Posts Tagged ‘facebook’
Are your social media efforts paying off? Only if you know what to measure.
The proof that social media marketing works is not measured in ROI or sales but rather in retention and what happens as a result of your social media marketing efforts.
The frequent questions executives and business owners ask are: “How much money will I make?” and “How many new sales will I have? While logical, these questions are not necessarily the right questions. With social media, it is not how much you make but how much of a difference your social media efforts make to attract new customers.
Even though social media has great potential, many organizations do not properly integrate social media in their marketing and communication efforts. The underlining point is that social media is not a one-way communication channel, but instead a medium for listening, analyzing, and driving those conversations.
The companies that realize the full potential of social media are not only experimenting with multiple channels, but also creating metrics to measure impact and using new tools to understand how to enter into a new conversation with their customers.
How does an organization gain not only an understanding of their audience’s social network but know when and how to reach out to a customer or prospect?
- Gain Expertise and Validation
Range of Social Relationships
Jen Roberts offers her scientific break-down from a customer perspective of their interest in being ‘friends’ with your organization as follows:
- Don’t talk to me. Ever. I’m still recovering from our last encounter.
- I don’t want to be your friend but I do need answers. Where can I find them?
- I like you and I’ve clicked a button.
- I like you and love discounts. Let’s talk.
- I love you and I want to co-create.
Benefits of Social Media
One of the benefits of social media is that it can help reinforce existing ties and that is one way of looking at consumer relationship; the strength of that tie between the consumer and your brand. Analyzing and filtering for consumer insights or preferences is a critical piece for surfacing consumer intentions that can provide a unique perspective on the degree to which a consumer wants to be engaged.
Using social media is becoming one of the most popular strategies to retain customers that visit your business website. By directing your viewers to your Facebook page or Twitter account, you have opened the door of opportunity to continue communication with customers who have left your website without purchasing.
Your business website needs a way to direct people to your social media channels, to encourage communication between your customers and your brand. By including links to your social media pages on your website, you make it easier for you customer to learn everything they can about your product, and read why other customers are happy with what you have to offer.
Have social media buttons on your home page
In order to guide people to your Facebook page or Twitter account, have social media buttons on your homepage in plain view. Many online shoppers actually prefer spending time among social media platforms rather than business websites because social media is comfortable, familiar, and eliminates the customer’s wariness of salespeople.
Rich Brooks, of Social Media Examiner says;
“Many companies now see the long-term benefits of gaining a follower, fan or subscriber on a social media platform, even weighed against the short-term risk of sending them away from the website.”
The buttons should open up your social media sites in a new window. Because you’re sending your potential customers to a site other than your own website, having them open in a new window gives the customer easier access and incentive to return to your business website.
Why social media works
Having a social media presence so readily available to your consumers is a huge advantage because your consumer base is interested in what goes on behind the scenes in your company. By posting photos, videos, product tests, special offers, and anything else you can think of that’s fresh and new, you give your company a more personal touch.
Having a personal touch is the best way to have a leg up on your competitors. Your social media platforms will really show the true personality behind your brand.
Having a business website can be a huge cost advantage and very profitable. However, there are some downsides to it. For example, having a brick and mortar location in a high-traffic area can get you some great sales, but how do you get people to notice you on the web?
As a small business, you need to devote most of your time towards marketing your website to consumers that need your products or services. You just don’t get the natural traffic that larger brand names have and because of that – you have to work a little harder.
It’s difficult to stand out on the web, but in order to appear higher up on a Google search (clearly a priority since most people never search past the second or third page of search results), work on your search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the process of weaving popular search keywords into your copy so Google is more likely to rank your website above others when people are searching for something that relates to your brand, product, or service.
You can also use social media to your advantage by working a Twitter page or a Facebook page. Once you find people talking about issues that relate to what you’re selling, you can jump into the conversation and provide a solution. For example if you run a daycare business, listen to people speaking about the trials of having young children, join the conversation and offer a solution.
If your site is easy to navigate, provides fresh (continuously updated) content, and unobtrusively directs people towards purchasing your product, you’re well on your way to having a profitable web presence. Your site must look professional, organized, and trustworthy. For example, if you can’t take quality pictures of your product, ask your supplier to send you some images you are allowed to use on your website.
There are so many little things you can do to engage your customers and encourage people to buy from your website and not your competitors. Take the time to review what you have, and invest the time to improve your business website and current market position.
As prices all around us begin to rise, we start to get a little uneasy about budgets, pricing, and expenditures. Even though everyone is saying the economy is on the rise and us small business owners are on the upward trend, it’s always smart to cut your budget where you can afford.
Michale Kraus, a blogger, retail consultant, and marketing expert, wrote a great post for allbusiness.com that discusses a few ways you can cut your budget as a small business owner. Using these methods can not only save you money, but will be able to drive traffic to your business, convert leads into sales, and help your business grow in general.
