If Your Business Isn’t Using Social Media You’re Missing Sales

If you aren't promoting on social media - your business will suffer

If you aren’t promoting on social media – your business will suffer

Social media isn’t known for its sales. However, it still plays a prominent role in the digital sales process that many startups can actively utilise to increase revenue. The use of social media is demonstrated by some important statistics:

  • 90% of young adults (18 to 29 years-old) have at least one social media profile.
  • The average person spends a quarter of their internet time on a social media platform.
  • Consumers say social media is as much of an influence on their purchasing decisions as television.
  • 33% of millennials prefer to use social media to communicate with brands than other platforms.
  • 74% of salespeople who beat their quota in 2014 used social media extensively in their campaigns.

Social media doesn’t just impact direct sales. It can help your site to be found on Google, increase inbound links and generate leads when social media users sign up to your mailing list.

Difference In Platforms

Of course, it is important to ensure you are on the right platform for your audience. Certain audiences prefer to interact on different platforms; for instance, younger audiences prefer SnapChat and Twitter, while older audiences prefer Google+ and Facebook.

However, despite this, there are certain social media platforms where brands are not well received by users, an obvious one is SnapChat.

So, if you want your business to start using social media, you need to be sure to focus your efforts in the right place.

How To Get Started With Social Media

If you haven’t started with social media yet, then you are already behind many of your competitors. Research has shown at least 81% of small and medium businesses use social media, but that doesn’t mean they are all being effective.

Typical reasons for failing to get results from social media are not knowing the best metrics to use or how to create an effective strategy. In fact, 55% of small businesses struggle to develop their social media strategy.

So here is a quick guide on how your business can start using social media.

  1. Choose the social media platforms you want to use. You can choose as many or as few as you think are valuable for your business. These should be platforms that can present your business in a positive light.
  2. Get on the social media platforms and start interacting as an individual. Start building a network of contacts and interact with them. Remember to promote your knowledge and expertise rather than your products actively. If you come across as too salesy, then people won’t want to interact with you.

This will help you to discover the norms and socially acceptable values of the social media platforms you’ve chosen.

  1. Connect with social media users who are like your current clients. This can easily be done by looking for keywords your clients use.
  2. Share, comment and communicate with your potential clients on social media. There is nothing more important than appearing to be sociable with your contacts. If you only share content about your business, then you aren’t going to get the response you wanted.
  3. Choose metrics and measure them. There is a debate on what metrics are important for social media. However, as a basis, use these statistics to engage how successful your campaigns are:
  • Number of connections, likes or followers.
  • Number of shares of your content.
  • Website traffic generated because of your social media content.
  • Number of new leads developed through social media.

Conclusion

Social media is an important part of our lives. Too many businesses and consumers are using it for your business to ignore it. If you aren’t using social media, then your competitors probably are, and you will lose out.

Start your social media campaigns today to increase your business’ revenue.

What social media platforms do you use? How much time a day do you spend on social media?

Let us know in the comments below.

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Social Media vs. Email Marketing For Small Businesses

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It is often the biggest asked question of whether social media or email marketing is better for small businesses. Both are very active marketing formats and both have their advantages, yet neither is the perfect solution alone.

Let’s explore both concepts and make a determination on how each one should be used in the online marketing of your products and services.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing has been one of the hottest new marketing methods which online marketing professionals have been utilising for a while now.

Social media has a great potential for gaining awareness of a brand. In fact a number of studies have shown that consumers enjoy and actively seek out information about new brands through Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Some consumers have even stated that they would not buy from a company that had no social media footprint at all.

However, social media alone cannot be relied upon. A study in 2012, found that of 77,000 online purchases, less than 1% could be contributed to social media marketing.

The fact is that even though people are looking for you on social media, they are looking for information, content and engagement. They are not looking for sale links or speeches. Therefore small businesses should be cautious in this approach.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a staple of online marketing. In fact the first email sent for marketing purposes was sent in 1978, when Thuerk decided to send an email promoting DEC machines to 400 users of their network. Things have changed significantly since then.

Now email marketing is very common and instead of marketing just products or services, it can take many different forms.

