What Is the Purpose of Social Media & How Aliro Marketing Can Help You

social media difference

 Who is Aliro Marketing? Aliro Marketing assists local businesses to increase brand awareness through social media, email marketing, blogs, and other marketing techniques that will ultimately increase sales and traffic to their businesses and websites.

I manage the social media profiles such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ & Instagram for business owners who understand the value of social media but simply do not have the time to properly manage the profiles themselves. I allow owners to “Find Their Freedom Again” by managing the profiles so they can do what they do best & run their company.

What is Social Media’s Purpose? If you’re asking what Social Media can do for you, you’re asking the wrong question. According to Simply Social: (http://www.gosimplysocial.com/blog/why-its-important-for-your-business-to-be-social/)

“The road to social media success begins with understanding the purpose of social media and asking the right questions:

“How do we use social sites to engage with our customers?”

“How do we communicate our story effectively?”

The answers to these essential questions give your company a purpose for engaging online in the first place.

  1. Use Social Media sites to build your brand’s awareness and show your company’s identity through real human communications. Also provides an open forum to collaborate & share ideas, experiences, & interests.
  2. Social Media is a more efficient tool for prompt customer service. Before conducting business with a company, most consumers want more information. Social media has become a popular research tool. 82% of consumers use social media to speak with businesses directly (Social Media Day Conference 2014, Mari Smith, Facebook Expert). Engaging with consumers in this setting develops a relationship, provides an opportunity to answers questions, and ensures that potential leads have a positive experience with your company.
  3. Building a community to grow your bottom line: Recruit Customers by engaging in communication. By publishing content that’s relevant to your business, interested leads will interact with your content by commenting or contacting you directly. Responding to their comments online allows you to embrace interested leads and turn them into loyal followers. By “liking” your page on Facebook for example, leads will see future content that you publish over time. These “likes” are also referred to as followers, subscribers, or fans. Getting enough of them will build a community of people that wants to engage and do business with you. Soon, you may even have existing customers advocating on behalf of your business and working to recruit more business on your behalf!
  4. Manage Your Online Perception. People are already on these social media sites talking about your business and industry, so you need to be a part of the conversation to be able to get the potential customers to perceive your brand the way you want them to see your brand. One way to help manage the online perception is to use customers who already love you to create the perception through recommendations, endorsements, & simply telling others about your brand (Social Media Day Conference 2014, Ron Nash, LinkedIn Expert). If you’re not on the social media sites, you’re not giving your potential customers an opportunity to tell others about your expertise & authority in your industry (Social Media Day Conference 2014, Marvin Shervington, Google+ Expert).

Statistics: According to Social Media Today, there are 6.8 billion people on the planet; 4 billion use a mobile phone; only 3.5 billion use a toothbrush!! 81% of smartphone users have performed research via smartphone. 48% then use phones to visit the businesses social media pages. 80 percent of social media users prefer to connect with brands through Facebook. (References to these stats can be provided from my general presentation)

According to Statistic Brain, there are over 1.1 Billion active Facebook users and they follow and are connected to on average 80 business pages. 48% of 18-34 year olds check Facebook when they get up and 28% check Facebook before they get out of bed! http://www.statisticbrain.com/facebook-statistics/

Descriptions of Social Media Platforms:

Facebook is more casual, fun, behind-the-scenes, relationship building.

Twitter is quick sound bites, short opinions, and quick up to the minute information sharing.

Instagram is all about pictures–it’s people wanting to look through your photo albums & hope you’ll do the same with theirs….just plain ‘ole curiosity of what people are up to–what’s important to them; it’s a great way to know your customer’s needs.

LinkedIn is about networking–making more connections.

Google+ is more technical, more informational, news-worthy…but with pictures. Pictures still out perform over all other posts. Google+ is Google – necessary for better search results.

Pinterest is a collection of things people enjoy — it’s a great platform to get to know your customers & be able to market to them better, and vice-versa.

Guidelines When Connecting: If I know them great, accept connection; If not, I take a look at their profile:

1) Do I like their posts? Is it something that I wouldn’t mind sharing?

