019- Using Social Media to Market Your New Business

Oct 29, 2019

Show Notes: 

Today's episode is focused on helping new businesses leverage the power of social media to help market your business. Social media expert and owner of Fox Social Media, a full service social media marketing firm, Jill Fox, joins Jeremy Epp in the studio to discuss how to leverage social media to bring about brand awareness and build up your followers. 

You'll learn:

  1. Which platforms you should be on today
  2. How to leverage Facebooks ads to maximize exposure
  3. How Linkedin is being under-utilized for B2B marketing
  4. The future of video in social media
  5. How to use Twitter to find competitors
  6. And much, much more!

Resources:

Email: jill@jillwfox.com
Website: www.JillWFox.com
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/JillWFox
YouTube: www.youtube.com/JillWFox
Podcast: www.JillWFox.com/podcast

Keyword Research: https://keywordseverywhere.com
Keyword SEO Research: https://pewinternet.org

Show Transcription:

Jeremy Epp: Well, welcome everybody, I wanted to introduce today's guest, Jill Fox. Jill is the owner of Fox Social Media, which is a full service online marketing firm, and Jill is going to share with us all kinds of good information that you're going to want to know about how to utilize and maximize social media to help grow your business. Welcome to the show, Jill.

Jill Fox: Thank you so much for having me, Jeremy. I'm excited to be here.

Jeremy Epp: Oh, I am too. I can't wait to get into our conversation. First, why don't you introduce yourself and tell us how long you have been working in the area of social media, and how did you get started in this?

Jill Fox: Well, I've been doing this for about 10 years, and I got started, don't laugh at this, but I learned about social media and how to use it because I wanted to keep track of my daughter, who is now 27, when she was on social media. And she'll tell you the story that she used to get grounded if she unfriended me ever, because she wasn't allowed to hide what she was doing. So I was lucky she was a good kid, but honestly, that's how I started to initially learn social media.

Jill Fox: Beyond that, I would literally listen to, read, and watch every possible thing I came across from legitimate sources to continually work on and improve my skills because it was something I really loved to do.

Jeremy Epp: So you were ahead of your time, and you could see what the future was going to be, and the value that social media would bring.

Jill Fox: Yeah. Well, you know, it was something that was super fun, it was a job that I could do from home and control my schedule, and those things are massively important to me. So yes, and ironically, it has changed drastically since I started 10 years ago. 10 years ago, literally all I did for businesses was to post to social media, and just monitor their comments and messages. Now if that's all I did, that would not fly at all. I would not be successful one bit.

Jeremy Epp: So before we get started, I'm going to confess that I am, I'll say socially inept in this area. I know enough of what I want to know, but I know there's so much more. Part of this stems from a past life, and when I was doing real estate, and I always felt a little weird about how to separate out me as a person versus me as a business, and always didn't want to be that guy at the party that was always talking about business, and I was very conscious of that when it came to Facebook and other forms of social media posting. So I struggled with that for quite a while.

Jeremy Epp: I know things have changed, but before we get into that, let's focus on what a new business owner, a new entrepreneur would want to know about how to use social media to help grow and market their business.

Jill Fox: I would say the most important thing to know is that social media is crucial. Let's say that you are on Facebook, and you're saying, "Oh my gosh, only 1 to 2% of your followers see what you post because of the algorithm." Well, you need to be there. The reason you need to be there is two-fold. One is that people are going to look for you there. When someone is thinking about working with you, they're going to check you out online, and darn it, if you don't have a presence, they are not going to be comfortable working with you nine times out of ten. And I've actually had that happen to someone, one of my clients prior to coming to me. They lost a very good person that they wanted to work for their company because they didn't have the presence on social media, and that person wasn't comfortable working there.

Jill Fox: The other thing that's important to know is you don't have to be everywhere. You do have to be on Facebook. And again, what we just talked about is one of the main reasons. The second reason is that that is the largest of the social media platforms, and more adults ... gosh, last time I looked, it was like 78% of the adult population in the U.S. is on Facebook.

