Social Media Marketing – Breaking down what to DO

If you are looking to launch a social media campaign, the last thing you want to hear is that a bad campaign may be worse than no campaign but once you see the potentials negatives, they’re easy(ish) to avoid. Going into a campaign it’s easy to underestimate the requirements:

  • The time it takes to post (or schedule)
  • Imagination to make your posts unique
  • Time to engage with people who leave comments
  • Choosing the right platform(s)

Having said that, the biggest plus points to starting a social media campaign:

  • it’s free
  • it’s easy to see which posts are received well
  • you can learn as you go – at least having a presence is a start

the Do’s

DO take the time to find out which days of the week and which time of day work best for your audience – using analytics will help you get those ‘likes’ instead of posting to no response.

DO engage visitors who take the time to comment on your post. Starting a dialogue will reinforce your connection and could lead to valuable feedback or a new client. This must be done in a timely manner – no checking the account weekly!

DO be unique – take your best images or slogans and brands. Post them in a way that is consistent with your business image but put a social twist on them to make them interesting and engaging within a split second. The same content that viewers search for on your site probably won’t work.

DO be colorful and quirky – boring just doesn’t get shared or remembered.

DO encourage people to share your posts and visit your feed – actively foster excitement via a contest or a ‘live’ upcoming event. Maybe they are entered into a competition if they share your post and add a comment. That’s a great way to leverage their social media network to spread the word about your great product or service.

DO stick at it – it’s worth the time because it does create leads and raises awareness of your brand. It looks professional and can be a huge asset to your company (not a burden).

DO seek professional help if you can’t take it on yourself.  (OK – it’s then no longer free but hopefully worth the investment)

DO consider paid advertising on your chosen platform is you find you are reaching leads and generating business.

DO walk before you can run. Take on one campaign at a time and learn how best to leverage it. Starting across every platform you can think of will be overwhelming.

DO ask for feedback from colleagues and friends.

DO ask those same colleagues and friends to ‘follow’ you and help share your posts.

DO have a plan and think ahead. It’s no good thinking about a Holiday campaign mid -December. Plan ahead and if you are scheduling posts weeks in advance, pay attention to special dates coming up that you want to mark in a significant manner.

DO re-post a picture or text if it is truly awesome – just not too soon.

DO connect your social media profiles to your website so that if a potential client wants to find out more, they know where to go.

DO change your social media account to a business account if it is for your business – separate your personal accounts from your corporate ones.

DO make your social media easy to reach – display your social media logos with links on your website.

 

If the world of social media marketing seems daunting or if you’re looking for a professional team to create and run a social media campaign, check out our website at trulium.com or contact us today.

If Only My Website Had Responsive Design

It can be a dilemma.
  • You love your website
  • You are getting visitors to your site
  • It represents your brand perfectly
  • Your business is doing OK
What’s the problem? If you like everything about your site but it is not responsive in design, be prepared to make a change or pay the price in reduced traffic.
There are exceptions. If your site is visited exclusively by clients using a desktop, it may not matter. If your client base is broad and your new orders are triggered by existing customers, chances are they are only looking you up to check prices or submit a new transaction. In those cases, investment in a new site may not be worthwhile.

How do you know who accesses your site?

It’s easy within Google Analytics to see a breakdown of how clients are interacting with your website. The ‘Mobile’ overview breaks down the percentage (and actual session number) split between desktop vs mobile vs tablet. On the same screen, you can check the bounce rate – the percentage of people who clicked into the site and then didn’t explore further or clicked away. The lower the bounce rate, the better the chances that your visitor found your site engaging and interesting – good indicators when you are looking to promote your product or service.
 bounce rates1

Is the writing on the wall? (or in analytics?)

When you see a bounce rate that varies across devices then it can be an indicator that you are losing potential clients by not having a responsive site. What would that look like numerically? It may be a bounce rate of 50% from desktops and a bounce rate of 70% from mobile devices. If the sample size is large enough to make the data compelling, then chances are the experience viewers are having from mobile devices is offputting.
If in doubt, look at your site from a variety of devices and see how it appears when you use it. This is a good idea anyway so you can relate to the experience in a similar fashion to that of your customer.

