digital marketing company san diego seattle

Want to Reach Your Audience Effectively? Get Personal

B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer) are common ways of classifying business relationships and commerce transactions. Recently there are more categories we can add, namely P2P (peer to peer) or H2H (human to human). No, we aren’t befuddling you with molecular structures from chemistry classes of yore – these are real terms.

As such, P2P has gained traction in lending, fundraising and networking, effectively changing the way people and businesses communicate. Think of P2P platforms like Etsy or eBay – these are examples of people dealing and trading with people, not necessarily a conglomerate. This represents a great deal of opportunity for those who can take advantage of this new commerce space.  Specifically, business and marketing professionals can learn a thing or two from the P2P’s. Let’s dive in:

It’s All About People

No matter what type of industry you’re in, you deal with people. (Most of the time – there is the occasional gecko selling insurance.) It has become nearly necessary to make those personal connections as best you can. Understand your audience on a human level by considering feelings, emotions, needs and wants. Given the speed of the digital technology in an increasingly online world, it’s more important than ever for an organization to show a little – or a lot – of humanity.

Fortunately this is entirely possible in our now highly interconnected marketplace. Digital media and careful marketing techniques can provide a complete profile of your customer in real time. This allows companies to better predict what customers need and understand more accurately what they want.

One way to accomplish this is by creating effective P2P (or H2H) channels to enable dialog. Not just for broadcasting – although a tidy benefit – but the primary goal is to listen and learn from those you are trying to connect with.

Can I Automate P2P (or H2H) Marketing?

Building trust is what marketing is all about. Marketers are already at a disadvantage, as customers tend to trust other customers more than businesses themselves. In fact, customers trust peer-to-peer recommendations a whopping 92% more than advertisements or recommendations provided by companies. Therefore, it is important to build an effective digital marketing platform that integrates people, technology and business.  As a result, businesses can directly reach target markets and connect with influencers who were previously blocked by gatekeepers or powerbrokers.

The ultimate struggle for organizations is to determine how to reach the individual person and do it at scale. Fortunately new technologies have opened an abundance of new possibilities, which we can help you with.

Tips from the Pros

Don’t complicate communication strategies – keep it genuine and simple. Think of it like a one-on-one conversation – what would you say if your customer were standing in front of you? While you are carefully crafting your marketing communications, be transparent, inspiring, educational and especially, entertaining! Just like people, when organizations are approachable and easy to interact with, you win more promoters who are more likely to recommend you, and eventually buy from you.

The goal is to demonstrate that there is a real and honest team of people behind your brand. You aren’t the big heartless corporation who couldn’t care less about the little guy. You care! And your customers care. Talk about what matters to your followers and target your markets as individuals. When you’re reaching out in a genuine manner and invest your time in getting to know them, they are much more likely to invest in you.

integrated digital marketing seattle san diego

Amplify! Your Story Across Digital Channels

You have a great amount of power thanks to the high quantity of digital media channels available today. They allow you to interact with your clients where they hang out every day. From there you are able to acquire new leads, retain current customers, and expand your brand. Never has it been easier to nurture markets and engage communities by connecting with them on their level.

By offering you audience choices by which to interact with you via emerging digital media platforms, you can tremendously increase your opportunities to connect with them.

A Golden Opportunity: The Good News and the Bad

Digital multi-channel marketing is a double edged sword. Like we said, it has never been easier to market your brand to prospects. Yet it is also extraordinarily challenging to maintain the many different plates you must be spinning to run successful digital marketing campaigns. Leveraging the multi-channel marketing via email, social, mobile, and web is both your biggest challenge and easiest endeavour.

Why easier?

Marketing today is easier because cost barriers of entry have come crashing down. Thanks to advancements in technology, getting your message out have never been easier or cost effective. Think about it – sending out emails is much cheaper and simpler than sending snail mailers. And that’s just one example – think about what you could be spending on billboards, newspaper ads, white pages ads…it can be exhausting.

Additionally, there are a great variety of channels for prospects and customers to engage in, providing more ways for you to personally (at least seemingly so) interact with customers than ever before. The number and variety of channels have increased at such rapid speeds, and expert marketers are constantly thrilled with new ways to get a hold of prospects for the benefit of clients.

Why more difficult?

While we never want to bring you bad news, we’re going to. Marketers are presented with more challenges in the digital age as well. The result of having so many options available also presents the special challenge of creating a consistent customer experience across all channels. This was not nearly as much of a problem when channels were down to less than 5. The digital world is more complex, multi-dimensional and fragmented than the billboard and brick-and-mortar worlds, with engagement solutions that are expected to be fast, personal, and interactive.

What can I do?

The key to running a powerful digital media campaign is to understand and maintain a focused view of your dynamically changing customer across all channels. Who is your ideal customer? Establish a solid foundation by knowing who your audience is and what they want to hear. From there, build out the process by which you will integrate all that gloriously varied technology to support the delivery your message.

Like we said before, the biggest challenges are:

  1. Maintaining a consistent brand voice across all channels.

  2. Using them! Successful implementation requires highly orchestrated campaigns. That’s right, you are now a marketing composer with many pieces that need to move fluidly together.

With thoughtfully targeted messages to the right audiences via the channels they want to hear it – you’ll be on your way to proving to customers your brand is meaningful and trustworthy.

Simplicity is Key: Information Consolidation

If you don’t get it yet maybe you will now – digital channel management is a complex undertaking. If not executed properly, you could  be in danger of sending conflicting messages toward a single customer, undermining all of your efforts. Imagine the poor customer who receives one offer from your Yelp campaign, only to receive an email offering something completely different. If the messages and offers are not coordinated, the confusion that can ensue will almost certainly lose you business. The result is an inconsistent, if not contradictory, communications effort.

Be the savvy marketer. Constantly integrate clarity as one of the main objectives in developing a cohesive multi-channel strategy framework.

By the Way: Multi-channel Customers Are Crazy Profitable

Get this – on average, multichannel customers spend 3-4x more than single channel customers. Why? These are your savviest customers who know what they want. They are much more informed than other customers because they do their research before making buying decisions. This makes them more likely to be more actively engaged in the buying process, and less likely to suffer from buyer’s remorse – because they found exactly what they want.

Not convinced? Here are more benefits that come from creating an automated, sustainable delivery platform:

•    Reduced costs-per-action

•    Higher customer conversions

•    Comprehensive customer data across the entire media mix

Now bear in mind that not all channels are created equally. Determine the relative value of each channel as it relates to driving profits can help companies determine where they need to lean their heaviest marketing efforts. This can be done by leveraging newer technologies which allow for accurate measurement across channels to see what is working – and what is flopping.

Vary your marketing strategy by utilizing the fantastic new and varied channels there are available to you. Having an integrated multi-channel marketing campaign will create and nurture connections online. This is essential for the growth of organizations in today’s ultra-connect culture for the simple reason that you must meet your customers right where they are – online.

social media marketing seattle

Find Your Authentic Company Voice

It is Time to Speak Out

Your company’s voice, spoken right, communicates your brand loud and clear. Discovering and conveying that true voice is an ongoing  process that flexes as your company flexes. It is the foundation for the building of a strong brand that resonates with your audience. And it is the cornerstone of all successful marketing campaigns.

For most organizations, content does not receive the concentrated effort it deserves because  it generally falls somewhere between the cracks of marketing and design. After the draft is written internally, it is many times sent to outsiders to edit to gain a measure of objectivity. The reason?  These drafts often reflect the internal struggles many companies face when striving to articulate their own stories and find their voice in the market.

Your Voice is an Amazing Asset

An authentic company voice is a carefully integrated blend of content, brand and tone. Prospects and customers hear that “voice” and construct their sense of your organization’s identity around what they hear. The ability for them to hear what you want them to hear is critical to the health of any organization’s brand as a well-defined voice creates an intangible, but reverberating, echo of who you are and what you do. The key is for what you say to be credible. The worst thing you could do is try to sound like something you are not. More importantly, if your company does not define your own unique corporate voice, your competitors and customers will define it for you. Your potential asset then becomes a liability.

Is the Medium the Message?

