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HOW SOCIAL ARE YOU?

person using computer and phone to view social media

The key to growing your business is understanding your audience and who your prospective customers are.  With the recent workplace changes, zoom meetings, and virtual cups of coffee how are you connecting with that audience?  Are you reaching out via a newsletter to stay top of mind?  Do you regularly post on social media channels where your customers are?  Are you using postcards and/or snail mail to stay in touch?

Sharing relevant content on your social channels is a great way to keep your audience abreast of industry updates, new products, and/or accomplishments.  This type of information can come directly to your inbox by way of Google Alerts.  If you are unfamiliar with the term or the process to set up an alert, here is a quick how to link

Look for your customer’s pain points.   For example, if a prospect mentions a problem they’re having that you can address, a Google Alert can enable you to quickly get involved in the conversation with a helpful piece of content or insight. If a potential buyer’s company hires a new CEO, key personnel, or expands their business, you should comment on the alert’s trigger event as soon as possible to get on their radar.  Based on your need, these alerts can easily be adjusted.

As it pertains to LinkedIn, make sure your LinkedIn profile is optimized.  Identify the groups where your potential customers are members, follow and participate in discussions.  These discussions can often reveal the current pain points a customer is experiencing.

NURTURE DON’T SELL

When developing online relationships avoid the hard closing tactic and nurture your leads.  Understanding who your leads are is key to your sales process.  Social selling is the process of researching, connecting, and interacting with prospects and customers on social media networks — notably Twitter and LinkedIn, but others certainly fit the bill. Through commenting on, liking, and sharing prospects’ and customers’ posts, salespeople create relationships with buyers and boost their credibility by taking an interest in what they’re discussing.

As you share success stories from current customers, third party validation helps build your credibility with potential buyers and allows prospects to relate to your customers’ experiences.   If you have provided a solution to a problem a potential prospect may be more likely to envision the same solution solving their issue as well.

Likewise, are you monitoring customer satisfaction within your company’s service delivery and addressing any unresolved problems and issues?  How often before hiring a company or service, going to a restaurant, booking travel, etc. do you look at customer reviews?  As a consumer, do you have a better image of the company if they acknowledge the issue and make amends?  Let’s face it, we’re not going to please everyone 100% of the time, but if your company consistently has 2 or 3-star reviews it may be time to look internally.

IF YOU’RE NOT MEASURING YOU’RE NOT MARKETING

Measure your engagement in the form of likes, comments, and shares.  The higher the engagement the more likely the content resonated with your audience. By paying attention to what content gets the most engagement with your audience, you can see what content or conversation topics are of interest to your prospects.   This is a good indication that you should seek out and share more about that topic.

It boils down to this…

  • Know your target market
  • Provide relevant information and nurture prospective leads
  • Track your engagement and provide more like content
  • Develop social relationships that allow you to close the sale

If you are unsure of your audience, their pain points, or how to engage and track performance, contact the Edmiston Group or call 724-612-0755.

About the Author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior-level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long-term basis. Core areas of service are business development strategies, website creation and management, social media management, marketing, strategic planning, and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.  Contact the Edmiston Group today to learn how we can bring fresh ideas to help grow your business.

HOW MUCH ARE YOU WILLING TO INVEST?

You don’t always need to make huge changes in your business to grow. Sometimes, small pivots can be just as effective. Here are some tips to help you understand what it takes to adapt and make incremental adjustments.

Let your personality shine through.  As a business owner, are you involved with the local community or a nonprofit organization?  Have you created a company culture where employees enjoy coming to work and feel valued?  For years, many business owners have kept their personal and company brands separate. But your personal brand could be an asset to your business.

Build your management team.  As your business grows, a business owner can reach capacity.  We start off in business wearing all the hats, but there are only so many hours in a day.  As a business matures, owners must decide if they will begin to invest in key personnel – a good attorney, accountant, marketing support, IT staff, and HR.   Lack of this commitment to move forward will leave a business stuck.  Savvy business owners realize there may not be the budget to bring on senior staff as they outgrow the ability to do it all.  However, a fractional manager brought on as an outside consultant can be most effective. The fractional manager is laser-focused on their skill area and can quickly assess the situation while delivering results.

