It’s no surprise that Twitter poses a huge opportunity for small businesses. Its recent IPO valued the company at $24.9 billion. The company has also showed explosive growth since it started with 231.7 million active users.
As a small business owner, looking to take a step into the world of social media, you should take advantage of what this channel has to offer your company, and expand your business’s reach one 120-character message at a time.
Continue reading, we have a variety of tips to getting your business Twitter account on the right track!
Giving customers immediate support
Having a Twitter account for your business is great for customer support. The beauty behind tweeting is interactions are quick, brief and much more personal than automated message machines or emails. Where responding to inquiries via email can be time consuming with formalities or sometimes perceived as impersonal, Twitter’s 120-character limit keeps responses to the point.
Because such a short time is needed to send a tweet, your responses must be prompt. Think of it this way, it takes a customer a mere 90 seconds to write a complaint – if your response time takes more than 24 hours, you could be leaving money on the table. Also, keep in mind that Twitter is a public forum; therefore your responses, as well as those of your customers, are broadcasted to the entire Internet.
Work this to your advantage. Responding in a friendly, conversational manner will earn followers, boost your credibility and build stronger relationships with your prospects and current customers.
Sales, promotions and discounts
Having active followers is the key to successful Twitter traction. How do I gain these followers, you ask? To start, it’s important to note that no one willingly follows a company to be bombarded by unrewarding advertisements. Your company’s social media content must be interesting and beneficial to your users.
Try tweeting conversational notes and discussion points that are relevant but not necessarily directly related to your business.
A great way to promote your business is to periodically have contests where followers retweet (RT) to win a prize. Below is an example of a RT contest EA held – within an hour and a half, they had over 550 RTs, furthering their reach with just one click!
Keep up with the times
Maintaining followers is as important as attracting them. Keep your viewers on their toes by posting fresh, up-to-date content daily. Look for current events that relate to your business, and always look for new ways to relate to your audience.
A brilliant example of this was a post by Miller Lite following the TV show Breaking Bad’s series finale, which had a viewership of 10.3 million people. The tweet caters to a specific audience and maintains a friendly sentiment, thereby giving a personality and gently opinion to the brand.
As you can see, Twitter is a great way to support customers, connect with prospects and let your company’s personality shine. Once you’ve thought out how you want to approach your Twitter channel, be sure to add Twitter posts to your social media content calendar to ensure your company doesn’t go a day without a tweet. Now get out there and start tweeting!
Check out the original post on the GO.CO blog!
These days, it’s rare to find a startup that have not at least considered implementing a marketing automation solution to drive increased revenue, and for good reason.
According to Circle Research, after 6 months of using a marketing automation solution, 8% of businesses report an increase in revenue. That number rises to 32% after one year of use, and to 40% after two years.
The longer you leverage marketing automation, the more efficient and effective your team becomes in using it, and the larger the return on your investment.
But what exactly is marketing automation? Simply put, a marketing automation solution automates a wide variety of daily marketing tasks that previously had to be done manually. It saves significant time and resources for your company, while simultaneously boosting your ability to find and convert new leads into customers.
A strong solution lets you automate the sending of emails, execution of short or long term marketing campaigns, dissemination of content based on a lead’s stage in the sales funnel, scoring and ranking of leads based on behaviors, and analysis of your efforts so you can continually improve your results.
Agile CRM, for example, is considered a leading automation solution used by small businesses to streamline their sales, marketing, and support teams. They conducted a survey amongst their customers to determine the best and most effective practices when it came to marketing automation in order to better understand the state of their customer’s marketing efforts. What they found may help calibrate your own marketing efforts.
The data from those conversations has been organized into following categories:
- Number of emails and campaigns per week
- What does a good email campaign look like?
- How do most marketers track, nurture and convert leads?
- What do most marketers present to visitors on their company’s website?
- What strategy do effective marketers use to keep prospects engaged while exiting the company website?
- What are some best practices for mobile marketing?
- How are most marketers dealing with social media?
Number of emails and campaigns per week
Most marketers Agile talked to are starting 1 or 2 new campaigns per week. On average, each campaign is sending 6 or 7 emails over the course of 3 or 4 weeks. Therefore, a total of 4 to 6 campaigns may be running in parallel at any one time. The number of contacts in each campaign varies from just a few hundred, to tens of thousands.