Today content marketing has caught on as never before. It’s popularity has opened up a tremendous opportunity for you to get your message out. However, with this opportunity comes a much greater responsibility to get your message right – and to tailor that message for each medium in which it is presented. The voice used on your website, print materials, outbound marketing campaigns and social media should all have an underlying, consistent theme – but the tone for each may vary per medium (more formal on thought leadership vehicles like whitepapers , more informal on some social media platforms, like Twitter).

Voice is an adjective that describes your organization

“Tone” is the particular personality trait that intrinsically defines your organization.Your tone can make you stand out from competitors, communicate efficiently and effectively with your audience and broadcast your brand’s personality. To help you discover your tone, think about who your customer is, what you want to communicate to them and how you want to communicate with them (channels). And ask them who they think you are.

Practice Makes Perfect

Attached is a simple exercise to get you started in defining your organization’s voice by uncovering the words that your constituents feel best describe your company. It will take a participant less than 5 minutes to complete. Distribute it to a number of people throughout your company and to a few customers, prospects and vendors to capture each group’s perception of your organization.

SG_Voice_Exercise_small

Once you have gathered all the descriptive words review them carefully and record where there is correlation and disconnection. Drop out the duplicates, but track how many times they showed up. Then focus on the remaining words and select 3 to 5 that you think would best represent your organization to its stakeholders.

What emerges from this exercise can not only help your organization massage or reshape its overall content, but could also serve as the foundation of your most authentic, powerful voice. This may be a values and vision- driven exercise. Your values and vision drive what you do and why you do it. Your voice will reinforce the story you tell about your company and its products in a way that truly connects with both your external and internal audience. After all, they will have helped define it.

At Steelsmith Group, we are experts at guiding companies through to the creation of their unique voice and clear points of view.  We can help you tap into your imagination, and your stakeholders to let the ideas flow. Then we assist you in arranging these ideas in a logical written sequence designed to strengthen and underscore your brand.

marketing strategy san diego seattle

Can You Articulate Your USP?

For start-up, small and medium-sized businesses, figuring out what makes your business unique is one of the most significant marketing decisions you’ll ever make. What distinguishes you, your business and your product is known as your USP or “Unique Selling Proposition”.

The bottom line is that if you can’t decide what makes your company different, then how can you expect your prospects, and even your customers, to know? Your inability to pin down exactly who you are and why they should both care means that they will likely base their decision to purchase (or not purchase) your product on a whim. Which will probably make it a one time purchase. What’s worse is that your competitors who have more clearly spelled out their space will look a lot more attractive to this random buyer.

The Unique Selling Proposition concept is not new. It’s been around since the 1940’s, present at the cusp of the advertising golden age. Theodore Levitt, a professor at Harvard Business School, suggested that, “Differentiation is one of the most important strategic and tactical activities in which companies must constantly engage.”

What has made USP more difficult for companies to define today is the sheer volume of available marketing channels, the global customer base (even if you are a smaller company) and the highly increased exposure every business has due to the internet in general and social media in particular – often exposure they cannot control. Corralling all this is sort of like trying to find your classes your first day of college. “Where do I go?”  “Who do I talk to?” “What do I do next?” –  And maybe,”Why am I even here?”

Once you are able to articulate your USP, you will have a much clearer idea of how to create successful integrated marketing campaigns to promote your brand and your product across the entire gamut of traditional and internet/digital marketing channels.

To get you started down your USP path, answer these questions –

  • When you started this business, what was your vision?

  • What kind of internal culture do you want for your employees?

  • What does your business do? And why do you do it?

  • What do you stand for, both professionally and personally?

  • Are you in business to make money, make a difference or to make just enough to to make a living?

  • What market or markets are you serving, and what specific benefits do you offer them?

  • Do you solve a problem for your customers? What problem?

At Steelsmith Group, our marketing strategy team will give you the help you need to answer these questions and identify your key points of difference. From there we can partner with you to take that difference and come up with a bunch of creative ways for you to communicate your points of difference. We’ll put together campaigns that span content management,  email marketing, business blogs, SEO, local SEO, website design, website development and CRM. So whether your business is right down the street here in San Diego, or across the country, give us a call. Together we’ll discover your unique selling proposition and we will build a business that customers love.

Sources:

http://sales.about.com/od/leadgeneration/ht/How-To-Find-Your-Unique-Selling-Proposition-Usp.htm

http://conversionxl.com/how-to-come-up-with-a-value-proposition-when-what-you-sell-isnt-unique/#.

 

3 Company Facebook Pages You Should Mimic

Demographically, Facebook offers the most diverse choice of people to market towards.  Most people in the world of business understand the potential of Facebook; however, most do not know how to completely harness Facebook’s potential for their business’ revenue and brand awareness.  After analyzing 100’s of company pages on Facebook, we have found 3 stand out pages that “get it right.”

#1 – Mabel’s Labels

Mabel's_LabelsMabel’s Labels business’ concept revolves around solving one main problem: Kids losing stuff. As a business founded by mothers to serve mothers – the main theme of the whole business is to use sticky, waterproof labels that personalize all of the child’s belongings.   Located in Ontario, Canada – this business is very passionate about what they do and creates labels for many different kinds of belongings including notebooks, pens/pencils, and other academic utensils. More than their actual page look is the way they approach social media strategy,  the company has created a very personable campaign strategy that offers extremely attractive, useful, participation asking content that tends to suck mom’s in.

Here are some of the great social media habits that this company exhibits on their Facebook page:

  • Diverse Content Choices- Mable’s Labels posts shareable content that’s not necessarily related to self-promotion.

  • Posting Frequency – They post approximately 1-2 times a day, and only 1 of those posts are going to be self-promoting advertisements.

Overall, they post high quality content on a consistent basis – two ingredients to a massively successful social media campaign.

 #2- Burt’s Bees

burt's_beesIf one were to guess what  Burt’s Bees does by looking briefly at their Facebook page, they’d instantly know what the company is about.  It’s obvious, they create natural beauty products.  Additionally, they are a company that has received millions of likes.  Sure, many of these likes are from people that have already used the brand before Facebook’s existence, however, we can still learn a lot from Burt’s Bees current strategy!

  • Unique Value Proposition – Their unique value proposition is right there in plain site: “Nature Reinvents the Crayon.”  Instantly, the user knows the purpose of the company and therefore is more inclined to keep browsing throughout the website.

  • Full Timeline – This is something that many companies simply overlook, they feature a full timeline actually has pictures dating back to its inception!  It’s a pretty wonderful idea to create a sense of loyalty and stability in the mind’s of your audience.

  • Like for Coupon Updates – A like in exchange for a coupon is an easy choice for a consumer to make. Furthermore, when a person likes a company or brand, there’s a good chance that others will notice and may even be interested in looking at the company.

In reference to social media strategy, Burt’s Bees also maintains one of the core principles of any successful social media marketing campaign – consistency!  They post nearly every single day at the same exact time!

 #3- Pool Supply World

poolsupplyworldLocated in the sunny desert of Phoenix, Arizona – Pool Supply World knows how to target and maintain their demographic.  Founded in 2006, this company has used social media strategy to bolster their revenue significantly over the span of years.  Here are some things this Facebook page does right:

  • Coupon! –  Right away, it’s obvious that they want to serve their customers by highlighting the Coupon option.  All you have to do is like their Facebook page and they’ll offer you a substantial discount on their products.  They truly understand the value of word of mouth marketing!

  • Poolaga The Game – If a viewer clicks on their “more” section – they will notice that the business has an interactive game!  This is a very innovative way to allow people to interact with your brand.  Furthermore, if that person gets a high score with the game they will be about to post about it on their Facebook timeline – this brings your company more brand awareness.

In conclusion, these are three businesses that every single business should model their Facebook page after.  If you apply all the tactics discussed on this post, you should see a tremendous amount of success!

social media digital marketing seattle san diego

Snapchat Grabs the Biggest Cluster of College Users

Making Facebook Look Like Old School

A new study conducted by the marketing firm Sumpto, who specialize in connecting brands with college students, says the photo messaging social media app Snapchat has snagged a huge chunk of the college market – 70% of college students “ use the app one or more times a day”. They’ve done this in spite of the fact that Facebook has introduced its own form of the offering (Slingshot), albeit with a lukewarm reception.   Only 2% of this same audience says they have downloaded Slingshot. Snapchat touted in May of this year that its users were dispatching 700 million photos and videos daily and that Snapchat Stories were being read 500 million times a day. The app firm turned down two multi-billion dollar buyout offers – one from Facebook, one from Google.

