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3 Ways to Use Instagram to Grow Your Business


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If your business has considered using Instagram for social media posting, consider these benefits of the booming photo app:

  1. If you have a “hot buy” deal, or a “new arrival,” posting a picture to the app will allow your customers to see something of interest when they might not have been expecting to be shopping at all.
  2. Consider using a hash tag for promotional codes for your website, or providing exclusive offers to your Insta-followers as a special thanks for following your company.
  3. Take your followers behind the scenes to see your shop, your latest design, upcoming promotions, or new employees. This is a great way to let the customers see the ins-and-outs of your business as well as a snapshot of the culture you’ve created. Who knows? Maybe your posts will inspire a new worker to apply at your fun-loving establishment.

For best results using Instagram, establish a flexible posting schedule. If you post every day, followers might get overwhelmed with too much content – after all, their feed is for their friends and interests, not ads.

So don’t forget to keep it interesting! Instead of running sale after sale, share something riveting in your industry or an event happening locally. Your followers will thank you.

3 Ways to Determine if Twitter Right for Your Business


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While millions of people tweet, retweet, share and star on the popular social media network daily, Twitter might not be the best platform for all businesses. To decide if Twitter is right for your business:

  • Talk to your customers and ask what social networks they use most.
  • Run the numbers – check out this great article on social media demographics*. For example, if your demographic is Baby Boomers, Twitter may not be for you.
  • Check some hashtags – for example, if you’re in the cookie business, try a few different combos to see if your competition or customers are out there (e.g., #cookies, #holidaycookies, #sweets, etc.)

The beauty of Twitter for business is its unhindered view to all the talk about your industry. If you find that Twitter might be beneficial for your business, don’t just watch the feed – join the fun!

http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/new-social-stratosphere-who-using-facebook-twitter-pinterest-tumblr-and-instagram-2015-and-beyond-1622

 

Four Questions for Facebook Effectiveness


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Whether you are building a Facebook page for your company for the first time, or just need to revitalize your efforts, consider these questions to build a better page for you and your clients:

  • Who is my target market?
  • What are the demographics I’d like to focus on?
  • How can I use my page to help the customers?
  • Should I be posting sales/promotions, or informative links? Or both?

For best results, always stay active with posts and communication. This includes running contests, answering questions, and directing disgruntled customers to customer service. Consistency is key with posting so you can establish reliability and fresh content.

Happy Posting!

Why Social Media is Necessary for the 2015 Business


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Businesses have always dreamed of connecting with their customers on a personal level. While early-on ad campaigns reached into radio stations and tv channels to reach the customers during their leisure time, today’s business are by far the most fortunate because the 2015 customer is constantly able to be contacted! Through the smart phone kept on their person, or through multiple social media networks accessed several times a day, modern consumers are connected to technology almost incessantly. So why integrate social media marketing into your marketing campaign? Because it’s a win-win! A few things your business will gain from social media marketing are increased exposure, increased traffic, developed and loyal fans, improved search ranking, and lower marketing expenses (Bendror). Social media helps customers find your brand easily, express their knowledge and opinions, and share with their friends. Once the word is out, a “ripple effect” will take pace as each customer’s network is reached and informed of your brand. Through social media, the conversation opens between your company and your target market so that together you can build a mutually beneficial community.

This month, we’ll be sharing our tips on B2B and B2C marketing through social – stay tuned!

Looking Good Online: How to manage your reputation effectively


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In 2014, having a store front or even a website isn’t enough anymore. Competition is at an all time high as customers have access to thousands of reviews and options at their fingertips. So how can you make sure you’re reaching your audience through all the noise?

Participate!

Companies must actively participate instead of just posting a website and waiting for traffic to come by itself. By using Google or social media sites to get alerts when individuals or organizations mention your name, you have the opportunity to thank users who post positive feedback and to try to address negative feedback in a constructive, public way.

Managing search engine results is vital to looking good online. Encourage users to go online and rate your services or share a testimonial once they have used your products and services.

Your online presence is like an ongoing resume; it doesn’t go away, so make sure it looks presentable and represents your current image. If you have different goals than when you first started out, or some posts aren’t relevant to the direction your brand has taken, don’t be afraid to remove them. It’s the quality of your content that counts – not the quantity!

And of course, you know you look good when you look in the mirror. So check your website! If you want a modern, easy-to-use website with all the perks of a strategy team, look no further than our partner, Creativate!

Transform Customer Service With Social Media


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Everyone is going online for service, reviews, and of course, customer service.

While your company might have a customer service representative, a contact form, or a customer complaint section accessible on your website, many customers still find social media sites more useful for their comments due to visibility. Here are a few ways to combat negative feedback and accept positive feedback on social media sites!

 

Be Quick

Customers go online to sites like Yelp, Facebook or Twitter because they’re speedy. Why fill out your first and last name, email, and phone number when you can just write a quick remark and use a hashtag to let your friends know how you feel about a product or a company? For all your speedy users, it’s important to monitor these responses and reply as soon as possible with a solution for the problem or gratitude for the praise.

 

Be Personable

Even though the customers are online, this doesn’t mean that they enjoy an automated response. Features like online chat sessions are extremely helpful for helping customers navigate a website or find a quick answer to a question, yet even these users still want to know someone real is at the other end. Instead of using phrases like “I’m sorry to hear…” or “our policy states,” as filler responses, picture yourself in the situation and think of how you would want to be spoken to. Think golden rule here, and use the opportunity to build a relationship.

 

Be In the Right Place

If you are unable to reach out to someone quickly, at least reach out to him or her through the same medium in which he or she contacted you. If they called on the phone, call back. If they tweeted, tweet back, and so on. This helps the customer find the response easily without feeling too jostled through emails and 800 numbers.

 

Be Alert

In order to properly respond to customers and to know what people are saying about your brand or company, it is important to stay connected. There are many ways to set up alerts or notifications for activity, or hiring someone to manage each social media outlet is always an option.

 

Be Reasonable

Not every mention or comment requires a response. If someone tagged your company in a post, then perhaps you can comment, retweet or favorite; however, if a post casually mentions your company, don’t jump on the first opportunity to respond. It could get creepy and very big-brother-ish.

 

Be Different

While social media is a great way to market your product/service, people don’t want constant advertisements. By posting things that are unique, funny, interesting, or heartwarming, you will gain customer interest and trust because they feel you aren’t solely money driven and that you care about making the customers happy and relating to them.

 

Customer Service


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Quality customer service is vital for any business to stay alive. It is important to not view customer service as one facet of the company, but as the underlying force that keeps the company running.

Customer service can range from handling payments or answering questions to avoiding a major lawsuit from a flawed policy or transaction. It might seem obvious, but customer service is essential to the success of a company because it has the greatest and final impact on the consumer, since it is the only contact the consumer has with the business.

The impression a customer or business partner develops of a company is, in essence, the definition of the company’s brand. A company can advertise discounts, quality and competitive advantages of its products and services, but if those products and services are served with a bad attitude or poor communication, the actual purchase no longer matters. If the customer feels neglected or insulted, he or she might consider shopping elsewhere and informing others to do the same.

Great customer service creates a consistent conversation between the customer and the company. With the rise of social media, customers are more vocal than ever and want to be heard. Advantageously, companies can use these websites to post surveys and polls, or to read through posts that reveal the true opinion of their shoppers. Consequently, consumers have the ability to post negative feedback on a social platform, visible to millions of readers. If a company fails to address the issue directly, there is a great potential to lose prospective and existing business.

Having great customer service could be the difference in gaining, keeping or losing business!

 

How to Keep Your Customers Pinterested: Top 5 Tips for Pinterest and Small Business


Keep Interest in your Pinterest

Welcome to the world of social media – constantly changing and forever the link to potential clients. The newest trend comes with a new take on an old concept. Pinterest is the board-making, pin-posting site where you can collect all the things that inspire you and capture your imagination in one place.