2) Do they have a decent amount of posts? People with very few posts, whether it’s on google+, twitter, etc. aren’t there to connect & share, and so I won’t connect with them. But on the flip side, do they have too many posts? Do they spam people?

3) Same goes with friends/followers/connections–how many do they have? If it’s just a few, are they just starting out–is this a new account? If so, maybe I’ll connect with them. If not, again, something is up. And if it’s not a national company/person, I’m suspicious of the amount of followers — did they buy them? Just seems dishonest to me when a company purchases followers, and those followers do not do one single thing in return for the business, so why have them?

If everything seems legit & I like the posts, I’ll follow them even if I don’t know them, because that’s what social media is for  🙂

Expectations & Closing Thoughts: Social Media Marketing is much more than just posting pictures. Anyone can do that. What I bring to the table is experience in reading & understanding analytical data to know when to post & what to post on a consistent daily basis; finding content to post when otherwise there isn’t anything to post; being able to quickly respond to customer service needs (customer expects a response within 1-2 hours); knowing how to grow fan bases organically & through advertising; monitor all accounts multiple times per day; fill out profile pages completely to give your audience the best picture of your organization; can provide advertising through the social media sites; and am flexible to adapt to whatever your specific needs are and handle those tasks.

I take pride in the work I do and do not operate with unethical behaviors to grow fan bases. I do not purchase page likes; pages grow organically or through normal paid online advertising. Because of this, it can take a while for a page to see active growth. Trust that we’re planting quality seeds that will one day grow into a beautiful supportive community. Martin Shervington (Google+ Expert): “It’s about relationships, and relationships take time to build and grow. It often takes about 20 interactions between your brand & the customer before the customer feels they can reach out to you for anything and become your brand ambassador.” That is the purpose of social media—focus on being social, and the business will come.

If we provide helpful information for your target audience and tell your organization’s story through pictures & videos, people will want to support you; your organization is doing great things! Your audience is already on social media sites for their own personal uses…might as well capture their interest & be a part of the conversation that sparks actions that will lead to real conversions. Let me help you Find Your Freedom Again!

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Social Media Is Like A Real Friendship

social media friendship

Friendship is a wonderful thing, and although you can’t see it directly, you can see its effects in laughter, supportive gestures, and hugs.  Giving more than you receive and truly caring about the other person will create a desire to continue to be around the other person, which will return you many years in a happy friendship.

Social Media Marketing is like a real-life friendship.  It’s intangible, but you can see its effects in likes, comments, and shares.  If a business truly cares about their customers and give more than they receive, this will create a desire for the customer to give their repeat business to the company, resulting in many happy years together.

If your social media marketing strategy is to try to sell your product or service rather than provide helpful information your customer really wants, you won’t get many followers, or business from social media.  On the other hand, if you can determine what your customer *needs*, and find a way to meet that need, you will then be truly helping your customer, and they will notice the difference!  A good rule of thumb is to create 1 sales post promoting your business to 10 helpful information posts.  This generates goodwill between you & your customers and allows the customer to see your true business personality, letting the customer get to know you…like the beginning of a friendship!

Social Media Marketing is a chance to make a great first impression to potential customers you would not reach normally.  If you don’t have a page…or worse, have an inactive page, a customer will think you aren’t relevant–by not staying technologically & socially current, you are in a way saying you don’t care, because to the customer, you don’t have a way for them to get to know you first.  Personally, if I can’t go to a business website or social media platform to find what I need, I won’t give my business to that company.  Give your customer a reason to like you within the first 30 seconds; you only get 1 chance to make a good first impression!

So how do you be a better friend through your social media marketing?

1)  Fill out your profiles completely.  This means adding your company’s mission statement; describe your passion (even if there isn’t a specific spot for this, be creative and fit it in there anyway!); why your business is different/better than others; hours of operation & location information, add all of your social media links & website to make it easy to connect with you; add any & all pictures.

