eBusiness Blog

Customer Service Strategies in a Digital World

Customer Service and PR in the Digital World

How to get your social media presence set up right so you can deal with customer complaints like a Pro

With social media being so prevalent, users often take to their favourite channel with their complaints.

75% of users surveyed said they include social media when evaluating a purchase.

32% want a response within 30 minutes and 42% expect a response in under an hour!

When you set up your social media keep that in mind.

How to use social media for customer service

Using social media to manage customer complaints may seem like a burden but the payoff is repeat business and happy customers.

Users often take to the majors like Twitter and Facebook.  Don’t shy away from either even if you’ve received some nasty feedback in the past.

When you initially set up your accounts you entered an email to register and you’ve probably noticed unless you changed the settings you get an email every time someone is active on your page/profile.

If you find this bothersome try creating an email like customerservice@example.com that forwards to your own account or the account of an employee whose job it is to monitor your online presence.

If it’s directed to your own email create a folder or label specifically for customer service or PR that these emails automatically go to. Don’t let it get lost in your emails though or you’ll miss alerts.

*Depending on your email setup this will vary in execution*

These alerts will let you know when you have a new comment or message on your profile.

When you get one have a response protocol ready. You don’t want to jump on a complaint and then have to wait 2 days for a decision-maker to draft their response.

One single meeting with your team on customer service/PR protocol on social platforms can save you a lot of headaches.

Have canned responses ready

Use Social Media to make your customers happy. Learn how to use social for customer serviceClick To Tweet

Canned responses refer to an automatically generated response that is prompted by the user contacting you. You may have seen these in the past and wondered how they get set up; now you get to set them up for yourself:

Twitter

Twitter rolled out some great tools last year for users who operate their business online:

https://business.twitter.com/i/settings/support

That link allows you to upgrade your account with messages that will automatically send to anyone who messages you directly and will show users that you provide this option.

You account will show your support hours and users will see that you take their feedback seriously.

This is a great signal to Google too – that you’re serious about your business and helping customers.

If you want more help using Twitter try our section dedicated to using Twitter for business.

Facebook

Facebook also allows you to set up your account to help communicate with customers via instant messaging. To turn on instant replies to any instant message to your business’s page follow these instructions:

To turn on Instant Replies for your Page:

  1. Click Settings at the top of your Page
  2. Click Messaging in the left column
  3. Below Response Assistant, click to select Yes next to Send Instant Replies to anyone who messages your Page
  4. To change your instant reply message, click Change, update the message and click Save

To turn off Instant Replies:

  1. Click Settings at the top of your Page
  2. Click Messaging in the left column
  3. Below Response Assistant, click to select No next to Send Instant Replies to anyone who messages your Page

You can direct users in both instances towards a contact email or simply let them know you’ll review their message within the next 24 hours and respond.

Once you have these set up, how you use them is entirely up to you. Each were only available within the last 2 years so not all businesses have adapted yet but those that have done it have set user’s expectations.

For more tips on using Facebook look at our section all about using Facebook to grow your business.

Monitor your reviews

Whether it’s Yelp (who’s results are now actually trending in SERPs) Google reviews, or Facebook reviews (if you have them turned on) it’s very important to stay on top of your reviews. There could be even more players in your niche so be on the lookout for sites dedicated to reviewing your products or services.

If you get a bad one you don’t want to remove it. That would defeat the purposes of the reviews.

Instead use the platform’s response option to address the reviewer’s concerns.

By demonstrating to users you take their feedback and complaints seriously you show them they can trust they’ll be treated with the same respect should things go wrong between you and them.

The point of PR and customer feedback should not be to defend yourself outright.

While some users may be serial complainers or even thieves always assume the best in the customer.

Use their complaint or question as an opportunity to possibly address something within your business you should have paid attention to a long time ago.

Often you’ll find the customer has either made an error or there’s a genuine issue you need to address with your business.

Whatever the case, keep in mind what you post will be what users see when reading up on your company. Not only that but Google looks for signals of a bad business in online engagement and reviews as well.

Position yourself as a responsible business owner who will address their concerns, so whenever someone reads about your business they get the right impression.

Just because a lot of customer service has moved online doesn’t change the fact that your business needs to give a good impression to potential users/customers. Put a smile on people’s faces as much as possible and your social media can really help you grow.

To your ongoing success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. New to Social Media and online marketing or find it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.
>> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Customer Service in the Digital WorldClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

What a Baby Giraffe Teaches Us About Viral Campaigns

What a Baby Giraffe Teaches Us About Viral Campaigns

5 Ways You Can Boost Your Business Exposure

Looking for your next big marketing campaign?  Could your business use a brand exposure boost?

You may want to take a lesson from the Animal Adventure Park in New York.

April the Giraffe is close to giving birth any moment now.  Millions worldwide have been captivated on YouTube, watching April the Giraffe’s journey to giving birth (and yes, I’m guilty to admit I too am one of them!).

