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Which Social Media Platforms Should My Business Consider?

Published on March 18, 2022

Are you finding it hard to navigate the sea of social networks available to today’s businesses? Do you find yourself burdened with questions about what platforms you should be on? 

“Are people still on Facebook?”

“Is LinkedIn better for my business?”

“Am I missing out by not being on TikTok?”

Let’s tackle these questions together as we provide you with some underlying knowledge of what platforms can suit you best in today’s market.

We’ll start by breaking our field up into two primary categories: established platforms and emerging platforms. What’s the difference? We’ll admit, in an ever-changing environment it’s a slightly arbitrary distinction. But in our judgment, an “established” platform is one that has been around for over a decade, with a proven track record of helping businesses across all sectors. Emerging platforms are the opposite: they may contain more niche communities that have only been around for a few years or less. Now that we have that sorted, it’s time to dive into the names you’ve already heard of. 

Established Platforms

Google My Business

First and foremost, if you don’t have a Google My Business profile, you’re doing yourself a disservice. While it still takes a good 3 to 4 days to appear after you set it up, this is an extremely crucial mechanism to ensure your local audience knows you’re on the map, literally. Prioritize this first and foremost if your organization is just getting off the ground. This is also a bit of an outlier. While every other “social network” aims at building a community, this focuses more on being more of a tool for Google’s userbase to find and learn more about your business. Google My Business creates a location on Google Maps for your business, allows you to share information about your hours and offerings, and services as a repository for reviews. In our estimation, it also benefits your search engine optimization (SEO) by creating a home on the world’s biggest search engine. 

Facebook

Next up is Facebook. This platform has the largest audience out of its competitors, with 2.7 Billion monthly active users. However, Facebook lacks key search and discovery mechanisms that make organic follower growth typical. Things such as Instagram’s Discovery pages and Hashtags have proven to be invaluable assets to any emerging business wanting to get its name out there. Facebook, absent the widespread use of hashtags, and a defunct explore feed to boot, may seem like the worst option of the major competitors. Nevertheless, there are still a number of moderately effective methods that you can use on Facebook to increase your page growth without the use of paid ads. However, if a paid ad campaign is a part of your Social Media strategy, a Facebook business account is necessary to run ads on this platform. Even though it may be harder to “go viral,” on Facebook, having a business account gives you access to the most amount of eyeballs that an advertising budget can buy. 

Instagram

Instagram is especially useful for any business that has the ability to produce visually-striking content. Bakeries, antique shops, clothing stores, and any business that sells a product they can photograph should prioritize Instagram. Not only do they have a robust system for discovery through the use of account tags and hashtags, but they also have a sizable amount of monthly active users (1 Bil!). It’s no wonder why nearly 3/4ths of U.S. businesses claim to use the platform. It’s the clear successor of Meta’s original product, and the closest you can get to a one-size-fits-all platform. That very trait may also be doing it a disservice as well, with many users growing tired of an increasingly cluttered UI. Nevertheless, Instagram is a safe bet for finding and growing an on-platform audience. 

Twitter

Do you have a lot of content to post, all the time? Do you love to track news cycles and jump in with relevant takes about market forecasts and other trends in your constantly-changing industry? Twitter is the obvious choice for brands that compete in evolving industries with fast-paced news cycles. However, the platform has roughly a third of the monthly active users of Instagram. On top of that, its network reach is dwarfed by Facebook. But proponents of Twitter like that it’s not Facebook. Even though it’s an established brand, it occupies its own niche in terms of the communities and audience that it attracts. If your audience needs to be updated daily, or several times a day, with market stats and headlines, this may be the platform you want to prioritize. Think of your business’s Twitter feed as a makeshift Bloomberg Terminal- purpose-built for a specific kind of follower. 

LinkedIn 

People often forget Microsoft owns LinkedIn. But when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Microsoft has built its brand by offering businesses and entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed: Windows, Word, Excel, Teams, etc. It’s best to think of LinkedIn as a similar tool, but for networking. Use LinkedIn if you want to grow your audiences with professional connections based and target certain specific demographics of employers and employees. The narrower your target demographic, the more eggs you should put in your organization’s LinkedIn presence. 

