Business – Socialmedia.biz http://socialmedia.biz Social media business strategies blog Tue, 24 Apr 2018 10:34:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://socialmedia.biz/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/cropped-favicon-socialmedia-512-32x32.png Business – Socialmedia.biz http://socialmedia.biz 32 32 4 ways to repurpose blog content in your email marketing strategy http://socialmedia.biz/2018/02/12/how-to-repurpose-blog-content-in-email-marketing-strategy/ Mon, 12 Feb 2018 10:51:08 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=29255 Continue reading ]]> content

Rework your blog’s greatest hits to get extra mileage

Target audience: Businesses, brands, digital marketers, advertising agencies, SEO specialists, entrepreneurs, Web publishers, email specialists

Post by Megan Totka
ChamberofCommerce.com

MeganTotkaRepurposing content has long been used as a strategy for content creators who simply don’t have the resources to continuously create new content.

Over time, however, marketers have begun to realize that it can benefit them beyond just being an option to fill the calendar.

Armed with analytics and data about their previously created content, they have a better understanding of exactly what type of content has worked to help leads flow through the customer journey.

And with this information, content teams can repurpose their successful content into email campaigns that enable them to move customers further down the conversion funnel.

But how exactly do you successfully repurpose content for your email marketing strategy?

Let’s take a look at four options.

Convert your content into an infographic

1It’s no secret that visual content, in the form of both image and video, is being used more and more in today’s marketing landscape.

And for good reason. After all, the data shows that visuals are more engaging than text.

When you have written content that has already been successful, it offers a tremendous opportunity to further simplify that content into an infographic. Tools like Piktochart allow you to create infographics from prebuilt templates.

And by including visual content within your email campaign and customer journey, you’re giving your leads yet another reason to stay engaged with your emails.

Update old content

2If you’ve been maintaining a blog for any length of time, there’s a good chance that several of your articles feature outdated statistics and advice.

Take the time to update this content and use your email campaign as a way to inform interested leads about the changes.

This can also be a great opportunity to generate a fresh angle for a past topic.

Not only is keeping your content fresh essential for SEO purposes, but it also helps ensure that the content that’s part of your customer journey is maintaining its value.

Create an email series from long-form content

3Determine what pieces of long-form content have been well received by leads at different points of the customer journey.

From there, you can leverage the content by turning it into an email series that can be sent to leads based on where they are in the conversion funnel.

Here’s an example of how you can do this:

  • Introduce readers to the topic. Use the initial email to generate interest and curiosity about the topic of your email series.
  • Break down the series by subheadings. Each follow-up email can offer a breakdown of the different sections of your content.
  • Focus on actionable advice and usefulness. To keep your leads engaged throughout the email series, include as much actionable advice and usefulness as possible.

It’s important to understand that segmenting your email list is crucial here.

Your subscribers expect authentic, credible content and you want to be sure your emails are hyper-relevant to the leads you’re targeting.

By using email marketing tools like Campaign Monitor, businesses create customer journeys that delivery a series of emails based on one of your long form blog posts. These email automation tools can dynamically send emails based on how recipients behave.

For example, let’s say the blog post you’re using to create an email series with is about social media marketing across different social platforms. If a subscriber clicks on a link in your first email about Facebook advertising, they will automatically be sent future emails talking more about Facebook advertising.

This level of personalization generates more engagement and conversions than blanket email marketing strategies.

Create an ebook

4If you have multiple pieces of content that help form one of the stages of your conversion funnel, combine the content into an in-depth ebook.

From there, you can use the ebook to be sent as a freebie to leads in an attempt to expedite their journey through the conversion process.

This can also be a great re-engagement strategy for subscribers whom you’ve identified as inactive.

Start repurposing for email

When done right, repurposing your successful content can dramatically increase email engagement rates. Give the strategies above a try and find out how they can help you move your leads further down the conversion funnel. And let me know if it works!

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. Megan has several years of experience on the topics of small business marketing, copywriting, SEO, online conversions and social media. Megan spends much of her time establishing new relationships for ChamberofCommerce.com, publishing weekly newsletters educating small business on the importance of web presence, and contributing to a number of publications on the web. Megan can be reached at megan@chamberofcommerce.com.
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8 creative ways to use customer feedback to improve your business http://socialmedia.biz/2017/06/14/8-creative-ways-to-use-customer-feedback-to-improve-your-business/ Wed, 14 Jun 2017 09:43:27 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=29006 Continue reading ]]> suggestion-box

Lindsay Bremner / Creative Commons BY

How to evaluate & act on the information you gather

Target audience: Businesses, brands, digital marketers, advertising agencies, SEO specialists, entrepreneurs, Web publishers, email specialists

Post by Megan Totka
ChamberofCommerce.com

MeganTotkaCustomer feedback is the most valuable information your business can collect. It tells you what your customers like and don’t like, who your best customers are, and where you are failing. It’s also a great predictor of future success.

