Social Media Class – June 20th

(Shared by Melissa Carter, Business Advisor, Small Business Development Center)

Next Wednesday, June 20th, there will be a Social Media class offered at the OSU South Centers.  This class will focus on:

  • New and trending tips for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube
  • Generating good reviews and managing negative reviews
  • Creating relevant content

There will also be time for open Q&A for any questions or issues you may have with your social media.

Register at: sopoc.ecenterdirect.com

 

Marketing Industry Report Findings

(Shared by Melissa Carter, Small Business Advisor, Small Business Development Center)

The Social Media Examiner recently released their Marketing Industry Report for 2018.  Here’s some findings small businesses can incorporate into their marketing mix.

  • 87% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses. Increased traffic was the second major benefit, with 78% reporting positive results.
  • Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter were the top three platforms used by marketers
  • More than two-thirds of marketers (67%) chose Facebook as their most important platform
  • The ad platform most used by marketers is Facebook (72%), followed by Instagram (31%).

 

To view the complete report, click here.

2018 Social Media Trends

(Written by Melissa Carter, Business Development Specialist, Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)

Last year I wrote a post about the trends and tips we would probably see for 2017.  Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a year already!  Now’s time to update that list for 2018!

  1. Filters/Augmented Reality – You’ve already seen videos and pictures with filters on them changing your looks and voice.  But how should you incorporate it into your business?  Have your customers promote your business with a specific filter by taking a selfie in your store or with your product. Some individuals may be more willing to post a video about your product if they are behind a filter that changes their voice or face. SnapChat and Instagram are beginning to allow brands to create their own filters (they are costly now).
  2. Live – No it’s not going away! Livestreaming through Facebook or Instagram is no longer just for those cutting edge individuals and businesses. It’s an expectation now. People are more likely to watch a quick live video than to read an article (I know, you’ve just asked yourself, why didn’t she create a video for this article?)
  3. Instagram Stories – While I shared this last year as a new trend, this is another aspect of social media that is growing quickly. But why? It’s a quick video or picture that your brand can share which goes away in 24 hours. Stories are at the top of your Instagram app so users do not have to scroll through lots of pictures until they see your brand. Your business can utilize it to share a special deal, showcase a product, or show off a day in the life of your operation.  Use your Story to create a sense of urgency.
  4. Focus on Generation Z – This population is just starting the workforce and are gaining in purchasing power. According to RetailDive, Generation Z individuals are very influenced by social media and not as much about price. In marketing and communication, Gen Z wants videos, short content, and the ability to interact with businesses through Facebook Messenger or WeChat.
  5. Engagement – Customers want to share their experiences with a product or service. Engaged with your customers by thanking them for a review, create opportunities to interact with them through questions or live video, and offer ways for customer input.

Make time each week for social media marketing. It’s crucial for the growth and success of your business.

Facebook Insights

(Submitted by Melissa Carter, Business Development Specialist, Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)

If you have a Facebook page, are you monitoring your insights whenever you post? The Insights tab on your Facebook page allows you to view and monitor so much about who is visiting your page and how your posts are responding. What all can you utilize the insights for? Let’s talk about a few of them:

• Overview – if you don’t want to dive deep into your page, no worries. The overview showcases a summary of all the statistics and your most recent posts.

• People – Oh wow, this shares so much. If your business needs to target a specific audience, this is a great starting point. This tab shows the likes of your page and the people those likes represent. Percentages of male and female fans, age ranges, and the cities (and countries if relevant) they represent.

• Posts – This tab lists your published posts and how they were received. It shows the type of post – whether it’s a link shared, a photo uploaded, or just text; the reach or the unique number of individuals who have seen the post, and the engagement, which is clicks on the link or photo, reactions, comments and shares.

• Local – If your business page has an address associated on the page, then a Local tab will show up in your insights, which shares data from the zip code you are located in.

There’s also statistics on videos, events, messages, and even more. The biggest key to all of these insights is one thing. POST! Too many businesses come to me with help gaining a larger audience with their Facebook page, but only post a few times a month. The more you post on a regular basis, specifically posts with links or videos, the more reach and engagement will grow on your page.

Should You Build a Mobile App or a Website for Your Startup?

(Shared by Jennifer Dunn, Program Assistant, Endeavor Center, OSU South Centers)

by Slava Bushtruk

Website, web app, or a mobile app—what would be the right “form” for your business idea?

Since the release of the very first iPhone, everyone has been treating the mobile-first business model as the new gold rush. Some, on the contrary, say that the modern user is already experiencing app fatigue and that people tend to use just three apps at most, so competing for desktop attention still remains easier.

As a new business owner, you may be overwhelmed by the choice. Will your product serve better as a mobile app (which offers a better experience on mobile, yet needs to be installed and can be deleted on a whim), or a web app (immediately accessible at any time, yet less simple to navigate from a handheld gadget)?

Some high profile businesses have heavily invested in their “mobile-first” experience (Uber, Instagram, Zomato Order), while others (Airbnb, JIRA, InVision) deliberately chose to stick with the web app version.

In the course of this post, we’ll specifically talk about the cases when you should build a mobile app—a product that is specifically designed to run on smartphone, tablets, and wearables and requires installation; or a web app—a client-server software application that runs in the browser (both desktop and mobile).

