Category Archives: Social Media

5 Social Trends We’re Expecting to be Huge In 2018

Technology as a field implores innovation; it is perhaps the fastest moving industry in the world. Social media, technology’s wild child, is no exception to this.

Social media is inherently unpredictable. Companies can push new features or channels all they want, but they won’t always see the results to back their efforts up. Whether it’s content, audience, or channel mismatch, social media success can be elusive.

Part of making the most of social media is knowing what’s hot, and what’s not. Here are five essential social trends you need to make note of for 2018.

J.R. Atkins social media

Live Videos

J.R. Atkins uses Facebook live2017 was the year live streaming entered our collective consciousness. Which was almost entirely down to Facebook, Instagram & Snapchat: they presented live stream videos in the most accessible, hard-to-ignore packages possible. Live videos suddenly became a great way to add more context to personal and brand stories.

When browsing Instagram, a live stream pops up as a notification almost as if they were streaming just for you. An ingenious way to present the feature; long gone are the archaic days of Meerkat.

And it appears live video’s popularity will only continue to rise in 2018. Look at these stats for some evidence:  82% of online users have stated they prefer to consume video content rather than written, and 88% users are more likely to stay when a page proposes prominent video content.

Use live videos as part of your social strategy to spice things up at an event or awards show, or use them as small instructional features you use to pass on knowledge.

Algorithms Getting Harder To Beat

In some ways, it’s getting harder and harder to engage a genuine social media audience.

For starters, Facebook has made some plans. Huge plans. Massive plans. They have, for the first time in their history, made a decision that didn’t have the overarching premise of increased engagement. They want ‘meaningful’ usage, which apparently isn’t videos of people falling over with garishly blatant text narration. Who would have thought?

J.R. Atkins in AlgorithmsMark Zuckerberg has stated they’re going to ‘tune out’ publishers and brands, focusing more so on the updates of your friends and family. Part of that change has been the realization that passively scrolling through a page full of articles and videos, although addictive, is not good for our collective wellbeing. Read here for more ideas on how to deal with the changing Facebook.

As said, social trends are unpredictable. 2017 alluded towards branded video content becoming increasingly omnipresent, one announcement from Facebook later — that may have been flipped on its head.

It’s a good time to invest in paid advertising on Facebook as the organic game gets tougher and tougher, but make sure you put time and effort into crafting good ads that will gain genuine traction with your audience.

Gamification

Gamification has been on a steady rise for years. Historically, it has been a tad gimmicky. Moving forward, it will probably mature into something more compelling and useful for social media marketers.

Gamification affects salesGamification improves brand loyalty. We’ve seen this with Snapchat; their streak feature is thought to have been one of the key reasons for their somewhat short-lived dominance. Gartner has stated that gamification inspires users to “higher levels of engagement” as humans are “hardwired to enjoy games”. Considering this, we believe its usage will only grow as people seek new ways to engage their target audience(s).

For us, the highlight of gamification in 2017 was when Mind, an app enabling one to connect with a higher sense of mindfulness, gave users achievements for day streaks. It’s a great testament to how even the realms of Zen Buddhism can be harnessed for gamification features!

Think about how you can bring gamification to your social media strategy in 2018. Maybe start with something easy like a competition to get things going?

WeChat & Messenger Takeover

Did you know that the most sold beer in the world is Snow? We doubt most have even heard of that golden nectar. It’s only sold in China but dominates the market there. Similarly, WeChat is one of the biggest social phenomena in the world, and we doubt you’ve ever heard of it. But that’s probably going to change.

Something Different Companies uses Messenger WeChat is used by 95% of the 16+ population in China. The app is an amalgamation of Whatsapp, Uber, Slack, and Monzo. It’s popularity has demanded total control of the Chinese market.

Whilst it’s not definite that WeChat will resonate with our market, it comes as no Pay that Facebook are attempting to imitate the model. They’re slowly integrating Facebook pay more and more. Considering their Whatsapp purchase, it appears that Facebook are also trying to dominate the messaging world. Is Uber next?

Value, Not Selling

J.R. Atkins offers valueLast, but most certainly not least: value.

Invasively targeted ads appearing on all social mediums – Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter  — are having a dulling effect on the consumer. They’ve brought about a renewed questioning of the real value of social media.

