Diversity marketing should be an important part of any business’ marketing strategy. Rather than using an exclusive voice, nowadays, the world is an inclusive place, just as it should be.
With that in mind, it’s vital that any business channels its products or services to all different groups and one of the biggest avenues for success is social media. Business, Influencers, brands, and individuals use social media to reach out to distant family, stay in touch with friends, ex-colleagues, old school mates and more.
Of course, people also very much use social media to research other products, canvas opinion and even to shop direct. So social media is imperative for gathering new customers and connecting with your audience. If you need more voices for your pages, why don’t you buy active Instagram followers from 1394ta. They might help you to reach your audiences faster. With more than 4.5 billion users across the world, business owners are taking time to formulate quality social media marketing strategies to boost their bottom line.
To boost your Instagram page’s visibility, you need more likes, there is also buy Instagram likes app that you likes over there.
So there’s no getting away from social media – and you could even argue that having the right social media platforms in place are as important as having a business or brand website! A Forbes piece (chech out here) stated that 84% of businesses use social media for brand building. For any business, black-owned business or other – you can’t afford to ignore it. In this piece, we’re going to identify some excellent social media strategies for black-owned online business.
Using the Power of Social Media for Black-Owned Online Business
Social media has helped all businesses, black-owned online business’ and others and given everyone the chance of connecting with others, through the written word, audio, video and of course, static images. We live in such a connected word that in just 60 seconds, a piece of content posted on one of the biggest platforms can go viral.
The biggest platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter etc. are the perfect avenue for raising brand and black-owned online business’ profile, and there’s that chance of going viral, something you don’t get with offline marketing unless you’re a huge brand with a big bank balance and you have a global marketing team reinforcing one message.
There are lots of ways to engage with a black audience, and social media allows black-owned online business’ to improve visibility by using some of the following clever strategies. All of the social media marketing strategies listed below are designed to increase the following of black-owned online business’. Let’s dive in!
Super Social Media Strategies for Black-Owned Online Business
1. Use Engaging and Thought-Provoking Content
One of the easiest ways to connect with your audience is to provide them with interesting content. In doing so, you start the road to building a community. Create the type of content that allows you to connect with others, that raises questions and encourages people to click-through to your website (or other) and share the information with their friends and followers.
It’s easily said of course, but sometimes, the ideas don’t flow. However, you could research what type of content that your competitors share. Be sure to look at the engagement. There’s no point in writing a similar piece of content if your competitor or competitors didn’t see good response.
Canvas opinion from family and friends – but better still, ask your followers what type of content would they like to see? A how-to piece on how to use a product. A before and after series? Information on the fabrics you use or responsible farming? How about eco-friendly content?
Other things that you could do include creating polls, featuring a Q&A session, or running a competition for the person who comes up with the best idea for new content. Remember to answer any comments and reply to questions to keep the conversation up and to increase engagement. People like to feel included and they’re more likely to follow you (and keep following you) if you make them feel part of your business’ family.
People won’t just buy from you if they like the look of a product or service, they’re more likely to buy from you when they feel a part of your community. It’s up to you to make them feel they belong.
If your content needs more engagement, you can also buy views on Instagram for better social media management. Everyone may require some extra for themselves.
2. Harness the Power of Captions
Black-owned online business’ use social media images and videos to get their message across, that’s not new news but it’s more than just posting up attractive images. As well as posting great looking content, you need to use captions to enhance your message. Often, an image will draw someone in but if the caption’s bland – or worse still, it’s not there – that person won’t engage and is less likely to want to follow you.
Every social media caption needs to tell a story but be careful, not too much of a story! Social media is designed to be quick and easy to get to grips with. You don’t need to write reams of information. Try getting your point across in short, snappy word-groupings. Use hashtags (especially for Instagram and Twitter) and better still, create your own.
Black-owned online business’ should definitely promote that they’re black-owned! Be proud of what you’ve achieved, use the hashtag #blackownedbusiness and search similar hashtags to see which get the biggest engagement.
Create your own as well – as we’ve mentioned – something that’s yours, that relates to what you provide or what you sell and use that hashtag every time you post so your audience start to recognize that hashtag.
You can use more than one hashtag for Instagram, feel free to use up to 30, although we feel this is a very large number so would suggest sticking with around 6 and no more than 9. You should also try and include a CTA on your posts, whether it’s click here for more or click to visit our website, sign up here, enter here etc.
By adding a call to action, you’re inviting your customer to do something else.
