5 Benefits of Social Media for Small Business Owners

  • By Phase 3 Digital Agency
  • 28 Sep, 2016

Popular social platforms have become marketing giants, offering businesses valuable data about their customers and a (mostly) free way to reach them. The jury has spoken: social media for business is no longer optional.

Because it appeared quickly, social media has developed a reputation by some for being a passing marketing interest, and therefore, an unprofitable one. The statics, however, paint a different picture. According to Hubspot, 92% of marketers in 2014 claimed that social media marketing was important for their business, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites. And according to Social Media Examiner, 97% of marketers are currently participating in social media – but 85% of participants aren’t sure what social media tools are best to use.

Many people use social media for personal reasons, but now if you are not using it for business reasons you’re quickly falling behind. You will be surprised how using social media can reach into other parts of your marketing strategy. Here are 5 benefits of social media for small business owners:

1.  The ability to engage with customers:   Social media is a communication channel like email or phone calls. It’s not just about blasting your company’s sales pitch on social, it’s a two-way channel where you have the opportunity to enrich relationships with your customers.

Even if you are not on social media, most of your customers expect you to be. Over 67% of consumers now go to social media for customer service. Every customer interaction you have on social media is an opportunity to publicly demonstrate your customer service level and enrich your relationship with your customers.

2.  Keep your competitors close
:  With social media monitoring, you can gain key information about your competitors. This kind of intel will allow you to make strategic business decisions to stay ahead of them.  

3.   Increase brand awareness and loyalty:   Your social media networks are just new channels for your brand’s voice and content. When you have a presence on social media, you make it easier for your customers to find and connect with you. By connecting with your customers on social, you are more likely to increase customer retention and brand loyalty.

With every profile being unique, businesses can give brands a personality on social networks. How they interact, the look and feel of the profile, all encompass the general characteristics of the brand. For many businesses, your social profile may be more important than your website. Remember, every opportunity you have to syndicate your content and increase your visibility is valuable.

4.  Sharing content has never been easier:
  In the past, marketers faced the challenge of ensuring their content reached customers in the shortest possible time. Every post you make on a social media platform is an opportunity for customers to interact and possibly convert.  

When you build a following, you’ll simultaneously have access to new customers, recent customers, and old customers, and you’ll be able to interact with all of them. Every blog post, image, video, or comment you share is a chance for someone to react, and every reaction could lead to a site visit and eventually a conversion. Not every interaction with your brand results in a conversion, but every positive interaction increases the likelihood of an eventual conversion. Even if your click-through rates are low, the sheer number of opportunities you have on social media is significant.

5.  Better search engine rankings:   
SEO is the best way to capture relevant traffic from search engines, but the requirements for success are always changing. It’s no longer enough to regularly update your blog, ensure optimized titled tags and meta descriptions, and distribute links pointing back to your site. Google and other search engines may be calculating their rankings using social media presence as a significant factor, because of the fact that strong brands almost always use social media. As such, being active on social media could act as a “brand signal” to search engines that your brand is legitimate, credible, and trustworthy. That means, if you want to rank for a given set of keywords, having a strong social media presence could be almost mandatory.

The longer you wait, the more you have to lose. Social media marketing, when done right, can lead to more customers, more traffic, and more conversions, and it’s here to stay.

Are you ready to start reaping the benefits of social media for your business? Phase 3 Digital can help manage your social media, engage with customers and monitor your success. Email us at info@p3da.com for a free social media consultation.

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By Phase 3 Digital Agency 17 May, 2017

Videos are on the rise as a preferred media of choice by many consumers, and they are likewise gaining popularity with marketers who can leverage the affordable medium to inform and entertain prospective new customers. Video provides a rich media experience that audiences enjoy viewing, while also telling a multilayered story that can begin the relationship-building process.

The value of video marketing is vast, with the ability to reach innumerable audience members who will retain a much higher proportion of the visual and auditory messaging, as compared to written text. Video also offers dynamic ways to tell your story on a variety of platforms across the entire globe! From pre-roll ads before a popular YouTube music video plays, to mid-roll commercial breaks during an on-demand primetime television show, and even interstitial ads on the latest app or smartphone game. You can even convert videos to flash and run video ads as standard display.

