Posts Tagged ‘seattle social media marketing’

Using Social Media for Holiday Marketing – Seattle Social Media Tips

Your social media accounts are a valuable marketing resource, whether you usually use them for it or not, and with the holidays coming up, are more important than ever for ensuring that you make sales and profit from your online marketing efforts. If your Seattle business is in needof promotion for the holidays, social media is a great place to start. The following tips from local Seattle social media management company, Rory Martin, should get you started.

sm-gift-wrapped-300

Have a Plan

Decide what you want to sell, how much you want to sell, and how you’re going to do it. This step can be extremely difficult without a professional social media manager to help, but you can start by deciding on goals, and then figure out how to get there.

Stop Marketing, Start Engaging

The biggest barrier to making sales through any social media platform is that no one is there to see advertisements. No one wants to see a photo of your product, see a link to your product, or even hear about your product. They are quite literally there to be entertained. Unless it’s Christmas Eve and all of the other stores are closed and you have a gift that you can get out to them in time, you shouldn’t be pushing products or services at all. At least three of every four posts, or better yet, four of every five, posts should be there for no other reason than to engage with your consumers. Make sure you’re replying back, answering questions, and being interested in your consumers as well. Then, when you post a link to your blog with the top five best gifts for her for Christmas, or a coupon for 20% off of your item, people will click on it and see why your product is so great.
Tip: People don’t respond to a constant barrage of self promotion.

Use Social Media for Customer Service

Customer service is a huge issue, especially in today’s service society. With studies showing that many millennials now expect a reply back from social media when they ask a question within 5 minutes, you can see how social media is not only valuable, it’s crucial. People will send you questions, ask for information, and use social media to try to make a decision regarding purchasing your product, whether as a gift, or for themselves. If you sell clothing, this will mostly revolve around fit, if you sell electronics, you’ll probably get questions surrounding compatibility, quality, delivery times, etc. Make sure that you’re capable of answering quickly, and that someone who knows the answers is in charge.
Tip: Install social media apps on your phone and reply to questions as they pop up. If you’re working from a computer, consider a chat aggregator like Digsby, Adium, Meep, or TruTap to aggregate all of your chats into the same place, so that it’s easier and faster to respond. Some social media management apps like HootSuite also integrate chat so you can save time.

Get Specific

People want to feel special, especially around the holidays. If you’re just marketing to all of your customers as a group, you’re using social media wrong. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow you to market to specific areas, specific types of people, and even languages. On Facebook, you can show promoted posts to specific people, so you can share language specific holiday messages. You can market gifts for her to men who are in a relationship, use that to target customers who are most likely to buy your product, and to customize ads for the receiving demographic.
Social media marketing isn’t rocket science, but it is complex, time consuming, and can take a lot of trial and error to get right. Your main goal is to engage with your consumers so that they see your brand as a person, to post native content on your pages, and to offer high quality customer service. Through that, you can make sales, increase your brand reach, and use incentives to turn leads into sales.
If you need help, contact Rory Martin, a local Seattle social media management company, for a free quote or a consultation.

Share/Bookmark

Seattle Social Media Marketing: Using Facebook for Branding Not Market

Seattle Social Media Marketing: Using Facebook for Branding Not Marketing

Facebook may be one of the most popular social platforms, but recently, many marketers have begun to doubt the actual value of using it for business. While metrics show that most Facebook pages do not push a lot of sales, the platform is still a powerful marketing tool for branding, including customer service, consumer advice, and brand awareness. While many marketers mistakenly approach the platform as sales only, and push poorly converting ads and pitches over the page, to create low interaction and low engagement, there is a better, more efficient and more profitable way to use Facebook.

seattle social media share campaigns Facebook-Marketing

 Why Doesn’t Facebook Work for Sales?