 

Much like the common cork board, one “pins,” or places, a link to an article, blog, website or product so that he or she can access it at a later point.

 

A Pin Is Worth a Thousand Words

If you have an interesting product or concept to share, make sure to capture it or pull from a photo site to make the cover of your pin eye-catching. Since the customer, known as the “pinner,” will be scrolling through thousands of pins, it is essential that the picture on your pin is interesting, different, and representative of what the link is for.

 

Open the Door

A great aspect of Pinterest is the ability of a pinner to contribute to community boards. Having an open board will increase customer involvement and make your customers feel appreciated. One idea is to have pinners post feedback on your product/service, or to submit a design for a contest.

 

What’s Ours is Yours

Social Media is all about relating to your customers on a personal level. If there is something that interests your company as a whole, like happenings in your city, DIY projects, or good summer books – post it! Chances are there are plenty of people who share your interest and who will follow your boards for more information, thus exposing them to your brand.

 

Keep it Classy

Just like any other social media, people go to Pinterest to relax, learn and communicate. While shopping is inevitable online, don’t crowd every social media platform with ads – there’s enough at the bottom of Candy Crush and Pandora for a lifetime. If you do want to occasionally pin an ad, make it visually attractive, and entice the customer to visit your website for more information.

 

Stay in the Loop

Just like your print campaign should lead people to your website, your Pinterest posts should too. Pin a fancy picture of a business executive and link it to your blog about professional business practices. It all goes back to how “findable” you are online, and Pinterest is just another way to drive customers to your website and company.

So You Want to Be #Instafamous?


Instagram Famous

Do you have a product? Employee of the Month? New Service Project?

Your customers want to know!

 

If your business has considered using Instagram for social media posting, consider these benefits of the booming photo app.

 

With Instagram, your customers can “window shop,” without actually coming into the store. If you have a “hot buy” deal, or a “new arrival,” posting a picture to the app will allow your customers to see something of interest when they might not have been expecting to be shopping at all. Consider using a hash tag for promotional codes for your website, or providing exclusive offers to your Insta-followers as a special thanks for following your company.

 

Customers love a business they can trust. Through Instagram, you can take your followers behind the scenes to see your shop, your latest design, upcoming promotions, or new employees. This is a great way to let the customers see the ins-and-outs of your business as well as a snapshot of the culture you’ve created. Who knows? Maybe your posts will inspire a new worker to apply at your fun-loving establishment.

 

For best results using Instagram, establish a flexible posting schedule. If you post every day, followers might get overwhelmed with too much content – after all, their feed is for their friends and interests, not ads. So don’t forget to keep it interesting! Instead of running sale after sale, share something riveting in your industry or an event happening locally. Your followers will thank you.

 

Is Twitter Right for Your Business?


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While millions of people tweet, retweet, share and star on the popular social media network daily, Twitter might not be the best platform for all businesses. To decide if Twitter is right for your business, consider whom you want to connect with. Of course “people” are on twitter, but are those the people you want to reach? And if so, is that the best way to communicate your message to your audience?

A great way to find out if Twitter is of interest to your audience is to ask existing clients or to post polls on your Facebook page, if it has a dedicated following. There are also multiple analytic software systems that can tell how much traffic is directly from twitter; if those numbers are impressive, you’ve got some tweeting to do!

So why consider Twitter? Customers are more likely to tag your industry, company or product on twitter in admiration or discontent than any other site. You can use these posts to your advantage to see how your audience really perceives you. Also, if competitors have great Twitter feeds, learn from them! What are their customers interested in? Can you provide a service that a competitor cannot, and vice-versa?

The beauty of Twitter for business is its unhindered view to all the talk about your industry. If you find that Twitter might be beneficial for your business, don’t just watch the feed – join the fun!