We’ve got some burning questions to ask our team! The best part? They have no idea what’s coming! Will they know the answer?? Join us for The Hot Seat, where our team of gurus will have to answer whatever question comes their way when the wheel lands on their name.
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Sarah: Well, look at this crew today! We’ve got a full house so we’re going to have a lot of fun today. We’ve played the hot seat before in other programs, but this is totally different because let me tell you, in digital marketing, we get all kinds of questions. Today, instead of just kind of going with the boring old Q and A fashion, we thought we would just slingshot random questions to our team of marketing gurus with the help of Pari over here and just see how well they all know digital marketing. So let’s get going!
Glyna: Welcome to Marketing Mix everybody. We’re just so glad to have you today and we have a special guest with us! We have our lovely moderator joining us this morning, Ms. Pari Barzegari from the Shelby County Chamber. Good morning, Pari!
Pari: Good morning. I’m excited!
Glyna: We’re excited to have you. So she’s really going to help us out on the hot seat today. This should be very interesting. As Sarah said, she’s going to be throwing some questions at us and we don’t even know who’s going to be up next because we have a special wheel that we’re going to be pulling up. So Sarah, let’s look at our platforms first-
Sarah: Yeah. Of course. Okay. Do not forget that we go live every week on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, and you can catch the replay on Instagram and LinkedIn. If you haven’t subscribed yet, go ahead and do yourself a favor and subscribe to our podcast, Marketing and a Mic, and do not forget about our YouTube channel. Every week we are putting out brand new videos, all in the name of digital marketing.
Glyna: Tell us about the wheel we have, Sarah. How’s this going to work this morning?
Sarah: Okay. Thanks to Pari, she’s going to help us with this. How it will work is we’re going to have a wheel that’s going to pop up and I’m going to spin it, whatever name it lands on, they are going to get a random question from Pari. So, we all have to be ready. Here’s the thing, we’re all little gurus in our own special area and we are constantly getting questions about digital marketing. So, we thought what better way is to just handle these and tackle them in a fun way. Everybody will get a question and get their area of expertise, but you’ve got to be ready.
Glyna: Whew, fun and exciting. All right, Pari, are you ready?
Pari: I am ready.
Sarah: Okay. Let me get this bad boy up. All right. Let’s get going.
Glyna: Ooh, I’m feeling nervous. Woo-hoo! Sarah, it’s you!
Sarah: Ah, I get to be first.
Pari: All right, Sarah. My question for you, and I hope your seat is not feeling too warm, what is the first thing someone should do when setting up their social media platforms?
Sarah: I’m going to tell you something that’s really basic and that some people may not think about, but one of the things that you really need to pay attention to is making sure your business page is set up completely. Before you dive into all your social platforms, whatever you’re on, make sure it’s set up as a business because that’s huge. Don’t just set up your business on my personal page because business pages have all different perks. You get insights and different analytics. You can get more people, more followers. There’s just so much to it. But the biggest thing is just making sure everything is complete. What I mean by that is your phone number, your address, your business description, your services, all of those things, because you will get “dinged” if you don’t have it complete and it all needs to be consistent. So, that would be my first thing. Did I do okay?
Sarah: Yes. Okay.
Glyna: Spin the wheel.
Sarah: And now I get to take a break.
Glyna: Well, maybe not if it chooses you again.
Glyna: Hoo, Kels, Kels.
Kelsi: That’s me!
Sarah: Hooray! Okay.
Kelsi: What you got, Pari?
Pari: My question is, what is a pet peeve that you see on social media?
Kelsi: Oh gosh. I would have to say online reviews and I guess I’ll have to elaborate on that. When I see people that leave their experiences and based on their description, I can tell that that person didn’t try to rectify the situation or go to management before they decided to leave a bad review online. I just think that’s kind of petty because a business’s online reputation is everything and those reviews carry a lot of weight. I understand sometimes businesses mess up and sometimes one-star reviews are warranted, but I think that it’s important to try to talk to the business, figure out the situation, and then if it can’t be rectified, then go leave them a bad review. Don’t just throw it out there like crazy. It drives me-
Sarah: But they’re entertaining to read!
Kelsi: Well, I don’t doubt that.
Glyna: If it isn’t your business! If it is, then not so much.
Sarah: You know what I would say to add to that, is when the business owner, when they get a bad review and the business owner just loses it on them, just, well, I don’t like you either, don’t come back.
Kelsi: Oh, that’s horrible. Then when there are one-star reviews that have no description, well, what did they do to make you mad?
Sarah: Oh my God, that’s so true.
Glyna: I agree with you on that one. Definitely.
Sarah: All right, gang. Let’s do this again.
Pari: So Sarah, what is the etiquette on tagging businesses and doing the hashtags on Instagram and other social media platforms?
Sarah: Okay. Instagram is a big one. I’m really excited about this because there’s more and more that I’m learning that’s making me excited. So tagging and hashtagging. On Instagram, what you need to do instead of dropping hashtags in your caption – you know how sometimes you see somebody on Instagram, they have their post with their caption and there’s this huge chunk of text in the body of the post with the hashtags included. Don’t do that. What you want to do instead is put all of your hashtags in the comment section. Again, this just comes down to etiquette and how it looks. It’s almost like Instagram is wanting to have to clean it all up. It’s kind of like that unspoken faux pas, Oh, don’t put all your hashtags in the text. Put it in the comments. So, your first comment should be that. The other thing is to tag the actual image and don’t tag via “mention” in the caption, you know how you can put the “@”, and then all the people-
Sarah: Don’t do that. Yeah. Don’t do that. Tag the image. Not only does it look better, but also through Instagram, that’s how it will actually tag the other individual. So they can see, they have their own section where they can see who all has tagged them and they can share it. They can do whatever with it. So that helps hugely. With other platforms, all of them are becoming a little bit more search-friendly. What I mean by that is that you could go into your search bar and you can find stuff by hashtags. So, it is important to include them. Not as much as Instagram, because you can do like 11 to 30 as the proper etiquette on Instagram. Just do a few and make them super relevant. You can search and you need to search to see what’s relevant to your business because it helps you get found. Long-winded, but I hope that helps.
Pari: It’s good info for me.
Glyna: I tell you what, instead of spinning the wheel, we could just have Pari pick somebody randomly and mix it up. If you want to do that.
Pari: Yeah, I never get to talk to Rob. So, I’d love to ask him a question.
Glyna: Go for it. Just randomly pick.
Pari: All right, Rob, what would you say is your digital marketing superpower?
Rob: I thought the first question you were going to ask me is what’s the capital of North Dakota. I’ve got that written on my arm. It’s Bismarck. No, I’m just kidding. One of the things that I think that I have a knack for is understanding where a business can reach its customers. What I mean by that is, for instance, there was a pest control company that was running ads on Facebook. Well, if I see a mouse run across my kitchen floor, the first thing I’m not going to do is go to Facebook, trying to scroll, thinking, I saw this pest control company, I know they’re here. You have to understand how the customer’s looking for you. That’s probably one of the biggest things that I enjoy helping customers out with.
Glyna: Pari, you have to understand, you’re right, you haven’t got to talk to Rob. We keep him tucked away in his technical, digital world, but Rob has many superpowers. Thank goodness. We’ll brag on him a little bit. But yeah, his superpowers are many, including making everything work. So, he’s on the tech team. He makes all the SEO work. He makes all the Google ad words, Facebook ads, all that. So he has many superpowers. I had to brag a little bit.
Pari: Sounds like it.
Sarah: Mm-hmm (affirmative). He’s our brain in a lot of ways.
Glyna: And what? All right. I won’t take that personally, Sarah.
Sarah: I said-
Glyna: Rob’s the brain.
Sarah: You know what I said? I said he’s a brain in a lot of ways. Not every way. So I saved myself.
Glyna: I’m kidding. All right, Pari, we’ll leave it up to you. You just run with it.
Pari: All right. Well, you’re last, but clearly not least, Glyna, so we’re going to ask you a question. All right. Tell me, which is more beneficial in the long-run for our small business owners, Facebook ads or Google ads?
Glyna: That’s one of those, it depends. Almost. It’s kind of like what Rob was just saying. Facebook ads are appropriate for some businesses and not others. Like he was talking about the pest control company. It’s more of an impulse ad on Facebook. It’s something that you have to catch people’s attention, so you have to just make sure that you have the right business for each type of ad. It really just depends. I hate to give that, but, depends on your business! I’ll leave it at that because I’m like Sarah, I could go on and on and on all day long. But what we’re good at is having that consult. And, as Rob mentioned, is really look at the business and make sure that we are fitting them with the appropriate type of ad to make it work the best that we can for them.
Pari: Okay. I’m going to circle back to Kelsi to ask, what is the difference between brand identity and brand awareness? And for simpletons like me, you might have to do a little in-depth dive for them.
Kelsi: Okay. Your brand identity is basically going to be the culmination of what makes up your brand. That’s going to start, visually with your colors, your logo, but it’s actually going to trickle down into the actual culture of your company as well. How people identify your customer service relations, everything from your colors to that. Your brand awareness is the audience’s familiarity with your brand. How memorable are you? I think that if I said Chick-fil-A, you could visualize the Chick-fil-A logo, the colors. That’s brand awareness. How much does your audience know about you based on that brand identity?
Pari: That’s awesome. All right, Rob, you’re up one more time. What are some trends that we need to start paying attention to?
Rob: Hmm. Some trends that really, I mean, they’re still around, they’ve been here for a while but you have to make everything look natural. What I mean by that is you don’t stuff keywords into stuff, you don’t write just for the bots and stuff like that on your website. You still have a human that’s coming to that website that’s going to make a buying decision. So, make sure you just write naturally for your website, for your blog posts, for all your content, because overall it doesn’t matter if you ranked number one if the consumer comes there and is turned off by what you wrote with your content.
Pari: All right. All right. I think we got to go back to Sarah. All right, tell me this one. Why should a business have a blog?
Sarah: Oh, I’m passionate about this. I really am because there’s such a misconception about blogs. People think blogs are like glorified journaling, and it’s just could not be further from the truth. Every single business, to me, should have a blog. And the reason why is blogs help with SEO and we’ve talked about SEO, a lot, plenty, on this show, but that is Google’s way of identifying your business online. And they have a laundry list of stuff, of expectations that they need that build your credibility. Well, the reason why blogs are so important is, let’s say you’re searching on Google for a topic. You find a blog, or you find an article whatever you’re going to call it, you click on it. That takes you to that person’s website. Google and the search engines love that. They love people going to your website. That’s the whole point. When you have more people going to your website, they’re like good job! We love it! So, it builds your credibility and your rankings. Beyond that, beyond just the SEO, obviously, it builds credibility as your business. You have an opportunity to connect with customers. You have an opportunity to be an expert in your area. There are just so many different ways to it. But yeah, you need a blog and you need to keep it current. Updated. Not once a year.
Pari: That’s awesome. I was picturing the LiveJournal days and you’re right. It is so much more…
Pari: All right, Glyna, you’re in the hot seat one more time. What makes you cringe more? A poorly done email campaign or a poorly built website?
Glyna: Oh my gosh, I have to choose? Well, I would say on an email campaign, I’ll tell you a couple of things that make me cringe and then I’ll pick one, but the email campaign, I hate when you get an email campaign and it says, dear, first name, last name. It’s not working.
Sarah: You mean when they don’t put your name in it?
Glyna: Yeah. it says “First name. Last name.” I got one of those the other day. And I was like, wow, okay. Nope. Delete. But of the two, I’d have to say a poorly built website is probably the worst because, and I guess it’s maybe because of the business we’re in, I hate going to a website that doesn’t work. Let alone a website that’s not appealing. To me, you can have one that doesn’t look so great and you can get away with it if it works well. If it doesn’t work well, I’m bouncing off and those people don’t realize how quickly people will bounce off your website. By that, I mean, if the page won’t load, they can’t find what they want and it’s confusing, or there’s not enough info on it. Yeah. You’re going to lose so much business. That drives me crazy because I just know that there are so many better ways of doing it. So, I guess I’ll go website.
Pari: Kelsi, I’ve got a good question for you. It pertains to YouTube and all I know about YouTube these days are those unboxing videos that my daughter makes me watch. You’ve got to tell me why should somebody use YouTube for digital marketing?
Kelsi: That is actually twofold. I think the first thing that’s important to mention is that video content is so important these days. If your business is online on social media and you’re not utilizing video marketing, your competitors are going to be gaining your audience’s attention. So, you absolutely need to incorporate video and if you’re incorporating video, you need to have a channel dedicated to those videos on YouTube. The reasoning is that while YouTube is not a search engine, it is a platform that is highly, highly searchable. It is the second most used platform to search right behind Google. So, if you have video content, it absolutely has to be on YouTube because that’s how you are going to get found, most likely. Do it. Get on it!
Rob: Well and the other thing too, a lot of people don’t know this, YouTube is actually owned by Google and Google loves Google. So-
Kelsi: Loves Google.
