Have a problem with a brand or product? The first thing many of us (62% in fact) do is take to social media to demand response and resolution. This is because social media sites provide a direct line from company to consumer, giving consumers a chance to ask questions and voice concerns where they will definitely be heard. Now don’t panic the benefits of this direct line goes both ways, by having direct access to your consumers and their feedback both positive and negative you have the opportunity to develop your brand and update your customer service strategy. Now with 67% of consumers going online to engage brands on customer service issues if your customer service strategy doesn’t involve social media, it needs to. But never fear, in this blog, we will be looking at everything you need to know about using your social media sites to provide great customer service.
Introducing Social Media to your Customer Service Strategy
Bringing social media into your existing customer service strategy doesn’t have to be hard work, there are simply a few main points you need to include.
To make the most of your social media sites you will need to focus on building relationships with your customers rather than just selling to them (this has benefits far outside just customer service). If you have built relationships with your consumers, they are more likely to address a query or problem to your business rather than just leaving negative feedback. You should also be aiming to build a consumer advocate base, by creating good relationships and providing great customer service you will build a loyal fan base that will defend you against negative feedback online.
In order to provide the best customer service through your social media sites, you need to ensure you have a consistent social media presence and respond to any feedback as quickly and comprehensively as possible. Be aware that not all comments will be made out for your attention, so you will need to monitor your social media sites for any mention of your brand, this can be done using programmes such as Hootsuite or Buffer.
By creating brand specific hashtags for your business, it will make it easier for consumers to direct their feedback straight to you and for you to respond to their enquiry. Hashtags can also be helpful if you have a specific problem you want to help customers with, a specific product or website fault for example. You can add information and accurate content for your hashtags as well, adding another level of information you can provide.
Don’t be a Robot
Your customers want to know that their feedback has been read and listened to, how you respond to their feedback is vital to ensuring they feel this way. Mirroring you customers feedback is a great way to demonstrate that you have read and understood their comments and using their name and signing off with yours (or initials) will also help to make you seem like a human voice.
By including social media into your customer service strategy, you will help to grow your brand's reputation as well as ensure your customers get the most out of their pro
Choosing the right social media sites to promote your business on can appear to be a daunting task, with new sites springing up left right and centre it can get a bit confusing as to which would suit your business. Why not just join them all I hear you ask? Well, social media sites can be very specific and take time and effort if you want to make the most out them so joining all of them is not only a waste of your valuable time but also probably won’t do you any good. In this blog, we will cover what you need to think about when choosing your social media sites as well as some fact sheets on some of the top social networking sites out there.
First, you need to think about your GOALS, what are you looking to get out of your social media sites? By identifying your goals, you will be able to narrow down your social media sites, as certain sites lend themselves to certain business goals, like:
Building brand awareness
This is a case of getting your brand name out there and introducing new customers, perfect if you are just starting out, expanding or having a rebrand.
Generating leads and sales
This may seem like a given but it requires specific features from your social media sites, for example, they need to be link friendly in order to help you drive traffic to your website.
Social media can be a more cost-effective way of advertising your business, many social media sites have targeted ad functions that will help you reach your specific target audience.
Social media sites are a fantastic way to form a direct dialogue with your customers. It can enable you to deal with any issues quickly and effectively as well as helping you learn your customers likes and dislikes.
Speaking of your CUSTOMERS, next you need to focus on who your audience is and which social media sites they are using. Because if your customers aren’t using a particular social media site then it’s, of course, no good to you. The most direct way to find this out is a customer survey, by including questions about social media habits into a general customer survey then you have a direct line into their social media routine. However, if your business is newer or you don’t have direct access to your customer base then you can always look at the site's demographics and compare them to your ideal target audience.
Finally, you need to consider what type of social media CONTENT suits your brand and your products, is it a very visual business? Or is it more blog and article based? Each social media site suits different types of content because even while some are quite general, like Facebook, their users will always have a preference.
Once you have considered all of the above factors you are ready to choose your social media sites. Because we know your business goals may be varied we don’t expect you to pick just one but remember we recommend sticking to just a few, ideally no more than three.
Check out our fact sheets below to get you started.
As we all know social media is a fantastic marketing tool, it allows you to promote your brand, products or services to a wide and receptive audience. However, a stumbling block that many businesses come across when using social media is how to convert those likes and follows into in the flesh (or online) paying customers. In order to convert your social media audience, they primarily need to be able to trust you and to see that your products match their lifestyle. In this blog, we will be looking at how to achieve this and convert your social media audience into customers.
