Category Archives: Consulting

The New Basics

back-to-basics-social-media-marketingOn of the great things about being a Digital Communications blogger is that there’s always something new to write about. I’d like to say that the “Basics” never change in communications, and maybe they don’t. But, things change quickly in this field, and what was a new concept maybe a year ago, is now simply a requirement of keeping up with this world.  Here’s a few examples:

OLD BASIC – You’ve Got To Have a Website

That’s very true. Websites are a given now. In fact in the United States, many people simply don’t think of you as being legit without one. But, the kind of website you have makes a difference too. Having some sort of Blog component that is updated regularly is also essential for a couple of reasons. The first is fresh content will keep folks coming back to your site to see what’s  new. But secondly and more importantly, fresh, relative content also helps with SEO (you know that Google/Bing/Yahoo thing) that will keep your site relevant in web searches.

OLD BASIC – A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

As a writer, I can say this is 100% true. As a Digital Communications Specialist however, I’m here to tell you that pictures are not enough. First, let’s talk Meta Data. Did you know that the Internet is blind? That’s right. It can only see what you tell it to see, and the way it does that is through Meta Data. Meta Data is the background information that you add to media, you know,  pictures and videos. It usually consists of the file name, a title, a description and maybe a caption. If you do not tell the, ever so wise, Internet what you’re putting out there, it will have no idea, and thus your media will not be findable.

Now, besides the Meta Data, actual content is not a crime. Now I know in this age of all things pictures thanks to sites like Instagram and Pinterest, it’s easy to think that the picture is enough. But, if you are trying to reach a wider audience, always be sure to write a caption or some sort of description to go with your images. Ultimately what you want is a hook that will entice the view to want to know more, click the pic, and go to your website.

OLD BASIC – Everyone is on Facebook 

It does seem that way, doesn’t it? In a matter of 5 short years, Facebook is as ubiquitous as the internet itself. So, yes having a Facebook page is super important. But even more important is keeping it updated. Once a day is great if you can hack it, but do more than simply posting a pic. Use Facebook as an opportunity to tell an ongoing story. The whole point of Facebook, besides massive data collection, is to share things with your friends. If you are using Facebook for a business or project think of that audience as your friends as well. Keep them up to date with what you are working on, what excites you about your work, about the process. A friend of mine who recently started a flower business does a great job of this. Take a look at what she is doing and see how that might work for you.

OLD BASIC – You Must Be on Social Media

Of course you must be on Social Media, but maybe not all of it. There area literally thousands upon thousands of options for your Social Media time investment. While Facebook, I’m sorry to say, is a given, choose your other Social Media outlets wisely. Consider who your audience is and where they spend their time. Then cross post. If you have a Pinterest, cross post some items to Facebook, to let people know you’re there. The same can be said for Tumblr or Instagram and don’t forget your Meta Data here too!

There’s more to all of this of course: message, engagement, and the all important click count. This is just a start of things I will discuss here that are simply now the New Basics.

 

 

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Filed under asides, Consulting, Simple Life, Tools

When Customer Service Goes Social

Bad Customer ServiceOne bad experience can go a long way. For those who participate in Social Media, which is 65% of internet users, the instinct to share is seemingly compulsive. And what do we share? Our experiences in every day life. So what do you think happens when a customer has an unfortunate experience with your business? Yup. Everyone knows.

Knowing how to react to hostile feedback leaves small business owners with yet another hat to wear: Social Media PR Specialist. As reported in The Drum, near half (46%) of consumers rely on Social Media when making purchasing decisions. So, it’s now important to put your customer service ethic on display both at your place of business and in Social Media. The Drum article emphasizes this point,

 “Adam Cooke, creator of Sirportly, said ‘Not responding to customers effectively over social media platforms is reputation suicide. With the impact of word of mouth via social media getting stronger by the day, it’s getting more and more important to both avoid annoying customers in the first place and to be able to defend your brand when it’s being publicly bad-mouthed.’”

Customer complaints on Social Media can actually be an opportunity. It’s a chance for you to show how you deal with problems and respond to customer concerns. A prompt response can cull the mob-like mentality that happens with online bashing.

Of course it’s best to always give great customer service, and insist that those in your employ do the same. But when a customer isn’t satisfied, you can use that situation to tell the story of how you made it right, and if you do it well, that’s what everyone will know about via Social Media.

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Filed under Consulting, Message, Social Media

Have Social Media Savvy at Trade Shows

Just beyond the New Year is another season:  Trade Show Season.

When it comes down to it, trade shows are about two things: getting your name out there and engaging people.

Sure, for attendees it’s a great chance to get some choice SWAG, but for exhibitors, it’s a chance to get precious one on one time to deliver a message about a product or service. It’s also a great chance to collect followers on your Social Media accounts.

Sound a little like business gospel? Well it kind of is.

For exhibitors, trade shows are multi detailed endeavors that involve display design, logistics of getting materials to and from the show, and the all important take-away.

While having good SWAG can attract people to your table, it’s important that they get more than stuff. The take-away for the trade show attendee is something that not only reminds them of the product, but also prompts additional research about what is being offered. Thus, web addresses are now printed on every kind of SWAG imaginable, as are Twitter IDs and Facebook URLs.

For exhibitors the take away is a list of potential leads which can be collected in a number of ways. It use to be as simple as a fishbowl for folks to drop cards  and an email sign up sheet. But now, many trade shows offer scanners for attendee credential barcodes, that result in a detailed list for exhibitors after the show.

But for those who might not have the budget to pay for that extra service, there is a DIY way to collect detailed data on potential leads. First, have good SWAG, something folks really want. Next, establish a Social Media quib pro quo to get said SWAG.

At a show I did once, my sister made desktop succulent gardens in teacups. To receive a desktop garden, what I asked for was either a follow on Twitter or a Like on Facebook. Since most people carry smart phones, this was an easy way to both collect data as well as have a way to contact potential clients. The strategy worked. Although it wasn’t a very large or even successful show, (it was poorly attended) I still got a contract out of it.

Trade shows can be fun, exhilarating and exhausting. They offer a host of opportunities, many of which are outlined in a recent article published by Small Business Hub Asia. Knowing how to make the most of the time and the resources you have available is key to making trade shows a good investment for your business.

 

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Filed under Consulting, Message, Mobile, Social Media, Tools