We’ll look into the reasoning behind the decision between these two options, and guide you toward the optimal choice for your product idea through a series of questions.

1. What is your product goal?

You are about to launch a new offering. Of course, you have specific business goals in mind, apart from merely making profits and changing the world.

To clarify your goals and next steps, you’ll want to validate your idea, and research your target market and their behavior as it relates to your specific product idea and in terms of the way they consume information online.

Read more…

Going Live!

(Submitted by Melissa Carter, Business Development Specialist, Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)

Social media is ever-changing and evolving. First, all you had to do to gain views was post. Then, you needed to add pictures to a post. Now, video and livestreaming is increasingly popular.

Pressing that Live button can be daunting on Facebook, but for a business, it’s a great way to provide a tour of your facility, new product launches, cooking demonstration, or just a way to answer questions from your followers. Facebook Live will save on your timeline for followers to watch whenever they can.

Some helpful tips before you create a Facebook Live video for your business.
• Make sure you have a reliable signal – strong WIFI or 4G
• Promote your upcoming broadcast
• Minimize background noise
• Write a compelling description
• Purchase a mount/tripod – this is great to stabilize your phone
• Introduce yourself and allow people a minute or two to join the stream
• Be human, engaging, and interactive
• End your video with a call to action and thank viewers for watching

First Ever #SBDCDay Wednesday, March 22!

(Shared by Kimberly Roush, Program Assistant, Ohio Cooperative Development Center and Business Development Network, OSU South Centers on behalf of the Ohio Small Business Development Center at OSU South Centers in Piketon, Ohio)


Wednesday March 22, 2017 is the first ever #SBDCDay! This is a national, collective proclamation of the success and impact that America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) have across the nation in economic development and the small businesses community. On the 22nd SBDCs across the country we will be taking to social media, holding events and launching local PR campaigns to share our impact on the small business community.

Don’t miss this blitz as this week we are highlighting our team and our client’s success stories in honor of #SBDCDay. If you have testimonials about working with the SBDC at the OSU South Centers in Piketon, drop us a message or comment on social media post throughout the week.

Follow, like, and/or subscribe to see the campaign activities:

Blog: u.osu.edu/osubusinessdevelopmentnetwork
Facebook: OSUBusinessDevelopmentNetwork
Twitter: OSUBizNetwork
Instagram: osubiznetwork

Seven Social Media Tips for 2017

(Submitted by Melissa Carter, Business Development Specialist, Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)

With a new year brings new marketing ideas. The biggest question is what is going to be big in the world of social media. Here’s seven tips and trends that could benefit your online presence in 2017.

1 – Put People First. This isn’t really a new concept. But knowing your audience and your customers helps guide all marketing decisions. Talk to your target audience, or the demographic you are looking to attract about what they are looking for with online marketing.

2 – Live is Here to Stay. I’m sure you’ve seen it. You get the notification that your weather guy or sportscaster is Live on Facebook or Periscope. Now is the time to use livestreaming to your advantage. This helps to engage and interact with your audience as well as showcase your storefront, product, or service.

3 – Here Today, Gone Tomorrow. Expiring Content on Instagram and Snapchat is very popular with the millennial generation. Your business can utilize it to share a special deal, showcase a product, or show off a day in the life of your operation. Don’t worry about it being perfect, it’ll disappear in 24 hours.

4 – Incorporate Brand Ambassadors. These are loyal customers or trusted employees that are speaking about your business on their social media platforms. From wearing clothes to showing how to prepare food purchased at a farmers’ market, these individuals tap into their networks to gain increased exposure to your business.

5 – Mobile, Mobile! From Nectafy, 88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours! Is your website mobile friendly? Are you accepting mobile payments? If you aren’t, now is the time to make sure you can be found via a smart phone.

6 – Social Messaging. Using WeChat, Facebook Messenger or other social messaging apps allows your customers to instantly contact you. Businesses should take advantage of this by sending shipping information, answering questions about products/services, or offering customer support.

7 – Pay to Play. Unfortunately, Facebook Pages themselves are getting harder and harder to be seen unless the business pays for an ad or boosted post. The good news is, for relative low costs, your message can be seen to hundreds of people in your target region.

Looking to revamp your marketing strategies for 2017? Contact me (Melissa Carter) at carter.1094@osu.edu for more information.

Google is more than just a search engine – Part 2 of 3

(Submitted by Melissa Carter, Business Development Specialist, Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)

So last week, I shared about Google My Business, which is a great way to add your business in the search rankings. If your business already has a website, another way to increase your search rankings (SEO) is to utilize Google’s Webmaster Tools. https://www.google.com/webmasters/ This program allows you to verify your website with Google. Once your website is verified, Google will run tests on your page to determine if you have site errors, broken URLs, keywords, and much more.

Too confusing? No worries! Google takes care of that too. https://www.google.com/webmasters/learn/ has a couple “courses” that further explain how to utilize this program and boost your website. They also have a SEO starter guide which is very helpful for those trying to jump up in the search rankings.
https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf

Now, if your business doesn’t have a website, please consider having at least a basic presence online. Contact me (carter.1094@osu.edu) if you want assistance with developing a website. It is a lot easier than it once was.