The options and capabilities of video advertising are seemingly endless and provide a robust medium for capturing the attention of your viewing public. Video is prime marketing content, and thus receives the best accessibility and placement on the internet. The highest search engine rankings are awarded to videos, especially by Google (which owns YouTube) and is positioned in front of the largest audiences.

Ready to start filming? Here are a few key takeaways to keep in mind as you embark on your marketing video production:

S hort – keep the video message brief and succinct

U seful – provide value to your audience

C lickable – promote interaction with the content to find out more

C ustom – ensure your video is edited specifically for online audiences

E ngaging – entice viewers to watch from beginning to end

S hareable – encourage your audience to share the video with their networks

S tatistics – Optimize your videos based on performance measurements

By Phase 3 Digital Agency 05 May, 2017

A company is always trying to think up new and exciting ways to get and keep the audience’s attention. Native advertising is the perfect solution for this conundrum.

 There are many benefits of writing native advertising. Some of these benefits include pulling a higher click-through rate because the articles are relevant to what is already on the page. Your audience is more enticed to click on a native article. Engagement is another huge benefit of using native advertising. Companies are able to reach out to their audience in a way that will not feel overbearing so the person reading the content will stay and interact longer with the site.

 In case these benefits did not completely convince you on why your company should be using native advertising here is a statistic that might change your mind. According to a Business Insider (BI) headline, “Native ads will drive 74% of all revenue by 2021.”

 The future is native advertising, why not look forward to it and give the people what they want; native articles.

 Frightened by the thought of using native articles? Here is some useful information for when your company wants to pursue writing a native article. You may be asking yourself what even is a native article?

 Native articles are content that is considered educational, humorous, inspirational, historical, or biographical.  This may seem like native articles need a lot of information in them but one way to think of a native article is as an article that can last on a website for months at a time.

 In order to make creating a native article incredibly easy here are some items that should not be included if it is to be considered a true native article.

 Items to Not Include:

  • Do not use a daily news story
  • Do not make it an opinion or commentary piece
  • Do not have an article that is considered self-promoting
  • Do not have an article that is slandering competitors
  • Do not have anything stating a specific sales event
  • It should never be offensive or pornographic

 The point of a true native article is to give out information that will keep people interested and for a client to be able to spend a long time without ever changing the article.  A native article is written in a way that keeps people intrigued and that is easy for them to understand.

 Some Ways Native Articles Do This is by:

  • Using a list-style article
  • Cite at least one or two sources
  • Be accurate
  • Tell a story; don’t just list off facts or the reader will get bored and move onto a more stimulating article instead
  • When writing a native article start with the climax, make the story sound exciting because it is and the reader will spend more time on your content

 When writing a native article there are certain requirements.  Most native articles are 500 to 700 words long, the use of third-person narrative is preferred, and when writing the article use the inverted pyramid style.

 Now that you understand more about the importance of native advertising hopefully these helpful hints will give your business the confidence to try writing a native article.

By Phase 3 Digital Agency 27 Apr, 2017

It’s Friday night, and your family wants pizza. No particular brand is family favorite, but your daughter likes thick crust, your son wants a vegetable-only option and you want delivery. How do you decide? Most likely, you'll turn to the internet. In the millisecond after you’ve entered “pizza delivery in my town” into the search box, Google returns the relevant search results, with the most appropriate on top to make it easier for you to make a purchasing decision. “Paul’s Pizza Pub offers thick-crust pizza with mushrooms and onions, and they will deliver it in 30 minutes? I’ll take it!”

As a consumer, the how and why of which search results come up on top is not as important as being able to get to the products and services you want. But as a business owner, you need understand how search engines operate and how you can become a reliable search result so that potential customers—who do a lot more research than pizza consumers—find you before a competitor.

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is “the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine” (Oxford Living Dictionaries, 2017). There are two main focus areas of SEO: Onsite and Offsite.