Emerging Platforms

Clubhouse: 

If you’re a company that field lots of questions from current and prospective clients, a FAQ session on Clubhouse could be a great way to reach out to your audience in a unique setting. This platform also offers an aura of exclusivity; at one time it required a direct invite from someone who was on the platform to even access it. Clubhouse is an option you should consider if your business prides itself on direct customer interactions. However, before you go all-in with it, many (justifiably) suspect the platform’s once-booming popularity to be a passing fad. After the company rejected several offers for buy-outs, competitors launched their own clubhouse-like features such as Twitter Spaces, Facebook Messenger Rooms, and Reddit Talk. We recommend consideration of these alternatives before considering Clubhouse itself. 

Spotify: 

Like it or not, Spotify is increasingly becoming a social network in its own right, with the ability to add friends from Facebook, follow users, and collaborate and share playlists on-platform. Nothing makes this more apparent than the ever-present “what your friends are listening to” side panel on the desktop version of the app. 

But if your business has nothing to do with music, no worries! Real Estate agents, Tutors, Bloggers, and all sorts of entrepreneurs host podcasts on Spotify as a way to grow their brand. While it might seem like “everyone has a podcast nowadays,” YOU haven’t been in one yet. Sharing your podcast with your personal network on pre-existing platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and SMS text increases the likelihood that they’ll tune in and subscribe! After all, if your favorite small business started a podcast, your interest would be piqued, wouldn’t it? 

TikTok

If you’re a business that has lots of video content to share, don’t feel boxed in by the traditional aspect ratios of landscape 4:3. Engaging content can do well on Tik Tok, even with black bars on the top or bottom of a phone. After hearing the word “Tik Tok”, many small business owners will understandably have some skepticism. (“But I can’t dance!”) 

Don’t worry, it’s not just for dancing, and it’s not just a Gen Z thing either. In our opinion, Tik Tok is a great place to experiment with repackaging your pre-existing video content to fit the new format. We can’t recommend going all-in on the platform as your primary point of social outreach, but it can serve as a great accessory to the other channels that you may already operate. In other words, if you have video content performing well on Facebook, it wouldn’t hurt to see how it performs with the appropriate tags on Tik Tok. 

P.S. This same piece of advice works for Instagram Reels and Youtube Shorts as well! 

Another thing to keep in mind is Tik Tok’s audience currently skews young. 60% of their users are between the ages of 16-24. However, nearly a quarter of their audience is between the ages of 25-44! These demographics are important to keep in mind when considering an account for your business. Retirement services and accounting firms may not have much luck, but a local brewery, nail salon, or real estate team could have tremendous success in reaching their target customers.   

Bottom Line

You may be wondering about a few platforms we didn’t cover. The truth is, your business doesn't need to be everywhere in order to succeed in growing an online presence. You only need to be in the right places. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Pick the 2-3 platforms you feel matter most to your target audience. Start making content on those platforms first, and once you have a sizable content library, then consider branching out to newer and more unproven platforms. As long as you can produce engaging content that resonates with your audience, you’re on the right track.  

Want to Close More Sales? Great Content Is Your Secret Weapon

Published on March 16, 2022

According to recent studies, 70% of people would rather learn about a company through articles than an advertisement. 68% report feeling more positive about a brand after consuming content from it.

What’s more, research shows that B2B decision makers tend to engage with at least five pieces of content before they buy. And yet, in spite of all of this, there is still a common perception that content marketing is only about bringing in prospects, rather than generating real, substantive conversions.

While content is a vital tool for inbound marketing, it can also be put to work turning leads into customers – at every step along the buyer’s journey, and in a variety of creative ways.

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Online Reputation Management for Law Firms

Published on March 10, 2022

It’s fair to say that practicing law may be one of the world’s oldest professions. That is to say that, as long as there have been laws to enforce, there has been a need for lawyers – going all the way back to ancient Greece.

And, for our Chicago-based audiences, we hardly need to reiterate how important lawyers are – after all, Illinois’s favorite son and America’s 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, got his start practicing law, as have countless other politicians and prominent figures in world history.

