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.

Does WIFI = Revenue?

Today we go over how to use the Facebook Messenger program to give out your WiFi and bring in valuable customer information, and drive sales. Are you just letting your customers connect to your WiFi for free? If so, you may be missing out. We go through a step-by-step process on how to do that.

Prospecting 101

Today we go through some tips to use referenceUSA. referenceUSA is a free database of businesses. You can slice and dice the settings to fit your ideal prospect. This is getting back to basics, when you don’t have a full prospect pipeline, and don’t want to spend any money. Try using referenceUSA to start your day off productive.

 

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!

 

Get your own damn coffee! Tips to a Successful Internship Program

Millennials, get a really bad rep for being lazy, entitled and not wanting to pay their dues. They enter into the workforce thinking they will land their “dream job” at 22 years old, but the cold hard realty is that those “dream jobs” require 3-5 years of experience, which they’re supposed to already have fresh out of college. But how are they supposed to get said experience when they aren’t getting internships because they’re too young and inexperienced…and when they do get the internships, they’re not actually learning anything?

Understanding this fact, we at MaxExposure, have hired interns as young as Freshmen, to give them the real world experience nobody else will at 18 years old. We find that by hiring younger students, and offering them room to grow into their positions that they will stay with the company longer, which looks incredible on a resume!

Working with over 20 students over the past 7 years, I’ve complied a a list of 10 tips on how to have a successful program.

  1. Treat them how you would want to be treated – This goes with out saying, but so many interns are treated poorly. They get stuck doing the “grunt work” nobody wants to do which doesn’t actually give them any experience, except that they don’t want to be the low man on the totem pole. Now I’m not saying don’t give them basic assignments, but on top of the basic assignments, let them grow and learn and take on projects that they want to work on!
  2. Give them REAL assignments – Give them assignments that you would do, give them real tasks so that they can learn how to research, compile data, use software systems and or manage customer accounts.
  3. Let them fail – This one sounds weird right? Why on earth would you want your intern to fail. I don’t want them to fail, but I want them to learn to think on their own and problem solve. I throw my interns into the deep end having only a few weeks of swimming lessons under their belts because I want them to learn how to not only tread water, but swim confidently. In the real world, you have to do this, and you won’t always have the opportunity to hand off the phone. I supervise and always ensure our customers are well taken care of, but I let them make mistakes so that they can learn to fix them.
  4. Teach don’t preach – Teach them how to do things, teach them to use your systems, and do what you do, as their boss, they are watching your every move, so if you just “take care of it” they will never learn how to do it themselves.
  5. Let them talk to your customers! – This one was tough for me at first, because I didn’t want them to mess up, sound young (and inexperienced) or be asked a question they couldn’t answer. But they (the interns) will ALWAYS prove you wrong. As of the last 2 years, I’ve let our interns talk to customers on a regular basis and its been an incredible experience for everyone involved!
  6. Let them share their ideas! – Interns are FRESH BLOOD! they have new ideas, they see the world differently and they aren’t jaded by life yet. Let them give you ideas or come up with new plans. In my experience some of their ideas have been the best changes we’ve made!
  7. Let them grow! – Let them take on new assignments or roles. If they have the hunger to learn how to do something new, don’t force them to stick to their assigned role. Make sure it’s clear they have to get their assignments done, but let them take on more if they want to, it will only help them become a better employee and you become a better boss!
  8. PAY THEM! – Internships, especially in the marketing world, can traditionally be unpaid. This is fine, if they’re getting enough experience to justify the lack of money. But if your budget allows it, PAY YOUR INTERNS. When they are being paid for their work, they will take more responsibility, work harder and be more accountable for the role they are in.
  9. Hire their friends – Now this one can be tricky, because you want them to focus on their job, not social hour, but if you find a good intern, ask them to share open positions to their friends, more often than not they surround themselves with similar caliber people.
  10. Make work fun! – “I’m not a regular boss, I’m a cool boss” – you don’t have to be their BEST FRIEND, and you should always establish boundaries as they do work for you, but keeping the work place fun is key to them coming back! These kids don’t HAVE to work, they choose to work, and while yes they are getting resume experience, you want to show them that working in an office doesn’t have to be a scene out of “Office Space” it can be enjoyable and fun given the right dynamic.

 

 

How To: Convert Customers through Facebook Advertising

Get the case study on how to effectively create Facebook ads!

Facebook advertising is a form of passive advertising, meaning that the ads are focused on people that are interested in businesses like yours, but may not be actively looking for your products or services. By following these simple steps, you can turn your Facebook passive ads into active ads and convert your Facebook audience into REAL customers.

