Social Media Energizes Your Digital Marketing P

Social Media Energizes Your Digital Marketing P

What is Social Media Optimization?

 

Social Media Optimization (SMO) is the use of a number of outlets and communities to generate publicity.  Doing this increases the search awareness of a product, service brand or event.  This raises it’s potential exposure in search queries.  Do you use social media optimization to raise your product awareness?

 

Types of Social Media Included

 

Types of social media involved include RSS feeds, social news and bookmarking sites, as well as social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, video sharing websites and blogging sites.

 

SMO Goal is to Increase Traffic and Awareness

 

Generally, social media optimization refers to optimizing a website and its content.  Doing this encourages more users to use and share links to your website across social media and other networking sites.

Social Media Optimization is similar to search engine optimization.  The goal of SMO is to generate web traffic and increase awareness for a website.  This is done by creating inbound and outbound links which add credibility to your website.  

 

 

Social Media Optimization Tools are Available

 

Social Media Optimization also refers to software tools that automate this process, or to website experts who undertake this process for clients.

 

Social Media Optimization Engagement 

 

SMO is Social Media Engagement

 

The goal of Social Media Optimization is to create interesting online content.  This can range from well-written text to eye-catching digital photos or video clips.  

This content is designed to encourage people to engage with a website and then share this content.  It’s all about shares and sharing , with social media contacts and friends.

 

Engagement Means Likes and Shares

 

Common examples of social media engagement are “liking and commenting on posts, retweeting, embedding, sharing, and promoting content”.   Social media optimization is also an effective way to perform online reputation management.  

 

SMO can Help With Reputation Management

 

It’s important to get out front, if someone posts bad reviews of a business.  An aggressive SMO strategy can ensure that the negative feedback is not the first link to come up in a list of search engine results.

 

Social Media Optimization Affects SEO

 

Social media optimization is becoming an increasingly important factor in search engine optimization, which is designing a website so that it has as high a ranking as possible on search engines.

Search engines are increasingly utilizing the recommendations of users of social networks.  Your likes and shares on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Reddit are used to rank websites and web pages in the search engine results page.

 

Likes and Shares Help SEO

 

It is implied that when a webpage is shared or “liked” by a user on a social network, it is as if they “voted” for that webpage’s quality of content.  Because of this sharing, search engines can use such votes accordingly to properly ranked websites in search engine results pages.

 

Search Engines Love Social Media

 

Since social media makes it more difficult to put a finger on the scales or influence the search engines in any way, search engines are giving more credibility to social search.  The increasing popularity of social search, coupled with the growth in personalized search based on interests and location, has significantly increased the importance of a social media presence in search engine optimization.

Due to personalized search results, location-based social media presences on websites such as Yelp, Google Places, Foursquare, and Yahoo Local have become increasingly important.  While social media optimization is related to search engine marketing, it is different in some important ways.

 

SMO Helps More Than Just Search Engines

 

Social Media Optimization is focused on driving web traffic from sources otherthan search engines.  Improved search engine ranking is also a benefit of successful social media optimization.  

SMO is helpful to target particular geographic regions in order to target and reach potential customers.  This helps in lead generation.

 

SMO Engages Visitors

 

Social Media Optimization helps find new customers and contributes to high conversion rates.  SMO helps convert previously uninterested individuals into people who are interested in a brand or organization.

 

SMO Taps into Viral Content

 

SMO Embraces Viral Marketing

 

Social media optimization is connected to viral marketing or “viral seeding”.  This happens when word of mouth is created through the use of networking in social bookmarking, video and photo sharing websites.  

An effective SMO campaign can harness the power of viral marketing; for example, 80% of activity on Pinterest is generated through “repinning.”  By following lifestyle trends and using alternative social networks, websites can retain existing followers while also attracting new ones.  

This allows you to build an online following and presence, all linking back to your company’s website for increased traffic.  With an effective social bookmarking campaign, not only can website traffic be increased, but a site’s rankings can also be increased.

Similarly engagement with blogs creates a similar result by sharing content through the use of RSS in the blogosphere and special blog search engines.  Social media optimization is considered an integral part of an online reputation management or search engine reputation management strategy for anyone who cares about their online presence.

 

SMO is not Only for Marketing

 

Social media optimization is not limited to marketing and brand building.  Increasingly, smart businesses are integrating social media participation as part of their knowledge management strategy.  

SMO plays a bigger role in product/service development, recruiting, employee engagement and turnover, brand building, customer satisfaction and relations, business development and much more.  Social Media Optimization is key to your online reputation and your social media presence.

 

Social Media Optimization can Build a Community

 

Social media optimization can be used to build a community of associated sites, allowing for a healthy business-to-consumer and business-to-business relationships.

 

You need to handle negative social media comments positively P

You need to handle negative social media comments positively P

Negative social media comments and reviews are sometimes amusing, but they can pose major problems for businesses. Many studies have explored the impact of online reviews on consumer behavior, and the general consensus is that:

Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google are unavoidable parts of running a business today. They increasingly act as the primary connection between your company and its customers, and they also largely shape your online reputation.

While these interactions and your social media marketing efforts can be productive for your business, they’re also highly visible and can hurt you if handled haphazardly.

For instance, when someone posts negative feedback on Google, all of your current and potential customers can see it, as well as your subsequent reaction. Is that reaction calm and empathetic, rash and emotional, or something else entirely

Handling negative social media comments and reviews poorly is one of the biggest reputation mistakes that internet entrepreneurs make.

 

If you’re running your own business and haven’t found a solution for gracefully dealing with your customers online, it’s time to change that.

