Free Marketing Tools: Social Media Edition

When it comes to social media management, you can save yourself a lot of time (and headaches!) by using automation tools that can quite literally do your job for you. But, if you’re just starting out or are new to social media, it can be very overwhelming to know where to start.

Before letting your head spin and getting lost figuring out how-to promote your business on social media, we’re helping you save time and money with the best free social media tools in the game.

There’s plenty of more support than the list below, but below is a quick look at a few of my favorites to keep your social media game strong!

  • Pexels & Unsplash: Both of these sites are worth a look if you’re in search of free, high-quality professional photos. Use this site for awesome content that is visual and works perfect alongside your content.

  • SEOptimer.com: This tool is gift from the universe for those of you new to Search Engine Optimization. You can drop your website in the search bar and up pops an analysis of your site, ways you can improve your SEO and a very clear understanding of just how to be even better at your business!

  • SEMRush.com: SEM is the perfect tool to keep tabs on your competition. You get a sneak behind-the-curtain on traffic, traffic sources, and just what is driving audiences to your competitions.

  • HootSuite: Hootsuite is one of those apps I’ve been using for years as a listening tool and I love it! It’s perfect for monitoring social media across all of your channels, all at once, and you can respond directly within the app. It’s perfect for monitoring everything in one place in real time. Life can really be simple.

  • Later.com: Schedule all of your Instagram and Facebook posts to publish anytime/anywhere. The best part? It’s free up to 30 posts a month. Happy scheduling!

  • Tailwind.com: Tailwind is my favorite tool for Pinterest marketing. This tool helps you schedule your Pins (up to 100 free) but goes one step further to help you analyze and repin content that performed well in your past in the future!

  • Facebook Scheduling: I am about anything/everything that makes your life easier. Facebook scheduling allows you to schedule all of your Facebook posts in advance and then gives you the added tools of tagging products, promoting posts and more.

  • Iconosquare: I have been using this tool for years and absolutely love it. Iconosquare gives you all the analytics you need for measuring your Instagram account, including best time of day to posts! It’s such an easy way to get “in-the-know” on your Insta audience.

  • Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a must for any small business owner. Stop what you’re doing and set it up if you haven’t already. Google Analytics helps you measure the ROI from your social efforts and you can see just where the traffic on your site is coming from and what audiences are doing when you get there.

Here you go my friends. A down & dirty look at some tools to help ease social media. Have questions on small business social media or branding? Let me know and I’m happy to chat!

Friday Favorites - A look at Small Business Marketing this Week

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Friends, it’s been a few weeks and I’ve had quite the deal of life taking me away from this blog. As small business owners, I am sure you’ve been there and sometimes it’s not easy to avoid. I’ve taken my time to focus on my clients, always the priority, but now that I have a moment to share again – I am breaking down my favorites for this you this Friday!

 These are stories I love, marketing inspiration, kindness in the world, and general things that pique my interest. All gathered for you to read in one place.

How are you using marketing to grow your business?

MARKETING 101: LEVERAGING SOCIAL MEDIA

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Here’s a stat for you - In 2019, it’s estimated that a whopping 2.77 billion social media users around the globe, up from2.46 billion in 2017. In 2017, 71 percent of interent users were social media users (Statista). This is more than one of out of every 3 people on the planet and more than 8 times the population of the entire United States. Eight times.

If you’re not already using social media to grow your business, it’s time to start thinking about it and leveraging this growing population to your advantage.

This is not to say you can’t run a successful business without social media, but if you’re a small-to-medium size business, do you want to be leaving any opportunity on the table?

If you’re not already using social media, let’s get you started. My recommendation? Choose 2-3 social platforms and set-up an account. Start building your business every single day on those accounts, use social media scheduling tools to save you time (I’m covering these on Thursday, check back to learn about my favorite) and get started.

How do you build a social presence? The key is authentic, honest marketing and a little bit of hard work and engagement. Check out Gary Vee’s $1.80 rule for some quick hit advice.

Already on social media but feeling overwhelmed? Take a look at what accounts are working for you and which ones are slow to grow. My advice is to choose 2-3 accounts and really master them, then grow to more accounts.

Why? In the words of Ron Swanson from Parks & Rec,

“Never half-ass two things, whole ass one thing.”