What does a good email campaign look like?
There are two broad KPIs most marketers measure themselves on:
- Open Rates = Total number of emails opened, divided by total number of emails delivered
- CTR = Total number of unique individuals who clicked on a link in the email, divided by the total number of emails delivered
Open rates of 20% or higher are considered pretty good by most marketers. Although, it really depends on the recipient list you use. If the list is well qualified (e.g. your existing users), then you should expect to see open rates at or above 20%. However, if your list is not very qualified, seeing a 20% open rate is good, though 10% is more likely.
Most marketers always place a call to action in their emails—such as a link to featured content, a link to a form, or a link back to the company website or a landing page. CTRs for well-qualified lists should be above 10%, while for unqualified lists, this number may drop to 2%.
If your open rates are lower than those mentioned above, it is time to employ A/B testing on the subject line of your emails. However, if the problem lies in a lower CTR, it is time to consider revising the body of your emails.
How do most marketers track, nurture and convert leads?
Most effective marketers have figured out how to automate and create multiple cadences for email marketing. They can score leads automatically based on user engagement, something that is easily done in Agile CRM. Therefore, good marketing teams can identify the right contacts as qualified leads who are ready to be handed over to the company’s sales team.
What do most marketers present to visitors on their company’s website?
Most of the answers to the question varied, and included the following:
- Web forms to capture leads [the most common answer]
- Popups, coupons, and discounts to engage anonymous visitors
- More targeted/personalized messages to known contacts
What strategy do effective marketers use to keep prospects engaged while exiting the company website? Most marketers seem to have adopted one or both of the following strategies for prospects existing their website. They either offer smart exit intent messages to keep visitors interacting or they offer coupons or discounts where applicable, to tempt customers to at least keep looking and consider purchasing something.
What are some best practices for mobile marketing?
First and foremost, every website needs to be mobile friendly. It is easy to preview mobile views of your website on a desktop by shrinking the browser window or tab to 3.5 inches and seeing how it looks.
Second, most forward-thinking marketers are not simply using SMS, but rather have actually integrated SMS into their CRM to automate SMS campaigning. SMS campaigning produces much higher open and engagement rates than email marketing, but you must first check on the legal restrictions around the use of SMS marketing in your country.
How are most marketers leveraging social media?
Most effective marketers have decided to build their presence on 2 or 3 social networks – focusing energy and resources where their prospects hang out, rather than going after every network.
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are the most commonly mentioned networks by Agile users, although Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat are also mentioned from time to time.
Most effective marketers have integrated their social engagement with their CRM, so that they can track and manage all customer interactions regardless of the channel.
Hopefully, your marketing efforts weigh in at the top 10% of your competitors. If not, it might be time to reevaluate whether you have the right tools to drive results—such as a new CRM, that can help your business align and automate your sales, marketing and support functions from a single platform.
Are you keeping up with your competition and automated your marketing efforts yet?
I have some enterprising friends. Not a day goes by that someone isn’t launching a fitness blog, a recipe channel, a consulting practice, or a new startup. Every week I get requests asking me to “please like my Facebook page” and “send this link to everyone you know”! Many of the requests from my friends are not relevant to me nor will I ever be a target customer. I’ve even liked a men’s weight loss page just to support a friend (I never looked at that page again).
As a wantrepreneur starts a business, he/she just wants visibility. “Like my page” validates their idea, but doesn’t guarantee any sales. When we first started #entrepreneurfail, we were guilty of this!
Entrepreneurs on the other hand do not target their friends unless the people match their customer profiles. They do not focus on the mere number of followers on social media but rather the tangible sales. Entrepreneurs start building deep relationships with potential customers from day 1, instead of through superficial social media clicks.
Have you ever begged a friend to like your social media page? Let us know in the details below.
This was originally created by Kriti Vichare for #entrepreneurfail: Startup Success.
This article is written by Vince Chiofolo from Boom Digital.
Social media is a nifty marketing tool, and can be a lot of fun too (celebrity Tweets, Candy Crush or cat pictures— pick your own vice, I’ll take cat pics). But be that as it may, a brand’s existence on social media alone will not drive the organic traffic needed to build a strong web presence (and reaching level 600 on Candy Crush is virtually worthless in this pursuit).
Many unattended social presences tend to stagnate over time and offer fruitless results for brands. They kind of just exist. Collect dust. Like that old treadmill you’re presently using as a coat rack, but only until you have time to clean the clutter out of your closet, which you can’t do yet because you’re busy trying to get in shape, which you can’t do yet because your treadmill has clothes on it.
The best way to utilize social channels and drive valuable traffic is to develop a strategic social media marketing plan. While every organization will have different needs—here are five simple tips that will make developing this strategy seamless and stress-free.
Know Where your Audience “Lives”
Would you be more likely to find your ideal customers in a dentist’s office or a pillow fort? If it’s the latter, that’s exactly where you’d want to have a presence (I mean, who wouldn’t?). On the web, it’s not much different. Social media does not simply mean Facebook. Social media does not mean Facebook and Twitter. Social media does not even mean Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and MySpace (lolz, MySpace). There are dozens of social networking sites big and small. Finding the right ones and using them in sync with one another will help you reach your audience on the best level possible. You may receive a vastly different result by posting on Tumblr than you will by posting on LinkedIn – depending on which your audiences tends to use as their pillow fort. If you work in a niche market, you NEED to find the niche sites to connect with the right audience.
Create Buyer Personas
Instead of marketing to the masses, like wildly throwing like spaghetti against the wall hoping some sticks, create buyer or client personas of the type of people that you wish to reach with your social media marketing campaign. Create different buyer personas that include information such as potential demographics, background and identifiers. Then, with every social media action you take, you have a potential reader or follower to target.
Build a Posting Pattern
Posting five times today before waiting another week until you post again may confuse or more likely annoy your followers. Try to develop a pattern of posting that is somewhat predictable and fits in with the audience expects as far as content frequency. This may involve using automation tools (such as Hootsuite or SocialFlow) to schedule posts and avoid any inconsistencies.
Remember, the Keyword is Social
When it comes to social media marketing, many times “marketing” becomes the focus. For the best, most organic results, “social” should be the emphasis. Strategize ways to make every post engaging so that your followers will want to interact with you and provide you with those ever-valuable social shares.
Analyze your Results
Use the tools available to you and find out who you are reaching and what these people are doing once you are reaching them. But don’t let numbers drive you crazy. If your reach seems low, but the people you reach are highly-engaged and interacting, you are succeeding. Quality often outweighs quantity. Be flexible and don’t be afraid to make changes, but constantly watch and see what bares some impact and what doesn’t. Then roll with the impact and streamline the approach.
While developing a social media marketing strategy may involve an investment of time and effort, the rewards can incredible for brands. Social media marketing is important and only becoming more vital to the growth of brands. Retweets and Likes aside, a strategic social platform could influence immense bottom-line growth to sales and retention that may otherwise go unseen. In your quest to build your social media empire, do not try to be all things to all people. Strategize, execute and analyze. You will be amazed by what a vast social reach could do.
On this second edition of the #SWDub Mentor Series, sponsored by Bank of Ireland, we reached out to him to tell us about his role at Startup Weekend as well as his expectations for the upcoming event.
Q. What are your thoughts on Startup Weekend and how have you participated?
I think this will be my fourth Startup Weekend, all in the mentor role, and each time I’m blown away not only by the ideas but by the people there. The organizers and other mentors are the best Ireland has and the teams are so diverse.
I have also come to see that the Startup Weekend is one of the few hackathon-type events that results in long term change, real businesses and ideas come out of the weekend, go on to secure funding, growth, and becoming success stories.
Q. What is one sector or space you’d like to see more ideas from during the Startup Weekend?
That will definitely be Security. This is because even since the last Startup Weekend in November there have been further breaches (Sony) and the industry is getting even more investment from all sizes of business.
The industry also needs novel ways of protecting data and systems, the established ways are not working and startups are great at bringing new thinking to an industry. Moreso, social media platforms are lagging when it comes to team based security. The password to your million-follower Twitter account is shared amongst your whole company? That’s crazy!
Q. What tip do you have for participants and area of expertise are you happy to help with?
Everyone in the team has to talk to potential customers, not just the designer and the business person. Everyone hears something different when a customer speaks and that all needs to be collected and discussed.
As to my area of expertise, I can help out on all matters technical including: front-end, back-end, infrastructure, but I always need product-context to give good
Use Ruby! Don’t use Ruby! It depends.
That’s it from Paul. You can catch him on twitter at @PaulMWatson. He’d also be around mentoring and coaching teams at the Startup Weekend Dublin. Do share and stay tuned for the next post in the #SWDub Mentor Series courtesy of our sponsor, Bank of Ireland.
I am co-organizing the Startup Weekend Vienna happening at sektor5 this weekend. I am taking care of all the social media things happening on Facebook and Twitter. And I’m trying to make people use the right hashtag. It’s #swvienna. You make me very happy if you don’t use anything else.
If you are organizing a Startup Weekend here are three tips I want to share with you.
Maybe you will also find them useful if you just want to learn more social media community management and social media marketing basics.
1. Use one Hashtag everywhere. Really. Everywhere!
If you want to find all the tweets people write about your event make sure they use one hashtag. Make it public as early as possible and also make sure it’s a short hashtag. So instead of #startupweekendvienna use #swvienna. It’s not only easier to remember but also leaves more space for all the other important content people want to share in one tweet. Since there is this 140 characters limit on Twitter.
Make sure to share the hashtag on your FB page (Even mention it in the about section. Don’t hide it! People won’t scroll to look if there is a hashtag hidden somewhere.), on your Twitter profile, on all the goodies for the event (such as stickers, T-shirts, pens, notepads) and on banners and posters.
If you reach out to the press ask them to mention the hashtag in their articles as well.
Use the hashtag in every tweet. Be a role model and show people that it’s a good thing to use the hashtag all the time. Also your tweets will show up in the Twitter search if people search for the hashtag (or click on it in their own tweets).
— Startup Weekend VIE (@swvienna) December 26, 2014
If you are a dedicated social media enthusiast get yourself a fancy social wall. Don’t worry. You don’t have to build one by yourself. You can use Walls.iofor example and even customize it. With that you also get analytics and see when people used your hashtag (I love that part!). And of course you will see EVERYTHING people share in one place.
Use other monitoring tools (such as TweetDeck) that show whenever someone tweets about “Startup Weekend XYZ” or uses the hashtag of your event. This makes it possible to get back to people even quicker because you don’t have to search for their tweets by yourself. Of course you can also have a look if people use the hashtag on Pinterest, Google+ or Instagram. But in my opinion Twitter and Facebook will be the most important social media channels for your Startup Weekend.
2. Have a content plan.
You decided to create a Facebook page and a Twitter account for the event? That’s great!
After these first steps you can invite some of your friends to like the page (but choose wisely and don’t spam random people who are not intersted in your event at all), boost a post (yes, Facebook ads!) and create an ad for your page (It’s all about good targeting. So for example if you have an event in Austria make sure to reach out to people in Hungary, Slovakia and Germany as well.) But before you do that upload content to your page. There’s nothing more disappointing than visiting a Facebook page for the first time and all you can see is a profile picture and an uploaded cover photo.
First of all during the event there should be one person who takes care of all the social media things (yes, this means this person will be busy all day long). Like sharing pictures, posting updates, telling people when the next break is happening, announcing all the winners or even say thank you to the sponsors (Make an Excel sheet for that! Otherwise you will forget someone or something. And trouble shooting afterwards is probably something you want to avoid.).
What else can you share before and after the event? First of all think about what you are looking for when you browse a Facebook page or a Twitter profile of an event. Where will the event take place? How much does a ticket cost? Are there any discount codes? Are there Early Bird tickets? How can I get to the event location? Is there a parking lot? Is it easy to go there by public transport? When should I be there? What should I bring? Will there be food and beverages? Do I have to bring any money? How long can I stay there in the evening? It’s my first time in the city, where are the nice places? Any hotel recommendations? How do I form a Startup Weekend team during the event? What happened during the event? Who was there? Did they record any interviews?
There are so many possible questions. Find an answer before people ask. Share blogposts and articles about other Startup Weekends (that’s great that there are so many of them!), share interesting things about your city and tell people more about your own event.
Again: Create a Google Spreadsheet which you can share with all your other team members and list all the things you want to share (on FB and Twitter) and mention when as well. And probably most important: Make sure who in your team will share what and who will do all the community management things on your page. Because it’s so bad if you and your Co-Organizer answer the same question twice. That’s really unprofessional and shouldn’t happen. So make sure you take care of that.
