Tag Archives: Facebook

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Social Media Marketing Shouldn’t Just Be About Sales


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Since social media marketing’s existence, there have been doubts cast upon this marketing strategy by old school marketers who specialize in web content and SEO. Even those who aren’t in the marketing and advertising industry are either skeptical or hesitant to look to a new way of attracting and growing a customer base. For the ones who’ve hopped on the social media bandwagon, they see marketing on multiple platforms as a money making opportunity which it is, but shouldn’t be the only reason to use this one of a kind marketing tool.

What is so unique about having social media into one’s marketing strategy is that it’s a way to promote a brand that wouldn’t have gotten exposure 20 years ago. As important as sales are, brand awareness should be a very close second when it comes to your priorities on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms. Besides using Facebook ads, why are users coming to your fan page or Twitter account? Never look at it as they searched on the internet or your account was in the suggestion box and they just happened to find you among other companies who are in my business sector. Those viewers want to see and get to know your brand, whether they searched it on Google, heard about your business from a friend, or saw a tweet you posted that’s been shared and retweeted among your followers.

A company based in Dublin, Virginia by the name of BimmerWorld, happens to be a business that specializes in tuning and adding on after market parts to BMW’s. They are also a race team and member of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge who race primarily on circuit tracks, competing against teams that drive Camaros, Mustangs, Porsches, Aston Martins, and other street tuner sports cars.

Being a car enthusiast I watched a portion of one of the races they competed in, and later searched the association and league they’re a member of. Thinking they were only a racing team, it was a surprise to find out they were also a business in the automotive industry.

Their Facebook page combines both their business and racing aspects, and has a strong following of over 12,500 fans. Not only did I find out who they were, I also learned more about the racing league they’re in. By doing this, I’m now aware of their brand and of the races they are a part of, which means they also promoted the sport and association they compete in.

Think from a consumer’s point of view and ponder whether you’d do the same; watch something on TV and then search to find out more. Your main goal is to find that website or Facebook page and learn as much as you can about the product or business. That is how you should look at your potential customers and fans. They want to learn and know who you are before buying into what you sell. By promoting your brand on social media, your exposing what you do, who you are, and what you sell, and if you can successfully convince the potential fan and customer, you will make money off of social media.

Remember, when it comes to all forms of marketing, the main goal should be to promote your brand and show the customer that there is another alternative, and that your business sells a better product, or does a service better than your competitors.

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Social Media Matters: Don’t Forget About Facebook Group Pages

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johnscotthaydon / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

When it comes to marketing on Facebook, creating fan pages to connect and acquire new followers and customers is a must. However, group pages shouldn’t be forgotten about. Fan pages are great for posting and sharing content for followers to read and interact with, but in some cases and industries, a group page on the side would be beneficial. The way Facebook pages are currently constructed, there is the potential for a disconnect between followers and the business, and also from one customer to the other.

As a hobby, and as an owner of a specific vehicle, I created a Facebook fan page for the car that I own. Without any advertising the growth rate of the page was tremendous, and the amount of viewers being reached was impressive, considering every single like and view was all organic. However, a problem arose a few months later when people who liked the page began posting comments and pictures of their cars on the Facebook page’s wall. No one other than myself, and anyone who looked at the comments section, would have seen the questions and pictures fellow car owners posted.

On a few occasions there would be questions that were posted that I couldn’t answer, as the model the owner had wasn’t sold in the United States. Knowing that the page had a global audience, there was most likely someone from Europe who could help answer the question and knew more about that specific model than anyone in the states.

A few months later, I stumbled upon a group page dedicated to the manufacturer that made the car I and my followers own. This group page had members who would post pictures and discuss news about the manufacturer, making it an open forum and a friendly place to socialize with other car owners. The comments and questions that were posted could be seen by all members, not only on the group page’s wall, but also on the members’ own news feeds. This allowed for more engagement, more answers to questions, and an endless supply of pictures that were constantly being posted.

How does this all tie into marketing strategy for a business, or become an invaluable asset to companies? If your business sells products, not only are you posting pictures of those products, but your customers might do the same, depending on what you sell. Unless you publicize your customer’s pictures on your fan page, not many, if any of the other fans of the page will see it. This has nothing to do with posting content, but more of connecting yourself to the customer, and having that customer connect with the other followers of that page.

Especially for businesses, there is also a review section where customers rate your business and hopefully write a nice comment to go with the rating. While it’s a great feature to have on the fan page, all the fans see is the 5 star system, while the comments themselves are in a tiny box which needs to be clicked on to show all comments and ratings.

With a group page, the customers can all be in one place where they can share experiences, talk about the product, and you the business owner, can further engage with your clients on a more personal and friendly level. The group page shouldn’t be a substitute for the fan page, as you’re not going to post marketing content there, but have that go hand-in-hand with the fan page as a mini forum option for the customers and followers. Also with a group page, you can link your fan page on the wall, and pin it to the top where everyone can see it for as long as you keep it as a top priority status.

