Three Ways to Boost Your Engagement on Social Media

Social Media can be a powerful marketing tool, but with the latest algorithms on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, only a fraction of your subscribers actually see your posts. The trick to staying on the forefront  of their minds and in their newsfeeds is to invite engagement across platforms. Once they like or comment on a post, they are more likely to see future posts, pictures, offers, and links. The question then becomes, how do you invite this type of engagement?

1. Ask a Question

People are far more likely to interact with a post if it poses an interesting question. These questions do not always have to directly relate to your product or service. They can invite discussion about a timely topic, a topic that is related to your product or service, or simply about their personal lives. Remember to avoid topics dealing with politics, religion, or other controversial topics.

2. Provide a Link

Give people a quick way to interact with your website, especially if you are selling a product. If you have special pricing for a holiday or other promotion, give your customers a way to link directly to the special. This makes it more likely that they will return to that post to click through rather than searching the website separately.

3. Engage With Your Customers

It is not enough to pose a question and then allow your customers to lead the discussion. Instead, respond to their questions, engage with them on a personal level, and get to know what is driving their decisions. People are more likely to return to a social media page if they feel they are a member of that community, that their responses are seen and acknowledged.

If you found this post helpful, please Like, Comment or Share! For help with Social Media or other digital marketing needs for your business, please Contact Us for a free consultation!

3 Ideas to Keep Your Content Flowing Fresh

Everybody talks about how important it is to keep your content fresh. That’s because it is important.

With so much buzz about blogs and the importance of great web pages, it may feel like fresh content magically appears on the internet all the time. Unfortunately, as many small business owners have come to realize, generating awesome ideas isn’t always as easy as it seems.

If you’re stuck at your desk with blogger’s block, here are a few ideas you can use to help keep your content flowing fresh:

1. What do people ask you?

You probably don’t realize it, but every time a customer asks you a question, they’re providing you with the foundation for content. Each time you receive an inquiry, jot it down. You can then provide answers by way of blogs, newsletters, and landing pages.

  • What do you do? This is a fundamental question that you should easily be able to answer, but it’s often harder than it should be. A few brainstorming sessions should provide you with an assortment of responses. Don’t discard any of them! Instead, reach for a new response when your idea well runs dry.
  • How can you help me? How can you help your customers? Identify your competitive advantages so you can highlight them in your content.

2. What’s going on in the world?

The key to great content is keeping it relevant. Talk about industry trends, pop culture, and interesting news bites. Be sure to relate your tidbits back to your business so your theme makes sense to your audience (and so search engines understand what you’re getting at.)

3. Who are you?

Introduce your team members so your readers get to know your business on a more personal level. Highlight accomplishments, achievements, team-building, and charitable giving. Your content space provides the perfect real estate for a more intimate connection with your consumers.

Looking for more small business tips and digital marketing tricks? Be sure to check out our Zebra Marketing Solutions blog!

Switching from Sticky Notes: An Organized Email List Makes a Difference!

Are you guilty of decorating your office with brightly-colored little squares that contain tons of contact information? If sticky notes have become the wallpaper and main accessory in your office, it’s time to banish the chaos in favor of a de-cluttered contact list.

It never fails — People only seem to need their business cards when they have none. Sticky notes become runners-up, allowing you to jot down potential customers’ names, email addresses, and other vital information. Before you know it, a whole new layer of fluorescent shades is stuck around your computer screen.

Unless you’ve figured out a way to hit “send” on your sticky notes, your marketing efforts may be suffering at the hands of your handy little scribbles.

Segmenting = Optimal Marketing

When you segment your contact list, you’re able to target them with content that’s relevant to their specific needs, rather than hoping for one-size-fits-all content solutions.

Each subset of customers helps you hone in on information you can use to make your marketing campaigns more efficient and effective. Here are a few key factors you might want to consider as you set up your segments:

  • Geography
  • Gender
  • Buying frequency
  • Industry
  • Past purchases

This list could go on forever. Find what works for you, and make strides for continuous improvement.

Personalization = Improved Customer Experiences

Unless you have the memory of an elephant, you’re probably not going to be able to store every conversation you’ve had with your customers over time. Thankfully, with the help of an organized contact list and a great CRM (customer relationship management database), you can easily:

  • Make notes about past orders or interactions
  • Track customer activity
  • Learn what makes your customers tick

Once you record the information, it’s easily accessible anytime you need to reference it in the future.