3. Tell Your Customers About You
As we’ve said, social media is about connecting with people and finding out about your brand. People like to feel they “belong” so when you’re creating your community, be vocal about you, and your black-owned online business. This is a good way to use the power of influence.
Whether it’s a video about your business posted on social media or a blog about your journey to success. Perhaps you’d like to showcase a behind-the-scenes look of your office? Try IGTV to post a longer video (but you have to have an Instagram business account to use this Instagram feature).
Don’t limit it to the office! Perhaps you’re a mom with a black-owned online business – show people the other things you do day-to-day, people love to see a multi-tasking, strong woman with business acumen and yet someone who still has time to cook dinner and clean the house!
It’s pretty normal nowadays to run a home and have a business, connect with others who do the same – build up your community.
On that note, if you find you’re running out of time managing your social media and your business (along with whatever else you do every day!), you could consider employing a freelance social media specialist to help. Or simply dedicate 30 minutes a day to your social media use and use one of the social media scheduling tools to make sure your brand or black-owned online business is posting throughout the day. Here’s a good social media scheduling tool you might like to download here.
4. Check Out Instagram Videos and Reels
The power of video is huge and with YouTube now being the second biggest used search engine and TikTok growing an extremely large audience over just 2 years – you can’t afford to ignore it! Most social media platforms encourage video and with Instagram, you get access to Stories and Reels, both are really important for maintaining engagement and attracting new Instagram followers to your Insta account.
If you use a Reel, then make sure it’s entertaining but try and add an educational element. You need to keep it short and to the point because people move onto other things on Instagram quickly if they’re not instantly engaged. We’d suggest trying a Reel three or four times a week to keep your brand or business high in mind and as Reels are a relatively new feature on Instagram, you’ll find that yours has plenty of visibility as it’s a feature Instagram wants to promote.
5. Be a Regular Poster!
Black-owned online business’ need to stay visible in a crowded social media world so back to point 3, and make sure you do post regularly on social media. However, don’t over-post. No one wants to see their newsfeed full of posts from the same brand or business. Space out your posts, try 2 or 3 a day and post at optimal times.
Business accounts can access Instagram Insights to see when their followers are most engaged. Never post for the sake of posting, your posts must be interesting, informative, fun and contain the holy grail of hashtags.
Use quality images – this is especially important for a business. If your images are blurry or low-quality, it says a lot about your business, unfortunately, it gives the wrong impression.
Don’t forget to use the scheduling tool if you’re not at your social media “desk” regularly. Not only does it save you time, but it means you don’t have to think about your social media until much later on. However, remember to check-in a few times a day, to view your engagement and to respond to any of your followers.
6. Have a Style That Resonates with Your Brand
Style, similar to tone-of-voice is all about your look on social media and it should be the same across all the platforms that your black-owned online business uses.
Keep in mind your website livery, logo and style and match that across all your channels. As well as the “look” of your social media platforms, have a “uniform” style of writing and images. You might use a border, you might use the same emojis, you might use a certain filter – but keep it similar so your brand is instantly recognizable. It’s the same with hashtags, keep one or two hashtags that are unique to your business and mix them up with other hashtags that relate to your social media posts.
Final Words on Social Media Strategies for Black-Owned Online Business
All of the above are relatively straightforward strategies to implement for building your business or brand online. It’s really important to harness the power of social media as there’s a wealth of opportunity out there to reach the right, target audience. So, play around with different social media platforms if you haven’t yet started your social media journey. Some might work better for you than others but try one at a time to help you understand each one fully before you move onto the next.
Remember, you can also link your social media platforms and you should always have links to your social media platforms on your website. Use hashtags, try and keep your overall “look” recognizable, build a community of followers and regularly interact with them. Offer promotions, discount codes, special offers and run competitions every now and again to grow your followers on Instagram.
Stay abreast of what your competitors do, identifying the areas where they’re weak and capitalizing on any opportunity. Look at what they do well and think about what you could do to emulate their success to get the best Instagram followers. Finally, stay visible and use social media regularly as part of your overall marketing strategy.
But equity rounds aren’t the only way for a company to raise money — alternative and other non-dilutive financing options are often overlooked. Taking on debt might be the right solution when you’re focused on growth and can see clear ROI from the capital you deploy.
Not all capital providers are equal, so seeking financing isn’t just about securing capital. It’s a matter of finding the right source of funding that matches both your business and your roadmap.
Here are four things you should consider:
Does this match my needs?
It’s easy to take for granted, but securing financing begins with a business plan. Don’t seek funding until you have a clear plan for how you’ll use it. For example, do you need capital to fund growth or for your day-to-day operations? The answer should influence not only the amount of capital you seek, but the type of funding partner you look for as well.