Invest in marketing. Building a brand requires investing time and resources into creating awareness.  I often hear “I’ve been in business for 4 years and people don’t know we’re here.”  To gain customer awareness, you have to invest in a website that becomes your business’s digital front door and in traditional and social media to communicate with potential customers where they get their information. Not having an internet presence is as bad as a retailer having a bad location and no outdoor signage. No one knows you are there to meet their needs.

Know your customer.  It is not enough to be out there in cyberspace, you have to be able to reach the right people. Being where they are is integral to pushing them along the buying continuum so they understand who you are, believe what you offer, and then try your product or services. Marketing is not a cost to a business, it is an investment. Without it, you have no chance to connect with those who you want to buy from you.

Review Your Email Marketing Strategy to be giving valuable information that people want to read.   Make sure to utilize a mobile-friendly template.  “Email marketing should address how you can make [the recipient’s] life better today, even if it is in a small way,” Dave Charest, director of content marketing at Constant Contact. “You can demonstrate urgency by positioning your products and services in a way that addresses new and changing customer needs, not by pushing discounts and products down their throat. Email marketing is all about sharing the information [the recipient] needs in the way they prefer it, which includes tone, length, and time of day.”

Are you ready to invest in your business?  To learn more about these and other marketing strategies, contact the Edmiston Group, or call 724-612-0755.

About the Author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior-level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long-term basis. Core areas of service are business development strategies, website creation and management, social media management, marketing, strategic planning, and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.  Contact the Edmiston Group today to learn how we can bring fresh ideas to help grow your business.

SHOW YOUR HUMAN SIDE

Are you bringing a human element into your email marketing program?  
Better yet, do you utilize an email program to stay in touch with colleagues, referral sources, employees, and more?

Email marketing is an effective, interactive, and measurable communications tool that allows businesses to reach a large number of customers efficiently. With specific links to areas on the website, calls to action, you can measure your results.  By looking at reports within the email platform, a business owner has effectively developed warm leads and knows who is interested in their company.

Yet, most small business owners and managers who have the best intentions to handle email marketing on their own fail to execute it consistently. They are missing opportunities to increase sales, remain top of mind for their customers, show a human side to the business, and announce new products or services.

List segmentation allows companies to target messaging to a particular area of their list, or reach out to all lists with general newsletter information.  It’s much easier to strategize who your target market is and create the segmented lists when developing a newsletter.  Although labor-intensive on the front end, by taking the time to step through this piece during setup, the email program will yield better results moving forward.

For example, we work with an eye doctor that has multiple offices.  His lists are segmented by office in the event we have a particular message for a given office.  A contractor segments his lists by business, engineering, land developers, and government.  A nonprofit organization has their lists segmented by sponsors, business, and donors.  Think about how your business touches others and the types of clients you serve.

Many companies choose to lean on the Edmiston Group, a company that provides a full suite of marketing services to include: content creation, professional email marketing as a service, strategic marketing guidance, advertising guidance, social media management, and website development services.

Some things to consider in your newsletter include:

  • Show your human side. Are you looking for employees?  A recent newsletter we produced featured a video highlighting an employee interview with the company’s owner as to why the employee liked the company.  We prepared a short video script and the business owner and his team executed.
  • Update company information. Did the company’s hours of operation change in light of the current business climate? Are plans for a customer appreciation sale in the works? Companies keep their customers informed of changes via email.
  • Savings. Special offers are popular content in an email newsletter. The offer could be a phone consultation, a discount, or other forms of a product bundle sale.  The email subject line should announce that the message contains a type of promotion.
  • New Product Offerings. Companies should not assume that loyal customers are keeping abreast of changes and additions to service offerings. Use the email newsletter to announce new products and services so that your customers know what’s available.
  • Relationships and Community Support. Many nonprofit organizations are shifting to virtual events, walks, and other forms of communication to continue to raise awareness for their cause. Be a champion for a nonprofit by utilizing email to spread the word about company partnerships with community organizations or support of charitable causes. The goodwill could inspire people to hire the company, encourage others to pitch in, or spark new opportunities or business relationships.

Email newsletters are shareable and measurable.  People can forward them to friends and family who might need the information. Savvy business owners and managers will take advantage of this communication tool. But they don’t need to do it alone; they can turn to the Edmiston Group for a myriad of marketing services. To learn more and email us or call 724-612-0755.

About the Author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior-level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long-term basis. Core areas of service are business development strategies, website creation and management, social media management, marketing, strategic planning, and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.  Contact the Edmiston Group today to learn how we can bring fresh ideas to help grow your business.

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