Social Media: Think Of It As The Modern-Day “Shopping Mall”
Congratulations on a beautiful website.
You have great copy… compelling offers… attractive graphics… iron-clad testimonials from happy clients… even a cool entertaining video describing exactly what your business does.
Hey, any prospective customer who sees that website is bound to take an interest in doing business with you!
So… is any prospective customer likely to see it?
How do you drive traffic to your site? Particularly, how do you get your ideal prospects to find your superb website… and, by extension, your superb business?
Is your website getting enough traffic?
More traffic means more customers buying your products, hiring your services, seeing your message, etc…
More traffic is ALWAYS a good thing!
Is your web PRESENCE optimized to drive waves of INTERESTED prospects to your offer?
Let’s run through the check list.
You don't have to be a best selling novelist or advertising specialist to create an engaging and compelling FaceBook ad.
Let your TRUE personality shine through your ad. Are you a "shoot-from-the-hip" type? A comedian? Story teller? Just the facts?Be yourself and be consistent throughout your campaigns and your audience will be drawn to you.
If you have a website, you have most likely heard the term SEO (search engine optimization). SEO is not just a buzzword. It is a relevant step in helping to increase the amount of traffic to your website. Proper SEO best practices should be followed at every stage of your website development – from the content of your web pages and blog articles to the insertion of images and other media.
The old phrase “the customer is always right” is a staple of quality customer service. Without customers, you would not have a business. Even when you know the customer is not completely in the right, you still need to maintain the mindset that they are. This is simply a part of quality customer service; though, there is more to customer relations than dealing with complaints.
Customers can also provide your business with praise, advice, or constructive criticism. You can use these comments to improve your product or service. In the past, consumers would have to send letters or call a 1-800 number. Thanks to the power of the internet, consumers can now connect directly with businesses using various social media platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Google Plus. Has social media become the new face of quality customer service?
Social media can be a powerful resource for connecting and engaging with customers. You can provide them with additional details about your product services and other useful information. You just need to make sure that you understand how to interact with your customers using social media platforms.
Here are some of the best tips and suggestions for commenting and responding to your customers or clients on social media.
Social media offers a unique challenge. You have probably heard of at least one story where a business has provided a negative response to a customer – who in turn shares that response with everyone they know. Within minutes, anything that you say to a customer could be viewed by thousands of other people.
You should always use the mindset that anything you share is available to the public. Even when you send a customer a direct message, they could choose to share this with others or make it public.
Five to ten years ago, most entrepreneurs would tell you that a business without a website is not a modern business. Now, the same is being said about social media. You need to be active on social media. Not only to respond to customers and provide them with useful information but to increase your online presence and reach new potential customers.
There are almost a dozen different popular social media platforms to choose from. You do not need to setup an account with every platform, but you should remain active on least a couple of the most popular sites. If nothing else, create a Facebook page for your business. Earlier this year, Facebook finally surpassed 1 billion active users.
This does not mean that Facebook is your only option. If you want to engage with a younger audience, you may want to consider using Tumblr, Twitter, or Instagram. Especially if you share a lot of photos of projects, services, and products. For a business that is geared more towards technology, Google Plus has a user base that is predominately comprised of people interested in technology and gadgets.
Your social media activity is a major part of delivering quality customer service. Once you have your social media account setup, you need to treat your business profile as an extension of your customer service department. Even if your business is a one-person operation, keep your personal profile separate from your business profile. Anything that you share, from your business profile, could be viewed and re-shared by your customers.
Always take a pause before posting on social media to maintain quality customer service. Ask yourself some of the following questions before posting:
If you do not think that the post offers any benefit to your customers, then you have no reason to post it. The main takeaway here is that you need to be careful about what you post. Remember that your social media profile is part of quality customer service.
Most social media platforms allow you to receive email notifications. Double check the privacy and notification settings on your social media profile and ensure you are receiving notifications whenever a customer shares or comments on one of your posts.
Try to make the effort to check your social media account early in the day. Perhaps after checking your morning emails, take a few minutes to browse your social media profile and look for any new activity.
Whenever you respond to a message or comment on social media, use the right tone of voice. The way you construct your message can go a long way towards keeping your customer happy.
The first step, in determining the tone to use, is to look at the tone of the initial message. Decide on the tone that you should use by looking at the tone your customer uses. Here are a few general rules to deciding on the right style to use when responding to customers on social media:
If you create a social media profile for your business, then this profile is a reflection of your business. You should consider any messages or posts that you send as public information – even if you share a direct message with a customer. You need to think of your social media profile as part of your business and as a major component of quality customer service.
Hopefully, these tips will help. But if you need any further advice, I am always available to answer your questions or concerns. Feel free to leave a comment or take a look at some of my other useful posts for businesses.
Common sense is a funny phrase. If it is a sense that is supposedly common, then why do so many people lack this sense? Part of the problem is that many of us are simply too busy. We end up overlooking things that would otherwise be considered common sense. This is especially true when you are trying to run your own online business. Sometimes you need to take a pause and look at the big picture. This includes reviewing tips and suggestions that you may have known at one point but been too busy to consider.
