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Archive for the ‘Social Media Management’ Category

How to Use Pinterest in Your Company’s Marketing Strategy

When you hear of Pinterest, do you automatically think of recipes, crafts, and endless hours spent scrolling through a sea of pins? While the social media platform has a reputation as a place for women, the number of men using Pinterest doubled in 2014. And though those numbers are two years old at the time of this blog, think of the number of potential customers for your business.

What is Pinterest?

Having dubbed itself as “the world’s catalog of ideas,” Pinterest is pretty much that. Launched in March 2010, the social media network features the ability to ‘pin’ anything that can be found on the internet to user created boards. The platform is commonly known for its collections of recipes and crafts, but if it catches a person’s eye, it can be saved.

Think of the boards as digital bulletin boards without losing push pins in the process. Boards are used to organize ideas and break user’s interests into categories. You can have as few or as many boards as you like. The author of this blog personally has 25 different boards on their Pinterest account. The boards I use most often are titled ‘running,’ ‘film photography,’ ‘food,’ ‘apartment decor,’ ‘yarn,’ and what I call ‘wardrobe updating.’ Secret boards were introduced in 2012 and allow only the creator of the board to view the contents, unless they add a collaborator to also pin.

How Does It Benefit Any Business?

Businesses of any size can reap absolute benefits from using Pinterest. It is a great source for back links. These are a crucial SEO ranking signal and a boost to your overall visibility online. It also falls under referral traffic which is argued by some as the number one benefit of Pinterest to any business.

Think of Pinterest as another way to show off and share your knowledge of your specific business or industry. As an image based platform, if you include even a single image or graphic on every page of your website, that is an opportunity for someone to pin your content. A single pin can be active for more than a year on Pinterest, a phenomena addressed further in a moment.

People can link to your content via widgets. What is a widget? It isn’t an abstract object from a fourth grade math problem. Instead, it’s the little red ‘Save’ button that usually appears on a photo when you hover the cursor over it for a few seconds. Widgets can be created for any photo or graphic you have on your website, opening the door for visitors to share every inch of your website.

Does Pinterest Help My Content Stay Fresher than Twitter?

It’s an ongoing strategy session for marketers and businesses who use online marketing alike. How do you get your content in front of people and keep it there, or at least for a few minutes for engagement? We’ve all seen how quickly tweets are pushed down a Twitter feed and Facebook posts are constantly adjusted by the platform’s algorithms. What worked last month – or even last week – could soon be outdated.

Enter Pinterest and its ability to see pins for content that is more than a few days old. If you’ve used Pinterest for any amount of time, you’ve seen pins that are at least a year or two old. How does this happen? One person liked that content and saved it to a board. Someone new came along, began following that person, also took an interest in it, and saved the pin. The cycle keeps moving along as long as Pinterest exists.

Exactly how many pins on Pinterest are re-pins? According to a September 2015 infographic from Social Marketing Writing, 80 percent. When you think of the 72.5 million people who use Pinterest, that’s a lot of pins floating on the internet since early 2010 and high odds of your content being continuously recycled.

How to Engage with Other Users

Like any social media platform, there are many ways you can engage with users. Our favorites for Pinterest start with the simple fact that people love sales, discounts, coupons, and any way to save a little money. Take advantage of Pinterest’s image base to share sales and drive traffic to your website or brick-and-mortar store.

Give your followers more opportunities to interact by using several images on each of your web pages. This goes back to the widgets discussed earlier in this blog. The more options people have, the more likely Pinterest users visiting your website will pin content.

If you’re looking to give your overall search engine optimization efforts another boost, take advantage of rich pins. Consider these citations specifically for Pinterest, individual pins that use meta-tags. Articles or mostly text content will have a headline, the author, story description, and link in its pin. A product or service can have real-time pricing, availability, and where to buy included. Not only are you giving yourself a little help in the SEO department, you’re giving your customers even more valuable information about your company and services.

Don’t be afraid to respond to questions and comments left on your pins. Like any other social media network, Pinterest provides space at the bottom of each pin to comment. You can also tag a person which will notify them of the comment on the pin. Just remember to follow the basics of responding to online comments at all times.

How Can Elevare Help Me?

While we can’t help you cull out the many delicious looking recipes that you’ll make someday from your boards, we can give your business another boost online. Pinterest may have started out as a place for people to save recipes and plan weddings, but we know it’s grown to much more than that. Whether it’s helping you build a strategy to further engage your customers or create a plan for restarting a listless campaign, we can help you use Pinterest to grow your business and bottom line.

Are you ready to grow your social media presence? Elevare has had great success helping people with social media goals including awareness campaigns for new business launches and conversion campaigns to grow revenue.

To get started, fill out the form below and we will contact you within the hour to start the conversation towards your success!



Why LinkedIn Should Be Part of Your Marketing Strategy

What Is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is billed as the world’s largest professional network. The easiest way to remember it is to think of the platform as social media for professionals, whether you’re a business owner or tasked with helping market your company. Launched in 2003, LinkedIn states it has more than 433 million members across 200 countries and territories, although 106 million accounts were active as of March 2016.