Jill Fox: The other thing I think it's really important to know is that people need to get to know, like, and trust you, and it's much easier on social media, and any type of media where they can read things from you, see photos of you and your business, and most importantly, see videos that allow them a sneak peek into your business and to learn a little bit more about you.

Jill Fox: So I think those are the most important reasons to be there, and I'm going to top that off with Facebook ads, which we can talk about later. But you need a profile to run Facebook ads.

Jeremy Epp: So with so many social media platforms, where would you suggest that you would start out? You mentioned Facebook is one that you need to be on. Would you recommend that people focus on one to two or more platforms? Or how many would you recommend that somebody work with?

Jill Fox: I would say probably three, and the reason I say that is because everyone, every single business on the planet, I don't care what you do, needs to be on Facebook. Now, the next most important one for most people, and specifically anyone that has a creative business, that has a business where images are super important, like you're a fashion designer, you're someone who stages homes, you do hair, makeup, nails, or maybe you're a weight loss coach and you have before and after photos, Instagram is very visual, and it's photograph based, and it's super important to be there and share those images.

Jill Fox: If you are B2B, if you are a business who sells to other businesses, whether it's products or services, you absolutely have to be on LinkedIn. That is the number one source for B2B. And I can tell you that I get, to this day, most of my leads are either referrals or people that I meet through LinkedIn.

Jeremy Epp: Interesting, interesting. What about Twitter?

Jill Fox: Okay, I have a hate-hate relationship with Twitter, love-hate relationship with Twitter. Twitter is amazing for celebrities. It is incredible for our fire department. Oh my gosh, that's my main source ... I live in Southern California, and when there are fires, they're my main source. They're by far the best source when I can follow Orange County Fire Authority, or someone like that. Sports teams, you want to keep up on the scores, things like that it's incredible for.

Jill Fox: Unfortunately, Twitter has become the playground of complainers, whiners, and fake news, and Twitter is doing nothing to control it. So I have worked hard over the years to build Twitter profiles for my clients. Quite honestly, that's the least effective of the social media platforms we use, and every time I see one of their trending hashtags, I'm ready to yank everybody right off of there. I don't think it's a positive environment, other than like I said, it's incredible for celebrities, sports teams. It does serve a purpose, they just need to take some control, and they need to stop allowing the fake news and fake hashtags that are so prevalent today.

Jeremy Epp: What about things like YouTube and video focused?

Jill Fox: YouTube is amazing. YouTube is owned by Google, for anyone who doesn't know that, so YouTube is going to be one of the top places in search that you're going to pop up if you have a YouTube channel, because Google owns it. YouTube is the second most used social media platform by adults in the U.S.

Jill Fox: The other thing with YouTube is that video is what most people want to see. It is supposed to grow tremendously to the point where it's going to take over just about everything. You can learn so much more about a person by video. You're seeing them, you're watching their mannerisms, you're listening to what they say, you can get a peek inside their business, you can see what their day is like, and it drastically cuts down the time it takes for someone to get to like, know, trust you.

Jeremy Epp: It's interesting because I utilize LinkedIn quite a bit, and every time I post information, I'm always looking at the feed that I am right next to, and it's like, "Oh boy, here's a static photo with some information, and I'm competing against videos of puppies." And it makes me wonder, "Do I even have a shot of catching somebody's eye?" Because your eye is going to go to that movement. So I know videos are something that are on my radar to begin to incorporate here in the near future.

Jill Fox: And I don't know if you know, but LinkedIn is super under utilized for video. So if you natively upload, that means you've created a video. And even though you may upload it to your YouTube channel, if you keep that video under 10 minutes long, you can upload it natively to both Facebook and YouTube. It's not anymore work. Well, yeah it is, a couple minutes the uploading process, actually. But the reason you're seeing those is they're really pushing video, and LinkedIn wants to compete with the Facebooks and the YouTubes, and be the business source of video. So right now, you get tons of brownie points from LinkedIn if you post native video. Again, that's not saying, "Here's a link to my YouTube video," that's saying, "I've uploaded it, here it is. Watch it right here on this platform."

