How To Reach Your Customers Online

reach-your-customers-online

Whether you’re a local business with a store front (office, warehouse, etc.), or a business who serves its customers strictly online, the question always will come – “How do I reach my customers online?”

Let’s look at this from two angles… Continue reading How To Reach Your Customers Online

The Ten Biggest Lies About Social Media and Your Business

In the world of social media, it is hard to navigate the best practices for your business. Companies may try to tell you what the best practices are, but how are they working for your business? Are you looking for more? Trying to up your social media game for your business? Here’s the top ten lies companies are spreading about social media practices for businesses and how you can overcome them.

 

You can’t just come out and ask people to follow/retweet/comment/like/share…

But you can. Actually, it’s even encouraged. Think about it in terms of inbound marketing. You are directly asking your customer to do something for you. But first, you have to build their trust. Posting relevant content that is both sound and appealing to your audience helps boost your credibility and makes it easier for the people you are interacting with to help you boost your content. Never be afraid to ask.

 

Reach is your most important metric.

This could be the biggest lie in the social media industry. Reach is important. As is engagement, post performance… essentially every piece of your analytics. Looking in depth into social media analytics once every quarter is a great way to gauge what is clicking with your customers and what is not. This helps you line up with them to communicate with them better. However, each piece – whether reach, engagement, clicks, and so on – is just as important as every other piece. Reach may only tell you how far it went on Facebook, but engagement will tell you with that reach how many people actually interacted with your content. Remember this.

 

All you need is social media.

False. Why? The main point of a social media presence for a business is to sell. You want to be using your social media to drive customers to your business to make a purchase and make you money. In order to do this successfully, a website that is fully-functioning, responsive, and current is just as – if not more – important as your Facebook page. Keep in mind that your social media can act more as a channel to the main hub rather than the target.

 

Delete or ignore negative comments. Actually, just disable comment posting entirely to protect your brand.

Believe it or not, negative comments are not as bad as they seem. Of course they are hurtful, but this can act as an advantage to your business.

 

First off, deleting negative comments seems shady to perspective customers. How can you have a rating of 3 stars when every single review is flawless? It also discredits your business – because no one is perfect.

 

In addition, negative comments can be a host of customer service opportunities. Responding timely and appropriately to customer service issues on a public front shows customers you are attentive and want you customers happy. It also acts as a great damage-control tool and helps increase your online presence. Let the negative work its magic for you. Like the old time saying, “there’s no such thing as bad press.”

 

Hire an intern to do all your social media work for you.

While we do believe in intern programs and the opportunities they provide, hiring an intern strictly to manage your social media accounts could go through a few different scenarios. Most importantly, you do not want a full-time student with limited experience handling some of the issues social media can present without someone there to guide them. Whether this is a supervisor, policy, or admin on a page, it is important that interns are provided with some direction and not just handed the passwords to your accounts. Give them expectations, let them shadow others in your business to get an idea of the company, create goals on social media to ensure your intern is getting the most out of their internship while also giving you the social media supervision you need.

 

Automate your updates to save yourself time.

Auto-posting through social media suites may seem like a step in the right direction to saving yourself time on social media, but it’s not always the best policy. Automated messages can seem rigid and timed to your followers which in turn turns them off to what you want them paying attention to – your business. Try posting in real time as often as you can. Make sure your content is timely and current with what is going on in the world as well to help increase engagement.

 

Auto-publish content to save time when sharing content to several sites.

Auto-publish is never a good idea. So often after I hit the post button on a blog, I will find a grammar error, forget to include tags, have to modify a layout… change something before it reaches the masses via my social media. Auto-publish may work against you, especially if you accidently click the publish button before you were really ready. Remember, once it is on the Internet, it is there forever – especially in terms of social media. Keep this in mind before setting up auto-post to your social accounts from your website.

 

Focus on Facebook.

Facebook may have a huge interest base now, but what about tomorrow? Social media is always changing a moving. For instance, YouTube proceeded Facebook in unique users for the first time this summer, meaning more people are using YouTube than Facebook for the very first time. This is leading to a big change in the social media world. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – disperse your content and customer interaction between several social platforms.

 

You need to be on every single social media platform.

Tying into the previous point – while you want to diversify your social media platforms, you also don’t want to consume yourselves with more than you can handle social media wise. For us, a few big platforms we like to encourage our businesses to try out and see how they work for them: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google Plus. Invest a little time on each and see what practices work best for your business to design your social media efforts to best fit your customers.

