Posts Tagged ‘Social media’

How to Use Facebook to Improve Your Customer Support

Customer support is becoming increasingly important as consumers demand better and better service. Where once, it was okay to reply back within a few days, the gap has now narrowed to within a few hours, or the consumer will most likely become frustrated, or look for a similar product elsewhere. Consumers want information, and they want it quickly, so they can move on with their purchase, which is beneficial to you because it means you can sell more, more quickly. Local Seattle customers flock to social media to ask questions about products, about sizing and fit, in store availability, and much more. In fact, in one study by Oracle, 43% of consumers would rather reach out through social media, rather than emailing, calling, or using an on-site chat box.

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Social media allows you to interact with your consumers quickly, efficiently, and for nothing more than the cost of your time or that of your social media manager. The following tips from local Seattle social media company Rory Martin will help you to get started.

Respond Quickly

Most Facebook users contact companies on Facebook for a quick response, and in fact, the company now supports this feature. If you respond to most messages within 3 minutes during online hours, you get a badge that consumers will see. While this might be a lot of pressure, it is a great tactic for improving consumer relations. How can you keep up? Either have someone dedicated to handling chats, or integrate Facebook into your CRM so you can easily see chats while ringing up sales, or managing your warehouse.

Make Sure Someone Knowledgeable is In Charge

One of the worst things you can do to your customer service is put just anyone in charge. Great customer service means the respondent has to be highly familiar with your products, services, policies, and offerings. If something isn’t right, they have to know it, and they have to be able to answer key questions like “Do you have this in blue”.

Acknowledge Feedback

Whether good or bad, you should be responding and within a few hours to most feedback left on your page. Take a moment to say thank you to those who rave about you, and offer to help fix the issue if someone left negative feedback. If someone has a problem with an order, fix it, and do so publicly.

Be Professional

Professionalism is key to any successful customer service, and social media is no different. Maintain your professional image, stick to branding decisions, and treat every chat like the user is going to take screenshots and post them publicly, because they very well may.

Be Transparent

If you’re having issues, let customers know. Social Media is a great way to get the word out quickly, can help you to allay any problems, and will reduce the demand on your technical support as well.

Make Time

It is crucial that you have the time to quickly respond to and help anyone contacting you over social media. This means setting aside a certain amount of time to respond to people, checking your messages whenever you have a break, and seeing it as an important responsibility.

If you don’t have the time, and don’t have the budget to bring in a full time social media manager, consider outsourcing. Local Seattle social media management company Rory Martin can help. Contact us to ask for a free quote, or to learn more about our social media services.

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Does Social Media Marketing Work for B2B? – Seattle Business Tips

Social media is a powerful marketing tool that most of us are familiar with for marketing to customers, especially in fashion niches, but does it work for B2B companies? Marketing to other businesses can be tough, especially with the dropping success rates of banner and text ads. Social media can be a great, and affordable way to reach other businesses, but only if you use it correctly. These tips from the experts local Seattle social media company Rory Martin will help get you started.

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Use the Right Platforms

Every user demographic has their own platforms, and some platforms have more demographics than others. If you’re a B2B company, you have to choose your social media platforms carefully. For example, any business on Snapchat is marketing to customers, and they don’t really want to be marketed to. On the other hand, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google Pages are all great for marketing to other businesses, because not only do people look for business services there, they can see reviews, go through customer opinions, and see your location and business niche very easily.

Drive Opt Ins

Social media platforms can be extremely valuable, but an opt in list that gets business owners to sign up for your newsletter or a free course is even more valuable. Make sure you understand your target demographic, and then use Facebook’s Call to Action Button to create a signup, and add one on your website as well. This can create a valuable list of people who are actually interested in your content.

Market on Your Social Media

If you’re just sharing funny photos and helpful posts, you’ll probably build up followers. This is great, and it’s a great tactic to keep up. But you also want about 1 in 5 or 1 in 10 of your posts to be promotional. This means telling consumers directly about your content, featuring your existing customers, or otherwise highlighting your services. Offering coupons and sales is also great, but don’t do this too often, or users won’t be tempted to buy, because they know there’s another sale right around the corner.

Reach Local Businesses with B2B Events

Facebook events are a great way to get local Seattle businesses involved, because you can create an event, invite your existing customers, and then have them help you spread the word. What should your event be about? It does depend on your exact B2B niche, but education, product demonstrations, a networking party, or even an online webcast (so long as it’s valuable to your potential clients) can net a great response. Just make sure you put some marketing effort into it, and contact local neighborhood magazines to make sure that people show up.

