Sending severed heads, and even more PR DON’Ts
This week, I published a piece called the “The master list of PR DON’Ts (or how not to piss off the writer covering your startup).” The problem, of course, with writing a “master list” is that as soon as you publish it, everyone takes the opportunity to point out all the (hopefully) long-tail stories that you didn’t include the first time.
And wow, startup founders and PR folks find some funky ways to pitch journalists.
That original master list had 16 entries, ranging from not using pressure tactics to force a story to not changing your company’s name capitalization multiple times.
Now, here is a list of 12 more PR DON’Ts from the TechCrunch staff, who have turned our Slack thread on this subject into a form of work therapy.
DON’T send severed heads of the writer you want to cover your story
Heads up! It’s weird to send someone’s cranium to them.
This is an odd one, but believe it or not, severed heads seem to roll into our office every couple of months thanks to the advent of 3D printing. Several of us in the New York TechCrunch office received these “gifts” in the past few days (see gifts next), and apparently, I now have a severed head resting on my desk that I get to dispose of on Monday.
Let’s think linearly on this one. Most journalists are writers and presumably understand metaphors. Heads were placed on pikes in the Middle Ages (and sadly, sometimes recently) as a warning to other group members about the risk of challenging whoever did the decapitation. Yes, it might get the attention of the person you are sending their head to, in the same way that burning them in effigy right in front of them can attract eyeballs.
Now, I get it — it’s a demo of something, and maybe it might even be funny for some. But, why take the risk that the recipient is going to see the reasonably obvious metaphorical connection? Use your noggin — no severed heads.
DON’T send gifts
Journalists have a job to do: we cover the most interesting stories and write them up for our readers. That’s what we are paid to do after all.
via Twitter – TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com
April 27, 2019 at 05:00PM
Top 10 Instagram Analytics Tools to Grow Your Audience
Analytics are crucial to the success of any Instagram campaign. They assist you with hammering out a solid plan, measuring the results once you’ve launched, and assessing what to adjust so you can maximize its impact.
That’s why every marketing team needs a robust set of analytics tools. Without one, you’d have a far more difficult time figuring out what’s attracting followers and what’s turning them away.
To help you find a suitable match for your brand, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 Instagram analytics tools available right now.
When it comes to useful Instagram analytics, Owlmetrics is a cut above the rest. Their main goal is to provide you with insightful information about your audience that is practical and actionable. That way you can use their data in order to achieve greater levels of growth than before.
Their tools cover a wide variety of different metrics. You can use them to analyze hashtag activity, track your competitors, learn what viewers click on, determine the gender and location of your followers, and much more. Then you can export the data to share with others and use in presentations.
Instagram’s very own Insights tools deserves some recognition. While it might not be as extensive as the other tools on this list, it’s definitely worth checking out regardless. That’s because it already comes built into your Instagram business account free of charge.
Insights is divided into three main tabs. First there’s the Activity tab, for keeping track of profile visits, website clicks, how many visitors you’ve gotten, and where they came from. Next there’s Content, which contains the analytics for your individual posts, Stories, and Promotions. Finally there’s Audience, where you can find specific details about your followers, such as their age and gender.
Iconosquare has earned its position as one of the industry leaders in the field of analytics. They currently serve over 25,000 users, including notable businesses such as Air New Zealand and National Geographic. So you know that they’re trustworthy and dependable.
Their analytics toolset is designed to handle both Instagram and Facebook profiles. You can find just about anything you’d want to learn about your account’s performance, your audience’s behaviors, and what people are saying about your brand. There’s even industry benchmarks so you can see how well your account is doing compared to other similar businesses.
Sprout Social is a tool geared towards those who like to strategize. Not only does it offer in-depth analytics across several social networks, but it also has features to facilitate collaboration among groups. Their Smart Inbox allows you to share workloads, divvy up assignments, track changes, and communicate quickly with other teammates.
Right now they have a 30-day free trial for anybody who signs up. That’s a whole month of being able to test out the service without any credit card required, and you can cancel at any time.
Keyhole is a platform that will expand your ability to observe your brand’s. With their campaign monitoring features, you can collect data, view live results, create reports, and get future projections.
Keyhole also has monitoring for your events and influencer partnerships, as well as social listening so that you can keep up with your brand’s reputation. They have plans for any size too, whether you’re a small business or a big agency.
