Tag Archives: consumers

If you think digital marketing does not make a significant difference to benefit your business…think again! Most small business owners have the predisposition to think that switching from traditional to digital marketing is complicated and time consuming. On the contrary! With a small amount of time and effort, your business reach will more than double because of the incredible opportunities and benefits made possible through digital marketing.

Already we see trends that suggest that advertising spending for online ads is overtaking advertising on television and cable networks by far. Traditional advertising does not have that much power anymore in a world where digital marketing on multi-channels is increasing drastically. Brands now use multiple digital marketing channels to advertise as well! What spurred this increase in the use of digital marketing, you may wonder? Why it is the consumers themselves, believe it or not!

As many as 72% of consumers are already connecting with brands and businesses through their variety ofdigital marketing channels and activities online, according to reports from Mashable.com.The funny part is that despite the fact thatconsumers, brands and business owners are both switching towards the digital marketingroute, many small businesses are still slow to pick up the trend.

Contrary to what most small business owners and entrepreneuring professionals think, digital marketing is not as complex as it may seem. The effort would be very much worth it as many businesses have already experienced and felt the benefits. If all this still is not enough to convince you to switch to digital marketing, then these top 10 benefits surely might persuade you further:

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  1. Digital marketing connects your business with consumers on the web – Those old days when people had to scan through volumes of phone directories or browse through pages upon pages of pamphlets to look for information about a product or service are long gone! Now, at least 80% of consumersmake use of the Internet to conduct their search for information and to make the search a whole lot easier and way more convenient.
  2. Digital marketing generates higher conversion rates – Through digital marketing, your business has the ability to reach out to specific or target audiences, generate leads and achieve as much as 24% increase in conversion rates.
  3. Digital marketing saves you money and is often timesbe free – There are so many reports that describe how small business owners are already getting incredible benefits from digital marketing, with as much as 40% who report considerable savings generated from their efforts. Advertising on social media networks is often free so a small amount of effort goes a long way in gaining your business exposure!
  4. Digital marketing allows for real-time customer service – The real-time response environment fostered by digital marketing can leave a big impact on the success of your business.
  5. Digital marketing connects your business with the mobile consumer –Digital marketing can help you tap into the giganticonline market, now that mobile marketing generates its own organic traffic. According to eMarketer, mobile technology is also influencing the buying behavior of many consumers.
  6. Digital marketinghelps generate higher revenue –Many reports suggest thatconsumers need six touch points before they are convinced to buy, but if they do, they would spend as much as four times asany other types of customers and that is, of course, really good for yourbusiness if you happen to be online and digital!
  7. Digital marketing delivers higher ROI from your campaigns – Digital marketing can help businesses generate better Cost-Per-Lead compared to traditional marketing, or even telemarketing.
  8. Digital marketing keeps your business at par with competition – Many brands and businesses are really giving their digital marketing strategy and campaigns their full effort and attention, using various channels available digitally, including display, PPC, mobile and social media.
  9. Digital marketing can help your business compete with larger businesses – Digital marketing not only keeps you at par with your competition, it can also enable you to compete head to head with big brands and large corporations because they are all using a digital marketing strategy.

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10.Digital marketing prepares your business for the developing Internet world – By the year 2020, How many billion gadgets do you think will be available? Think smartphones, tablets, watches, eyeglass, appliances, shoes and more – all interconnected in a global online ecosystem that makes up this great web.

 

 

Time is of great essence when achieving public involvement in your social media. When setting up your business, you probably had to ensure that what you are doing is done at the right time. Well, the world of social media is not different from the real life set up of your business either. Whether you are posting on Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus or Twitter, there is a specific time at which you will get the most audience participation. Believe it or not, there are different times for each of the mentioned platforms that yield higher audience engagements.

When posting for social media, we must keep in mind that different platforms have different engagements throughout the day. The time at which your audience are occupied in different social media depends on the day and the time. When considering the best days, it is necessary to pay attention to the type of business that you are running. For business to business marketers, research has shown 14% uplift on weekdays, whereas for business to consumer brands, an increase of 17% is seen on weekends.

Facebook

According to statistics, the best days to post on Facebook are Thursday and Friday. Of all the posts made on any other day of the week, the engagement peaks by 86% on Thursday and Friday. The best time of the day to post on Facebook is primarily from 9am-7pm. IN order to get the most shares, statistics show that the best time to post is at 1pm. In order to get the most views/clicks, the best time is at 3pm.

Twitter

The best time to post on twitter for getting the most tweets is around 12pm, according to statistics, and around 5-6pm. Logically speaking, around this time, people are usually at lunch or leaving work for home; having more time to engage in social media.

Google Plus

The best time to post on Google Plus is around noon, any weekday.

