Extend your Social Media Reach

Social media marketing is well past new or novel, and is now a pillar of any comprehensive digital marketing strategy. According to Statista, 2.46 billion people are active on social media channels in 2017, and this is projected to rise to over 3 billion by 2021. Extending your social media reach is clearly worth pursuing!

social media reach

source: Statista

Practical Tips to help you Grow your Social Media Reach

Growing your audience on the busiest channels takes a bit of effort, but we’ve compiled a few tips to help.

Facebook Tips

The most popular social network offers a gargantuan audience (over 2 billion) of frequent users, and is well worth your efforts to cultivate, by:

  • Posting content that is engaging, informative, relatable and worth sharing! If you can, be funny, or post touching stories that will elicit a positive response
  • Ensuring that your content is easily shareable, even when it’s been discovered on another channel
  • Contests and giveaways are popular, and be sure to celebrate the winners afterwards, it will build trust with your audience
  • Don’t bombard your audience, cluttering up their news feeds with multiple daily posts will lead to un-follows

Grow your Flock on Twitter

  • Tweets are less intrusive due to their brevity, so you can post more often without alienating your audience
  • Follow and engage with influencers, especially those in your industry who have a great number of followers, by retweeting their material and starting conversations with them
  • When you start a conversation, pay attention to keep it going; Twitter moves quickly, and if you ignore it for hours your convo may die a premature death
  • Create thoughtful, significant tweets that will inspire others to retweet
  • Use hashtags to weigh in on popular topics and spread your reach

You can certainly boost your social media reach by focussing on these two social giants, but there are other channels where your audience spends time. Do the research to determine where they are and include these channels in your social media strategy. As always, keep an eye on the metrics so that you know whether your investment is paying off, and make adjustments accordingly.

It does take time to accomplish. If you are too busy running your business to work on improving your social media reach, talk to us. We can develop and manage your social media marketing campaigns while you focus on your daily business.

How NOT to Manage your Reputation

These days, everyone’s a critic. Drag one obstinate customer down the aisle and before you know it, you’re the target of a smear campaign!

I’m just kidding. United Airlines deserves the bad press for this one, and so far, it doesn’t seem like they’re managing the crisis very well. The official response appears to blame the customer, who was sitting in the seat he had paid for and didn’t want to give up. Following closely on the heels of another United Airlines PR blunder (the ‘leggings incident’) this one is doing serious damage to their reputation. ‘Fly the Friendly Skies’ indeed!

The practice of overbooking flights and the fact that they were acting within their contract notwithstanding, this kind of behaviour won’t be tolerated by a populace armed with technology and unafraid to use it. Several shocking videos immediately popped up online and a multitude of voices (now including mine) is raised in defense of the battered customer.

This is a perfect example of how not to manage your reputation and should be a warning for all businesses. Respond to your unhappy customers quickly and with tact. If someone complains about your product or the service you provided and you respond poorly, slowly or not at all, the repercussions could be costly.

3 Reputation Management Rulesreputation management

To support your reputation, always respond to customer complaints with:

  • Speed – if your official response has to filter through several departments and be edited by a group, it’s likely to take time. Meanwhile, your reputation is being dragged through the mud. Don’t let the outrage boil over, at the very least, respond to say that you are investigating the complaint.
  • Tact – Whomever creates your official response must be tactful and capable of viewing the situation from the customer’s perspective. While you might feel angry or defensive, it’s not helpful to lash out, even if you think the customer is in the wrong.
  • Fairness – Own up to your culpability and offer a solution if you are in the wrong. If you know that you haven’t caused the customer’s problem, or if there has been some sort of misunderstanding, explain very clearly what happened, on the channel(s) used by your customer to publicize their complaint. For example, if someone posts a negative review to your Google+ business listing and he or she wasn’t even your customer, it’s ok to say so, in a calm and measured tone.

After responding to your critical review or PR fiasco, closely monitor any mention of your business online to ensure that your reputation, like the poor United Airlines passenger, doesn’t take a further battering.

Need help with online reputation management? Call WSI Digital Marketing.

Influencer Marketing for Small Business

Influencer marketing has been around since the late 1800s when brands began using celebrities in their ads. It has continued to evolve, with highly lucrative celebrity endorsements becoming the norm for big brands around the 1980s.

With the rise of the internet and new online marketing opportunities, influencer marketing has progressed and changed. While costly celebrity endorsements are still leveraged profitably by big business, there are possibilities for small business to include influencer marketing in their digital marketing strategy that can fit nicely into a much smaller budget.