Jeremy Epp: So can you give a little bit more definition of what you mean by native?

Jill Fox: Oh, sure. That means, as I was saying, don't share a link to it, actually go into LinkedIn, where you post, and instead of clicking on the little camera, click on the little video camera. That allows you to upload the video, and then you can leave some tags and you can leave a caption, post a caption as well. It'll take a few minutes to upload, but once it uploads, a person can watch that video right there in their newsfeed, and never leave the platform. Had you posted a link, and they click that link, they're leaving LinkedIn and going to, say, Facebook.

Jill Fox: So not just LinkedIn, but all of the platforms really give more clout to people that keep people on the platform, whether it's to watch their own videos or someone else within the platform. Let's say I post a video, and then I say, "Okay everybody, now watch Jeremy's video, here's the link," I'm going to get just as much credit from YouTube, just about as if I posted another one myself.

Jeremy Epp: Interesting. No, that's really good to know. So there's all these little tips and tricks to help boost your rating and be rewarded, if you will, by the algorithms, based upon the behavior that the platform is wanting. Which I've heard this, and you just reiterated it, is to stay on that platform and continue to consume content.

Jill Fox: Right. That's what every single one of the platforms want you to do. So if you can, do a video, keep it under 10 minutes, and natively upload it to the three platforms, that being LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram too, when you can. But you got to keep ... Instagram you've actually got to keep it shorter than that, or you've got to use IGTV, but I won't get into that right now.

Jeremy Epp: So just to go into the nitty gritty here, it doesn't mean that you can't shoot the video separately, edit it. Or when you hit that video link, are you live and you've got to shoot right then and there? Or do you have a chance to edit it and then, I'll use the word post the video into the platform.

Jill Fox: Yes, you can. I don't do any live videos. I don't think I'm good enough at that, and I really want to edit them. And live video is another thing that you get tons of clout for, but I don't do any live videos ever. I'm not comfortable with that. I don't want to post something ... I want to cut the garbage out if I can, like the ums and uhs and all the different things that we say, I want that out of there.

Jill Fox: So yes, what I do is I actually am not super technical when it comes to cameras and video microphones, so I actually record my videos on my Mac, and I just use Photo Booth. I do use a nice microphone that's like $60, but it's a really good mic. And then all I do is I edit that video in iMovie. All of it's free right there on my Mac, so you don't have to be professional. As a matter of fact, if you're super professional and polished, and everything is perfect, your video is not going to do as well. What people want to see is real, actual, the real thing. That's not to say don't take out the ums and uhs and silent breaks and things like that, but don't go Hollywood. Hollywood videos don't do well on YouTube.

Jeremy Epp: Interesting.

Jill Fox: People just want to see you being you in your real environment.

Jeremy Epp: Yeah, it kind of goes to also I would say one of the downfalls, and I've heard people talk about this with social media in general, is generally when people post, it's all of the good stuff, it's the best of the best, or you're leaving out the troubled times. I think that's starting to change, and certainly the videos would account for that as well, but you're sharing instead of what a fantastic day you had, maybe it's like, "Ugh, just another boring day." Nobody wants to read about that, it's not very exciting, but where the videos may overcome that and drive that behavior a little bit more.

Jill Fox: I think they can, and I know part of what I don't like about social media, and quite honestly, I no longer look at my Facebook newsfeed on my personal Facebook, or any of my newsfeeds, except Instagram, I still look at Instagram. The reason is I found that it was depressing, and it really bothered me. And I was like, "I'm going to just stop. This isn't good." So I don't want to be posting negative things, or if it's a bad day or a boring day, I don't want to put that out there because it's not great content. So that's some of what you see.

Jill Fox: Now, on the other hand, if you say, "Oh my gosh, today was a little challenging. We ran across this problem. Here is how I handled it, and steps one and two worked great, step three not so much, we're going to do a little more modification and get back at it tomorrow, and I'm going to update you guys and tell you what happened." That's fine, that type of a video.

