Many who were working before the pandemic are choosing to put a pause on returning to the workforce full time combined with the temporary halt of immigration due to Covid-19 also caused a dip in the labor pool. Another reason is just simple demographics. Our baby boomer population is aging and most have moved into retirement age or have choose to retire early.
The lack of a workforce for businesses is causing burnt out staff, reduced holidays, cancelled orders and in some case loss of business when they cant operate during the intended hours that they would normally. Throw in the pandemic over the last year and a half and the mix is almost impossible for some businesses to keep their doors open.
What can you do on social media? Employer branding is more important than ever during this time. In fact 68% of Millennial’s, 54% of Gen-Xers, and 48% of Boomers indicated they visit an employer’s social media properties specifically to evaluate the employer’s brand. Ensure that your company is present on social media profiles that will attract job seekers. As an employer we all like to glance at a potential employees LinkedIn profile. As a company you should be present on the profile and going beyond that as well with Facebook and Instagram.
Using social media apps to share behind the scenes in your business and workplace fun is a great way to share with potential applicants what a great workplace that you do have. Consider speaking with your employees and letting them share on social media what they love about working within your company. If you truly have a great culture then they will want to speak about it.
Visuals are essential when it comes to online attention. It is important to understand though that you cannot use just any image that you Google online. So how do you find great images to add to your blog posts and social media posts? Thanks to thousands of stunning free stock photos for you to use in your websites and projects – many of them without attribution. Here are some great ways to find beautiful images for FREE!
Unsplash provides some of the most high-quality collections of photos online. There are over a million stunning photos from contributors all over the world that give access to royalty-free images with unlimited free downloads. Unsplash even has an iOS app, so that you can download pictures to your iPhone or iPad. There are also no ads on the site which makes it easier for viewing.
Pexels provides high quality and completely free stock photos licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. They have a large variety of images and videos. When you download an image from Pexels you can choose the size of the image and. This large stock photo site with have many ads for Shutterstock, iStock, and more.
Pixabay is one of the largest free stock photo sites online. One of the advantages Pixabay has is they offer free vectors and illustrations in addition to photos and videos. You can choose from various types of resolutions before you download your image. Pixabay also has many links to paid sites such as iStock and Shutterstock which can cause complications when viewing photos.
Kaboompics is one of the most popular sources of free images for lifestyle, interior design, and specialized bloggers. With their search engine, you can not only search by keywords but also choose the main color scheme of the image that you would like. The photos are layaed out nicely and edited to perfection.
For fun, quirky images check out Gratisography. They have a creative collection of free downloadable images with a fun and unusual spin to them. Their interesting images are great for social media posts and blog images when you want to capture attention. This website doesn’t have a large selection of photos but good for when you are looking for something different or “whimsical.”
Adobe Stock is an excellent source of images, vectors, videos, and more. This is a paid site however you can sign up for a free one month trial where you will receive 10 free images on their trial before charging. As a marketing or social media manager, this website is excellent for creating marketing materials and other designs. The high-quality vectors and illustrations are also available in .eps formats.
This is one of my hidden faves! The Ivory Mix photo library has a great selection of stock photos for bloggers. The owner creates and takes her own image to make beautiful layouts in all colors and styles. Ivory Mix has the option of a paid membership but you can also sign up for a free Ivory Mix account. This will give you access to over 500 free styled stock photos, weekly tips, and bonus monthly stock photos that are always on season for that given month.
While there is not a large selection on this website if you are looking for a historic black and white photo you can find them here. They are vintage photos from the public archives and are free of known copyright restrictions.
PicJumbo started this free stock photo site for bloggers and designers around the world. It is a great resource for free photos that provide a business stock photo feel and not just for trendy photos. Photos are high quality however watch out for the swarm of ads that are on the site. This is inevitable of most sites that provide free value and resources.
Starting as a collection of photos from photographers over the course of 10 years and now has a large collection and millions of downloads. Photos are great for websites, social media, and ebooks and separated into themes. The Huffington Post and CNN even use SplitShire for photos sometimes.
This stock site is packed with Foodie Friendly photos. It has highly visually appealing free food photos in high resolution that are great for websites, blogs, and social media. FoodiesFeed started with a single photographer who wanted to share his food photography for free and has now grown with many contributors sharing their food art photos to the site.
