social media

Social Media for Business: Current Trends

There's no doubt that the use of social media has transitioned from "the new shiny" to established marketing tool. The Pew Research Center affirms this, stating that use of social media by adults in the U.S. has risen from 5% in 2005 to 69% in 2016.

By now we know that social media can help you promote your small business with:

  • Brand Awareness / Increased Exposure
  • Leads / Referrals
  • Setting Expectations / Customer Education
  • Recruitment
  • Competitive Analysis
  • SEO
  • Client Insights

Here are a few new developments in social media that can help you reach your customers:

Facebook Chatbots
Acting similarly to Facebook Messenger, you can initiate an interaction with a prospect using a Facebook Chatbot.

Facebook chatbot

You can create your own brand page chatbot using one of these online tools: ChatFuel, Botsify, or OnSequel.

Shop or Book an Appointment with Instagram
Instagram recently announced they’ve reached the 1 million advertiser mark. So while it’s still a visual playground, it’s also a space where business can happen with ease. Soon, business pages will be able to include a “book” button, so customers can make appointments and reservations.

Using video in social media isn't new, but if you're not taking advantage of this way to get in front of your audience, start today. 

Facebook Live isn’t really new anymore but you should absolutely take advantage of using it as a communications tool. 

  • Facebook Live Videos Are Watched 3x Longer Than Videos That Aren’t Live Anymore
  • sers Comment On Facebook Live Videos At 10x The Rate Of Regular Videos

You can use it spontaneously or schedule “Facebook live” sessions – Q&A's tours/walkthroughs, event coverage, and more.

How will you work toward including more social media in your marketing efforts? 

The Psychology of Social Media

This snippet of a podcast by "Hooked" author Nir Eyal speaks to the "almost psychologist" in me. Fascinated by what motivates human behavior, I began my college studies as a psychology major. In the end I realized my strengths were writing and communicating, and I changed majors. It was all helpful, as a good understanding of what makes us tick also makes for effective marketing.

In this segment, Eyal talks about the "user's itch," the internal need that compels someone to click Facebook over Twitter, or post a photo to Instagram rather than Pinterest.  It's an excellent reminder to think more deeply about the user experience. Listen to the full podcast here (track #4). 

Business Owners: Don't Let Facebook as Paid Media Scare You

Today's news that Facebook has surpassed 2 million (yes, that's right, million) advertisers should convince any business owner that Facebook should now be shifted to the "paid media outlet" column. 

Does that mean you have to completely ditch the "social" aspects of this social media channel? No, of course not. My clients still benefit from relating directly to their audiences, sharing news and useful information. I also recommend that they continue to share the posts of organizations/pages as appropriate, making sure to tag the page being shared, as a means of community building.

However, with strong organic reach a thing of the past, it pays to, well, pay. If you're unsure about fitting this into your budget, try a few boosted posts for the minimum of $5. With proper targeting, over time, you will increase your exposure and interaction. Let those posts work smarter for you not harder.

Twitter for Business

Twitter came up in conversation at this morning's meeting of the Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce's Marketing & Membership committees, leading me to realize that I never got around to uploading slides from my recent seminar on Twitter for Business. Let me correct that error now, reiterating that Twitter is a terrific tool for networking and learning.

If you have any questions or would like to talk to me some more about Twitter and its role in growing your business, please connect!

Facebook for Small Business: Surviving the Next Adjustment

Yes, Facebook is once again making changes affecting how your brand's posts are viewed in the Newsfeed. Starting in January 2015, posts that are solely or too promotional in nature will be seen far less by Facebook users.

What constitutes "overly promotional?" According to Facebook, this:

  • Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  • Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  • Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

Hopefully you've been shying away from this kind of content anyway, given that within this year Facebook has been adjusting their algorithm to both monetize (aka decrease your organic reach to the point where you're willing to pay to boost posts and/or create ads) and encourage posts that include value for the consumer. 

Why this seemingly drastic transition? According to Facebook (by way of Hootsuite's blog):

“As part of an ongoing survey we asked hundreds of thousands of people how they feel about the content in their News Feeds. People told us they wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content.”

While the initial reaction is to moan about yet another Facebook algorithm change, is this such a bad thing? Not if you're already following a good content marketing strategy of being helpful and sharing information that is valuable to your audience. Does this mean if you share any promotional content, it'll be invisible? Of course not. But you might need to put some money behind it, or make sure the news of your promotion is included within a broader context of the value of your business.

One of my clients has great success with contest-themed posts, but they are created to be of interest to the customer base. When I experimented with a similar contest on another client's page, it fell flat. Why? It wasn't as relevant to the people who liked their page.

Brands should already be considering Facebook as a monetized platform rather than a home base. Given the ability to target your audience with precision - and even have decent results with as little as a $5 boost depending on your goals - this could be a welcome change to your content marketing strategy.

Above all else, brands should remember the social in social media. Be helpful. Create community. Be of value before someone needs your service and guess what? You'll be on their mind when they're ready to use your services.


Twitter Works.

I confess. I might have a Twitter problem. I'm one of those "two-screeners" watching the Phillies game, the Oscars, or the latest episode of The Good Wife, glancing occasionally at my Twitter stream to see who else might be sharing the experience.

I also firmly believe that Twitter works for building business relationships - from networking to customer service. Ann Handley's recent experience with JetBlue proves that Twitter can be a mechanism to provide exceptional customer service. Read all about it here in her post, Twitter Helps Me Get My Lost Book Back, and What You Can Learn from It.

Singing to a Full House: Blogging, Content Marketing and Social Media

I've spent most of the day today working on client blogs. It's fun and, of course, benefits them by sharing news, establishing thought leadership and boosting their SEO efforts. Blogging is a great component of content marketing, allowing a company to educate and establish trust with an audience. But the audience first has to find the blog. That's where social media comes in and where I turn it over to Jason Falls' recent piece on social media as the conduit for content marketing:

Social media is how you can take your content marketing – a blog post, a webinar, a white paper, a video, a contest, hosted event – and deliver it to a relevant and willing audience.

If it’s good enough, they’ll share it, you’ll drive interest, traffic or sales, and all will be well with the world.

Read the full article here.

Instagram Debuts Hyperlapse

Instagram has just unveiled a new feature - Hyperlapse. It will allow Instagram users to shoot a video using their mobile device's camera and upload to Instagram.

The Hyperlapse feature is currently available only on iOs. It is expected to be available on the Android platform "soon" and there are no current plans for Windows phones.

Stabilization for Hyperlapse from Instagram from Instagram on Vimeo.


As points out:

Using clever algorithm processing, the app makes it easy to use your phone to create tracking shots and fast, time-lapse videos that look as if they’re shot by Scorsese or Michael Mann. What was once only possible with a Steadicam or a $15,000 tracking rig is now possible on your iPhone, for free. 

Imagine the possibilities for creating content to promote your business. 

Facebook Focuses on Discouraging Click-baiting

You've seen them. The short headlines designed to intrigue you, encourage you, sometimes even scare you into clicking the link to read the whole story followed by the disappointment of not much "there" there.

Similar to the sensationalized local broadcast news teasers - "You won't believe what vegetable causes belly fat!" Or "If you have this in your home, you could already be in trouble." - these "made you look!" headlines are known as "click-bait." 

Facebook is once again adjusting the newsfeed algorithm to discourage this practice in favor of content that people actually spend time engaging with and will be measured by time spent reading the content as well as how many people "like" or share the content.

While the general consensus can be to groan about yet another Facebook newsfeed change, this one has the potential to improve the quality of your newsfeed.

For businesses using Facebook as part of their social media strategy, it reaffirms the overarching strategy of attracting new business and retaining customers by establishing trust and being helpful. Be the answer to your customer's question.

You can read more about this newsfeed change here or reach out to us, we'll be happy to help you strengthen you business' message and customer relationships.

Is Your Online Refrigerator Stocked? How to Find Fresh Content

Summer is finally here. This usually means trips to the farmer's market and refrigerators stocked full of fresh produce from local farmers. You have everything you need to create a delicious summer menu.

This may sound strange, but finding fresh content to share on your blog and social media channels isn't all that different.  Even when the big sale is over or that long-term project is complete, there's always something to talk about via everyday occurences and items all around you. 

Take a moment and look around your office or your store.  When was the last time you shared a photo or talked about the benefits of one of your products? Or when was the last time you shared a slice of office life? 

Our client, Chrysalis Hair Design, will from time to time feature their products in their Instagram and Facebook feeds. They recently redesigned their storefront to remind customers to take care of their hair in the sun and sand this summer. All it took was a simple photo to communicate this:

Maybe it's something you're working on today. Are you using summertime to plan for the fall? Talk about it.  What do you customers have to look forward to? 

Pampered Pets Grooming Salon and Spa is another example of how sharing the everyday activity of your business can yield solid results.  Here's another happy four-legged customer.