Onsite SEO

Onsite SEO refers to what is happening in the back end of your website. When you built your company’s website, you turned to a website developer or marketing company. In mapping out the plan for your website, you discussed what it would look like and what content you wanted to include. Both of these things are critical to the user experience. Did you also talk about what would be done to the back end to make your site attractive to search engines? Did you discuss the framework, tags and descriptions that would ensure search engines could easily scroll your content to help you become a top result in search? If you did, then you are ahead of many business owners. If not, now’s the time!

The criteria list search engines use for ranking websites is lengthy. Two examples include adding alternative text tags to your images so that search engines easily identify them and giving each page within your site a unique title so that multiple pages that show up in search don’t confuse users. If both of these tactics sound like another language, you’re not alone. The world of onsite SEO uses technology and terms that most of us are not familiar navigating. But whoever builds and manages your website should be concerned with both the front-end user experience of the site and the back-end functionality to get the most out of your efforts. If working to develop your onsite SEO isn’t in their wheelhouse, then finding another source to help you focus on it should be a priority.

Offsite SEO

Once you’ve finished optimizing your website, it’s time to make sure you are visible elsewhere online. Offsite SEO refers to improving your search rank wherever your business is listed other than your website, such as directory and review sites or social media channels. Maybe someone is on Yelp reading local reviews about wedding vendors, or their go-to directory could be Yellowpages.com. Perhaps it starts with Google and moves to Google Maps or Google My Business. All of these websites classify as online directories. There are more than 300 of them, and they all play a significant role in whether your business will come up on top in a search listing.

Google relies on these directories, especially its own, to feed it information about your business and your competitors. After a consumer enters a search word or phrase, it looks to see whether you are listed, claimed and have accurate contact information across your listings. If so, it deems you a reliable search result and moves your website and directory listings closer to the top of the results list. Each directory follows its own set of rules and timelines and requires some degree of hoop jumping to become listed and claimed. But once done, you should start to see improvement in your search ranking.

Working to improve your search ranking is not something you do once, check off your to-do list and move on. It should be considered an operational function of your business because your potential customers are doing the majority of their searching for products and services online. Taking the time to “clean your digital house” is worth the time and investment. Although you won't move to the number one spot in search rankings overnight, you will see your rankings improve and inevitably turn some new leads to your website and business.


By Phase 3 Digital Agency 07 Apr, 2017


More than likely, you have a few social media sites that are your go-to when creating campaigns for your clients. These are some of the most popular social media sites that are used to create successful campaigns:

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. Twitter
  4. Snapchat
  5. Pinterest
  6. Tumblr

What about some of the more outdated social media sites?  Are the sites we used to know truly gone or can we somehow integrate them into our current campaigns and keep our clients happy?

Social media sites are ever-changing and sometimes don’t keep up with the current need or want of the client.  Here are a few social media sites you may have forgotten or not even heard of before.

  1. Friendster
  2. MySpace
  3. Orkut
  4. Yahoo Buzz!
  5. Google+
  6. Ello
  7. Foursquare
  8. Meerkat

Have all of these social media platforms been pushed aside by bigger, more well-known sites or have some evolved?

The answer is both, some sites have died out but others found a way to compete with the social media giants.  Social media sites have had to keep evolving over time in order to keep up with the more popular sites.  One example of a site that has died out is Meerkat.

Meerkat was released in February 2015, but was shut down on October 4, 2016.  It had originally started out as an app used for live-streaming videos.  Unfortunately, Meerkat was unable to continue in the direction of live-streaming because it could not compete with other forms of live-streaming such as Periscope and Facebook Live.  Even though not all of these social media sites have lived long enough to become relevant to our clients outside of the social media giants, not everything about them is completely gone.  

Another example to take note of is the social media app Foursquare.  You probably remember people using this app to try to be ‘Mayor’ of your block or a certain location.  Although Foursquare itself did not continue to grow into something more, it is still around today.  

The concept of Foursquare has been used in many other apps such as Pokémon Go.  Instead of shutting down completely, Foursquare found a way to license the technology they used for location. This in turn helped them to stay alive.    

While some social media sites are no longer useful to our clients, the main point is social media sites; even old ones can still be relevant. Social media is changing so quickly that we need to be prepared for anything.  Some of the most popular sites like Facebook, and Twitter may not always be as relevant as they are today.  

