Tips for Small Business Marketing on Twitter: How to Use Hashtags to Your Advantage

Hashtags are much more than just a way to categorize Facebook and Twitter posts around the Internet; they can also strengthen your brand. Depending on your objective, you can use hashtags to improve your company’s searchability, tap into trends and spark conversation about your brand. You can also use them to insert some humor into your post and lighten the mood.

To make hashtags work for you, use these tips when marketing with Twitter.

Don’t Go Overboard

hashtagWhile it’s sometimes effective to use multiple hashtags throughout a post, especially if you find great ways to use ones that are already trending, it’s usually best to assume less is more. Too many hashtags at the end of a short post creates visual overkill and may annoy your readers. When in doubt, stick with one to three per post.

Create Your Own Hashtag

Anything you put “#” in front of becomes a hashtag. Only the popular ones begin to trend with users around the world. To get in on this marketing trick, create one or more hashtags specific to your brand. It might be just the name of your company or the company name tied with a product you sell. To help your hashtag gain traction, print it on the bottom of business cards, flyers and emails.

Encourage the Use of Your Brand Hashtag

People will only be inclined to use your brand hashtag if they’re loyal to your company or if you give them a compelling reason, such as the chance to win a contest by posting company-related pictures with your brand hashtag.

Host a Twitter Chat With Your Brand Hashtag

A Twitter chat is a live, public conversation revolving around one specific hashtag. Consider creating one just for this conversation. To ensure it’s unique, first search Twitter to see if anyone else has used it much. Then pick a time and date for your chat, promote it on your Twitter feed, and run the chat to get people talking!

If you don’t have the time or skills to start marketing with Twitter, contact SocialTract for more on using this avenue to connect with your customers.

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5 Situations When Upselling to Clients Comes Naturally

Customers aren’t so much valuable to your company because of a preliminary $25 purchase. They become valuable when they sign up for your coaching program or subscribe to your monthly services. Offering these closely related options to a customer who has already said yes to the $25 purchase is called upselling.

upsellingUpselling is most effective if you do it at the time of the initial purchase or through email marketing when you release a product complementary to the one the customer has already purchased. Here are five situations when upselling comes completely naturally. Take advantage of these to dramatically increase your profits.

  • Upsell a done-for-you final product: If you sell guides for building a website or creating a product, offer a done-for-you option to complement the program. The option supports customers during the initial setup and makes it easier to overcome those getting-started hurdles.
  • Upsell coaching: Supplement the program with coaching services to help clients take the leap from understanding generalized product information to applying it to their situation. This type of upselling leads to healthy, long-term relationships with clients.
  • Upsell a complementary option to accelerate results: When clients invest in your service, they’re often anxious to dive in 100 percent. Advertise a complementary product to accelerate the client’s results. It’s like selling a nutrition program to kick start a gym membership.
  • Upsell a customized product: Customers may be really excited about the concept of your product but wish it fit their needs better. Offer the option to customize the product for an extra fee so it serves the client as effectively as possible.
  • Upsell a live event: Some clients prefer not to wade through pages of product instructions and desire more of a live experience. Depending on your product, you might upsell the material in video format, as a webinar, or a one-day, in-person event.

If you don’t have the time or skills to develop an upselling campaign, contact SocialTract for more information on using this avenue to sell more to your clients. Our team has more than 100 years of combined experience helping small businesses like yours.

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The 3 Keys to Creating a Strong Social Media Presence

Does your company have a social media presence? How often do you engage with your customers? Is the time and money you spend on customer engagement delivering the ROI you’re looking for? If not, implement these three key points to help you create a strong social media presence.

Make Sure to Connect Along With the Sell

social mediaOf course, the main reason you’re on social media is to spread the word about your brand and garner more customers. However, you can’t come across this way. If you only talk about how awesome your business is, you’re just like the annoying couple who always posts lovely-dovey pictures and sappy status updates about each other.

In order to maintain fans and keep them interested, you must connect with them. Share an inside story, highlight awesome things your customers are doing with your product, spotlight hardworking employees, and post interesting, industry-related content. This shows your fans you want to gain their trust and interest — the first steps toward gaining their patronage.

Strategize Based on Each Platform’s Needs

People who frequent Facebook are looking for something different than Twitter users. Understanding what different audiences need on different platforms makes your social media efforts more effective.

  • When posting to Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, stick with largely visual content paired with compelling captions.
  • When posting to Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn groups and forums, try to track specific conversations and chime in with your opinion. Also, include links to your blog and other useful content.
  • When posting to LinkedIn, Google My Business and Foursquare, develop relationships with like-minded professionals and build your network.

Personalize the Experience

Personalized ads have a 59 percent higher conversion rate, so if you opt to create social media ads, it pays to customize them. Aim for visual-heavy ads to capture attention, and make the ads interactive to create deeper brand engagement on social media without the user ever leaving the page.

If you don’t have the time or skills to develop a strong social media presence, contact SocialTract for more on using this avenue to reach customers.

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Focus Your Company’s Branding to Achieve Maximum Results

What’s a brand? It’s not merely a logo and tagline; it’s what people perceive of a company, think of their products and feel when doing business with them. It’s easy to miss the mark if you fail to make branding a priority. To help you achieve maximum results, use these tips to focus your branding efforts.

  • branding strategiesMake genuine connections: Social media is a great place to connect with your target audience beyond the point of sale. There you can better learn your customers’ needs and strike an emotional connection with them. This in turn helps you define your brand.
  • Reinforce your brand: It’s easy to assume that posting a funny video or photo on social media will engage fans, but if the shared content doesn’t match your brand, it could wind up being more confusing than helpful.
  • Treat your employees well: A company’s success is determined not only by how well they satisfy customers, but by how well they treat their workers. Consumers are interested in doing business with a morally conscious company and by paying your workers above minimum wage, you could earn a lot more business.
  • Be flexible and evolve with new branding strategies: Every time you launch a new campaign, monitor and measure your success. If you’re not getting the response you hoped for, make the necessary changes to turn your ROI around. Even as things start to take off again, continue monitoring your campaign for tweaks and adjustments you could make to further your success.
  • Solve a specific problem: What sets your brand apart from the hundreds of others in your industry? Pair your product with another offering or highlight a specific feature that’s unique and desirable enough to help you stand out from the competition.
  • Watch your competitors: What are their strengths and successes? What are their shortcomings and failures? Learn everything you can from your competitors so you stay one step ahead.

If you don’t have the time or skills to develop a branding campaign, please contact SocialTract for more on how to connect with your audience more effectively through your brand.

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4 Lead Generation Tips to Maximize Your Return on Investment

Lead generation is no good unless many of those leads end in closed sales. To maximize your return on investment, implement these four lead generation tips.

Review and Update Your Lead Database

lead generationClean up the contact information in your lead database. If you purchase lists, be sure to clean out poor data as your sales team encounters it. Even if your leads come from marketing efforts, make sure they’re legitimate before handing them over to your top sales closers. You can also outsource database validation to a third-party vendor.

Collaborate With Your Marketing Team

It’s likely that your sales team isn’t the only one generating leads. Ensure maximum ROI by working with your marketing team on leads as well. Check on the team’s efforts to reach out to prospects. This gives you the chance to sync up and weed out duplicate contacts the marketing teams has generated.

Follow Up in a Proper and Timely Manner

To increase the chance that a lead will convert into a sale, it’s vital to follow up. Create a specialized sales team that deals in lead generation and appointment setting, and save your most experienced sales veterans for finalizing deals and closing sales.

To staff this team, look for experts with a strong background in lead generation, then provide specific training to these team members to maximize your efforts.

Assess Your Sales Program Data

Finally, continually reassess the results of your lead generation efforts to help you understand what makes a successful contact list. This is a proven way to improve your list and make sure the best contacts are reached at exactly the right time.

In addition, analyze data across your industry, including the roles of key decision makers, the types of people most likely to be interested in your product or service, and common complaints customers have. By examining these segments, you ensure your lead generation efforts are as effective as possible.

If you don’t have the time or skills to implement these lead generation tips, contact SocialTract for more on how to maximize your ROI.

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How to Set Effective Marketing Goals That Keep You Focused

If you want your company to continue growing, it’s important to set marketing goals. But how do you go about setting the right goals that are challenging yet achievable and can really make a difference for your company? Use these tips to guide your goal-setting efforts.

