Social Media Marketing Matters: How Retailers Can Sell More with Social Media

The retail experience is changing daily.  The days of one way, push advertising are being transformed with social media so that the user has a greater degree of control and basically opts in for what they want, when they want it.  This is very important for retailers because developing a deeper bond with customers will pay big dividends.  Keep an eye out next time you go shopping.  You will begin to notice the many opportunities for retailers to layer in social media marketing to their relationship building activities.  Here are just a few that you will begin to notice in the New Year and many may apply to your business too:

  • Reward customers for checking in on Foursquare while shopping
  • Tweet the latest coupons to customers
  • Provide details about a private client event on Facebook
  • Invite customers to become guest bloggers on the blog
  • Make shoppers feel special by providing them free product sample offers via Twitter
  • Record and post short videos of new product releases via YouTube
  • Incentivize store visitors to become Facebook Fans
  • Make it easy to rate, review and share store information

There are so many things to communicate via social media.  Here is a short list, be sure to add your own:

  • Job opportunities
  • Promote a contest
  • Open house or after hours party
  • New product launch
  • Store employee of the month or shopper of the month
  • Highlight satisfied customers and testimonials

This is just a start.  Integrate these social media marketing strategies into your marketing mix and watch your client list grow and profits as well.  To learn more about how to use social media marketing in your business, watch a complimentary webinar on Thursday at 1 PM Eastern at www.businesscaseforsocialmedia.com, provided by Social Media Training, Inc.

Who Moved My Cheese?

Great video and book to help anyone in this new economy who maybe struggling with the right mindset. I read this book over 8 years ago.  It seems to always stick with me as it has some solid foundational concepts on thinking and direction.

Enjoy the video.

 

Join us as we share “The Business Case for Social Media” this Thursday at 1pm Eastern.

Social Media ByPassing The GateKeeper

Business Development, Telemarketing, and Sales professionals battle everyday to find ways to get past the gatekeeper.  In the emerging market of Social Media many professionals are leaving this untapped opportunity on the table.

Social Media has eliminated the gatekeeper in most cases.  How long will this window remain open know one knows, but it’s open.

Here are some of the ways to go straight to the decision maker using Social Media.

1.        Utilize the search system of LinkedIn, you can often find the decision maker you are looking for by adding the right keywords.   You can then either direct message them or pay for an in-mail account and send them a direct message as well.  Often times the persons contact information will be on their LinkedIn profile.

2.       Join target market groups on LinkedIn and Facebook.  Again utilize the search application to find decision makers or even find those who work at a specific company who can give you the information you need to contact your target.

3.       Find them on twitter using search.twitter.com and send them a message to their personal account or to the staff member who runs the corporate twitter account.

These are just some of the ways that Business Development, Telemarketing, and Sales professionals can find decision makers using social media.

Bonus if you don’t currently use Jigsaw you should check it out.  You can find countless contacts with phone numbers, email, etc.

So what ways do you use Social Media to get past the gatekeeper?

Seven Top Tips for LinkedIn Success

This article is taken and updated from my article last year “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful LinkedIn Members”.

So what makes a highly successful Linkedin member? Here is what I have discovered as not only habits, but also “secrets” of the treasure chest on Linkedin.

1. They invest their time strategically by putting fresh content on Linkedin when it’s the best time to do so. Let me explain, for me weekends are times to prepare Linkedin content, but as you will notice most collaboration does not take place on weekends. So hold the great Q/A’s, the awesome discussion topics, or the great status updates until Monday and never late Friday. Think about what your audience is doing and be strategic.

2. They use their status update to post something new every 24 to 48 hours and 80% of those updates include a link that gives a call to action. Such as signing up for your next webinar, promotions to visit your blog, or visiting your corporate website etc…

3. They answer target specific questions that are related to their target market. This is great exposure for your business that Linkedin Pros are doing everyday!

4. They change their Picture profile every two months. This creates dialogue and interaction with your network. This is another way to keep your brand in front of everyone. Pictures are worth a thousand _ _ _ _ _ (fill in the blank).  You can keep the same picture up, but make sure it’s professional.  I would still recommend changing it or even alternating it between two picks every six months to create engagement.

5. They answer every Linkedin email/inmail. Maybe not timely, but they never waste an opportunity!

6. They post their company events on the events application provided by Linkedin and use this as a way to measure interest and involvement for such things as conferences, webinars, or seminars. The events application has only been recently used by Linkedin Elite, but many are beginning to wise up to its amazing potential.

7. These highly successful members have identified their target markets on Linkedin, their goals on Linkedin, and are executing their plan every single work day. Social Media can be measured, but most don’t understand how to begin measuring their Social Media efforts because they have never identified their goals for using the Linkedin space. Once you have identified your goals then you can build a measurable matrix to anaylize your efforts.

So what habits have you found to be useful?

Three Reasons Why All B2B Companies Should Be Blogging

I was recently reading an article by Chris Brogan and in the process of watching the engagement of comments Chris commented and asked the question:  "Is their anytime a company shouldn’t have a blog?"

