Friday, July 31, 2015

5 Reasons Why Someone Should Like Your Facebook Business Page

One of my biggest pet peeves is when a person, or a business, just blasts out: “Like us on Facebook!” or “Follow us on Twitter!” without explaining the reason why. Humans are selfish beings, so as business owners we need to give people the “selfish” reason why they should like our page. 

For instance, I would like local business owners to like my page on Facebook and follow me on Twitter because I’m offering them value, such as tips on how to grow their business through online marketing. They get something of value for themselves, by following me. That’s just my example — your reasons may be different! Here are five different reasons you can give people for why they should follow you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.

1. The first reason is to get tips! Say you own a landscape company. You might say to people, “Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook because we’re always giving tips on how to have a beautiful, luscious, green yard.” I would “like” that in a heartbeat!

2. The second reason is events. Maybe you have a brick and mortar business and you’re hosting an event, with bounce houses, things for kids, etc.  You might can tell people, “Hey, like us on Facebook so you can keep up with all our fun events!”

3. Reason number three someone should like your business page is to keep up with your specials. There are a lot of service businesses that like to give out specials, such as beauty salons or auto repair shops. Specials are a great “selfish” reason for someone to like your page. “Hey, give us a like on Facebook, because we’re always posting about different monthly specials!”  Your customers will say, “Oh, yeah! Sure, I want to keep up with your specials. I’ll go ahead and give you a like!”

4. The fourth reason why someone should like your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter is to keep up with special closings, inclement weather, etc. This happens a lot. We’re here in Texas where it can go from sunshine to rain to ice in the same week! So one thing we can do is to communicate to our clients whether or not we’ll be open, which might save them some trouble. 

This is important for holidays, too. When people follow you they can see by a quick glance if you’re going to be open on a holiday or not. Let’s face it — people don’t want to call you to find out if you’re going to be open! They want to be able to check their Facebook, or look on Twitter and know if it’s a good time to pay you a visit, or stay home and save themselves some time and trouble. 

5. The last reason I want you to explain why someone should like your Facebook page or follow you on twitter is because of customer service! Tell your current and potential clients: “You can follow us, or like us on Facebook, and actually message us if you have a question, or comment. We can reply back to comments right here, and you don’t even have to call us!” Again it’s funny, we live in a day and an age where people want to use their smart phones for everything except calling! So give them this avenue to be able to provide customer service to them. 

One caution, though:  If you’re not able to keep up with your social media stream and actually be able to reply back to these comments, do not put that out there as a selling tool for you! If you do have someone monitoring messages and tweets, etc., then yes, go ahead and throw that out there! “Hey! Follow us on Twitter, because you can always tweet us with a question or a concern, and we’ll get right back with you!” Our clients love that we are able to do this for them so they can focus on running their businesses.

Again, I hope this arms you with enough reasons that when you say “Hey, give us a like on Facebook!”  you’ll be able to give your customers some concrete reasons why. This way you’ll grow your pages organically with people who want to like your page, and who are not just giving you the “guilty like.”

I hope this helps you grow your online presence! Please share this with a business owner who would love to connect with more local residents. As always, please feel free to add your comments below!

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Monday, June 29, 2015

How To Market Your Business When You're On Vacation

You’re a small business owner, but you want to go on vacation. What do you do with your marketing while you’re out of town?

Right now we have two clients who are away on vacation. They’re having a great time! Because they have us to manage their marketing and social media efforts, they’re not missing anything when it comes to exposure.  If someone were to message their page right now and ask them a question or relay some kind of a concern, we are able to reply back to that customer even though the business owners are away having a great time on vacation. The customers never notice that the business owner is away!

Now imagine if our clients did not have us in place. That potential customer just sits there, or that message just sits there, unanswered. Eventually that customer is going to go with someone else because they did not get a timely response. No one is going to wait a week for a business to get back from vacation to respond to their concerns. 