Once you select the accounts get focused. Focused on growth, focused on content and focused on what types of posts resonate the most for your business. Is there a post the did really well in the past? Was it the timing? Was it the content? Did you use different hashtags?

Got a handle but could be doing better? Learning how to promote your business is part of the process. It takes some time to learn what works, what doesn’t and just what key words & call-to-action points can drive consumer behavior.

Get in touch with us for a free 20-minute consultation to learn more about what you can be doing and how we may be able to help!

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Looking at Starting Your Small Business? Start where you are with what you have and do what you can

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My ode to small business owners.

I’m a small business owner. I focus on helping small businesses launch to the next level of success through marketing strategy and brand strategy.

So when it comes to small business stories, I’ve seen a lot of different founders growing business in different ways. Most work a 9-5 job and start a side hustle. Some dive right in and go full-time with a level of courage not most have. Others, work for years on passion projects before deciding this is where their heart is and they’re ready to move.

But one thing is common with every single person and business I’ve worked with – they just start.

They start where they are, and do what they can with what they have. Some are teachers helping students by day to come home and work countless hours to start their dream jobs. Some are consultants working on others businesses during the day to turnaround and grow their own at night. Some work for non-profits during the day to turnaround and build online influencer all weekend.

My theory on this one – the difference between those who do and those who don’t is precisely that.

What will you do today to get yourself started moving forward? What do you have that can help you start the business of your dreams? Get started where you are with what you have and do what you can.

Happy hustling my friends.

 

Four Ways Your Small Business Can Partner with Influencers (On the Cheap)

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Four Ways Your Small Business Can Partner with Influencers (On the Cheap)

For those who may be new to marketing, or new to influencer, understanding ways you can work with influencers or how to leverage influencers to help your small business grow can be difficult. You may not even be sure what an influencer is to know where to start (if that’s the case, check out my recent blog, “Just What Is Influencer Marketing,” here).

To help ease you in to the world of influencer marketing, I’m sharing a few easy ways you can start to partner with influencers – without breaking the bank!

1.     Form Relationships with Bloggers: Bloggers are a great, easy way into influencer marketing. They are always looking for great content to share and often love to work with brands within their given realm, so long as it is authentic.

The key to working with bloggers is to form a reciprocal relationship. Simply asking them to write about your most likely wont work, this is their business and reputation after all.

First thing first, read their blog and get familiar with stories they right and the type of content they share with their readers. Then, ask them to partner with you in a way that benefits THEIR readers. Can you do a product giveaway for their readers? Can you host an exclusive party or meet-up for their readers? Does the blogger write about businesses?

The most important thing here is to form a relationship with the blogger for the longhaul, working with them in a way that benefits their readers.

2. Go Micro! Influencer marketing on social media can cost a pretty penny, and those pennies wind up on audiences that are not listening. For instance, the Kardashians charge upwards of $1 Million dollars for an Instagram post. That is great for them, they’re out here hustling like we are, but not everyone has or should spend that kind of crazy cash to reach a broad audience.

When starting out in social media, it’s better to have a small niche group of micro influencers (those with less than 10K followers) who are passionate about your brand and its success than those with large audiences.

Why? Because not only are they cheaper (or often free // just request swag) but they’re more likely to be brand loyalists. You’re in this for the longhaul, partners with influencers who will be too.

3. Do a Giveaway. This one’s simple and doesn’t have to be complicated. Ask influencers to join you in a giveaway. Offer up a product, service, gift card, etc. and engage their audience through freebies.

People love free and they’ll engage with your brand and tag their friends to enter to win giveaways. Utilize influencers and partnerships to grow your reach and engagement at a relatively lowcost for entry.

4. Let Them Be your Storyteller. This one is perfect for influencers who have built a niche audience. They know they benefit of their reach and they know their audience. So let them tell your story in their voice to their fans.

The benefit? You get killer content from a great partner in a voice that is not disruptive to their original feel. Plus, people trust the influencer’s opinions and are likely to engage with them.

There are not for a shortage of influencer marketing ideas, but when starting on a budget it’s best to start small and build from there. As you delve into influencer marketing, remember to constantly evaluate what’s working, what’s not and refine your approach based on the best results for your brand.