Social Media for Business Growth: A Basic Guide to Brand Success

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Utilizing social media for business growth is crucial to the success of your brand. In this day and age, there’s no way around this fact. If you don’t know why proper social media management is so important for your business, I highly recommend you follow the hyperlink (don’t worry, it opens in a new window) before going any further.

Here’s the secret: the entrepreneurs that drown in the age of technology almost always ignore
the use of social media for business purposes. Don’t worry, all hope is not lost. We’ve put together a concise guide to help you whip your business into shape online.

Step One: The Fundamentals

  • Get as many accounts as you can handle, and that are relevant to your business.
  • Make sure there is continuity; basic information should be readily available and updated across all of your platforms.
  • Commit to long-term and consistent use of every single profile.

I cannot stress enough to my clients that every social media platform you don’t use is wasted money. While sponsored advertising is another story entirely (and we will get there), using social media for business marketing is free and incredibly easy to get started. vector-social-media-illustration_zJdnA2B__L

You see, social networking changed the way we act as consumers. Marketing, in essence, has always been about creating a need and building value. When the age of social media arose, this alone was no longer enough. Customers and clients want more than just a solid product now. They can likely do a Google search and find dozens of other businesses similar to yours. Your strategy must adapt to this reality.

If your market is looking for you on social media, you need to actually be there. More importantly, you need to have what they’re looking for when they find you.

Step Two: Content

Great, you’ve got your pages and pertinent information updated. It’s time to start posting (or at least start posting correctly). Using social media for business is not solely (or even mostly) about promoting. Your content needs to vary in both form and purpose.

You cannot achieve success with statuses alone. Your followers engage with photos, videos, informational articles, and more every single day. When they know they can get all of this and more on your pages, they’re going to visit and engage often. Try different types of media and see what gets the most engagement from your audience.

These things in mind, we can focus on purpose. You can share a million different forms of media and still bore your audience to death. You need to put yourself in the consumer’s shoes when using social media for business purposes. Try brainstorming with these prompts:vector-social-media-concept_Gy3IChH__L

  • What does my target market find humorous?
  • What problems do they have that are related to my product or services? How do they want to solve these problems?
  • What can I offer to my audience that they want or need?
  • How can I provoke discussion on my pages within these audiences?

If you see a relevant meme that your followers would find funny, share it. If there’s a current event that affects your industry, talk about it. Share the news piece and ask for their thoughts. If you have a cache of knowledge about a subject, post tips and tricks that will give your audience an ‘aha’ feeling.

Step Three: Continue to Use Social Media for Business Growth

There are a myriad of ways to approach growth once you’ve started properly using social media for business. You’ve got the basics down and you’re gaining some traction with your networks, so now what?

Sponsored advertising is a great way to get followers or likes very quickly, but it can get costly and frustrating. Facebook does not automatically serve up your posts to everyone who’s liked you. In fact you probably won’t show up on the news feed of half of your followers. Backing up important or popular posts with a paid promotion is easy, but giving shareable content that circulates fast is easier. outdoor-advertising-constructions-vector_fJZ71ZDd_L

For a more in depth look at sponsored advertising, Social Times has a great post about it here (let them know we sent you).

Add some incentive for people to circulate your content and increase that organic reach with a call to action or reward. If your content is good enough, even a few shares from your personal page and immediate friend circle can start a viral wildfire.

I’m Not Sure If I Can Handle This/I’m Still Having Trouble

This is a lot of information to take in and sadly, we’d need a whole e-book to cover everything there is to learn about social media for business. All hope is not lost though. I have 2 recommendations if one of the above applies to you.

1. Be Patient
2. Hire a Professional

It is more than possible to go DIY on your social marketing strategy, but it’s hard at first. If you don’t have the skill set or the patience to go at it alone, hiring a reputable firm to manage your social media for you is your best bet.

If you’re interested in learning about how our firm can help you implement some of what I’ve outlined, check out our social media management services or drop us a line by clicking here.

Premier SEO Services

Your brand has potential. Your brand has marketability. Put it to work. Stick with the fundamentals and you can use social media for business success.