The real value of customer feedback lies in what you do with the information. Here’s how you can evaluate and act on the info you gather.

Fix product issues

1A pattern of product issue dissatisfaction may indicate a problem with your product or simply a problem with your advertising. If you’re over-promising what your product can do, your customers will be disappointed. Before you build a reputation of dishonest dealings, you can fix it by improving your product to meet expectations or by making your messaging align more closely with your product capabilities. Make sure you run your product past a group of beta testers at each stage of release.

Find your evangelists

A Net Promoter Score survey helps you understand how customers feel about your business

2Personal recommendations are powerful. Sending a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey helps you understand how customers feel about your business, and whether they are likely to recommend your business to others or buy from you again. It can also help you identify your most enthusiastic supporters and detractors. Figure out ways to show your promoters plenty of love, and they’ll become your best native advertisers. Conversely, once you find your detractors, figure out commonalities amongst this audience to see if you can turn them into promoters, or at least minimize the possible damage they might do to your business with negative word of mouth. At a minimum, don’t forget to let your customers know how you are using their feedback to improve your product or business.

Fine-tune new directions

3Who knows what they want better than your customers? Take a page out of Frito-Lay’s marketing strategy and ask for input. The Lay’s Do Us a Flavor contest asks consumers for flavor ideas and collects some pretty wild suggestions. Three winners are chosen and their flavors hit the shelves. The contest winners collect a substantial prize, and so does the company. The contest shows how deeply the business values their customers, and the hype surrounding the new flavors raises awareness and boosts sales.

Know when to pivot

4Small pivots are not uncommon in successful businesses. Companies that use customer feedback to adapt to the market and adjust course are more likely to succeed over the long run.

Build on your best features

5Your customers will tell you exactly what you’re doing right, and your future success depends on adding to the features your customers like best. Companies that continually surprise and delight customers build a reputation around their best features, the unique selling points that make them stand out.

Spot trends

6Your customers are always looking for the next thing to grab their attention, and if you don’t know what the next thing is, your competition will. Customer feedback offers insight into improvements your customers want to see, and what they are interested in. If your next offering anticipates their desires, you have a much better opportunity to build customer loyalty.

Respond faster

7By monitoring real time reporting as customers respond to a survey, you can respond instantly to comments and issues, taking customer service to a new level.

Inform your marketing

8How your customers respond to marketing offers is also a form of customer feedback. If you’re not seeing the click-through or conversion rates you’d like to, you may need to tweak your wording or better target your email lists. Using feedback (or lack of same), you can fine-tune your marketing efforts for higher ROI.

Your customers are a gold mine of information, and it’s up to you to monitor and analyze your data to continually improve your business. No business today can afford to stagnate. To be successful in this competitive market, you must be in constant motion, building on your most attractive features and improving your worst.

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. Megan has several years of experience on the topics of small business marketing, copywriting, SEO, online conversions and social media. Megan spends much of her time establishing new relationships for ChamberofCommerce.com, publishing weekly newsletters educating small business on the importance of web presence, and contributing to a number of publications on the web. Megan can be reached at megan@chamberofcommerce.com.
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3 ways to promote your YouTube channel http://socialmedia.biz/2017/02/02/3-ways-to-promote-your-youtube-channel/ Thu, 02 Feb 2017 11:17:11 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=28940 Continue reading ]]> youtube640

Target audience: Businesses, brands, digital marketers, advertising agencies, SEO specialists, entrepreneurs, Web publishers, video producers

Post by Megan Totka
ChamberofCommerce.com

MeganTotkaIf you’ve posted a video to YouTube and it doesn’t get a single view, it’s basically like it doesn’t exist. There are times this does happen, unfortunately, and it is quite frustrating. The platform sees a lot of action – nearly 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every single minute. This makes it challenging for businesses that aspire to get their message out to the public. How to get your videos seen?

As a rapidly growing number of businesses home in on creating video content, it becomes essential that you find ways to make your brand stand out from the others so it doesn’t get lost in the noise. It takes time and skill to promote your YouTube channel, and making sure you do it well makes the difference between your content hearing crickets or getting a standing ovation.

Take a look at these three ways you can use YouTube video promotion and make sure your videos shine bright.

