For more than a decade each, siblings Jen & Rick Kanter worked their way up in the Television Media business – Jen with Fox Networks & AMC Networks, Rick with HGTV, Food Network, & Travel Channel.
WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO?
We both left our cushy corporate jobs to do one thing – tell L.A. stories & feature & support our favorite local, independent businesses. Everyone has a story. In Los Angeles, that’s especially apparent – & we knew whatever we did we wanted to help local people tell their stories. We had always had a personal love of small, independent businesses- so we started barrio.la to showcase our favorite local companies, & barrio partners, LLC to help local companies succeed with good organization & strategy.
Our first step was learning – so from January 2015 to January 2016 – we started what we now call our “internship”.
We researched everything, compiled good media, learned best practices – & were super pragmatic about every decision made.
We went out in to the marketplace & had meetings with tons of companies & organizations.
We have a lot of information to share, so feel free to read on – but your access to this page also includes access to a strategy session where barrio partners has agreed to provide you with 2 hours of our time to discuss any of the tasks below, or any digital/social media help that may be needed. Complete the form below, or email us directly to set up a meeting.
So here’s what we saw:
1) Small businesses more often than not – needed organizational support.
2) Social media is easier to do yourself, if you have the right software programs to do it.
3) Any & all content related to you or your company is gold – companies weren’t maximizing their social media like they could.
4) Digital strategies can be achieved easily if efforts are put in the right places.
STARTING A DIGITAL BUSINESS
So you may be a new business, or an established one – either way: these initial tips help to get you moving in the right direction & were the first things we learned in our “internship”.
1) UNPAID CONSULTING
This is an easy one. Set up meetings with as many people as you can, & learn from them. It’s not brain surgery. People like to talk about what they do, so let them – learn from it. Take notes of costs.
When they say “I will deliver exponential growth in marketing return”… you ask “how?”. Get specifics… what exactly are you doing every day? ? What programs do you use to do it? What software applications are you using.
We set up daily meetings & asked a TON of questions
We use Google Calendar for our scheduling.
2) HAVE A BRANDING & MISSION STATEMENT WRITTEN OUT
Every company needs a mission statement; you can have an internal one (that helps you plan your first year, 3 year, 5+years ahead) & an external one (meant for your customers/clients to see), which briefly describes what you and your company are all about.
You can edit and adjust it along the way, but definitely have at least the framework for one.
Create a document & write this down. You need to be clear about this, & as well, it’s great to have so you can put & paste it across all your platforms.
For documents you can choose between paying for a word processor like Microsoft Office ($8-$10/month) or using Google Docs – which is free, & pretty flexible.
3) OWN YOUR NAME
Established companies will be well past this, but we’ve met with a lot of companies who have been in business for a while, & still haven’t set up a Google Business page & Yelp Account. Those 2 services are especially important for people to find you everywhere they look.
All three of these services can integrate with each other, & are necessary for your to have the tools to create effective search-engine optimization (SEO).
“Today’s workforce spends 61% of their time managing work rather than doing it… close to 3 days a week. – Mckinsey“
We all know the inevitable questions:
“What’s the password for ___?”
“Can you send me the ___?”
“Have you seen ___ that we did for ___?”
The first thing we knew, that was inherent in any large organization, is to have a strong organizational backbone set up from the get-go. Even if you are established, making the necessary changes to update how your organize your digital information is vital in keeping your work-flow efficient.
Every company we met with had the same problem, so we spent a lot of time researching the best platforms:
COMMUNICATION: SLACK (FREE)
Slack is an instant messenger, email, task-management, integration hub that is ideal for any team.
Slack is better than email because of it’s great search functionality, simple interface, & organization tools like #hashtags to assign messages & media to certain channels. You can have multiple teams, multiple channels (folders) & it’s a great tool for managing all your discussions in one place vs the confusing email formats.
You can integrate your tasks from Asana & assign/list/complete tasks directly from Slack.
If I have a great marketing idea only relevant months from now – I write it out, include some supporting media then send it to a folder called “#promotion ideas”. I can check the folder periodically, but most important – no information get’s lost & communication is fluid there. It makes effective communication super easy.
You can also quickly share videos, images, documents, & spreadsheets from your phone & desktop, & there’s even a Dropbox integration that allows you to share content through your Dropbox account. It’s imperative to be efficient digitally, to have a paid cloud-based account for all your media. It connects multiple accounts across every device – & allows for quicker delivery on promotables & social media. You can do the paid service through Google Drive to get more storage, & although their top price point is the same as Dropbox, they have a lower priced option for less storage.
MEDIA & FILE STORAGE: DROPBOX ($10/MONTH)
Dropbox & Google Drive has similar price-points & provide the same value – but we chose Dropbox. As you can see above, it’s no different than your existing file system, & with mobile/desktop integration – it keeps all your pictures, videos, documents, etc at arm’s reach. You should always keep everything you need in once place for easy navigation to alleviate time lost looking for things.
KEEP A “DIARY”
No, we’re not saying to get a notebook & hide it under your bed, but everything you do, every day – has value.
