Getting Return On Investment From Your Social Media Marketing

Social Media and Business Strategy

The link between business strategy and use of social media

When getting started with social media for your business it is important to first determine a clear business strategy. Your strategy should be a “long-term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal or set of goals” (Wise, 2017, para 1). When building a business strategy you have four options to utilize.

Ansoff

If you can understand the big picture of where your business is and wants to go, you can then move on to developing tactics on how to get there. After the tactics are determined you can then move on to determining what social media platforms will work best for your business.

Big Picture

Understand the need for measurement

Measurement in social media business applications is important to gain insight and take action when needed. There are many different ways for you to measure your social media success; just to name a few, you can measure followers, posts, mentions, and redirects to your website. What really matters when measuring success using social media is the impact our posts are having on our audience directly relative to converted sales from that impact. Also, it is important to keep a measure of costs of social media for your business.

Set SMART objectives

SMART

Setting SMART business objectives will allow you to track and measure your success and help translate your strategy into specific plans and actions.

Simply stating “sell more memberships” would not be classified as a SMART objective, however, “sell 6 more memberships from January to March by running an advertising campaign on Instagram” would meet the SMART criteria.

What is Social Media ROI?

Challenges of calculating ROI

Challenge

It can be particularly difficult to identify how your social media efforts are relating to sales. To make it easier your business can use the AIDA model which breaks down the steps of the buying process for most transactions. The consumer first needs to be aware of your product or service before gaining interest. After gaining interest in your product they can now move on to a desire to purchase your product. Once that step is reached they then take action and purchase.

AIDAPEST.JPG

Your business has control of many of the internal factors of the purchasing process but may lack control of some of the external factors of the purchasing process. These external factors can be defined using the PEST model shown above.

Vanity Metrics

Vanity metrics are the follows your business gets through your social media pages. These metrics lack the insight needed to determine if your efforts are working or not. The metrics that affect the bottom line of your business are volume, engagement, and traffic to your website. Your business should be looking to use social media to attract, retain, and convert potential customers for your business. When creating content for social media the thing that really matters is the engagement with that content through shares, retweets, likes, comments, and clickthroughs to your website.

The cost of social media

Social media is a great tool when used properly due to its low cost of entry. The biggest cost for businesses is time spent learning, preparing content, and engaging with users. Other costs with social media are the costs of designing content, social media management tools like Hootsuite, and advertising through the various platforms. It is important to consider all of these costs when calculating the ROI for your business.

Social Media Metrics

Volume

Volume metrics are used to show how far your content is circulating, or better known as the reach of content. The larger your audience is the more reach your content will have, however, this is “only valuable if your audience is a good fit for your business” (Wise, 2017, para 1). The volume metrics your business should look at are the amount connections you have on LinkedIn and the number of followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram your business has.

Reach

Another calculation that your business should look at is the amplification of your content. This is the rate that your audience is sharing your content. To get your amplification rate simply take the number of retweets or shares and divide by the number of posts over a given time.

Amp Rate.JPG

Engagement

Engage

The engagement metrics measure the number of interactions your content is receiving. When people interact with your content it shows that they value it, and if they go as far as sharing the post it will also increase its reach. A measurement tool that can be used to measure engagement is the applause rate, which can be calculated by looking at the number of favorites, likes, and reactions a post receives. As a summary of all engagements, it is best to use the engagement rate calculation.

engagement

Traffic

One of your major goals of social media should be to drive traffic to your website because it is here that you can share all the information you want the consumer to know. Using Google Analytics is a great tool to measure website traffic because it can measure how many redirects are coming from each specific social media platform.

Measurement Tools

Twitter analytics

Twitter analytics allows you to see how your Twitter business page is performing. It will group analytics into 28-day summaries that show the number of tweets, tweet impressions, profile visits, mentions, and new followers.

Twitter

You can also look at tweet activity, audience insights, trending events, and conversion tracking. Using the tweet activity section will show your top tweets, and your impressions, engagements, and calculated engagement rate for each tweet.

tweets

LinkedIn analytics

The majority of LinkedIn’s analytics can be viewed on your profile page. It is here where you can see the number of profile views, post views, and search appearances. You can also view posts and activity to see how well your content is being received.

Link

Facebook analytics

Your Facebook analytics page will show your posts’ reach over a given time, as well as website clicks and interactions through the learn more tabs. You can also look at specific posts to see the engagement rate with each.

Instagram analytics

Instagram analytics is a relatively new feature of the platform and can only be accessed through the mobile application. You can see your impressions for each post and over a given time period. You also can see the reach of your posts and the number of profile views you have received by using Instagram analytics.

Analyzing Social Media ROI

Define return on investment

Return on investment is “a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment. ROI can show you what is and isn’t working, and show what actions that you can take to improve performance” (Wise, 2017, para 2).