In this article, we explore several strategies for dealing with negative social media comments, walk you step-by-step through responding to a less-than-ideal customer review, explain what not to do when managing the comment sections of your social media profiles, and finally elaborate on the importance of responding to all comments — the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Let’s get to it.

Strategies for handling negative social media comments

Not sure how to respond to negative comments on social media like a pro? These suggestions can help.

Ready? Let’s go.

Related: A beginner’s guide to social media for small business

Respond to the comment quickly

Woman Sitting On Floor With Laptop

The last thing you want a disgruntled customer to feel is that you’re ignoring their complaint or concern. Not to mention, casual bystanders (i.e. potential customers) will take your silence into consideration before purchasing your products or services.

Even if you need some time to look into their problem, there’s nothing wrong with simply posting an official statement that says you’re investigating the situation and will be in touch as soon as possible. Just make sure you remember to leave a response once you’ve figured it out (or it won’t be a good look either).

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Be sincere and transparent

Believe it or not, most customers understand that you and the individuals working with you are human. Mistakes happen. How you deal with them, however, is where you can really hurt (or boost) your reputation.

If there’s an issue with your products or services, let your customers know that you’re aware of the problem, and are working on a solution.

Leave the script behind and communicate your genuine concern and commitment toward addressing the issue.

Plus, negative comments can humanize your social media profiles. A constant stream of 5-star reviews might seem phony to some users, so engage with them sincerely to de-escalate situations and generate goodwill.

Related: 15 social media tips and best practices for 2020

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Give discounts when necessary

Sometimes people just need to know that you understand their frustration. When you back up a thoughtful response with a discount, you don’t just tell them you understand — you show them.

Think of a small discount as an extra token of your appreciation for their business, and for taking the time to provide feedback.

 

Just make sure the discount makes sense and is proportionate to the issue they’re facing, or that discount will look insincere.

Discounts can provide a variety of benefits for businesses as well. Although handing out a discount may cost you a little upfront, it often pays off in the form of a loyal customer, or even future business from that customer’s social circle (word of mouth marketing is a powerful thing).

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Interact directly with your customers

Red Phone With Cord

It’s not always ideal to handle negative social media comments on public forums. Know when to leave a polite and sincere response, as well as when to step back and directly message customers.

Not only do public forums reduce your control of the situation, but watching a Twitter battle unfold might also annoy your followers, even if you’re being kind and accommodating. And if you’re dealing with negative feedback on Yelp? Also a place where things can escalate quickly.

The bottom line is that almost every popular social media platform has a direct message feature. Use that feature to your advantage.

After you’ve handled the formalities of making a public response, move the conversation to private messages where you can explore the customer’s unhappiness and try to make it right. Just remember to conduct yourself as though everyone is watching, because people will take screenshots if they feel slighted.

Related: 3 steps to managing reviews online

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Make yourself available and visible

Your company website and social media profiles should make it easy for your customers to contact you, and for you to reach out to them.

A social media complaint response doesn’t always have to be incredibly public, either. If a customer complains on your business page, leave a polite reply saying that you’re sorry for their experience and that you’ll be in touch via messenger to rectify the situation.

You can also provide an unhappy customer your customer service phone number or email address to give them direct access to a human being — especially if the issue is ongoing or if you’re trying to troubleshoot their problem.

There’s nothing more disheartening for a customer than having to cut through red tape when they have a problem.

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Keep things in perspective

The best business owners know they have to take the bad with the good, and that bumps — like negative feedback — are part of the game. Strive to resolve negative social media comments responsibly, and stay focused on the good that can come from them. Your customers will appreciate you and your business much more if you do.

Finally, when thinking about your optimal response to negative comments, the most important thing to keep in mind is that your customers are reaching out for help (even if they do so in an angry or exasperated way).

Take care of their needs and, most of the time, they’ll repay you with loyalty and positive comments in the future.

Related: 4 ways to wow with social media customer service

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Considerations for leaving a response to negative comments

So when that negative comment inevitably appears, what steps should you take to make the situation right? We’ve got five steps below to guide you through.

1. Step back and take a deep breath

Some people are naturally laid back in every situation. But for the rest of us, it’s easy to get defensive when someone complains or attacks something we hold close to our hearts, like our business.

Do whatever you need to achieve a stable state of mind before responding to a negative social media comment.

 

You want your brand voice to be professional and level-headed, even if irreverence is on-brand for your particular business.

When you’ve achieved that mental state (or something close to it), proceed to the next step.
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2. Write out your response on paper

Don’t jump online and push out a hurried response to the negative social media comment. Take your time, and write your thoughts out on paper.

Taking notes and writing a draft like this lets you gather your ideas, consider how to best articulate your response, and determine if you think this customer deserves a discount, refund, etc. It also gives you time to think about what to post publicly, and what to keep private.

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3. Be ready to give something up

As you’re writing out a response to the complaint, also think about what you could potentially give up — discounts, free shipping, free products — in order to turn things around with the customer.

Ultimately, placating an unhappy and vocal customer will save your business money.

 

However, it’s important to phrase your offer in a way that comes off as sincere, or it may not end up helping at all and may actually make them angrier.

That’s why it’s important to get a second opinion on your response.

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4. Loop in a colleague or trusted individual for writing feedback

Two People Having A Discussion At A Picnic Bench

It might seem drastic, but a single social media complaint response can end up causing many issues for your business. After you’ve written what you think is the ideal reply for this particular scenario, get a second opinion.

Having someone else assess the tone of your words — whether it’s a colleague, trusted friend, or even spouse — can help ensure your writing comes off as sincere.

Show them the customer’s complaint as well as your potential response, and see what they think. It’s possible they’ll have suggestions on how to better ameliorate the situation, and they can give you an opinion on whether a discount/refund seems like the next logical step.

