5 Tips for Setting Focused, Attainable Marketing Goals for Your Business

marketing goalsHow do your feel about setting marketing goals for your business? This task creates a lot of anxiety for many small business owners, precisely because their companies are small. Many business owners and managers feel that there isn’t much time to ponder company vision, goals or milestones. Then there’s the risk of letdown if you miss a goal. Official goal-setting is for the big corporations, right? You’ve got widgets or air conditioners or creative services to sell! No more avoidance!
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Don’t Let These 5 SEO Myths Derail Your Content Marketing

SEO mythsDo you ever wish that Google would halt its striving for search perfection, run out of animals (panda, penguin etc.) and just let their algorithm remain the same for a couple of years? Of course, that’s never going to happen. Change is good, but it does make keeping up somewhat difficult, especially for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Although they don’t often come right out and tell us, certain facts come to be known about Google’s likes and dislikes, whether from businesses sharing what works for them or through Google’s Matt Cutts’ videos, blog and sometimes vague Q&A sessions.

Here are some SEO myths we can safely debunk to help you keep your SEO/natural search strategy on track:
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The 2 Sides of Social Media: Marketing and Customer Service

social media marketing and customer serviceIt’s both simple and convenient for a customer to ask you questions via social media on mobile devices or laptops, and many take advantage of this convenience. You can also use the same convenience to reach out to them with marketing messages that bring in more business using the same channels. Short on resources? Concentrate first on inbound customer service.
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How to Ensure Your Email Marketing Attempts Are as Useful as Possible

email marketingEmail marketing is an excellent tool for small business. After all, it’s inexpensive, and it can get you a little undivided attention to help get your brand’s message across. To be successful, however, you must keep your welcome open so that you’re an anticipated rather than unwelcome presence in the recipient’s inbox. There’s certainly lots of competition that you must rise above, but there’s something much worse than being ignored in the world of email. We’re talking about the “unsubscribe.”
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Marketing Terminology: You Think You Know These Words, But Is Your Understanding Accurate?

marketing terminologyMarketing terminology can get bantered about to the point of becoming completely meaningless at times. Here are a few crucial marketing terms and ways to use each in your business growth strategy.
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Clear Tips for Becoming a Greater Social Media Influence in Your Industry

social mediaSocial media may seem like a free-for-all sometimes, but don’t let its frenetic pace scatter your focus. Be strategic when working to build social media influence and trust. Keep the following tips in mind as you post status updates, tweets, pins, images and video:
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Staying Current With Content Marketing in a World of Constant Changes

Content MarketingThe content marketing world continues to evolve–ever faster. New social media outlets are springing up, it seems, almost weekly. Seismic SEO shifts are also pretty common. In addition, the content quality bar is perpetually being raised, as writers get better, while online consumers become more sophisticated and attention-span challenged. Read More »

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How Successful Businesses Handle Negative Comments on Social Media

negative commentsThere are comments you can learn from and those that are just malicious. Don’t take negative comments on social media personally. Be diplomatic and gracious, and know when to quit. Here’s some advice to turn negatives around or, at very least, to protect your business from harm: Read More »

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Increase Customer Referrals and Maximize Profits

increase customer referralsSmall business owners cannot afford to ignore referrals as a way to maximize profits. It’s much cheaper to get new customers via referral than through any other method. Don’t just wait for referrals to come in. Be on the lookout for the best times to ask for referrals and unique, effective ways to ask. Once you have the mindset, the process can become automatic. After all, requesting referrals is a type of essential CTA (call to action) for your business.

Expert Tips to Increase Customer Referrals for your Business

Ask at the right time. Brainstorm likely opportunities to request referrals and always keep your eyes open for new ones. When clients are in a positive frame of mind, they’ll be more receptive to referral requests. Look for afterglow moments, such as:

  • When you’re complimented by a client.
  • Via a customer/client satisfaction survey, making the referral request the last question.
  • Just after payment is made.
  • When good karma is in the air. Indicate (either subtly or overtly) that you’ll reciprocate by recommending your clients’ services or their product to others.

Ask in the right way. To increase customer referrals, ask openly, tactfully and specifically. Even those customers who love your products and services are often distracted, and it never occurs to them to tell friends about your business! Once you ask, many will be happy to help. Work referral requests into your in-person client interactions as well as your email, social media and your website Try these examples:

  • Would anyone else at your office (or your tennis club) benefit from our services?
  • Please pass this discount coupon on to your friends.
  • We are offering a “buy one for a friend” discount today, would you like to get another for 10 percent off?
  • Please subscribe to our email list, and add friends or family who would like to get our special offers. (As with most other CTAs, the more specific you are, the better.)
  • Promise to reciprocate, asking: “What type of customers do you look for? I may know someone…!”

Get more referrals by using just the right words. Contact SocialTract.

Image via Shutterstock.com

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What Are the Best Social Media Sites for Your Business?

social media sitesAlthough it might be nice, you can’t be everywhere all the time. (Arguably only Google, or perhaps Amazon, can.) So you must choose the best social media sites for your business. After all, why be where your audience isn’t? No matter where you choose to focus, be sure to interact with fans and followers—otherwise you’re wasting your time. Read More »

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