Here are a few tips from Kraus:
I continue to push the social media for two reasons:
- It’s free
- A whole generation of consumers live on social media
The evidence is mounting that social media does create awareness and can drive sales. And with 500 million Facebook users, not to mention millions of Twitter users,the growth of group buying sites like Groupon and Living Social, there are a lot of reasons to jump into the fray.
Reaching out to your existing customers is key. After all, they already shop with you, so why not tap into this important market and give them a reason to visit? You can offer a deal, or perhaps your messaging is about a new line you brought in. Whatever you do, make sure you’re not spamming your best customers with too many emails, since you risk alienating them — and that’s something you cannot afford to do in this fragile economy.
There’s no better way to communicate with a customer and get them back into your store sooner than with a bounce back offer. Hand them a simple printed postcard or other piece when they’re at the cash wrap. Then tell them about the offer (usually it’s good for a discount then next time they visit). The beauty is that you specify the offer and the time period they can get the deal. So push it out four weeks to drive traffic back into your store. Double down and use social media to remind everyone about the card they’re holding and when it’s valid.
Many small business owners are already taking advantage of the power of social media in their marketing efforts, but many are unaware of the tools social media has to increase internal communications and productivity within your company.
As an entrepreneur, one of your main priorities is maintaining proactive communication among your employees. In order to lead an entrepreneurial venture, everyone needs to have a sense of alignment with each other rather than a hierarchical system. This can only happen with an effective amount of communication.
Using Social Media in the Office
Many companies use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media channels to promote internal networking and encourage collaboration among different departments. This encourages stakeholders to participate and express their opinions. It gives everyone in your company a voice and an ability to be a part of the big picture – which is the key to having a great team and a successful company.
Instant visibility is one of the most useful aspects of social media. Posting something on a group wall is effective in that everyone can see it right away. Using file sharing techniques such as Google Docs or other programs is also useful that way various people can view, edit, and share important documents rather than waiting for documents to get passed around the office for approval – and you save paper!
Also, because many companies are using social media marketing, it can be beneficial for everyone in the company to have access and sharing ability on channels such as Facebook. That way, if any conversations come up about the company or the products the company offers, everyone can see it right away and take that information into account when making future product or marketing decisions.
Because everyone would be involved, have a voice, and have the visibility necessary – it can lead to an increase in collaboration and productivity. These are great assets to promote in a business setting because collaboration and efficiency can be your keys to increased revenue and profit.
If you are considering venturing out and starting your own business, you may be looking for some great ideas; one up and coming trend that is booming in the online commerce industry is social gaming. While Farmville on Facebook set the trend, many new social games are close behind.
Why social gaming can make you money
Social gaming is a huge trend. It is especially profitable because the target market that is now participating in social games is the younger Gen-Y group. This group has grown up with e-commerce and is much more comfortable with online transactions and are more often than not Internet consumers.
It is important to note that even though the middle aged generation may have more purchasing power and may be an easier market to target, the middle aged generation expresses much more hesitance when it comes to making monetary transactions online – which is why it is so important to hone in on those already making purchases via the Internet.
Social gaming is successful because the market enjoys playing virtual games, period. When a game gives an incentive to advance further and reap more rewards through a game (by way of paying a small fee of real money), it gives the gamer that much more of an incentive to spend money online.
How to make it work
If you choose to develop a social game, always make sure that your incentives for gamers to make purchases are valuable. Buying virtual goods can be a huge revenue source for you, so you should design your game around these virtual goods while also providing an exceptional customer experience.
For example, I mentioned in an earlier post about a company that allows users to build villages by buying virtual goods. The company uses the revenue made from users buying these goods to actually supply and build villages in need in Uganda. Once these goods have been purchased and delivered, the company will post and tag photos of these deliveries to keep the users involved. The users feel as if their purchases have value and rewards – a great way to give users an incentive to continue purchasing.
You will never make money online if you don’t give people a reason to buy. By involving your consumers in the bigger picture and making them feel like they are a part of something much more important than a simple online transaction, your business model will excel.
If you own a small business, have a business website, and practice an effective amount of social media marketing, you should be well on your way to building a strong and loyal customer base.
Some small business owners however, start to experience a mass unsubscribing or unliking movement by their leads. As if all of their leads got together and decided to stick it to them by either completely ignoring the lead nurturing efforts, or unsubscribing all together.
Why does this happen?
There are a few reasons why people may ignore your updates, emails, and offers. However, the first and most important step you need to take in solving this problem is to be honest with yourself and see if you are doing anything to drive your leads away.
Email marketing mistakes
According to Entrepreneur.com, “the trigger that prompts 54% of consumers to unsubscribe is when the offending company bombards a subscriber’s email with too many marketing messages.”
So, are you bombarding your subscribers? If you are constantly sending emails without any valuable content in them, there is no doubt that they will eventually unsubscribe or ignore you completely.
You can fix this problem by asking for feedback about what kind of information they would like to receive on a regular basis, and by offering some deals and some incentive for your leads to actually open and read the emails you send them. Again, it’s about quality not quantity.