Now that you know how important an organized contact list is to your business, let’s make your newfound knowledge work for you! Sign up for free inbound marketing tips from our team at Zebra Marketing Solutions today!

Will Discussing Politics on Social Media Kill Your Business?

America has witnessed one of the most contentious elections in history. Many of us feel very strongly about our political views, the candidate we supported or did not support, and we want to talk politics. Discussion is important, and some may argue that it’s a lack of discussion that has gotten us to the point of having such a contentious rivalry in the first place. Social media has played a huge part in the election. Candidates now post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to connect with their supporters. Citizens use social media channels to organize events, rallies, and to promote the candidate of their choice.

70% of internet users are now on Facebook, and many people will agree that it’s more and more difficult to keep our personal lives separate from our business lives. Many of us now have business colleagues as Facebook friends, giving them access to very personal, intimate parts of our lives. We want the benefit of being ourselves on social media, while not “upsetting” anyone, especially business colleagues or clients, by being ourselves.

So what is ok to post on social media, and what’s not ok? We’ve all seen inflammatory posts on social media recently. People mudslinging, calling each other names and unfriending each other over political opinions or comments. Facebook is a social network, and it was designed for personal use before it was ever used for business, and it is still a highly personal outlet – so people should expect to see political posts or posts about people’s personal feelings or opinions in various regards. If you feel the need to speak up about your views, you should be free to do so. It may even lead to healthy discussion, and learning about alternate views and the facts or arguments behind them. But – think before you speak. Ask yourself, “would I say this to someone in person?” Sitting behind a screen, it may be easy to get carried away…remember to keep your comments respectful! It’s one thing to state your opinion or to disagree, or to engage in healthy debate. It’s taking it to the extreme that can hurt your reputation.

It’s each of our personal choice whether to engage in discussions about politics or avoid it entirely on social media. We should keep in mind that we are all different, come from different backgrounds and upbringings, and we will never all agree on everything, including our political views. Part of what makes America great is that we are free to disagree! So try to keep an open mind when dealing with your friends and business contacts on social media!

If you found this post helpful, please Like, Comment or Share! And please Contact Us for more information about social media for your business.

Seven Tips For Effective Facebook Ads

With over 1.71 Billion monthly active users, Facebook can generate more leads and sales for your business than many other advertising channels. Facebook ads can be targeted to specific audiences, in specific locations, with specific interests relevant to your business. Facebook is the place to be for many small businesses, because you can get more bang for your buck! But it can also be confusing to navigate the world of Facebook advertising, so here are our top tips to help you get the most out of Facebook Ads for you business:

  1. Set a goal – such as: to get more social engagement, to get more people to visit your website, etc.
  2. Images – “thumb-stopping!” bright colors, bright images, lifestyle images
  3. Copy – less is more – align your caption with your image
  4. If you post video – it MUST have captions!! Audio does not load automatically
  5. More $$ for fewer days is better than less $$ for more days. It allows you to reach more of the right qualified customers due to Facebook’s ranking systems.
  6. Relevance score – Facebook ranks you based on how relevant your ad is to the audience you’ve targeted, on a scale of 1-10.  If you are less relevant, you will be seen less.
  7. Once you’ve posted an ad, do not edit it, it will destroy the algorithms Facebook has in place. If you want to make changes, start a new ad.

If you keep these tips in mind when creating your Facebook ads, you should be on the road to reaching more customers and generating more leads, so you can make more sales!

We appreciate you stopping by, and hope you enjoyed this post!  If you did, please Like, Comment or Share!

For more information on Facebook, social media and digital marketing, please contact us at www.zebramarketingsolutions.com/contact

How-to: Facebook Strategy for your Business!

As of the second quarter of 2016, Facebook had 1.71 billion monthly active users, and growing! Out of all the various social networking sites, Facebook is currently the largest, with YouTube in second place. Our customers are on Facebook, and we should be too! You may be thinking, “I know my business should be on Facebook, but the world of social media for business can be daunting and confusing…” or, “My business is on Facebook, but I’m not sure I’m getting the results I’d like…” Facebook for business doesn’t have to be overwhelming.  And to take some of the guess work out of it, here are some tips for building a high-impact Facebook strategy for your business! Below, I have described different types of Facebook ads and how to use them.

