We’ve compiled a list of FREE marketing resources that you can utilize for your business. We love the things on this list, not only because they are free but because they are actually great resources.
So let’s dive in.
Canva is a unique design platform. Create anything you need from a template (pre-designed or blank) or build something completely from scratch.
Here are a few examples of how you can utilize Canva. (For a full look at everything they offer, visit canva.com)
Develop your resume, creating invoices or even designing a logo just got easier. When it comes to social platforms they have thousands of pre-designed templates for Facebook posts, Instagram stories, Facebook Cover photos, Pinterest posts etc. Make it a group effort by sharing your design with others who can view and/or edit. Set your brand profile by picking your brand colors, uploading your logo and selecting a brand font to make creating graphics a quick and easy.
All of this you can do for free with he basic Canva account. There is also a Canva Pro subscription that you can purchase which allows you access to exclusive design content.
Social Media Scheduling
Don’t sleep on the resources that allow you to schedule out your posts. If you are a business that often gets caught up in the day-to-day tasks which causes you to forget to keep up your posting regimen, fear not because there are many resources to help you. There a several popular scheduling platforms out there such as Buffer and Later to name a couple. Most are manageable via their webpage or an app.
Most of these platforms have several different plans to choose from. How many accounts you can manage and posts you can schedule at once varies on the plan. Of course the free plan is going to be the most restrictive but is still a useful resource, especially if you are only managing social media for one or two businesses.
Facebook Business Suite
This is a personal favorite of ours. By linking your Instagram and Facebook business pages, you are able to schedule to both platforms via business.facebook.com. This has been an absolute lifesaver for us and a tool that we HIGHLY utilize.
Google My Business
Creating a Google My Business profile is a great way to establish your business in the eyes of consumers. It is an easy way for connect to your website, view your business hours and phone number.
It will also provide insights on your business listing such as how many searches you appeared in and what percentage was direct or discovery, actions taken once they find your profile, and what key words consumers are using to come across your business.
Hubspot is a CRM platform but they have an educative blog that covers just about any business topic you can think of. Use this blog as a resource that can answer any marketing questions you could have. Go ahead and subscribe to their blog to stay up to date with new posts or take one of their free courses!
Ever thought of starting a blog of your own? If you have a website, maybe it’s time to take the leap and start. This is a great way to incorporate key words, links etc. to increase the chances of your website showing up in Google searches.
Facebook, Instagram, Youtube etc.
You already know the drill. If you aren’t utilizing social media platforms (they are free!) then it’s time you start. Over half of the world population uses social media, this makes social media a great marketing resource to meet the people where they’re at and increase your brand awareness.
Hopefully you will start utilizing these great resources for your own business. We have found them very helpful and think you will too!
So you're in the Ag Industry. With an extensive background in the ranching industry, we know how busy life can get. You're probably thinking you don't have time to deal with the ins and outs of social media. To which we'd say "Can you afford NOT to use it?"
As a marketing company, we believe in the power of social media. Businesses in any industry should utilize and reap the benefits that it has to offer. What used to be a communication tool, is now one of the leading marketing techniques. We believe that every business should use social media.
EVEN AGRICULTURE BUSINESSES
Technology is a key player in our world today. It serves as a powerful tool to communicate, to market and to educate.
Reasons Why Ag Businesses Should Use Social Media
Any business can reap benefits of using social media but we want to dive into WHY Agriculture businesses should use it.
There is value in connections. Social media can give you the opportunity to connect and network with others in the agriculture industry. It’s a great way to keep up with other farmers and ranchers. Within seconds you can gain an influx of new knowledge and resources at your fingertips. Quick resources can be a valuable tool in the ag industry! Social media allows you to learn from others and share your own knowledge. It is a good way to stay up to date and learn from new ideas about topics in your industry.
As we’ve mentioned before, social media is no longer just a communication tool. It is one of the most used (if not THE most used) way to market a business today. It’s quick, it’s easy, and for the most part…is free. Within a moment you can display new information, offers, ideas and resources to your audience.
The key to seeing results from digital marketing via social media is time and patience. Just like in agriculture, you aren’t going to see immediate results. That’s because it takes time to build up your audience and to establish yourself as a trusted resource for others. It’s a long game but with dedication and consistency (and good content!) you can see results. Again, this concept is nothing new to you, because we know that being in the agriculture industry takes dedication and patience.
A big benefit of social media is that it allows you to ENGAGE. You can engage with businesses and consumers in an instant. More and more consumers use social media as a tool when making buying decisions. This means it’s important for your business to have an online presence. It allows for a more personal way of engaging and communicating. You can also easily take part in discussions that are occurring regarding farming, ranching, cattle, livestock etc.
These are three of the main reasons why we believe agriculture businesses should use social media: to communicate with each other, to market to their consumers, and to engage.
So what social platforms should you be using? All provide different benefits and a variety in audiences. A bit of research on our end shows that Facebook is a big platform for those in the agriculture world. Another big platform that many farmers and ranchers visit daily is Youtube.
Social media can be the tool you need to establish your business as a reliable resource in your industry. Remember to offer VALUABLE content and this will help you gain this trust and build reliability. Becoming active on even ONE social platform will benefit your business. Not taking advantage of any social media could prove dire to your business.
Including hashtags on your social media posts can be a difficult art to master. There are so many different hashtags and ways to use them. There are branded hashtags, trending hashtags, campaign hashtags, small hashtags, unique hashtags and more. How do I use them on different social media platforms and when?
You can start out with creating a branded hashtag. Inspiration for this is most likely going to come from your company name. We use #RancherProfiles on every post on our social media. It doesn’t just have to be your company name though, it can be a variation of your name and/or what you do. This is something that you will want to include on every post to create that consistent brand recognition. If it is catchy and easy to remember, then the hope is that your customers will use it when referring to your business as well.
