Marketing 101

Today we go through some key areas of your marketing presence. Often times, small business owners ask, “Where do I even begin when it comes to marketing?” In this video we go through 6 key areas, Online Reputation, Listings, Social Media, SEO, Advertising, and Website.

Restaurants NEED To Do This!!!!

Today we go over some comparisons between email marketing and Facebook Messenger marketing. How do the two differ? With Facebook Messenger marketing we are experiencing over 85% open rates on messages. Compare the results in the video to what you are currently doing.

 

What’s your strategy?

One of the biggest mistakes we see people make is that they don’t have an actual social media marketing strategy. They don’t set any goals or know how to achieve them. They are inevitably disappointed with the results of their marketing efforts. Today we go through how to formulate a basic social media strategy.

How well do you know your customers?

No matter if you have hundreds of customers or just a handful, getting to know them can be the key ingredient to repeat business and or long term customer loyalty.

Here at MaxExposure we pride ourselves on offering the highest  level of customer service possible, down the the smallest detail of greeting our customers by name when they call (caller-ID, is KEY for this :)). Asking your customers about their life, major events coming up, what they did this past weekend or even remembering their order (at a restaurant) helps to make your customers feel appreciated and that you care about them for more than just their role as a patron.

So how do you work to keep your customers? In age of social media, its easy!

  1. Host an Event – Events are a great way to get to know your customers outside of the “buyer-seller” relationship. Whether its a wine & cheese mixer at retail store, a customer appreciation happy-hour, or a special “members-only” class at the gym, having small events allows you to meet each of your customers and spend time getting to know them!
  2. Connect on Social Media – Highlighting your customers and or taking pictures of them in your business is a great way to not only thank them for their business & loyalty, but also a great way to increase your social exposure. When you feature your customers on your social media, it’s very likely that they will repost and promote you to their following.
  3. RESPOND to YOUR REVIEWS! – Responding to your customers reviews when they are complimentary is JUST as important as when the customer has an issue. Thanking your customers publicly online, is crucial to ensuring they come back and visit your business again. The smallest gestures have the biggest impact, BUT, if you feel you don’t have time to keep up with your reviews, we’re always here to help you by monitoring and responding to them on your behalf! #shamelessplug
  4. Create a loyalty rewards program – we’re pretty sure it goes back to the days of potty training, but our society is highly driven by cause & effect rewards. Whether its a free wash after 10 car washes purchased, a punch card towards a free sandwich  or a 25% off coupon after your 1st visit, about 64% of small businesses say their loyalty programs have been successful.

Don’t worry, while you’re taking the time to get to know your customers, we are here to help monitor your reviews and manage your social media!

Need help with your online marketing? Check out our 80 products and services offered!

 

Content Marketing Mistakes that YOUR Business Could Be Making

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If you don’t focus your energy into creating the right content, your time has been wasted. The three most common marketing mistakes that every business makes are…

  1. Filler content is better than nothing
  2. “If I had more time, my content would be better”
  3. Beautiful content = larger audience & more leads

Here’s why these three points are completely wrong…

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Filler content is better than nothing

Content Marketing

If a majority of the content that you put out is “filler,” than your audience or rather, your customer base will stop looking at your content because “filler content” holds no value. It is better to take more time creating better content than to simply inundate social media with content that has no value.

Source or develop content that provides your audience & customer base with something that they can relate to. Articles that are relevant to your industry but also give your customers interesting information provides value and is a great way to help gain exposure but not inundate your customer with information solely about your business.

Decreased value will lead to decreased interest in your product or service. Some customers in your audience may even begin to associate your product or service with dis-value because your social presence creates an aura of quantity rather than quality.

“If I had more time, my content would be better”

Finding time for social content can be challenging

Taking 10 or 20 minutes out of your day to focus on content creation for your company helps keep your company’s content fresh and new. Taking this time out of your day will also leave you feeling less stressed because you know that you will have time every day to plan or create instead of “half-a&*ing” content at the last minute.

Beautiful content = larger audience & more leads

Beautiful Content

Unless you’re a travel agency or clothing company, beautiful content does not always equate more leads. For example, if you’re a plumber, customers don’t want to see stock images of shiny pipes on your social media (save that for the website). They’d rather see real projects that your company has completed… even if they are the most visually appealing. Showing real projects and or videos of job sites shows the customers what to expect but also how you and your team work.

Transparency: Your Top Priority

This past week I discovered that one of my favorite clothing brands was not animal-friendly. As a vegan, this greatly upset me because my lifestyle is aimed at sustainability and limiting my use of animal products. In my rage, I wrote a well-worded, polite yet also snippy post on one of their social media sites. I was hoping that the company would contact me apologizing for their mistake. When I checked this social media site about an  later hour, I discovered that my post had been removed by the company. This brand not only removed my feedback, but they also destroyed a possible dialogue and refused to give me A+ customer service. They lost my loyalty, my future business and my good opinion of them.

