How To Market Your Business Properly Online in Asheville, or Wherever

Marketing Your Business in Asheville

 

Marketing your business is a tough thing to do if you really knew all of the facts. As soon as someone announces that they are opening up a business in Asheville, a bunch of companies start coming at them from all ends to help, or at least try to. From web designers, to marketing agencies, social media managers, graphic designers, and PR firms; not to mention advertisers… they all want a piece of the pie. So how do you determine the best steps to take while starting and building your brand and company? I have put together a list of 7 things that you will need to market your business properly online in Asheville:

  1. A brand that communicates your message and that is set up to grow. If you want to really establish your company, you must start with the basics. Creating the brand and logo should never be left to a designer alone, it is a team effort and more important than many think. It’s a careful process where you take in account the type of business it is, what it’s purpose is, and who your ideal client is. Your company culture, mentality and mission can be communicated through not only your brand, but your logo as well.
  2. A website home base. Unless you have a storefront, and even if you do; many times your website is still your main headquarters online. A visitor to your website only knows what they see there. Website visitors do not usually have the opportunity to meet you in person and learn about your business. Your website is the first and lasting impression they have of you and your company. There are many elements in web development to consider, but the main three are design, site navigation/flow, and content. Get these items taken care of and your website will shine. Now you just have to get people to it. There are many ways to do this, but the main way is to add new content to your website regularly, whether it be a blog post or new page. Then post that new page or post to your social media outlets to gain new traffic to your website.
  3. Social media. Building relationships is the new business and social media is here to make that happen. Determine which social media platforms are best for your business and make accounts on them. Many times we secure brands on all platforms should you wish to use them in the future for a specific purpose. This is your communication hub and your business is socially known through your social media. Pay big attention to this.
  4. Public relations. Maybe you do not need a big PR firm to start, but you should have a vision established on what your brand’s voice is, how you will appear to the public, and how you will consistently communicate moving forward. Once established, you can find plenty of ways to get integrated in the community, with non-profits, and other organizations in the area that will complement your business.
  5. Consistent content and information. People want to know what you are doing, what products you have, what services you are providing, and what’s happening right now with your business. Posting great consistent content to your social media outlets is a must, without exception. Relationships will not be built and growth is stifled if you do not have content. Then the level of content becomes key. You need a plan where you are posting things that matter and things that your specific viewers want to see. You can do this through text, photos/images/graphics, and videos.
  6. Advertising outlets. There are many places that you can advertise in the local community, but don’t do it. First things first – get your own brand established so the folks you are advertising to see something great when they land on your website or social media outlets. Then maybe check out a few places on a smaller level to kind of test the waters, without over-committing on a lengthy contract, only to find out later that the advertising you were sold does not really work, or did not work for you at least.
  7. A great team. It’s pretty much impossible to do all of these things successfully and make a business successful at the same time, so you need a team. When you do decide to hire some folks, build a team that cares about your business, what you represent, and knows how to make your business grow; both online and off. See their portfolios, check out their LinkedIn page, and see what they have really done. Just getting by and doing good enough, is simply not enough. Make sure they are great, because marketing your business online properly is not achieved without greatness.

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Sample Social Media Packages For Your Business

Social Media Packages & Management

Folks are always asking for a “sample” of what a social media package for their business looks like. Believe me, it varies from business to business as not any one is identical, but we have years of putting together custom plans that are way more effective than mainstream social media. We have put together a quick sample to show you what some of these packages may consist of:

  • Content Development
    • Writing, Photos, Graphics, Videos
  • Social Media Management
    • Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, etc
  • Content Distribution
    • Website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, etc

Depending on your budget, your monthly deliverables would vary of course; but based on a $1000 a month budget, your package could include:

  1. Photo Shoot Every Other Month – For Use on Website & Social Media
  2. One (1) Social Video Every Month – For Use On Social Media
  3. Bi-Monthly Pro Video – For Use On Website & Social Media
  4. Monthly Social Media Management – 20 Posts Per Month

Based on a $2000 per month budget, your package could include:

  1. One (1) Photo Shoot Every Month – For Use on Website & Social Media
  2. Two (2) Social Videos Every Month – For Use On Social Media
  3. One (1) Monthly Pro Video – For Use On Website & Social Media
  4. Monthly Social Media Management – 40 Posts Per Month

As traveling media specialists, we are also available to travel to your location on a monthly basis, gather the information, photos, and video content that we need, and make your social media shine remotely throughout the whole month. It’s all about telling your story and building relationships. Social media management is just the mechanics of producing and posting effective information on a regular basis. We help you determine, capture, and release it in a way that communicates to your audience and clients in a more intimate manner, opening the door for long term relations to be established.

