What’s Good About Social Media?

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We all love social media, whether you like to admit it or not. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have ingrained themselves into society–TV, newspapers, magazines–it’s just about everywhere we look. Sure, everything about SM isn’t great, but these are some ways social media can benefit your business.

As a small business it can be a great, inexpensive way to help your business mature. However, it doesn’t come without a cost. The time put into running a social media platform is your ultimate expense. Just as word of mouth is very powerful for a business of any size, there is no bigger collective mouth than social media if you are listening and interacting.

The collective word of mouth of social media can be very powerful in the hands of influencers who may be your customers. Their voice will be heard on social media and they can spread your brand name in the area or market leading to new connections and future prospects.

Social media makes it very easy to keep in touch with current customers and new prospects that you acquire. Not only keeping them updated on what’s happening in and around your business but for you to understand the lives of your customers to connect on a deeper level to show your compassion as a business owner.

Your social media platform is also one of the strongest outlets for sharing the content that you create. You may have a blog on your website where most of your content is held, but it is hard to drive people directly to websites. Sharing your blog posts on your social media platform will not only drive traffic to your website where you make sales but also demonstrate expertise in your field which will set you apart from the competition.

Thanks for learning with us and feel free to contact us at John@thebusinesssourcellc.com for any question or future content ideas that you would like to see!

 

Sales Conversion

Business Coaching

 

The final step in our series on the Sales Marketing Process for Small Businesses is the sales conversion.

You have created attractive content and built relationships with consumers for a loyal following, but do these fans actually mean business?

With social media you usually reach potential customers earlier in the sales process. It also provides more opportunity to convert prospects than with other traditional sales.

In the attention economy we are in, you have to optimize your conversion path, making it really easy for potential buyers to buy. Consumers tend to be less motivated to buy early on in the process and if they have to search to buy from you, they are less likely to convert.

Take a look at your Facebook page, does a potential buyer have to search to find your website, then figure out how to buy your product or service? If so, you are missing out on converting your Facebook fans.

As we know success in social media relies on sharing strong content on social platforms. Most times this content resides in a blog on your website. With this in mind make sure your blog has conversion points. These will ultimately make every post a landing page. Test out different calls to action to find out what works best for you.

With social media prospects entering the sales process earlier, they may not be ready to make a purchase right away; but you can convert interested social media fans into email subscribers. These are people that are willing to provide an email address for valuable and relevant information. They are interested but have not yet actually said yes. You will have a better opportunity at this point because they will see a larger range of content, which will pull them through the sales process.

Treating social media leads differently is crucial to drive the marketing process. If you approach them with traditional email sales campaigns it will likely kill the sale. It all comes back to providing the value through content such as answering common questions to help them solve their problem. Through these efforts you have been able to develop trust by showing you’re a thought leader, making their decision process easier. As a result they will likely purchase from you rather than a competitor they don’t have a relationship with.

The education process on social media is a very powerful tool that should be implemented into every business. Publishing your content online where people can find it will build you audience. Over time build a relationship with this audience and the sales conversion will become a byproduct of your valuable content.

Thanks for learning with us through this series on the Sales Marketing Process for Small Businesses. If you have any further questions feel free to contact us at john@thebusinesssourcellc.com.

Optimal Times to Post on Social Media

Business Coaching

 

Social media is one of best ways to distribute the content that your business is creating ­– blog posts, images, videos, testimonials, etc. But some times are better than others rather than just posting to social media when ever you feel like it.

So, what is the optimal time to post on social media?

Sadly, there is no exact answer, and you may find a certain day and time works best for you. But, there is a lot of data out there showing optimal times to post content depending on the platform you are using.

We are going to look at the big three, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can think about this as a guideline to create a schedule to post during optimal times depending on which social media platform you are using.

Facebook:

Facebook is used in a lot of different settings. People log into Facebook at home and at work, as well as on mobile devices and desktop computers. How it is used is highly based on the audience.

The best time to post on Facebook during the workweek, Monday – Friday, between 1 and 4 PM. For many of us this time is during the afternoon slump. You can really take advantage because this time period has the some of the highest click though rates.

The number of click throughs peak at 3 PM and especially on Wednesdays. On the other hand, the numbers are very low on the weekends before 8 AM and after 8 PM. But the weekends aren’t a total loss for posting content. Between 12 and 1 PM click through rates are seen to be on the rise as well.

Twitter:

 Like Facebook people use twitter both at home and work, as well as on mobile and desktop computers. But it is treated more as a news feed for people where they can search topics quickly and find the latest info

The best times to post on twitter during the workweek is between 12 and 3PM and at 5PM. These are times when many people are either at lunch, taking breaks or on a commute, which data shows is when most people are on twitter. Keep in mind that business-to-business content performs much better during business hours and business to consumer content performs better on weekends.

