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6 Back to School Marketing Ideas

Summer may not be quite over yet, but back to school time definitely signals the beginning of fall for many of us. As the season turns over, it provides a great excuse for new marketing campaigns for your small business.

Here are 6 marketing ideas for getting ready for back to school:

Offer Exclusive Deals or Back to School Discounts

The back to school shopping season is super competitive, so students and parents are always looking for the best prices for the items on their lists.

If your business sells clothing or school supplies, make you stand out with a sale on essentials. If you operate a coffee shop, cafe, or bakery, you can still get in on the back to school buying craze by offering special deals for parents and students in the morning (like breakfast and coffee) or after school.

Be sure to promote your deals through in-store signage, newsletters (email marketing), and on social media. We recommend starting these sales around August 1, but note that most people tend to procrastinate—so starting now is okay, too.

Show Your Love for Local

Small, local businesses are part of the integral fabric of every community, so be certain to capitalize on the local advantage. There are tons of ways to do this, including hosting fundraisers for local sports teams or music programs, throwing shopping nights that benefit schools, and donating items for raffles.

By reaching out to local public schools, you can take advantage of participating in events that will be planned with or without you. Schools must fundraise to generate money for programs, so why not fundraise in collaboration with your business?

If not yours, it will be someone else’s.

Get Social Online

Busy people (like parents) are generally huge lovers of online shopping. Shoppers are increasingly turning to social media over small businesses’ websites in order to get the most up-to-date information on sales, events, and special store hours, so it makes sense to focus your marketing efforts on public platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Offer your followers a discount when they mention a special code that you post on social media, or when they tag their friends, comment, or re-post something.

Tip: continue to offer deals after back to school. Let your followers know that sales and special deals with your business are not just a one-time offer.

Specifically Promote Back to School Essentials

If you operate a clothing boutique, a cool idea is to create Pinterest boards and lists of the season’s must-have back to school trends, essentials, and gear.

On Instagram, you can post daily images (up to 4-5 times per day at different times) of your top 10 trend picks for fall, or the newest and coolest school gear your small business is carrying.

Incentivize Customers with Gift Cards

A great example of this is what Old Navy routinely does—they provide their shoppers with coupons on future purchases when they spend a specific amount in-store.

Back to school is an expensive time for students and parents, so thank them for choosing to shop with you by offering gift cards for your business when they spend a certain amount during a specific window of time. At the same time, collect their email information to add to your newsletter list.

Then, when you have new merchandise and sales, or when the holidays are approaching, email a reminder or newsletter to these gift card holders and give them a reason to visit you again.

Collaborate with Other Local Businesses

There is strength in numbers when it comes to successful small businesses. Get together with other local stores, coffee shops, and restaurants for back-to-school promotions and events.

When you collaborate with other local businesses, it also means great cross-promotion opportunities through email marketing and social media. It’s a win-win!

And remember: these suggestions are not just for back to school…use them to formulate fall or holiday marketing campaigns, too!


*If you’re interested in having your social media managed, or fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE

A Basic Social Media Guide for Your Small Business

Because it’s all about the basics. Right? You need to start somewhere, so here’s a brief outline of why, what, when, and how to get social media working for you and your small business.

Why

The why is easy: because it’s free internet marketing, and the internet today accounts for more sales and revenue for small businesses than ever before. (In fact, to see stats on this statement, contact us for a copy of our e-book on the subject.)

By finding your tribe online and consistently soft-selling your products or services, your reach will be greater, because you’ll be building a community of like-minded people who love what you do.

Period.

What

It’s not necessary to try and build a social media presence on a dozen different platforms. We recommend choosing 2-3. Each business has their own unique vibe and wants and needs, which means your business may thrive on Twitter and Facebook, while another’s may do better on Instagram and Snapchat.

Think about which platform might be better for your small business (what are other similar small businesses doing?), and start with that.

When

Consistency is the key when it comes to social media. It depends on the platform you’re using:

  • Facebook: 1-2 posts per day
  • Twitter: 5-10 posts per day (including retweets and comments)
  • Instagram: 1-2 posts per day
  • Snapchat: unlimited

Most social media platforms have algorithms that identify a business as either marketing responsibly, or spamming their followers. That’s why it’s important to try and deliver good quality information on a consist basis, and not just post for the sake of posting.