Calculate social media marketing ROI

It is much easier to calculate social media ROI if you have:

  • Set SMART goals that align with your business strategy
  • Used the proper social media platform for your target audience
  • Measured what matters towards your objective

Social Media ROI

Using google analytics and the other analytics tools discussed earlier you can start to generate leads to customers breakdown.

Lead.JPG

If we used these numbers from the perspective of a golf professional we could determine that there were 100 lessons sold, and each lesson brings in $75 of revenue and the total costs of posting were $500.

With this, you would calculate total revenue:

100 lessons x $75= $7,500 Total Revenue

Next, to calculate the ROI you would take total revenue – the cost of social media activity and divide by the cost of social media activity:

($7,500 – 500) / 500 = 14% or 14:1

For every $1 spent there is $14 generated.

Financial and nonfinancial benefits of social media

Social media is a great tool for generating and maintaining brand awareness and can be extremely insightful for providing customer insight. It is here where you can discover who your audience is and what they are thinking, feeling, and doing. Social media also helps you learn about what’s going on in your industry and with your competitors as well as helping with lead generation, customer acquisition, and customer retention. Lastly, social media acts as a real-time conversation between you and your customers which can be extremely beneficial.

How Your Golf Course can Utilize Social Media to Increase Revenue

Golf courses have plenty of reasons to get involved in social media, whether you are looking to increase your membership, build brand awareness, showcase a new part of your course, or provide a service to your membership. The hardest part for most golf professionals and management teams will be finding the time to develop content and keep a presence through the short and hectic golf seasons that we are so familiar with here in Alberta. Using social media management programs like Hootsuite can be very useful for those with time constraints. Using the offseason to build a social media planning calendar is an effective way to stay consistent and maximize your content for your audience.

Be sure to use the information from this blog to give yourself a measurement to track your success through social media and understand your return on investment. Use the tips discussed in this blog and you will be finding success in no time! If you have any questions about anything discussed on the blog be sure to email me at chris@wardogolf.ca or interact with me on Twitter/Instagram @WardoGolf.

 

WORKS CITED

Wise, L. (2017, January 12). Social Media Marketing: ROI [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.lynda.com/HootSuite-tutorials/Social-Media-Marketing-ROI/504398-2.html

 

How to Become an Invaluable Part of Your Golf Course and Industry

Preparing to build authority

As a new employee of a golf course, one of your first goals as a new professional is to create value both inside and out of your company. With the right attitude and work ethic, you can gain authority both throughout your industry and in current company.

Determining your area of authority

It is important to determine what area of work you will be most successful in when determining your area of authority. First, determine your current talents that you’re gifted in and love to do. It is also important to identify your most valuable activities that would cost the most for others to do. For a golf professional the simple answer to this would be golf instruction. Once these two steps are completed, the next step is to ask yourself “inside of the company I work for, I would most like to be known as an authority on”(Crenshaw, 2013, para. 4). After completing this, then ask yourself “in the public, I would most like to be known as an authority on” (Crenshaw, 2013, para. 4).

Scheduling time to build authority

When building authority you must set time aside to share your knowledge to gain authority. A good rule of thumb is to open your calendar and try to find at least one hour per week and dedicate it to building your authority. As you become more of an authority you will want to dedicate more time to further develop yourself. By setting time aside each week you will see the hours accumulate and your authority grow.

Selecting a mentor

One of the fastest and most efficient ways to build authority is by finding a mentor and learning how they have built their authority. By following your mentor’s advice you will be heading in the right direction on building your authority. The three most common areas to find a mentor are inside your company, through friends and acquaintances, and long distance mentorship. These mentors should be masters in their field of work and should have already found success in their industry. Becoming a master in your field doesn’t come easy, however, it will be much easier after you have found a master to learn from and communicate with when needed.

The PGA of Alberta mentorship program is a great resource to help CFM professionals learn from a Class A individual and help them throughout the process of achieving Class A status. I have spoken with my mentor Kevin Chow on several occasions to help with my development. I most recently utilized his insight when developing the name of this very website you are reading.

Building authority within a company

Becoming a systems expert

One of the easiest paths to becoming an authority in your company is by becoming a systems expert. It is important to find something you have some knowledge on, to begin with, and learn as much as you can to become an expert in that particular system.

As a golf professional this is a great tactic to build authority at your golf course and in your industry. Some systems that would be useful as a golf professional to become an expert in would be: golf fitness, club fitting, retail merchandising, and social media marketing. If you become enough of an expert with a particular system, you will quickly find yourself training others at your golf course and will begin to build authority.

Getting company buy-in

In a rapidly moving golf season, it can be extremely difficult to spend the time to document systems. If you can take the lead in your organization to spend the time to help become a systems expert while documenting it for others to learn, you will quickly gain your golf course’s support. It is important to gain permission and buy-in from upper management first before spending the time to document.

In a larger organization that already has spent the time on documented systems, you will have to work a little harder. With these types of companies, it can be beneficial to find ways to become more efficient in their already established systems and present these as recommended improvements to upper management.

