Digital Marketing

Who Uses Social Media?

New research shows demographics of each social media platform. Target your marketing accordingly.

New research from Business Insider Intelligence reveals the demographics behind each social media platform and the best times to post.

This is pretty useful stuff to know for businesses wanting to find out who their audience is in order to make the most of their social network reach. So, here’s what they found.

Facebook:

Facebook has the greatest reach among all the social media platforms, with 67% of Internet users in the US on Facebook. It has a total of 1.1 billion users worldwide, and is the most popular social media app on smartphones.

Apparently, the best time to post on Facebook is between 1pm and 4pm on Wednesday, and the worst time is after 4pm on weekends.

There’s still a younger crowd using Facebook, but older people are joining in too – the 45 to 54-year-old age bracket has seen 55% growth since the end of 2015.

Twitter:

Twitter is most popular for 18-29 year olds living in urban areas. 30% of US Internet users in this age bracket are on Twitter, giving it one of the youngest user bases of the social media platforms.

Just 5% of those aged 65 and older use Twitter, but the 55 to 64-year-old age bracket is the fastest growing, with 79% growth since 2015.

Most people use Twitter for news consumption, and for brands, the best time to post on Twitter is Monday to Thursday between 1pm and 3pm, and the worst time is after 3pm on a Friday.

Instagram:

This photo sharing app skews heavily towards young people and women. Over 90% of people who use Instagram are under 35, and 68% of Instagram’s users are women.

It also leans toward urban users – 17% of US residents who live in urban areas use Instagram.

Google+

With 70% of its users men, Google+ is the most male-oriented of the major social networks. The majority of users are between 18 and 24, but the 45 to 54-year-old age bracket is the fastest growing demographic.

The best time to post on Google+ is weekdays between 9am and 11am, and the worst time is in the evenings between 6pm and 8am.

Tumblr:

This one is strong with teens and young adults keen on self-expression through photos. Nearly half of Tumblr’s 34 million users in the first quarter of this year were between 16 and 24. And they’re using it a lot – 61% of 13 to 18-year-olds said they used Tumblr several hours a week or more.

Pinterest:

Dominated by tablet users, Pinterest users account for 48.2% of all social media sharing on iPads. 84% of US Pinterest users are women, making this another one heavily skewed towards women.

The most popular category is food and drink related content, which accounts for 18% of all items shared. The best time to post on Pinterest is between 2pm and 4pm or between 8pm and 1am.

LinkedIn

61% of LinkedIn users are male, and it is preferred for professional social media activities. It has a high income and highly educated user base, with 64% of its users located outside the US.

The best time to post on LinkedIn is Tuesday to Thursday between 7am and 9am or 5pm and 6pm when professionals are not at work.

Overall, the African region has been the quickest to adapt mobile social media networking, with 59% using a mobile phone and 28% using a tablet to access social media.

The unique identity of each platform means that targeted marketing is more important than ever to get your message across.

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Digital Marketing

4 Ways To Be A Loved Brand This Christmas

It’s the busiest time of year. Time is scarce. Here are 4 ways to shine the right light on your brand this Christmas.

  1. Keep your signature

Sometimes I hear managers and staff say, “you can’t always be nice or do the best job when you’re in a hurry”. But think about the big brands… they don’t abandon the process just because they’re flat out.

Tiffany and Co. don’t stop wrapping the purchase just because it gets busy – it’s a critical part of the experience.

If you don’t have enough staff to be able to deliver the service people expect, then you need to put more staff on. Consistency is a core ingredient of building a brand people love and it sets the tone for all other parts of the year.

  1. Make a real effort to delight

Most businesses only put on special things in quiet times to try and attract more people. Then when it’s really busy they don’t do anything because they’re already busy. That misses a huge opportunity and it’s actually better to reverse it.

When you’re busy you have the biggest chance to make the biggest impression for the lowest cost per head. This ensures the customers were delighted during your experience and increases the chances of them coming to visit you again when it’s not so busy.

For example you might put on a face painter for the kids or pay a local theatre group to put on a flash performance. The idea here is to get people talking about your business. The bigger your audience, the better bang for your buck.

