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Social Media for Business – Part 2

Fantastic! You understand the value of social media for your business  and have your pages set up.  Now what? Take the time to do it right so you don't have to make the time to do it over! Creating a growing and engaged community – the kind that rewards you with increased organic reach – is a strategic imperative, not tactical.  Our Social Media Assistant service does this thoroughly, and thoughtfully. A great social media presence begins with great content. Many businesses stop here.  But, while great content essential, it is only the start. The following is a “soup to nuts” checklist of the things that need to be done to be successful using social media for business.  It is also a list of all of the services our Social Media Assistant service takes care of for you to guarantee your social community growth and engagement. Know your audience.  First, consider that your interests may not be the same as your customers' and prospects'.  This is important as it is your customers and prospects that you want to engage.  The closer we match their interests, the more likely they are to engage with your posts.That's why we always check out the pages and interests that our community members are engaging with. This helps hone your content strategy for maximum impact. Post regularly.  Our research tells us that the best practice for businesses is to post content at least 5X a week. It's also important to post no more than 2-3 times a day or your posts turn into "white noise" and won't get the attention – and engagement – you desire.  Our service taps into curated content that will resonate with your community...and beyond. Promoting posts is a must:  That's because only 3-5% of your audience will organically see those posts.  We know how to target these promotions so that your community is not only engaged, it's growing! Use trusted content sources. While it's great that businesses create original content, nothing has quite the cache, trust or credibility of an article done by the Harvard Business Review, Wall Street  Journal, or Journal of the American Medical Association - depending on your business category of course. The trusted content we use ensures you build a trusting relationship with your prospects and customers. Make sure your targeting criteria are on point. This is closely related to "know your audience" – we target your content so that it appears in the newsfeeds, or on the pages, of people who are likely to be interested in you and your products or services. Behavioral targeting identifies people who are currently researching what you have to sell or offer.  Demographic targeting puts your message in front of people who meet your location, age, gender and income requirements. Social channels must mesh with your target audience.  Looking for college students?  Look to Twitter.  Looking for female hobbyists?  Look to Pinterest. Our service knows just where to look – and go – to grow your community and increase engagement. Click here [...]

By | 2018-05-07T12:56:14+00:00 March 17th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Social Media For Business – Part 1

Social Media offers businesses a rich, and sometimes confusing, selection of platforms to choose from.  Some social platforms are considered "mandatory" and others have specific demographics that make them better suited to some businesses than others. How do you know which platforms are right for you?  At Engage121 we've been managing social media for businesses since 2008. Last year we developed a social media concierge service – Social Media Assistant – that knows how to optimize and manage a business's social presence.  Here's where we start: Across all platforms:  We ensure messaging, contact information, and photos are consistent across all platforms: Profile descriptions should be as close to identical as possible across all platforms.  For Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ they can be.  Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest all have a 160 character limit, which will constrain the description.  Bottom line:  we make sure your profile descriptions follow best practices to optimize your social branding. Contact information should be explicit – i.e., we make sure people don't have to ask for your phone number, address or website. Since we're putting all this energy into getting “found” on social we make it as easy as possible. Profile pictures should project a professional image.  We choose a high-quality photo that visually represents your business.  Logos work, but for many professionals such as realtors, doctors, attorneys, or CPAs, for example, a professionally created headshot is recommended. Profile pictures should be consistent across your social platforms, although size requirements differ. We also establish a business page on each platform.  For Facebook this is a requirement and only a business page has access to Insights analytics and advertising.  It is also against Facebook's Terms of Service to use a personal page with commercial intent.  And, while only "required" for Facebook, this is a best practice across all platforms and one that we firmly believe in. Next are platform-specific recommendations and considerations: Facebook:  As the platform with the greatest number of members (1.6 billion and growing) we focus here first.  Facebook should have a place in every business's social strategy. We thoroughly complete the “About” section with location, website, and phone number.  For many of our client's businesses, we add store hours and, possibly, price range. Next we focus on page controls in the settings section.  There are many options in the left navigation bar for Settings, but some of the most important are found in the first section – General: Visitor Posts:  There are 3 options here:  letting anyone directly post to your page; requiring review before posting, or disable posting for everyone.  As your social media concierge we always allow unlimited business inquiries on your page.  And, we make sure you are alerted as soon as these come in. Page moderation/profanity filters:  we work with our clients to identify any keywords to suppress.  Profanity filter is always "on" for our clients. Similar page suggestions:  If a business page permits this section on their page, then those suggested businesses will appear on your page and you will appear [...]