LinkedIn:

LinkedIn is much different than Facebook and Twitter. Mostly professionals use it; they tend to use it during the workweek, just before and just after the workday starts and ends.

It is shown that at the start and end of the workweek people have less interest on LinkedIn because they are catching up from the weekend and wrapping up the workweek. The most engagement is seen midweek, Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 to 8:30AM and 5 to 6PM.

Remember, it’s not an exact science to what times are perfect for each platform, but it wouldn’t hurt to experiment with some of the optimal times on the platform you use. Don’t forget to check your analytics and conversion rates to see if the times you switch to increase your companies reach. And like always, knowing your audience will help you determine what times are best and what platform you should choose to distribute your content on.

 

 

 

How to Develop Relationships Using Social Media

Business Coaching

 

Now that you have created an audience with the content you have been putting up and engaging with prospects, you have to develop a relationship. The trust with prospects is how you turn them into customers.

Now, I know must of us know we have to make relationships with our customers in order to keep them coming back. But you need to take a step back and ask your self if you are being personal enough and relationship minded. Are you being helpful, doing something for your customer and not asking anything in return? Because that is what the formula for gaining trust is all about.

Like we have talked about creating value is number one when trying to gain peoples trust, through content that supports and answers their questions. Creating content also shows that you’re a thought leader in your space, people will in turn look up to you for your questions and complaints.

When consumers know that they can reach out to you through social media, which you should encourage them to do, with content that is fun, simple, entertaining and conversational, you’ve begun to gain their trust. It is a good opportunity to provide excellent service in front of a large audience when you handle customer questions or even complaints with care.

Being honest with your customers can also go a long way towards building that trust that you want with them. Be transparent, let people know that you have nothing to hide from them. Everyone makes mistakes, don’t try to hide them, understand what was done and confront the problem. For example, if someone posts a complaint about your company, it may be tempting to delete, but responding to it directly, demonstrates that you’re not trying to hide anything.

Gaining this credibility and trust with your audience is a must if you want to gain a relationship with your prospects and consumers. Remember it’s not all about you when it comes to your business you have to pay attention to people and show them how much you care for them.

Next week we will talk about the online relationships we have created with prospects and consumers and how turn them into our customers, looking at the sales conversion process.

Thanks for learning with us!

What Social Media Platform Should my Business be Using?

Business Coaching

 

The Million-dollar question when looking at social media is what platform should I be using? At this time with so many out there it can seem overwhelming to even know where to start.

Thinking about where to start should take you back to your core goals, where you want to go and the audience you want to be in front of. Look into each social media channel to determine which will suite you best. Don’t just sign up for every platform because it is the newest or the most popular. Your objective should be to work towards generating quality content that’s relevant to your audience on one or two social media channels that your audiences prefers.

Once you set up your social media platform, make sure to work out a clear plan. This will save you time and be less intrusive for your business. Remember social media may be free, but the value of your time can cost just as much.

To get started, here is a list of 3 popular and effective social media platforms:

Facebook:

Facebook is by far the biggest social media platform with 1.23 billion monthly active users and 945 million mobile users. Facebook can be used as home for your business where people can stay in touch with you on a personal level. You can build your brand loyalty and reputation. People can gain knowledge and get exposure to the work you do and the solutions you provide. You can also create ads that drive traffic to your website through detail targeting that reaches the audience you want. Staying consistent on a daily basis with promotions, personal stories, testimonials and content that is interesting and engaging will make your future customers feel welcome.

Twitter:

Twitter is a platform with 310 million monthly active users. The difference here is, twitter is not a place where you just keep people updated. It is a place you go to communicate and listen where you can share quick news or updates and promote new products or content. The hashtag feature on Twitter, that is very popular, allows you to stay connected to content you want to see or find the latest trends. Many people look to Twitter for quick info, news and fast responses to questions. So it gives you a chance to show off your customer service.

LinkedIn:

LinkedIn is largest social media platform for business people and professionals. Still, many small business owners have not yet realized the power of this platform. Approaching this social media platform, keep in mind that it is more serious than Facebook and Twitter; users will want professional and informative information. What really makes LinkedIn special is the “LinkedIn groups,” it is a place professionals in the same industry or with similar interests start and participate in discussions within the group. You can find answers, share content, view and post jobs, make business connections and establish yourself as an expert in your industry. The exposure is significant, some groups having hundreds to thousands of members.

Remember, trying to spread yourself to wide, in too many social media platforms can affect your productivity. Know what platform you want to focus on and become an expert within it to see true results.