Will things change?

Yes – the world of search engines and search habits are always evolving, however, the bad news in this scenario is that the swing is towards even more people searching from mobile devices so maybe it is a good time to make a change now.

Don’t want a new website design?

It’s not unusual to love your current site, after all, you probably helped design it, it serves a useful purpose, you’re familiar with it, it has evolved to be your perfect virtual storefront. Here’s the good news… there is no need to stress over a whole new website design and the costs which are typically incurred. If you like your content and don’t want changes made, the chances are it can be copied across to responsive design with minimal compromise. It might mean that some boxes appear bigger or smaller, there might be a slight shift in the overall aesthetic but a good designer will be able to lay out potential changes up front so you can decide if a switch is worthwhile.
It’s something to mull over as there are potential benefits to taking your current site over to responsive design without redesigning
  • it could be cheaper
  • it could be quicker than a redesign
  • it sets you up for the future with more and more people using mobile devices
  • there is no large investment of your time
  • website appeal will remain the same for desktop users but should improve for mobile users
If you love your site but it is not responsive, it may be time for an upgrade. You needn’t lose the features and design you like, it can be tweaked slightly to make it more friendly across all devices. If you’re looking for help with a new website or want to find out more about how a lack of responsive design may be affecting your online experience for clients, contact us today.

5 Reasons to Use Emojis and Emoticons

The acceptance of pictures replacing texts is a bit of a moving target. For some advertising campaigns, this is the new norm and certainly, for a generation of millennials, they are seen as a common part of the digital language. Emoticons tend to convey emotions (like : – ) is a smiley face read sideways – it is a combination of text symbols used together to represent how the author is feeling) whereas emojis portray a wide range of easily recognizable people, expressions,  animals, places, modes of transport, food etc and are actually a picture.

Although a relatively modern concept in communicating, they are now common and widespread, particularly across social media. Here we explore 5 reasons why it’s totally OK and maybe even better to use them than traditional text-only compositions.

They conquer the language barrier and the age barrier

Even a child learning to read can understand the concept behind a smiley face. It makes them feel happy inside. Likewise, even if a reader didn’t know how to say they were feeling sad or angry, happy or tired, a picture is worth its weight in gold in quickly conveying emotion.

Did you know that they also bolster the reach of your posts? As well as using hashtags, viewers also search on emojis. If you’re a bride looking for inspiration, searching on the ‘bride’ emoji will pull up all the posts no matter what language the hashtags are in. Reason enough to take them as a serious part of your marketing toolkit.

They encourage dialog

Especially on social media platforms like facebook and instagram, it’s just as easy to comment with a heart or clapping hands if you like the post or you are posting, especially important if you are marketing promotional images around the world and don’t want to translate text. A palm tree emoji can reinforce a sunny picture of a tropical beach in Florida, a jumping dolphin has us checking out the waves to catch a glimpse.

social media marketing campaigndolphin emoji

It is widely seen as acceptable

There are certainly some professions and forms of official communication where the use of emoticons or emojis could be seen as inappropriate. Generally, they are reserved for more light-hearted, informal representation. If in doubt, look to your own niche market industry leaders, the first step in adopting a more relaxed attitude to their use will probably come across in social media posts first.

Reaching a new and growing generation of customers – especially in a social media marketing campaign

The millennials and youngest generation of IT-savvy consumers will make up larger percentages of the population of consumers as time goes on. If they are reacting to your advertising and social media with emojis and emoticons then you need to be able to reciprocate to seem relevant, mirroring their tone in your response builds a client relationship. You appear more friendly by replying in the manner they also choose.

It’s so quick and easy

Someone else has already done all the hard work for you so there is no need to make up your own set of images.  Starting an email with a long sentence about what has gone wrong so far that day can be said succinctly

:-(

Maybe some of the detail is lost but the general message is conveyed in an instant.

