Social Media Tips for Beginners

Every day thousands of people join social media platforms, and many are doing so for the first time in their lives. Social media can be addicting in that it allows you to have discussions with people all over the world. But if your intentions with social media are purely business, then here are some tips you can use to get off to a good start.

Choose a Business Profile

Some social media platforms offer different profile types for businesses, groups, and individuals. In some cases, you have to start with a personal profile and then create your own business page. If you are using social media for your business, then go ahead and start a business profile to take advantage of all of the business-friendly features these types of profiles offer.

Create a Comprehensive Account

The simple way to say this is to tell you to fill in every blank in your social media business profile, and put pictures where the platform tells you to. There is nothing more frustrating to social media users than an incomplete business profile, and you do not want your first impression on social media to be negative.

Reach Out to Groups

One of the most effective ways to start building your social media audience is to join groups on each platform that share your interests. If you sell sporting goods, then join sports discussion groups and become involved in only positive conversations. Avoid promoting your business while getting into group discussions because that will turn people off. All you need to do is make some insightful and positive comments on the posts in the groups, and you will get plenty of people to follow your social media account.

Interact with Social Media Every Day

Some people set aside an hour each day to be on social media, while others are on constantly as they sit at their computers and work. Whatever your preference, it is important to interact with social media seven days a week. If you can do it, you should also try to spend just a couple of minutes on social media during holidays as well.

Carefully Monitor Your Content

Within your social media settings, you should make it so that the posts submitted by your audience have to be approved by you before they can be seen. Each day you should monitor your social media posts to address any complaints, and to ban trouble makers. You should allow negative feedback from customers to be seen on your social media pages, but you should also address that negative feedback and show everyone who sees your social media page that you take care of customer concerns.

Post Pictures

Many companies use their social media accounts to post pictures of their employees, corporate parties, and pictures from satisfied customers. Pictures and videos are extremely powerful forms of communication on social media, and you should be using them to your advantage.

If you want to maximize your company's social media presence, then you should hire a professional social media manager through a digital marketing company. But if you are just interested in getting your feet wet, then remember that social media can be as damaging as it can be helpful. Always be positive on social media, and never give detractors a chance to ruin your company's reputation.

How You Should Be Handling Negative Reviews Of Your Business

Every person and company makes mistakes, but companies are always held over the fire for every mistake they make. As a business owner, it can feel like a single negative review about your business or product is the end of the world, but that is never the case. The degree to which negative reviews damage your business depends solely on how you react, and what you do to directly solve the problem.

Constantly Ask For Positive Reviews

A single negative review is going to find it difficult to damage your business when it is set against hundreds of positive reviews. You need to set up plenty of ways for your customers to give you positive reviews when they have had a good experience with your company, and that includes putting links to review websites in all of your emails.

You should also invite your customers to share their positive experiences with your company on your social media web pages. As SEO devices, your social media pages get a lot of hits and they can help to dilute any negative comments you may get.

Own The Issue

If a customer has a legitimate complaint with your product or company and has expressed that problem publicly, then own the problem publicly. Immediately acknowledge the customer's complaint, and then publicly offer a way to get to a solution.

You should always keep the actual conversation between you and your customer private to protect their information, but you need to show the rest of your audience that you accept issues and offer solutions.

Always Be Professional

Even when dealing with the most irrate customer in your company's history, you should always use professional language and offer real solutions. If a professional approach does not calm an angry customer, then offer to address the issue in a private conversation via the phone or email. If the customer insists on keeping the problem out in public, then your only course of action is to cut off the conversation and continue to reach out to the customer privately.

Learn From Every Mistake

A mistake you do not learn from is a wasted opportunity. Each time you get a negative review of your business, it is safe to say that your business has done something wrong. You need to treat every negative review as constructive criticism and use it to improve your business. Does your product need improving, or is your customer service process lacking? Negative reviews are an excellent way for you to find out what you are doing wrong, and then take the steps to correct it.

Stay In Touch With Negative Review Customers

Always follow-up with customers that give negative reviews or had problems with your company to make sure that the problem has been solved. The worst thing you can do is to take all of the necessary steps to solve a problem, but then fall short of an actual solution because you did not follow-up. Stay in touch with your customers until the issues are resolved and that will help to bring those customers back to your business.

There is no such thing as a customer comment that should be avoided or ignored. Negative reviews are just as valuable, if not more valuable, than positive reviews. Whenever you get a negative review, you should look at it as an opportunity for your business to improve and a chance to make a stronger connection with your customers.

 

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Why LinkedIn is becoming so important

Last year it was found that LinkedIn is 277% more effective at generating leads than Facebook and Twitter. Simply put, it’s the most important social marketing tool for companies looking to expand their presence online.

So what does this mean for you? It means that it’s time to build a LinkedIn page! This week’s article will discuss how you can leverage a company page to build relationships that drive business results. Here are five tips we recommend for engaging followers on your LinkedIn Page:

Keep your content informative

Well over 60% of LinkedIn members say they like to receive relevant news articles and content from companies on LinkedIn. Share your expertise and don’t be afraid of some healthy debate and or negative feedback. LinkedIn has become powerful largely because many companies like to use it as a ‘idea refinement’ incubator. So don’t be afraid to be not-perfect.

Be helpful, not sales-y

Promotional messaging is OK in certain circles but on LinkedIn, it’ll probably do more damage than good. The best approach is to provide company-related updates that deliver a specific benefit to your followers – whether it’s helping them accomplish a task better or simply gives them advice.

Part of the serious part of LinkedIn and the more humorous part at the same time is that it’s evolved into a support-group of sorts for businesses. Be supportive, be helpful and expect the same in return.

Get to the point

LinkedIn, like the rest of the business world – is no place for rambling. Deliver your messages powerfully, but succinctly. Shorter updates receive higher engagement. A sentence or two should do.

Timing is everything

This could almost be a post in and of itself, but we’ll keep it brief and straight forward, here.

First – be conscious of the times of day you post. Traditionally, posting earlier in the day will receive the highest engagement overall. Posting late in the day usually results in the least amount of engagement. Be cognizant of when you share out your content.

Second, always try to stay up to date with what’s going on in the world around you. Is there a relevant news story you could turn into a cautionary blog post? Is there a trend that will help you deliver your message? Is there a current event or problem that your product could help solve? Always be contemplating how your business fits into the world around you and express it.

Link to great content

LinkedIn isn’t always about you and your followers aren’t, either. Don’t be afraid to share great content. More than likely, you’ll see the favor returned in the future. If you own an insurance company but find a great article on flooring, be sure to share it. Everyone has floors and giving a nice endorsement is just good business. In fact, it’s fundamental to engagement – which is a two-way street. If you’re not helpful or engaging others, don’t expect them to engage with you!

Getting Started with Social Media Marketing

Many of our clients are wondering how to get started in social media marketing. While they may have their personal FaceBook or Twitter account, a plan of action is required in order to use it effectively for a business. Before you give up on the idea of using FaceBook, Twitter, or a Pinterest account to promote your business, consider these tips.

1. Do Continual Market Research

Be prepared to take before and after snapshots of your business to uncover the effects that your social media attempts are having on your business. Make a checklist and ask yourself the following questions:

2. Engage in Conversations with Your Followers

The best social media programs remember that sociability is about communication and the best communication goes two ways. When your posts elicit comments, take the time to engage in conversation with prompt responses. The greater the level of interaction, the more likely you are to get followers. Those followers will share your posts and eventually your social media marketing efforts will begin to snowball.

3. Go for the Share

The easiest way to extend your reach is by placing interesting content on your account. Graphics, quotes, and informative stories can be combined with discounts and sale postings. People with large numbers of followers build loyalty by posting a minimum of one time per day. Since most people are unable to create such sharable content on a regular basis, many successful social media users scour the Internet for quality content. Use a mix of shared content and original content to keep your page interesting. The more engaged your readers are, the more likely they are to repost or reTweet.

4. Remember That It Takes Time

The vast majority of businesses start out with good intentions. The stated plan to create and submit new content quickly falls by the wayside when growth stalls. Instead of giving up, place one or two people in charge of development and give them the time to discover what really works for your business. Once your FaceBook page or Twitter account catches on, growth can quickly become exponential which really makes it worthwhile.

