Social Media

Social Media Marketing Expands Your Reach

Does Your Corporate Strategy Include Social Media Marketing?

Social Media Marketing SMM

Social media marketing is the word-of-mouth that drives customer perceptions and purchasing decisions. Today, any effective corporate strategy requires that you need to be actively involved in the conversation. Here are a few essential points to think about if your company’s not already immersed in social media marketing:

– Most adults in the U. S. use social media. The social media explosion is far from over. Future growth is expected to come from duration or total time spent interacting via social media sites. In other words, your clients are already using social media and will do so at an even greater rate in the future.

– Social media impacts other organic search results. Social media is increasingly used to rank other forms of online content ranging from a website to blogs. Google and other search engines place great relevancy on sites that engage users in a meaningful manner.

– Social media is already part of the corporate strategy of most businesses. Sit on the sidelines and you run the risk of surrendering a meaningful market share to your competition.

– Social media expands your reach. The possibilities for growth are limitless. No other marketing medium compares to social media’s ability to connect with the vast network of user friends and family.

– Reaching new clients through social media costs less. Finding new clients can be expensive. Numerous studies show that social media marketing tends to cost less per new client – and substantially less for existing clients, than traditional methods.

– Social media is timely. Today’s pace of news and information is measured in hours or even minutes and seconds. Are your marketing efforts able to keep up? For businesses effectively using social media, the answer is “YES.” Advertising and marketing campaigns can be created as soon as a hot trend is spotted – leading to increased insight, active participation and sales.

A well-planned corporate social media marketing strategy allows you to focus on existing clients while, at the same time, target new customers. Social media marketing is allowing businesses to expand into new areas and reach new audiences that were totally unanticipated just a few years ago.

Social Media Strategy Can Boost Local SEO

Your Company Needs a Social Media Strategy

User-generated content on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are now a required element of a comprehensive location-based search program. It’s now just a matter of developing the right social media strategy that will give your marketing efforts the greatest possible impact.

Selecting the right social media strategy allows you to:

  • Communicate directly with your customers and prospects
  • Create engaging discussion topics
  • Go viral with your marketing
  • Boost your online brand-awareness
  • Organically propel your business to the top of local search results

The speed at which the social media landscape is evolving can make social media sites confusing places for most marketers.  Here are a few basic tips that can help your company achieve your marketing goals with a social media strategy:

1. Build a fan base on Facebook.  Nearly 50% of Facebook users follow a specific brand. Most will eventually purchase that brand. Facebook “Likes” have the potential to spread your brand awareness virally, delivering information to your fans and everyone befriended by your fans.

2. Tweet to keep in direct touch with your customers.  One in every four Twitter users follows a specific brand. Nearly 70% percent of them will end up purchasing that brand. Use your Twitter account to engage consumers by providing them with helpful information about your products and services. Incorporatr special offers, videos, and/or images to your Twitter followers.

3. Encourage customers to rate and review your business.  Consumers love online reviews because it allows them to see what others think about your business before making a purchasing decision. Reviews on social media sites improve your search engine rankings by helping drive free web traffic.

4. Leverage YouTube in local search results.  Embed your videos in Google Place Pages, websites, and social profile pages. Videos showcase your products and services, while putting a human face on your business.

5. Give customers incentives to share your information online.  “Share and Receive a Reward” programs encourage consumers to share your offers with their friends via Facebook, Twitter and other web channels. In exchange, offer discounts, special prizes or rewards.

6. Pinterest gets a huge amount of referral traffic. Your content must be visually “Pin-Worthy” in order for this social media portal to be effective for you.

Creating an effective social media strategy marketing will make it easier for your customers to find your business. It also makes it easy for your customers to spread the word about you online. The result can greatly amplify your web marketing results, generate calls, and boost your long-term brand awareness.

Google Plus – Not Just Another Social Network

Have you created a business profile on Google Plus?  Before you roll your eyes at the prospect of signing up to yet another social network, there are some compelling reasons to promoting your brand on Google Plus.

Like other social networks, Google Plus allows business to setup a business profile.  But that’s where the similarities end.  Google insists that Google+ is a “social layer”: not just a destination site, but something that Google has added as a layer across many of its properties.  In addition:

  1. Google Plus has over 250 million registered users – a pool of potential customers too large to ignore.
  2. It’s Google – the number one search engine in the world.  And as stated by Google CEO Larry Page, Google Plus gives business owners the upper-hand by allowing them to tap into the search engine traffic. 

Unlike some other social network sites, learning Google Plus can be a little more involved.  So what are some of the components that go into making Google Plus unique?