Which brings us to:

How

As with traditional marketing, successful engagement comes from quality over quantity. Everyone is fairly savvy when it comes to brand messages (especially millennials), and it’s obvious when a small business is desperate to reach people versus providing useful insight or information.

Use relevant images, hashtags, and tags to specifically and intentionally place your message where your tribe is hanging out, and keep in mind that the soft sell is where it’s at—gone are the days of hard selling your products and services.

Because everyone has access to everything online, you have to be competitive and smart about how you want to relay information.

So there are the basics! Let us know if you want help with social media management; we offer competitive pricing and a great service—just ask our clients! They’re listed on the bottom of our homepage.

If you’d like to receive a free copy of our e-book on social media marketing, contact us, and we’ll email one to you right away.

Happy social media marketing!


*If you’re interested in having your social media managed, or fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE

Social Media Strategy for Beginners

If you own a small business, you’re probably making use of social media marketing. Right? But do you have a general (or specific) plan, or do you just wing it and hope for the best?

One of things Fresh + Fit does for our clients is develop language guidelines and a corresponding social media strategy. Essentially, this includes brand-based etiquette for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. There are 5 main categories we generally address when it comes to social media strategy: tone, hashtags, tags, images, and frequency of posting.

Since all three of these social media platforms are quite different, we try to create an overall symmetry between them, while staying true to each of their unique benefits:

Facebook Social Media Strategy

Tone: This will be the same for each platform, and will completely depend on your brand’s identity. If your brand is fun, spunky, and upbeat, then this is the tone you set for all your social media posts. If your business is more informative and educational, then the tone set on social media will need to match that vibe.

Hashtags: On Facebook, hashtags should not be used in the main copy. Instead, place all hashtags at the end of your post. Many businesses choose to separate their main post copy and the hashtags by using periods or spacing or both. Facebook is great, because you have no limit (or a very, very high one) to the number of characters you can use in a single post.

So hashtag away!

The reason behind not using hashtags within your main copy, is simply because it makes the copy harder to read, which can dissuade the reader from reading your whole post.

(Which would be too bad, since you took the time to write it. Right?)

Tags: Unlike using hashtags, it’s okay to directly tag people or pages within your post. Facebook tags don’t display the ‘@’ symbol in front of them, so it looks cleaner.

Don’t be afraid to tag more people or pages at the end of your post (along with hashtags), if you didn’t directly reference them within the main copy.

Images: Images are imperative on Facebook. They will come up automatically if you’re using a URL within your post, but if you’re not, add something relevant that catches the eye of your reader. Remember, a picture is worth 1000 words, so choosing the correct photo is an art in of itself.

Frequency of Posting : All platforms are a little different, but 1-2 posts a day (maximum) is what we recommend for Facebook. Although the algorithms change every few months, they’re designed to recognize ‘Facebook spamming’, which is essentially posting on your business page way too frequently.

When Facebook’s algorithm picks this up, it will respond by making your page less visible, not more. It’s Facebook’s way of disciplining businesses who spam their clients.

Moral of the story? 1-2 posts per day, and stay consistent with what you choose.

social media icons

Twitter Social Media Strategy

Tone: As we wrote in regard to Facebook, the tone of your tweets should match your business’ brand model.

Hashtags: The main difference between using hashtags on Twitter as compared to Facebook, is the character limit you are obliged to follow on Twitter. Because you’re limited to 140 characters, hashtags can be used within the main copy of your tweet.

BUT: if you have room to use hashtags at the end of your tweet, then do it. As with Facebook, hashtags can be distracting, and are always better when placed at the end.

Tags: Use within the main copy of your tweet, and add to the end if you’re not directly referencing whomever you’re tagging within the main copy of your tweet.

Images: Although not necessary, images always make for better tweets. People are very visual, and a great image can catch a reader’s eye and compel him to read your tweet—and share it!

Frequency of Posting: With Twitter, feel free to tweet as much as once an hour throughout the day. With our clients, we make sure to schedule at least 3 tweets per day, and then with comments and shares, we typically end the day with around 6-7 tweets.

Here’s the bottom line for your Twitter social media strategy frequency: minimum 3; maximum 12.