Documenting the “what” and “how” in systems

In Dave Crenshaw’s video on Thought Leadership, he shares a useful diagram to help identify the key parts that make up the what and how of your system you have chosen. This diagram should be completed by first filling out the left side of the page to identify the what of your system. After this is complete you should then complete the right side of the page where you will list all steps on the system.

THought Leader

Formalizing systems

After you have developed your system, the next step is to submit your system to your manager for review. It is here that your system will be fine-tuned to fit the golf course’s needs and brand image. After they make their edits, look back and learn from each one to help you improve your skills in becoming a systems expert.

Building authority in public

Finding your path to authority

By publishing your systems publically through a blog, website, book, or editorial you can instantly build authority in your industry and the public. Show your knowledge and let those in your industry know of your expertise.

Climbing the authority ladder

In Dave Crenshaw’s video on Thought Leadership he shares a useful diagram to help break down some examples of moving up the authority ladder. This diagram should be utilized as a tool, however, you don’t have to follow each and every step.

Authority Ladder

Building a library

At this step, you will start to collect all of the publications and videos you have created for others to read and watch. The bigger this library gets the more insight you can share with your audience. By having a large library of valuable content you will showcase your expertise and potentially profit from this expertise.

Building an online network

A great way to develop your perceived authority is to showcase yourself being a leader for other leaders. The easiest way to do this is through social media, for example, if a golf professional is an expert in custom shaft fitting they may create a social media group or account dedicated to sharing that expertise among other leaders. The steps to effectively doing this are:

  1. Create your group about a topic that already has a following
  2. Get people to follow the group
  3. Establish leadership in the group
  4. Share items from your library with the group over time

Building an offline network

After building your online network the next step is to start to establish an offline network of like-minded individuals. By creating a local association in a field of your expertise you can invite others within the same field to get together and discuss ways to make improvements on the selected topic. A great resource for your offline group can be through your established online group and vice-versa for driving traffic to your online network.

Gaining personal publicity

Recognition in the press can be a great way for you to gain exposure to those interested in your knowledge and also can act as a great addition to a resume. Reach out to local experts in media and volunteer as a guest expert to share your expertise.

How I have become a thought leader in my organization

When I joined the golf shop team at the Edmonton Petroleum Golf & Country Club in 2015, I made the effort immediately to find an area I could have the greatest impact in to build authority. I made it my goal to become an expert in golf club technology and fittings and quickly found myself doing the majority of club fitting at our course, and later mentoring other coworkers on club fitting techniques. As I further developed my skills as an authority I sought the assistance of mentors to help develop other skills like retail buying and golf instruction. I found my first mentor in my current workplace – I utilized my head professional Kyle Boyd in the development of my retail buying skills. In the development of my golf instructing abilities, I looked to multiple resources like Master Professionals Bill McDougall and Alan Riley on ways to further develop my teaching methodologies. I believe that by utilizing these mentors I have developed my skills as golf professional very rapidly and will continue to use mentors to further the development of my authority.

Works Cited

Crenshaw, D. (2013, January 3). Thought Leadership [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.lynda.com/Business-Skills-tutorials/Final-thoughts/88535/105359-4.html  

 

 

Everything you Need to Know About Twitter for Your Business!

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a fantastic tool for sharing information about your business and connecting with those that you want to market to. Twitter can be considered as a curated newsfeed of lists, these lists include anything from new launches of products, world news topics, people talking about their day to day life, and interactions with businesses.

Getting started on Twitter

A key thing to remember while getting started with Twitter is the timeliness of Twitter. Twitter users look for frequent posting, the fact that “80% [of Twitter users] access via mobile devices” (Batesole, 2017, para. 2) means that they check in on Twitter often throughout the day. By interacting with more users and gaining more followers on Twitter you are increasing the number of leads your company has. Twitter claims that by following or interacting with a user they are “72% more likely to make a purchase” (Batesole, 2017, para. 5) from your business.

Twitter has some key terminology that all users should be familiar with before getting started:

Twitter Handle: This is your username on Twitter and always begins with @. My username on Twitter is @WardoGolf.

Tweet: This a short message of a maximum of 280 characters published on Twitter by your personal account or brand. (recently changed from 140 to 280)

Timeline: This is a real-time feed of tweets from users you are following and other tweets they are interacting with. The timeline is also where you will see sponsored tweets.

Following: By following users it will allow you to see all of their updates in your news feed.

Follower: A Twitter user who has chosen to receive updates from your personal account or business profile.

@Reply: A response/message from a specific user.

Mention: A tweet that includes a @username

Direct Mention: A private message visible only to you and who sent it.

#Hashtag: A term that begins with a # symbol, hashtags are used to reference a specific topic.

Retweet: Resharing another users post with the Retweet button.

Knowing all of these key Twitter specific definitions will now allow you to get started confidently.

The first step on Twitter is creating your username, this is an important step because this is what your brand will be represented as on Twitter. For most brands the simple answer to this is just to use your company name, however, some companies names may be too long, not descriptive enough, or already in use.

These are the best practices for selecting a username from Brad Batesole’s video on Twitter for Business:

Twitter Username Best Practices:

  • Relevant to your brand
  • Be specific
  • Avoid using your personal name unless you are the key focus of the business
  • You have 15 characters for your username so keep it short
  • No underscores, these are outdated and hard to remember
  • Avoid irrelevant numbers, imagine having to type @WardoGolf908491897 every time you want to interact with that user
  • Use a relevant keyword, this will help people find your business when searching up that keyword

Once you have signed up for Twitter and created a username this will now give you the opportunity to tour the interface. It is important to gain familiarity with both the desktop version and the mobile version of the Twitter interface. An important thing to remember about how your Twitter timeline works is that it no longer is in chronological order, it now displays the tweets that their algorithm thinks is most important for you to display at the top.

Another use of Twitter is the Twitter trends and moments section that displays major news developments and topics that are relevant to your Twitter preferences. The trends section is a great way to find new people to interact and follow in your industry. Moments

To access your Twitter profile page you can click on your profile photo displayed on the left side of your desktop interface. It is here where you can see your landing page and fine tune it to best represent your brand.

Profile.JPG

Creating an effective business profile

Setting your profile page on Twitter is extremely important for representing your brand; your name, profile picture, bio, and header image all play a vital role in telling your brand story. Your Twitter profile page is your first opportunity to capture your audience’s attention through providing visual language. The first view of your landing page will be where the Twitter user decides if they want to read your tweets and choose to follow your business. It is important to craft your profile page to attract the interest of what your target market is.

Before you start to follow other Twitter users it is important to establish an effective profile image and header image. Your Twitter profile photo will also be the thumbnail attached to each tweet you have so keep this in mind when selecting one. As you can see in the picture below the profile image for my brand is my logo and appears to the left of every tweet I post.

When selecting your header image remember that for best results use an image that is at least 1500 x 500 pixels.

The visual aspects of your Twitter page play a vital role for your success, however, the bio section is just as important. This should be a short 160 character concise description of your brand and should inspire users to follow your brand. Your bio can act as a call to action for your company and can include links, hashtags, and other handles.

Connecting with your audience on Twitter

Once you have built a profile to be proud of it is tempting to start tweeting immediately, however without connecting with other users and gaining followers you will simply be tweeting to yourself. The first users you should look at are others in your industry to see how they are connecting with users. When you start to follow other users on Twitter it is best to avoid accounts you don’t want to be related to your brand. Following politically charged accounts or any other accounts that people are passionately for or against can deter people away from your brand. Start by following key people in your industry like I have by following @CallawayGolf and @PGAofAlberta. After you selected a few key industry professionals you should start to connect with your contacts. Twitter makes it easy to do this because of its ability to match email addresses to Twitter handles of contacts you have made through email.

Hashtags can be very useful to increase the discoverability of your tweets. Find relevant hashtags in your industry and use these hashtags to connect with those in your industry. You can also use a brand hashtag, this can help users give your brand a shoutout and doesn’t rely on a specific event or time of the year.

Using the Tweet feature

Define your brand personality

It is important to identify how your brand wants to appear on Twitter, your tweets should balance between being personal and professional. Your brand is the human element of your company, this creates the appeal for your company. To retain your following it is important to be consistent and avoid imitating your audience to try and fit in. Also, be sure to share unique content to showcase your brand, and provide users with interaction through @replies and retweet relevant tweets from your followers.

Establish your marketing objective

To be successful on Twitter it is important to establish a clear-cut objective that you can look back on to measure success on Twitter. An example of a company whose main objective is customer support should focus on answering questions and use qualitative data to measure engagements. Another objective would be brand recognition where an effort should be placed on building authority and measuring success with total reach and followers gained.

Writing an effective tweet

It is important to have an objective for each tweet, these objectives could be to drive traffic to your website, earn retweets, or encourage signups on your website. The four steps for writing an effective tweet are to:

  1. Identify a goal
  2. Determine a call to action
  3. Build message
  4. Add visual content

People will generally interact with a tweet if it’s either “funny, helpful, newsworthy, or inspiring” (Batesole, 2017, para 3). Pay attention to the timeliness of your tweet, this will also play a major role in the effectiveness of its reach.

Adding visual content to your tweet

In order to maximize the effectiveness of your tweet, it is important to go past the 280 character limit and add images and video to your content. The pictures you add don’t count against your 280 character word count, in fact, you can add multiple images to a tweet with the same effect. Posting multiple photos in one tweet can be very effective when promoting a new product or recent event. Images do appear different between the desktop and mobile versions of Twitter so keep this in mind when adding visual content.

Animated gifs are also a great tool for adding low maintenance visual content to your tweets. They can be used for visual tweets if they are relevant but also work great when replying to your followers and other users tweets.