Jill Fox: But yeah, you don't want to be a whiner. That drives me nuts.

Jeremy Epp: Yeah, people won't tune back in.

Jill Fox: No, they will not.

Jeremy Epp: Let's shift gears here, let's talk about how do you grow your followers, and I'll say engagement? Because I know that sometimes people probably get caught up in the number, the people, you know, how many followers they have. But followers does not equal ... it's not consistent and it doesn't equal quality, I guess is where I'm trying to go with this. So you may have a million followers, however, they may not be your primary target market to reach out to.

Jeremy Epp: In fact, I heard recently a story about an influencer that had I think it was two-and-a-half million, plus or minus followers, and she was pushing out a line of clothing, and she ended up selling like, what, 36 t-shirts, and couldn't figure out what was going on. So again, numbers do not equal quality. Could you talk a little bit about how do you go about growing the followers that you want to have that are your primary target market?

Jill Fox: Sure. And I just want to preface this by saying my clients are small businesses. They are sometimes personal brands. But I'm in the smaller market, so I'm not going to be talking about, this is not going to be the same as if you work for Coca-Cola, or The Ford Company, or somebody huge like that. But it's different on every platform.

Jill Fox: On Facebook, you want to start out by creating a business page, and then inviting all of your friends, meaning your Facebook friends, your friends on Facebook, to like that business page. There you get a little bit of traction. Facebook is tricky because you have a business page, you cannot invite people to like that business page unless one of two things, they're a friend of yours on your personal page, or they have interacted, basically liked one of your posts. If someone happens to see one of your posts and likes it, you then can invite them to like your page. So Facebook is tricky.

Jill Fox: Ads, you actually have to put money behind Facebook to really get it going. The other things you can do with all of the networks is to make sure that you have your social media links in your header or footer on your website. If you have a store, make sure you've got a little sign up front that shows all of those links. If you have any kind of marketing materials, put them on there. Make sure that people know. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to find some of these businesses on social media, and it really shouldn't be.

Jill Fox: If you want to talk about Twitter and Instagram, this is something I do that I want to preface this by saying long term grow strategy this is not, however, [inaudible 00:18:49] sitting there twiddling your thumbs, waiting for people to find you, or you can do what I do, and that is to find your direct competitors. Okay? I own Jill's Flower Shop in Irvine, California, and right down the street from me is Betty's Flower Shop, so I'm going to go on Betty's Flower Shop's Twitter and Instagram, I'm going to click on the followers so it brings up a list of everyone that followers her, and I'm going to follow all of those people. And at least you are kind of showing people that you're out there. These are people you know, in most cases, are interested in flowers and live in your area, so that's the best way to get started. Again, not a long term grow strategy, but why sit there and twiddle your thumbs when that's a tactic that you can use, just a little bit each day.

Jeremy Epp: Mm-hmm (affirmative), that's interesting. Then, is the goal to ... I guess I've heard different strategies. One of my mentors talks about what he calls owning your own racetrack. What he means by that is getting people to transition away from social media over to the website where you have more say in the long run. The thoughts behind that is that over time, as rules and algorithms change, is you can stay in touch and be directly communicating with the followers via your own platform, you have much more control if all of a sudden something drastic were to occur. You're not stuck in that environment of somebody else's racetrack.

Jill Fox: Absolutely. That's where email marketing comes in, and why it's so important. I know we went through a spurt years ago where people were saying, "Oh, email marketing is dead, blah, blah, blah," but now that everyone is seeing how the social media networks have tightened up their algorithms so that almost they're now what they call pay to play, although you don't have to pay to be a member of them, you essentially as a business almost have to pay to get your information out there in front of your ideal customer client.

Jill Fox: So what you want to do as a business owner is something like, in my flower shop, I am doing a contest for a free Christmas bouquet. So what I do is I have a link, it takes people to a landing page, they enter their email address, and they're entered for the drawing. So if you're a service like I am, you might want to give away a list of all of my top resources for brand new entrepreneurs, and it's free. All people have to do is click that link, go to the landing page, and enter their email address so that you're capturing it.

