Social Media Marketing Tools for Your Small Business with Andrea Vahl

 Andea-Vahl-PinterestA lot of small businesses don’t put enough time into managing their social media. Do you know how to maximize social media for lead generation and buzz-worthy content?

Do you know what tools to manage and analyze your social media marketing?

If you don’t, you’re not alone. Many small businesses don’t feel social media is worth their marketing dollars or understand why it’s important. That’s why we asked Andrea Vahl, social media marketing coach and strategist, in this week’s episode of The Marketing Agents Podcast.

Big Ideas:

  • Who is Grandma Mary? And why haven’t you two been seen together?
    • Grandma Mary is the co-founder of my company.
    • She’s my alter ego.
    • I started blogging as Grandma Mary and planned to never reveal my name, but people were like, “what’s the deal?”
    • I wanted to be a little different in my market when I started.
    • I noticed that a lot of tutorials were boring and dumb.
    • I used that character that can be cranky and can bitch about things on my blog.
    • It’s a fun way to be authentic – and wear wigs.
  • How did you get into the whole social media consultancy game?
    • It was kind of a natural extension.
    • I had started blogging and teaching people how to achieve things like starting a Facebook page, grow a Twitter following, etc.
    • I found that people had really specific questions about their business and I got more into helping people directly.
  • A lot of small businesses say they don’t have time for social media because they’re too busy. What do you say when you hear that?
    • That’s the number one complaint I hear.
    • You have to pay attention to where marketing is going these days.
    • You have to spend the time on social media because that’s where people are hanging out.
    • Really, just streamlining your processes can save you time.
    • I put together an activity calendar for clients.
    • How are you going to spend your time each day? Put it into a calendar so it’s a to-do for creating content.
  • What are some of the tools that you use that you recommend for content creation that will attract your ideal customers?
    • HootSuite. I find that a lot of business owners are not using it! It’s a way to have a dashboard to pull in all your news feeds and quickly see what’s happening.
    • It’s great for scheduling content out.
    • A good tool for visual content is Canva. It creates really cool graphics that are shareable. It’s something useful for your audience that you can share out. You can make tip pages, quotes, little graphics, etc.
    • Then I can reuse these shared images to create on a blog post and share across all the platforms.
  • Can you then work the Canva images into HootSuite and other schedulers to share?
    • HootSuite is not as easy for images, but for Facebook Scheduler and Twitter it’s great.
  • Can I use the Facebook Scheduler like Hootsuite and do multiple scheduled shares?
    • You can do it like that and schedule up to 6 months of shares.
    • HootSuite pro lets you upload an Excel spreadsheet with up to 50 entries at a time.
    • It’s not the case anymore that you get penalized for using a third party app to do sharing and posts.
  • What kind of tools do you use to manage your social media?
    • Shareist for creating and managing for groups of people to share content.
    • People can schedule it and also create blog content and then post it to your blog (like a top 10 list of things).
    • It’s also good for managing your social sites – especially if more than one person is managing it.
    • Sprout Social is another I like. It can pull in content and be scheduled out to social sites. You can do really cool reports and you can see stats and create a PDF report (for clients).
    • Buffer is a great tool for sharing out content easily. I love the Chrome extension where you can quickly add items from surfing Chrome to your Buffer to share easily.
    • Buffer will make sure you don’t tweet a bunch of tweets in 5 minutes, it’ll spread them out and schedule them in a queue.
    • I love the Facebook scheduler and Post Planner. They not only help you get content ideas and then post it out and schedule it out later.
  • What are some tools you use for measuring social media results?
    • First sit down and understand what your goals are. What do you need to have happen to make it worth it for you? Is it a sale, engagement, connection, email list growth, etc.?
    • What’s success for you?
    • How are you measuring your success markers for social media? What can you do to grow?
    • Facebook Insights are great for measuring engagement and growth, but for sales you need something like Facebook ads with a conversion pixel where you know when someone’s actually bought something.
    • Sales online can be tracked by Google goal tracking.
    • Agora Pulse is another Facebook tool for measuring your Facebook stats.
    • Twitonomy is a Twitter analytics program.
    • Sprout Social has analytics as well.

      Identify what your goals and objectives are beforehand, then figure out how to measure it and what tools to use.

  • Everyone is concerned by the change in Facebook algorithm recently. What do you suggest now that our Facebooks aren’t getting the organic reach it used to?
    • I suggest a mind shift on Facebook and how we thing about it.
    • Facebook is no longer a free platform.
    • I did some analytics and tracking and I still see higher engagement in my Facebook than on other platforms.
    • It has changed and you have to now use some of your marketing budget to get more shares and likes. Take some of that money and split it up between top posts, more likes, and driving people to an opt-in and using conversion pixels to track the success of it all.
    • You can get a lot of bang for your buck on Facebook in terms of advertising.
    • It’s now more of a subscription model now to get the results you want.
  • What’s your new Facebook ads webinar all about?
    • It’s going to go through ways to use Facebook ads, as a small business owner, to intelligently get returns from these ads with precise targeting and more in-depth on conversion pixels.
    • Where you should allocate your budget on what types of ads in a smart way.
  • You teach on online course for social media managers. When is it starting up?
    • April 1st.
    • I love this course. It’s geared to folks who are doing this for clients and who are looking to run social media or get it started with a new business or run social media for other clients.
    • It’s for people doing this full-time, part-time, on the side.
    • It goes over all the tools and tactics, but also how to market your prices, packages, and services and how to get more clients and marketing your business.
  • Juicy Links:

    Rich Brooks
    Should I Wear a Wig When I Blog?