(VIDEO) The Best Social Media Strategy for Reno Businesses March 28, 2019 Ready to finally get a social media strategy up and running for your business? With as competitive as the Reno market is becoming, now is the time to get your social media off the ground. Our team has fine-tuned the following best practices after 20 years in the marketing business. First, we’ll cover the platforms you’ll want to be on, how they work, and what your posting schedule should be. Then we will get into our secret to consistent publishing, the editorial calendar! We will also cover paid social media advertising at the end. Enjoy our expertise at your fingertips! Facebook Is the #1 Social Media Platform, Use It! Facebook is the most popular social media platform of the whole gamut, no question. That said, we’ve gathered a few important statistics to give you a frame of reference. It may sound crazy, but almost 75% of online American adults use Facebook.1 Monthly active users for Facebook totaled at 2.32 billion at the end of 2018, just about one-third of the population of the world.2 We love Facebook for marketing because it has fantastic targeting tools. If you are using paid advertising on Facebook (see the last section of this blog), you can target audiences with your content based on their location (say, Reno), title, income, interests, etc. This allows you to narrow your focus so you are spending money on just the exact group of people you want to, no more, no less. Posting Schedule Our recommended posting schedule? Three to five times per week. This is just enough content to keep people engaged without numbing or frustrating them with the frequency at which they see your brand. Use an editorial calendar to determine the content of these posts (we will talk about this in a moment). For a brief summary of the information shared in this blog, watch Social Media Manager Sarah Testen discuss social media marketing on Beacon’s Digital U! Instagram for Reno If your target audience includes anyone born in the 21st century, you will want to be on Instagram. The most active users on Instagram are between 18 and 29 years old,3 and 72% of teenagers say that they use Instagram.4 Struggling to know what to post on Instagram? Here’s our rule of thumb: “Everything that goes on Instagram can be shared on Facebook, but not everything that is shared on Facebook should go on Instagram.” Instagram content is a bit of a strange animal–Unless you are posting warm, engaging images shot in good perspective with interesting subject matter, you are unlikely to get engagement. Not all Facebook content has to be this way. Instagram can be summed up in one word: Visual. If someone on your Reno team has a natural bend for photography, consider putting them on Instagram publishing as a special social media project. How do you capture engaging photography when the subject matter is your business? Think strategically about your products and services. If you are a product-based business, it’s a no-brainer–Take photos of your products at interesting angles and with beautiful back-drops! If you are service-based, maybe you take more shots of your team in-action or before-and-after photos of your client when they experience your services. Posting Schedule Using your editorial calendar (we will talk about it soon, we promise!), plan to publish a couple posts per week that have strong visuals to your Instagram account. For more on Instagram, read our blog: 14 Ways Businesses Can Optimize Their Instagram Profile Right Now! You Should Be Social Media Marketing on LinkedIn, Too Thought LinkedIn was dead, or at best, stuffy? Think again! LinkedIn has recently made a come-back and the primary beneficiaries are business-to-business companies. If your Reno business is targeting other businesses, you will want to be on LinkedIn, which is also great for vendor relationships and reaching job seekers. Here’s a winning statistic for you: Of all social traffic to business-to-business websites and blogs, LinkedIn contributes 50%.5 Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn only has 154 million users, but this is a highly select group of people.6 We’re talking about senior-level staff and company decision-makers. If you are looking to grow, LinkedIn is a great social media platform for finding personnel, with 40 million students and recent college graduates on the platform.7 The best content for LinkedIn is local (Reno) business and industry news as well as personal coaching/life advice. Considering the demographics of the platform, this should not be surprising! Posting Schedule Depending on the goals of your company–if it is business-to-business or not–we recommend a posting schedule of three to five times per week. If you are not B2B, you should only be on LinkedIn if you are strengthening vendor relationships or in the process of hiring new staff. An Editorial Calendar Will Help You Publish Consistently for Your Reno Audience Now for the moment you have all been waiting for! *drumroll please* The editorial calendar! Very few people can maintain a consistent publishing schedule on social media without a strong editorial calendar. The reality is, even if you are a creative genius, you will have your ups and downs. If you expect yourself to be able to sit down in front of your computer or pull out your smartphone three to five times per week and come up with a brilliant post idea on the fly every time, you may be sorely disappointed. But if you have a plan–something an editorial calendar provides–you will find your genius comes much more naturally! Here is an example page from one of our clients’ editorial calendars to show you what we are talking about, blurred for anonymity: This is a “post type” page. It gives an example post idea for the client that they can use as a general category for one type of post to publish each week on their social media. In a given editorial calendar, you can have five to ten of these post types for content creators to choose from. Post types accomplish two things, #1 they take the think work out of day-to-day social media publishing, and, #2 they create consistency for followers. At the start of