Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mobile Is The Movement: Are You Missing Out?

Next time you're sitting in a waiting room or commuting on the subway, stop what you are doing for 1 minute and look around. I guarantee you will find most of your comrades face down, fingers tapping, engrossed in their mobile devices.

Mobile devices, be it cell phones, tablets, or gaming have changed the way we give and receive information and pass our time. There is no question that with 91% of adults carrying their mobile phones within arms reach 24/7 people are using mobile for tasks they previously wouldn't have been able to. In fact, Mashable reports that the audience for mobile apps alone reaches over 58 million users during primetime; more than the top three network TV spots.

Where there is space, there are ads... 

Mobile ads can be placed virtually anywhere. From online coupons linked to your store's website, to embedded within games, and even on google maps. This means that the teenager playing Candy Crush, the mom looking up how to cure a cold on Web MD, the commuter reading on his tablet, the woman shopping for new jeans, and the man in Albany looking for a pizza parlor all can see your ad, geo targeted and key word targeted specifically to them.

Mobile ads are also better designed for call to action than desktop ads. Since people are likely already using their smart phones, when they click on the ad they can automatically be connected to your phone number, download a coupon that they can use without printing, or have events put directly into their calendars. Considering 80% of consumers use smartphones to shop, and 95% of all text coupons (regardless of industry) are opened within the first 5 minutes of being sent, if you aren't taking advantage of mobile you are missing out!

Take a look at this infographic from social media today for more mobile ad stats

Monday, August 12, 2013

Transforming Customer Service With Social Media

Transforming Customer Service With Social Media 

Simply put, business is based on relationships. Our clients want to know we are credible and reliable but just as importantly they want to feel a personal connection with us. It is our job as successful markers to engage our clients in a way that makes them feel like we care about them while ensuring they receive the best service/product.

Think about this: social media is a platform through which people and businesses can engage in free, real time communication regardless of geographic location. 

So, what does this mean for your business? Regarding customer service, this could mean everything. According to Social Media Today, customers spend 20-40% more when businesses engage them with social media. Below are a few things to keep in mind when thinking about social media and customer service. 

Using social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ etc allow for customers and potential customers to "follow" or "like" our brands. This automatically gives us a list of people who have interest in the company and are more likely to respond to our news updates, promos, event invites etc. Aside from being able to share relevant content to an interested audience, we also can reach out to them directly. For example if my company sells shoes I can send out a tweet saying something along the lines of "we just released our new running shoe, what is your favorite color?". When followers reply we can respond to them directly, which acknowledges them as individuals and makes them feel a personal connection to our brand. 

Similarly to initiating conversation with our customers, social media allows a platform for customers to instantaneously reach us. By responding within a reasonable time frame (within 24 hours) to a client's request or question we have the opportunity to a.) direct them to the right information, increasing likelihood of a sale b.) make a personal connection with them c.) become credible and reliable in the customer's eyes. 

Unfortunately, with all the good that comes with the internet, there is the reality that our clients can post negative feedback online.If not addressed correctly, this can damage our reputation and deter clients from using our services. However, leveraging social media provides the perfect opportunity to fix these otherwise undesirable situations. We can respond to the negative feedback on the platform it was posted to, which shows our followers how we carefully handled the problem and worked to make it better. We can also reach out to the person with the complaint directly to make sure they feel comfortable with the solution. Both posting a solution publicly in response to initial negative feedback and responding directly to the upset client will help regain a positive image in a situation where otherwise our reputation could have been tarnished.

Keeping in mind that business is essentially based on relationships, using social media as a manor of customer service is an effective way to connect with customers and improve satisfaction.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

3 Easy Blogging Tips To Better Engage Your Audience

3 Easy Blogging Tips To Better Engage Your Audience 

I remember when I was younger listening to my uncle rant about his political blog. Given he is a Communications professional and very politically charged one can imagine the vigor in which he discussed his posts and the corresponding comments he received from readers. At the time, the early 2000s, I didn't really understand what a  blog was. Blogging hadn't become mainstream and so at the time it seemed irrelevant to me.

Lets fast forward a decade to now--- Blogging has become so streamlined that it seems like every tween, college student, business and grandmother considers themselves a blogger. The sheer quantity of digital content is enormous, and much of that content is trivial or spam. So the question now becomes how do you provide content on your blog that is relevant to your target audience? 

As we know, regularly maintaining a blog can bolster a company's online presence and help with SEO. But, simply filling your blog posts with keywords can violate Google's compliance laws and negate some of the most important benefits of blogging. We want our clients to view us as credible and trustworthy and in order to do so we must reach them with engaging content not just a jumble of keywords. Writing a forthcoming blog can be an effective and cost efficient way to do this. 

Let's look at three main components of writing an engaging blog: 

1.) Be passionate: Excitement and expertise understanding of a subject are transferable in writing so stick to what you know. Whatever it is that "lights you up" is what you should blog about because you will be viewed as credible. For example, I could write for hours about sightseeing in Boston because I love and know Boston. If I tried to write a post about something I am less excited and knowledgeable about like fishing, the style and information in the two posts will likely be very different. Simply put if you are a lighting company, write about lighting, don't try to capitalize on other industries you don't know about. Your readers will pick up on this and make a judgement on your credibility accordingly. 

2.) Put in the time: One of the great things about blogging is that it lets us push out searchable content quickly, however this can also be our own biggest vice. While it is more convenient for us to write a blog post quickly than it is to sit down and put hours of effort into it you have to think of a blog post as an extension  of your business. Just as you wouldn't rush an untimely client through a sales meeting or serve sub-par food to a diner at your restaurant, you don't want sloppy content on your blog. 

3.) Interconnect your social media: Let your blog act as a hub for all your social media to radiant. You can use your blog as a way to create the content that you tweet or post on facebook and expand upon your social presence. Tweet your content to people directly who may be interested and get them to engage with you.