 

You don’t need an email if you have social media.

This couldn’t be more contrary from the truth. In fact, you need an email more than ever with a social media account, perhaps even one that is specifically set up to handle social media management. This email will help you received notifications and communicate with customers more effectively.

 

 

Practice makes perfect, and with social media we are helping businesses take control of their social and online media and make it work best for their businesses. Contact Maximize today to learn more.

Emotion: Your #1 Digital Marketing Tool

Emotion: Your #1 Digital Marketing Tool

How does your audience feel about your brand? What emotions and feelings do they have when they think of your product or service? Asking those questions help create awareness of how others will perceive you. Tailoring your digital assets to perform well or ensuring you have great SEO on your website is only half the battle of digital marketing. Sure, you have the right pieces in place, but is the meat of your marketing enough to keep your business thriving and favorable among an audience?

Take a second and think past the scope of results and making a profit. Stop and ask yourself if your marketing is relatable to your customer. Are you making them FEEL anything?

People ignore design that ignores people. – Frank Chimero

 

Maximize Digital Media - Wells Fargo Ad
Wells Fargo Print Advertisement featuring a theme of ‘optimism’

Emotion should be your #1 digital marketing tool, and marketing decisions should always be made with the emotion you’re trying to evoke in mind.

At its core, your business and the problem it solves should make people feel a certain way. Honing in on what you want your clients to feel isn’t as simple as choosing “happy”. Think about this: what roots your business and what helps it grow?

For example, bank advertisements tap into feelings of confidence, optimism and friendliness. Banks want customers to feel like they’re there to help you and believe things will be okay so long as you take that first step with them. By channeling that in their advertising, they’re reaching to their audience in a relatable way.

Think about sports brands. Sports marketing strategies revolve around excitement, determination, and the risk of winning or losing. That type of advertising is bold, daring, and pulls the audience right into the action. Invite your customers to come along with you for more than just a transaction. CONNECT with them.

Think about a product that you purchase time and time again, your “old faithful”. Why do you do it? I’m fond of Dove hygiene products – but why? The reason is often attributed to a feeling. Dove products make me feel feminine, secure, and confident – three feelings that they showcase in their advertisements. (Plus, let’s be real, their products smell nice.) By creating market strategies rooted in those emotions, you can reach audiences on more than just a superficial level.

But how do you bottle emotion in advertising?

There’s no secret formula, but it’s not as complex as you may think.

  1. Identify and understand your target market.
  2. Learn their problems, pain points, fears, desires, and goals.
    • Tune into feelings like fear, loss, belonging, risk, love, confidence, and security.
  3. Tell a story that speaks to all of those things and helps build up the brand on an emotional level.
    • By using those feelings, you’ll be able to create advertisements, content, and a brand that persuades people subconsciously to take actions they may not have normally made. It’s not tricky or skeevy to use the subconscious to influence your customers. Make your emotion honest, influence for the right reasons.

Making your advertising less about your product and more about the experience your audience will have is a true, honest way to advertise. Tell a story, a personal one, that evokes a legitimate emotion.

In the above clip from the Pixar film Ratatouille, you’ll see exactly how impactful emotion is. Your goal is to evoke emotions so strongly that it brings your audience back to a specific time. Think about how many bakeries try to play off Grandma’s old recipe for cookies. It’s because it’s an experience that nearly everyone can identify with and almost always has warm, fond memories. When someone feels that, they’re more inclined to support that business to get that feeling again. It’s simple! If you create your ad campaigns and business around profit, you are in danger of slipping away from connection to manipulation.

Still not sure? Use emotions from your own stories.

Make an honest attempt to reach your clients by telling your own story. Tying in your own story brings a new transparency to your business. People root for underdogs because they see themselves in them. They see the power that other people have and feel inspired to take action themselves. By bringing some emotion from your life to your business, you’re inviting people along for your journey. You’re getting them involved before they even buy a product.

Bottom line, create marketing strategies that speak to your consumers and potential customers like they’re real humans with real feelings, memories, fears, and goals.

