Perhaps you have heard that you should be using Facebook to market your New Hampshire business. Perhaps you have already set up a business Fan Page. I talk with a lot of business owners who know they should be marketing with Facebook but who are completely unsure how to do it effectively. Part of making sure your marketing effective is to understand how Facebook works so that you can ensure you or your staff are not wasting their time with their social media marketing. In this video and the accompanying Infographic I will help you understand how Facebook’s Edgerank Formula works and what it means to marketing your business with Social Media.
EdgeRank is an algorithm developed by Facebook to govern what is displayed—and how high—on the News Feed.
Click the play button on the video below to understand how to best market your business on Facebook:
Here is the Infographic referenced in the Video:
I hope that this video and Infographic help to demystify marketing your business on Facebook.
It’s no big secret that mobile has captured the imagination and a lot of market share when it comes to online shopping.
In its early years mobile faced many challenges, such as people not trusting their provider to provide a safe, secure transaction, to the prevailing practice of using mobile only for location.
Mobile has now overcome much of this and is poised to offer so much more to companies willing to go all in.
According to Frank N. Magid Associates, over three-quarters of Americans age 43 and under now use a smartphone; in other words, the people doing most of the buying.
Nearly all Generation Y consumers owned a mobile phone of some kind and 72 percent owned smartphones. Source: Forrester, 2013
Time spent with mobile apps is starting to challenge television: consumers are spending 127 minutes per day using mobile apps—up 35 percent from 94 minutes a day in the same time last year—and spend 168 minutes watching television per day. Source: Flurry, 2012
However, you still may have questions as to whether or not taking the time and expense to develop a mobile app is right for your business. Let’s look at some pros and cons.
Some of the Pros of Mobile Apps
Repeat business and instant feedback – We crave convenience, and by having your app available makes it easy to get repeat business. You also will get instant feedback, which even if negative can be good to know!
Far better presence – Instead of having the user search for your business on their phone browser, your app is front and center, ready for duty!
Helps you to brand and develop loyalty – By having your app on screens everywhere, your brand is always on their mind, making them far more likely to return to you.
Customer loyalty and rewards programs have been around for ages, though their online cousins are a relatively new addition into the mix.
Businesses are always on the lookout for ways to keep loyal customers coming back for more, and increasing the lifetime value of that guest. The good news here is that with few exceptions, a customer loyalty program could be an easy and painless way to do just that for your business. Let’s look at how.
How does an online customer loyalty program work?
An online customer loyalty program replaces all the cards customers would otherwise have to carry around with them in their wallets, purses or keychains, and instead allows customers to give their mobile numbers or email address at checkout who enters it right into the register.
This enters them on to a customer database (totally permission based) and enables the business to send offers and news about their membership. This rewards loyal customers with prizes and discounts for both purchases and interactions.
Why should you do this, and what would be some of the applications?
Beyond the obvious benefit of being able to sign up existing customers to your list, there are a number of ways business owners can benefit with this type of program.
Announce sales, offer discounts and new products and services.
Target your customers using the geo-location capabilities of their smartphone, for spur-of-the-moment promotions.
Consider “gamification” of your loyalty program, as this increases engagement many-fold.
Accept mobile payments from the same platform.
And most of all, improve customer retention. According to study by Bain and Co., a mere 5 percent increase in customer retention can result in up to 75 percent more profitability. Is that worth it?!
An example of how well a mobile loyalty program can work!
Jersey Mike’s Subs launched a mobile loyalty program in April 2012 and within one month had signed up more than 200,000 members nationwide! Their loyalty program was allows customers to earn free food and benefit from frequent special offers.
All that is needed from their customers is a mobile number, and Jersey Mike’s can communicate with its customers directly both locally and nationally, thereby targeting campaigns accurately. Mobile loyalty has helped this 56-year-old company find ways to expand their revenue using their current base.
So what about your business?
Implementing an online customer loyalty program can be the deciding factor in whether or not your business finds profitability in these tough economic times. This can be done with a relatively small investment, and utilizing your best existing resource: your current customers!
Way back in the day (as in last year) it was a somewhat simple undertaking to rank your pages in Google’s search engine results. Optimize the pages, have decent, unique content and create a slew of backlinks to them.
Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case!
Google, in their quest to create a more relevant, social selection of search results, has made the game somewhat more intricate. Along with making sure we are still performing most if not all of the above tasks, social signals now are playing a vital part in the Google search results algorithm, the formula used to determine where our pages rank in the search stratosphere.
So just how do we create these “social signals”?
Here are three simple ways you can enhance the level of engagement with your brand, expand your prospective audience, and favorably increase word of mouth about your business.
Use images and videos – Like it or not, we are now a society that thrives on visuals. If you’ve been watching the Facebook Newsfeed evolve over time you likely have noticed its become incredibly visual. Most would, whether by time necessity or purely visual stimulation, prefer to watch and see instead of read. According to Facebook photos and videos attract 53% more “likes” than text alone.