This entire scenario could have completely avoided if this brand was simply… transparent. Transparency is one of the keys to all successful businesses. Transparency creates loyalty and loyalty creates repeated business. In light of this recent scenario, here are a three easy ways that you can build your brand’s reputation in regards to transparency.

Create a medium for customers to contact you directly

By establishing a medium for customers to contact you directly, they can directly ask you any questions or concerns they may have. The last thing you want is for a customer to reach out to third party for an answer regarding your business because it creates opportunities for misunderstandings and loss of business. Sometimes customers do not want to sit on the phone with customer service, and look for other ways to communicate quickly. One of the easiest ways to establish one of these mediums is through a  Facebook Messenger Chatbot or Live Chat. With a chatbot, automated responses are sent to your customer regarding any of their questions while with live chat, the customer chats one on one with a business representative.

Respond to ALL feedback

Not responding to feedback makes it look like your business doesn’t care. Deleting feedback makes it looks like your business has something to hide. Without explanation, it is clear why these are poor decisions. Through quick and polite responses to negative/positive feedback, customers feel like their opinions matter and misunderstandings are avoided. Having a o  Reputation Management system is best way to retain customers and have high ranking customer loyalty.

Allow employees to voice their opinions on products publicly

An employee is the ultimate narrator to a business’ quality because they understand the inner workings of everything that occurs “behind closed doors.” By displaying employee opinions in public places, such as on your companies social media & website, customers are more apt to trust your business because the people that work there, themselves, trust it and have a high opinion of it. Doing this through employee reviews of products, employee videos and testimonials is a great way to encourage more customer trust.

Looking to improve brand loyalty, transparency and reputation all while gaining and retaining customers? Not sure how? Contact us today!

The Ultimate Guide to getting your Instagram page on the Explore tab

Instagram is a numbers game with thousands of algorithms that collect data fromits users. Some of the data that they collect includes: time spent looking at a post, time spent scrolling through comments, which genre of posts you like the most and key words used when commenting.

The Explore tab is a feature on Instagram that features images and videos that a user would find relevant to their interests. Here is an example of what an Instagram Explore tab may look like from a cellular device:

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Ever noticed how your Explore page always has content very relevant to your interests? This is because Instagram plugs your data (the information they collect on) into their various algorithms to determine what content should be featured on your Explore page. Therefore, every users Explore tab is tailored to their specific interests.

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The Explore tab on Instagram is the ONLY way to be discovered by new audiences without them directly searching and finding your page.

Not many people use Instagram for the sole purpose of discovering new services and products. Appearing on the Explore tab is essential for your business because it can help you reach a new demographic of customers. So how can you “hack” the Instagram algorithm to make your page appear on the Explore tab? It’s easy and if you follow these steps, you’ll essentially be receiving “free” advertising from Instagram.

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Our Instagram Services can also help you complete these steps in an effective and efficient manner as well as post to your Instagram at times with heightened traffic in order to receive more visitors to your page. These services help to boost your page to the Explore tab and be discovered by new, potential customers.

Create Content Focused on Your Target Markets

Your target audience is anyone who may be interested in your product or service. By crafting content that is specific to your audiences, your page will automatically be more likely to show up on their Explore tab because it is related to their Instagram activity and interests. Ideally, your number of unique visitors to your page will increase due to improved conversion rates.

Post on Instagram at Optimal Times for Heightened Traffic

Due to the natural flow in people’s lives, Instagram tends to have heightened activity on their app at certain times of the day. A number of studies conducted by Facebook (the owner of Instagram), Google, Forbes, Elle&Co and Later have determined the following:

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Focus on Interactive Instagram Captions

The Instagram algorithm rewards pages with high levels of follower activity. You can increase your activity levels by posing questions in your post for followers to respond to. Below is posted a stellar example of an interactive post!

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Tag, Tag, Tag!

If your post relates to any other page that has an Instagram, it’s extremely important to tag them! When you tag a relevant page in your post, that post will be more likely to appear on their followers Explore tabs. Additionally, if a customer tags your business in a photo, it’s usually a good idea to repost their photo (giving them credit) because it increases the probability that followers in their network will see your page in the Explore tab. Below, find an example of a post where another relevant page is tagged.

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Use & Abuse Hashtags

Hashtags are essential to reaching new audiences on Instagram because they serve as a label to make it easier to search and discover content that Instagram users find relevant. Your business can use hashtags to reach your target audience and to help Instagram users filter information to find your page.

