence becomes a powerful marketing influence carefully designed to deliver a profit.

Mistake 2: Self-Focused Posts

No matter how impressed you are with your own business, and we are sure that your business is pretty impressive, your customers don’t want to hear about it all the time. Especially on social media.

People come to social media to engage with people, businesses, content, and ideas that they find to be interesting. They do not come to social media to read traditional advertising.

As a result, any advertising that you achieve with your social media marketing campaign needs to come as part of engagement with the social media community. Try commenting on other people’s posts, creating content that is relevant and entertaining, responding to people’s posts and tweets, and creating a community, not just another advertising platform.

Mistake 3: Measuring Success by Followers

Many businesses assume that the best way to measure the success of your social media marketing campaign is by the number of Followers they have. The bigger that number is, the better they feel that their campaign is going.

The truth, however, is that follower numbers are not the most important metrics. Instead of simply having people following you, you need people engaged with your business. As a result, you want to measure metrics that reflect engagement with your business, like comments, retweets, and more.

Mistake 4: Failing to Tailor for Each Platform

Hopefully, your social media marketing campaign involves multiple platforms, all of which are relevant to your business and your target audiences. What many businesses fail to recognize, however, is that each of these platforms requires a different approach.

For example, Twitter requires a shorter format, while Facebook provides a platform for more in-depth connections. LinkedIn, on the other hand, offers a professional social platform. Understanding how each platform works and how your target audience is using it allows you to more effectively tailor your approach to make the maximum impact possible in each social media channel.

Mistake 5: Choosing too Many Platforms

Social media marketing is an exciting way to promote your business right where your target audiences are active and engaged. However, some businesses get a little bit too carried away and tackle every social media platform they can get their hands on.

The problem is that all of these platforms create quite a bit of work without offering significant benefits. Why? Because your target audiences do not use every social media platform. Instead of embracing every avenue you can find, target the platforms where your target audience are most active. Focusing your efforts on the most relevant social media marketing platforms allows your campaign to be as effective as possible with as little work as possible on your part.

Social media marketing offers a great way to promote your business. However, you need to go about it in the right way. Avoid common social media marketing mistakes by hiring a social media consultant to guide you through the process. We here at Distinct Web Design have the expertise to help you avoid social media marketing mistakes while creating a campaign that benefits your business in meaningful and profitable ways.

Eye-Opening Small Business Marketing Statistics

We’re sure you have heard it before: Small business marketing is critical to your business’ success. But what impact does small business marketing really have? Are we talking miniscule improvements in your conversion rates and ROI? Or differences in your metrics that could actually translate into more profits?

You might be happily surprised at the answer. But we won’t do the convincing ourselves. Instead, here are some statistics related to small business marketing that will open your eyes to the impact a strategic approach can make.

88 percent of people are turned off by negative website experiences.

If you think that a quick DIY website is enough to get your small business marketing campaign off the ground, you might want to think again. The reality is that website experiences count for a LOT among your potential customers, so much so that 88 percent of them will reconsider coming back to your site after just one negative experience. If that isn’t enough to get you looking for a professional website developer (like Distinct!) then keep reading.

70-80 percent of people look up businesses online first.

Small business marketing is often all about moving your advertising methods from word of mouth to digital marketing avenues. And the fact that up to 80 percent of people look a business up online first before visiting it should be all the proof you need that these digital marketing strategies are important. If potential customers look you up online, make sure they can find you with small business marketing that puts your company front and center.

Half of small businesses spend less than 2 hours a week on marketing.

What do you spend more than two hours a week on? Commuting? Shooting the breeze? Playing on your phone? These activities have zero impact on your business or your bottom line, but you spend more time on them than almost half of small businesses spend on marketing. In other words, many small businesses are failing to devote meaningful time to promoting themselves throughout the week. We get it: You have a million other things to do. So find someone, like Distinct, who can devote the right amount of time to making sure your business is properly seen and appreciated.