Make sure to post later on in the day – Engagement in the form of liking, sharing and following, is far more likely to occur later in the day or early evening, based on research from social media expert Dan Zarrella. If you post in the morning, as you’re getting going, make sure you check back later. It will pay off! With that said, I would recommend posting at different times throughout the day too!
Be quick to respond – Getting visitors to respond to you is difficult enough: don’t leave them hanging! Make sure you develop the practice of responding to comments, tweets and status updates as quickly as possible. You’re trying to engage, not find a way avoid this! Be social my friend. Facebook is a “party” and you want to get to know your guests. What’s important to them, what do they like, why do they like it? Be interested in them and they will find you interesting!
Don’t be like Freddie!
Professional golfer Freddie Couples was asked once why he never answers the phone. His reply was, “there might be someone on the other end.” Don’t be like Freddie! Engage with your readers!
Work these four tips into your daily posting and you will turn up the volume on your Social Media Marketing “Like a Boss!”
Welcome Back! In our last post we started with the very first step you need to tackle when taking your local business online – which was finding your audience. If you haven’t read that – you can get to it here. It’s important to run through this process in order, so be sure to check it out if you haven’t yet.
Next, let’s discuss the purpose of your online efforts.
Ok, this is really simple. You need to have a clear purpose – a single most important goal. And that’s not to say there can’t be many goals with your online presence – but you need to pick the most important one to start – so you know where to focus your time, energy and money during ‘launch’ phase.
I always suggest that the primary function of any online business is lead generation. Building a list of prospects that you’ll convert into paying customers (we’ll discuss that more in a bit).
Making sales is important – but nearly all businesses are better off making the sale through proper followup – not by going for the cash first.
With most brick and mortar businesses you’re able to meet with your prospects face to face – to engage with them and to build immediate rapport.
Online is different… it’s, well… colder.
You need to give new prospects some time to learn more about you and your company – to interact with you through a couple of different channels and to bond with you – before they make a buying decision.
By the way, we have proprietary technology here at NH Strategic Marketing that allows you to use ‘direct to voicemail’ voice messaging, SMS Text Messaging and Email followup to communicate with your new leads – completely automated and hands free– all allowing you to meet your new prospects where and when they prefer to be met. This technology will change your business.
If you’d like to learn more about that, simply reach out to us through whatever method is most useful for you. You can get our contact details here.
Ok, back on track…
So the primary purpose of everything you do online should be to build your contact list. This means that your website, landing pages, social media actions, content and press releases, articles and blog posts etc. all need to do one thing: drive people to register for your ‘offer’. We call the offer a ‘lead magnet’ and we’ll cover that in great detail very soon.
Alright, so today’s primary point: start building your list and following up with people who have raised their hand to hear form you. And start building trust and rapport. It’s a little harder to do online, but using the right systems and tools it can be every bit as effective as a face to face interaction (or darn close ;) And if you are building your prospect list, and regularly engaging with your prospects – that’s great! Now… start building it faster!
Next week we’ll discuss the first steps to establishing an online ‘Presence’ for your NH Small Business – you won’t want to miss it!
According to Wikipedia, “a viral video is one that becomes popular through the process of internet sharing, typically through video sharing websites and email.” In this post I am going to show you one of my favorite New Hampshire Viral Videos and give you some tips to creating a viral video of your own.
Let’s Dig In…
A favorite Viral Video of mine was created by The Super Secret Project, a comedy group based out of Boston, specializing in “making videos so you don’t have to”. The group has strong ties to New Hampshire
According to this excerpt from their website, “the first recognition came when their video ‘Ode to Zach Braff’ was shown on ‘The Tonight Show’ but their true notoriety came when ‘Granite State of Mind’, their New Hampshire nod, went viral. To date their videos have garnered over 7,094,935 hits on YouTube and they have been written about in ‘USA Today’, ‘The NY Daily News’ and ‘The Boston Herald’ as well as making appearances on Boston media outlets such as WBZ, WGBH, WHDH, WCVB and WFXT.”
If you haven’t seen their smash hit New Hampshire Video watch it here:
Just hit the play button above to watch this Viral Video
Here Are 4 Tips To Creating a Viral Video Of Your Own
1) Know Thy Viewer
I remember when I first saw ‘The Granite State of Mind’ video. I was already a fan of the Jay Z song ‘New York State of Mind’ so when I saw this video talking about the state I love I just HAD to share it! There is plenty of “name Dropping” of Famous NH people and I knew many of the places mentioned in the video. I recognized and had visited many of the places within New Hampshire in the video shown and I could relate to many of the jokes and NH humor. Dan Kennedy calls this principle, ‘Message to Market Match.’ By matching your message to the right market (your viewer) that is when you get the best results – in this case a Viral Video that probably made them a bunch of money. The SSP nailed ‘Know Thy Viewer’ in this video.