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5. Comment and track the situation

You’ve put together an on-brand, calm-and-collected response and had its tone approved by someone else — you’re now ready to respond to the negative comment.

After you’ve clicked “reply” or “send,” you’ll want to make sure the situation comes to a satisfactory conclusion for both you and the customer/user, so don’t sweep everything under the rug just yet.

Make sure that any promises you make in your comment come to fruition, follow up in a private message if the customer is unresponsive to your reply, and be ready to wrap everything up with a nice bow once the customer reaches out again.

If you’re able to turn these negative social media comments into a positive (or even just mitigate their impact), your business’s online presence will be a stable, healthy one.

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What NOT to do when responding to negative social media comments

There are several things you shouldn’t do when responding to negative social media comments.

1. Don’t delete comments (usually)

For instance, don’t delete negative comments. There are few situations where deleting a user’s complaint about your product or service is a good idea. If they are slinging profanity or posting off-topic things, it’s fine to hit the delete button, but don’t censor legitimate critiques.

Deleting a negative comment can create bad blood very quickly, particularly because people who take the time to post something on your social media are active users.

They are much more likely to follow up if they feel they have been unfairly silenced, and once other customers hear about it, they’ll all grab pitchforks.

Related: How to flag a Yelp review

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2. Don’t neglect your social media presence

You should also not leave your social media in the hands of untrained employees.

Consistency is key with any business process, and the same applies for your response to negative social media comments. You don’t want to deal with a rogue employee or intern tweeting rude things on your company profiles.

To avoid such issues, have a clear, written outline of your company strategy for responding to negative comments on social media, and put serious effort into training your staff.

Go over your outline with all existing employees, and make that outline part of the onboarding process.

There is no way to plan for every scenario, so your staff will always be expected to use their own creativity and customer service skills. Each employee should be prepared to do so at any time, with any customer.

Take your social accounts seriously, and you’ll be able to achieve a more consistent brand voice across all social media platforms.

Related: How to grow your business’s social media following

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3. Don’t argue

While you might not believe in the sentiment “the customer is always right,” you should abide by it when addressing negative social media comments. Even if you’re certain they’re wrong, don’t argue, and don’t pick a fight with them, because it will backfire.

And if you know they made an obvious user error, send them a private message politely explaining the situation rather than publicly torching them. They most likely will appreciate the tact and should move on from their gripe as well.

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Why responding to all comments is good for your business

Responding to all comments is the best strategy for savvy business owners because getting engagement is a challenge. There are many competing voices out there, and as long as the customer in question is sincere and not a spammer or troll, they are worth your time.

Unhappy customers create a dialogue about the quality of your products and services and may be a little help away from being a long-term customer.

Happy customers boost your reputation, connect your business to their social circles, and end up becoming the ones you rely on to keep your business running. Taking care of both demographics is crucial to your online success.

And with the right management tools and plan in place, negative scenarios don’t have to be detrimental to your business either.

It’s definitely possible to walk away from a negative situation with increased loyalty from a previously upset customer, as well as from the users — new and old — who witnessed the situation play out on your social media profiles.

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Respond well and enjoy the benefits

Mobile Phone With Social Media Reactions Above

The level of visibility afforded to social media presents business owners with a unique opportunity when they encounter a disgruntled customer. Your response to negative social media comments, if handled with the proper care and technique, can actually leave your business’s reputation stronger than before.

Whether the feedback you’re getting on your social media accounts is good or bad, engage your customers like never before with GoDaddy Social. Elevate your online presence on the platforms that matter most.

This article includes content originally published on the GoDaddy blog by the following authors: Genevieve Tuenge and Simon Slade.

The post How to positively handle negative social media comments appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

Stop Marketing, Make Your Social Media Work by Engaging P

Stop Marketing, Make Your Social Media Work by Engaging P

Start Engaging Others With Your Social Media

 

Do you use social media marketing to grow your business?  Are you wondering how to get others to engage with your social media?  Would you like to have others say great things about your brand or product on your social media?  

This article will try to help you discover the common mistakes social media marketersmake and how to fix them.  I want to share how you can improve your social media reach by engaging your audience.  

You’ll discover how to use social media marketing effectively.  Learn how you can have your brand talked about in a positive way.

 

Stop Marketing on Social Media 

 

I used to look at business books in bookstores, and they would all have the same information, just a different title.  The problem is that these books reinforced the traditional marketing methods of the past.  In today’s digital age, too many try to use the same old marketing methods to sell their product or servcie.  Rather than clinging to the past, moving into the digital marketing age it’s all about engagement.

Our information is aimed at entrepeneurs.  Business people who are ready and willing to try something different.  When social media exploded, it took everyone by surprise.  No-one saw that coming and many still wonder how they can make social media work for them.

 

You need to determine where your desired audience is and use the social media platforms to get your message out

When social media first began, the term “social media strategy” did not even exist.  You may not understand the term yet, but that is what you need to adopt and develop.  You have to find your own unique social media strategy.  

Find what works for you.  You can’t just jump on social media and expect to have an immediate impact.  Instead you should give to the network, rather than go out there and sell.   I write three blogs about my interests in business marketing, web accessibility, and business sustainability. and sharing my blog posts on social media helps me to engage with a diverse audience.

There are an abundance of social media platforms to choose from.  And each of these platforms is home to a slightly different audience.  You need to determine where your desired audience is and use those platforms to get your message out.

 

What Drives You Mad About Social Media Marketing?

 

Are there things about social media marketing that simply drive you mad?

I observe a lot in the marketing world, paying particular attention to social media marketing.  I think that the biggest problem for many brands is being dis-engaged.  Some brands have a presence on every platforms, but are not actually present.  It’s better to be on just a few platforms and actually be engaged in conversations with others.