2)  When posting, provide helpful information about your industry & business, your charity endeavors, tips on getting the most out of your product/service, funny pictures that are related to your business industry, celebrate holidays, provide instructional videos — visually tell your story when possible.  If your company gets an award, tell your customers about it!  It may feel like you’re bragging, but people like to celebrate others successes and feel their support is warranted.

3)  Know the value of social media.  People are on these platforms to connect to family & friends, but they also enjoy following the brands they support in real life and telling the people in their circles about this great product you have; if they like it and are excited about your product/service, their friends will likely enjoy it too!

Since the people are on these platforms talking about your business anyway, be a part of the conversation — ask questions, create a contest where their input will determine what the outcome of a product or service so the customer can feel valued–vote which item should be kept or taken away (contests don’t always have to be about giving away free stuff, although free is always good when you can afford it!).

4)  Be consistent!  You need to be posting at least once per day on Facebook, 3-4 times per day on Twitter, only once per day on LinkedIn, and 1-2 times per day on Instagram.  If you’re not consistently staying in the forefront of your customer’s minds, they will find another business who does.  Even if the customer doesn’t need your product/service today, if you’re posting daily, they will remember you when they need you…

And that’s the whole point of Social Media Marketing and friendships, isn’t it?  Be there when they need you.  Be helpful.  Be supportive.

Social media marketing isn’t a sprint…it’s a marathon that you need to run and train for everyday.  Results will not appear over night, but they will come…you just need to do your part and trust your friends!

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3 Tips Businesses Can Do Today To Improve Their Blogging Efforts

Blogging

In my last blog post, I addressed some of the common fears Small Business Owners have about jumping into the Social Media realm to promote their business.  You can read more on that blog post here.  To build upon the concept of being held back by the fear of the unknown, I wanted to expand on the fears of using blogs for your business.

Some common questions I’ve received are:  “How will blogs help my business?  How will blogs drive traffic to my website or into my business?  How do I get people to interact with my blog?  How do blogs fit together with my social media efforts?”

I’m glad you asked!  Blogs are a way to provide insight and other helpful information that your followers are perhaps looking for; bloggers want to share what they’ve learned with others, and isn’t that what you want to do?  Building rapport with your followers will show you care about them as individuals rather than a sales number, which will help convert social media fans into real customers.

There are many other reasons your business should be blogging, but I wanted to address the above questions in today’s post because this is what your business should know about blogs if you are to use them efficiently.

To assist in answering these questions, I reached out to blogging expert, Ashley Verrill, a Managing Editor for the Customer Service Investigator blog and a Market Analyst at Software Advice. 

 

1.  What are the best practices for ensuring that you write blogs that drive traffic?

There’s basically three important factors: quality, uniqueness and search optimization. Before you do any of these things, however, you need to make sure you are targeting the right audience. It’s not always about the volume of traffic. You also have to think about the quality of that traffic. If you are attracting site visitors that will never feasibly buy your product or services, you’re kind of defeating the purpose (although, other kinds of traffic can still share and engage in your content, which is also valuable). Making sure you drive the right kind of traffic starts with creating a buyer persona, or a hypothetical profile of your ideal customer based on data about your real customers. This should include demographic information, as well as what their biggest business challenges and goals are. Next, focus on creating content for them that is unique and well-researched. Then optimize those articles around keywords that have low to medium competitiveness.

 

2.  How can businesses encourage readers to comment, share, and interact on their blog?

It really starts with creating quality content that aligns with your audience. After that, it’s really important that you build relationships with key influencers in your space. Klout is a really good tool for identifying these people, but don’t just cold email them asking for something. Start by engaging in their content. Follow them on social media, share their posts, write insightful comments on their articles (meaning, don’t just write “great article.”) After you’ve laid some groundwork, then you can reach out to them. You still might want to start slow — write a really personalized email about an article they wrote, or a presentation they recently gave. Include comments about why you liked it, and how it aligns with work you’ve done (include links!). Invite them to produce some content for your blog, or participate in a podcast, hangout event, or something else that doesn’t require a big time commitment. Once you’ve established this kind of rapport, these influencers will start naturally commenting and sharing your blogs, but you can also ask them to if you have a long-standing relationship. Another really useful strategy is just to get out there and comment on articles yourself. Again, you want to make sure that you actually have something insightful to say. You’re wasting your time if you just go comment with “Great article!” and a link on a 100 different blogs. Be strategic about it. Find blogs with an audience that aligns with yours, and only drop links if it makes sense in the context of your comment.

3.  How do the other Social Media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) fit together with blogging?

These platforms are important not only for promoting your content, but also during the research stage. I like to use things like Quora and LinkedIn during my topic research. I search for questions in my topic area and then scan through the discussion threads to see what my audience is asking about. What do they want to learn more about, and which questions get repeated over and over? You can also see which topics are shared and discussed the most. You can create articles in that same topic bucket, but again, be sure you aren’t just rehashing the same information. There’s no better way to turn off your social media following then sending them a bunch of articles they’ve read a hundred times. Also, just one quick tip for Facebook – image posts perform a lot better than link updates, so instead of sharing a link to your article, post a picture and include the link in the caption of the update.

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Ashley Verrill   About Ashley:  Ashley Verrill is a Market Analyst at Software Advice as well the Managing Editor for the Customer Service Investigator blog. She has spent the last seven years reporting and writing business news and strategy features, including articles for GigaOM and CIO.com. Her work has also been cited in myriad publications including Forbes, the New York Times and Inc.

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Your Business Can’t Hide From Social Media Marketing Any Longer

Fear Social Media

I’ve come across many small business owners who are still tentative about entering the Social Media Marketing arena for their business.  Maybe they think it’s confusing, overwhelming, or scared it will hurt their brand’s image, but Social Media Marketing doesn’t need to be scary, and there’s no reason to hide from it any longer.

Some of the fears I’ve come across are:

  • We have to give away things for free and I can’t afford to keep giving it all away for free
  • I can’t control the conversation, so I’m not even going to try
  • Social Media Marketing won’t work for us
  • Social Media is just for young people
  • All you need is Facebook
  • Results can’t be measured so I won’t know it’s working

First of all, Social Media Marketing should be used to increase your brand’s awareness and generate leads or identify potential customers so you can turn them into actual customers.  Social Media Marketing should extend the reach of your existing efforts and taken seriously.

You may want to offer special promotions just for your social media followers but you don’t have to give everything away for free.  You can use “Buy 1, Get 1 50% Off” or “Mention you saw our post and receive 10% off”; people will flock to deals but it has to make sense for your business.  You also don’t want people who just want things for free, so get creative with your promotions so people have to do something in return for your special offer: “Like us on Facebook & receive a free drink refill”.

Social Media Marketing is a conversation your business has with your followers.  Many owners feel that since they can’t control the conversation to keep away negative comments, they shouldn’t even try, so they stay out of Social Media.  But I’ve got news for you…Those conversations are happening anyway, without you, so wouldn’t you rather be able to state your side of the story and show people you care about what is going on??  If you can install some real facts people will realize the false claims are made up, and that would be better than all that negativity spreading like wildfire.  Besides, if you’re giving your attention to providing great customer service with great products, people won’t be spreading negativity about your brand; but you have to be a part of the conversation to make a difference!

Social Media Marketing can work for any size of business, but you need to set clear attainable goals that won’t be overwhelming for you.  Decide what’s important for your business to achieve and tailor your posts towards your target audience to make Social Media effective for your business.  Search for what people are saying about your brand, about your industry, and try to make your business “fix” what people wish could happen.  If you can provide people what they want, your business will be successful.  Over 1 Billion People are on Facebook and 200 Million are on Twitter, do you really want to miss out on all that potential business??

And Social Media isn’t just for young people.  More and more older people are using Social Media to connect with friends & family and are often loyal to brands they prefer; get those already loyal fans to be your brand ambassador, and your reach greatly increases!