Most consumers use social media for sharing content, making connections, consumption of other content, and controlling their media. These are known as the 4 Cs of social media, and essentially motivate every user action on social media, including Facebook. Essentially, if you are not offering informative, entertaining, or valuable content and not connecting with them, they won’t want anything to do with you. Because most managers attempt to push products and services, they do not fall into the category of interests for Facebook users. Most are not there to buy something, but rather, to be entertained, and to get information.

How This Works For You

Every business has a brand, and part of that brand should be quality customer service, an informative and friendly attitude, and consistency. Posting to Facebook allows you to drive all of these impressions, by responding to consumers and replying to comments to engage your audience, consistently sharing helpful and entertaining information related to your business, offering value in the form of coupons or how-to’s and tips, and building a quality reputation through good reviews and positive comments.

Because more and more social users are now looking up businesses on Facebook as a way to vet them before making a purchase, all of these branding goals are important for you as a business. Facebook might not directly drive a sale that you can track using metrics, but it can convince your potential customer that you are a valid business, ready to offer quality services or products.

So Can You Make Money With Facebook?

Sometimes you can make money directly from Facebook, but more often, it will simply help to reinforce your brand image, give users a place to look you up, and serve as a customer support hub. While you can offer product information, advice, and tips that may lead to a purchase, your sole goal should usually be the information and advice, rather than the sale, because spammy sales tactics don’t really work that well anymore. You can push the occasional sale by offering discounts, coupons, and offers to your Facebook fans, but if you overuse it, it will loose value. Instead, consider Facebook as a valuable branding platform for your business. If you use it correctly, it can help your consumers through every step of the buying process, even if it doesn’t necessarily directly drive the sale.

If you want to know more about using your page for social branding, contact Rory Martin, a professional Seattle social media marketing team, for a consultation.

Seattle Social Media Marketing: How Do Incentive Campaigns Work?

Getting started with social media can be tricky, especially if you’re not entirely sure how a bunch of clicks or ‘likes’ can turn into a profit. That aside, it’s still one of the most popular forms of marketing, so you probably want to use it, or at least understand how it works. Social incentive campaigns can actually drive revenue, and in fact, are a long-standing favorite of Seattle social media marketing teams.

What is an Incentive Campaign

You probably already guessed that an incentive campaign offers the user a reward of some kind, and if so, you would be correct. Incentive programs are schemes that offer users a reward for a specific behavior, and in search, that is virtually invaluable because you can use it to influence a great deal of people, even if you are only targeting a local network.

So How Does it Work?

There are several ways to run an incentive program and not all of them are about direct revenue. So, for example, if you wanted to boost the likes on your Facebook page, you could create an incentive program and offer a 10% discount coupon to each person who shared the status and liked your page. The result is that anyone with access to your business, and interest in your business, might be interested in sharing the post and liking your page. You get new likes, and you get targeted likes from people in your area, interested in your products, meaning that you might be able to convert more of them into a sale with a 10% coupon.

Another form of incentive marketing is purely by inducing sales. So, if you want to boost sales you could offer a “Buy One Get One Half Off” coupon to everyone on your page. Your fans don’t have to ‘do’ anything but go in and make a purchase. And because you aren’t paying for an advertisement, just broadcasting it on social, you don’t necessarily have to invest in your coupon.

How it Benefits You

Even if you are not making a huge profit off of discounted items, you are still helping your business. By boosting sales you are creating hype, reminding people that they need your products, and hopefully getting them to leave a review on your page. The result is that you create customers from a fan-base that might not have previously bought anything. Of course, ideally, you want to make money off of every sale, even if it is discounted, so try not to go too crazy with the coupons.

There are hundreds of ways to use incentive marketing on social media, and it works on nearly every platform. However, you do have to plan carefully, market properly, and make sure that you have the right social fan-base to make something happen with your coupons. Want to know more about how incentive programs can help boost your sales and business? Contact us to talk about your business, and your localized Seattle social media marketing program.