If you schedule your social media posts using a social media management tool, you also need to make the effort to do more than just respond to your comments and shares.  Be engaged in conversations with subjects you care about that are active on your chosen social media platforms.

It’s a problem if you’re not there for everybody else’s tweets about other things. You are not unconditionally giving back to the community.  Don’t be someone who only answers when people talk to you.

 

Engagement on the average Twitter account today is much lower than it used to be

The engagement on a new Twitter account today is nowhere near as high as it used to be.  Intoduced in 2006, by 2009 when you tweeted you could expect to get at least 100 replies.  Today you’re lucky if you get 12.  What you need to understand is that few people hear you unless you are @somebody.

Because of this, many marketers spend less time on Twitter than they used to.  Too many marketers look at the phrase social media, and they only think of the media part.

The message for marketers is don’t rush out and do something just because everybody else is doing it. There are too many marketers who focus on broadcasting and don’t understand the engagement side.

 

Dre Headphones Does Social Media Right

 

I bought my grandson some Beats by Dre headphones, which broke.  Apple told him that he would have to contact the company directly.   I dreaded contacting them because I don’t like to deal with customer service people.

 

Dre Headphones website has great contact information for their customers

When I looked at their website on my phone, I saw they had a customer support Twitter handle.  I tweeted them and 4 minutes later I got a response, which included an apology and said they appreciated my purchase and asked me for a DM for his email address.  

So they could set up a return for him.  Within 3 minutes, he received an email providing instructions for the return.

He was then handed over to his own personal agent, who dealt with the problem.  I was amazed that such a smooth process came through customer service on Twitter.

 

I found that Beats by Dre has a customer support Twitter handle.

Beats by Dre Support was 100% on task when I tweeted them.  We all understand that mistakes are made, products break and services let us down.  What matters is how the company resolves them that counts.  As a brand, you need to be accountable.

 

How to do Things Worth Talking About

 

I’ve memorialized the Beats by Dre customer service on Twitter.  However, they have to  remain consistent with their brand message and concern for customers, no matter how many followers they have.  This is a huge key to customer service.

 

Beats by Dre remains consistent with every single customer.  You can’t pick and choose whom you want to treat right.  You need to fulfill everyone’s expectations.  You have to remember with Twitter that content can spread because it’s a publicized customer service. 

How you handle your day-to-day business can be something worth talking about.  Unfortunately, to be considered great, sometimes you only have to be mediocre.

To be worth talking about, you don’t have to create the tweets or the content on a blog.  Instead you have to take the actions that somebody will want to blog about.

The best way to create a story is to hire people who believe that every problem is an opportunity to create a great story.  Sometimes these stories will get shared and other times they won’t.

 

How Should Marketers Start with Social Media?

 

I feel that marketers to select one platform to start.  I’m on Linkedin to connect with other business owners, because when you own a business Linkedin membership helps me to feel less isolated.

When you join a social media platform, start by talking to five people.  Send five messages commenting on other peoples content.  Just begin by talking to people about the things that you are interested in.

There should be no pressure.  Also give yourself permission to not do social.  Once you take the pressure off, then you might want to give social media a try.

 

20+ Ways Your Business Benefits From Using Social Media P

20+ Ways Your Business Benefits From Using Social Media P

How Can Social Media Benefit Your Business?

 

It’s hard to believe that today more than 3 billion people use social networks around the globe.  Many companies are using social to engage people with their brands.  Sherpa Marketing discovered that more people follow brands on social media than follow celebrities.  On Instagram alone, 80 percent of people follow at least one business.

If you’re not taking advantage of social, you’re missing out on a fast, inexpensive, and effective way to reach almost half the world’s population.

How Can Your Business Benefit by Using Social Media:

  • Building Your Brand
  • Growing Your Business
  • Creating and Distributing Content
  • Communicating Your Message
  • Gaining Business Insights
  • Advertising Your Business

 

Benefits of Brand Building Using Social Media

 

Social Media Humanize’s Your Brand

 

According to a UK study from Trinity Mirror Solutions, more than half of adults do not trust a brand until they see “real-world proof”.  To gain the trust of just 50% of adults, your brand must constantly prove that it’s keeping its promises.

To build trust and connect with customers, you have to engage your visitor’s with the human side of your brand.  Do you engage visitors with your brand values?  Do you even have brand values?  Do you look out for the best interests of your customers and employees?  Does your product not only meet, but exceed your customers expectations?

Creating real human connections is the main benefit of using social media for business engagement.  We call these Meaningful Relationship Moments.  Introduce your followers to your companies key employees.  This allows you to also showcase how existing customers are using and benefiting from your products.

social media advocacy program can be a great way to humanize your brand.

 

Increase Your Brand Awareness

 

Since nearly half of the world’s population uses social media, it makes social media the natural place to reach new and highly targeted potential customers.

Do you believe that people only connect with brands they already know on social media?  You need to understand that 60 percent of Instagram users say they discover new products on the platform.

 

Instagram Absolut Vodka Phone Ad

When Absolut Vodka ran an Instagram campaign to promote its limited edition Spark bottle, the company achieved a five-point lift in brand awareness.

 

Make Your Brand a Thought Leader

 

No matter what industry your business is in, social media offers the opportunity to establish your brand as a thought leader.  Become the go-to source for information on topics related to your niche.

Though leadership, along with brand advocacy is a great way to build consumer trust.  In fact, LinkedIn research in partnership with Edelman shows that marketers underestimate just how much thought leadership can impact trust consumer trust.

Almost half of B2B marketers surveyed believed their thought leadership would build trust in their companies.  However, more than 80 percent of buyers said thought leadership builds trust.