Instagram Social Media Strategy

Tone: Ditto for Facebook and Twitter. (See above.)

Hashtags: As with Facebook, it’s best to leave the hashtags at the end of your post, separated by spacing or punctuation—especially because you have an unlimited character count.

Tags: Feel free to tag if relevant within the main copy of your post (and yes, you need a paragraph—don’t post images with no copy), and then you can tag more at the end.

Images: The most important part of Instagram! Images for Instagram are not only required, they need to be good. For this platform, we recommend spending more time on the image than on the actual post copy.

Visitors to your Instagram feed will see the first 6-9 images, so it’s important to make them beautiful and diverse.

It’s also important to your social media strategy that Instagram photos are original and unique.

Frequency of Posting: Instagram posts can go up 1-2 times per day—as with Facebook. If you post more, it will look like spam. (But again, try and stay consistent. Post every day!)

Creating language guidelines and a social media strategy is important for any business. Develop your own, stay true to your brand, and above all? Have some fun!

Call us to talk social media strategy, guys–we have your back on this. To find out which social media platforms might be best for marketing your business, read this article by Forbes.


*If you’re interested in having your social media managed, or fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE

Marketing Your Wellness Business Authentically

Fact: digital marketing can be overwhelming. As a relatively new way to gain exposure for your small wellness business (I mean, internet marketing is only about a decade new), there aren’t really any guidelines to follow or tried-and-true approaches that work for every business.

There are lots of suggestions, though, and this blog post will offer a few of those. But it’s important to remember that what works for another business may not work for yours, and to get the most bang for your buck, the main suggestion in the blog post is to be authentic.

What does it mean to market your wellness business authentically?

Authentic marketing involves knowing a few things and then actively using that knowledge to gain the most exposure possible, while staying specific to your business and what your business offers.

Here are some ideas:

Know Your Customer

This makes a huge difference to how successful your marketing campaigns go. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How would you describe your wellness business in 5 words?
  • Are you’re a B2C (business to consumer) business, or a B2B (business to business) business?
  • Who is looking for what your business provides?
  • Where can you find these people or businesses? (Is your target demographic more likely to hang out on Instagram or LinkedIn?)
  • Are you accessible to them in those places?

Be Unique

Now that you’ve answered the questions above, you should have a pretty clear idea of who you’re targeting and where they’re hanging out. This is vital knowledge!

But now you must do two more things:

  • Find your competition.
  • Be different than them.

It’s okay to borrow marketing tactics, and it’s totally cool to emulate practices that other businesses do that you deem successful, but in the end, the way you market your business should be unique.

If your wellness business is just like the other guys, it’ll blend in and be competing against other companies who already might have a good client base.

Be different.

Have Fun

Having fun is maybe the very best piece of advice we can give you when it comes to authentically marketing your wellness business. People are drawn to those who take life lightly and have fun doing what they love to do—and honestly? If you don’t have major passion for what your business is offering, no one else will, either.

So get excited, and show people you’re pumped to do what you do—happiness is infectious, and people that are happy attract more customers and do more business.

 Reinvent the Wheel

You’ve heard the adage “don’t reinvent the wheel”, right? Well, we’re here to tell you that reinvention is necessary when it comes to creating a thriving small business. If you want to market authentically, then you need to operate your business authentically.

This goes back to our point above on being unique.

So yes, send out monthly newsletter. Yes, create social media contests. Yes, actively engage with your target demographic on social media. But include something in those interactions that other businesses don’t! Have different conversations, and know where you’re comfortable drawing the line between fun and professional—then toe that line.

Because YOU are unique—and unique sells.

Be Grateful and Show It

Our last piece of advice when it comes to authentically marketing your wellness business, is to actively be grateful and thank your customers and clients for all the business and support and local collaboration.

How often do you thank others for following you on Twitter? Or send a message to a business who complimented you on a photo? Or sent a customer an email thanking her for her business?

People love to be acknowledged, and businesses that actively and intentionally radiate gratefulness are loved and respected.

So be different while also being authentic and true to yourself, and success will come. If you truly love what you do and you convey that excitement and authenticity within your day to day marketing efforts, your customers will take notice.


*If you’re interested in having your social media managed, or fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE