3 Ways to Manage Your Reputation on Social Media

social media reputation management

3 Ways to Manage Your Reputation on Social Media. Photo courtesy of DigitalRalph(CC Attribution)

Social media has changed how customers communicate with brands and how they voice their complaints. Countless customers do not bother calling customer complain lines, instead, they will go to social media or their blog to document their experiences.

When companies do not monitor these social mentions, they run the risk of having these negative events and experiences define their online reputation. They will also be viewed as an aloof brand do who does not care about their customers. Fortunately, it is possible for organizations to address both complaints and compliments, improving customer engagement and satisfaction. Here are three ways you can manage your reputation on social media:

Monitor social mentions continuously

Successful reputation management is dependent upon knowing when customers are speaking about the brand. With social media, customers have become accustomed to receiving instant responses to their requests and questions. Failure to address customers in a prompt manner can result in a negative impression from all customers who see the communication. Various tools, such as SocialMention and Google Alerts, make it possible for companies to continually watch for their brand. When customers mention the company on everything from blogs to Facebook pages, the organization will now see it quickly.

Do not engage with arguments online

Everything that is said and posted online stays online forever for anyone to see. Do not engage in arguments with customers, even if they have been completely mistaken or dishonest. While it might feel nice to have the opportunity to tell a customer exactly why they are wrong, it can damage reputations and can never be taken back. Fight the urge to engage the customer in an argument and instead always speak in a way that matches the brand’s customer service policy.

Seek to address and resolve complaints courteously

It is common for disgruntled customers to take to social media to voice their frustrations. If this happens to a particular brand, the organization needs to remember that this is a public exchange that has the capacity to enhance or hurt the company reputation. Address the customer politely and seek to resolve their dispute. This can be done with refunds, discounts, accepting returns, or any similar action that would satisfy the customer and is inline with the brand’s policy. Not only will the company be making this one customer satisfied, they will also improve their reputation in the eyes of every potential customer who views the exchange.

The power and prevalence of social media means that companies must manage their online reputations to control their brand. Keep these three tips in mind and the organization should develop a solid social media reputation.

How to find your ideal clients?

Businessmen shaking hands

Photo courtesy of reynermedia(CC Attribution)

Wouldn’t it be great if ideal clients just dropped out of the sky every time we needed them? It would be something akin to those State Farm commercials – when you get in a bind and need more cash, just say “Bring me more clients!” Poof!  Like magic, there they appear. Even though we haven’t figured out how to do exactly that, we have the next best thing.  Let’s take a look at a realistic strategy to find who exactly you should be targeting, and then, more importantly, how do we find more of them?

5 Steps to Your Ideal Client

1. Find your most profitable clients.

The first part of this should be fairly easy to do – just get into your client billing information and sort through the data until you find your top 20% of clients, based on amount billed to them. The next step can be a bit more difficult, as you to dig deeper into that top 20%.  Determine for each of those clients who was the most profitable for your business. Be careful – they may be paying a bunch of money each month, but if their profit margin is low, that would not be an ideal client to go after in the future.   After you have determined those most profitable, write down their defining factors, answering such questions as, “What type of company are they? What service or product do they produce? What service or product do you provide for them?”  Then look for what attributes those clients have in common.  This will help you identify the type of clients that buy a service or product from you that has a good profit margin.

2. From the above list, identify those clients who refer you the most.

Now let’s divide that same list again and find out who among your clients has referred you the most. You may even want to make hierarchy of your clients, listing them from greatest to least jobs. This is very important, as it is in an indicator of their level of satisfaction with you and your service.  It tells you who is happy enough to tell others that they should be doing business with you.

Ideal Client

Clients that fall into the upper right quadrant of this graph are ideal..

3. Find the common demographic elements.

Now you will have created an even more specific group, and you need to see what common characteristics they have. Here are just a few things to consider:

• Age

• Employment status

• Gender

• Occupation

• Income

• Educational level

• Industry

• Employee count

• Type of business

• Geographic scope of business

• Revenue levels

4. Understand the behavior that makes them ideal

The secret to attracting ideal clients is to understand what makes them tick.  What triggers them to go looking for someone like you?  What is it that keeps them up at night? What frustrates them so much that they are looking for the solution you provide? 

If you are  providing a solution to their most common frustrations, then this may truly be your golden opportunity.  People make a lot of their buying decisions to eitherremove pain or experience gain. If you can tap into these emotions you can truly grow your business, creating an ever-growing relationship between you and your clients.