Beyond the Facebook Page: What Seattle Social Media Experts Are Saying

As a business owner you know that social media promotion is invaluable for driving traffic, increasing hype, and basically promoting your business on a low budget. Unfortunately, the majority of business owners are either sticking with Facebook only, or creating accounts on every social media account they can get their hands on. While both ways are common, neither of them really allow a business to best utilize the platform because having too many accounts spreads you too thin, and too few means that you don’t get enough exposure. So which social media accounts should you be on? Seattle social media experts suggest that it depends on your business.

Google +

Google + is probably the most important social media platform for local businesses right now, mainly because of their efforts to promote and grow small businesses through integration with Google Maps, Google Local, and location based searches. Signing up for a Google Local page allows you to put your business on the Google map, and then get reviews through your page, which actually show up in search. Google then ranks the highest reviewed businesses first in search, which is a huge credit for small local business with great quality services. Google Plus is also easy to use, allows up to ten managers per page, and allows you to integrate YouTube for videos and Google Hangouts for live streaming video. It’s also the best place for tech and food related businesses to be.

Pinterest

Pinterest is one of the most popular image websites out there, and with newer integrations like “Buy It” buttons, they are also becoming incredibly business friendly. While not right for every business, Pinterest allows for viral image promotion, which is great for a range of businesses including flower shops, crafts stores, restaurants, and more. While Pinterest won’t drive a huge amount of local sales, it can and will drive online interest, which is perfect if you have an online shop.

Instagram

Instagram is more of a mobile social app than a social platform, but it’s hard to ignore that it is one of the most popular social platforms on the planet. The site runs off of image sharing, and while it does not allow links, it can generate a great deal of interest in your products. Instagram is especially good for fashion and accessory related industries but also good for sports stores, gyms, and studios.

Twitter

Twitter was the highest revenue driving site from 2010 until 2012, and while that is no longer true, Twitter is still quite important. Twitter’s millions of active users mostly share and reshare short quotes and images, but what the site is really good for is instant communication with customers, increasing hype, and answering questions in short form. The best strategy is to get involved with local hashtags and share content that is relevant to your community, otherwise you’re just broadcasting to the world at large.

Five New Seattle Social Media Marketing Trends to Watch Out For

The world of marketing is always changing and unless you stay on top of the trends, you’re going to see a quick drop in your campaign success. No matter what it is you happen to be marketing, trends can make or break your campaign so you have to watch out for them. The following include a few local, and international, marketing trends that could affect your Seattle social media marketing campaign.

social platforms

Twitter is Back

That’s right! Twitter is back and bigger than ever, especially if you’re in the right sectors. New data shows that Twitter is now doing just as well or better than Facebook for active users, and more importantly, it’s becoming harder to promote yourself on Facebook. While it’s important not to ignore either channel, Twitter gives you an opportunity to directly connect with your fans by answering questions, recommending your software, and creating an online buzz about your products, all without the huge amount of thought that goes into every Facebook post. While less people will click through on your links via Twitter, you do have the opportunity to get more exposure for your brand.

You Can No Longer Ignore Google +

If you don’t have a Google + then you need to run not walk to the computer and set up a page for your business. As we discussed in one of our previous posts, Google + is hugely influential across most fields of organic marketing including social and SEO. Google may be playing favorites, but with Google + offering all the benefits of Twitter and Facebook, and 540 million active users, you really can’t afford to ignore it any longer. Plus (pun intended) you can use Google’s Hangout function to directly engage with your fan base, answer questions, and earn loyal customers. Google’s ‘local’ functions are also invaluable to your marketing efforts so make sure you check them out.

Cross Marketing

Cross marketing, or working together with your competitors and other related businesses is quickly becoming the next big thing. By collaborating and offers cross marketing deals (such as a hotel stay and restaurant meal in one package) you gain more exposure to a wider fan-base. While not every business can benefit from this sort of cross marketing, most can. You can benefit by offering online coupons, giveaways or deals that encourage you to like/share your cross marketing companions, or even bundles and deals that benefit everyone involved.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is going, well, viral. It’s expected to be the biggest form of marketing in 2014, and is already making a huge splash in 2013. So what’s the big deal? Videos, pictures, blogs, and even infographics have all been going viral all year and when done right, will gain a massive amount of exposure and interest in your business.