What else can you do on Twitter? Retweet and favorite tweets talking about your Startup Weekend. Create lists with mentors and jury members or even with the organizers. Follow people who are talking about your event, follow sponsors, coaches, mentors, jury members and journalists. Follow people who could be interesting for your event.
3. Be there to help people.
There is no such thing as a stupid question. And please respond as fast as you can. People don’t want to wait. Just like you don’t want to wait.
Since you figured out who in your team will do all the community management: Do it! Have an app installed on your mobile phone that pushes you every message people write. Like direct messages sent to your Twitter account or your Facebook page. Make sure to answer them as fast as possible. If you don’t know the answer write someting like “I’m sorry, I don’t know that yet. But I will ask and get back to you as soon as possible.”. The not knowing things thing is ok. It’s just not ok to be silent (on the Internet).
Oh and by the way: There might be a shitstorm because you forgot to mention something and people had wrong expectations. Or something doesn’t work with the tickets. Or one mentor everyone wanted to talk to is sick and now people are disappointed. Well. Take it easy and be nice. Apologize and be there. Often enough people who are complaining on your Facebook page or shitstorming on Twitter only want someone who listens to them. Someone who says sorry and tries to help. And that’s perfectly fine. Say sorry, be nice, always try to help. And honestly even if you made a mistake: Everyone makes mistakes. Try to make it better next time. And tell people that you will try to make it better next time.
Enjoy your Startup Weekends!
Clio has become a major presence in Vancouver’s tech scene and has grown from a small firm with three employees in 2007 to more than 130 strong with offices in Vancouver, Toronto, and Dublin, Ireland. As I walked into their office I was quickly greeted by one of their staff who kindly fixed me a cup of coffee and informed Christopher Yeh, Clio’s Talent Specialist. As I slipped my coffee and welcomed the sense of invigoration brought on by the caffeine, I began to notice the extensive renovations that were underway. Seeing the completed renovations gave visitors a sense of professionalism and growth but the friendliness of the staff and decor showed guests that Clio still has the heart of a scrappy startup. It was during this thought that Christopher and Derek Bolen, Clio’s communications coordinator, arrived.
I was surprised by the amount of attention I garnered, but realized perhaps this is one of the reasons why Clio has come so far: They treat everyone who comes their way with great importance and proudly Canadian hospitality. After the initial introductions, we quickly settled into a meeting room and began the interview.
1. What is Clio and what industry are you in?
We’re a SaaS company that provides the leading cloud-based product in the legal practice management space. We help lawyers be awesome at what they do with an accessible, user-friendly software solution that incorporates time tracking, billing, document management, client management, and calendaring.
2. How did Clio go from two friends working together to a successful startup with three offices (Vancouver, Toronto and Dublin)?
Jack and Rian met at elementary school in Edmonton and have been best of friends ever since. Rian moved to Vancouver for work and Jack stayed in Alberta, but they always knew they wanted to start a business together. They were already working full-time jobs and were doing contract work on the side to make money for ‘business’ trips to Las Vegas. At the time, back in 2007-08, they happened to pick up a contract job with the Law Society of BC and their conversations led to discussions on how unfeasible practice management software was in the legal space for small legal firms. These firms did not have the capital to purchase and set up the servers that were required to run what was then the standard practice management software: unwieldy on-premise software. The conversation led Jack and Rian to a lightbulb moment that gave them the motivation to build a cloud-based platform to address the pain points associated with incumbents. Taking inspiration from companies like Salesforce and 37Signals, they coded the first version of their cloud-based software in Ruby on Rails—and the rest, as they say, is history.
3. Success is about learning from those who have succeeded before you; what qualities should Startup Weekend participants who wish to build a Saas (particularly cloud-based software) learn from Clio?
When Clio launched, it was the first cloud-based legal practice management software to market. Being the first mover was an advantage for the company as it was able to do business with a large and underserved market. As time passed we saw other companies throw their hats into the ring which reminded us to not rest our laurels. In the SaaS market it’s not necessarily about who’s first, it’s about who’s best, so it’s critical to iterate and improve upon the product and consistently add new features clients tell us they want.
4. Vancouver has been named one of the best places to create a startup. Can you please tell us what resources Startup Weekend participants can capitalize on in order to maximize their growth and momentum?