Think of great titles

1When your audience is trying to decide if they should to take the time to watch a video on YouTube, the title of it will help them make a decision. Viewers only want to spend a few minutes of their precious time watching a video if it sounds relevant and helpful. You know why video should be part of your online marketing strategy, now you need to do the things it takes to make your audience watch those videos. Create a title that is descriptive, include keywords and keep it brief.

If the title of your video is too long and part of the name doesn’t fit or it doesn’t include a correct description, you probably won’t be getting many clicks. Boost discoverability though the use of appropriate keywords that relate to your content. A strong title is the best way to encourage your audience to view your video.

Create clear YouTube thumbnails

2Another key component to promoting your YouTube channel is to create a clear thumbnail. No matter how great your title is, if your thumbnail image is irrelevant, your target audience is less likely to click or share your video.

In order to create the best thumbnail, make sure it’s as big as possible with a resolution of 1280×720 and a width of 640 pixels or larger. Upload it in image formats like .GIF, .JPG, .PNG, or .BMP. Make sure to keep the image below the 2MB limit.

One of many secrets to revving up your company’s social channels is to ensure your content flows well. Using a clear thumbnail is one key to the success of your YouTube channel.

Optimize your YouTube channel

3 Make sure your profile is compelling with an in-depth description that tells what your channel stands for. Your profile should align with your social presence across the board when it comes to color choices, logos, backgrounds, social media icons, and customer banners and layouts.

Customers want a consistent experience, and by branding your channel you give your customers what they see reflected elsewhere. You’ll likely see your audience grow if your voice is distinct and your YouTube channel echoes the brand you’ve been working hard to build.

YouTube is like any other social network – it can do a lot for your business when done well. Use your other social media networks to share your link to your YouTube channel, your website, your blog and your email signature. Simultaneously, share your YouTube videos and content on your social media accounts to grow your community outside of YouTube.

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. Megan has several years of experience on the topics of small business marketing, copywriting, SEO, online conversions and social media. Megan spends much of her time establishing new relationships for ChamberofCommerce.com, publishing weekly newsletters educating small business on the importance of web presence, and contributing to a number of publications on the web. Megan can be reached at megan@chamberofcommerce.com.
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Tips to boost your video marketing (infographic) http://socialmedia.biz/2017/01/12/tips-to-boost-your-video-marketing-infographic/ Thu, 12 Jan 2017 08:43:59 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=28901 Continue reading ]]> infographic-banner

Post by Take 1 Transcription

Studies show that 69 percent of consumers would choose video over text to learn about a product or service. So are you doing all you can to give your business’s video marketing a boost? Here are some tips to enhance your video marketing.

Videos should have a unique message and should include ingredients that promote social sharing. Keep in mind that stand-alone videos can’t rank highly by themselves: Search engines can’t tell what’s inside the videos so they index only the text on your page. So you need to use an effective description with keywords in the title tag. With the proper use of SEO elements, your video can reach a larger audience.

Also, it has been shown that use of closed captions can increase YouTube views by an average of about 13% over the first two weeks. Closed captioning can broaden your reach among non-native speakers but also among viewers in office environments where audio is discouraged. Effective titling will draw viewers who aren’t going to take the trouble of playing the video to learn what it’s about.

If you supplement the video with an accompanying transcript, search engines will index the multimedia content more effectively, increasing the search traffic to your site. Adding subtitles to your video is another effective tactic.

For more information on how to boost your video marketing and overall marketing reach, check out this infographic from Take 1 Transcription.

how-your-videos-can-become-a-search-engines-best-friend-1-768x6720

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Kimberly-Clark uses social quiz to woo talent http://socialmedia.biz/2016/11/04/kimberly-clark-uses-social-quiz-to-woo-talent/ Fri, 04 Nov 2016 17:00:56 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=28787 Continue reading ]]> Welcome Original Thinkers WOTQuiz Kimberly-Clark WOT

welcome original thinkers quiz halloweenChris AbrahamAre you an original thinker? You can quickly find out by taking the Welcome Original Thinkers Quiz (WOTQuiz)—I’m an Adaptor:

“You enjoy exploring every side of an issue and like a wicked great maestro you tease out the positive in each approach. Your resourcefulness and ability to easily adapt to the latest input often makes you the one who finds answers to the most challenging questions.”

What did you get? Please be sure to let me know in the comments.

Kimberly-Clark created a BuzzFeed-inspired quiz to discover their own Original Thinker type and then are rewarded with a new emoji badge suitable for social sharing, as well as an invitation to find out about original thinkers at Kimberly-Clark.