You may start with Facebook to ease yourself into Social Media, but to truly be effective, you need to spread out to different social networks to go where your customers are.  For example, if you’re in design or fashion, you’ll probably want to be on Pinterest and Instagram where photos will tell your brand’s story better than any text.  Women are the majority demographic on these platforms and they’re going to be the ones to purchase your product or service, so capture those potential customers!  After you start building your following on these Social Media Platforms, which may take a few months, then you need to branch out to Blogs or Email Marketing so you can better target your main audience to provide them with information they want and need.  You certainly do not need to be in all of the networks, but you need to be in the ones that will make a difference for your business.

Results *can* be measured.  Facebook has recently updated and expanded their analytical data to much more measureable demographics, when your fans are online, and what type of posts are best for your current fans; it’s crazy what kind of information they’re making available to business owners and it’s amazing.  Facebook hit a homerun here.  And if you pay attention on Twitter or Pinterest or Instagram, or whatever platform you’re on, you’re going to know which post did better in terms of retweet, shares, and comments.  All you have to do is pay attention and you’ll see the results you’re looking for.

Social Media Marketing takes time, much more than some owners realize.  You need to find content that will be helpful and fun for your target audience.  You need to do research when your fans are online and post during that time so you can ensure your message is being heard.  You need to interact with customers and respond in a timely fashion.  You need to interpret the analytical data to know if what you’re doing is working, and if not, you need to figure out how to make the changes so your efforts will work.

Social Media Marketing is time consuming, but we can make it easy for you.  Aliro Marketing wants to be your Social Media partner to manage your accounts for you and enable you to do what you do best–run your business.  Please visit our website (www.aliromarketing.com), Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/AliroMarketing), or Twitter (https://twitter.com/aliromarketing) to find out what we can do for you.  Contact us today (info@aliromarketing.com) & get started on your path to success!

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Not Receiving Enough Post Likes, Comments, & Shares?

facebook-timeline-post-targeting

How can you be sure your posts are being seen by your fans & receive “likes”?

1) Keep It Short; posts between 100-250 characters get most likes, shares, & comments.

2) Be Visual; posts with pictures & videos get more engagement, but even links with thumbnail pictures will be beneficial.

3) Ask For What You Want; opinion-driven questions draw in more engagement.

4) Post Daily; I can’t over state this enough. If you’re not giving your fans something to see everyday, they might forget about you.

5) Be Relevant & Helpful; post information *related* to your brand, but not directly about your brand. For example, if you’re in the mortgage business, post information about remodeling or interior design. Helpful tips perform best.

6) Be Timely; discover what time your fans are online & stick with them. You can do this by seeing what time your most successful posts were made, then keep posting during that time period, but be flexible…if they change times, you need to change the time you’re posting!  Always monitor your progress.

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What I Learned In My 1st Year As A Social Media Marketing Business Owner

Online-Marketing-Signpost

1) Always operate with honesty & integrity, even when it’s easier not to do so. If you always do what’s right, even when it’s hard, customers will notice & appreciate it by giving you their business in the future & telling their friends & family how awesome your business is. When you’re honest about pricing or the work you’re doing, customers appreciate the effort, even if they’re not paying attention at the time.

2) Fill out your website and social media profiles completely so potential customers can get to know you better & see what you’re about. People visit websites & social media profiles first to decide if you’re worth their business. Consistently posting content on social media sites that your customers will benefit from as well as posts about your interests will draw in more people. People do business with those who they feel comfortable with, so be sure you’re allowing them to feel comfortable with you!

3) You may have to work all hours & weekends when your colleagues don’t, but sometimes you need to put in the time to deliver on promised work to show you can do the job. However, be upfront & honest about deadlines, time frames to do the work, & what you can deliver; customers won’t mind waiting a little longer as long as they’re being kept in the loop of what’s going on. With honest, real time frames, customers won’t be upset or disappointed, and if you finish early, you’ve exceeded their expectations!

4) Don’t be afraid to say “no”, or realistically, “not now”. Realize that you need down time, or extra time to finish a project before starting a new one. Don’t respond to emails at all hours of the night as this shows your clients that you are ok with working at that time. Remember, what you allow is what will continue. Leave work at work, even though it’s super hard, because even though you want your clients to think well of you, you need down time or you won’t be at your best later!