Jill Fox: So it is important to have that because yes, the social media networks change the rules. There have been people, you know, they try to police them as best they can, but there have been legitimate people who have had 100,000 followers and suddenly their Instagram account is deleted. And they were using that essentially as their website, so I think it's important to, one, spread out a little bit, and two, own your traffic. Exactly like what you just said, Jeremy.

Jeremy Epp: Can you talk a little bit to us, Jill, about how targeted you can get when it comes to advertising via social media?

Jill Fox: Yes, and Facebook is the best for two reasons. One, they have the best targeting options. And two, the ads are significantly less expensive on Facebook, if you do it right. Got to know what you're doing. So you can target things like, you can say Jill's Flower Shop, I want to reach people, males or females, I can say I want them in this age group, obviously it goes 18 is the youngest and 65 plus is the top, but somewhere in that group. I can say, "All right, let's see, people probably will only drive five miles to a flower shop, so I'm going to draw a five miles radius around Irvine, that's the people I want to hit."

Jill Fox: I know that I can target their behaviors, things like they like flowers, they shop online, different things like that. You can really drill down into ... You can't really hit income, so much, brackets, but what you can do is you can say they're in the top 25% of all household income in the U.S., which is very random, because you'd almost have to be in that to even exist where we live, where you can live very comfortably for much less at the same level in a lot of other places. So that's kind of a random one.

Jill Fox: But there's so many different behaviors and interests that you can target. Some are kind of random, and sometimes I'll look for something really that I think, "Oh, this has to be there," and it's not. You got to get a little creative. You can also say, "Okay, Mary has this beautiful page, and all she does is post floral displays. She displays flowers, and she arranges them, and she doesn't sell them. So I want to target everybody in my area who follows Mary's flower display page." There's quite a few things you can do.

Jill Fox: Now, they have, just to caveat to that, they have changed a few of the options on there for realtors, number one. I have clients that are realtors, and they changed the options saying you can't pinpoint a zip code. So cities here are large, and we may have 10 zip codes in a city. You cannot pinpoint a zip code because they call that discrimination. I mean, it's kind of silly because if you live in zip code A, you're not interested in zip code Z.

Jeremy Epp: Right.

Jill Fox: It's kind of silly. Now, one more thing to add on top of that, the algorithm is so amazing, and it improves every single day, that we're going to get to the point where just how we tag our ad and the image we put in it, and the wording, the captions, Facebook's going to know exactly who to show it to, because they've got so much information, if that makes sense. They're so great at the targeting themselves, without us even giving them the targeting input, that they're going to get it right after a while.

Jeremy Epp: Right. And I would point out, too, targeting the audience and finding it and purchasing ads is one thing, but to be successful, you've got to round it out with excellent copy, and the right message, and the right format to pull people's interest and bring them into your landing page.

Jill Fox: Heck yeah. And now SEO, search engine optimization, well, years ago it used to be that you could hire a very talented web developer who could throw all these keywords in the back end of your website, and Google would send you traffic, and your website could be garbage and have nothing to do with what people were actually looking for. You essentially could trick the system. That's no longer the case, thank God. It's so much better now because it's kind of gone to the legitimate path, and so the algorithms can now figure out what's actually on your website, what your content is actually about, what your photo actually is without you telling it. So if you try to trick it and tag it wrong, it's not going to help you.

Jill Fox: So now, what Jeremy just mentioned about content being so important is the content really tells the algorithm what you do, and it really helps your search engine optimization. It helps people find you. In addition, it helps them get to know, like, and trust you, and to gain interest in you. So it's really great the way things are going right now.

Jeremy Epp: So you've got ads to help pull people, introduce people to you, but how would you incorporate postings, actual postings, and how many times a day would you do it? Multiple times a day? Multiple times a week? What would be, for somebody that's kind of just getting in, and they're looking at ads, and they're looking at, "Okay, I only have so much I want to do. I need to still build the trust within my page and my audience," but what would you recommend that you've seen work and be successful as far as how often somebody should be posting new content to their site?

