Tag Archives: Facebook

People Helping People: Social Media Strategies for Small Business

Social Media Startegies for Small Bsuiness February Blog graphic

Making Connections In Social Media

You can find top 10 lists on social media strategies for small business all around the internet.  Some tips are complicated, some cost money, some require a lot of time. The social media strategies small businesses seldom consider is keeping it ‘social’. Start with securing your pages on applicable social media sites, posting regularly, and engaging authentically with others. Sharing, liking and commenting on business pages you follow will create camaraderie and your contacts will show their appreciation by reciprocating and engaging with your content.

Following are the top social media players companies choose to engage on social media. There are so many more social media platforms like SnapChat, Tumblr, Quora, etc. If you find a specific social media platform has captured your target market – make sure you are there too!

1. Facebook

Facebook now offers business pages the opportunity to follow other company pages. Follow customers, vendors or local organizations you support and share their posts. You can also follow your competition and see what posts are working best for them.
Task: Make a list of pages to follow

Remember to engage with those favorite pages. Like, share or comment on the pages you follow. Your customer will appreciate that you engaging with them on Facebook. It may even inspire them to add a review on your Facebook business page.

Utilize the large area on the top of your business Facebook page with a creative Facebook cover photo graphic that inspires people or offers a discount specific to only your Facebook followers.

Are you now asking what’s the size of a Facebook cover photo? Take a look at standard sizes on our social media graphic sizes cheat sheet.

Task: What discounts or specials could you offer on your Facebook cover photo this month? What about next month?  Make a list for the year to keep ahead!

2. Twitter

Follow industry leaders who share great content and retweet them, when they feel your love and retweet your posts your Twitter handle will be seen by all of their followers. Express your appreciation to vendors, customers, and friends with #hashtags such as #followfriday suggestions for mutual love. Tag events in posts #newyears, #cybersale, locally used hashtags like #lovelansing or  industry hashtags like #graphicdesign.

Task: Make a list of Industry Leaders to follow for great retweets!
Include them in your next Follow Friday (#FF) tweet.

You can also search by hashtag to see what is being tweeted on a specific subject, such as your industry (#webdesign) or a sports team (#detroitredwings). The results will be posts by others who have used the same hashtag in their tweets. For instance if I use #graphicdesign in a tweet and you search #graphicdesign my post will come up as a result in your search along with others who have included the same hashtag.

Task: Make a list of local popular hashtags to use to make connections.
(#LoveLansing, #GrandRapids, etc.)

3. LinkedIn

The place to be for B2B. It’s true, Linkedin is full of job recruiters. Linkedin doesn’t offer the addictive attraction that Facebook does but chances are your business connections are here. Linkedin is where you find vendors, employees, customers and business tips without the cat videos. First upgrade to a professional profile and secure your Linkedin , pinterest boaardscompany page. Find a few company pages you would like to follow (trade organizations, vendors, customers, others with large followers) and request them to follow your company page. We’d love to have you follow ours too!

Task: Make a list of LInkedin company pages to follow

Recommendations:

Give recommendations for your Linkedin contacts. They will get an alert that you recommended them, the alert will be posted in the Linkedin newsfeed and others will see that you are actively recommending others. It’s a kind way to get in the front of people’s minds and remind them that you appreciate their talents and remind them that they may want to recommend you too! Make sure you are making authentic recommendations! Don’t recommend somebody for their marketing ability when you don’t know if they acutally do a good job with marketing.

Task: Make a list of people you could provide authentic recommendations for of your LinkedIn followers.

Get into groups and comment!
Groups are huge in Linkedin. Look for ones of interest in your industry and share insights to the members, receive advice, hear about trends, comment on posts, post specials or offers, get leads, etc. Each time you post or comment Linkedin will add it to the page feed of all your Linkedin connections. Sharing others posts, commenting on them, will boost their reach too. Being a member of a group also allows you to friend request anyone in the group and correspond with them without knowing their email or having worked with them before – it’s a great way to introduce yourself to a prospect.

