LinkedIn on a Budget

Linkedin Strategy for Small Businesses

As a small business, it’s important to have tools that will help you recruit top talent, find peers, and curate helpful content for you at an inexpensive rate. LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, is a great option to help your business fulfill those needs. Although there are paid options on the platform, with strategic time and effort you can get your recruiting, networking and educational needs fulfilled from LinkedIn for free. Here are some easy-to-implement tactics.

Recruiting:

  • Posting jobs as updates

Instead of paying for Linkedin Recruiter, you can post about open positions on your feed for all of your followers to see. In your post, encourage your followers to tag someone that may be a good fit for the position. This will give you immediate leads, and expand the reach of your post to that follower’s feed as well.

  • LinkedIn Salary

One of the hardest parts of recruiting is establishing a fair pay rate for you and the candidate. LinkedIn offers a salary estimate tool that assesses the job title and years of experience needed for the role so you can stay competitive when hiring.

  • Search bar – people

Outside of posting your open positions on your feed, you can also be proactive and search for the specific role and location you need a new hire in. For example, ‘graphic designer los angeles’ brings more than 43,000 results. You can also use the filter to narrow down by school or previous companies worked for. When you find some top candidates send them a message, or use the introduction box when requesting to connect to explain why you’re reaching out.

Networking:

  • Search bar – companies

Being a small-business owner can be hard when you need advice, or just reassurance that you’re on the right track. Instead of paying money to attend networking events or conferences, search for those companies and look for peers you want to connect with. People are often surprised how open others are to network on LinkedIn and trade tips. Make sure to leave a note in the introduction box when requesting to connect.

  • LinkedIn Groups

Another great way to find like-minded individuals is by joining LinkedIn groups that are pertinent to your industry. Groups often post relevant articles and engage with posts to start a conversation.

Learning:

  • Educational content

Sometimes it’s helpful to get out of your ‘publication rut’ and read articles from thought-leaders or blogs you’ve not heard of before. Start by following companies, media agencies or people who inspire you in your industry that post content. What they post will show up on your feed, as well as content that they ‘liked’ or commented on, which will help expand your learning horizons.

  • LinkedIn Learning

If there is ever a new skill you want to learn, or a strategic tactic you need inspiration on, take advantage of the free 1-month trial of LinkedIn Learning. They have topics from that span across business, creative and technology. There are also Learning Paths for specialities like becoming a manager, or an excel expert.

LinkedIn has a lot to offer business owners who are looking to expand their team, network or expertise for no cost. It’s truly the sophisticated social media channel that can help you achieve your goals without breaking your budget!

Creating an Engaging Instagram for your Salon

Creating an Engaging Instagram for your Salon

As a hair stylist, your Instagram page has become the new portfolio. Now you’re not just showing prospective employers you’re cutting and dying skills, you’re also showing prospective clients what you can do.

In a world that is over saturated with competition, it’s important for your career to create an engaging Instagram account so your audience not only likes your work and shares it with others, but likes you as well.

Keeping your audience engaged is a science, so here are some tips to help you get started.

Go live with Instagram stories

As of November 2017, Instagram Stories amassed 300 million daily active users.* This is all the proof needed to know people are watching, and that viewership has only grown. When you’re doing an edgy hair dye, or even cutting a classic medium bob, have someone hold your phone for a live Instagram story.

Take note on what type of content gets more viewers, and at what time. If you’re receiving good attendance for those unicorn hair dye jobs, consider announcing that you’re going live ahead of time. More people may tune in, including your peers who have been meaning to learn that new, trendy skill. And remember – people can tune in even after you’ve gone live. The story will stay on your page, and at the top of their feed, for 24 hours.

Respond to comments

Comments from your audience are one of the best forms of engagement. It’s great to hear opinions from like-minded individuals, or receive praises from prospective clients who love your work! Having said that no comment should go unresponded to, even if the response is a simple ‘thank you.’ That follower took a couple of minutes of out of their day to show you true appreciation, so it has to be reciprocated.

Also, you’ll probably notice the more you respond, the more comments you’ll receive. People love to experience that kind of connection on social media.

Create shareable posts

Memes are a good example of a post that followers often tag a friend in, or send to a friend via direct message. This is because those posts are relatable, and that has to be part of your secret engagement sauce. The more your posts are shared, the more your following will grow.

Mix in some posts that are comedic to your industry, or life in general. You can also try inspirational quotes, or a fun boomerang. It doesn’t always have to be hair related, but you can keep your posts industry-only to have a consistent theme to your content.

Tag brands for the exposure

As a stylist you’re using top name brands on your client’s hair, so let those brands know! Tagging a brand in your Instagram post will expose your work to them, and introduce your followers to the products you’re using. If your post is worthy of sharing, the brand may re-post it on their Instagram. Learn their official hashtags as well to further expose your work and your Instagram to a larger audience. This will help grow your following, and give you credibility as a stylist.

Having an engaging Instagram account is a daily task. The more time and effort you give to your account, the more engagement you’ll receive. Some influencers post 2-3 times a day to stay top-of-mind in their follower’s feed, but do what works for you. And remember – have fun with it!

 

*http://mediakix.com/2017/11/how-many-people-use-instagram-stories/

Find out how to get more Google+ reviews

If you’re a small business owner, you probably already realize the importance of Google+ reviews for your business or practice. Google is often the first point of contact between a potential patient/customer and your office. The idea of searching on Google has become so ubiquitous, “Google it” is an instantly recognizable phrase.

Therefore, Google+ reviews are strong online currency that can boost your online reputation and make you the first choice for new customers. Online reviews strengthen your social proof, which refers to a human’s natural reliance on feedback and the actions of others to determine what is good or bad in a given situation. Social proof is the reason why studies often show that an overwhelming majority of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations when making a purchasing decision.

A 2014 study done by the marketing firm BrightLocal found that the more reviews a business has, the more trustworthy it is deemed by customers; plus, most customers read up to six reviews to make up their mind about a business.

How many Google+ reviews does your business have?

Don’t worry if that number isn’t as large as you might want it to be. There’s a simple way to generate more Google+ reviews for your business: request them from your previous patients and customers!

With Demandforce, this process is simple to set up. Google+ does not accept third party reviews, so we have created special email templates that you can send out to your database, to request Google+ reviews.

Here’s how to set up a Google campaign in Demandforce

Click on CAMPAIGNS and turn on your ONE-CLICK CAMPAIGNS, and select the “Review us on Google+” option. You can preview the email, and edit the audience or scheduled delivery to best fit your business. By default, the email will send to all customers who rated your business on Demandforce Local or another logged site four stars or above, and will run once every two weeks. However, rest assured – a single customer will only receive the email twice a year.

GoogleReviewExample.png

Once your email has sent, you can view the sent and open rate results in the RESULTS section of the CAMPAIGNS tab. You can also edit or stop the campaign at any time in this area.

For more detailed information on how to set up or use the Google+ campaigns, click here.

5 Common Social Media Misconceptions

In this day and age, if you don’t know what “social media” is, you might have just emerged from a cryogenic state, or you’re living a bit off the grid. But for those of us who do utilize it in our daily lives, and even for those of us who might be resistant (or a bit intimidated) to it, we all recognize its power. Social media especially can be an incredible tool for small businesses looking to boost their online reputations, attract new customers and broaden their reach.

But before you delve headfirst into social media, we wanted to share…

5 Common Social Media Misconceptions

Avoid these and you’ll be well on your way to winning new customers and owning your social media presence!

I Don’t Need Social Media for My Business

Don’t believe the naysayers who believe a social media presence isn’t necessary for small business. The opposite is in fact true: social media might just be the missing ingredient in your marketing strategy. The stats don’t lie. Not only have the number of social media users steadily increased from 2010 to 2016, but sites like Yelp!, Google Local, and Facebook have become trusted sources for consumer reviews.

Social Media Is Just People Posting About What They Ate for Breakfast…

So if you’ve stood at the sidelines of social media and just watched others use it, you might think that social media (Instagram or Facebook, anyone?) might just be people posting about what they ate for breakfast, or discussing politics, posting pictures of their children, or their pets. But in reality, sites like Twitter and Facebook can help boost your customer communication and engagement. You can find new customers on Twitter by searching for relevant keywords and phrases. And you can create a Facebook Business Page for your organization – and on it, you can not only share updates about your product or practice, but you can also celebrate your customers, provide interesting articles, and celebrate your company culture.

You Can’t Track Value on Social Media

Some hardline data hounds might want to avoid social media because they think you can’t track value on it versus other, more traditional marketing channels. However, the reality is that social media is among the easiest channels to measure, because quantifying results is ingrained into the social media culture. Valuable information comes from metrics surrounding client engagements (likes, comments, sharing), and you can see immediately what posts engage your customers most, and what people want, and like.

It Won’t Bring In Sales

Another common social media misconception is that, while posting is all well and good, focusing on social media won’t actually bring in sales. The answer to this is two-fold. Not only do you need to remember that your customer’s story is more than just the sale. While of course your business’ bottom line is the driving force behind everything else, experts agree that social media cements the relationship between a business and its existing customers, making those customers more loyal, and more willing to refer and advocate for the company. And in straight stats, 78% of people recently polled by DDB Worldwide said that a company’s social posts impact their purchase decisions.

My Customers Don’t Use Social Media

If you think that social media might work for “other businesses” but not your customers, think again. Have you really dug deep into your customer demographics? A misunderstanding about your customers’ behaviors might be driving this misconception. For instance, many businesses that work with seniors think that their customers don’t use social media, but in reality – 65% of U.S. adults ages 50-64 are on social media more than cable and satellite television, and 49% aged 65+. (Statistica, 2015)

These are just 5 of the most common Social Media Misconceptions we have heard, what about you? Have you checked out how you look online lately? You don’t need to be a social media expert to run your business, but you could incorporate a stronger social media presence and strategy into your business plan moving forward. With a platform like Demandforce, social media strategy is incorporated into everything else we do to help your business grow. Don’t pay for a la carte experts or software when you can get an all-in-one solution for your marketing, social media, and customer communications. Contact us today at (800) 246-4853 to find out more, or set up a demo with us, and speak with an expert about your specific needs and business goals.