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Customers Fun Social Marketing Stories

Is Facebook Doomed?

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For the past few months there has been an increased rise in the number of “niche” social media platforms due perhaps to the heavy criticism networks leveled toward some of the popular social media platforms.

For example, Facebook has received some scrutiny recently regarding their lack of privacy and the priority that is given to advertisers.  What many couldn’t have predicted last year was the emergence of a new social platform intended to go head-to-head with social media giant, Facebook. The platform, which is still in public beta (meaning invite-only), has caused quite a stir; dubbed by some as the ‘hipster social network’, Ello offers a forever ad-free experience and promises to never sell its users’ information to third parties. Their website states: “Collecting and selling your personal data, reading your posts to your friends, and mapping your social connections for profit is both creepy and unethical. Under the guise of offering a “free” service, users pay a high price in intrusive advertising and lack of privacy.”

It’s unclear at this point whether the extreme buzz around the platform is simply because of its positioning as the ‘anti-Facebook’, or whether it has the substance, design and functionality to actually become a serious competitor for Facebook. Engagement on the platform doesn’t seem to be high at this point, and some are pointing out the current weaknesses of the platform, including the lack of video-integration and meaningful conversation and engagement.

ello-logoRegardless, Ello is likely to grow in 2015, both in terms of numbers and engagement, and many will be watching closely.

Speaking of Facebook, Facebook’s ad pricing and demand will significantly increase.  It’s no secret that Facebook post reach is significantly decreasing, and has become a serious problem for business owners who are using the platform for marketing purposes. This steady decline in reach is what has been coined the Filtered Feed Problem.  As Facebook continues to limit the number of posts page fans actually see, the demand for promoted posts and ads will continue to increase. And with this increased demand will come increased pricing.

Twitter’s new business advertising model will skyrocket in popularity. With Twitter’s move to offering businesses more choice and flexibility in how and what they pay for in terms of advertising, more small and medium-sized businesses will jump on the Twitter ad bandwagon.  The new fee structure allows businesses to pay for certain performance-based actions rather than just retweets or clicks.

These objective-based campaigns, which are still currently in beta, will offer more flexibility including tweet engagements (retweets, replies, etc.), website clicks or conversions, app installs, new followers and leads. These campaigns will be particularly appealing to small business owners who want to pay for results, not just for brand visibility.

Instagram will also continue to grow in the micro-video space. With both Vine and Instagram vying for billing as the top video networking site, the platforms have continued to differentiate themselves from the other offering different features, video lengths and editing capabilities. However, I believe we’ll see Instagram begin to outpace Vine as we enter 2015.

And with the recent emergence of Instagram’s in-feed video advertising, marketers will now have the option of paying to target their 15-second videos to users based on age, gender and country. While some have called the new video ads incongruous, the new feature is a welcome addition for marketers looking to promote their wares to Instagram’s young, affluent user base.

LinkedIn has been the top network of choice for the B2B crowd for years already, and I believe we’ll see the gap between LinkedIn and other networks continue to widen in 2015.

While B2C marketers report LinkedIn as being significantly less important than Facebook or Twitter for their marketing efforts, the numbers are quite different for the B2B crowd: according to the 2014 Social Media Examiner survey, 88% of B2B marketers are using LinkedIn, compared to 89% for Facebook and 86% for Twitter.

In 2015, marketers will finally realize that there are two core pillars of a content marketing strategy: publication and distribution. Marketers will learn that social media is the most effective method of expanding the reach and visibility of their content, and because of this, will come to view social media as more of an “amplifier” for their published content rather than as the content itself.

So, while the content marketing buzz continues to pick up steam, marketers needs to remember that a distribution strategy for that content is just as important, if not more important, than the content itself.

Some things to look for in 2016:  an increase in the use of podcasting, video social commerce and mobile marketing.

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Customers

What Kind Of Experience Are You Giving Your User?

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User experience:  “ thoughts and responses with respect to a product, system or service.”

Traffic is important to a website but once people get to your website the user experience will determine whether they stay or not and if they do stay, whether they will come back.  A major part of the user experience is the usability of a website.  Bad usability will leave the customer, confused, overwhelmed and frustrated, just like in the picture in this article.

What Kind Of Experience Are You Giving Your User?

When you are designing or updating your website make sure you can answer these questions with “yes”.

Is the design easy on the eyes, clean and memorable?

Can people find what they want quickly?

Is the form easy to understand and asking for only the necessary information?

Is your brand consistent on all devices.  Ex. desktop, tablet, mobile.

Is the customer service exceptional?  Are knowledgeable people available to respond to inquiries in a polite and timely manner?

Negative experiences will make people forget. Positive experiences will make people remember, bring them back and encourage them to share with others. This will bring referrals and help your business to grow.

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Customers

How Do You Retain Customers?

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Here are some tips on how to retain customers.  People say these work for them.

  • If you sell a product follow up in two weeks and ask how the product is working for them
  • Build a relationship and exceed the customer’s expectations
  • Under promise but over deliver
  • If a customer wants or needs something or has a question you can’t answer, find a way to get what they need.  They will appreciate you went the extra mile
  • Stay in touch at least quarterly
  • Treat customers fairly and always be honest and upfront
  • Give them a reason to come back with discounts, referral rewards and great website content
  •  All of the things listed above fall under the most important category “Customer Service “which can make or break a business.

I bet 90 % of us have stopped doing business with a company because of poor customer service.

Remember this quote that is simple and to the point.  “Customer service is not a department, it’s everyone’s job.”

 

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Customers

What Do Customers Want from a Business?

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What Do Customers Want from a Business?

1. Great products and services.

2. Competitive Prices.

Can you guess the third?  Come on. Think.  It shouldn’t be hard.