BOOve over Silicon Valley, Austin, TECHxas, and the Big Apple; welcome original thinkers to Neenah, Wisconsin, where young creative chemical and product engineers can find the job of their dreams.

wotemojisKimberly-Clark is looking for bright, talented thinkers who are eager to explore ideas, solve problems, and be part of collaborative teams and a performance-based culture that is focused on being number one in its markets. They’re using this online quiz to help prospective employees learn what kind of thinkers they are, what kind of jobs they’d best fit, and in the process, show that the 144-year-old paper and personal-care products company and its Neenah home base are cool and offers a balance of life that’s probably more fulfilling than a lot of other places. Kimberly-Clark’s culture is one where employees can and do routinely turn their ideas into winning, profitable and life-changing solutions.

As part of this campaign, my agency, Gerris Corp, is helping Kimberly-Clark get the word out using an extensive and aggressive earned-media micro-influencer marketing campaign in close formation with Kimberly-Clark’s People Strategy department and their AOR, Relish Marketing.

01-ot-emojis-donotsaveover-13I first worked with Kimberly-Clark back in 2008 to help reduce the spread of healthcare associated infections and, after eight more years, we get to work together again. From HAIWatch to WOTQuiz!

Again, this is a campaign where we’re targeting influencer verticals in order to engage them, share the quick fun quiz with them, and then brief them on what the campaign’s about and why Kimberly-Clark is promoting a personality quiz in the first place.

So far, people are in love with the different types of personality types, including the dreamer, analyzer, disrupter, muse, adaptor, nonconformist, maker, and inventor.

Our goal is the same as the goal of the quiz: get folks to take the quiz, find out their Original Thinker type, and then share their emoji badges via social media, sharing with all their friends via Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

01-ot-emojis-donotsaveover-14Sounds easy, but easier said than done. “If you build it, they will come” never works so we get to be the vanguard of the movement, sparking and catalyzing all viral-making fun!

In support of this campaign, we’ve built a gorgeous Social Media News Release (SMNR)wotquizinfo.com—the nicest one we’ve ever built for a campaign, and we’ve registered a bespoke domain name, wotquiz.com, to make sure everything is very simple and accessible to anyone we message.

Earned media micro-influencer marketing doesn’t need to be limited to consumer campaigns for unicorn companies like Skinny Coconut Oil. Earned-media micro-influencer marketing works beautifully in the service of hearts and minds campaigns such as quizzes, tests, and polls.

Let me know if you have any questions. If you’d like more information, feel free to contact me.

Via Biznology

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Best practices in nurturing leads into sales http://socialmedia.biz/2016/10/25/best-practices-in-nurturing-leads-into-sales/ Tue, 25 Oct 2016 08:25:26 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=28770 Continue reading ]]> pipeline
jasonwoodhead23 / Creative Commons BY

Are you analyzing and optimizing your sales pipeline?

Target audience: Businesses, brands, digital marketers, advertising agencies, SEO specialists, entrepreneurs, Web publishers

Post by Megan Totka
ChamberofCommerce.com

MeganTotkaYour bottom line lives in your sales pipeline. Do you know where it’s breaking down? The sales process starts at first contact, when a customer browses your website. That first contact may initiate from a web search, a social media connection, or a marketing strategy. From that moment, you need to be nurturing your relationship.

While every buyer is different, you can use your data to analyze patterns and find out where you’re losing sales, and what buyers are likely to do next. Understanding the buyer decision process is the first step.

Your customers want to know how your offering fits into their lives

The wealth of information and ease of ordering almost anything online provides both great opportunity and intense competition. Winners and losers are often determined by the kind and amount of attention customers receive. Here are the best practices for nurturing different types of leads.

The first contact. When visitors come to your website for the first time, will they find what they came for? Product or service information might not be enough. Your customers want to know how your offering fits into their lives, they want to know they can trust you, and they want to feel good about buying from you.

Start your journey by offering in-depth information, case studies, user reviews, and customer recommendations. Give them an opportunity to opt in for more, and when they do, send them a warm welcome and an offer of help.

The unknown. The most common way to lose sales is through lack of data tracking. When your web analytics are on point, you have a wealth of information about your visitors: where they came from, what they did when they reached your page, what interested them most, where they went next.

Comprehensive web data analysis can help you redesign your website based on what visitors respond best to; add the kind of content they spend the most time on and refine your marketing efforts to maximize click-throughs.

