Archive for the ‘Social Media Marketing’ Category

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.

Is A Seattle Social Media Management Company a Good Investment For You?

If you’re thinking about hiring a social media manager or management company, there are more than a few things to consider. While social media marketing can be hugely beneficial to most businesses, especially in Seattle, where millennials and a variety of tech companies make new tech even more popular, a social media management company might not be right for you. We’ll cover the options, alternatives, and different types of management, so you can decide if hiring a Seattle social media management company is right for you.

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What Are Your Options for Social Media Management

There are three main options for social media management in the Seattle area. The first is managing your social media account yourself, or having a friend or family member do it for you. This can be cost effective, but time consuming, and might not be as professional as you might like. The second option is hiring a professional social media management company to take the workload for you. This allows you to take care of professional social media management without investing in a full time employee. A full time in-house social media manager is the most expensive, but allows you to get in-depth social media management and marketing from a single person, who is only doing one thing.

When Is the Social Media Management Company the Best Option?

Although it does depend on the size of your business, a social media management company is probably one of your best options. Unless you have a very large business, you probably don’t have the budget or the workload for a full time manager, you probably also don’t have the time to manage a social media marketing program yourself, and most people don’t have the expertise to do so successfully. In either of these cases, a social media management company is your best option. Companies are also great for bringing in for short term work, such as campaigns for a product release.

Are Social Media Managers Worth the Money?

Depending on your budget, your social media manager, and your products, a social media manager may or may not be the best fit for your business. For this reason, it is always a good idea to evaluate your products, consider whether or not they will sell via social media, and then ask questions. Most local Seattle social media management companies can help you with creating a plan designed to sell your products and generate ROI, but sometimes, you also aim for long-term ROI, where you create a return on investment over time, by building a loyal customer base first. A good social media manager will discuss your goals with you beforehand, and tell you whether or not they are achievable.
If you’re curious about whether a social media management company is right for your business, consider contacting Rory Martin to ask about our products and services, or check out our whitepapers to see how we’ve helped local Seattle businesses make money.

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.

How Seattle Businesses Can Use Pinterest For Marketing – Seattle Social Media Marketing

Pinterest is one of the most popular websites in the world, and in fact, ranks #3 for most used social media sites. While that is bound to change, as usage frequently fluctuates for social media, it is still something to consider when you get started with your social media campaign. For Seattle users, deciding whether or not to use Pinterest as part of your social marketing campaign should depend on your target demographic and primary consumer base, as Pinterest has several sets of very specific types of users. Knowing who to market to, how to do it, and how to use the platform can help you with boosting your visibility on the web, increasing sales, and creating positive ROI from your time spent on the platform.

Target Your Demographic

Knowing who you are creating pins for can help you with creating successful imagery, boards, and ideas to market to them. Identify your target demographic, find out what they share, what they like, and what they love, and then integrate yourself into that niche. Simply pinning photos of your products is rarely enough, unless you’re running a bakery or a nice restaurant. Find out how to market your products with attractive imagery before you attempt the platform.

Create Sales Not Memes

While you could spend your time pinning funny photos and memes, you can also use Pinterest’s for business function. Businesses can now place “buy”, links back to their website, and prices directly on the pin. This allows you to create style shoots for products, pin them, and then create direct ROI as pinners who want the item visit your site. If you add in a small discount code on your website, you can boost chances of converting them even further.

Use Group Boards

Group boards should be used with caution, but they should still be used. The first thing to watch out for is that you don’t want to waste your time on a group board that primarily has other businesses sharing on it. They won’t buy anything and you won’t gain anything but fake hype from it. Instead, look for currently active boards that people are pinning from your niche into. You want groups with at least several hundred users. You also want to make sure that all of your pins are highly relevant to the board.

Promote Yourself Locally

Most people aren’t aware that promoting yourself locally can help you with sales, but if you have a Seattle business, then you want to say that to your demographic. Whether you’re creating boards with names like “Seattle bakery” or a board with imagery from the street your business is on, you can get involved with the local online scene from your area, which will, in turn, help to boost local, offline sales.

Use Boards and Pins in Blogs

Pinterest allows you to share and embed boards as well as pins, which allows you the unique opportunity to cross promote your blogs and your boards on each platform. Pinning images from your blog and then putting them directly in your blog post allows you to create a “pin it to read later’ function, so that users can pin your blog photo, and then get the link from the pin. You can also put Pinterest boards directly in your blog posts for cross promoting and growing your Pinterest.

If you have a Seattle social media marketer, they can help you with identifying your demographic, creating a marketing plan, and then implementing it to create ROI for your business. If you want to know how it works, contact Rory Martin for more information.

Using Instagram to Market Your Business – Seattle Social Media Tips

Instagram is one of the largest social media platforms out there, and unlike Pinterest, is incredibly mobile. With more and more users on their phones, promoting yourself on an active, mobile friendly website is becoming incredibly important. For local Seattle businesses, that can sometimes mean leaving YouTube and other slow-to-load social media sites for their desktop marketing, and moving to more tablet and phone friendly sites like snapchat and Instagram. Because Instagram is by far the more valuable for marketing, we’ll discuss how local Seattle businesses can integrate it into their marketing tactics.
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Don’t Forget to Hashtag

The hashtag is as much a part of Instagram as it is on Twitter, so don’t forget to use it. Find out which brand relevant and local hashtags you can get involved in, and try to join in. Remember not to hijack hashtags, as that wont’ get you anywhere.