  1. Take notice and measure

We often get so busy that we forget to take the time to measure the things that tell us so much about our customers and help us plan to offer a better experience next year.

– What time of day was it busiest?

– Which products sold first?

– Where were the pressure points when customers weren’t getting the optimal experience?

– What compelled them to come in to the store (was it traditional media, social media, friend or sign on the back of a toilet door)?

Historical data is so important to being a lean machine, but you have to be ready to grab it and know what patterns you’d like to measure before it gets busy.

  1. Get in the spirit

It’s pretty obvious but so many businesses make the whole Christmas experience seem exhausting. The customer walks out of the shop or cafe feeling worn down, not excited!

Do the very best you can to lead your staff in keeping the energy high. It might take some surprise popping candy Christmas Elves (my favourite) to be passed around to staff and customers at one time by the owner. It helps everyone stay upbeat.

A genuine smile and authentic wishes are so powerful when everything else seems like a blur.

When you get the chance to breathe just think about what you loved most about what you do over the year. Then start thinking how you can do more of that in 2018.

Social Media

The Ten Best Social Media Tips For Your Business

Ten hot tips which focus on helping small businesses amplify their marketing efforts through social media

Planning and executing effective online marketing strategies is a big challenge for small businesses. Below are 10 tips for how small businesses can amplify their marketing efforts by leveraging social media.

  1. Facebook

Facebook offers exceptional, low-cost marketing opportunities for small businesses as well as powerful platform on which a business can build a brand presence. A Business Fan Page allows your customers or fans to “like” your business and receive your updates via their news feed every time they log in.

  1. Twitter

Twitter’s popularity is growing rapidly, and many small businesses have already jumped on board. Businesses can use Twitter to push brief messages (140-characters or less) to their ‘followers’ or for customer service.

Depending on the relevance of your tweet, your followers can then ‘retweet’ your message to their followers, reply to it and create a dialogue with you, or favourite a tweet to show they liked your message. To truly leverage the power of Twitter and have more flexibility and control over your strategy, businesses will need to learn to use advanced tools such as TweetDeck or HootSuite.

  1. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a business-oriented social network for professionals with users from over 200countries. LinkedIn has powerful features that many people don’t know about. For example, you can encourage your customers, clients or vendors to give a“recommendation” of your profile, making your business more credible with new customers.

  1. Company blog

Company blogs offer great value for small businesses. Think about your business expertise and the things you can write about to promote your business, while keeping the content relevant and interesting for your readers. The best blogs are focused, wellwritten, easy to use, and easy to share!

  1. Participate on other blogs

Spending time on other blogs and participating in constructive discussions will build a level of credibility and trust with other people in the ‘blogosphere’. You should consider reaching out to other bloggers and asking whether they’d allow you to guest post an article on their site.

  1. Mobile social networks and other local strategies

Your business can truly benefit from a presence on mobile social networks such as Yelp and Foursquare. Yelp publishes reviews about local businesses, while Foursquare is a combination of city-guide, friend finder and competitive game.

Upload your website URL and photos to your profile, and encourage positive reviews for your business by running promotions and rewarding the regulars who “check-in” at your business. At the very least, make it easy for people to find you by making sure your website is optimised for local searches.

  1. Google Alerts

Google Alerts are free email updates from Google search results about any topic you’re interested in tracking.

You can use this to your advantage by tracking the names of your competitors, your company and any other terms you believe are important to your business. Remember that Facebook and Twitter can also be used to follow what others are saying about your business. You can consolidate these searches by using a single tracking application, such as Alterian or Radian6. Finally, be sure to engage in the online conversations people are having about your business.

  1. YouTube

Multimedia sites such as YouTube can provide excellent social media marketing opportunities for small businesses. If you’re already posting videos to your blog, use YouTube to reach a broader audience and embed the video content in your blog posts or Facebook page. Increase the number of views to your video by creating content that has the potential to become very popular and then distribute it to as many social networks as you can.

  1. Search engine optimisation

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of organically improving the rank of yourbusinesses blog or web page in search engines. In general, the higher the web page is ranked on the search results page, and the more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive.