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Why Is Facebook Making Social Media Longer & Harder?

Facebook F You

I am sure I am not the only one who has noticed, but Facebook has left the world of convenience, and now seems to be creating systems that make it longer and harder to get things accomplished, and thus improving their stats in a very unsocial manner. But with Facebook being the current “King” of social media platforms, we gotta do what we gotta do, and spend more and more time blindly following the pied piper, and less time balancing on other social networks, especially those that FB deems competitive.

This could be happening because Facebook, like any business, needs numbers to show. To their investors, to their advertisers, and to the media at large. For example, remember the days when you could act as your business page on Facebook and go jumping from page to page, supporting other businesses in your community? Well those days are gone. Now you have to go to each page as your individual self (that’s one click or page impression), and then change over to your business under the post that you want to interact with (that’s another click or page impression). So what used to be a one page visit, is now turned into at least a two page visitor scenario. A hassle for users, but great when it comes to Facebook numbers, showing more impressions and time on the pages.

The Facebook mobile app for business is another area of concern, for users at least. Sometimes I wonder if the folks behind the scenes, developing these apps, have ever actually used them enough to actually gauge their effectiveness. Because if so, we would not have many issues and so many other cool solutions would be implemented before we had the chance to think about them. For example, when another business mentions your business on Facebook, you cannot even view the post where they mentioned your company. You have to either go to your personal Facebook app, find the business page that mentioned you, and then still you cannot respond or interact as your business. So then you have to go to your desktop or laptop and login, and then go to your business page, then go to your notifications, find the post, and like & respond from there. Now, as of the other day, you cannot even pull up a business page on the Facebook personal app and go directly to it from the search bar. You have to search for the business name first, then they bring you to search result page, and you can then click on the business page from there. Ring Around The Rosie! How many impressions and page views does Facebook get from running us in circles like this? Lots! Come on Facebook, you are a billion dollar company, and there is no reason at all why your mobile app for business should be anything less than incredible. Unless, you want it that way.

Lets talk about Facebook and YouTube for a minute. We all know the war that was started years ago when Google tried to become social and Facebook tried to become a search engine. Google ended up failing terribly with their “Wave” social media platform. Then later on they made an even bigger blunder by forcing everyone that had a Google account to get a Google + Page, and then using those statistics to claim that Google + was the next big thing. Meanwhile, while Google was distracted, Facebook started planting their video seed, and it has since grown roots enough that YouTube is just about a thing of the past. And on top of that, Facebook has now entered the “Search” world, more of a social search instead of a search engine, and is now a big threat to the Google search box we fell in love with years ago. Maybe you have already noticed, but over the past year or so, the majority of times you click on a YouTube post from Facebook, it will not take you to the video. They can call it a glitch, but I believe it is more about Facebook blocking you from leaving their website, forcing you to forget about clicking over to that video, and find something else to do on their platform.

That brings me to Facebook Videos. When they first started, they let you upload a video and add a call to action, where someone could watch the video and then click over to a website or some place for more information. Facebook has since removed that, because they do not want you leaving their social media platform. They could have at least allowed the call to action buttons to go to a Facebook page that you designate, but no, because that would compete with their ad revenue model for page promotions. So for now, we have to manually add a link into the description of each video post.

I don’t know about you, but I am starting to feel that Facebook is not my friend anymore, and that social connection is about to be lost. It’s kind of like we lost the spark of when we first fell in love. We tried to get back together to make it work, but as of right now, my relationship status with you is complicated. Am I going to run out and start my own social network? No, but I hope your strategists find a better way to help us connect and save time, instead of watching us work harder for less results.