Share Fun Photos

Instagram is all about photograph and short, 15 second videos. Essentially, it’s perfect for an audience with a low attention span. If they’re scrolling through their feed, you want to attract their attention enough to get them to stop, double tap, and maybe even visit your profile, before going back to their feed. What can you share? Art, style, humor, inspiration, and sales. Most businesses use Instagram as a sort of lookbook or style book, think a mobile magazine that updates constantly, instead of once a month.

Don’t Just Post Pictures

It’s easy enough to post pictures, especially if you’re in the food, fashion, or sports industry, as all of these have a huge following on Instagram. Instead, you should figure out how to get involved with your local community. Local Instagram challenges, local hashtags, and interacting with stars in the niche (I.E. Irene Papas if you sell yoga gear), can help you with promotion, gaining followers, and building your brand value.

Post Regularly

The golden rule of social media is to post often, and to do so regularly. Create a flexible posting schedule that has you putting up at least 5 photos a week, and usually closer to 10. You don’t want to spam your feed, but you also want to keep people interested and let them know you’re still there.

Watch Trends

Just like Twitter, Instagram has trending hashtags. Watch them, get on them, and sit back to see traffic coming in. You might not make any sales off of trends, but you can jump on the bandwagon and find followers that you might later turn into customers.

Don’t Forget to Reward Followers

The easiest way to convert social media followers to customers is using incentives, but you don’t want to overdo it. Taking special occasions like a business anniversary, a follower milestone (I.E. 1,000, 2,000, etc.) and turning them into giveaways can give you leverage for building your fanbase and followers. Simple “regram and tag three friends to enter + you have to follow the page” giveaways can generate a great deal of followers. You can also offer coupons and discount codes to Instagram followers to help boost their conversion into actual sales.

Don’t Pay for Followers

An Instagram follower has no value as a follower. It is just a number. Furthermore, most Instagram users are smart enough to know that if you have 10,000 followers and no likes or comments, you’re probably faking it. Avoiding the temptation of paying for fake followers builds your trust.

Interact

Take five to fifteen minutes a day to interact with your followers on Instagram. Follow people who interact with you a lot, and try not to spam anyone. A lot of people are highly active on Instagram and they will see if you’re just pasting the same comments onto everyone’s photos. Take a few minutes, make a few meaningful engagements a day, and keep building on that.

Instagram is a rapidly growing platform, and while not valuable to every business, it works well as a marketing platform for many. If you need help with Instagram or other social media management in the Seattle area, contact Rory Martin for a consultation.

Does Social Automation Work? – Seattle Social Media Marketing Tips

Does Social Automation Work? – Seattle Social Media Marketing Tips

Social automation is incredibly popular, especially for businesses, and on pages where posts have to go up frequently and regularly. Automation is the process of scheduling posts for as far into the future as you want, so that you can schedule everything at once and then sit back and wait for engagement. While there are pros and cons, Seattle social media marketing specialists have a lot to say on the subject, and not everything is negative.

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Automation Suits Some Platforms Better than Others

One thing to consider is that some platforms work considerably better with automation than others do. For example, Facebook pages are often fine on their own with just automated and scheduled posts. However, real time posts always perform the best because you are live, talking about topics as they come up, and able to respond quickly to boost engagement and improve consumer trust.

A Mix of Real Time and Scheduled Posts Perform the Best

While you probably don’t have time to do all of your posts in real time, you can always mix them up. Sharing relevant news and hot topics, or asking questions about ongoing events is a great way to spice up your page and make it seem more relevant, while you can always schedule in content for fixed events, blog and product promotion, or specific items that you know you want to post about at that time. Mixing things up allows you to cut down on the work without losing your relevance.

Don’t Forget to Engage

The biggest problem with social media automation is the post and forget syndrome. This is where you schedule in a bunch of posts to Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, of whatever other social media platform you are using and then never check back. Even if you’re always busy, you should have the apps for your platforms installed on your phone so that you can quickly check and interact with your page every time you get a few free minutes. Boosting engagement improves your pages authority, consumer happiness, and the value of your page.

Remember to Share and Interact with Other Businesses

While it may be tempting to make your page all about you, this is a big mistake, especially on content centric platforms like Twitter. Make sure you tweet, share, +1 and like items from your competitors, industry experts, and make sure you add in a little bit of fun.

Do Mix up Promotions

If you’re promoting an event, blog article, new product or company achievement, make sure you mix up and change the messages about it. You can share the same posts to Twitter much more frequently than any other platform, but you still want to avoid too much repetition, especially if you have a small customer base. Keep in mind that you can share the same blog post with multiple messages to Google, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, just try to make each one unique. You can also keep tweeting the same post an a few hour basis for the first week after you’ve written it, and then move on to once a week after it’s no longer fresh. While there’s nothing wrong with sharing the same links, you have to keep it interesting because people will be seeing the same post.

If you want help with your social media promotion beyond simply scheduling a reminder into your HootSuite, Buffer, or Sprout Social, consider talking to Rory Martin for a professional and local Seattle social media consultation.

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