Our clients cannot afford to just shut down their marketing for a week because if they do they will lose exposure, and will lose the ability to provide timely customer service. It’s important for our clients to not have that down time. They have employees who are relying on them to keep their businesses in the forefront, not only from a marketing perspective, but also from a customer service standpoint. This is why it’s important that you have a company you can trust to manage your social media and marketing efforts while you’re away. 

So whether it’s our company or another company that you trust, make sure you have someone reputable to manage your social media and marketing. Then as a business owner you can actually get out, take a vacation, and your marketing and exposure never skip a beat.

For more social media tips, please join us on Facebook here: Market With Mario

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

How Small Businesses Can Compete With Big Businesses

One of my favorite aspects of social media is that it really levels the playing field. What do I mean by that? No matter who you are — a solo entrepreneur, a small business, or a large corporation — we all advertise in the same space. 

If you’re a small business you may not be able to afford radio spots, or a huge billboard in a busy location, or a TV commercial. Think about the Superbowl commercials: there’s just no way a solo entrepreneur or small business owner can fit into that space! However, Facebook, Twitter, Google and all the other social media channels allow us to to use the exact same media space as the big businesses, and to really compete at the same level. 

Think about this: Everyone walks around with a smartphone, an iPad, of some kind of screen. (Look around you next time you’re dining out, or at a stoplight!) People are constantly engaged with their phones and devices, on various social media channels. When small businesses take advantage of this, they can really stay connected with their customers and compete with just about anyone out there. You might not have the big TV commercials, but you have big exposure anyway!

This is why I highly recommend that you are active with your social media. And if you don’t have time because you’re too busy running your business to manage your social media, let us know! We’d be happy to help you out. Feel free to add your feedback by commenting below. Thanks! 

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

How To Measure ROI From Online Marketing

All right, business owners, I have a challenge for you! I challenge you to stop asking the question, “How did you hear about us?” 

"Why did you choose us?"

You may think I’m crazy. How are we supposed to know what marketing efforts are working – or aren’t – if we don’t ask that? But what if we changed the wording and instead asked, “Why did you choose us?”

Sometimes, “How did you hear about us?” does not tell the whole story. Let’s say you have a mailer or some kind of print literature. I might get this mailer and notice the Facebook and Twitter icons at the bottom. If I search out your Facebook page and see that it has a lot of good content and it’s helpful, I’ll think “Wow, this company is really on the ball!” And that may be the deciding factor of me choosing to use your services. But afterwards if I were to fill out a form that asked, “How did you hear about us?” I would check “mailer,” when the real reason I chose you was because of content on your Facebook page. You’d never know that from my feedback on your form. 

Was it the mailer or Facebook posts? Or both?

Another business might have the opposite scenario. It could be you’ve been following a brand or company on Facebook for years but never really did business with them. One day you get a mailer or an email that really sparks your interest. You think, “Wow, this is really cool, I think I’m going to go ahead and take advantage of this offer!” Well again, when they ask “How did you hear about us?” you’re going to say you heard about them through the Facebook page. And yes, you did hear about the from Facebook at first, but it was really the mailer that sealed the deal and brought them your business.

So by asking the question, “Why did you choose us?” you get an idea of how all your marketing efforts come together. Social media is important but it is not the end-all, be-all. It’s a complement to your other marketing efforts such as email campaigns, in-person networking, etc. What you’re really doing with all of your efforts is building relationships. And if you were to change that one simple question from “How did you hear about us?” to “Why did you choose us?” you’ll get a full understanding of how this relationship-building is working for you, and which of your marketing efforts are really paying off.

If you have any other ways to check ROI from marketing efforts, please add in the comments. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Why A Social Media Strategy Needs To Be Diversified

Facebook is great, obviously! It’s the 800 pound gorilla in the room when it comes to social media marketing. The whole world seems to be on Facebook! But there is more to social media marketing than Facebook. I know, it’s hard to believe, isn’t it?

I want to share some reasons why it’s not a good idea to make your whole social media marketing strategy depend on Facebook, and talk about some other things you can do. It’s sort of like thinking about an investment portfolio - it’s always better to diversify, instead of putting all your money into one investment.  You don’t want to put all of your eggs into the Facebook basket!

