In today’s article we will talk about 13 golden rules to dominate everything that you’re doing in social media, even if you have a brick and mortar business.
NOTE: This article is taken from the FULL episode of Brand Up #3, one of my weekly shows.
In today’s article we will talk about 13 golden rules to dominate everything that you’re doing in social media, even if you have a brick and mortar business.
I’ve been running my own companies for over 12 years and the most surprising fact that I found out was that most of the business blogs or websites had bad or incomplete information. This is the reason for why they always come and go. There is no chance for a business to stick up into the market as long as it has communication and strategy problems.
Pick up your favorite place, make yourself comfortable and be prepared to receive some of the best pieces of advice for your online business strategy! The most important thing that you need to know is that you should follow my advice step by step. There is no need to hurry by doing everything at once. As the famous proverb says, “Haste makes waste”.
Strategy #1: Owning your brand
You need to own your brand. You need to do everything that you can to seize the properties that are available online with your name. Let’s say your name is “John Smith”. Then you need to own johnsmith.com and johnsmith.org. You’ll also need to own “John Smith” on Facebook and Twitter like facebook.com/johnsmith and twitter.com/johnsmith.
There is a huge chance that name to be already taken, but you really need to own it on all the properties. I would do Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Vine, Medium, LinkedIn, Google plus. Basically, you should own everything that you can get a hold of, because it’s really worth the try. You need to own a virtual real estate or your own rented properties on all those social media platforms.
For example, if you own Vegetables Inc., you’ll need to have Vegetables Inc. for every single platform. You’ll need to have facebook.com/vegetablesinc or twitter.com/vegetablesinc. You’ll have to own your name and the properties for every social media platform that’s out there.
Owning your brand is essential. Nowadays, you have a lot of beneficial facilities that you can take advantage of. For example, when Facebook and all these social media platforms came out, people had the ability to own their own URL. People were having URL’s like “twitter.com/pizzalovingfunguy85”. It was funny for a few hours, but how’s that going to help you when doing business?
You need to think of your brand by means of your full name. If possible, you need to have your name as your business name, company name or your shop name on all properties. Most of the tips I’m going to share with you are based on owning something. You need to have your own page, Facebook page and Twitter accounts. You also need to have a page that’s one for you and one for your brand.
Strategy #2: Know where your audience is
If you already have a business, you need to understand the difference between the type of clients that will do business with you and the type of clients that will buy from you. When we board clients, we ask them, “Who’s your target customer?” because that’s how we can target them online. Facebook allows amazing capabilities of targeting, but you need to know what to search for, that’s why you really need to know who your ideal clients are and what their demographic is.
You don’t have the power or the budget to advertise everyone. You’re going to have to advertise very differently to someone who’s a single mom, single dad, divorced, the younger generation, the older generation, males and females. You need to really understand who is your ideal buyer and the only way that you can do that is by doing research within your customer base. You will need to take some time to have a look at the ages and you will have results like: you have 60% of men who are 30 to 40 and then the other 40% are women from 50 to 55.
You need to know what your demographic is and what their interests are, because when you start advertising, you need to be able to narrow down those categories. You will usually have several different verticals and even if you’re selling one product, you will have different audiences. When I ask you, “What’s your ideal customer?” the last thing you want to answer me is, “I don’t know” or “Well, pretty much everyone”, because that’s ridiculous.
No one is a customer of everything and even if people own the product, they buy it for different reasons. You need to know every demographic and you need to narrow it down, so you can place advertising and marketing messages specifically for it. That’s why you really need to understand who your ideal customer is and be able to immediately answer the question: “who do you want to target online?” You need to know who your audience is and you need to know where they spend their time.
About 10 years ago, Facebook was starting to gain some traction. I remember friends telling me, “Oh yeah, this new Facebook thing is coming out. What do you think?” and my answer to them was, “I don’t know”, because it was so new at that point. I remember Hi5 really gained traction. Then out came Friendster, MySpace and Facebook. This was the first iteration of social networks.