By | 2018-05-07T12:56:14+00:00 March 2nd, 2016|Uncategorized|

Facebook Ads vs Google Adwords

As a social media company, of course we advertise on social media via Facebook ads. For the month of January, we added Google Adwords into the mix and wanted to share performance results. First, the ads we ran were as similar as they could be given the ad requirements and/or constraints of each channel.  That means that targeting, calls to action, and creative were all kept as closely aligned as possible to get a good read on the performance of each. The results? At first, we were blown away by the results:  In every metric except Cost Per Click and Cost Per Conversion Facebook ads outperformed Google Adwords by close to 300%+.  Conversion costs of the Facebook ads ran roughly 1/5 of what they cost using Google Adwords. But it really makes sense, doesn’t it?  For starters, Facebook offers very powerful behavioral targeting that’s superb for segmentation based on actions. Plus, as a social platform, Facebook ad placements enable, or even encourage, digital “word of mouth” through Likes, comments, and shares. At the end of the day, if our end goal was simply to build our brand, then Google might have been a more cost-effective choice.  But clearly, if your goal is conversions in a niche market, Facebook ads deliver the performance we want. Regardless of the online ad channel being used, it’s important to note that twice as many ads were delivered to mobile devices than desktops.  For our Facebook ads, the mobile clicks outperformed desktop by almost 400%! Want to optimize your digital ad spend for mobile and desktop?  Give us a call, or schedule a review with one of our social media experts.  We’re doing just that for thousands of small businesses across the continent!

By | 2018-05-07T12:56:14+00:00 February 12th, 2016|Uncategorized|

3 Social Media Questions Every Real Estate Professional Should be Able to Answer

1. How often should you post content on your social media sites? This is a question we get all the time.  Some businesses post 4 times a day, others post once a week, and some post monthly. What do you think is the correct answer? once a week every day once a month other If you selected “D” you’d be correct.  5 times a week is the best practice for small businesses (that includes real estate brokers and agents) according to our Engage121 research. 2. What’s the biggest impediment to posting regularly? lack of writing skills lack of time lack of content According to a recent RISMedia survey “B” was the winner with 45% of real estate offices saying they just didn’t have enough time.  31% admitted they didn’t have the skill and 15% said they didn’t have the content.  32% admitted they needed to post more frequently. 3. How do you define great content? entertaining industry focused timely broadly relevant all of the above I’m betting everyone answered “E”.  This answer was pretty obvious.  What is NOT obvious, however, is how to find content that meets all of these criteria. The easy (and fast, and inexpensive) answer is Engage121’s Social Media Assistant that gives you: ✓ Engaging, curated, regular content ✓ Full-service social media management ✓ Best-in-class social media advertising We create social media success for over 10,000 small businesses and we’d love to do the same for yours! Click here for more information or reach out to us at 888.607.9655.   Infographics courtesy of RISMedia

By | 2018-05-07T12:56:14+00:00 February 8th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Free Social Content for Small Businesses

We love small businesses, their potential and their passion. And we’d like to do our part to help them navigate the road to social media success. These days every business, large or small, must have a consistent social media presence to be taken seriously. And we’re here to help with a fantastic high-quality free social content service! It’s called Hot!Content and is delivered via our Engage121 Mobile app and/or an email Monday through Friday. Here’s how it works. Every night we receive over 3,000 digital content feeds and we keyword scrub, depending on the industry or vertical a customer is in. Once the content has been topically narrowed we run it through our historical database of (hundreds of thousands of) social media posts and the performance of each. That means we can predict what content is going to resonate with each business’ prospects and current customers. The end result is that every business day you’ll get 3-5 articles to post to all of your social accounts immediately, and you can even schedule them for later or throughout the week! Could your small business use a steady stream of top-flight curated content? (We know the answer.) Signing up is easy. Just click here to register, select the industry that fits your business and connect your social accounts.      

By | 2018-05-07T12:56:14+00:00 January 25th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Facebook Professional Services Search Focuses on SMBs

Today, over 40 million SMBs have an active Facebook business page.  Of those, 2.5 million are marketing partners paying to advertise their goods and services on Facebook.  Most are SMBs and this is good news for Engage121 clients. Facebook’s new Professional Services Search – replete with consumer reviews – is an important innovation that will yield great results for Engage121 SMBs once it’s fully launched. Its focus is hyper local and, considering that 71% of digital shoppers said they are more likely to respond to an ad for a local business than a larger operation, search results will be more relevant – and productive – than ever. Of course, it will also yield great results for Facebook as it takes on Yelp and Alphabet (formerly Google) to keep people on Facebook for all their research and shopping needs. (Clearly Yelp stockholders are concerned – price is down almost 20% since the FPSS discovery.) Facebook clearly understands the value of the 40 million SMB business pages and is investing in better servicing that segment.  By focusing here Facebook ensures a) better advertiser satisfaction; b) a better user experience; and c) increases in ad spend.  Win-win across the board. We see better targeting, richer data, and improved performance in our (not too distant) future.  Good for Engage121 and good for our clients.  Another win-win! We’re excited to see how Facebook rolls this out and will keep you updated on opportunities as they develop.

By | 2018-05-07T12:56:14+00:00 January 13th, 2016|Uncategorized|

From Our Family to You and Yours!