Privacy is also at the forefront of social dialogue: all companies that have access to private information have to be totally transparent with their intentions. This will be a key feature of marketing across the board in 2018.

We believe many will look for apps and websites that put the user’s desires first, rather than their own financial incentive of selling information. It’s all about giving people real value and compensation for their time, so make sure that you’re not engaging in any clickbait or low value activities.

Considering the potential changes with Facebook, and the emphasis on privacy; we do believe the consumer will have more power in 2018. It’s an exciting time for brands who are willing to go the extra mile and engage with their audience in a way that’s real and genuine.

Guest Blogger:

Brand Marketing Consultant and Freelance Writer.Victoria Greene is a freelance blogger and branding expert. On her blog, Victoriaecommerce she shares tips on building awesome brands that people feel compelled to follow


7 Practical Tips for Facebook’s New Algorithm

New Year is a time when many of us make resolutions and Mark Zuckerberg is no exception. However, this resolution may have a big impact on many lives, both personal and professional. In his quest to improve Facebook and help people feel more connected, Mark announced a new “Facebook Algorithm Change.” This change will elevate personal interactions in the newsfeed while de-prioritizing content from business pages and publishing companies.

Facebook Algorithm Change

WHAT DO THESE FACEBOOK ALGORITHM CHANGES MEAN TO INDIVIDUALS?

Latest Facebook algorithm changes are designed to improve our personal experience on Facebook:

  • We will see more content from our family and friends vs. random pages we followed. Creating a better connection with people we care about.
  • The meaningless viral videos will no longer be promoted on Facebook. The expected result is that we will waste less time browsing through these.
  • Interesting, thought-provoking conversations will find a way into our newsfeed more often.

In theory, these are all great changes designed to create a much better Facebook experience for all of us.

WHAT DOES FACEBOOK ALGORITHM CHANGE MEAN TO BUSINESSES?

If you are using Facebook to promote your business expect to see both reach and engagement for your business pages to decline. You will likely have to come up with new ways for your content to be seen.

We’ve summarized 7 practical tips to help you succeed with Facebook marketing after the latest algorithm change

J.R. Atkins Facebook marketing

1 – ADD LIVE VIDEO

New Facebook algorithm will favor Live Video, especially video with engaging content.

This may mean that we will see a lot more poor quality videos recorded in the car. It may also mean that some brands will step up and deliver unique, entertaining, thought-provoking and educational content.

To develop a simple live video strategy, try the following:

  • Schedule a weekly live series to talk about breaking news in your field
  • Break down one of your core offers into a series of “how to” live videos
  • Create featured interview series with top experts in your industry

Facebook algorithm changes will continue to come and go, but building your brand via memorable content will stay. It is your chance to shine. Determine a central theme to your brand and create a live video strategy around it.

2- CREATE CONVERSATIONS

Focus on a meaningful conversation. The goal is to increase active networking on Facebook vs. click-bait posts asking people to tag friends.

Many marketers may opt-in for “shock and awe” type of questions. While these may create some hype around a specific post, these are hardly a way to create a lasting brand.

Instead of going after short-lived entertaining types of questions design a longer-term content strategy:

  • Focus on interesting, relevant, engaging questions and ways to create a dialog.
  • Ask questions that may create a discussion and tap into differences of opinions.
  • Listen to your customers and post answers to their most burning questions.
  • Engage people via polls.

Monitor engagement on your posts and constantly refine the strategy to focus more on the posts that are performing best.

3 – FOCUS ON GROUPS

Groups have been a great way to create a community around your brand. Facebook algorithm change does not impact content posted in the groups.

While groups are harder to build and manage, group members are more connected to each other. As a group admin, you get to design and enforce the rules.

Some of the most successful groups are uniting members within a particular niche and/or a common goal. These common goals can be:

  • learning a new topic and sharing best practices, top challenges, questions.
  • going through similar experiences and making recommendations on resources, approaches; celebrating wins and overcoming failures.
  • Sharing strong passions and interests.

The possibilities are endless when you combine passionate people in the same group.

4- EXPLORE MESSENGER

Messenger created an unprecedented platform of connected people. Individuals can connect to one another in a matter of minutes. No wonder that popularity of marketing via messenger exploded in the past year.

Messenger bot campaigns boast 88% open rates (compare to an email open rate of 20-25%). Creating a messenger ad strategy for your brand will ensure that more of your messages are seen. Avoid being spammy on messenger. Rather focus on a specific goal:

  • Tap into messenger bots to create advertising strategy. ManyChat and ChatFuel are two of the top bot solutions.
  • Create a conversation with your followers via automated conversations or improve customer service.
  • Deliver valuable downloads to your followers via Messenger Ad campaign.

Messenger is an excellent way to keep in touch with your audience. Even if you are not ready to implement the strategy today, start planning for it.

5 – PRACTICE REMARKETING

Adding a paid social media strategy to your mix is a great idea (especially, with the ongoing algorithm changes). Some marketers speculate that the change will drive the cost of advertising up.

Targeting new audiences via ads may become quite costly. Facebook’s latest changes will lead to less time spent on social networks. This, in turn, will mean less ad inventory and higher cost.

If your page has built a significant following, you can tap into this audience via remarketing. Remarketing is easier than you think. Try some of these simple remarketing techniques:

  • Show a lead magnet people who engaged with your page or your page posts.
  • Invite people who watched 25% of your videos to visit your website
  • Retarget your website visitors with a low-cost offer

Even if you are not ready for retargeting today, Install Facebook Pixel to start learning about your audience.

6 – LOOKALIKE TARGETING

Lookalike (LLA) targeting allows you to exponentially expand reach to people who are similar to your best customers. Instead of guessing who your audience is based on geography, demographic and interest targets, you can try the following lookalike audiences:

  • Lookalike audience based on your email subscribers (you can upload a custom list to Facebook)
  • Lookalike audience based on your website visitors (you will need to use Facebook pixel data for that)

LLA targeting is a Facebook goldmine. You have a benefit of tapping into an extensive Facebook database of information on all of its users – and you do that at a fairly low cost.

7 – EXPERIMENT WITH OTHER PLATFORMS

Let’s face it – This is not the last algorithm change by Facebook. With Mark Zuckerberg’s commitment to “Fix Facebook in 2018” we may see more changes that will require all of us to rethink how we market.

It may be time to look at some other platforms:

  • Niche Platforms (e.g. House, Quota, Reddit) – research niche platforms in your industry and join the conversation. These platforms may not have the massive audiences Facebook offers. However, as the rule, their members are more engaged and loyal
  • Visual Platforms (e.g. Instagram and Pinterest) – both are excellent sources of traffic for any eCommerce business
  • Conversational Platforms (Twitter) – these platforms may not be as glamorous, but they are still an amazing source of growth

Constantly evaluate platforms that may enable you to get better results for a higher ROI.

CONCLUSION

The final word is still out on what Facebook algorithm changes mean, but if you start applying these simple tactics today, you will get ahead of the game.

Interested in further brainstorming your Facebook marketing strategy, apply for a FREE 15-minute consultation with our team.

 

Thank you to our partner TreDigital for proving the content for this post.


Social Media Webinar @Rio Texas Conference of UMC

The Rio Texas Conference has hosted several webinars since February 2016. On April 30, 2016, Rev. Will Rice hosted a social media webinar with J.R. Atkins, author of Social Media 2.0.

 


4 Trends to Capitalize on in 2016

To help your business grow in 2016, consider these trends and how well you execute in each area. I’d love to help you.

  1. social-media-buy-buttons-300x270Social Selling aka “The Buy Button” – In case you have not seen a “click to buy now” option on Pinterest or Twitter, get ready for them to appear on every social media platform. It just makes sense when you think about it; you see a picture of something you like, one click and you are able to buy it.

http://time.com/4075560/buy-button-facebook-youtube-pinterest/

  1. your design mattersDesign Still Matters – The look and feel, the ease of use, ease of navigation, online and in person, it’s all about the experience. The phrase “Customer Service” is so dated; it’s all about the “User Experience.” Millennial shopping habits are shaping the buying experience for all.