Circles

You can group people into different circles.  The best part is that the people you add to a circle don’t need to be on your friends list.  You can add anyone to any circle.  You’ll then receive updates from anyone you’ve added to one of your circles as a news feed – similar to the ‘follow’ in Twitter that allows you to read the update of others.

Hangouts

Hangouts allow you to have a video conversation with people in your circles.  You get to meet that want to meet.  It’s one of the most unique (and according to Google) best features on Google+.  Hangouts allow you to have multi-person video or group video chatting and stop paying Skype for group video conversations.

+Mobile

+Mobile allows you to take videos or photos of your mobile device and upload it immediately with geo-location. And you decide if your media should be private or public.  Google location services provide a list of public location that you can choose from, similar to Foursquare.

Sparks  

Sparks allow you to start up a conversation about pretty much anything that interests you.  Enter any of your interests into Google Plus and it will return article that you may want to read about your topics of interest.  According to Google, you’ll no longer have any reason to use bookmarking sites such as Delicious, Digg, and StumbleUpon once you have Sparks.

Huddled

Huddled is group conversation feature that allows you to chat with groups of people.  It’s similar to chat features on MSN, Skype, Blackberry Messenger, and others too numerous to name here.

+1 (Plus 1)

People can say they ‘Like’ something in Goggle Plus by +1′ing it. (Plus 1). +1′ing has been going on for a while now, but until recently your +1′s could only seen inside Google Plus. Now your +1’s can be seen outside of Google Plus in a place we all want to be seen: Google Search!  That has tremendous marketing potential for any business.  What marketer doesn’t want to get free Word-of-Mouth advertising?

Conclusion

So what is Google Plus, then?  Think of it as a combination of several popular social media and/or web services in one box, such as Facebook, Twitter,  Yelp, Pinterest, Instagram, Digg, plus other popular services you’re probably already using on a daily basis. If you’re already using any of those services, the learning curve for Google Plus should be a short one.

SoLoMo Digital Marketing Restaurant

SoLoMo Digital Marketing: Trending for Restaurants

Restaurants Need to Get Onboard Fast With SoLoMo

SoLoMo Digital Marketing Restaurant

No, it’s not a new fancy dish causing a rush through restaurant doors but rather, SoLoMo digital marketing, has been trending in social media and overall marketing campaigns for restaurants and bars. For restaurant owners that have not yet heard this buzz term, it’s time to learn about it and jump on the fast moving train. SoLoMo is an acronym for Social + Local + Mobile, and its principles should definitely not be overlooked for digital marketing campaigns. Implementing a coordinated and integrated SoLoMo strategy can have a major impact on your restaurant business and here are some of the reasons why:

Social

Restaurants are social! People want to try new restaurants, often based on what they hear from their friends and other trusted sources on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. In addition, people love to share their own dining experiences and photos, and that’s like getting free marketing! According to recent market research, nearly three out of every four customers (72 percent) have used social media to make restaurant or retail decisions based on comments and images that have been shared by other users.

Furthermore, location-based social networking websites, such as Foursquare and Yelp, enable customers to use their mobile devices and smartphones to “check-in”, write a review, vote and rank businesses, leave comments, invite friends, like, re-tweet and discuss experiences. The more social media users continue to share experiences in real time and the more sites that your restaurant is introduced to (and that you participate in), the more you increase your social media footprint.

Smart restaurateurs have already moved their social media marketing strategies beyond simply gaining likes and followers. They realize it’s about quality, not quantity. The key to success is identifying and engaging key influencers, remembering that engagement is a two way street and when customers engage you, whether fans or critics, you must respond.

Local

According to SmallBizTrends.com, one in every three searches has local intent. Therefore, location-based marketing is essential to any bar or restaurant’s marketing strategy. Geo-location offers that go out based on the location of an individual, will be particularly relevant in attracting the new customer, maybe a visitor or tourist looking for a local experience or deal. In addition, proper search engine optimization (SEO) will make it easier than ever for local restaurants to target consumers on the go and draw them in for a purchase when they happen to be right around the block.

Mobile

There are more than 91.4 million smartphones in use in the U.S. and 1.08 billion worldwide. Smartphones have most of the same capabilities of a computer, from checking and sending emails to viewing websites, and surfing the net. What’s interesting part is that almost 50 percent of all smartphone users are the most frequent restaurant goers! When looking for restaurant ideas and recommendations, there’s a very good chance your customers will be searching for you on their mobile device.

mobile and digital marketing restaurantIn today’s “instant and mobile” world, people are looking for and wanting information instantly. To get that instant information, they access the web via their smartphone or other mobile devices.  The newest mobile trends for restaurants are:

– Re-tooling their websites so they work properly on mobile devices

Customizable mobile apps

The shame is that a large number of restaurants and bars are behind the curve in understanding the importance of creating mobile content. Digital coupons and other offers sent directly to consumers cell phones, mobile apps, Passbook or text messages will continue to expand local restaurants’ reach and hit their target markets very directly. Your offer gets right into their hands –via the device they’re holding.

Mobile marketing offers restaurateurs the opportunity to target diners not just by demographics but by location as well. Mobile also evens the playing field between the big and small business, allowing any brand from a mobile food van to a well-known national restaurant franchise to inform consumers of their latest offers, nearest locations, and phone numbers. Remember, SoLoMo is “instant and mobile” and that is what consumers are looking for.

So how can you speed up your SoLoMo marketing strategy? Here are some ideas:

1) Focus on the social networks.

With so many social networking sites available, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. Your best bet at the start is to focus your social media marketing efforts on a few channels, rather than too many different platforms. Perhaps start with some of the big hitters like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Foursquare and Yelp.

2) Reward a customer check-in.

Local check-ins can help boost your restaurant’s local search visibility. Maybe offer your customers a discount on their next meal or a free appetizer by frequently checking-in at your location on Foursquare, Facebook, Yelp or Google Places.

3) Invest in a mobile-friendly website and customized mobile app.

This is most important. Every bar and restaurant needs a mobile-friendly website designed for the mobile web browser. Surprisingly, though,a Restaurant Sciences industry study reveals that 95 percent of independent restaurants do not have a mobile website, and only about half of chain restaurants have some sort of mobile site. If your restaurant does not already have a mobile-friendly site, it’s critical that you do so soon.

Next, invest in a customizable mobile app. Customized mobile apps incorporate a number of features that can increase sales, improve service and increase customer engagement. Nowadays there are mobile app options for custom apps that can meet just about any budget. The number of people who use iPhones, iPads and Android devices continues to grow at a phenomenal rate and that growth won’t be slowing down any time soon. Restaurateurs who are first to realize the benefits of leveraging this technology will gain a tremendous advantage over their competition. Imagine being the first (and possibly only) restaurant in the neighborhood to have your phone number, directions, location, menu ordering, events, and specials in the pocket of every person in the community with your app!

With proper implementation of SoLoMo digital marketing, you can provide your customers with positive experiences full of relevant messages, value, benefits, and rewards. Get into the SoLoMo mindset and watch your business and customer relationships grow!

Content marketing strategy

Content Marketing Strategy Matters

The Power of Content Marketing in a Digital World

Content marketing strategy

Content marketing takes time and effort because you actually have to listen to your customers and know what their needs and challenges are.

You can no longer solve your marketing problems by just purchasing advertising, even if it’s a high profile space such as a Super Bowl ad. You must make a real connection to your current and potential customers by focusing on information that addresses their true concerns.  In today’s digital marketing world, what the customer wants is more important than what you have to sell. Your message across the board must be in sync with your niche.

So how do you achieve your marketing goals in today’s world of blogs and social networking?  The simple answer — and the not so simple answer — is content marketing.  For many businesses content marketing requires a whole new mindset.  For this reason alone, content marketing in the digital media age can be a challenge.

Here are a few points to better help you understand the power of content marketing.Content Marketing Strategy with Content Editor and Writer

Content is more important than the offer.

Customer relationships don’t end with the payment.

News and press releases are no longer just meant to be picked up by the press; Official statements should be compelling and help customers find your content on the web.

Permission transferred is permission lost.

Communicating directly with customers is ideal. Keep in mind, content marketing can impact your influence, authority, online reputation, and SEO search rankings.

Hiring a content editor is quickly becoming a must for many companies.

Most business websites talk a great deal about how great the company, products, or services are but they forget about the customer.

The blogging community can be just as influential, if not more than traditional media and news sources.

Collaboration is critical. Work with your teams — social media, branding, PR, marketing, design, and sometimes even your technical staff and customers — when developing key content and distribution channels for your content marketing strategy.

The old way of marketing is where businesses talked at customers, constantly interrupting their lives.  Content marketing and its top trends for 2014 point to the importance of connecting with customers. Neuro-marketing and native advertising principles can also affect content marketing.

You can experience content marketing first-hand by developing a content calendar, including your “owned media” in social media networks, starting a blog, white paper, and similar efforts.  Write information that your customers want to read instead of dictating to them.  You learn the lesson quickly by evaluating your insights and analytics. Content marketing is art and science combined.