R is for Reality TV: ABC’s guide to shoestring marketing

I was watching the Real Housewives of New Jersey (warning: this show is addicting!) the other day and I saw a commercial for Bravo’s new show, Start-Ups: Silicon Valley.  From Bravo.com:

Bravo Media explores the intertwining lives of a group of young entrepreneurs on the path to becoming Silicon Valley’s next great success stories on Start-Ups: Silicon Valley premiering Monday, November 5 at 10 pm ET/PT. Silicon Valley isn’t a town, a neighborhood, or a zip code. . .it’s a concept; the epicenter for the most revolutionary advances in technology and where the future of tomorrow is being created today. Sarah AustinDwight CrowKim Taylor,David Murray, and brother and sister duo, Benand Hermione Way, all have a unique perspective on the future of technology, business, and how to get ahead in the most competitive culture in the country. These driven, ambitious and highly motivated individuals are all work and all play as they blaze their own paths to become the next Silicon Valley success story. While trying to find balance amidst their complicated social network they discover that in the fast paced world of Silicon Valley success and failure can come and go with just a simple keystroke.

F is for Facebook Marketing: ABC’s guide to shoestring marketing

I recently started following the Facebook page, Facebook Marketing.  They are running a series of Facebook posts with tips to posting on Facebook.  Sound like a tongue twister?  Actually, it’s really easy and fun to engage your audience through Facebook posts.  I manage a number of Facebook Pages for businesses.  The Facebook page for TempleTown Realty just reached over 1,000 likes the other day and I’m pretty excited about it!  To celebrate, I’ve included highlights on Facebook Page publishing best practices.

Facebook Page Publishing Best Practices:

1.  Post succinct content – Posts between 100 and 250 characters (less than 3 lines of text) see about 60% more likes, comments, and shares than posts greater than 250 characters.

2.  Post photos and videos – Posts including a photo album generate about 180% more engagement, posts including a picture generate about 120% more engagement, and posts including a video generate more about 100% more engagement that the average post.

3.  Post regularly – Your fans will be more likely to engage with your content if you remain top of the mind.

4.  Ask for your fans’ opinion – Use your Page as a way to gather feedback about your products.

5.  Ask questions using Questions (a Facebook product) – This is an easy way to gather insights on ideas or products.

6.  Try posting “fill in the blank” posts – Fill-in-the-blank posts generate about 90% more engagement than the average post.

7.  Give your fans access to exclusive information – This is a way to reward your fans for liking your page.

8.  Reward your fans with deals and perks – A literal way to reward your fans for liking your page.

9.  Be timely – Your audience will be more likely to engage with your posts if you are talking about topics that are already top of mind for them, such as current events, holidays or news.  (However, I would stay away from controversial topics.)

10.  Localize your posts if they’re only relevant to a specific audience – This geo-targeting feature provided by Facebook would apply to global or national brands.

*All of the above photos and tips are from Facebook Marketing.

Lately I have been following a lot of wedding brand Facebook Pages (less than 129 days to go until my wedding day!).  A lot of them are particularly good at Facebook posting:  Colin Cowie Weddings, 2 For Couples Weddings, and Project Wedding.

ABC’s guide to shoestring marketing is a series of blog posts featuring quick, easy tips for marketing on a budget.

R is for Restaurant Week: ABC’s guide to shoestring marketing

This Sunday is the first day of Center City Restaurant Week in Philadelphia.  During Restaurant Week, participating restaurants offer three-course dinners for only $35 per person. In addition, many of the participating restaurants will also be offering a three-course lunch for $20.  It’s a great way for people to check out new restaurants and parts of the city.

An event like Restaurant Week could help your business in a couple different ways:

1.  Write a blog about Restaurant Week.  You can connect with your customers by showing how you’re involved in the community and that you keep up with trendy events in the city.  Check out this blog post I wrote for The HUB on Chestnut about Restaurant Week.

2.  Duplicate the idea.  If your business is located on a retail strip or in an area with a few scattered businesses not too far away, why not partner with your fellow business owners and put together your own Restaurant-Week-type of event.  University City District does this well with their Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll – which is a series of outdoor festivals along Baltimore Avenue where m ore than twenty-five participating businesses set up shop on their stoops to offer $1 specials, as attendees walk the streets enjoying live music, street performances, and additional vendors.

3.  Piggy-back on the event.  If your business does not have any nearby neighbors or if Restaurant Week is happening near you but you’re not a restaurant, how about find a way to incorporate your business into the event.  For example, if you’re a nail salon, you could advertise a girl’s night out package.  Your ad could say something like, “Restaurant Week means Girl’s Week Out – get 20% off all manicures during Restaurant Week.”  Or if you’re a clothing store, get playful with it and change your display window to show a “three-course outfit” – a breakfast outfit, lunch outfit, and a dinner outfit.  This is your chance to be creative!

ABC’s guide to shoestring marketing is a series of blog posts featuring quick, easy tips for marketing on a budget.

S is for Social Media: ABC’s guide to shoestring marketing

Many of you have probably already seen a version of this visual that is a short explanation of the difference between all the popular social media outlets.

Here is my slightly expanded explanation of what this visual demonstrates:

Twitter:  Allows you to quickly update your social network about what you are doing at that moment in time.

Facebook:  Allows you to share your likes and interestes with your social network.

LinkedIn:  Allows you to socially network with professionals.  You may post your resume and join professional groups as well.

Foursquare:  Allows you to share your current location with your social network.  Many locations reward users with deals/coupons for sharing their “check-in” with their social network.

YouTube:  Allows you to share videos with the world.

Instagram:  Allows you to take and artistically edit photos to share with your social networks.

Pinterest:  Allows you to share bookmarks with your social network in the form of an inspiration board display.

Google+:  Yeah, still don’t understand this either.  I have successfully used this a few times to view “private” photo albums that my friends have shared with me.

Last.fm:  Haven’t had any experience with Last.fm.  I prefer Pandora.  I know other people like Spotify.

ABC’s guide to shoestring marketing is a series of blog posts featuring quick, easy tips for marketing on a budget.

C is for Content Strategy: ABC’s guide to shoestring marketing

William Way Community Center, a non-profit in Philadelphia, was the recent recipient of $20,000 worth of consulting, applications and programs to help their website run more efficienty and optimized from SEER Interactive.  For a sneak peak into what they learned from SEO experts, check out the slideshow above!

For more information on this project, check out this article in Flying Kite.

This slideshow just reconfirms how important website content is to building a strong online presence and following.  Website content should be informative, relevant, and interesting.

ABC’s guide to shoestring marketing is a series of blog posts featuring quick, easy tips for marketing on a budget.