4 Reasons to Share “Curated Content” on Social

Small businesses can save big on time and effort with ready-made content

Facebook and other social networks are great for sharing news and pictures, posting your thoughts and more. In fact, for most people and businesses, social media is all about YOU:

  • YOUR profile or Page
  • YOUR posts and updates
  • Connecting with YOUR customers

So why in the world would you share SOMEONE ELSE’S content on YOUR social channels?

“Curated content” – content that’s relevant to your business or customers from OTHER PEOPLE that you share in YOUR social media – can keep your customers engaged and coming back for more while saving you the time and effort required to create original posts.

1. Curated content keeps your social pages active… and keeps them from being empty

There’s nothing more disappointing than visiting a small business’s Facebook Page or Twitter feed and seeing… nothing. Or nothing recent – that’s just as bad. An empty or inactive social page can send all the wrong messages:

  • Customers may think you’re not going to be responsive via email, @ mentions, direct messages and other digital options
  • Customers may think you’re too busy to keep up with social media…and wonder if you’re too busy to keep up with them
  • Worst of all — customers may actually think you’re out of business!

Sharing curated content is ideal for keeping your Pages active – and not having to constantly ask yourself “When was the last time I posted something?” in a panic.

2. Curated content is faster and easier to share than your own posts

We’ve all been there: struggling to figure out WHAT to talk about on Facebook…then searching endlessly to find the right picture…or waiting for a video to upload on a slow connection.

Finding and sharing ready-made content can be the shortcut you need whenever work gets busy, or inspiration doesn’t strike. It can literally be as easy as clicking the “Share” button!

3. Curated content can look more professional and polished than your own posts

Sometimes the pictures you took of a recent job just don’t look very good. Sometimes you can’t find the right words (or you write too much… or not nearly enough!) about a topic that you absolutely want to share with your local customers.

You can avoid worrying about whether your post is “perfect” by sharing someone else’s. Just set it up with a short message about why it matters to your customers – and you’re all set to share a quality post.

4. Curated content shows that you have your “ear to the ground” of your industry

Your customers absolutely want to know about YOUR business – but talking about yourself all the time on Facebook can get old fast. You can tell them about what you do without always telling them about YOUR BUSINESS.

Curated content lets your audience know that you’re paying attention to trends and keeping up with what’s new in your field. Try sharing content from different sources:

  • Leading figures in your industry
  • Publications in your industry
  • Local organizations you’re involved with
  • Local news publications
  • Infographics and other informative, information-rich content
  • Even clips from TV shows and movies that reference your industry!

Pro tip: Hire a curator!

Curated content can absolutely be a quick win to keep your social profiles active and up to date, but it still takes time to:

  • Find the content you want to share
  • Make sure it’s relevant to your audience
  • Write the short set-up paragraph to introduce the post and say where it came from
  • See if it’s working – if no one is Liking, Sharing or Commenting on your curated content, it’s obviously not what your audience is looking for

Let someone help with the heavy lifting! Your focus should be on running your business and working with the leads and customers your social marketing drives to you. A social marketing partner, like Hibu, can take on the task of finding and sharing curated content for you, and you can get back the one thing that no small business has enough of… time!

BONUS: Who needs posts – aren’t ads enough?

Ads can help you reach your target audience, but remember that it’s an audience that’s on Facebook. There’s a good chance they’ll check out your Page too – and an empty Page (or a Page without relevant, recent content) won’t inspire much confidence in your business.

Find out why your business needs social ads and posts to reach, engage and re-engage your social customers.

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See how your online business listings change over time

Your business info could be wrong on sites, directories and apps…

Here’s something most local businesses don’t think about: even if your business name, address and phone number is correct online today…it might not be tomorrow.

Or next week.

At least not everywhere your customers are looking for you online.

Watch this short video to find out how often your business could be listed with the WRONG information online — and what you can do make sure it’s corrected, protected and under your control.

Did you know…? Local businesses like yours have autogenerated listings online, on social media and more. If you’re not taking control of your most important online business information, someone else could be — and they might not have the facts right.

Ready to update ALL your business listings online? Visit Hibu.com to learn more about the power of correct business data.