 

63 percent of people trust technical experts, compared to only 42 percent of people who trust businesses.

The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer also found that 63 percent of people trust technical experts, compared to only 42 percent of people who trust businesses.

LinkedIn is a great social network to focus on when aiming to establish yourself as a thought leader.  With more than 550 million users LinkedIn regularly ranks as the most trusted social network out of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

While LinkedIn isn’t the largest social media network, it’s highly trusted by those that use it.  LinkedIn provides a unique opportunity to have your voice heard and bolster your standing as an expert in your field.

I’m often asked, “What type of content should I post to LinkedIn?”  While at it’s core, LinkedIn is a social network, two types of posts that may engage visitors better on LinkedIn than other social networks include:

 

Engage Social Media Users

 

Most social media users log into their accounts at least once per day, according to Pew Research Center, and many people are checking social multiple times per day.

Every time your fans and followers log into their social media accounts gives you a new opportunity to connect and engage with them.  

 

A majority of Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram users visit these platforms daily graph

You have to keep your social posts engaging and informative.  If they find it useful, your followers will look forward to your new content in their feeds.  Engaging them like this will keep you at the top of their mind.  This will also make you their first stop when they’re ready to buy.

 

How Can Social Media Help You Grow?

 

Use Social Media to Increase Website Traffic

 

Social media posts and ads are two ways you can drive traffic to your website.  Sharing great content from your blog or website to your social channels is a great way to engage readers as soon as you publish a new post

It’s important to not only post your great content.  It’s important to engage your readers, developing a conversation with others, sharing ideas and opinions.

Participating in social chats is also be a great way to increase your visibility.  You need to get attention from new people, showcase your expertise, and drive traffic to your website. The key for you is to offer value in the chat, don’t be too promotional.

Just make sure your website address is included in all of your social media profiles so that people who want to learn more about you can do so easily.  Even better use a pinned post during the chat, highlighting a relevant landing page on your website.

 

Use Social Media to Generate Leads

 

Social media offers an easy and low-commitment way for potential customers to express interest in your business and your products. Lead generation is such an important benefit of social media for business that many social networks offer advertising formats specifically designed to collect leads.

For example, Renault Europe used Facebook lead generation ads allowing people test driving a new model to book their test drive directly from Facebook, with just a couple of taps.

The ads had a 7.9 times lower cost per lead than ads linking to a form on the car manufacturer’s website.

 

Renault UK ran a great ad to Book a Test Drive Today

Use Social Media to Boost Sales

 

No matter what you sell, social media can help you sell it.  Your social accounts are an indespensable part of your sales funnel.

As social media use continues to grow and social sales tools evolve, social networks will become increasingly important for product search and ecommerce.  Now is the time to align your social marketing and sales goals.

For individual sales professionals, social selling is already a critical tool.

 

Influencer Word-of-Mouth Drives Sales

 

Word of mouth drives 20 to 50 percent of purchasing decisions.  You build your brand awareness and credibility when you get people talking about your product or company on social media.  This also helps you set yourself up for future sales.

One key way to drive social word of mouth is to partner with influencers who have a large following on social media and can draw the attention of their following to your brand.

Research from Nielsen, Carat, and YouTube shows that collaborating with an influencer can give your brand four times more lift in brand familiarity than collaborating with a celebrity.

 

Benefits of Social Media for Content Creation and Distribution

 

Promote Your Content on Social Media

 

Promoting your content on social channels is a great way to get your content in front of new people, proving your expertise and growing your credibility and audience.

For example, Adobe used LinkedIn Sponsored Content to showcase its research, including infographics and videos.

Marketing decisions-makers exposed to Adobe’s promoted content were 50 percent more likely to view Adobe as shaping the future of digital marketing and 79 percent more likely to agree that Adobe could help them optimize media spend.

To maximize the social media for business benefits, make sure to have a content marketing plan in place.

 

Source Your Content for Social Media

 

There are two key ways your business can source content on social media:

  • Source ideas:  Ask your followers what they want, or engage in social listening, to come up with ideas for content you can create yourself.  Give people what they’re asking for.  It’s a sure way to create content that people will want to read and share.
  • Source material for posts:  Create a contest or use a hashtag to develop user-generated content (UGC) you can share.  Getting your followers involved can build excitement about your brand while also providing you with a library of social posts to share over time.

 

How much content can you get through a UGC campaign?  Check out the #wanderlustcontest hashtag from National Geographic, which has generated more than 60,000 posts.

 

Use Social Media to Go Viral

 

Your content is exposed to new audiences as people begin liking, commenting on, and sharing your social posts with their friends and followers.  Going viral takes this concept one step further.  

As influencers share your content across their network, and their networks follow suit, your content can spread across the internet.  This could result in thousands or even millions of shares.

This exposure is beneficial to your brand because all those shares, likes, and comments show the existing connections with your brand.  If I see that my friend likes your article, I may be inclined to check out what you have to say.  Even if I’ve never heard of your company before.  

A friend’s social sharing is a pre-screening and acceptance of your content.  Today there is more content than any one person could ever consume, we all click on and engage with some of the content that our friend’s like or share.

Going Viral is not easy, however without social media it would be nearly impossible.

 

Manage Your Reputation Using Social Media

 

Your community is already talking about your brand on social media.  You need to get ahead of your competition, using social listening will to help you discover critical issues in social posts about your brand before they turn into something major.

Is someone saying something about your business that’s not true?  You have to share your side of the story.  But do it in a polite, professional way.  Is someone praising your brand?  Express your thanks and draw attention to their kind words.

The important thing to remember, your content should be geared to establishing a positive conversation with your audience that will highlight your brand. 