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Restaurant Branding: The Last Strategy You’ll Ever Need

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In the food industry, effective restaurant branding is the difference between longevity and the collapse of an owner’s livelihood. To some extent, every restaurant owner wants to see their establishment become part of their local identity. They want to be that place in town that locals tell visitors they MUST try while they’re here. You can’t get there, though, without a good strategy.

The Missing Pieces of a Restaurant Branding Strategy

Interior of restaurantYou’ll notice that the headline says “missing pieces” instead of “essential pieces”. Yes, there is a reason for it. You may have the best burgers in town or a happy hour menu that’s to die for, but if no one’s coming through the doors what good does it do? The online aspect to any branding strategy (and that certainly includes restaurant branding) is what I see most often missing in the foodservice industry.

Why is this? It’s hard to say, but a likely contributing factor is business size. National corporations and growing businesses have marketing teams behind them. They may even have a full time branding guru in house. I’d be willing to wager that most non-franchised restaurant owners don’t have those resources at their disposal. Instead they circulate coupons or expensive print ads and hope for the best. Meanwhile, they are invisible to their local target markets online.
Forbes published a great article about these points here, and I recommend you give it a glance for more information.

Make Sure Your Primary Markets Can Find You Online

2,400 people are searching for the keyword ‘restaurants salt lake city’, and there is not a huge issue with competition for the ranking. To make the most of your online restaurant branding strategy, these consumers must see you on page one of Google.

This kind of organic traffic is going to be one of your largest primary markets. It’s imperative to your long term success that you use every page of your site to target similar keywords. While sometimes you see results in days, top rankings can take many months of hard work. Patience is key; your ranking will be worth it when you’ve doubled your revenue in 5 years.

To learn more about what SEO is and if professional SEO services are right for you on this step, follow the link.

Restaurant Branding in New Niche Audiences

You now have a site that’s pulling its weight, and a decent amount of visibility. Here’s where your restaurant branding strategy actually begins. Restaurant branding, really any type of branding, is all about giving your establishment a voice and a face in your industry. By far the easiest and most cost effective approach to doing this is blogging.

Implementing this effectively can literally change the game for your brand, especially when it comes time to expand or add locations. Blogs, just like the one you’re on now, are collections of content that’s written and optimized with a certain audience in mind.

website traffic conceptFirst and foremost, you are establishing your position of authority within your region or field of work by providing people with information they find entertaining or useful. This is called thought leadership. The result is almost always going to be a loyal customer base. It’s also incredibly easy to share blog content, which only enhances your reach. Once customers find your content, they can be directed through your site by hyperlinks until they land on your menu’s featured item or promotion. This is where your conversions are happening.

Another crucial aspect is targeting smaller, more specific markets. These markets will have a significantly lower amount of competition. This very piece is a great example of this technique. Part of what Premier SEO Services does is enhance the effectiveness of branding and strategic marketing. Because of this, I have to target phrases like “seo services” for example with my web pages.

With this blog post, however, I was able to target you: a random visitor looking for something very specific that I can provide. While Premier SEO Services does marketing and branding work for all types of businesses, I was able to reach a more specific market without competition from dozens of other blogs.

SEO Pyramid Shows The Use Of Keywords Links And OptimizingDo you do exclusive catering in your area? Target that market. Maybe you’ve got some incredible vegetarian or vegan options on your menu. You can target that market with your blog, too. ‘Long-tail’ keywords like “best vegan food (your city)” or “corporate catering (your city)” will be incredibly easy to get posts ranked for. Because of their specificity, they will typically have fewer bloggers competing for it. Your options are literally endless. Eventually, if you do it right, these posts can reach a much larger consumer base than a print ad can.

I Need Help With My Online Restaurant Branding Strategy

That’s fine, blogging is not for everyone. Additionally, most business owners do not have the time to put in to make it worthwhile. Luckily, as I mentioned before, outsourcing this work is very friendly to limited budgets. You can follow this link to learn about Premier SEO Services and what we can do to help your restaurant branding strategy.

Happy branding!

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