I remember people saying, “I’ll never be on Facebook. I will never have a Facebook account”, but fast forward to now, who doesn’t have it? It has 1.4 billion users. In all honesty, I have 2 or 3 really close friends who don’t have Facebook and I would say that less than 1% or maybe 5% at the most of the people I know don’t have an account on it.
You need to know where your audience is. For example, if you’re selling to teenagers, you need to be on Snapchat, Vine and also in Instagram. Those 3 platforms really have the majority of that market share. If you’re selling to B2B or professionals, you need to be on LinkedIn. Point A is: really understanding who your audience is and Point B is: understanding where they spend their time and for that, so you need to do some research.
You need to start understanding the platforms like understanding that Snapchat and Instagram is still a very young demographic. Every platform is different and you need to understand who your market is and then see where they spend their time.
Strategy #3: Engaging
If you have a store at the moment and you have people posting, liking or commenting on your page, you need to start engaging with them. Until social networks came along, the way companies would communicate would be through press releases, TV advertising or print advertising. It was a one way street before.
Consumers didn’t have any way of protesting. The only way that they could really voice their satisfaction was either calling the business or going to customer protection agencies. Now, if you do a bad job in your business, people will be very verbal on social media. It puts bad businesses on the side, which is actually great if you run a good business.
You need to understand that you need to engage. It is a two way street; people will ask questions by commenting on Facebook and it’s your job to answer. You need to interact. There’s no way you can publish stuff without interacting.
The only way you can get away with it is if you’re a big celebrity. I just saw Vin Diesel’s page past a 100 million viewers. I don’t know if he engages, but I think he’s one of the biggest pages on Facebook. I would still engage if I were him, because you can see others like Taylor Swift and Nikki Minaj doing this.
If you’re a small business or a brick and mortar business, go back and forth and ask questions. People will have questions about products and promotions or stuff like this. They might have questions about an employee that they like or a waiter/waitress that they like in your restaurant. You really want to communicate and have that open channel. Otherwise, it’s a one way stream. People won’t have an interest in coming back to your online properties if they don’t see that they can have some sort of response from you.
People want to deal with human beings, so they want to have an interaction. If you have a big business, you probably can’t interact with everybody. However, I really believe that interacting is going back to the old school way of business, because the more you interact with customers, the more you can actually build an amazing relationship with them. It increases business, because it will come back.
For example, I was travelling to Amsterdam a few weeks ago. In the departures terminal they have a huge chocolate buffet. They have huge pyramids of chocolate and they’re very eye catching, so I made a Vine video and I posted it when I was boarding. I tag “Schiphol” (which is the name of the airport) and within 2 to 3 minutes, I got a reply back from Schiphol saying, “Hey, why didn’t you have a bite? Why didn’t you get anything?” I was like, “Wow, that’s really interesting”. That was a brand business that’s actually replying, so we went back and forth for a few tweets. It was interesting to see an airport which is probably one of the most un-sexiest businesses on earth to actually have a voice and by interacting in a funny way.
I will also give you a bad example. The last time that I went to the supermarket, I saw these “Innocent drinks”. I think they’re probably one of the first smoothie companies that came out in the UK 10 or 12 years ago. “Innocent” is full of sugar, but it’s marketed as a healthy drink. I took the Innocent bottle (which is very small) and I walked to the area where they sell Coke. I then put the Innocent bottle next to the Coke. I took notice on the amounts of sugar and Innocent’s strawberry smoothie had as much sugar as Coke. It’s fascinating to see how marketing can really play on people’s minds.
I was a little bit cheeky and I made an Instagram video. I tagged Coke and Innocent and I said, “Hey Innocent, you have as much sugar as Coke” and I didn’t get any reply, which is to be expected, because I was teasing them a bit. It would have been funny if one of them would have replied back with something funny. I like doing that with brands to see who interacts. It puts them in an uncomfortable situation, but they could have turned it around and could have done something funny with it, but they didn’t. To Innocent and Coke: get your game together.