Jill Fox: I would say you want to post at least a few times a week. Now, for my clients, I post five days a week for most of them. You don't have to do that, so don't get too carried away with that. But you also want to make sure that your posts are only 20% selling, and the other 80% are helping people. So what you want to think about is what do your customers want to know?

Jill Fox: The best thing you can do is start to make a list. What questions do they ask you? Boom, there's your content. Now you know what your exact customers want to know. And not only are you answering what they want to know, but you're driving traffic to your website, or your content, or your social media because you are posting the answers to things that people want to know. You listen to your customers, and they'll tell you exactly what to post. You also want to make sure there are images of your store, or your business, or things like that.

Jill Fox: The other really important thing to post is your reviews. And don't do it a lot, but throw your good reviews in there in the mix. And a quick story, I do something with a couple of my clients. I will boost a post. I will basically turn a review, a good review, into an ad. I'm just targeting the area around the business, essentially, getting that ad out there. And I put very little budget behind it. But what happens, interestingly enough, is that existing clients and customers see it who love the business. They share it sometimes, and they pile on comments, "Oh yeah, I love this store. Oh my gosh, I went there last week and it was so great."

Jill Fox: So not only are you getting this great review out to your ideal clients, but your existing clients are on there saying all these great things about you, and that's such great social proof, because people believe their peers way more than advertising. Nobody wants to see or hear and ad.

Jeremy Epp: Yeah, I know that as I shop online, I find the product I'm interested in, and the first thing I do is I go look at reviews, and I see, if it's a service, are they attentive to details, is it quality if it's a product, what's the feedback, is it good long term. That will make all the difference in the world whether I continue to even entertain thinking about buying something from that company.

Jeremy Epp: Back in the day, I want to jump back old school here, we used to use what was termed as the ugly yellow postcard marketing method when I was in real estate, which was literally a jumbo sized postcard. The option was you could go buy a fancy high gloss, pre-written newsletter, put your name in the corner and your contact information, and send it out. Well, nobody ever read it because they knew it was canned and you didn't write it.

Jeremy Epp: So the ugly yellow postcard marketing method was a story about a situation that was going wrong, how it was getting worse, and how you stepped in and saved the day, and because of your efforts, the situation was resolved. The key to this thing was actually printing it through a copy machine, and so it looked beat up, rough, ugly, and it stood out, and it was actually phenomenal. It actually worked like a charm. So like you said earlier on the videos, polished is not always best.

Jill Fox: Well, and like you just said, exactly what works, people want to know that you understand their problem. And when I say problem, it may just mean, "I need a corsage for the prom next week." You know what I'm saying. Whatever their situation, problem, want, desire, they want to know that you understand it, and can verbalize it, basically, in your advertising, and they want to know that you have the solution to their problem. That's the key when you're advertising. You want to make sure of those two things. You can do it in different fashions, you don't have to do it straightforward, you can do it just like what Jeremy said, that's exactly what still works today, but in different formats.

Jill Fox: You know, if you can get testimonials, if you can get any of your clients on film, you want to show projects you've done. That's huge also.

Jeremy Epp: So let me ask you this, when you are marketing for your business, and kind of going back to the story I told at the beginning of this, how personal do you want to get? Where do you draw the line between talking about the benefits of your service and how it'll benefit the target audience, versus posting that you went to your daughter's fifth birthday and had a wonderful time?

Jill Fox: Two answers to that. One is that it depends on the individual. I have clients that are, "Don't put that up there!" They just are shy, they're more reserved, they don't want it there. That being said, I try to encourage people to do a little bit of that at least. Now, you want to let people get to know, like, and trust you. People buy from people, not businesses. It's you they're going to buy from, not Jeremy Epp Solutions. So you want to make sure, that's just an example, that you're giving that opportunity.

Jill Fox: That being said, you don't want to be doing the, "I went to this birthday party at the ... " And that's okay once in a while, that's okay, but you don't want to be doing it all the time.

Jeremy Epp: Right.