If you’re seeking a premium experience, then you should look no further than Quintly. This top-of-the-line service boasts such high-profile clients as Adobe, Coca-Cola, Warner Bros., and Samsung.
Quintly might be on the higher end of the price spectrum, but you most certainly get what you pay for. They gather information from a selection of over 400 metrics, and even allow you to code some additional ones yourself. You also get a fully customizable dashboard, live chat support, and exportable reports in any format you can imagine.
Union Metrics is a well-rounded tool suite that should meet the requirements of any marketer. It comes with around the clock social media monitoring, self-optimization insights, keyword listening, campaign reporting, competitive analysis, and comprehensive reports.
Don’t forget to take advantage of their free Instagram account checkup while visiting their website. It only takes two minutes to do, and you will get valuable recommendations regarding when to post, what hashtags to use, and which content gets the best response from your audience. Consider it a taste of what the full service is capable of.
Later is all about giving you options whether you’re a novice or a pro. They have a total of five plans for you to choose from, ranging anywhere from a “Free” plan for individuals, all the way to a sensibly priced “Brand” plan for larger agencies.
Their business packages include tools for tracking your growth, scheduling posts, suggesting and analyzing hashtags, finding and reposting user-generated content, organizing and responding to comments, exporting analytics, and more. There’s also integration with Linkin.bio, another service owned by Later that turns your Instagram into a shoppable feed.
You want to manage your Instagram account without any unnecessary complexity? Then Crowdfire is the right choice for you. It consolidates everything you need into a single simple and easy to navigate interface.
Crowdfire can be used to curate content from around the web, schedule your Instagram posts in advance, analyze your performance over time, and compile your mentions so that you can reply to them. Additionally, you can add access for team members with their Premium and VIP plans.
There are over 500 million daily users that view Instagram Stories. That’s about half of Instagram’s entire user base. So it would be a mistake to neglect Stories in your analytics research. SmartMetrics has you covered in this area.
They provide exclusive metrics that you won’t find in Instagram Insights, such as the engagement rates, bounce rates, impressions, and replies to your Stories. Furthermore, you can find other unique metrics regarding your profile, posts, reach, followers, and hashtag association.
The post Top 10 Instagram Analytics Tools to Grow Your Audience appeared first on Social Media Explorer.
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April 27, 2019 at 12:28PM
5 Creative Ways B2B Brands Can Use Visual Content Marketing
Do you know the biggest challenge B2B marketers face?
Creating engaging content; according to a study by Content Marketing Institute
With so much content being published on blogs, social media platforms, and different forums, marketers are in a never-ending fight with their competitors to produce more content. Yet, they’re unable to engage their audiences.
The solution to this problem lies in diversifying your strategy and investing more resources in the best performing content types.
A recent study by HubSpot found that visual content, in general, and video, in particular, has become the most engaging form of online content.
It not only outperforms written articles and blog content but also does significantly better than any other content type on social media.
So how exactly can B2B brands use visual content in their content marketing strategy?
Here are a few ideas to get you thinking
1. Whiteboard Animation Videos
For describing highly technical B2B products, there’s nothing more effective than a well thought out whiteboard animation video.
You can use whiteboard animations to create long videos about the technical specifications and functions of your product without boring your customers or losing their attention.
Here’s a good example of how a whiteboard animation video looks
You can use them on your website, embed them into your blog articles, or share them on your company’s social media accounts.
One of the reasons why whiteboard videos work so well is that they can communicate a lot of information in a short time by visually representing your product through a powerful storyline
This is probably why whiteboard animations are among the most frequently used video types by B2B marketers across all stages of the marketing funnel.
2. Video Testimonials
Is there anything more powerful in driving B2B sales than a video testimonial from a satisfied client?
A 2016 research study found that 89%of B2B marketers considered video testimonials a key part of their marketing strategy
According to WordStream, a video testimonial can increase the conversion rate of a product landing page by 81%.
Video testimonials are also shared on social media much more frequently than other types of B2B videos.
Testimonial videos probably work so well because they help you build instant credibility and increase the perceived value of your brand.
Because shooting a high quality video testimonial takes a lot of time and resources. If a customer is willing to shoot it for you, you must’ve provided them great service.
3. Screencasts for Product Tutorials
Thanks to WordPress and other user-friendly tools, it’s easy to start a blog or a business website. But it doesn’t mean content creation is also a simple task, especially in the case of B2B businesses.
For example, brands often publish How To posts, tutorials, and problem-solving content. But they’re disappointed when no one reads it.