Start with a concrete plan and make sure it aligns with the structure of your financing:
Match repayment terms to your expected use of the debt.
Balance working capital needs with growth capital needs.
It’s understandable to hope for a one-and-done financing process that sets the next round far down the line, but that may be costlier than you realize in the long run.
Your term of repayment must be long enough so you can deploy the capital and see the returns. If it’s not, you may end up making loan payments with the principal.
Say, for example, you secure funding to enter a new market. You plan to expand your sales team to support the move and develop the cash flow necessary to pay back the loan. The problem here is, the new hire will take months to ramp up.
If there’s not enough delta between when you start ramping up and when you begin repayments, you’ll be paying back the loan before your new salesperson can bring in revenue to allow you to see ROI on the amount you borrowed.
Another issue to keep in mind: If you’re financing operations instead of growth, working capital requirements may reduce the amount you can deploy.
Let’s say you finance your ad spending and plan to deploy $200,000 over the next four months. But payments on the MCA loan you secured to fund that spending will eat into your revenue, and the loan will be further limited by a minimum cash covenant of $100,000. The result? You secured $200,000 in financing but can only deploy half of it.
With $100,000 of your financing kept in a cash account, only half the loan will be used to drive operations, which means you’re not likely to meet your growth target. What’s worse, as you’re only able to deploy half of the loan, your cost of capital is effectively double what you’d planned for.
Is this the right amount for me at this time?
The second consideration is balancing how much capital you need to act on your near-term goals against what you can reasonably expect to secure. If the funding amount you can get is not enough to move the needle, it might not be worth the effort required.
Elon Musk said Sunday he “somewhat agonized” over the font designs for his companies Tesla and SpaceX.
The billionaire businessman added he “loves fonts” and has tweaked the logos over the years.
He revealed the SpaceX logo also holds a hidden meaning, representing a rocket’s arc to orbit.
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In a series of Sunday tweets, Elon Musk said he “somewhat agonized” over his choice of fonts for his businesses and revealed a hidden meaning behind the SpaceX logo.
Responding to a tweet about serif and sans-serif fonts, the billionaire businessman took a break from posting cryptic memes and discussing politics to say he loves fonts and put significant consideration into how his companies are presented to consumers.
“I somewhat agonized over the Tesla & SpaceX font design (love fonts tbh),” Musk tweeted. “There are some similarities, particularly use of negative space. We’ve made many little tweaks over the years.”
The Tesla logo — a T-shaped design with a custom, sans-serif font spelling out the brand name — is meant to resemble a cross-section of an electric motor. The SpaceX logo, written in a similar font with an extended X, references the reusable rockets made by the company.
“The swoop of the X is meant to represent the rocket’s arc to orbit,” Musk tweeted.
Other business logos have also held hidden messages: Baskin Robbins, a chain that sells 31 flavors of ice cream, has a secret ’31’ hidden in the letters of its logo. Likewise, Amazon’s arrow logo is meant to represent a smile, while the circular ‘B’ logo for Beats by Dre represents a person wearing the popular headphones.
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The internet has revolutionized the business world and changed how we conduct business. Any business that aims to increase its visibility and boost profit needs to pay much attention to top ranking factors, including local SEO — which introduces the topic of the local search algorithm.
Local SEO is one of the top practices that help boost a business’s visibility and generates more sales.
However, achieving better local SEO rankings is not a walk in the park, especially due to increased competition. To appear higher on local results, businesses and marketers need to understand how the local search algorithm works.
Knowing this helps guide the steps for improving rankings in the local pack.
The competition gets stiffer as more businesses open and optimize for local searching. Besides, Google is updating its algorithm consistently, meaning only businesses that can keep up with these updates can appear at the top of local search results.
Luckily, you have come to this post as this article looks at everything you need to know about Google’s local search algorithm and what you can do to get that top spot in the local pack.
Understanding the local search algorithm
Google aims to provide the best results that match a specific local search query. It constantly updates the local search algorithm to determine which business to rank on top of local search results.
Ideally, Google wants to provide local content that is relevant and valuable to users. As with search engine optimization, keyword stuffing cannot give you that top spot in local search results.
SEO specialists and marketers should consider Google’s local search algorithm updates and make the necessary changes to rank higher. Failure to consider these updates means losing your local search presence, resulting in fewer leads and conversions.
Local algorithms check the Google My Business (GMB) listings to determine where to rank a business in local search rankings.
Ideally, Google’s local algorithm ranks businesses with information that matches a searcher’s query. And the higher a business ranks in local search results, the more chances a potential customer will click on it.