Scheduling your tweets

A common question about Twitter is how often should my business tweet? Your audience will determine this, test whether your audience is looking for timely tweets once and a while or looking for as much content from your brand as possible. Once you have determined what works for your audience it is important to stay consistent. Some relevant scheduled tweets for a golf instructor could be #GolfTipTuesday and #GolfFitnessFriday these can be tweets that create value for your followers and retain their loyalty and encourage engagement.

Measuring the success of your tweet

As a business, it is important to be able to measure your success on Twitter. Beyond retweets and likes, it is important to look at impressions and interactions with each tweet as well. A great tool is to visit Twitter Analytics, it will take you to your homepage and provide more data to measure your success.

Generating leads through Twitter

Twitter allows you to jump into conversations between users if you believe you can add value to it. By doing this it can promote your brand and potentially gain new clients for your business. Imagine two users having a conversation about their recent round of golf and how horribly they played, this would be a great opportunity for a golf instructor to add value to their current issues on the course and potentially lead to a lesson, and even if it doesn’t, it shows that you are willing to interact with the community. Search for these conversations from keywords about your business; it even can be a conversation about a competitor.

Understanding the true value of retweet is important for success on Twitter. A retweet acts as an endorsement of your brand. This can lead to an extremely extended reach for your original tweet from one user retweeting to their followers and a few of their followers doing the same.

Integrating your Twitter feed

Adding Twitter buttons to your website

In order to have your audience interact with your Twitter account directly from your website, you will need to have a Twitter button on your website. You will have five buttons to choose from to add to your website. Twitter button

Adding embedded widgets to your website

If you use a WordPress website you will have the ability to upload a widget directly to your website that will act as a Twitter newsfeed for your handle.

Embedded Feed

Your embedded widgets will be fully interactive and allow users to access all of your tweets with access to all features.  Using a timeline widget brings a social presence to your website and can be used as a newsfeed to share information about your business. You can also embed Twitter lists to your website to share a trending topic in your industry.

Adding Twitter cards to your website

Twitter cards are a great way to add media to your tweets. Twitter cards allow you to share a URL and it will automatically format it with a headline, photo, description, and link. Cards can also be made with the Twitter card validator found here.

Advertising on Twitter

Creating an advertising account for Twitter

Advertising through Twitter has many advantages due to the large audience of Twitter users worldwide and how easy it is to share content. Twitter advertising works through cost per engagement advertising where you only pay for your ad once a user takes action with the advertisement. To get started with this advertising technique you will need to first create an account with Twitter ads. While setting up be sure to correctly answer the country and time zone questions properly because you cannot edit them after being selected. Before creating your first ad on Twitter you will need to set a goal for your campaign and a budget for your efforts.

Launching promoted account and tweet campaigns

It is important when creating a promoted account to market your brand to those who will find the value in it. In some cases, companies will gain many followers using a promoted account but later find out that many of the followers have no real interest in their brand. The tweets you are promoting are more to build brand awareness and are not meant to generate engagement like other tweets.

An example of a campaign that you can run through Twitter is a Follower Campaign. You have many options for customizing your campaign, you can filter the interest and region of who you are advertising to gain effectiveness for your ad. After customizing your ad you will then set a budget on how much you are willing to bid per new follower, you also are given the option to set a total budget to stop advertising when a particular number is reached.

Measuring your advertising success

Earlier in this blog, I discussed how to access Twitter analytics for your account. Twitter Ads page provides similar information but goes more in depth about the information needed to measure your advertisements success. You can review total impressions, engagements, spend, the estimated cost per engagement (ECPE), and conversions. Like analytics, you can select a date range to further break down the data. Twitter ads also allow you to review what platforms you are most successful with, locations that worked the best, and what customer demographics were most engaged with your content.

Other great marketing tips for Twitter

Creating exciting content

When looking at the most successful tweets for engagement on Twitter they all have three things in common, they are relatable, excellent, and unique. Make sure your tweets create value for your audience and be unique in the way you create value for them.

Create compelling offers

A huge motivation to capture engagement on Twitter is by creating compelling offers. These work best for companies that benefit from having repeat customers or have a long lead time to get a customer. Your offer should be valuable for the Twitter user and can’t be something they can already find online. The offer should also have a sense of urgency in order to get users to click immediately and should have a reason for promoting this offer with a potential theme.

Tracking your Twitter through Google Analytics

You can also use Google Analytics to gain more information about your Twitter metrics than Twitter currently can. It also is a familiar layout for many people and may make it easier to collect the data you need.

Using Twitter for your golf course or personal brand

For most golf professionals and golf courses, one of the biggest struggles is gaining brand awareness. By increasing the engagement of your audience and sharing valuable content you will increase your following and reach. Twitter is a great opportunity to get involved in conversations Twitter users are having about golf. A potential opportunity for a golf course to gain business would be to join in on a conversation users are having about a negative experience at a given golf course. By joining the conversation and adding value with an offer to come try your facility you can potentially gain a new customer while showing engagement in the community.