Pari: That’s awesome. I had no idea. Rob, this is, again, another superpower question, kind of, what would be more exciting for you: having all of Google’s algorithms before anybody else gets them or having an unlimited campaign budget to work with? I can just see the…
Sarah: Dollar bills, dollar bills.
Pari: I can see the smoke rise up behind you right now.
Rob: Even though the unlimited budget does sound very tempting, I would have to go with all the algorithms, because if you really had that, you could be king of the world.
Pari: I agree with that too. All right, Sarah, you’re up one more time. What’s better? Live streams or pre-recorded videos?
Glyna: Ooh, that’s a good one.
Sarah: This is a good question. They both serve different purposes and I think that’s what’s great. They both have their own benefits and I think the important thing is to know how to best use them. Livestreams are very great. They’re very powerful. They’re becoming incredibly more powerful. I mean, think about a year ago, we weren’t doing all these Livestreams. I would say you really need to do both, but you need to do them both for certain elements. Now the one thing that’s really coming with pre-recorded videos is making them short and sweet. They’re even making mini-podcasts, now, where they’re six-minute, little podcasts and I think it just all comes down to our attention span. We don’t have a lot of attention span, but a lot of these social platforms like Instagram (Instagram Reels) are all doing these short videos. Those are important, and again, we always talk about creating content that’s good for everybody and everybody’s tastes. I would say to do both but just do them both in the way that they should be. Pre-recorded are great for just little nuggets, little bits of information, little teasers, and Livestreams are good for things like this, a bit more informative.
Pari: I agree. What do you feel about that Facebook Live? If I can ask a follow-up question, do you think that’s part of it?
Sarah: As part of what the Livestream-
Pari: Like a business using their Facebook Live to pop something up?
Sarah: Yeah! I mean, there are so many different platforms to do live streams. We use StreamYard just because it’s got a lot of bells and whistles and allows us to multi-stream across different platforms simultaneously, but Facebook Live is a perfectly good platform as well.
Pari: Awesome. All right, Kelsi, this is a great question. What are some important tools that can help me stay, and everybody on here today, help us stay organized on social media?
Kelsi: If you’re doing your own social media marketing, I would, first of all, highly suggest that you put together a content calendar. Whatever form works best for you, we personally have one at Fusion One that we utilize. That’s a great way to keep all of your thoughts organized, all of your content organized, so you can visually see what’s happening on a month to month basis. You can track things like that. You can have little notes in there that you plug in your analytics, just to keep you at the forefront of what your plan is and keep you on track. But then I would also add that Canva is an incredible tool. I wouldn’t say it’s mostly for organizational purposes, although it does have organization capabilities. I think it’s a great place to centralize all of your imagery and if you’re going to create graphics or try to animate any of your graphics or anything like that, it’s a great tool to do that. So, you could use it as an organization tool to keep all of that stuff there and then keep your content calendar over here with all of your content information.
Pari: That’s great! I do have another follow-up question, but this is for Glyna. Is there a way, Glyna, to keep up with the progress of your marketing campaign?
Glyna: Yes, most definitely. Well, most people are familiar with Google Analytics and that’s something that we can load onto your website and it keeps track of everything as far as visitors coming to your website. It gives you such great information. But we like to even take it one step further. You do have the ability to put tracking numbers on all of the things that you do in digital marketing or on the internet. That way you know when those calls come into those numbers, what return you’re getting off of your marketing dollars from the internet. There are definitely great tools out there. We have one that we have created just for our customers. It’s kind of a custom tool that brings all that information into where you can just have everything in one spot to be able to see the calls that have come from the internet, what your website traffic is doing, because you would be surprised, Pari, and this is something to even talk to Chamber members about, if they’re paying money to someone for their marketing and they don’t know what they’re getting out of it, then it’s just a shame. You shouldn’t really be doing it if you don’t know what you’re benefiting from that money being spent. So tracking, to us, is everything.
Pari: That’s so important. All right, Rob, tell me this. When should I consider, when should we all consider using Reputation Management services?
Rob: Well, I would have a possible situation we could talk about, but we won’t.
Glyna: No, let’s leave that one out.