While following April’s progress from when the Adventure Park thought she was near her delivery date may have started to be a simple enough event, the world began to take notice and April’s pregnancy quickly went viral.

Interestingly, the live feed was installed to help the staff monitor her without needing to be in the barn 24-7. They thought it would be fun to make this feed available to the public at the same time.

Little did they know within days they would have millions of viewers watching April’s every move, anxious to not miss the big event.

In fact, if you read the comments on their Facebook page, you’ll see just how many are intently keeping tabs on the big girl and her mate Oliver in the pen next to her.

While being a daily follower (good thing I have 3 monitors so can always easily check in to see what she’s up to), the huge success of this campaign has me thinking about the lessons we business owners can learn about strengthening our brand identity using this unique case study.

April the Giraffe provides an excellent case study on viral marketing and brand exposureClick To Tweet

So here’s 5 ways you too can build your business exposure as we examine a few tactics from April’s playbook:

  1. Live Video

    Who can resist the thought of seeing a baby animal? Baby animals are a huge draw and April’s soon-to-be-born baby is no exception.
     
    Having a live video allows people to feel they are a part of the experience. Aside from YouTube, Facebook LIVE, Instagram Stories and Snapchat all have a live feed ability. What can you share live that your followers would find of interest?
     
    Remember people don’t want to be marketed to; they want to be a part of something and be entertained.  And once they become part of the story, they get addicted.
     
    Live video is great marketing and an excellent way of building your brand reach.

    Live video is great marketing and an excellent way of building your brand reachClick To Tweet
  2. Sponsorship

    Not only has the Animal Adventure Park gotten incredible visibility out of April the giraffe, but they also turned it into a revenue generating activity.
     
    If you notice, Toys R Us is a sponsor for their video feed.  That’s an excellent fit considering their Geoffrey the Giraffe is the mascot of Toys R Us and kids love the zoo. If you are looking to get a gift for your child then check out my kid needs that’s guide.
     
    The Park set up a Go Fund Me Account and a page asking for other corporate sponsors who want to cash in on the exposure for their brand.

  3. Social Media

    Twice a day, updates are added to the Park’s Facebook page giving their fans insider information about April’s progress.
     
    Fans get to see close-up pictures and read about the latest vet reports of this mama Giraffe to be.  This has been a very effective hook to boost Facebook likes for their business page.

  4. Custom Emoji

    Emoji’s have become a very popular part of pop culture and the Adventure Park capitalized on this by offering an April the Giraffe emoji to their fans.
     
    Why not make your own emoji to create buzz for your own marketing campaign? Make it easy for fans to spread the news for you! Plus, emoji’s are downright fun. Who can resist?

  5. Live Chats

    Every night the Park staff enable the live chat feature on YouTube and respond to as many fans as possible. It literally is a zoo during these chats! Thousands show up to ask questions, make a donation to boost their question’s visibility, and be a part of the whole experience.
     
    Facebook LIVE is a great tool to facilitate live chats. It provides an opportunity for you to showcase your expertise as well as your brand and offer a way for your followers to get to know, like and trust you more.

    Facebook LIVE is a great tool to facilitate live chatsClick To Tweet

Launch Your Own Viral Campaign

Today’s media has changed the way consumers interact with brands.  Your potential customers are exposed to thousands of marketing messages every day.

No one wants to be sold to, but everyone wants to buy.

Which companies do they choose to shop with?  The ones who create community, engagement, and an incredible brand experience just like how the Animal Adventure Park did.

So stick your neck out like April the Giraffe has and you’ll give birth to greater sales and visibility for your business.

Want to learn more about social media and the tactics you can use to help build your brand exposure?

21 Day Social Media Challenge April 17th

I’m holding a 21 Day Social Media Challenge starting Monday, April 17th. For only $21 you will receive bite-sized tips and strategies on social media every day for 21 days.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE 21 DAY SOCIAL MEDIA CHALLENGE TODAY!

To your success,

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

What a Baby Giraffe Teaches Us About Viral CampaignsClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

13 of the Best Ways to Generate Leads with Social Media

13 of the Best Ways to Generate Leads with Social Media

I’ve been thinking about one of the biggest reasons why businesses and entrepreneurs take the time to be on social media. Aside from showing off their cute pets or grandbabies, it’s to help grow their business.

When wanting to grow our business, we often think of the more tradition methods of marketing and advertising. As an example, typical advertising channels are newspaper, radio and TV ads. Where typical marketing includes SEO, PR, and Direct Mail campaigns to name a few.

But when we look to social media to help with this, the approach needs to be different  than those more traditional methods of getting qualified business leads.

Marking a business on social media needs a different approach from traditional marketingClick To Tweet

And that approach is through a method called “inbound, pull or relationship marketing“.

Pull and relationship marketing relies on developing relationships with prospects before doing any overt promotion. The premise being people, especially women, tend to do business with others who they already know, like and trust.