With all that being said, it’s important to realize that the practice of law has always adapted and shifted with the times. The young Mr. Lincoln may not have needed to worry about what people were saying about him via online reviews – but the practicing attorneys at your law firm certainly do!

Whether your focus is on real estate, personal injury, business, family law, estate planning, or any other area where lawyers practice today, it’s important to be able to keep in contact with your audience – so that new clients can always be ready to find you when the time comes.

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How To Write Content That Actually Converts

Published on March 9, 2022

There are countless reasons why your brand needs to be generating unique, high quality content – it primes the pump for social sharing, it cultivates community and loyalty, and it’s a surefire SEO solution for boosting organic traffic.

But blogging has another function, even if we content marketers tend to keep it quiet. The dirty little secret behind most copywriting? While it is a sure way to create value, there’s no escaping that, at the end of the day, your words are there to help sell – to convince users that your site, your brand, is where they should be placing their trust and spending their hard-earned money.

With that in mind, veteran copywriters will be quick to tell you that it’s all-but-impossible to write one golden blog post that will convert every audience member to a customer, every time. (If you know that copywriter, let us know, because we’d love to hire her.)

But there are some important tricks, reminders, and rules keep in mind for writing creative content that converts.

Here are five ways to write content that helps drive conversions – without sacrificing quality: 

1.) Add Emotion

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Launching a New Website? Don’t Forget to Check These 10 Key Elements Off Your List

Published on March 1, 2022

It’s hard to overstate the importance of having a website for your brand. Today, your next customers are connecting with businesses and doing their product research online, via search engines, review platforms, and social media networks - which can all help funnel users directly to your personalized landing page. 

Having a unique, handcrafted website that is functional, responsive, and optimized for search engines can go a long way in helping your business stand out from the crowd. Your brand website is also a powerful marketing tool. It’s your calling card, your elevator pitch, and your sales funnel, all rolled into one. Your website can help your brand reach new audiences on search engines like Google, and help convert curious visitors into lifelong customers. 

If you’re nearing the end of your website design and development process, you’ve probably been over all this - and then some! You’ve talked about design. You’ve discussed creating compelling calls to action and functional conversion tools. You’ve thought long and hard about the importance of UX. 

Now, it’s time to move into the last phase, and start fine-tuning your site so it’s ready to launch. It’s time to look over the little details, to make sure your website is going to appeal to audiences, and rank highly with search engines. Before your site goes live, it’s also important to start planning for the future, and develop a strategy for all of the maintenance, performance, and security tasks to come. 

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How to Rekindle Your Audience’s Passion for Your Brand

Published on February 14, 2022

Maybe you’ve been at a fancy restaurant, only to look over at the corner booth and see a young couple who can’t seem to keep their hands off of each other. They’re canoodling, they’re sharing food, and they’re generally showing to the world that they’re, like, so totally in love.

And then your gaze glides over to another table, and you see, perhaps, an older couple. They’re sitting in silence and swapping bites. For them, the passion seems to be missing, that spark just burned out with time.

In a lot of ways, gaining and retaining clients for your business can be a little like entering into a long-term relationship. At first, it’s all about the thrill of meeting each other, and seeing all the amazing, novel things you can do together. But over time, familiar patterns settle in, and the old tricks just don’t seem to be working as well as they used to.

This is particularly the case when it comes to digital marketing, centered on high-quality content creation. While some things, like blog posts primed for SEO success, only get sweeter with time, the fact is that other elements slow down or stop working on audiences altogether the longer they’re in play.

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LinkedIn 101 – The Basics That Every Business Professional Needs to Know

Published on February 8, 2022

Most business professionals have at least a peripheral understanding of how to market their products or services on social media sites Facebook and Twitter. (If not, Geek Chicago is here to help with those, too.)

LinkedIn, however, is often vastly misused or misunderstood, by businesses and professionals alike.

On the one hand, LinkedIn is the preferred social media network for B2B marketers, it’s able to call itself one of the leading job search sites in the world, and Microsoft valued the company enough to acquire it for more than $26 billion.

On the other side of things, plenty of would-be LinkedIn users have been left scratching their head after creating a profile. Others have told us that they’ve long avoided the process altogether.

Whatever the case may be, LinkedIn remains one of the key social media networking and content marketing opportunities for businesses and individuals, and if you aren't an active part of this community yet, there’s no time like the present to get started.

Here's our 101 crash course on learning the basics of LinkedIn.

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How Many Hashtags Should You Use on Instagram

Published on February 4, 2022

If you're using Instagram to share your content and promote your business, you probably already know the importance of hashtags. But the real question is, how do you make them work for you? Which hashtags should you choose? How many hashtags is too many?

Knowing why hashtags are on Instagram in the first place, and how to use them effectively to promote your content, is one major key to your success on the platform. 

While “the ‘gram” is widely known to make frequent changes to optimize its organic search algorithm, there are truisms about good hashtag use that are seemingly timeless. Regardless of whether these precedents are timeless, here is the latest on how to use hashtags to their fullest potential when working with Meta’s golden child. 

Let’s start by dispelling some myths about Instagram hashtags. Hashtags are not on-platform advertising mechanisms. They are “a tool that provides context about your post” and its content. In other words, they’re there so the algorithm promoting organic reach can do its job better.

Hashtags are also not a “more the merrier” type of deal. Stuffing hashtags into your content won’t do it any favors, and you run the risk of choosing an irrelevant hashtag that someone may have intentionally muted. Let’s illustrate with some examples. Say you’re a tech influencer who’s made a post about the recent Tesla recall, and CES is chugging along as it does in early January (these events coincided earlier this month). Adding #CES to the bottom of your post about the Tesla news can be harmful if it has nothing to do with the annual Consumer Electronics Show. In fact, many tech news consumers may be so inundated with nonstop CES news (or morally opposed to the convention being held during a wave of viral infections) that they mute the hashtag. 

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How to Create a More Consistent Content Strategy

Published on January 6, 2022

“Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” – Thomas Edison

Widely regarded as the father of modern electricity, Thomas Edison was a relentlessly prolific inventor, and is considered to be one of the most important engineers in American history. So it’s a little bit reassuring to read that such a significant figure sometimes struggled with his productivity and creative output.

We know how it feels to be burnt out, tired, or otherwise unproductive – and we’re willing to bet that you sometimes feel the same way. Like there aren’t enough hours in the day? That no matter how much you accomplish, you’ll never actually manage to polish off your “to-do” list?

Whenever feelings like these creep up, it can be easy to retreat from what needs to be done, and instead fall back on that old, reliable stand-by – procrastination.

“Why force it, if the creative juices just aren’t flowing?” you ask.

“Isn’t it better to wait,” you may well reason, “until I feel that big, creative second wind?”

These feelings are completely natural. But when it comes to your content marketing efforts, they could be dangerous.

The Importance of a Consistent Content Marketing Strategy

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#SelfCare: How to Detox From Social Media Like the Pros

Published on December 30, 2021

The average person will spend more than five years of their life on social media, and most users spend roughly two hours every day on some social platform or another. Social media accounts for as much as 30% of total time spent online, and up to 80% of social media usage takes place on mobile devices – meaning that, in many cases, we literally can’t get away from that next tweetstorm or Instagram notification.

Two hours a day is a huge chunk of time to be spent doing anything – let alone using services with known links to negative health effects, ranging from increased feelings of loneliness to sleep deprivation. For many, social media is a stressor, and it can be a trigger for anxiety and frustration – yet it can be hard to connect with friends and family without it.

And for many, social media isn’t just a habit, but a cornerstone of their daily life. That’s particularly true for people in our chosen field; working as we do in digital marketing, we’re even more plugged in than the average user, and large portions of our day are spent checking in on social media analytics, monitoring posts and comments, scrolling through feeds on Buffer, SocialPilot, or Hootsuite, and creating content for Twitter and Facebook.

What this means is that we sometimes have to check in and set hard limits on our social media usage – for the sake of our own mental and physical health. Looking for some help getting started with a digital detox plan? Just want to be more mindful when it comes to your social media consumption?

Here are a few strategies that we’ve found can be quite helpful, whether you’re just taking a temporary breather from social media or trying to set more productive habits for your future:

1.) Set Technology-Free Windows of Time

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