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Where Is Customer Engagement Headed This Year?

19 Jul

New trends for social media are always important, and keeping up to date with what the market wants is absolutely key to improving your business and your social media presence. Here are the four main points:

1. Community Building and Management

Nothing helps a company more than having good relationships with its community. Be sure to make your customers happy, talk to them, and most importantly: Let them talk to you. Feedback from the public is the best way to know how your business is seen, and helps out everyone in the end.

2. Gamification

Is your website fun? It doesn’t have to be a game, but you need something for your customers to do besides view your products! The companies eBay and Quibids use bidding as a form of game for their users, while other companies offer quizzes or other things to do. Keep your customers entertained!

3. Mobile

People are out and about more than ever now, and can still see your site! Your website should not only be mobile compatible, but often geared toward mobile. Smartphones are incredible technology, be sure to use them correctly.

4. Multi-screen Integration

People are often using multiple screens at once, whether they are using tablets, smartphones, or laptops. Your business has to be accessible on all of them, as people can be anywhere and doing anything when looking at your business!

Is your business taking these into account to bring in new customers and keep them?

photo courtesy of ronploof under the Flickr CCL

Integrate Your Email Marketing Campaign with Social Media

11 Jul

ImageYou can leverage the power of social media marketing and social sharing through your readers who have social media accounts. By doing this consistently, your e-mail open rates and conversion will improve tremendously. The following tips will help guide you through an effective Email Marketing-Social Media integration.

Embed Social Media Buttons in Your Newsletter

  • It’s ideal to add social media icons linked to each of your social media pages, this will help extend your reach and influence of your email marketing campaign. These links increase the click through rates and conversions of your emails.

Encourage Your Readers to Share

  • To make it easier for your readers you can embed social sharing buttons or invite them to forward your emails to others and maximize the reach of your email marketing campaign.

Add a Subscription Form to Your Social Media Page

  • This is an essential strategy for attracting new members to join your network and marketing circles. Facebook has a subscription form on their fan pages to easily promote links to newsletters, websites or blogs. Another option is to embed external sign-up forms for followers to join your mailing list.

Promote Email Sign-up Via Social Networks

  • The simplest way to encourage followers to join your mailing list is posting links on social media, directing them to your sign-up page. You can avoid hard selling by creating an interesting survey which encourages readers to complete it, as well as join your mailing list. Creating and promoting links gives followers a reason to check it out.

Provide Irresistible Incentives

  • For first time subscribers, offer exclusive content which may include a free webinar or free eBook. Another incentive is giving coupons to those who like or follow your social media pages.

Cross-Channel Campaign Management

  • Social media can be used to engage and re-target those who don’t open and read your emails. After a certain amount of time you can follow up  by sending automated messages on Twitter or Facebook. Using the geographic data from Facebook, you can message readers and customers who buy products from your store.

Drive People from Your Thank You Page to Social Media Site

  • Newcomers are directed to a thank you page after joining your mailing list. On this page embed social media icons with links to your social media pages or even an online video marketing link to YouTube. This will boost the reach and effectiveness of your internet marketing campaigns.

Don’t Dabble in Social Media, Integrate It!

26 Jun

by Jason A. Howie - 2Many businesses seem to hold social media as a separate tool for marketing and building their business, not including it into the marketing body as a whole. When it comes to social media, it’s not exactly a game where you can just dip your toes; it’s an endless sea of communication, and you have to dive into it.

The article here claims that companies have to fully integrate their social media accounts into a business plan. It states that “only half of all companies surveyed said that top executives were ‘informed, engaged and aligned with their companies’ social strategy.”

Social media allows the ability to give a company a human face, and not utilizing this can be damaging, especially for small businesses. When you own a business, you’re at the front lines of customer service, sales, management and more, so it only makes sense to communicate more with your customers and hear what they have to say.

Read the full article about building your social network here.

photo courtesy of Jason A. Howie, under Flickr CCL.

Welcome to the New Myspace

15 Jan

Picture 6The new Myspace has opened to the public after being invite-only for the last few months. While it is worlds away from the website that was so popular in my middle school years, some aspects have not changed.

The design features unique horizontal navigation and is reminiscent of Pinterest with a focus on visuals. The revamped profile page allows a 150 character bio, spotlights a profile and background photo, profile song, and still allows users to display their “Top 8″ friends.

Myspace revolves around music; Myspace’s partnerships with many music labels have created a seamless sharing experience and many artists have already joined and made personal profiles. All content is found in your stream– photos, music, statuses, links, and videos. Like Facebook Chat and Gtalk, Myspace has an instant messaging feature where users can choose to be seen as on or offline.

A final feature that is exclusive to Myspace is mixes. A mix is a collection of stuff: songs, photos, statuses. The site will make three mixes for you by default; a Stream Mix (stuff you post to the site), Profile Mix (your profile photos and songs), and Cover Mix (an album of your cover photos).