Task: Make a list of groups you can search for and join today

4. Pinterest / Instagram

Although very different these two social media applications are similar in the fact that they are centered around images. ‘Nobody reads on the internet anymore’, ‘a picture says a 1000 words’… you’ve heard it all before. A younger female audience has embraced these two social media apps. The Pinterest audience is crossing over multiple generations and members are increasing quickly. Instagram is primarily tweens through 30-somethings. Both apps have high engagement and now allow for private/direct messaging to followers. As you post your clever product, funny or inspiring photos remember to add #hashtags and share the love:

Task: Log on to Pinterest or Instagram and follow other peoples pages or profiles that post or pin like minded items.

Task: Identify people and pages that use your product in clever ways. Recognize them, thank them, share their posts and add it to your list of products uses. 

Task: Create Pinterest pages that highlight your product or service:

Task: Host an Instagram Giveaway – think about what photos your customers could post and create a #hashtag (for a coffee shop post picture of your #favoritecoffeecup, or a tree service company #afterstormphotos…).

Google+ and YouTube:

Secure your Google+ page and increase contacts and your Google rating. While you are at it secure your company location on Google Maps. Embed YouTube videos from your company YouTube channel or videos of interest to your customers right on your Google+ page.

Find friends, customers, vendors and add reviews. These reviews come up when others search keyword terms in their industry or search by their company name. Results will show their company, location, photos, contact info and reviews. Talk about cheap advertising and an easy way to support your colleagues!

Task: Make a list of  videos and content you can can add to your Google+ page to increase exposure

Task: Create target lists (Google circles) – Google+ separates connections into circles your define. You can target information to specific circles.

Task: Determine segments you can set up to announce specific content to each audience.

TaskL Create a Goggle+ Hangout:
You can offer live streaming weekly or monthly webinars to educate your customers. What are the top products or services customers would like? How-to-videos or step-by-step installations, customer testimonials, inspirational videos, etc.

Task: Make a list of webinar subjects you can cover that are of interest to your customers

You didn’t imagine social media strategies for small business was such a big deal?  Just remember, success comes when you practice kindness —keep it social.  Build your online relationships one share at a tim

Inspiring Facebook Graphics and Images for Sharing on Social Media

As graphic designers we like to create and share inspiring Facebook graphics and original design images containing positive quotes in our posts for social media pages. From Pinterest, to Twitter and Facebook (we still haven’t jumped into Instagram with both feet yet – baby steps…) and even Linkedin company pages… posting inspiring Facebook graphics, web memes and digital designs allows us to share our beliefs and have a little fun with our graphic design skills at the same time. Since we are often seeking Facebook graphics, twitter photos and the most inspiring pins for our pinterest boards we decided to post a lot of them here in our blog for you to reference for your own social media sharing.

We hope you enjoy these inspiring images and motivational quotes all developed for sharing to your social media followers and fans. Please feel free to share them, pass them along, print them out and hang them on your wall – if one of them inspires you to take a positive action then all of our effort has been rewarded.

Everything is fine.

Everything is fine.

Contemporary inspirational quote for social media

You are your wisest guide.

dream-big-connectiongraphics

whatever makes you feel bad, leave it whatever makes you smile, keep it

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Good things are happening

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“Don’t try to win over the haters; you are not a jackass whisperer.” ― Brené Brown

inspiring-facebook-graphics-intention-wihtout-discipline-connectiongraphics

“Intention without discipline is useless.” ― Caroline Myss,

inspiring-facebook-graphics-know-your-worth-connectiongraphics

Know your worth.

inspiring-facebook-graphics-laugh-breathe-connectiongraphics

Laugh as much as you breathe.

