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‘Social Media’ Category

  1. I Like You, But . . . Taking Social Media To The Next Level

    April 18, 2014 by Blair Stover

    The one phrase no one wants to hear in the dating world is, “I like you, but . . .” The same thing could be said for social media.  When you gather lots of likes or followers you probably think it will help your business.  It can, but just gathering likes is not enough to drive new custom to your business.  Instead, you must do something with those followers to convert them into loyal customers.

    The Difference Between “Like” and “Love”

    Blair StoverYou may have launched a campaign to gain Facebook or Twitter followers by offering some type of incentive to those who “liked” your page or “followed” you.  However, you have to remember that, while it is good news that people are seeing your company, it does not take much effort to hit the “like” or “follow” button.  The real effort, and the gap you must bridge, comes after gaining a new fan or follower.  At that point, you must begin the process of building loyalty.

    Loyalty in social media marketing refers to the delicate process of causing a follower to become a loyal fan.  There is no easy or quick way to do this.  It requires an indeterminate number of positive interactions; this number will be different for every customer.  How, then, can you possibly hope to take control of the loyalty process and turn those who “like” you into those who “love” you?

    Step-By-Step

    There are steps you can take to build loyalty.  While you may not reach every customer, these steps will give you the best chance of making your followers loyal!

    • Respond to every request.  Manager your social media every day and try to respond to as many customer posts and comments as possible.  You may not be able to respond to every comment, but make it a practice to answer a set number every day.
    • Deal with negative feedback immediately.  Social media is a great way to reach your audience, but it is also an easy way for your audience to tell the world when they have a bad experience.  If you get a complaint, handle it immediately to avoid bad feedback later.
    • Offer tantalizing posts.  Make your posts interesting and enticing to keep your customers interested.  If necessary, hire a professional to write your posts for you.

    With just a little work, you can turn your fan base into a group of loyal customers!

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  2. 4 Pinterest Tools You Need

    December 9, 2013 by Blair Stover

    Since its creation, Pinterest has risen in the ranks to become one of the best tools for social media marketing. With numerous businesses turning to Pinterest and finding success, this social site should not be left out when creating your own digital marketing plan

    Blair StoverAs Blair Stover states below, there are certain ways to make your site/Pinterest profile more efficient in your marketing efforts. Take a look at four tools to help you make the most of your Pinterest:

    1. Inject traffic to your website. In each of the photos or info-graphics you use, you should never let your customers miss the opportunity to click a link that can inject traffic to your site. So, with ease and speed from different photos, this social network can be a very interesting way to drive traffic to your website. An important option is to add a “Pin It” selection to your website itself.
    2. Organize your site by subject and select bright colors. Organizing your website separating each screen by subject and then ensuring each is easily understandable is important. Complete the process by adding photos, videos or more representative info-graphics. You can expand things by adding related or unrelated articles about your field, as well. This makes your site easy to Pin, and easy to Pin from.
    3. Humanize your content. Companies and individuals have similar, if not identical, profiles. Take advantage of this! Pinterest, gives you a good opportunity to humanize whatever brand you are marketing, even if it already has a somewhat human appearance.
    4. Use analysis tools. Recently, Pinterest announced the inclusion of an analysis tool that provides large amounts of data. This data allows users to make the measurements necessary for the development or adjustment of business strategies.

    Pinterest is one of the most profoundly technical visual sites that can be found on the net. If you are looking to expand your business by sharing images as well as ideas, feelings, opinions, etc, this is the platform to use.

     

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  3. 5 Ways Google+ Communities Are Your Best Friend

    October 25, 2013 by Blair Stover

    English: Google+ wordmark

    English: Google+ wordmark (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Most professionals and companies are already familiar with social media marketing. But there are some who still do not know what the best use Google Plus is when it comes to marketing purposes.

    Google Plus, like any other marketing outlet, isn’t for everyone. But for many it’s a way to help with not only SEO efforts but create a genuine and engaging online presence as well. Here are some suggestions on how Google Plus can help increase the number of marketing benefits, provided by Blair Stover.

    1. Engage with active users (professionals). Google Plus has a balanced mix between influential people and those who are just eager to learn. Many users have their own blogs, websites or brands with pages on Google Plus. By using Google Plus, you can find people who are active in your area and influence them to share their content. A company should try to get more involved with these types of users.
    2. Create new communities. If you cannot find a community on Google Plus that is related to your interests, you can always start your own. The creation of a new community is extremely simple. Influence authorship and invite people in your community to post.
    3. Use Google hashtags. By using these, you can actually call out specific people within posts.
    4. Engagement and responses appear on your newsfeed. Organizing your circles based on the news you want to see is a huge time saving feature.
    5. Recommended Communities Feature. This is the best feature for marketing professionals. Any type of content can be found on the Google Plus public community feature.

    Google Plus was never seen as a threat to Facebook (at first). Now, the tables have turned because of new tools and features that make this social media site rapidly gaining in the social media world. Are you on Google Plus already?

