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How to make Website, Social Media, and Brick-and-Mortar work together

Here at Komaya, we strongly promote holistic living, balance, and synchronicity. These approaches to a happy and stress-managed life are well adapted from your personal life to your business career. It’s safe to say that when all the moving parts are optimized and working as they should, then the machine will run smoothly. But, what if we also managed to have all those working parts complement each other and elevate the machine as a whole? That’s what we are going to achieve here. Let’s buckle up and synergize our business by making our website, social media, and brick-and-mortar store work in tandem.

How can I make my Website, Social Media, and Brick-and-Mortar work together?

Continuity

Continuity is probably the easiest factor to achieve from the beginning, and the most fun to plan. It’s the first thing that customers subconsciously recognize when visiting all of your active platforms. What I mean by this, is that all your platforms need to use similar design elements and resemble each other.

Whether a customer walks into your store, visits your website, or is browsing your Instagram, they need to know that they are in the right place.

It’s always bad business practice if the customer is second guessing if they are looking at the right company. A simple way to achieve this is to choose your company’s signature colors. Make sure that the combination makes sense for your product or service and that you aren’t randomly selecting things you feel look good together. Blue may be your favorite color, but this is about your brand and not your personality. Be sure to consider that there are certain colors that make sense for certain concepts, that already trigger recognition with customers. For example, green is often used to symbolize something healthy or environmentally friendly. After you’ve selected the perfect colors, find their Pantone color match. Doing so ensures that each color has a specific code attached to it, and you’ll always be able to match your exact colors in the future, regardless of who you end up working with on your graphics or brand. Be sure to use the same decision-making process when it comes to shapes or motifs, and of course, your logo!!

Cross Promotion

Not everyone engages with your business in the same way. Some may find you on the internet first, others may wander into your store one sunny day. In whichever manner this first interaction is made, take the opportunity to show some of your other channels some love. If the customer comes into the store, hand them a business card and encourage them to post pictures on social media and tag you in them. (Hint: maybe provide an Insta-worthy scene just beckoning for the perfect selfie!)

If your customer sees your website first, provide pictures of the store and your products or representations of your service. If you sell items on your site, offer in-store pickup as an alternative to shipping so that the customer can save some money while you drive traffic back to your brick-and-mortar.

You should consider using consistent images across your website, social media channels, and in your storefront. You can also include a social media share button on each of these pictures.

Even if a potential customer doesn’t want to buy an item, they may think it’s cool enough to share it with their friends. Social media share-buttons have been a successful trend for many businesses and increase your marketing reach without you having to spend a dime.

Social Media cross-promotion can, unfortunately, be a little more complex, but fortunately– there’s an app for that! Most social media sites have been around long enough that they link with other platforms. You may have a Facebook page that will automatically share posts to Instagram and Twitter. It may be really tempting for you to set things to automatically post in this way, but unfortunately, it’s not the most professional way to do it. Many of these sites have different configurations. For example, Facebook has an unlimited character limit while Twitter caps you at 280 characters. Instagram’s preferred photo size is larger than that of Facebook So, what ends up happening is that your posts and pictures can be cut off, which is not good for anyone.

Our suggestion is to use a 3rd party coordinator. Many of them are free for the first couple of accounts added, and some charge a fee– but it’s well worth it for the convenience and scheduling across many platforms. They can even post to your Yelp account, LinkedIn, or your website. You can check out the popular sites: HootSuite, Sprout, Buffer, or Social Report. These coordinating websites allow you to predesign and schedule posts across all your channels but they do them separately in order to utilize the best metrics or Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for each. Another benefit to using these platforms is that you can work on multiple posts at a time, so you can take care of a few days and then not touch it, giving you plenty of time to focus elsewhere. This allows you to not fall into a social-media rabbit hole and keeps you focused on all your areas of business in a balanced and holistic manner.

Universal Change and Maintenance

Lastly, it is important that whatever information, promotion, or event you want customers to know about is available everywhere. When you decide to run a sale, for instance, you don’t just put a “Sale” sign out in front of your store. Only people walking by would know about it! There is a process that needs to be built up across all platforms working together. First, the sign goes out in front of the store, and you mark your prices down both in-store and online. Next, you might create a banner for your website that promotes the sale and make it shareable. Take a picture of the sale sign or create a fun and complementary graphic for your social media linking people back your website, and so on. It is important to always add and remove information together because the worst thing that we can do is confuse our customers. Our purpose is to make things as easy and accessible as possible.

You now have the tools to make your business channels more productive than ever. Go forth and see how much smoother your machine will operate.

Why Social Media is Changing Buying Decisions

In 2017, one report by Deloitte, according to Forbes magazine, found that 47% of all Millennials said that their purchase decisions were influenced by social media. Additionally, customers who include social media as part of their shopping process are four times more likely to spend money on purchases, and 29% more likely to be impulse buyers when using social media for purchasing decisions.

The ODM group lists the number much higher, at around 74% of consumers affected by social media to inform their purchasing decisions.

Regardless of the exact statistics or study that you choose to follow, it is obvious that it has become more important than ever for companies to get on the social media bandwagon.  Because it’s always important to know the how and why of anything, we have taken a look at why this is happening.

Why is social media changing buying decisions? Here are a few possible reasons to consider:

  1. Social Media allows you to read reviews from people you know — Anyone can go on a review site like Yelp and read and write reviews for popular businesses in your area.  However, social media allows you to read reviews from people you know. This makes a review much more potent because not only do you know that it’s a real person who left it, but you know the person, so you have an idea of how credible the person is.  It also shows you mutual friends in common with the reviewer, so even if the reviewer is not someone you know you’ll be able to see the mutual connections that may link you to that person.
  2. Social Media allows you to ask opinions of hundreds of people at the same time — It was one thing to call (or text) your friends or relatives to get an opinion on the best dry cleaner or dentist in town, but now you can literally post a status update that will reach your entire friend list within seconds. It makes acquiring business recommendations extremely easy (especially with Facebook’s new “recommendations” feature that will even lay them out for you on a map of your area).
  3. Social Media allows you to communicate with the actual brains behind a brand — Everyone was shocked when they joined MySpace and instantly became “friends” with MySpace creator, Tom.  Now, social media allows you to communicate with actual CEOs of major corporations.  You can tweet or retweet the founder of your favorite company, and you might even get a response!
  4. Social Media is completely interactive —  You can also interact with your favorite brands on a daily basis.  Twenty years ago, you could drop your business card in a fishbowl and maybe you’d win a prize, but other than that— you probably didn’t have much interaction with certain businesses.  Now, you can enter contests and comment on photographs that are appealing to you.  You can even engage with other customers about certain products and your mutual likes and dislikes.

Engaging Social Media

Today’s business is built on awareness, trust, and confidence. It’s important to be present with and responsive to your clients.  Social media is an increasingly important way for businesses to connect with people. It plays a significant role in purchasing decisions, and many people prefer to use social media to communicate with a business. With all of that said, it is so important that your social media remain engaging, as well as consistently updated. Having a social media plan should be an integral part of your marketing strategy to build your web presence.

A Holistic Approach to Having an Effective Web Presence

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I have a holistic healer and she often reminds me that I need balance in my life.  In her eyes, it wouldn’t do me any good to eat terribly and then just scarf down antacids, or to work out every single day only to eat piles of junk food.  It’s much better to do everything in moderation, develop healthy diet and exercise habits that I can maintain every day, and also to do yoga and spiritual growth exercises that make me happy.  Plus, time with friends and family is ideal, and everyone needs to curl up in a blanket, watch a movie, and hit the recharge button every now and again. Being holistic is really just about being whole — it’s focusing on the entire picture and not just on what is going wrong or right.

A Holistic Approach

The same is true for your web presence.  At Komaya, we see a lot of companies that want to hit social media really hard or run a really strong Facebook ad.  We sometimes see CEOs that think blogging with keywords is the way to go or would bet money that their SEO strategy is the best in the country.  The problem sometimes with tunnel vision is that you can often lose sight of the bigger picture.  You can also end up focusing so much on one thing that you have to work really hard in the future to right a different wrong.  Back to our health and wellness example, rather than eating 12 doughnuts and having to hit the gym twice as hard the following day, wouldn’t it just be better to only eat one doughnut and go to the gym for a half of an hour in the first place?

When you’re working on your web presence, and the strategy for it, you need to remember that a holistic approach is always the best one.

By taking a step back and looking at the larger picture, your business will be healthier overall.  We like to remind clients to do this by concentrating on SEO, website, and social media.   In the long run, these things will all feed one another as well, and they need each other for long-term success.

As another true-life example, let’s look at it this way.  Let’s suppose you wanted to buy a very specific kind of potato chip dip and you needed it for a party tonight.  You probably would first go to social media, and ask if anyone knows of any recommendations (because after all, you’re not really sure what it’s called or what you’re looking for).  Someone probably tells you that the brand is called Best Dip.  You then might go to Google (or another search engine) and type in “brand + potato chips + your zip code” or something similar.  The search results say that Star Mart has your product.  You then go to the Star Mart website, you see via their online catalog that the product is there, and then you use maps to find out exactly where that store is.    You may even revert back to social media to ask if anyone has any tips on how to get there exactly or where you can find street parking.

The point of the above story is that in this case if there wasn’t a social media listing for Star Mart or Best Dip, you would have been out of luck.  If Star Mart hadn’t used the keywords Best Dip + potato chip + some relevant zip codes, you would not have known they sold your product.  And had there not been a maps or Yellow Pages listing, you might not have found the store.    Everything works together, and it is vital that you have a combination of all of the things to make your brand successful.

A Powerful Web Presence

Without social media, you’re unable to receive real-life reviews of your product, and you’re also unable to communicate or interact with your customers.   Without a website, you’re unable to sell your product (because people can’t truly buy via social media).  Without SEO, you’re unable to let people find your product.  Without blogging, you’re unable to explain your product.  And without all of these things, working together in perfect harmony, your product has a much lower chance of success.

For more information on creating a holistic and powerful web presence and how best to achieve it, contact us today.

Five Tips to Make Your Social Media Extra Engaging

With Christmas approaching, businesses large and small all around the country are trying their best to attract sales, in whatever ways possible.  Most companies have (by this point) figured out that giants like amazon.com are destroying smaller brick-and-mortars (and even other large corporations), and the major difference (and the way that Amazon has been able to succeed) is by having an extremely strong online presence.

While reading this post may inspire you to pop open your laptop and start lighting up your social media accounts immediately, you might want to think about that for just a minute. There’s a difference between quantity and quality of posting in the social media world, and if you’ve ever blocked or removed someone for posting excessive requests for you to buy things, or for sending too much spam e-mail, for instance, you probably realize that there’s a fine line between marketing and annoying your customer base.

So how then, do you make your social media work for you?  The clear and simple answer is to be engaging.  It’s not about the number of posts or even when or how you post, it’s about how often customers are engaging with you. To be clear, this doesn’t mean that they’re just viewing your post, but that they are liking it, commenting it, and even (the best one of all), sharing your post with others.  Engagement, or the act of interacting with content, is the holy grail of the social media marketing world.

With that said, here are five tips to make your social media extra engaging:

  1. Create unique content that’s relevant   —  We all don’t have the time to write a new blog each week or several social media posts each day, and many have figured out that there’s plenty of good and relevant content available from the New York Times or even BuzzFeed to supplement your social media feed.  Tread carefully, because even though that content is available and possibly even relevant, it doesn’t mean you should share non-unique content all the time.  It’s a good rule of thumb to make every 3rd or 4th post 100% original.  Otherwise, people are just going to go elsewhere for their content and products and not even bother with you at all, and your interaction and engagement numbers (not to mention your analytics and algorithms) are going to plummet, which is the opposite of what you want.
  1. Use videos wherever possible — Do you watch cooking shows?  Probably not that often anymore, and the reason for that is that recipe videos on social media have seen record trends this year. Why spend an hour watching a television show to get one recipe when you can spend two minutes and watch a funny character make the item right in front of you, and it’s edited for time. You can even mute the video and watch it at work, thanks to the text that now overlays most videos on social media for that very reason. People respond more to videos and all of the top trending sites know that.  Bonus points if you are able to go live, as Facebook and other social media platforms are pushing live videos over previously recorded ones.
  1. young ladies holding sale signs depicting make your social media extra engagingA picture is worth a thousand words — Pictures are incredibly effective at showcasing products, feelings, quotes, and even reviews of your product. Rather than writing something in text, try to overlay the text over a beautiful graphic for your post.   Or just use a picture that states everything without words.  Just make sure that your picture is in focus, not too dark, and that it’s obvious what it’s trying to portray.  If you don’t have someone to edit and produce your graphics for you, try looking into a program like Canva or Easel.ly to help you out.
  1. Games and giveaways are not to be forgotten — Last year I won a free haircut and color by guessing how many foil wrappers were in a hairstylist’s picture.  I would have never known about her if not for the post going viral because everyone kept sharing it and commenting on it, hoping to win. Additionally, she picked up a lifelong customer, because I’ve been going to that hairdresser ever since.
  1. Keep posting schedules consistent — LuLaRoe is a brand that has achieved super-fast growth by using a multi-sales consultant strategy, but additionally, they’ve given their consultants amazing social media training. One of the things that LuLaRoe is famous for is by establishing schedules for when individual consultants will do things.  You know, for example, that Monday will be a live event, Tuesday will be an album shopping event, Wednesday is the day when you can request an outfit, Thursdays are for giveaways, Fridays new clothing arrives, and Saturday is for the football pool.  By keeping posts consistent, customers know to check on certain days for certain things and will check often and on a set schedule, which is perfect for you to be able to cater to them.  There’s nothing better than knowing that a particular customer will visit your website on a certain date and time.  It’s almost like having a crystal ball into your company’s future.

There’s no set way that works for one person, so definitely explore your analytics and software programs and find what works for you. It’s easy to look and see which posts are getting liked and shared and which ones aren’t, but it definitely can get confusing if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Certainly, companies like Komaya are here to help you figure out what your numbers mean and what you can do to build engagement and therefore, sales, for a better and brighter future.

Which Social Media Channels Are Right for Your Business?

A brand’s online presence can be the key to putting it ahead of competitors. The hard part is figuring out which social media channels to utilize and which to let go of. Anyone who has been in charge of a company’s social media channels knows the daunting task it can be to keep all of those followers happy across many different channels. No one wants to waste money, time, or resources posting to an audience that either isn’t there or isn’t paying attention.

This article can help you figure out which social media channels to focus on, and which to put on the back burner. It is important that whichever channels your brand does choose to go forward with, that they are posted on at the right frequency and not neglected. If you find there are channels that are not producing the desired engagement, you can do a little digging into what your audience is most interested in and adjust your content accordingly.

Facebook icon in a circle Facebook

  • The gist: Connect with friends, family and other people you know. Share photos and videos, send messages and get updates.
  • Who should use it: Everyone – from individuals to large multi-national corporations.
  • What to share: Anything and everything, but remember to use discretion. Facebook allows you to publish posts, photos, videos, articles, web links and more. Use analytics tools and set a schedule to ensure you are optimizing your posts.
  • Posting frequency: At least once a day.
  • Scheduling tools: One of the (many) great things about Facebook is that it has its own scheduling tool built in. With a business page, you are able to schedule out posts for weeks in advance.
  • Pro tip: Facebook makes advertising simple. You can instantly get a message out to your desired audience with just a few clicks. For more information on advertising options, click here.

Click here to sign up for a Facebook account.

 

Twitter icon in a circle Twitter

  • The gist: See what’s happening in the world right now. From breaking news and entertainment, sports, and politics, to big events and everyday interests.
  • Who should use it: Everyone – from individuals to large multi-national corporations
  • What to share: Updates (promotions, sales, new products, industry trends, etc.), photos, videos, links to websites or blogs. Just remember to stay within that 140 character limit!
  • Posting frequency: You can post as little as a few times a week. But to use Twitter optimally, you will want to be tweeting multiple times a day to keep your account noticeable on consumers timelines. Experts recommend tweeting 3-5 times a day.
  • Scheduling tools: Like Facebook, Twitter has a built in scheduling tool. By going to tweetdeck.twitter.com, you are able to schedule out posts as far in advance as you would like. Even better, if you are managing multiple different Twitter accounts, TweetDeck allows them all to be available on a single dashboard.
  • Pro tip: Since your tweets are limited to 140 characters, adding links can be tricky as they are often lengthy. Bitly is a great (and free!) resource that shortens links to only 20 characters. Additionally, the free service tracks the analytical information of each link it produces. Bitly can tell you how many clicks a link has received, through what medium the link was accessed, and where the links audience is located geographically.

Click here to sign up for a Twitter account.

 

Instagram icon in a circle Instagram

  • The gist: A simple, fun and creative way to capture, edit and share photos, videos, and messages with friends and family.
  • Who should use it: Lifestyle, food, fashion and luxury brands.
  • What to share: Photos from travels, products, quotes, food dishes etc. There is no limit to what content you can post!
  • Posting frequency: Post 1-2 times a day to ensure you don’t under or overwhelm your audience. Finding that perfect balance between consistency and moderation is key to your brand’s success on this platform.
  • Scheduling tools: HootSuite, Buffer, OnlypultLater and Tailwind all offer an Instagram scheduling tool. However, these platforms are differentiated by the additional services they provide so be sure to do your research to figure out which will most benefit your business.
  • Pro tip: Find your “visual voice.” Check out this article for simple tips that will keep your feed looking clean and cohesive.

Click here to sign up for an Instagram account.

 

Snapchat icon in a circle Snapchat

  • The gist: Easily talk with friends, view live stories from around the world and explore news in Discover. Life’s more fun when you live in the moment!
  • Who should use it: Snapchat is a social media platform with a younger demographic. It is estimated that 60% of all users are under the age of 24. Businesses who seek to target millennials should absolutely try to use this easy, free channel to their advantage.
  • What to share: Try to come up with unique content. Offer sneak peeks, interviews, new collections – whatever will keep your audience interested and watching your stories.
  • Posting frequency: You will want to post daily stories if you have the time and content to do so. This way, your brand can be on the minds of consumers daily.
  • Scheduling tools: Snaplytics offers a scheduling tool along with analytics, competitor analysis, and other resources.
  • Pro tip: You are able to have multiple phones logged in to one account, so multiple users can post content. This will offer different perspectives and can keep content interesting and fresh!

Click here to sign up for a Snapchat account.

 

Pinterest icon in a circle Pinterest

  • The gist: The world’s catalog of ideas. Find and save recipes, parenting hacks, style inspiration and other ideas to try!
  • Who should use it: Lifestyle, food, fashion, design, travel, and luxury brands should be on Pinterest. Female-focused companies should pay special attention to this medium because Pinterest primarily reaches young and middle aged women.
  • What to share: Use attention getting images to drive traffic to your website or other social media platforms. You can also share articles and blog posts.
  • Posting frequency: It is recommended that users pin about 3 times a day for optimization.
  • Scheduling tools: There are a plethora of scheduling tools for Pinterest, but one seems to come out on top. Tailwind is considered to be the best among pinners because of its comprehensive, easy-to-use scheduling.
  • Pro tip: Check out content before you repin it. You don’t want to share broken links or irrelevant content with your followers.

Click here to sign up for a Pinterest account.

 

Google Plus icon in a circle Google+

  • The gist: Discover amazing things created by passionate people. Explore your interests, join communities of people around any topic, group things you love into collections, and build a home stream filled with content relevant to you.
  • Who should use it: If you are a small to medium sized business trying to sell a product or service, Google+ is an opportunity you shouldn’t pass up. This is because as soon as you post on your Google Plus for Business page, your content is indexed and will rank in search results. This is an easy way to improve SEO for your brand.
  • What to share: You are able to post statuses, photos, videos, links, and events.
  • Posting frequency: You will want to post on Google+ at least once a day. By doing so, you can help drive traffic to your website and other forms of social media.
  • Scheduling tools: HootSuite is known by many to be the best scheduling tool available for Google+.
  • Pro tip: In order to set up this type of account, you are first required to create an account with Google which will provide you a universal login to a plethora of services including but not limited to Gmail, Google Docs, GoogleDrive, and YouTube.

Click here to sign up for a Google+ account.

 

LinkedIn icon in a circle LinkedIn

  • The gist: Manage your professional identity. Build and engage with your professional network. Access knowledge, insights, and opportunities.
  • Who should use it: Businesses, job seekers, and recruiters.
  • What to share: Company updates, news, events and articles are all good content to post to your LinkedIn account.
  • Posting frequency: Post once per day on work days. So approximately 20 times a month.
  • Scheduling tools: There aren’t any spectacular scheduling tools for LinkedIn, but there are many analytics tools. Check out HootSuite or Sprout Social for more information.
  • Pro tip: Remember that LinkedIn is a professional network. Try to leave quotes, repetitive attempts to make a sale, and other inappropriate material off of this channel. This is a business to business platform, so tailor your content to that audience.

Click here to sign up for a LinkedIn account.