About a quarter of small businesses spend less than an hour on social media marketing a week.

About 27 percent of small businesses devote an hour or less a week to social media marketing. You probably spend more time every week cultivating your own personal social media presence.

Unfortunately, an hour (or less) a week is never going to earn you the social media presence your small business needs to thrive. Developing and maintaining a thriving social media campaign requires consistent implementation. It’s time to make time for social media marketing.

90 percent of people have not committed to a brand when starting their online searches.

If you think you can’t compete against bigger brands, think again. Almost all people who conduct searches online admit to not having a specific brand in mind when they start their search. That leaves you with an ideal situation: A blank slate. If you can get your brand, however small, in front of your target audience, you definitely have a chance of winning them away from the bigger brands. The secret to getting seen? You guessed it: Small business marketing.

Many small businesses are not putting their money where their mouth is.

Finally, small businesses seem to understand how important online marketing is. Up to 75 percent of them acknowledge that digital marketing is important and effective. However, 55 percent of them devote less than 20 percent of their budget to online marketing. If your small business is going to enjoy the potential of online marketing, you need to invest in your online presence. Fortunately, we know how to offer an effective campaign that remains affordable.

These are just a few statistics that emphasize the importance of small business marketing. If they have your attention, reach out to Distinct Web Dealing for help creating a small business marketing plan that works for you. Why? Because the numbers don’t lie, and effective marketing can truly make a difference for your business.

Small Business Marketing 101: Reasons for a Website

When it comes to small business marketing, there are so many ways to promote your business that you might feel overwhelmed with your options. However, when it comes to small business marketing, there is really only one thing you need to start with: A strong business website.

Unfortunately, more than 20 percent of small businesses do not possess a website. These companies are, quite frankly, losing out on business and visibility that could make all the difference in the success of their company. Here are just a few reasons to embrace a website as part of your small business marketing endeavors.

A website provides the basis for the rest of your online small business marketing.

When you promote your business online, your website serves as the basis for all of your other efforts. For example, the website, and the content on it, is the basis for your search engine optimization efforts.

Links to your site are the basis for your Google AdWords ads. And your website is the place people will go when they hear about your business in social media and want to find out more. Without a website, therefore, your small business marketing efforts are stalled before they even begin.

People go online before making purchases.

Another reason to embrace a website as part of your small business marketing plan is because people simply expect businesses to have one. For example, 97 percent of people who want to find a local business go online first.

This statistic, put another way, means that if you do not have a website, you are only reaching 3 percent of your potential customer group. Expanding your audience by 97 percent is reason enough to build, and promote, an incredible website, stat. In a digital age, you have to be online in order to keep up with the ever changing ways in which people find and engage with businesses.

A website supports small business marketing by building credibility.

In today’s age, people aren’t just going to believe what you say about yourself. They are going to look for third party verification of your company’s reliability, competence, and professionalism.

You can rely on other review sites to do the work for you. However, your other option is to use your website to build credibility. The very existence of a website is enough to make your business appear more trustworthy in customers’ eyes. However, the website itself can serve as a platform for testimonials and other third party verification for your company.

If, therefore, you want to convince people that they can trust you, you will need to build and maintain a beautiful site. And, you need to make sure that site reflects the positive things people are saying about you.

A website keeps your small business marketing going around the clock.

Finally, a website can support your small business marketing by allowing you to market your business around the clock. For example, your company may close physically at 5pm, but people can still order your products and services from your site at, say, 2 am.

This constant availability makes it easier for customers to find and engage with your company, even when you are not physically present in a brick and mortar store. And that means you can create connections and earn business, even while you sleep.

A website is critical to your small business essential marketing, and your own profitability. Here at Distinct Web Design, we specialize in creating websites that are  not just beautiful, but also carefully crafted for small business marketing success. In addition, we can help you forge a powerful digital marketing campaign that will take your business,I and your website, to the next  level of productivity and success. Reach out today for help creating the site you need.