Understand your customer to personalize the offers they get

Customer data fills in the rest of the blanks. Collect information from every source in your CRM (customer relationship management system), including social media, invoices, your sales and customer service departments. The more you understand your customer, the more you can personalize your offers.

The dropout. Study data trends to see where you’re losing warm leads. Follow up with people who chose to buy from somewhere else, and find out why. Once you’ve found the answer, fix the problem … and lure lost sales back with a highly targeted, personalized content.

Fixing the holes in your pipeline will take dedicated sleuthing. You’ll have to ask some uncomfortable questions, follow up with uninterested people, and check the notes in your CRM for comments from disgruntled customers.

The drifter. Potential customers can simply drift away over time. Keep their interest with well-timed contact, social media touches, and exclusive events. FOMO (fear of missing out) can be your best friend when consumers lose interest. Offer great deals for very limited times, on goods or services you know they are interested in.

Cross-channel marketing is especially useful here. By connecting with leads across on the social media channels they call home gives you unprecedented access to making the kind of emotional connection that leads to a deep customer relationship.

The sleeper. Old customers who bought once and haven’t returned could be a hidden goldmine. You know them, and they know you. You should have all the information you need to regain their interest and pull them in for a new offer. Even though most companies focus their spend on acquiring new customers, repeat customers are more valuable.

Never forget to show customers you value their business. This is where great customer service and personalized content comes in. Without overwhelming your contacts with invasive emails or other touches, offer them tips and updates, and ask for feedback. Keep in touch regularly, but don’t overdo it.

The secret to lead nurturing in any stage of the pipeline is targeting. Your emails and offers have to be interesting, and for that, make sure your email list is properly segmented. Consumers are bombarded by offers and accustomed to ignoring them. To get their attention, your offer has to be exactly what they want and need, timed to reach them when they are most likely to be interested.

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. Megan has several years of experience on the topics of small business marketing, copywriting, SEO, online conversions and social media. Megan spends much of her time establishing new relationships for ChamberofCommerce.com, publishing weekly newsletters educating small business on the importance of web presence, and contributing to a number of publications on the web. Megan can be reached at megan@chamberofcommerce.com.

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Prospecting for new clients with social media http://socialmedia.biz/2016/10/07/prospecting-for-new-clients-with-social-media/ Fri, 07 Oct 2016 09:13:27 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=28750 Continue reading ]]> Photo by mkhmarketing / Creative Commons BY

Photo by mkhmarketing / Creative Commons BY

Bootstrapping your startup? Don’t know where to find new customers? Social media is your best friend

Post by Michael Gorman

Target audience: Startups, businesses, brands, digital marketers, advertising agencies, SEO specialists, entrepreneurs, educators, journalists, Web publishers.

michael-gorman120Starting up a new business is a special undertaking that requires a lot of preparation, planning and action. Lots of things should be executed well to ensure that the business gets off to a great start. However, startups often face serious issues that can prevent them from growing further, such as a lack of clients. That’s a serious challenge — no customers or clients can mean no revenues.

Increasingly, today’s marketers working with startups or small businesses with bare-bones budgets point to social media because it basically amounts to an enormous base of potential leads. Social media platforms are thus at the forefront of customer acquisition strategies of many modern startups, and some of them completely rely on social media.

If you face the issue of finding customers, exploring what social media can do for your business just makes sense. Let’s review some of the reasons why your startup needs social media marketing to attract new clients or customers.

It drives targeted traffic

1Do you want to have a large volume of visitors coming to your website on a daily basis? Social media can do that! Creating posts on your business page on Facebook, Instagram or other social media platforms is great because they can be viewed by hundreds and thousands of potential leads every day. However, this can happen only if you post information that is useful for the viewers and persuade them to click on the post that redirects them to your landing page or pages with a call to action. As the result, social media is bringing new leads and can reduce up to 45 percent of marketing costs.

It facilitates building real relationships with customers

2A person’s profile on social media is a window into their world that allows us to get insights into their lives. What that means to you as a startup owner is that you can get to know what is interesting for people and why they’re buying particular products. Having this insight provides you with a powerful advantage because you can provide the information the people need in their posts. According to a recent survey by J.D. Power & Associates, more than 80 percent of satisfied customers claimed that their online interaction with the company “positively influenced” their likelihood of making a purchase from them. Amazing, no?

The competition goes social

3More than 90 percent of companies use more than one social media site to attract new clients. A marketing expert from writing company Proessaywriting suggests that this trend is likely to continue because half of all adults use at least one social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and this number increases every year. Apparently, the brands will continue to battle for the customers’ attention on social media because this base is expanding with the speed of light. Your business should not miss this opportunity as well.