Image Centric Social

One trend that has probably the largest impact is that image centric social sites like Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr are now more important than ever. These sites allow businesses to connect directly with customers via hashtags, image shares, and direct mentions, building brand image, product awareness, and interest. While a services site most likely cannot use these types of media marketing most types of businesses can.

Seattle’s social media marketing trends are rapidly changing and if you need help, there’s plenty of professional marketing managers out there to help. Want to know more? Contact our social media marketing team today to find out what we can do for you.

Seattle Social Media: Four Easy Ways to Get the Most out of Your Google Authorship

Google AuthorshipGoogle Authorship is a relatively simple tool that uses rel-links to create a link back to your Google + profile, adding your photo and bio to the description of the post. The result is that you get a link back to your profile which will mostly help to increase your social sharing, and that readers can see who wrote the post, and how many people are following you. Seattle social media experts, including us, have begun using Google Authorship to integrate social and SEO. If you’ve already set up your Google Authorship, here are a few easy ways to optimize it for the best results.

Use a Clear Head Shot

A photo certainly does not sound like it might be important to a search engine, but in this case, it’s not Google you’re trying to please, it is your readers. While implementing Google Authorship has been shown to increase click through rate on a site by as much as 30% or more, you won’t see good results if you have a bad picture. For example, let’s say you created your Google + one night when it first came out, uploaded the first image you found on your computer and then left it at that. You don’t use Google + so it was never that important. Now that you’ve implemented Google Authorship, you can see a rise or fall in your traffic based on your image. Is it clear, professional, reflective of your business? Chances are that unless you are a professional comedian, you probably shouldn’t be making a face. Instead, try using a passport photo, smile, look professional, and make sure there is enough light.

Interact on Google +

Whether or not you like Google + or just have it out of necessity, you can increase your Google authorship optimization by interacting and engaging with users on Google +. Invite your friends to the social site, chat and interact with them, and always remember to share your content to your Google +. Leaving a personal message instead of a simple share also helps to increase conversion rates.

Check for Links

Did you know that a study last year of each website that had implemented Google Authorship showed that only 9% had actually linked back to their Google + profile? If you link to your content by confirming your domain email, ensure that you also add the site in the ‘Contributor’ section of your Google + profile. You should also use a Google + link using the rel-me and rel-author tags on your site. An author page should contain ‘rel-me’ and each post should contain he ‘rel-author’ in the biographical section of the post.

Set Yourself Up As a Professional in Your Field

Does your bio say absolutely nothing about what you do? If you spent the first few sentences in your Google + profile talking about your dogs, you might want to go back in and rewrite it. Try drawing attention to your area of expertise from the start rather than talking about it later. Google Authorship does not show the full bio in search, so you will be relying on those first few sentences to convince potential readers that you are indeed an expert in your field. Start off with what you know, and talk about your life later. For example, if you were an expert in Seattle social media, you would mention that in the first or second line of the post.

Sales and Social Media Marketing: What’s the ROI

Here’s something we’ve touched upon before at RoryMartin.com, but which people quite often seem to forget: social media is not the place for sales. Saying this straight can cause businesses to throw up their hands and exclaim “What’s the point?”, but hear us out. Social media is first and foremost a marketing tool – and your social media marketing strategy should reflect that. Even people who use social media to tweet about their breakfast are still thinking about how they’d like the world to think of them – although they probably don’t have plans to become ‘Breakfast Food Consultants’. Social media can be used to build brand awareness and positive customer (read: potential customer!) engagement. Of course, social media can be used to make sales, but if your updates are chock-full of SALE! And OFFER! people will quickly switch off.