Getting a list of contacts is also harder than it has been in the past. Individuals are likely to change their email address several times and addresses are more unique and customisable. It is also a very different legal landscape than it was before. There are now laws governing what an email should contain and how you can gather the names for your campaigns.

The only way people will join a mailing list is if they sign up to it, which means they must first find your email sign up page.

That being said though, email is not an ineffective method of marketing. According to the same Forrester report mentioned earlier, email marketing generated 13% of sales from those customers who had previously interacted with other forms of marketing; this was the second most popular purchasing path.

Therefore once you have attracted them to your newsletter and sent them an email, there is a good chance they will buy a product or service from you.

Conclusion

It is tough for email marketing as it is a great sales avenue but it cannot auto-generate a list effectively.

On the other hand, social media is not a great sales avenue but is really good for being discovered by consumers.

Therefore, instead of your business questioning which one is best for you, you should consider how you can integrate the two marketing approaches so they can work together. So consider that you attract your audience with your social media campaigns and direct them to methods in which they can sign up to your newsletter.

Once they have signed up to your email list, you can then introduce them slowly to your products and see how you can produce a steady stream of highly engaged consumers who know both your social media and newsletters.

Take Action:

  • Start integrating your social media and email marketing campaigns into a single marketing process.

How do you integrate social media and email marketing? What have your results been?

Let us know in the comments below:

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How To Use Current Events From LinkedIn To Create Email Content

Group of people conversingUsing current events in your marketing mix is an excellent method of developing content which will resonate with your audience. Current events are more likely to attract the attention of your audience and encourage them to read your emails.

‘Events’ don’t have to be about the latest news. It could be covering the most recent trends or the latest problems which your target audience are experiencing at the time.

Discovering what the current issues, trends or news is in your industry are, can be difficult in this fast moving world.

However there is an excellent tool out there which can support your content generation: LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn is one of the best places to find content because part of the social media platform is essentially like a forum where users discuss what issues are affecting them. By joining these groups you can discover what is currently affecting their lives.

You may also be able to get some ideas for your content through direct messaging or through shared articles.

From there you could make a list of topics and do research on how you can solve those problems.

Quoting

If you are particularly social in the groups which you are a member of, you could contact those who have made interesting comments and request permission to use their words in your content. This could be particularly useful as a quoted comment in your content has more authority than if you simply write the text as if it is all from you.

This is also another method of marketing your brand and perhaps having more signatories to your email newsletter and perhaps someone else who is willing to share your newsletter across their social media profiles because you have mentioned them.

Research

Another benefit of finding topics for discussion through LinkedIn is that the audience have probably already completed a lot of research for you. You should take what the group say with a pinch of salt, but there is a chance they would have shared articles or news items which back up what they say – therefore you can spend less time in researching the topic and give your content more authority.

You should include links to this research in your email marketing so your readers can see where you have collected the information from.

The Content

This style of email newsletter suits businesses which like to give very informative and highly valuable content. Essentially, the newsletter is a demonstration of your skills and expertise, offering a preview of the support or solutions you can provide your customers.

In your email you should ensure a story is told. There should be a set up of the problem, the solution and an idea which the audience can action themselves.

Make sure your audience can share the content socially with social media buttons and there is a link to either similar content on your blog or a related blog.

Further Benefits

If you post old versions of your email newsletters online, you can benefit additionally from the content because it is likely people will be using search engines to find articles on the topic you have written about. A good email should have a keyword density which can be easily indexed by the search engines on your website.

Conclusion

LinkedIn can be a fantastic resource for reaching out to your customer base, as long as you use the information it provides to its full potential. The information it can provide is reliable, timely and relevant to your audience and therefore they will enjoy reading and interacting with your email content.

Take Action:

  • Have a look on LinkedIn and use some of the conversations you read for your next email newsletter

Do you use social media for conversation generation?

Let us know in the comments below.

“Image courtesy of cooldesigns / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

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3 Ways To Convert Social Media Followers To Email Subscribers

 

Social Media Like Image

Your email and social media campaigns can support each other.

13% of all leads in 2013 were generated through Email marketing, making it the third most effective sales channel.

Social Media on the other hand only contributes to about 1% of all online sales, making it one of the worst sale channels.