Jill Fox: You also don't want to be going super personal, saying, "Oh, I just talked to my friend, and she got a divorce last week." You know what I mean? You have to use good judgment. And I'll use myself as an example. Some of it's trial and error, some people may not like what I post, but then maybe that's not my ideal customer client anyway in a service based business.

Jill Fox: But I'm a huge Anaheim Ducks hockey fan, so you're going to sometimes, once in a while, see a post about that. I have two rescue dogs, you will see posts about my rescue dogs a lot. I love the beach, I am obsessed with shells, just silly things like that, that are big parts of me. My grandbabies, I have two grandbabies, but that's predicated on when my daughter will let me post a picture. So I think it's important for people to know little things like that, but you don't go too deep where you're making your client uncomfortable.

Jeremy Epp: Mm-hmm (affirmative), that makes sense, that makes sense. So where do you go to find where your audience is at?

Jill Fox: That's a very, very good question. A lot of times when I start with a new business, they don't know that. They don't even really know the demographics. They know what they do, and they have an idea of who they serve, but they haven't really studied and researched the demographics. You can do some research on Google, you can research your competitors. And like we talked about, look at who follows them. You can go on a site, if you want to find where they are online, you want to go on pew, P-E-W internet, I think it's pewinternet.com, but it's PEW Internet Research, and they've got the most up to date incredible research. They'll tell you things like people over 40 in the U.S. who have such and such an income use Facebook more than any other platform. Just all kinds of detailed targeting information that you can use.

Jill Fox: The other thing I would say is some of it's honestly trial and error. You're going to find that some ad targeting is better than others. You're going to find that some content and images are better than others. And you're just going to constantly tweak the process, so know that it's all an ongoing process, and it's not that you step out the door and it all works perfect the next day. But you want to constantly be able to look at your social media and your marketing, and say, "Wow, look at what we've improved, and done, and added, and fixed, and how far we've come."

Jeremy Epp: Yeah, I'm looking at it now, it's pewinternet.org.

Jill Fox: Okay, they're amazing, yeah, I love that site.

Jeremy Epp: So let me ask you this, as I ask around, different questions regarding social media, and who's on what, and talking to different generations, and people in different categories, is Facebook in decline, and is Instagram booming?

Jill Fox: I would say yes, however don't run away from Facebook. They are still the number one place people are going to look you up, they're still the number one social media network for adults in the U.S., and they still have the best ad targeting, prices, and I think effectiveness as well from what I've seen. So don't go away from there. You don't have to put tons of time in like we talked about, a couple posts a week. Make sure your page is optimized, meaning all the sections filled out with information about you, and make sure you're staying on top of it with at least a couple posts a week. But that's all you need to do.

Jill Fox: Now, you guys may not know this, but Facebook owns Instagram. So Instagram and Facebook are very highly connected. If you run an ad on Facebook with one little click and one little box, that ad can run on Instagram as well.

Jeremy Epp: Interesting.

Jill Fox: Yeah, it's pretty cool. They're very, very different, as well. Instagram trends a little bit younger. Instagram is very visual. So if you have ... Pretty much anyone can be on there if they're super creative, it's just easier for people with more visual type things to post. So yeah, I would say those are two of the top ones, and LinkedIn is my next one if you're B2B, and of course if you're willing, definitely YouTube with some videos.

Jeremy Epp: Yeah, absolutely. Jill, what advice would you give somebody who's just jumping in the pool of starting their own business? What are some of the pitfalls that you see users make when it comes to social media and marketing their business?

Jill Fox: Well, I think that the main mistakes I see, or I'll have people tell me, "Oh, I don't want to get bad reviews, so I don't want a Facebook page." Well, guess what? Those reviews are going on Yelp, and Google, and everywhere else, and if you're not involved, you don't see them, you're not aware of them, you can't fix the problems, and you can't communicate back. As I tell people, you're being talked about on social media. You darn well better be part of the conversation and able to direct it, and create your own online image.