To help you out here are 5 common sense tips for growing your online business.
Social media can be one of the biggest tools for promoting your brand, attracting new customers or clients, and keeping your existing customers. Whether you use Facebook, Google Plus, or Twitter, listen to what your customers are saying on social media. People are not afraid to give you their honest opinion about your online business.
Do not just listen to the praise or the thanks that customers give. You should also pay attention to negative comments and any questions that your customers post. Really listen to what your customers have to say because without these customers you will not have a business.
As a side note, be careful when responding to customers on social media. Never take a defensive stance towards a comment. If you disagree with a comment the best response you can give is no response at all.
Everyone knows that networking is a key part of running a business. This is true whether you are running an online business or a brick and mortar shop, yet not enough business owners place a focus on networking. Using social media and the traditional go-to networking platform – LinkedIn, you can connect with other like-minded individuals. This could include other online businesses within your niche or people that operate within the same sphere as your business. For example, if you run a self-help website, it could be useful to connect with people that work in the self-help business.
Networking is about more than creating potential sales leads. It is also about meeting people with knowledge that could be beneficial to you. The connections you make could be the difference that helps you truly grow your online business. Whether you need to outsource work to keep customers, seek advice from other business owners, or possibly gain a few sales leads, networking is able to help your online business in many different ways.
This next common sense tip for growing your online business is something that you have probably heard thousands of time – time is money. The reason you hear this so often is because it is true. When you work for yourself, it is easy to get distracted or not prioritize your time efficiently.
Not only should you pay attention the amount of time you spend on a project or task, it is also important to avoid spending too much time on your business. If you devote too much of your time to your online business, you run the risk of stretching yourself too thin. You may end up making mistakes or unsound business decisions. Instead of working from sun-up to sundown, create a work schedule. Set your own hours and try to stick to them.
You can attempt to make a better product than your competition, but this may not really help you stand out from the competition. The chances are that if your product is better it may also cost more. Sometimes customers will simply choose the most affordable option. Instead of focusing on making a product or service, try to make something different from the products or services offered by your competition.
Whenever you are developing a product or service, instead of asking yourself, “how can I make this better?”, ask yourself, “how can I make this different?”. Offering something different from your competition is one of the greatest ways to stand out and attract new customers. This becomes more important when your online business is focused on a large market with high competition.
The final common sense tip that many people forget – do not be afraid to ask for help. This tip goes back to the networking suggestion. If you have a group of people that understand your online business, you have resources available to help you out. You should never be afraid to ask someone for help. Whether you need help determining if you are making the right decisions or you need help overcoming a complicated task, you will never be able to take care of absolutely everything on your own.
If you are interested in growing your online business and you would like some help, you are already in the right spot. In addition to asking for help from people that you connect with through social media or LinkedIn, feel free to ask me anything related to running and operating an online business. I would love to answer your questions. For further assistance, take a moment to learn more about my online webinars. Through these webinars, I offer business owners the opportunity to learn more about setting up a website for their online business and using online marketing to reach a larger audience.
Thanks for reading and remember to send me any questions that you have about running an online business.
A growing number of businesses are using blogs to increase traffic to their website and boost sales. It is an easy way to begin offering your clients or customers informative content, which can build trust and show your visitors that you value their time.
Setting up your blog can be fun, exciting, and challenging. After performing research on your market, creating your blog, and posting your first several blog posts, you are ready for the increase in traffic and sales. When you do not notice a significant boost in the number of visitors that come to your website, it can seem that all that work was for nothing.
The first thing you need to realize about using a blog to grow your business is that it can take time for your efforts to create positive results. Do not get discouraged. Creating a blog has not been a waste of your time. You just need to take a step back and ensure you are doing everything that you can to promote your blog.
Coming up with informative articles, creating a blog that is easy to navigate, and including proper search engine optimization is only half the battle. You need to reach out and begin promoting your blog to get the ball rolling. If you have not detected a spike in your daily traffic, thanks to your blog posts, then take a moment to look over these tips and suggestions to promote your blog.
One reason that you may not be generating the traffic to your website that you would like is that you are not choosing the right topics. While you may think that the topics you are blogging about are of interest to your target demographic, the truth is in the numbers. If no one is showing an interest in your blogs, leaving comments, or sharing links, then you may need to reconsider the topics you are blogging about.
To find out what your potential clients or customers may be interested in, start browsing the blogs created by your competitors. Look at the topics that they are covering. You should not copy their content, but this could give you a better sense of the type of information that you may want to write about.
Another way to find hot topics is to use an online tool to find popular search terms or discover the most talked about blog posts. Google Adwords can be used for more than pay-per-click advertising. You can set up an account for free and then use the Keyword Planner Tool to look for the most popular search terms. BuzzSumo is another online resource that can offer additional insight into hot topics in your niche. With BuzzSumo, you can search a term and discover blog posts that have been shared the most on social media.