We’re incredibly fortunate to live in a tech hub like Vancouver that was grown organically from grassroots innovation. Vancouverites aspiring to be startup founders are a fortunate lot as they have access to homegrown mentorship opportunities that a lot of people yearn for. There are many intelligent and successful leaders within the Greater Vancouver area who are extremely open, accessible, and willing share their experiences. Lastly, Vancouverites are becoming less inclined to leave the city, preferring to build their startup here. The city has some great accelerators and incubators as well as becoming known for its pool of great talent, and while VC attention was scarce before, they have started to keep a keen eye on Vancouver-built companies.
5. How can Startup Weekend participants maximize their social media presence and marketing efforts over the 54-hour event?
Startup Weekend hashtags have always drawn a lot of attention and action during and after the event. Hashtags gives participants the opportunity to reach out to individuals and community influencers to gain visibility on the web they wouldn’t usually have had the opportunity. It’s also crucial to remember for participants to engage in discussions rather than use social media as a tool for a one way marketing push.
6. What are some of Clio’s upcoming milestones and events that excite you?
We held Clio’s second annual user conference down in Chicago on September 22nd where we made a great number of new feature announcements. We believe these new features will catapult the company to the next level. Locally, we’re growing at an incredible rate. We’re in the midst of our office renovations and our aim is to be identified as the next major tech anchor within the startup community. We’re hoping to grow into that role through mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs and startups and helping them succeed.
Después de una semana de emprendimiento al máximo en Startup Weekend MEGA de Manizales, me dí a la tarea de encontrar historias de emprendimiento en Latinoamérica. Les comparto la de Alejandro Rigatuso, fundador y CEO de Postcron.com.
Para hacer más eficiente su trabajo, buscó herramientas que le permitieran programar las publicaciones en horarios específicos y no encontró una herramienta simple que cubriera sus necesidades. Entonces decidió desarrollar una aplicación para manejar más eficientemente sus redes sociales: Postcron.com.
Lanzó la plataforma de manera abierta al público y para su asombro, en aproximadamente 6 meses ya tenía más de 20,000 usuarios registrados. En su primer navidad, el sistema colapsó por la cantidad de mensajes programados; en aquel entonces, la herramienta era gratuita y sus usuarios empezaron a quejarse; fue ahí cuando decidió armar un modelo de negocios pago para la utilización del sistema.
-“Si se quejan, entonces es porque les importa”.
Participó por primera vez en un Startup Weekend hace más de 3 años, cuando conoció a Martín Vivas quien era en ese entonces organizador líder del evento en Buenos Aires. Según Alejandro, Startup Weekend fue “la puerta al mundo”. Su participación en el evento de Buenos Aires, le abrió la oportunidad de entrar a RockStart, una aceleradora de Amsterdam, que invirtió 15 mil euros. Cuando llegó a Holanda empezó a hacer conexiones y recibió además una inversión de otra compañía por 100.000 euros.
Postcron en números:
En este momento la plataforma cuenta con:
•400,000+ usuarios registrados
•105 millones de publicaciones
•900,000 cuentas de redes sociales conectadas
•Clientes en 88 países (siendo los principales USA, Brazil, México y España)
•Usuarios en 130 países
Se puede contratar el servicio a partir de 10 dólares y con planes que llegan hasta 250 dólares mensuales, dependiendo de las necesidades y la cantidad de cuentas que se conectan. Soporta Facebook, Twitter y Google Plus.
Para Alejandro es importante el enfoque que le da a su compañía, y el quiere que sea más fácil para el usuario utilizar este tipo de herramientas. Una de las diferencias fundamentales con su competencia es la recomendación de contenido a través del análisis de las cuentas conectadas.
Como organizador actual de Startup Weekend en Córdoba, piensa que salir de la zona de confort es excelente para los emprendedores, pues para él fue una apertura de visión y lo que le dio la oportunidad de convertir su plataforma en lo que es hoy en día.
Cree que en la comunidad de emprendimiento de Argentina, hacen falta más inversionistas, pues hay gente con muchas ganas de hacer cosas nuevas pero la inversión normalmente llega de Europa o Estados Unidos. Durante el Startup Weekend MEGA me contó además que cree que es bueno llevar a más gente de otros países con experiencia en diferentes temas para darle empuje a la comunidad y que se pueda convertir en algo más fuerte en el país.
