Tag Archives: emails

Make a meaningful relationship with your customers online.

Kelly headshot (2)

 Your main goal for Social Media Marketing isn’t really about sales, it’s about relationship building with your customers and target audience.  Building this relationship will then drive sales and growth.

 A major advantage that small business’ have over larger ones, is that you are able to give your brand a personality that should fit the community you work in.  You have the ability to talk about topics that are important to your community.

 Social Media has changed the way that business MUST operate, it has given your consumers more of a voice in your brand and what you do.  One doesn’t need to look hard online to see this in action, one example that comes to mind is Doritos and their rainbow coloured chips that they made to support the LGBT, there were a lot of people who supported the move, and those that didn’t.  The ones that don’t support something you are doing will tend to be more verbal on your pages about it, but the beautiful part about this is that your community will generally come to defend you, and that only happens if you can create a meaningful relationship with them.

 Now, you are probably asking, how do I start that meaningful relationship? There are a few ways to go about this.  Twitter and Facebook have great tools to use to find out what people are interested in in your community, apart from reading a local paper (which is a great way to stay informed about your community) you can try surveying your current followers and get their opinions on issues and your industry.  If you start to talk about their interests, they will be more likely to like, comment and share your content which will lead to more followers.

 Another way is to build your email marketing list.  Use social posts to ask people to sign up to it, and let them know what kind of content will be in your emails.  Also ask them to sign up when they buy something from you. It’s important to not make your emails too salesy, instead, again, cover topics that affect your community AND your industry.  When you provide content that solves a problem of your customers, you are more likely to have repeat customers and build a better relationship with them.

 Digital Customer Service is becoming huge.  Most customers that now have a problem with your service or product won’t tend to phone you, they will come and talk to you online though a post to your page or directly chat with you.  The quicker you respond and address their issue, the stronger relationship you build.  Make sure you have some sort of policy in place for acceptable response time, most businesses a generally within 24 hours, and yes, even on weekends.  So whether you do your social media yourself or have a vendor that does it for you, make sure that your expectations are communicated to them.

 The last thing you can do to build the relationship is have some sort of rewards program that offers some benefit to your repeat customers, because the worst thing you can do as a business, is not appreciate loyalty, just look at the big phone companies like Rogers and Bell, do you feel that you are being rewarded for being a customer for years?

 As more and more networks pop up, catching your customers attention and building a trusting relationship is going to become harder and harder, be sure to stay adaptive to your business and customer needs and think outside the box, bland doesn’t sell.

 

Teach Me Social owner Kelly Farrell has been helping empower Canadian Small Business owners through social media for over three years. Her team now offers services ranging from training sessions for small business owners and their teams, to full-service social media account management. Visit teachmesocial.ca to learn more about our service offerings or to contact us today for a no obligation consultation, including an audit of your existing social media channels.

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How to unplug from social media for the holidays

Evelyn

The holidays are just around the corner and hopefully you’re planning some well deserved time off. Yet if you’re a small business owner it can be difficult to take the time you need to rest and rejuvenate for the New Year. Emails, phone calls and the ping of social media notifications can be hard to ignore. You also worry that your online presence might suffer from your absence. But it’s important to know how and when to unplug, without losing your spot on the social media hierarchy.

Schedule content ahead of time

If you’re not already using a social media dashboard such as Hootsuite or Buffer, now is the time to look into one. Dashboards make scheduling content easy and can act as an inbox for all those notifications. Schedule a tweet or post a day. That’s enough to stay alive online, but not so much that the responses become unmanageable.

Set a time limit

Set aside ten minutes a day to check the accounts; then shut it down and walk away. By setting a time limit you can reassure yourself that all is well, without taking up too much of your personal time. Check to make sure there are no emergencies but then shut off the notifications. If you use Hootsuite you can actually create “quiet time” where your notifications go silent. Better yet, turn off the phone.

Only answer urgent inquiries

Be smart about what you respond to. Is that question urgent? Is that issue an emergency? It’s easy to want to answer everything right away, but many of the queries you receive can wait a few days until you’re back at work. Only answer those questions that are truly urgent.

Allow yourself to let go

Too often we get caught up in the details. While one negative tweet might seem catastrophic at the time, in the overall big picture it’s not worth much worry. The same goes for checking the Facebook page and sending out that tweet. If you go silent for a few days, nothing terrible will happen. Your business will not fail and your customers will not desert you. In fact they’re probably not online either.

My past experience as a social media manager for a large charity taught me the importance of work-life balance when it comes to managing your online communications. While being online and listening is important, having the courage to turn it off and take time for yourself and your family is just as, if not more, important.

So this holiday, turn off the phone and enjoy the season. I promise your followers will still be there in January.

Happy Holidays.

 

Evelyn Senyi is the owner and chief marketer for Recurve Marketing, a Toronto-based digital marketing agency that offers creative, effective and affordable marketing strategies for Canadian small businesses and non-profit organizations. Follow Recurve on Twitter @recurve_ca and on Facebook www.facebook.com/recurvemarketing.ca.

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3 Things Efficient People Do

Jennifer J

Being in the throes of life can seem overwhelming. There is so much to do but so little time. You are constantly running around, responding to emails, answering and making phone calls, amongst a whole myriad of other things. All this hard work must surely mean you are getting the best possible outcomes from your time. Or, it is likely, more often than not, you are spreading yourself too thin.

It would be great to devote your time to things you love to do and that give you the most reward. Here are some simple ways to become a lot more efficient and get the most out of your limited time.

The 80/20 rule or The Pareto Principle

The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle was named after Vilifredo Pareto whose work included the law of income distribution whereby he demonstrated a predictable distribution of wealth in society. That is, 80% of the wealth was held by 20% of the population. He developed the principle by observing that 80% of the peas in his garden were contained within just 20% of the pea pods.  This is idea has become a common concept in business whereby,for example, 80% of sales come from 20% of your customers.

Now take a step back and try and apply this theory to your personal and business life – What are the 20% causes to your 80% problems? Is it that you are spending a majority of your time on customers who do not provide the majority of your revenue? Are you spending the majority of your time on tasks that are simply eating your time and energy with no reward at the end?

It may be difficult to take a step back and dissect your life and realize that you may in fact have done things “wrong”. But look at it from another angle. Once you apply this principle and eliminate time wasting, you will become significantly more efficient, thereby having time to focus on those worthwhile tasks.

Delegate

Easier said than done right? However, burning the midnight oil is not fun and you’re not fooling anyone, you are losing productivity.  We have the tendency to bite off more than we can chew but you will get more done when you delegate tasks to those who are better at them than you are. The opportunity cost of an expert completing a task is that you would have wasted significant amounts of time doing the task rather than doing many other things that you should be doing.

Planning

Although planning a task may seem tedious and time consuming, most efficient people sit down and determine the approach they will take to complete a task. This is vital so you are better able to determine any issues and the best approach to take. Planning inevitably  streamlines your processes which eliminates time wasting.

 

Jennifer Jampala is a budding entrepreneur, traveller and yogi. She is passionate about building businesses, relationships and experiences. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferJampala

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