People want to be engaged. When they take the time to tweet, comment or like, try to give something back. People just want to be recognized and seen. Give them some sort of access, because they want it. If you play with the old school model of one way street communication, you’ll lose.
Strategy #4: Selling less than 10% of the time
You need to understand that social media is NOT for selling. It is for connecting with people or audiences. It is for creating and giving more exposure to your brand.
When big brands go online, they get a huge spike of followers in a few days when they launch their Facebook page. After a few weeks of posting promotion after promotion, you’ll see that their likes are going from 1,000 likes per post to 800, 600 or even 500.
It’s all about ENGAGEMENT. The higher the engagement, the more people are talking, liking, sharing and commenting about you. If you have a 100,000 likes on your page, but only have 5 people liking your posts, you’re doing something wrong. You don’t want to use social media to sell. You could put out promotions every now and then, but you definitely want to know that less than 10% of social media is for selling.
For example, if you’re posting 50 publications a week, not more than 5 should be promos. That means that at least 90% of everything you do and publish is fun content, educational content, entertainment and videos. DON’T try to make social media your cash cow, because it won’t work. Social media will give you brand equity, a lot of exposure, an even more loyal fan base and it will turn your fans into super fans. Social media won’t increase sales overnight. Don’t make that mistake, because I think it’s ridiculous and very funny.
Go around and see different brands on Facebook. You’ll see the ones that play the game well or the ones that interact. You’ll also see the ones that have rihttps://www.facebook.com/MatthiasMazurdiculous amounts of likes, because they just publish “shit”. That’s our rule of thumb; less than 10% of social media content that is published should be sales and over 90% should be non-sales.
If you’re publishing content, people are looking at you and following your page, so they know what you do. They know that you have a store and they know that they can buy something from you. You don’t want to jam that down their throats, because that’s playing the game very badly.
Strategy #5: Publishing regular content
You need to have a publishing and content calendar. You need to have regular updates. This is why you should publish. If you’re not doing anything on Facebook or Twitter at the moment, start by publishing 2 posts a day. That’s 10 a week from Monday to Friday or 14 for the whole week.
We do between 10 to 15 posts a day on Facebook and some people would say, “Oh, that’s a lot”. No, it’s not a lot, because we’re out to dominate the space and that’s how you have to play the game if you want to dominate. On Twitter, we post 30 to 50 times a day, because Twitter is different. Prospects miss the feeds on Twitter, because there’s more noise on it. LinkedIn is obviously a different game, so you need to have a publishing schedule.
It’s not just about, “Oh, I have a cool picture. Let’s just post it and see what happens”. It’s never going to work like that. You need to have a calendar in the same way that you have your business calendar of promotions, cash flow, expenses and new stock arriving. When you have that business calendar, you also need to have a publishing or content calendar. That’s a MUST and if you really want to win in social media, you need to plan everything that you do.
I’ll give you our example. We publish between 10 to 15 times a day on Facebook and on average, that’s about 60 to 80 posts a week. On Twitter, we do between 30 to 50 posts a day and that’s about 2 to 300 post a week. That’s just for my brand, Matthias Mazur, and we do the same thing for our clients. We have thousands of posts a day that we get out. You can’t do that if you don’t have a calendar, because everything needs to be planned. You need to publish regularly and the only way to do that regularly is to plan everything out ahead of time.
I would say posting 2 a day for starting out is good. Not everyone will see your post, because people don’t check their Facebook all the time and they’re not on Facebook 24/7. They might miss your post, so you want to post frequently and you want to post different types of content.
The cool thing with Facebook and Twitter is, you can actually pre-load and schedule your post in advance. For example, you need to schedule 20 posts for the week. Schedule 2 to 3 post a day and it just goes out automatically. You don’t need to look at it, but you do need to schedule it. Do regular updates and at least do 2 posts a day. If you want to dominate your space, go and post 10 a day. There’s a lot of different content you can post, but the key is to have a calendar and to commit to posting for at least 6 to 12 months, because that’s where you win.
