01 Apr 2013
Use Twitter For My Business
Almost everyone have heard about Twitter, many businesses create a Twitter profile but very few learn how to effectively use it.
In a nutshell, Twitter is an instant update tool from the accounts of your choice. So how does this fit into your marketing plan? You need to think how you can take a perfectly legitimate marketing case scenario and fit it into a short Twitter message. My favorite bakery tweets each time a new batch of cupcakes is ready. The coffee shop I mostly frequent sends out random posts like “First person to come by after 3 pm and show this tweet gets a coffee and an oatmeal cookie”.
This is brilliant marketing, because the key is to get people to come over for a small giveaway which in turn converts into additional sales.
Although it is easy to setup a Twitter account and start blasting tweets, there is a lot more you need to do to get the most out of your Twitter account:
- Setup the perfect profile: relevant handle, catchy tag line, link to your website, use your business logo as profile image and if possible, create a kick ass background. My neighborhood spa posts the monthly specials on their Twitter background picture.
- Lookup other businesses in your area, locate their Twitter accounts and start following them. You will be surprised how much you can learn from your neighbor’s tweets. And because the shopping pattern of one neighborhood is homogeneous, together with other local businesses you can collectively fine tune your Twitter marketing campaigns.
- Always reciprocate when someone follows you. Go through your followers list every once a while and follow the accounts that makes most sense to you. Vbout twitter insight gives you a general overview of your followers.
- Don’t be scared to retweet or send a private message.
- Link your Facebook account to your Twitter or the other way around depending which one your are mostly active on.
Learning how to master Twitter will take time, but the above should give you a quick idea about how to start a successful Twitter marketing campaign.
08 Mar 2013
Use Facebook for my business
Facebook is a great tool for your business! not simply because other businesses are using it, but because your customers are. Depending on the nature of your business, your customer’s demographic varies and the beauty about Facebook is that is covers pretty much every possible demographic.
Before starting a Facebook campaign, you have to ask yourself: who am I going to target? how can I collect fans? and what content would be valuable for my community?
Your target audience are split in two: your current customers and their friends. With that alone you have a reach effect of millions. So you always start by funneling your current customers to like your Facebook page, and this could be achieved by using the Vbout software. Once you build some followers, you have to update your page with valuable content that communicate your business best with your followers. This could be done trough photos and videos of your store, food, staff, people, etc.. Media always triggers high customer engagement which turns into more impressions across the social graph. This means if i like a photo that your store posted, 400 of my friends will potentially view that photo. You can also try some pop quizes posts for some free prizes, coffee, drinks, etc..
Here are few tips for maintaining a Facebook business page:
- Make sure you create a Facebook page and not an actual account. I took over so many clients where the business had a Facebook account with friends!
- Always use your business logo as the profile picture. Ask your designer to give you a square graphic of your logo, if it has a landscape format.
- Your cover image is very important! you can communicate a message through it, whether a holiday banner, catering special or an image of an event. Your fans get the update on their wall each time you change your cover image. This will increase your visibility and exposure.
- Create offers and polls to engage your customers and get likes and comments.
- Cleanup your page from outdated content, like old holiday banners. Facebook have a hide feature where you can hide a post without deleting it, so you can keep your comments and likes.
- Properly categorize your galleries. For example, create albums for drinks, food, people, events, decoration etc.. and each time you upload images place them in the right album.
- Use a smartphone to take photos. You can assign a staff member to actively take images and upload them to your Facebook page. Each time you do that, some of your fans will see the post and remember you. If i am hungry for instance, and i saw a picture of a freshly baked pie posted on my wall from a pizza shop i fanned, i might just call in a pizza delivery.
- Don’t overpost, you can loose fans! normally 1 to 2 posts per day are enough. Just make sure to do it at a good timing. If you own a spa, it makes no sense posting something at 10 pm, but if you own a bar, 10 pm might just be right.
- Always reply to good or bad comments. Customer who post something on your wall expect a reply, so don’t disappoint them.
28 Feb 2013
Setup a Perfect Linkedin Profile
If you have ignored your Linkedin profile recently, think twice. Linkedin is highly ranked within the search engines and trusted by many industry leaders and recruiters, so if someone or a company is looking you up, your Linkedin profile will be most likely one of the top results on the search engines.
You have to make sure that your profile is spot on and that your professional image online is not a factor in you loosing a potential job opportunity.
Here are some of the tweaks you can do to your linkedin profile to ensure your online visibility is an attraction and not a scare:
– Make sure you have a professional headshot taken, if you cannot afford one, take it yourself at home over a white background. Make sure you are well dressed and groomed.
– Choose a catchy, non-boring profile title, for ex mine is: Startup Expert | Web Design Addict | Social Media Fanatic | Product Development Geek.
– Make sure you link back to your personal business website and or your companies website.
– Your profile summary is very important, I recommend you write it, have someone else review it and read it back to you. If the profile does not sound convincing or descriptive enough about who you are, to you, it won’t be to others who are browsing your profile.
– Fill out all your employment history with the things that matters to the industry you are trying to get into. For ex, if you are applying for an IT administrator, your job as dishwasher when you were 18 won’t do you good!
– Complete your profile and fill out your expertise. Linkedin has a very good recommendation engine based on your profile information. They will push your expertise on the people in your network so they can endorse you. You will also see the completeness of your profile on the right column of your linkedin home page
– Grow your network, either by doing 1 on 1 with people that you exchange synergy with or even people you met at events you attended. You never know where a connection might take you in the professional word. You can also label your profile, next to your last name field, as [OPEN NETWORKER] this will let other people who wants to grow their network to add you to their profile.
– Ask for recommendations from people you know or worked with. Make sure you reciprocate as well.
– Try to publish some interesting news on your linked page to external websites. You can use tools like Vbout.com or Hootsuite.com to achieve that
– Last but not least. Insert a link to your linked profile in your email signature, this will definitely drive people to your profile
29 Jan 2013
Why you should invest in social media
After years of creating social media strategies for our clients, we have learned a lot through trial and error on what works and what does not work in the social media marketing realm. We have also learned that depending on industries, your ROI varies immensely and so is your approach to the market.
We have worked side by side with restaurants, retail, wholesale, E-commerce sites, doctors, spas, corporations and many more categories that we have enough data to prove and measure how a social media campaign will work for you and the metrics to look at when considering making a social media investment.
The following data are mainly applicable to small and mid-sized businesses, not big brands like Pepsi, Dove or M&M’s.
When first speaking to a business, we try to understand the full nature of the business, the customer base, demographics, the consistency of the brand, the efforts already done on marketing and their online reputation. This is called “Social Media Preparation”. It is no different from meeting a new person and getting to know them well before you jump into any type of relationship.
Based on the full understanding of the social media preparation, we move to “Social Media Expectancy and Projection”. This is where we start projecting numbers and reasonable estimation. Here are some examples based on industries:
Dentist: light marketing – Expected average monthly exposure over 12 month period: 300 new visits per month – possible conversion %1= 3 new customers per month– estimated transaction cost with each new customer is 3K – These customers are most likely to return for clean-up and maintenance in the next 12 months bringing an extra 2K which brings the value of each new customer to 5K.
Let’s do the math: 3 customers/mo x 12 mo x $5,000/yr = $180,000/yr
Social media spend should be 1/10 at the most which is $18,000/yr or $1,500 /mo
Dine-in Restaurant: Aggressive marketing- Expected average monthly exposure over 12 month period: 1000 new visits per month, through likes, recommendations, reviews, checkins, etc.. Conversion for the restaurant industry is slightly higher than other industries as it is an easy sell and a more needed commodity. So the conversion could go up to 3% if done right, which could reach 30 new customers per month. Assuming an average spend of $40 per visit for 2 people and an overall 6 visits a year for a decent restaurant. This is a total of $240 /year spent by each new acquired customer.
Let’s do the math: 30 customers/mo x 12 mo x $240/yr = $86,400/yr
Social media cost should be 1/10 at the most which is $7200/yr or $600/mo
Take-out Restaurant: This is relatively similar to the Dine-in except that the customer spend is half so if we split our metrics above in half would bring us to: $43,200/yr in return and a $300/mo spend on social media
Gym: Aggressive Marketing: Expected average monthly exposure over 12 month period: 700 new visits per month. Customer acquisition in this market is more difficult as end users are either already committed with another gym, or they are inactive to begin with or they are ready to commit. So let’s divide the exposure to a third with 1/3 of inactive users converting to interested gym goers: total exposure is 300.
With a conversion rate of 2 % 6 customers with 1 year commitment is almost $600 spend per each customer. Let’s do the math: 6 customers/mo x 12 mo x $600/year= $43,200/yr
Social media cost should be 1/10 which is $4,320/yr or $360/mo
And we can do similar projection with different industries.
The bottom line is you should not invest blindly in anything without understanding your ROI, but with social media, if you use the right tool, such as vbout.com, as well a s a good strategy, your ROI is guaranteed, and more.
30 Nov 2012
How to market your business with Pinterest
Pinterest has been recently listed the third most popular social network, right behind Twitter. The main reason for that is its addictive features of pinning and repining images with the ability to link back to third party websites. The concept is very simple, but because its easy sharing features and the power of the social graph, an image of a chocolate crusted apple pie can be pinned and viewed over 100 thousand times.
Here are few important Pinterest pointers to get you started:
- Complete your profile with your logo, description of your business and a link back to your website.
- Create boards so you can categorize your content. This way your boards can be found by the Pinterest search engine.
- Always link back to your website.
- Make the best image the cover of its board.
- Stamp your logo over images when you can.
- Attach descriptions to pins by going to each pin individually. This will increase searchability, visibility and repins.
- Follow other profiles that share similar interest
Remember that Pinterest can serve as a referral machine to your website or the landing page of your choice, so if you are rolling out a new dish, or you have a fantastic line of clothing on your shelves, don’t be afraid to create a page or a post on your website that talks in depth about that product, snap an edgy image and pin it with a link back, then let analytics do the talking for you.