https://designschool.canva.com/blog/design-at-work/

  1. brand trustBuilding Trust – To build trust you must stand by your products and services, as well as communicate clearly and honestly about your brand. Your effectiveness in building trust is directly related to your online reviews and how you share and answer messages on social media.

https://agenda.weforum.org/2015/01/why-trust-matters-in-business/

  1. global and localBe Local and Global – Once you have a good online presence with your website and social media, you are ready to expand beyond your local market. With good online communication, competitive pricing and global shipping, you can do business anywhere you desire. You are only limited by your decisions.

http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8211-expand-business-internationally.html

Update from Something Different Companies – 2015 has been a good year, expanding our business in London, ENG, Atlanta, GA, Fort Collins, CO, Cheyenne, WO, Dallas, TX, Killeen, TX, Copperas Cove, TX and Belton, TX. 2016 brings hopes of growing business in Mexico, Israel and Palestine. Cheers!


Books I recommend by J.R. Atkins, MBA

Every time I do a workshop or presentation I end with a list resources including a list of books. At one of my recent talks, someone asked what other books I would recommend for business owners. I have a long list on my website but here is the short list by category.

Social Mediasocialnomics

  1. Socialnomics, by Erik Qualman

“How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business “

  1. Social Media 2.0 by J.R. Atkins

“A cliff notes version of the Big 5 of Social Media “LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blogging and Video”

  1. Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan & Dharmesh Shah

“A guide to increasing online visibility and engagement”

Starting a BusinessJ.R. Atkins recommends a lean start up

  1. Cash Flow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki

“Explains your role as an employee, business owner, self-employed and investor”

  1. eMyth by Michael Gerber

“E is for Entrepreneur. Learn how to work on your business, not just in your business”

  1. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

“Before you start your business, know what is important and what is fluff”

Building your BusinessJ.R. Atkins Recommends Blue Ocean Strategy

  1. Crush It by Gary Vanerchuk

“Shows you how to use the power of the Internet and social media to grow your businesses”

  1. Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne

“How to create uncontested market space and make competition irrelevant”

  1. Failing Forward by John C Maxwell

“Taught me how to convert past failures into future success”

Personal DevelopmentJ.R. Atkins recommends Elon Musk book

  1. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

“The power of thinking without thinking”

  1. Strength Finder by Tom Wrath

“Discover your strengths, use them and surround yourself with others to cover the gaps”

  1. Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance

“An inside look at a visionary, entrepreneur and billionaire”

I’d love to hear what your favorite books are and why. Drop me a line sometime at

jratkins@SomethingDifferentCompanies.com

J.R. Atkins has been working with individuals, executives and small businesses since 1993 and on Social Media since 2008. He has a BA in Marketing from Texas A&M University and an MBA from The University of Phoenix, Dallas Campus. J.R. serves as an adjunct professor at Temple College and CTC. He has published 3 books Success Simplified, Social Media 2.0 and Road Map to Success.


Google Partners Connect Belton,TX 2015

When Google presents a live streaming event, called Google Partners Connect, they provide valuable content worth sharing (just like they tell us to do.)

Whether you were able to attend an event or are viewing it for the first time here, please click on the Yout Tube icon and see the video of the streaming event.

J.R. Atkins Meetup eventsCheck out the Central Tx Business Building Meetup for a workgroup on implementing Google Adword Campaigns.

 

Thanks to The Belton Area Chamber for co-sponsoring this event with Something Different Companies.

J.R. Atkins is a member of the Belton ChamberJ.R. Atkins and Something Different Companies

 

 

 

You may also be interested in the following video on Social Media from Erik Qualman.


Creating Graphics for Business Growth by J.R. Atkins MBA

As someone delivering Social Media, Websites and Online Marketing, I find myself in need of creative graphics on a regular basis and I have found some resources you might what to check out.

1. JRA Visme ProjectVisme: Think of Visme as a perfect marriage between Microsoft PowerPoint and Adobe InDesign; ease of use meets professional design. Their clean graphic website will walk you through the three easy steps to create your first graphic image and includes a nice short video to help you get started. Use the Visme tool set to create:

  • Infographics
  • Presentations
  • Charts & Graphs
  • Web Banners
  • Animations
  • And more

The free version allows you to create 3 projects and is a great way to check it out. If you like it and want to upgrade, the Standard Plan is $4.50 per month and the Complete Plan is $14.25 per month, no too much when you consider the competition.  I’m hoping they will preformatted projects for cover images for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ as I am tasked to create these often. Below is a sample project I created in less than five minutes. Let me know how Visme works for you.

