Tag Archives: social media

Why we hate MLM companies and any other direct seller business

Jemi

Nobody likes to be sold to. When we hearing the word “selling” of any kind, we turn our head away and run. The truth of the matter is, we are being sold through marketing everywhere we go. Everything from our clothing, cars, and even our toothpaste all has been marketed to us.  Why are we so hesitant to buy from a MLM company or any direct seller?

Direct sellers- Don’t have the marketing budget as big companies do and have to work harder to get through your door than an average company. By work harder, I mean that their frontline (Your Avon lady) needs to find you (the consumer) and teach you about her products. Bigger companies like Home Depot and Wal-Mart have big commercials and advertising teams that send their marketing message to you so that you will choose their brand over the competition. This marketing message comes to you in different forms like; TV, radio, print newspaper, social media sponsored ads.  Direct sellers only have brochures, a website, and themselves to send that same message to you. You see the seller as a seller, whereas a big corporation, you see a message.

Many MLM companies have started as a scamming business that looks legit in the beginning but have con many hardworking citizens. Some of these companies made millions misleading others and has made national news staining the MLM community. Not all multi-level businesses are schemes but because we have heard about horrible stories, we are forever tainted.

Most consumers don’t know that MLM are more often just like the companies we work for. There is a CEO that overlooks the company as a whole that delegates to a board, those delegates to managers, and those delegates to the frontline workers. This CEO makes the most money because they usually hold the most profit share and the bottom line business reflects their pocket size.  The difference between them and our direct sellers, is that these direct sellers are able to work hard and reap the financial benefits that come along with it, where in a corporation, they work on a wage.

Our direct sellers are our neighbours, friends, and family that are trying to make a little extra money to get out of debt, create savings, or have a dream that they cannot achieve in the standard 9-5 job. Many of these corporations do not give their frontline workers the bonuses or even benefits that they need in order to sustain a comfortable living. Direct sellers need to work harder to gain your trust and attention so that they can make a dollar. We as people don’t like being misled or sold to. We as people need time to trust a company or product before purchasing. Make an informed decision before choosing one over the other.

 

Jemi Smith guest blogs on numerous websites and owns a mom community website called momsgotodurham.com. She has a passion for business and marketing and is raising two young boys under 3. You can e-mail her at jemiechevarria@gmail.com or call her at (647)785-5851

 

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Tips for Holiday Marketing on Social Media

 

Kelly Farrell - Teach Me Social -headshot (2)

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Social media is all a-twitter with holiday promotions, holiday party selfies and businesses competing for your business and spreading holiday joy! The social media world can become a very noisy place during the holidays, but here are a few ways you can ensure your small business can stay ahead of the crowd.

Hashtags

Using holiday trending hashtags can keep your business visible among your target audience. Choose hashtags that your target market is already using or might be following. By providing content that aligns with the current conversations on social media you can ensure that your brand will not be forgotten when people create their holiday wish lists.

Seasonal trends

Stay tuned to what’s trending this season and share content that shows your brand is in-the-know when it comes to what people are talking about.

Visual aids

Getting noticed is all about standing out. Create captivating graphics for your social media posts and blogs that are sure to grab people’s attention and make them want to click. (lighting, graphics, design, colours)

Ads / promotions

Social media ads are the most effective way to grab the attention of potential customers. You can create custom audiences of people who may have already visited your site or may already be on your mailing list. This allows you to focus directly on an audience who is already familiar with your brand and thus more likely to follow through with a sale.

Use email

Email is still the most effective way to follow up with customers and potential customers. Many email clients can connect with your online store to help you follow up with website visitors who may have “window-shopped” without finishing their order.  Try sending exclusive coupon codes to your email list for special holiday offers.

Above all, remember that there are real people on the other side of the network who are just as busy as you are this time of year. Present them with solutions to solve their problems and make their life easier. Stay social and engage with your audience online through relatable, interesting and engaging posts and make sure to take time to answer back!


To learn more about how to maximise the effectiveness of your Facebook marketing efforts, schedule a complimentary consultation with Teach Me Social. Teach Me Social owner Kelly Farrell has been helping empower Canadian Small Businesses through social media since 2012. Teach Me Social offers effective social media services which include training sessions and consulting as well as full-service social media account management.