service for each of our Reno social media clients, we come together as a team and brainstorm post types based on our research and knowledge of the client, their goals, the market, competition, target audiences, trends, and more. Here are some general post type ideas that frequently surface in our brainstorm meetings: Educational (like the example above) – Educational posts provide audiences with the baseline of knowledge they need to engage with your business. They also have the power to change incorrect perceptions about your industry or the product or service you provide. Educational posts can establish your business as a thought leader with authority in your subject matter. Blog/Article Shares – Consider maintaining a blog for your Reno business. It provides great content for this particular post type. Not only does writing your own blog content establish more authority for your business, it also drives audiences to your website instead of somebody else’s for industry knowledge, with the chance of converting them to customers. Human Interest – This is one of our favorite post types. Everyone loves stories about fellow humanity and the challenges we all face and overcome. Human interest posts typically feature an image of the person of interest, perhaps a quote from an interview with them, and their story. Note: These types of posts work well for some industries, not others, and there must be a clear and obvious connection between the series and a business goal. For a strong example of a group that harnesses human interest, see Humans of New York. Behind-the-Scenes – We all want to know what happens behind-the-scenes. Posts like these give audiences the sense that they have an intimate knowledge of your business, which can create trust and loyalty. They promote transparency and authenticity. Publish shots of your Reno team at work providing your service or the manufacturing process behind your product. Before and After – The more concrete you can make the benefits of your product or service, the better. Before and after posts scream the value of what you provide loud and clear. Lifestyle – Nothing is more impactful for selling your product or service than tying it to the lifestyle that your target audience wants to live. They are already bought-in to the lifestyle they want, so it is a small step to go from there to your offerings! Posts like these use smiling, happy photos of the people in your target demographic enjoying what you provide. Videos – Video is the most easy-to-consume form of media out there. It is the low hanging fruit of social media engagement. Produce a promo video for your business! Events – Host or sponsor a lot of events in Reno? Your social media is exactly where you should be sharing them. Promotions – If you run a lot of deals and specials at your business, you definitely want to be sharing these offers on social media as well. Contests – Social media contests naturally produce significant engagement. Everybody wants to win something! We typically run photo contests where followers are asked to share a picture from “their last vacation” or “their favorite food”–something related to our client’s product or service. Quizzes – Quizzes are equally engaging. Ever clicked on a link to find out, “Which character from The Office are you?” If so, you have experience with social media quizzes. We use a tool called Lead Quizzes to generate questionnaires for our clients. The great thing about quizzes is that they can ask for an email address to get started, which gives you a lead. Campaigns – We use social media campaigns whenever we want to push a particular message, service, or promotion for one of our clients. Campaigns are typically a little more in-depth than simply brainstorming a post type. In addition to creating an editorial calendar, we also recommend that you schedule your social media posts in advance. Facebook Business Manager allows for the drafting of posts as well as scheduling. As a practice, our team creates posts at least a week in advance of when they should go live. This also helps keep us on track so that we do not get stuck on creative for a particular day. Give Social Media Boosting and Advertising a Try! Ever wondered what that blue, “Boost Post” button is at the bottom of your business’s Facebook posts? Boosting is one way that Facebook allows you to pay to reach more people than just the followers on your page. You are also able to do the kind of targeting that we mentioned at the beginning of this blog with Facebook boosting. After recent Facebook algorithm changes, it can be impossible to grow your following without using paid advertising. This is because Facebook will only share your content with your followers and their friends unless you pay. If you want to reach new audiences, you have to put some money forward. There are two ways that you can pay for Facebook advertising. One is by clicking the little blue button and following the prompts to create an audience, set a budget, and select how long you would like your ad to run. The other is by using a Facebook Ads Manager. There is a lot more you can do in Ads Manager–including A/B testing your ads–if you have the knowledge and time to dive deep. It also provides a lot of useful analytics. We recommend that clients spend a minimum of $300-$500 each month, purely as the budget for the paid ads, distributed across two to three advertisements. That in mind, no matter how much you spend, your ads will flounder if you do not know how to target properly (location: Reno, etc.). For more information on that subject, read our blog on Facebook Ads Manager. ~ Get ahead of the competition in Reno! Plan and launch an integrated social media strategy. We’re rooting for you and your business as you find what works best. If you would like the assistance of a local digital marketing agency in the brainstorming and implementation of your social media strategy, we would love to get the conversation started. Our President Adrienne Wilkerson is currently offering a free consultation to anyone who is interested. Adrienne is onsite in Reno and she would be happy to meet with you in person if you’d like!