Some social media sites are too outdated to be considered useful in our line of work anymore.  Although some social media sites may not always be at the forefront of our minds, their technology can still be used to influence some of the next big sites.  In order to better assist our clients, we as our company’s representatives need to be aware of different types of social media, even the ones that are no longer considered popular.  Some of the sites that are no longer popular are now the backbone of the technology we have today.

Some of the technology that came out of the outdated social media sites is still incredibly useful and has paved the way for new sites that our clients frequently use.

Our job should be to continually evaluate not only the most well-known sites but also keep our eyes on less popular, potentially even underutilized sites that might have an especially unique opportunity for our clients.

By Phase 3 Digital Agency 28 Mar, 2017

For every online marketing campaign we look at the unique needs of each client. We strategize over targeting options, which form of online advertising to use, the creative message and how to best execute the overall strategy. Here at Phase 3 Digital, in order to get those bottom line results, we don’t just focus on the targeting, the medium or the message. We focus on conversion and how we can turn your online traffic into leads for your business. How do we do this? We ensure your online advertising is going to a landing page set up for visitor-to-leads-conversion. In this post, we will discuss landing page best practices and common mistakes.

Landing Page Best Practices

  • Be sure that your landing page is mobile friendly. Remember, over 50% of users are on their mobile phones.
  • If you're running an online advertising campaign, you probably have some amazing creative with a strong call to action. Be sure when people are clicking through your ad, you are sending them to a landing page with a matching headline and similar look and feel
  • Keep your main call to action above the fold so it’s the first thing people see.
  • When capturing leads with a form, keep the amount of form fields to a minimum. Try to only ask for the bare minimum of information you need.
  • Use testimonials and video. Both of these ensure trust and increase engagement.
  • Install Google Analytics and be sure to watch the inbound traffic coming to your website. Use that data to make adjustments to your landing page if necessary.

Common Mistakes Made with Landing Pages

  • Don’t send people to a home page or a landing page that doesn’t directly address the reason that they clicked on your ad in the first place.
  • Don’t have multiple call to actions or too much content. Keep your landing page clean in design and make the call to action clear
  • Don’t ask for too much information. You will deter people away if they have to provide too much information.

By Phase 3 Digital Agency 09 Mar, 2017

There are many benefits of running social media contests. They help your business build awareness, increase engagement and are a rich source of data. To reap these benefits, you must make sure that the contest is run properly and effectively. Below are some tips that will help you make the most out of your contests.

The first step when building a contest is to determine a goal. Do you want to grow your subscriber list, increase social engagement or generate more sales? Maybe you want to do all three. Whatever your goal may be, make sure your goal is S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely).

Setting a goal will help you to determine the type of contest that you want to run. Sweepstakes contests are the easiest for users to enter but photo or video contests with fan votes are always great for engagement.

Make sure you have clear contest rules. The rules should include a description of how the winner will be selected. You should also be sure to include an eligibility section where you specify age and residency restrictions. It’s also important to include the contest entry period, explain how to enter, and let your fans know how their personal information will be used.  In addition, know the laws for your area or consult someone from your legal team to be sure you have included everything that you need.

You should create a contest hashtag that reflects your contest and also promotes your business and brand. A hashtag will tie your contest across various social networks but keep in mind that on Twitter and Facebook there is such a thing as too many hashtags. We recommend having only 2 hashtags on those platforms but on Instagram, more is better.

Your contest should have nice, eye-catching images that reflect your brand. Include your logo and use resources such as Canva or Photoshop to create professional looking artwork. 

Limit the amount of information you collect from the entrants. A good rule of thumb is to limit the form fields to three or less. Decide what the most important pieces of information to collect are that will be beneficial to your marketing efforts. The more form fields you have, the less likely people will be to enter your contest.

Lastly, don’t forget to promote your contest! One great paid option is to use Facebook advertising because you can tailor the ads to your specific target audience and can spend as little to as much as you want.

By Phase 3 Digital Agency 01 Mar, 2017

Conduct a Google search of your business. Do the results cause you to beam with pride or cower in embarrassment? Your digital footprint contains information that can be helpful – or harmful to your reputation.