5. Use Social Media to Promote the Unique Aspects of Your Business

Each company has its own personality and social media presents the opportunity for businesses to present their best side. Organize an internal meeting and brainstorm ideas. Does your business have a unique approach to a problem? Share insights that your company has gleaned over the years and you will build, and be able to manage, a stellar reputation in your field.

Many businesses stumble because they over-think their social media marketing in the early stages. Start with simple projects and build from there. Take the time to monitor your follower's responses and engage in a real conversation with your customers in the comment section. Gradually, you will uncover a pattern of posts that successfully enhances your online reputation and builds the bottom line of your business.

Why Social Media Connects Executives To Their Employees

smm nycOne of the most substantial benefits of social media is that it builds more intimate connections. Some folks complain that their ‘real’ relationships get diluted while their less meaningful ones become enhanced, but when it comes to small/mid sized businesses, the opposite is happening. As social media has matured, customers and employees are beginning to cultivate more personal, productive relationships with leadership – which in turn leads for better ideas, more constructive feedback and most importantly – more sales!

When dealing with internal social networks especially, relationships between execs and employees/influences have been supercharged. One of the primary reasons for this spike in good vibes is because of the overall tone of the communication. While most people spend countless hours on WHAT they want to say, HOW they say it and HOW people respond is what’s most important. With traditional company memos or intranet articles, there’s an undertone of being spoken to as opposed to speaking with. On social media, employees genuinely feel as if the communication is organic, direct and sincere instead of something posted as a boiler plate for mass consumption.

Social media – by its very nature, uses a lot of first person “I” statements, allows for feedback and just by the appearance of the sentence structure – looks less formal. As such, people feel like they’re having more intimate conversations with their bosses. Because of the casual, less stuffy and instructive manner of communication, people feel more inclined to participate in a real back and forth, share and comment. In other words, while a given post has been intended to be an opportunity for leaders to speak to their employees, it’s the employees who feel as if they’re involved in a dialogue, not just receiving word from the higher ups.

So if you ever find yourself at a point where you need to convey a specific, meaningful message – consider delivering it via social media. That way, a communication that is intended to be or taken as a mandate, will actually feel more like a conversation.

Four Cost Effective Ways to Measure Your Social Media Results

social media nySo you’ve taken the plunge head first into social media. Are your efforts working? How can you find out?

Not so long ago, it was hard to answer that question. Now, that’s not the case. Like most business phenomena’s, social media has matured and with that maturation comes the ability to measure results. While paying money for big-time social media analytics can pay dividends, it’s not necessarily the best- or most realistic path for a small business to pursue.

In today’s post, we profile four tools you can use to help you track the success of your social media. Here they are:

Twitter Analytics

After a long wait, Twitter has finally released an analytics tool that enables you to measure the effectiveness of your tweets. While this feature was only reserved for paid subscribers in the past, now it’s available to everyone for free.

Timeline activity analytics helps you measure the effectiveness of specific, individual tweets. By using it, you can see how many users retweeted you, favorited your tweet, replied to it and clicked through to the link you shared. So if you ever wondered what people were interested in on your timeline, you can now figure it out.

Google+ Ripples

Like Twitter Analytics, Google+ helps you examine the reach of your Google+ posts. That being said, Google Ripples has some very specific guidelines, including:

Even though it’s fairly rigid, it’s helpful when you’re trying to see who was interested in something and who isn’t. It also helps you identify the kinds of things that get the biggest reaction. Oh yeah – it’s free, too!

Klout

Klout has grown up since its days as a glorified popularity platform. Today, it gages interest across several social media platforms to give you an aggregated look at the overall success of your efforts. By using the ‘network breakdown’ feature, you can see what tools get you the most interaction and where you’re having the most success. Even better – answering questions on Klout helps to boost your visibility on certain search engines – especially BING.

Pinterest Analytics

Of the major social networks out there, Pinterest is the one who has been the most prolific on the analytic development front. By using Pinterest analytics, you can track a number of things, including:

As you can see, there’s plenty of information to digest there. If you are someone who uses Pinterest, then be sure not to disregard its analytics tool.