Social media is a number game. You’re not going to reach an incredible amount of exposure with one piece. It’s going to take dozens, hundreds or maybe thousands of publications to really get traction. The best way to do it is to plan everything. You need to publish and schedule everything and have it go out as the time goes. It’s crucial to have a calendar and have regular updates. At least do 2 posts a day if you’re starting out. If that’s too much, you need to get over it and you need to get over the fear.
People don’t live on your brand and people don’t live on my brand. People live their own lives. If you’re not publishing regularly, you don’t exist for people. Your audience wants to see content that’s interesting. The more interesting the content, the more people will like, share, comment and interact with your page and you’re engagement goes up.
Play the game to win and don’t say, “We’re trying this Facebook thing”. Facebook has been around for years with almost 1.5 billion users. If you’re still at the stage of, “Let’s see if Facebook works”, you’ve already lost in business.
Let me give you an example. We have a client who’s in the wine business. At the beginning, he was so skeptical, so I told him, “Yeah, Facebook and Viber, you need to get over it, because you don’t have the advertising budget that the big brands have.” You need to go where people want to interact and you need to go where people are.
Social media is the key. If you’re still skeptical about this, don’t play the game, but I want you to come back to me in 5 years and let me know how the business goes. Chances are, you don’t want to be in business anymore or your business will just be surviving. If you want to dominate, you need to do all of this.
Let’s talk about content. We talked about the importance of having a calendar posting several times a day. If you really want to go big, post 5 times and then post 10. If you want to share 15, 20, 30 pieces of content a week, you need to find that stuff.
There are basically 2 categories: one is your own and two is someone else’s content. Within those 2 categories are different things, a lot of different elements, pieces of content and types of content that you can publish.
To briefly summarize: you want to have your own content, videos, pictures, quotes, testimonials, your own video testimonials, educational articles and educational videos. Then, you want to have other people’s content.
If you have a flower shop, you can post the most beautiful flower arrangements in the world. All you have to do is go YouTube, find a video, put that on your Facebook page and caption it saying, “Hey, I just found this and this is amazing”. I can assure you that people will love that.
Don’t be closed minded. The bad thing about social media is that people never share their own stuff, because they want to see that you actually share other people’s content. Facebook actually rewards you if they see that you share other people’s content. If you have a customer or someone in your audience who sent you a funny video, share that video and tag that person, because that person’s friends get the notification that their friend got tagged and then all those friends see your brand.
Think big and don’t take all the credit for things. Give credit where credit is due. Think of all the pieces of content you can publish. Obviously, you don’t want to publish stuff from your competition, but there are a lot of different things that you can do, like doing funny videos.
The flower example is amazing. There are millions of videos about flowers, best bridal flower arrangements or best mother’s day flower arrangements. There are all these different types of videos online. All these pieces of content can be taken and used as one piece of it that you publish every week or every day. If you publish 5 times a day, you could post 1 or 2 other people’s shared content. Basically, that’s already 40% of your content and you then only need to create 3 pieces. You need to think of how you can leverage all that. One of the keys is also using what’s out there, so you don’t need to create everything.
You also need to repurpose content. It’s really easy to have dozens of pieces of content based on just one thing. Start by taking a video, making it into an article, a quote, a picture, an audio podcast, a white paper or a slide show.
Strategy #6: Gamification
If you have a brick and mortar business, create a contest. Put together contests where you actually give people the opportunity to win a $50 gift card, a new thing or one of the products that you have on clearance. Whatever it is, you need to create a contest. Let’s get back to the flower shop example. Create a contest for Mother’s Day, where they can send you a funny picture of their mother. You could also put a rule like the picture needs to have 5 flowers or at least 1 flower in the photograph.
Create those different contests, because people love playing and competing. Everyone loves those social media contest. Make good use of that, because it can go viral. If you’re a small shop, you really want to give out. For example, if you have a burger joint with the best homemade burgers, you can tag and create a contest where people can give their own recipe or the best recipe of the week. The best customer recipe of the week, of the month or of the year will get a full meal for free.
