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Why Social Media is Important for Customer Service

It’s unfortunate that many business owners are ignoring social media — especially Facebook and Twitter — and especially when it comes to customer service.

One of my clients is opening a “rage room” in Tempe this weekend. Someone wanted to book a party and had a question. The contact form on the website gave her an error message when she tried to send it. Where did she go? FACEBOOK.

She sent a message and I got the notification. I replied for her to call the owner with his number and reported the contact form error to the webmaster.

Depending on the type of business and your target market, your customer and potential customers will use social media to reach you when conventional methods (email, website, phone) fail.

The problem here is if you’re monitoring your social media, you’ll never know when you get a message from a potential client! Facebook also will give you a “badge” if 90% of your average response time is less than 15 minutes.

My client was messaged on Twitter by one of the anchors from the local TV station wanting info on the business and on Facebook from another.

Could you be missing out on some free publicity because you’re ignoring social media?

You can’t afford to!

Here are a few points to ponder:

  1. It’s your online image. What message does it send if you haven’t posted anything on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn for months, even years? Lazy? Clueless? Behind the times?
  2. It’s where your potential customers are hanging out. Check out this article on how to reach the different generations through social media.
  3. You may be missing big opportunities. You’re not increasing your reach or influence. You’re not driving new traffic to your website. Moreover, you’re losing valuable SEO (search engine optimization).

So what do you need to do for better customer service?

  1. Learn how each of the social networks work and figure out which ones your target market uses the most. Here are my free classes and the free Define Your Target Market Workbook.
  2. Set up your social media profiles properly. Take into consideration your branding.
  3. Check your analytics monthly. They’ll tell you if your website traffic is increasing, if people are converting (from a visitor to a lead or a customer/ downloading / buying), and which social networks are contributing to the conversions. Here’s my free analytics class.

No more excuses! Stop letting these customer service moments slip by!

  1. Download and set up the mobile apps for the social networks that your clientele frequents the most.
  2. Turn on notifications. Now, make sure that you do a “do not disturb” parameters or set the notifications to badges and not sounds so you don’t get woken up in the middle of the night.
  3. Respond in a timely manner. Have the links to Frequently Asked Questions handy so you can just copy and paste.

So, the phone might not be ringing as much lately, it’s because your customers are trying to reach you via social media. Get with the program and stop living in 20th century!

Start with the Free Social Media Marketing Master Class!

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What is a Social Media Emergency? (And What to Do About it!)

Nothing like waking up in the morning to a social media emergency!

What’s a social media emergency?

When you wake up to find that some evil person:

  • hacked into one of your accounts and posted something derogatory or offensive
  • hacked into a follower or an employee’s account and posted something bad using your company’s name

This happened to the Christian ministry I work with. We believe it was a disgruntled former resident who was released from the program for disobeying the rules. He’s the only “enemy” we know of that has the skill to be able to pull this off.

I’m not going to show the offensive post here but here’s what we think happened.

The enemy hacked into the Facebook account of one of our volunteers and altered her employment to reflect that she was employed by the ministry — which she isn’t. She happens to be a faithful volunteer who comes several times a month to cook for our male residents. She’s connected to our kitchen manager on Facebook. We believe that’s how the enemy found her.

The enemy then posted an offensive message using her account which triggered a slew of comments and bad reviews.

At first, the executive director and I had no idea that the person was one of our volunteers. We only knew that she was not an employee. We posted a statement which we later edited to say what we figured happened.

The offensive post was not on the her page by the time I started investigating. It obviously was up just long enough to raise the ire of some of our 880 fans.