Are you going to join Myspace again? Tell us your thoughts and feedback on the new site in the comments!

Why You Shouldn’t Care About Influencers

17 Sep

Influencers are important, but when you have limited resources to dedicate to your social media brand presence, it makes sence to focus on allocating your resources to the aspect of your online presence that is going to have the most impact.

Use Visuals for Brand Engagement

14 Sep

Engagement is one of the most difficult things to achieve with your brand online.  You can be active in all of your social networks, but without engaging material, you will hear crickets.  Engagement is one of the most widely struggled with aspects of a brand’ online presence.

Engage, Engage, ENGAGE!

2 Aug

The World Wide Web is a source of information content to the consumer.  Consumers regularly use the Web to find answers to their questions, research, and learn.  A pushy banner add or pup-up advertisement is inconvenient and annoying.  It interrupts the consumers content-search. 

Content search is the first step in the buying process for many consumers.  According to David Meerman Scott, “when people come to you online, they are not looking for TV commercials.  They are looking for information to help them make a decision”.  Successful businesses build a relationship with their customers before applying high-pressure sales.  Simply put, offer content to build reputation, reputation builds trust and loyalty, trust and loyalty leads to sales.  “Content drives action” is the bottom line.

The key to driving sales through offering content, without the high-pressure banner ads and pop-ups, is an optimized website.  The example that Meerman Scott uses is uses website optimization to guide its buyers through the final decision to purchase.  The flow of the customer’s clicks determine at which stage of buying they are at.  Amazon uses these patterns to direct the customer to certain websites which will help the customer to make that final decision to make the purchase.  Make it a point to avoid the traditional marketing experience – we no longer want to interrupt the customer’s buying process with pop ups and loud banner ads, we want to help them through the decision making process by providing information content in a user-friendly way.

We are not giving content to our competitors, we are giving content to our consumers.  A blog, for example, gives customers a chance to make a personal connection with a company, it offers an opportunity for the customer to interact with the ‘company’, and have a voice.  It also gives companies a perfect opportunity to reach the niche of the market.  Research where your customers are spending their time on the Web, become active, offer your knowledge and expertise.  Accept criticism, and know when to act.  Allow loyal customers to step in for you, should your company be on the verge of a public relations crisis, you are already a trusted member of the blog, you already have an ‘innie’ – you have a way of reaching your customers directly. You are IN!

Sure, the competitors can take the content and do what they please with it.  What is important here, is to realize that you, as a company, need to set yourself as the leader in the industry.  Sure, competitors will offer the same content eventually, but who offers it first?  Who offers the most?  From the words of Scott, “Content turns browsers into buyers”.

Resource: The New Rules of Marketing & PR 
David Meerman Scott

Officially Social Media Day in Michigan

16 Jul

On June 27, 2012 Governor John Snyder ( @onetoughnerd) offered his signature to make June 30th officially Social Media Day, making Michigan the 3rd state in the country to officially recognize the day. 

According to Katrina Ball on, Michigan has a strong social media presence. The state’s government maintains 137 social media accounts across Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. Its Facebook presence is the second-largest of any tourism agency and @MIgov has the third-largest state government following.

Social Media Day is a virtual event- but no less important than a live event.  Are you excited about the official proclamation what do you think this says about Michigan?

Put Your Content To Good Use!

27 Jun

You have spent substantial resources creating great content for your website – it is time to put it to good use. 

Supplying great content creates a positive experience for your consumer, and gets them started in buying process.   Naturally, your goal is to reach as many consumers as possible, but if you are not utilizing social media to spread your content, you are missing out.  According to Nielson’s “State of the Media: The Social Media Report” Q3 2011, social networks and blogs reach more than three-quarters of active internet users, and more than half of active online adult social networkers shop online. 

You have a great opportunity with social networks and blogs to positively influence your company’s bottom line- social media is no longer an option, it is a necessity.

140 Characters: The Story of Short URLs

4 May

This is a short story. (Two drums and a cymbal fall off a truck.)

As we all know Twitter only allows you to have 140 characters per tweet. Sometimes your character length is compromised by lengthy URLs. This is where this post comes in handy.

One of the best ways to handle URLs in tweets is by using a URL Shortener. A URL shortener will take a lengthy URL and turn it into a much smaller URL typically about 13 characters long opposed to a regular URL that already has 8 characters with just the “www.” and “.com”.

For example . . .

turns into

Shortening your URLs is not only good for your character length but also has other benefits. Many of the URL shorteners also act as a tracking device and  QR code generator. Once you shorten your URL, these sites with give you analytics that show who has been clicking on your link and where from, as well as other metrics. Now lets show you a few URL shorteners to get you started in your micro blogging adventures.

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