First, Facebook has business pages locked down. This means that if you post something on your business page, the only people who will see it organically (as in, all you did was post it to your page) are the people who have liked your page. If only 100 people have liked your page, only those 100 people will see anything you post there.


  1. You pay for ads, and encourage people to like, comment or share
  2. You post to your business page, then share the post to your timeline and any other groups you are a member of that are relevant to your target market

Facebook’s ultimate goal is to keep as many people as possible glued to the social network for as long as possible. If your posts keep people engaged, as measured by likes, comments, shares and time on screen, the social network will reward you with further reach. Spam up your page with excessive posts that no one likes or comments on, and your reach is likely to decline quite quickly.

So, if you pay for an ad, Facebook is checking to see how people respond to it. If it is relevant to your audience and engaging to people, Facebook rewards the post with more reach. If nobody responds to it, it will not be rewarded with reach.

There are a number of different kinds of ads:

Page Like ads

Pops up a summary of your business page in your target market’s Facebook feed, and asks people to like the page. Since only people who have liked your page will organically see your posts, this is a good way to get more page likes. You can set a target market, budget, and period of time to run the ad.

Boosted Posts

You may keep a blog on your website. If you do, it’s a great idea to re-post your blog posts to your Facebook page. You are providing original content that is relevant to your target market and positions you as an expert at what you do. You took the time to write it, and you want as many people to see it as possible! If you post to your Facebook business page, as I mentioned above, only people who have liked your page will see it. However, if you click “Boost Post” on the lower corner of the content you wish to post, you can choose a target audience and apply a budget. Always link to your website in a boosted post! You want to drive traffic to your website, so that people can see what you’re all about and contact you! As I mentioned above, you can also share your post to relevant groups you are a member of.

Sponsored Content

This is more like a traditional format ad…you can create the content and add an image. You could make special offers, or communicate a specific message, like inviting people to your upcoming free webinar. You can create or choose a target audience, say within a certain distance of your business location, with a certain set of interests that would be relevant to your target market. Then you can choose a budget and a period of time to run the ad. Always link back to your website in your ad! And again, you can share the ad to relevant groups.

We suggest doing a combination of all 3 types of ads for maximum impact.  Page Like ads will help increase the followers on your page.  Sponsored Content will help you with promotions and to build awareness of your business, and Boosted Posts will help you to provide something of value to your customers, so that they think of you as an expert in your field, and come back when they need your help!

We appreciate you stopping by, and I hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, please Like, Comment or Share!
For more information on Facebook, social media and digital marketing, please contact us at www.zebramarketingsolutions.com/contact

Glad you stopped by! How’s your branding?

A policeman in the big city stops a man in a car with a zebra in the front seat. “What are you doing with that zebra?” He exclaimed, “You should take it to the zoo.” The following week, the same policeman sees the same man with the zebra
again in the front seat, with both of them wearing sunglasses. The policeman pulls him over. “I thought you were going to take that zebra to the zoo!” The man replied, “I did. We had such a good time
we are going to the beach this weekend!”

Thanks for visiting Zebra Marketing Solutions!  We’re excited you’ve stopped by, and like the man in the story above, we hope you enjoy your time with us and keep coming back for more!

Why are we called Zebra Marketing Solutions, you may ask?  A zebra on its own is a striking, stunning creature that catches the eye in any environment.  However, that same zebra within a crowd of zebras will blend in and be difficult to distinguish.  This is great for the zebra, because it makes it hard for predators to pick him out from the crowd to catch him for dinner, but blending into the crowd is  not good for your business!  In these days of Google, Facebook, Twitter and countless other digital channels, your customers have a lot of choices and you can’t afford to blend into the background.

There will always be similarities between you and your competitors, or “points of parity,” (ie: all luxury car dealers sell cars), but you bring something different that provides unique value to your customers (ie: Lexus provides a pampered driving experience, while BMW provides a “feel the road” experience).  These are your “points of difference” that give your customers that “Yes! I am in the right place!” feeling.  At Zebra Marketing Solutions, we want to help you be truly clear on the unique value that you bring to your customers, and help you build that message into your branding and get it out to the right people who can buy from you and refer you, so that you can get more leads, and make more sales!

We hope you’ll follow us for further posts on how to make the most of your marketing!  We’re looking forward to taking this journey with you.

If you enjoyed this post, please like, comment or share!  For more information on branding, messaging, and digital marketing, please contact us at www.zebramarketingsolutions.com/contact