Identify Your Audience
By identifying your target audience, you are of course identifying your customer base. Most businesses will have a general idea of who they are marketing their products to? For example, male, 18-30 and based in the UK. However, to really capitalise on your audience you need to think in more detail about your potential customers, what are their shopping habits, hobbies where exactly do they live, where do they go out? If you identify these details, then you can pinpoint the very best way to target them and show how your products will fit into their lifestyle. Therefore, attracting and engaging with a social media audience that is much more likely to actually buy your products.
Design Your Strategy
Once you have identified your perfect audience you need to use that information to develop your marketing strategy in order to reach said audience. Start out by thinking what social media sites your desired audience is most likely to use, you will want to focus on 1-3 platforms, no more. Then you need to think about what type of content are your audience most likely to relate to? If your audience is into a healthy lifestyle, for example, you will want to be posting healthy eating guides and using bright fresh images.
However, to design the best marketing strategy for your business you need to consider not only your audience profile but also where your strengths lie. If words are your thing then you’ll be wanting to focus on blogs and quick witty Instagram captions but if your more conformable speaking, think about Facebook Live and YouTube. Also, think about your products, if you are a restaurant, for example, you will be relying on the more visual aspects of social media.
Deliver a Call to Action
You can have the best content in the world but if you don’t provide your audience with a call to action then they will never know what you need from them. Call to Actions such as like if you agree or tagging a friend are perfect for getting your brand out there but in terms of conversion you need to think more direct. ‘Visit our website for more details’ is a great one to use or providing a discount code for people to use in-store or online, gives your audience an incentive to become your customers.
In order to convert your audience into your customers, they need to trust your products are the right choice for them. In order to gain this trust, you need to be a stable and consistent presence on their social media feeds or they will disregard or forget you. By ensuring your content is consistent in terms of appearance and theme as well as consistent across all your social media platforms helps build a solid image of you in the minds of your audience. If they recognise and trust you, they will buy from you.
Simple but effective these steps will allow you to build the trust of your audience and show them that your products match with their lifestyle and are right for them. By doing this you will really see your conversion rate soar!
We LOVE our pets, and in the modern age of social media we want to share them with the world and let’s face it pet themed trends like the ‘what the fluff?’ challenge have had us glued to our screens! However, there are animals out there that are taking social media to the NEXT LEVEL. In this blog, we will be taking a look at our top 10 favourite Insta famous animals that (with a little help from their humans) are taking the social media world by storm.
Geordi La Corgi @lacorgi
This little cutie describes himself as a personal trainer and professional butt model and boasts an impressive 295K followers. Like all the best models he resides in LA and his Instagram feed is jam-packed with cute but stylish shots with pops of colour.
Lil Bub @iamlilbub
A self-proclaimed magical space cat, Lil BUB is definitely one of a kind and his 1.8 million followers certainly agree. An Instagram sensation, Lil BUB is his very own brand with plush toys, t-shirts and much much more. A bit of philanthropist Lil BUB has also managed to raise over $300,000 for animals in need.
Jill the Squirrel @this_girl_is_a_squirrel
Not your run of the mill pet, Jill describes herself as a vegetarian parkour expert who’s only weakness is her fear of the hoover! Jill’s 576K followers love her mix of zany get-ups, illustrated and snuggled up posts. Jill is another one with an entrepreneurial side with her own range of cushions!
Yōji Miyagi & Viktor @_wand_wand_
Perhaps some of the most stylish dogs we’ve seen on Instagram, Yōji Miyagi and his brother Viktor treat their 68K fans to a sleek monochrome Instagram feed. Too cool for school these Berlin based brothers are definitely not to missed!
Mr Pokee @mr.pokee
Another left field entry Mr Pokee won’t leave fans disappointed. His 625k followers are treated to snaps of him chilling out in all kinds of places, he’s truly living up to his title of worlds cutest adventurer (although we’d have to say he’s got some competition further down our list!). Check out his shop to get your hands on a personalised Mr Pokee polaroid!
Doug The Pug @itsdougthepug
Rolling with the big boys, self-confessed king of pop culture, Doug has a whopping 3.5 million followers and he dazzles them with cute pics and witty posts. A commercial juggernaut you can even find Doug the Pug plushies in high street stores!