Twitter can also be a great tool to interact with the members of your golf facility. It can act as a newsfeed for upcoming events, share weather notifications like frost delay information, and post member only sales and offers to increase engagement.

As discussed in a previous blog post of mine posting contests and offers on social media can be an effective way to gain engagements and followers with the platform. By running an effective offer such as a free round of golf or lesson for 4 players by tagging 3 friends and following your page it can increase your reach dramatically with a low cost to promote.

Overall Twitter can be an extremely effective tool for just about any golf facility or golf professional for gaining brand awareness and increasing engagement. Be sure to use the tips discussed in this blog and you will be finding success in no time! If you have any questions about anything discussed on the blog be sure to email me at chris@wardogolf.ca or interact with me on Twitter @WardoGolf.

Be sure to check back next week to learn about Thought Leadership for your business!

Works Cited

Batesole, B. (2017, April 18). Twitter for Business [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.lynda.com/Twitter-tutorials/Twitter-big-picture/480768/495350-4.html

How Facebook Can Help Your Business Boom!

How to get started?

Using Facebook as a tool to connect with your customers is a fantastic way to build your brand’s online presence. The first step for your business to start connecting with your customers through Facebook is by creating a Facebook page. This page will be where customers “can stay connected with your brand, read the latest news, participate in conversations, and share [your valuable] content with their friends” (Adams, 2017, para 1). Facebook pages act as your website on the Facebook social network. Your page allows your business to collect likes, asses insights about your page, and also create sponsored advertisements for your business through Facebook. Customers can interact with your page’s posts by liking and sharing your content both privately and publically.

Building your page

The first step in building your business’s page is to log in to your personal Facebook account. Users will not be able to see that your business page is associated with your personal account.

The next step is to find the create page button, this will redirect you to a page that allows you to select the type of business that you are. Each selection will give your page unique features designed for that type of business.

Facebook

After the type of business is selected this will prompt you to fill in the industry information needed for customers to find you easier. You are then prompted to give a brief description of your business, add a profile picture, add your page to your favorites, and select your preferred audience for your page.

When setting up your page one of the quickest ways to grab a Facebook users attention is by using an effective profile photo and cover photo that represents your brand.

Cover

Facebooks platform is set up for photo and video sharing so use it! By creating albums from events that your business has hosted and attended it tells a story to Facebook users about your interactions. For a golf course creating a photo album for junior golf camps or a large tournament that you’ve recently hosted is a great way to give a visual story of the services you may offer.

Using Facebook as a tool to connect with your customers can be very effective, but did you know that it can also be used to sell products and services? By providing a call to action button on your Facebook page it can provide users with the ability to contact you, book appointments with you, use your app, shop your products, and learn more about your brand.

Using Facebook’s username feature is a great way to make your brand easier to find on Facebook. After creating a page facebook automatically assigns a long mix of letters and numbers as your username. This feature can be found in the about section of your page which you can now edit. If your company’s name has not been used previously in a @ username it is most effective to use that, my username and vanity URL can now both be found with @WardoGolf. 

Building your audience

One of the easiest ways to start building your audience on Facebook is to use the invite friends feature. By doing this it will send a notification to those you select suggesting them to like your page. Facebook also provides a feature to share your page via posting and emailing.

Another great way to grow your page likes and reach is by adding a like button to your website. This will get likes for your page without users ever having to leave your website.

Facebook also provides the feature to pay to promote your Facebook page through sponsored content. This feature allows your ad to appear in your targeted audience’s newsfeed and to appear on their recommended pages. Facebook ads allow you to create ads on Facebook to promote your call to action, brand website, and Facebook page.

Making Facebook posts

In order to start posting content on your Facebook page, you will have to find the dialogue box stating “Write something…”. post.JPG

After you have entered your text for your post you can now boost the visual appeal and reach of the post by tagging users and your own page, adding a photo or video, utilizing the smiley face icon allows you to add a feeling or what you are doing in your post, and a location to your post. Facebook also has a post targeting feature to narrow down the visibility of your posts to those that you want to see it.

As talk to about earlier adding photos and videos to your post is a great tool for immediately boosting the visual appeal of your post. One of the biggest reasons for adding visual content is “because Facebook posts with images see more than two times more engagement than those without images” (Adams, 2017, para 1). Using a photo carousel for sharing visual content is another great tool provided by Facebook. With this tool, you can have a selection of photos that leads customers to filter through them with the last picture being a call to action for your website.

Facebook also offers a pinning option for your top posts. This allows you to pin your most valuable posts to the top of your page and keeps users from having to scroll through all past posts posted after your most valuable.

Maintaining a Facebook page can be extremely time-consuming, this is why scheduling your posts is a fantastic way to stay engaged through Facebook. By creating content and post in down times you can have posts created and posted when you need them most.

Facebook posts also have the ability to be edited or even deleted at any point in time. Don’t worry about that autocorrect of auditioning the children to auctioning the children, it can be edited well before it gets out of control.

