Is Facebook a Choice or Requirement for Local Businesses?

One thing that the Pipeline teams hears all the time from local businesses is

“We've decided that we aren’t going to be on Facebook anymore. It’s too much to keep up with. We're just going to delete it.”

This could be an option for business owners who don’t have customers coming through their business on a daily basis, but definitely not for traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. And yes, there are other forms of promotion that will work for you: word of mouth, mail-outs, email marketing . . . The issue is—if customers are coming to your place of work on a regular basis, they can create a business page for you simply by checking into your business on Facebook. Yup, it's true! Even if you have never created a Facebook business page, it likely exists right now and it isn't being managed by you.

This is how it works—If your business page is not yet created, whoever checks in is prompted to create one. Multiple places can be created for your page as well. The actual business owner has the ability to claim the listing, merge accounts, and "verify" your main page. We will get to the how in a bit. 

This is what a user sees after selecting "check in" in the status box and typing in "jimmy johns." If the user clicks the "Add 'jimmy johns' in Stockbridge" button, this would create a Facebook business page for the business, whether they wanted it or not. 

This is what a user sees after selecting "check in" in the status box and typing in "jimmy johns." If the user clicks the "Add 'jimmy johns' in Stockbridge" button, this would create a Facebook business page for the business, whether they wanted it or not. 

What happens when customers create a page for your business?

  1. Misinformation- When you are not the owner of your business page, you lose all control of whether the information on that page is accurate. This could mean anything from wrong contact information in the About section to dealing with a person you don’t even know answering questions about your business.

  2. You cannot respond to reviews- Facebook users can leave reviews on pages. If someone leaves a review for your business on a page you don't manage, you cannot respond to it. The reviews section is a big deal for your business. Many users check Facebook reviews before they choose to do business with them. You want to be able to respond to those reviews—negative or positive.

  3. You cannot respond to check-ins- Customers often check-in when visiting or interacting with a business. They like to tell their friends what they're up to, share their thoughts on a product, or post pictures of their experience. Being able to monitor these interactions allows you to answer any questions or concerns and gives you a front row seat to how customers feel about your business. If you don’t claim your business page, you miss out on all of that.

  4. Duplicate pages- It is possible for there to be several versions of your business page since users have the ability to create listings. If someone does create a business page for you, Facebook gives you the opportunity to absorb or report those pages if you have the authentic and verified page. Otherwise, it could be difficult for users to find and interact with your business page without running into other pages that may look similar to yours. 

So, how can you protect your business online presence?

Verify your page

Read one of our past articles How to Verify Your Facebook Business page (And Why You Should) and take ownership of your Facebook presence. Verifying your page allows new and current customers to know that your Facebook Page is the official page.

Take care of your page

Even if you aren’t into Facebook, your customers are using it. Make sure that your business looks good. This means having a nice profile & cover photo, ensuring that all of the information is correct, and that your fan base is being engaged & responded to.

Or get someone else to take care of your page

Outsourcing is a smart option for business owners who do not have the time, ability, or desire to manage their social media presence. Hiring a team of people who manage social media for a living can give you peace of mind and increase your bottom line. (Psst! This is what we do.

We know that brick-and-mortar business owners are sometimes hesitant to join Facebook, but the benefits make it worth it. Facebook allows you to claim your business listing, share what’s happening at your business, communicate with your customers, and engage with your fan base. And it does not have to be dry or impersonal! There are so many ways to show your personal quirks and what makes your business stand out—like highlighting your staff for example.

If you need more convincing, check out our other blog posts or follow us on Facebook. We post frequently on how to engage with your audience on social media. We hope this post was helpful! Thank you for reading.


Pipeline Social Media is a social media marketing agency that offers three approaches to help you increase your social media presence: we can fully manage your social media accounts, we can teach your team how to do it in-house, or we can monitor/coach your team along the way and report back to you.