5) Be flexible & open to new ideas; often a customer suggestion will make the most money for you! You may not always be able to say “yes”, but be open, explore the idea & see if you can make it happen.

6) Don’t be so wrapped up in your own business that you neglect your community. Even though your business is important to you, it cannot consume you. You must think of others, help out fellow business owners, and donate & volunteer for charities. This fosters goodwill among your fellow business owners who will then want to share your information & help you, but also customers love businesses who give back.

7) Don’t neglect your customer service & etiquette skills! If you treat people how you would like to be treated and remember to say “please” & “thank you”, you will get farther than just demanding people listen to you. If you show you care, your customers will return the favor by becoming a loyal advocate & give you referrals.

8) Don’t try to be like everyone else–and don’t worry that you’re not like everyone else! Find your own niche & be confident! Don’t be intimidated when others in your industry says, “Oh, you don’t do this? You should!” It’s important to learn from your ignorance, pay attention other’s wisdom, and adapt, but don’t let them bully you. Be confident that you know what you’re doing.

9) It’s ok to be scared sometimes. There will be cycles in your business that you are left questioning yourself, “What have I gotten myself into?”, but accept that there will be those times, take a deep breath, & figure out how to get out of the position you’re in that’s scaring you. You may have to do something you’ve never done, but that’s ok! Remember what Maya Angelou said: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” — LOVE THIS! Success doesn’t always follow a straight line, but if you do what you know needs to be done, you’ll get there!

10) Always keep learning about your industry & business; don’t assume you already know everything. Strive for better & improve yourself and your business. This will keep things fresh & exciting for your customers and keep your business moving forward. Besides, if you’re not learning and growing, what’s the point of being in business??

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Social Media Etiquette

Social Media Etiquette

Do you say “thank you” when people compliment your hair or outfit, or the job you performed?  Then you should be carrying over those same manners into your relationships online.  This shows your integrity and passion for customer service and is a personal touch that the larger companies don’t often do.  Customers will see this and want to give their business to a company who actually cares about the people.

I am constantly surprised at how people online think that because others can’t see you, it’s ok to not be polite or thorough.  Here are some of my top etiquette rules:

1) Say “Thank You!”  I always say that if people in real life compliment your outfit, you say thank you; be sure to do this when others like your post, share your post, or follow/like you!

2) Don’t use numbers in your sentences or speak caveman.  “That’s gr8” or “Ur gr8”.  It’s hard to read, unprofessional, and lazy.  “Ur gr8” should be reserved for those chalky conversation hearts at Valentine’s Day.

3) Spell check and look for errors like “your” vs. “you’re”.  Your computer can’t tell the difference, so it’s up to you to know which one to use when.

4) Think before sending; Re-read & re-read again.  Is this really what you want the world to see?  How does it represent your business?  Don’t hurt your brand; it’ll hurt your sales & reputation!

5) Foster goodwill among other businesses by sharing relevant information that your customers will enjoy; you share their info, they’ll share yours!

It’s all about the relationships you build & connect with online in the Social Media world–it’s the only way to succeed.

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Sharing Content

Share button

Did you know that Sharing other companies posts on Facebook & Twitter fosters goodwill and encourages reciprocate sharing of your news & events?  It’s part of the unspoken rules of Social Media Etiquette and what helps make your posts go viral to be seen by more people.

Sharing other company’s content shows other the businesses in your community that you care about more than just your business.  After all, if bringing new customers into the area is good for your business, it’s probably good for the other businesses too, huh?  And if you are proactive in sharing the content, I promise the other companies will notice and start sharing your content.  Maybe not today, but if you continue to share relevant information, they will.  Organic activity is always better than paid and this is why.  No company is an island; we need each other to survive in today’s economy.

So don’t just shout out your news to people expecting them to respond…share other company’s info to show you care about content & others businesses.  Business Karma will thank you!  😀

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A New Year: Opportunities For You & Your Business

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Well, we’re almost 1/12 of the way through 2013.  A new year…lots of opportunities for you & your business awaits!  Aren’t you excited?!  😀   I am!