Share Business Culture

Small to medium businesses are run by people, and like regular shoppers, they want to identify with the businesses they work with. Sharing your business culture, showing your ideals, and even photos of your office and products is a great way to boost trust in your business right on social media.

Want more help with your social media marketing? Whether you’re B2B, B2C, or even C2C, Rory Martin, a local Seattle social media company is here to help. Contact us for more information, or a quote. It’s on us.

How Reviews Benefit Your SEO & Your Social Media Marketing – Seattle Marketing Tips

Building your digital marketing strategy usually requires working in a great deal of different marketing techniques, and SEO and social media marketing are both very complementary to each other. While you probably already know that, one strategy affects both, as well as conversion and sales, and could be one of the most important strategies for companies with products to sell. That strategy? Reviews.

Whether you’re hiring a Seattle social media company to drive traffic and leads, or doing it yourself, your reviews greatly affect every part of your online marketing efforts, which makes them incredibly important.

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How Reviews Affect Search

If you have a quality SEO company, then they’ve probably already put you on Google Local, and have likely started generating review strategies for your Google Plus and for your Facebook page. When users search for businesses in a specific location (I.E. Digital Marketing Company Seattle, Washington) on Facebook or on Google, they get back local search results based on businesses that have put their locations into the database. Here’s the important part. Your customer reviews show up in live search. If you have good reviews, this can greatly increase your conversion rate, because you automatically look more trustworthy.

How Reviews Affect Social Media

You probably already have some idea that reviews affect your social media. Social justification, or visible support for the brand, makes consumers much more likely to purchase, even if they’ve never heard of your brand before. For example, Amazon made more than $1 billion after introducing the “Was this review helpful” button, because users felt that individual reviews were that much more powerful. Pages with more reviews show up as more authoritative and more trustworthy, because users like popular opinion. Whether these reviews are on products, the entire business, or services doesn’t really matter.

How to Generate Reviews

The most important part of using reviews as part of your local Seattle social media or SEO strategies is that you shouldn’t use fake reviews. High quality reviews, from people who have actually used the product or service, are much better than any amount of fake, glowing reviews. If you’re on a social platform like Google or Facebook, the fake reviews can be removed, your account can be suspended, and you lose trust with your buyers if they catch you. Instead, using techniques like following up on an order with an email asking for a review, offering incentives in exchange for a review, using a slip or form in the package to remind users to review, or asking people in person is the best way to go. No, not all of your reviews will be glowing, but in an age where consumers know about fake reviews, it’s actually better for sales to have a small amount of negative reviews than to have all 5 star reviews. So, real reviews actually benefit you more than fake ones, even if they’re 3 or 4 star instead of 5.

Do you want to learn more about tactics for boosting your leads or sales? Talk to Rory Martin, a local Seattle social media company, and ask for your quote, or a consultation.

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.

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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.

What is Native Advertising and Why Is It important for Seattle Social Media?

What is Native Advertising and Why Is It important for Seattle Social Media?

Native advertising is a term that is extremely common in marketing, but if you don’t know what it is, it can be confusing. For Seattle social media marketers, native advertising is a must, because it allows you to market to users, in a way that blends with the content they are coming to see. This applies to Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and pretty much any other social media site, because Native Advertising is essential to marketing on any specific site. We will use Facebook as an example, because it’s the most popular social platform, but you can apply the following to any website, social media platform, or app. If you have a local Seattle social media manager, you can ask them for more information.

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What is Native Advertising?

Native advertising is the process of presenting an advertisement as native content, or content that blends in with the content that people are coming onto the site to see. Native content is valuable, because it allows users to see your brand as a person, as informative, or as something valuable, rather than simply as an ad. This is complex, difficult, and often doesn’t seem like advertising, which is the point, because it boosts brand awareness and increases brand trust, which boosts sales when you do post an actual ad.

Examples of Native Ads

Native ads are those that look like something a person would post. They are interesting, informative, valuable, funny, or otherwise something that people want to see. Dove’s Sketch Beautiful Video is one example. It fits into Facebook’s videos, is sharable, moving, and entertaining. It’s also a very strong emotional advertisement for Dove, and raised brand awareness considerably. Other examples include Mountain Dew sharing photos and stories about the sports teams and skaters they support, who are usually doing the advertising for Mountain Dew themselves, by holding the bottles and cans. This sort of advertisement requires thought, planning, and an understanding of your brand and demographics because instead of just posting about your product, you have to post about the things that your demographic do, enjoy, and like.