     

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  4. Pinterest: How You Should Be Using It

    October 11, 2013 by Blair Stover

    English: Red Pinterest logo

    English: Red Pinterest logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Pinterest is looking to show companies that it actually pays to use its site. By using “promoted” pins, a business can generate revenue and still be considered transparent, relevant and tasteful. If you and your company need a refresher course on how to use Pinterest, this is the chance to get it. Keep reading to see why Blair Stover thinks your business should care about using this particular social media site.

    The obvious reason is because Pinterest has proven its overall ability to convert browsers and drive traffic. The site is responsible for 40% of e-commerce traffic, which is double that of Facebook. The reasoning behind this could be due to the fact that is produces high quality, visualized content that sells.

    Is it possible for a non-visual business to rethink its strategy? Absolutely. It has to do so by getting creative. Pinning photos of special events, or things being performed at the office, fun off-site activities and even special speakers can make a business stand out above its peers. A financial business, for example, could pin tips or inspiration quotes and visual infographics pertaining to the industry.

    No matter the company you have, the photos you pin should be bright, interesting and colorful – all of which are items people want to share. Pinterest’s fan base rewards businesses that are authentic and they have a tendency to abandon those that look promotional. Compelling, attractive imagery will get re-pinned over the images that look more like ads.

    Is your business using Pinterest? If so, how, and if not, why not?

     

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  5. How to Execute Your Social Media Campaign

    September 25, 2013 by Blair Stover

    New to social media? Blair Stover offer tips on how to execute your social media campaign, whether you’re a small business or a single entrepreneur.

    English: Infographic on how Social Media are b...

    English: Infographic on how Social Media are being used, and how everything is changed by them. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Begin by spending time each day executing your social media strategy. Make yourself a deal to invest a minimum of 25% of your day (or a valued employee’s day) to execute your marketing strategy in social media.  This is required to get the results you expect. The manager of your social media must be responding, analyzing, posting, communicating, and measuring your company’s social media marketing each day.

    Next, develop an editorial calendar that spans three months. Plan how you will get your content and message to your target audience over a three month period. Your content calendar should be developed alongside your editorial calendar. Execute the three month plan each day.

    Follow the 10-4-1 rule. The 10-4-1 formula will help you optimize your social media postings. In this rule, for every 15 social media posts, only one should link to your landing pages, 4 should be links that go to your blog posts and 10 come from helpful content from other sources.

    Do not forget to involve your sales team on your social media marketing plan. The sales and management teams should amplify your efforts along with their personal accounts. For instance, when you are sharing a new article on your company’s blog, encourage your sales team to share the product on their personal LinkedIn accounts. Your content should assist them in the generation of new leads. In addition, your company will be building a reputation of leadership and thoughtfulness.

     

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  6. Hashtags: To Use or Not to Use?

    August 20, 2013 by Blair Stover

     

    Today we ask the age-old question…hashtags: to use or not to use? Hashtags are everywhere today, first started by Twitter then used by Google+ and Facebook. American Express even allows their customers to make purchases using hashtags. What’s the fuss with these hashtags? Are they really necessary – or just potentially irritating? Blair Stover says – #necessary. And #effective!

    Hashtag-FB

    Hashtag-FB (Photo credit: melenita2012)

    It may be surprising that businesses can actually use hashtags to their advantage. People take notice of hashtags and they can help people share your contests, news, advertising and other thoughts, taking the work out of your hands and to others who share via your hashtag.

    People share hashtags to join a conversation or make themselves visible. In this vein, it’s a great idea to use hashtags to attract new patrons, hold a contest, or inform patrons who share a hashtag thought that they will receive an incentive or be entered in a drawing. It’s simple to see who has participated, as all a business has to do is look up that particular hashtag to see a list of people who have shared it.

    Hashtags navigate a variety of networks, including Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Make your hashtag known by introducing it to as many networks as possible, and watch your idea grow as you expose it to more people.

    Furthermore, a company who uses hashtags will be used as modern, innovative and concerned with attracting a widespread audience, as well as one who likes to build a community of patrons who share common thoughts and ways of sharing and circulating those thoughts.

     

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  7. Facebook’s Newest Tool and You

    August 6, 2013 by Blair Stover

    Heard the latest when it comes to Facebook? This social media giant is always changing, and has recently made updates to its “Nearby” tool, which can be accessed through the social media site’s Android and iOS mobile apps. Blair Stover has more on this story below.

    Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

    Image via CrunchBase

    Not only will this feature help people find friends easier, local businesses will be located faster as well thanks to feedback from friends and other Facebook users. This feedback is collected from recommendations (consisting of a star rating system that rates a company from a single star up to five) and through “likes.” Unlike a number of other review apps, a person will have to “check into” businesses before rating them.

    The purpose of the update could help local businesses, which already have a somewhat decent presence on Facebook. Users can use this tool when searching for specific categories or businesses like coffee shops or restaurants. The “Nearby” tool can also get as specific as clothing or brunch. The more people and their friends recommend, check into and rate, the more personalized the list will become.

    Here is a small list of things that a company can do when trying to become more visible on Facebook’s social media sites.

    1. Update your page. Once you have set up your business Facebook page, ensure that everything is completely filled out to the best of your abilities. This includes your store address, phone number, store hours and any minor or major details about your business.
    2. Update your category. Make sure your company is in the right category, which allows you to show up in the right place when people look up for your type of business.
    3. Talk to the Consumer. Ratings and feedback mean a lot of things, so that means you should encourage them to “like” or rate you.

     

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  8. 5 Metrics to Pay Attention To

    July 23, 2013 by Blair Stover

    In the past, social media for businesses had long been taboo as there was no real way of measuring success. Times change, however, and as social media continues to evolve so do social media metrics. When starting out, there are several insights and numbers to track. At Blair Stover, however, we believe these five are the ones to pay attention to when it comes to your first marketing campaign with social media.

    English: Infographic on how Social Media are b...

    English: Infographic on how Social Media are being used, and how everything is changed by them. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    The data from visitor flow provides you with important insights on how to strengthen certain areas of your business. The social media metrics of today are so accurate that you can set the basis of these further steps to duplicate the success of a website which attracts more visitors. Here are five metrics to pay attention to:

    Virality - The higher the ratio is, the better virality. This value simply indicates how the viral content is in your social media network.

    Growth rate - The growth rate indicates how fast you get new followers. The actual number of followers is not important, but how fast and how many new followers you get a month is.

    User engagement - This isn’t the number of followers that play a role, but how many users it has share the content.

    Time use – Time is an important factor for your success. Make sure you are on your social network a certain amount of time a day.

    Conversion - The direct and time-delayed conversion lets you know how successful your media is and how you can make money with it.

    It is better to have fewer followers that distribute the content ahead and share it properly than millions of followers that do nothing with your content. With these metrics, you can begin to craft a stronger and more specific social media campaign that will help you fulfill your business goals.

     

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  9. Social Media Insights to Help Your Marketing Plan

    July 3, 2013 by Blair Stover

    The way that Blair Stover sees it, who better to consult when honing your marketing plan than your very own customers? Leading customer support solution provider Freshdesk recently analyzed data gathered from 6,000 customers to see what customers really think about marketing techniques.

    twitter logo map 09

    twitter logo map 09 (Photo credit: The Next Web)

    What did Freshdesk find? It turns out that customers prefer to be contacted via email rather than customer support social media channels, such as Twitter and Facebook. Many businesses offer dedicated customer support pages on Facebook and Twitter accounts. While customers prefer personal conversations to email conversations, email is a more preferred channel than social media outlets when dealing with customers.

    When it comes to Twitter versus Facebook, it seems that most customers prefer dealing with Twitter for customer support issues, as Twitter offers an expansive search function. What’s more, customers are more likely to tweet about product problems or issues than post their grievances on Facebook. Twitter collates all tweets related to a specific issue and displays those results on one page, which enables businesses to quickly gauge brand image, move forward with appropriate marketing, and respond to complaints, all from one place.

    It’s no secret that businesses want to have more control over shaping the public’s conception of a brand or product. Customer support is often the best way to shape public perception, so many companies set up social media pages as dedicated support channels. Freshdesk found that companies are generally twice as fast to respond to customer support requests on social media pages as compared to email requests or questions.

    In hopes of avoiding those dreaded long call wait times, customers are looking for new places for support. Many companies are taking advantage of social media channels and pages to post solutions to common problems, so customers can hopefully find solutions in a quicker and easier manner. As the reports suggest, however, email may also be a vital place to consider placing your customer support team as well.

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  10. 4 Steps to Market on Facebook

    June 20, 2013 by Blair Stover

    Here at Blair Stover, we strongly agree that marketing on Facebook is an essential component of any overall marketing plan. Marketing on Facebook should be an integral part of the plan, not a marketing practice that lives outside of your overall plan. Furthermore, if you don’t have a goal-oriented strategy for your Facebook marketing plan, you’ll never know if you’re getting results or realizing benefits from your social media presence.

    Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

    Image via CrunchBase

    Before making Facebook marketing a part of your overall marketing plan, you must be sure that your company’s Facebook page is effective and attractive. While you’re at it, make sure that your company website is also professional, easy to navigate, and effective. Be sure your overall business model makes sense, so you know how you’re making money, how much you’re making, and how much can be allocated for marketing.

    When you’re ready to start marketing on Facebook, start out by setting some specific goals. Know what results you want to see from Facebook marketing and track progress towards those goals. Goals can include creating a loyal friend-base, showcasing new products or services, or increasing overall exposure. You can drive traffic to your Facebook page by posting monthly giveaways, freebies, or other enticing services or products. What’s more, you can use Facebook as a lead generator by tying in an email opt-in.

    Stay informed and up to date with your research. Know your audience and how they spend their time, online and offline. Know your competition and what they’re up to on Facebook. Keep up with Facebook trends and new features to stay current.

    Work towards your goals. Have a plan in place so you know how your Facebook activity is leading towards achieving your goals. Consider setting up a calendar of Facebook posts, promotions, and more.

    Measure your progress. Facebook Insights helps you track how certain posts are working for you and your goals. You can view who is viewing and acting upon your content. Don’t forget to adapt and change your plan along the way! Social media is a fluid thing, after all, and your marketing plan should reflect this to an extent as well.

     

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