New Sales Trend: Social Selling

What is social selling?  

Social selling is the use of social media to build and maintain positive relationships with potential customers. This technique allows businesses to reach sales goals in a quicker and more effective manner, as well as possibly eliminate the need to cold call customers. Social selling allows businesses to communicate directly with interested buyers and build their network through direct conversations via social media platforms. With social selling, companies and businesses are more accessible to potential customers. According to LinkedIn, 78% of social sellers outsell those who do not use social media as a sales tactic.  

Social selling makes it easier for businesses to connect with potential buyers and reach out for sales opportunities at appropriate times. Many companies are using social selling as a tactic and may not even know it! If companies have a professional Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn, they have already begun the social selling process.

Here are three steps on how to use social selling to improve your business…

Develop a reliable brand:

The first step to social selling is to develop a professional brand image to draw customers in and increase your legitimacy in the industry. Customers want to buy from businesses who are established and well trusted by the public.  First impressions matter to customers, and a well maintained and sophisticated profile will help to attract interest from potential buyers. A key step to developing a professional and reliable brand is to include endorsements from prior customers.  

Build a brand personality:

The second step to social selling is to build a brand personality.  In order to keep customers interested in your social media platforms, it is important to build a consistent voice for each post and individual message.  This voice should portray the values of the company and make the customer feel like they are communicating with the same person every time, and therefore building a stronger relationship.  The personality of the voice in the accounts should be something that a customer could relate to. Posts should be clear and cohesive so that they are easy for the customer to understand.

Consistently connect with new and old customers:

The third step to social selling is to engage and connect with new and old customers. Social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn allow businesses to easily reach out to potential buyers with new information via posts and individual messaging.  Social media can keep new and old customers up to date with the happenings of a business, as well as promote new sales opportunities. Some advice for reaching out to new customers is to use a customizable message to try to build a relationship before trying to sell anything.  After initially reaching out to the customer, a social seller must continue to follow up in order to build a stronger relationship. By building a strong relationship, customers are more likely to purchase from the business.

If you are looking to improve your marketing, click here to check out our MaxExposure products page!

“What Is Social Selling?” LinkedIn, LinkedIn Corporation, 2019, business.linkedin.com/sales-solutions/social-selling/what-is-social-selling#.

The Key to Inbound Marketing

The term “inbound marketing” was coined in 2006 by the founders of Hubspot, Inc., Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, as “marketing strategies and practices that pulled prospective customers toward a business and its products through the use of Web 2.0 tools and applications like blogging, search engine optimization, and social media.”

The biggest obstacle in the marketing world today is simply getting people’s attention. With apps like Spotify and Netflix, people are now paying to watch TV or listen to music, without the interruption of ads. That’s what outbound marketing is to some extent, an interruption. Outbound marketing such as TV commercials, internet advertisements, and so on, are used to interrupt people’s lives to promote a product or service. Inbound marketing such as blogs, websites, and social media networks, doesn’t interrupt anyone, but actually attracts customers to you and your business, improving your search engine optimization and visits to your company’s website.

So how do you use inbound marketing to attract people to your company? Here are the steps to engaging your market using inbound marketing…

Identify your Audience

You probably already feel like you have a pretty good understanding of who your audience is, however inbound marketing is extremely dependent on you providing the right content for your audience. So making sure you have a detailed and complete understanding of who your audience is is extremely important in successfully using inbound marketing.

Take a walk around the office, ask a couple other employees who they think your audience is, or maybe one demographic the audience has. Soon you will have a list of demographics important in figuring out what content to put out, and where for your inbound marketing strategy.

Figure out What Channels your Audience Uses

Inbound marketing channels can include anything from social media networks, to search engines, blogs, and websites. What’s a better way to find out what channels your audience uses than to search for the channels and find them yourself! Here’s an example, if you own a trendy, modern restaurant, go on google and search “foodie” and dive into the blogs, websites, Instagram accounts, and so on that come up. Next, visit Instagram or Facebook themselves and search for foodie accounts, or find trending hashtags that have to do with food and search by the hashtag. The best way to succeed in inbound marketing is to engage in it yourself, as if you were your own customer.

P.S. Keep a list of all the words you used in your search so you know which words to optimize yourself to improve your website and/or blog’s SEO.

Identify What Your Audience Wants to See

This could include problems they have, hobbies they’re interested in, questions they have about the industry, news related to the industry your company is in, and so on. This will help you determine what content you should be posting to attract their attention. Remember, inbound marketing is all about bringing the customers to you, not the other way around. This is the time to be extremely subtle and not over-promote your company. Your content will do the promoting for you.

Last but not least, create your content!! Make sure you change it up consistently and post on all of the topics your customers are concerned with. Have a good group of diverse people to work together to deliver one message, across multiple channels, with engaging and exciting content. The people creating this content need to maintain a consistent tone and give your company a personality your customers can relate to and enjoy seeing.