Facebook Sponsored Stories – Facebook sponsored posts allow you to use content that your fans have already vetted and shown that they like as a native ad. When you have posted content that is performing well, you can boost the post, allowing more than the standard 3-5% who would otherwise see it, to considerably more people. This allows you to show the content to more people, which boosts your Edge Rank, so that future posts, and ads, are seen by more people. When the content stops performing, you can simply stop paying for promotion. Why would you pay for promotion? It’s the same concept as using a TV or radio ad, except instead of hoping people see, hear, or listen to it, you know when people engage, and it’s for pennies on the dollar compared to the cost of traditional ads.

Native advertising is extremely valuable, especially for small and medium sized businesses who need to be social, interactive, and personable to make sales. The best plan is to focus about 90% of your social media efforts on driving engagement, brand awareness, and interest, rather than sales, because you need that to make sales, and native ads will do it for you.

If you want to know more about native advertising on social media, contact Rory Martin, a local Seattle social media management company.

Using Social Media to Reach Millennials – Seattle Social Media Tips

Millennials may be regarded as the ‘future’ of the Seattle market, but research and statistics show that they already make up a great deal in terms of purchase power and influence. Nationwide, millennials have some $200 billion in purchasing power, which is nothing to ignore. More importantly, while they’re difficult to reach through traditional marketing venues like ads, generation Y is extremely active on social media, and open to brands who want to engage. If you’re a Seattle business, here’s what local Seattle social media experts have to say about connecting with millennials via your pages.

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Be Authentic

Studies by the Boston Consulting Group show that most millennials value authenticity over any pitch or marketing gimmick. Unlike generation X, millennials want to see brands who consistently stick to the same ethics, and preferably who’s morals and behaviors mirror their own beliefs. While not always possible, being authentic is essential

Solve Problems

It’s not enough to share your products or even just funny articles and photos on your social media, you also have to solve problems. Whether that’s campaigning for social justice, helping with problems that millennials face, offering tips and advice, or a combination of all three is up to you. Millennials respond to social media that offers real value, interact more, drive up engagement, and then remember you more when they need something. This shows most often when you engage with and help consumers solve problems with your own products or services, and then watch as they turn into customers.

Don’t Share Content to Be Viral

No content is born viral. Sharing things with catchy titles but poor content is no longer enough to guarantee views, money, or sales. Instead, make sure that everything you share is relevant, interesting, or useful. If it’s not one of those things, it shouldn’t matter how shareable it is.

Customer Support

A study interviewing over 1,000 millennials showed that one of the things they value most about a business is availability and quality customer support. This means that not only do you have to be highly responsive (as in, the faster your reply to messages, the better), you also have to be polite, professional, and informative. Even if consumers aren’t exactly helpful or polite, you should always be as professional as possible when replying to them. You’ll also want to set aside at least two or three times during the day to respond to social media questions, or download apps for your social pages and try replying as quickly as possible during your day. Because many social media patrons are researching businesses they are planning to visit, this can benefit you even if you’re a brick and mortar Seattle business.

Personalize and Customize

One on one is the new trend, for both marketing and customer support. Personalizing your responses, making sure that every customer asking something receives individual attention, and giving everyone a good experience is extremely important, especially in today’s age where peer reviews mean more than expert ones. Taking the time to offer a personal experience means that customers will feel more important, even if that personal experience is just you replying to them on their comments on your Google + page.

If you don’t have time to handle the time consuming task of using social media to market to millennials, a Seattle social media company like Rory Martin can take care of the details for you, so you just have to worry about your real life customers.

Does Your Small Business Need a Website? – Seattle Web Design Tips

The first servers powering the web may not have been switched on until 1991, but in that time, it has expanded at a rate so exponential that it’s expansion could be said to be unprecedented. The technology, which was initially created to allow access to data from anywhere, has become such a common part of everyday life, that most of those born in the 90s quite simply cannot imagine a world without it. With over 640 million active websites on the web, it’s hard to imagine that there are businesses who don’t have one. However, with 27.9 small businesses in the U.S. and over 217,000 in Washington alone, there are literally millions of businesses that have not yet made it onto the web.