Not everybody’s cup of tea, hairless guinea pig, Ludwik isn’t letting anything hold him back, describing himself as a ‘real zero to hero story’. He went from an abandoned pet to an Instagram star and entertains his 246K followers with adorable mini scenes and moral messages.
Loki the Wolfdog @loki
Feel the call of the wild with Loki the Wolfdog. Break hearts since 2012 this lovable adventurer has captured the attention of 1.7 million followers, with a mixture and breath-taking scenery and that derpy smile! He so popular he’s even got his own book out!
Smashing stereotypes this crafty little fox has stolen the hearts of her 2.3 million followers with her canine antics and winning grin! Her Instagram feed is an eclectic mix of cute close ups and cheeky behaviour, peppered with her canine and lizard pals.
Bolt and Keel @boltandkeel
Intrepid feline brothers, these adventurous kitty cats brave all weather to reach that horizon. Winning over their 104k followers with beautiful landscapes and the novelty of cats in boats! This pair not only rock Instagram but the publishing world as well, with their very own book.
That brings us to the end of our top 10 favourite animal Insta Stars, they’ve got the looks, they’ve got the brains and they’ve got this Instagram thing down!
Social media marketing has become the done thing in recent years and if your business isn’t on some kind of social network then you may well be missing out. However, the thing about social media marketing is, for it to be successful and grow, you need to interact with your audience or they won’t want to know. Social media has enabled people to feel connected to the brands they love and feel like they have a real input on products and services, without your interaction this feeling of connectivity just does not exist. In this blog, we will be giving you some top tips to interact with your social media audiences and keep them coming back for more.
A brilliant way to interact with people on social media platforms is to offer something a bit different, by making your interactions fun and light-hearted you will draw people in and enable people to feel a personal connection like they might have with friends.
Take an Interest
Interaction will NOT work if your audience doesn’t feel that it’s genuine, and the best way to make your audience feel like you are is if you take an interest. Both in what they are saying to and about you, as well as what they are saying about themselves. Everybody wants to feel special and taken notice of, this feeling is utilised all the time in social media marketing (user-generated content, for example, hinges on it). By taking an interest in the individual when you engage with them you are ensuring that they come away feeling positive about your brand.
Like in life, with social media marketing you get out of it what you put in and by spending time interacting with your audience you will reap the rewards. Interactions such as responding to comments and taking an interest in your audiences’ content will encourage brand loyalty and new audiences and therefore increase your exposure.
The restaurant industry today is no longer just about how good your food tastes, don’t get us wrong that still VERY important but you also need to create a buzz about your restaurant and employ the right marketing strategies to promote your business.
Social media is a creative and cost-effective way to draw attention to your restaurant and let your potential customers know what you're all about. In this blog, we will be looking at some super simple and inspired social media marketing strategies for your restaurant.
Write a Food Blog
Let’s start off simple if you run a restaurant you really need to be thinking about writing a food blog. It’s a great way to promote the food you serve as well as building a brand identity for your restaurant. If you’re a vegan restaurant, for example, its great way to tell the story behind your food as well focusing not only on the food but the lifestyle choice. Social media is the perfect way to share your blog and in turn draw attention to your restaurant so don’t forget to think about the latest food trends and piggyback on some popular hashtags!
Create a Legend
When creating your restaurant’s social media profile, a great way to make your business stand out is to create an awesome backstory! This can be completely true, slightly exaggerated or a work of pure silly fiction it doesn’t really matter as it’s about creating something exciting that will entertain people. This gives your restaurant more personality and builds a brand identity that could easily draw customers to you rather than your competitors.
Give Your Star Dish its Own Personality
A really quirky way of getting your customers attention is creating a social media account for your restaurant’s signature dish. You can post different photos of the dish along with thoughts and opinions as if from the perspective of said dish, always linking the content back to the restaurant. By doing this you can create a cult following and really set yourselves apart.
Be it, the amount eaten, the time taken or your chilli heat tolerance everybody loves a food challenge! Having an in-house food challenge will really do wonders for bringing in new customers. By offering a small incentive, for example, if you beat the challenge your food is free, and by advertising it prominently on social media people will actively seek you out to take part. It’s also a great way to exploit user-generated content as people will always want to take photos of a spectacular food challenge and share it with friends, so don’t forget to create a memorable hashtag!
Show off Your Staff
Family run business? Or do you just have really great staff? Then use that to your advantage, show them off. By including pictures of your staff and featuring their personalities on social media (don’t forget to ask first!) you will immediately make your restaurant more appealing to customers. If people know who is going to be serving them they will feel more connected and reassured that they will receive great service!
A great social media strategy is the perfect way to create a personality for your restaurant, and this will help set you apart from the competition. It is also the perfect platform to advertise any special deals or gimmicks your business has going on. By using social media to get your customers through the door they will have a chance to taste your amazing food and then, in turn, will promote you on social media, it’s a fantastic cycle!
Social media has become an undeniable force in the marketing world and is vital for small businesses wanting to promote themselves and reach their full potential. However, we know that managing your business’s social media accounts can be a little daunting and certainly time-consuming! In this blog, we will be looking at some of the best social media management tools out there to help small business owners.
The following tools have been designed to help with all aspects of your marketing strategy, making it quicker and more effective leaving you time to focus on growing your business.
Hootsuite is a popular social media management tool that allows you to schedule your social media posts in advance. Great for small businesses you can programme content for all your social media accounts at once to ensure consistency and flow between them. It’s super easy to use, it’s simple to add accounts as well as different account managers so it can be a group enterprise! The tutorials and teaching tools are perfect for a growing small business as they not only teach you how to use their tools but provide great insights into how to run a social media strategy.
Whilst not strictly a social media tool Google Analytics can be invaluable when it comes to focusing your social media strategy. Using social media to drive traffic to a website is vital when it comes to small businesses. By using analytics for your website, you can track which social media platform and conversations you are receiving the most traffic from and therefore help you make the most of your content.
Like Hootsuite, Commun.it is a social media management tool designed to make managing your social media accounts quick and painless. However, Commun.it is different in that it helps you manage your relationships on social media rather than your content. Currently compatible with your Twitter and Facebook accounts Commun.it will look at your social media community and highlight who is supporting you and your content (by favouriting, liking, retweeting or mentioning). It will also highlight any posts that you may need to reply or engage with as well as showing you who like or follows you and who doesn’t. This is great for small businesses as it’s a great way to cut down on your social media time by streamlining your engagement.
Mailchimp is moving away from social media a little but nevertheless a very valuable weapon to have in your arsenal. A brilliant way to promote and sustain a small business is emailing out newsletters and offers to previous customers to entice them back. Mailchimp is an invaluable tool for doing this, an email marketing and newsletter service it takes care of everything you need to think about it when it comes to sending things out to customers. It also makes it really simple to set up a database of contact details which you can add information such as age, gender and location to create targeted campaigns.
Making the most out your social media doesn’t have to be a chore, by using these tools you can really cut down on the amount of time you spend as well as making the most out of time you do spend. However, this being said if you prefer a more human approach to your social media you could always use a marketing agency that will look after your social media and website for you.
LinkedIn, despite being popular with small business owners, entrepreneurs and big businesses alike, still remains a mystery to many. In this blog, we will be looking at what exactly LinkedIn is as well as it’s strengths and weaknesses to help you decided if it’s right for your business.
Embarrassed at your lack of LinkedIn knowledge? Well, you shouldn’t be, despite being one of the most popular social networks many people are still at a loss as to what LinkedIn is and how to use it. In it’s simplest form it is a professional social media platform that enables businesses to network, promote themselves and carry out marketing strategies. Professionals can also keep up to date with new innovations and business news as well as look for new employment opportunities. The best way to think about it is an online networking platform, where lots of businesses and professionals are in the same place looking to make connections in the right fields.
Strengths of LinkedIn
Weaknesses of LinkedIn
As you can see there are many positives to LinkedIn and not many negatives, however, that one negative is very important to consider when it comes to using LinkedIn. For making connections within your business, no matter what sector you are in it is invaluable but, if you want to build a consumer-driven brand you are definitely going to need other social networks such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook alongside your LinkedIn account.
The concept of influencer marketing is nothing new, we have always looked to other people for shopping inspiration, however, with our increasing devotion to social media the idea has taken on new life. In this blog, I will be looking at what influencer marketing is and how you can make it work for you.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Social influence has been around for as long as we have had a society, we look to our peers and our idols for ideas on how to dress, how to eat and how to live our lives. What influencer marketing does is capitalise on this innate aspect of human nature, by using influential people to market a product rather than all out advertising.
The most obvious influencers today are of course celebrities, we see what they are wearing and immediately want to emulate it. I once worked in a department store, and after Cheryl Cole wore a particular pair of tights we sold out immediately the next day and were inundated with requests for several weeks after that! However, not all influencers are famous, at least not in the traditional sense, there is a new brand of influencers out there, the social media IT crowd. Followers alone, however, don’t make an influencer, influencers need to be:
Influencers can be sorted into different categories depending on how many people of within their reach.
Surprisingly micro-influencers are the most effective regarding influencer marketing as they are able to carry out more social interaction with their followers and therefore have higher engagement.
How Influencer Marketing Works?
Influencer marketing essentially works by using the reach of your chosen influential person to promote your brand and products. This, of course, can simply be done by paying influential people like celebrities to wear your brand of clothing, however, this is more celebrity endorsement than influencer marketing and the public have become more sceptical toward it as we all know they are getting paid. While social media influencers can be paid to promote products the best form of influencer marketing is free.
Influencers want to be recognised, they want to be seen to have the latest products and be privy to new information if your products are good enough and your story exciting enough influencers will be more than happy to promote in exchange for freebies. Authenticity and honesty are vital, desire for it has been the driving force behind the rise in influencer marketing and without it, influencers and their audiences will see right through your brand.
Why use it?
The younger generation is craving ‘real’, they no longer want to be spoken down to by big brands, they want access to real people with real opinions. By allowing your products to be unbiasedly reviewed you are winning customers and are tapping into this new younger market that has unbelievable future spending potential. By using influencers, you are also avoiding using adverts in the traditional sense, and therefore ad blockers cease to be a problem.
Influencer marketing makes a lot of sense and is clearly here to stay. It has appeal for all kinds of brands of all different sizes, plus who doesn’t want a bit more authenticity in advertising!
Whilst Pinterest may not yet be as popular as Facebook or Instagram, it is a rapidly growing platform that boasts nearly 200 million monthly users. Pinterest is a network where people go to be inspired, a huge part of this is looking for the perfect product that will help them achieve their desired lifestyle. By using aspirational pins to promote your products you expose your website links to a wide and eager audience. In this blog, we will be outlining 5 simple steps to building the perfect Pinterest page for your business.
Step One. Build Your Profile
One of the most important aspects of setting up Pinterest for your business is adding that all important Pinterest SAVE button to your website, this will allow your customers to Pin products they love and boost your Pinterest popularity. Once you have added a SAVE button and created your Pinterest business page you will need to customise your profile. This is like any other social network profile, it needs to stand out and represent your brand’s personality. Achieve this by using custom images, colour schemes and your company logo. It’s not only the visual branding, use your company bio to attract your target audience, not forgetting those all important SEO words.
Step Two. Get Pinning
Now your profile is ready to go it’s time for the fun stuff, pinning. Before you start we recommend you install a Pinterest browser button, this will enable you to pin images quickly from your website. When creating your boards, think carefully about the title, it will need to both explain what your board is about as well as grabbing your pinners attention and if you want to avoid being cut off it will need to do it in 20 characters or less! Pinterest is a visual platform so think carefully about you board cover picture, is it the most eye catching image you have? If not, it should be!
Step Three. Be Visual
Pinterest is designed to inspire people through pictures, so your images need to be flawless! They should be clear, well lit and in focus as well as the correct size, any taller than 1560 pixels and it will be cut off, spoiling the effect. In order to stand out from the crowd and get your pins circulating, you will need to showcase your products creatively, remembering that lifestyle shots outperform product images with 30 percent more click throughs. Don’t forget to make the most of the descriptive field, including important keywords so you are hitting all the right searches.
Step Four. Analysis is Key
Pinterest analytics are your best friend! They will tell you:
Step Five. Don’t Forget to Socialise
Pinterest is still a social network, you need to engage to get results! Follow other boards and profiles within your industry (non-competitive of course) as well as liking and engaging with related pins. By doing this you create an audience around your brand like you would any other social network, with other brands following you in reciprocity. You could also create a group board, inviting employees and brand evangelist to contribute.
By following these 5 simple steps you can create a successful Pinterest page that will grow your business and place your products on everybody’s wish list.