  • marketingAssess your company: Before you set a single goal, step back and truly understand where your company currently stands. Study past growth rates and set a goal to increase that rate by a few percentage points this next quarter.
  • Prioritize your goals: Choose one or two core goals and three to five supporting goals to focus on at one time. Anything more can lead to distraction. If you have one really important marketing goal, focus on that one alone for awhile.
  • Set goals with plenty of data to back them up: Data not only helps you establish a reasonable goal, but it also gives you the tools you need to achieve it. Without data, you can’t hope to set up the step-by-step process essential to achieving marketing goals.
  • Set short-term and long-term goals: Make sure those short-term goals help you get one step closer to the bottom-line-enhancing, company-sustaining long-term goals.
  • Be authentic: Pick goals you actually want to achieve. If you don’t genuinely care about the goals you set, you’ll likely forget to prioritize them.
  • Enjoy the process: Instead of focusing solely on the finish line, soak up the process of watching your goals come to fruition.
  • Set the bar: If you tell yourself it’s all or nothing, you set yourself up for disappointment. Set the minimum success rate to at least 70 percent of the planned improvements each quarter.
  • Get everyone on board: Explain the goals in detail to everyone on your team. Make note of any input about ways to achieve these goals. Most importantly, make sure everyone agrees the goals are achievable and worthwhile. Only then can you plow forward.

If you don’t have the time or skills to set marketing goals, contact SocialTract to learn how we can help your company grow.

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Millennials Make Up the Vast Majority of the Market — Tips for Marketing to This Demographic

Millennials — anyone born between 1980 and the 2000s — are said to be the most radically different generation from their parents since the Industrial Revolution. The Internet is the driving force behind what makes Millennials so different. This demographic is one of the most informed, opinionated and globally perceptive set of customers out there.

Since they comprise the vast majority of the market today, marketing to Millennials is essential for your business’s success. Follow these tips to take advantage of the Millennial dollar.

It’s Time to Adapt

millennialBy spending more time researching products before they buy, Millennials have more advanced knowledge about competing product options than previous generations did at their age. This means where and how you advertise must change to match this savvy demographic.

In the end, your goal is to align your products and marketing campaigns with Millennials’ core values. This generation wants:

  • To be heard, as they will complain about or praise your products to the world
  • Access to quality products and services at reasonable prices
  • To do business elsewhere if you can’t meet their demands
  • Free add-ons and bonuses
  • To be mobile and tech savvy
  • To do business with morally sound companies
  • To consider the recommendations of family members and friends
  • To be frugal
  • To be treated fairly
  • To feel important

Appeal to These Core Values

Take a leaf out of these effective companies’ books to help you appeal to Millennials’ core values:

  • Kayak.com appeals to the principles of mobility, frugality and tech savviness by allowing customers to browse travel sites for the cheapest flights, hotels and car rentals. A free app makes the site mobile friendly.
  • American Eagle embraces the principles of moral efficacy, individuality and the desire to feel important with their Aerie Real and Distressed Denim campaigns.
  • Chipotle and other fast casual restaurants appeal to the principles of frugality and quality products by offering more choices and fresher ingredients at a lower cost than sit-down restaurants.

If you don’t have the time or skills to start marketing to Millennials, contact SocialTract to learn how we can help your company.

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How to Turn Positive Customer Feedback Into Marketing Material and Business Growth

positive customer feedbackWhat do your customers think of you? The only way to know for sure is to ask. The information you receive from customers is critical. When you receive negative feedback, chances are you go to great lengths to remedy the problem and prevent the customer complaint from tarnishing your name. Read More »

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Is Your Brand at the Helm of Thought Leadership? How to Find Out

thought leadershipEvery company today wants to be considered a thought leader in their industry. You may assume that posting blogs is enough, but are you sure your thought leadership efforts are working? Here are four tips to find out. Read More »

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Are You Making the Most of Social Media and Its Marketing Potential for Your Business?

Social mediaMaking the Most of Social Media has huge marketing potential for the businesses that actively engage their customers. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are three of the most popular social media platforms for businesses to get involved with. Read More »

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