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While it is an undeniable fact that a web presence can greatly benefit a business of any size, and the dot com is undeniably the gold standard for establishing your brand on the web, there are other options.

The Size Of Your Business

One important consideration is that many businesses are actually very small businesses. Very small business owners often bring home between $20,000 and $120,000 per year in gross profit depending on their business. Small businesses, which can make upwards of $1 million per year, can typically afford a website without any problems, but for very small businesses who use most of their income for living expenses, renovations and small personal luxuries, the often high costs of a website are not always an option.

Social Pages vs. Web Pages

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Social pages are quickly replacing websites as the first place that customers visit. While anyone searching for a keyword or business type on Google, Bing, or Yahoo will most definitely find your website first, they can also reach your Google Plus page if it is properly optimized, your YouTube page, or even your Facebook page, depending on how you write your About description. Because services like Google Local allows you to put yourself on the map (literally) in search, web pages are becoming less and less necessary for simply telling people about your business. In fact, a busy social page with visible reviews, visible consumer interaction and fresh posts will leave the average consumer more convinced of the quality of your small business than most websites.

What You’re Selling

The last and most deciding factor for choosing whether to go with a website or a social page is your business. Depending on what you are selling, what you want to use the website for and what information you want to display, a website may or may not be right for you. For example, if you have a restaurant and you want an interactive menu, online booking and live chat, then you definitely need a website. If you have an auto-shop and you just want to let people know where you are and when you’re open, it’s significantly less necessary.

While statistically, more than 140,000 websites are launched per day, the truth is that with social media, the days of one page websites and web pages are virtually over. Not everyone needs a website when they can establish a web presence just as effectively, and without the hassle, using social media. Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a website, it just means you might not actually need one.

If you want to know more, contact Rory Martin for a consultation.

Seattle SEO Tips: Social Media Creats Backlinks

SEO has changed a lot over the last few years, especially where it pertains to Google’s search algorithm. The release of Panda and then Hummingbird not only nearly eliminated the usage of keyword phrases and backlink techniques that most users relied on for ranking, it also eliminated a great deal of content spamming, such as posting dozens of low-quality articles in hopes of ranking. But, with both keywords and backlinks pretty much out of the picture, how do you rank in today’s search engines?

We got together with several local Seattle social media companies, including Rory Martin, to discuss one of the prime ranking factors, social media.

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You probably already know that social signals impact your ranking. Most search engines evaluate your audience by watching backlinks, social shares, traffic, and other data. What you might not know is that when an article gets a lot of shares, gets more traffic from social, or generates a lot of discussion on a Facebook or Google Plus page, you’re actually boosting your SEO. This is because Google ranks these social signals similarly to interaction on the page, similarly to guest posts and directory links, and essentially, as a signal that your content is popular, or something that people want to read.

But that’s not all.

Social media also provides feedback that you can use to boost your user satisfaction. Because Google’s Hummingbird is primarily about user satisfaction, that’s in your best interest. If users tell you that you need more content, write longer articles. In fact, Google is now ranking pages that are 1,500 words or longer in their own category, ‘in depth information’. By listening to what your social media is saying about your shares, your links, and your posts, you can tweak what you’re putting up to increase engagement, and therefore boost your ranking and SEO.

Social Media Shares Result in Links

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Buzzfeed did an article on the most shared articles on Search Engine Land, who promptly turned around and did a study on it. They then cross checked those with the most shares, and found that higher numbers of social shares had the highest number of backlinks. While that doesn’t necessarily mean that the social shares are backlinks, it does say that more social sharing results in more backlinks. Rather than an effect, it’s a cause and effect, which results in links, which still benefit your ranking.

Social Media Drives Traffic

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Finally, if you create high-quality, consumer oriented content for social media, then you’re probably driving traffic from your social to your web page. More importantly, because Google now ranks high-quality content as well as keywords and other data, and traffic is a ranking signal, the combination of these two items is a very clear signal to Google, Bing, and Yahoo that you deserve to be ranked. While you might still have competitors who are ahead of you on the quality content game,

SEO is a long-term strategy, and Social Media can be either or. However, analytics show that the two are now intrinsically linked, and if you want to succeed with SEO, social media platforms can help.