Social media marketing mistakes
The majority of Facebook users have “liked” a business page or two during their membership. Unfortunately, almost half of those who have liked a business page rarely if ever visit it.
“Not surprisingly, excessive posting accounts for 44% of the decision to ‘unlike,’ while 43% of Facebook users indicate their account is too crowded with brands” according to Entrepreneur.com.
The basic remedy for this problem is caring about your customers. People want a brand that cares about what they like, what they don’t like, what they want to know, and what they don’t want t o know. As long as you interact with people who “like” your business page on Facebook, they will interact with you and trust your brand.
You just need to make sure you are limiting your posts and providing engaging conversations and offers.
If you own a small business and have a business website, you’re probably doing pretty well for yourself. After all the economy should be mending soon and you should have already done your homework and found a product that solves a specific problem within the market.
Now, the only difficult part after setting up your small business website is marketing it so that you gain some traffic flow and hopefully increase your revenue stream. This is where social media kicks in. Social media can help you cut marketing costs, build relationships, and network with other people both in your industry and in completely unrelated fields.
Social Media Marketing
Entrepreneur.com wrote a recent article about how to treat social media marketing like a cocktail party. I love this idea because it promotes the concept of social media as a fun, relaxing environment where people come to converse, network, get to know each other, etc. It’s no tradeshow where people are bombarded with free trinkets and obnoxious displays.
Entrepreneur.com goes on to say that in order for your social media presence to have any value, you need to focus on other people’s interests and needs. This should be a given because as an entrepreneur you should always be paying attention to people’s complaints searching for an opportunity to fix them and expand.
Your role in social media is not to advertise your existence; it’s supposed to be a tool to measure the preferences and behaviors of your target market. What better survey than the one your consumers completed on their own time and on their own volition?
According to Entrepreneur.com:
“Online marketing specialists say small businesses like yours are well-positioned to make their customers and fans feel they are the center of the conversation, via social media.”
There has been a tidal wave of blog posts throughout cyberspace discussing the idea that a business does not necessarily need to have its own website if it is able to effectively establish relationships via social media. While social media can be very effective in marketing your product, I am here to tell you why a business website is an absolute must.
Your website is just about equivalent to your brick-and-mortar location in real life. It is a location where people end up (hopefully – if you’ve optimized your website correctly) after seeking out your product or service, receive viable information, and make the decision of whether or not to commit and purchase.
Your website should have your brand personality written all over it. It should be professional, and reflect what your business is all about. Facebook and Twitter can be very limiting in this aspect. Also, customers are used to shopping online from an actual website. Do you really expect people to find out all the information necessary to make a purchase from you on Facebook? You should use Facebook to guide people to where the magic happens – your business website.
You need to have a website that users can trust and give people incentive to give you their email accounts so you can follow up with promotions and personal offers. Social media is so open and public that people should very well be hesitating to make high-involvement purchase decisions after reading a few wall posts on Facebook.
You don’t own your social media site
It’s important to understand that while you have many options to customize your Facebook and Twitter profiles, they are still third-party sites. If people are discussing your brand or product, it seems a little silly to refer people to your Facebook profile rather than your business website, it’s less professional.
This isn’t to say you should disregard the potential social media has to generate your leads. You absolutely should establish relationships and participate in conversations through social media, but ultimately, you should be driving those leads and conversations toward your business website, that’s where the transactions should ultimately take place. Your business website is your property and it represents your brand, use it wisely.
By now you should know how crucial it is to set up a Facebook page for your business. You may have already done so. I’ve also stressed how important it is to participate in conversations with people interested in your product and people in your industry.
Now, you may be wondering – how do I find people to talk to? – great question. There are several things you can do to find consumers to connect with and increase your consumer base in your social media network.
How to find customers
Marketing and advertising used to be about providing information for consumers so they can choose which brand to go with. Nowadays, it’s more important that a brand or company seeks out its own consumer base and provide them with solutions.
In order to find your own customer base, you can start with the Facebook directory. Go straight Facebook’s login page; at the very bottom there is a small horizontal menu on the right side. Click on “Pages” to see a Facebook directory of every page in existence on Facebook. Here, you can search alphabetically for any other company or brand related to your product.
You can also search for people and groups you may be interested in connecting with. Once you start conversing with people and contributing valuable posts on other walls related to your product, you should be able to see an increase in interest on your own page.
Be prepared to receive new customers
Before you seek out people to talk to, it’s crucial to have a well-designed Facebook page. Make sure that when people click the link to your business’s Facebook page that they don’t land on your wall. This can be a quick turn off to new customers because they have to search for the information they need. Instead, have your info page come up first (you can change this preference in your settings). This way, you can give your customers a brief overview of what you’re all about before they dive into the conversation or seek out promotions and special offers.
Be consistent about posting fresh and valuable information. You will lose customers if you just leave your Facebook page unattended. Spend a few minutes a day to continuously update your content and drive more customers to your website.