In fact, according to Nielsen, 83% of consumers will trust the recommendations of family and friends so it’s our goal as business owners to gain that trust.

83% of consumers trust family & friends recommendations making relationship marketing importantClick To Tweet

So how does one go about gaining trust and generating qualified leads from social media?

Here’s 13 best ways to attracting qualified leads to your business:

  1. Establish yourself as being knowledgeable in your industry. Do this through your blog, newsletter, and the types of posts you add to your social media accounts.
     
    This authority will build trust with your followers as they learn more and more about what you do, and your expertise in that field.
  2. Pick the best channels for you to get visible on and focus just on those. Don’t try to spread yourself too thin by being everywhere.
     
    Instead of chasing after the social media channels that are getting a lot of attention, ask yourself this important question: “Where is my target audience hanging out?”
     
    Then go build your brand presence there.
  3. Be on social media with the intent of being helpful, not on pushing your wares. People smell desperation a mile away and it’s a turn-off to most.
     
    Instead of always trying to “push” your products or services on others, “pull” them in by being engaged with them. Comment, like and share their posts. Answer questions that are genuinely helpful.
     
    Developing trusting relationships will give you greater returns in the long run than doing nothing but promoting yourself.
  4. Provide exclusive offers just for your loyal followers. In between posting informative posts, sprinkle in special offers, discount codes, contests or giveaways that are exclusive to your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram followers.
     
    Shortstack offers an easy way to hold Instagram, Facebook and Twitter contests that will also help you stay within those platform’s rules.
  5. Ask for a referral after someone has made a purchase. When an online purchase is made, the purchaser is sent to a “thank you” landing page. Use that page to offer some sort of incentive to share what they bought with their social media followers.
  6. Host a Twitter Chat or Facebook Live show. This is a great opportunity to get in front of your followers and showcase your expertise.
     
    Use the show to have a question and answer session, share a valuable tip, strategy or perhaps some inspiration. Use your imagination and think about what your followers would want from you.
  7. Incorporate a paid ads campaign. Despite what we tend to think, social media is not really a free platform for business.
     
    In order to get the exposure you need to generate solid leads, you need to look at it from a “pay to play” perspective. Invest in Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn ads, depending on where your ideal clients are hanging out the most.
     
    It wouldn’t hurt to supplement your efforts with Google ads too. Google ads can be extremely effective at driving qualified traffic back to your website.
  8. Create a custom tab on Facebook for your free giveaway. Facebook users don’t like leaving that platform so one way to get people to sign up for your free giveaway is to host a custom tab within your Facebook page that provides the signup ability. Here is ours as an example.
     
    Pagemodo offers a means to do this or you can use Static HTML as well.
  9. Add your list of services to your Facebook page. Facebook recently implemented a new feature on the business page that provides an opportunity to showcase your services. Take advantage of this great feature so your followers know what it is you offer!
     
    Here’s ours as an example.
  10. Use Twitter cards. Twitter cards are a great lead generator that has a call to action embedded right in the tweet.
     
    Once the visually eye-catching and compelling tweet is created,  pin it as a feature tweet to the top of your page. This is prime real estate that twitter followers will see when checking you out.
     
    You can view our Twitter card here.
  11. Use video. Video is where it’s at on the social media scene so take full advantage of the excellent exposure it can bring your business.
     
    You can use video on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and of course YouTube to demonstrate how to use your product, share informative tips and strategies, offer inspiration and words of wisdom to name a few ideas.
  12. Add a call to action to your Facebook page. Your Facebook business page has a great feature located right under your header banner that allows you to add in a call to action.
     
    Ask yourself what you want your followers to do once they have discovered your page? You can choose from several options such as booking a service, getting in touch, learning more, making a purchase or donation or downloading an app or game.
  13. Get engaged with your followers. One of the fundamental strategies you can incorporate into your social media efforts is to get involved and engaged with other people and pages posts.
     
    A great way to get more exposure to your page is to like, comment and share other page posts as your page. Find other pages that share the same target market as you and like those pages as your page (as opposed to your personal profile) and make a daily habit of interacting with those posts.
     
    The more you get engaged with your followers, the more they will be aware of who you are, which will begin to develop the know, like and trust factor with them. The more that happens, the more apt they will be to go check you out and if they need what you’re offering, they will then become a lead for your business.

As you can see, there are lots of ways to take advantage of social media’s powerful lead generation possibilities. The key is to be consistent, be strategic and be patient with you efforts. This process has also helped Southern California Home Buyers in Corona, CA find their dream homes!

The key to social media marketing is to be consistent, strategic and patientClick To Tweet

For more in-depth strategies and assistance with hands-on, step-by-step help, check out my monthly Social Blast program specifically created to help entrepreneurs and small businesses use social media and online marketing to help build their business.