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Don’t Do Marketing & PR… Until you can answer these 5 questions

CHuntly

Marketing & Public Relations (AKA PR) should be an important part of your outreach strategy. After all, PR is defined as interacting with your public, and you need to do that to communicate your brand message to your audience. If you’re not trying to communicate with your audience, you are relying too heavily on the “if you build it they will come” strategy. In a world of social media and other online channels as well as all of the visual and informational bombardment on a day-to-day basis face-to-face, there is too much noise in the marketplace to wait for someone to notice you. You need to initiate the connection.

It can be tempting to jump on the first opportunity you see to get your brand “out there” without thinking too much beyond that you just want people to see you. However, just because it is the latest and greatest idea doesn’t mean it is the right one for your business.

You have a lot of options available to you when it comes to marketing and PR. The challenge for you as a small business owner is to pick the right options that will give you the highest return on your investment (of time AND money!).

Here are a few things you need to get straight before you jump on that latest and greatest idea you came across:

  1. What do you do? Be able to identify in detail what product or service you are selling.
  2. Who would be interested in what you have to offer? When you can answer this question, you will have identified your target audience.
  3. Why would your target audience want what you have to offer? This is an important step often skipped by entrepreneurs who are launching a business. You need to be able to articulate – in writing and when you are speaking to people – what makes your product/service so great. Along the same lines, identify what sets you apart from your competitors.
  4. Where does your target audience congregate? Do a bit of research to find out where they get their information from, what organizations they belong to, their social media habits, and what their buying habits are.
  5. What are your goals? Once you have identified who you are and who would be interested in what you have to offer, you need to set goals so you can identify what a successful marketing & PR campaign would look like for you. Is it sign ups? Website traffic? Awareness?

Once you have answered these five questions, you can sit down and use the information to decide what kind of marketing & PR strategy you should run. Your audience and your goals will dictate what channels you use to reach out and your product/service offering and differentiators will help you determine what type of content and messaging to use on each channel.

While it means you need to invest more time in the beginning to help set yourself on the right track, it is worth it in the long-term.

Candace Huntly is the Founder and Principal at SongBird Marketing Communications, an award-winning agency working to take organizational and individual brands to the next level. With a passion for all things related to creativity and strategy, she specializes in business intelligence, marketing & branding, content strategy & development, media & influencer relations, and social media. Basically, if you need to put your brand, product, or cause in the public eye, she will find a way to do it, while making the approach unique to you.

Connect with Candace

Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/email/Website

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Are you spending your time effectively on Facebook?

 

Kelly Farrell - Teach Me Social -headshot (2)

Are you spending time looking at the right parts of your Facebook business page? It’s so easy to get distracted by “shiny things” on Facebook, but as a business owner it’s important to stay focused on your goal to connect with your followers. Having a strategy for your social media marketing should also include regular maintenance on your Facebook page to ensure that what you are posting and sharing is actually connecting with the right followers.

  1. Update the “About” tab on your Facebook Business Page regularly. Take a few minutes at least once a month to revisit and revise the fields with important information about your business. In particular, ensure that the Short Description, Long Description and all contact details are up-to-date and accurate.
  2. Review the Insights for your Facebook Business Page often to analyze what posts are reaching your audience and are engaging your followers. The Insights can help you identify the best time to post and can provide you with more demographic information about the people who engage with your Page.
  3. Monitor the interaction on your posts and be sure to reply to all comments quickly! The average social media user expects a reply within 1 hour to a comment that they make on social media. Be considerate of the time someone took to make a comment, and respond in kind, even if just to say Thank You!
  4. Share your involvement in local or online events and be sure to create event listing for events that your business is hosting. Invite your friends and contacts to join your event page for updates and event information. If you are participating in someone else’s event, you can add that event to your page’s event listing without creating a new event. This helps to connect your business page with others, thus increasing your visibility!
  5. Know when to spend money on boosted posts and promotions on Facebook and allocate an appropriate budget for this purpose. Keep in mind that you should first set up target audiences in Facebook Ad Manager before spending any money on promotions. The more time you spend to target the right demographic, the more return you will see on your ad spend.