How Hashtags Influence Digital Marketing

HashtagsMatter

For business owners or social media managers, developing fresh and new content can be a daunting task. But creating a fresh flow for posts across media channels is a necessity for any strategy! The goal is to develop content that reflects the brand and builds a community following. Most of the time you’re tasked with creating daily posts that engage your audience, creating dynamic graphics, finding topics of interest – yada yada yada. It’s a lot of work! But we promise, you’re totally overthinking it.

User Generated Content is LOVE

What separates big businesses on social media and smaller businesses on social media? The use of their audience base. Big businesses know that their audience is their most valuable source for credible, fan-approved content. This is known as User Generated Content (UGC). UGC conveys the very best parts of your brand or business. It’s authentic and is the very best proof that people are using your product or service in real life. And not only are they using it, they’re loving it enough to tell their friends! Businesses are able to use this as a source of positive imagery, quotes, testimonials, and experiences. Promoting your brand by standing behind your customers is one of the most transparent and honest ways to reach your audience.

For example, think of the photos you’d take while on vacation. You’re having a blast and snapping great photos of amazing things. Traveling can be a life-changing experience, and those photos are powerful! Travel companies, hotels, and destination spots are using social media to gather content submitted by their users and using those images to show you how much fun other people are having while using their products or services. And those photos depict real-life experiences. Notice the repetition there? Real.

92% of users trust earned media such as testimonials above targeted advertising. We’ve found ourselves in “an era of honesty” thanks to social media, and lucky for marketers, social media users are sharing their opinions and thoughts in ways that companies can leverage.

The argument for UGC has been made. But now the question is…how can companies gain easy access to that content?

Hashtags.

Hashtags Bring UGC Together

winning-photo
@gaylon_wampler on Instagram

It’s absolutely true that hashtags help connect the world. Through social justice movements and international news, hashtags pool together relative content.

National Geographic uses a hashtag to collect user-submitted photos of their travels, creating a sense of awe and inspiration among their followers. Using the hashtag #WanderlustContest, National Geographic tapped into a community of photographers, social media enthusiasts, and travelers who want to bring more visibility to their experience. Their goal was to attract users on Instagram, the photo-driven social media channel, to enter the contest. This equal exchange benefits the user and the marketer – giving exposure to users and re-enforcing National Geographic’s brand.

In this instance, users were entering a contest for a chance to win a prize. By using their hashtag, they were able to neatly analyze their submissions and create an online community where participants can browse other submissions. Users were able to see the hashtag and engage with other users – a win/win for building an online community and NG’s brand. They recognized what makes their audience special, garnered a buzz for their contest, and developed their strategy based around their designated hashtag.

Hashtags AREN’T Just for Contests!

Ideally, your business should offer an experience that sets it apart from its competitors. Be it your awesome customer service, amazing products, or hip atmosphere – your business needs to stand out.

Think of it this way: liveblogging and “livetweeting” is a new trend that affects hundreds of television shows, for instance, and their audience daily. Essentially, fans come together (mainly on Twitter) to react, in real-time, to the first telecast of a television show, . Users feel compelled to get involved, react, offer commentary, and it’s all thanks to the hashtag. For example, during the newest episode of Cake Boss, users will use #CakeBoss to react. This use spikes during live showings and will decrease when the television show isn’t running. The Cake Boss hashtag can be found being used on the show’s social media channels as well as by the fans, thus enhancing the digital reach of the show and integrating the user’s experience with their marketing strategy. Essentially, they’re making an every day occurrence into an event!

So how does a television show using a hashtag apply to your business? Simple! It creates conversation.

Community

 

Hashtags give users the chance to start a conversation. It is easy, simple, and allows users to feel like their voice matters. It’s not uncommon to see hashtags promoted on advertisements now, promoted for connecting the brand to the users as well as users to other users. Gathering UGC can be easy, but the main goal is to create an online community where users contribute freely.

#LoveLakeland is a local initiative that promotes love for the city of Lakeland, Florida.  In the hashtag on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, you’ll find many local businesses or residents who use the hashtag to promote the events of the city, positive experiences, and other reasons why they “love Lakeland”. This is not a contest or a timed campaign – it is an ongoing effort to create conversations and keep the community going strong. Since this is a community-driven hashtag, there is no “sole owner”, which allows businesses to take advantage of the content for their benefit. It increases the reach of their tweets, adds visibility and engages users.