2. Fivver: If you are more into outsources than “DYI” then check out Fivver. You hire someone to do you graphic for you at very low prices, like $5.00. The prices goes up as you add requirements but you still can get graphics delivered in a few days for less than $50.00. Again, not to bad when you consider other alternatives. Here is a recent example from Fivver that ran me $5.00 and took 4 days to complete.

Social Mead posting by J.R. Atkins 

 

3. Design Class: Most class work in design requires the student to create projects for real companies. Most will have a digital portfolio to show you how their skills and talents are developing. Why not let your brand benefit from the bright minds of tomorrow’s professional designers. Just Google “InDesign Classes” in your area then contact the instructor about student projects with your organization.

This example Portfolio is from Ashley Denton at Texas State, San Marcos, TX

 Ashley Denton recommended by J.R. Atkins

Events Worth Considering

Travel with J.R. Atkins to Holy sites

 


Discussing E-Myth Principles: Alzay Calhoun & J.R. Atkins

Discussing E-Myth Principles

Alzay Calhoun interviews J.R. AtkinsIn the book, The E Myth, Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can interrupt a business. I found it to be a mind-altering book (in a good way) about how to grow your business in a predictable and productive way. I recommend this book as often as I can.

Listen below to an interview I did with J.R. Atkins who leads a LinkedIn group focused on E Myth principles. In the interview he shares with me his insights on E Myth strategy, what makes his group good to join, and how to get the most of out group membership. Enjoy!

 

Would you like to know more about the E Myth?

Download access to a video and slideshow summary here:

–>Click for access to E-Myth video and slideshow summary<–

Here is a quick snapshot of some of the questions covered:

– When did you start your forum/group, and why did you create it?

– What do you feel makes your community special?

– If you could magically give all of your community members one thing in this world, what would it be, and why?

– If you could ask your group members one thing and get an answer from all of them, what would that question be?

– What are some of the hot topics that seem to always be discussed within the group?

– For someone new to this community, how do they get the most out of it?

– Has anything surprised you about owning a forum about [niche]?

Would you like to know more about the E Myth?

Download access to a video and slideshow summary here:
–>Click for access to E-Myth video and slideshow summary<–

You can join the J.R.’s LinkedIn Group “The E Myth Connection” by clicking here – join the group

If you want to purchase Michael Gerber’s book you can do so here – buy the book (I believe E-Myth Revisited is the better option)

Have you read the E Myth? What did you like most? What did you like least? Leave your comment below.


What is “Duct Tape Selling” about?

J.R. Atkins likes Duct Tape SellingSelling is changing! Or more like, Selling has changed! Once upon a time the sales person offered insight and information about products and services that could be found nowhere else. Not true anymore. Between Social Media, Websites, John Jantsch, and other online tools, the buyer has all the information of the world at their fingertips.

In his book, Duct Tape Selling, John Jantsch offers the solution to selling in today’s information overload environment. “With social networks such as LinkedIn, the sales person may have a relationship with a prospect before the prospect knows he or she has a need” says John. When sales people do a good job of using social media, the content they share positions them as a subject matter expert and a resource for the prospect. This requires a tighter integration between the Sales and Marketing teams.

The Marketing Team is usually responsible for developing content. Instead or in addition to publishing content through mass media, they can share it via the Sales Team’s social media channels for a more personal approach. This also creates the opportunity for a prospect to respond directly to the sales person via the social media channels.

According to John, “this approach to sales and marketing requires a shift in company culture and a possible change to the compensation model.” The company needs to see the sales team as an extension of the marketing department as well the source of sales. The sales person’s online reputation requires time to build and may not match up with short term sales goals based on an “old school” cold call, knocking-on-doors model. “Prospects are too sophisticated for the old approach” says John.

I hope this short article has caused you to consider how you and your company are using social media to create more sales results. Duct Tape Selling is available on Amazon and look for John Jantsch speaking in your local community.


What can we learn about Social Media from the Carwash Business?