The Importance of a Strong Online Reputation

Whether your customers are CEOs, prospective customers, or employees, your online reputation has a direct impact on how your business will be judged. If you are selling your business services, customers will turn to services such as Yelp, Yahoo! Local, and Angie's List to learn more about your interactions with previous customers.

Strengthening Your Online Reputation

Now that you are aware of the importance of your online reputation, it is time to take action. Here are 6 things you can do to strengthen your online reputation.

1. Assess the current state of your online reputation. Google is the preferred search engine of approximately 93% of internet users. It is a good idea to begin your search with Google. To get accurate results, sign out of your Google account. Type your business name (and different variations of the name) into the search box. Review the results. Are they negative, positive, relevant or irrelevant? Is your basic business information presented consistently and accurately? The results of this step will help you formulate a plan of action.

2. Define your goals. Do you want to establish a reputation as an industry leader? Do you have some inventory you’d like to move? Would you like more diners to come to your Sunday brunch? Getting clear about your goals will help you develop a winning strategy.

3. Create new content. Now that you know exactly what you want to accomplish, you can publish new content that reflects your new aspirations.

.   Publish content on a business blog

.   Become a guest author for blogs in your industry

.   Post positive content on your social media channels

.   Upload videos that you have developed to YouTube

.   Author eBooks and authoritative articles

.   Publish content on your website

4. Clean up your social media accounts.  Review your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media accounts. Remove any pictures, memes, comments and posts that are damaging to your reputation. After you remove offending information, optimize your social media profiles with quality content.

5. Pay attention to your customers. Regularly review what people are saying about your business at websites like Yelp, Yellow Pages, Angie’s List, Foursquare, City Search, Superpage and more. Are you seeing positive reviews? Reach out and thank your customer! Seeing something negative? Reach out and find a way to resolve your customer’s problem, and turn things around to reflect your business positively. What a great way to increase your fan base, too!

6. Get help from a professional online management company. Phase 3 Digital can help sort all this out for your business. We can ensure that your company’s presence is displayed correctly and consistently across the internet, and alert you to anything – positive or negative – that needs your attention.

Negative or inaccurate information does not have to mess with your online reputation. By taking corrective actions, you will be able to see improvements in less than 3 months!

By Phase 3 Digital Agency 15 Feb, 2017
What is event targeting? It is a precise time-based geo-targeting strategy that allows advertisers to target an audience based on a geo-fence. Simply put: “tag” users in a specific location as you would tag users who visit your website, and deliver digital banner ads to their mobile devices as they browse the web and apps.

Event advertising isn’t new. Some traditional advertisings examples are:
  • Vinyl banners at sporting venues or concerts
  • Digital reader board ads
  • Booth space at exhibits, games and concerts
  • Flyers and handouts
Imagine you want to set up a sales booth at a home show or sponsor the local sports team with arena signage. It’s a great way to get in front of a specific audience and connect your name with other recognizable brands. But when the audience leaves the home show or event, will they remember they saw you? What if you didn’t have enough time to speak with all the people walking by your booth or what if people left without making a purchase decision with you? With event targeting you can continue to deliver your messaging to them for weeks after the event!

Advertisers can reach an audience that exhibits huge intent for related products or services that are planning and ready to buy. Very little impressions are wasted on a non-relevant audience by utilizing targeting methods based on events people have attended.

Here are 5 ways event targeting can be a benefit to your marketing strategy:

Leverage premium real estate.

Access the ad space that is in their hands at the event! People constantly access their phones at events. Taking selfies, researching products, checking next event times and weather forecast (for instance at sporting events) are just a few reasons people hop on their phones while attending an event or show. An ad in their hand is just as likely to be seen as a digital billboard on the event screen, show booth, flyer or hanging vinyl ad if not more likely to be seen and absorbed.

More affordable to reach your coveted audience. 

Booth space is expensive. Sponsored signage involves contracts and ridged design space. Event targeting with a digital campaign allows you to pay for measured impressions and allows you to design multiple ad sizes and messaging. A smaller local advertiser can reach a premium audience without breaking the bank over a weekend event.