Pinterest

According to statistics, the best time pin is on Saturday from 2am-4am and from 8pm-11pm. According to statistics, Pinterest activity peaks at approximately 9pm.

However, in order to get the highest exposure, it is necessary to monitor your audience engagement. According to the service or product that you are offering, the day and the time might differ. Regardless of the fact that the above times are recorded and yield in satisfying results, different business can expect to see a different turn on things.

Optimum engagement

There are many free social media analytics tools out there that provide ejkgxactly what you need. You need to take the time and input the effort when determining which provides the most assistance and information that you need in order to tailor the information and the time at which you update your social media platforms.

Business to Business

If your business focuses on selling products or services to other business, then updates need to be made during weekdays. Knowing the time at which your aimed audience is engaging is of vital importance. Most businesses engage in social media during the weekdays, during their work hours. Logically speaking, business to business engagement will not take place during Friday evenings or weekends.

Business to Consumer

If your business targets an everyday audience, then according to statistics, optimum engagement happens during the weekends, during the morning and noon.

In  conclusion

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Regardless of the fact there are preferred times at which posts should be made on Facebook, Twitter and Googleplus, and other social media platforms, you as a business owner needs to ensure that the posts and the updates that are made are done so at a time at which your target audience engages. The posts need to be engaging, and need to be posted at times giving you optimum results and optimum engagement.

The power of hashtags is unbelievable. They can turn any word of choice into clickable links merely by the placement of the hash symbol# preceding the word. Once clicked on the hash-tagged word itself, all the posts on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, GooglePlus and Instagram containing the similar hash-tagged word will open; leading to a page of endless posts of the same theme. Hashtags are everywhere these days, and are the new trend. Are you part of it?

Being the owner of an expanding business and a marketer, you simply cannot ignore the immense power they hold and the benefits they can potentially bring to your company. You need to be aware of how to use them strategically and implement them for utmost efficiency in any of the posts you make on any of the social media sites. Hashtags are a great way to engage your brand with your market.

Here are three key marketing strategies for hashtags:

  • Brand
  • Trending
  • Content

Brand

Brand and campaign specific hashtags are used to market your brand and promotions. These are tags that you make for your own business’s name.

The best way to approach this is by adding a hashtag to the name of your business that is unique to your business. It should define what your business is. It should be the social media signature for your business; easy, catchy, impressive and long-lasting.

Campaign hashtags can, however, change in order to promote events and marketing campaigns taking place at your business.  Like the brand hashtags, keep your campaign hashtags simple and sweet.

A great example of the brand hashtag is KitKat. The brand hashtag that KitKat uses universally on every social media site is #HaveABreak. Their consumers know this brand hashtag and constantly use it to engage with the social KitKat community.

Trending

In order to increase the flow of traffic to your social media hubs, it is crucial to incorporate trending hashtags. Like the word itself suggests, trending hashtags are hashtag topics that have become very popular. Trend changes, and it is necessary to go with the trend. Every once in a while, there is an outburst of a specific hashtag topic on the social media community, and adding posts containing these trends will ensure a greater flow of traffic. To further understand the pace at which trends change, the top 10 can chance within the timeframe of minutes.  However, it is crucial to ensure that the trends that are used are pertaining to the theme of your business, and are not off topic. This conveys poor etiquette. Trending hashtag topics can be found quite easily as there are many resources online available for the purpose of providing them.

Content

Content hashtags are used in your posts. They are not branded, and are not used to define your business and marketing. They are not even trending or highly popular. They are simply common hashtags that are related to your post content.

The benefit that content hashtags hold for you is that they improve the SEO of your posts. Unaware consumers searching for hashtag words can get directed towards your business by if you successfully apply the content hashtags.

Some of the common content hashtags include:

  • Product
  • Lifestyle
  • Event
  • Location

These different categories can be tailored to what your business aims to sell. People search for common products, lifestyle, events and locations. Not only do people search for them, in varying circumstances, they even use them. When aiming for a successful marketing scheme, think like your customer. Use hashtags that both connect your product and your market.

In conclusion…

Hashtags are a great way to increase the flow of traffic to your business and engage in the social media community while getting engagement from the community itself. However, ensure avoiding spam hashtags that are of no relevance and do not overuse them. While they bring attention and flow, they can become bothersome if overused or misused. If you haven’t used hashtags yet, start using them now. Use the power of hashtags on all your social media hubs and get those customers rolling!

New Year, new you! Shouldn’t the same be for your business? Surely you have a few New Year resolutions for yourself for this year; however, have you considered any for your business? Small or big, your business deserves to be the best! If you are starting a business or if you have already established one, a mobile app is an absolute must! Look around, how many hands do you see void of a smart phone? None! Owning a smart phone is a trend going viral beyond our imagination! Now, in such circumstances, would you not want your customers to be able to access your company with ease, and have it at their fingertips? Here are 5 reasons why creating a mobile app for your business is a great way to progress.