Much like other social media networks, users create a profile then connect with others they may know personally or professionally for virtual professional network building. Businesses, however, set up what is called a company page. These pages are geared toward a company and industry, rather than individuals like a personal LinkedIn page. However, the premise is still the same – to network with others and expand your professional reach. Company pages are used as yet another platform to share the company activities, products, news, insights and more but on a professional level. Basic information shared on a company page includes specialties, company size, website, and industry. Some companies list job opportunities on their page, but it is purely a personal decision to do or not do so.

Why It’s Important for Businesses?

We could go on and on for days about how LinkedIn is important for businesses. But to start with, it’s a great resource to attract talent to your company, without the wine and dine expense. A larger company with a human resources department can seek out potential employees based on their LinkedIn profiles. Through an advanced search, recruiters can search based on keywords, locations, and much more for potential employees – and vice versa.

LinkedIn is also another outlet to share your brand. With the ability to share company information and content, a LinkedIn company page can help you establish your brand in your industry. A presence is also another page to return in search engine result pages and give your SEO a friendly boost. Unlike Facebook, there is no algorithm filtering out your posts in LinkedIn, however, it does require more frequent posting for your audience to be reached. LinkedIn advises companies to plan on posting 20 times each month to reach 60 percent of its individual audience.

 

Want Even More for Your Business?

Are you looking to drive more traffic, leads, and sales to your website? We are offering our readers a FREE and essential new eBook called:

25 WEBSITE MUST HAVES TO INCREASE TRAFFIC, LEADS, AND SALES

Yes, I want to Increase Business From my Website!

 

How Your Business Can Benefit from LinkedIn

Obviously, networking is the top reason for how LinkedIn can help your business. Whether it’s industry peers, vendors, suppliers, or customers, you can build a network as large as you would like to build. But with the intention of connecting people with like backgrounds and interests, LinkedIn helps you build your network more quickly.

LinkedIn can be used as another channel to promote new products and services. While your overall goal with these new items will be to reach current and potential customers, showing off what you’ve created to your professional peers isn’t a bad thing. Perhaps those peers will give a shout out or two to your company on their page, expanding the reach you have for the new product or service.

In their 2015 State of Marketing report, Salesforce found that LinkedIn was the third most common social network for business owners. The same report found it was more important than Facebook for business-to-business (B2B) marketers. Anyone in both of those positions knows how crucial networking is and having another way to reach out to industry peers is always welcomed.

But Remember to Mind Your Manners

Now that you’ve taken the time to understand and learn why having a company page can benefit your business, now isn’t the time to slack on filling out as much of the company page as you can. Not only will this make your company easier to find if there are companies with a similar name or in the same industry, but it will also boost your SEO. However, there are two main etiquette tips we want to impress upon anyone using LinkedIn.

First and foremost, keep it professional. As a business page, this is a representation of your company as a whole, even if the person managing the page is in a different office or across the country. What could be considered appropriate to post on Facebook or Twitter may not be on LinkedIn. When in doubt, don’t share or publish the content to your company page. Remember to proofread all content before it’s published and before then, hand it off to someone with a fresh set of eyes to do the same.

They say it takes three weeks of repetitive action before something becomes a habit. The same can be said for keeping your company page active. Regularly publishing content, whether articles, infographics, or videos from inside the office, will let your followers know you’re in the loop. Having an active presence will also encourage others to begin following your company. Another way to get your company into the minds of others is by joining LinkedIn groups related to your industry or areas you serve. In these groups, you’ll have many opportunities to contribute to discussions, giving your company credibility in your industry and as a thought leader or influencer.

Elevare Can Give You a Nudge

It could be easy to think of creating a LinkedIn page as simply another social media presence you or someone else in your office needs to keep up. With so many platforms boasting their importance to businesses, we understand how that thought can occur. Elevare has the social media expertise to help manage your posts, campaigns, and networking on all platforms including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and more!

 

Let Us Help You Build Your Social Media Presence. Get a FREE 30 Minute Consultation!

We would like to offer you a FREE 30 minute consultation to review your product or service and the incredible power of social networking to help launch your business to new heights. Just fill out the form below and our marketing specialist will contact you within the hour!

How Does a Facebook Ads Campaign Work?

What Are Facebook Ads?

Well, Facebook ads are exactly what they sound like – ads that appear on Facebook. These appear in the news feed or in the right column regardless of the device you’re using, whether it be mobile or desktop. If you’re using the social media network on a desktop computer, ads will appear both in the news feed and on the right column.

As for what the ads are, they are nearly anything you can dream or scheme up for your business. Creating ads for Facebook is akin to creating ads for any other platform. Though they have character limits for text, Facebook ads can be built using stock or original images and whatever text copy you create.

Why Have They Become So Important?

There are many reasons why Facebook ads have become important. To start, paid online searches help guide prospective customers to your business while paying for social media reach helps you find customers. The key behind this is targeting specific audiences. But everything starts with deciding on your campaign objective or what you want the ads to really accomplish.

The decline of organic reach has also shifted the focus to paying for ads. Since October 2013, Facebook has put a near stranglehold on organic reach. Instead, marketers tactics have been shifted to ‘pay to play’ though the official company stance is not the case. The decline in organic reach can mostly be attributed to the sheer increase in the volume of content being published and continuous changes to the algorithms behind what you see on your news feed.

Boasting a global audience of 1.5 billion people, the global reach and audience size for Facebook have made ads important. The platform continually aligns with changing media consumption habits and consumer technology habits such as the shift to mobile. In its 2015 third quarter earnings report, Facebook said the number of daily active users using mobile increased 27 percent year over year.

How Does a Campaign Work?

A campaign is a broad word encompassing everything you’ll have or need when using Facebook ads. Before you begin, you’ll want to have a predetermined objective or end goal before starting the campaign. Do you have a new product or product line you’re looking to expose and promote? Or maybe your website has had a complete remodel and your business would like to hold a virtual open house for your customers. Facebook offers several ad options such as page likes, click to website, offers, and local awareness. Without an objective or goal, the campaign will be for naught.

When it comes time to set your audience, this is where your buyer personas could come in handy. However, it’s not a requirement to use your buyer personas, especially if you’re trying to build awareness and exposure for your business. If you do use a custom or targeted group, Facebook will allow you to save these for future campaigns.

Facebook does take into consideration most companies work within budget limitations and offers two options – daily and lifetime. Daily is used for ad sets that run continuously through each day of the campaign, with Facebook setting the pace for spending each day. The second option, lifetime, allows Facebook to dole out the set budget amount over the ‘lifetime’ of the campaign.

For creating the ad, its final look will depend on what your overall objective is. Single image ads are called ‘links’ while multi-image ads are ‘carousels’ as the chosen images scroll automatically. Before publishing the ads, you’ll get a preview of how it will look on the three ad locations. This will let you adjust or tweak anything from the text to the image being used until you’re satisfied with it.

With so many options and abilities to create successful ad campaigns, Facebook would be remiss if they didn’t provide a way to gauge and follow your work. The ad manager gives a person or business an overview of each campaign they are or have ran. Reach, frequency, and cost are the most commonly sorted metrics from campaigns. Frequency means the average number of times a user sees your ad and is also equal to impressions.

Why Should My Business Consider Using Facebook Ads?

Well, above all, it just works. Think of the amount of time you spend on social media, even if you’re an anomaly who doesn’t spend an average of 1.72 hours on social media each day, according to Inc. Facebook earns, on average, 40 minutes of that time each day. Then, there’s the fact that organic reach has been reduced to nearly nothing on Facebook.

Pay to play has become the near norm for getting your business or product in front of your Facebook audience. In a January 2016 article on Facebook ads, Inc. found that less than .5 percent of your Facebook fans will see your updates organically. That’s half of a percent. As of the writing of this blog, we at Elevare have 1,421 fans for our Facebook page. Using the calculator on a cell phone and reaching back to a long gone math class, 1,421 multiplied by .005 is 7.1 people who see updates regularly through organic reach. While we are very appreciative of those 7.1 people, we also know reaching less than 10 people about our business won’t work very well or long for growth.

With everyone’s nose seemingly buried in a smart phone or device, take advantage of the fact we conduct so much of our lives from our hands. Using a call now button on a Facebook ad removes fumbling between screens or with a phone to manually enter a business’s number to call. Facebook ads also allow for easy A/B testing. You’ve already determined what audience you want to target for your campaign, but feel like they could really respond to one ad over another. Enter A/B testing. Though you’ll create two ads, you can split the two among the chosen audience and see which engages more.

Elevare Can Help

It doesn’t matter if you’re considering using Facebook ads for the first or fourteenth time, Elevare can give you a helping hand. With so many ways to tailor an ad or an entire campaign, we can assist you from start to finish, and celebrate alongside as the results start pouring in. Along with creating ad campaigns, Elevare offers social media management for businesses of all sizes. Contact us to get a winning campaign for your business going!

 

Get a FREE 30 Minute Consultation!

We would like to offer you a FREE 30 minute consultation to help you find the best solution to help launch your business to new heights. Just fill out the form below and our marketing specialist will contact you within the hour!

 

Want Even More for Your Business?

Are you looking to drive more traffic, leads, and sales to your website? We are offering our readers a FREE and essential new eBook called:

25 WEBSITE MUST HAVES TO INCREASE TRAFFIC, LEADS, AND SALES

Yes, I want to Increase Business From my Website!

 

 

How to Leverage Hashtags on Social Media

Remember the last time you had to call a company and enter a PIN over the phone followed by the pound sign? The pound sign has been around for years, but only in the last 10 has it taken on a new meaning. Its name has also shifted, now referred casually as hashtag. But there’s more to a hashtag than the pound sign that makes it a powerful feature in the social media age.

What Are Hashtags?

Simply put, hashtags are short links or words that begin with the pound sign. Hashtags were created by Google employee Chris Messina to group topics together on Twitter. The world was officially introduced to them during the 2007 San Diego forest fires as Twitter users posted their experiences on the microblogging site using a specific hashtag.

Once a hashtag is created, regardless of what social media platform you’re using, you’ll notice it becomes a hyperlink. When you click on a hashtag, users of that specific one in real time on the social media platform are viewable. Hashtags invite communication and conversation online, regardless of location, platform being used, and a myriad of other factors generally limiting conversation.

Basic ‘Rules’ of Using Hashtags

Spaces break apart a hashtag and leave you with unintended snippets. For example, if you were to create a hashtag for our company #madmousecreative but instead use proper spacing, it becomes #mad mouse creative. Now you have one unintended hashtag and two individual words. Capitalization of each word (#MadMouseCreative) is generally used in place of spacing. Numerical characters can be used in a hashtag, but punctuation breaks up a hashtag much like space does.

example broken hashtag

Example of a Broken Hashtag

 

working hashtag

A Working Hashtag Format

If you want to add your two cents to an online conversation about a topic or situation, be sure the hashtag is specific. Generic or vague hashtags will quickly sink to the bottom and your input will be overlooked by the majority of people. However, the rule of thumb for hashtags is two to three on Twitter or Facebook; any more than that, and it will look like spam.

Context is key when using hashtags. It is commonly used following a sentence or two in a tweet, rather than a standalone.

How Hashtags Are Used Across Platforms

Twitter

For those with a public account, hashtag usage means you have an open mic for whatever you feel like tweeting to the world. All conversations are tied into one stream, given the hashtag is the same across users. But remember, a misspelled word, space or punctuation will break a hashtag and make it all for naught.

Hashtags are then grouped into four main categories by Twitter. Top accounts are the accounts that hold the most influence or a high number of followers. Live is everyone tweeting with that specific hashtag at that moment. The news tab groups publishers and designated news sources using the hashtag, while photos and videos are those using results using the hashtag in a caption.

Facebook

Like Twitter, different users are tied together in one virtual conversation, but with a major catch. Most Facebook users set their accounts to private, meaning if they use a hashtag in a photo, video, or any post, it won’t be visible in searches. Influencers, brands, and publishers are most likely to return in searches. If you want to make your post with a hashtag public, you can change the privacy setting on individual posts while leaving your overall account private.

Instagram

Hashtags and their use are very popular across the photo sharing platform. But as with Facebook, accounts must be public for the full effect of hashtag use. If your account is private, clicking on a hashtagged photo will only return your uses of it in a search.

How to Get the Best Results From Using Hashtags

There is no steadfast way to get the best results or magic potion. Most successful campaigns follow the basic rules of hashtags. Brands and companies will create custom hashtags for campaigns and use the specific hashtags on all campaign-related media and encourage fans and followers to do the same. This creates more of a digital footprint for the company and hashtag if a random person was to stumble across it online. Ultimately, hashtags are more brand exposure and a boost to marketing.

 

A Hashtag Group

A Hashtag Group

 

Let Elevare Leverage For You

It would be easy for us to say that we know social media and hashtags in and out, but do you find yourself using hashtags in verbal conversations? We do. Hashtags and all things social media are second nature at Elevare and we want to help you get every bit of reach from the ubiquitous phrase. Large or small, we create engaging and results-driven social media campaigns for all businesses. Contact us to take your social media game to a new level!

 

Get a FREE 30 Minute Consultation!

We would like to offer you a FREE 30 minute consultation to help you find the best solution to help launch your business to new heights. Just fill out the form below and our marketing specialist will contact you within the hour!

 

Want Even More for Your Business?

Are you looking to drive more traffic, leads, and sales to your website? We are offering our readers a FREE and essential new eBook called:

25 WEBSITE MUST HAVES TO INCREASE TRAFFIC, LEADS, AND SALES

Yes, I want to Increase Business From my Website!

 

 

5 Things to Learn Following Your Competition on Social Media

Be honest, you’re always keeping at least a little side eye on your competition. The stealth Facebook search once a week and quick scroll of their wall. Hovering the cursor over the follow button for their Twitter page. Curiosity is a great thing, especially when searching for ways to spice up your social media routine.

But can you really learn anything from following your competition on social media? Absolutely.

For starters, it’s another way to find out and keep tabs on the what’s what of your industry. Your competition could be addressing questions and concerns you hadn’t yet heard of. Or they could be a little bit more established in the industry and have insight not only useful to customers but also yourself.

In this blog, we offer tips on how to study their strategy to benefit your business, along with sharing our favorite five things we’ve learned by following our competition on social media.

Study Session or Strategy Session?

By the time you’ve read this sentence, chances are three more social media platforms have been developed and launched. A touch of hyperbole, yes, but the social media world is growing very, very rapidly. And with that growth comes the old standbys such as Facebook and Twitter adding tools for their users – marketers and businesses included – to add efficiency to their daily lives.

Both of these platforms offer tools for following your competitors that can immediately be put to use. Twitter lists can be public or private and help you follow competitor accounts more succinctly. Facebook’s ‘Who to Watch’ suggestions for a business page curate four to five similar businesses to your own in an updating chart. The chart, found under Insights, shows total likes, how many posts they’ve had in the last week and engagement for the week.

So how can you use the information you’ve found so far? Look for what posts are getting the most reaction and engagement, but don’t discount the outliers and posts that only carry the sound of crickets.

What Can You Learn

What you can learn will only be hindered by how much time and effort you want to put into it. If 20 minutes a week works for you, great! Others may fall down the rabbit hole and emerge a few hours later with a legal pad full of inspiration and ideas. While we’ve learned more than we ever imagined by following our competition, these are our favorite five that can apply to anyone.

How Their Customer Base Responds to Content

Your bases and personas may be very, very similar. But for some reason, you know their notifications are blowing up while you get the weekly notification Aunt Bev hit the like button again. It’s widely known and understood that social media is very public so use this to your benefit. By spending a few minutes browsing their timelines, you can quickly see what kind of content is gaining the most engagement.

How to Be Different

The easy way would be to jot down a few notes and start formulating your posts to mirror theirs. Except people will see right through the canned and copied content. Think about the posts you’ve recently browsed through. Maybe you came across a post or two that didn’t have as much engagement as the majority of the others. Did you immediately spot a weakness with an idea to improve it? Go wild with improving that post and customizing it to your own business.

New Content Ideas

As marketers and business people, we spend hours each week reading and writing about any and everything related to our industries. Sometimes, the redundancy leaves us stuck in a content rut. Like with social media posts and improving on a low engagement one, your blogging efforts can get a little spark here and there. A topic may form or in the matter of minutes you may have a month’s worth of content ideas from gazing through your competition’s social media.

How They Handle Feedback, Whether Positive or Negative

We can’t stress the public part of social media enough, especially when it comes to how a business responds to online reviews. It’s a subject we have written about previously and likely will continue to do so as digital marketing evolves. Very likely your competitors remember the golden rule from elementary school or before – do unto others as you’d have done to you. Tact and civility go a long way and can affect a business reputation among customers and competitors alike.

Where Are They and Where Aren’t They

With so many social media platforms out there, are your competitors diving into all of them or only a few staples? This could be a subtle reflection of the strength of their social media campaign. Being nearly inactive on many platforms may signal a half thought out social strategy while having a consistent following on Facebook and Twitter with regular engagements means they’ve figured out something that works.

 

 

Elevare Can Follow Your Competition for You

From creating engaging Facebook campaigns to interacting with your followers in a Twitter chat, we are proficient in social media management. Whether your business needs a helping hand with weekly posts or starting a social media presence from scratch, Elevare can help you achieve your social marketing goals!

 

Get a FREE 30 Minute Consultation!

We would like to offer you a FREE 30 minute consultation to help you find the best solution to help launch your business to new heights. Just fill out the form below and our marketing specialist will contact you within the hour!

 

Want Even More for Your Business?

Are you looking to drive more traffic, leads, and sales to your website? We are offering our readers a FREE and essential new eBook called:

25 WEBSITE MUST HAVES TO INCREASE TRAFFIC, LEADS, AND SALES

Yes, I want to Increase Business From my Website!

 

 

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

We’ve all seen them – the infamous negative online business review. You know, blocks of text broken up by sections where the caps lock button was definitely on and liberal usage of exclamation points. In the age of screenshots, a response to an online review by business owners can make or break a business in mere seconds. And while immediately firing off a defensive retort to a customer’s concern about your business might seem the best plan, taking a timeout instead is highly recommended instead.

Responding to Negative Reviews

If you pride yourself and your business on providing the best customer service and experience, even the most gentle criticism may seem undue. But criticism is a great chance to grow as an owner and a business. Customers and others who visit your business may see or find gaps that you haven’t been able to.

When it comes time to respond to a negative review online, be timely in your response and reply to every review. Replying within two weeks is very acceptable, but the quicker, the better. Canned replies, such as ‘thank you for your feedback, I will review your comments with my staff to improve our customer experience’ are always your best bet. Getting personal with a customer in an online review is always a surefire way to live in screenshot infamy.

Was the Problem the Work or the Service?

This is the first step in any quest to right a wrong – pinpointing where the issue lies. Ask a customer at the checkout, or even before they reach that point if there were any issues or concern with the work or service they received. Knowing what needs improvement or a complete overhaul will expedite the customer service process in the future and hopefully avoid repeating the issue.

Interview Your Staff Without Blame

When you hire employees for your business, they become the face of your business and the first line of customer interaction and service. When a customer service concern arises, the sooner you can speak with your employees, the sooner you can find a solution. However, interviewing your employees shouldn’t become a witch hunt, but instead a fact-finding mission to ultimately become a better business.

Remember that blaming involves emotion and perpetuates more emotion once it’s been placed. A way to approach the interviewing is to think of it as placing responsibility rather than blame. Even the best employee at your business isn’t infallible. Speak to employees individually rather than as a large group, even if they worked together on the shift in question.

Process and Procedures Checkup?

If you have a company policy that addresses the management of your online presence, review it periodically, long before the first negative review is posted. Consider empowering your employees to satisfy customers before they leave the store, whether by a refund, exchange, or other response that wouldn’t require management override. Having a negative review should be used as a pause to improve rather than channeled internally and stewed upon.

How to Respond to the Review and Follow up with Your Customer

The time has come to response to a negative review someone left on an online platform. Start by remaining calm, regardless of how inflammatory the review may be. Matching fire with fire never ends well for anyone involved. Any knee-jerk reaction can permanently damage a business with an otherwise stellar reputation on and offline.