1. Determine your Advertising Goals

Facebook ads are designed to attract potential future business customers. The passive audience of a Facebook ad is quite likely to NOT be in the market for your specific product or service when they see your ad because Facebook ads are not geared towards active customers. By constantly having your presence in the feed of a Facebook user, you begin engaging them. At some point when they are looking for a product/service similar to yours, your business will come to mind.

If you’re Facebook advertising goal is to immediately convert your audience into revenue, Facebook advertising is NOT for you.

Facebook advertising IS for you if you are looking to engage the market and create a pool of potential future clients.

2. Create your Lead

An advertisement is supposed to be a magnet for customers. You need to offer them the opportunity to gather value through your product or service. You are a stranger to your potential customer so by offering value before they even become your business partner, they will take your products or services more seriously. Here are a few examples of leads that can magnetize your customers to your company:

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3. Design your Landing Page

After your potential future customer clicks on your ad, they will be brought to a landing page, or an ad homepage. This is the most essential part of  successful Facebook advertising. A simple page with all pertinent information forces your future potential customer to either listen to and continue with your ad or simply ignore it and exit. By making your ad attractive and offering value, your potential future customer won’t be able to resist ignoring it!

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4. Engage

Once you have paid for your Facebook ad and it is being promoted, it is essential to respond to any and all inquiries from the ad immediately. You don’t want your future potential customers to have the time to look for a replacement for your product or service… you want them to use YOUR product or service. By responding to future potential customers with speed, you will show that you are an active, involved company, concerned with it’s reputations and the needs of customers.

If you’re looking to introduce Facebook ads to your business plan but aren’t sure where to start, MaxExposure Business Solutions can help you through the process from start to finish with our Facebook Advertising Package.

Increasing your Newsfeed Visibility on Facebook

People’s newsfeeds are constantly changing on Facebook. Within minutes, you can refresh your feed and find over 10 new posts on your feed. This is because every second of the day, Facebook’s algorithm is recording and filtering what posts a consumer shows interest in, what posts their friends click on or like, and what new posts are added to pages you follow. Every time your post gets clicked on, liked, or commented on by one of its viewers, Facebook records that engagement, and your posts automatically move up in priority on that person’s feed thus improving your pages visibility.

Essentially, the more a viewer engages with your posts, the higher priority your posts get and therefore the more your posts will show up on their Facebook feed.

So how can you increase your news feed visibility on Facebook? This is as easy as changing the types of posts you post to Facebook.

Posts with images, or “photo posts” are shown to get drastically more viewer engagement than posts without images. Pictures catch the eye of the viewer, causing them to stop scrolling through their feed, read your post, and click on your post, like it, or comment on it.

The four main factors Facebook takes into account when filtering each person’s Facebook feed are: who posted it, when it was posted, interactions with the post, and type of post. Engagement is everything. The more a viewer’s engaged with your posts, (and by sharing it), the more their Facebook friends have engaged with your posts combined with the more your viewers interact with a certain type of post, such as photo posts, the more Facebook feed visibility your posts will receive.

Moving forward with your companies Facebook engagement, the three biggest tips I can give you are…

Always Keep in Mind the Content your Viewers want to see

This can be as simple as looking at your company’s recent posts and seeing which ones got more likes, comments, shares, or click-throughs. The post topics that received more engagement from your viewers are the ones that are going to reach the top of that Facebook news feed and attract even more viewer attention.

Post More Photo Content

As stated before, photo posts do receive significantly more engagement than any other type of post on Facebook. Even if you did not consider including an image with a certain post, it is extremely easy to add images that relate to the topic of your post, it will be worth it for the extra engagement your post will receive!

Manage your Current and Future Engagement Properly

You want to ensure you are keeping track of your viewer engagement on Facebook. Creating your posts and actually posting them to your Facebook feed is just one step in the process of increasing your engagement. You can tell so much about what your viewers want to see and what will increase your engagement just by looking at the comments, likes, shares, and click-throughs after your post has been active for a day or two. You can easily access this data through your Facebook insights dashboard.

Knowing how to manage and keep track of this engagement will allow you to continuously improve and increase your engagement, and news feed visibility every day!

Feel free to check out some of our Facebook services today and get one step closer to increasing your Facebook news feed visibility!

Recommended Products:

Facebook Advertising Level 2 Facebook Messenger Chatbot

 

 

 

The Do’s & Don’ts of the Hashtag

Each social media platform has its unique purposes and vary in terms of consumer usage, but they all share one common aspect that helps brand awareness and key searching.  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google & Linkedin, all share the use of the hashtag to help connect users to products or followers to other followers with like interests.

For those who are not familiar with hashtags, a “hashtag” is the number symbol “#” followed by a phrase or single word. When you post an image (on instagram), or written post on social media (on Facebook or Twitter), you can follow or caption the post with a “#” followed by something relevant to the post’s content.

