DigitalNews Today: June 2015

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Using Social Media to Promote and Grow Your Business - Celestine Achi

Posted on Monday, June 29, 2015 No comments

Monday, June 29, 2015

This piece was inspired by the call I received this morning from an emerging entrepreneur seeking to know how he can grow and promote his business using social media.

Perhaps you have often wondered how to promote and grow your business using social media and desire to know where you can put your precious efforts to be most beneficial. This piece is for the treasure aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs aimed at underscoring some relevant tactics you can deploy to promote and grow your business.

It is becoming abundantly clear that social media marketing is necessary for business survival. The digital marketplace is no longer a pond where only big companies can swim. Small and medium size businesses now have the means to execute strong social media marketing strategies right alongside their bigger competitors.

With this level playing field in place, it is important to recognize which social media marketing strategies will work best for you.

An integral part of the social sales process is getting to know your prospects and establishing relationships—and it turns out that social media can help you accomplish this quickly and easily.

So how can you use social media to promote and grow your business?

Get Social
Businesses are continuously trying to understand the full potential of social media and it’s impact on the sales cycle. Having a good or great social media presence can help your business grow like wildflowers. But, this will only happen after you develop a large following and learn how to give them what they really want. 

In a recent report published by Salesforce, social media landed the top 3 spots out of 5 areas where marketers are said to increase their budget for 2015. If any company (regardless of size) wants to remain competitive, it is apparent that an investment in social media is pertinent.

The increase in investment in social strategies is due to a clear rise in ROI. In fact, 85% of businesses are enjoying return from their social media efforts. Facebook and Twitter are, and will continue to be, the most engaging social platforms, with LinkedIn, Google+, and Youtube not far behind.

Make sure your posts are consistent, creative, and engaging. At the end of the day, social media increases brand awareness, promotes loyalty, and boosts sales and therefore it is here to stay.

Get Mobile
In a day and age where 91% of adults have their cell phones within arm’s reach at all times, companies stand a significant chance of being seen or found via mobile device.

Over the last few years, having mobile friendly sites and content has been on the horizon; however, Google’s new ranking requirements have companies racing to get their websites mobile.

Along with search results and text messaging marketing, mobile friendly marketing promotes on-going email marketing campaigns, with one-third of consumers admitting they read emails on mobile devices. Clearly, the only way to stay competitive in the digital arena is to be mobile.

Get Discoverable
Know where your customers hang out on Social Media.

There are a variety of social media sites that serves different needs. Social advertising and paid search makes it easy for people to find you, review you and patronize you based on the type of business you’re in.

Don’t waste time chasing after customers where they’re not, find the where they already are. Look out for specific niche sites that focus on your industry.

Get Smart
Clearly understand your goals before spending that extra money. 

Most social media sites are free to use, and most offer paid ads or upgrades for better visibility. Spend your money on relevant social networks and targeted messages that will bring your business, not on generic Facebook and Twitter ads.

Get Strategic
A few years ago, driving traffic to a website or landing page was the major digital goal for most companies. 

Today, there’s a paradigm shift: you can use social media to build a community with customers over time, stay top of mind, and hopefully convert them at some point down the social selling cycle.

Get Shareable
Create shareable moments and to truly understand the power of your social media efforts.

Look at sales, leads, new customers, reservations and reviews. The next step after that is to ask yourself, “How can I inspire people to share their experience with my business?

Get Relational
Build relationships and take them to the Next Level as online marketing is growing and changing at an incredibly fast pace. It’s impossible to predict what new methods of marketing will be available in the future, but being innovative with your marketing strategies could keep you ahead of the your competition.

With social and mobile marketing being clear front-runner strategies, why not try combining these efforts with other businesses practicing the same approach? Take your business relationships to a new level by agreeing to cross promote.

How do you get started? Choose businesses that create content that can be easily associated with your product and services. Agree to allow them to create a blog to post on your website and social media channels and have them do the same for you. This cross promotion tactic can significantly increase the audience viewing your posts.

Get Content Addicted
Social media is used by 87% of content marketers to carry out B2B content marketing tactics. Every platform has the potential of being a highly effective way to start new relationships and nurture existing ones. With compelling and educational content, businesses can also use social media to differentiate from competitors and show expertise in an industry or subject area.

Although each platform appeals to different users, each one offers a unique and instrumental way of disseminating content that users can respond to or share.

Reach Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube audiences with targeted social ads. 

Custom designed social pages and engaging content will keep your brand front of mind. Build one-to-one relationships with your customers and increase your audience with custom page & professional written content.

Get Connected
Determine and find out where (the social platforms) your market is having conversations, and then begin the process of connecting and interacting with them. Facebook page is one of the best arenas for business to consumer sales.

However, with the recent change to Facebook’s algorithm, you may not get much visibility without considering social advertising to increase visibility and sales. It’s all about engaging with the community, presenting products in fun and interesting ways, and offering a collection of images and posts that appeal to the lifestyle of your end-user.

Connect with individuals and brands with profiles that match your clients’.  You do this by conducting a search on each social networking website or use a resource like to find people who are talking about your industry or using related keywords. Once you do this, ensure you connect with them, comment on their posts, re-tweet them, answer a question or share something they say. By contributing to their conversation you add value to their network and the connection becomes much easier.

Get Engaged
The most important thing you need to do is to Focus on Engagement by developing relationships which invariably turn into leads. People share a lot of information, and if you monitor and listen to what they are saying, you will eventually be able to engage in a meaningful conversation with them.

Once you develop a relationship, you can tell the prospect how your product or service might be something they want or need or a list of solutions to the challenges their business faces and how your service can help.

Get Measurable and Analytical
Be sure to monitor and measure in a meaningful way. Monitoring is an important component of your social media strategy. Mentions and Google alert are free tools recommended for monitoring on the go. Benchmark your share of voice against your competition and find your advocates.

Understand which social marketing campaigns preformed the best and why and get to know who your customers are and where they are located, what their interests are and how social is affecting website traffic. Understand exactly which campaigns, mentions and content led to conversions or purchase consideration.

Even with these tips, finding the perfect balance of getting to promote and grow your business on the social media is key to success. Are you looking for a complete overhaul of your current strategy or looking to augment your existing efforts? I am here to help. Send me a mail @ to schedule for a free consultation.

In conclusion, deliberately watch what happens when you leverage your brand on social media. If you do it right, you can grow your business and make friends along the way


Posted on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 No comments

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

While the digital world is abuzz with the glitz and glam of social media, email marketing is still the competent workhorse of the digital marketing world. Social media experts celebrate a consumer shift towards widgets, applications and desktop content as opposed to email marketing. Yet aficionados of email marketing say that email marketing is the most cost-efficient medium, with the best return on investment (ROI).

Social media has received a lot of attention in the online marketing world this year – and now the latest news is that online search is also going to change: Search engines will now include and consider social media content in their rankings.

What does this mean for your business or organisation?

If you’re not doing so already, it’s time to build up your social media presence – and why not incorporate your social media and email marketing efforts? It’s what we refer to as smart communications – and it’s why we’ve created the social share tool.

What is social share?
Social share enables you to publish your email newsletter straight to your social media accounts where it will appear as your status with a link to your full newsletter. The update will appear automatically on your profile and in your followers’ home page updates, without you having to log in and post the tweet manually.

What are the benefits?
Social media acts as word of mouth in the online environment, thus social posts boost your brand’s online presence. Publishing your newsletter socially exposes you to a new, wider audience and can garner more email newsletter subscribers, especially as you’re engaging with this potential market on a more personal level. All this increased online and social exposure is an ideal way of boosting sales!
Email marketing is a great way to grow your business since you can reach a large number of people for a very low cost. Plus, the variety of content you can send is almost limitless!

However, you can’t just send out a bunch of emails telling people how great your product is. This tactic will quickly get you added to the spam filter and there goes your chance of landing in the inbox for that person ever again.

Therefore, you need an email marketing strategy! Below are 5 strategic ways to use email marketing campaigns to help you grow your business.

#1 Offer Referral Rewards
Word-of-mouth grows your business. Advertising is great, as is online marketing; however, it is word-of-mouth that can goes the farthest because people trust their friends and will take their recommendations seriously.

Therefore, offer your current customers referral rewards via email and watch your business grow! You get more business and your current customers are rewarded for their loyalty. It’s a win/win for everyone.

#2 Have a Contest
Running a contest is a great way to engage your email audience. Be sure to offer a prize that will be considered valuable enough to warrant participation. Otherwise, your email may end up deleted.

You could run a social media contest where each post about your company on social media earns the user an entry. You could do a sweepstakes where they must click on a link within your email that takes them to a landing page on your website where they can enter. There are a number of ways to run your contest.

Be creative. Find something that suits your particular company’s needs. If you need help coming up with your contest, our marketing professionals here at TotalCom would be happy to help. We have experience in email marketing and can help you find the perfect solution.

#3 Include a Hashtag and Start a Social Media Conversation
Take the conversation beyond email and into the social media arena using hashtags and offering social sharing options in your email campaign. Make your customers feel included in the latest trend. Encourage them to post using the hashtag on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

To effectively utilize this strategy, be sure your content is relevant to your customers. Include current events, for example.. People are only going to engage in the conversation if it’s worth sharing. Consider the “Tweet factor” when composing your email.

#4 Use Drip Email Marketing to Nurture Your Leads
During a drip campaign a sequence of emails are sent out to your prospective clients. What is great about a drip campaign is that you can set up certain actions taken by the user to change the course of the campaign.

For instance, if your goal is to have people join a particular group, you can set up a sequence of 5 emails that will be sent over the course of 5 weeks. If at any point the user joins your group, the emails will cease.

Drip campaigns are a great way to help nurture your leads and keep your business top-of-mind until they make a buying decision.

#5 Make Your Call-to-Action Obvious
You want to make sure you give your email recipient an actionable next step. Your call-to-action doesn’t need to be a subtle hint. It needs to be a bold declaration.

You can use a clickable link for your call-to-action to make it easier for the user. For example, if your call-to-action is “Like us on Facebook today!” make those words a clickable link that takes the reader to your Facebook page where they can easily hit the “like” button.

If your call-to-action is for them to call for an appointment, include the number in big, bold numbers. Do everything you can to make following the call-to-action easy. Don’t require the reader to work to complete it or they may decide it’s not worth the time.

Interested in Email Marketing?
Do you need help growing your business? Email marketing could be the solution you’ve been looking for.

Contact me today and find out how I can help grow your business with proven marketing strategies
or sign up for a free trial  using my CihanMail tool

Social Media Engagement As A Reputation Enhancer - Celestine ACHI

Posted on Monday, June 8, 2015 No comments

Monday, June 8, 2015

Long disparaged as a forum for sharing silly videos and endless opining, social media channels like Twitter and Facebook are becoming increasingly important to company bottom lines. Social Media conversations allows companies to take the public’s pulse on critical issues while providing a new opportunity to engage interested audiences quickly and cost effectively. 

The changing media landscape, in which digital channels are challenging the supremacy of the traditional print outlets, means that companies and brands that ignore social media are doing so at their own peril Engagement is one of those buzzwords.  But it's a buzzword that has staying power. Brands are now paying more attention to consumer engagement over the conventional transactional engagement. There will certainly be more emphasis on companies interacting and influencing their social following in the coming years.

When it comes to social media, many people immediately think about cat videos or friends “checking in” at the newest restaurant down the street. Many Facebook news feeds are filled with friends, new and old, complaining about their latest flight or sharing a photo from a recent vacation. 

Buried within those layers of trivial content, however, is not only a world of breaking news and current events but an opportunity to engage audiences constructively and proactively. For those who take the time to learn how to use these platforms to their advantage, there also is a chance to assess — and possibly influence — the public discussion around issues that are critical to a company’s success or failure.

This type of engagement on social media can protect and enhance a company’s reputation, stave off and correct misinformation about its operations, and ultimately help preserve a company’s influence to have control of the conversion path. 

The following are certain rules of engagement to consider when it comes to social media engagement:

  • Content is King and Amplification is queen: strong content and engagement keeps your audience captive, allowing you to reach them, as well as their secondary connections, with marketing messages 
  • Become the brand and Represent your brand
  • Focus on interaction and avoid transactional engagement
  • Join the conversation and carve a niche
  • Become an authority for the industry you represent through effective content deployment
  • Become a regular and show up to social brand conversations
  • Be consistent and present
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