5. Draw a full biographical sketch

Finally, once you are able to pull together a company profile that focuses on profitability, referrals, demographics, and behaviors, then you have the foundation of a biographical sketch or persona. The idea is to create a picture of that person at the company that is so vivid that just about anyone could envision a mental picture of that client. You have to be able to also answer the question you will inevitably be asked – How do we spot our ideal client?  This is key in helping your employees fully understand who they should target.  I have even see some companies create a cardboard cutout of their ideal client and include it in all planning meetings. This client model has a name, a family, assets, and almost a real life. Why? Because it make it so much easier to pitch things at a persona, than at some intangible pie in the sky company out theresomewhere.

So, what does this mean for YOU?

There is no doubt that it takes time to create this sort of profile, but it makes it easier to identify and decide who you should be going after, making this an essential process every business should go through.  If you would like some guidance through the process , or if you want to learn more strategies that you can use to generate more leads into your business, please take our free marketing assessment and we would be happy to give you some free suggestions on not only identifying your ideal client, but other suggestions to help you grow your business.

Top 10 Business Lead Generation Tips [Infographic]

The challenge of getting people who may not know of your product or service (and in some cases don’t even care about it) to become interested is often shrouded in a degree of mystery. We have put together a great list of 10 lead generation tips, but they are extremely actionable as well.

 

Lead Generation Tips

 

Here are the 10 Lead Generation tips again (written out):

  1. Do Your Research – Before you even attempt to generate new leads online, do your research to get specific details on your target audience. Who are they? What are they searching for online? How are they conducting these searches? This will help you create an effective keyword strategy to capture these leads.
  2. Use Paid Online Advertising – Pay-per-click online ads are a great way to drive highly-targeted traffic to your website quicker than SEO. With a set monthly budget and some solid keywords, you can capture specific leads who are looking for your exact products or services in the area.
  3. Connect with Prospects on Social Media – More and more people are using social media to interact with local businesses in their area. If your target audience is spending time on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, set up profiles on these sites and start capturing these leads.
  4. Build a Targeted Email List – Inviting your target audience to subscribe to your email list is one of the easiest ways to generate new leads. Give away something of value in exchange for their email addresses so you can easily follow-up with them; this is a great way to build relationships so they can get to know you better.
  5. Improve Search Engine Visibility (SEO) – Most consumers go to the search engines to look for local products and services. Your website needs to show up high in the results in order to capture these hot leads who are actively searching for what you offer.
  6. Optimize Your Local Listings – Local listings, such as Google My Business, Yahoo Local, and Bing Local were created specifically to connect local businesses with local consumers. Make sure your listings are complete and optimized so they come up higher in the search results.
  7. Educate, Inform, & Solve Problems – Many people scour the web for answers to their problems and concerns. As a result, many of them end up doing business with companies that have published great content that helped them out. Implement methods, such as blogging, to consistently publish this type of “lead-pulling” content.
  8. Enhance Your Site for Conversions – Getting traffic to your site is just the beginning. The icing on the cake is converting this traffic into new solid leads. Make sure your site is equipped to keep visitors longer, as well as motivate them to take action. Good content, videos, images, and strong calls-to-action all pay an important role in boosting conversions.
  9. Consider Paying for Leads – SEO takes time to get results and pay-per-click can be expensive for some markets. But working with a high-quality lead source can definitely help you connect with more qualified leads. This method is powerful in expanding your reach and seeing a rewarding ROI.
  10. Follow-Up with Your Leads – Whichever method you choose to generate new leads for your business, be sure to keep the lines of communication flowing with them so you can convert them into brand new paying customers. Otherwise, all of your efforts will simply be a waste of time and money.

Want to Learn More About Lead Generation tips for your business?

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and we can customize a plan for you.

Get Website Traffic Fast!

Online, one of the most significant keys to success is getting website traffic. The more visitors you have, the better your sales and profits. Presumably you have a niche and you know your keywords, and regularly conduct keyword research to stay on top of what’s popular. Based on those assumptions here are five quick and easy tips to get website traffic fast!

Tip #1 Make sure you’re actually tagging your keywords.

Do you spend a lot of time optimizing your content and then neglect to tag them on your webpage? Tags are where search engines look and if there are no tags they’ll pass right by your web pages. Here’s a quick brief on tags.

