Social Media Marketing

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5 Reasons Why Not Utilizing Social Media will be Your Demise

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What's going on with your social media?

What’s going on with your social media?

I reached out to an old friend and asked him what he had been doing. During the conversation he told me he had been ‘forced’ to learn about social media. At first I was a little amazed and then excited that he was entering into the new ‘sales game.’

Some aspects of selling have really changed.  Sales professionals can use social media to reach out to and influence their customers. They can also meet new ones.

In fact to grow a business, it’s essential to reach out to your customers. If they don’t stay connected to you, they will make new friends with your competitors.  If they make new friends, they will just disappear.

Below are 5 reasons why social media is a good thing for salespeople.

  1. Statistics tell us that 73% of customers will not make a buying decision before asking their friends for advice. Yes, both men and women. You may have experienced a longer buying cycle with your customers and wonder what’s happening. According to Google, customers often leave a store and then go to social media to “checkup” on the store and the salespeople. (This makes the case for a strong LinkedIn profile.)
  2. This is the age of transparency and customers want to know who they’re buying from. You probably realize that we are entrenched with reality television. Everything from “Hoarders” to “Swamp People,” we are engaged in other people’s lives.
  3. Do you know what customers are saying about you online? Managing your online reputation is essential if you expect to get good referrals. These days the referral business is up from 80% to almost 95%. If the customer doesn’t know who you are, it’s unlikely they will do business with you. It’s important to ask customers to write referrals for you. You should Google your business and see what customers are saying about you.
  4. Social media will expand your customer base. New customers will be more likely to be interested in your products and your services if they see you online. Each salesperson should be posting information about their latest jobs, products and staying in touch with possible customers. You can’t have too many Facebook friends and fans!
  5. Blogging is a way to expand your expertise. Consumers want to know about you and what your business can do. They are also interested in ‘who’ you are. No you’re not ‘Swamp People’ but you’re just as interesting. Don’t shy away from getting ‘personal.’

I suggest that salespeople contribute to social media daily. Some people hire outside consultants to manage their social media—not such a good idea. You want customers to stay close to you, not to  your marketing people!

Lisbeth Calandrino has been helping businesses build sales and marketing strategies for over twenty years. It’s time for all businesses to merge their sales and marketing. Who knows their customers better than your salespeople?

To schedule a consultation or have Lisbeth speak at your business, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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How “Social” is Your Business, Really?

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Social media is social by nature. It is about developing relationships and rapport with customers and potential customers. By doing this the sale will come eventually. And that sale will also come with brand loyalty and support for life.

Business are scurrying to set up social media pages, just like they did with websites when they became all the rage. They know they need them, but unfortunately, all too many don’t know why. They believe that simply having a social media page is enough.

Big deal, so you have a bunch of likes. It doesn’t take much to like a page; all it takes is one click of a finger. It’s not a suicide pact, it’s just a click.

Social media has turned into the next savior, and businesses are so desperate to “modernize” that they’ll even have their fourteen year olds set up their accounts for them. But, then they complain that they don’t work and are a waste of time.

See the Value of Establishing Your Business’ Social Presence

If you’re not social offline, it’s doubtful you will be social online. Not being social online is instant death. Social media is set up for conversation and interaction.

Sadly, businesses are too busy to maintain their social presence; they say they have “bigger fish to fry.”  They’re too busy setting up booths at local trade shows, sending direct mail post cards, running ads in the newspaper and ignoring the online chatter.

They also choose to believe that because they don’t use social media their customers don’t either. We have a tendency to project our reality on everyone around us. We believe, or want to believe, that everyone thinks like we do.

My hunch is that if you use Facebook, you know others who use it, and if you don’t, you prefer to believe they don’t. By the way, both are true: Some do and some don’t, but according to Forrester Research, 81% of people who have a computer use social media in some form of another.

Social Media and Reputation Management

If you are a B to B company, you have fewer customers than a retail business and the relationships need to be managed. The B to B purchase is a highly considered purchase; it’s not like going to the supermarket.

Before a company changes to a new supplier, they want to know everything about them – including their reputation. All of this can be done online. If you choose not to show who you are online it’s your loss.

Social media demands a new level of cooperation between the marketing and sales department. No matter what you sell, you have to know what everyone is doing in the marketplace. Salespeople need to share with marketing what people are saying, what they’re buying and why their buying. Your brand is constantly being exposed to social media and is likely to be searched on social media if marketing is doing their job.

Social media is about humanizing businesses and people. Kinship and stories drive customers. Everyone wants to know about everyone else. If you want to develop bonds that drive customers to your business, you will have to build some transparency into your business and “get social.”

Lisbeth Calandrino has been providing business coaching for businesses for the past twenty years.  Her new book, “50 Events to Drive Traffic to Your Store” will be available on Amazon in June 2014. To have Lisbeth to provide training in your store, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com or 518-495-5380. Join Lisbeth in Panama City FL, for two days of “jammed” with sales techniques. http://www.mohawkuniversity.com/2DayPanamaCitySeminar2014.aspx.

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By |2017-03-03T12:06:55+00:00June 8th, 2014|Blog, Social Media Marketing|0 Comments

Is There Such a Thing as Customer Service for Social Media?

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Social media and customer service

Yes, Social Media is the ‘next hot thing’ for your company. However, like any other marketing strategy, it must be capable of bringing in customers, and you must be able to measure its effectiveness. Check out this Forbes article on social media and customer service.