Maiya Wall
Social Media Community Manager
Pipeline Social Media

10 Easy Ways to Step Up Your Social Media Game in 2017

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The new year is a great time to evaluate your social media presence. What worked for you in 2016? What didn’t? We want to give you some simple, easy ways to brush up your social media presence. Plus, it feels great to organize your online self! 😁

1. GET ON A SCHEDULE!

Having a social media schedule makes posting so much easier. You'll spend less time wondering when to post to social media and what type of content your fans will love. It doesn’t need to be a complicated system. All you need to do is dedicate time daily or on certain days to research & planning, creating posts, scheduling posts, and responding to comments. Create a system that works for you & adjust as you go! 

2. TRY SOMETHING NEW FOR YOUR BUSINESS.

If you only promote your business on Facebook, maybe it's time try out Instagram too . . . maybe you have a fan base on Snapchat or Twitter. You could look into social media advertising or take a social media training course. Start brainstorming on new things you can try or ways to make what you are already doing fresh again!

3. UPDATE YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE.

You’ve done a lot to be proud of professionally in 2016, so let everyone know! Add your recent projects, add new skills, update your resume, and make some new connections. Job hunting or not, you should get into the practice of keeping your LinkedIn profile current. You never know what will come your way, and there's nothing worse than being caught off your game when an opportunity comes knocking! 

4.Give everything a good look over.

We think it’s a smart idea to create a checklist for yourself. Something simple like this- 

 

There are lots of lists you could create to help keep your social media organized:

  • Before you hit publish checklist
  • After posting checklist
  • A daily/weekly/monthly checklist
  • Best times to post list
  • Do's and Don'ts list

Identify your goals and implement some checklists to keep you on track and prevent overwhelm! 

5. Evaluate & focus on the social media channels that are working for you.

Once you are done experimenting with different channels, evaluate which ones get the biggest response from your audience. You may discover that your Pinterest profile is doing way better than your Twitter profile. It will help you decide where to put the bulk of your efforts and what channels you can let go of. 

6. UPLOAD A NEW PROFILE PICTURE.

If your profile picture has been the same for a while, it might be time to replace it. Your profile pic is the first thing that people see, so make sure your photo is representative of you or your brand. Good photography is an easy way to make you look more credible. Is your profile pic a logo? Is it pixely? Time to work on that! Make sure your profile picture is the same or similar across all of your channels for extra points!

7. Research your industry & competition! 

Stay current on what's going on in your field. Follow relevant newsletters or read books related to your business. Take a look around and see how others in your field are marketing themselves. How do you compare? This will for sure impact and change the way you present yourself on social media. Everyone has to do their homework to do a good job! 

8. FOLLOW NEW PEOPLE AND INTERESTS. 

Fill your feed with content and people that matter to you! If you are setting a new resolution, there are tons of people who are already doing what you are trying to do & sharing exactly how they did it online. Follow them to gain new insight and to have shiny new content throughout 2017. You might as well unfollow interests that no longer important to you while you’re at it.

9. Find some free photo resources. 

If you've just been grabbing whatever pics you find on google, it's time to stop. There are photo rules for social media and you can get into some monetary trouble if you don't know them (sadly, we are speaking from experience)! Thankfully, there are so many free photo sites that you can be using right now. 

10. Don’t forget to step away from the screen! 

Did you spend a little too much time staring at your phone? Get on a schedule, stick to it, and then stop working once your work is done. If this is hard for you, schedule in actual fun. This means no scrolling on your Facebook feed and calling it a "break." Set time aside to do whatever you love to do. You'll work better because you will actually be refreshed, and you'll remember that there are other fun things that you like to do besides killing it at work. Balance! 

We hope you enjoyed the holiday season, got some rest, and are ready to have a productive 2017! Thanks for reading! 


Pipeline Social Media is a social media marketing agency that offers three approaches to help you increase your social media presence: we can fully manage your social media accounts, we can teach your team how to do it in-house, or we can monitor/coach your team along the way and report back to you.