There is no doubt that the business world has changed drastically with the use of our more modern technologies available to us today. Arguably one of the biggest differences comes with communications. Even the something as recent as the fax machine is all but extinct. Sure faxes are still being sent and received, but the vast majority of the time they are routed through a computer system.
Keeping this in mind, it is important to stay in communication with our customers through whatever devices they are using. Although social media wasn’t originally designed for business use, one cannot deny the vast number of people using these platforms for marketing and communication.
Even though advertising on a social media site is an option, there are still more practical ways to stay in touch with your customers using this platform. Lets look at four different ways that business communications online through social networking are evolving in the business world:
1) CONNECTIONS: Rather than posting information on their products or services, most companies are using social networks as a way of connecting with their customers. Their focus is more on engaging with their clients rather than selling them a product. Instead of posting the low, low price of their newest clearance sale item, many are instead sharing details of something more personal, like photos of their new kitten, Fluffy.
They are also posting about their favorite charity or connection to a social issue they are passionate about, like saving the environment. This builds trust with people who are therefore more likely to do business with you.
2) CAMPAIGNING: Belonging to a social media site is like having your own, personal broadcast network without spending a fortune on more traditional advertising. In the past, customers could take days or weeks to share a positive or negative experience involving a business transaction, while it takes only minutes to accomplish this online.
This gives the company a chance to respond to information quickly and stay in touch with their customers. That way you can acknowledge a compliment or address an issue quickly and more efficiently. If there is a problem, at least you have the ability to remedy the situation and make it publicly known that you are dealing with the dilemma.
3) IMAGE: Connecting with people through these social outlets gives them a more human appearance. Often companies are allowing their employees to blog or post to these sites thereby making them appear more likeable and compassionate.
So forget the old days of trying to keep some kind of unified front showing a polished company image and allow people to see your staff as just that … people. This also builds trust with your clients and will reach others with similar interests.
4) AVAILABILITY: If New York and Las Vegas are the cities that never sleep, then Facebook and Twitter are the places where your business is never closed. People are turning to these networks because they can address a situation on their own terms and at a time that works best for them. Even if the reply isn’t instantaneous, it still happens nonetheless and the customer can get the response whenever they are available to receive it.
There is also something called Earned Social Media where there are strategies in getting people to share your information with others. It is not enough to simply make a post and expect results.
With computer technology taking over the marketplace, more and more people are turning to social media to communicate rather than using something more antique, like a telephone. But no matter how archaic, businesses almost always need to be reached by phone. So can the two be integrated somehow?
The use of a United Communications System can integrate your social media and call center to provide seamless customer service. It also connects agents together through email and text messaging.
The future is here so consider all of your options to stay in contact with your customers.
Beware of the gigantic social media time vortex.
15 tweets, 6 updates and 8 status messages later, you realize your whole day has disappeared! The lure of social media is hard to resist. Instant gratification, constant validation, and the illusion of productivity make the channel irresistible. It’s also so easy! So you can understand why many first-time entrepreneurs, even without a product or customer, turn to the social media first. I was definitely guilty of this: before I had a concrete business idea, a paying customer, or a vision, I created 3 twitter accounts supporting my future business endeavors! What a waste of time, in retrospect.
The irony is that clients and a real business comes from value, trust and relationships, not necessarily “twoots and tweets” on the new social media site of the week. (With so many new social media sites popping up, it’s now even hard to keep track of them!) Reliable business comes from opt-in loyalists who honestly love your business and your value proposition. Of course, don’t ignore social media, but spamming groups asking for likes with irrelevant content doesn’t make a sustainable business. Random fans, friends and followers who are not truly committed your brand will waste your time, and result in low engagement levels. And to spend so much time building a base on a third-party network can be dangerous as you can be a victim to their policies and fate. The popularity of current “hot” social media destination may be history before you even know it.
Nurture your fans instead of aiming for large social media numbers. Create some exclusive content and offers for them and show them some love. And (we’ve all been guilty of this), no need to post when there is nothing useful to say! Your loyal followers will understand. In the long run you’ll have more time to dedicate quality to those real customers who love your work.
Are you guilty of falling into the social media trap? Tell us about it in the comments below…
This post and comic were originally created for #entrepreneurfail: Startup Success