Draft a response or two and enlist another set of neutral eyes to review it before replying to the customer, either in the public forum or in a private message. Remember, screenshots live forever. However, it is possible to defend your business without sounding like you’re on the offensive. Acknowledge the customer’s specific concerns, even if unfounded, and let them know you will look into the issue.

Elevare Provides Social Media Management

Though we’re all chronologically adults at Elevare, once in awhile we’ll flash back to our time as kids and hear our mothers say, “Be nice!” Those two words ring true through how we provide social media management for our clients and will continue on with your business. While you might get a quick chuckle out of an exchange between a disgruntled customer and business owner online, deep down you know that business is taking a hit. Elevare applies the golden rule to our approach to social media management every day, knowing our mothers are proud for us listening that one time.

 

Get a FREE 30 Minute Consultation!

We would like to offer you a FREE 30 minute consultation to help you find the best solution to help launch your business to new heights. Just fill out the form below and our marketing specialist will contact you within the hour!

 

Want Even More for Your Business?

Are you looking to drive more traffic, leads, and sales to your website? We are offering our readers a FREE and essential new eBook called:

25 WEBSITE MUST HAVES TO INCREASE TRAFFIC, LEADS, AND SALES

Yes, I want to Increase Business From my Website!

 

 

How To Win Back Customers For Your Small Business

Taylor Swift might not have been right about customers who take their patronage to a different business. Sometimes we can get back together. But that initial break in the business-customer relationship can leave a business owner scratching their head, wondering what or where things went wrong and what they could do to change things.

Sometimes it’s nothing, in particular, you’ve done that causes a customer to take their business elsewhere. Many studies have shown it costs much less in the short and long term to keep a customer than earn a new one. But once a customer has left, there are factors to consider when you embark on trying to earn back their patronage.

Former customers have already shown they have a need for a service or product you provide. With that in mind, these same customers will already know your company and brand, cutting the time and energy you would otherwise need to create awareness and education of your business. As technology and software have evolved, customer databases have become customized. With these customizations, a business can see how a prior customer used your service or business, allowing you to tailor any win-back campaign to them.

 

 

One Customer At A Time, Or Everyone At Once?

Trying to regain every customer who goes elsewhere can quickly drain marketing budgets. Focus on gaining back the customers whose behavior before their departure showed that they will likely return.

A key focus in marketing has switched from customer acquisition to the retention of current customers and re-engaging former customers. The reasons customers have for leaving a business goes into two categories of problems: specific and systemic. Specific problems are ones that are easy to fix with little financial ramification. Systemic are more difficult to correct and carry more of a financial impact. Having a higher priced product than your competitors or lackluster customer support based on a low-cost business model are examples of systemic problems businesses run into.

So a customer you once heard from a time or two a month has gone off the grid for six months now, maybe longer as you realize the calendar has slipped further by. Then after thinking a little longer, you realize more than that one customer has gone elsewhere. Is there anything you can do? Absolutely.

Winning Back Customers, A Step At A Time

One of the first things you can do to start finding the issue is to go back to a tenant of business classes. A strength-weakness-opportunity-threat (SWOT) analysis may give you a personal insight to your business you before hadn’t realized. This assessment will help you determine why the customers have lowered their perception of your service or business. Other questions you can ask yourself during the SWOT analysis may include:

Has the market for your business or product or are there changes to the market looming on the horizon that others have already adapted for?
How do your current levels of pricing and service compare to your closest competitors?
What is your honest relationship with your customers?

That last question may take an outside but trusted opinion to find an answer to, but will be much worth asking yourself and others.

Create a written plan for earning back customers. Why a written plan? Because it will act as a guide throughout this ongoing process. Many businesses wait too long to touch base with a former customer again, usually waiting more than a year after the last interaction. With that in mind, exit interviews aren’t just for outgoing employees at companies. If you are able to touch base with a former customer, ask them why they are no longer doing business with you. Remember the follow-up question of what it would take to keep them as a customer. The best case scenario at this point is they will stay a customer. But, even the worst case scenario isn’t without crucial information – hearing information and details needed to make a change or several within your company.

Still asking what is a SWOT Analysis? The YouTube channel Bplans have a great visual explanation.

 

Tap Into Your Email

Adding a layer to your email marketing campaigns is a common way to re-engage customers. Through your metrics, you’ll be able to see what email subscribers have fallen into the area of dormancy. Though you’ll lose engagement with people via email over time, it doesn’t always mean they’ve left you as a customer. This is an excellent way to quickly boost sales and traffic to your website and increase business.

Offering an incentive may give a dormant subscriber reason to come back to your business, but we recommend giving it a sense of urgency, such as expiring in 30 days. Other times a customer needs a friendly nudge and reminder of the benefits they receive with your business or service. Also, people’s email preferences change over time, and by offering a subscriber the chance to change how often or what emails they receive from you can bring them back to active status.

 

 

Does Your Business Need a Jumpstart?