Some of the best practices discussed in Megan Adams’ video on Facebook for Business are:

  • Be consistent: Plan ahead for your content you are putting out there, one of the most effective ways to do this is by creating a content calendar.
  • Post timely content: Use holidays and other events to help boost the reach and timeliness of your posts.
  • Target: Use Facebook’s targeting settings to control who is viewing your posts.
  • Review performance: Test and review how your posts are being interacted with.
  • Use high-quality photos: Choose rich colorful images, that immediately stand out to those scrolling through their news feeds.
  • Keep your posts short and sweet: Try to make sure your posts are concise and get to the point quickly.
  • Share exclusive content: By offering deals that are strictly for your Facebook audience it gives them a reason to stay engaged with your content and page.
  • Include a call to action: Add links and headlines that inform users what you want them to do after viewing your post. These can be actions like a comment on this post, like this post, share this post, or visit my website.
  • Be authentic: Keep your posts consistent and true to voice to remain authentic
  • Be engaging: Ask for feedback from your audience and encourage them to ask a question and respond quickly

“Pages that follow these best practices will find their posts showing up in the news feed of their fans more regularly and creating more engagement” (Adams, 2017, para. 5).

Advanced Facebook page features

Facebook is a great way to share information about events your company is hosting in the future. Creating facebook events is very similar to creating a regular post on Facebook with the added features of invitations and giving your audience the ability to RSVP directly through Facebook. Each event will get its own page for those invited to interact in, this a great way to create a community of Facebook users specifically for a given event.

Companies can use Facebooks milestone feature to celebrate significant moments with their audience. This action is done through the create a post feature and is selected in the drop-down menu provided in the event, product, job button. Milestone

Using your Facebook pages ratings and reviews section is a great way to add social proof to your company. Use the tool to find more information about what your audience thinks you are doing well and what can be improved on.

Engaging your audience

There are a variety of methods to engage your audience with your posts. One of the most effective is your comments. Comments allow you to hear from your community and interact with them by replying back to them. Comments can be made on all of your posts if enabled and be extremely valuable to your brand in showing transparent communication. Facebook comments are also an area for spam to be posted so be sure to follow your post and comments to filter out spam by using the Facebook hide comment feature. If you find Facebook users that don’t mesh with the community you are creating you have the ability to ban users from interacting with your page through your Facebook page settings.

 

Using Facebook insights and reports

Facebook allows you to measure your success using the platform for your business by using Facebook Insights. The Insights feature allows you to look at key metrics such as likes, reach. page views, actions on page, posts and events success, and messages. Insights will be your number one tool for your business to measure its success.

Works Cited

Adams, M. (2017, May 28). Facebook for Business [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.lynda.com/Facebook-tutorials/Facebook-Business-2016/490656-2.html

How to Utilize Instagram to Boost Your Business

Instagram basics

First of all, what is Instagram and why is it so popular? Instagram is a social media app that was built with the purpose of sharing photo and video content with other users and followers. If your business or brand has any visual content that showcases you, Instagram is a must do for your business.

The photo and video rich media aspect of Instagram is what gives it fantastic marketing capabilities if done properly. Instagram also provides users the ability to edit their content before uploading with filters and other editing tools that can give your content a professional look. If your looking to showcase and get feedback on the visual aspects of your business “Instagram has 500 million monthly active users [and] there are 95 million photos uploaded to Instagram every single day” (Alexander, 2016, para. 2). Instagram users are also very engaging on the platform, of the 95 million photos uploaded “4.2 billion photo likes per day” (Alexander, 2016, para. 2) are sent out. 

Instagram allows for personal user accounts but also allows you to create a business branded account. When setting up your account for your business keep in mind that in order to switch your existing page or a new page to a business account you will have to access your settings found on your profile page. Due to Instagram being owned by social media giant Facebook, it is best to already have a business Facebook page built to link to your account. With an Instagram account set up for business purposes, it allows you to access Instagram Insights. With Insights it lets you analyze your posts and reach to see things you are doing well and things that can be done better.

Building your business strategy for Instagram

One of the best ways to get started with your business strategy for Instagram is to look at other successful business on Instagram to see the types of posts they are making. Looking at golf company Callaway’s Instagram page it shows some of their staffers using their product for successful tournament finishes, along with captivating product photos. Callaway also features “Insta Golf Tips” on their page like the one below to provide valuable content for their followers.

Another good way of getting some ideas for your business Instagram page is by brainstorming content ideas. When doing this list all of the products and services you offer. For a golf professional, all the forms of lessons you can provide, coaching programs, and clinics are all services you can provide. Next, list all of the benefits that your product or service can provide to your consumers. Now think of how people use your product or service, the more creative you are at this point, the more content ideas you will have. Lastly, think of the situations when people are the happiest with your service. This is where you can get peoples attention with content that reminds of the good feelings they may have from your service. This may be as simple as hitting that bunker shot perfectly that you’ve been struggling with, or possibly the feeling of shooting your lowest score yet.

