Digital Marketing Tips for Small Businesses and Non-Profits

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Starting out on Social Media: Content Calendar

Companies who are starting social media have trouble with creating consistency and a strategy. Social media is not just putting up random pictures and text and hoping someone likes or comments. Everything has to be planned to be put in line with your marketing/sales strategy. 

Keep your company organized and within your strategy by creating a content calendar. 

Why Make One? 

  • Reach Goals
  • Plan Ahead
  • Post Consistently
  • Less Mistakes
  • Follow Through with Social Strategies
  • Track What Works

How To Do It?

Before I move on to further steps, I need to stress the importance of communication with your team. Everything your company does should serve a purpose and be on brand. These following steps will only work if you work together with your team.

  • Establish Goals/KPIs
Everything should have a purpose. What are you trying to achieve with your social media? Inbound leads? Website visits? Increased followers? How will you measure these goals? Once you answer these questions, you can come up with strategies and tactics to get your there.
  • What to Track -- Use a Spreadsheet
Companies starting out can work with just a spreadsheet. As your company grows, you may want to move to to a marketing software platform like Hubspot. Some things to track on your spreadsheet would be:
    • Day
    • Platform
    • Time
    • Visuals
    • Text
Again, your posts should be in line with your goals to achieve your KPIs. 
  • Content Library
Every company should have a library of your blogs, videos, and images. This is your content library. It can be used to make posts on social. The content could be repurposed to make posts in the future as well. Keeping it in one place will also help your company stay organized. 
  • Establish a Process 
Consistency is one of the hardest parts for companies starting out on social media. Create a process for your social media schedule. When do you do your brainstorming? How often will you post and at what times? 

If you work with a team, create a process for how posts will be created. Who will come up with the ideas? When will graphics be added? Who approves of posts? Answer these questions to create a process for your team.
  • Review and Use Feedback
Review your stats to see what performed the best. Did you receive more likes on a post? Did a video cause your website traffic to spike? Using certain hashtags give you more reach? Find what works and try to replicate it. 


Social Media Content Calendars keep companies consistent and on brand for social media. They should have just as much thought as every other part of your marketing strategy. 

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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Founder's Does It Right: A Very COVID Story

The past two weeks I have been apartment hunting with my best friend out in Grand Rapids. 

In the middle of all-day apartment hunting, we went out to eat at Founders because Grand Rapids is  Beer City. My friend says,"As a future Grand Rapids resident, I need to go there at least once".

I was blown away with their extensive and original COVID procedures. Hospitality/Food and Beverage companies should take notes from Founders on how to keep their employees and customers safe. 

One-Way Isles:

This is such a simple task that means a lot. We walked up to the restaurant, and the first thing that we are greeted with are two isle ways. One to enter the building, one to exit. This is important because it regulates the flow of traffic. There will be less congestion spots and will help with distancing guests.  

         How this helps: It regulates the traffic pattern to keep guests from running into each other causing unnecessary touch points.  

Buffer Table:

This is my favorite part about my Founders experience!! We got sat at a double table. Two square tables were pushed together. 

The point of the tables are that you sit at one side, and your server can put your drinks and food on the other. This is to keep social distancing from your server at all times. 

How this helps: Keeps servers and guests safe by keeping a minimum of 4 feet between each other at all times.

Scheduled Bathroom Cleaning:

At the beginning of the meal, our host informed us that the bathrooms were cleaned for the first ten minutes of every hour. As I guest, I appreciate this even without COVID. It just shows your guests that you are making an extra effort to keep things sanitary. 

How this helps: Keeps an unsanitary place sanitary. 

Sanitation Stations.. Everywhere:

Hand sanitizing stations were at all the stop points at Founders. By the bar, host stand, on the way to the bathrooms. 

This effort is protection for your employees and guests. The CDC recommends to wash your hands frequently. Multiple sanitation stations keep everyone safer. 

How this helps: Keep your guests safe by putting sanitation stations in areas that your guests will pass. 

Distanced tables, Removed tables:

A lot of restaurants reorganized their floor plan, some have blocked out tables. What I loved about Founders is that they took out tables and distanced them over 6 feet. There is no question that I am far enough away from other tables and I know for sure they are not going over capacity. 

How this helps: Your guests are socially distanced by their tables, there will be no accidental seating too close to another. They are sticking to the proper capacity. 

Masks On. One Warning Period:

Warnings with masks. Businesses are getting tired of having to constantly remind guests to keep their face masks on when not at their table. Founders created a rule to nip this in the bud: One warning. 

Once one person reminds you to keep your mask on when leaving your table. If they have to tell you twice, you are out. I love this rule because it shows that Founders cares about the safety of their employees, along with their guests who follow the rules.