How can Your Small Business Benefit from Influencer Marketing?influencer marketing

Wherever your audience is hanging out online, there are influencers they watch, read, or listen to. By spending some time on the social channels frequented by your audience, you can identify influencers who:

  • Have a decent number of followers
  • Have some connection to your industry or are likely to use your products/services, and
  • Aren’t Kardashians (so more likely to work within your budget)

Initiate a relationship by interacting with potential influencers online – like their posts, repost, comment or subscribe to establish your interest in them.

When you have found an influencer who you think might be a good fit, reach out to them on the social channels you want to use in your campaign (to gauge their responsiveness) and ask if they would be interested in partnering with you. During negotiations, be very clear about what you expect from them.

Do you think a paid post on their blog will work best for your business, a single or series of Youtube videos, maybe a few Instagram or Pinterest endorsements?  Wherever you determine to utilise influencer marketing, it’s important to understand the issues around disclosure. Governing bodies across North America and worldwide are beginning to enact and enforce laws that ensure consumers know whenever influencers are paid, in cash or in kind, for their reviews and endorsements. Fines for non-compliance can be hefty, so don’t take any risks.

Influencers don’t need to be famous, they just need to have an audience aligning with your target market. If they are less than famous, they will probably accept a more modest payment, or perhaps you can offer them free product or services for their endorsement. This brings influencer marketing into reach for any business that can find the right influencer for their market and budget.

Want some help with influencer marketing? Drop us a line.

Act Now to Save your LinkedIn Data

LinkedIn is the premiere social media channel for business, and thousands of businesses, small and large, have invested in creating a presence on LinkedIn to support their professional reputation and for unmatched networking opportunities. If your business is one of these, you should know that changes are coming soon that may affect your LinkedIn data.

We were given the heads up, earlier this fall that changes were once again underway at LinkedIn. The evolution of this platform has, over the past few years, caused some uproar as features like recommendations on company pages, and LinkedIn Answers went away, causing some to lose valuable content that was contributing to their business.

How to Save your LinkedIn Data

Rob Thomas, of WSI e-Marketing, wrote a detailed article outlining how you can save your LinkedIn data, including copying your:linkedin-data

  • Profile web pages
  • Company pages
  • Showcase pages, and
  • An archive of your data

Several features now available on LinkedIn (notably the notes and tags features on LinkedIn profiles) will migrate to their new paid tool, LinkedIn Sales Navigator. It might be worth trying Sales Navigator now, you can get a free three month trial, which is a generous amount of time. The trial period should allow you to get a handle on whether Sales Navigator is feasible for you, or not.

You can read Rob’s post and learn how you can back-up your LinkedIn data to ensure that your investment in LinkedIn remains viable here.

If you need some help with your business or personal LinkedIn presence, give us a shout.

Social Distraction is… Distracting

According to a study by Microsoft, since 2000, human attention span has dropped from a measly 12 seconds to an alarming 8 seconds. This is often compared to the attention span of your average goldfish at 9 seconds. The change is usually attributed to our increasingly digitized world, especially since the advent of mobile technology.distraction

So if you’ve read all the way through to this second paragraph – congratulations…. and thanks!

For marketers, the world of digital has offered a whole new way to connect with our audience, and beyond the basics of a business website, we have embraced the entire social media sphere wholeheartedly because of the opportunities it offers to create a more personal connection with our customers and prospects.

Are you still there? Good!

We’ve all jumped enthusiastically onto the social media bandwagon and been busily developing our digital presence  on the social channels our audience frequents, but hold on – lets go back to that attention span thing.

Social media is a little like candy, sitting in a pretty dish on our desk. It’s there, you know it tastes good and you want some, even if it distracts from the work you are trying to do. Social distraction is definitely a thing – ask anyone who spends even part of their work day on an internet connected device.

So while using your social channels to drive visitors to your website can be a great way to achieve your business goals, don’t let social distraction cannibalize your web traffic. That social media icon on your web page is all but winking at your visitor, beckoning them back to the candy dish.

It might be time to consider removing your social media icons from some or all of your web pages, especially those along your sales funnel. Why offer visitors candy when you are trying to get them to buy a roast? You should be providing a clear path that guides them to your goal, without any distraction. At the very least shrink your social media icons and move them into the footer, where they won’t be seen until your visitor scrolls down.

If you have made it all the way through this, awesome, you are either a really fast reader or you have a greater attention span than your average goldfish!

If you need help with social distraction, call us.

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