Three Ways to Convert Strangers into Fans

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Enhance Your Keywords

Think about it – most information searches begin on the Internet.  Prospect customers go to Google and search for answers.  If you’ve optimized your site correctly, your site, product, or blog post will come up within the first page or two of a search engine.  To optimize your website correctly, your business will need to carefully choose keywords, and more.

Choosing and enhancing keywords is an extremely important step in the customer search process.  Don’t forget that a huge part of decision making takes place on the Internet – you want your information to pop up during a search.  To read more on this topic, I recommend checking out Hubspot’s free download on search engine optimization, or looking into Google AdWord’s Keyword Tool.

Kick Off a Competition

Nothing gets people more excited than a little competition.  People want to be apart of the party and get involved with a brand.  Grow your brand by offering a free product giveaway; people will enter and sign up to learn about the brand.  Furthermore, host a contest – people will jump on board to join conversation and be apart of the action. Apps such as ShortStack allow companies to customize their Facebook page with competitions, contests, promotions, forums and more.

In the end, if you’re going to host a contest, be sure to comply with Facebook’s contest rules.

Be Human

Although you may be a company, or a corporation, or a mom and pop shop, never forget who your customers are and how they will respond.  Always put yourself in the customers’ shoes when you send out marketing correspondence or create social media posts.  How would you respond? Do you sound like a robot? Are you responding to your fans questions and concerns?  Always think back to how you would react.  If a corporation didn’t respond to your question would you think of them differently? If a company was impersonal with their email blasts would you be more likely to unsubscribe? I’ll leave you with those questions to ponder.

In the end, there are handfuls of ways to convert strangers into fans.  I picked three that I thought were fun, exciting and fresh: enhance keywords, kick off a competition, and be human. Lastly, remember to choose strategies that align with your target goals.

What is one way your business turned a stranger into a customer?

Have you used any contest apps worth recommending?

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Why Blogging is Beneficial for Business

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Blogging is a new media platform that not all businesses have latched onto yet. Creating a blog for a business is not only a great way to push information towards customers, but is also a way to have a business establish expertise in the field.  According to Forbes Magazine, there are many reasons why companies should be blogging.  These reasons include the following: “Humanizing the company, enhancing visibility, building credibility and trust, establishing industry expertise, generating leads and business, and defending the company against its critics” (Forbes 2012). In addition, Hubspot.com generated the following statistics from a survey in 2011:

  • Blogs and social media channels are generating real customers: 57% of companies using blogs reported that they acquired customers from leads generated directly from their blog.”
  • More and more businesses are blogging: Businesses are now in the minority if they do not blog. From 2009 to 2011 the percentage of businesses with a blog grew from 48% to 65%.”
  • Businesses are increasingly aware their blog is highly valuable: 85% of businesses rated their company blogs as “useful,” “important” or “critical;” a whopping 27% rated their company blog as “critical” to their business.”

(Hubspot.com, 2011)

Furthermore, companies could highly benefit from writing a blog. The use of a blog could be a great connection between the business and the customer. My recommendation would be to have a business assign their marketing coordinator to blog once a week.  The blog’s post content should change from week to week to keep families and readers interested.  Blog post topics should be consistent with the business’s main goals to reiterate these focuses, such as if they have a family-focused approach, etc.

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So you may be thinking how much something like this would cost your business; Blogs such as WordPress.com and Blogger.com are free to businesses and individuals. The only cost the business would acquire is the additional time and effort the Marketing Coordinator would need to research topics and create posts.

As a ending thought, consider starting a blog the next time you’re thinking about vamping up your marketing efforts; it could be a very beneficial start up.

Does your company blog? If so, how often?

Do you see any positive results or feedback coming from your company’s blog?

Which Platform is Best for You?

As social media marketing is becoming more popular for businesses and is capturing the attention of more consumers, it is important that your company chooses the best possible platform to indulge in.  In 2012, OnlineMBA.com compiled information on social media platform demographics and created the infographic shown below. It is crucial to research a platforms’ main demographics before immediately beginning efforts.  Some demographics largely populate specific platforms, while others do not.

(Click to Enlarge)

Social-Media-Demographics-infographic

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Vine for Business

A few months ago a new app was brought to life.  Vine, a video sharing and storytelling application, allows users to create a six-second video to share on their social media networks.

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On Janurary 24th, Twitter released a statement on their blog to announce, Vine, their newest purchase.

“Today, we’re introducing Vine: a mobile service that lets you capture and share short looping videos. Like Tweets, the brevity of videos on Vine (6 seconds or less) inspires creativity.”

Vine can be a very easy and creative addition to your company’s marketing efforts. Ways a company can incorporate this new service into social media and marketing include:

  • Use Vine to promote products/services

Show your Twitter followers and Facebook fans the release of a product/service, untraditional ways consumers use your product, or just create a quick and trendy  “ad.”

One cool thing about Vine is the fact that you can pause and restart the video whenever you want.  Here’s a cool example of a time lapse that Vine retweeted: “Valenvine” Example

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Five Ways to Boost Twitter Interaction

The last time I blogged, I discussed best practices for increasing Facebook engagement. While both Facebook and Twitter are popular social media platforms, the two need to be treated differently because of the way consumers use them.

Twitter

1. Unlike Facebook, Tweet During “Busy” Hours

A report from Buddy Media discusses best times for businesses to tweet to their audience. According to the white paper, businesses should tweet during the “busy” hours between 8 am and 7 pm.  The graphic below indicated that tweeting during busy hours will lead to a 24 percent increase in engagement.

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Easy Tips for Increasing Facebook Engagement

Engaging in social media can be a difficult step for a small business. Having a strong social media presence takes time and utilizes resources that some companies just do not have. Quite frankly, some companies do not see a positive ROI coming from their efforts and, therefore, choose not to involve themselves in this form of marketing.

If you are going to be engaged in social media, it is important that you are not wasting your company’s precious time.  Be sure to keep up-to-date with statistics and facts regarding best practices for platforms like Twitter and Facebook.  In the meantime, I will fill you with some short snippets of information to help increase your social media engagement on Facebook.

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Instagram for Business??

Yes, I said it. Instagram for business. But how? How can I transform this new social media platform into a marketing tool for my small business? Use your brain. Be creative. Think about the example I am about to give you and put your own spin on it:

Instagram for Business - Modern Marketing

I’m sure many of you know what Instagram is, but maybe some of you don’t.  Instagram is an app that allows you to take a photo, add a filter to the photo and post the photo to the app.  In addition to posting it to Instagram, this app also allows you to post your photo (with captions and hash tags) to your other social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and more.

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Welcome to the wonderful world of modern marketing!

Hello everyone! Thank you for viewing my first post on my new blog. I thought that it would only be right if I introduced myself up close and personal through a video, or “vlog” post. Please let me know if you have any questions!

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