Social Media

Social Media

Believe it or not, the typical American checks social media 17 times every single day. One rule of thumb when it comes to trying to attract customers: Be where your clients are!

Organically introducing your business into the daily lives of consumers is a great way to build your brand and presence. Social media enables you to build your own brand for free! An effective way to get your Call to action in front of new leads.

What’s the deal with Facebook?

Facebook doesn’t just have to be a place where you simply list your business and build content in the hopes that clients find you (as discussed above). You should first set up your business online on Facebook. Test the waters posting a variety of content to build your brand and get the fundamentals down.

Then you can actually be pro-active with Facebook and seek out potential clients on the platform. Since Facebook collects information on individuals (i.e., what they “like”, what their interests are, where they live, what they engage with on Facebook, etc.), you’d be surprised how much accuracy there can be with respect to finding potential clients using FB advertising. Core campaigns you can test out are the following:

Note that with these campaigns, you’ll pay to drive interested people to your website or your FB page or to take a specific action (i.e., Engage, Like, Click). You want these people to see your page or website, and be impressed and want to call you or email you about booking you. That means, you want to have lots of great content on your FB page to increase the “conversion” of these customer visits – that is, make sure when they do come to your FB page or website, they take action!

That’s why it’s crucial to build up those FB reviews, post interesting photos, make community announcements, share articles or write blogs yourself about you and your industry. You can pay FB to drive people to your business page, but to get the most out of Facebook advertising, the key is to make that page worth going to

An added benefit to FB is the ability to re-market. What that means is, you can have people “like” your posts or page, and you’ll be able to know exactly who they are. So these are leads…leads are interested people who could become clients, but (for whatever reason) they simply aren’t ready to book you.

So you can reach out to these leads directly, and you can (more efficiently) post more pieces of content on FB which will show up in their FB feed. If you have a personal FB account (as opposed to a business account), then you know what your “feed” is – that’s the main HOME page on Facebook where you see all the various posts and ads flowing (from friends and businesses).

How do I set it up Facebook?

Before you try to set up any advertising campaigns on Facebook, visit the Facebook for Business page. From this page, you can watch simple and helpful videos about which campaigns to run and test out, such as:

·         Pay per Post Engagement

·         Per Page Like

·         Every Website Click

These videos will do a better job in describing how each ad product will work. This will give you a sense of what might work for you based on your goals.

Once you’re ready to get started, go to your Facebook Ads Manager to start a campaign. Then get underway!

You’re going to have to stay on top of these ads and iterate. Do not overwhelm yourself with tests when you get started. Play around with the audience, the copy, and the graphics on your ads. Get comfortable with how it all works before you go crazy and start spending hundreds of $’s.

What are the risks of Facebook?

I just alluded to it in the paragraph above, but these Facebook ad campaigns can be time consuming to get set up and monitor. There’s a bit of a learning curve as there are a lot of variables to pick and choose from in terms of ad copy, graphics, audience demographic, interests, “cost per” pricing model, budget, etc. Then when the campaign goes live, you need to monitor the campaign to make sure it’s performing OK.

There have also been questions around what a “LIKE” is worth. Probably one of Facebook’s most well-known engagement actions is liking something – as in like a business page. Go ahead and enter into Google search “What is a like worth on Facebook” – search results here.

With a lot of debate as to the return on investment of getting a like. One of the main reasons is because Facebook has now reduced the frequency of business page posts appearing in the news feed of those people who have indeed liked your page. FB’s argument is that they want the consumer’s feed to be more relevant to them (more info on their rationale) and less commercial. So a simple “like” won’t make your business – you need more engagement from your audience than just that.

What’s the deal with Twitter?

Twitter is a lot more fast-paced than Facebook. Typically the behavior of a lot of consumers is opening Twitter up multiple times throughout the day to read or post quick pieces of information or updates or news. As shown in the chart below, people spend ~60% less time on Twitter each day than Facebook:

Twitter provides a different scope of content with its limited 140 character rule on tweets. To be perfectly honest, consumers don’t go on Twitter to help discover someone to hire, although Twitter would probably disagree (since they are biased of course).

What you can use Twitter for is to help build your brand. Maybe post updates on jobs completed, or happy customers, or photos of the service you performed, or any interesting links about news in your industry.

A lot of white collar professionals are also on Twitter because it’s a great place to get breaking news quickly. These white collar professionals should be your clients! They know Twitter well and will respect any service professional who leverages the platform and talks about interesting industry or business information.