 

Social Media Makes Communication Easier

 

Engage Your Audience Using Social Media

 

Social media networks give you the unique opportunity to interact directly with your customers and fans.  Using analytics it has become possible to personalize your message targeting specific customers.   Social media also gives your audience the ability to interact directly with your brand.  

Social media is unique in that it allows a direct conversation between your brand and your audience.  This ability to establish two-way communications is very different from any past media enagement opportunities.  

Using traditional media in the past offered only one-way communications from your brand to your audience.  These were hit-or-miss because of their inability to target small groups effectively. 

 

You have to be engaged if you want your customers and followers to be engaged.  Your goal is to establish a conversation with your audience.  Do so by actively responding to comments and questions on your own social media posts in a way that’s appropriate to your brand. 

You can also use social media monitoring to keep an eye on what people are saying across the social web.   Do you use analytics to measure your engagement success?

 

Use Social Media for Crisis Management

 

When a Philadelphia Starbucks store had two black men arrested, the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks quickly went viral.  Starbucks was experiencing any companies worst nightmare.  The #BoycottStarbucks hashtag was used more than 100,000 times in just three days.  That would officially qualify as a crisis.

Starbucks, to its credit, responded quickly.  After their first apology, the company followed up with several more statements on social media.  Starbucks then announced that it would close all of its stores for a day of racial-bias training.

 

Starbucks apology for Philadelphia incident with 2 black customers

Only time will determine if there are long-term negative effects for the Starbucks brand from this incident.  However, the fall-out would have been worse if they had not taken immediate and appropriate steps to address their crisis on social media.

Social media is primarily used for building your brand recognition and credibility.  However it does have another critical use, giving you an effective method to reduce damage to your brand during a social media fueled crisis.  Does your company have a plan in place for dealing with a serious crisis affecting your brand?  

While small brands may not have a crisis blow up to such a large scale, even a small number of negative shares could be devastating to your brand.  Silence is not an option when it comes to responding to a crisis on social media.  Maintaining well managed social accounts and having a plan in place can help make sure you’re present and ready to engage if the worst occurs.

 

Customer Service Needs to be a Great Experience

 

It seems to just be common sense that your business must have good customer service.  But how valuable is it really?  Could great customer service actually make you more money?

Today, people expect your brand to be available on social media.  Consumers are increasingly turning to social media to resolve their customer service issues.  Are you prepared to respond to their concerns?

Research published in the Harvard Business Review shows that brands who aren’t meeting those expectations are damaging their bottom line.  It’s not all bad news though.  It’s a great opportunity for you to turn those angry customers into loyal ones.

 

Responding quickly yto customer complaints makes them willing to spend more in the future

The HBR research, looking specifically at Tweets is eye-opening.  The research shows that customers who receive a response to their Tweet would be willing to spend more with the brand on a later purchase.  

Especially if they get a response within five minutes.  This is true even when the initial Tweet was strictly a complaint.  How quickly do you respond to inquiries or complaints?

 

Benefits of Social Media for Gaining Insights

 

Monitor Conversations Relevant to Your Brand

 

Above, we mentioned social media monitoring is an important part of understanding your audience engagement.  But it’s also an important source of intelligence about your brand, your competitors, and your niche.  Do you follow your competitor’s on social media?  Why not?

 

Analytics Help You Understand Your Customers

  Social media generates huge amounts of real time data about your visitors and your customers.  Have you thought about how you could use this data?  Understanding the gathered information could help you make smarter, and more informed business decisions.

The social networks all offer built-in analytics that provide you with demographic information about the people interacting with your social media account.   Use this information to help you tailor your strategy to better engage your audience.  

 

Gauge Social Sentiment About Your Brand

 

Lots of mentions on social media is a good thing, right?  Yes, in the majority of interactions.  However, if you’re getting lots of negative mentions, you need to quickly figure out what’s gone wrong and address the problem.

Nick Martin, of Hootsuite defines social media sentiment as “the perceived positive or negative mood being portrayed in a social media post or engagement.”

 

Gauge sentiment around your brand

While it’s important to know how much people are talking about your brand online, it also matters what people are actually saying about your brand.  You should be engaging both the negative and positive commentors in a conversation.

 

Know What Your Competition is Doing

 

It’s important to know what people are saying about your competitors.  By tracking mentions of your competitors you might find weaknesses with their products or services.  Knowing about their failure, allows you to address it and reach out with a solution.  Doing so could win you new customers.

Uber Canada had a great idea to deliver free ice cream for a day in Vancouver.  This should have been a huge win for Uber, because who wouldn’t like free ice cream.  Unfortunately things went spectacularly wrong.  The success of Uber’s promotion was overwhelming.  Uber was unprepared to meet the demand.  

Uber failed because people couldn’t get their free ice cream.  Because people were not happy about Uber’s failure to perform.  These unhappy people took to social media to vent their frustrations and complain about Uber’s failure.

 

The folks at Skip The Dishes saw an opportunity and reached out to people complaining on social media about Ubers failure to deliver.

The folks at Skip The Dishes saw an opportunity and reached out to people complaining on social media about Ubers failure to deliver.  They offered a free ice cream delivery of their own, in the form of a Skip The Dishes credit.

All those Uber haters quickly turned into Skip The Dishes fans, and potential new customers.  To get your free ice cream you had to create a Skip The Dishes Account.  Uber failed because they oversold the idea of free ice cream while Skip The Dishes found a clever way to profit from Uber’s failure.

Monitoring your competition on social media also means you’ll be aware when your competitors launch new products, run promotions, and release new reports or data.  All valuable and actionable information.

 

Know What’s Happening in Your Industry

 

Things change quickly in the business world, however in the online world changes happen faster than ever.  You need to be aware of these changes and be able to react to protect your brand in a timely manner.  You can’t afford to get left behind.  