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“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” – Wayne W. Dyer

inspiring-facebook-graphics-matters-more-connectiongraphics

“What we know matters but who we are matters more.” ― Brené Brown

inspiring-facebook-graphics-rainbow-in-someones-cloud-connectiongraphics

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” ― Maya Angelou

inspiring-facebook-graphics-seeds-you-plant-connectiongraphics

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

inspiring-facebook-graphics-sell-your-cleverness-connectiongraphics

“Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.” ― Rumi

inspiring-facebook-graphics-inspiring quote for sharing on facebook

whatever makes you feel bad, leave it
whatever makes you smile, keep it

inspiring-facebook-graphics- inspirational Lao Tsu  quote design for social media post

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” Lao Tzu

Retro inspirational quote for pinterest inspiring-facebook-graphics-

What if you fly?

Contemporary inspirational quote for social media inspiring-facebook-graphics-

You make the world more beautiful

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You are your wisest guide.


Subscribe to the RSS feed and get regular updates as we continue to post more in the future. Or follow us on our social media pages for more inspiring Facebook graphics and social media images! We also offer Facebook cover photos and free ecards for sharing!

Small Business Owners: Do I need a website if I have a….

…Facebook Page … LinkedIn Business Page… Pinterest following

when you get -give, when you learn teach quote maya angelouIt scares me how often I am asked this question. Typically when a start-up business or growing small business consults with us on creating a professional company brand we need to have ‘the talk’. We’ve had the ‘do I need a website talk’ here before. Social media updates, SEO and skewed business models beg for a review. 

We’ve read the success stories; “Start up Yarn store sells volumes of skeins through their Facebook page’. Yes we’ve seen leads from LinkedIn turn into real live customers. But did those people who bought the yarn specifically go to Facebook looking for yarn? When your new found customer sought the service you offer on LinkedIn, were you the only company offering that service? No, no you were not.  This alone should help you answer the do I need a website question, but I will keep going.

Possibly the positive results in social media were driven by purchasing ads, feeding captivating content in Facebook, or using the correct keywords on your LinkedIn company page… or maybe the stars and the moon were aligned at just the right angle… We have no control on what social media sites our target market visits.  We have no control who sees our Facebook company page from post to post. We have no control over our competition claims on LinkedIn. How can we put our company success under somebody else’s control? Especially brands that also dictate what information we add to their websites and how it will be distributed?

Before I start sounding like LinkedIn and Facebook (and Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr …) are complete evil time-sucking novelties that are guided purely to monetize every move we make let me share sincere marketing advice:  Using multiple distribution points gets your marketing message in front of your prospects multiple times. You want to be where your clients are and if there are millions of businesses on LinkedIn everyday and you are a business to business (B2B) company you’re darn right you should be there too!  If your Pinterest and Facebook followers are engaging with your post and sharing it with their Aunt Susie, keep posting!

Long lasting success comes from consistent branding across multiple platforms. Facebook and LinkedIn and other social media sites are best served as outposts for your content. Your company website is the pitch, white paper, brochure, training, demo and closing table all in one. Your outposts should drive prospects to your brand website where you are in charge and can serve your customer best.

meida graphic-internet marketingWhy Do I Need a Website?

  1. A company website is available to people actively seeking a specific thing (product / service / education / research source).
  2. A company website markets your product and service only.
  3. Your product / service shines here, you decide what to share and visitors get their answers.
  4. Your company website is available to everyone. There’s no user agreement or need to be a member.
  5. Visitors contact information can be captured for follow up.
  6. Your website reflects your business personality and brand message.
  7. A clear call to action in the form you prefer (email, phone call, form, etc.) encourages connections.
  8. You own it.

Full disclosure: along with small business brand marketing, Connection Group builds websites. Yes, we would love to build a website for your small business. We also want to help small businesses succeed whether we provide purchased services or education via a free blog post or other or freebies.