Find out more here: www.socialmediagroupcoaching.com

To your success,

Getting Out of Social Media Overwhelm

How Dana Smithers, the founder of Empowered Women In Business, Benefits from Social Media Training

Dana Smithers If you are struggling with how to use social media to make a massive following for your business, you’ll love this interview my marketing assistant, Kristi Notto, had with Dana Smithers recently.

Dana is the founder of Empowered Women in Business and is a Certified Sacred Gifts Guide and a Certified Law of Attraction Trainer.

She was feeling overwhelmed with trying to make social media work for her business and joined my Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs group program a few years ago to help get her the clarity and strategy she was lacking.

Read what she had to say about the difference that Social Blast made in her business: 


Kristie: Tell me a little bit about you and what you do.

Dana: My clients are women solopreneurs who are stuck in their business and not achieving the results that they want for all their hard work. I help them get aligned to their Sacred Gifts and their purpose so they can attract the right clients to build their business.

If there are emotional blocks, I support them through teaching them about the Law of Attraction, and I release negative-trapped emotions with an energy-healing process called the Emotion Code.


Kristie: What challenges were you facing with social media before you joined Social Blast?

Dana: Overwhelm mainly. There are too many people telling you what you need to be doing but not showing you ‘how to’ and also ’why’ one social media platform is better than another.

'Too many are telling you what to do on Social Media but not showing you how' Dana SmithersClick To Tweet


Kristie: When you heard about the Social Blast group what drew you to sign up?

Dana: Susan has been my ‘web goddess’ for almost 10 years and I knew if she was offering a program about how to use social media then it would be not only be professional but very informative.

I want to be ‘leading edge’ when it comes to coaching and mentoring my clients on what they need to be doing with social media to grow their business.


Kristie: What features of Social Blast did you find most helpful?

Dana: Susan asks what topics the group would like covered; she records each session; she has a very step-by-step approach in her material which makes her a great teacher – she makes it fun!


Kristie: What’s the biggest benefit you gained as a result of being a member Social blast?

Dana: Narrowing down the number of social media platforms I was on to make my time more focused and results-oriented.

Since I also mentor women entrepreneurs in which platforms are best for them, I needed to really know how to help them build their business. Everything I learn from Susan I can pass on to them, and I know which platforms are best and I can teach them how to create visibility, get engagement and website traffic.


Kristie: Tell me a story of something exciting that you learned from Social Blast that made a difference for your business.

Dana: Not one thing, but overall I’m now feeling more comfortable experimenting with different scenarios in social media – videos, Facebook Live, checking out Instagram, posts, shares, joining groups, posting graphics versus just text.

I always learn something new on every call.


Kristie: What is the most measurable result you have seen since you joined Social Blast?

Dana: I now have a social media strategy. I spend more time in engagement either posting or commenting.

My Facebook page was hacked in the beginning of the year and my goal was for 1000 likes by the end of the year. I reached 900+ and was happy with that and implementing many of the tools and strategies Susan covered in the Social Blast group program.


Kristie: Anything else you’d like to share?

Dana: I have recommended this program to several of my clients who need more professional advice on social media – it’s affordable and doesn’t take them into overwhelm.

You can always go back to a recording to review something which is a great feature.


Kristie: Thanks so much Dana! We’re excited about the results you got in the Social Blast program and appreciate you sharing about your experience.

Tap into the Power of Social Media Groups to
Drive Sales and Generate Leads

Here’s the deal: you don’t need a big list of followers, you don’t need to be a guru, and you don’t need to be technical when you have the RIGHT strategy.

As a member of my private Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs Membership Program, you’ll get all the knowledge you need to create a detailed plan to unleash the power of social media for your business.

>> Reserve Your Seat Now <<

See you inside!

To your success,

Facebook for Business: Futile or Beneficial?

Facebook for Business: Futile or Beneficial?

7 Facebook Facts Every Business Should be Aware of for 2017

Does your business have a Facebook presence?  If so, have you been actively capitalizing on its social marketing reach or have you abandoned it due to thinking your efforts were futile?

I fear many of you are thinking the latter and feel pretty defeated over the lack of results you’re getting there.

Trying to build brand awareness and get solid leads from Facebook can be a frustrating experience. And honestly, without a proper strategy in place, you could very well be wasting your time.

Is Facebook for Business futile or beneficial? These recent stats can help decideClick To Tweet

But before you give up on this highly effective marketing channel all together, consider these recent Facebook stats:

  1. Across the globe, Facebook is the top social network for membership with an 84% share. This means your business is missing out on a large potential for brand exposure if not actively involved on Facebook.
  2. 79% of all Internet users worldwide use Facebook with 68% of those being adults in the U.S. Moreover, it is estimated there will be 169.2 million Facebook users in the U.S. by 2018.
  3. There are 79 billion monthly active users worldwide on the Facebook platform with 1.18 billion people using it on a daily basis. That’s billion. Think about the potential your business has in getting in front of just a fraction of that.
  4. 50% of 18-24 year-olds immediately log into Facebook when they wake up. If your target market is this age group, you now know the best time to be posting!
  5. Nearly 30% of users are aged 25-35, which is the most common demographic. This creates a great opportunity for you to get in front of this prime target audience and expand your brand reach more than any other marketing method can accomplish without having to pay multiple thousands of dollars to do so.
  6. The average time a user spends on Facebook each day is 20+ minutes. This is plenty of time to get your value-rich content in front of them!
  7. There’s an average of over 8 billion video views on Facebook every day. This is why incorporating video into your social media strategy can be very beneficial.