It’s not about getting new customers, it is about getting ENGAGEMENTS. The more your page is engaged and the more people engage with you, the more their friends see notifications about you. You really want to have as much back and forth with them as possible and doing a contest is an amazing way to do it. It’s a fun way for you to reward people, it costs you next to nothing and you also build social love. Other examples are elections, best looking burger of the month or best looking flower arrangement of the month. If you brainstorm a bit, you’ll come up with fun contests to do.
Strategy #7: Leveraging Local
As you know, EVERYONE has a phone right now. I was having a drink with a friend of mine in a restaurant and we were contemplating of having food at that place or just move and go somewhere else. I didn’t ask if the food is good, because if you ask the waiter if it is good, of course he’s going to give you a positive answer. Why would he lie? What I did was, I pulled up my phone and searched on “Yelp” and “Trip Adviser. We just saw all some reviews about the restaurant, so we just had a drink and left.
This is the big power that reviews have. If you’re a business owner, you need to monitor that. You need to do everything you can to get high ratings, even if that means reaching out to people who left a bad review. People would appreciate the business owner reaching out and saying “Hey, we’re sorry. The waiter had a bad day and we’d love to give you 50% off your next meal”. You need to recognize and interact on a local level.
Do anything you can do in your area and organizations around you. For example, interact with the local charity, the local soccer club or the local pet protection organizations. There are all these different small local things, agencies, associations and clubs that you can interact and create a partnership with. They get you exposure and you get their exposure.
There are a lot of joint ventures you can put together locally, if you’re in a small town or even if you’re living in a big town. These can double the business just by leveraging everything local. The way you do it is by calling people up, reaching out and saying, “Hey, this is what we do and we’d love to do a joint venture with you, so let’s talk.” Just talk to them and go meet with them. Unless the guy’s a complete moron who wouldn’t be open to doing something cool, that makes money for both of you. Try leveraging local events, local charities and local clubs.
Strategy #8: Using Video
As you know, video it’s huge. I remember a few years ago back in 2007, everyone was saying video is the future. Now, the future is here and video is the PRESENT. It’s not even the future anymore, because everyone’s on video.
Facebook is doing some very interesting things on videos. They really want to take over YouTube by dominating that space. I saw an article that says that 60 or 70% of the traffic in 2018 is going to be video. Think about that: over half of the traffic in the world is going to be video, because connections are faster. Right now, video is the best tool that we use to communicate.
People connect with you if they feel the energy you have. Some people who watch my shows don’t like me, because I don’t wear a suit and tie and some people think I look too young. I’m 29, but I look like I’m 15. At the same time, people who watch my shows reach out to us and say, “Hey, I really like what you do, how can you help me?”
Doing a video really puts out the energy and attracts the right people to you. If you’re not using video, you’re losing the game. I’m not talking about doing really polished videos. I’m talking about just having a video recorded with your phone. There’s so much stuff you can do, like walking around in your office, in your shop or in your store. Do fun things, do Q&A sessions with your client, or testimonial videos.
Using video is absolutely indispensable at the moment and it is a MUST. People want to see how you are, they want to be able to communicate with you and have an interaction only through text, but through video. Using a video builds the most momentum online.
Strategy #9: Social Proof
You want to use social proof like testimonials, customer results, client satisfaction, messages and anything that can show prospects or customers that you are the real deal and that you actually deliver on what you promise. Testimonials are huge and this is something I recommend to all our clients. Have a few phones or small camera, so that when a client comes into your shop and they’re happy, you can ask for a quick testimonial video.
If every day of the year you’ll ask your clients who come in for a video testimonial, you’ll get hundreds of them. Post them on Facebook, YouTube and on your blog. You basically create an incredible social proof and people can’t dispute the level of service you provide. Very few businesses actually use testimonials and it’s not even about what people say: it’s how people behave in front of the camera.