2. Hit The Funny Bone In Your Viral Video
You want your viral video shared – make it funny. Think about all of the viral videos that you’ve seen—most of them have been funny. The SSP has plenty of one-liner jokes, funny sayings, and hilarious NH references in their video.
3. Keep It Short Champ
Keep your viral video short. “The Granite State of Mind” clocks in at 4:43 and may be a little longer than some videos but keep in mind it is a Music Video. Ideally you want this video to be watched as many times as possible, and that’s more likely to happen if people can watch the video quickly. Some Viral Video experts recommend even shorter videos are the way to go (about a minute or so).
4. Promote Your Viral Video to Your Personal Network
Now its time to spread the word and promote your viral video. A “Grassroots Marketing Effort” may be all that you need to start a fire that will spread. YouTube it, share it on Facebook, Tweet It, Pin It, Email the link to your mom, your cousin, your high school class. Make it easy for everyone to then forward the video to all of their friends. According to Wiki Answers, the average Facebook user has about 120 friends on Facebook so every viral Share you get exposes your video to a new network of potential viewers (who can then share it with their network!).
I remember watching “The Granite State Of Mind” video spread like Wildfire on Facebook and days later saw it on local News Stations! It started small and exploded.
There you have it – one of my favorite Viral Videos and 4 tips that you can learn from it to create your very own viral video. There are never guarantees that a video becomes viral but these tips taken from this proven winner may give you a fighting chance. To your success.
A lot of times, it’s as much about what you don’t do as what you do. This can be especially true of your website. There is a considerable amount of goofy problems that can send website visitors running away from your website. Let‘s see which if any of these affect you.
No clear objective – According to DinkumInteractive.com you have about 4 seconds to show what your site is about before they leave.
Your content isn’t scannable – Web readers read in chunks, and if they can’t scan your page and get it in a few seconds, you’ve probably lost them!
Not being mobile ready – Mobile is no longer an extravagance, as according to Google half of all website traffic is already mobile.
Not employing video on your site – Videos rule, but whatever you do, avoid autoplaying music without exception!
No updated, quality content – If your content is from Bush’s first term, it’s no wonder they’re fleeing! Also no fancy fonts or ridiculously long pages.
Hard-to-find contact information – Make certain we can contact you if we want to!
Not collecting email addresses – Also a necessity. Developing a list is one of the keys to long-term success online.
Not utilizing title and description Meta tags on your website – These can help you to get indexed and ranked on the internet.
Lack of social sharing buttons – Like it or not, making your site be shareable on social sites is where the party is, so get over it!
No or poor Calls-to-Action – You want an action from your visitors; ask for it!
No clear site navigation – Don’t use drop down menus, and make sure every page on your website features a link back to the home page.
Not optimizing images – Make sure you use the ALT and TITLE attributes for any images you post.
Flash – Besides being hard for Google to read, it could be overly irritating to your visitors!
No metrics to measure your progress – Do you really not want to know the quantity of people are coming around and from where? Exactly what do they like, or not like?
“Intro” pages – These are relics of an earlier age, and now get in the way of your website.
I hope that you enjoyed this post and encourage you to leave any comments or questions below.
So why use infographics? Infographics have taken our world by storm, as we are all more and more inclined these days to process data visually than through the written word. Neuroscience explains why: according to research from 3M (maker of Post-its, among other things), 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text! So some smart person somewhere invented infographics (probably Al Gore) to help us tell our stories. Now, smart NH businesses are making use of these visually pleasing, data-rich illustrations to educate and engage new customers.
There are a number of great reasons why you should consider using infographics in your NH business. Here’s a handful:
They are visually impactful and easily scannable, both aspects that match up with today’s web user
They are excellent vehicles for presenting facts easily and in a neat, focused fashion.
They help establish you as an authority on the topic
One of the best benefits of using infographics is they can go viral, which can often bring about large traffic spikes and search engine benefits
As images, they’re easily shared, which offers a number of benefits (according to research conducted by social media expert Dan Zarrella, images have more shares and likes on Facebook than any other post type—even video)
If you want to make your own infographics, you can find sites and tools that allow you to jump in and prepare breathtaking infographics. At the basic level you can make them in PowerPoint, which isn’t as challenging as you may assume. If you’re wanting a bit more advanced or polished option, you might look into a tool like Visual.ly, where you could customize existing templates to your needs, or perhaps make use of a service like PiktoChart or Infogram.
What if you haven’t a design gene in you?
Simply outsource them. Often times we don’t have the time, skills or patience to get the job done, particularly if you’ve never really opened Photoshop before. Don’t worry, as there are top-notch designers ready to create your infographics for you,and for a reasonable expense. Examples of these places include 99Designs, Elance, Odesk, Fiverr, and Freelancer.com. Be sure you request samples of their work, set clear boundaries and expectations, and communicate clearly your vision, so there aren’t any surprises come delivery time!