Social Media Marketing Myths Debunked

Social media is taking over the world. At least, that is how it feels some days. Consider these statistics: Facebook enjoys use by more than 2 billion people every day. YouTube enjoys more than 1.2 billion daily searches. And Instagram boasts more than 800 million users every month.

The only reasonable conclusion is that businesses need to be part of the social media landscape, and that means they need to invest in some serious social media marketing. Still feeling doubtful? You are not alone. Here are five social media marketing myths that you need to ignore right now if you want to enjoy the potential these platforms have to improve your business success.

Social Media Marketing Myth 1: Businesses do not need a social media presence.

Some companies, especially small businesses, consider social media marketing to be an optional pursuit. We can’t entirely blame them. Small businesses are busy, strapped for cash and time, and laser focused on the activities most likely to deliver them real, tangible results.

The thing is, social media marketing is one of these activities, and that makes it worth the effort and the expense (which, by the way, is minimal). Consider the statistics above. With access to millions or even billions of people, social media marketing offers businesses the ability to inexpensively reach their target audiences right where their target audiences are most active.

Social Media Marketing Myth 2: Businesses should join every social media platform.

Some companies, on the other hand, jump on the social media marketing bandwagon and go all in. They join every social media platform. After all, if social media marketing is the way to go, why not take advantage of every network out there to promote their businesses?

The problem is that joining every social media platform is not likely to deliver the results a business needs, but it is likely to absorb lots of time and money that small businesses cannot afford to spend.

The reality is that every social media platform reaches different audiences and has different goals. For example, LinkedIn is a professional network, while Pinterest is a much more laid back wealth of creative ideas.

Thanks to the wide differences in platforms, not every platform will allow companies to reach their target audiences. Lawyers, insurance companies, and other professional businesses, for example, may do better on LinkedIn than in the more laid back environment of Pinterest or Instagram. A comic book store, however, or a florist, may thrive on Instagram’s access to incredibly visual stories and ideas.

Before you join every social media platform, therefore, take the time to figure out where your target audiences are, and where your brand can thrive. Then focus your social media marketing efforts on those platforms.

Social Media Marketing Myth 3: The number of followers is the most important metric.

Social media can often come across as a popularity contest. Businesses think that the more followers they have, the better. In part, this is true. Lots of followers is a good thing, and means you are providing your target audiences with a social media experience they find desirable. However, it is not the most important metric for your social media marketing goals.

Instead, engagement is the primary factor you are looking to achieve from your followers. For example, 4,000 followers might be an impressive number, but if only a handful ever comment on your posts or share your latest blog, you may be missing the goal when it comes to delivering posts that resonate with those followers.

On the other hand, carefully crafting a following of 300 people, many of whom take the time to provide feedback on your posts, share your posts, retweet your thoughts, offer criticism of your opinions, and otherwise engage with you, means you are delivering a meaningful experience. And it means that word about your company is likely reaching wider and wider networks which will, you guessed it, eventually lead to the higher numbers of followers (and customers) that you crave.

Social Media Marketing Myth 4: The goal is business promotion.

Companies used to traditional marketing are used to making their business the focus of their marketing efforts. The problem is that this approach will not work on social media. People do not come onto social media to look for ads about how great your latest product is. They come on social media to engage, relax, and be entertained. So you need to provide them with that experience: Valuable, interactive content that is not necessarily all about your company.

Business promotion has its place, of course, but not usually on social media. Keep your content focused on what is valuable for your target audience. And don’t forget to take the time to engage with others’ ideas and opinions. Like any conversation, it’s not all about you, and the people and companies that can embrace a good conversational style are the ones who will earn the most opportunities and build the best relationships online.

Social Media Marketing Myth 5: Social media does not create business revenue.