If you’ve run out of ideas on how to give your business a little marketing boost, don’t fret! Elevare can help you put together that shot of energy you’re looking for, plus a long-term sustainable marketing strategy. Through email marketing and social media management, our team will work with you and yours to ensure you aren’t looking for your marketing jumper cables again! Contact us and let’s get started.

 

Get a FREE 30 Minute Consultation!

We would like to offer you a FREE 30 minute consultation to help you find the best solution to help launch your business to new heights. Just fill out the form below and our marketing specialist will contact you within the hour!

 

Want Even More for Your Business?

Are you looking to drive more traffic, leads, and sales to your website? We are offering our readers a FREE and essential new eBook called:

25 WEBSITE MUST HAVES TO INCREASE TRAFFIC, LEADS, AND SALES

Yes, I want to Increase Business From my Website!

 

 

Using Social Media for Your Restoration Business

Think of the amount of information you consume every day in the restoration business. Whether it’s going through an annual certification class, or explaining to someone on the phone how the initial restoration process will go, you’re swimming in information that is also an excellent marketing tool. Bet that’s not something you thought of this morning.

The expanse of knowledge and information gained over time in this industry is a well waiting to be tapped into via social media. And while we hear all about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many other social media platforms, the type of post you share to your customers is key. Below we break down the type of posts which get the most views and shares, and provide some interesting statistics about consumer behavior online.

Types of Social Media Posts

The most shares for any content on social media tends to come from content that evokes strong positive emotion, such as awe, laughter, and amusement.

We all remember the kid in our grade school class who didn’t like to read. Anything. Ever. But maybe they were on to something, as the human brain processes visual information more quickly than text only. Through this, however, the brain is tricked into reading.

The average person reads at most 28 percent of words during an average visit to a page. Eighty-one percent of people skim any content they read or consume online. Enter the infographic, which is visually appealing, uses large and colored images while informing with minimal text. Infographics are easy to design and create and offer the ability to target different audiences. Along with other content which includes an image in the post, these posts usually get 47 percent more clicks than social media posts lacking an image.

Interactive content also grabs readers attention, as it can range from a moving image such as a GIF to video, audio, and games. BuzzFeed has become a leader in one of the most viral forms of interactive content – the quiz. Why are these simple exercises so engaging? Because it is a two-way form of content with users doing something rather than only consuming the information.

Videos are a great way to convert readers into leads on a landing page, with conversions increasing by 80 percent. Pages with a video are also 50 times more likely to rank on the first page of Google during an organic search.

 

 

What To Do With Your Post Messages

So you’ve compiled and culled the content you want to share with current and potential customers via social media. Now what?

The first thing is to be consistent, as 60 percent of marketers say they create at least one piece of content each day. Whether it’s a quick blog post, a long-form article, video, infographic, podcast or so on, consistently creating new content is the number one way to keep your audience engaged regardless of your industry. Seventy-eight percent of consumers trust a brand if that brand has created custom content.

Once your content is ready to go, you’ll likely begin to organize and schedule when the information will be released. When going through this process, keep these statistics in mind, as they provide key insight into how and when people engage.

Using the word “video” in an email subject line is a great way to get people to look at your email, but you’ll need to have a video in the email itself. Open rates increase by 19 percent, unsubscribes drop by 26 percent and click-through rates go up by a whooping 65 percent according to Syndacast when video is used.

Though correlation and causation are still unproven between the previous numbers on videos, one thing is certain that people are watching videos on their mobile devices. Forty-four percent of total video plays exceeded 44 percent halfway through 2015.

What Not To Do With Your Post Messages

Some weeks it seems like the things you’re not supposed to do with your social media posts grows tenfold. But all of the recommendations are rooted in being professional and polite at all times.

If someone has left a negative review or comment about anything related to your business on social media, resist the urge to automatically delete without investigating. Before responding, stay calm or take a break, remembering to be polite and professional in any response. Focus on the issue that has been raised by the customer and never make it personal. Even if you reply privately, keep this in mind because we’ve all seen the private messages that have gone viral. However, not responding at all can also send a message of apathy and lack of engagement to customers.

Don’t share posts casually as though you may have deleted it quickly after posting, other may have screenshot the post and it may come back to haunt you. Only give passwords to a select few handling your social media and always choose and use secure passwords. On the other hand, ‘liking’ your own posts might seem like a quick way to feign engagement, but people will quickly catch on. Instead, encourage your employees to share and like material posted on your accounts.

You don’t have to follow back everyone who follows you. Keep in mind how someone you’ve chosen to follow could represent you and your business, even if only through a virtual relationship.

Elevare Provides Social Media Management

Social media has become a driving force in getting your website and business found online in the last few years. Whether it’s increasing your brand recognition, sharing company updates quickly, or interacting with your customers, our team is ready to help you achieve your social media goals. With experience creating and implementing social media campaigns across platforms, we are also able to help you handle online reviews and responses. Contact us to find out how we can boost your social media presence to a new level!

 

Get a FREE 30 Minute Consultation!

We would like to offer you a FREE 30 minute consultation to help you find the best solution to help launch your business to new heights. Just fill out the form below and our marketing specialist will contact you within the hour!