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Seattle Social Media Management in Small Business: What You Need to Know

Social media managers are becoming increasingly necessary for businesses who want to profit from Seattle’s busy social industry, but while big business corporations are already jumping on the bandwagon (and have already been profiting from social for years), the majority of small and medium sized businesses typically are not. In fact, many think that they do not have the budget, the time, or the need for a professional social team or manager. If you’re one of these smaller business owners, here are a few reasons you might be wrong.

Benefits of Social Media Management for Small Business

If you’re running a small or medium size business in the Seattle area, then a local Seattle social media management team or manager can do wonders for your revenue. Any good social media strategy can and will improve sales, increase hype, and help with your customer satisfaction. With the right training, you might be able to do all of that yourself, if you have the time for training and for the social media itself, but the thrush is that it is a lot of work, and it is easy to steer your pages in the wrong direction if you are not familiar with the market.

What a social media manager really brings to the table includes the following, and more:

Proven Results – You won’t waste time or money pursuing things that don’t work. Professionals know what and what doesn’t make money.

Consistency – Inconsistent social branding is one of the most common problems on small business social media, but when you bring in a professional manager, you can make sure that yours stays consistent so that you convert and keep more leads.

Save Time – Managing a good social media campaign can take hours per day, especially if you are not familiar with local social trends like hashtags, popular groups, or marketing trends. Professional social media managers are aware of, and stay on top of, all of these issues, so that you can save time, and still get the best results.

Outsourcing

While it might be beneficial for your company to bring in an in-house  social media manager, the truth is that unless your social media is turning over at least twice what they are making per year, it’s not really worth it for you. Instead, consider what some of the top companies in the U.S. are doing, which is outsourcing. If you need a single social media strategy but don’t have the budget for a full-time employee, then an outsourced team has several advantages, starting with affordability. You get every advantage of a social media team, while paying less than you would with hiring a single person. You also get to work with a company that has guaranteed professionalism, and a history of working with other clients.

Creating a Plan

The most important part of hiring any social media manager, in or out of Seattle, is to sit down and create an outline of what you want to achieve with your social media. While you could just go to a social marketer and tell them to increase your traffic and sales, you are much better off sitting down, discussing expectations, and discussing what you can achieve within your budget. This is a great time to discuss other items that tie into planning, such as expected ROI, an expected timeline, and any other specific details that you, or the marketer, think are relevant to your situation.

Hiring a Seattle social media manager can and will make you money, even if you aren’t quite a Fortune 500 company.

 

How to Boost Your Social Media With Referrals & Reviews – Seattle SMM Tips

In today’s digital world, social shares and customer referrals are still among the best ways to get new customers, especially if you have a small business. Because the majority of consumers now do research online and on social media before purchasing products, getting your customers to recommend and refer customers to you can be hugely beneficial to your business.

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Ask

The easiest way to get reviews on your social pages is to quite simply ask. If you have regular customers then take a few minutes to tell them how good reviews on your social sites (Facebook, Yelp, Google Plus) will help you to get new customers. Just take a few minutes for each customer, be genuine, and ask them to leave a review. Many of them will respond, especially if they know you relatively well.

Incitements

For newer customers, you may have to offer incitements to review. In some cases you can offer something simple like a 10 or 15% discount. You don’t want to go too high, but if you make the discount too low then they might not want to leave the review. On the other hand, if you usually offer incitements to get customers to return, then you can offer a slightly higher discount for the review. Alternatively, you can offer small prizes or something for free to people who leave a review. However, you do not want to ask them to leave you a good review, just an honest one.

Offer Referral Bonuses

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Referrals are another great way to get customers, and you can offer referral bonuses, even if you don’t have any sort of online sales. Instead, you can track the referrals from each person using a business card with their name on it, and when they get to a certain amount of referrals, offer them a discount or a bonus. Usually a great way to create this sort of referral bonus is to offer a 10% discount to the person being referred and then a $5-$10 discount per referral to the person doing the referrals. That way, everyone wins. Some people try to use this sort of program to get likes on their social pages, but this is most likely a waste of time as likes on a page aren’t necessarily profitable.

You should keep in mind that while reviews can do a great deal for your page, you do want them to be natural. Fake or paid reviews tend to stand out, and if all of your reviews are the same then clients will notice. Keep the reviews and referrals on your page genuine, and your consumers will respond. Usually the best way to get great reviews is to offer great service, and then ask for the review.

Do you want to know more about localized Seattle social marketing for your business? We can help you by putting together a professional marketing scheme that will get you the reviews, referrals, and hype that you need to grow your consumer base and make more money.

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