Social media levels the chances of getting new customers

4Before the era of social media, companies spent lots of money on advertising while others could not enjoy this luxury because of smaller marketing budgets. Today, however, the rules of the marketing arena have changed because even startups with small marketing budgets can engage as many leads as large ones. Any startup or business can reach new customers by offering valuable content (not marketing schlock). For example, if you offer website visitors the summary of an important marketing report by posting the highlights on social media, they don’t have to pay big bucks to get the report itself.

Social media gets more attention to your products

5Let’s back this up by examining some figures. Facebook has helped around 70 percent of B2C companies to acquire clients in 2014, and this number is expected to increase. Next, according to Lenati, more than 80 percent of managers and CEOs use social media to make purchasing decisions. All these data suggest one thing: Social media plays a significant role in helping to generate more sales. Your startup needs to be one step ahead and stay visible on Facebook and Twitter to ensure that the clients will consider it as a good purchasing option. Here are some good tips on how to improve your posts.

Conclusion

If you’re struggling with finding new clients, consider social media marketing. No, it’s not about posting photos of random funny stuff — you can use it for some serious client prospecting and lead generation. And you can’t beat the price.

Michael Gorman is an expert blogger in London. Michael stays on top of the trends in blogging, digital marketing and social media. Feel free to contact him on his Facebook page.
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How to get your social media audience engaging with you elsewhere, too http://socialmedia.biz/2016/09/28/how-to-get-your-social-media-audience-engaging-with-you-elsewhere-too/ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:45:51 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=28734 Continue reading ]]> Post by Adi Englander

adi-englander

Cross-channel engagement has some major advantages. Social media is still the best place to build a loyal following and engage with your audience. The major social channels are where people discover content, build relationships with brands and even source peer recommendations. But for the most part, lead nurture and closing sales happens elsewhere.

Shoppers who use social media as part of their buying processes are four times more likely to spend more as a result of their social interactions than non-users are. What’s more, when people don’t integrate social media into their buyers’ journeys, 70% of them will convert on the same day that they conduct their research. When social media interactions are involved, same-day sales conversions shoot up to 90%.

Clearly, brands need to be active on these channels, so they can be a part of the conversation. But savvy marketers need to remember that social media isn’t where the interaction ends. So how do you get your social media followers to take action and engage with you on other channels? Here are some of the best ways to do just that.

Publish a Newsletter and Promote It With Social Posts

Publishing a newsletter is a great way to cross-pollinate the two most desirable types of audiences—email subscribers and social media followers. By promoting your email newsletter with social posts, you can help advance your social audience members further down the funnel. You can also use social and a curated newsletter to deliver similar content through different channels. Think a quality newsletter takes too much time? Think again—Curated is changing the way brands build and publish email newsletters by making the process of collecting newsletter content easy.

Curated Screenshot

Image source: https://curated.co/features

Offer a Free Webinar to Add Value and Capture Emails

If you have an engaged social audience and want to get them feeling more invested in your solution, use your social channels to promote a free webinar on a topic that your audience cares about and your product addresses. Using a tool like ClickMeeting to host your webinar, you can run a compelling presentation in real-time and capture audience emails as leads for later follow up. Now you can send your best marketing content (like that high-quality Curated newsletter you’re now using, for example) straight to their inboxes. You can even edit your webinar recording later on to create bite-sized video clips for your product pages.

Clickmeeting Facebook Integration

Image source: http://appcenter.clickmeeting.com/integration/facebook-integration

Stalk Your Most Engaged Followers

Stalking has taken on a new meaning in the internet age – and it’s usually associated with people you admire. In this case, people who like you enough to click on the links you post on social media can be shown banner ads for your products on other websites afterwards, keeping your brand top-of mind at all times. Retarget Links, a URL shortener with premium features, allows marketers to build retargeting audiences based on clickthroughs – even when the URL leads to a site you have nothing to do with.

Retarget Links

Image source: http://retargetlinks.com/

Host an AMA

Odds are high that some portion of your audience spends on some bookmarking/upvoting/forum platform. Whether it’s on the go-to for Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions (Reddit) or some niche forum specific to your industry (marketers are partial to GrowthHackers, for example), AMAs can be great ways to grow your brand and drive traffic to your website.

GH AMA

Image source: https://growthhackers.com/amas/live-jul-12-ama-with-kevan-lee-marketing-and-content-at-buffer

Entice Them With Interactive Fun

Social platforms are already a great way to interact with audiences. But by building, publishing and promoting a quiz or other interactive content that lives elsewhere (like, say, your website), you can get audiences to engage with you in new ways from places they already are. Tools like LeadQuizzes are great for this type of media.