5 Habits of Successful Marketers

Marketers play one of the most important roles in operating a successful business today. In recent years, marketing has changed tremendously from tv, radio, and print advertising, to online marketing using websites, social media, and blogging. With this change, the habits successful marketers should be performing has changed slightly as well. Here are the 5 habits of successful marketers today…

Stay updated on industry news

Successful marketers always need to be up-to-date on industry news. Industry news is not only important in terms of keeping marketers up-to-date, but the industry audience as well. Customers love hearing about news in industries that they’re interested in, and hearing about it from your company will make your marketing team look like the experts.

Keeping track of the industry news updates in a document is also extremely beneficial to your marketing team. This allows your marketing team to better evaluate the current industry audience as well as how the industry has changed over the years and how that impacts your marketing tactics today.

Examine changes in industry audience

Industry audiences change all the time. There are always groups of consumers leaving one market to move to another. Successful marketers need to stay on top of these changes to ensure they are marketing to the right people.

One way to do this is looking into your company’s social media followers, who is giving you likes on your posts, who is commenting, and so on. Even collaborating with the sales team on what demographic they are finding the most success with can help tremendously.

Read more about the effectiveness of sales team and marketing team collaboration here!

Consistently update social media skills

Social media sites, especially Instagram, is constantly updating their software and adding more and more capabilities to their story features, image carousels, and so on. These recent updates have been found to be extremely helpful to businesses trying to grow their social media following. Many companies for example have started publishing story highlight reels with “products,” “customer reviews,” “reposts,” and so on.

This allows first-timers on the company’s social media to look back at tons of content your company has published with easy access to exactly what type of content they desire. Marketers need to constantly stay up-to-date with these social media updates in order to utilize the networks as effectively as possible.

Never stop creating content

Successful marketers are always creating content, even if it means they do not publish it all. Creating content every day and having it saved in your files allows you to constantly develop your marketing skills as well as always have backup content to publish when needed. Even if it just means writing down a little thought or idea, those little ideas could be turned into big ideas later on.

Develop your marketing voice

Having a marketing voice that your audience is familiar with and can connect with is extremely important in making a connection with your customers. However, as the industry audience changes, so should your marketing voice. Consistently developing and altering your marketing voice slightly as your audience changes will allow your marketing to develop with the market. The key here is to not change your marketing voice too much however; you always want your audience to be familiar with the voice you project and not scare them off with drastic changes.

The Key to Marketing Small Businesses

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Operating a small business is not something to try to sneak past your customers, but rather something to accent on throughout your marketing strategy. There are so many benefits to purchasing from small businesses as opposed to large businesses. Accenting on the personalized customer service, increased customer value, and high quality products and services your small business offers, will greatly increase the effectiveness of your company’s marketing. Below are three tips to helping you unlock the key to marketing your small business!

Inbound Marketing is EVERYTHING

cellphone-device-digital-marketing-893893.jpgConsidering that small businesses tend to do less business and therefore generate lower profits than larger businesses, there is less money to be allocated towards the marketing budget. Inbound marketing is extremely helpful in allowing small businesses to compete with larger businesses who can afford to spend more on marketing. TV advertisements, print advertising, and radio ads have become extremely ineffective in recent years as customers are now using social media and music and tv streaming services. Inbound marketing includes blogs, websites, and social media marketing. Inbound marketing revolves around attracting the customer to your business, rather than simply marketing a product or service to them. It’s about creating a need for your customer so they come to you as opposed to the other way around.

If your business needs help with improving its inbound marketing, click here to check out our MaxExposure products on our website!

Give your Customers the Inside Scoop

One of the best parts about working with a small business is that you actually get to know the people you are working with. New customers want to know what to expect when meeting your business’ employees for the first time, and existing customers love to see the employees they love and are familiar with! Make sure to post an image of your employees at work either in-office or out of the office and keep them updated on your employees’ lives to engage them and increase their trust in your business! Posting content about an employee’s promotion or recent wedding shows your customers that you care about your employees and allows them to build relationships with your employees as well.

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Customer Satisfaction Goes a Long Way

Last but not least, one of the most important aspects in effectively marketing your small business is following through on the customer service your customers expect. Satisfying your customers not only ensures they continue purchasing from your business, but that they will recommend your company to their friends and possibly even write you a review online! Customer recommendations and reviews go a long way in marketing your small business. Small businesses are typically not well-known and trusted right off the bat because many people have never used or heard of them before. Through customer satisfaction, reviews, and recommendations, your small business expands its customer base and improves its branding.

Check out our MaxExposure social posting products for your small business by clicking here!

Do you know your customers birthdays?