Take pictures of processes, deliveries, packaged goods, & even if you can’t use it now – social media thought of you and made 28% of the week days where you can post old stuff (#FBF & #TBT)
See a promotion you like? Take a screenshot & send it to Dropbox.
Have a great idea? Go to Slack, write it out then do #marketingideas so you can reference it later
Whether it’s meeting notes, best practices, or people you met – documenting what you do has tons of long term value
CREATE A PASSWORD DOC
This is an easy one. Your cloud storage or Slack service offers double authentication so you keep your content safer, but keeping a document with all your login information is an easy way to move through projects quicker, & be ready to bring on a 3rd party group for help if need-be.
Stop doing email-resets to remember your password, or keeping that information to one person. That info should be easily referable while safely filed.
BE SOCIAL SAVVY
TIPS TO EFFECTIVE SOCIAL MEDIA
1) Be genuine. Show process.
People want to see how you do what you do. Whether building, fulfilling, or delivering your products – in alignment with “the diary” we told you to keep, you should be showing people on social media what your company does & what work goes into running your business. “Behind the scenes” posts play well & are easy to document – just make sure to take pictures.
2) Connect w/people, don’t direct.
Ask questions, get perspective – address some of your social media posts TO the audience, vs. telling them to do something like go to a site, or buy a product. This indirect approach forms a trust.
3) Utilize ALL new features on platforms.
Whenever a social media platform creates a new feature: use it! Any new feature will get your more eyeballs, as the algorithms are usually set up that way.
4) Have a hashtag strategy
Use 30 (Maximum) for IG / 1-3 on FB is best / 1-3 on Twitter is best. Mix of hashtags is important
For hashtags, use the 1/3rd rule – which is 1/3rd of hashtags should be to get a wide audience (use the most popular hashtags here), 1/3rd should be nice compliments to your brand but still general, larger hashtag folders, & the last 1/3rd can be proprietary to your business & a small, more targeted group of hashtags.
5) Post from your phone with cloud storage
You should have a simple, fluid system for being able to post from your phone easily & where it still looks professional. If you’ve kept all your media on one cloud storage service, accessible on mobile – then you can use great programs like PicArts to edit your images. Other apps allow you to create beautiful text overlays, slideshows, videos from images – just play around on your mobile store & filter by “review”.
6) REPURPOSE! Reuse evergreen content.
Can you tell us what your favorite retailer posted last week? Exactly. Using old content is smart & allows you to re-engage your audience. Remember – on any platform the typical post reaches about 10% – 25% of your followers – so the likelihood that someone saw that great post from months ago, or even remembers it – is pretty low.
7) Access social media on mobile & desktop (important)
Some of the social media platforms – specifically Facebook, only have features accessible on Desktop. The most important on Facebook? The ability to click the “likes” area of a post & then invite the people who liked your posts to follow your page. If you haven’t done this, go to you profile & do that for EVERY post picture.
8) Have an account on EVERY platform, own your brand
Even if you don’t plan to be an active on a social media platform, you should have an account on every single one & at least have the profile & link set up.
9) Schedule your posts if time is limited
Scheduling posts in advance is a way to put evergreen content out there & alleviate you missing a day of posting. The best program to schedule posts is Hootsuite. You can integrate 3 social media platforms to schedule on Hootsuite for free, & also see live streams of areas of those platforms you’d like to monitor.
Take a look at the screenshot of the interface below & you’ll see how simple it is to write a post, attach an image or link, & then schedule to one or all 3 of your platforms.
The best social media platform for conversion
Tough to get eyeballs
Verify your account
Do you have a check-mark next to your company name on Facebook?
If not, you are not verified – thus Facebook isn’t recommending your page to people & you aren’t getting the best visibility for your page.
Go to Facebook, Click “Settings, then “General” & there you will see page verification. They will call your number listed on the page to confirm, or request that you provide a document with your company name on it like a utility bill, tax document, etc.
Change your preferred audience
Get in front of the right demographics, in the correct geographical area – with interests that align with your business by completing the “preferred page audience” section of Facebook.
Go to Facebook, click “settings”, click “preferred page audience”, then make your selections of your audience. Cast a wide net, but definitely hone in on the type of person you’d like your page to be seen by.
Sync to Twitter (facebook.com/twitter)
This is an easy one, & when you sync Facebook to Twitter – any posts you do on FB are posted on Twitter as well, with the body text & a link to the FB post. It’s a clean sync that doesn’t require reformatting on Twitter – so it’s an easy way to get a double-punch on your content.
DAILY & WEEKLY DIY TIPS:
Post 1-3 times daily / tag companies often
Be consistent & don’t over-post on busy days & not post for days. Tagging companies is an easy way to get shares, & it also opens up the audience of your post to their followers.
Invite your friends / Invite post-likes
On your Facebook home page you’ll see “invite friends” – which is the first step thing you should do whenever you get a new personal friend. There is never a better advocate for your company than a personal friend.