Optimising a website may involve editing its content and HTML code to increase its relevance to specific keywords that can be picked up by search engines. For many small businesses, user accounts on social networks will be the highest-ranked pages in search results, so make sure you use the same usernames and user profiles across all networks.

  1. Maintain brand consistency

There are thousands of social networks out there, so you want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to find you. Maintaining name consistency is important, but it isn’t enough by itself. Make sure your brand is speaking with a consistent “voice” across all social platforms.

To learn more about how social media can help your business, contact our experts at bigtish1@gmail.com

Digital Marketing

Technology: the new marketing tool

Whether you are a tech-head or a technophobe, it’s time to tap into technology to boost your brand.

No matter whether you are a tech head or a technophobe it’s time to tap into technology to boost your image and brand.  Whether you like it or not how you use technology says heaps about your business.  Just like the way you dress and the car you drive, technology sends a subtle message about where you sit in the marketplace.  Over the years I have found that as a business consultant my clients expect me to be ahead of the pack, not just with marketing stuff but in everything I do.

A few years back I started emailing invoices to clients and soon had an inbox full of replies from clients asking me how I did it!  Interestingly, the novelty factor was so high that clients opened their invoice email and then, went straight to their banking site and paid by direct deposit …

How good is that for cash flow!  Around the same time I discovered a great site called sendomatic.com which sends out animated invitations.  I hold an annual Christmas Party for clients and contacts so that year instead of the hand printed, handmade invite that used to take days to prepare I emailed a personalised sendomatic.  The response was great and the cost of invitations went from $200 to $25.  Think about what technology says about you and your business.  If you are one of those people who boast that you barely know how to turn the computer on, think again.

The message to your clients is probably that you are a stick in the mud, old fashioned and out of touch.  No matter how old you are it’s never too late to learn.  Sign up for an evening course, join a college or there is a great site called http://www.lynda.com which has great on line learning tools.   In fact, check it out it’s a great example of a traditional publishing business embracing technology. If you have a database make sure it is electronic, emails offer cheaper, more effective and message delivery can be timed accurately for maximum impact.  Snail mail can mean your message doesn’t even make it past the bin outside the post office.

The only exception to this is if you have a target market that doesn’t use computers.  If you are sending marketing emails understand the basic rules.  On an email BCC stands for Blind carbon copy.  If you don’t know how to use it you can distribute your entire mailing list to all and sundry.  Definitely not a cool thing to do and totally against the spirit of privacy legislation.  Same goes for unsolicited email campaigns, they are no longer acceptable and show potential clients that you have little respect for them or their time.  And while I am on my technology hobby horse.

What about your phones?  If you are using answering machines with the standard “Sorry I am not available” message don’t be surprised if potential clients don’t leave messages and move on to the next supplier on their list.  In this day and age we are into instant gratification.  If I call you I want to know where you are and when you will be back.  Bite the bullet and pay for a call diversion to your mobile phone.  Then get really innovative and record a message that says where you are and when you will be available.  Go crazy and change that message several times a day.  Clients and potential clients will feel like you are always available.  If you need a more professional first impression, sign up at a virtual office for professional phone answering.  There are lots of these operations around who take your call and SMS you a message so your clients think you have a receptionist or PA.

Mind you, if you use this type of service you must keep them informed.  Send them an email or text every day with you schedule so they can help you maintain a professional image.  And while you are at it review your software.  If it is more than four years old it could be slowing you down and affecting your interaction with clients and suppliers.  Content management software for updating your website, acrobat reader and writer should be compatible with the latest versions; customer relationship marketing packages have improved by leaps and bounds and now have facilities for direct dialling clients.  Don’t be stingy when it comes to upgrading software a few hundred dollars spent here can have a major impact on your bottom line.Tap into technology and watch your business image and profit grow!

 

 

Uncategorized

Are Sales People Born?

So how do you get the next superstar into your sales driven organisation?

Do you think Tiger Woods was born to play golf? Did he have a burning desire to be successful? Has he taken hundreds of lessons and spent countless hours on the practice range? Does he still consistently seek the advice of a trusted coach and study his game to increase his chances of success and help him stay at the top of his profession?

Are there people at your local club who seem to come by it naturally?  Did they at some stage desire to be proficient and take lessons or seek outside advice? Do they do practice drills at home, keep their equipment updated and scrutinise the swings of other good players to keep them sharp?

How many people get to and stay at the top without help? The truth is, very few!  Everyone needs help. It’s one of the critical element of success and it’s important to recognise when you need to ask for help to keep you performing at a consistently high level.

So how do you help your salespeople? Some people believe that salespeople are born. A few years ago I asked a friend of mine why his daughter wanted to enter sales. “She has the gift of the gab and can sell ice to Eskimos,” he said proudly.Many people think that to be successful in sales you need to be able to monopolise a conversation, have natural charm and charisma and be persistent to the point of not taking “no” for an answer! This perception is derived from a lack of understanding of the real causes of consistent sales success.

Today, business is more competitive than ever. Many traditional and unscrupulous selling practices are forbidden by law. Buyers are better educated and have access to a vast array of information. They make informed decisions and look for a salesperson to help them make these decisions. Moreover, buyers have their own system they use to make purchases and are no longer easily swayed by persistence and charm. For the business owner, finding great salespeople is tough. The good ones are likely to be happy where they are and don’t want to move.

So how do you get the next superstar into your sales driven organisation? Start by finding someone who has the basics. The “basics” means they have the right attitude, ie. they have the desire, commitment and the courage to fail.  Selling behaviour and techniques can be enhanced with training but the right attitude is internal. What’s under the umbrella of attitude? It’s got a lot to do with how they see themselves. It’s important that their self-esteem and confidence are strong (but not obnoxious) because selling is a high-rejection business. If they are reluctant to hear a ‘no’ or get depressed because the sale didn’t happen, chances are the world’s best training won’t change that. The right attitude also includes internal motivation. Are they a self-starter or do they need someone else setting the pace?

It’s important that their attitude includes being success driven and money motivated. This means that during “pay-time” they are committed to doing what it takes. Start with individuals who want success and are willing to do what it takes to get there. You need the budding Tiger Woods of sales who want to get better and will build on their natural ability. Then you need to work with your people to make them better at their job by helping them further develop the right attitude, behaviour and techniques

Digital Marketing

Avoid becoming an unpaid consultant

In Rugby, a key statistic is time in possession of the ball…hold on to the ball and you can control the game. In the sales “contest” amateurs often try to control the sales call by “convincing” the prospect. They unwittingly equate “time of possession” with “time of talking” (usually about their key features or benefits).In reality, success in sales is counterintuitive. The way to maintain possession of the “ball” (i.e. control) is to ask the right questions and listen carefully to the answers. Time spent talking about your product or service is a great way to provide free consulting, but it usually does little to encourage your prospect to buy.

People are encouraged to buy when they are coaxed to open up and discuss their true buying motives. To do this you have to get past their natural resistance so that they feel comfortable talking about their needs. There is a fundamental principle in psychology…”the problem the patient brings you is never the real problem” (if they knew the real problem they wouldn’t need the practitioner’s help).

The sales corollary to this is “the intention behind the prospect’s question is far more important than the actual question itself”.Therefore, to understand the buyer’s true intention, a sales professional answers a question with a question to determine the true intention. It often takes three or more reverses (answering a question with a question) to get to the real intention. The first two answers are likely to be intellectual in nature but the third response is likely to be emotional and reflect the real intention. Amateur salespeople are often afraid that reversing may antagonise the prospect. Interestingly, prospects when reversed, usually assume the salesperson did not understand the question and is requesting clarity. If you don’t reverse here’s what frequently happens:

Prospect – Is this software the latest version?

Salesperson – That’s right, it’s the latest there is.

Prospect – How old is it?

Salesperson – It’s been out for just over a year.

Prospect – A year is a long time in our business, this might not do the job.

Here the salesperson failed to uncover vital information that could have helped clinch the sale.