When you look at other websites, or browse the internet, you will surely come across blogs that are plastered with advertisements. These ads can be distracting, overwhelming, and take away from the overall user experience that you are providing your visitors. Using ad placement, such as Google Adsense, may help you earn a few dollars, if you can gain enough traffic, but it takes away from your credibility as a business owner. It is also difficult to choose what types of products are advertised on your site, when using these ad placement services.
Instead of using external advertisements to generate a few dollars, you could include a couple affiliate marketing links – linking to the products or services that you feel will provide a benefit to your visitors. For example, say you have a website selling pet accessories, such as dog collars and food bowls. If you happen to find a legitimate website offering professional dog training or dog grooming, a service that you do not offer, you could contact the administrator of the website and see about setting up an affiliate linking program. If an affiliate program is not available, you could simply offer your visitors a link to the site in a blog post or in a sidebar widget.
The online community is much like any business community – networking is an important aspect of increasing interest in your business. Start searching the internet to find other blogs within your niche or industry. Create a bookmark folder in your web browser containing about 20 blogs. Read several of their latest blog postings and leave a comment whenever you can think of a relevant question or comment.
Begin networking with the owners of these blogs, build a positive relationship with these blog owners. You do this either through direct messages using their online contact forms or by starting conversations with them through social media. Share information, ideas, interests, suggestions, and do not be scared to ask for advice.
Link building is a major part of driving more traffic to your website. Google and other major search engines use the number of backlinks to your website as a determining factor in search engine results. If you want to get to the first page of Google searches related to your business, you need quality backlinks.
A good place to start is with the blogs that you are attempting to network with. When you place comments on these blogs, you may be able to include a link to your website.
Social media is another source of backlinks. Always make sure that you share your posts, throughout all your social media profiles. Whether you use Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Pinterest, share each new post. If you are using WordPress for the creation of your blog posts, you can even use a plugin to automatically share new posts as they are published.
If you want to learn more about how to promote your blog, take a look at some of the other articles on my site or feel free to contact me with your questions. I truly enjoy helping small business owners make the most out of their websites and would love to offer some further insight into promoting your business. In addition to the articles on this site, I have also created an online series of community webinars, the Web Presence Institute, which includes step by step instructions, training, and tips for using your website to gain more traffic and increase your overall sales.
Learn more about the Web Presence Institute and join a growing community of like-minded small business owners.
Even if you do not realize it, technology is a major part of any modern business. The use of office automation software and technology has completely changed the way many tasks are handled.
The most commonly used office automation technology is financial software for automating payroll, invoicing, and other finances. Though, there are many other ways that you can use technology to automate tasks. With the right software, you can improve productivity and streamline your daily business operations.
To explore the many ways that technology can free up time and save you money, you will need to evaluate your current business operations. Consider each department within your company and ask yourself, “which repetitive tasks eat up the most time?”
Look for ways that you can incorporate office automation software to handle common tasks. This could include automating targeted email campaigns or even inventory management.
Almost any task that you complete on the computer on a regular basis can be automated using special software or web-based applications. These applications can free up manpower, save costs, and eliminate the risk of human error. Here are a few examples of tasks that can easily be outsourced to your computer:
CRM, or customer relationship management, refers to tasks and procedures for keeping track of customers. This includes contact information, sending out newsletters or updates to customers, responding to customer inquiries, and automated responders. These are tasks that you may commonly perform in order to keep up with your customers and meet their demands. Using a CRM office automation application, you can automate the majority of your customer relationship tasks.
Record keeping is another area where office automation is useful. From inventory management to payroll, all of your bookkeeping should be handled electronically. You can save time handling payroll, quarterly taxes, and all of your business finances.
Along with office automation software for record keeping, with an automated backup service, you can ensure you always have duplicates of any invoices or other records. You will never have to worry about losing an important document, receipt, or other file.
While streamlining finances and customer relations are great reasons to use office automation technology to improve your business, one of the greatest examples of office automation in action is using software for your marketing strategies.
Targeted email campaigns, social media posting, and other marketing tasks can be automated with easy-to-use office automation software. When you are dealing with hundreds of emails, in a targeted email campaign, you need some type of software to manage contact lists, subscribers, and the sending of mass emails. Set an automated schedule to send out newsletters, sales information, and social media posts.
Using office automation for marketing also provides you with analytics. Track the success of your marketing efforts, examine the statistics about your email campaigns or the number of people that have interacted with your social media postings.
Technology is everywhere, there is no getting around it. If you want to cut down on marketing costs, consider using some form of office automation software. Examine your current business practices and evaluate which tasks could be completed, or at least streamlined, by using available technology. Consider the amount of time that you or your employees spend on different tasks and then find the right office automation software.
Look into different software that is designed to provide specific office automation services, including marketing solutions, bookkeeping, and any other business operations.
Many of these office automation services or applications have a monthly fee or a larger one-time fee. When you consider the number of hours that you can free up, office automation is almost always a good idea.
Using technology for business office automation is not a new concept. With every new development in technology, businesses look for ways to cut costs, free up manpower, and reduce the risk of human error. We may even get to the point where 99% percent of your business is automated using computers, but for now – make an effort to find office automation software for your most time-consuming tasks.