As important as using hashtags is, it is equally important to choose hashtags that are relevant to your content. 7 well-thought-out hashtags that are industry or content related can increase traffic to your page and therefore help you reach the Explore tab. To support this claim, a study by Social Fresh discovered that using 7 effective hashtags increased a posts engagement by almost 25%. Below, you can find a post with some examples of effective hashtags. 

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Sources:

This post features Instagram posts that were publicly posted online. The name of the account posting and any comments by users have been blacked-out to ensure privacy of the company.

5 of the Biggest Trends of 2017 in Social Media

Social media trends are constantly changing and can come and go in a blink of an eye. As 2017 comes to a close, it is important to look back and see which ones dominated, and which ones fell behind. Below are some of the biggest trends that rocked the social media world in the past year.

Snap Map

This past June, Snapchat released a new feature that took stalking to a whole new level, Snap Map. This feature allows users to see their friends’ exact location whenever they open their app. The purpose of is to make it easier than ever before to connect and meet up with your friends. For those who may find this feature a little intrusive on their privacy, they can chose to go on “ghost mode” which hides your location indefinitely 

until switched back on.

Snap Chat Map

One of my favorite parts of this trend is how Snapchat can guess your actions based on your location using your Bitmoji, a personalized avatar. At the mall? Your Bitmoji is hauling several bags over her shoulder. Waiting to catch a flight at the airport? Your Bitmoji is sitting leaned up against a suitcase. At a beach? Your Bitmoji is building a sandcastle.

This feature is a great way to brag to your friends when you are on a cool vacation across the world, but it can be not so great when you tell your friends you’re already on your way to meet them for lunch and still haven’t left the house.

Facebook Live

Although Facebook Live was introduced to Facebook in 2016, this trend really took off in the past 12 months. This new feature on Facebook allows any user to live stream video footage to all of their followers and friends. The live stream can last for up to 30 minutes, and stays on the users timeline after the stream has ended. The feature allows the user to see all of the viewers who are currently watching, and there is even a live comment function as well. Facebook Live also alerts all of your followers that you are live streaming.

Facebook & Instagram Stories

This is a major advantage because it significantly increases user engagement and can benefit people who might live stream daily, or someone who has an announcement to make. I am the kind of person on social media who will re-read a post 35 times, or stare at a picture for 15 minutes before I click the “post” button. When I first heard about this feature, I thought it was somewhat strange and convinced myself I would never take part in it.

 

Sharing something on social media that could not be reviewed or edited did not appeal to me until I started seeing my friends streaming and I realized it was actually a really different and fun way to interact. This feature helps us all “live in the present” and we all could use a little more of that.

360 Photos

Another tech savvy trend that will get your head spinning, literally, is Facebook 360. This tool allows users to look at a picture from all different views. By simply moving your phone around you can view the photo as if you were there looking around yourself. To make your own 360 photo, you can either use the 360-camera feature on the Facebook app, or you can upload a photo that you have taken on your phone using the panorama camera. These photos are sure to leave you reminiscing on that beautiful beach vacation you took last month.

Facebook and Instagram Stories

Both Instagram and Facebook took a tip from Snapchat and introduced their own version of stories. These user-generated stories appear for 24 hours and are meant to encourage users to post more often. Although the concept is the same, the content people post to each platform is generally different. My friends use Snapchat Stories to post their constant activities throughout the day. Instagram and Facebook Stories are generally posted much less and are more artsy and formal. The two platforms, Facebook and Instagram (both being owned by Facebook) have since joined together on this trend. Now when users create a story on Instagram they can automatically post the same one to Facebook.

Millennials Aren’t the Only Ones Obsessing Over Social Media

Smiling teenager students

When thinking of social media we often times solely associate it with the millennial generation who is quite literally glued to their phones. However, in the past year social media has seen a major increase in the amount of people from older generations taking advantage of social networks. In the past 10 years there has been a 32% increase in adults over the age of 65 using social media*, and more than 56% of adults who are online u

se more than one social media platform.** Considering my mom and I currently have a 79 day Snapchat streak, and she texts me whenever she posts on Instagram to “like” her picture, I can definitely agree with these statistics. With the older generations starting to hop on the social media train, it opens up many different opportunities for businesses to market their products towards them. 

Happy people using mobile smart phone

Looking back on 2017, social media platforms have introduced some exciting and fun features that have successfully engaged all kinds of users in all different age groups. From helping to cure loneliness by constantly seeing what your friends are up to, to bringing your photos to life through the 360 Facebook feature, it looks like 2018 has a lot to live up to.

* https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics

** https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/01/05/social-media-marketing-statistics