Not only is Canva a free tool to build gorgeous social media and marketing material, but there is also a section for free stock photos that can be inputted into your designs. Canva provides professional looking and easy to use templates for social media graphics, presentations, ebooks, videos, and more.
Looking for more great tools to help fast track your strategy? The Online Toolbox for Digital Marketing and much more is included in the Marketing Biz Bundle. An entire strategy template with all of the resources, checklists, and content planning calendars that you need to get started or build upon your current strategy.
Yes, it’s true the Facebook game has been getting harder! A few years ago it was much easier to get results to your Facebook Page. In fact, all profiles and sites were created equal showing you the content that was published most recently at the top of the page. This game has changed and the algorithm is the deciding factor of who gets their content shown more. However, how can we blame them? There is more content than prime space making news feed real estate more competitive than ever. Facebook continues to make the platform more friendly and personalized for the user, showing content that peaks their specific interests. So how do you increase traffic to your Facebook Business Page?
Do you need to invest in Facebook ads or continue to rely on organic traffic? Facebook ads are great for a quick return but not everyone has the budget and the process in place for Facebook Ads. When you start to run ads to cold traffic it can eat up a budget quickly. If you can bring in more traffic from organic sources you can further down the line invest in paid traffic. Let’s take a look at a few methods of gaining organic Facebook Traffic.
Post At The Right Time
There is a reason why the rush hour radio ad time slots cost more. Well luckily with social media we don’t pay more to post at a prime time. If you post during prime time. There are some rules of thumb such as 7-9 pm and 12 pm-1 pm that typically shows spikes however the best way to determine your audience’s prime time is to look at your own data. In your “Facebook Insights” tab under “Posts,” there is a section that shows the engagement for each day of the week as well as the reach for each hour of the day. This will help you to determine when to schedule your posts.
Avoid Engagement Baiting
When we talk about engagement baiting we mean posting as then asking your audience to like, comment, share. Facebook did make a decision to decrease rankings with these types of posts. With enough craft though you can reword your posts to inspire others to comment without using keywords that Facebook may bump your post down.
For example instead of saying:
“Here is Andrea enjoying her favorite flavor, the mint chocolate chip. like and comment with your favorite flavor.”
Use this version instead:
“We have a variety of amazing flavors. Andrea one of our power scoopers can’t stay away from the mint chocolate chip. Which flavor makes your taste buds dance?
Never Use Clickbait Material
Clickbait content tends to withhold information or create misleading titles pertaining to the actual content on the other side. Always make sure that your title, subtitle, and article all have common titles and end goals of what the user will be sent to. Creating a link that misleads your audience will likely deter them from visiting your page again.
Get your hands on this Facebook Ads Cheat Sheet – Included in the Marketing Biz Bundle only $47 USD. Get 25% off with code BUNDLE25.
Use Link Posts
A link post uses the photo in the link instead of uploading a photo or video and adding a link. Link posts will show a preview of the page that they will click on with image, heading, and subtitle. This is much more comforting to click on than a foreign link, especially if you have used a URL shortener.
Reach out to those in the article
If you are mentioning other businesses in your article you can tag them through the Facebook Post. If you currently have a lack of sharing it could just be that others are unaware that your content is there. Once they see it, especially when shining light on their business in a positive way it can be reshared easily. The number of shares from other accounts can lead to an explosion of organic growth.
Upload Videos Direct To Facebook
According to a Quintly Study videos that are directly uploaded to Facebook show an average 168% higher than for YouTube or Vimeo video links. This could partly be due to the fact that Facebook Native Video Uploads play directly in the feed and do not require another link click and upload outside of Facebook making them much simpler to view.
Reach out for Contributors
More often is not always better when it comes to posting on Facebook. If you are struggling to get content out on daily, it may be more efficient to go for fewer posts that provide more value instead of throwing content out for the sake of it. Consider going with quality over quantity. A helpful article or post a couple of times a week will have readers diving into your posts and engaging with them much more if they are helpful.
Run a Giveaway
Running a giveaway can help increase your organic Facebook reach. It can result in more likes, shares, and of course, follows of your page. While asking others to share your post in order to be entered is against Facebook rules, you can always ask them to, for example, says “consider sharing this contest for your friends and family to enter now. ” There is the cost of the prize that will be offered, however, if you have a juicy prize and a sense of urgency to enter the campaign it will be sure to bring in a crowd of contestants which results in more attention to your page. Do remember to state the rules clearly and follow all guidelines from Facebook when running your contest.