Think that social media does not translate into cold, hard cash (or cold, hard conversions)? Then you would be wrong. In fact, one quarter of businesses who use social media enjoy an increase in revenue, while up to 62 percent of companies who use LinkedIn enjoy customer acquisition. Yes, social media marketing is good for your bottom line.

If you need help crafting a successful social media marketing campaign, do not hesitate to reach out to Distinct Web Design. We can help you find, and leverage, the right platforms in the right way as part of your digital marketing strategy. And that can mean more conversions and business for your company.

Google AdWords Campaign: Targeting Tips

Google AdWords is a great tool for small businesses looking to improve their digital marketing strategy. Low cost but effective, the placement of ads for your business at the top of the search results is an effective way to quickly get your products and services in front of your target audiences.

Another reason an AdWords campaign benefits small businesses is because it allows these companies to target specific locations and demographics. As a result, AdWords makes it easy to ensure that you only pay for ads that are reaching the people you want to reach.

Successfully targeting your ads, however, requires a little bit of skill. Here are a few tips for getting started on successfully targeting your AdWords campaign.

Focus on geographic areas that perform well in your AdWords campaign.

When you first launch your AdWords campaign, you will likely choose areas to target that are relevant to your business. For example, you may opt to have your ad show up for areas where you distribute your products, as well as your local town or state.

If you are using an effective AdWords professional (such as a Google Partner like Distinct Web Design), however, you should also begin tracking the success of your ads in each area. Over time, you should be able to see which areas are delivering more click throughs and conversions.

Once that information begins to come in, you would be wise to tweak your AdWords campaigns based on which areas are performing the best. For example, say you sell products in Indianapolis, but you aren’t getting many results from your campaign targeted to that city. You may want to redirect your resources toward another city, like Greencastle, where you are getting strong results from your AdWords campaign.

Go beyond geographic regions to include demographic groups.

Geography is a good starting place for targeting your AdWords campaigns. However, the beauty of AdWords is the ability it gives you to target at an even more detailed level. In particular, you may want to consider targeting by demographic groups in addition to geographic groups.

There are a wide variety of demographic groups from which you can choose. For example, you can select from features such as age, gender, I come level, education level, even whether they are married or are homeowners.

With the right combination of geographic and demographic targeting, you can tailor your AdWords campaigns to the specific audiences who will be most interested in your products and services. And, with targeting, you can create separate campaigns to reach each audience you are interested in. That kind of granularity improves your overall performance so you can get the most out of each campaign.

Use the radius function to create more narrow segments for AdWords campaign targeting.

You may already know that Google AdWords allows you to target your campaigns to specific countries, states, and cities. What you may not know, however, is that you can also create AdWords campaigns that are based on a certain radius around a geographic area.

For example, say you want to target one of your campaigns to the Greencastle area. However, if you don’t want to limit your campaign to just Greencastle proper, you can use the radius function of AdWords to expand the area as far as you want. You may want to set your campaign to 70 or 100 miles around Greencastle.

Don’t neglect other types of AdWords campaign targeting.

Geographic and demographic targeting are not the only types of targeting available for your Google AdWords campaigns. Instead, AdWords offers a number of other options for narrowing down the audiences who see your ads. Focusing on geographic or demographic targeting to the exclusion of these other options can detract from the overall effectiveness of of your campaign.

Instead, work with your Google Partner to take full advantage of the targeting options available to you for your AdWords campaigns. Examples of the kind of targeting you may want to consider are remarketing to previous customers, targeting certain websites, and even targeting certain topics.

If you want a more effective AdWords campaign, consider using targeting to achieve your goals. With a focus on geographic areas that are performing well, demographic groups, the radius function, and other types of targeting, you should be able to build a strong campaign for your business.

If you need a strong Google Partner to help you achieve the business marketing you need, do not hesitate to reach out to Distinct Web Design. We can offer you many advantages for your AdWords campaigns, as well as web design and digital marketing strategies to help your online presence thrive.