It’s been a splendid year for us here at Engage121. And that’s not only because we are proud to serve over 11,000+ clients. We have worked hard, and we are delighted to look back on 2015 and see each of our clients enjoying growing & engaged social community. There have been lots of learnings for us this year – both from changes in and on the platforms that we use, and from our customers. A really special thanks to our customers who are our inspiration to innovate! Here’s hoping you, our clients and future clients, have a wonderful and relaxing holiday (and, of course, growing and engaged communities!). 2016 is going to be another great year for us all!

By | 2018-05-07T12:56:14+00:00 December 22nd, 2015|Uncategorized|

2 Great Pieces on Social Media for Realtors

We just found two great articles that are so ‘spot on’ we wanted to share them with our realtor community. The first is an article by RISMedia on the key learnings from the “New Year, New Opportunities – Power Prospecting Strategies for 2016” webinar. Our favorite takeaway:  “Real estate professionals who want a consistent stream of business cannot afford to ignore social networks where over 70% of their prospects are active.”  Check it out by clicking here! The second is an infographic on what the real estate industry should know about millennials. It’s chock full of great insights and statistics on this up-and-coming market segment and will help realtors better target their marketing channels and their messaging. Did you know that 90% of millennials used a real estate agent or broker to buy a home?  Even more surprising is that 68% only interviewed 1 agent. For more information about millennials and real estate click on the image below. Click here to read more about millennials and understand why social media is your best route to get in front of them. Can we help you?  Of course we can!  Just call us at 888.607.9655 or email us at Sales@Engage121.com.

By | 2018-05-07T12:56:14+00:00 December 16th, 2015|Uncategorized|

Are you fishing where the fish are? (Pssstt….it’s Facebook)

At least for now, Facebook continues to be the 800 pound gorilla in the world of social media platforms.  Facebook also continues to be one of the more (successful) innovative platforms that works hard to satisfy both members and advertisers. Facebook is the place we fish, and here’s why: Facebook has nearly 1.6 billion members and Instagram has 300 million. Your customers and prospects are most likely a part of this community. Facebook is the best platform for you to connect with 30-40 year old up and comers who offer you a lifetime of transactions. Facebook is also the best place for the 50+ demographic – that’s the fastest growing social segment. Facebook shows the most powerful social media ecommerce statistics, sending a massive 60% of all ecommerce referrals for last year. By comparison, Polyvore drove 20% and Pinterest drove 15%. That’s not to say we ignore other platforms that deliver real value to their clients. Twitter has gained importance now that it has partnered with Google. Your  Twitter feed will show up in Google search results and it’s usually the first page.  Great for getting found! But, this is the world of social media and it’s a world that is traveling at Mach 3 speed. So who knows how things will look this time next year, but for now we’re fishing in the ocean that offers the greatest number and variety of fish. Still not convinced?  Click here for a mind blowing infographic that shows all of the activities that happen in a “Facebook Minute”. Ready to add Facebook to your marketing mix?  Want help optimizing your Facebook marketing to really drive business results?  Simply click here to send us a note and one of our social media consultants will be quick to respond! [wysija_form id="1"]

By | 2018-05-07T12:56:14+00:00 December 9th, 2015|Uncategorized|

4 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Holiday Sales on Facebook

1 – Details, details! Do an informative, promoted post 4-5 days before your sale or event. Give the reader every piece of information they need to plan for it and to find it. Date, time, details, and location (include the address!) are all mandatory. If your sale is online, include a “Learn more” button on your ad that takes the customer to your web page with all of the information. Be sure to include a coupon code that will get them to return when the sale goes “live”. Facebook provides some great guidelines on creating these types of ads!                         2 – Make your offer a win/win!  Holiday sales can be a great way for you to clear out overstocked product at a value price that earns you a happy new customer. Does your inventory include a currently “hot” item?  Take advantage of this to not only sell the product, but to establish yourself as a go-to place to shop for all things trending.                       3 – Showcase your customers.  Post images of happy customers in your store with their awesome deals. Images like this will create excitement and tease to your sale.   You can also use these images to tease to your next sale. 4 – Laser focus your targeting. Study your customer profiles and make sure… … your radius represents your products.  In other words keep it to 10 miles if you have a lot of competition for what you’re offering.  Expand to 25-50 if you have a “hot item” that people are willing to travel for (think Sphero Star Wars Droid, Fitbit HR or Apple Watch).  Obviously if you’re an online seller this doesn’t necessarily apply to you unless you offer a local pick-up option. … you take advantage of interests and behavioral targeting in addition to standard demographics.  Selling clothing to teens?  Age and gender are obvious selections but make sure you include selections like “teen fashion” and behaviors like “fashionistas” to get your ad in front of the right prospects).  Yes, you’ll get fewer impressions but they will be far more likely to convert. Need help with your holiday sales campaigns?  We’re happy to help!  Give us a call at 888.607.9655 or contact us at Sales@Engage121.com.

By | 2018-05-07T12:56:14+00:00 December 4th, 2015|Uncategorized|