 

You’re just as likely to see your next emoji on a T-shirt as onscreen, they are widespread everywhere you look.  You’ll soon get feedback if you overuse the symbols and a slow and steady approach is best. There is no need to set a goal as to how often you do use them, they are here, they are here to stay and they can truly help you get your message across to make your clients social media marketing campaign

If you’re ready to launch a social media marketing campaign and want some help exploring which platforms would best suit your needs, contact us at Trulium today.

How to get customer testimonials

Almost every product or service is in a competitive market. Testimonials reinforce your brand and if you receive positive feedback, it’s vital you leverage those reviews to:

  • remind existing customers that it’s worth staying with you and not get itchy feet
  • win new business

Potential clients are looking for more than the price tag, if you can instill confidence and bring a personal connection, that visitor clicking on your site is more likely to become a customer (or at least engage and start a dialogue which gives you the chance to get contact details and follow up).

Before planning how to display your reviews, you have to get the feedback. Here are some hints and tips for getting good testimonials:

  • testimonials blog1Ask open-ended questions like “What was the best aspect of the service you received?”
  • Invite feedback in the form of a survey. This is made easier if you naturally have a follow up communication with your client after the product or service has been delivered. For instance if you are inviting registration of a product or are sending shipments at regular intervals.
  • Gather the information you need so you will be able to use it later. Testimonials listed as coming from Joe in Smalltown, USA may seem ‘cold’ or worse – maybe even made up.  A picture automatically personalizes the review and sparks a connection with the reader –  especially if they are shown with your product or using your service. This adds credibility and is naturally a more eye catching section of your site for a reader to focus on.
  • testimonials blog2Don’t be shy to ask for feedback. This is much more than an exercise to elicit reviews. Feedback – good and bad – will help you grow your business and develop as your customers change. Any criticism or ideas for improvement are arguably the most important feedback you will get. Making it just as easy for customers to give suggestions or report problems gives  you a chance to  rectify promptly,  maintain a good reputation and retain business.
  • Make it easy. If you are asking for a response via mail then include a stamped, pre- addressed envelope. If you are able to ask online, it’s just a click away. Be sure to mention there are only a few questions or that it will take no more than a few minutes time.
  • Showcase existing testimonials and invite feedback. Use your social media accounts to promote reviews and engage customers.
  • Positive stories from colleagues are just as important. If you have a network of professionals, their feedback and quotes are also powerful in strengthening your reputation and business appeal.
  • If you can get a video testimonial or can create a montage of reviews into one video clip, you will have a powerful marketing tool. This can be shared to social media and can feature prominently on your website. If it’s worthy of your home page, that’s where it should be. It can be duplicated inside a ‘testimonials’ tab although traffic to that page may be significantly less. Don’t make it too long and make sure the start sums up your message and keeps the viewer interested. A soundtrack and captions will make it look more professional. Make the link easy to share.
  • If you get a ‘thank you’ the old fashioned way, you can still share the text or share a nice gesture.  Post a picture of the bunch of flowers you receive as thanks to your social media accounts.
  • Show a diverse group of reviewers. You’re more likely to spark a connection with a reader if they identify with someone similar to themselves.

“When you display a testimonial, make sure it looks the part. Use design tools to make it catchy and distinct.”

 

If you’re looking for help fine tuning your website, why not contact us today  info@trulium.com

Connecting with your prospects starts with knowing your prospects

New prospects are the key to your future success. Whatever your advertising budget, no business likes to waste time and energy on finding new potential clients and still come up empty. When it feels as though you are a very small fish in a big ocean, there are some tips and tricks for finding new prospects, focusing your time, energy and investment with a strategic plan.

  1. What does your current client base look like?

Start by looking at your top existing clients and try to find a link between them. Are they all in the same core demographic, are they geographically concentrated, are they part of a network which you would like to be introduced to? Are your key contacts typically in a certain department or forum?