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3 ways to engage more of your Facebook fans

Simple ways to add interest and drive interaction with your Facebook Page

As most local businesses know, there’s a world of difference between “I have a Facebook Page” and “I use my Facebook Page to connect with my customers and grow my business.” Using both Facebook ads and posts is important. So is understanding the difference between ads and boosted posts. But as Hubspot recently pointed out, there are plenty of other ways to create a more engaging Facebook Page. These are a few of the simplest!

Add more to your ‘About’ section than just basic information

Don’t underestimate the “About” section of your Page – it may be one of the first places your customers look to learn about you.

Think about what you can add that’s unique to your business and your story:

  • Your mission statement– Why do you get up and do what you do every morning?
  • Promises or other guarantees – Even a high-level commitment to excellent customer service can mean a lot to potential customers
  • Company milestones – When were you founded? When did you get an important certification or other recognition? When did you first get involved with or sponsor a local organization or event?

Pin important posts to the top of your Page

Your Facebook Timeline is just that: a timeline with the newest posts at the top and the oldest at the bottom. And chances are, your customers aren’t scrolling that far down your Page.

Facebook lets you “pin” an important post to the top of your Timeline:

  • Breaking news, like changing hours for the holidays
  • Offers and promotions, especially timely and limited-time offers
  • Upcoming events, like local events you’re sponsoring

Just click the dropdown arrow in the top right corner of the post you want to pin…and click “Pin to Top.” You can only have one pinned post at a time, but think of it like a storefront window: just swap your pinned posts when it makes the most sense!

Determine the ideal timing and frequency for your posts

A little observation goes a long way when it comes to smart social media. Try posting at different times of the day (and night!) to see when people interact with your posts the most.

  • Do you get more “Likes” but fewer “Shares” in the morning?
  • Are pictures you post during lunch getting comments?
  • If you post polls, surveys or other interactive content – is it getting more attention on weekdays or weekends?

This can absolutely be a “gut feeling,” but the catch is that you have to post continuously for a week or two…at different times of the day…on different days of the week…AND avoid posting too frequently (remember, your posts should be valuable to your audience).

If you’re not sure where to start, look at some of the big brands in your industry and see when they’re posting. That could be a great example to follow!

BONUS: Decide whether you want Facebook fans to message you privately

Private Messages (or PMs) can be a great way for your followers to reach your directly through your Page. Just go to your settings…click “General”…and look for “Messages” in the results:

Messages-2.pngBut make sure you have the time to promptly check and respond to messages! There’s no point in creating a sense of exclusivity…just to privately ignore your customers and prospects.

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The 4 motivating factors that turn your site visitors into customers

Does your website highlight these “motivating factors”?

As a small business owner, you know what makes your company great. You hear it from happy customers all the time:

  • “What keeps people coming back is the QUALITY of my work.
  • “My PRICES are very competitive and fair.”
  • “When someone needs me, I’m there – FAST.”
  • “I am a fantastic REPUTATION. Just ask around about my work.”

But do your site visitors instantly see what sets you apart? Can they figure that out in those crucial few seconds they spend looking at your site – especially on a phone?

Turn browsers into buyers with the 4 motivating factors

No matter what line of work you’re in, there’s at least one motivating factor you can focus on.

Better yet: highlight something from EVERY category to make sure there’s something for every visitor.

3 ways to use the 4 motivating factors:

1. Prominence
Are your motivating factors easy to see on each page? How about on mobile? “Above the fold” may be a dated concept (especially on mobile), and you don’t need gimmicks like starbursts or animation to draw attention to a well-designed page, but make sure your factors are easy to find.

  • Include “24-hour service” or “1-hour response” near your phone number
  • Include any licenses, certifications, partnerships and other “trust icons” with your logo
  • Make sure your hours and payments accepted are easy to spot at the top and bottom of your pages

2. Repetition
Not everyone will start on yoursite.com. In fact, if you’re doing online marketing the right way, every page of your site is the home page. If you have an business-wide offer or guarantee, don’t be afraid to include it on every page.

3. Relevance
If you have a 10% discount for drain cleaning services…you might want to reconsider including it on a page about luxury bathroom remodeling.

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How a blog can benefit your business

Think like a publisher to drive traffic, grow your footprint and showcase who you are

In our experience, every local business wants a blog on their website…but very few take the time to publish blog posts on a regular basis. We get it: it’s not easy to decide WHAT to post…and even harder to find the time to do it. After a while, you probably find yourself asking “Is it even worth my time to blog?”