LeadQuizzes

Image source: https://twitter.com/TelegraphSport/status/680477562854862849

Turn Your Tweets to Leads

Just like you can link your audience to interactive content outside of social, you can use your punchy social media content to create direct lead generation cards. This feature makes it easier than ever to capture audience members’ email addresses, though you still need to come up with the great tweets yourself. Developed to work as a type of promoted tweet that allows respondents to skip the need to opt in via a landing page, Twitter lead generation cards can actually be attached to organic tweets as well.

Twitter Leads Generation

Image source: https://twitter.com/dropwines/status/337610294056595456

Create a Social Hub Outside of Social

Oftentimes, audiences that engage across multiple social channels wish they could just see it all in one place. And now, thanks to tools like Tint, they can. By aggregating your own content and posts from other relevant people and brands, you can get your social media audience to track your curated discussions on a hosted page instead of their busy newsfeeds.

Cisco Social Media

Image source: http://socialmedia.cisco.com/

Drive Cross-Social Engagement

Every social platform is optimized for different types of content and different modes of interaction. Some brands prefer certain channels over others. Use all of your social channels to direct audiences to your other social channels. Embedding YouTube videos in your posts is a great start, promoting your Snapchat Snapcode, or even directing them to Messenger for Business. For example, your LinkedIn followers might not know you post the best Vimeo videos out there, but by showing this content off on LinkedIn, they’re now more engaged with your brand’s core content and their connection with the brand is deeper and closer to a sale.

IBM Snapchat

Image source: https://twitter.com/ibm/status/721064476573716480/

Farther Down the Funnel

Every brand has a slightly different funnel, because we all deal in different content, different sales conversion mechanisms and different products for different audiences. But we all want to accompany our leads further down the funnel to create sales.

By getting your social media audiences to engage with your brand outside of the friendly confines of social media, you’re getting them closer to being sales-ready. And by using the power of social media to influence their buying habits, you’re also priming them for increased spending, more confident buying and stronger loyalty.

A few new tools and some cross-promotion can go a long way. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to moving your audience further down your funnel, whatever that looks like.

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7 ways to generate a Facebook following for your small business http://socialmedia.biz/2016/08/04/7-ways-to-generate-a-facebook-following-for-your-small-business/ Thu, 04 Aug 2016 09:32:40 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=28641 Continue reading ]]> facebook-emoticons

Post by Megan Totka
ChamberofCommerce.com

MeganTotkaSmall businesses can support their online marketing activities through a presence on Facebook, such as a Facebook page. In fact, a survey by Hubspot found that 84 percent of respondents expect small businesses to have a presence on Facebook. If you don’t have a page for your small business yet, it’s past time. Don’t underestimate the importance of a Facebook page and growing your community — you can use Facebook to promote your business on a daily basis.

Growing your business does have its challenges, especially as more and more businesses are creating pages and competing for likes. There are many ways businesses fail on social media. Instead of letting that happen, take a look at these 7 ways to generate a Facebook following and convert likes into more business.

Add photos and videos

Facebook has an easy-to-use photo and video upload function – so take advantage of it. Show off your small business, the products you sell and the services you offer. Use it to connect with your fans, too, through videos of yourself and your team and answer common questions with video how-tos.

Ask a question

Use the status updates function to get your fans talking by asking a question. Consider true/false questions or ask for advice so people have the opportunity to chance and help or give their opinion.

Keep in relevant

It’s great to focus on your small business, yet it’s smart to inject some personality to your page by posting and sharing off-topic from time to time. Focus mostly on what is happening within your business and aim to share primarily relevant content for your audience.

Promote your small business Facebook page

Include your Facebook page URL on your website, blog, business cards and even your email signature. Add it to marketing materials you distribute, too. You need to tell people about your page and encourage them to visit it if you want to grow your following.

Be consistent

Have a consistent presence on Facebook; don’t disappear for weeks. This doesn’t mean you have to be logged on and engaging your followers 24/7, it just means your fans need to know that you are there. Take the time to answer questions and participate in conversations with your community. Set a schedule for posting and don’t sway away from it.

Blog about your Facebook page

Chances are you have a small business blog. Make sure you mention your Facebook page in a blog post. Explain the benefits of liking your page and joining your community. Whether you are promoting your business at a local level or targeting people around the country, consider offering incentives for people who like your page. Good ideas are a one-time coupon or special deal unique for your followers only.