Today we go through how you can use Facbook Messenger to automate personalized messages that are sent every year to your customers on their birthdays. They can even include offers or coupons to drive them into your store. The best part is, you don’t have to do any data entry or keep track of a birthday list for email marketing. The system does it all for you.

 

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.

Employee Feature: Alli Burns, Marketing Assistant

Hi!! My name is Alli and I’m the face behind many of the MaxExposure blog posts! I have been working with MaxExposure for a little over a year as a marketing assistant. To give you a little background on me, I am originally from Connecticut, I am a marketing major attending Bentley University, I am a big red sox fan, and on the weekends you can catch me watching Friends reruns!

What do you do for MaxExposure?

I am responsible for creating and posting social media content for customers to maximize their social media engagement and following. I am also responsible for creating and publishing content on our MaxExposure blog to give our customers, and blog viewers, social media tips and inform them of new marketing trends to help them improve their own marketing strategy!

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is hearing back from my boss, Aly, that one of my clients is loving the content I am posting for them. To know that I am not only helping a company increase their online following and sales, but that I’ve actually excited them about their social media account, and their business in general, is extremely rewarding.

I’ve also greatly enjoyed writing and publishing our MaxExposure blogs and learning about new marketing topics, tips, and trends that not only can help our customers, but make me a better marketer as well! ((Click here to check out more of our MaxExposure blogs and get tips on how to improve your company’s marketing!))

Why do you feel companies should choose MaxExposure?

I think companies looking to improve their marketing tactics and company profitability should choose MaxExposure because they are a family-run business. Being a family-run business means they are extremely invested in their customer’s satisfaction with our services. In using a larger marketing company, often times your only point of contact is “customer service” calls and email. At MaxExposure, any time a customer has a concern about their products, they have the opportunity to reach out and speak directly with the employee in charge of providing their services.

Speaking with the actual person in charge of the services gives the customer an opportunity to not only consult that employee regarding their concerns, but collaborate with them and get advice from an expert on how to improve.

What is your favorite MaxExposure product?

My favorite MaxExposure product is the new Website Builder product! A lot of small businesses have outdated or nonfunctional websites so being able to see the transformation of their online company image has been amazing! 

 

If you need us to boost your social media following and engagement, check out our MaxExposure Social Posting products today!

Social Media Marketing Tips for Restaurants

The phone most definitely eats first. Look up the term “foodie” on Instagram or Facebook and you will find thousands of accounts, photos, and videos dedicated to food. Using social media to help market your restaurant is a no-brainer. Here are 5 tips to spice up your social media…

Instagram Hashtag

When posting on Instagram, create a hashtag unique to your restaurant. Any time you post a picture using that hashtag you are encouraging followers to use the hashtag if they make a post about you too. You can say something like “use our hashtag for a chance to get featured!” or “receive a free coffee when you use #XXXX on Instagram!” This way your account will include content both from your business and your customers.

Photography

Pictures are going to be essential for any of your social media posts and you want them to look good. The best part is you don’t have to be a good photographer to take great pictures of food. All you need to do is follow a few simple steps. Download a photo editing app on your phone such as Lightroom or Vsco- you can play with the brightness, sharpness, and clarity of the photos as well as adding filters. Additionally, use the same background for every picture. If you take a photo on a white table always take the photo on the same white table that way your feed will be aesthetically pleasing.
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Giveaways

People love getting free stuff. Hosting giveaways such as a free gift card or a free meal can help create buzz about your business. It can help you increase followers and interactions on your page. You can do something during different holiday seasons, or just randomly. Here is an outline of potential terms:

TO ENTER
1. Like this photo
2. Follow our account
3. Tag a friend you’d share this meal with (1 tag=1 entry)
4 random winners will get a FREE appetizer and drink on their next visit!!!

Interacting with Customers

Make sure that you respond to customers’ comments and complaints on social media. The responses should be personalized and not generic. Try to get to responses within an hour of receiving the comment. If you aren’t confident you will check these interactions often, a good tip is to create a rotation with your employees to have the job of checking and responding to any social media interactions for the day. ((if you want to insure quality and fluidity in your customer interactions, check here to check out our reputation management package!))

Influencers

We have talked about Instagram influencers in the past and food bloggers are a goldmine! Don’t be afraid to reach out to food bloggers to partner with them to get the word out about your restaurant.
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To increase your restaurant’s social media following, click here to check out our social posting products!

How’s your mindset?

Your mindset in business is just as important as anything else. If you don’t know how to deal with adversity or don’t have the right attitude to fix problems that come up, then you might be in trouble. Check out our video about how the ocean is alot like entrepreneurship.

Stop giving out FREE WIFI!

Today we go through how you, as a business owner, can leverage your wifi and gain valuable customer information. You can also use it to drive traffic back to your business. Instead of just giving wifi for free and not getting anything in return, give it out with the purpose to help your business. Check out our demo and how we use Facebook Messenger to automate this process for our clients.