Yet by combining the two you can drive consumers to sign up to your emailing list that will generate leads.

So what methods can you utilize that will entice your target audience to join the others that already receive your regular emails?

Connect The Two With A Simple Sign Up Form

No matter what size your business is, having a simple email sign-up form that is integrated with your social media channel, will make it easy for those consumers who have already invested interest in your business to sign up.

On your Twitter profile, having a small URL that links directly to a simple sign up form is all that you can really manage due to the limited space. Perhaps something as simple as:

“Receive weekly tips from mywebsite.com”.

This only takes up 38 out of your 160 limit and therefore you have plenty of space left for other content.

You can also invite people to sign up through regular tweets.

With Google+ you’ll have to take the same approach as it currently doesn’t support another method.

With Facebook, you can use a tab at the top of your fan page that will automatically send users to a simple sign up form. You will need to have an image and a good call to action in the tab to entice people.

There are many different apps that can connect your page to the sign up form. To install one of these apps to your Facebook fan page, visit the top right app banner and click on the drop-down menu.

Click on the ‘+’ sign and select ‘Find More Apps’.

You can then search for an app that will allow you to integrate your email sign up form with your Facebook page. Remember to follow the step-by-step instructions for a flawless integration.

Take Action:

  • Connect your social media profiles with your email list sign up form.

Connect Your Emails To Social Media

One of the things that social media is very adept at doing is generating traffic. Connecting your emails to social media in two ways can generate traffic to visit your latest release.

Consumers who see how valuable your emails can be to their everyday life will encourage them to sign up to regularly receive the emails. You can share your emails in the following methods:

    • By sharing a web copy of your newsletter over social media channels.
    • By including social share buttons on your emails.

You’ll need to create interesting lines to capture attention of the audience. A good method is to quote part of the email that users will find interesting.

Take Action:

  • Include social media links on your email.
  • Identify key quotes from your email to share on social media.
  • Share the web copy of your email through social media channels.

Provide Incentives

Providing an incentive to signing up to your email list can be particularly powerful.

The incentive could be something simple as offering a discount on their first order, or a free gift card for signing up.

You don’t even need to have a financial reward at the end of the campaign. Other companies offer a free ebook or report to be delivered after the visitor has provided their details.

Therefore if you have any premium content you can connect the three up – offer snippets of the content in a social media update, that will send them to a signup form promising them a full copy once they have signed up. Then deliver the book once you’ve received their details.

Take Action:

  • Offer an incentive over social media to generate traffic to your sign up forms.

Conclusion

Social media can generate significant amounts of traffic to your website; utilize this by directing viewers to your email sign up form.

Then you can present your products and services to your customers through an effective sales channel.

What methods do you use to drive social media followers to your email lists?

Let us know in the comments below.

 
Image courtesy of smarnad / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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5 Ways Email Marketing Is Better Than Social Media Marketing

Bed Bath Beyond

Social media messages may seem successful, but they get lost in the social feeds.

It’s rather amusing that, in today’s current marketing landscape, email marketing is often referred to as “old-fashioned” when compared with other channels, such as social media marketing or SMS. (Does that mean direct mail is a dinosaur?)

Call it what you want, email still kicks social media’s proverbial butt in overall marketing success. Following are five reasons why. 

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Guide: How Internet Retailers Grow Social Media With Email Marketing

Companies with established audiences, communities and lists grow social media with email marketing.

Businesses have long understood that one of the biggest assets you can have is a list of names. A list of names could be your customer list, email subscriber list and a few other types of lists. Each has a varying degree of ability when it comes to how you can send messages.

For example, your customer list and your email list allow you to have full control over how you can send email (other than a few exceptions).

When companies need to grow another list they use email marketing and their existing lists of names. For example, when a company launches a new product line they email customers of their other product lines in an effort to grow the list of customers for the new product.

Companies also use email marketing to grow their social media profiles. You’re probably thinking, “Duh. Every company does that.” That’s great. You’re doing exactly what you should to grow your social media profiles, but the following is an overview of what companies are doing today to grow their social media profiles.

Hopefully these will provide inspiration on how you can get even more engagement from your email subscribers when it comes to social media. 

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