Don't have all of your eggs in the Facebook basket

We have our clients use other social media platforms as well. I want to share some advantages of other social media platforms with you.

First, let’s talk about Twitter. There are two main reasons I love Twitter. The first is that you can get exposure without having to have someone follow you (the equivalent of “liking” you on Facebook).

The second is that you can use hashtags on Twitter. The “hashtag” is just this: #. It’s Shift + 3 on your keyboard - you know, we used to call it a pound sign on our old phones. Remember that? Now it’s a powerful little symbol that we use to mark keywords. So if I use #socialmedia in a tweet, everyone who searches on that hashtag will see my tweet! I will be blended into the conversation, and they will see me whether they follow me or not. For instance, let’s say that you are a local business in McKinney. If you use #mckinney in your tweets, anyone who searches on “McKinney” or clicks on a #mckinney hashtag will see your tweet!  And they will see it whether they follow you or not. 

Another powerful aspect of Twitter is the search feature. You can use various search terms to find the service you need. For instance if you are running a pest control company, you can search for people using words like “termites,” “bugs,” or “pest control” in their tweets. You can see who is tweeting about those things in real time, in your area! This can put you right where your clients need you, when they need you! Many people wish Facebook operated in real time, but Twitter actually does, making it such a powerful tool!

The Twitter search tool is powerful!

A third platform we have our clients on is Pinterest. Pinterest is great because it’s all pictures, all visual. You’ve heard the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words! Some people are very visual and love to see your photos on Pinterest, where they can easily pin them to their own boards to save your information and ideas. Plus it’s hard to believe but there are some people who just don’t like Facebook. My wife is one of them! My wife is never on Facebook. I could send her a message right now on Facebook telling her that she’d just won a million dollars, and she’d probably never get that until next week. But she’ll be on Pinterest tonight, “pinning” all kinds of things! So this is another area where you can blend in with the conversation and take advantage of it to reach people who are just not Facebook people.

A picture is still worth a thousand words

So you can see - there is much more out there for you to use than just Facebook. The more platforms you use, the more people you will reach, and you’re not stuck with all your eggs in one basket. And now that I’m finished with this article I’m going to upload a video to YouTube - which is yet another platform you can use to reach people! 

I hope this helps in developing your social media strategy! For more tips please visit us on Facebook at MarketWithMario.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

How Social Media Content Is Similar To Samples At The Grocery Store

Free Samples!

I’m running a business. So why on earth would I ever give away my product for free? I’m sure you’ve noticed that I do hand out content for free: my blog is full of tips and resources that you can use to manage social media and marketing for your business. I’m frequently asked why I do this.

Imagine that it’s the weekend and you’re doing your big grocery shopping trip. You walk in the door and what do you find? Free samples! You try a bite of something you weren’t sure if you wanted to buy - but then it’s so good you go back and pick up a box to take home! Grocery stores know that you’re much more likely to buy something if you can try a bit of it first. 

The truth is, this “sampling” works for all kinds of businesses, including service-oriented businesses. It sounds like it might not make sense for, say, a landscaping company to give out tips on how to take care of your yard yourself. Don't you want people to call you, instead of taking care of their own landscaping?

In fact those tips give your customers a sample of the work you provide. When you give them information they can use this shows your customers that they can trust you. It shows that you care about the work, and that you know what you’re doing. And once customers know they can rely on you for useful tips, they feel confident that you are the one to call when they need more help. They’ve already sampled your product, and come back to you for the whole package!

Think of your content as little snackable samples, and soon you’ll find that clients have bought the whole service from you.

Please feel free to add to the conversation by commenting below. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

How Social Media Marketing Is Similar To Fitness

One of the best analogies to describe social media marketing is to compare it to starting a workout routine.  Results will not be achieved on day one.  Not even on day two!  It takes a great plan, but more importantly, consistently.  Please watch this short video to see how social media is similar to fitness: