Social media marketing is all the rage these days. And with good reason. Marketing on social media has been shown to have a much higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing. It also is a great way to get your brand the attention it deserves.

If you are considering using social media to market your products or services, you are not alone. Over 50 percent of businesses are taking advantage of social media marketing and this number is expected to grow.

Of course, the popularity of social media marketing means that many businesses are using the same techniques. The result is a social media marketplace saturated with the same old same old. If you are looking for new and different ways to use social media to market your brand, product or service, we’ve got some creative ways to stand out among the crowd:

  • Hand it over: If you have one person handling your social media posts, consider guest posters such as a customer or another employee. When different people post to your account they offer another perspective which can be refreshing.
  • Hashtag it: Encourage satisfied customers to share the good news about your business with a hashtag you have created for just that purpose.
  • Say cheese: Give customers a behind the scenes look at your business by posting pictures of what goes on behind the scenes at your business./li>
  • Ask others to say cheese. Ask customers to post pictures of themselves using your product or service or anything else related to your brand.
  • Play some games: Caption contests or trivia questions are great ways to engage customers. Give the winner of these contests a gift certificate or some other prize. The chance of winning something is sure to increase engagement.
  • Make a difference: Support a local charity and encourage your followers to get involved. A diaper drive for a local shelter or a dog wash to raise money for the local humane society are examples.
  • Ask questions: Surveys and polls are an excellent way to engage with customers and prospects. Create surveys around specific events or holidays. Ask followers to respond with their favorite type of Halloween candy or a must-have side dish at Thanksgiving. The key is to make it light and fun.
  • Share some stats: Readers love statistics. What’s best, when those stats confirm something one of your follower believes, that follower is likely to share it—driving more traffic to your site. Top 10 lists are another way to share stats.

The best part about social media marketing is that you don’t have to sink a ton of money into it for it to be successful. Likewise, if a particular tactic isn’t working, you aren’t out a great deal of money. In the end, the key to social media marketing success is standing out from the crowd.


The kids are back in school and Halloween is still weeks away but if you own a business that relies on holiday sales, it’s time to start thinking about the most wonderful time of the year. Otherwise it might not be wonderful at all.

Many small businesses wonder how they can stand out among the many extravagant marketing campaigns that are rolled out ahead of the holiday shopping season. Thankfully, social media allows these businesses to garner the attention of their customers and prospects without breaking the bank.

If you have not started putting together your holiday social media strategy, now is the time. Here are some things to keep in mind as you build this strategy:

  • Less is more. When you try to post on every platform out there, you will find yourself unable to do any of them right. Instead, focus on a few social media platforms that you know your customers frequent and concentrate your efforts on the visitors to these sites.
  • Focus on followers. Offer special deals that are only available to your social media followers. This encourages followers to share your deals with friends and family. This creates a buzz around your social media sites that will allow you to gain followers and get your brand noticed.
  • Ship for free. With people spending so much money over the holidays, they are always on the lookout for ways to save. When surveyed, almost 50 percent of consumers said that free shipping plays a significant factor in whether or not they make a purchase. Consider offering free shipping codes to social media followers or use social media to advertise free shipping offers.
  • Get personal. Facebook allows you to use its targeting features to reach a specific demographic. You can target your social media messages to reflect a particular age group or geographical area, for example.

Of course, no matter how effective your social media strategy is at garnering attention for your brand, none of it will matter if you don’t back it up with superior customer service. The holidays can be an especially hectic and stressful time of year for consumers. When you are there for them—responding quickly when they have a problem or question—they won’t soon forget. The result? Happy holiday shoppers that remain loyal long after the season is over.

If you own a business today, chances are you have some presence on social media. Depending on your business, you could be active on such sites as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or one of the many other social medial platforms popular today.

In her article, Is Your Business Social Enough, 4 Ways to Boost Engagement, Nicole Fallon Taylor writes that for businesses to get the most out of social media, they need to be engaging in meaningful conversations on social media. In other words, while businesses need to focus on broadcasting on social media, they also need to focus on engagement. If they don’t, they are missing out on establishing important connections with their target audience.

Taylor offers some tips on how to find the correct social media balance for your business so that its social media strategy is as effective as possible. For example, she urges business owners to view social media from the perspective of a consumer:

Take off your “business” hat for a moment, and think about what you, as a consumer, want  from the brands you follow on social media. You’d probably be put off by a company that only   shares its own links and nothing else — and so would your own customers.

Her other tips include:

  • Prioritize Customer Communications: Never let a customer question or complaint go answered. If it is going to take some time to get a question answered or complaint resolved, make sure you respond and let the customer know that right away.
  • Know and Own Your Brand Voice: Don’t try to be something you are not. When you are communicating with customers on social media don’t try to be too hip or too funny (unless your brand really is hip or funny). People respond best to authenticity.
  • Focus on Channels that Make the Most Sense: It is always better to have a well-executed and active social media presence on one or two channels than to try to be everywhere all the time.

Social media is becoming more powerful and far-reaching by the day. That’s why just showing up isn’t enough anymore.


Social media is one of the most important marketing tools for small and medium-sized businesses today. Almost 90 percent of marketers will tell you that a social media presence is critical to the success of their business. So it’s no wonder that social media is where small and medium-sized businesses spend the majority of their marketing dollars.

Social media is also becoming an important player when it comes to SEO. Recent changes to Google’s algorithm mean that the more active you are on social media, the higher your search engine rankings.

If social media is so essential to the success of a business, then why is it that so many businesses do not have a social media strategy in place? For starters, many marketers simply do not know what a social media strategy actually entails. They also mistakenly believe that simply sharing helpful information or updating their followers on new products or services is an effective social media strategy.

Unfortunately for these businesses, a solid social media strategy involves much more than just slapping information up on a social media site or two. Instead, a successful social media strategy involves engaging and interacting with your target audience while establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry. So how is this accomplished? The following steps are necessary to establish an effective social media strategy:

  1. Research and understand your particular target audience
  2. Use a distinct voice to compose posts and updates, as well as to interact with your followers
  3. Monitor your sites so that you are able to respond to comments and feedback from your followers in a timely manner
  4. Put measurable goals in place to accurately and regularly assess the success of your social media efforts
  5. Create a publication calendar and schedule of posts

Social media can be overwhelming for the newbie and just because someone has a personal Facebook or Twitter account, that doesn’t make him or her an expert in social media. Instead, it is often best to seek help from an outside source to make sure that you are putting your social media marketing dollars to use wisely.





If you are marketing a B2B business but have yet to implement Facebook as part of your overall marketing strategy, you are not alone. Unfortunately, you also are missing out on a critical platform that can help with lead generation and establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry.

In his article, Why Facebook is Essential to Your B2B Marketing, Gene Hammett explains how Facebook offers a unique opportunity for B2B marketers to connect with, engage, and provide added value to their clients. He also explains why if it has been a while since you have explored Facebook, you should take another look at this popular social media platform and some of its many new offerings.

Valerie Shoopman is an expert on Facebook Marketing. In his article, Hammett quotes Shoopman on the topic of Facebook ads. According to Shoopman:

The newest thing on the Facebook platform that has people talking is the new Lead Gen ads. It is lowering the cost to acquire new leads and works extremely well with mobile.

So what else does Facebook have to offer B2B marketers that they can’t afford to miss out on? Advertising intelligence and brand and reputation management. Advertising intelligence allows businesses to create customized messaging to a highly targeted audience. Brand and reputation management allows a business to participate in the world’s largest social-media conversation thanks to Facebook’s 1.55 billion users. Other new Facebook offerings include live video, video posts, and advertisements.