  1. Integration

Creating a mobile app enables you to integrate all of your online platforms. It is a centralized place for all of your social media. A mobile app will allow you to maintain the most essential aspect of your website, and allows a potential customer to get a quick overview of your business  with ease. The customer will have access to your business at any time of the day and at any place through via an app on their smart phone.

  1. Up-to-date

Staying relevant is another way of understanding this. Publishing a mobile app helps you keep the relevant information needed and keeps you relevant to the audience using it. The latest studies show that people will spend as much time, if not more on mobile apps compared to online tools.  Up-to-date analytics say that 80% of all IOS and Android users spend time on the web via mobile apps rather than the traditional web browser.

  1. Customization for ease of access

The main purpose of the mobile app is to engage audience faster and attract them towards your business. Your mobile app should not be a replica of your website. It should be a brief and pared down version of your website. It should include relevant information and avoid the inclusion of extreme details. This will ensure a visually clean and an easy to use app. In the case of more information, referral should be made to your website.

  1. Increased Engagement

Evidently, there is increased engagement through the use of a mobile app. The days of shouting from the top of your lungs in public place to get attention have long disappeared. Customers want to be heard, and their opinion is valued by a company they work with.

  1. Special Benefits

Another benefit of a mobile app is to offer special benefits to the users. Many of the mobile app platforms let you to offer prizes or special offers. App users can get the offers through text messages or as an alert when they open the app. If you give exclusive offers through your app, customers will be more likely to use it and also to recommend others. Mobile devices are quickly becoming the way that customers find services they need, and access information they want online. Rather than be left in the dust, creating a mobile app for your company can keep you relevant and help your company to grow.

 

If you’ve built your business’ social media presence, at some point you’ll have to deal with negative feedback. Social Media is a unique public environment that has its own type of culture and expectations. Traditional customer service and public relations may not always be enough. How you, as the business owner, handle negative comments will go a long way toward creating a new customer or driving a potential sale away. Read on for tips on how to handle complaints or negative feedback online.

The following tips can help you handle a negative comment appropriately, keeping your customers happy and coming back.

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Address the comment efficiently: usually negative feedback falls into one of the following categories: a business error, a misunderstanding, a complaint or spam. Identify the category and come up with a positive solution that addresses the issue.

Don’t delay: word travels fast on social media platforms, so respond quickly, particularly during a bigger issue. You should respond in hours or less, not days later. A slow response can damage your company’s reputation and credibility.

Respond to each complaint in public: the culture of social media demands that you are addressing the issue so the public can see your reliability. You do not need to discuss every detail in the public space. Try posting, tweeting, or commenting back in response with something like “please email me more information” or “looking forward to helping you. Can you message me more?” Also when it is all resolved, communicate that back as well on the platform. Say something like “Thanks so much for letting us know. I hope the issue has been resolved for you.” Follow up is very crucial. Make sure you comment on the original stream where the complaint was written.

Usually the customer is not seeking to rat you out on social media. They just want to vent to other users or try to force you to address the issue. You can turn the complaint into a golden opportunity by jumping at the chance to publicly show that you are there to provide a service and to help them. You are approachable and available to resolve problems. You are demonstrating that you follow through and get back to your customer quickly.

Don’t be defensive: When you get a negative comment, don’t take it as a reflection on you or on your business. Handle the comment but do not react defensively because you do not want to escalate the issue. Be accommodating, polite and listen to what the complainant has to say.

Recognize your mistake: If your business made an error, don’t hide it. Don’t delete the comment or ignore it. It will only aggravate the commenter, or move the conversation elsewhere. Deleting things on the internet will bring into question your integrity to the complainant and all your followers. You do not want to challenge the person negatively. Remember, this is in public, and you are being judged by all your followers. You can block users who abuse the site, and remove inappropriate comments (ex: racist, derogatory, etc.). Mistakes happen, and you just need to deal with them. Recognize the complaint, apologize publicly and then take the conversation off the social media platform to resolve the problem.

Offer an incentive: When it comes to handling complaints, sometimes you have to go the extra mile to keep the customer happy and get a positive out of the situation. If the person isn’t satisfied after your explanation, you can offer a business service or a discount to convert the complainant to a satisfied customer.

Ask for an explanation: If someone posts a negative comment you still need to address the comment. Ask, “What do you feel I did wrong?” and go from there. Ask them what a good resolution would be. It’s basic customer service. If they are not satisfied, apologize and compensate them.