The reason is simple.
Their content only tells people what to do but doesn’t actually show them how to do it.
Showing, instead of telling, is the secret to creating better content than your competitors.
By adding screencast videos to your content you can make your tutorials much more actionable, engaging, and useful.
All it takes is a simple screen recording where you show your customers how to perform a certain action.
Screencasts are perfect for brands that do not have the resources to create high-quality videos or just want to experiment with video content. It’s also an easy solution if no one on your team is willing to face the camera.
4. Animated GIFs for Blog Content
An even cheaper and faster way to add engaging visuals to your content is by creating animated GIFs instead of screencasts
GIFs are much smaller in size and easier to create. But B2B marketers can use them for the same job as a screencast by showing users how to perform a task.
Here’s a sample GIF that I created to show you what I mean.
There are several tools to create animated GIFs or screencasts that you can find with just a few searches on Google.
5. Screenshots of Infographics
Look at that animated GIF I shared in the last point.
That’s me grabbing a section of a publicly available infographic, published by someone else, to use in one of my blog posts.
Doing so is perfectly fine as long as you link back to the original source (which I did)
If you can’t think of any other way to use visuals in your blog content then this method is a life-saver because it gives you high-quality images for your articles without creating them yourself.
The best way to find them is to look for infographics related to your topic. Take the topic “B2B content marketing as an example.
The results show several top-performing infographics on this topic. Open all of them and grab the relevant sections to use in your content.
This practice will not only make your content more engaging for the readers but also help you get more backlinks and social shares (as proved by several studies)
Many B2B businesses invest money in content marketing but fail to engage their target audience. By adding visuals to the mix, brands can turn their boring content into highly engaging resources that would not only help their customers but also give them a much higher ROI on their marketing efforts.
The post 5 Creative Ways B2B Brands Can Use Visual Content Marketing appeared first on Social Media Explorer.
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April 27, 2019 at 08:42AM
Future of Facebook and Twitter
Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media.
On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore where Facebook and Twitter are heading based on signals from this week’s Q1 2019 earnings calls. Our special guest this week is Michael Stelzner.
Watch the Social Media Marketing Talk Show
If you’re new to the show, click below to watch our latest episode from Friday, April 26, 2019. You can also listen to the show as an audio podcast, found on iTunes/Apple Podcast, Android, Google Play, Stitcher, and RSS.
About Our Special Guest
For this week’s top stories, you’ll find timestamps below that allow you to fast-forward in the replay above.
Twitter Reports Q1 2019 Earnings and Results: Twitter highlighted better-than-expected growth in Q1 2019. During the earnings call, the company also stated that this quarter will be the last time it reports monthly active users (MAUs). As a replacement, Twitter started to report monetizable daily active users (mDAUs), which includes users who access Twitter on any given day through Twitter.com or its apps and who can be shown ads. (2:26)
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Twitter reported 134 million average mDAUs for the first quarter, compared with 120 million a year earlier. In the fourth quarter, Twitter stated that it had 126 million mDAUs.
Facebook Releases Q1 2019 Earnings and Results: Facebook released its Q1 2019 financial results, showing an increase in total daily active users across its family of apps and a 26% jump in year-over-year advertising revenue. (13:07)
The company notes that the Stories feature on Facebook, Messenger, and WhatsApp now boasts 500 million daily active users. They’ve now joined Instagram, which hit this mark in January 2019. In addition, there are 3 million advertisers using Stories ads across Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger.
Facebook Sunsets Messenger Codes: Starting August 15, 2019, the Messenger camera will no longer support scanning Messenger codes. Instead, Facebook recommends that businesses “take advantage of the phone’s native capabilities to scan QR codes with m.me links as a lightweight, efficient solution.”(43:00)
Instagram Rolls Out Quiz Stickers for Stories: Instagram users around the globe can now add the new quiz sticker in Stories. With this new feature, brands and businesses can ask their followers a multiple-choice question and see how they respond. (44:58)
Instagram Hides Vanity Metrics: In the latest round of feature updates and experiments, Instagram is testing a version of the app that hides all of the likes on posts from everyone except the person who shared the post. This new test feature was discovered by Jane Manchun Wong and was found in and among Instagram Android code. (46:22)
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April 27, 2019 at 05:07AM
9 Social media marketing techniques that your IT company is missing out on
Social media is one of, if not the, biggest platforms for marketing. However, IT companies can sometimes miss out on a few strategies that can help take them to the next level.
While likes and shares are important, they are not the be all and end all of a brand. Social media marketing requires certain skill sets and this article will describe some of the most effective strategies that your business may not be utilizing.
There is plenty to discuss, so here are 9 social media marketing techniques that your IT company is missing out on.
1. Create Profiles On Relevant Platforms
First and foremost, it’s important that your IT company has created a profile on the most relevant platforms. The aim of each profile is to reach your target audience.
Therefore, your IT social media marketing team must create a buyer persona before choosing the platform. Find out where they hang out online.
For example, it’s unlikely that you’ll be needing a Pinterest account to share pictures of your awesome software services.
2. Post More Than Just Blog Content
Just because you’re an IT company doesn’t mean you can’t leverage your creative side. Customers love imagery, infographics, videos and podcasts rather than just regular blog posts and press releases.
As Digital Authority Partners quite rightly put it, the marketplace is as fierce as ever so this is a great method to set your IT business apart from the competition.
Sure it’s great to post valuable how-to guides but if that’s all your social profiles contain, you may fail to catch the eye.
3. Time Your Content Marketing
While your IT business may be using content marketing, there will be some that are not using it to its full potential.
High-quality content must be linked to a social media posting schedule. Getting the content in front of an interested audience will attract the right customers at the right times. For example, if you’re targeting business in the US, social media posts must be sent during peak US browsing times – otherwise, no one will see it.
Plus, this strategy involves no paid advertising. All that’s needed is valuable content that can be shared through the various platforms.
Ensure that the posts contain relevant and searched-for hashtags so your target audience can find it easier.
4. Use Social Tools
If your IT business is creating great content, the efforts are going to waste if you’re not using the right social tools to measure its impact across each platform.
85% of B2B marketing uses social media analytics. If your IT business is not in this 85%, you are missing out on valuable insights.
Social tools will give your IT company insights into how your content performs and make it easier to repurpose it. For example, this works well in particular for old content that still gains traffic. Update it for current applications/standards/systems/etc and promote it.
You will also see what content your audience responds to the best through your social media efforts.
Chatbots are great because they can help to resolve a customer’s problem quickly and in real-time. They can also be integrated with social media platforms so visitors can feel comfortable using them. For example, there are plenty of chatbots that can integrate with Facebook Messenger.
They are also great at creating a personalized experience for your customers. If you are running any paid ads, consider swapping the link to your IT-focussed landing page with a link to the Messenger window with your chatbot.
This will help you to break traditional customer views that all you’re trying to do is sell and the customers you do bring over become loyal to the brand.
6. Use People That Love The Brand
One of the best ways to promote your brand is by utilizing those that already love it. You can use both your existing customers and members of your own team to make this strategy work.
For existing customers, ask them to share their thoughts on a review site like TrustPilot and then share their words through your social channels.
For team members, they must know the goals of the campaign so set guidelines specific to your brand.
7. Cross-Channel Campaigns
Cross-channel campaigns are excellent at boosting customer engagement. While this technique is common across a lot of industries, IT companies are still not using this social media marketing strategy.
To create an effective cross-channel campaign, you must create a compelling story about your brand. Share this with your followers and ensure that you couple it with a relevant hashtag to the industry.
Additionally, make sure any campaign you work on is properly set up to track the ROI for. In an age of data insights driving marketing campaigns, you have no excuse if don’t set up a proper analytics strategy for everything you do. According to ComboApp, for example, many executives are now turning to data-driven marketing to see the ROI for their efforts. Data-driven marketing is a methodology.
According to ComboApp, this is what you should know about data-driven marketing:
Data-driven marketing refers to the methodology of extracting actionable insights tied to consumer behavior from large data sets in order to predict consumer behavior in relation to new products, marketing positioning and users’ likelihood of interacting with a brand.
With the increase in popularity of Big Data, and the technological advancements that allow for massive amounts of information to be collected, organized and analyzed, data-driven marketing is emerging as the next generation strategy to effectively create personalized and relevant consumer experiences.
In the age of digital insights, it would be foolish not to leverage the power of data analytics to make sure your marketing campaign is working as expected and that you see a positive return on investment for your campaigns.
8. Social Bookmarking Websites
People share resources via a URL on social bookmarking websites rather than the content itself. As an IT company, you can use this technique to rank high for your product or service and generate a ton of organic traffic.
To make this work though, you need excellent content and require the bookmarking site to endorse your brand, which is likely cost money. However, if your brand becomes a hit with your audience, expect to see your viewing and selling numbers rise quickly.
Not many IT companies are using this social strategy, so go beyond the norm and make your brand stand out from the competition.
9. Establish A Budget
Finally, your IT company must have a budget set aside for social media marketing. It’s vital to the success of the entire campaign.
With all the above strategies in place, the budget can be leveraged to become the most cost-effective way to interact with your customers and drive more sales. Social media gives you the ability to connect on a more personal level with your customers.
These 9 social media marketing techniques will ensure your IT company does not miss out on any traffic, business and sales it shouldn’t. Stand out from the competition and leverage social media to grow and become a market leader. Conservely, you can also partner up with an agency who can help you sort your marketing plan for 2019. Check out this list of companies with a great track record at helping IT companies stand out of the crowd.
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April 26, 2019 at 05:15PM
Twitter makes ‘likes’ easier to use in its twttr prototype app. (Nobody tell Jack.)
On the one hand, you’ve got Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey lamenting the “like” button’s existence, and threatening to just kill the thing off entirely for incentivizing the wrong kind of behavior. On the other hand, you have twttr — Twitter’s prototype app where the company is testing new concepts including, most recently, a way to make liking tweets even easier than before.
Confused about Twitter’s product direction? Apparently, so is the company.
In the latest version of the twttr prototype, released on Thursday, users are now able to swipe right to left on any tweet in order to “like” it. Previously, this gesture only worked on tweets in conversation threads, where the engagement buttons had been hidden. With the change, however, the swipe works anywhere — including the Home timeline, the Notifications tab, your Profile page, or even within Twitter Search results. In other words, it becomes a more universal gesture.
This makes sense because once you got used to swiping right, it was confusing that the gesture didn’t work in some places, but did in others. Still, it’s odd to see the company doubling down on making “likes” easier to use — and even rolling out a feature that could increase user engagement with the “Like” button — given Jack Dorsey’s repeated comments about his distaste for “likes” and the conversations around the button’s removal.
Of course, twttr is not supposed to be Dorsey’s vision. Instead, it’s meant to be a new experiment in product development, where users and Twitter’s product teams work together, in the open, to develop, test, and then one day officially launch new features for Twitter.
For the time being, the app is largely focused on redesigning conversation threads. On Twitter today, these get long and unwieldy, and it’s not always clear who’s talking to who. On twttr, however, threads are nested with a thin line connecting the various posts.
The app is also rolling out other, smaller tweaks like labels on tweets within conversations that highlight the original “Author’s” replies, or if a post comes from someone you’re “following.”
And, of course, twttr introduced the “swipe to like” gesture.
While it’s one thing to want to collaborate more directly with the community, it seems strange that twttr is rolling out a feature designed to increase — not decrease — engagement with “likes” at this point in time.
Last August, for example, Dorsey said he wanted to redesign key elements of the social network, including the “like” button and the way Twitter displays follower counts.
“The most important thing that we can do is we look at the incentives that we’re building into our product,” Dorsey had said at the time. “Because they do express a point of view of what we want people to do — and I don’t think they are correct anymore.”
Soon after, at an industry event in October 2018, Dorsey again noted how the “like” button sends the wrong kind of message.
“Right now we have a big ‘like’ button with a heart on it, and we’re incentivizing people to want to drive that up,” said Dorsey. “We have a follower count that was bolded because it felt good twelve years ago, but that’s what people see us saying: that should go up. Is that the right thing?,” he wondered.
While these comments may have seemed like a little navel-gazing over Twitter’s past, a Telegraph report about the “like” button’s removal quickly caught fire. It claimed Dorsey had said the “like” button was going to go away entirely, which caused so much user backlash that Twitter comms had to respond. The company said the idea has been discussed, but it wasn’t something happening “soon.” (See above tweet).
Arguably, the “like” button is appreciated by Twitter’s user base, so it’s not surprising that a gesture that could increase its usage would become something that gets tried out in the community-led twttr prototype app. It’s worth noting, however, how remarkably different the development process is when it’s about what Twitter’s users want, not the CEO.
Hey, twttr team? Maybe we can get that “edit” button now?
via Twitter – TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com
April 26, 2019 at 10:43AM
B2B Commerce Will Hit $1.3 Trillion by 2023 — Consider a Marketplace Model
B2B eCommerce is growing and attracting new players making it ripe for transformation. Global accessibility to the internet and the dominance of mobile are challenging decades-old norms. Moreover, B2C’s success is inadvertently helping set new expectation for B2B commerce.
As a result, we’re starting to see more emphasis applied on values such as customer experience, quality of service and competitive pricing in the B2B sector. More B2B businesses are adapting to these challenges. A major part of that adaptation is embracing the online marketplace model. Here’s how:
1. B2B Commerce Growth Is Gaining Attention
A 2019 Forrester’s report estimates that B2B eCommerce transactions will hit $1.3 trillion by the year 2023. For anyone who has an interest in the B2B sector (or contemplating a future in it), this is the ideal time to take massive action.
There are tremendous opportunities in the manufactured goods, aerospace industry, professional electronics, and office supplies and equipment markets. B2B eCommerce is poised for rapid growth and marketers have to be ready in order to growth with the changes in buying habits (or be left behind).
As more players enter the B2B space, quality standards to go up which will further increase acceptance and adoption. All these trends point increasingly towards the rise of an online marketplace model in the B2B industry.
2. Changing Buyer’s Habits
Digitalization is definitely playing its part in transforming the B2B commerce. More and more B2B buyers are turning to the internet for research and online purchases. Businesses with an online marketplace are speculating that within the next couple of years nearly half of their clients will move to purchase online.
With this changing buyer behavior, B2B businesses will increasingly look to an online marketplace model for convenience. Buyers look for a wide range of options, competitive prices and easy delivery to simplify their buying process.
YoKart, mutli-vendor marketplace platform has provided a number of options that will help new entrants get started. Several businesses that started with this platform found it easy to tackle the disruption that the online marketplace model caused all over the world — namey in an effort to compete with Amazon.
3. The Amazon-Effect on B2B Commerce
Amazon has given a new definition to the customer experience. Even before the buyer has made contact with the seller to make a purchase, the seller should have some basic knowledge about the needs and habits of their buyer. This is best illustrated through the ‘customers who bought this item also bought’ section on Amazon’s website. Now the same kind of reception is expected by today’s B2B buyers.
This is easier said than done. At the outset, there is a need to expand the suite of products/services offered as well as maintaining quality. When done right, this is an effective strategy for customer acquisition and retention — as is competitive pricing. A marketplace model carries all three attributes.
4. More Value to the Customers
The whole online marketplace model is geared towards offering more value to the customer, which is the basis of marketing in modern e-commerce. With the changing buyer’s habits, B2B businesses will now have adequate reason to consider the online marketplace model.
The advantage that B2B enjoys here is that nothing is new and uncertain for them. The model has been sufficiently practiced in other B2B to forecast all the possible outcomes. All B2B players to do is identify practices that work well and are applicable in their business model.
In fact, some of it is already happening. Many B2B merchants have launched their m-commerce or e-commerce websites with features and functionalities that are known to remove obstacles from the shopping experience. Social Media’ role in bringing new customers to the B2B distributors is also signaling a shift towards a much familiar online marketplace model.
5. Safer Way to Product Assortment Expansion
Sellers today don’t like to have their hands tied. Here again the marketplace model delivers. It enables a risk-free product assortment expansion by bringing a whole community of sellers together that imparts flexibility and agility to the e-commerce process.
Another advantage that marketplace model has to offer is for small businesses. With the marketplace model, they’re suddenly looking at a huge throng of buyers interested in purchasing their products/services. And it works out quite well for the buyers as well. They have in front of them several supplier catalogs and lists of available products, which is something that’s usually expected in B2C e-commerce platforms.
Lack of choice and convenience is something that’s frustrated modern B2B buyers and it has been one of B2B e-commerce’s shortcomings. Spurred by the success of the B2C marketplace model, B2B merchants are beginning to deliver more digital commerce options and deliver a more convenient shopping experience. This is further growing customer acquisition and retention. Sellers are mindful of their target audience’s needs and working diligently to deliver on these new expectations. Today’s B2C models shows exactly how this will be done for B2B commerce as it continues to grow and prosper in the years to come.
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April 26, 2019 at 10:33AM
Why Instagram Is the Key to Improving Customer Experience
If you’re a business owner, you understand the importance of providing high-quality customer service through many different channels. You might already handle customer inquiries and complaints through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. However, Instagram is fast becoming an essential component of customer experience, and if you’re not using its many tools and functions to improve your customers’ satisfaction, you could be losing sales.
Now that Instagram includes options to make purchases from your online store via a link in your profile, your customers will use the platform to ask questions about the status of their orders, your return policy, or how to get a refund if an item arrives damaged or defective. Always provide a contact link in your profile and keep a close eye on your inbox.
Every photo or video you post to Instagram provides a forum for customers to comment on your products and services. If you post a photo of a store you’re opening at a new location, for example, customers in that neighborhood might respond positively. On the other hand, if some of your customers had a negative experience at another location, they might resent the fact that you’re focusing on expanding rather than fixing the problems in your existing stores. You might find your feed littered with complaints about rude employees or messy shelves.
No matter how stunning your images, negative comments or unanswered questions make you look bad, which means it’s vital that you respond promptly and demonstrate to all your followers you’re acting in good faith. According to Later, 88 percent of customers who make inquiries on social media are less likely to make a purchase if they don’t receive a reply, and at least 30 percent will purchase from your competitors instead. On the flipside, 65 percent of customers feel more brand loyalty if a company acknowledges their feedback.
The best way to handle most issues is to thank the customer for the feedback, apologize for the inconvenience, and then suggest the customer send you a private message to discuss the details. Never ask followers to leave personal information in the comments. Staying on top of customer service requests takes time, especially if customers are commenting on older posts, but there are many Instagram tools to streamline the process. Management tools like Buffer allow you to view all comments and other activity in the same dashboard.
Customer care isn’t just about fixing problems; you need to be proactive to prevent problems from happening and gain a clearer picture of what customers want. First, you want to use precision targeting to ensure your content is reaching your ideal customers. Services like Socialsteeze use smart filters to target your niche and engage with the accounts most likely to respond favorably.
Once you find your audience, you need to create the content that will keep them engaged. Entertainment is an integral part of the customer experience, and Instagram Stories are the perfect way to inject a little fun into your business. Because Stories are only viewable for 24 hours, they foster a sense of exclusivity and anticipation. Teaser videos about upcoming product launches are especially enticing.
Stories now feature questions stickers. Followers click on the link in your video to send a question, which you answer later during a Live Q and A session. Addressing frequently-asked questions in a Live video saves you the effort of replying to followers individually. Regular Live chat sessions also give customers the opportunity to communicate with you in real time.
Your longer video content is a means to provide assistance without customers having to ask for it. Create video tutorials to demonstrate how to use products, navigate your online store, or troubleshoot your software. Organize your content around themed hashtags, so followers know what to expect. If you’re a foodie, for example, post your dessert videos under #tuesdaytreat, use #wednesdaywine for photos of your favorite pinot pairings, and repost older content for #throwbackthursday.
The easiest way to find out what your customers want is to ask them directly. Create polls to get feedback on a particular issue; if you discover 95 percent of your followers prefer chocolate protein powders, you won’t waste time and money developing other flavors that won’t sell.
Ask for testimonials you can post as images, and keep an eye out for user-generated content you can re-gram as free advertising. Hold photo contests where followers post photos of themselves using a certain product in exchange for a discount code or chance to win a prize.
How do you use Instagram for customer care? Share your ideas in the comments.
The post Why Instagram Is the Key to Improving Customer Experience appeared first on Social Media Explorer.
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April 26, 2019 at 09:04AM
Social Media and Wellness
The pervasiveness of social media technology in our daily lives has had both positive and negative effects on society as a whole and individuals in particular. While it allows us to remain connected to our loved ones over great distances, interact with grade school chums, and learn important information about the happenings in our global community, one has only to read about the extensive proliferation of online bullying at almost every age to understand that there can be negative outcomes when using the internet as a primary means for conducting personal and professional relationships.
Social media may also be affecting our overall wellness. Our physical, mental, and social well-being may be inadvertently linked to the ways in which we conduct our daily lives and interact with others. Wellness, the manner in which we achieve a healthy life, focuses its attention on preventative care, addressing issues of health when they present themselves, and adhering to fitness and food regimens that support our physical, mental, emotional, and social health.
How does social media affect health and wellness and what does that mean for your life? Here we’ve pulled together a few ideas for you to consider.
Social media increases our access to information.