How this helps: Keeps your guests and staff safe. If someone does not wear their mask in the proper places, these safety procedures do not matter.

So Where Does That Leave Us?

Of course, each restaurant can adjust to COVID however they want. The reason I wrote this about Founders is because they not only "adjusted", but they are making the extra efforts to make their guests AND employees safe. They are protecting. This is a new factor that people will find important from their restaurant/hospitality brands.

What brands are protecting their employees and guests? What other procedures have you seen? 
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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Why I Decided To Move

For those who do not know me, my name is Kayla, and I am moving to Grand Rapids! I am very excited about this decision, but I wasn't always. This post is how I went about my choice. 

To start, I have spent my last four years in going to school at Eastern Michigan University. Before that I spent 1st through 12th grade at Trenton Public Schools. I have always lived in Southeastern Michigan. 

I moved out to Ypsilanti two years ago with my two wonderful roommates. In January of 2020, I knew I was graduating in April and my lease ended in August. I had to figure out my next step.

I always talked about getting out of Ypsilanti once I graduated. I didn't want to be in this town anymore. Not that there was anything wrong, but I always wanted to travel and move out of the state. 

I looked up jobs in different states. I was making a list of cities I wanted to visit. The future seemed so bright.

Then COVID happened. 

My spirits plummeted with the job market. I planned on staying in Ypsilanti. 

Pre-COIVD, I worked in events, so I lost my job just like the majority of the country. My last (and favorite) semester of college was cut short. I was no longer able to walk at my graduation (and still haven't). On top of all of this, there was obviously sadness with not being able to see my friends and family. 

I didn't want to move on to the next "step" anymore, I wanted to go back. Back to pre-COVID when everything was going right for me. 

Flash forward to July, my best friend of ten years asked me if I wanted to move to Grand Rapids with her. 

It was the first thing that seemed exciting to me in months. I have wanted to move out to Grand Rapids for the past 6 years. I would have moved out there for school if I had a better scholarship. 

I started looking at apartments. I got ecstatic with the idea. 

My best friend and I set up 5 apartment showings. The day that I went out to look at them, everything seemed overwhelming. It wasn't exciting. In fact, I was very scared. 

On my two hour drive home, I finally hit Norton's Flowers on Washtenaw and I finally felt at home. 

That night I was set on staying in Ypsilanti with my current roommate and her boyfriend. 

The next morning, my roommates made the coffee. We all hung out after work. I was so relieved that things felt normal. 

That night I realized, even if I stayed, things wouldn't be the same. 

I would not be living with these two girls, it would be with a couple.  

I would not be in school, I would still be graduated and unemployed. 

COVID would still be a threat, restaurants and bars still wouldn't be open. 

I would still have to deal with change. 

Truly, that is what I was scared of. But guess what. I would still have to deal with it. Whether I stayed or left, I am not in the same stage of life that I was the past two years. I am graduated and starting my career.

As I thought about it more, I realized that Ypsilanti was never my type of area. It was fun, but it is not what I want anymore. 

Grand Rapids was an area I was always drawn to. Most importantly, it was a clean slate. A new challenge. A new chapter. As cheesy as it sounds it is what I was so excited about just months earlier.

I had a moment like JD in Scrubs when he decided to leave Sacred Heart. He says that he will miss all the memories, but he is so excited for the future and what could happen. I had a montage of memories playing in my head, and imagining what the next year would be like. 

I decided to move because I am excited and scared for that next step, but that isn't going to happen if I don't let myself move on. 

I think it is important for all of us to push ourselves right now. I think we all need to mentally take care of ourselves right now. But I hope we don't lose ourselves and our drive in all this fear. 

I am so grateful to have such a strong support system who was able to snap me out of my "funk" and remind me of who I am. 

So the main message: Don't let change make you forget who you are. 
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Monday, July 27, 2020

Hashtag Tips for Companies Starting a Social Media Strategy

Hashtag Tips for Companies Starting a Social Media Strategy


Keep them Short

You want your hashtags to be short and memorable. Longer hashtags are hard to read, so try to stay away from them. 

Have Public accounts

If your social pages are private, users will not be able to find your posts online. On private accounts only your followers or friends can see your posts. Main Message: Turn your accounts public. 

Relevant and specific

Keep your hashtags related to what you are talking about. Do not spiral into 20 hashtags on a post because it starts to get irrelevant and "spammy"

Iliza Shlesinger, my favorite comedian ever, talks about overused hashtags on Instagram. If you haven't seen it check it out here. It is SO funny. Skip in 8 seconds, you will not be sorry. 😉 


Be Seen

Hashtags put you in the public eye. New users will be able to find your brand easier. You could use hashtags to gain new followers.