To learn more about how to maximise the effectiveness of your Facebook marketing efforts, schedule a complimentary consultation with Teach Me Social. Teach Me Social owner Kelly Farrell has been helping empower Canadian Small Business owners through social media for over four years. Teach Me Social offers effective social media services which include training sessions and consulting as well as full-service social media account management.

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When to follow technology trends in social media

Kelly Farrell - Teach Me Social -headshot (2)

There is a big difference between jumping on the bandwagon just because “everyone else is doing it” and adding a new tech trend as part of your overall digital marketing strategy. The rate of change in the world of technology, especially for business, is extremely fast-paced and keeping up with the new apps, website trends and social media features can be a very daunting task. Despite the challenges that come with keeping up, it can be very beneficial to be an early adopter of new technologies and digital shifts.

 

First come, first serve

The first users on many new platforms, websites or apps are usually privy to special offers and features. On social media, the early arrivals are almost always the first to develop a large following of other early arrivals, who also tend to be more engaged and loyal than new followers later on.

 

Work out the kinks

Getting on board with a new feature or platform also give you ample time to work out the kinks, a time when making mistakes are part of the game and adds authenticity to your brand. Part of social media is the allure of being able to see behind the curtain of a logo and glimpse the authentic personality driving the message. Working out the kinks and figuring out a new platform with other early adopters also sets you up as a leader and expert when the rest of the crowd follows you.

 

Staying Current

If your brand stands for ingenuity, creativity or innovation in any way, then getting on board and being part of the initial phase could play a huge role in setting your brand up as a leader in forward thinking. When your brand shares their enthusiasm by joining in on trending topics on social media, it shows your followers that you are current, relevant and engaged.

 

Beware of shiny things

All that being said, the biggest danger with new technologies is the “shiny things syndrome”! It’s happened to the best of us – like children, we are easily attracted to new things and can get sucked into spending hours playing with new features and testing out new toys.

 

To avoid getting sucked into new technologies that are not going to see an overall benefit for your small business, you can ask yourself these questions:

  • Will using this tool attract new customers to my business?
  • Is my target demographic already using this tool?
  • Will my business benefit from being part of a trending conversation online?
  • How much time can I afford to spend daily using a new technology tool?

 

If you weigh the pros and cons of each new tool, it becomes easier to identify trends that will have a positive impact on your business and ones that may not be worth your time investment. In most cases, it is always a good idea to get advice from an expert or other small business owners. Attending networking events and joining online communities (like Canadian Small Business Women) are great ways to know what other entrepreneurs are doing online and where they are focusing their energy.


Teach Me Social owner Kelly Farrell has been helping empower Canadian Small Business owners through social media for over four years. Teach Me Social 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 book a no obligation consultation, including an audit of your existing social media channels.

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10 Reasons to Tweet Today

Kelly Farrell - Teach Me Social -headshot (2)

When I talk about Twitter to small business owners, I am usually greeted by a look of trepidation before being asked, “Do I really need to be on Twitter?” Twitter has evolved from a simple social network since the first Tweet was sent in March 2006 to the global news source and intricate social sharing environment it is today. Recently, Twitter has even taken leaps into the future of live broadcasting by signing deals with large networks to provide live content via the platform.

With 310 million monthly active users, it is hard to ignore the power of Twitter for small businesses to reach an engaged audience. But, if you need more convincing, here are 10 reasons to start tweeting today!

1.FREE:  Twitter is free to use – The only cost is time and effort to send unlimited Tweets. Of course, like all social platforms, there is also the option to ‘promote’ your tweets with PPC advertising which has grown 208% year-on-year in 2016.

2.CURRENT:  Your presence on social media platforms such as Twitter shows that your business is keeping up ‘with the times’! Did you know that 1.3billion Twitter accounts have been created and over 500 million tweets are sent daily?

3.INDUSTRY NEWS:  Using Twitter can help you keep up with what is going on in your industry.  You can keep tabs on your competition and get the latest news by following relevant hashtags. (ie. #CSBWBiz)

4.QUICK: Twitter is a fast way to get a message out, especially about upcoming events or sales.  Printing, distributing and even website and email marketing take time and planning. Keep in mind that tweets with pictures get 150% more retweets!

5.NETWORKING:  Using Twitter gives you the chance to meet and talk with tons of new people, influencers in your industry, and the opportunity to discover leads you might not otherwise have made.

6.REACH: Twitter can expand your market reach through followers, re-tweets, and #hashtags.  People may stumble across your profile and tweets by chance and 55% of Twitter users admit they have taken action based on a tweet from a brand. (ie. clicked on a link)

7.COMPETITION:  Your competition is quite likely already on Twitter and tweeting away. 70 percent of small businesses are on Twitter and the average Twitter user will follow at least 5 businesses.

8.FEEDBACK:  The conversations, re-tweets, and favorites you receive in Twitter can act as great feedback as to what is popular and what is not in terms of your online brand, not to mention that 77% of users said they felt more positive towards a brand that replied to their tweet!

9.ENGAGEMENT: 80% of Twitter users have mentioned a brand in a tweet, and Twitter allows you to maintain customer relationships both before, during, and after a purchase and act as a constant reminder that you exist.

10.SHORT: With only 140 characters each tweet is short and sweet that allows you to share tidbits and updates without having to write an entire blog post.


 

Teach Me Social owner Kelly Farrell has been helping empower Canadian Small Business owners through social media for over four years. Teach Me Social 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 book a no obligation consultation, including an audit of your existing social media channels.

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Dealing with Negative Comments on Social Media

Teach Me Social Blog - dealing with negative comments on social mediaIt’s happened to all of us. We work hard to publish an article or a social media post only to have someone come along and respond with a negative or defamatory comment. It’s disheartening, frustrating, upsetting and even angering and it takes every ounce of patience to not want to write back an equally negative and snarky reply. I’ve been there, and I’ve felt the same way. But I can honestly tell you that the best way to respond to negativity on social media is with positivity.

Sir Isaac Newton described his 3rd Law of Motion by explaining that “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” In elementary Mathematics, we are taught that a negative and positive number of the same absolute value cancel each other out in an equation (ie. -4 + 4 = 0) What does this have to do with social media? Well, the same notion of countering forces can be applied to all positive and negative forces, energy and comments.

As a rule of thumb in customer service, it is always best to respond to customer complaints in a calm, professional manner. As business owners, we need to recognize that the customer just wants to feel validated for their complaint. This can be handled in a number of ways, but it is always best to acknowledge their negative experience and try to offer a solution. There may not always be a mutually agreeable solution, but remember that an angry customer has more potential to do damage to your business’ reputation than a happy one.

Here are some important Do’s and Don’t’s when considering how to respond to customer complaints, reviews or feedback on Social Media…. KEEP CALM AND RESPOND WITH CALM Poster

What not to do –  

  • Don’t ignore it. It might be tempting to try to delete the comment, or hope it quickly fades down in people’s newsfeeds, but there is never any guarantee. It is always better to respond and address the problem than ignore it and hope it goes away.
  • Don’t respond back with negativity. In the world of debates, two negatives never equal a positive! Responding with anger or offence is just going to add fuel to the fire. It’s upsetting for everyone involved and surrounds your business with negative energy.
  • Don’t get into a battle. There is nothing to be gained from trying to have the final say. Anyone following the discussion on your social network will be able to “see” the entire battle unfolding and each of your followers has an easy click to unfollow you and refuse to see any future posts from your business.

What to do instead –

  • DO take time to formulate an appropriate response before typing any reply to the comment. If possible, ask a colleague or trusted friend to read your reply first before you publish it online. Taking time not only allows you to respond with a clear head, but it also has likely given your disgruntled customer a chance to cool off too.
  • DO respond with professionalism and offer to address the complainant’s concerns offline, perhaps via email address or over the phone. Offer a solution to the problem right up front so that the next step is in their hands to either take you up on the offer, or to walk away.
  • DO end the discussion quickly, after a single, well composed reply. There is nothing to be gained by carrying on the discussion if you first response did everything to address the complaint, offer a solution and provide a non-social media form of communication to use to continue the conversation.

Teach Me Social owner Kelly Farrell has been helping empower Canadian Small Business owners through social media for over for years. Teach Me Social 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.