One of the reasons why social media is not a sales tool is because people don’t go to check their accounts thinking ‘I’d like to purchase something today, I wonder what that will be?’ Social media catches people far earlier in the buying process than, say, a storefront window. Followers and fans may not even be aware that they need your product or service, let alone want to purchase it right then and there.

However, this doesn’t mean that your followers and fans will never purchase a product or service from you via social media, but the process is a longer one. Social media marketing is a long-term sales strategy. Sending out five tweets in a row about your latest OFFERS and SALES everyday won’t make you any friends, but providing constant and consistent advice and information about your products and services will. Users typically turn to social media for entertainment and information, so give it to them!

A new Follower or Fan may not immediately make a purchase from you, the same way that someone in your internet store or on your shop floor might, but over time they will come to trust and respect your authority in your business niche. Then, when they do decide it’s time to get a glazier in, they’ll turn to a name they remember – yours.

Customers who discovered your services on social media are very high value after the sale as well. They can, and often will, turn to their accounts to praise, or demonise, your business. Make it easy for them to give a positive review, and that will influence their followers, and yours. With people turning to peer reviews before making their purchasing decisions nowadays, this is the true ROI when it comes to social media – positive feedback and an increased sphere of influence.

If you’d like to hear more about how social media can benefit your business, then email Rory Martin today.

Five Ways Companies Get Social Media Wrong

  1. Social Media is not the place for the hard sell

It is incredibly common for small businesses to merge Sales with Marketing and spend all their time on Social Media trying to push people to buy, buy, buy. Unfortunately, this hard-sell strategy doesn’t work.  Most social media users don’t scroll through their timelines wondering what they can buy that day – users are looking for entertainment and information.  Provide value and your potential customers will keep coming back to you.

Social media is about building relationships and growing trust. So when your followers are wondering where they want to shop, or who they want to have a business relationship with, your company name crops up first.

  1. Social media isn’t all about self-promotion

People will follow your company because they want to know what your business is doing and when your next event or what your next special offer is, but remember that party where you got stuck with the guy who wouldn’t stop telling you about his speedboat, and never asked any questions?

You may feel like that update that doesn’t have a link to your site or product is a wasted update, but imagine the valuable feedback you could receive from your followers by asking a couple of questions a day about your brand image, latest product, or most recent conference. Thank the responders by name, and you might just have a customer for life!

  1. You don’t have to be on all of the platforms

At RoryMartin.com we keep on top of all the social media platforms in order to best advise our clients, and from our research we can tell you this: some platforms are more appropriate than others for certain businesses. Rather than spread your limited budget over ten social media accounts, pick two or three which already appeal to your target demographic and focus your efforts there.

  1. Don’t try and keep up with the big brands

Just like in tip #3 – as a small to medium-sized business, you have limited resources for marketing or promotions. Huge brands can afford to host big-ticket giveaways to promote their new products or services, but giving away a heap of iPads might be outside of your budget.

Instead, think creatively and work out something relevant to your business – find something that your target market will appreciate and which showcases your company’s particular skills.

  1. Social media isn’t “free” or “additional”

Social media is not something that you can just tack onto regular marketing campaigns, or entrust completely to the new intern. Many companies that treat social media in this way are the first to complain that social media is useless. Social media should be fully incorporated with marketing strategies from the beginning, with an employee whose job description requires that they spend a certain amount of time actioning these strategies. With dedicated time, and money going towards social media strategies, the improvement in ROI should be immediately noticeable.

If you don’t have the manpower to administer your own social media marketing you may consider partnering with a company that specializes in social media strategy – like the team at RoryMartin.com.  With a little time and patience, your business can attack the  social media vertical with success.

Have you noticed any of these pitfalls in your own social media strategy? Do you have any other social media mistakes to add to this list?

Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing: The Difference

When we at RoryMartin.com talk about social media marketing, we often conflate that with content marketing. While they are both used to the same end, there are some subtle differences which it pays to be aware of.