Get around exclusivity.
Just because your competitor is there, doesn’t mean you missed out. You don’t have to be an exclusive sponsor and commit to something months in advance. Event targeting campaigns can be developed quickly and allow businesses to compete and win customers.

Be in two places at once.
What if two shows are going on at the same time in different locations? With event targeting, you can be in both. If they are too expensive to have a physical presence in and staff, or if one is too small to invest in, business can still reach people who attend the show.

Get more time with your audience
The ability to target the audience after the event is really the icing on the cake. Expand your impact by extending your view time with the audience. Make an impression on their memories. Attendees gain awareness of products by visiting shows and are in a consideration phase. Event targeting can seal the deal for you by keeping you top of mind and sharing why they should choose you.

Still need ideas on when to utilize event targeting? Here are some events and venues to consider in your market:

  • Conferences, conventions & tradeshows
  • Sporting events, fitness competitions, school teams
  • Concerts & tours
  • Performing arts: opera, theatre, musicals
  • Festivals: music, renaissance
  • Fairs: state fairs, carnivals, Oktoberfest, craft fairs
  • Community & cultural events
  • Fundraisers & benefits
  • Parades
  • Venues: amusement parks, speedways, even hotels
By Phase 3 Digital Agency 25 Jan, 2017

Video marketing is often an overlooked method for creating a competitive advantage as an SMB. Video production and associated costs can feel like barriers to executing an effective video marketing strategy. Luckily, efficient video marketing resources are more accessible than ever. Here is why you need to rethink your video marketing strategy today:


Improve your organic SEO rankings.   YouTube ranks as the second largest search engine behind Google. Video content is an essential component to your SEO strategy and offers an additional opportunity to add relevant keywords through naming your videos. As you build your library, you can also create a sitemap for videos—another opportunity for search engines to crawl your site and boost your rankings.


Position yourself as an industry leader.   Harness the power of video to position yourself as the authority in your field. As a local mechanic, create a video tutorial on how to prepare your vehicle for winter. If you are a flower shop owner, demonstrate how to arrange the perfect bouquet. Create video testimonials with your favorite clients. Capitalize on the video via YouTube and on your own website.


Engage your audience.   Video produces higher social engagement rates than photos, blogs and other static communication. Use the power of video through your social media channels to improve brand affinity across a wide audience.


The right digital agency will help you define your goals and take advantage of the multi-channel benefits to video marketing.

By Phase 3 Digital Agency 10 Jan, 2017

Search engine optimization is always changing, and one of the newest changes is the increasing popularity of voice search. It has now become a necessity for business to optimize for voice search in our fast-paced society where consumers are constantly on the go with their smartphones and tablets.

Voice Searches on the rise

Voice search was originally more of a novelty, it was not very accurate and often frustrating to use, but with the technology becoming far more accurate, its popularity is on the rise. Google presented data stating that 20 percent of searches on its mobile app and on Android devices are voice searches.  With many new devices such as Amazon’s Echo, the number of voice searches likely has and will continue to increase.

How to optimize your business for voice search

One of the first things every business should be doing is making sure their website is mobile friendly.  Most voice searches are happening on mobile devices. You don’t want a potential customer to use voice search, find your site and then leave because it is not mobile friendly. Mobile users need sites that are easy to navigate, without having to “pinch-in or out.”

A big step to helping create a “voice search ready” site is to optimize the content of the pages for common words or phrases that users would naturally speech-search.  For example, someone may say “where is the best pet groomer in Seattle?”. You would want to optimize your site to include “Best pet groomer in Seattle.”

Another great way to add natural language to your site is by adding a Q&A page. You can include questions and phrases that people will actually speak rather than type. Sites such as answerthepublic.com  or questionsamurai.com can help you come up with key words or phrases to add you your site.

Lastly, use your analytics. Google’s Search Console Report will show you what queries are driving people to your site. Using analytics will help you understand how many people are visiting your site, as well as what type of devices they are using.  As of now you cannot see if someone is using a voice search, but as it gains popularity that may change.

Staying up to date on SEO is important for all businesses and it only takes a few small steps to start getting your business’s website ready for the increase in voice searches.

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