Maiya Wall
Social Media Community Manager
Pipeline Social Media

5 Reasons Why Social Media Is Critical for Your Business

Have you still not gotten around to using social media for your business? Maybe you have, but you haven't really invested much in it? In this post, we want to share 5 reasons why social media is critical for your business. First things first—

1. It provides Search Engine Optimization benefits (SEO).

SEO is simply the process of making your website & social media channels easier to find when using search engines like Google. When potential customers want to purchase something you are selling, they are going to do some online research first and you want them to find you first! Things like having an audience that engages with your social media, having good links across your channels, and using keywords in your content and/or bio help improve your ranking in search engines. Read this article! It goes into detail on how to use social media to boost your visability in search engines.

2. It provides a controlled environment for positive PR.

You can’t control everything being said about your company online, but you can join the conversation! Social media allows you to talk your business up and present yourself in a way you would like to be seen. And if problems arise, social media gives you a place to put out fires or state the truth. Customers should be able to learn everything they need to know about your services on your website, but social media gives you the ability to provide a tone. For example—customers may find prices on your website, but they can see how your product impacts lives on Facebook. Or maybe you have the best team a company could ask for; your potential customers can't glean that solely from your website. This brings us to our next point—

3. It provides a human element to your business or brand.

Social media helps your business go from a faceless entity to a place where people work, have birthdays, have Christmas parties . . . Now that social media has gotten so big, people like to and expect to see a little bit more behind the scenes. Here are some fun examples that we like-

4. It is an inexpensive marketing tool. 

Social media is one of the cheapest forms of marketing. There are tons of free resources out there to help create good content, and you can make a little money go a long way on your channels. Take a look at this Facebook boost—

We spent just $10 to promote this post and were able to get more engagement than we would have for such a simple message. Here's another example—

We didn't spend any money on this one. We just picked a engaging topic and put a little extra effort into making a slideshow. It was watched 400+ times and sent 123 people to see the rest of our Facebook feed. Pretty good pay off. 

5. If your business isn’t taking advantage of social media, we can tell you that your competition is.

It’s 2016, almost 2017! We think it’s safe to say that just about everyone is using social media. A strong social media presence helps customers find you! Hundreds of new customers are only a scroll away, and engaging with them on social media helps you discover what their interests are. Don’t have enough time to invest in your business' social media presence? Check out our last blog post on outsourcing.

Thanks for reading! We post lots of articles like this that will help you grow your business' audience. Check out the rest of our blog posts and stay tuned for more tips. 


Pipeline Social Media is a social media marketing agency that offers three approaches to help you increase your social media presence: we can fully manage your social media accounts, we can teach your team how to do it in-house, or we can coach your team along the way and report back to you.

Maiya Wall
Social Media Community Manager
Pipeline Social Media

4 Reasons Why You Should Outsource Social Media for Your Business

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We know what you’re thinking when considering outsourcing your business’ social media:

1. “But doing it myself is free.”

Doing your own social media for your business is free-ish at best. What’s that quote? . . .”time is money.” It may be cliché to start this blog post on this note, but it's so true! If you want your social media done right, it takes time and planning. You could easily spend the better part of your daily work hours solely promoting your business.

Think about it this way—you’ve just bought new office space for your business. Instead of hiring a lawn service to tend to the grass, you decide to save some money by doing it all yourself! After buying the equipment, spending the energy and time to cut the grass, dealing with upkeep— did you really save that much? You spent all day cutting the grass, but hey! You've saved 50 bucks! Unless you are already a pro at cutting grass, it probably wasn’t worth the trouble, and you probably could have done something better with your time. Successful business owners know when it’s time to outsource, because they know how much their time is worth. Are you undervaluing how much your time is worth?

2. “But I know my field best . . . Why let someone else do my social media?”