Kelly Farrell - Teach Me Social -headshot (2)

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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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The importance of using social media for networking

 

FB Pic

Social media has changed the way companies and people network themselves because now a days it isn’t about who you know, it’s about who knows you. Marketing yourself through social media has become the norm for businesses and thanks to sites like Facebook and Twitter, interacting with your cliental couldn’t be more easy and beneficial.

 

  • Feedback: receiving supportive criticism could potentially impact your business in a more positive direction and help adjust your marketing strategy.
  • Constantly connected: social media provides you with the ability to view problems or concerns customers may have. In return this gives you the opportunity to respond and resolve these issues immediately.
  • Personal: social media to many can feel more like a personal connection and not just some business shoving out advertisement. Being able to read tweets or posts will give you the opportunity to learn what your clients have to say, which can become helpful advice in making improvements within your business.
  • Finding customers: using key word searches is a helpful way to find new clients. Using this tool will give you the opportunity to redirect them to your company’s personal website.
  • Connecting: join multiple groups through Facebook relating to your scope of work. Market yourself within theses groups by posting a link to redirect potential customers to your site; this will help create brand awareness.
  • Promote: media sites give you the chance to get your name out there. This can also help lead to clients recommending you to friends and family members through Facebook and helping create traffic to your website.
  • It’s free marketing: unfortunately we aren’t all rolling in money and have millions of dollars to blow on ad’s for our company. These media outlets are easy to use and manage, while giving you the opportunity to promoting yourself without any fee.

 

Contact Canadian Small Business Women:

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Website

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Creating “C.O.R.I.” Content

 

Sheralyn

Much has been written (by me, for CSBW, never mind from all those other experts!) about creating great website content and how to blog for business. Today, I would like to add to the narrative by sharing my short and simple acronym for creating meaningful content that works.  It’s “C.O.R.I.”  When writing about your business in any capacity and particularly when creating content for your website, make sure that it’s Current, Original, Relevant and Interesting.

Social Media encourages, to some degree, a tendency to “over share.” I attended a networking event recently where a person told me they shared to Facebook 7 or 8 times per day!!! I am not sure when they were getting any work done but unless you are actually in the business of Social Media, providing this as a service to clients as part of their business strategy, this is probably a little too often. It also begs the question are you sharing relevant information or just re-posting randomly? So unless you’ve hired an expert like my good friend Kelly Farrell at Teach Me Social, stick to the C.O.R.I. principle.

Your website content should always be current.  Create a schedule where you build time into your business to regularly refresh and update.  There is nothing worse than searching for something on the web and coming across a Christmas special at Easter. Your product or service may not necessarily change but you can tweak the wording, offer a seasonal special or post a blog all of which could help your rankings if a search engine like Google thinks you are posting new content.

Make sure your content is original. First and foremost if it isn’t that’s plagiarism and we all remember the consequences of that from school. Secondly, if you are posting and sharing excessively, from other sites, again your rankings could be affected because Google sees it as duplicated content. Besides, your website is about you, your product and/or your service so it SHOULD be original.

Relevancy is a big one for me. This is not so much about your website content because it is assumed if you are describing your service, the content is relevant to your business! However, when sharing information across your other social media platforms it is imperative that you share content that is related to your business. Sharing stories about cute kittens or babies sucking on a lemon is not only irrelevant but frankly, might just annoy your potential clients and see you placed on their “blocked senders” list.

Finally, when it comes to content, do your best to make sure that it is also interesting. Provide tips and tools that your potential clients can actually use.  Share a news story that is current, interesting and related to your industry. Perhaps, offer a little known “fun fact” about your product that people might not already know. Post something regularly that engages your audience without inundating them.

By creating content that is current, original, relevant and interesting you will create an audience that comes looking for you rather than you having to seek them out! Be an original. Share responsibly, not randomly.

As Owner and Principal partner of “Writing Right For You” Sheralyn is a Communications Strategist – working together with entrepreneurs to maximize profit through effective use of the written word. Looking for web content that works, blog articles that engage or communications strategies that help you get noticed?  Contact Sheralyn today. Sheralyn is also the mother of two children now entering the “terrible and terrific teens” and spends her free time volunteering for several non-profit organizations.

Sheralyn Roman B.A., B.Ed.

Writing Right For You

Communications Strategies that help you GET TO THE POINT!

416-420-9415 Cell/Business

writingrightforyou@gmail.com

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