On desktop – if you click the section of a post that lists the likes, you can get a list of all those who engaged the post, & you’re able to “invite” them to follow your page. Do this often to capture those who may have liked your content, but not actively began following you.
Make your “about” section long
Studies show that the longer your “about’ section, the better. So use the maximum number of characters & really spell out your company story, history, mission statement, & motivations.
Use every tab available (video, notes, services, etc)
You have plenty of “sections” on Facebook- those you see on the left of the home screen on desktop. Each occupies a specific horizontal space on your home page, & if not used, then visitors go to your timeline instead. Most visitors don’t stay longer than a few seconds, & seeing the full timeline usually requires clicking “see more”. You should have the following sections completed entirely with at least some information: Notes, Services, Shop, Videos.
Great for quick engagement
One link, tough for conversions
Set up as business account
On the header menu (see picture below) you see what looks like a bar graph. This is the analytics section in Instagram that allows you to get detailed information on when your followers are most active, how they are interacting with your content, & which of your posts performed the best. This function is only available as an Instagram business account.
Click the 3 circles on the top right, which gets you to “options”, then where it says “switch back to personal account” below will say “switch to business account” – click it to get started. It’s worth it.
You’ll also want to make sure that your Facebook account is synced to your Instagram account.
Go to Facebook, click “settings’, then “Instagram Ads”. You can quickly authenticate through Instagram & sync both platforms.
Sync with Flickr & Twitter
You can sync every post on Instagram to other social media platforms. We personally sync to Twitter & Flickr (Flickr requires you have a Yahoo account). It’s best you “share” your Instagram posts to Facebook, & make edits before clicking “share” – but if you decide to sync it to Facebook from Instagram, remember that people that you tag from IG don’t show up on Facebook, so you’ll need to go to FB & edit the post. Hashtags now sync from IG to FB (they didn’t before).
Post once daily at a minimum
Instagram requires daily interaction, so be active there – it’s the best place to use the content you keep in your “diary” & the day-to-day aspects of your business.
Communicate in both directions
Like posts from your own hashtags, comment, click “places” & like posts – since “places” are typically private accounts that just geo-tagged where their picture is. Get in the rhythm of interacting with other people’s content daily. It’s the best way to get your brand out there & to connect vs. direct.
B2B & Advocacy efforts play well & it’s uncrowded
Scope limited to your network
DIY TIPS & TASKS:
Create a business page (static)
Endorse people in your network
LinkedIn is for B2B networks more so than employment
Share industry articles you read
Join industry groups, add all your biz contacts to network
Try LinkedIN ads. You only pay per click
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (GOOGLE)
SEO = “play by Google’s rules”
What you’re doing for SEO is basically adhering to requirements by Google that are what they look for in a site they will “recommend” to people when using certain search words. The “Focus Keyword” which should be set up for each page on your site, is essentially what phrase or string of words you think someone would search for & then be happy to find your page.
SEO services usually include Google AdWords or PPC Campaign
Most companies when they talk about SEO are really talking about SEO-driven campaigns. Google AdWords are buying those “Focus Keywords” & making you show up higher on the search when someone uses those words on Google.
A PPC (Pay-per-Click) campaign is an ad that shows up based on what the user is searching for, which site they are visiting, or diffferent demographic or interest information Google has stored on them.
Organic SEO is long-term & important
This is the work you do to 1) Set up your website & each of your pages to meet the Google SEO criteria (laid out below). This includes having your Google Search Console account set up, & then syncing all your social media accounts to Google. Outside of that, as mentioned prior – you should have a Google Business page set up & a Yelp account.
SEO is specific to your CMS (what you use to publish your site)
Depending on what type of CMS (Content Management System) you used for your site, you may or may not have all the features necessary for good SEO. A simple Google search with your CMS name & SEO, i.e. (Shopify & SEO) is a great start to figure out how to meet the criteria I outline below for your specific site.
NOTE: If using WordPress: add the plugin “Yoast SEO”
Criteria for every page on site:
Complete the “Focus Keyword” – which is essentially the search phrase that you want your page to show up for when they are searching Google.
Each page should have the following: 300+ characters of written copy (about 3 paragraphs), one outbound link (this shows Google you are providing “relevant info”), & every image on the page should have the Focus Keyword in the “Alt Text” – usually found by just clicking the picture or editing it.
Each page should have the Page Title, Meta Title, Meta Description, URL, & Focus Keyword named similarly. The Meta Title, Meta Description, & URL are what show up on Google searches.Take a look at the below. On the top field showing on this search, these are what each area is:
1) “MAKE IT IN LA – connecting the largest community of makers and …”
This is the “Meta Title”.
2) The link: https://makeitinla.org
This is the “URL”.
3) “connecting the largest community of makers and manufacturers in the nation”
This is the “Meta Description”.
We hope that this guide of tips & tricks is helpful, but of course the best actions are those that are customized to your specific needs.
If you are seeing this site, then you have been given access to a 2 hour session with us where we can map out a strategy for you, or help you set up some of the aspects of what we talked about above.
Connect with us & we can help get you moving in the right direction digitally.