SocialMediaToday.com shared a great article about the power of posting on your website’s blog.

1. Blogs can drive traffic to your site and social profiles

Each blog post is content that can resonate with your audience and GROW your audience when it’s shared. From social media to old-fashioned emails with a link, posts are a great way to engage your audience and drive them to your website or social pages.

And the more you publish, the better your chances of being looked at as an authority on a topic.  We can’t promise you’ll be the next Judge Judy – but posting regularly (and encouraging people to share your posts) could make your audience think of you as THE personal injury attorney in your local area.

2. Blogs can build the size and reach of your site for more chances to get found

Every page of your website is a chance for search engines like Google to find you and serve up your content to a local customer’s search query. And every blog post you publish adds to that page count, and your chances to get found!

Plus, updating your site every time something changes can be a pain. A blog post is a great way to share the latest and greatest news, promotions or alerts with your audience.

3. Blogs are a great place to show some personality

From SocialMediaToday.com:

Who do people buy from? They buy from people they trust and people they can relate to.

When was the last time you felt any sort of connection to a website? That’s rare, right?

Now think of the last time you related to someone when they told you a story. Happens daily, yes? Even multiple times each day?

Blogs help show who is behind the logo of a brand.

What do you stand for? What are topics you’re interested in? The more you blog, the more people are given a chance to relate to you, and to build an emotional connection with you (your brand, company, service, product). And that leads to sales.

BONUS: Promote your blog posts and respond to comments to build customer engagement

Picking a topic and following through on a post is a great first step…but getting your content in front of your customers is what really matters. Don’t wait for them to find your post:

  • Make sure you share your posts on Facebook and your other social profiles
  • Ask your customers if they’ve checked out your site and your blog lately
  • Have an email list or newsletter? Include a post (or a link to your blog) the next time you send something out

Check out the top ways to promote your site online and offline for more tips on getting (or growing!) your audience.

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The A-B-Cs of Small Business Marketing

A quick crash course in terms your local business should be thinking about

School’s back in session, and this a great time to brush up on 26 things that can impact your digital marketing – and your business success!

A is for Advertising

Display ads, social ads, and mobile ads

B is for Bing

One of the top search engines

C is for Conversion

The goal of your marketing campaigns

D is for Digital

Digital marketing made easy

E is for Easy

Digital marketing made easy

F is for Facebook

Turning social media into social marketing

G is for Google Ads

Putting you at the top of the search results

H is for Hibu

Of course H is for Hibu! And how Hibu helps local businesses with digital marketing made easy.

I is for Impressions

The number of times your ads are seen

J is for Java

A powerful program that helps the Web run

K is for Keywords

Relevant words or phrases to get your site and ads seen

L is for Listings

Your business information needs to be correct across the Web

M is for Meta

The on-page information that helps your site get found

N is for NAP

Your correct name, address and phone number online

O is for Optimized

To make sure your website gets seen

P is for PPC

Pay-per-click search ads

Q is for Query

The word(s) someone uses to search

R is for Ranking

How high you appear in the search results

S is for SEO

Maximizing your visibility online

T is for Twitter

A powerful social network to promote your business

U is for URL

Your website’s “address”

V is for Visibility

Making sure you’re seen on search engines, directory sites, apps and mobile devices

W is for Website

Your business home online

X is for UX

The user experience that makes customers want to interact with your site

Y is for Yahoo!

Another top search engine

Z is for zero

The only level of effort that you absolutely can’t afford to put into your digital marketing!

Want to learn more? Check out this post about going back to school with the 3 R’s of Digital Marketing.

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Hibu Positive Review – TWFG Insurance

“We have been very happy with our service from Hibu.

We love the one-on-one approach and help with anything when we need it.”

Katie Cannon – TWFG Cannon Insurance

Have we helped your business get from Point A to Point B? Take a look at all of Hibu’s client reviews and let us know!

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Introducing Hibu Listings Management

Correct, Protect and Take Control of your most important business information

Right now, your customers could be finding online listings for your business – listings with the wrong business name…the wrong address…or the wrong phone number. Just take a look at these incredible (and frightening) statistics about the impact of incorrect listings:

95% of people surveyed say they’ve found incorrect information when searching for a local business*

73% of consumers lose trust in a business when their online listings show incorrect information**

On average, your online listings are changed at least once every 6 days***

It’s easy to imagine how much (and how often!) the wrong listings information could be hurting your business. But now, it’s easier than ever to get complete control over your listings’ accuracy with Hibu Listings Management.