When it comes to Social Media Marketing and COVID19 I wish I could give you a handbook, a take-home method to just propel your marketing and social media into a full success.
I would call it “The Social Media Posting Guideline during a Pandemic.”
The reality is it doesn’t exist and even more, unfortunately, this deadly virus is not leaving anytime soon. Businesses are down across the board. Some are up. For example, those selling food, toiletries, media, and fitness equipment are seeing rocket high stats, and those sites selling travel, luxury items, and real estate saw record high plummets.
Is this the new norm? We don’t really know. All that I know is that we cannot dwell on what we can’t do right now as business owners and marketers, but what we CAN do is pivot in a way to make the best of it and come through with our heads held as high as we can. We do know that users are online more now than ever, and digital presence should continue, as your audience will want to hear from you.
Focus on Their Current Needs
Situations have changed and therefore the way we approach our audience should change to the situation. Start with updating your audience on your current response to the crisis. How things may have changed for your business or what you are doing for the community. Next focus on their current needs and situation. Are they working from home and frustrated with time management? Are they trying to stay fit during this time? Do they need reassurance about the future? It’s ok to talk about the current pandemic and address what is going on. You might start off with a line such as:
“Need something to keep the kids busy while you are working from home?”
“It’s ok to not feel ok during this time. COVID-19 has affected us in so many different ways, especially those that are alone.”
Also, it goes without saying that images speak louder than most words. When it comes to marketing the use of images should be relatable to the user. Stick with what’s relevant during this time and avoid photos of large gatherings, people holding hands, etc.
Don’t Be a Salesman
We understand that sales are the bottom line of your business to survive, but this might not be the best time to throw out aggressive sales pitches for your products and services. There are more people out there just not ready to buy at the moment. Take a back seat when it comes to your business’s needs and focus on them, meaning your customers and audience. This means engaging your audience, bringing to light their problems, and how you can solve them is a great way to enlighten your audience. Heck, why not even throw them a freebie by hosting a contest. Not only can you give back to someone this way, but you can also actually gain following by throwing a few freebies their way.
Many experts believe the economy will continue to crash and we go into a deeper recession. Unfortunately and very sadly many businesses will close their doors. As fewer companies use paid to advertise such as Google and Facebook Ads, there is less competition for ad spots which normally drives the CPC (Cost Per Click) up. Less inventory and increased web traffic mean cheaper ads.
Nielson is seeing a 60% increase in the amount of content users watch during this pandemic, resulting in a larger number of people at home on a regular basis. This means even if your business is closed you can focus on business retention. Keep users aware of your brand. Consider increasing your brand awareness by testing new paid advertising when it comes to Targeted Facebook Ads with a small budget. According to eMarketer Facebook saw an increase of 70% increase in usage of all of its apps in the month of March.
Facebook Offer Ads
Many people are not ready to purchase today, or even in the near future. However, there is still a method to reach potential customers with savings. Facebook Offer Ads allow users to view certain offers and save for a later date by opting into Facebook’s notification system. It will send a push reminding them about the saved promotion. Offer ads are not available on Instagram, only Facebook.
Don’t forget to change the settings on your Google listing, in the case that your storefront is closed or hours may have been reduced. Remember to Choose the “Temporarily Closed” and not the “Permanently Closed,” as well as the hours of operation. You can also update the network through a post option to explain how your services have changed temporarily.
Importantly, don’t forget to adjust any current campaigns that you have running on social media that may include content that is simply not a good fit at this time. Minding your tone can help you save face in the long term. You would not want to make an insensitive mistake at this time. Let’s all work together to be empathetic, compassionate, and just kind to everyone!
Want your business to show up so local customers can find you? The key is to prioritize local SEO with Google Maps. Local SEO is the act of optimizing a local business so that it ranks for local keywords such as “Dentists in Seattle.” In fact, 46% of search queries have local intent, and “near me” searches continue to grow in popularity. Google Maps account is one of the main factors for ranking locally. Everyone strives to rank in the top three of local listings also known as the “The 3 Pack.” That is the first three results that show in both the Google Maps and the maps listings with local. When you click the “more place” icon below it, of course, you will get a list of all options.
Google Maps (Formerly known as Google Places) is managed through the Google My Business platforms which allow businesses to manage their presence through Google. If you are a local business, with a physical location it is essential to have your business listed. Besides your websites, it is one of the first platforms I recommend that businesses get listed on. Maps listings are the first to show even in an organic Google Search. This means that if customers in your area are searching for your type of business, it can potentially show above all organic results and videos in Google Search.
