Tag Archives: Small Business Social media Marketing

Facebook is Rolling Out Local Business Verification Badges. Here’s Why You Should Get One.

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Have you ever been on Twitter or Facebook and noticed an account with a little blue checkmark beside its name—say, the account for a celebrity, a musician, a professional athlete, or a politician?

These check marks show that the account is verified. All this means is that it’s the real deal. When you see Chris Rock on Twitter with a blue check mark beside his name, that means that it really is the Chris Rock—not a fan and not an imposter. By contrast, if you see a Chris Rock account without the checkmark, that’s probably a Chris Rock fan page—still funny, maybe, but not affiliated with the actual guy.

According to Marketing Land, Facebook has rolled out a new verification system—this time marked by gray badges, to distinguish from the blue ones. While blue is still the color for celebrities, gray is now used to verify and legitimize local businesses. The feature is being rolled out to businesses across several countries, including the United States and Great Britain.

For verified businesses, the gray checkmarks will now show up beside the business name in Facebook searches and on the account page itself. For companies looking to get verified, the process is fairly simple. All you’ll need is a couple minutes of time and a business phone number. Details are available here.

This is something we recommend local businesses do, and for a couple of reasons. One of the stated reasons from Facebook is to ensure that consumers are finding the authentic business listing. A lot of companies have duplicate pages on Facebook, perhaps created by former employees or perhaps generated through social media “check-ins.” The gray badge lets consumers know that they have found the real, official business listing.

And piggybacking off that point, verification badges provide consumer confidence. Your business has to be fairly legitimate to qualify for this—it needs a real phone number and a physical address—so opting to get verified is a sign that you’re running a real operation. It’s a sign that consumers can confidently do business with you.

For businesses not able to qualify for the gray checkmark—perhaps because they don’t have physical locations that consumers can visit—there are other ways to ensure credibility, such as using testimonials, sharing customer reviews, and showcasing thought leadership. But if you do qualify for the gray checkmark, there’s really no reason not to get one.

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Filed under Brand Management, Content Marketing, Social Media

Why Small Businesses Should Be Thankful for Social Media Marketing

small-store-social-mediaWhat do turkey basters and marketers have in common? Thanksgiving, of course.

Holidays are big days for family get-togethers, fun, and business. This is evident in the country’s push for longer holiday seasons; though, with Black Friday and holiday shopping just around the corner, businesses have no excuse to jump off the bandwagon.

Thankfully, social media makes marketing easy. Aside from oven-baked selfies and cranberry ice, everyone’s favorite time-wasters are powerful tools for generating hype and buzz from customers. But how do you differentiate your products and deals from the thousands of others that are choking up newsfeeds? Well there’s an answer for that, too.

A Recipe for Social Media Success

First off, you need to prepare your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and other accounts for the holiday rush. Make sure your contact info (check it twice!) is up to date and consider sprucing up your profile and cover photos. Newsfeed scrollers zoom right past most business-based posts — it’s just the way things are. Images, however, are eye-catching and deserve a second glance.

Consider mashing together your cover photo with an in-store announcement or deal. This way, you’re putting more emphasis on showing rather than telling.

Because of days off and holiday schedules, you have to enter the holiday rush with an arsenal of marketing material. If you’re in charge of a business’ social media, create a publishing schedule and prepare the posts beforehand. Keep them spaced out throughout the different platforms to maximize your exposure.

Most likely, you’ll experience an increase in traffic late Thanksgiving night and on the morning of Black Friday. Why? Because shoppers are scouring the Web for deals and discounts. Post them, make them distinct, and keep posting throughout the weekend. You can use Twitter to share live information about your store, post a picture of a dedicated shopper shivering in your parking lot, or announce that you have steaming cups of coffee for the first 100 shoppers.

Dare to be different?

Small businesses should take advantage of the giving bug and pair up with a local charity or organization. Allow your customers to donate a dollar or give directly to a fundraiser; not only does this promote your company’s value, it gives your customers a chance to make a difference. Double up with social media mentions, hashtags, and other online marketing to get your brand and name out there.

Giving and Sharing

One of the most incredible aspects of social media is that fans and followers determine whether or not a post stays alive. Find ways to encourage likes, shares, and follows and offer deals and discounts in return. It takes minimum effort on the part of the customer and can make a major impact on your holiday sales.

Mediating Media

So, you have your posts lined up and your deals dialed in — what’s next? In order to successfully manage social media, you need to keep an eye on your company’s performance and react and respond to customers. People comment and share your posts because they agree with you. Return the favor, especially when it comes to other businesses in the area. Cross-promotion is incredibly useful and benefits both parties.

Here is a brief rundown on “to do” and “to avoid” when it comes to managing your seasonal social media campaign:

  • Don’t overplay the holiday card
  • Keep your posts brief
  • Use original pictures, not stock photos
  • Combine formats (i.e. words on pictures)
  • Monitor, review, and remember how certain posts perform
  • Don’t over-inform or bog down followers
  • Interactive posts (polls, questions, etc.) are more interesting
  • Be thankful for every platform and use them accordingly
  • Don’t overplay the holiday card

Of course, the worst mistake you can make is being like everybody else. Don’t post the same steaming turkey pic on your Facebook, don’t write sappy “We are thankful for…” posts, and don’t assume that just because you’re marketing you’ll see a boost in sales. Social media is as competitive as it is helpful. It’s your job to find ways to be authentic and honest at the same time.

The team at Grammar Chic specializes in a variety of professional writing and editing services. For more information about how we can help you, visit www.grammarchic.net or call 803-831-7444. We also invite you to follow us on Twitter @GrammarChicInc for the latest in writing and editing tips and to give a “like” to our Facebook page. Text GRAMMARCHIC to 22828 for a special offer.

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