The second most common kind of hashtag you will want to include in posts are trending hashtags. This is the technique that is going to get your post noticed by a larger audience. Ultimately the goal is to reach beyond just your current followers and in turn increase your engagement. Trending hashtags are constantly changing so this is something requires a bit more time. Because this is an industry where things come and go quickly it is also good to pay attention to why a hashtag is trending. Just because something is going viral doesn’t mean it’s automatically a good fit for your company.
Opting for unique hashtags will prove to be more of an attention grabber than using general tags. Instead of loading up on generic tags for your post, take the time to research or come up with something a bit more creative and targeted. Find a way to incorporate a trending hashtag. If you are running a campaign, create a unique hashtag for you and your audience to use for the duration of the campaign.
Before using a hashtag in your posts, you can research how the hashtag has been used in the past. Look at what kind of posts the hashtag has been used with and variations of the hashtag to see what is used the most. Many social media platforms even display how many times the hashtag has been used. This is a great resource that can help when you’re deciding what tags to include.
Don’t overuse hashtags!
Loading your post up with hashtags looks messy and unappealing to your audience. Instead, carefully select a couple (maybe even just one!) hashtags to use in your post. Some even say not to use hashtags in every post.
Just like you follow an account, Instagram has a feature that lets you follow hashtags. Posts that include the hashtag you follow will show up on your feed. While you may not include a hashtag that you follow in your posts, this is a great tool that can help you discover similar accounts that you may want to keep up with.
How Many Hashtags Do I Use?
How many hashtags you should use varies across social media platforms. On Facebook you should use anywhere from 0-3. Alternatively, on Instagram you can use more. Social Pilot has a great chart that showcases the number of hashtags you can use for each platform that will produce the best engagement. Click here and scroll down to Point #3.
Facebook offers a simple way of promoting your business and that is using the ‘boost’ feature on your posts. It is a paid form of advertisement but it is simple, easy to use and will definitely increase the engagement on your post. After you post, there should be a ‘boost’ option in the bottom right corner.
There are many other ways to increase the engagement on your Facebook posts. Hootsuite offers many useful tips when navigating the world of Facebook Engagement. The most important takeaway is to make sure the content you are posting is something that will capture the attention of your audience and spark a desire to engage. Make sure your posts are offering something of value, don’t post if you are trying to just fill the void. Offer tips, information, free shipping, discounts or ask a question. Check out more engagement tips here. Once your audience has engaged on your post don’t forget to interact with them as well by responding to comments and questions. This will help build the momentum for your future posts.
If you have any requests on topics you would like to hear more about, be sure to let us know.
Today, Rancher Profiles, will share a few of the social media basics for you and your business. There are a lot of ways you can use social media but we will focus on just a few ways that will help you maximize the benefits for your business. So let’s get started!
Is There a Perfect Time To Post and If So, What is it?
What is the best time to post? Well...you will find a lot of articles on the internet of studies that have been conducted to figure out what is the best time to post to receive the most engagement. And they all vary in answers! But when comparing multiple studies it seems to be the rule of thumb is that best engagement can be reached Tuesday through Friday during working hours. Somewhere between 9am to 4pm seems to be the best time to reach your audience. Engagement will most likely drop off after working hours and this is a likely result of people being busy picking up kids, making dinner, going to the gym etc. Take this with a grain of salt though because social media is constantly changing. In order to find the best posting time for you and your business, Rancher Profiles suggests that you conduct a test of your own. Try posting on different days and different times to see what works best for you! Target audience, time zone, industry of your business, etc are all factors that will play a part in finding the best time to post for you. But at least we can give you a starting point - Tuesday through Friday 9am-4pm.
Yes! Hashtags are still a great tool to use to increase the probability of your post reaching a larger audience. You can include hashtags on your post or even as a comment on your post. The easiest way to include them is to compile a list of hashtags that are relevant to your content and keep it one place, such as the Notes app on your phone or computer. This way when you are ready to post, all you have to do is copy and paste! Don’t let the simplicity of this be a crutch though, it is always good to change up your hashtags or add a couple that are specific to your newest post. You can use trending hashtags as well!
You’ve Heard it Before and You’ll Hear it Again, Consistency is Key!
Consistency is very important when it comes to social media. First, you need to develop your brand. A logo, brand colors, fonts, etc. are great for developing consistent content for your posts. Creating your own brand kit is a helpful tool that will make creating content easier in the long run. It will create a concise and balanced look for your pages. You can learn more about this and other tricks in our blog post: 4 Marketing Tips. Consistency in posting is also important. Posting often will increase your chances and opportunities for reaching your audience and social engagement.
Schedule Your Content
Whether your social media strategy is posting three times a week or every day, you can schedule out your posts to make this all a bit easier. Creating content ahead of time will allow you to look at the big picture of what your social media page will look like and help to make sure you are sending the right message to your audience. There are even tools you can use to schedule such as Later.com, Hootsuite.com, and Loomly.com, or you can even store it all in a Google Doc. When you schedule or create content ahead of time, you’ve already done the work of creating the content and writing your captions so all you have to do is post when the time comes.
These are just a few tips that we find comes in handy when trying to conquer the world of social media. Trends and algorithms are constantly changing so staying up to date on the best way to reach your audience is important. Responding to messages and comments (within reason) is a great way to stay engaged with your audience. It shows authenticity, which is key when trying to keep customers engaged with the services or products that you offer. We hope you find this information useful when building your social media presence. Stay tuned for tips and tricks, coming soon to the Rancher Profiles blog!