You have to keep your virtual ear to the ground.  Using social listening ensures that you’re informed about upcoming industry changes that could affect the way you do business.

 

Benefits of Social Media for Advertising

 

Embrace and Use Targeted Advertising

 

Great Social Media ads are an inexpensive way to promote your business and distribute your content.  They also offer powerful targeting options so you can reach the right audience and make the most of your budget.

Savvy marketers have embraced this key benefit of social media for business: Marketers spent twice as much on Social Media ads in 2018 as they did on newspaper advertising.

With ad targeting options including Facebook demographic information, geography, language, and even online behaviors, you can craft specific messages that best speak to different groups of potential customers, and only pay for the exact viewers you want to reach.

 

Retargeting Turns Visitors Into Customers

 

Nearly 70 percent of online shopping carts are abandoned, never completing the transaction.  Why do you think that happens?  Have you ever abandoned a shopping cart before completing the transaction?  Why did you abandon your cart?.  

The people who have abandoned products in your shopping cart are your prime potential customers.  They have already found your website.  They have browsed your products.  They even made a decision to add something to their cart.  

 

People who have abandoned products in your shopping cart are your prime potential customers, how do you get them to click the buy button

You were so close to your goal.  Why do you think your customers are abandoning their carts?  The truth is that people abandon shopping carts for many reasons.  However, you can’t just ignore anyone who has shown so much interest in your company.

Using tracking tools like Facebook Pixel, you can show these potential customers social media ads for the exact products they have browsed on your website or placed in the shopping cart.  Retarget these potential customers.  Make the extra effort to convert these visitors from walk-away to take-away customers.

 

Benefits of Social Media for Proving ROI

 

Social Media Reporting and Analytics

 

It is always a challenge for marketers to prove their return on investment.  However, with good social media tracking and analytics tools, you can see the full impact of your social media activities.  Track everything from follows to engagements right through to purchases.

Tools like Google Analytics help you track your website traffic generated from social media, your conversions, email sign-ups, and ROI for both your organic and paid social media campaigns.

FacebookInstagramTwitter, LinkedInSnapchat, and Pinterest have all developed their own analytics within their platform.  There are also many free and paid commercial tools available to help you analyze your web traffic.

So there’s no excuse to be in the dark about how your customers and social followers are engaging with you.

 

Building Your Brand Should Be Your Social Media Focus P

Building Your Brand Should Be Your Social Media Focus P

Build Your Brand Using Social Media

 

Branding is at the very core of everything you do to build your business.  You’re building your BRAND.  No matter how or where you spread the word about your business, your focus should be on creating a targeted brand image that your audience will easily identify.

3,000,000,000 people.  That’s how many people around the world use social media every month.   That’s an amazing number, that noone could have imagined when GeoCities went online in 1994.  Your target audience for most business owners is just a tiny fraction of those users.  Your problem is selecting the social media platform that works best for you and connects with the audience you need.

The graphic below, from Pew Research puts numbers to how people use the different social media platforms.  It shows that Facebook (68%) and YouTube (73%) dominate, especially with older users.  Younger users embrace a variety of platforms and use them frequently.  Instagram (35%), Pinterest (29%), Snapchat (27%), Linkedin (25%), Twitter (24%), and WhatsApp (22%) are also popular.

 

A Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults finds that the social media landscape in early 2018 is defined by a mix of long-standing trends and newly emerging narratives

The first thing you need to realize is that it’s not always just about the numbers.  It matters who your audience is and what you are trying to accomplish.  If you are involved in B2B sales or services and interested in business networking, Linkedin might be a better fit for you than Instagram, Pinterest, or SnapChat.

There’s a lot of competition for user interest on all the social media platforms.  You have to decide which platform will help your brand stand out from all the other companies seeking attention from the audience that you need to attract.  It’s a lot like jumping up and down in a crowd and shouting “look at me.”  

Your branding strategy is just part of the solution.  That’s why your social media strategy should build brand recognition, rather than just advertising your products or services.

 

Your Brand Needs to Be Familiar and Predictable

 

Using social media provides you with the opportunity you need to connect with your customers.  By making an emotional connection with your audience, they’re more likely to share your content with others and expanding your reach.  Playing on their emotions helps build their loyalty toward your brand.

When your users connect with your brand emotionally, they feel that they are developing a relationship with you.  Become predictable, post at consistent times and with the same voice and personality.  Being consistent applies to your posts across all the platforms you’re on.  You shouldn’t be humorous on Twitter and serious on Facebook.

Trying to consistently post on varied platforms is difficult.  You need to schedule your social media posts ahead using a robust social media planning tool.  This allows you to easily stay on top of promoting your posts across multiple social media channels.

 

You Should Market Across Multiple Channels

 

Think about how you market your brand in real life and online.  Online, using different social media platforms allows you to communicate your message effectively to the diverse audiences found on the different social platforms.

Offline, tell people about your social media presence.  Share specific hashtags in real life and invite users to snap an image and upload it with the hashtag.  Your goal should be to excite your online users about your offline presence, and vice versa.

Using Google’s social media analytics helps you determine how effective your social media efforts have been in attracting your audience.

 

Raise Your Voice Above the Noise

 

It’s not surprising that more than 88 percent of businesses market use social media.  We are all bombarded with ads everywhere we go.  Many respond by just tuning out those ads.  A strong brand voice allows you to highlight your business and grab the attention of overwhelmed users.

Self-promotion hardly ever works.  Imagine what your customers pain points are and how you might solve those.  Using educational, or entertaining videos helps you engage people using your social media.  You need to imagine what you’d want to know if you were the consumer, then deliver the answers on social media and elsewhere.