This post looks at the three major pillars that determine local search results to better understand the local search algorithm: proximity, prominence and relevance.
Of course, other factors make up Google’s local search algorithm, but since we cannot identify all of them, we’ll focus on the most crucial ones in this post.
By understanding these pillars, marketers can better position themselves for local search success.
Proximity is one of the major ranking factors when it comes to local search. That means the distance between a business and a searcher is a ranking factor in local search.
When a searcher searches for something, Google considers how far the searcher is from the location of the term they use in the search. When a searcher doesn’t specify the location, Google calculates the distance based on the information they have regarding their location.
Ideally, Google aims to provide the most relevant results to a search query. For instance, why would Google provide a list of coffee shops in Los Angeles if the searcher is searching from Colombia?
That would be irrelevant local search results that won’t benefit the searcher.
Unfortunately, while proximity is a major local search pillar, it’s one of the factors that businesses have little control over. After all, you cannot change where your business is located, right?
You can only ensure your business location is as clear as possible, so that it appears for related nearby queries. Here are steps you can take to achieve this:
Claim and verify the Google My Business listing
Ensure local listings are accurate and optimized for local products or services
Get the Google Maps API Key and optimize for your location and routes
Set up your profile correctly (for Service Area Businesses) to avoid violating Google’s guidelines
Users can perform several types of local searches, including:
Users will perform geo-modified searches when they are planning to visit somewhere. For instance, a searcher in Los Angeles planning to visit Toronto, Canada, may search for a “coffee shop in Oakville.” The results will differ from if they searched for “coffee” while physically in Oakville.
To be specific, geo-modified searches are mainly based on relevance and prominence as opposed to proximity when a user searches for something when outside the city included in the search.
Searchers perform this type of search when looking for something around them. For instance, a user in Los Angeles performing a local search for “coffee.”
Ideally, the user only needs to search for something and is shown results based on proximity. They will get the results that are closest to them.
“Near me” searches
“Near me” searches have been so popular in recent years. Although their popularity has significantly declined, users still perform this type of search when looking for something locally.
For instance, some users could add “near me” when searching for a coffee shop, hoping to get the most relevant results near them. As we’ve stated, this trend has lost popularity because when you perform a local search, you are searching for something near you.
It is not necessary to add “near me” to what you’re searching.
Prominence refers to how important Google thinks your business is, which gets factored into the local search algorithm.
In other words, it refers to how well a business stands from the rest in various aspects, including directories, links, reviews, mentions, among other things.
If search engines view your business as trustworthy and credible, they will likely show it on top of related search query results.
The local search algorithm views businesses/brands with a stronger online prominence as credible and trustworthy. Some of the factors that determine prominence include:
A local citation is the mention of a business’s information online. The mention can include the partial or complete name, address, and phone number (NAP) of a local business.
Citations are an excellent way for people to learn about local businesses and impact local search results.
A business with high-quality citations can rank better in local search results, although businesses must continually manage citations to ensure data accuracy.
Backlinks play a crucial role in local business prominence. Gaining relevant backlinks from high-quality sites is an excellent way to build a business’ online reputation.
If you’re trying to outrank your competitors without much success, your backlink profile could be the reason.
In that case, you should check your competitor’s backlinks and compare them with yours. When doing this, pay attention to the number and quality of their backlinks.
As a rule of thumb, aim to have high-quality local backlinks pointing to your site to improve your page’s authority.
Next, you need to pay much attention to reviews to improve local prominence. Many customers look at a business’s online reviews before deciding whether to engage more with the business or not. Besides, many positive online reviews can increase a business’ ranking factors.
Consider this scenario. A potential customer is looking for a pub around Oakville. When they perform a search, they are presented with two results: one with over 100 reviews and another with less than 10 reviews.
Which business do you think the searcher would trust? The one with 100 reviews, obviously.
As with search engines, customers need to trust a business before they decide to do business with it. Similarly, search engines can view online reviews and analyze them to determine a business’s online prominence.
That said, here are strategies you can use to boost your online review signals:
Have a strategy
You won’t have a strong online prominence if your products or services are not of a high standard. So, the first step to having many great reviews is to develop great products and services.
After that, develop a strategy to encourage your happy customers to leave honest but valuable reviews of their experience doing business with you to help boost your online reputation.
Monitor and manage the reviews
Having many reviews is one thing; you need to develop a plan to engage with your customers for better results. Responding to reviews shows people that you care and are genuine about your products and services.
People will avoid businesses that don’t respond to customer reviews (whether positive or negative).