Rob: The easiest, the best answer to that question would be is your reviews, your online reviews are the first thing that happens, but it even goes further than that. I mean, there are websites out there that all they do is write negative things about you, and those things can rank and also need reputation management. But usually, it’s a company that needs help with their reviews, whether that’s Google, Facebook, the Yellow Pages, things like that. Kind of like what Kelsi was talking about is, first of all, understanding how to even reply to a bad review, how to understand that, hey, that may have happened in my business, what do I need to do to correct that? There are a lot of things that we can help with Reputation Management, not just with the reviews, but also help how they respond and how they are perceived out there.
Pari: That’s great. You almost got a black screen there, you went too far at the beginning. All right. Do you think we have time for one more, everybody? Since I’m the wheel now. Doing-
Glyna: Yeah. Go for it.
Pari: Okay. Good. All right. I want to ask Kelsi, which is more essential? The number of engagements or number of the number of followers and all those page likes. I like to like.
Kelsi: We all love the likes, but I will say engagement is more important than having people like your page, follow your page. The reason for that is, you could have 100,000 people that like and follow your page but if they’re not engaging in your content, nobody’s going to see your content. You could have 100 people that like and follow your page and if all 100 of those or 90% of those people are liking and commenting, then their circle, their network is going to see those posts and it’s going to keep growing and growing. So, engagement is a much higher priority than gaining a massive following.
Pari: That’s great. Do you think those hearts and likes are as important as when people comment or it just kind of balances out?
Kelsi: I would say your comments are going to have more weight. Reactions are great though. Likes are kind of your standard reaction. If you have hearts and wows and things like that, they kind of have a little bit more of an edge, but comments and sharing is 100% where it’s at. If you want to support your friends that own businesses liking their posts is amazing, but engaging more with those posts, commenting, and sharing is going to get them far more visibility.
Glyna: Yes. Good point.
Pari: That’s good. I’m trying to get better at commenting when I share something for one of our investors here. So, that’s great information. All right, Glyna, if you could only pick one digital marketing service, which would you say is your MVP?
Glyna: It’s almost like you knew what I was going to say. It would be search engine optimization or what we call SEO. That is my all-time favorite. I know people get tired of hearing me say it over and over, but if SEO is done correctly for a business, it can make all the difference in the world. We’ve started with businesses that just opened their door and within a few months, they get more business coming in, and the longer they stick with it, the more business we can create for them through SEO. It can literally drive traffic to your business, and I mean, it turns into a profit center for you. You pay for us, but we want it to be your biggest moneymaker so that you don’t even have to think about what you’re spending on it. So I would definitely have to say SEO.
Pari: Awesome. All right. If we’re still good on time, I’m going to ask Sarah, give us one trending tip on what businesses should be doing right now on social media.
Sarah: Video, baby! That is it. Absolutely. Because again, I was talking about this a little bit earlier with the whole short duration videos are becoming increasingly popular. Even if you did a long-form video, condense it, find your little sweet clip from it and put it on Instagram or do Instagram Reels, or put it on Facebook, but put video content out there, just don’t be afraid of the camera. Video is still the highest engaging form of content. It still is. It’s the top, top one. So, I mean, you can’t go wrong with it.
Pari: That’s great. You guys are breaking me in, on being on camera. So, we’re going to get there. We’re going to get some Chamber videos out there.
Glyna: I think you’re a natural, I think you’re good.
Sarah: Yeah. So did we do okay? Are we-
Sarah: Are we off the hook now?
Glyna: I think so. I was going to say Pari, we really appreciate you helping us out, for sure. I hope some people learn some things and it looks like we have some other people joining us. I think we’ll wrap it up. I want to thank everyone for showing up and watching today, but special thanks to Pari from the Shelby County Chamber. Let me give them a little plug. I hear people complaining a little bit now that we’re on Zoom and all that stuff that they don’t have any place to network. They don’t have any place to plug-in. Well, then you’re not looking in the right spot. So, you need to go to the shelbychamber.org. Is that correct, Pari?
Pari: That’s us!
Glyna: They have networking things still going on on Zoom. The Women’s Business Council is next week. They have different groups that you can plug into. There are all kinds of things going on at the Chamber. So if you’re really interested in getting busy and networking, especially going through all of this, there’s no reason not to check out the Chamber. So thanks so much, Pari, for helping us out today.
Pari: Thanks for having me.
Glyna: Of course. And as always, if y’all need anything, any help with digital marketing, any of the topics we talked about today or just anything in general, we’d love to brainstorm with you. So contact us and we will sit down with you and see what we can help you with. So until then come back next week on Friday at eight o’clock and we’ll have another Marketing Mix and we will see you then. Thank you.