As business owners, you must use every weapon in your arsenal to attract future customers and connect with current clientele. A group page should be utilized to create that engagement with your fans and customers. Even though you can’t promote it as you can a fan page, it’s primary goal is to bring all current fans into one place where they can discuss your products or services. There you can gauge what they want to see and find out what will work best for your business in the future. Group pages stopped being popular when Facebook gave owners the power to advertise, but there is still an opportunity to revive that aspect of the social media platform, and use it to your business’s advantage.

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How Social Media Marketing Can Change the Perception of Marketers

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hahatango / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

The advertising and marketing industry is always looked down upon by consumers, and rightly so. At least once in their lifetime they were fooled into buying a product that either didn’t live up to expectations or was a complete waste of money that some cold-calling marketer, or even salesperson, pressured them into buying. With movies depicting advertising agents and marketers in a bad light, the perception consumers have of the industry isn’t a good one, but with social media that can all change. Needless to say, there will still be dishonest marketers trying to make money off customers, but for the honest ones, here is your time to shine.

Social media marketing, whether on Facebook, Twitter, or any other platform, gives the marketer the opportunity to be not only professional, but social and real. Just as the company he or she works for, the marketer has a reputation that can easily be tarnished, and have to face the repercussions of treating a customer poorly for years to come. Because of social media and the internet, our faces and information about us is accessible and customers can post reviews about companies or individuals and also confront these businesses and individuals through direct messaging. This should be the first realization for not only marketers, but anyone who is trying to build a reputation, attract clients, or prove to followers that you’re an experienced, credible professional in your field.

In my time as a sports journalist and editor, my primary goal was to give accurate information about the team I was writing about. So it was inexcusable to post an article with a title that was misleading, with the knowledge that the site could be looked at as a blog that gives out false information, and pulls the bait and switch. This can be applied to social media marketing. When displaying the product or service on your Facebook page, first think as a customer and what you would want to see from a business you shop at. Next, don’t give out false or misleading information; be up front and honest with factual information. Lastly, don’t just tell your customers why they should buy the product or service, but show them. Link to other sites that backup the information you’re telling people. By giving the customer independent information, it further validates your credibility.

Always have your customers’ best interest in mind. Treat them well, and they will return. That’s why social media can change the perception consumers have towards marketers and advertisers in general. Show them that you’re as much of a customer as they are. Be real and honest, and you’ll have customers for life who will return and spend their money for your product or service. We all see the fake side of social media when used for personal use, but for businesses, this is your opportunity to show how real and serious of a company you are. A customer’s trust is crucial to have a surviving and thriving business, and with social media marketing, you can prove to everyone why they should buy your products, or walk into your store.

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Social Media Matters: Engage With Your Customers, Even in a Casual Setting

Facebook, Twitter, and many social media platforms allow businesses to connect with their customers and acquire future consumers by specifically targeting their audience through ads and updates on their pages and accounts. However, connecting with your followers or customers doesn’t have to be confined to formal engagement and can be used even when using your own personal Facebook or Twitter account. You may ask how, and it’s actually really simple; something you might already be doing without even thinking about it.

A few days ago I had casually commented on an update a popular car blog had posted on their Facebook fan page. An SUV, that in my opinion wasn’t practical for any consumer financially, was loved by many who commented on the same picture and link. A person responded to my comment giving great feedback, which wasn’t his intent, as he made the case that this SUV was capable of going off-road, and the vehicle was well worth the price.

A lot can be learned from this, and as a marketer, if I was to come up with a marketing strategy for that specific vehicle, the feedback that was given allows me to tailor any advertisement towards an audience that wants that SUV. Off-road capability, along with it’s AWD, and cargo space, should be the main focus when advertising that vehicle. Now that we’ve got inside the consumer’s mind and understand what he or she wants in a particular vehicle, it can now be applied to both the auto industry and other business sectors.

Very few businesses do this, but asking the buyer why he or she is buying the product they brought to the counter gives invaluable information to the marketer. There is no reason for them to fill out a form stating why they bought it, but a simple question that can then be applied to the next customer that walks through your door. If you own a toy store and a kid comes up to the cash register with an action figure or play set, seeing his or her excitement for it, and listening to what they’re saying, then allows you to market that toy to attract kids who want that toy, but didn’t know it was in your store.

This shouldn’t be confined to products either, as even a gym can get positive or negative insight into what the consumer or gym goer wants. I’ve been asked, “How did you find out about our gym?”, but I’m never asked “What do you like or dislike about our gym?”. The second question is almost, if not more important than the first, as the customer’s response may make you consider changing what your gym offers. If a majority of customers express that they want more free weights and less machines, action should be taken to make the people who workout there happy. Simply asking that question could save you time and money, and keep gym goers coming through your doors.