  • Title tags. Title tags are quite possibly the most important place to situate your keywords. Your title tag is where you place your primary keyword or keyword phrase. The sentence will describe your business in less than 90 characters.
  • Header Tags. Header tags are next and they are ranked in order of importance to search engines. 
  • Meta Tags. Meta tags provide the small descriptive text found underneath the title tag on the search engine results page. Like title tags these should be kept brief, informative and up to date.
  • Alt Tags. Alt tags are used to provide a text description of a graphic. Each graphic on your site should have a description and an alt tag.

Tip #2 Add content to your site daily

Content is essential for traffic and a top search engine ranking. Content is what search engine spiders look for and index – without it there’s nothing to index or rank. Give visitors and search engines a reason to visit and index your site. Make a commitment to provide daily, optimized content and your traffic will soar.

Increase Website Traffic

Photo courtesy of Orin Zebest(CC ShareALike)

Tip #3 Procure valuable and relevant incoming links

The more websites which link to your webpages the more valuable search engines perceive you to be, though not all links are created equal. Search engines give more leverage to links from sites which are popular and credible and from sites which are relevant to your website topic.

There are different types of links:

  • A direct link looks like a basic website address, for example, www.yourwebsite.com
  • A text link occurs when the webpage address is embedded in the text. Readers simply click on the link and are redirected to a new website page.
  •  If the link is to an internal web page, for example an article published on a website, rather than the home page, it is called a “deep link.”

You can encourage linking to your website by adding content to your site,  submitting to article directories, publishing press releases, blogging and participating in social networking forums, chat rooms and social networking sites.

Tip #4 Be Social!

Now more than ever before, internet marketing is about building a community. Whether you offer a forum on your website or you participate in social networking sites, social networking is a valuable traffic generating tactic. Sites like Facebook and Twitter can be powerful tools for generating links and traffic to your site – create a profile and then post comments, links to your site and ideas which generate conversation.

Get involved – many chat rooms and forums are industry specific, find those which cater to your industry, and begin participating. Speak to and connect with a highly targeted audience.

Tip #5 Advertise for more exposure and traffic

Advertising, when handled strategically, can be used to promote your content and products or services. PPC advertising is often the tool of choice because you control the advertising budget on a daily basis and have the tools to test and track your advertising efforts. Once you’ve honed your PPC ads the return on investment can be phenomenal in terms of traffic and purchases.

For maximum results, create a website traffic and SEO strategy. Outline your plan and your goals and then take the necessary action. Take advantage of these five traffic and search engine tips to boost your business.

How to Create a USP(Unique Selling Proposition) That Works

Your unique selling proposition (USP) explains to you and your audience why your products and/or services are preferable over someone else’s products or services. Figuring out and writing down your USP is an important part of helping you develop a profitable business.

To be able to create a working USP you’ll need to:

* Understand Your Target Audience – Who exactly are they and what problems do they have that you can solve?

* Get to Know Your Competition – How is your competition serving your audience?

* Know How Your Product Provides Value – How does your product provide value and solve problems for your audience?

* Know Why You Created It – Why are you the one who should create the product service that really works?

Researching each of the four points above will help you gather the information that you’ll need to write your USP. Using the information collected above, you’ll want to write your USP in a concise, creative way that connects you to your market and explains how you solve their problems and fill their needs differently from your competition, in a way that resonates with your customer.

To write your USP answer the following questions:

* Product Name – Write down what you want to name the product.

* Description of Product – Describe your product succinctly.

* How Product Works – Explain how the product works.

* How Product Is Different – Tell your audience how your product is different.

* Why You Created the Product – Explain why you created the product or service.

* Why They Should Buy It – Tell your audience which problems the product solves.

* Explain the Guarantee – This is where you tell them they’ll get their money back, or somehow show them that trying your product or service is risk free.

To develop your USP, answering these questions will tell your customers (and anyone involved with your business) what you do, why you do it, and why someone should buy from you. That’s what the USP does. What makes it work is that it’s something you and your entire organization can look to when creating new products, services, or marketing for the products and services.

You need to be able to describe the unique benefit to your clients if they purchase your products and services. But, having a clear USP isn’t just beneficial to them – it’s beneficial for you and your organization too because you need something to focus on to keep your marketing messages on track.

The other way to make your USP work well is to have it be short and concise. After you collect all the information and answers, you’ll use it to write your USP. But you will narrow it down immensely. Your entire USP should not be more than a short paragraph of about 50 words or less that you can easily use. Sometimes your USP can become your slogan. Think of some famous slogans. If they answer who, why, how, what, when, where and make a guarantee, then it’s their USP. Think: “The chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”

Of course, you can use your USP to create an entire story that you can put on your about page to answer questions your audience has and expand on your short USP.