Overall, it is important that your reasoning for using a hashtag should always go back to the user. This is what makes organic hashtags like #LoveLakeland so great – they have no timer, no cost, and gives users access to an audience they wouldn’t have had before

#choosewisely

So, when you’re looking for a low-cost, quick, and constant source for digital marketing… think hashtags. By monitoring given hashtags and promoting their use, you’re able to gain valuable UGC. Fans and customers want to see the value in your business, so seeing other fans and customers happy and enjoying your services will speak volumes about your company.

Tap into your customers’ emotions. Sell feelings, not just a product. Sell experiences, not just a service. When you are making customers feel something, you are more likely to receive user generated content in return. How many times have you taken a picture of yourself at Disney World because you’re so incredibly happy? That feeling is unmatched and inspires actions – the kind your brand benefits from.

Choosing your hashtag should be simple, but your focus should be on the longevity of your brand. Build the experience with honesty, not obnoxious branded and sponsored content. Users on social media will engage with hashtags when they can relate and when they can integrate their lives with your brand.

So… get going! #GreatBlogPost #Awesomesauce #TotallyRelevantHashtagHere

Social Media and Live Events

Social Media and Live Events
Whether you are attending or creating an event, know that a lot more goes into it than sitting and listening. A great event should inspire others to take action and extend the event past the four walls they find themselves in. Events are useful for attracting business and strengthening your involvement to the community. Free or paid, events offer knowledge and invaluable expertise for those who are interested. Utilizing social media gives a common factor to all attendees.

Once you’ve gotten some butts in some seats, it’s time to reach further. Here are some key points to utilize in your next live event to connect further.

1. Make Your Audience Matter
Making your audience feel involved is one of the main things they will take away. They will feel sympathy, compassion, interest and most important, retain what you’ve told them. Making them feel involved brings them from a listener to an active participant.

 

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#HASHTAGS For Events
Get people talking. Get people engaged. Get their friends to become involved even if they aren’t there. One of the easiest ways to get recognition across social media platforms is to use hashtags. This gives users the power to give their two cents on the event as well as find other people who might be attending.

Creating a hashtag during your initial event planning will help BIG time. Put your event hashtag on promotional items, print or digital, to get the word out before the event even starts. It is majorly important to use a unique hashtag. You wouldn’t want to see something NSFW or questionable if you used a quick anagram for your event hashtag. Do your research before you get anything printed. Seriously. For example, if you’re hosting a First Friday event, you may want to use #FFLakeland or #FirstFridayLKLD.

Like I mentioned before: make people know they matter. During your live event, prompt people to use the hashtag. Making mention during the event such as asking a question and prompting the audience to ‘answer’ it with the hashtag helps people become involved and puts them in a proactive position.

2. Capture the Moment


Recently, I attended a concert that really made an impact on me. Besides the amazing performances, the main singer stopped in the performance to take a picture of the event. A selfie, with the entire sea of people in the background, was promptly posted on the band’s official Facebook.

Wow, right?

Pictures can often say things that words can’t. I couldn’t even begin to describe the electricity that I felt through the crowd during the concert, but some of my pictures did. The energy was contagious!

I’m not saying to get a professional photographer – I’m saying to stop and (gasp!) connect with your audience by taking a unified selfie. With the use of a hashtag, as mentioned above, you can also interact with your audience when they post pictures of your event. Heck, prompt them to use the hashtag while doing so!

Add some personality to your presentation to boost engagement on social media. Maybe designate a 3 minute window after intermission as a “Selfie Segment.” Even have a slide on your power point for it! You don’t want your event to be just business, you want it to be an experience.

3. Connect

During breaks or intermissions – check to see what others are saying. Retweet, share, favorite. Your audience is taking away select nuggets of knowledge you’ve offered them or enjoying things you’ve prepared for them. Connect with people you’ve made impact with – they may be your future customers or business partners!

I went to a live event in spring 2013 for my local ADFED. Not only did I win a bottle of wine (which is why I suspect giving it to my professor earned me an A for my course), I won something more valuable: a connection to a highly praised public speaker. It was then that I met Chrissanne Long. I introduced myself after her keynote speech and then promptly added her on Facebook. Months later, I merely sent her a message and thanked her for being a positive force in Lakeland. Long story short, we met the following week and she hired me personally to work for her.

That kind of connection was possible because of social media. Connect with the people you respect or those who respect you. Bring that type of attitude full circle and you’ll find yourself in a land of opportunities.

Stalk Yourself with Google

We’re not talking about your ex from high school (we promise, they’re not as happy as you are) or that cute guy who sits in the corner of your favorite cafe (he probably has no job, let’s be real).

Google Stalking yourself isn’t weird at all, in fact it helps you understand how others view you and what others have said about you. Google has the power to index information with really cool data processors called spiders. This ensures that relevant content is bundled together and is easily accessible to the public. Your online presence does not stop merely because you clock out for the day. Your social media sites, websites, and any impact associated with your name could end up ranking highly into Google.

But, this isn’t about you. This is about Google Stalking your business too. You and your business should be present on search engines for keywords and content that apply to your website. For example, if you run an organic fruit stand, it would be ideal for you to show up when someone types in “organic fruit” and your city.

Google Stalking Is Okay (Sometimes)

If you’ve never thought of how you’ll show up in Google, you NEED to understand that your presence online should always consist of great SEO, a functional website, activity on social sites, and reviews from your customers. Try Googling yourself or your business.

Don’t worry. I’ll wait.

[Flash forward a few minutes.]

So, you’re back and you may have found the results are shocking. Some of the main things business owners find when they look up their new upstart business are….

Nothing

In addition to not being the #1 primetime spot on your search, you may not be visible at ALL. Nope, not even on the second, third or fourth page. A great way to remedy being invisible to Google is the following:

  • Create social networks and USE THEM. That means connecting with your audience, fellow business owners, and being active. Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Instagram, and LinkedIn are great platforms that serve different purposes.
  • Have a website. It’s a bit easier said than done, right? Begin looking into budgeting for a website that will not only represent your brand, but help provide content that is relevant to your company. This will organically help dent away and improve your search rankings.
  • Customer Reviews. Get people to write down how awesome you are. Post them on your website or have them on your Facebook / Google + page. Profit from their words and boost your ego a bit.

A great way to see how to gain a presence is to look at who already does. Yes, this means your competitors.

Negative Press

If you Googled yourself and found negative press, then uh… let’s work on fixing that.

Maybe there’s a long story about why you have a few 1 star reviews… You’re going to be visible, you need to be prepared to make an effort to keep a squeaky clean public image. Make honest efforts to reach out to remedy any bad review. Don’t ignore it or fight it – you’ll look pretty unapproachable and stubborn. You do not want to be the next Amy’s Baking Co. with a social media meldown.

It’s not just bad experiences that reflect upon you, but the way you carry yourself, too. A sloppy profile filled with typos is negative press for you. And if you have responded with a comment to a video or article from a periodical with profanity or other negative information, this can show up on Google as well and hurt your professional image.

Great Press

Congrats! You may be on the first page or clean of any questionable content revelation but that doesn’t mean you can’t be even greater. If you’re missing a few things from the list we brought up above, try incorporating them in your online presence strategy. You can even reuse content (such as reviews) for social media to connect yourself more thoroughly.

So, what did you learn through stalking yourself through Google?

Maybe you didn’t leave as many good reviews as you thought…. Or maybe your business shows up 5th in your designated keyword search.

In reality, this “tactic” isn’t uncommon. Companies often search the web for possible candidates for a job position and customers try to find companies for specific services. We promise that you aren’t some creepy stalker!

Googling yourself helps you understand that your perception is far different than what a stranger could see. Adjust your fault areas, emphasize your positives and your online presence will reflect that. Make sure Google knows how awesome you really are by follow our tips above.

Cool Tools: Moat.com – Easy Ad Campaign Ideas That Work

Ad Campaign moat

Easy Ad Campaign Ideas

Moat.com – Is your ad campaign faltering? Not sure what to do next? Look no further! The Moat search engine makes it easy to find the type of banners successful businesses are running across the web.

My Ad Campaign isn’t Working..

Need campaign inspiration? Search Moat!

Need an idea for a banner ad and creatives? Yes, search Moat.

See exactly what sort of ads area being run by Groupon, Audi, Disney, Apple, Netflix, and thousands of other brands.

They have spent thousands of dollars on testing their campaigns…why not borrow from the best of the best?

If that weren’t enough…

Moat will also tell you where that ad campaign was last seen…Inside intelligence on where to place your own banner ads.

Marketing intelligence without the big time marketing budget.

Oh, I forgot to mention…it’s FREE!