This article originally appeared in Professional Carwashing & Detailing where I was interviewed about Social Media. I thought you might find tips and relevant information here for your business.

Earning likes and profits

How to use social media to build customer relations and improve business

APRIL 28, 2014
Social media is one of the biggest buzz words in the business world, and it’s something that everyone says you need, but not everyone understands how to use. Professional Carwashing & Detailing interviewed three experts in the field of social media about how carwashes can best utilize it for public relations and marketing purposes. And while Facebook is still the most important social media site, there are others that you should be using to help improve your customer realations and get the word out about your carwash, according to the experts.

The 800 Pound gorilla

Facebook may have lost some of its “cool factor” with the youth, but Blane Russell, president of Social Eyes Marketing, said it’s still the most important social media website. “Make sure you’re doing Facebook in a big way, because it’s the 800 pound gorilla,” he said.

Facebook and why works to improve profits for washes

J.R. Atkins is the author of the book “Social Media 2.0,” and also a speaker and consultant on social media. He said that “Facebook is definitely the place to start, and then grow based upon your market and what you learn from Facebook.” While Facebook isn’t the only social media website you should use, Erin Sullivan, social media manager, agrees that it’s the most important resource for carwashes. “For the carwash industry Facebook is still number one.” She said that both Facebook and carwash industry appeal to a large audience, which makes them an ideal fit.

How to maximize your Facebook experience

The experts have some tips on making Facebook a good use of your time. Russell said that using Facebook to give away free carwashes is one way that his clients have gained followers. The hard cost of the wash is very low, and the number of followers it can help you get is high, he said. Facebook isn’t just about selling you to people, it’s also about entertaining them, according to Russell. “Everyone’s natural nature is to try to sell all the time, but if you want to get liked, amuse them, and they’ll like your page” he said. “Ask open ended questions, like: “Does your car have a name, and if so, why,” and you’ll start a conversation rather than turn people off with a sales pitch. He also recommends that you post regularly, at least a couple times a week, and that you have some humor and personality in your posts, so that people appreciate them. More articles on: Social media Social media is about building up loyalty and community, according to Atkins. He said it’s important to respond back to people on Facebook that contact you, and create posts that are designed around the types of things that your customer base is interested in. Facebook isn’t just about getting new customers, but keeping ones you have, according to Atkins. He said wash owners he’s worked with tell him that by “using social media, my customers keep coming back, and don’t stray.” A loyal customer is very valuable to a carwash, so keep them informed about what’s going on at you wash. By creating a Facebook account, and not using it, Sullivan says you’re doing more harm than good. “It hurts the business more than anything when they [Facebook account owners] don’t pay attention.” People recognize quickly when you aren’t engaged in your Facebook account, and not only will they not like your page, but they might think less of your business, she said. Her recommendation is to show some personality, and realize that every post you make doesn’t have to be about carwashes. “Your customers are not simply carwash customers, they have other interests as well,” she said. Another tip Sullivan has is to link your other social media accounts to Facebook when possible, to eliminate extra work, and connect across multiple platforms.

Professional connections on LinkedIn

While Facebook is still the most important social media website, there are many others that your wash can benefit from using. LinkedIn is a place that people go to discuss business, and because of that it has some advantages over other social media outlets. Atkins said that it’s “where your professional credentials live online.” He added that LinkedIn is important for wash owners who are hands on, and looking to work with other established businesses. LinkedIn is a better place to communicate professionally, according to Sullivan, who said it is definitely a supplemental tool, but can be effective for certain business situations. Russell agreed with the other experts that the major advantage about communicating on LinkedIn is that “no one will get upset or offended if you’re direct with them” about wanting to talk business. Setting up a profile, and learning how to use LinkedIn is very simple, so while you may not see a big initial return from creating an account, you will have a “virtual resume” and a place to connect with other businesses, according to the experts.