In evaluating how the use of hashtags can help your business, hashtags are a super easy and efficient way to grow your company’s network on social media platforms. Although “hashtagging” itself is not very complex, there are many ways people can use hashtags to connect with new businesses or people on social media.

For example if you are a restaurant owner posting a picture of a new menu item on Instagram, you can follow the caption with “#yum #foodie #newmenu” and so on. This connects your post with every other post on that social media platform that used the same hashtag. If a user is looking at a post from another restaurant, or even just a post from a friend, they can click on the hashtag and your post will show up on their screen. If they simply search “#yum” in the search bar on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter the same thing will occur and your post will again reach their screen.

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Even when a user is not familiar with your company and is not directly searching for your business’ social media account, the hashtag greatly increases their ability to find your company’s account, increasing the size of your company’s network and online following.

Hashtags are also extremely helpful to your business even if it is not your business that is posting the hashtag. If you own a clothing or home furniture store and one of your customers posts a picture on social media of a product they purchased from you with “#lovethis #yourcompanyname,” their followers can then search for your company with the name provided in the hashtag. Even without necessarily clicking on the hashtag, it can still indirectly lead potential followers to your company’s social media account.

Hashtags are relatively straightforward, however there are many things that can go wrong with hashtags.To be sure you maximize the effectiveness and success of the hashtags in your company’s posts, it is important to always perform the three tasks below when posting hashtags.

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Find What’s Trending

Although you can add as many hashtags as you wish to your company’s social media posts, it can also be extremely helpful to research what specific hashtags are trending each day. If “#love” is trending today, as long as you find it somewhat relevant to your company’s post, you should include it. If the hashtag is trending, more people are searching for it on social media platforms and therefore your post is likely to be viewed by more users.

Research your Hashtags

Just like with anything else your company posts on social media, always be sure what you are posting cannot be found offensive to consumers. Although the word or phrase you are posting may mean one thing to you and your company, it could mean something entirely different in context to social media trends. If you are unsure of a certain word or phrase you wish to include in a hashtag on your post, it can be extremely helpful to search the hashtag first and see what other posts have used the hashtag. This is very effective in helping avoid any scrutiny or offense taken by your company’s social media posts.

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Manage how much you Hashtag

Although you can potentially post as many hashtags as you wish, it is important you learn how to manage your hashtagging and not overcrowd your post. Including too many hashtags in one post can take away from the meaning and purpose of the post itself, as well as cause consumers to think your company is trying too hard to gain followers. I would recommend including anywhere from 1-3 hashtags, 4 hashtags at most, to insure you maintain a high quality image for your company’s social media. It is also important to list your hashtags from top trending to least trending so more users will be familiar with the first hashtag they see.

When used correctly, hashtags have proved extremely effective with the expansion of social media today, in expanding every user’s network. Hashtags allow users to reach businesses and people they otherwise never would have encountered. Hashtags are extremely simple to implement in social media posts, and yet very effective in reaching your company’s large audience.

With the billions of users on social media platforms today, it can seem near impossible to reach a large majority of your potential consumers, but hashtags are making that possible, enabling companies and people everywhere to maximize their outreach to the larger population.

Small Business… is BIG Business

Sat. Nov. 25, 2017 is Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is a day created by American Express to commemorate and promote Small Businesses and remind consumers that small businesses are the true back bone of America.

Did you know that according to the 2014 census, there are 29 million registered businesses in America, of which 25 million have “less than” 10 employees, of the 25 million, 22 million claim to have 0 -1 employee (meaning “self-employed”).

Small Business Owner at Restaurant

Small businesses account for 99.7% of all employers (source: SBA.gov), which means that if small businesses “went away”, it would devastate the economy. Supporting local, small and privately owned businesses is critical to our economy, our communities and our nation and not to mention the families they support.

Sure, you can get virtually anything on Amazon (or online), delivered the next day (and soon within hours). However, you can’t get a haircut, a slice of pizza served hot and fresh, gas in your car, a way to fix that knitting mistake or your lawn cut on Amazon. There are many goods and services that you can only get from a local business and it doesn’t take much to support your local business! You can support your local business by just taking a little bit of time out of your day and that effort will always rewarded with a smile from the business owner.

Small Business Owner at Hair Salon

So this Saturday, go out and see how many businesses you can support, but make it your personal challenge to shop local every week, throughout the year. When you engage with the local business owners, you will find them welcoming, informative and grateful.

Shop Small and do BIG things for your local businesses, community and your country.

 

About the Author:

JGJoe Grushkin is a serial entrepreneur for over 35 years. Currently, as the CEO, President and Founder of MaxExposure Social Media, the premier Social Media & Reputation Management Firm on North America, he is growing the business with effective leadership skills and developing a management team to lead in the future. MaxExposure assists small and media sized local businesses in over 80 industries. More information is available at www.MaxExposureSocialMedia.com