Not all marketers agree. I recently read a post in a LinkedIn group where the author claimed all a B2B company needs is a LinkedIn company page. The author was shamed into silence from the over 100 threads from serious marketers explaining why all businesses need a website. Not all marketers offer website designs and the recommendation that small businesses need a website was not driven by sales. The advice was meant as a caution not to put all your marketing efforts into one portal. If you still feel a social media page is the best way to align business success there is somebody out there who will be happy to charge you to set up a MySpace account.

Stay connected!

Like what you’ve read here? Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter Connectivity for more brand marketing tips.

Facebook – All Party in the Front and Business in the Back?

Combining Facebook Fun With Business Building

Facebook Custom Lansing Page Design Connection Group

Since Connection Group has started offering Custom Facebook Landing Tabs and Fan Page Designs we have been receiving a number of questions about creation of Facebook pages. How do you set them up, what are the benefits to having a custom fan page, what types of fan pages are best suited to your clientele, etc. Since there is so much content in Facebook’s help section I will cover a few of the frequently asked questions here. Please feel free to connect for additional questions and visit the help page in Facebook for more in depth instructions.

What is the Difference between Facebook Pages and Facebook Profiles?

Your Facebook profile is a personal account of you as an individual. Facebook Pages are your professional presence as a business, band, organization, etc. Pages can only be set up by the owner or authorized representative of the company. You can not set up a page with the name Motorola Xoom if you are not authorized. You can not set up a group page called Zac Effron if you are not Zac or an authorized representative. I can set up the Facebook.com/connectiongraphics page because I am an owner. My staff can also if they have been given permission.

This is an important decision for a company. If the position responsible for developing these items has a high turn over rate it may be wise to have the page under one of the owners profiles instead of an employee. The updates can always be handled by the employee if desired but the page will always be associated by the company owner or director. In case an employee leaves the company there is no question of control. Keep in mind  you can not create a page without already having a facebook profile.

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Loving Lansing

As a marketing and design firm specializing in branding solutions we work with customers across the United States and Canada. We are located in the Lansing, Michigan area and much of our clientele are in Lansing and Grand Rapids. In the over twelve years of launching Connection Group, I have been pleased to see the growth and improvements both of these cities have made. Since I attended Kendall College of Art and Design in the, dare I say it – 80s’, Grand Rapids skyline and downtown offerings have improved dramatically. Areas where once I was tentative to ride my bike have now become revitalized, thriving neighborhoods.  With the diverse corporations and big donor names such as VanAndel and DeVos, Grand Rapids has been blessed with a stream of  financial gifts and investments.

Lansing, on the other hand, with its deep roots in the auto industry, has seen challenges and limited financial support. Even though it is the state capital of Michigan, the challenges the State has encountered has limited  state investment  and growth for the city. Fortunately, with a new diverse group of industries moving to the city, including many large insurance corporations, biotech companies, and of course the continued growth at MSU, Cooley Law School, and the many other higher education institutions, Lansing is growing and attracting a dynamic group of young residents. Downtown Lansing has expanded its offerings for nightlife and entertainment and Oldtown has continued to be a destination for celebrating the arts with its many festivals and locally owned boutique shops.

Local online newspaper, Capital Gains has dedicated a lot of ink to share the many wonderful events, happenings and growth Lansing is experiencing. Recently they featured a couple of articles on one of our favorite clients, Lambs’ Gate Antiques. Lambs’ Gate is locally owned by Carol Lamb. The first store in Grand Ledge has enjoyed much success throughout the years and Carol boldly chose to expand this Spring and opened Lambs’ Gate Antiques in OldTown. Managed by her daughter-in-law Ashley, the new store is the epitome of what is OldTown, eclectic, unique and colorful.

To learn more about the shops please view the Capital Gains article about Lambs’ Gate and the Lambs’ Gate Web site. To read more about the young talent Lansing is attracting and get a glimpse of why Lambs’ Gate Oldtown is experiencing such a welcoming response, read the Capital Gains article on Dan and Ashley Lamb.

Be sure to friend the Lambs’ Gate Antiques facebook site and join the newsletter to receive monthly coupons!