Yes, Facebook is a very crowded space where it has become increasingly challenging to get your voice heard. But there is hope!

With the use of offering high-quality content through content marketing initiatives, consistent posting, Facebook Ads and taking advantage of Facebook’s live video, your business can reap many rewards.

Quality content, consistency, ads & live video on Facebook reap many rewards for BusinessesClick To Tweet

Where Do You Go From Here?

There are lots of ways to get better results from your Facebook efforts but here’s a short list that can get you started in the right direction:

  • Thoroughly understand who your ideal target market is so you know what kind of posts will appeal to them.
  • Start a content marketing plan stemming from your blog and begin sharing that blog content to all of your social media platforms.
  • Use a social media scheduling platform like Hootsuite to better organize your time.
  • Create value-driven pieces of content (text, images and video) and consistently post them to your page.
  • Ensure your business page is looking professional to match your brand design as well as fully filled out with a proper description and URL back to your website so your followers know exactly what you do.
  • Add a call to action on your business page that will prompt followers to go to the next level with your business.
  • Get actively involved on Facebook both from your personal profile and your business page by liking, commenting and sharing other people’s posts, pages and groups.
  • Hire a social media professional who understands Facebook advertising to strategically place promotional ads (as opposed to trying to do this yourself where you are bound to not get the same results and pay a lot more money too.)

If you are looking for a more hands-on, step-by-step approach to learning more about Facebook and online marketing in general, I invite you to join Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs, my monthly membership program that teaches you not only what to do, but how to do it and why you should be doing it.

» Click here for this low-cost option of learning how to build your business online: www.socialmediagroupcoaching.com

To your success,

P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Feeling Facebook is futile? Here's 7 Facebook Facts Every Business Should be Aware of for 2017Click To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

9 Reasons Why Social Media Has Become An Epic Fail for Your Business

8 Reasons Why Social Media Has Become An Epic Fail for Your Business

Stop wasting your time; here’s what you can do right now to turn things around

Wish you were getting better results with your social media?

Many entrepreneurs I talk to are frustrated they aren’t seeing anything come of their social media efforts. They’re ready to give up, thinking it’s all been a huge waste of time.

This is when I tell them social media marketing isn’t as easy as creating and posting content. Indeed, there’s much more that goes into making social media marketing work effectively for a business.

So if you can relate and feel like you’re spending hours on social media and think it’s all been an epic waste of time fail, then it’s time to take an honest look at what you are doing.

Think your social media efforts are a waste of time? Take an honest look at what you're doingClick To Tweet

Social media is a prominent advertising, marketing and lead generating tool for businesses today but the trick is being strategic about your efforts.

Keep reading the rest of this article for ways that you might need to get more strategic and turn your efforts into a profit-making endeavour.

Here are nine common mistakes business owners and entrepreneurs make with their social media:

  1. You Aren’t Relevant

    It’s really important to know your audience (aka your ideal client) and choose posts they will find meaningful and useful.  Stay on topic within a range of subject matter they care about.
     
    For example if you have a work-at-home-Mom Facebook page, posting a story about potty training tips is a little off base.  Yes, it’s a parenting article, but it’s not about home business.

  2. You Don’t Have a Plan

    It’s really important to map out a social media marketing calendar and decide what are you promoting and when. Ensure you’re posting when you know the most amount of followers will see that post.
     
    Be sure to write articles and social media posts that are in alignment with your sales goals and ones that you know your ideal target market would appreciate reading.
     
    When the stars are aligned, magic happens.

  3. You’re Following Someone Else’s Blueprint For Success

    You know your target audience better than anyone.  What works for one social media guru may not work for you.
     
    It’s OK to get ideas and strategies, but the real test is when you try it.  Look at your analytics and see if your posts get the engagement and response you desired.
     
    Do what works for your business, not what you think is working for someone else.

  4. Your Metrics Are Not Specific Enough

    What is your social media goal for a campaign you are running?  Is it brand engagement, visibility, website traffic, lead generation or sales?
     
    Each goal will be measured with different tools.  Use the right tool to measure the metric that accurately reflects your achievement for that goal.

  5. You’re Too Promotional

    Don’t turn your social media accounts into a  non-stop, 24/7 promotion for your business.
     
    It’s important to offer a good mix of value-oriented posts that are sprinkled with some calls to action.  If you promote too heavily, you’ll turn off your audience and they will stop following you so make sure the bulk of your posts truly engages their interest.