Google Maps Setup
Setup and verification take just a few simple steps and is done through Google My Business.
Head over to business.google.com and sign in to the Gmail account that you will associate with your business. Once you are in you will either choose the “Add Location” or Google will bring you directly to the create section for a new account. You have the option to search and locate your business name and if not listed, click on the “Add your Business to Google” option. Then follow the steps that you are taken through in order to get more information about your business. It will ask for the category, location address, phone number, website, etc. For your business’s Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) ensure that it is relevant across all citations and directories. Copy and paste this information so that everything lines up according to “Street vs. St.” or “New York vs. NY” etc.
When it comes to categories there will only be one main service category to choose from a list of Google’s set categories. However, in addition to the main category, you can add more information in the additional subcategories and in the description section. This section allows for 750 characters of quality information about your business. Using keywords that are relevant to your local area and business products or services will help you rank higher in the local map listings.
Google Map Verification
Verification can be done via mail or in some cases phone or text messages where you receive a phone call to your business’s local number that is listed.
If your verification is done via mail, once you receive the postcard from Google you will take the code that is inside and enter it into the verification box in your Google My Business listing. It will then take from 24-48 hours to verify your listing on Google. It will need to be verified in order to show in the feed.
You can look up your business to see if it is claimed. If it is not you will want to claim it. Search your business and in the results look directly to the right of the “Suggest an edit” link, and if you don’t see a second link called “Own this business?” then your GMB listing is verified. If you see that second link “Own this business?”, then your Google Listing is not verified in Google Maps.
If your business is still not showing it may be because it lacks location authority. In order to achieve more authority on your business listings, you can do a few things to keep your rankings up:
Add more keywords that describe your products and services. Most people do not necessarily search for your business, they are searching for their needs so by adding keywords that will be searched for you can increase your chance of ranking for those search queries.
Do not use a tracked phone number if possible as you will likely get a Toll Free number and Google prefers local numbers versus 1-800 numbers that are typically used for spam.
Add photos to your profile. Listings that do not have a photo will only show a generic map photo.
Keep business hours updated. A business that is open is best!
Use Schema Markup with your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number). Schema language adopted Google, Yahoo, and Bing make it easier to determine certain data sets within web pages. It basically creates an enhanced description for search engines so it is a heck of a lot more desirable for search engines to find your business. It is also known as direct data and can majorly help with local SEO. By wrapping your NAP in Schema, you can send notify Google and other search engines about the relevance and authority of your business.
Add Your NAP to the Meta Data of your home page. Since you will have your website attached to your Google Maps listing your listing Google will also be looking at your site. In the back end of your homepage if you have a plugin such as Yoast SEO enabled you can add your Business Name, Category of Services, and of course city, address, and phone number.
Ask for Google Reviews.
Google favors listings with 5-star reviews. It also shows trustworthiness when it comes to the products or services that you provide. Once your Google My Business account is verified and your Map is visible in local listings you can start to ask for Google Reviews. Reviews help your local maps listings rank above others in addition to a properly completed profile.
Getting reviews from customers can be tricky. Make sure to obtain the link to your Google Review Form and go to your Google Maps listing. Click “more information” and copy the direct link you find there. Share this link via social media and email to encourage reviews.
When emailing customers about their experience with a business I like to add a blurb about their service that gives the option of positive or negative feedback. Positive feedback leads to the Google Review Page. Negative reviews lead to a contact page or an email to make further inquiries or discuss the situation. This keeps an unhappy customer from heading to your review page and offline.
It is important to know that if you have a new business and a new listing that it will take time overall. These tactics, however, can help the speed of the process and have your business listed within the map results. If you have any questions or know of any tactics that have helped you with your Google Listing, leave a comment in the section below!
Do you want a template that covers local SEO and all digital marketing strategies? Fast Track Your Success with the Marketing Biz Bundle. An entire strategy template with all of the resources, checklists, and content planning calendars that you need to get started or build upon your current strategy.
Hey there I’m Annelise. I am a digital guru and lover of all things social! I work with businesses and other social managers to create strategies that convert online. I also provide resources and templates for those who want guidance with their marketing strategy. At the end of the day I am passionate about connecting with more than just accounts – but people!