 

Want Even More for Your Business?

Are you looking to drive more traffic, leads, and sales to your website? We are offering our readers a FREE and essential new eBook called:

25 WEBSITE MUST HAVES TO INCREASE TRAFFIC, LEADS, AND SALES

Yes, I want to Increase Business From my Website!

 

 

The Importance of Responding to Reviews for Your Small Business

Monitoring online reviews, comments, and questions can seem daunting, but it is crucial to maintaining a healthy online perception and relationship with your customers, present and future. Like other social media interactions with customers, reviews allow you to build a rapport with customers and learn from their comments and concerns. Most customers read more than one review of a business, and providing a well-thought and sincere response can improve your standing with customers. However, in the digital world, even the best of intentions can come across badly without the ability to read body language and voice inflections through the screen.

The number of guidelines to responding to online reviews seems to grow each week, but by keeping a few golden rules in mind, responding to both positive and negative reviews can feel like a breeze. Above all, never make it personal in a response. All responses should be written in the same manner as any other content you post to social media or your website: useful, readable, and courteous. A review response isn’t the place for a sales pitch, but can be a place for sharing new information about your business or anything else a customer may have not learned from a previous business.

Popular Review Sites

Yelp

Founded in 2004 as a crowd-sourced review website aimed at helping people find local businesses, Yelp is viewed as the leader in online reviews to many people. With an average of 139 million unique visitors each month across its website and several mobile apps, the site is well known to businesses beyond retail and dining. Eighty-two percent of Yelp users check the website when preparing to spend money on a product or service, while 93 percent of those people go ahead and make the purchase at the business they looked up.

Google+

What began as Google’s social network answer to Facebook has grown into a major player in the online review world. Google+ allows businesses to connect into Google Maps for directions and one-click calling to a business. Each week 1.5 billion photos are uploaded to the website.

Facebook

Facebook has matured beyond connecting college students across the country into the top mobile app for posting reviews of local businesses. The most common age demographic who use the social network are between 25 and 34 years old, making up nearly 30 percent of its total users.

Responding to Negative Reviews

No one likes to receive negative feedback or critiques of their business, but negative reviews happen to everyone. But before you penned a reply to that unhappy customer, keep these tips in mind.

Stay calm or give yourself a timeout before you respond. Always be polite and professional in your response and focus on the issue that has been raised by a customer. Even if you choose to reply privately, the same rules apply. You may have seen private messages that went viral after being shared by a customer. Decide if the negative review is even worth responding to. If the concerns raised are irrational or are given by someone who could be called a habitual complainer, you have the option to not respond. However, any legitimate concerns by genuine or high-profile customers or negative reviews on popular sites should be addressed.

Know the site rules for the website you’re responding on. The obvious rules of no swearing, attacking someone personally or breaching privacy are there, but so are specific site rules as some don’t allow using all caps or providing links in responses. You can also request the negative review be removed from the site, however, this may take some time and your petition may be dismissed by the website administrators. Look into what the customer claims happened and try to understand their point of view. This is an opportunity to improve your business. Once you have spoke with staff or employees who were on duty, contact the customer privately. Following a few common courtesy items such as introducing yourself, thanking them for their business, feedback, apologizing for their experience not being satisfactory, and outline your understanding of the issue can extend the goodwill from your end.

If the person doesn’t respond or takes some time to respond to a private outreach, still go ahead and respond publicly. Address the concern in this response and outline what you have done to resolve the issue. Other readers will see you are responsive to feedback and therefore boost your credibility.

 

 

Responding to Positive Reviews

Positive reviews are what business owners strive for every day, as they are physical proof of a job well done. Your response to positive reviews is a chance to not only show off your business, but show people how dedicated you are to customer service. However, don’t use the opportunity to make a sales or marketing pitch. Start by thanking the reviewer for not only their feedback, but patronage to your business. Reinforce the positive comment left, acknowledge any concerns or issues they may have raised, and welcome them back to your business.

Encourage more reviews by asking each customer if they’re pleased with your business and/or experience, and if so, would they leave a review online. Spread the word of your positive customer reviews by using them in sales proposals, highlight them on your website, display them in your business, and so on. Remember to share them with staff, even if no one is specifically mentioned as it can boost morale and remind staff of the impact they have on customers and their experiences.

Elevare Provides Social Media Management

Social media has become a driving force in getting your website and business found online in the last few years. Whether it’s increasing your brand recognition, sharing company updates quickly, or interacting with your customers, our team is ready to help you achieve your social media goals. With experience creating and implementing social media campaigns across platforms, we are also able to help you handle online reviews and responses. Contact us to find out how we can boost your social media presence to a new level!

 

Get a FREE 30 Minute Consultation!

We would like to offer you a FREE 30 minute consultation to help you find the best solution to help launch your business to new heights. Just fill out the form below and our marketing specialist will contact you within the hour!

 

Want Even More for Your Business?

Are you looking to drive more traffic, leads, and sales to your website? We are offering our readers a FREE and essential new eBook called:

25 WEBSITE MUST HAVES TO INCREASE TRAFFIC, LEADS, AND SALES

Yes, I want to Increase Business From my Website!