Add To Your Brand

Use hashtags as a branding tool. Hashtags can be added on your posts to bring awareness to promotions or sweepstakes. 

Join the Conversation

Find what others are saying by tracking and using hashtags. Recently, brands have been using #BLM and #blacklivesmatter to be involved in the conversation and show support. This can be less controversial and industry specific (i.e. wedding industry #lovewins).


Yes. You can have too many hashtags. Some platforms will see your multiple hashtags as spam and not promote your posts. 

It is important to know how many is too many. 


Try Out a Few

First thing to try is going to the search bar on any platform and search to find industry specific hashtags. check out posts and see what hashtags are being used together. 

I highly recommend Instagram. By typing in #(insert whatever here), Instagram shows you which hashtags are commonly used. 

Search What Industry Leaders and Competitors Are Doing

Check out what your competitors and industry leaders are doing. What do you like? Dislike? How are their interactions with different hashtags? These are the questions to ask. Then try things out and experiment. 

Look From Your Past

Data doesn't lie. Your highest performing posts went well for a reason. Look back on those to try to replicate and expand on what you are doing right!
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Friday, July 17, 2020

Start-Ups: Why Should I Blog?

Why Blog Posts Are Worth It

When it comes to startups and non-profits, some people are 100% onboard with blogging or 100% against it. Blogging does take a good amount of time and energy.  

I am hear to tell you why it is worth the investment. 

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Monday, July 6, 2020

5 Way to Optimize Your Google Ads: for Non-Profits & Startups

5 Ways to Optimize Your Google Ads: for Non-Profits & Startups

By Kayla Henneman

This post is for all the small startups and overworked non-profits. You have made the decision to advertise on Google, but don’t have the time or man power to perfecting it. Here are tips that you can implement today and see results on how to optimize your smart campaigns.

First of all: What is a smart campaign? 

A smart campaign is an ad you set up and then Google does the rest for you. That is why it is important to put in the correct information so the campaign does what you want.

The major benefits of Smart Campaigns are their ability to show off your products/services and attract potential customers. It is easy to set up and make adjustments afterwards. Below are tips on how to optimize your ads to get you results. 

How to Build Credibility & Get Clicks: 

1.) Landing Pages: Choose Wisely

    The landing page is the first impression someone gets of your brand. Most of the time on Google, people are going for quick, quick, quick. Very few people will search your website for the information.
    Be smart, choose the best landing page for what your customers need.

Main Takeaway 1: Don't use your Homepage for all your ads. Use the page that will add the most value for your customer/user.
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Monday, June 22, 2020

3 Onboarding Tips for Your Interns By an Intern

This was my first week at AdAdapted for my internship through SPARK. The week was spent completing onboarding tasks. This is an important week for interns because it sets the mood for the internship. After four internships and multiple training sessions, I have been through many onboardings. Here are some tips to make your interns feel welcome!

1) Meet the Team

Have your interns meet who they will be working with. It will feel more comfortable reaching out to specific team members when they need help on special projects. Also, it gives them some friendly faces to interact with during breaks and lunches. Your interns feeling like part of the team willl make them happy to come into work!

2) Check your Branding

Give your interns an activity and check your branding. Ditch the 3 hour presentations, and have your interns do a one-pager.

This will let your interns be creative and you can test out the message on your social media, website, or promotional materials. Have your interns present their one-pagers to you to also see their presentation skills. Afterwards, give your interns the sales pitch to go over what they may have missed and further understand the company/product.

Your interns get a fun easy project that matters, you can check your branding, and the three hour presentation of basic information is now skipped. I highly recommend this!

3) Get to Know Their Interests

What I love about the SPARK/AdAdapated internship is that I am constantly being asked, "What do you want to learn?". When interviewing for this position, I was able to constantly explain my strong suits where I can help.

I enjoy internships because they allow me to feel like I don't need all the answers. They give me a space where I can grow, get better, learn about the real world, and bring my attention to things I never knew.

Knowing that the company wants me to help me makes me want to prove myself. I want to try harder. All employers hiring interns should always ask this question to boost intern's confidence and morale.

*Bonus* In case you need another reason to implement this practice, interns are usually in college. In college classes, we ask each other where to look for good companies/internships. I have recommended my internships to countless people, and I have had multiple classmates ask me for the companies where I worked. Networking and Word-of-Mouth can help get more applicants for your position which means more choices for who will help your company best!

Hope these tips help you understand what is going on in the mind of an intern. Any other questions or tips comment below! 

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