(Let’s also put this out there in the “Huh. That’s interesting…” bucket – Snapchat was started on a college campus by two savvy students. A third student was also involved and has sued the other two for stealing what he sees as mainly his idea. Sound familiar?)

So why is Snapchat the newest BMOC (look it up)? The study and other reports point to a few reasons for the app’s popularity. User’s think:

  • Snapchat offers a more security (because the media you send disappears after a very short time from both the user’s device and Snapchat’s servers, but we all know this could be false sense of security…)

  • Snapchat functionality lowers the risk of an automated mass-sharing

  • Snapchat  is more spontaneous. (the main use for Snapchat seems to be for posting funny/silly stuff.  Slightly over 59% said that’s what they use it for.)

  • Snapchat  is foot-print free (digitally speaking)

Outside of this sort of thought-provoking info about a battle between a David and a Goliath app, what does this mean in the business world?  Here’s the thing. Snapchat seems to be gearing up for something big – investment-wise. They just agreed to sell a bunch of shares of itself. And Snapchat is playing with new features  directed at brands and events. So what? Because, even if the reality is that Facebook is still the number one social media engine and isn’t going anywhere, if your demographic target is college students, you better sit up straight and pay attention to this app.

At Steelsmith Group we pay attention – to website design, CRM implementation, SEO, digital marketing, local SEO, video marketing, social media marketing, email marketing and content management. We do this for our clients to provide them with the best of the best marketing. We do this if they are here in our beloved San Diego or across the nation.  Give us a chance to earn an A+ from you. Reach out to us today.

Sources:

http://bgr.com/2014/06/24/facebook-vs-snapchat-daily-usage/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2014/08/08/snapchat-authorizes-mystery-share-sale/

http://mashable.com/2014/08/08/study-snapchat-college/

digital marketing company san diego seattle

Digital Marketers Click up the Clever Meter to Compete

Accenture recently conducted a survey of over 580 senior marketing leaders that predicted digital marketing will account for over 75% of marketing budgets globally by 2019. Those surveyed identified analytics, digital and mobile as the dominant drivers of this shift. But this surge will require a definite change in how dollars are currently invested in digital – and how to make the most of those dollars.

“Digital is changing the world and chief marketing officers know it. They are embracing digital channels with fervor, but it’s time to do more,” the Accenture report stated.

The firm added: “The reward for customers and marketers alike becomes relevant and seamless experiences, from brand promise through brand delivery.”

All this means that early, successful adopters of digital marketing are finding they can no longer count on owning the channel. (Heck, pretty soon the word ‘digital’ will just be dropped and marketing will mean mostly digital.)  They are stepping up their game across the planet and we are enjoying some of the inventive, funny and moving digital results. Companies are pulling out all the stops and using a wonderful mix of digital tools – pithy web content tied to interactive video, streamed to social media sites, that  gather impressive, viral responses from their audiences. And every great campaign is factoring in the human element too.

Just a taste of some of the fresh examples:

1. On Canada Day, celebrated a few weeks ago, Molson Canadian launched a wow of a video ad campaign. They placed unusual Molson Canadian beer fridges in targeted areas around the country. Thirsty Canadians could reach in and get free beers – but only if they correctly sang “O Canada” all the way through with no mistakes. The highly entertaining results were posted on the Molson website, social media sites and on TV.

2. In Russia, IKEA developed an ‘Instagram Catalogue Website’ to showcase a wide range of their products. In just a few days it garnered 15,000 followers. The kicker is how it works. Check it out.

3. Volkswagen found a stunning way to underscore the danger of stupid mobile use while driving. At a movie theatre Beijing, they showed the typical driver’s view “car driving down a road” ad with a heart stopping twist. At a planned moment in the ad, a nearby mobile broadcasting device pushes a SMS message to all cellphones in the theatre. As people look down at their phone to see the message, the car on the screen loses control and crashes into a tree. The clear message? Look how fatally distracting texting and driving can be. Posted on Youtube, the ad has had a huge numbers of viewers.

