Social Media Presence
Social Media has become the #1 source people use to find local businesses, especially when traveling.
It’s going to be a long time before we see the tourist numbers and spending in Hawaii that we saw up until March of 2020.
But… many businesses are going to INCREASE sales and profits.
What makes the difference?
The businesses that are successful and reaching higher levels of profits are keeping up with the NEW times and the latest marketing trends.
Thousands of Local Customers Are Looking for Your Products or Services…
But Can They Find You?
If not, there’s a good chance you don’t have a strong social media presence in order to be one of these “always successful” businesses.
Here’s why you MUST have a social media presence these days:
- 97% of Internet users use social media to find local products or services.
- 90.4% of Millennials are active social media users, as are 77.5% of Generation X and 48.2% of Baby Boomers.
- 50% of consumers say that seeing business-generated content would increase their chances of buying products.
- Social media has become the #1 source for finding local businesses.
The bottom line is this: A successful, profitable business starts with finding the highest number of prospective buyers, and then getting your products and services in front of them. That’s where social media comes in these days, and in these new times we’re facing.
People are spending more and more of their time online since covid started, but many businesses aren’t reaching these consumers on the social media sites they’re utilizing.
If you don’t have a presence on the top social media platforms then you’re missing out on 97% of those who MAY buy from you.
And guess where these prospects will go if they don’t see your business on social media? That’s right – to your competition.
That means you’re LOSING sales to your competition – every single day.
Simply Because They’re on Social Media…
and Using it Effectively!
You could be losing a few thousand customers, and thousands of dollars in lost revenue, that’s going to… THEM.
You NEED to be easily found on the major social media sites if you want to keep up with the competition.
The most successful businesses are not only beating the competition, they’re exploding sales and revenues with less effort, time, and money simply by using the right approach to social media exposure.
The days of advertising in phone books, newspapers, tourist magazines and card racks are gone. Your customers are no longer finding you that way. They’re going less to Google every month.
People are spending MORE TIME on social media. And that’s why social media is how more customers will find you.
People are checking Facebook to see what their friends post. They’re checking Twitter to see what family or friends tweet. They’re using Instagram to stay connected. It’s important that your business has consistent social media posts so you’re found on the top sites.
When you’re able to get your business in front of these people you find customers who WANT and NEED what you sell.
It’s how you can dramatically grow your sales, revenues, and profits in these new times.
When you’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram… people will call or visit when they see you.
Hawaii Passenger Count
75% of Facebook users visit every day
US adults who use each site.
From PEW Research Center
Survey conducted Jan. 8 to Feb 7, 2019
Facebook Users by Country
In millions of users – from Statista.com
Social media sites have the ability to collect more data about their users than search engines. Thus, they can direct your marketing to specific countries, states, cities or zip codes, and target your ad audience based on current location, age, gender, income and other factors.
A Social Media Primer
On other pages I’ve written about websites that sell. If your website is your full-color glossy handbook and your virtual office, then social media are your rack cards. Here’s a rundown of the major platforms.
I recommend that you make your social media pages look like your website, to build a continuity of image. Look at a few Walmart, Costco, McDonald and Burger King buildings to see what I mean.
TripAdvisor technically isn’t social media, but it’s so important to activities that it should come before any social media marketing.
Visitors to Hawaii use TripAdvisor – a lot. They use it to find restaurants, activities, bars, car rentals… just about everything on the islands.
So having your information current, and great reviews on TripAdvisor is important. It’s good business to reply to every review in a timely manner. If it’s a bad review, apologize to the customer and tell them what you’re going to do to make it up to them, and see to it that it doesn’t happen again.
You’re never going to have 100% great reviews; there’s just no pleasing some people. But TA users know that, too. That’s why your polite response to bad reviews is important.
TA has cards and stickers that state “Review us on Trip Advisor.” Use them. The number of reviews you have on TA influences customers, too.
Advertising on Trip Advisor
I tested several six month contracts with TA for $800 a month. I can get much better response rates on other platforms. Don’t bother.
Everything I said about TripAdvisor applies to Yelp, too. Each have their own followers, so a strong presence on both is important.
Advertising on Yelp
Like TripAdvisor, I have not found ads on Yelp to be cost effective for the number of clicks I get from them.
If you only have one social media account, this is the place to have it. It’s the most used social media platform in the world.
Facebook is great for posting highlight photos of what you do, with the intent of getting people interested enough to go to your website.
Your followers on Facebook will see everything new you post on your page. This is a great way to keep involved with your existing customer base.
Advertising on Facebook
For activities, I’ve found Facebook second only to Google in effectiveness. Advertising a snorkeling boat on Google, for example, costs 50 cents per click. Faccbook clicks cost $1. The Facebook customers tended to spend a more time looking at the website, and would click through to read our TA and Yelp reviews, but in the end they were twice as likely to make a purchase.
Google clicks tended to just spend a few minutes on the website, then either buy or leave.
So I consider FB clicks to be Informed Consumers, and Google clicks to be Impulse Buyers. For most activity marketing I split my budget equally between the two.
For activities, the secret of Facebook, like Google, is to geo-fence your ads so they’re only seen by people already on Maui.
This platform has a younger user base than Facebook and Twitter. 75% of people 18-24 years old are on Instagram.
If your active buyers are in that age range, this is the place to be. These are the people that say, “Facebook is for old people.” That may be true, but they also post on FB so Grandma and Grandpa can see photos of the baby.
Selling on Instagram
In my experience this is a great platform for impulse sales. And if teens are your market, this is the place to be.
Twitter is a great platform for making short statements and linking to your website. Whenever I post on Facebook I have it automatically posted to Twitter. Great photos are the key to getting click-through.
Advertising on Twitter
People are deluged with so many Tweets on an hourly basis that I think ads get lost and ignored. I’ve been unimpressed by my click-through rates.
I recommend that anything you post on your blog and Facebook gets posted on Twitter, but I don’t spend any of my ad budget on it.
This is a great platform for building a professional reputation, finding upscale clients and finding a new job.
It’s not the place to promote an activity, or most businesses. It’s a bragging wall.
Definitely list your position at your business and anything else relevant. A good Linked In page makes you look good. But it’s not a marketing resource.
While not generally thought of as social media marketing,
these have the same marketing effect
and share a lot of features.
Social Influencers are people that have made a business of taking video of everything they do and sharing them with their followers on YouTube, Instagram, etc.
A true Influencer will have hundreds of thousands, even millions of followers, and every video they post will have a million views, often within days.
We got lucky on the snorkeling boat once. A famous young SI showed up with his girlfriend, went on a snorkel trip, had a wonderful time and gave the boat a rave review. His video had a million views within a few days. Our website traffic skyrocketed for months.
I couldn’t measure how many tickets this directly sold for us, but it was the kind of advertising money can’t buy. In some ways this is the Holy Grail of marketing.
We receive one or two letters a year from self-proclaimed Social Influencers requesting free tickets. I check them out, and if they are legitimate prolific travelers and bloggers with lots of followers and video views, I suggest the boat comp them tickets. For the afternoon charter, which rarely goes out full.
In one afternoon I produced this video from the client’s PR photos and stock photography and video clips I bought. This version has the branding removed; the branded version we published on the website has had 5,500 views.
Yes, they also have a professional, high-quality promotional video, and that’s important, too.
Quick, inexpensive video productions can bring in customers. Here’s another inexpensive quickie I produced:
YouTube now has more videos viewed every day than Netflix and Facebook combined – click for more stats.
When evaluating your social media advertising, this site will help: