Friday, October 19th, 2012
Still trying to figure out if Instagram could be useful for your business? Consider these statistics:
- More than 80 million people use Instagram
- Over 4 billion photos have been uploaded
- 5 million+ photos are uploaded each day
- 575 likes per second
- 81 comments per second
Needless to say, this unique photo sharing social media platform has built quite the following, and savvy marketers understand that Instagram represents yet another way to connect with customers and build meaningful relationships with them.
But how exactly can a company use Instagram? Here are just a few ways you can get started using Instagram to market your business.
- Show your products in action—Rather than just taking bland, boring photos of your products that look like a blatant advertisement, get photos of your products in action. Let’s say you run a burger restaurant. You could upload photos of families in your restaurant enjoying some burgers. Or maybe take a picture of the burger being made on the grill. In other words, you want to take pictures that tell a story.
- Take followers behind the scenes—Give your followers a glimpse behind the curtain at your company. Maybe you’re in the middle of filming a commercial for your company; take a picture on the set of the shoot. Or maybe you’re getting a new line of products packaged up and ready to be sent to the stores; shoot a photo of it.
- Show people what you can do—This is especially effective for service-based businesses. Let’s say you’re a landscaper. You could shoot before and after photos of your jobs to show how incredible your work is. This side-by-side comparison tells a story, wows your followers, and can actually help you make sales.
- Highlight your employees—Give your team some love and add a face/personality to your company by getting some photos of your employees in action. You want to take photos that capture what it’s like to work at your company. This allows you to show off your unique company culture and brand personality.
Of course, these are just a few of the different ways you can use Instagram for your business. The possibilities are truly endless. Be creative, have fun, and never stop looking for new ways to engage your customers.
A Few Final Tips for Success
No matter what kind of photos you decide to take with Instagram, there are a few things you should always keep in mind when using Instagram to market your business:
- Don’t treat Instagram like a traditional advertising medium. Blatant ads don’t work. Tell stories.
- Pay attention to the types of photos your fan base uploads and likes.
- Don’t update too often. A few times each day is more than enough.
- Use hashtags to help your photos get discovered.
- Share your photos out to Facebook and Twitter.
Do you use Instagram for your business? Tell us about it by commenting below.
Friday, October 5th, 2012
While this blog primarily focuses on SEO and internet marketing, I think it’s important to point out that public relations should be a part of every company’s overall promotional strategy. Getting your company out there in the news is a great way to increase visibility, boost your credibility, establish yourself as the leader in a niche, drive traffic, increase sales, and so much more.
A big part of public relations involves dealing with the media—reporters, editors, bloggers, etc. How well you manage these relationships will play a big role in determining how much media coverage you’re able to get.
Of course, there are many mistakes you need to avoid when dealing with the media. Here are some of the top ones:
- Pitching the wrong person—Make sure you know who you’re pitching. Take a few moments to read their past work, and make sure they actually cover your industry. Pitching the wrong person makes you look like an amateur who hasn’t done his homework.
- Spamming them—There’s nothing reporters hate more than when they receive nonstop press releases and pitches from the same person on a frequent basis. Spray and pray PR is spammy and unprofessional. Personalize your pitches, and only pitch when you have something of value to offer.
- Missing deadlines—Reporters are on tight deadlines with their stories. If you promise them that you’re going to get something to them or be available to them on a certain date, you’d better live up to that promise. If you don’t, you might as well kiss that relationship goodbye because it’s one strike and you’re out.
- Disappearing—Relationships require regular communication and management. You can’t drop off the face of the earth, show up when you need media coverage, and expect to see positive results. You have to stay visible to reporters. Even when you don’t have something to pitch, interact with them. Compliment them on a story they wrote, or hook them up with good sources other than yourself.
- Not saying thank you—Look, I’m not saying you have to kiss a reporter’s read end every time they use you as a source or give your company a mention in a story. However, being appreciative goes a long way in any type of relationship. So, whenever you get media coverage or a media member does something else for you, just take a moment to say thank you. You’ll be glad you did.
Have you ever made these media relations mistakes? Discuss your experiences by commenting below.
Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012
Not all customers are the same. You probably have a few loyal and great customers, a lot of average customers, and a few bad customers. Treating them all the same just doesn’t make sense. You should be rewarding your best customers, because they are the ones who make you the most money.
How do you do that? Here are 3 quick and easy tips.
Friday, August 17th, 2012
If you’ve been in business for any significant amount of time, you’ve likely dealt with a serial complainer. The serial complainer is the customer who is always complaining. No matter what the situation, they always seem to have something to gripe about, and it probably seems like you’re always busting your butt to come up with a way to please them.
Let’s face it—serial complainers are a pain. They never stop whining, and you’re never going to truly make them happy. Of course, they are your customers and you can’t just completely ignore them. You have to deal with the situation in some form or fashion, so here are some tips to help you deal with these oh-so-charming individuals.
- Find a quick and easy way to please them—You don’t want to spend a long time going back and forth with serial complainers. The sooner you can get them out of your hair, the better. So try to figure out what they want, and if it’s not going to really cost you, give it to them and send them on their way.
- Try to understand the reasons for their complaints—Just because someone complains a lot doesn’t necessarily mean there’s no validity to their complaints. Do your best to always look at their complaints with an unbiased eye, and maybe you can find ways to prevent similar situations from reoccurring.
- Make note of serial complainers—When a customer crosses the line into serial complainer territory, make note of it in your files. It’s a good idea to flag your serial complainers so that whenever they come around you and your team are on your toes and well aware that this customer is someone who has a history of stirring up trouble.
- Understand some people are impossible to please—Most serial complainers simply cannot be pleased. The sooner you understand this, the sooner you can stop banging your head against the wall trying to find ways to win them over. Make an effort to quickly please them, and if it doesn’t work…
- Be willing to let them walk—If someone is constantly eating up your time with frivolous complaints and constantly causing you stress, do you really want them as a customer? You have to ask yourself if that customer is really worth all the trouble. If not, don’t be afraid to let them walk away.
How do you deal with serial complainers? Give us your best tips by commenting below.
Thursday, August 16th, 2012
Think that having a great product or service is enough to earn and maintain success? If you don’t back your offerings with great customer service, you could find it difficult to attract and retain customers. Treating your customers right can keep them coming back and even help you win them from your competitors.
That’s why it’s so important that you avoid these 5 major customer service mistakes:
- Being inaccessible—There’s nothing more frustrating than being unable to contact a company, whether it’s to ask a question, place an order, or file a complaint. If your customers can’t reach you, they’re going to leave you. You must be accessible to your customers and give them the one-on-one attention they desire. Make sure you’re answering your phone, responding to emails, and being available for face-to-face service if necessary. (more…)