Get involved

It’s smart to like other Facebook pages that are related to your industry. Take the time to join in discussions on those pages. It will get people who are interested in your industry to notice your business and likely head to your page and like it, too.

You may have a solid marketing strategy, but it’s really important to make sure you’re an effective Facebook marketer. Facebook is home to millions of active small-business pages, so it’s smart to take some steps to ensure your page doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

How do you get your small business Facebook page noticed?

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. Megan has several years of experience on the topics of small business marketing, copywriting, SEO, online conversions and social media. Megan spends much of her time establishing new relationships for ChamberofCommerce.com, publishing weekly newsletters educating small business on the importance of web presence, and contributing to a number of publications on the web. Megan can be reached at megan@chamberofcommerce.com.
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6 ways social media can improve customer service http://socialmedia.biz/2016/06/27/how-social-media-can-improve-customer-service/ Mon, 27 Jun 2016 10:01:53 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=28560 Continue reading ]]> customer-service

Post by Megan Totka
ChamberofCommerce.com

MeganTotka

Your business probably already has a social media presence. Surely you’re using social media for marketing and branding purposes. Did you know that you can leverage social media to improve customer satisfaction and increase repeat business? If you’re smart, you’re always looking for the best ways to keep your customers happy. Make sure your social media channels are doing just that.

Be Part of Their Community

In 2016, calling a business (only -gasp- during business hours) or sending an email is akin to sending feedback via carrier pigeon. For most businesses, it’s true that your customers spend significant time on social media interacting with brands. Why expect them to sit on hold or wait days for an email reply when they can reach out to you via social media? You shouldn’t.

Tweeting your business or sending you a Facebook message is quicker and easier. Be sure to follow basic social media etiquette to help you avoid any embarrassing blunders. Actively engage in the community where your customers are spending their time.

Response Time

Being an active part of any social media community gives you the ability to respond immediately, which is what most customers expect. Your availability via social media will vary depending on the size of your business, but generally the faster your response, the better. If you’re big enough to hire someone to manage your social media accounts, do it. You can also automate responses on some social media channels. Automation is recommended highly by some, but if you choose to use it, do so sparingly. No one likes interaction with a bot. An automatic response frequently comes off as cold and dismissive. It reflects even more poorly if you never follow up with a real human response.

Respond to Everyone

Along with responding to direct messages or private messages, you should be monitoring all your social media channels for mentions. Posts that mention or tag you directly and those using a hashtag with your business name or any marketing hashtags you’ve created. If one of your customers geotags an image from your store and captions it “Look at this cute thing I bought! #yourshop,” you should respond with a comment saying something nice, such as “Thanks for coming into the shop today. We hope to see you again soon!”

It really doesn’t matter whether the person is addressing their post to your business, nor whether the mention is positive or negative, always respond.

Go Above and Beyond — Once in a While

It’s pretty easy to play fun games or run contests on social media. Your customers enjoy it. It’s good for business. But to punch up your customer service, you have to take it beyond fun marketing ploys. Consider surprising a random customer who posts about you with free product or with a very personalized response, such as Samsung’s unicycle-riding kangaroo. Of course, you can’t do that all time. It’s important to back up the occasional act of kindness with consistently stellar customer service.

Don’t Lash Out at Critics

It’s just not possible to please every person, but if you deal with the situation properly a customer can be really angry about an issue and ultimately walk away happy. It is too easy to rattle off a quick response to someone when you’re feeling defensive. No matter what, do not do this. If you need to take a walk, do it. Calm down. Ask someone else for perspective. If it’s the place for a long form response, type up some rough drafts in a document first. Don’t just blow off responding to an angry customer either. Respond soon, calmly, and focus your response on addressing their concerns. Even if you can’t please them, others will see how you respond to public criticism. Their impressions can affect your business in a big way.

Collect Data

Responding to each customer directly is great, but keeping track of trends in their feedback is just as important. If you see a trend in complaints about one aspect of your business, fix the problem. The sooner, the better. Make sure you share those changes with your customers when you make them. “You told us you hate Product XYZ, so we got rid of it. Let us introduce you to Product ABC, which does all the things you asked for!” In this way, your customers can see that you’re not just placating them with coupons on social media, but that you truly value their feedback and business.

Social media is free. Almost all your customers are already there. By approaching social media armed with these tips, some kindness, and smarts, you can improve customer service and customer satisfaction.

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the Web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. Megan has several years of experience on the topics of small business marketing, copywriting, SEO, online conversions and social media. Reach her at megan@chamberofcommerce.com.
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