 

Let’s see what should have happened…

Prospect – Is this software the latest version? (intellectual probe).

Salesperson – Good question. What exactly do you mean by “latest version”?

Prospect – It needs to be compatible with our existing software  (Intellectual response).

Salesperson – What version do you have installed now?

Prospect – We have 2.1 and recently wasted money and time on an older version that didn’t work well  (The emotional response).For reversing to be effective make sure you proceed your questions with a softening statement i.e. soften the blow that you will not be answering the question. For example:

Prospect: Does this come with a service agreement?

Salesperson: That must be important to you, have you had a problem with service in the past?

Or;Prospect: How soon can you deliver this?

Salesperson: That’s a good question, how soon do you need it?

In sales information is the football. Your success is determined more by the information you gather than by the information you give.

Giving away too much information too early in the sales process is tantamount to fumbling the ball, resulting in lost control. The underlying rule when asked a question that you are not sure of the reason it was asked or the intention or the importance….. is to ask. Remember you get paid for selling not telling. Avoid unpaid consulting by learning to ask questions and listen.

Digital Marketing

Think big when branding

It’s time for small business to think big when it comes to image and branding. You know, five years ago you never used to hear the words image, brand and small business in the same sentence.  That was because it was assumed that to have a brand you had to be a multi national and branding was driven by mega amounts of advertising. We now know that is not true, in fact every small business has a brand whether they want it or not!  Now let me explain what a brand is because no one ever tells you.  Forget all the technical definitions, a brand is simply the values that your clients or customers attach to you image.  This means when they see your logo, pass your shop or receive an email from you they get a “gut response”.

For instance I have a wonderful fruit and vegetable shop near me owned by a young Italian couple called Angelo and Maria.  Angelo is passionate about fresh produce; he can talk for hours about the first of the white asparagus or a supplier of back figs.  When I was in there the other day I took some tomatoes up to the counter and he asked me what they were for. When I said a pasta sauce he shook his head and disappeared (with the tomatoes) out the back of the shop, returning with over ripe roma tomatoes  which were perfect for a pasta sauce.  He also has two young sons who often help out in the shop after school. When I was there the other day they were taking the outlet leaves off cabbages and learning the difference between the smell of basil and coriander.  And Maria, she makes the best Tiramisu on the planet. They can’t keep stocks of it in the chiller cabinet.

So what values have I attached to their image, product knowledge, passion and family? In fact, I am always a little surprised when I don’t get the continental kiss on each cheek when I go there.  So think about what “brand” your clients have given you.  Be careful it’s not “that grumpy guy who never smiles” or the hairdresser who’s always running late.  Think about what values you would like to have associated with your business and then start to build them into your marketing and customer service activities.

It’s also a good idea to do a simple image audit on your business.  This isn’t as difficult as it sounds and can be very enlightening. Collect everything that carries your logo or business image.  Letterhead, business cards, promotional flyers, photos of signage, snapshots of web pages, emails etc.

Lay them out on a table or flat surface, step back and look at them through slightly unfocused eyes imagining you’d never seen this stuff before. Then ask yourself …How many businesses are represented there?  If the answer is more than one you have an image problem.  And the cause of most image problems is business owners.  We tend to fiddle with our image and logos because we are bored but the end result is mixed messages for the client.  You may have started your business with a conservative, corporate image using navy and cream as the colours, and then things got a bit tight so you produced a lot of sales flyers in fluoro colours and then you had a new website designed by a hip young designer who created a great palette of green and purple.  Imagine what all that is saying to your customer…..confusion reigns supreme!

Some of the things to look for include:

• How many businesses are represented?

• Am I presenting more than one image?

• Am I giving mixed messages?

• What values have I attached to my brand?

• Does my image reflect where I have been or where I am heading?

• Logos used in non- standard ways

• Inconsistent paper colours/quality

• Different names on different material

• A radically different website

• Inconsistent use of fonts

• Style of language and phrases

• Positioning statements, USP’s and benefits Look at all the material on the table and decide what needs to change to boost your brand values.

Remember that image and branding is all about perception.  What people see is what they think they are going to get!