Ad Campaign Metrics

Moat does have an upgrade feature for Power Marketers…they do not list pricing unless you schedule a demo. To date, I have not looked into this feature but, here is a quick snapshot of the upgrades:

 

ad-campaign-moat2

 

ad-campaign-moat3

So the next time you are looking for ideas and inspiration for your next online ad campaign, do a search on Moat. It will save you some time and money with your campaign.

I give this Cool Tool two thumbs up! Moat.com

Don’t have time or the expertise to run an online ad campaign? Let the experts at Maximize Digital Media take all of the stress out of your next ad campaign. We can provide strategy, market research, design, implementation, and management for Facebook and Adwords PPC campaigns. Call us for a consultation.

4 Meaningful Marketing Strategies Your Customers Will LOVE!

marketing-strategies

4 Meaningful Marketing Strategies that Won’t Break the Bank and Your Customers Will LOVE*!

It will never make good business sense to try to manipulate, con, or trick your customers to “opt in” to your marketing campaign as a means to increase your numbers.

Customers don’t want to feel like a number. They want to feel like, well, a customer, and like they matter.

My favorite quote from Simon Sinek explains this well: “If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business.”

Marketing that Makes Sense

It will ALWAYS make sense to be awesome, create value for your customers, and give them a good reason to listen to you, trust you and become a raving fan.

Meaningful marketing, especially within the context of social media, demands that you bring something of value to your audience. When you breach their trust to force them into your funnel, you’ve probably lost them forever.

At the end of your campaign, if you have a lot of clicks, visits and emails, but no customers, you are doing something wrong. These are a few of my favorite ideas that any business, but particularly small businesses can implement for long-lasting results – turning marketing into not just customers, but raving fans!

1. Be a resource of information that helps people solve their problems – without any catches. Write a meaningful blog, share tips on social media that actually make a difference, host free webinars or live workshops, start a podcast.

2. Become a strategic partner for businesses that complement yours. Share their ideas on your social media channels, feature them as guest bloggers, invite them to speak at a live workshop or on your webinar, offer content that might be valuable for them to share on their blog. When your audience sees you are a collaborator with other businesses, it reflects your desire to serve the greater good, and that makes your messages more meaningful.  It is helpful (but not necessary) to have a relationship with these strategic partners. Talk to them about your plan, and involve them in the strategy if possible. If you work together, you’ll reach more people!

3. Reward your loyal customers by surprising and delighting them with special gifts or offers. Randomly award someone at your restaurant with a free cupcake, just for being there. Create a meaningful VIP Email or Text campaign and actually TREAT them like VIPs! Have a fan of the week on your social channels. If you are a B2B company, spotlight one of your business clients in your posts.

4. Plan a Friends and Family event that really shows your most loyal customers how much you appreciate them. Hire a photographer and leverage your social media to tell the story of your generosity. When you consider the cost of giving away food and beverages to 100 or so customers who regularly eat at your place, think about what they will be saying about you, and how that will impact others. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that?!

Creating a buzz around your raving fans will bring more positive impact to your bottom line than almost any other form of advertising, because by creating meaningful marketing, you validate the humans that you are serving and that reaches beyond ROI every single time.

What other meaningful marketing strategies have you seen? What other ideas can you add to this short list?

Have a big idea? Contact us today and let us take your business to the next step! Click HERE.

*No matter what marketing strategies you choose to employ, always place your customers at the forefront. Your Return on Relationships will greatly influence your ROI!

Don’t Be “Spooked” by Digital Marketing: Responding to Comments

This is the second part of our social media “spooked” series. To catch up on the first part of the series, click here.

In the spirit of Halloween, the Max team loves to gather around and share scary stories about how digital marketing went wrong for them at one time or another. Whether it’s a post on Facebook that went haywire or retargeting audiences for marketing (creepy by its very nature), we all have had that one “spooky” online experience that we still get the chills from. Learn from our ghostly tales and how you can improve your game so these monsters no longer so bump in the interwebs.

 

“My Business Wasn’t Sure How to Respond to Comments.”

Talking to people can be awkward, especially when you are answering as a business and not yourself. You as the commenter have to take on the personality of the business and represent the company in how you respond. It’s not as easy as it looks!

When responding to customer comments, it’s important to keep in mind a few things:

  • Keep it professional.
  • Add some personality to it. It makes you more approachable and easier to converse with.
  • Keep it short and sweet and to the point.
  • Offer assistance if needed.
  • Offer additional options of contact such as email or letters.