Set the tone: the general nature and tone of your posts will set the rules of engagement on your site or page. A pleasant and positive tone creates an atmosphere where aggressive negativity or attacks will seem out of place. If your comment stream is nice and open, it is likely that your followers would come to your defence. On the other hand, avoid sounding like an authority and never try to outsmart anyone since the internet is always smarter.

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First off, what is business blogging? In the world of businesses and blogs, business blogging is a marketing tactic that uses blogging to get your business more online visibility. Let’s start off by defining blogging. Blogging, as everyone knows, is an act of creating short form content related to a certain topic, for the general public. Next, what is online visibility and how does a blog bring it about? Online visibility is exactly what it sounds—being able to be found and seen on the internet. This could mean that your business can show up at a higher frequency in search engines, and on social media. However, business blogging is not the same as personal blogging as it is a marketing tactic, a marketing channel.

The benefits of business blogging

There are many benefits of creating a blog for your business. In short, business blogging is a low-cost way to create opportunities to get your website found by the people that you want to find it, so you can generate new leads and customers for your business. Here are a few outlined:

  1. It helps drive traffic to your website

To start off with, think about how many pages are found on your website. Probably not many, right? And think about how often you update those web-pages. Probably not that often, either. How many times can you update the About Us page anyways? However, blogging is a solution to these problems. Every time a blog post is made, it is an indexed page on your website, one more cue to Google and other search engines. Every new indexed page means more opportunity for you to show up in search engines and drive the traffic towards your own website. So the first benefit of blogging, it helps drive new traffic to your website and work closely with search engines and social media.

  1. It helps establish authority

The best business blogs answer common questions that their customers have. By creating content that is helpful for your target customer, it will establish you as an authority in their eyes. This is a handy tool for Sales and Service Professionals.

  1. It drives long term results

One hour of effort today can turn into hundreds of thousands of views and customers in the future. For instance, customers love to use blogs to test out big campaigns on the cheap, before they invest a lot of money and time into their creation. Blogs are also used to understand the company and what the companies offer better as well. (Fun Fact: About 70% of our traffic each month comes from posts that weren’t published that month. Whoa.)

  1. The power of blog comment

Does your company allow for comments and promote discussion? If not, then you are missing out on a golden opportunity to learn from readers and allow them to tell you what exactly they are interested in. Sometimes businesses do blogging in a very conservative and limited point of view, and miss out on seeing the world through the eyes of the consumers. When promoting comments and discussion, you will be able to attract questions and people who are interested in learning more, much of which can be then turned into another blog post. Also, the comment section of a blog can become the reason behind the creation of a community of passionate individuals who appreciate your company’s brand and mission.

Do not underestimate the power of a blog!

 

With the emergence of new social media platforms, consumers are spending more time on social media than any other form of website. For companies, showing resistance to social media is futile. Millions of people are creating content for the web, and your competitors are already ahead by using social media. You need to put your businesses out there. This opportunity cannot be squandered as it gives you an opportunity to connect with your consumer, to shape your brand and develop long term customer relationships at a fraction of “above the line” media costs.

Here are a few ways through which you can leverage social media today:

Public relations

Well over 350 million people are reached through the social media platform every single day. These platforms have the ability to connect directly to the hearts and minds of the consumers, voters and public media. Social media platforms give the ability to instantly deliver messages to millions of people and the impact that it can have on public relations is ground shaking. However, crafting messages that are inevitable, all the while embracing transparency are the foundations for success.

Customer support

For many businesses, long after the sale has been made, a hidden cost is discovered, in the form of customer support costs. Good customer service is essential to maintaining a positive brand image, and it is absolutely required to avoid the returns of the products. Traditionally, customer support has been viewed as a cost center. However, some of the smart brands are starting to use social networks to help offload their support costs to a community of super users. This results in a net effect of two fold. The consumers are satisfied as they get the support they need and feel connected to a larger group of consumers who also have the same product.

Market Research

The value that good information holds is immeasurable. After the launch of your new brand, targeting the pool of consumers does not happen with the four walls of your company. Traditionally, people rely on expensive firms that cost both time and money. However, having access to tens of millions of consumers who are openly talking about their rational and emotional needs is a newly discovered goldmine for market research.

These are some of the areas that can add potential to your business and bring in a stronger pool of consumers for you. Other areas include promotions, consumer education, and sales and new product development.

Let’s be real, in the complex and ever changing world of social media, it is easy for even the best one of us to take a wrong turn and get lost. That’s why it is absolutely necessary to strategize through the four step process for successful social media; plan, build promote and measure. It is of utmost importance to identify the right strategic opportunities for best leveraging your assets and resources, so you can focus on building meaningful customer relationships, increase organization effectiveness, and grow your social platform effectively.