Posts Categorized / Social Media

Social Selling 101

Posted Posted by Amy Stubblefield in Marketing Strategy, Online Marketing/SEO, Social Media     Comments No Comments
Apr
21

I bet only a few of you have heard the term “Social Selling,” however, I’m willing to bet that most of you can figure out what it refers to.  The beauty of social media is that it is essentially free!  The ugly of social media is that it is essentially free!  It’s watered down.  Spam flows everywhere.  Images and appearances can take a turn for the worse in a matter of seconds.  Why in the world do I love it so much? 

When done properly, social media can enhance a brand’s image, get important news out to the masses, provide an amazing referral tool, etc.  We discuss proper social media and its effectiveness on a regular basis, but the one topic that typically gets blood pumping is how to effectively sell our products on it!  We see some companies post the exact same thing weekly…”We have 2 spots left for this amazing deal.  Call us to schedule your appointment.”  I think we all know they are using a scare tactic to convince you to make a decision NOW!  So, if I call next week, and 2 people already called, are you saying I can’t book an appointment?  As I also see the same post every week, I know where this really fun “hide” button is on FB.  Wait…better yet…I know where the “unlike” button is!

social-selling

Social selling can be done properly, without being annoying and guiding fans to the hide or unlike click.  Your social media pages are general interest pages.  When somebody likes our marketing agency’s page, they are most likely a person that hires out for marketing services, or finds the general topic to be interesting and want tips.  Tips can come in the form of blog posts, just social media posts, or in images.  Our clients like to see what other projects we are working on to get ideas of what we can do for them.  You will not find our social media posts telling people to buy from us!  We are building trust as experts in the industry and putting our best foot forward, but we are not posting sales pitches.  When you like a caramel company’s page, you probably are a person with a HUGE sweet tooth, a person that likes to host parties and get gift or entertaining ideas, or a person who simply loves the product and wants to know updates.  Posting every week about what to buy will not be effective.  It will be for a handful of people, but think of your larger picture.  Wouldn’t you rather be on the tip of the tongue of many possible customers, versus just be liked and stay in touch with the handful looking at what you want them to buy each week? 

At all times, you need to stay in touch with your clients and prospects, but when they are ready to buy…they will.  The key to social selling is SOCIAL!  NOT selling!  Fans like pages for things they want in the future at some point.  If you pull out the hard core sales pitch in every post you make, they will shy away from you and be afraid to schedule an appointment.  Nobody likes to be hard pressured into a sale.  Instead, become their friend.  Identify with what your audience likes, listen to them, engage with them.  When the time is right, you’ll be the first company they call for a sales pitch because they look at you as their respectful expert versus a hard pressure salesman.

Facebook Timeline for Businesses…March 30th Rollout Whether Ready or Not!

Posted Posted by Amy Stubblefield in Online Marketing/SEO, Social Media     Comments No Comments
Mar
9

Don’t you just love change?  If not…stop reading this post!  You don’t want to know that Facebook is going to force all business fan pages into the new timeline layout.  On March 30th, all pages will be converted, whether they are ready or not.  So, if you don’t like change…don’t get on your Facebook fan page after March 30th!  Yes, you can do nothing about it…however, if you spend a little time, or hire a company to help you out, your fan page will make you look like a rock star! I’ll admit, I wasn’t happy about the change at first.  We had just made an awesome welcome page that automatically came up with you come to our page.  That’s not relevant anymore.  After being upset, I decided to look more into it and see why the change is happening.  What I’ll do here is briefly tell you what the changes are and why they are awesome, along with how to get going on your page.

Why Timeline is Awesome:

Before Timeline, there was only a 10% chance a fan would come back to your page for anything.  They just see your posts on their news feed.  Timeline is designed differently to help engage your fans and get them more involved.  If you ask me, it’s almost like an individual website within Facebook. Here are some new additions:

  • You now have the ability to pin a post to the top of your page.  If you have one about an event, or anything else you want to be noticed, you can pin it to the top of your page, and it will stay there for a week.  It keeps your most important info right in front of your targets.
  • You now have the ability to send messages and chat directly with your fans!  This might be my favorite new addition.
  • While nobody can choose their landing page anymore, you get to have a huge cover image to show off your brand.  This cover image reminds me of a website homepage.  How do you want to be portrayed.  Check ours out at www.facebook.com/visionarymarketing.  Have fun with it and brand yourself!
  • And last, but not least, notice the navigation below the cover photo.  Just like you always could, you can have individual pages with different information.  Before, however, your pages were hidden on the left of your screen.  Now, they are up front and will guide your fans where you want them to go.  Great for more interaction!
Facebook Timeline

How to Do Your Own Page:

While there are tons of tutorials online, I’ll just go over the main key points on what you should do before March 30th. 

Cover Photo

First, and foremost, make sure your cover photo is taken care of.  You want to make it 851 px x 315 px.  Brand yourself, so have fun with it.  However, you might want to follow Facebook’s guidelines:

  • No price or purchase information.  Do not include discounts, sale pricing, etc.  Make sure you follow, or if you get reported by 1 fan, you will be reviewed, and the page will be taken down by Facebook.
  • Do not include contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section.
  • Do not include references to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features. 
  • No calls to action, like “Get it Now” or “Share with Friends”

Might have too many guidelines, but they are wanting a uniform NON-SALESY look and feel to Facebook.  You can include everything on your page, just not in your cover.  It’s not good for business anyway, as the fastest way to lose a fan is to always sell to them via social media.

Navigation Tabs

As you see on our page, we have a services tab and an open mic (blog) tab.  Get creative!  If you have a blog, you might as well have it there.  Think of this as your website…what are the most important parts of your business to incorporate into your social media.  You can change these tabs anytime, so go ahead and get creative.  If you don’t know how to create a tab, there’s an app for that!  One that I used that is very popular is Involver.  They have some basic free ones, that are great, like the blog one.  Then, make an image and change it in the settings for a nice navigation look!

If you aren’t the type to go and make your own Facebook Timeline, go ahead and give us a call.  We are doing this for a very affordable price right now to make sure our clients and fans have their best foot forward.  I hope you got something from my long-winded post here.  If you have any questions, let me know!

The Gossip Truth…Social Media and Your Company!

Posted Posted by Amy Stubblefield in Branding, Online Marketing/SEO, Social Media     Comments No Comments
Feb
22

“Organizations cannot afford not to be listening to what is being said about them, or interacting with their customers in the space where they are spending their time and, increasingly, their money too.”  ~ Malcolm Alder, KPMG’s Economy Practice, KPMG in Australia

As I was a shy child (way long time ago), I think I would have cringed at the idea of social media when I was in high school and college.  There is something about hiding that still appeals to me today.  I could only imagine if parents could have checked up on me in college by viewing my Facebook pictures.  Whew…thanks goodness I made it through before cell phones to call home regularly and before social media to track my every move. 

Now, however, as a business owner, social media is my friend.  I might have gotten addicted to Facebook for my personal life too, but that’s a whole different topic!  As a business owner, I know I need to stay fresh in the eyes of my clients and prospects.  We need to portray our company in the personality that we want to be known by, and leave that ever so sought after first impression.  I’ll admit, I didn’t want that additional task to add to my list of duties, or the list of a team member’s duties.  We are all working hard over here, but somewhere…time had to be found!

Too many companies treat social media as a one-size fits all.  If all companies don’t have the same marketing strategy for their business growth, then they shouldn’t have the same social media strategy either.  What works for one company may not work for you.  Sure, we can all take lessons from how social media giants like Chick-fil-a and Nike keep their information fresh, offer deals and promotions and keep their audience entertained.  But when it comes down to it, you need to do what works for your company.  What works for your clients and prospects.  There is no one-size fits all strategy behind it.

Many more posts will be coming about social media, but first and foremost, make sure your social media plan incorporates the following key ingredients:

  • Keep it Fresh! Your target audience is looking for fresh ideas and a source of knowledge.  Make sure your plan incorporates a timeline of when you need to be thinking of new topics. 
  • Don’t Sell!  There is nothing worse than following or liking a business and being sold to every day.  Retail stores need to post sales and coupons, but most of us don’t.  When a follower feels like they are being sold to because they like your page, they can simply unlike it as fast as they liked it.  Remember, social media is NOT a direct sales tool.  Yes, sales come from it, but they come from you building your brand and building a loyal following based on your perceived personality.  Direct sales pieces bring in clients for a transactional deal.  Social media brings them in for life!
  • Quality NOT Quantity!  There is a misinterpretation when it comes to staying in front of your followers.  They aren’t on social media to follow only your company.  They are on it for friendships, relationships and knowledge.  Companies that post every day are very likely to get ALL of their posts hidden from being as bad as spam.  Make sure what you post is interesting and targeted to your audience.  Build loyalty versus annoyance!

When we work with our clients on social media, we’ll start by building a brand image.  Then, we’ll work with the client on a social media strategy that is just for them.  What’s their personality, and how can we portray it to make then stand out when somebody is looking for their product or service.  When doing social media yourself, make sure to follow the simple rules above, and you’ll be on the right track!  However…don’t take a break…social media doesn’t have downtime!

Last, but not least, I have to show you the best cartoon I’ve found on the effects of social media.  Check it out below from Mashable! 

Social Media Explained by Babies

Marketing’s Need for Objectives

Posted Posted by Amy Stubblefield in Marketing Strategy, Social Media     Comments No Comments
Jan
18

Secret SauceINCREASE SALES…the top goal for most companies.  Now, that’s a great goal for the sales department.  However, when working with the marketing department, you need to make sure they have the creative license to establish objectives in reaching these goals.  Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it?  However, the way those business goals translate into objectives, specifically with marketing, is the secret sauce that ultimately determines whether you succeed or blow another budget on creativity.

Turning Goals into Objectives

First and foremost, make sure you provide Marketing with the sales goals.  Without translating that purpose into actionable marketing objectives that align the product attributes, brand assets and user needs, Marketing will most likely end up producing catchy taglines that message the benefits of the product or how to use it.

Meanwhile, the what, why and who have vanished into the interdepartmental abyss, leaving the business and consumer at the mercy of Marketing’s creative interpretation of best sellers.

Instead, at this critical stage, marketing teams need to formulate actionable objectives and working strategies in cooperation with those who set the goals, make the product and know the target audience.

If you had to create cooperation between everybody, start by stating the sentence that comprises these three phases:

  • In order to (insert objective)
  • We will (define a strategy)
  • By (list creative tactics that solve the problem)

For example, if goal is to increase sales, an objective may be to drive performance of your best target customer while in the consideration state.  The marketing team comes to this objective by conducting their research, identifying the best target audience and recognizing how target customers research products.

Now, drop those elements into the framework above you and you get: “In order to drive preference with suburban sale chasers during the consideration phase, we will activate the online voice of existing customers by creating a game that requires multiple reviews on Facebook and Yelp and that focuses on the reliability of the product.”

Voila! Now that’s a different answer than…”more marketing, more marketing.”  More marketing doesn’t necessarily mean you will increase sales.  More marketing means you need to research the proper channels and choose the appropriate strategies for your objectives.  For many, social media and online strategies will be utilized.  However, for some, that is still not the case on reaching the target audience.  Figuring out the secret sauce is key to your success!