Looking at your competitors content is also a great way to understand ways that you can improve your Instagram content. It also allows you to see who is following them and figure out what you can do to reach some of their followers. You also can find ways to separate yourself from your competitors by looking at the competition to find things that you can do better than they currently are doing.

Creating a posting schedule can be very effective for growing your Instagram following. By scheduling posts, it makes it easier to plan content while increasing user engagement. Third party applications allow for scheduling posts made simpler, look for applications such as ScheduGram and HootSuite.

Using the Instagram app

When setting up your Instagram business page it is important to fill out as much of the profile section on Instagram as you can. The more information provided here will allow for your customers to reach you easier, one of the most effective tools is adding your website landing page in the URL section of the profile. Also, keep your bio and other text sections of your profile concise, people generally use Instagram to stay away from long blocks of text like the ones you see on other platforms. If they want to learn more about you they can have a redirect to your website from your Instagram page.

After your profile is complete the next step is to start posting content, this can be done from the middle camera icon on the mobile app. You can choose to pick content from your camera roll on your device or to take a photo or video from within the app. After you select a photo or video to post the next step is to use Instagrams filter and edit tools to enhance your photo to increase the visual appeal of your content. After the content is edited accordingly you will hit the next button found on the top right of the screen to move on to the post’s caption and share section. In this section, it is important to provide a caption for your content along with relevant hashtags to improve your reach. After this is completed you can select your linked social media accounts to post your content to.

The best way to gain visibility through Instagram is to interact with the Instagram community. You can follow others in your industry, and like and comment on their posts accordingly. The more times your businesses page appears on Instagram the bigger your reach on the platform gets. The same way you interact with other Instagram pages on the platform will be the same thing others are doing with your own page. It is important to review your likes and comments on your content to gain feedback on what users are liking and saying about your business.

Using Instagram stories is a great tool to post content from a live event for a 24-hour window after posting. This tool is great for showing a particular event without cramming your Instagram feed. I recently used this tool for my @wardogolf Instagram page over the past weekend at the Edmonton Golf Show to show some of the different guest speakers and other golf lesson content. I plan to use the stories tool to share live content from other events throughout the golf season to show community involvement and other things my followers may find valuable. Instagrams recent update of stories allows users to pin stories they have created to their profile in icons to be displayed above their main content.

Fine-tuning your content to increase reach

In order for your Instagram account to be most effective, there are a few easy tricks to stretch the reach of your content.

Use the following five points to get the most of out of your posts:

  1. Link your other social media platforms to Instagram to reach out to other established platforms with your visual appealing content from Instagram.
  2. Use filters to enhance your photos, in some cases #NoFilter is best. Look to match your filters to the message your brand is trying to promote with the photo.
  3. Use relevant hashtags to connect with more users that are not following you. For golfers in Edmonton try #GolfYEG, #Golf, #AlbertaGolf.
  4. Add a location to your posts to show your followers where to find you. The easier your brand is to find, the more customers can connect with you.
  5. Use a Repost app to add content to your page from your other users. This is a great way to interact with the community while having to do little to no extra work.

Using Instagram for business tools

Look for the bar graph icon found on your Instagram profile page to access Instagram Insights. Insight allows you to see top posts for your current page and new followers. Instagram Insights gives us the ability to see how many times our posts and page have been seen in a given time period. This is a great way to measure the success of your posts and give your Instagram measurability.

Instagram also has a blog dedicated to it business users and provides tips and tricks for business owners to improve their Instagram presence. The Instagram for Business Blog allows you to stay up to date with best practices, announcements, and updates.

How to integrate Instagram with other platforms you have.

A great way to add visually rich media to your websites is by linking your Instagram with your website. Most web design companies will have the ability to add an Instagram widget to your website similar to mine found on my homepage.

How Instagram can boost your business as a golf professional

The best way to increase awareness of your golf instruction or golf course is to feature photos and videos of exactly what you do. Try posting a live look at what one of your lessons looks like and this will give an insight of your teaching style and can lead to more lessons. A golf instructor who has done this very well is George Gankas, George uses Instagram to showcase his teaching methods and how an actual lesson would go. By posting videos of lessons he has increased awareness of the services he provides and also shows his unique personality that has gained him the respect of many tour players and golf professional alike. This post below shows one of the great drills he uses with students, it also shows his laidback approachable style that has got him to over 92,000 followers on Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

@wcolew 😂😂😂😂

A post shared by George Gankas (@georgegankasgolf) on

Instagram is also great for running contests and giveaways to grow your brand, by running contests that are engaging and has other users post creative photos of your product and service it will allow others to do marketing for you. Giving away a golf lesson or a dozen golf balls goes a long way for increasing your reach if the contest is engaging.

 

Works Cited

Alexander, A. (2016, December 3). Instagram for Business [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.lynda.com/Instagram-tutorials/Welcome/533221/552957-4.html