Consumers don’t want formal marketing, questionnaires to fill out, or annoying ads that hinder what they want to do. Engagement on social media, both on your fan page and during your own personal time, along with asking friendly and open questions, is going to make the potential customer more comfortable. You can learn a lot from what the consumers are saying, but you’ve got to be willing to listen. One status on Facebook pertaining to a product or interest is a great way to learn the buying behaviors of your customers. If you can understand the psychological reasoning behind their buying habits, you’ll be able to market and advertise much more efficiently and effectively.

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Social Media Matters: Are Websites Still Necessary For Businesses?

In a marketing sense, Facebook and Twitter have revolutionized how businesses advertise their products and reach out to their customers. Is it possible that the days of the website directing traffic to the company are over?

When going to a business’s website, whether it’s a store down the street, marketing firm, or contracting company, what do they all have in common? Usually an about page, what they do, who’s the owner, and how the long the company has been in business. There will be a contact information section where customers can see where the store is, what number to call, or who to e-mail. But social media, especially Facebook, can do all these things and more.

One of the biggest issues facing business owners is drawing in viewers and potential customers. SEO, or “search engine optimization”, has been taught to be the most effective way to reach a countless number of people, but business owners and even bloggers, either don’t have the time to learn it, or just don’t want to do it period. This is where the power of Facebook comes in.

“Like” pages can be a simpler solution and much easier to maintain than a website or blog. You can get your point across in a few sentences, post pictures of your product, and connect with your customers on a more personal level that websites can’t offer. Your contact information will be at the top of the page with your company’s phone number, and address if you have a brick and mortar store.

Best of all, you can advertise your Facebook page with ads that specifically target people who will be interested in what you’re selling. For $5 to $20 a day you can get the word about your business out to customers, with a certain amount of “likes” daily varying on how much money you spend on the Facebook ads. So far there have been a few companies who have only marketed and advertised on Facebook through ads on their page, and are reaping the benefits for it.

It’s still taught that social media should reinforce the main website, but after seeing firsthand that companies can thrive on social media alone, the website may not be as necessary as previously thought. If you already have a website, that’s great, but take the next step and get on social media. The future of marketing and advertising is here, and you want to be at the front of the line before your competitors finally see the potential social media has on their businesses.

Marketing Essentials Every Small Business Must Utilize

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National Library of Ireland on The Commons / Foter.com

 

There are dozens of businesses in your city or town, but what are most of them not doing? Marketing and Advertising. There is the occasional ad in the local yellow pages, but it’s the 21st century, not many people look to the phone book when they’re looking for someone or some business. Marketing on the internet, email, and social media should be a must for all businesses, but there are a number of companies that don’t have a Facebook page, Twitter account, or email subscriptions to attract and interact with regular and new customers. So let’s take a more in depth look at all aspects of social media and how they can be used to help your business prosper.

Starting with email subscriptions; this is a great way to personally send information about products, sales and discounts, or any news that could be important to your customers. We all get emails from bigger companies, whether a clothing store, magazine subscription, or any other place you have shopped in the past. But why aren’t small businesses doing the same? To attract customers and give reasons to return for regular customers, you must draw them back, and even if you have a sale or a discount, they’ll never know unless you’re informing them that the product is on sale via email. Websites are a great place to show your products and what is in your inventory, but there is a chance customers won’t go to the site, you must go to them, and that’s where the use of email comes in.

Social media is the future of marketing and advertising. Twitter and Facebook are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the potential technology can have on your business. A Facebook page can be used to draw customers in, and if your fans share your page, there’s a likelihood that their friends will also look into what your business does. It’s a way to interact with customers if they have any questions, and if your business has a product you can post pictures and or videos ┬áto help visualize that specific product to the fans and customers. People want to see themselves using or wearing the product before purchasing it. If you can give them a clear picture of what they’re buying, that’s half the battle, especially if you don’t have a brick and mortar store.

Twitter pages have been proven to be successful for businesses. A small clothing store in Massachusetts is drawing in more customers through Twitter than their main website, and as a result, all the marketing and news about their clothes are being posted in tweets only. However, with this form of social media, continuously tweeting and using hashtags that are relevant to what you sell and your customers buy is vital to the success you’ll have on Twitter. Always post pictures if your business has a product, respond to your followers, and make it interactive. In most cases, the twitter accounts who have many followers is a result of them interacting and having conversations, showing that they’re friendly and open.

To effectively market what you sell or do, you must go to the customer first. The internet is the best way to get news and information out to the public, and it must be utilized. There are many businesses still operating as if it’s still the 20th century. To stand out from your competition you must reach out to who you’re trying to sell to and gain consumers. After all these years of it’s existence, social media isn’t being used correctly. Be the first to take advantage of what these websites have to offer, and separate yourselves from the pack. It could be the difference between a somewhat successful business and a complete success.