I thought this was a great question and it’s obvious to me that each reason why a company shouldn't have a blog can easily be overcome with better reasons why they should. Below you will find three very good reasons your company should have a blog.

 

1. Establish your company as the Industry Leader when people search for information about your vertical. For those leading their industry, blogging will help you maintain that competitive edge. Quick Stat- over 25% of the information results on search engines is of user generated content i.e. “blogs”.

 

2. Allows your prospects to engage. Over 80% feel better about a company who has a online “presence”, not just a website.

 

3. Drives organic traffic to your sales funnel. Each article you write has associated with it specific keyword content that will allow your prospects to find you. If the website is SEO-d correctly.

 

So what do you think are some good reasons?

 

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How Social Media Has Changed B2B Marketing


When it comes to business development and marketing it has become more complex and costly in prospect acquisition.  Companies are now awaking to using Social Media in not just B2C, but are realizing its potential in B2B.

Here are some of ways social media has changed B2B Marketing.

Client Prospecting- can now been done affordably through such platforms as LinkedIn & Twitter.  In order to get to your B2B prospect via Facebook companies are looking at more costly prospect acquisition cost.

Customer Share- social media allows you to now due blanket marketing to an existing customer in multiple touch points with many employees being engaged in social media.  Thus, allowing you the ability to influence increases in customer share.

Sales Funnels- social media allows you to build your own exclusive online communities built around industry topics, specific interest, or organizations.  Through this exclusive community ability you can manage them within your own sales funnel as long as you own or create the community. In turn, allowing you to message your entire community as owner of the community.

What are some other ways you are seeing social media changing B2B marketing?


 

(We work with B2B companies in providing an ROI driven Social Media Strategy that drives the results you're looking for, contact us today.)

Essential Tools for Companies Using Social Media

Companies getting started in Social Media are looking for tools to help streamline their efforts and workforce.  So we have put together a short list of tools that can help B2B companies in their marketing efforts.

Salesforce

A web based CRM, Salesforce has led all CRM companies in integrating Social Media to its platform. Some the nice contributions for B2B companies is the Twitter & Facebook integration allowing you to monitor multiple accounts.

Jigsaw (now part of Salesforce)

Jigsaw is the world's largest database of up-to-date, downloadable, and complete contact and company information. Every Jigsaw business contact is complete with a phone number (over 70% of which are direct dial), position, company, mailing address, and business email address. Jigsaw also offers free tools for researching companies as well as a user generated company research wiki pages.  These contacts are then cross-referenced with the social media platform LinkedIn which has over 70 Million plus professionals using this tool.

Hummingbird

Hummingbird is a great application to grow your companies Twitter following in a very targeted way using mostly automation.  It can take a lot of man hours growing a targeted following on Twitter, through Hummingbird that process can be dramatically shortened.  You can even automate your un-following of those who do not follow you back, again saving you’re team a lot time.

Hootsuite

A great tool for managing multiple Twitter Accounts.  In addition now Ping.Fm has integrated the ability to post to Hootsuite.  Allowing even more social media account integration including LinkedIn, Facebook, and WordPress.  Best of all HootSuite cost nothing.

 

There are multiple other tools available that get more specific to each companies needs.  You can learn more by contacting us.  We work with B2B companies in developing and managing their social media strategy.  You can contact us to learn more.

 

 

Packrats Hoarding Followers


Have you seen the reality shows, coming into help those over-packed home owners who collect everything in sight and never throw anything away.

Have you noticed how many people have become great at generating large followings through auto-follow programs?  Just one important ingredient is missing, engagement.

It’s not just about growing your following, it’s about engagement.  When you think about collecting followers you should be asking what do you know about them?

Do you know where they are?

Do you know what they like?

Do you know what they don’t like?

What are their interests?

What are their beliefs?

One thought you may want to consider is to create folders that identify the specific characteristics or demographics of your followers.  Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook allow for this type of filing through various applications.

So what do you think, are you just hoarding followers? What is your engagement process?

Does Your Online Community Trust You

When it comes to social media and developing an online community, the biggest key to keeping your community healthy and intact is to have strong trust.

Here are just a handful of ways to do just that:

  • One way is to lead by example. This is simple. If your character reflects integrity and a general show of common sense to your fellow community members, then you will have commanded a great respect amongst your community.
  • Another method is to not be afraid to get a little personal. Community members feel like they are not important or cared for if you never ask about them or how their life is going. This will work better in a small or medium sized community. No relationship, online or otherwise, can ever be maintained without some sense of concern for the other.
  • Also, be honest. We have enough lying going on in the world. Show you are different and that you are always going to be straightforward with everyone. Being honest will be such a breath of fresh air and will make people want to stick with you.
  • And lastly, just know what you are talking about. Whatever your community is geared toward, make sure that you have the knowledge you need about that particular product or field so that your advice will be sound and not full of any holes. People are generally very good listeners and will look for this type of advice.

Trust is such an important, yet lacking, part of life. Make sure that it is well practiced in your online community.

So, how do you build trust in your online communities?