  6. You Never Post Original Content

    Fans are attracted to you because of who you are and what you know.  They want to hear from you and see your original articles, freebies, surveys, quotes, and graphics.
     
    So give them something just from you instead of always sharing other people’s content.

  7. You Aren’t Engaging With Your Audience

    Posting and leaving without interacting with your followers is a sure-fire way to tell your followers not to bother commenting again.
     
    Monitor your pages and respond quickly to comments.  Write posts that ask readers opinions and thoughts and get engaged with the conversation.
     
    Social media has great potential to be a two-way conversation.  Be inviting, open, responsive and build relationships with your fans.

  8. You’re Not Patient Enough

    Rome wasn’t built in a day and social media won’t make you a millionaire quickly either.
     
    Social media marketing is part of a “Relationship” or “Inbound” marketing strategy, which is based on the premise of developing relationships with your followers over time.
     
    With this methodology, comes trust that once someone has grown to know, like and trust you, they will then be much more willing to purchase from you. It all takes time. Patience and consistency is the key to social media marketing success.

  9. You Don’t Have a Team To Help You

    If you’re doing your social media all by yourself, it may be time to delegate some of that task as part of your marketing team.
     
    A social media specialist can help you create a strategy, develop themes that align with your business, curate content, schedule posts, monitor comments and mentions, and analyze the results.
     
    Your social media team may also include a graphic designer to make social media graphics, a content curator/poster, and an analyst.  If you want to dive deep and boost your results, a team will help you get there faster.

Social media is a powerful way to build your brand exposure but going in with no strategy is akin to throwing spaghetti on the wall and hoping something sticks.

If you need help with your social media efforts, ask me about how we can help you or consider joining my monthly Social Blast membership group where you will learn proper strategies that will turn your failures into triumphs. Learn more about Social Blast here.

To your success,

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

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About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

5 Top Time Saving Social Media Management Tools

3 Top Time Saving Social Media Management Tools

Sharing content regularly on social media is critical for staying top of mind.  Yet many businesses struggle to find the time to do daily social media posts.

While sharing timely posts live is important, pre-scheduling social media posts using social media management tools helps you save time.

Scheduling social media posts helps business owners save timeClick To Tweet

Planning your posts also helps you to align your posts with upcoming promotions and topics on your marketing calendar.

Last but not least, planning and scheduling your posts ahead of time can give you peace of mind from the worry of “what should I post about today?”.

But with all the tools out there, how do you know what the right one is for your business?

Here’s some of our favourite social media management tools you’ll want to check out:

  1. Hootsuite

    Hootsuite is a free tool with a Pro option that helps you track and manage your social media posts.
     
    Not only does it allow you to manage what others are saying about your brand and enables you to interact with your social media accounts, but it also allows you to schedule posts on multiple social media channels.
     
    Hootsuite also has the ability to curate content to help with your content marketing efforts as well as schedule posts in bulk. Their auto-scheduler will also suggest ideal times to post content, based on your followers’ online activities.
     
    The free version let’s you manage up to three social media platforms.  If you need to manage more, you can upgrade to the professional version for $9.99/month.

  2. Buffer

    Save time on social media with Buffer. This free app (with upgrade options) makes social media scheduling simple.
     
    This tool makes it easy to share other people’s Tweets. Plus, you can spread your Tweets out throughout the day for greater visibility.
     
    One feature that makes Buffer a great tool is its easy integration with other social media tools like Followerwonk (an analytics tools) and Feedly (a news aggregator).

  3. Hubspot

    HubSpot’s Social Publishing tool makes it easy to publish to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. It also allows you to select a custom time to post your content.
     
    It gives you custom tools to discover the best times to publish your content to reach the biggest audience. Their Social Inbox tool allows you to optimize your engagement strategy.

  4. Postcron

    Postcron is another social media scheduling tool that allows you to schedule posts to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram.
     
    Costs start from $8.33 per month with unlimited posts, a bulk uploader, content recommendations and the ability to add your watermark to image posts.
     
    Postcron also has the ability to re-use previously published material and can auto schedule posts based on when your users are prominently online.

  5. Meet Edgar

    Meet Edgar is more costly but behaves quite differently than the typical social media publishing tools described above.
     
    Not only is it a scheduling tool, but using a content library concept, it also thinks on your behalf by re-purpsosing your own best content and re-distributes it over a period of time. Essentially, the automated queue of content could fill your social media stream with valuable content forever.

Social Media Content Tips

While pre-scheduling posts can save time, you also need to supplement that with on-the-fly posts about where you are, who you are meeting with, big insights, and breaking news.

Followers want to know they are getting the inside scoop and to-the-minute updates on what you are up to with your social media.  It’s like a reward for being an active follower to know the big news first, before anyone else.

In addition to informational posts, social media graphics, and videos, it’s important to share regular calls to action. Always share an exciting way that followers can go deeper with you to experience your products and services.

Feeling Overwhelmed?

eVision Media has a team of experts who can help you identify content that resonates with your audience, plan posts to promote your top offers, and grow your engagement online. Ask about our done for you social media services today!

And if you are a do-it-yourselfer, you’ll want to check out our Social Blast membership program with easy-to -follow, step-by-step strategies and best practices that will help drive traffic to your website, create sales opportunities and grow your brand online.

To your success,

P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Here’s 5 top recommended social media management tools from @eVisionMediaClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Is Social Media Really Worth it for a Small Business?

Is Social Media Really Worth It for a Small Business?

As a business owner and solopreneur, it’s really important to know that the time, energy, and resources you invest in your business provides a generous return on investment.

Social media platforms are a powerful tool that can help you market your business, but unless you know how to use it to generate tangible ROI for your business, is it really worth it?

Social Media can be a powerful marketing tool if you know how to get a ROIClick To Tweet

This article will provide you with a clear breakdown of all the information you need to make the best decision for your business.

How Much Time Does Social Media Require?

Even though having social media accounts is free (unless you spend money on ads), that doesn’t mean there are no costs associated to using these platforms to your benefit.

Since time costs money to business owners, let’s look at the amount of time the average business owner spends on social media.

According to a survey by Vertical Response, about 43 percent of small businesses spend about 6 hours per week on social media.

Writing and posting a weekly blog post can take 1-3 hours to do. So this means it takes a full day to write, schedule, and post to social media plus write and post a blog article each week.

It can take 8 hours a week to focus on social media for small businessesClick To Tweet

This is assuming you, the business owner would be doing everything required to fulfil these two marketing tasks.  If you decide to hire someone to help, then the money you pay out needs to be the ROI factor as opposed to your time.

The Benefits of Social Media

On the flip side let’s look at the advantages of social media for your business.  In general, there are 5 benefits a business owner can count on if using social media marketing:

  1. Relationship Building: Social media is an excellent way to build relationships with prospects. It provides an opportunity for multiple exposures to your fan base by using a mixture of information and calls to action.
  2. Lead Generation: Add followers to your email marketing list by sharing links to downloadable freebies on your social media accounts. This allows you to send follow-up emails and information that can lead to sales.
  3. Traffic Generation: SEO optimized blog posts can help your website rank higher for important keywords in the search engines. Plus, when you post blog articles, you can tell your social media followers about them and share the link to your blog to read more.
  4. Consistency: Staying top of mind requires frequent marketing touches. With many people spending hours a day checking their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts on their smart phones, social media gives you lots of exposure to your target market.
     
    Sharing daily social media posts and weekly blog articles keeps the relationship with your customers strong.
  5. Customer Service: Social media offers an easy way for customers to reach you with questions, problems, or complaints about your products and services.

    This gives you a chance to respond immediately to address the issue.  Plus, giving the VIP treatment to customers in need shows that you are a company who cares and goes a long way towards building your reputation online.

Social Media Tactics That Drive Results

What actions should your business be doing regularly on social media to generate the best results?

Here are just a few of the tactics you should be employing on your social media channels:

  • Strategically planning social media content in alignment with sales goals
  • Curate content on a regular basis
  • Promote LinkedIn Pulse and blog posts on social media
  • Interact with other social media pages and groups to attract new followers
  • Create and share social media graphics, photos, videos and infographics
  • Listen and respond to comments on your own social media posts
  • Engage in social listening and respond to those who mention you
  • Promote high engagement posts with social media ads
  • Review analytics and reporting on engagement posts and reach
  • Plan opt-in freebies to share on social media for list building
  • Write and post blog posts
  • Look for guest blogging opportunities
  • and so on…

So you can see to really stay ahead of the game, realistically, you need to have a dedicated social media person or hire some help to do it right.

The ROI of Social Media

Because the benefits of social media efforts are often intangible, such as the amount of brand exposure your business would get, it’s often difficult to put an actual number to the ROI of your social media efforts.

But if you look at it this way, just a few new customers every month (depending on what you sell) would more than likely pay the costs of doing social media marketing for your business.

Plus, if you hire someone to manage your social media, it frees you to focus on other revenue-generating activities.

Bottom line, if you aren’t on social media, you are missing out on business. The opportunity cost of not marketing on social media is with lost visibility, less website traffic, slower list building, and weaker relationships.

To your success,

P.S. New to online marketing or you find it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.
CLICK HERE: www.socialblastcoaching.com

P.P.S. if you found this article helpful, please share it with your followers!

Is Social Media Really Worth it for a Small Business? This article helps decide:Click To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

How to Build Your Visibility on Social Media

Today’s eTip is about getting better visibility in front of your ideal target market on Social Media, especially Facebook.

Let’s talk about social media and more specifically about Facebook. One of the things we need to do when we are on social media is that as business owners, our intention is to gain more visibility with our followers, right?