But you might not know how to communicate your work the best. There is no shame in letting someone else do the talking. At Pipeline, our clients tell us what’s important to them and we communicate that to their audience. And for all of you overachievers out there, repeat after me—I do not need to do it all.” You do know your field best, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a blogger, social media manager, and graphic designer too. Don’t try to do it all. Plus, you miss out on so much when you tackle it alone! Just think of the fresh perspective that comes along with a team of people trained to make your business look good. Our team is steadily coming up with new strategies and ideas for businesses just like yours. 

3. “If I can handle my personal social media, I can handle my business’ Social Media.”

Your personal social media and your business' social media are not the same ball game. Do you know the three words you want to avoid at all cost? It's photo copyright infringement, and you avoid this by posting images you take yourself, purchase, or download for free that are approved for social media use. Whew! Keeping up a constant, professional social media presence (that won't cause a lawsuit) requires research, planning, and know-how.

4. "I know better than to handle my business' social media . . . My office manager does that."

We have some bad news. This may not be the right move. It's unlikely that your Office Manager who you hired to oversee your CPA office will know the ins and outs of social media. If you want to keep your social media in-house and not outsource it, let us train your team to handle it effectively. Pipeline hosts hands-on training in person or by webinar to teach your team social media graphic design, photo laws, post strategy, guidelines for reviews, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, and the list goes on.  

So, what do you say? Are you ready to rethink outsourcing some or all of your business' social media? 

Pipeline Social Media is a social media marketing agency that offers three approaches to help you increase your social media presence: we can fully manage your social media accounts, we can teach your team how to do it in-house, or we can monitor your team and report back to you.

Maiya Wall
Social Media Community Manager
Pipeline Social Media

Free Photo Site You Should Be Using- Pexels

Pipeline Social Media Blog-Pexels

We have another free photo site to share with you! Have you ever tried to create really, really good content without access to cool photos? It's difficult, right? All great content has this in common- clear, clean images. Keep reading to learn about one of our favorite sites for finding free stock images—Pexels!

Pexels- Best free stock photos in one place

Pexels' mission statement is "We help millions of designers, writers, artists, programmers and other creators to get access to beautiful photos that they can use freely which empowers them to create amazing products, designs, stories, websites, apps, art and other work. We call it: 'Empowering Creators'"

And they are doing just that. You’ll find over 10,000 free, hi-res photos on this site and 3,000 more are added every month. All the photos are curated by the Pexel team from images uploaded to the site and other free photo sites to bring users the best of the best. 

Are you excited for Fall? photo by Burak Kostak

Are you excited for Fall? photo by Burak Kostak

How to use Pexels

Anyone can easily navigate Pexels' site. First, use the search bar to look for a desired image. You will be taken to the image's profile, and from there you can learn details about the image and download it. Just click the green download button, and the image will be saved to your downloads. That's it! You're ready to add great photos to your content! 

Notice the helpful info. in the sidebar. 

Notice the helpful info. in the sidebar. 

What can I legally do with these photos? 

All photos on Pexels are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means—

  • photos are free for personal and commercial use.

  • you can modify them.

  • you do not need permission.

  • you do not need to attribute the owner.

The only exception to this photo license involves recognizable brands and persons. If you insinuate that Coke or another big brand endorses something that they don’t, you could get in some trouble. You definitely shouldn't do anything tasteless with the photo of a public figure. And it would just be rude (and maybe even illegal) to twist a certain photo that would paint a brand, place, or person in a bad or untrue light.  

"Can I use photos from this site on social media? Yes!

And of course, your purposes with these free images must be legal.

What makes Pexels stand out?

We love how much you can do just from the landing page!

So many options! 

So many options! 

You are able to:

  • look through popular searches and photos.
  • view the sites top photographers.
  • search by color!
  • find out what photos are new to the site. 

These features will help you find tons of photos and inspiration! 

Photo by Steyn Viljoen

Photo by Steyn Viljoen

Photo by Sufkin

Photo by Sufkin

What are you waiting for? Don't forget to make an account, so you can save your favorite photos and maybe even share a few of your own. 