Content marketing is about drawing attention to the content on your website, and is done through blog posts, infographics, videos – whatever content aligns with the branding of your business. Social media marketing is about encouraging engagement on the various social media platforms which are out there. You can already see how easy it is to conflate the two. Of course, social media marketing promotes the content which is on your websites, and we work to make sure that the content goes viral. In order to do this, however, we need to understand the differences between the two types of marketing.

Firstly, it is necessary to have interesting and engaging content on your company website in the first place. No matter how much a post or product is plugged on social media, there will be no retweets or shares if the content doesn’t excite people. What’s new in your industry? Can you put a personal spin on it? Is there anyone you could invite to comment on a certain topic? What happens when you put your product in a blender? Can you get a cat involved? (Not in the blender, please.) Maybe you think your niche is tapped out for new things to say, but be assured, there is always another angle for what you are saying.

Secondly, you could have the most fascinating video in the world on your website, but it’s useless if nobody ever hears about it. We use social media to get the word out that this exists, and people need to see it. How is your network these days? Are you promoting other people’s work and informing your followers about fresh facts and photos? Are you engaging with other people in the way that you hope they will engage with you? Social media is definitely not a place of something-for-nothing. We hope that people will love our fantastic content enough to share it because of what it is, but users are much more inclined to pass on the work of someone who has supported them, too.

Thirdly, we need to be tracking statistics. Even when you have achieved that perfect balance of fantastic content and a healthy, engaged network, it’s still possible that some updates will tank and seem to be ignored. There could be any number of reasons for this, but by keeping an eye on sharing and engagement statistics, you’ll be more aware of why this might happen.

We hope that by remembering the differences between content marketing and social media marketing, you’ll develop that healthy, engaged network which just loves to share your insightful content, but if you find that one or the other is off balance, get in touch with our Seattle social media and content marketing experts today.

 

Create a Cohesive Social Media Brand for Your Business

People who come across your content online should be able to recognise your brand immediately, whether or not your logo or company name is there. This is what we call social media branding and it’s implemented across all your social media platforms -from Twitter to your blog, from Instagram to Pinterest – creating a brand personality.

If you have a good marketing campaign in place, then you know your target demographic, and hopefully you’ll have a tone set for your advertising, but what a lot of companies forget is that branding goes so much deeper than the font you use in your posters. Branding is in the way your employees answer the phones. Branding is in the way your shop staff greet customers. Branding is an on-going process, and it happens every time a potential customer or client interacts with your business.

The question which you need to ask yourself is: Does my brand have a personality?

And the second question you need to answer is: Is that personality cohesive across all our social media platforms?

Many companies use the different platforms in different ways, and this is recommended as users go to Facebook for a different experience than Twitter, or Pinterest. However, in trying to appeal to the varied ways in which people use social media, a company’s personality, or branding, can get lost in the haste to gain ‘Likes’ or get ‘Pinned’. It may even be that what ‘works’ in gathering this validation does not actually fall in line with the company’s values.

Perhaps your target demographic are adventurous and fun-loving, but you suddenly receive a lot of likes on Instagram for a photo of your boss’s dog. So naturally, you start sharing a few more photos of the dog because it gets good engagement. Adventurous, fun-loving people love dogs too, right? Except, you sell climbing gear and no-one’s ever scaled Mt. Everest with a dog. (Not with its own crampons, anyway.) People who start to follow you on Instagram who love dogs then go to your website, which is dog-less, and they get upset. People who add you on Instagram because they enjoy your funny climbing stories on Twitter get confused because all they’re seeing is dog pictures.

This is the time to sit down with your social media manager and discuss a cohesive brand identity for your social media marketing. When you decide what your brand personality is (and this might be different from your target demographic’s qualities) then anyone should be able to run any of your social media accounts using this information as a touchstone. Every tweet, photo, update, link and pin should reflect your brand identity, to the point where customers and internet users are able to recognise your signature style without having to see your logo or company name.

 

 

© Copyright © 2012 Rory Martin Inc.