Jill Fox: The pitfalls I see are that people don't optimize their profile, they don't take the time to fill everything out, or are not consistent posting. They don't put their social media icons on their website to make that easy connection. Those are some of the big ones that are super easy to overcome. You don't need a ton of skill or a ton of time to do those things.

Jill Fox: So like I said, just pick a few, and be very consistent with them. Now, if you do see a bad review, immediately address it. You know, sometimes they're fake. And when they're fake, you just, "I'm so sorry, I don't see a client under your name having shopped at our store. Could you please tell me the day that you were there?" Or you kind of ask a few very polite, nice questions, and other people get the gist that it's fake.

Jill Fox: Now, if it's legitimate, you go on there, and you say, "I am so sorry this happened. We definitely want to make it right. I am sending you a DM right now." Then after the DM and you clear this up with the individual, you go back again. Even though the individual is fine and taken care of, you go back on social media and underneath that, you write another comment saying, "I am so glad we talked and were able to get this situation all taken care of for you. If you ever need anything else, you reach out to me anytime." People know mistakes happen, they want to see how you handle them.

Jeremy Epp: Yeah, makes sense. Is there a situation where social media marketing is not good for any particular type of business?

Jill Fox: A crappy one. And I'm sorry, what I mean by that is somebody who is not ethical, somebody who is not doing a good job, somebody whose services don't work. And what I love nowadays is they're going to get called out.

Jeremy Epp: Right.

Jill Fox: So other than a good company, no, they definitely need to be on social media. There really is no downside. Like we talked about, some people talk about the review thing, but you controlling that is much better, and knowing about it. So business wise, there's not a single company that I can think of ever that shouldn't be on there, and just as an example, there is a porta potty company, and I forget where they are, they have some of the best posts I have ever seen. They're hilarious, they're creative, they're funny, and who would think, right? I mean, a porta potty company. So if they can do it, you can do it.

Jeremy Epp: Absolutely. Jill, we've covered a ton of material, and you just barely scratched the surface, and I'm sure there's a lot of people listening that are feeling quite overwhelmed. The good news is you can help them. So briefly describe what kind of services that you provide, and where people can contact you if they're interested in learning more and reaching out to have you help them.

Jill Fox: Thank you, yes. I own Fox Social Media, and what we do is every single thing just about online marketing wise for small businesses, and that means everything from setting up social media platforms, posting, monitoring them for comments, creating content, running ads, uploading, and properly tagging videos, reputation management, and even email marketing. And reputation management is just handling your reviews, basically. If there's a good one, thanking them. If there's a bad one, taking care of it.

Jeremy Epp: Okay.

Jill Fox: So I do all of that through my company, Fox Social Media. I've also got a podcast and a YouTube channel, it's under my name, Jill W. Fox, and the podcast is called The Small Business Social Podcast, where I teach marketing for entrepreneurs, practices, brands, and small businesses.

Jeremy Epp: And the best place for people to find you?

Jill Fox: Would be at jillwfox.com, and everything is linked on that website. I'm Jill W. Fox all over social media.

Jeremy Epp: Okay, that makes it simple. Well Jill, thank you so much for your time and your input. There's a lot of stuff that I know that I'm going to be reviewing and taking a close look at my business to help improve on, and I'm sure our listeners will also be looking at opportunities to grow and expand and build upon their brand through the information that you've shared. Thank you so much for coming on today's show.

Jill Fox: Thank you so much for having me, and I hope everything is helpful to your audience, and I really appreciate being here today.

Jeremy Epp: So there you go. I hope you learned a ton of information. And if you have any follow up questions, certainly reach out to Jill at jillwfox.com for more information. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider subscribing. Head on over to jeremyepp.com and subscribe, and you'll be notified of all future broadcasts that we have.

Jeremy Epp: Be sure to tune in next week, where we're starting a three week podcast series, three different attorneys coming onto the show. They're going to share amazing information about everything you need to know about setting up and launching your business, as well as information about trademarks and copyrights, and everything you need to know about protecting your brand and your identity. Be sure to tune back in next week for that information. Thanks for joining, I appreciate you, and I look forward to speaking with you on the next episode. 

 

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