  1. Leverage your good work

Trulium portfolio image for blog

Your best advertisement should be your portfolio of work. It’s a showcase of the services you offer and gives a potential client a picture of what you can do for them. If your business is art, take every opportunity to show bold and bright images. If you are selling food, make up samples and take trays to nearby office buildings or parks to create a buzz and attract your local consumers. If your tents are hired for receptions, or your limousines are hired for a corporate function, make sure your business name or contact details are visible and accessible.

  1. Highlight Testimonials

When you have clients who give you good testimonials, highlight them. This means more than having a ‘testimonials’ page on your website – a prospect would have to be very interested already to go and find that data. Put the reviews front and center, scatter them across all your branding as you’re sure to say great things about your own business, it carries more meaning when coming from one of your customers. What would that look like? It could be

  • Posting the review to social media
  • Adding a quote to separate sections on your website
  • Adding text to images on your site so the testimonial can be seen on sliders or featured images
  • Including a review on printed material, flyers, business cards

sample testimonial on image for blogThe reviews should be as concise as possible. Credibility comes from adding a name and maybe the City, State (eg The best burger in town! – John, Denver, CO). Unless you’re going to update the content frequently, don’t add a date as it will soon look old. If you are going to update with new reviews frequently (monthly perhaps), then adding the date becomes an added selling point as it proves the current quality of your work. The viability depends on how many reviews you receive and the workload in keeping your branding current.

  1. Ask for a referral

Your customers almost certainly have their own network of professionals (or friends) who at some point will be looking for the services you offer. They may automatically think to refer your business, but would be more inclined to if you have already suggested the idea. A great way to put yourself in the front of their thoughts is by offering an incentive, for instance, refer a new client and receive one month free, or receive a gift card.

  1. Think ‘out of the box’
  • If your clients are local, go ‘old school’ and consider postcards, flyers on doors or ads on local bulletin boards
  • Sponsor a local sports team or school event to get your logo and name in front of the community
  • Partner with a business that dovetails with yours to run a joint campaign and half the costs or double the reach
  • Ask existing clients how they found you and see what has worked in the past
  • Leverage your existing network by asking if they will display your business cards or brochures

Lastly, position your business so that you can be easily found by those prospects you have not actively reached out to. Optimize your website, post to social media, consider online advertising, look for trade shows, connect across social media platforms like LinkedIn and Google+. Make it so easy to contact you that your prospects pick up the phone or email you immediately.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today  info@trulium.com

Using Feedback to Improve Your Website & Business

If you want to improve your business (Who doesn’t?), it helps to listen to what your customers are saying about you.  Here are some suggestions from Trulium.com on how to use feedback to improve your website and online marketing strategies.

  1. Make it easy for your customers to contact you and then keep an open mind.  This can come in the form of “Contact Us” section on your webpage or an email link. Be sure to check the data you receive regularly and then use it to propel your company forward.
  2. Be willing to take the good, the bad, or even the ugly, and act on it.  In today’s viral social media environment customers can sing your praises or send you a loud boo pretty fast. That’s why it’s important to take constructive feedback and fix things that are wrong quickly. Likewise, it’s also great to be able to show how your business is thriving by sharing happy customer comments.
  3. Walk in your customers’ shoes.  This is especially important when it comes to viewing your web pages. Just by using Google Analytics, for example, you can get an idea of which pages your customers visit the most.  As for the pages that don’t make the cut, think about reworking them, deleting them or replacing them with better content your customers will want.
  4. Use web-based or online surveys to solicit feedback, and then put your money where your mouth is. You can survey customers, for example, on your business’ specific products and features, and then use that information to make those items even better. Make sure you are transparent so customers see that you care about their feedback and are using it.
  5. Utilize your social media. One of the best ways to get feedback is to simply ask directly, and social media is a great place to do that. Be willing to pose questions to your customers on social media, listen to your customers’ ideas, join in on the conversations, and use those ideas to grow your business.