This sharing of content isn't random, it's a strategy in and of itself. The more your customers and prospective clients see from and about you, the more they will likely trust you, remember you, refer you, do business with you. 

Take a moment out of your day and tell your audience what's going on.  If doing so on an ongoing, consistent basis sounds like one more thing you'd rather not handle, we've love to talk to you. Reach out via email to or give us a call at 267-236-3607.


Facebook Brand Pages - Ready to Spring Forward?


Spring is right around the corner so it's no surprise that in this season of change Facebook will unveil more changes at a press event tomorrow.

Facebook promises some big changes for brand pages and how users interact with news feeds.  Ragan's PR Daily points to an article by TechCrunch leading them to believe the changes will be threefold:

1. Multiple feeds. 

Currently, Facebook users see their main news feed, which consists of updates from their friends and the brands or celebrities they follow, as well as the occasional ad. However, there are other feeds that exist on the site, for instance, a feed dedicated to updates from pages. It’s practically lost in the left margin of your Facebook feed, but it could point to what Facebook has in store for brands—their own feeds. 

2. Larger images. 

The common belief among many social media managers is that images work best for drawing “likes” and shares. That belief has been challenged of late, because of Facebook’s last algorithm change, but it remains a safe equation: Compelling art equals more eyeballs. It appears Facebook is doubling down on that and will give users, and probably brands, the ability to post larger images. 

3. Video and “rich media” for users—brands will get it eventually 

Better polish your video-editing skills, because Business Insider is nearly certain that Facebook will unveil a video platform for users. It probably won’t happen immediately for brands, but it will be a part of the social network’s announcement Thursday. 

By now, Facebook users know that change is inevitable.  It'll be interesting to see how these changes pan out and how to best use them to your brand's advantage.  And, don't worry, you're not alone. VoiceMatters, LLC is here to help guide your business through the process.

If a Picture Paints 1,000 Words, How Many Facebook Likes is That?

Share the visual story of your business - people love to read about your latest event or achievement but they also like to see it. Plus, did you know that Facebook posts using photos generate 53% more likes? 
According to HubSpot's Inbound Marketing blog, posts with photos also produce a 104% increase in comments, all leading to increasing your page's EdgeRank algorithm: 
This percentage difference is substantial, and it emphasizes a huge opportunity for businesses to use photos and images as a means to increase Likes and comments, and thus EdgeRank. EdgeRank is Facebook's visibility algorithm based on users' interaction with your Facebook Page content. Boosts in Likes helps increase EdgeRank, which can then cause a page's content to appear in News Feeds more often, increasing visibility.

Read more:
So take that extra moment to whip out your smartphone and take a picture of the new product that just came in or the new hairstyle you just created or, well, you get the idea. Increased engagement leads to a stronger relationship with your page fans and customers, and that's good business.

Facebook's Promoted Posts - Not the Villain After All?

If you spend any time at all on Facebook, you've probably seen posts from users angry that the introduction of promoted posts are decreasing their page views. This is especially so for small business owners who've come to rely on Facebook as a major marketing tool.  I was right there with them, based on this post from the website Dangerous Minds and Facebook's track record of changing things up.

It seems that it's more coincidence than conscious plot, as outlined in this article from It's still all about likes, shares and posting content that has value to your audience.

Join Me at the Social Business Future Conference This Friday

There's still time to get in on a terrific networking and social media learning experience - the Social Business Future Conference.  

Happening this Friday, November 9 at DelVal College, this is a day-long conference presented by SoMeBizLife. Whether you're completely new to using social media in your business or you're interested in using it to the max, this will be a day well spent. 

Here's Chuck Hall of SoMeBizLife to tell you more about it:

Welcome to the Social Business Future from Your Marketing Exec, LLC on Vimeo.

Tickets are available until tomorrow, November 8.  See you there!

Old School is the New School

One of this week's articles of note is Ken Krogue's "The Death Of SEO: The Rise of Social, PR, And Real Content" where he points out that traditional SEO is being overtaken by - ready? - good old fashioned valuable content. 

Invest in real, valuable, relevant content that your audience wants. Grow your internal thought leaders to where they can add value to your audience and positioning in the market. Follow internal SEO practices to make sure it is found and sees the light of day. Take the time to make it so compelling that people talk about it and share it.

Valuable content is what draws people to you. It's part of what makes them trust you enough to do business with you. Certainly, SEO still has a viable role, but in the end it seems old school is the new school.

Thanks to @JeremyVictor of for the original tweet to this article. Follow Ken Krogue on Twitter

What do you think? We'd love to hear your thoughts.