Use the hashtag tool! When you do tweet something, at the end of your tweet add “#” and your industry name. (Read why hashtags are important for more info.) This will organize all your tweets and content onto a public thread about that very industry topic. It simply helps organize your tweets and increases your chances of being discovered by consumers of your vertical interests.

Twitter also supports advertising products where you can pro-actively promote yourself to a target audience of Twitter users based on their demographics, profiles, and types of tweets they engage with. Call-to-actions can be clicks on your website, email address collection (for re-marketing), or simply more followers:

How do I set up Twitter?

Just head to Twitter.com and set up an account. In about 2 mins you can start tweeting anything you like. If you know anyone (friends, peers, current customers) who is on Twitter, follow them and they most likely will follow you back. This is where you start your network.

To set up advertising campaigns just go directly to Twitter Ads here. They will walk you through how you can set up different Ad campaigns based on your goals. 

What are the risks of Twitter?

I would be weary of focusing a lot of your efforts on Twitter to grow. Twitter is so fast-paced that it does not accommodate for potential clients to spending time evaluating you and your tweets. In addition, your profile on Twitter doesn’t leave a lot as it relates to client reviews and engaging content. You typically use Twitter to link back to the important stuff.

I would create a Twitter account and be somewhat active mainly as a way for prospective clients to “check the box” when evaluating you as someone to hire. Having a Twitter account will show that you are indeed social, are thoughtful, have something to say, and just improves your brand standing in the consumer’s eyes. 

As you can probably imagine, I would also advise you not spend money on Twitter. Most companies that do spend money are large companies that want to pay for impressions re brand building, or mobile apps that have easy call-to-actions (like “Download Now”) when in a tap of a button they can get a user or customer. There are plenty of other platforms that are better designed for your service based business to help you grow more efficiently.

What’s the deal with Instagram?

Instagram is a photo sharing app. People can join Instagram, post photos, follow friends, and attract followers.

It’s almost like Twitter but more photo/visual-focused. To cut to the chase, use Instagram if you run a business where photos are fun and important. A beautician, a pet professional, a photographer, etc. – these are all service based businesses that would be fun to follow on Instagram (and I’m talking about that personally!).

Instagram is used as a brand building tool (to show off your work), and when you get enough followers then you can go viral. As shown below, you can also include a bio and even a link – a link back to your website or even any bookings tool you have one set up.

How do I set it up Instagram?

You can download Instagram from either the iTunes App Store or the Google Play Store. Note that this is primarily a mobile tool (less so desktop).

The strategy here is similar to Twitter – follow people, get them to follow you back, build a presence and post interesting stuff.

You can even pay to advertise on Instagram. Since FB owns Instagram, advertising on this photo platform is simple after you set up FB campaigns (as discussed on the above).

What are the risks of Instagram?

I would steer clear of paying for Instagram advertising. What you see are brands like Coca Cola, Uber, McDonalds, etc. – more consumer brands – advertising on Instagram as a fresh way to build brand. You’re out priced when it comes to spending on ads.

Also, you’ve got to invest the time to post continually, and – hate to say it – posts need to look good if you’re going to get any traction of interested followers. So you need to be dedicated. The risk to spending too much time is the return – when post on Twitter and Facebook, for example, that content can show up on Google search which is much more easily accessible by your clients to see. Instagram is relatively isolated to unless a client is actively search for your name or business, getting “discovered” is quite tough.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram aren’t the only social media platforms out there.

Check out others including LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr and more. I would prioritize LinkedIn first – not really from an advertising perspective. More so to create a profile on you the business owner. Lots of times clients Google the business owner before booking a service. LinkedIn has phenomenal SEO to the point where your profile will show up in search. It’s just a nice trustworthy source for clients to make sure you are a real person with experience.

Social Media shows your face where your clients are looking. In part also builds a personality and brand. You can make announcements, post content, engage with followers / likers. Even pay to pro-actively engage with others. Don’t let them fool you that you must spend to go viral. You won’t grow your following if you don’t have good content. Just keep on sharing what’s going on with your business and with you, and you’ll slowly but surely build up an audience who will start talking you up.

6 Ways to Deliver Better Customer Service

Improve Customer Service

As simple as it sounds, when it comes to running a small business, customer service can make or break your company.

While telecommunications giants can get away with badgering customers or being downright rude, when your profit margins are thin and access to capital isn’t a phone call away, entrepreneurs cannot afford to gloss over the act of making clients happy.

When it comes to providing great customer service, a bad impression can ruin any goodwill a business may have, causing customers to take their business elsewhere. Great service can differentiate your businesses from the competition – even if those competitors are lower in price.

If you want your business to grow, satisfying customers should be part of your long-term strategy. And when it comes to customer service, the most essential aspect is communication. Here are six tips to help you build a strong relationship with your clients through communication:

1. Be responsive

Nothing is worse than sending a business a question without getting a response. Customers feel disrespected, ignored and can unfortunately take something like that personally.  

Besides offending an interested (or even long-term) client with a lack of (or delayed) response, there is a correlation between the time it takes to respond to a customer and the probability the customer will contact someone else to hire (or churn).

To mitigate this risk, on your website or social media presence, tell customers when they can expect a response within a certain timeframe. Give interested parties some context or an expectation as to when you will be able to respond – and then keep to that commitment. If you happen to be free when the person reaches out, then your immediate response will be a nice surprise.

As your business grows from just you to more employees, you can scale your staff to have more customer support roles, which will ensure a shortened response time.

2. Brevity is the source of wit (and customer satisfaction)

While you should be thorough and complete with your responses, aim to be as direct and brief as possible. That goes for the medium through which you are communicating, as well as the substance of your communication.

Email is not always the best way to respond. Most times if clients have questions or concerns, they want an immediate response. The do not want to have to refresh their inbox on their phone to check if you have (or someone on your team has) responded yet. They want to be notified instantly. Text message can enable you to supply that quick, direct response to ensure customer satisfaction.

Responses should also be structured with a single theme in mind: to the point. There is not a need for lengthy replies, but more so just a few sentences addressing the crux of the client’s question or concern. If you feel supporting information is necessary, provide that afterwards in a separate paragraph, so they can look at it if they have the time.

Getting right to the root of the problem will save both you and your customers time and aggravation.

3. Encourage group engagement

Social media sites are not just for friendly connections and advertising. They can actually allow you to build scalable customer support models.

Letting inquiring customer tap into networks of current customers to help them get their questions answered – in real time or by looking through past threads – can save you enormous amounts of time; while also delivering great customer service.

Encouraging this group type of engagement does not have to be elaborate. Facebook Groups can allow your business to grow an active customer base within each group, and directing inquiring customers to the platform to ask the community. It might surprise you, but some of your happiest clients can actually be your biggest supporters when it comes to converting new clients.

Additionally, you can also support commenting threads on your business’ website as a next-level FAQ section to allow clients to post and also consume relevant information that could help them.

4. An intuitive, accessible way to ask questions

Having you or your staff “ready” to respond to inquiring customer service inquiries is just part of the equation. The other is giving your client an incredibly easy way to ask their questions.

If clients struggle to find the “right” contact information as to who to ask their question to, they will get annoyed quickly. If the client can’t easily look back at the recent questions they have asked, that can cause uncertainty on their end as they might not be 100% sure all the questions they had posed got adequately answered.

There are companies that are known for making it difficult to contact their customer service departments – don’t fall into that trap.

Make your phone number, email or however the best way it is to reach the appropriate person front and center at all time.

5. Limit the transfers

A report from the Harvard Business Review found that customers were more satisfied and more likely to be loyal to a company if the business limited the number of touchpoints the customer went through.

That means limiting the number of transfers or hand-offs to other internal team members or departments. For young companies (under 1-10 employees) especially, all team members should be available to answer customer questions. This ensures ultimate client satisfaction as no matter who the client ends up reaching out to, they will be satisfied. In addition, this ensures that your team members are all on the same page as to the services you offer – knowing your business inside and out.

6. Show your personality

Try not to read from a script. You’ll get to scripts when you become a 100+ person company.

Many times customers forget that your company is made up of a group of individuals when they are reaching out to your business. They can often consider a business a commodity without any human element to it. The more you show your client that you are in fact a person and your team members are real people, that can add a huge impact.

A good sense of humor, being empathetic to the client and asking the customer questions about themselves can all build a human connection with inquiring clients. Your business will stick out in their minds and will develop goodwill that no other competing business will have.

Mastering Service Drives Growth

Customer service is an art form. And what works for a small business may not work as your business expands.

However, as you’re growing, it is crucial to note that great customer service is not a short-term win. The clients you win over with your service, many times become your biggest cheerleaders to help you grow your company to where it needs to go.

Take customer service seriously, grow your business and never stop improving the way your treat your clients – both old and new.