4. And finally, to illustrate unintentional marketing success, there is a very recent amateur video that uses digital, hitech and patriotism to go viral. It  shows what you get when you fly a Phantom quadcopter, equipped with a GoPro camera, through a 4th of July fireworks display. Set to Andrea Bocelli singing “Con Te Partiro”, the video is just beautiful. Though the video really pushes what’s legal and what’s not, it’s still worth viewing on Youtube. The jury is still out on what it will do for Phantom or GoPro sales…

What is clear to us at the Steelsmith Group is that this forecasted growth of digital marketing is real. So we are here to create all aspects of your integrated marketing plan with a strong focus on the digital component. We know video, social media, content management, email marketing, overall marketing campaign management and – to keep things running smoothly – CRM. So start preparing for the digital marketing deluge by contacting Steelsmith Group now. We call San Diego home, but we work with clients across the USA. We’ll get you in the swim – and winning!

 

SOURCES:

http://www.noodls.com/viewNoodl/23737042/iab—interactive-advertising-bureau-uk/digital-to-account-for-three-quarters-of-marketing-budgets

http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/sectors/technology-and-telecoms/news/senior-marketers-expecting-digital-to-make-up-75-of-budgets-in-next-five-years/4011014.article

http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2681556/Drone-captures-fireworks-inside-beautiful-illegal-footage.html

 

video marketing firm san diego seattle

Videos – The Unsung Hero of SEO

A great way to really draw in and connect with your website’s visitors – and hold their attention longer- is through an exceptional video. Everyone loves a good online video. (How many have you watched so far this week?) Data shows that your conversion rate will jump when you use video as one of your online marketing tools. No matter who your target market is, they will respond to videos. Videos have cross-demographic and cross-generational appeal. It is a pretty affordable tool too.

So it should be a no-brainer to make video part of your SEO playlist. Need more convincing? Okay. With video you can –

  • Announce who you are and what you offer to your target audience – and even the competition.

  • Design and present a concise and clear demo of a few of your services and products by underscoring the benefits.

  • Throw a spotlight on your company’s position as a thought leader and expert in your field.

  • Provide your viewers with a learning experience about your product, your industry or any topic relevant to them.

  • Give your business a real personality and star power.

Over and above all else, the objective of a ROI-rich online video presence is to command first page results by combining smart Video SEO strategies with smart traditional SEO techniques. As a company that totally gets all things digital marketing – including SEO, CRM, email marketing, social media strategy, content management AND online video – Steelsmith Group can partner with you to design and produce captivating, edifying and keyword optimized videos that harness the power of this potent SEO tool. We will show you how your videos can deliver real value to your visitors along with a superb viewing experience.

To get you thinking, we found a great article on Search Engine Watch that gives some valuable tips on getting your videos a 5 star rating that will move the SEO needle in the right direction.

Read it, and then give us a shout!:

http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2343365/10-Video-SEO-Tips-That-Can-Truly-Impact-Your-Rankings

 

8 Simple Strides Towards Small Business Social Media Savvy

As a small business owner, trying to decide where to spend your marketing dollars can be overwhelming.  You know marketing is a must, but so is keeping the lights on. The easiest thing to do often seems to take the traditional route – local newspaper ads, coupons in the neighborhood ‘saver’, and building a basic website. But the thing is, while that route makes some sense, don’t forget about building a digital marketing program that includes solid social media. And the cost can be very manageable.

But social media can also be really baffling. How do you start? How do you know what channel is most beneficial for your business? And how do you get the results you want?

Here are 8 internet marketing steps that will set you on the right social media program path:

1. Research all available platforms

There are new social media networks popping up every day. Make a list that includes the usual leaders – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr – read up on them and then go a step further. Watch each of them for a few weeks. If you do, you will pretty much find out what audience and demographic they attract. And what their personality is. For example – LinkedIn is almost all about business and business people. Other platforms are a bit more casual.