What you can do to about the social media emergency:

  • First of all – KEEP CALM! The world (or your business) is not going to end because of this.
  • Post a statement declaring that it was a hack. Hacking happens so often that people will understand.
  • Immediately shut off the reviews. Our ministry doesn’t need them since we’re not a retail store. Now, that may not be an option for other types of businesses. If you can’t shut down the reviews, you’ll have to respond to each one in a positive manner.
  • Change your visitor posting settings. Click on Settings at the top right corner of your business page and go down to Visitor Posts and turn on moderation. This allows people to post on your page, but you must approve it before it becomes public. What is a Social Media Emergency? (And What to Do About it!)
  • Turn off the tagging ability. Make sure only trusted page managers can tag people in pictures and posts and that other people or pages can’t tag you in their posts.
  • Adjust personal privacy settings. Have anyone connected to the page and/or employees to set their personal Facebook settings to private so that strangers cannot see who their friends are.
  • Don’t accept a friend request from someone you don’t know. There are many scammers out there trying to prey on people. Take a look at which friends you have in common. Contact that person and ask about the one requesting to be your friend.
  • Don’t accept a friend request from someone who’s already your friend. The second account is a hack or fake account. Contact the friend and let them know.
  • Don’t buy Facebook likes. Those are fake accounts and will skew your analytics plus, it may open the door to bad people.
  • Post a series of positive blog articles and messages. Bury the bad with the good.
  • Don’t go on a rampage badmouthing whoever did it.
  • Report the hack to Facebook or whichever network it was.

Unfortunately, there are evil people out there that have nothing better to do than make other peoples’ lives miserable. Every business, even well-meaning charities and nonprofits have disgruntled employees and clients.

One of the things you need to do is be educated enough on how the social media networks work. Become familiar with the security and privacy settings.

This is your online reputation that can be damaged in a matter of minutes.

This Free Glossary of Online Terms will help.

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Best Social Media News You Can Use – July Wrap-up

While here in Phoenix the kids are getting ready to go back to school, the heat is still in the 100s. I had all good intentions to provide these best picks of the social media news weekly, but thank God, business is booming. So, this will now be a end-of-month wrap-up.

One of challenges of social media marketing is that the networks are constantly changing. They either change the layout of the site or they add or remove features and services. For you, the business owner or social media manager, it’s tough to keep up with them. No worries. I’ll sort through all the social media marketing expert blogs and hand pick the ones that I feel are important and might affect your marketing.

Here’s July’s Best Social Media News You Can Use (in no particular order):

Social Network Updates:

Great Social Media Marketing Tips (I couldn’t have said it better myself!):

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What Social Amplification Looks Like When It Works Right

Posting on Facebook or any social media network is fruitless unless you have a following. You want social amplification. That’s when one of your followers shares your post with their friends. Your reach grows by how many followers they have. If they have 100 followers, your post has the chance of being seen by 100 people.

I recently started working with a nonprofit, House of Refuge SunnySlope (HRS), a faith-based, transitional housing program. They’ve been around for a almost 30 years and have over 800 Facebook likes. Until I started with them, no one was blogging. Yes, their website was being updated with pictures from events, but not blogs.

What Social Amplification Looks Like When It Works RightMy 3rd post for them was a video with the story of the gal who was the Women’s Program Director who was leaving. The “featured image” was a picture of her and her family.

What blew me away was with only 18 shares (that is people who shared the post with their friends), they got a reach of over 1700! That means that 1700 people had the potential to see the post. For a non-profit that is huge!

Non-profits have actually 5 target markets. Their main goals are to get donations, build awareness and recruit volunteers.

The more visibility they get, the better.

Also, telling stories is what attracts people to posts and blogs. Especially positive ones. That’s what I love about working with HRS — the stories of people who were as down and out as one can get and how God worked wonders in their lives. The eye-catching picture didn’t hurt either!

Everyone wants more visibility and exposure and that’s what social media and content marketing provide when done properly.

There is no reason why your business — for-profit or non-profit — new or existing — cannot get social amplification.

However, it takes time and effort.

So you need to either budget dollars to hire someone outsourced or in-house to do your social media or budget time to learn how to do properly and effectively and then actually implement your strategic and tactical plans.

It’s your choice.

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How to Measure Your Social Media Marketing with Analytics

Social media marketing analytics and insights are your friend! They play a crucial role in your marketing success. Basically, they tell you what’s working and not working. Each of the social media networks has their own analytics or insights. Moreover, they give you data — information about your followers or fans to help you market to them more effectively. Here are all the analytics classes.

Note: These are advanced classes! You should go through the individual network classes first!

First an overview of the information available to you and then below are some of the individual networks and where to find their analytics and insights. Some networks offer better analytics than others.

Analytics 104: An Overview


Class notes: https://azsocialmediawiz.com/wp-content/uploads/Analytics104.pdf 

Facebook Insights:

Facebook Insights tell you the demographics of your fans, where they’re located, what posts got the most engagement, even the best time to post.

Pinterest Analytics:

Pinterest Analytics tell you a lot about your followers and which of your pins got noticed and saved. It also gives you info on what else your followers like as well as data from anything pinned from your website.

Twitter Analytics:

Similar to Pinterest, Twitter tells you a lot about your followers: where their located, what else interests them and which of your tweets got the most engagement.

WordPress JetPack Site Stats:

WordPress JetPack site stats tell you how many people visited your website or blog, where they came from and which posts or pages were most popular.

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How to Develop Social Media Marketing Strategies for Your Business

With so many digital media choices out there, you must develop specific social media marketing strategies for your  business. Otherwise, you’re going to waste precious time, money and resources not getting the results you want. In this video, I show you how to do this and how to come up with strategies for each individual network. I recommend taking this class AFTER you’ve done the basic videos for each network.

How to Develop Social Media Marketing Strategies for Your Business


Class notes: https://azsocialmediawiz.com/wp-content/uploads/SocialMediaStrategies.pdf

Use the free templates in this blog post.

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Video: How to Use Hashtags to Effectively Market Your Business

Hashtags are everywhere! Even on LinkedIn! Use them consistently to brand your social media posts. This video will show you how. I also cover them in the Twitter class.

How to Use Hashtags to Market Your Business in Social Media:


Class notes: https://azsocialmediawiz.com/wp-content/uploads/Hashtags.pdf

 

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Video: How to Use Facebook Effectively to Promote Your Business

Facebook is the largest social media network. Over 1 Billion people log on daily! It spans all generations. Though it’s more B2C than B2B, 40% of B2B marketers have gotten business from Facebook. Don’t ignore it. Here are 2 videos (See, it’s so big, that I had to split it in 2 sessions!) Video 3 is a tour of Facebook.

Learn how to market your business on Facebook effectively Part 1:


Here are the class notes:

https://azsocialmediawiz.com/wp-content/uploads/Facebook-Module1.pdf

How to Market on Facebook Part 2:

Class Notes:

https://azsocialmediawiz.com/wp-content/uploads/Facebook-Module2.pdf

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What You Need to Know on How to Build a Social Media Following

If you’re just starting out with marketing your business on social media or if you’ve had your accounts setup but haven’t been using them, you need to spend some time up front building your social media following.

Here are the steps you need to take to build your social media following:

  1. Free Download: Define Your Target Market WorkbookGet to know your Target Market Niche(s): You must identify your target market personas first. This is a crucial step. For instance, you talk to someone under 40 differently than you would to someone over 40. (Related Content: How to Reach the Generations on Social Media)
  2. Do some research on the social networks and your target: Find out:
    • Which networks do they frequent the most?
    • What are their buying habits?
    • What’s the best strategy to get their attention?
  3. Develop a Strategic Plan where you indicate:
    • What are your goals, metrics and objectives?
    • What type of content are you going to create (blog, video, pictures, podcasts) and the type of content are you going to share from trusted industry sources? You can’t just share your stuff.
    • Create specific strategies for each of the social media networks:
      • If you’re B2B, your primary network will be LinkedIn.
      • If you’re B2C, your primary networks will be Facebook and Pinterest.
      • Secondary networks for both would be Google+ and Twitter (for exposure and SEO).
      • Don’t ignore Facebook and Pinterest if you’re B2B – it still helps with reaching people. And if you’re B2C, don’t ignore LinkedIn – it gives you credibility and LI users are consumers, too! These are tertiary networks.
  4. What You Need to Know on How to Build a Social Media FollowingPut together a tactical plan: You’re going to spend more time up front building a following in your PRIMARY NETWORKS.
    • B2B:
      • 15 minutes a day on LinkedIn
      • Blog 2 times a week on your website
      • Blog once a week on LinkedIn
    • B2C:
      • 15 minutes a day on Facebook
      • 15 minutes a day on Pinterest
      • Blog 2-3 times a week on your website
    • Both: Automate content posting using free tools like HootSuite, Buffer or Dlvr.it to Google+ and Twitter. This could be your re-shared blog posts as well as other related and relevant content of interest to your target market from trusted sources. Use Feedly.com to organize your blog subscriptions.
  5. Search for your target market and follow them on Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. When you follow someone, they’ll be notified and hopefully, if you’re sharing good content, they’ll want to follow you back. On Twitter, thank people for following you. (That’s the only network where that’s part of its culture.) This should take about 30 minutes a day between all the networks.
  6. Search for and connect with your target market and referral sources on LinkedIn
  7. Share good, relevant content on Facebook. Unfortunately, you can’t search and contact people on Facebook as your business. However, you can start with your own friends and invite them to like our page.
  8. Have both share and follow buttons on your website. Make it easy for people to follow you on the networks and make it easy for them to share your content with their friends. You need to have both social media share and follow buttons on your website

I didn’t mention Instagram, but you should consider it if you’re more B2C and you want to reach the under 40 crowd. Instagram just hit 700 Million monthly active users. Your strategy here will be branded pictures and short videos. SnapChat is for an even younger crowd, under 25. Similar to Instagram, use branded graphics and short videos.

Once you’ve built your social media following, then you are in management, monitoring and maintenance mode. If you’ve mastered the tools, organized your content and got a gist of how each network works, you can manage your social media in 30 minutes a day.

Here are some follower goals for each of the networks for your first month:

  • Facebook: 30 likes so you can start seeing your insights then, 100 so you can start monitoring your competition in “Pages to Watch”
  • LinkedIn: 50 personal connections; 10 followers on your business page
  • Twitter: 100 followers – then you can start getting analytics
  • Pinterest, Google+, Instagram and SnapChate: 10 followers each

At the end of each month, you must review your analytics and insights.

  • Analytics & PlanningOn your website – make sure Google Analytics is setup:
    • Number of visitors and page views
    • Time spent on your site
    • Bounce rate
    • Referral sources: Besides the search engines, which social media networks brought in the most visitors to your site?
    • Conversion rates: How many visitors converted to leads because they clicked on your call-to-action?
  • On each of the social media networks:
    • Number of followers: Have you reached your goal?
    • Most popular posts: Create more of those.
    • Best time to post: When are the majority of your fans and followers online to get the most reach?
    • Follower demographics: Does this match your target market personas?
    • Engagement rate: likes, shares, comments, clicks

Then adjust your strategic and tactical plans accordingly for the next month.

You are probably thinking, “How do I learn HOW to do all this?”

Never fear! Your Social Savvy Solution is HERE!

I’ve got all the classes online from the how-to basics in the Master Class (boot camp) to intermediate (tools & strategy) to advanced (analytics and insights – measuring what’s working and not working). It’s setup in a logical progression with easy-to-follow video classes and demonstration videos so you learn how to do everything the right way.

You learn best practices, the culture of the major networks (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube), search engine optimization, blogging and content marketing. Each video is from 15 to 45 minutes long. They’re up 24/,7 so you can watch them at your own time and at your own speed.

All for only $20/m. Full-access to all the videos. Once you get through the basics, you can pick and choose which ones you want to focus on. I upload new, updated videos each month following all the changes and new features from the networks. Cancel at any time. Anywhere else you’ll pay from $25 – $80/m. Why am I less expensive?