The good news: On a positive note, social media platforms are a source of information. Whether you are interested in learning about the medicinal and healing properties of CBD oils and products or you’re trying to find a support group for your new fitness program, social media channels can help you get the data you need to make those decisions. Finding recipes to support your changing eating habits or connecting with others who are interested in improved mental health is easier with social media. Online options allow you to tailor your wellness needs to your specific lifestyle and area of interest. For many people, this can make it easier to effect a positive change in your overall health and wellness.
The warning: Misinformation and misconceptions can be copious online, even on social media platforms. Individuals who are not in the habit of checking sources or determining the validity of information may find themselves gathering inaccurate or incomplete data. Social media can also give its users the impression that what individuals post on their platforms is the complete actuality of their lives. Vulnerable individuals may not realize that some people crop and manipulate images they post to present an impression, not the reality, of how they want themselves or their lives and relationships to be perceived. For many, it is difficult to separate the reality from the misrepresentations that false images and words often presented on social media sites. As a result, the overall mental and social wellness of some can be compromised based on images and ideas that are not factual.
Social media influences our habits as consumers.
The good news: Instagram statistics indicate that 83 percent of consumers discover new products and services on Instagram. Brands are finding that social media can positively influence the shopping behavior of consumers and bridge the gap between buyers and sellers, playing a significant role at every step of the purchasing process. Buyers are learning more about the products and services before making a final purchase decision, allowing them to make better, more judicious financial decisions about where they put their money. It also allows consumers awareness of what services, products, and brands their friends and family endorse. Many consumers are also using social media outlets to access small shops, giving both brands and consumers more options for health products and wellness information. It also gives consumers an opportunity to support businesses that have philanthropic interests and perform socially conscious works.
The warning: Consumers love seeing what their favorite celebrities are eating, wearing, and doing. It’s important for people to be aware that many of their posts and probably sponsored and, even if we purchase the same beauty item or designer dessert, the outcome for our life might be drastically different than the one that is presented online. Brands have a great opportunity to increase their reach through social media platforms, and it’s important to separate the truth in their marketing strategy from the perception and impression they want to leave with their consumers before making decisions or expecting results.
Social media generates communities of like-minded individuals.
The good news: People who are looking to change long-established and unhealthy habits may find the knowledge, support, and encouragement they need in the communities that social media generates. Moving away from sedentary work habits or opting out of drive-through dinners may not be easy for many. Sharing recipes, providing positive feedback, and supporting the change of habits can help many individuals better manage their health and fitness and building an engaged community can be a lynchpin in the success of many.
The warning: Community can also create a mob mentality where people find it impossible to think independently. There are social media sites that promote misinformation as fact, and it isn’t always easy to step back from an onslaught of information to separate fact from fiction. It is also important to note that even if the social media group is truly a supportive community, everyone’s journey is going to look different. Whether it’s losing a few pounds, improving overall fitness, or coping with a chronic illness, showcasing the success of others who are achieving their goals can discourage some people from trying.
Has social media affected your perspective of health and wellness? Share your thoughts here.
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April 26, 2019 at 09:04AM
Why Is Digital Marketing More Important For Businesses Than Ever Before?
A lot of businesses are aware that digital marketing is a vital strategy to grow their business. But they don’t have a great understanding of how each component works and what they should include in their digital marketing strategy. This is where this infographic comes in useful as it goes through why this form of marketing has become a top choice for businesses and what exactly is digital marketing.
It looks at different types which will help your company to thrive and be successful in the modern world. The first thing this infographic looks at is why digital marketing is now more important than ever. It includes facts and figures that will surprise you. It also looks at the future of companies and why it’s so important to add online channels in your marketing strategy. In fact, this infographic has figures about video advertising and e-commerce sales which will help you to make your mind up about digital marketing.
The infographic then looks at the different types of digital marketing and why they need to all be incorporated in your strategy. The first form that it looks at is SEO. Search Engine Optimisation is so important in the current climate if you want to drive traffic to your company. More people than ever are now looking online when hunting down a business and you need to work on rising up the Google results if you want to stand out against your competitors.
Pay-Per-Click ads are something that businesses should look to incorporate into their digital marketing plan. The infographic discusses click-through rates and conversions which will show you how it can work for your company. Another strategy is content marketing. As you can see in this infographic, it’s so important to blog as much as possible to drive traffic to your company’s site.
Video marketing is another essential strategy that lets you promote your brand and show off testimonials. These interesting facts and figures show why you need to add this to your plan. Many companies such as Point Blank Digital can help you create a digital marketing plan that will be suited for your business.
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April 26, 2019 at 08:47AM