The pluses of Google+

While Google+ hasn’t taken off the way many predicted, it does have importance as a social media tool, even if it’s in a way that you might not think. “If you own a business, you need to have a presence,” said Russell. He also recommends usingGoogle Local as the place all of your reviews are put through to improve your search rankings, and get the word out about the great work your carwash does. More articles on: Multi-profit centers Google holds a lot of power as a search engine, and adding your business to Google+ gives your wash a better ability to be featured highly when a customer searches for it, according to Atkins. When you use Google’s search engine for a carwash that has a Google+ account, you will see information for its Google+ on the search page. “Google+ is definite must have now,” said Sullivan. She explained why it’s so important for business owners. “If I have a Google+ page, I now control what shows up in the Google search. When it comes up in search results, it will have the carwash name, it’s pulling the name, the description, the information … you know can dictate through your Google+ page.” She added that it’s important to get your presence on Google+ now, while it’s still an overlooked medium. It may not be the place you will go to communicate with your audience, but if you’re not on Google+ you’re missing out on improving your search engine optimization, which is one of the major ways people find out about a business.

Getting the picture with Instagram

The experts see Instagram as a supplemental tool, but an important one none the less. And the best thing about it is how simple it is to use. Grab your smartphone, take a picture, write a caption, add a few hashtags, and you’re done. “The beauty of Instagram is that people are going to promote you if they get excited about what you’re doing,” said Russell. Instagram is particularly popular with young people, and learning how to use it now can keep you ahead of the pack. Instagram is the perfect place to host pictures you’ve taken for a charity event or to showcase something unique or interesting that happened at your wash, according to Atkins. Another great thing about it is that it can be integrated with other outlets like Facebook and Twitter. For example, Atkins said you could “promote your event on Facebook, and then post pictures of the event on Instagram.” The ability to place pictures across multiple platforms makes Instagram a tool that can help you increase your Facebook and Twitter as well. “People respond to visuals more than something they read,” said Sullivan, which is a major reason why Instagram has become so popular. She sees it as an additional tool, and one any wash owner can utilize because of its simplicity. “It’s a good sort of extra … I think it’s a clear winner for how easy it is to use, and connect with other platforms.” Signing up for an account takes minutes, and you’ll be snapping pictures and posting them on Facebook and Twitter in no time. Taking pictures is fun, and Instagram is so easy to use.

How to follow Twitter

While Twitter is a platform that seems pervasive in our society, it is also the one that most people don’t understand how to use well, according to Atkins. You might not use Twitter to cultivate a following, but it is a great place to get direct feedback from your customers, he added. Read also: How to start a carwash articles Twitter is the place that you can “turn a raving lunatic into a raving fan,” according to Atkins. The way you do that is by responding to people who tweet you. For direct communication, Atkins sees Twitter as a better tool than Facebook, “it’s like texting,” he said. If someone finds you on Twitter and asks you a question, it’s easy to grab your smartphone or hop on your computer, and immediately respond back. If Facebook is the place to communicate to people, Twitter is the place for people to communicate to you. “It’s a conversation more so than other social media sites,” said Sullivan. “You need to expect to interact.” Twitter, more than Facebook, is about a two way communication between you and your audience, according Russell. Sullivan recommends how you can use Twitter as more than a way to communicate with your customers. She said you start by following some hashtags, and seeing what successful carwashes and other businesses do when they’re tweeting. It’s also important to think of the phrases that your customers would be searching for, and post on those hashtags. Russell said one way to effectively use Twitter is to find the important people within your community, and tweet them. Twitter is a conversation, so just like talking to people, there’s ettiquette, and things you can do to make follow and unfollow you. Once you figure out how to have a conversation on Twitter it can be a great tool. Even if you don’t want to utilize it for communicating to your audience, you should have an account so they can communicate to you.

Taking it all in and having fun with it

Facebook is still the most important tool you have at your disposal, but there are many other sites that offer their niche that can help improve your profits. If you need to connect with a local business, there’s LinkedIn. If you want more people to find you on Internet searches, use Google+. Want to speak directly with your customers, tweet them on Twitter. Need somewhere to showcase all those great pictures from the charity even you did? Well put them on Instagram. Social media doesn’t have to be hard work; in fact our experts recommend that you make it fun. Come up with a contest, and hype it up on Facebook, respond back to your customers on Twitter, and use Instagram to show pictures of the event. There continues to be those who don’t think social media is a viable resource. However, as Atkins joked, “If you can overturn the government of Egypt [with social media], I think we can increase sales 10 percent.”


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