 

Wayfair highlights their products but makes the posts unique by tapping into the humorous side of life and entertaining guests.

Wayfair highlights their products but makes the posts unique by tapping into the humorous side of life and entertaining guests.  They mention you might burn the waffles, but your guests won’t care when they see your beautiful patio set.  

Their image grabs your attention, and Wayfair keeps their branding strategy intact by using the same lighthearted communication they use on Instagram.  

 

Create Special Offers for Unique Audiences

 

Marketing on social media provides the unique opportunity for you to create special offers for different and unique audiences that you are trying to reach.  Offering a discount or free trial encourages people to try your brand.  After taking your product or service for a “test drive,” they’re more likely to become fans than if they never experience your brand at all.

A big part of branding is finding ambassadors who love what you do and want to tell everyone they know. Identifying your “brand fans” is easier than ever.  Thanks to influencers on social media, who often try and share their feelings about products or services it is much easier to spread your message.

 

Ipsy uses inspirational sayings and events and offers discounts which appeal to their core audience.

In their social media posts, Ipsy uses inspirational sayings and events and offers discounts which appeal to their core audience.  In the example above they use a witty marketing ploy tied into an inspirational meme likely to get shared with others.

 

Relevant Giveaways Engage Your Audience

 

Social media platforms are the perfect location for contests and giveaways. However, if you want to attract targeted leads, you must make the prize something relevant to your target audience. Think about your company’s mission, as well as what types of things your customers purchase already.

You should give away part of your product or service or something related to the mission of your brand. Brand every giveaway with your company philosophy and appearance.

 

Loot Crate sells fandom subscription boxes, so their customers are most interested in certain types of events.

Loot Crate sells fandom subscription boxes.  Their customers are interested in specific types of events.  Loot Crate often offers event tickets as part of their giveaways and as a way of attracting new followers.  The offer of Wrestlemania tickets in the screenshot above, provides a strong incentive to participate.

 

Plan Your Year’s Posts

 

It’s easy to get into a rut, finding yourself repeating information over and over on social media?  You can keep your posts fresh and engaging by planning your annual marketing calendar.  

Examine each month and think about the content you’ll be sharing.  Develop a theme for your posts to write your posts to answer questions your audience has about your chosen theme.

 

Planning your posts allows you to get on a regular schedule, but also shows what tasks you need to complete and when

Planning your posts allows you to establish a regular schedule.  It also establishes what tasks have been completed and which you need to complete.  For example, if you plan an educational series, the articles or webinar must be ready to go well before you start promoting to your networks.

You can always shift your calendar to accommodate changes, but without a schedule, your efforts will not have the necessary focus and may mostly go to waste.

 

The best times to post online courtesy of Blog2Social

Blog2Social is the social media management tool I have chosen.  It integrates seamlessly with the DIVI theme for WordPress.  It also has features which ensure that my posts go live at the best time and day for each of the social media platforms that I use.  The above graphic shows when posts on each of the different platforms will reach their optimal audience.

 

Your Brand Is Everything

 

Your brand is your businesses introduction to the world.  Every action you take impacts your vision and how others see your company.  You need to spend your time thinking about the best ways to get your message across on social media.  

Study what your competitors are doing, and offer something different for your followers.  Planning your marketing campaigns is the key to winning new customers and creating lifelong fans.

 

Grow Your Community Using Social Media Branding P

Grow Your Community Using Social Media Branding P

Social Media Builds Your Brand

Develop a Social Community Mindset

 

To build a successful Social Media Community, you have to think like a community builder.  Throw out your old marketing ideas when it comes to Social Media Marketing.  You have to develop the social mindset essential to achieving your goals.

 

You Need to be Social

 

We all understand the opportunities Social Media presents for businesses.  It allows them to convey their message to a broader audience.  However, using Social Media as only a broadcast channel is only achieving  half of your goal.  Without interacting with others on social media, you’re not making the real connections that you need to make.

It’s all just making digital noise if you are not connecting with people, carrying on the conversations that you need to use to have your message resonate and even be shared and liked by others.  It’s not enough to say “Look at what we’re doing, this is really great.”  

You actually have to respond to comments, answer questions, and embrace the one-on-one conversations that are the real goal of your social media presence.  If you’re not doing those things, you’re wasting your and others’ time.  

Social media really is for socializing.  If you’re not answering questions and having one-on-one conversations, you’re wasting your time on social media.  Make your time spent on social media productive and interactive.

 

You Need to be Fearless

 

Many don’t really understand what it means to be a marketing expert.  Being a marketing expert is constantly evolving as market conditions and technology change and expand.

It would surprise you how much energy we put into trying new things at the Better Business Alliance.  We don’t know everything and are constantly reading blogs and searching for the best new marketing ideas and the technology to make marketing better, quicker and more engaging.

Right now we are working on a messenger bot for our page, hoping it can become a tool to enhance our service to others.  So we’re doing a lot of research about bots and how we can apply to enhance visitor engagement.

Even marketing experts need to try new things for growth.

 

Maintain a Social Media Perspective

Learn to Focus and Pace Yourself

When I first started doing this, I had a hard time turning things off.  I’ve gotten used to the idea that at some point you must sleep.  If someone tweets at 2 a.m., they’re not going to get an answer.  

I want to do the best possible job I can, and my definition of that has evolved.  Doing the best job doesn’t mean I have to stop and answer every tweet because then I lose my focus on everything else that’s important.

 

Use Native Analytics to Gauge Your Success

 

People underestimate the usefulness of Twitter and Facebook native analytics.  These give us critical demographic information about our audience.  You need to try different thing, constantly testing and checking the results achieved against your expended effort.  Only experience and analytics will educate you on what works for you.  Invest your time wisely.