We want to be able to get in front of our ideal target market.

One way to do that, aside from posting, is to get active and get involved in other people’s posts.

You want to be looking for posts from your ideal target market and getting involved in the comments and the discussions that are happening in those posts.

Make sure you like them, comment on them, share them, offer compliments, offer your expertise if somebody asks a question that you can answer.

Being active with other people's posts is one way to build social media visibilityClick To Tweet

Don’t be pushy about it. Be genuine, be authentic and be with the intention of actually wanting to help and to serve as opposed to “oh here’s an opportunity to sell, sell, sell.” You don’t want to do that.

You can do this either in posts that you just see on your news feed or get involved in groups where you know your ideal target market is hanging out.

That’s where you want to really get into those discussions and offer your help as much as you can without being pushy and sales-y. People don’t like pushy and sales-y. They want to know you are there with a genuine interest to be of service and to be of help and that will get you better results in the long run, trust me on this.

I’d love to hear what you think – are you being strategic with your social media efforts or are you just happy to be on there and posting what you can?

Share your response below in the comments section or if you have a question, I’d be happy to answer.

Discover Step-By-Step How To Boost Your Social Media Marketing Results in just 21 Days

Take this 21 day social media challenge Sept 21 2016Starting Sept 21st, I’ll be sharing my best social media secrets with a small exclusive group of individuals in a new 21 Day Social Media Challenge.

I’ll be posting short, powerful tasks you can do to take your social media to the next level.

What’s great is these are simple things you can do in literally 5-10 minutes.

So if you are ready to ramp up your social media results for the Fall, you’ll definitively want to check this out here: www.evisionmedia.ca/21-day-social-media-challenge/

To your success,

PS, if you found this article helpful, please share it with your followers!

Here's 6 ways that will help rock your social media resultsClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

6 Hot Tips to Rock Your Social Media Results

6 Hot Tips to Rock Your Social Media Results

Social media is a powerful way to build a following, turn prospects into leads, and drive sales.

One of the biggest complaints I hear is that business owners are investing lots of time in social media and not seeing the returns on those efforts.

Are you investing too much time in social media with little results?Click To Tweet

If you aren’t getting the social media results you are looking for, perhaps it’s time to look at new tactics.

If you are ready to get more out of your social media marketing, here’s 6 techniques to try:

  1. Use Facebook Live

    Video marketing is a powerful addition to your marketing mix. But live video is shown to keep users watching for 3 times longer than a recorded video.
     
    Fans love the feeling of listening to what you have to share in the moment. Try answering questions and  providing tips while live.
     
    Other ways to use Facebook live is to broadcast an update when you are networking or attending events.  Or share a Facebook live update on any launches coming down the pipe.

  2. Offer Opt-In Gifts to Grow Your Marketing List

    People can’t resist getting a checklist, blueprint, app, or white paper that offers valuable information.
     
    When you give value first, it goes a long way to building trust and rapport with your followers. Plus, this allows you to capture your social media leads into your email marketing list.
     
    Give them something they can’t refuse and send them to a landing page to sign up. That way you can keep in contact via email sharing additional offers and information in a drip campaign.

  3. Invite People to Take Action

    Be strategic with your calls to action to get the most out of your social media efforts.
     
    In addition to sharing a mix of posts, be sure to offer ways your fans can dive deeper with you.  This can include a free consultation, special offers and discount deals, webinars, participation in your Facebook group, and more.

  4. Build Your Fan Base Organically

    Never hire someone from Fiverr who can add 10,000 fans for a fee. This is a bad idea on many levels.
     
    Instead, find groups with people in your target audience.  Be helpful.  Start real conversations.  Invite them to join your social media page or group.
     
    Don’t be afraid to reach out with private messaging to respond to questions they have or share resources or advice.
     
    So don’t buy followers.  It’s about quality of followers, not quantity.  It’s better to have 1000 raving fans you have attracted, than to have 10,000 fans who don’t really know you or have investment in the connection.

  5. Offer a Mix of Post Content

    People love variety.  Be creative and provide a variety of content formats including how-to articles, videos, graphics, and infographics.

  6. Post at the Ideal Time for Best Exposure

    Timing is everything. If you share an incredible post, you want to ensure the most people possible can see it!
     
    There are many social media tools to help you see the best times to post content to reach the biggest audience. This may vary from platform to platform.
     
    So don’t guess when you can use analytic tools with reports that help you identify the ideal time to post.

Social media is evolving and growing fast. There is a lot of opportunity get leads, drive sales, and build a following but you have to get creative. You can’t just rely on the old tactics you have used in the past; you need to implement new techniques and tools if you want to stay ahead of the competition.

To your success,

P.S. New to online marketing or you find it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.
CLICK HERE: www.socialblastcoaching.com

P.P.S. if you found this article helpful, please share it with your followers!

Here's 6 ways that will help rock your social media resultsClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".