It’s a great time to start planning your marketing strategy for the upcoming year.  I hope that some of that marketing planning includes social media.  I’m not talking about that empty Facebook page your business has…but how are you going to communicate your message to your customers?  At the very minimum, Facebook & Twitter should be utilized, but if you have the type of business where Instagram or Pinterest could show off your products or work, you need to have an account on those platforms too.  Posting a minimum of once per day, maximum of 4 times per day (spread throughout the day so you don’t flood your fans news feeds) will put you in front of the people who want to hear your message the most.

I came across an interesting statistic:  There are 6 billion people on the planet; 4 billion use a mobile phone; 3.5 billion use a toothbrush!  Besides being slightly disgusting, if you’re not trying to capture a portion of those 4 billion people who use a mobile phone to search the web, you will be missing out.  Facebook is the number one app that smartphone users accessed and 81% of smartphone users use their phone to search the web for more information, including which businesses to frequent.

Social Media, Facebook & Twitter in particular, is your businesses first chance to make a great first impression to your potential clients;  It’s a chance to create new relationships, new customers out of something that wasn’t there before!

So how do you capture that precious moment?  Take the time to show off your business’s personality:  share other business’s posts that interest you; post articles that are relevant to your industry; post funny pictures; oh yeah, and promote your business!  1 out of every 10 posts should promote your business; the other 9 should be showing your business’s personality.  This is what your potential customers are looking for:  they want to know if you’re the type of business that cares about the things they do.  If you can convert these fans into real customers they will be loyal customers for life.  This is how important social media marketing is to your business!

Now that you know social media’s value, how will you put the social media pieces together to communicate your brand’s message?

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What Should I Post on Facebook or Twitter to Encourage Customer Interaction?

Wow…it’s been awhile since I’ve written a new blog post!  I hope I didn’t lose anyone; I have no real excuse and appreciate you reading!

So, what should you post on Facebook or Twitter to encourage customer interaction?  That’s the $100 million dollar question, isn’t it?  Every company will be different because what you post is dependent on what type of business you have.  However, there are some basic guidelines for your social media marketing strategy.

Each business owner will first need to take a look and examine who is your target audience.  You don’t want to just randomly post because your message could go unheard.  By writing your posts with your target audience in mind will better ensure that your message will be heard and more importantly acted upon.  Once you have over 5000 Likes on your Facebook page, Facebook gives you another tool that makes it easier to target your posts to your specific audience; in the mean time, post with your customer in mind.

Second, you want to keep in mind that if you bombard your page with sales pitches or promotions you’re going to lose people.  No one wants a used car salesman in their face all the time.  However, that being said, you probably should have a monthly promotion or contest to give customers something to try to win or provide discounts because a study has shown that 40% of people on Facebook “like” a brand or business because of the discounts they provide.  (http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/study-reveals-why-consumers-fan-facebook-pages/)

A business owner should also post what I call humanity posts.  Customers and people in general love to “peek behind the scenes” and see how the business works.  Post pictures or tips that would provide your followers with insight that they may not know about your company; make them feel special and unique!

Another type of content that should be posted are what interests YOU!  Give your followers insight to what you enjoy: hobbies, activities, sports teams, charities that you support will provide an opportunity for your customers to get to know you.  Wouldn’t you prefer to do business with those who have similar interests or at least know who you’re doing business with?  Almost everyone has a smart phone to find local businesses to do research on the business BEFORE visiting their store, so provide your potential customers with content that they can get to know you online and feel comfortable with you and bring their business to you.

Finally, if you make posts that customers can comment on, you’ll an increase in activity on your page and increase the likelihood that your customers are sharing your content with their friends.  This means asking open-ended questions to get their opinions (what flavor of ice cream would you like to see us carry?); create polls to give people an opportunity to vote and make their voice heard; anything that would give your customers a feeling of belonging or influence will ensure your content will be shared and activity go up.

Let me know if I can help you manage your social  media or answer any questions!

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