My goal is to help the small business owner, like yourself, become social savvy enough to effectively market your business online.

What are you waiting for? Click here to get started now!

Your Social Savvy Solution Members Only

Spring Social Media JumpStart Package: $3500 for doing the “heavy lifting” up-front work. Includes:

  1. Research and planning ($500, regular $675) (1-2 weeks)
  2. Social Media Setups ($500, regular $675) (1-2 weeks)
  3. JumpStart Follower Builder (1 month)
  4. 1 month free online video classes (a $20 value)

Click here for details on the all the services.

Let me do the time-consuming up-front work while you learn how to do it yourself. At the end of the JumpStart, I hand over the reigns. You have 1 month of full-access to all the classes. After that, it’s $20/month for updated videos. (This stuff is constantly changing!)

Billed upfront via Square in 3 payments ($500, 500 and 2500). You can start the online classes with your first payment. Contact me for details. 

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How and Where to Best Reach Different Generations on Social Media [Infographic]

I asked a new client, “Who’s you’re target market?” He replied, “Everyone!” Yikes! Unfortunately, not like back in the day of the Yellow Pages, you can’t place an ad or two in the local paper or the YP and expect to get results. Each social media network has its own audience — a distinct user base. Understanding the different generations and how they use social media, is crucial for effective marketing.

The particular client I mentioned wants to reach a broad audience of different age groups and occupations. Which is fine, however, you market to someone under 40 (Gen Z & Millennials) differently than you would to someone over 40 (Gen X & Baby Boomers) – and on different social networks.

In a nutshell, here’s how, when and where to reach each of the generations: Use Snapchat to reach the under 21 crowd.

Gen Z (<21):

SnapChat and Facebook – the prefer to see real people (authenticity) in marketing rather than celebrities. (Go figure.) Use short, positive content – mostly videos. Best time is early morning and late afternoon.

Use Instagram to reach MillennialsMillennials (22 – 40):

Facebook (their primary news source), Instagram (for the younger half), LinkedIn and Tumblr (Yes, Tumblr is still around!) They’ll skip video ads as soon as they can. 87% own smartphones and will turn to social media when making purchasing decisions. Post relevant, credible content, that they care about.

Gen X (41 – 52):

Use Pinterest to reach Gen XersFacebook (They spend almost 7 hours on there a week!), Pinterest and YouTube. Reach them between 9pm and midnight. They are more brand-loyal than other age groups. Gen Xers have the 2nd largest disposable income and they go for nostalgia and comfort. Use videos and visual content with straight-forward clicks to website. Moreover, they prefer to use a computer rather than a mobile device.

Baby Boomers (53 – 71):

Everyone's on Facebook! These folks prefer email to communicate, yet, they spend 11 hours or more on Facebook each week! They’ll respond to quizzes and polls more so than the other generations. They are vocal and opinionated and prefer slower, informational video content.

 

What stands out to me, besides the fact that they ALL USE FACEBOOK, is that missing from here are Twitter and Google+. That calls for another blog post!

However, not everyone falls perfectly into each of these groups. Individual preferences will differ. That’s why you need to clearly define your target markets’ personas, taking into consideration their habits and preferences first (Get a FREE Workbook!).

This infographic from CitiPostMail, breaks down the generations, which social network they prefer and what type of message will catch their attention:

(Note: There is a discrepancy in the age brackets.)

How and Where to Best Reach Different Generations on Social MediaSo, now that you have an idea where your target market hangs out, your next step is to learn everything you can about Facebook and the networks that they prefer. Best place to start is on my YouTube Channel. There you’ll find, FREE, easy-to-follow videos covering all you need to know about each of the major social media networks, their culture and differences, along with strategies for each of them. Also included are videos on how to use hashtags and how to see what’s working and not working.

This infographic How to Market to Different Generations on Social Media appeared first on Top Dog Social Media.

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