One thing your company will need to face is addressing negative comments. Yea, it can suck hearing you’re not doing so hot. But, here’s one of those lemon-to-lemonade situations.

Don’t let the negative drive you down. Look at it as a growing opportunity. Learn where your business is dropping the ball and how you can correct this interally before it happens again and potentially lose more business.

Address concerns and questions. Don’t let the negativity just float out there. Hit it head on by letting customers know you are out there and paying attention. Address them and their concerns kindly.

Offer solutions. How can you gain their business back? Offering solutions to a problem, refunds, or compensation may be all you need to help a dissatisfied customer go from gloomy to sunny.

Follow up. Nike does a good job at checking back with those who had problems with purchases and making sure the solutions they offered worked for customers. FitBit does the same. It never hurts to check up on customers and let them know you care about their satisfaction.

Luckily for you, you have an arsenal of ways to attack tough comments and even increase engagement through posts with these suggestions! If you’re still stuck with how to address a problem, feel free to ask us by contacting us at Maximize.com.

Social Media Series Part I: The Hashtag

I once saw a tweet about how a user saw an old flip-phone cell phone that had a pound key on the keypad. They wondered why they would ever need a hashtag back then because Twitter was not a thing yet.

As mindless as this tweet sounds, this is a prime example of how prominent the hashtag has become in our world today. No longer do we view a pound sign as a part of a numeric keypad. Instead, we view it as a crucial part of our social media presence.

The hashtag may have begun as a Twitter-exclusive, but now it has migrated to almost every platform in the social world. But, does each hashtag means something different on social media? And how can you use this to benefit your business on social media? Or should you even use them in your professional field? Here are the answers to your questions.

 

Yes, you should most definitely be using hashtags

The hashtag is a means of categorization. It increases search optimization, increases engagement, and aids in potential retweets. The science behind the hashtag proves that using the correct hashtags will benefit your online presence for the better, however there is a bit of science to the method. What is appropriate and how many to use could be the indicators.

Use no more than two per update

Research has shown that tweets, updates, and statuses perform better through the use of hashtags, but excessive use will hinder them. Research suggests sticking to two extremely relevant and beneficial hashtags to increase the potential for your media.

How to determine hashtag relevance

Your hashtags need to be tailored to your content. For example, if you are a business tweeting about a flash sale promotion you are having, you would probably include a hashtag such as #flashsale in your tweet.

Having trouble figuring out what hashtag to use? Look at the What’s Trending tab for inspiration on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or other social platforms for ideas. Still knee-deep in uncertainty? Check out Hashtagify.me for ideas on relevant and related hashtags and how you can best incorporate them in your statuses.

 

Hashtags on Social Media

There is a level on appropriateness when it comes to hashtags on different media platforms. Since just about everyone is using them, it’s up to you to understand what works and what doesn’t when it comes to hashtags based on the social media platform.

Twitter

This is where it all began. Twitter has a great system for hashtags, using them to categorize tweets on its site. Tweets with hashtags get two times more engagement than those that do not have hashtags, making them 55 percent more likely to be retweeted. But excessive hashtags tanked engagement. Stick to the 1-2 hashtag rule and you should be good to go.

Instagram

There seems to be no true rule of thumb here. The more the merrier, at least what studies show. Hashtags on Instagram are utilized to help build community and distinguish uniqueness and detailed information. Interactions are highest on posts with 11 or more hashtags. They may also be your best bet for growing your follower count on Instagram, as well.

Facebook

It seems as though Facebook users are less likely to hop on the hashtag train. With the studies performed, statuses without hashtags performed better than those that included them. But be mindful to tailor your strategy to your audience. Perhaps try including them in your content if your page is more business-minded by Twitter standards and see how your posts perform before continuing the use of hashtags on your Facebook account.

Google+

What Google+ has going for it here is that it already creates the hashtags for you, taking one less step out of the challenging marketing strategy online. You can always add more through comments and your posts to increase your search opportunities.

Pinterest

Pinterest uses hashtags to brand and specify. You can actually click on hashtags to find more relevant information to your linked content. There also seems to be no limit on how many you can include here. The more you have, the more engaged your content might be.

 

 

The hashtag is nothing to fear, and Maximize recognizes its great potential. Let Maximize help you understand how to best utilize hashtags on all your social media platforms today.