2. Pick three platforms to get you started

Pick the platforms that match your target audience. Build a profile on each. And start posting – often. You should place new company info, offers, product announcements, etc. at least once a week. Cross-platform integration will make these easier to manage. Once you get comfortable with three, do more research and add more platforms to your social media kit.

3. Blog

Blogging is not as scary as you think. WordPress or Blogger will walk you through the technical process. The most important part of blogging is good content. (More on that later.) A good. well-written blog that is shared effectively gets readers and grows an audience. Write what you know about to the audience that is interested – and go local. If you sell bikes in San Diego, talk about the best biking routes, or events, or products popular in that city. If you become known as the expert, they will not only buy your product, they will recommend it. The most likely place for your blog is your website, but it can also be elsewhere. Research other great blog venues.

4. Connect

No matter how good your message is, it’s no good if no one sees it. So connect. Make it easy on yourself by starting with established customers, friends, and even family.  Network with them on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. They know you and trust you so they will likely share your content with others. You can also search these same sites to see who is interested in and commenting on the kind of product or service you offer. Start a conversation and/or connect with them. If you have a brick and mortar location, make sure your customers know about your blog –  and all of your social media presence.

5. Good Content

This is important – – If you aren’t sure of your writing skills, hire an expert to write in your voice for both your blog and your other social media postings. Poorly written, stale or boring content can be very damaging to your social media profile and overall marketing program. Use the keywords your target customer will use when they search. Write about what you know – just like your sixth grade english teacher told you to. Encourage interaction by using  polls or surveys or asking for photos. Do this through all of your chosen channels. And write about current, trending topics that resonate with your target audience and help soothe their pain points. But remember to keep top of mind the ‘social’ part of social media – don’t sell too hard.

6. Get your content out there!

LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook cross-connect if you use them right. Just set them up to link with each other. And a good place to start connecting, no matter who your target market, is LinkedIn. Check out the Groups area of LinkedIn and join all the groups that have your target audience as members. Also link into websites or blog sites managed by associations affiliated with your industry. They may be looking for content. If you are connected to your local Chamber of Commerce, see if they have a venue that may be perfect for your content.

7. Respond to Feedback

The only thing worse than posting poor, irrelevant content is not responding when a reader/customer/potential customer reaches out to you. This is your time to really shine. Carry on a good conversation that answers their need. And stay connected past the first conversation by keeping them informed of new happenings in the industry and in your business.

8. Keep it all in Perspective

Social media should not be the only marketing tool you use. It’s a very important tool because that’s where the world spends most of its time these days. But an ad in the church bulletin, a speech to the local Kiwanis club and even sponsoring a local little league team can also bring in leads that turn into business.

A final note- There is a way you can have a great digital marketing program and still make it really easy on yourself – At Steelsmith Group we get internet marketing, CRM, SEO, web design/development, website analytics and social media. We know how to get your message right, say it in an engaging way, post it in the right places, and measure the results. And we have offices in both San Diego and Seattle. So give us a call. Just sayin’.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sources: http://blog.taigacompany.com/blog/sustainability-business-life-environment/sustainable-business-your-customers-are-on-social-media-are-you

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/social-media-guide-small-businesses/

twitter social media marketing san diego seattle

Twitter Study Shows What Makes a Terrific Tweet

There has been lots of guesswork by social media experts and critics regarding what makes a tweet work and what doesn’t. A new study gives us data on the subject that comes directly from the bird’s beak.

Twitter looked at more than 2 million tweets from verified accounts in the United States. What it found was that adding video, links, and photos all result in “an impressive boost in the number of retweets”.

So what type of padding best perks up a tweet, and by what percent?

Photos – averaged a 35 percent boost in retweets.
Videos – got a 28 percent boost.
Quotes – received a 19 percent boost in retweets.
A number or stat – received a 17 percent bump in retweets.
Hashtags – garnered a 16 percent boost.

Twitter provides some great examples of how different high profile sectors effectively add meat to their tweets – like news organizations, politicians, sports folks, etc.

And there is an interactive data table you can play with too.

So do a flyover of Twitter’s flock of findings here: http://tinyurl.com/m53mg2s