In one of my seminar companies, at the end of every event we would ask people for testimonials. We wouldn’t even tell them what to do, we would just say, “Hey, what do you think?” They would basically answer and some people would give great testimonials that are very well worded, while others stumble and don’t really know what to say. You really need these kinds of videos on your website.
You need to have testimonials from everyone by doing every type of demographic in your target market. Text testimonials are okay, but nothing compares to a good video, even if it’s shot with a handheld iPhone. It’s just the most persuasive tool for prospects of clients.
Strategy #10: Live Video
You need to do live videos by using platforms like Periscope, Meerkat and Facebook. It just came out with a huge boom in the market given by Facebook Mentions, where you can stream videos or do live videos from your phone.
You will have a huge level of connection with the audience just by pressing a few buttons; pressing play and broadcasting even while you’re having a team meeting or when you get a new stock. If you have a restaurant, you can shoot a video while you’re walking around in the kitchen or just greeting customers.
Videos are hug, but live streams are even bigger. That’s my view on it, because even though video can be very spontaneous, live streams are live. In a way, the audience is always testing you. For example, you do a Q&A session live and you can really evade the question. I think it’s great, because if you’re a coach or a consultant, people can put you on the spot and if you actually deliver a good answer, you win. That person will follow you for years.
Do live videos with Periscope, Meerkat and Facebook Mentions. It isn’t live yet for everyone. It’s only for celebrities, but eventually, in a few weeks or a few months it will and they’ll roll it out to everyone.
Strategy #11: Rewarding Loyal Customers
Remember what I said about contests and elections? Everyone loves some sort of recognition. Everyone wants to be a bit famous. Even some people won’t admit it, everyone likes to be recognized. There’s a lot of power in putting together a “customer of the week” program.
If you have a big business and have a lot of customers, you can do “customer of the day” or “funny outfit of the day”. If you have a restaurant and someone comes in it with a funny outfit, you can say, “Hey, this is our customer of the day” and post it on Facebook. This is an amazing way to shine the light on other people.
It’s all about ATTENTION and it’s all about who sees what. If you showcase someone, all their friends will see that picture. This means that they’ll see your business too. Reward your customers online, give them discounts or give them funny stuff like stuffed animals on your page.
Strategy #12: Mobile Optimization
Your site needs to be mobile. I saw a mind blowing stat: the Small Business Association said that over 50% of small businesses don’t have a website that’s mobile and Twitter said a few weeks ago that 88% of Twitter users use Twitter on their phones. Half of small businesses don’t have mobile presence. They only use a website that’s not mobile optimized. I personally don’t even spend a minute on a website that’s not mobile optimized.
If you have a local store, you need to have an optimized website for mobile, because no one else is doing it. This is a huge opportunity for you and you need to take the time to do it. If you’re not doing it now, you’ll have to do it in 2 years’ time anyway. If you do this in the next 2 years, it’s stupid, because you have lost precious time.
Strategy #13: Playing Long Term.
Social media is a long term game and you need to commit to “playing” it. Commit to doing this for 6, 12, 18 to 24 months and I can guarantee that you’ll win. Some companies or brick and mortar businesses do it for a few weeks, then the owner gets tired of it and says, “I won’t do it”. If you don’t want to do it, hire someone in house. If you don’t want to hire someone in house, ask us to do it, because that’s what we do also for all of our clients.
If you play long term and commit to this, no one else is going to be able to compete with you, because everyone wants the magic pill. If you’ll say, “Okay, let’s commit, let’s do it for 12 months” or “Let’s do it for 24 months”, you post and you actually do everything that I’ve suggested, you will WIN. I really think no one else could compete with you if you actually implement these 14 strategies.
As I have stated, I have been in business for 12 years and this is THE BLUEPRINT that I use in my companies. You now have the opportunity to use it in order to make this happen. If you implement everything that I’ve shared, I can guarantee that you will dominate your space. Apply my advice, be consistent and commit to owning your brand.
Have questions or need help? Reach out to us here.