Don’t get fooled into thinking that web traffic ‘likes and followers’ will bring you in customers.  Popularity and being liked is one thing, being trustworthy and believable is another thing. Both are at the base of bringing in customers. I’m talking about your ability to  influence someone’s decision-making process.  In order for a customer to want to buy from you, you must be trustworthy and believable. All of these things—web traffic, followers and likes to have nothing to do with your ability to build a connection to the customer.

Building connections falls within the realm of customer service. Knowing your customer also falls under customer service. If you don’t take care of your customers, Facebook will not save you.

Social media is not a panacea for your company. If you’re going to have an effective strategy, you must have one person who is focused on building your social media campaign.

The purpose of social media is not to send out advertisements. Its purpose is to provide a place for you to connect with the customer. Connecting and building relationships is a skill; if you’re not good at this is your brick and mortar role, it’s unlikely you will be effective at social media. This is why I tell business owners that anyone, including your 14-year-old nephew can build a Facebook page, but can he build a marketing strategy.  Your company must be presenting more than a page for people to connect with.

You need to tie your marketing and social media strategies together. Determine how you will integrate your social media  strategies and your landing pages. It can be a special offer that must be redeemed in 24 hours or something similar. Restaurants, including my personal favorite, Buca di Beppo, do this regularly.I received an offer for a free dessert on my birthday and the coupon had to be redeemed within one day.

Once you have an offer,  create a landing tied to the offer so you can tell how many people have  downloaded your coupon. This way, you’ll   know if anyone is taking you up on your offer. Isolating the effects of Facebook or Twitter, for example, on a landing page optimized for the audience your company has on these social-networking sites will quickly tell you if you are converting clicks to prospects.

Decide which social media strategies are best for your company and your goals. Twitter is quickly paced and provides a way to do direct messaging. Facebook’s fan pages are for companies that want to show their human side to the customer. If you’re a customer service based company, Facebook gives you a place to connect with your customers. It also works well for those who have a strong following. You will have to determine which one works best for you.

Google Analytics can get you real-time results of strategies using social media. Once you’ve decided which platform to use, it’s time to measure the results. Google Analytics is a free service that will measure your landing-page performance.

None of these strategies will be effective unless you  add content to your site. You must continue to write blogs, offer timely advice or anything that is valuable to your customer. Not sure what they want to hear, then ask them. Paying it forward has never been  more important.

Try various strategies to see if your campaigns are leading to conversions. Remember, connect with and talking with your customers is customer service. It’s important to know if what you’re doing to connect is making a difference.  If it doesn’t matter to the customer why bother to do it?

 

Lisbeth helps businesses build loyal relationships with their customers through social media marketing and customer service training. Her book, Red Hot Customer Service, can be purchased through her web site. www.Lisbethcalandrino.com.

 

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By |2017-03-03T12:07:01+00:00April 28th, 2013|Blog, Social Media Marketing|0 Comments

What Place Does your Business have in the World of Social Media?

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On line success with Greg Di Tisi

Although most business owners know the world of social media exists, there are still some hoping it will disappear. The number of naysayers are dwindling.

A recent  survey found that two thirds of small businesses are spending more time on social media today than they did a year ago. We’ve come a long way baby–no longer do smart businesses see social media as something they wish would go away. They are aware it’s here to stay and it’s no longer a fad.

If you choose to ignore it, do so at your own risk.

Several months ago a long-standing business asked me if I might help them build an event for the retirement of one of their business partners. They said they had money to spend but hoped I would be frugal, and maybe we could use social media. Of course, I took that to mean they had a social media presence. I goggled the business, came up with some unpleasant comments and found 37 friends on their Facebook page.

I  didn’t know where to start or what to say? It was obvious that no one was tending to their social media presence.

How do you do it?

Running advertisements is the old way to build customers. Yes, the customer has to know who you are, but they already know all about you. They read that nasty comment about you on a social media site. They also saw your commercial on television with your wife and dog and were quick to pick up the TV remote to get rid of you.  Whatever news they’re looking for is getting sent to an app. they downloaded on their smart phone.

Don’t be discouraged, the  new way to do it isn’t that far off from the old way. You still have to get yourself into the   marketplace and find a way to build a relationship with a potential customer.

Social media has made it easier, cheaper and personal. This is an interesting article about social media from Forbes.

What does social media do? Foster communication with new tools. Here’s some information on the tools.

The problem for many people is that social media involves them getting in front of the customer and connecting with people instead of showing  their products.  Yes, people want to know you.

It’s time for you to go back to some old-time marketing tips. Before newspapers and television, there was handshaking and ‘word of mouth.’ Handshaking still exists, but lots of it is done on line,  and ‘word of mouth’ has become ‘world of mouth.’ The social media model brings people together in open forums where they show their likes, dislikes and concerns. People support each other’s causes, and we quickly know who we like and don’t like.

Consumers also leave testimonials about their experiences; some are good, and some are bad.  If you pass their tests, you have the possibility of having them for a customer.

Where do you start? Here are some questions that will get you on the right track.

  • Who are my customers? Where have I been successful and who do I want more of? Has my customer base changed? What’s different about my customers?
  • Where are my customers? Where are they on line?
  • How do I get to them?
  • How do I keep them coming back and referring my business?

If you don’t know your customer, nothing will work. Once you know who you’re after social media can help you find them and stay connected.

Want to get business? Go get social.

Lisbeth Calandrino helps businesses improve their customer service and build loyal customers. She can be reached at redhotcustomerservice @nycap.rr.com.

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By |2017-03-03T12:07:02+00:00January 14th, 2013|Blog, Social Media Marketing|0 Comments