We’ll help you continuously monitor and maintain your listings
Hibu’s integrations with more than 60 sites, directories and apps put you in direct control over how your listings appear, so your customers always have the right information they need to reach your business everywhere online, including:

Google | Facebook | Apple Maps | Yelp

Let’s make sure your customers see correct, compelling information about your business everywhere online
Talk to us today about putting the right business information in front of your customers – and driving up to 400% more views with enriched listings**** – with Hibu Listings Management.

* Yext, 2015
** Placeable Study on SearchEngineWatch, 2014
*** Yext, 2016
**** The Power of Location: How Rich Listings Drive More Business

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Why choose a Hibu Website?

We know you have a lot of choices to consider when it comes to your business website. Do you want to build it yourself or have a professional build it for you? How do you make sure your site looks good on mobile? Does your website look like your social media to give you a consistent brand online?

Needless to say, we think your best option is a Hibu Website – and we’re confident we can prove we’re right… and we can do it in about a minute.

Watch this quick video (honest, it’s only about 60 seconds) and see all the things that make a Hibu Website better than the other options available.

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Think your small business isn’t online? Think again…

Your small business may have a big footprint online

Lots of small business still rely entirely on “traditional” advertising, using old-school marketing like print directory ads, direct mail, coupons – and yes, business cards and letterhead. And plenty of small businesses continue to get new, local customers using tried-and-true methods that have worked for years. So it can be easy to think there’s no need to take your business into “the digital age.”

But you might be surprised to know that even if you haven’t started adding digital advertising – like a website, pay-per-click search ads, or online display ads – to your marketing plan, there’s a very good chance that your business is already online.

Yes. Really…and that could be a problem.

If  you don’t have a plan to take over ownership of “autogenerated” online listings, profiles and reviews for your business, you have no idea if the information about your business on the Internet is actually correct. You’re missing opportunities to give your customers the right information…win new customers…and spread the word about all the great work your local business does.

Search engine listings

Google, Bing and Yahoo can all create business listings for your business. Search engines pull data from multiple sources to automatically create listings – and they don’t always update them. If you’ve recently changed your business name, address, phone number, hours of operation, or even overhauled your menu…you may have autogenerated listings that give your customers the wrong information. Nothing will send your customers to a competitor faster than a wrong number, or trudging out for an in-store visit an hour after you’ve closed!

Social media pages

Facebook can automatically create Pages for businesses that haven’t created their own. If no one else is managing this Page, you can request to claim it (and you can merge it with an “official” Page you set up too). But who knows what’s appearing on that autogenerated Page before you find it, or while you wait to verify your ownership and claim it?

And don’t forget about the negative perception an empty, autogenerated Page can create. Your customers may wonder:

  • “Are they still in business?”
  • “Is this the right Page? Or is their other Page the ‘official’ one?”
  • “If they aren’t managing their social media presence…will they respond to emails? Will it be hard to work with them on my terms?”

Review sites

And we do mean “sites” plural. From Yelp to Google+ and so many more, there are plenty of places for happy (and unhappy!) customers to leave reviews for your business. Without access and a plan to address bad reviews…thank customers for good reviews…and publish positive reviews on your own, can your business afford to let bad reviews sit online for all to see?

Perception plays an important role here too. Online reviews are more popular – and more trusted – than ever:

  • 91% of consumers read online reviews of local businesses*
  • 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations*

Don’t forget your domain name

If you haven’t claimed yourbusinessname.com or .net yet, there’s a chance that someone else can (or already did). And once you’re finally ready to make the leap to online marketing, you may have to pay more than you expect to buy that domain from them – or settle for a runner-up URL.

Get your business online on your terms

Whether you’re seeing listings, social profiles or reviews for your business that you don’t control…or you’re not seeing them yet…there’s no time like the present to make sure you control your business online. While offline marketing may be driving enough business to you today, you can’t afford to let the negative impact of “out of control” online profiles hurt your business tomorrow.

* BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey, 2016

This post was originally published on Local Search Association’s Marketing Bitz blog as Your Business Might Be Online Without You Knowing It.

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