Looking for free videos too? Check out Pexels Video! Thanks for reading! 


We hope this blog post inspired you! If you want to find more great photos, read our other blogs about great photo websites for social media. Grab some photos from Pexels, and go create some content worth sharing! 

Pipeline Social Media is a social media marketing agency that offers three approaches to help you increase your social media presence: we can fully manage your social media accounts, we can teach your team how to do it in-house, or we can monitor your team and report back to you.

Maiya Wall
Social Media Community Manager
Pipeline Social Media

5 Ways Your Business Can Benefit from Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go is not only a smartphone app, it is a tool to be utilized by businesses! Many businesses are listed as Poke Stops or Pokemon Gyms within the app, and businesses should be taking advantage of this in their marketing. At Pipeline, not only are we playing the game, we are also coming up with ways our clients can use the app to their advantage. Here are FIVE ways you can use the popular gaming app for your business!

  Five Ways Businesses Can Use Pokemon Go


1) Create Special Deals

Businesses should entice their customers with specials and deals. Give special deals to only users of the app, so that you gain their business. For example, Gezzo’s, a local west coast burrito restaurant near our office, has a special deal for those who play Pokemon Go, depending on which team you are on. Within the app, you can choose to be on Team Valor, Team Mystic, or Team Instinct. Gezzo's has created deals that for each team, and only members of a particular team can receive that deal. This is a great way to drive returning and new customers to your business.


2) Interact With Players

If you have customers who are playing the game at your business, show the customers on your social media!

Simply take a photo of a few players (be sure to get your business logo in the picture if possible) and say how Pokemon Trainers love to play and shop at your business. This will show that your business is welcoming to players of the app!

3) Consider Using a Lure

If your business is a Poke Stop in the game, consider placing a “Lure” on your business!

A Poke Stop is a local business, landmark, etc., where players can collect items in the game. Lures are devices (within the game) that attract Pokemon to a Poke Stop. The good thing about Lures is that any player can interact with the Pokemon that are attracted to a Poke Stop. So, this means that you can collect (or even purchase) Lures on the app. Lures will work for 30 minutes at a time, and will attract not only Pokemon to your business, but users of the game as well!

4) Show Off Your Pokemon

Share on social media which Pokemon are at your business!

The app uses a technology known as “augmented reality.” This allows the game to use the smartphones back-end camera to show what is in front of the player, and will drop a Pokemon in the environment. For example, if playing in your house, a Pokemon can be appear to be in your hallway. Also within the app is the ability for users to take pictures of the Pokemon they find.

Businesses should use these features! Use the app to see which Pokemon are visiting your business, take a picture, and share with your social media users! Post to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.!

5) Host a Gym Battle

If your business is a Pokemon Gym, host gym battle events!

Each team can control a “gym” within the app, and your business could potentially be a gym. There is no way to ask to be one (yet), and it is randomly selected within the app. The other teams have the ability to battle the other teams and take the gym over. Zach, our account manager, told us of a business (a gym within the app) in Ohio that hosted a gym battle event to attract users to their business.

The event was simple: teams could battle for the gym leadership for 4 hours, and at the end of the event, whichever team was leading the gym, members of that team would receive a prize. The goal here is that not only will users come to the event, but they will purchase items at your business.

These are just some of the ideas that you can implement in your business’ marketing when it comes to Pokemon Go! The app is not going anywhere anytime soon, and the app will release new features later this year, which will entice people to continue using the app. 

If you need help understanding more about Pokemon Go, or need help with your social media marketing, feel free to reach out to us! We would love to help grow your social media presence as well as help you catch more Pokemon!

Pipeline Social Media is a social media marketing agency that offers three approaches to help you increase your social media presence: we can fully manage your social media accounts, we can teach your team how to do it in-house, or we can monitor your team and report back to you. 

Justin Monsewicz
Pipeline Social Media
Interactive Project Manager