3. Superior customer service.

Bad customer service can really hurt a business.  Providing superior customer service isn’t only the right thing to do, it’s a must.  Here’s why:

  • Twice as many people share bad customer service experiences over good experiences
  • 86% of consumers stop doing business with a company that provided a bad customer service experience
  • 73% of consumers said they gave up on a brand because of rude and incompetent customer service personnel but
  • 40% said they would spend more money with a company with superior customer service
  • 8 out of 10 consumers said they would pay a little more for superior customer service

Now here’s a startling fact : The latest Annual Mystery Shopping Study showed that only 10 out of 100 top online merchants made the cut for “stellar” customer service.  Wow!

Looks like consumers have raised the bar for what they consider superior customer service.  Invest more in this aspect of “marketing”   and deliver superior customer service.  Remember, It’s not just the right thing to do it’s something you must do.

Source helpscout.net infographic  3-2013

More to consider…

What else do customers want from a business?

How can you help them get it?

How can you provide better customer service even if you have a 5 star rating?

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Customers

The World is Addicted to Smartphones

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The World is Addicted to Smartphones

There is an addiction to Smartphones.

This is fact according to an IDC study which surveyed over 7000 users between 18 and 44.

Retailers need to start working on their mobile marketing strategy.

Here are some stats I found in research:

72% of smartphone owners used their devices while shopping

27% of cell owners used their phone while inside a store to look up the price of a product

28 % of cell owners used their phone while inside a store to look up reviews of a product

69% grab their phones as soon as they wake up

79% look at their phones within 15 min of waking up

Users visit FB 13.8 times throughout the day

78% of smartphone users check their email on their devices

48% use their smartphones at the gym

Guess we can call this an addiction..do you agree?

How can you thrive with this trend?

Keeping up with the latest information about optimizing mobile search and voice search is going to be a key to success in online business in the future.

Evaluating your Google Analytics to see what percentage of your traffic comes from mobile devices vs desktops. We have a few businesses that still get most of their traffic via desktop uses, and they are happy to clearly see this is true for them in the data that is collected from Google.

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Customers

Customer Service Facts

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Good News: In 2011, 7 out of 10 Americans said they were willing to spend more with companies that provide excellent customer service (american express survey)

Bad News: In 2011, 86% of consumers stopped doing business with a company because of bad customer service (Harris Interactive)

Good NewsResolve a complaint in the customers favor and 70% will do business with you again (Lee Resources)

Bad News: 91% of unhappy customers will not willingly do business with you again (Lee Resources)

70% of the buying experience is based on how the customer feels they are being treated. (McKinsey)

78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or intended purchase because of a poor service experience (american express survey)

Provide outstanding customer service and you have a 60-70% probability of selling to an existing customer.  (marketing metrics)  The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%.

 

 

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Customers Featured

How Can I Find New Customers?

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Finding new customers can be a challenge for many businesses. The best scenario is that customers find you. They find your business through an internet search, social media or are referred to you. If customers aren’t finding you here are some ideas we found in our research to help get new customers.

Attend meetings and seminars that your prospects might attend and follow up with any contacts you make.

Study your successful competitors. Where do they advertise and network?

Claim your listing in Google Places and other big directories like Yahoo, Bing and Chamber of Commerce. Keep your company name and contact information consistent in all listings, add a good business description and photos. Spend a little time on your profile. Readers want to get to know you and adding a professional looking photo of yourself will help. Explain how your business will provide solutions to their problems.

Ask for feedback from customers. Use whatever you learn to make changes to your website. Did they have trouble ordering, were they just shopping around for better prices?

Sponsor events. Contact the organizers of the event and offer to give away your product or service as a prize during the event. In exchange ask the group to promote you.

Organize an event. It is a good way to introduce your business or service to participants and prospective sponsors.

Put a little money into updating your website. Did you know that 80% of Americans now spend as much time online as they do in front of the television? This means you have to have a top-notch site to grab those customers.

Provide outstanding customer service. Customer service can make or break a business. Treat people with respect and patience to establish your company as a caring and reputable brand. People will learn about you by word of mouth.

Be a little old fashion. Call businesses who advertise on their cars if you feel your product or service could be beneficial to them. Be honest, open, straight forward and let them know right off the bat how you can help them.

Lastly, be professional and kind to every one you meet. Every relationship could be a potential customer or lead to a potential customer. You just never know where that next customer will come from.

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Customers

Is There a Good Way to Ask for a Referral?

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Is There a Good Way to Ask for a Referral?

Asking clients for referrals can be uncomfortable.  Are you concerned seeking referrals will make you sound like you are begging for business?   Will it turn your clients off or hurt your current relationship with them?  You wouldn’t want that.  But asking for referrals can be a pretty simple and cheap way to try and get more business.  It depends on how and when you do it.

Here are a few suggestions.

Approach the clients who you are in contact with regularly.  A good time to ask is when your client is telling you how they appreciate all you have done for them or after they have posted a raving testimonial or sent you an appreciation email or note.   Thank your client for the positive words and say something like this, “Are there one or two people you think I should meet who may benefit from  our services?    I’d be happy to call them and introduce myself.”   Most customers who are happy with the experience and solution you provided them will be willing to give a referral especially if you remind them of the value your service provided them.  Do a great job, be professional, reliable and create credibility and clients will tell others and you won’t have to ask.

If you do have to ask it will take confidence and practice.  You can’t worry about people saying no.   Not everyone will need your service or product but if you don’t ask you may miss an opportunity for a new client.  Remember it never hurts to ask, but make sure you ask the right way.

Lastly, remember to thank the person who gave you a referral.  Give them a call, send them a note or show your appreciation in some way.   That will leave a good impression.

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