Sike Social’s Got a NEW Look!

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Samantha, here.

It’s been about a year since I started Sike Social from my new home in beautiful Denver, Colorado. I had an idea of what I wanted my company to BE, but I had no idea where it would actually GO.

Since the first day I got the LLC, I’ve worked hard to make sure I was providing the very best services to my wonderful list of clients across the country. I’m happy to say that the biz is still growing, as I add more and more interesting brands to the list. To be honest, I can’t tell you how honored and excited I am to have so many wonderful companies who believe in my work.

Today, I’m happy to announce that we’ve completed a creative revamp of our website as well. Although there’s a lot of similar content, it’s got a whole new look that we hope people (and our clients) will enjoy. Check it out here: http://www.sikesocial.com

This journey has been a long one, but I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished so far and truly look forward to what’s to come in the future months.

All the best,

Samantha Chin, CEO & Founder of Sike Social

LinkedIn Study: 81% of Small/Medium-sized Businesses Use Social Media

Small Business on Social Media

About 81% of all small and medium-sized businesses use social media, based off of a recent LinkedIn study. Out of the companies that do use social, 94% of them are using it for marketing benefits — especially those that are experiencing high volumes of growth.

Finally, businesses are beginning to realize that having a social presence not only increases brand awareness, but also help push customers down the purchase funnel. Having said this, almost 75% of companies experiencing growth increased their social media budgets, including more online ad spend, hiring community managers, etc.

Lana Khavinson, the senior product manager at LinkedIn says, “We know that for SMBs the greatest challenge is attracting and retaining customers. Here is a really clear indicator of the value that social media is providing to companies that are rapidly growing.”

As the numbers of those small and medium-sized businesses using social increase, many social networks are benefiting, beyond LinkedIn (who has hundreds of thousands of small business entrepreneurs within it’s member base). For example, Facebook and Twitter, which both boast several million businesses with active accounts, will gain significant ad revenue in the future. We’ll see this start to take place as companies start to pay to rise above the clutter in people’s Newsfeeds on Facebook, and as Twitter expands its “self-serve” advertising ideas around the world to further attract small businesses in places like Canada and the UK.

We’ll be interested to see how much each social network can rake in over the next few years. To us, it feels like shooting fish in a barrel, especially as such networks are literally writing the rules to how marketed content is shown to customers.

Tell us: Does your small business utilize social media to its fullest potential?

— Samantha

Business Reviews to Change Future Facebook Marketing

Facebook Star Rating System

As you may have noticed, Facebook has begun to introduce their latest roll out: business reviews. In the same fashion that fans can rate movies or books on a one to five star scale, Facebook is now letting users rate brand pages in the same fashion. Such ratings have started popping up on varying business pages to the right of the company’s name at the top of the Facebook page.

According to TechCrunch, the new rating system is available to a small group of pages –for now. In addition to the new search functions added to the platform last year, the business reviews will show up when fans search for particular topics like “restaurants nearby”, etc.

A spokesperson from Facebook noted, “Star ratings encourage more people to rate a business, making it eligible to appear in News Feed and help others discover a business they didn’t know about previously. For businesses themselves, this also leads to greater brand awareness.”

It has yet to be determined whether or not the rating system will be mandatory for brands to use on pages. If they do become a default, brands will need to rethink how they are engaging and marketing to fans, as the page will inherently function more as a customer service platform. Because many users have varying reasons for Liking a page, an in-your-face star rating would certainly play a part in whether or not one engages with it — just as it does for other review sites like Yelp and Angie’s List. Personally, we’re looking forward to see how this roll out will impact small businesses in the future.

Tell us: Have you seen the new business rating system on Facebook pages? If so, how do you think it’ll impact upcoming marketing efforts?

— Samantha

Small Business Growth Through Digital Media

Social Media & Small Busines

In today’s world, small businesses must accept and embrace digital media.  Having said this, there are often limiting factors (from financial to a lack of knowledge) that can impact companies from figuring out how to successfully integrate a social strategy with an already existing more-traditional marketing strategy.

Reports from the National Small Business Association’s 2013 Technology Survey state that one in 10 small companies do not have a website and about 30% of them don’t use social media.

Thankfully, there are many options for small business to engage with their customers, partners, etc. through digital media. Whether it includes Facebook posts, tweets or videos, the options are endless — and quite easy to execute if the right strategy is developed beforehand.

Small Business and Social Media

For those who don’t believe in the benefits of social media or don’t believe that they have enough time to entertain such ideas, they’re missing out on wonderful marketing opportunities. If used correctly, small businesses can not only grow their own communities and overall brand awareness, but their sales as well

According to PQ Media, “digital media usage among U.S. consumers is estimated at nearly 15 hours per week. By 2017, it’s expected to hit 19.30 hours per week” (USA Today article). By these numbers alone, it’s clear that to be top of mind for the consumer, one must be active within social media. This doesn’t mean you have to bump an important project off the books, but instead think of it as a benefit to the company (rather than a burden). By taking a little time each day to be active (monitor what people are saying about you, post interesting updates, form relationships with the audience, etc.) you can create brand loyalists that can take your company to the next level.

It will take time, but it will be worth it. Here are a few ways to get started!

  • Find out what others are saying about you. Google or Bing your company and be 100% aware of what you find as a result. Turns out, your customers (both current and future) are doing the same thing and it’s critical to know what people are finding.
  • Market your social presence everywhere. Add social information (like Facebook and Twitter links) on business cards, your website and within emails so as many eyes as possible see your digital efforts and can later connect with the brand online.
  • Insert your company into the conversation. Don’t post company-centric information only. Instead, find out what your fans are talking about and post/tweet with something that relates! For instance, if you’re own a exercise company, try posting lifestyle-themed content like healthy recipes or exciting workout tips to keep your audience engaged and wanting more.
  • Be successful on mobile. Over half of the adult population owns a smartphone, while slightly less own a tablet as well. Because of this, your company website, social presence, etc. must show up clearly and work properly for those who are not on a desktop computer.

Tell us: What is your small business doing to enter the digital world?

— Samantha