Search engines, too, can tell whether you engage with customer reviews or not and will use the information to determine where to rank on local search results.
When responding to online reviews, pay special attention to negative reviews and how you respond to them. While no business likes getting negative reviews, how you respond to them can positively impact your business — respond positively to turn the negative reviews around.
As earlier stated, Google wants to provide the most relevant results to a local search query. This key ranking factor will determine a business’s position in local search results — how well does a local business match a search query?
Even if your business ticks the above pillars (prominence and proximity), if the content on your page isn’t well structured and doesn’t cover the topics that a searcher is looking for, you won’t appear on top of local search results.
Here are factors that businesses should consider to create a relevant listing:
Local page signals
Local listing categories and attributes
Social posts and responses to online reviews
Local listing signals and categories
A business GMB listing and category can impact its relevance score for local searches. As such, complete your business profile carefully and continually add quality content to the web page to ensure it is relevant for proximity searches.
More specifically, ensure that all information on all listing pages, including Yelp, Bing, and Google, is complete and accurate. Aside from these factors, here are two crucial features you should pay attention to:
Selecting the right categories for your local business listing is among the crucial factors for ranking locally. With over 4000 GMB categories, you want to choose categories that best describe your business — ensure they are relevant and specific.
Here are guidelines to follow when selecting a category:
Describe your business as opposed to your services
Be specific to minimize competition
Reduce the number of GMB categories to describe your business better
Without a proper description, users won’t know what your business is about. This section is about adding an introduction to your business so that customers and search engines can know more about your business.
However, don’t use this section for marketing your business. Just give users and search engines descriptive info that can help determine whether your business matches their needs.
Local page signals
Another way a business can improve its standing in the local search algorithm is by optimizing web pages for specific keywords. For multi-location businesses, it’s essential to have separate, localized pages for each location, with relevant information and contact details for customers to reach you.
Performing competitor research is advisable to determine what terms or keywords to use for a specific query. Here are top on-page signals to consider when trying to gain relevance for a given topic:
Keyword research — Before creating local content, you need to find keywords that matter to your business. Perform keyword research to determine highly relevant keywords with high intent. When finding relevant terms to use in your content, base your research on the customer perspective; think about what they search for and the type of content they are looking for.
Create local content — After finding the right keywords, it’s time to create your content. Google values the quality of content more than the length of the content, so keep this in mind when creating content. Another crucial thing to pay attention to is localizing the content. For example, you can create content on local news and events or use your city’s name within your content.
The goal is to create a connection between what’s happening in your local area and your business. Also, use pictures with your specific geolocation to increase your content relevance.
Creating quality and relevant content is only the start. You need to optimize your content for on-page signals so local search algorithms can discover and rank them better. Here’s how you can optimize your local content for on-page signals:
Meta descriptions — Include keywords in your meta descriptions to encourage searchers to click through and increase visibility
Title tags — Title tags are some of the factors that search engines use to determine where to rank content. Incorporating keywords naturally in your title tags can help boost local rankings
Image tags — Another way to improve local rankings is by including relevant keywords in your image tags. Including geotags also comes with an added advantage
Headings — Users and Google value pages with clear structures. Consider creating headings within your content to capture readers’ attention and encourage them to read on. However, ensure your heading tags describe the content that comes after them well. Also, include keywords in your heading tags to help search engines understand them and their importance.
Off-page local signals
Gaining high-quality backlinks is a great way to boost credibility and trust. Backlinks refer to external links from another website to your site. Aim to have more high-quality backlinks to boost your website authority.
Ideally, having many quality backlinks shows search engines that your website or page is credible and trustworthy, which boosts the chances of ranking it higher in search engine results.
Guest posting is one of the best examples of link-building strategies you can use. Finding great guest posting opportunities provides an excellent opportunity to share your content to a new but relevant audience, which helps boost your website authority.
Another strategy you can use is to create longer and better content than what is already available on the web. When your content is high quality and relevant, it will be easier to get high-quality backlinks.
Review and social signals
Online reviews can also help boost relevance for your local business. Aim to get as many positive reviews from your happy customers as possible.
Remember, when customers perform a local search, they get not only the relevant businesses but also reviews related to the search. The more positive reviews a business has, the higher chances a potential customer will do business with them.
Closing thoughts on the local search algorithm
Ranking on top of local search results can seem daunting, but it shouldn’t when you know the vital things to focus on. As you have seen above, the local algorithm is based on three pillars: relevance, proximity, and prominence.
Of course, other factors determine local search rankings depending on your industry and competition.